How to pick a unique baby name as Strictly’s Neil Jones shares daughter’s moniker

Neil Jones and Chyna Mills have revealed their daughter's unusual baby name. (Getty Images)
Neil Jones and Chyna Mills have revealed their daughter's unusual baby name. (Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Neil Jones and his partner Love Island's Chyna Mills have shared their daughter's unique baby name.

The couple announced at the beginning of October that they had welcomed their first child together, sharing a sweet picture of their newborn's feet.

Now, the new parents, who are due to get married, have shared their daughter's unusual moniker, Havana, which is a nod to her dad's passion for dance.

"Cuba is the home of dance and very multicultural so it was perfect; it sums us up," the Strictly star told HELLO!.

"We’re running on not much sleep and pure joy," he continued.

It seems the couple's daughter is already living up to the inspiration behind her name by showing signs of being a dancer.

"She has dancer’s feet," Jones says of the newborn.

"And she loves music," added former reality star Mills.

The couple aren't the only celebrity parents to reveal an unusual name pick recently, with Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright and her husband also sharing their son's out of the box moniker.

"Say hello to Elio Ocean Wright Lococo, born at home on Tuesday 19th September,” Wright wrote in an Instagram post introducing her newborn.

Nameberry says the name Elio is of Italian origin meaning "sun". While it is currently rising in popularity in France, according to UK Baby Names only 67 babies were given the name Elio in the UK last year, ranking it just 569 out of 4789 baby names in the most popular list.

Bonnie Wright, pictured, has welcomed a son and revealed his unusual baby name. (Getty Images)
Bonnie Wright and her husband have welcomed a son and revealed his unusual baby name. (Getty Images)

And back in July Kate and Rio Ferdinand shared that they had opted to call their baby daughter, Shae, which is a variant of the name Shea and means "full of majesty".

Meanwhile Rihanna and A$AP Rocky chose an unusual pick for their son, naming him after Wu-Tang Clan leader with the moniker RZA Athelston Mayers.

And earlier this year Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury shared the unique name they had picked for their newborn – Bambi.

Stock picture of a new baby. (Getty Images)
Some parents actively search out more unusual baby names. (Getty Images)

How to choose a unique baby name

Sure you can take inspiration from the most popular lists. But, lead by celebrities, parents are increasingly looking to avoid being one of five Olivias on the pre-school register by opting for a moniker that stands out from the baby-naming crowd.

While research has revealed this is becoming more and more difficult, there are still some methods to uncover a moniker that's a little more unusual.

Check out the competition

Baby name expert SJ Strum, creator of the podcast Baby Name Envy, recommends visiting which shows a name’s popularity over the last 10 years.

"Some names are shown as zero ranked which means fewer than three babies were given that name in any year, which means you’re highly unlikely to meet another child with the same name in the playground," she says."

Go transatlantic

Many naming trends start in the US, says Strum. "Check out which captures the up-and-coming name trends – so you know which names to avoid before they cross to the UK."

Stock picture of a sleeping baby. (Getty Images)
There are some methods to seek out a more unusual baby name. (Getty Images)

Make up your own name

Strum says popular ways to create your own name include blending syllables from the parents’ names or family members. "The trend took off in the UK when Katie Price and Peter Andre’s daughter Princess Tiaamii was named after Peter’s mum Thea and Katy’s mum Amy. However, it’s not a style which suits everyone," she says.

Steer clear of popular culture

And avoid choosing a name from a favourite TV show, film or book. "No matter how obscure the character, others will have the same idea and instead of having a unique name, you may find your choice in the top 100 names for that year," Strum warns. "Plus, these name choices also tend to date very fast."

Go unpopular

Strum suggests choosing a name nearing the bottom of the popularity cycle. "Know many Beryls, Sues, Pauls or Brendas? Probably not," she says. "If you want a name which stands out but is still well-known, this is a smart option – and it will come back into fashion eventually."

Pick something personal

"The city where you first met your partner like Oxford or holidayed like Hudson for New York or a name associated with your favourite colour like Sage or Indigo is another option," Strum says.

Moniker makeover

Try using letters from your favourite popular name to inspire other more unique choices. "One of my most popular baby name list on YouTube is 'daring alternatives to popular baby names'," Strum says. "So use sounds and letters to inspire you – for example James could become Amos. If you love Olivia; why not choose Verity?"

Stock picture of a baby. (Getty Images)
It is getting harder for parents to find a unique baby name. (Getty Images)

Opt for a theme

"Most people use A-Z baby name books or lists; but during a baby name search it's important to spend most time finding the theme you love – it could be bohemian girl names, vintage boy names, or one syllable names to suit your last name," Strum advises.

"Then you can discover more unique and daring names you may not have come across like Fable, Gilbert or short and sweet Seth."

Research your family history

To unleash some old-fashioned gems. "One of Megan Markle's ancestors was named Wisdom and doing some digging into your own family tree can see you branch out with a truly unique name which will also carry meaning for your family," says Strum.