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names6 (Utah baby names)

11 unusual baby names that can only be from Utah


This article was published on the KSL.com news app, being sponsored by Robert F. DeBry and Associates:

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There are stereotypes that Utahns can’t seem to shake.  Maybe this is why so many parents seek to burst the homogenized bubble by helping their children stand out in unique ways – specifically when it comes to their names.  Ironically, this increased effort for originality has created yet another Utah stereotype.  Parents nationwide take inspiration from the great outdoors, Hollywood or even inanimate objects when naming their children, but Utah parents earn the most point for creativity.

Alternate spellings of traditional names, a particular fondness for the letter Y, using fictional characters and combining two names in one are just some of the characteristics of the latest naming trends in the Beehive state.  One person said it best when he said, “Utahns pick baby names the same what the rest of us pick usernames online.”  Utah has been setting trends for baby names since the early 20th century.

So whether you like them or not, here are a few names that are so uniquely bizarre that they could only be from Utah.

ILITHYIA — The pronunciation of this name is anyone’s guess.  As for the origin, one can only assume that after perusing through a list of Greek goddesses, the parents employed the create-your-own method by mashing three or four of them together.

ALEKSA — This one is unfortunate on multiple levels.  Yes, she will be distinguishable from the other Alexas in her class as far as spelling goes, but that won’t stop others from yelling, “Hey, Aleksa!” at her until Amazon comes out with a different digital assistant.

KATANA — Katana demonstrates how Utahn’s appreciation for other cultures often translate to fairly rare names for their children.  A ‘katana’ is a long curved single -edged sword traditionally used by Japanese samurai.  You can see the wisdom here.  No one will want to mess with a girl named after the finest cutting weapon in military history.

KARMINDY — No doubt Dad wanted the name Carmen and Mom wanted Mindy, but Carmindy was a little too automotive.  The letter K made the name acceptable and trendy in a world ruled by ‘K’ names.

GAMBIT — A ‘gambit’ is something you do or say that is intended to achieve an advantage and usually involves taking a risk.  Though it is unclear what advantage a name like Gambit will have, it is possible that the parents are comic book fans, as Gambit is a rogue X-men character.  Who wouldn’t want their son named after a villain that can throw spikes and playing cards with great accuracy?

MADIYSN — Madiysn is one of those normal-sounding names with the kind of spelling that drives ‘Autocorrect’ crazy.  Of course, there are many other variations, including Madysen, Madisen, Madysin, or Madison.  Creativity points are always earned with the use of the ever-popular ‘Y’ in a name.

AROARIN — If J. R. R. Tolkien was alive today, Aroarin would probably be the name of the hero in the Lord of the Rings sequel.

KAYDENZ — If this was the Scrabble equivalent of baby names from Utah, there parents get a triple word score.  One point for choosing the letter K, one point for inserting the popular suffix ‘ayden’, and bonus points for the Z at the end.  Take that, Cadence!

LAIKEE — Utahns appreciate nature so much that they name their children after the elements of nature.  You may know a River, Rock, Aspen, or Flora.  Now we have Laikee, with possible siblings Pondiee, Rockiee, and Mowntainee.

STRUT — Why would anyone pick a verb as a first name?  What is truly baffling is the decision  to go with Strut, with means ‘to walk with a vain and pompous bearing.’

XAUNTAL — Good news for all you Xaviers out there.  You are no longer the only ‘X’ name.  Since the letter X needed a little more love, it can now be used to replace the sound ‘sh’, as is the case with Xauntal.

While trends will come and go, you can expect that Utahns will continue to give their children unique monikers.  In a state with one of the highest fertility rates in the nation, you are bound to encounter some creativity when it comes to children’s names.  In naming children, you cannot please everyone, so name your children whatever you would like. But please, for the sake of your kids – be thoughtful.


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