7 Food-inspired baby names that aren't weird

Jun 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Look around: Baby name inspiration is everywhere. In fact, you don't have to go much past your kitchen to find it. Some of the cutest baby names reside somewhere between the pantry and the fridge.

1. Basil

Basil as a baby name

Image: Alden Chadwick/Flickr


If you look back far enough, you can trace Basil to the ancient Greek word for "king". More recently, however, it's associated with the tasty herb of the same name, which — coincidentally — was named as a consequence of its ancient heritage, at which point we come full circle.

Last popular:

While the last time this name was wildly popular was during the 1910s (when 126 per every million babies were named that way), it's about time it made a comeback!

Why it's great:

Not only is it short, snappy and hard to mispronounce, but it also makes a pretty great international name; there are variations in many languages. But perhaps most critically, it doesn't rhyme with anything too terrible. Razzle dazzle Basil?

Famous Basils:

  • Basil Onomagoulos — 8th century Byzantine usurper
  • Basil of Naples — 7th century Duke of Naples
  • Basil Rathbone — 20th century British actor

2. Rosemary

Rosemary as a baby name

Image: Andrew Fogg/Flickr


If you take the Latin course, then Rosemary means "dew of the sea" and is associated with faithfulness, which is quite nice. Of course, it also bears strong ties to the lovely aromatic herb.

Last popular:

At its peak time in the 1940s, 1,128 babies in every million were named Rosemary. It has tapered off a bit since, but has remained on the radar and, in recent years, has risen to about 200 babies per million.

Why it's great:

There is a heap of really cool ways to shorten the name and turn it into adorable nicknames: Rosie, Mary, Rose, Ro, Romy, Rory — take your pick.

Famous Rosemaries:

  • Princess Rosemary of Salm-Salm — 20th century royal
  • Rosemary DeCamp — 20th century actress
  • Rosemary Shrager — 20th century chef

3. Sage

Sage as a baby name

Image: Alice Henneman/Flickr


You can take Sage two ways — to mean "wise", "prophet" and "all-knowing" or "herb", like the one you use to add some flavour to your dishes.

Last popular:

Here's something interesting: Sage as a girls' name only burst onto the scene in 2005, but has remained pretty steady (about 210 per million babies) since then. The boys' version (spelled the same way) took a little longer to get going, showing up on the radar in 2012, but has been consistent since then (about 80 per million babies).

Why it's great:

Aside from a cool meaning, it's a great, snappy unisex name and — from a typographic point of view — is a pretty name to write and read.

Famous Sages:

  • Sage Francis — 20th century hip-hop artist
  • Sage Kotsenburg — 20th century snowboarder, Olympic gold medallist
  • Sage Stallone — 20th century actor, son of Sylvester Stallone

4. Ginger

Ginger as a baby name

Image: Chandrika Nair/Flickr


Pure, virginal, chaste — that is actually the meaning behind the name, but it's also associated with the zesty (and edible) root and a strong and lively spirit that comes part and parcel.

Last popular:

A real hit in the 1970s where it represented 351 per million babies, Ginger disappeared into the abyss soon after, which is a shame really.

Why it's great:

Ginger Rogers, anyone? It's a fun, retro name that is also an important ingredient in some of the world’s best cocktails.

Famous Gingers:

  • Ginger Rogers — 20th century American actress, dancer and singer
  • Ginger Pooley — 20th century rock musician (Smashing Pumpkins, anyone?)
  • Ginger Molloy — 20th century Grand Prix motorcycle road racer

5. Kale

Kale as a baby name

Image: Mervi Eskelinen/Flickr


As a shorter version of "Kalen", it has a Gaelic heritage and when pronounced "Kah-lei" it means "strong and manly" in Hawaiian. However, in its pure, one-syllable form, it shares its moniker with the leafy super food.

Last popular:

While it existed in other forms for much longer, in its modern version, Kale hit the peak of its popularity in 2008 with 128 per million babies.

Why it's great:

Who doesn't love kale? It's a super food for a reason. It's also a fun unisex name and unisex names are — just by their very existence and definition — cool.

Famous Kales:

  • Kale Browne — 20th century actor
  • Kale Kyetaungnyo — 15th century king of Ava
  • Kale Williams — 20th century American civil rights activist

6. Coco

Cocoa as baby name inspiration

Image: Kim Becker/Flickr


In French, Coco is an endearing way you might call someone you love. Deliciously, it was influenced by the word "cocoa" as well as by the French word "cocotte" (kept woman).

Last popular:

In truth, the name never made any great waves worldwide, however, the effortless chic of Coco Chanel has made it an everlasting and ever-current presence.

Why it's great:

It's playful, in some way related to chocolate, it was Coco Chanel's name and, because it never dominates name lists, there probably won't be three Cocos in every class.

Famous Cocos:

  • Coco Jones — 20th century actress
  • Coco Chanel — 19th century fashion designer
  • Coco Rocha — 20th century model

7. Kamille

Chamomile as baby name inspiration

Image: Takashi Hososhima/Flickr


"Perfection" (in Arabic) or "noble" (in French) — no matter how you slice it (or whether you spell it with a "c" or a "k"), it ain't bad. What's more, in German, Kamille means "chamomile" — the daisy-like flowers that make spectacular tea.

Last popular:

Although it doesn't have a long history in the English-speaking world, the name Kamille did hit a peak recently — in 2011 — when 65 out of every million babies were named that way.

Why it's great:

It's a German word that isn't terrifying in the least and also a tasty tea. In addition, it works in several languages and comes with a range of great nicknames: Kammie, Kam, Millie, Mils, Mila.

Famous Kamilles:

There weren't many famous people who spelled their name with a "k", but switch it with a "c" and it's a veritable list of movers and shakers.

  • Camille Desmoulins — 18th century French journalist and revolutionary (a man)
  • Camille Munro — 20th century Miss World Canada winner
  • Camille Grammer — 20th century, one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

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