cool baby names

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Still searching for the perfect name for your baby? There are some great ideas over in Unique Baby Names!. And there's nameberry, a new site for name-obsessed parents-to-be. I spoke with Pamela Redmond Satran, a co-author of several best-selling baby name books and a developer of the new site, about some interesting options for names you may not have considered.

Here's the thing -- we all think we want a distinctive name for our kid, but we'll often pick it and then realize lots of other parents had the same idea, too. Why? Satran says it's the "forces of fashion" at work. "Most of us have pretty similar taste at the same time," she says. That must be why there are so many Ellas, Olivias and Olivers running around my neighborhood playground.

So it could be that the name you thought was so distinctive a while ago no longer is. But, as Satran points out, there are thousands of options out there! Here are ten unusual names to consider, with notes from Satran on what makes each great:

Girls

Aza -- It's hard to find a name that's both exotic and simple. This Arabic choice qualifies on both counts.

Elodie -- Classic French name that rhymes with Melody and is a fresh spin on the Ella/Ellie names so popular right now.

Lilac -- A color AND a flower name that manages to be sweet and saucy at he same time.

Siri -- Charming Norse diminutive of Sigrid.

Tamsin -- An Anglophile choice that's never crossed the ocean; an original way to honor a Thomas (it was originally a variation of Thomasina) in your family.

Boys

Amias -- Name used in Colonial America that cane be pronounced either AIM-ee-us or ah-MY-us; means loved.

Breccan -- Irish mythological and saint's name much fresher than Braden, Aiden, and cousins.

Gordon -- Strong Scottish classic due for a comeback.

Grover -- Funky choice that deserves a life beyond the Muppets.

Reuben -- Old Testament name as likable as but more obscure than such fashionable choices as Asher and Ezra.

I'm liking Lilac and Reuben -- which names do you like best? Or are you more of a traditionalist when it comes to baby names?