Category: unique baby names

So You Want A Unique Baby Name?

unique baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

A lot of people say they’re looking for unique baby names, but what do they really mean? A lot of the names tagged as unique often are anything but, including popular choices from Avery to Zoey.

So does unique mean different, as in names that depart from the traditional lexicon? Or maybe unique indicates names that have become widely-used only recently. Or names that are spelled differently from how anyone else has ever spelled them. And of course many people simply use unique to mean unusual.

But what if unique really means what it says: names that are literally one-of-a-kind. As in, no other babies were given this name, at least at this moment in this country. In the case of the US, that means names that don’t even make it to the Social Security complete list of names given to at least five babies.

The baby names here make that cut. So yes, theoretically, some of these names may have been used for two or four babies in the United States in 2015. And some of them may have been used for zero.

The point is, if you’re truly looking for unique baby names and want to make sure that nobody else has your name, then you’ll look to this list. Or to the thousands of other names on Nameberry that are authentically unique.

To hunt down unique baby names, check your favorites against the Social Security complete list, which you can download here by clicking on National Data. You can also find thousands of unique names in our book, The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names.

Once you find a unique baby name you love, then the question becomes: Do you really want to use it? Do you want your child to be the only person anyone has ever met with that name? For your child to spend a lifetime explaining and spelling and pronouncing his or her name? For there never ever to be a license plate on the rack that spells out that maybe-too-special name?

Maybe the answer is yes, and you feel that the advantages of a unique name — always standing out from the pack, feeling special and well, unique — outweigh the disadvantages. If so, you may find inspiration in the 40 truly unique baby names here.

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Abby Berry Juice profile image

Unusual Baby Names: A search for the unique

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
unique baby names

They’re looking for a bold name for baby number two! Can you help brainstorm unusual baby names–word names or vintage gems that are seldom heard in real life – but still sound like names? 

Nikki writes:

My daughter will be 2 years old when this baby is born in late October.

Her name is Arliss Lorraine. I have a great aunt named Arlys but never really met her … that was random! I got the name from the little boy in Old Yeller. I knew that was THE name when I saw the movie as a child. It is unisex and we didn’t find out the sex of the baby so it was perfect. Lorraine is a family name on both sides, but honestly, I just like it – it’s a bonus that people thought it was in honor of them!

Our second child is another delivery surprise.

If it is a boy, I love word names, but my husband has said NO to a lot of them – Thief, Sweep, Season, month names. The middle name for a boy will be David.

For a boy, we’re considering Sterling – but is it too ritzy? We also like Revere, as in Paul Revere. But it doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

Roane is a family name on my side. It’s pronounced row – ane, like Jane or rain. It was my late grandfather’s name, but I think it would work for a boy or a girl.

If it is a girl, we like Maple, Mabel, Ardelle – another family name, but just like Arliss, not really naming her after anyone, and Mora Gene, a Southern double name. (We live in the South.) Another middle name option is Story.

Rudolph is our last name. Yup, like the reindeer.

I’m drawn to A, M, and S names. Marlowe and Sloane were both on the list at one point. I like water names, but I don’t love Lake, and River is too popular.

Having a name that no else has is a big thing for me. I’m not a huge fan of nicknames.

I love that I have a story about naming Arliss, and I’m kind of sad that I don’t have that for this one!

The Name Sage replies:

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14 Unique Names for Your Autumn Baby

Autumn baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The first day of the new season is upon us!  Happy Autumn!

For our annual Autumn blog we usually go with the more obvious choices—the colors of the turning leaves — the various autumnal hues of red, gold and brown–and the names of the trees themselves, plus Fall flower names, the ancient harvest goddesses and such. But this year we’re offering a potpourri of more subtle references to the starting season, including some interesting international ideas.

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NancyMan Berry Juice profile image

Influential Baby Names: Show biz ladies

posted by: NancyMan View all posts by this author
influential baby names

By Nancy Man, Nancy’s Baby Names

You can tell how much Americans are inspired by famous actresses by looking at the baby name charts! When a new leading lady hits the scene, it’s almost expected that her name will become an influential baby names choice for newborns – at least for a little while.

This effect is especially easy to see with actresses that have uncommon, never-charted names. When they first become celebrities, their names get a boost – often enough for those names to appear in the SSA’s baby name data for the very first time.

Here are a dozen historical actresses, most of whom caused at least one debut appearance on the charts, and the stories behind their distinctive names:

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Dantea Berry Juice profile image

Unique Fairy Tale Names New to You

posted by: Dantea View all posts by this author
unusual fairy tale names

By Dantea

Many people search for names in their favorite stories, and fairy tales are among their favorites. We grow up hearing these stories, watch the movies that are based on them, and read them to our own children. The name options below come from lesser-known fairy tales. Perhaps you’ll find a new gem and with it a new story to tell your children.

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