INNIS: Gaelic for "island." For boys or girls; different and distinctive. Relative: Innes. Namesakes: Roy Innes, Michael Innes.
IRENE: Greek for "peace." Pretty and not used much these days. Relatives: Irena, Ireene, Irina. Namesakes: Irene Cara, Irene Worth.
IRIS: Greek goddess of the rainbow. A flower name that is making a modest comeback. Relative: Irys. Namesake: Iris Murdoch.
IRMA: Old German for "whole." Relatives: Irmin, Erman, Ermingarde, Irmingarde. Namesakes: Erma Bombeck, "Irma la Douce."
IRVING: From the Old English for "sea friend." Relatives: Irvin, Irvine, Irwin, Irwyn. Namesakes: Irving Berlin, Irving Thalberg, Washington Irving.
ISAAC: From the Hebrew for "laughter." A good biblical name for the offspring of older parents; Abraham was over 100 when Isaac was born. Relatives: Ike, Zach, Isaak, Yitzchak, Isak. Namesakes: Yitsak Rabin, Isaac Stern, Isaac Newton, Isak Denison, Isaac, Bashevis Singer
ISABEL: Another variation on Elizabeth. We like this name, but you are bound to have at least one relative who doesn't. Relatives: Isabella, Isabelle. Namesakes: Queen isabella, Isabella Rossellini, Isabelle Adjani.
ISAIAH: Hebrew for "salvation of the Lord." Relatives: Isa, Isiah. Namesake: Isiah Thomas
ISHMAEL: Hebrew for "God will hear." Go ahead; call him Ishmael. Namesake: Ishmael Reed.
ISIDORE: Greek for "gift of Isis," the Egyptian mood goddess associated with fertility. Seldom used these days, though the feminine form has its devotees among the free-spirited. Relatives: Isidor, Isisdora, Isadora, Izzy, Dora, Dorie, Dory. Namesake: Isadora Duncan.