Unique Baby Names: Helpful or Harmful?

Unique baby names are all the rage. They’re fun to come up with, they catch people’s attention, and they’re hard to forget.

And yet…unique names can also damage self-esteem, signal low status, be perceived as dangerous, and irritate schoolteachers, among other things.

Overall, do you think unique names are more helpful or more harmful to kids today? And, does gender matter?

For baby GIRLS, are unique names helpful or harmful?

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For baby BOYS, are unique names helpful or harmful?

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[Related post: Unisex Baby Names: Helpful or Harmful?]

4 thoughts on “Unique Baby Names: Helpful or Harmful?

  1. It depends on the “unique” name. If your kid is a girl named Emerald or a boy named Oakley, they’re great choices and would do no harm. If they’re called Sunshine, Dagger, Liver, Pantene, Virgin, Fanny, etc, then they do more harm than good.

  2. My step-kid’s name isn’t unique in German speaking countries and we have relatively common surname… but as far we can tell she’s the only S____ Surname in the US (or at least on the internet.) I didn’t think it was a problem until she became a teenager, but now I worry that she is just too Googleable.

  3. There are unique names like Nevaeh that people say are harmful because it’s just a trend but I think it’s less harsh than Angel which got used quite a bit in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Having a name like Nevaeh gives a good story to tell ‘Hey you know my name is Heaven spelt backwards’ For babies that were born premature I think it’s nice because it showed that their parents had faith.

  4. I’m Vincenza. It’s not unique per se, but it’s not common enough for most people to pronounce properly… even after I’ve pronounced it for them.

    I go by a diminutive (not the one seen above and not *shudder* Enza) because it’s easier. But I do love my name, no matter how much annoyance it’s given me over the years (and it has given me quite a bit!).\

    I actually think I’m better off for it. It has meaning, it opens up conversation. That being said, it had been used as a name for a long time, it wasn’t created by my mother(but all names are created, they all came from somewhere).

    And to Julie, I’m highly googleable myself. I’m literally the only person with my first and last name combo in the history of, well, history. I’ve not found it causes me many problems, and I was using the internet as a young teen, when I would have been much less discreet and thoughtful than I am now. As long as your step daughter is somewhat reasonable, she should be fine. And, look at it this way, it’ll be easier for you and your husband to see what she’s doing online! ;)

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