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100+ Unusual and Exotic Baby Names

Unusual baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

One of our favorite name nerd activities is combing the bottom reaches of the official US list of baby names to find choices that are both high unusual and eminently usable.

The focus of our search this time: Names with an international flavor, better known in Italy or the Netherlands, Tokyo or Tehran than they are in the US.

Yet they’re names that easily translate.  They may have never fully assimilated into American culture the way Aidan or Anya have, but they’re not completely unknown either.

If you’re looking for an unusual and exotic name for your little girl or boy, consider these 100+ excellent choices all given to 25 or fewer babies in 2014 — the exact number follows the name.

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invented baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Last week we challenged you to invent a great baby name. You took us up on it….and how! Over 200 entries later, Linda and I along with Nameberry’s senior editor and writer Abby Sandel made our individual lists of favorites.

There were only a handful of names on all three of our lists – and our two winners were chosen from those names that won unanimous approval. But before we get to those, let’s look at the long list of names we liked and the categories that sparked the best inventions.

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Unusual Baby Names: 100 Under 100

unusual baby names

We’re always looking for baby names that are at once wonderful and unusual, and so today’s list compiles 100 great names given to fewer than 100 babies in the US last year.We included names from a range of styles: classic and under-appreciated as well as modern and under-discovered.  Half of the golden 100 are girls’ names and half boys’ names.  And the names are ordered from most-to-least used, with the number of children who received the name in 2013 noted after each.Our picks for 100 unusual and wonderful baby names are:

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Unusual Baby Names: What’s your favorite?


I was looking at the names similar to Pixie the other day — y’know, just to pass the time — and I thought: Wow, there’s an unusual collection of names.  From Alala to Kitto, Spartacus to Whimsy, there wasn’t a common name in the bunch.

Which got me thinking about how most people say they like unusual names, but do they really?  Which unusual, unique, rare, uncommon baby names would people say they liked best?

Which led me, of course, to this Question of the Week.

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unusual baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

If you’re looking for unusual baby names that are also attractive and intriguing, a good place to start is at the bottom of the extended US popularity list, at those names given to just five babies.

Down there, among the wacky inventions or truly terrible kree8tiv spelling variations, are dozens of intriguing choices that you won’t encounter coming and going.

A few of them — Jessamy and Amyas, Celestia and Inigo — might even be considered fabulous.  But all are worth further consideration.  And given that each was given to only five babies in the entire US last year, they qualify as truly unusual baby names.

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