Naming babies is something Utahn's do all the time…DUH!


But, OK, I am just going to say it…Why does it seem like Utah has the most unique names around? Is everyone trying that hard to be distinct? To stand apart from the crowd?


Are parents wanting to make sure their child is the only person around that is “that person?” Do they want them to be different, memorable, or distinct?  


Also, whatever happened to names that were phonetically spell-able??


I am not saying my family is innocent and that they don't fall into the “Utah Unique Name Craze,” heck, my real name is Melodee, with two Es! I suppose my mom was a non-conformist for the 70s,  and then on top of that, my nickname is Melo.


So I can appreciate the vibe… But, with so many people seeking individuality and not wanting their child to be known as:


  • John S
  • John F
  •  or John W 


Only for their child to be lost in a sea of Johns, which is obviously every parent's worst nightmare.  Is there a reason Utah seems to stand out with the name choices?


Could it be that the culture in Utah is predominantly into their family history? 


I know that representing your family is important. I understand the desire to connect with ancestors long passed. I named three of my daughters after their grandma’s.


Though I feel like many in Utah take this idea of family history and move it another step further. Perhaps to be

"in the World, but not of the World."


One of the ways Utahns move the mark in creativity with names is with spelling. Let’s look at the name Madeline, which is a name of Hebrew origin.


Madeline has evolved in its spelling in Utah, and there are many more alternatives of it than I previously understood. I have seen multiple variations including, but not limited to:




  1.  Madelen
  2.  Madelenn
  3.  Madelin
  4.  Madelinn
  5.  Madellen
  6.  Madellin
  7.  Madellon
  8.  Madellyn
  9.  Madellynn
  10.  Madelon
  11.  Madelonn
  12.  Madelyn
  13.  Madolin 
  14.  AND Madelynn 


This makes me dizzy when I re-read all the options, SO if you are wanting to make your child more unique, in Utah, that is how it’s done. Change up the spelling to make the name stand out on a list.


Not to mention, it ensures that the child can spell it 1000’s of times during their lifetime to anyone needing to write their name or look it up.


Here are a few other unusual names I have heard recently in Utah:




  • Jammer
  • Choice
  • Chapter
  • Kash
  • Krew
  • Kambree
  • Rayden
  • Klara
  • Maverick
  • Ryker
  • Tashdon
  • Tej


What kind of fantastical spellings have you seen?


KEEP READING: Here are the most popular baby names in every state

Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.

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