Written by Denise K. Potter for Nameberry
This summer's cool baby names include the dozen newest choices on Nameberry, inspired by ancient queens and celebrity newborns, fictional characters and an Ethiopian cab driver. If you're searching for something exotic, quirky or unusual, these 12 ideas may prove inspirational.
All names Adel are back in style, from the regal Australian place name Adelaide to sweet Adeline to nickname Addie and the musical Adele. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Adelisa" target="_blank">Adelisa</a> is our newest entry to this fashionable class. It can also be spelled with a z, as in the 12th century Adeliza of Louvain, the second wife of Henry I.
This attractive state name is Native American and means “great land.” In 2012, there were only 39 girls named <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Alaska" target="_blank">Alaska</a> in the U.S., but we see that increasing as the borders of place-naming continue to expand. <em>Pictured: Mount McKinley as seen from Talkeetna, Alaska.</em>
Kaori is a Japanese name that means smell or fragrance. Short and sweet, it’s simple to see why <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Kaori" target="_blank">Kaori</a> may be a lovely choice for a baby girl. While unfamiliar, Kaori also easily translates for the English speaker; it rhymes with Maori.
The Mohawk version of Katherine, meaning “pure,” the name Kateri is both sacred and historic. St. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Kateri" target="_blank">Kateri</a> Teckakwitha was the first Native American saint, canonized in 2012. She was the daughter of a Mohawk warrior, and converted to Christianity at age 20 when she took on the name Kateri. <em>Pictured: A wooden statue of Kateri Tekakwitha.</em>
Keller is the last name of activist Helen and chef Thomas, and is also one of the rhythmic new occupational names popular for boys. (<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Keller" target="_blank">Keller</a> was a German occupational surname for those who were cellar or store masters.) Keller makes a fresh choice in the trendy two-syllable er-ending category for boys. <em>Pictured: A statue of Helen Keller in the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC.</em>
This Gaelic surname means “ancient” or "descendant of the fair ones," referring to the Norse invaders of ancient Scotland and Ireland. Part Keenan, part Lennon, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Kennon" target="_blank">Kennon</a> is a new alternative for parents in search of a boys’ name with the stylish two-syllable rhythm and n ending. <em>Pictured: A statue of John Lennon stands near the entrance of Liverpool's famous Cavern Club.</em>
This creative baby name is pure pop culture. A product of author George R.R. Martin’s hit series Game of Thrones, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Khaleesi" target="_blank">Khaleesi</a> is Dothraki (a language Martin invented) for “queen” and is one of the titles of main character Daenerys.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Maeby" target="_blank">Maeby</a>? Maybe. The pun, of course, is the downside of naming your baby after Arrested Development’s sensible teenager Maeby, back in the spotlight with the new season of the popular series on Netflix. But Maeby does make a cute spin on Mae, the backstory of the TV character’s name. <em>Pictured: Alia Shawkat, who plays Maeby on Arrested Development</em>
This trendy word name was comedian Tracy Morgan’s choice for his daughter this year. A maven is defined as an expert or connoisseur. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Maven" target="_blank">Maven</a> can be considered a smoosh of the fashionable Irish name Maeve and the trendy spiritual Haven.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Meret" target="_blank">Meret</a> is an unusual yet accessible name with meaning in a diverse range of cultures. In German, it is the diminutive of Margarethe and means “pearl.” In Egyptian mythology, Meret was a goddess whose name meant “beloved” and was associated with singing, dancing, and rejoicing. Meret is also used in Hebrew, Danish, and Norwegian cultures. Most famously, Méret Oppenheim, the German-born Swiss artist and photographer, was a leading figure in the Surrealist movement of the 1920s.
Woody Allen was the original popularizer of the Yiddish name <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Zelig" target="_blank">Zelig</a>, in his 1983 mockumentary about a chameleon-like hero. Zelig is back in the spotlight now and crossing genders via Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage’s use of it for his young daughter.
Amharic meaning "raining," <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Zenebe" target="_blank">Zenebe</a> is a fresh import from Ethiopia. With the bonus nickname Zen making it cool and attractive, Zenebe -- pronounced with an emphasis on the second syllable -- is an ideal choice for parents looking for a name that bridges cultures.
More Baby Names
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/09/popular-baby-names_n_3566905.html" target="_blank">The Most Popular Baby Names Of The Year (So Far)</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/22/baby-names-becoming-popular_n_2925579.html" target="_blank">12 Surprising Baby Names That Are Trending</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/29/celeb-baby-name-trend_n_3516618.html" target="_blank">12 Celebrities Who Gave Their Baby Girls Boy Names</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/most-popular-baby-names-by-state_n_3314011.html" target="_blank">The Most Popular Baby Names By State</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/baby-names-gender_n_3403514.html" target="_blank">Do Parents Unconsciously Pick Gendered Baby Names?</a>