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How to find a unique -- not weird -- baby name

Kim Grundy is a mom, writer, expert laundry folder and sandwich maker, not necessarily in that order. Raised in Oklahoma, she is now a West Coast gal and lives in California with her husband and two sons, along with one dog, two fish (oo...

Unique names that aren't wacky

There is a fine art to picking a baby name that is unique, but not weird or too "out there." If you are looking for a baby boy name or baby girl name that is cool and different, but will not embarrass your child (or cause your friends to snicker behind your back), check out our tips for finding a unique name that is not totally off the wall.

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A child's name is part of their identity, and choosing a unique name is a great way to help your son or daughter stand out in a crowd. What you don't want, however, is a weird or unusual name that will be aggravating to you and your child by constantly having to spell it or pronounce it -- or will cause embarrassment to your child.

Check out these ideas for finding a baby name that is unique, yet not too weird or unusual.

1Search out lists

Avoid baby names that are on the Top 100 baby name lists from the Social Security Administration, but there are some great unique name ideas at the end of these lists (which go all the way up to 1,000!). Search names 200 through 1,000 to find cool and unique names like Aurora, Lola, Trenton and Drake.

2Cool destination names

Think about a destination that has important meaning to you (engagement? honeymoon? birthplace?) for baby name inspiration! The names London, Ireland or Lucia are all cool and unique names. Avoid the names Paris and Brooklyn -- they are becoming way too trendy to be unique.

3Last names as first names

A great way to find a unique first name it to consider last names. Nicole Richie named her daughter Harlow (like screen legend Jean Harlow) and Mariah Carey named her daughter Monroe (after Marilyn Monroe) which are both unique and interesting names. Moms can use their maiden name as a first name for a fun way to incorporate a family name in their baby name.

Other cool last names that make unique baby names include Kennedy, Smith, Foster, Freeman and Hudson.

4Search out origins

If you would like to pay tribute to your heritage, consider searching for baby names by origin -- for example, Irish, Scottish, French or Spanish. Check out our SheKnows baby name search engine which allows you to search for baby names by origin. You will find beautiful and unique baby names that will hold special meaning to you.

5What's old is new

Classic or old-fashioned names are unique, yet have a traditional sound to them. For instance, names like Overton, Abigail,  Barton or Gwendolyn are unique, yet not too "out there." Check out our list of baby names popular in the 1800's for more old-fashioned baby name ideas.

More unique baby name ideas

Modern baby names
Unique baby names from classic books

Exotic baby names and meanings

Irish baby names: The hottest name trend

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