Each state has its unique characteristics, from how you eat a pizza to whether you say "y'all," "youse" or "you guys." So it's no surprise that every state also has its favorite quirky names.
A new study by baby name experts at Nameberry found there are certain names that are pretty rare in the country as a whole but are overrepresented in certain states.
Some of these make a lot of sense, like Brigham in Utah (where the name of Brigham Young , the early leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and colonizer of Utah, is everywhere from Brigham City to Brigham Young University). The names Shimon, meaning "to listen," and Faigy, which might be a variant of the Yiddish word "faige" meaning "bird," is popular in New York, where the Jewish community is one of the biggest and most diverse in the world. And nature-driven names are favorites in idyllic states, like Wren (the small songbird) in Vermont, Bryer (variation of Briar, meaning "a thorny patch"), in West Virginia, and Cedar in Oregon (even though ironically there are no true cedars in the Pacific Northwest).
Other quirky name choices are a bit more mysterious. For example, why is the dark, serpentine name of Ophelia popular in Alaska? Or Krew, a more modern variant of Crew, a unique but strong pick in Idaho? (Give us a shout if you have insights!)
It's also interesting to see how the names can clue us into changes and new communities in states. For example, my home state of Nevada lists the Japanese boy name of Kenji and Hawaiian girl name of Laylani as favorite picks, maybe because more and more Hawaiians and Japanese Americans have found an unlikely Eden in Las Vegas since the 2000s.
So whether you're looking for a baby name to pay homage to your state, or you're just curious to see how your state is represented, here are each state's quirkiest names.