Maui ( Dwayne Johnson) and Moana (Aulii Cravalho) in a scene from the movie Moana. Supplied by Disney.
Maui ( Dwayne Johnson) and Moana (Aulii Cravalho) in a scene from the movie Moana. Supplied by Disney. Disney

The trendiest baby names for 2017 are pretty exotic

THE name geniuses over at Nameberry have once again compiled their predictions for the hottest trends in baby names for 2017.

They're an exotic mix of names from around the world with plenty of celebrity and movie character inspiration.

You're sure to find a winner here.

TATJANA is an interesting twist on an already exotic name, borne by German-born one-time supermodel Tatjana Patitz.

Note that as j is pronounced as y in German, the name is spoken just like big sisters Tatiana and Tatyana.

KYD Téa Leoni and David Duchovny named their kid Kyd in 2002, but he usually goes by his middle name, Miller.

Probably a wise choice, given the homonym.

On the other hand, the association with Elizabethan playwright Thomas Kyd, who wrote a version of "Hamlet" before Shakespeare, is intriguing. And if you're looking for a name that can't be nicknamed, well... here's looking at you, Kyd.

ALIZEH meaning: "wind" is an old Persian name that was chosen by actress Geena Davis for her daughter. It's an attractive variation on a name that exists in dozens of forms, from Alissa and Eliza to the French Alizee, but you'll forever be explaining how to spell and pronounce this version.

BENAJAH, which means 'God has built, is an old Hebrew name. Benajah, the name of several minor Old Testament figures, is also written as Benaiah.

Benajah might make a great Benjamin update or name for the son of a builder or architect.

TAHITI a Polynesian place-name.

One of the most evocative geographical possibilities, conjuring up swaying palms and the brilliant palette of Gauguin.

SULIEN Meaning, 'sun born,' this Welsh name is growing in popularity.

Sulien is said to be the name of the most learned man in ancient Wales, in this country it would be open to mispronunciation, making it rhyme with Julien.

MOANA. This Maori name means 'sea'. Often heard in New Zealand, it is an exotic, evocative choice for a sea lover.

Moana is a Polynesian sea god and was also an alternate name for the heroine Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth. Moana may also be a colour name for a deep ocean blue ("lanu moana"). Don't be tempted to shorten this name to "Moa" ("chicken").

KOA is a strong Hawaiian name meaning "warrior". With Noah taking the Number 1 spot in 2013, Koa is attracting more attention than ever.

Koa is also a type of tree native to the islands, its wood favoured for building canoes and surfboards. It strikes a nice balance: part-gentle nature name, part-bold adventurer.

No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont has a son named Koa Thomas, a brother for Ace and Rio, and a name that fits right in with all of the band's stylishly named offspring.

INES means "pure, virginal". It's the Italian, Portuguese, Slovene and Croatian variation of Agne.

This form of Agnes, Ines has always been popular since the true story of the thwarted lovers Queen Ines of Castro and King Peter of Portugal. This has to be one of the most heartbreaking and bloody true romances in history!

Prince Peter fell in love with the beautiful and lovely Ines, but their relationship was forbidden by his father King Afonso. Peter (who had been married) became a widow and planned to marry Ines, but this too was disallowed. When Peter followed her into exile, Afonso ordered Ines to be murdered in front of her own child. Distraught, Peter hunted her murderers down and ripped the hearts out of their bodies, claiming they did not have any hearts. When he later came to the throne, Peter made Ines his queen, exhumed her body and made the court vow allegiance to her.

Ines recently achieved new prominence in the US as the name of the second daughter of actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.

Inez is the Spanish spelling.

GUNTHER when it's spelled with two dots over the 'u' in German, Gunther is pronounced GUWN-ter, but it has a much softer sound when the 'h' is voiced by English-speakers, as it was, for example, for the name of a character in Friends.

Gunther has never been as well used in this country as the Scandinavian version, Gunnar, which now ranks at Number 502, making Gunther all the more distinctive. Well-known Gunthers include German novelist Gunt(h)er Grass and the character in the German epic poem Die Nibelungenlied, which formed the basis for Richard Wagner's Ring cycle of operas.

This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished here with permission.