Today I'll be looking at unusual names I've heard in the past few weeks - some way or another, they always find me!
A combination of Melanie and Berniece, Melaniece stood out to me because of it's aural similarities to Anneliese. It's also not too far from 80's darling Melissa! I haven't been able to find any origins, which suggests to me it might be a modern invented name. And one drawback - any little Melaniece will be asked about their aunts and uncles more than the average kid.
Ladawn (or LaDawn)
Ladawn has a lot of positive traits: a similar meaning to the trending Aurora and classic Dawn, an ends-in-N sound like London or Lauren, and a French La-beginning. It sounds more Southern to me - and country singer Toby Keith agrees (his daughter is Krystal Ladawn). There's also something about it that's confident - but that could be my bias towards its namesake!
I recently spoke with a customer service representative who had this name, not long after my International Names post was published. I will say, I prefer Irish to Ireland - it seems more friendly and accessible. It could also be an honorific for family heritage or for an Irene or Ira in the family.
As Welsh names are trending upwards again - Bronwen, Tegan, Bryn - Olwen comes along to join the fun! It means "white footprint" and can be found in medieval romance stories. The nickname Ollie is also enticing, and variants Olwin and Olwyn add more options. It's not currently ranked in the UK or the US, but I think it might show up soon!
Mei is a pretty name already popular in the US, though it originated in China - it means "beautiful". Sumei adds an extra layer, meaning "very beautiful". With Maya and Mae shooting up the top 1000, I think Sumei could fit in well - alternate spelling Sue May is another Southern option.
A more feminine variation of classic Audrey, Audrina keeps the sound concise and pretty, without the extra vowels of Audriana or Audrielle. The original name means "noble strength" - a real blessing for a little one. One drawback is that the most famous Audrina is a character on reality TV, but the name stands on its own with or without a namesake.
Have you heard any unusual names recently? Tell me in the comments!