Category: unusual girl names
A cartoon in a recent New Yorker features a little girl and her mother surveying Halloween costumes in a shop window. “I want to be whichever Disney princess is the most badass,” the girl says.
Badass princess is an image that not only appeals to contemporary little girls but to their parents when choosing a name.
Like the hipster cowboy names we wrote about recently, badass princess names are appealing not so much because of their sound or their style but because of the complicated image they convey. These are girl names that are both decidedly feminine and rooted in tradition, but are not at all conventional or conservative. They’re creative and edgy, but not invented or unorthodox like Blue or Bellamy.
The badass princess names are classy and sassy, cosmopolitan yet earthy, chic but never trying too hard. It’s an image that many an urbane parent can embrace for her daughter, and that a little girl can have fun living up to, in Halloween costume and beyond.
One of our most popular blog posts ever was on 100 wonderful names given to 25 or fewer girls each year. (We did a boys’ version too.)
But what, we wondered recently, would happen if we narrowed the parameters even more? If we looked only at names given to ten or fewer girls in the most recent year counted? This still includes a mind-blowing total of nearly 10,000 names, but would we be able to find 100 great ones?
The answer, we believe, is a resounding yes, and we hope the list here proves it.
If you truly want an unusual name for your baby girl, this is the list for you. It includes underused classics such as Maude and Rowena along with international choices such as Anwen and Timea; ancient names such as Hebe and Hero; and newly-minted names like Cairo and Blue. And each given to only ten girls or fewer in the entire United States.
Our picks for the 100 best cool unusual girls’ names, with the number of children who received it in 2012:
Forget Oranjello and Lemonjello: We’re not talking about bizarre baby name urban legends here. We don’t want to know that your sister-in-law’s cousin’s best friend works as a delivery room nurse and swears some clueless mom named her daughter Female.
What we want to hear are the most unusual real-life names you’ve ever heard. As in: I shook this person’s hand. Lived next door to her. Maybe even gave birth to him and chose his incredibly unusual name myself.
Any details you can give us about the name’s origins and meaning would be appreciated because, you know, we can never get enough.
It’s a common baby name dilemma: You love a name like Cora or Lila forever, holding it close as your own special secret choice, and then bang! Right when you’re finally in a position to use it, you discover it’s become a trendy new favorite, vaulting up the charts.
What are more unusual baby names that may relate to trendier names but are more distinctive?
Here, drawn from our new book The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names are ten girls’ names that offer some of the feeling of today’s most stylish names but are more adventurous.
Avalon – If you like Ava and Adeline, but want a name that’s more unusual, you might love Avalon. Avalon is the name of a mythical island paradise – literally, “island of apples” — that offers a fresh take on several trendier girls’ names. And okay, so it’s also a car name, but so are Mercedes and Portia.
The mythical secret vault of truly unique baby names is real, but only the US government holds the key.
To protect privacy, the Social Security Administration doesn’t release names given to only one child, drawing the line at five or more. So the names given to five babies are the most unique we’re able to learn about. Most of those on that rarefied level are tortured spellings of more familiar names: Mikeila and Scarlotte, Masun and Stanlee. And there are truly terrible names at the depths of the extended list too, as detailed in our recent blog.
But then there are those nearly unique baby names that are eminently usable, ripe for the picking for the parent who truly wants a distinctive choice. These are not for everybody, but we found over 50 excellent choices that were used for just five children each in 2012. Among them are names that are among our all-time favorites, such as Petal and Tiernan for girls, O’Brien and Poe for boys.
Our favorite nearly-unique (given to just five children) baby names: