This post was inspired by the arrival of a new baby to one of my oldest friends. A child they have named after a bird. It is hard to name a boy, so I understand. Here are some themes for naming I find promising:
Names ending in -er
These emphasize action and usefulness. Or employed-ness. Or at least being well-off enough to be doing obscure leisure things. Or none of the above, there’s just something pleasant about the -er ending. Examples: Hunter, Archer, Alexander, McAllister, Winter, September.
Town names/Family names
Towns were once upon a time named after someone, usually. I don’t mean towns like “New York City.” Examples: Hartington, Hadley, Montgomery, Savannah, Exeter, Lexington, Coventry, Devon*.
Names from nature
It is hard to choose a name from this category and not have it sound too-hippie (Rain, River, Meadow, Lark). The answer is to go for slightly obscure ones. Examples: Linden, Aster, Bryony, Laurel.
Bad things that sound nice
There are some words that sound pleasant but have meanings that aren’t great. While none of the ones I like are common as names, I know that Amara is used as a name and means “bitter” in Italian. Examples: Arson, Avarice**, Invidia, Aryan (but misspelled as Aerian), Sarin, Heroin.
Well, maybe it’s a good thing I’ve never been in charge of naming things other than my own electronics and a few cats. Funny though, I prefer animals to have traditionally human names. This exercise was fun. I hope I’ve shown that it’s possible to give a child a unique name without it rendering them un-hirable.
*Though I think the spelling “Devin” is more promising because it’s less likely to be mispronounced as something like De-Von.
** I know someone named for the corresponding virtue: Charity. So why not bring some balance to the world. Funny enough, she has a sister named Saren.