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Unusual First Name, Common Middle Name

People do this all the time - unusual first name, common middle, vice versa. I think it’s great, but I personally prefer the first name to be the uncommon one, because I like the fact that a name can provide a sense of individuality. Personally, being know as both my first and last name (not even initials, because there was another Christina S.) from 1st grade to college, I definitely craved a more uncommon name.

Obviously I love names, so when considering naming my own future children, I always check the popularity of a name I'm interested in. My limit tends to hang around 200 births per year, which means about 4 babies with that name per state, but not necessarily every state. (Although I would go higher for the right name.) Once you get to about 250 births per year, the name pops up on the top 1000.

Of course, in the end, all that will matter is your baby and not anyone else with the name, unless you are intentionally naming after someone. I just find it hard to believe that someone could give their baby a name they know over 21,000 other babies were born with in that year (Isabella, Jacob). So if I ever give advice, I will always say "Uncommon first name, common middle name." The child can always go by their middle name if they choose to, but they will have a unique (legitimate) first name.

On this blog I try to only cover uncommon names, although I have done some that are very common, and will in the future. I feel like the uncommon names deserve more attention, and there are some beautiful gems out there that a lot of people don't know about that I hope to spotlight.

I do wonder why people are afraid of rare names, or names from the past that haven't been heard in a while. We are all too quick to make up invented names and misspell traditional names, but if there's a legit name that hasn't been used for a long time, we're scared off. Rowena, Cyprian, Titania, Calandra, and Fiamma are all examples. Some would much rather use familiar names like Aidan and Isabella, even if they're crazy popular, and others would rather use an invented name like Katrisha or Renesme. There are pronunciation issues with rare names - unfamiliarity makes people hesitate pronouncing it right, unlike popular names that everyone has heard, but with the rate of diversity today, especially in names, there are more rare or foreign names coming up than we would imagine.

Take a chance on a rare name!

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Forest

Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…