I recently came to terms with the fact that, if I ever have babies, I will probably give them ridiculous names. (Elbow Macaroni O'Connor.) This is because I lack self-determination and thus am perpetually at the mercy of pointless trends, and also because people with cool names are actually cooler than the rest of us. I am certain of this because, as a young female with a lame old lady name, I am human evidence of the inverse of this principle.

Thus, I greatly enjoy baby name articles, websites, and message boards, where women the world around (and it's really only women) invent cool names. The best forum of all, I have discovered, is the "Names?" thread on earth mama website Mothering.com. In the first four pages alone, I found these:

• Hawthorne
• Lilac
• Aspen
• Balsam
• Elowen
• Linden
• Hill
• Elba
• Poppyseed
• Winter
• "Ylva, it's Norse and means she-wolf."
• Juniper
• Malachi
• Inara
• Nila
• Nilam (boy version)
• Justus
• Kestrel
• Doran
• Sång
• Sturm
• Anoria
• Dagmar
• Lysander
• Elura
• Alaric
• Alarica
• Alarice
• Zavy
• Zenevieva
• Zeneba


Amazing. [Mothering, image via Michael Pettigrew/Shutterstock]