Juniper- This name is catching on big time. In a few states, like Oregon, Juniper actually cracks the top 100, though it’s only ranked #352 nationally. It’s been rising steadily since 2011 and I expect it could crack the top 100 in the next few years. It’s definitely a name to watch.
July- The month was originally named after Julius Caesar, meaning it’s related to Julia/Juliet/Julian etc. July could make a fascinating unisex alternative to the more pedestrian members of the Jul- family.
Jayanti- The feminine form of a Hindu god’s name, Jayanti is an Eastern name that could appeal to Western ears. It reminds me of Ashanti, a rhyming African name that experienced a huge surge in popularity in the early 2000s thanks to a pop star.
Jacobina- I have a strange fascinating with awkward feminizations. Benjamina, Christiana, Thomasina, Josephine, and all the others seem just wonderfully clunky to me, and Jacobina is no exception. The first syllable can be pronounced “Jack” or “Jake.”
Jacoby- Jacoby, of course, shares a root with Jacobina and also has several acceptable pronunciations. JACK-oh-bee, JAKE-oh-bee, and ja-KOH-bee are all used. It’s an interesting, nickname-rich alternative to the most popular boy’s name of the 2000s.
Jacinto- Like Jacobina, Jacinto is better known in its opposite-sex form, which in this case is Jacinta. The names are derived from hyacinth, making Jacinto a botanical boy name. There are saints called both Hyacinth and Jacinta, which could make this an interesting choice for devout and name-conscious Catholics.
Jafar- Though it’s famous as a Disney villain, Jafar actually has a long history as a legitimate Arabic name. A 7th century Jafar was a cousin of the prophet Mohammed, and the name is still used in the Muslim world (especially among Shias). International variants of the name include the Turkish Cafer and the Albanian Xhafer.
Jericho- From Koranic to Biblical: Jericho is a modern city in Palestine that has been occupied since pre-biblical times. Archaeologists date settlements there to 11,000 years ago, making it the second oldest continually inhabited city in the world, after Damascus. Jericho also makes several appearances in the Bible. The name broke the top 1000 for boys in 2016, and I can see it continuing to rise as an updated version of Jerry or Jeremy.
Jetson- It may still have a taint of space, but Jetson is a legitimate patronymic surname probably derived from Jordan. It’s also an old form of the word jettison, meaning to get rid of something superfluous. Jetson could make a novel route to the nickname Jet for parents who are uninterested in Jethro.
Jairo- This name, pronounced “Hi-roh,” is the Spanish form of the Hebrew Jair. Jair means “he shines,” a bright meaning for a positive sounding name.