Unique, Exotic Sounding Names

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2010
Unique, Exotic Sounding Names
9
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 3:20am

Wouldn't it be cool to search the internet for baby names using SOUND?

In diction, there is a beautiful sound called a "voiced alveo-palatal fricative." In IPA, the symbol to write this sound is d̠͡ʑ. On babynamesworld.com, the pronunciation guide looks like "Zh" as in beige, cashmere, rouge, corsage, sabotage, massage, entourage, collage, mirage, luxuriant, and camouflage. I REALLY would like to name my baby a name with this sound in it because I think it sounds beautiful, unique, and special.

Here are some names I've found:

Da'Janique (An American creation pronounced Dah-Zha-Neek) I read the name tag of a young woman who worked at Burger King, fell in love with her name and told her so. She was impressed that I pronounced it correctly as most people didn't she said. The only problem is, this name sort of sounds African-American and most people would imagine her to be black and have a sister named Shaniqua or something. There is just something about naming a white child with a black name that doesn't feel right. The same thing goes for these gorgeous boy names:

Raj: Arabic for Anticipation. The young man in "The Black Stallion Returns" who helps the hero Alec find his beloved horse is named Raj and I really think it is such an exotic, beautiful name.

Taji: Sanskrit for Crown (and the feminine form is Taja.)

These names are so beautiful, but they sound so foreign like they belong to an Indian prince or princess.

I was once on a softball team with a girl named Nadeije (pronounced Nah-Deh-Zh) I have no idea what it means or where it's from because I can't find it on any site but I think it's a beautiful name.

Does anyone know of any other names that have this sound in it? The name I am looking for does not need to be American or modern but it should not be so exotic that when a teacher reads the name on an attendance sheet that the class expects to hear a foreign exchange student say "here!" Also, I'd like for the name to have a significant meaning behind it. Da-Janique does not have a meaning. I guess you could say it means "grace" because it has the Ann in there and Daja means "already" in French. *SIGH* I don't know.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-09-2008
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 7:10am

The first that occurs to me is Solange--French, so not completely out there.

Georges--French version of George

Elijah can be pronounced with a sound like that.

Jean/Jeanne--French for John or Jean; often in hyphenated names, like Jean-Pierre, which would make it a bit more obviously male (for Jean). Jeanne is likely to be pronounced like the English name Jean, but you might get the right pronunciation some with a hyphenated name, like Michelle-Jeanne?

The French pronunciation of Genevieve, I think, is zhon VYEV (as near as I can render it--the "on" is somewhere between that and "aw."

Jacques--the French pronunciation

I guess you may want to look for French names with a j or ge. Some seem more foreign than others, but French names have often been popular and may not seem as out-of-place on a Caucasian, American child as a "black" or Arabic name.

Good luck with your search.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-25-2002
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 1:18pm

I went to school with a girl named "aun-zha-NET" but I can't remember how she spelled it. Aunjanette? That doesn't look right. You may have to work with that one a bit, sorry!

Oh and what about Bijou?! BEE-zhoo. I love that name! If I was daring enough to use the zh sound you're after I'd consider it.

Another idea: Zha-Zha (there's a little girl down the street named that where I am, so it's not that far-fetched)

Also, maybe you could consider words that have that sound? One kind of bad example is Au Jus (the sauce you put on roast beef, lol) but it's a start.




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Bravado Bras at Nurtured Family
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 2:38pm

I think French is a really good way to go. Hitting the Creole/Cajun culture can get you some interesting ideas, too, with a history to back them up.

Boys
Janvier (zhan-vee-eh) The French form of January; it actually occurs occasionally in the US as a surname, and I think it would be great on a boy.
Jacques
Gervais (zher-vay)
Joaquim (zho-ah-keem)
Vespasien (ves-pay-zhee-en)

Girls
Eugenia
Juno (more of a clear J sound, but I think it has the slight blur you're looking for)
Ghislaine (zheez-lane)
Jacinth (zha-sent)
Joëlle (zho-elle)

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Avatar for chriscanuck
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Registered: 05-14-2003
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 3:54pm

I love the suggestion of Bijou.


The only other one I could think of is Aja pronounced Ah-zha

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 4:46pm

I went to school with a Zondra (Zhawn-druh). She was a very pretty, vibrant cheerleader.


There's also


Zahara
Xena
Yvonne
Simone
Paloma
Pilar
Nerissa
Athena
Azure




Edited 7/27/2010 4:47 pm ET by midwestmom2000


Edited 7/27/2010 6:56 pm ET by midwestmom2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-25-2002
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 8:50pm

I just thought of a few more!

Fantasia
Ambrosia
Asia

I hope I didn't repeat :)




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Bravado Bras at Nurtured Family
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Registered: 12-09-2008
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 3:18pm

PP's -sia idea is good; Anastasia would be another.

Also thought of Abijah for a boy. It's an obscure Biblical name, but similar to the more popular Elijah.

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Registered: 11-25-2002
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 4:05pm
Freesia (FREE-zhuh)



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Sat, 07-31-2010 - 3:59pm
OH MY GOODNESS thanks for all your replies!!! I REALLY like Joëlle and I like Janvier too but I LOVE Joëlle! It has a beautiful meaning. Jehovah is God.