Kooky baby names are not a modern trend

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

As modern parents, we might think we've seen it all when it comes to weird baby names. The fact is, people have chosen weird and wacky monikers right through the ages and we've got the proof.

Record keeping during eras when literacy levels were low and handwritten script almost undecipherable to the modern eye was fraught with difficulty. It wasn't even until 1837 in England, that official births, deaths and marriages were required to be recorded in a uniform way. Before that it was a haphazard assortment of details, some missing one or both parent names, even birth years.

The good news is that behind the scenes, there are legions of volunteer transcribers, who are right this very moment, helping to bring long dead people back to life, converting old books which are often water damaged or ravaged by time, into digitised records.

This list of rather amazing names has come into our hands this way. A group of transcribers working on old records from counties across the UK have started making note of the particularly notable names they come across, and it proves that highly unusual names are simply not a modern thing. We often just think they are.

Some of the names on this list you'd think were just given to a brand new baby in 2017 and you'd probably shrug them off as too ridiculously modern for their own good.

Virtue names you've never heard before

We are well accustomed to virtue names such as Faith, Hope and Grace, but there are some puritanical names on this list you may not have come across on an actual person.

Friend (m - 1864)

Obedience (f - 1751)

Pleasant (f - 1864)


Repent (1606)

Repentance (1868 & 1873 - the latter probably named after deceased sibling)

Silence (f - 1866)

Last name first names



Pickford (1868)

Sargent (1873)

Stafford (1846)

Tregonwell (m -1500s)

Woodman (1846)

Made up or lost names

Albenia​ (1861 - derived from Albinus)

Anstice (possibly related to Anastasia)


Ascoell (1861)

Faintnot Isaday (1878)

Hudibras​ (m - 1830 - protagonist in a 17th century satire poem by Samuel Butler)

Icevena Milva (f - 1896)

Idoine (1200s - medieval French)

Lambeth (1860 - a suburb of London)

Letsy (probably derived from Lettice)

Lyndoria (f - 1872)

Mudd (f - 1777)

Nutter (m - 1766)

Spendlove Desborough

Spendlove Odessa (m -1877)

Thomima (f - 1860)

Yborough (medieval)

Unusual biblical names

Asenath (1868)

Elkanah (1861)

Enos (1871)

Hiram (1828)

Merab (1861)

Meshack (m - 1786 - twin to Shadrach)

Obadiah (m - 1600s)

Shadrach  (m -1786)

Tirzah (1863)

Zilpha (f - 1864)

Totally usable now

Bingham (m - 1863 - Kate Hudson used it)

Cami (f - 1859)

Keziah (f - 1800s)

Lancaster (m - 1600s - last name first name)

Linney (1872)

Lyson (f - 1870 - french form of Elizabeth)

Tamar (f - 1800s)