Lyrical Bohemian Names

The post is a little late this week- my apologies!

I’ve always been fascinated by a certain type of name. Names that are kind of hippie names, but a little more specific. There are a few qualities they share:

  1. They’re always words- often drawn from nature, sometimes from other languages- but always words that are not used commonly in everyday language. So names like Ocean or Truly or Forrest or Ever are out.
  2. They’re nontraditional- no Rose or Victor or even Verity. New to the naming lexicon only.
  3. They’re vaguely spiritual- it may be a word that carries special significance (like Bodhi), a word from which symbolic meaning can be drawn (like Gray, the color of wisdom and compromise), or a symbol from nature (like Oak, a tree renowned for its strength).
  4. They’re unusual- Normally, popularity isn’t a factor in naming style. Popular names may be offbeat, traditional, modern, classic, “kreativ,” preppy- but for this style, it’s almost impossible for a common name to fit. The eccentricity of this style is a large part of its appeal.
  5. They’re usually unisex, or at least could be unisex- gender norms are not a feature of this name, and I would guess not a typical consideration for parents drawn to this style.

I’ve come to call this type of name “lyrical bohemian.” Lyrical because the names are meaningful and expressive of values or ideals, bohemian because they’re offbeat and artistic.  Girls Gone Child writer Rebecca Wolf really nailed this style- her four children are Archer, Fable, Boheme, and Reverie. It’s a great, offbeat, meaningful style. A few great examples:


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