Unusual Names

Unusual baby names come in many types. These lists can be a guide to unusual names from history and those drawn from nature, unusual baby names from books and those sure to shock grandma.

  • 100+ Classic Boys’ Names — below the Top 1000

    These classic boys’ names include choices from ancient cultures and the Bible, names sailing out of style along with those heading in.

  • 100+ Classic Girls’ Names — below the Top 1000

    Some of these names were popular in recent years and are now sinking from view, while others are rising stars we predict will soon appear on the official Top 1000.

  • Baby Names Inspired by Artists

    Creative baby names can be found by looking at the names of artists (and architects and designers). These baby names capture the artists' creative spirit, give your child an international role model, and are cool all at the same time. The following list encompasses both first (JASPER Johns) and last (Alexander CALDER) names, which have been drawn from all over the aesthetic map.

  • Baby Names Inspired by Authors

    Literary baby names can be inspired the characters in books or, in the case of the baby names on this list, by the first and last names of authors ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to Zadie Smith. In this category, as always, feel free to look to your personal favorite writers for your baby names inspiration.

  • Baby Names Sure to Shock Grandma

    Okay, so Grandma probably thinks you should name the baby Helen, after her. But even if she's more open-minded than that, the following baby names will probably render her speechless -- which may be the effect you're after.

  • Baby Names with Animal Meanings

    Animal baby names, a subset of the ever-more-popular nature names, sometimes come out and state themselves clearly -- Fox, Lark -- and sometimes are only revealed via their root meaning. This list of animal baby names contains both types. Also note: We're light on bird names since we include the complete variety in their own list.

  • Badass Princess Names

    Badass princess is an image that not only appeals to contemporary little girls but to their parents when choosing a name; They 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.

  • Best Cool Unusual Boys' Names

    Here is a list of 100 cool and unusual boy's names with the most potential---they have genuine roots, are attractive, and work in the modern world. Best of all, they're still widely underused! Click here to see lots more boys' names and here to view our full menu of unusual names.

  • Best Cool Unusual Girls' Names

    This is a list of the best, cool unusual girls' names---those that have deep roots, are attractive, and can fit into contemporary life, yet are not on the brink of widespread discovery. And by unusual girls’ names, we mean those used for 25 or fewer baby girls last year. Click here to see lots more girls' names and here to view our full menu of unusual names.

  • Biblical Place Names

    Biblical place names relate not to the people in the Bible but the physical places. Can these ancient place names work as contemporary baby names? We say yes.

  • Bird Baby Names

    One of the hottest of the hot nature categories is the Bird Baby Names, all the way from Birdie to Wren.

  • Boy Names from Africa

    African baby names for boys from a range of cultures and tribes include the choices here.

  • Celebrity Surnames as Firsts

    Inspired by a fascinating discussion thread started by our own creative berries, here are some celebrity surnames that work well as firsts:

  • Celestial Baby Names

    Celestial baby names include those of planets and their satellites, constellations and single stars. That adds up to a whole galaxy of celestial baby names to choose from. For even more ideas, read our blog on celestial names.

  • Colonial Names for Boys

    Many of the baby names that were widely used during colonial times have fallen out of favor for long enough now to sound fresh and even cool again. If you like historic baby names but want to move beyond the Victorian and biblical choices we've heard so much of in recent years, consider these names culled from Revolutionary War rolls and eighteenth-century town histories. The only caveat: The choices are much wider and more appealing for boys than for girls.

  • Colonial Names for Girls

    Many colonial names have fallen out of favor for long enough now to sound fresh and even cool again. If you like historic baby names but want to move beyond the Victorian and biblical baby names we've heard so much of in recent years, consider these names culled from Revolutionary War rolls and eighteenth-century town histories. The only caveat: The choices are much wider and more appealing for boys than for girls.

  • Color Names for Babies

    Using color names for babies started with Amber, then Rose drove the point home. Now color names have exploded beyond these once cool favorites to include hues from the obvious -- Violet and Scarlett -- to the most exotic, from Azure to Zinc. The full spectrum:

  • Cool Baby Names That Start With U

    U may be the most underused first initial of the baby naming alphabet. But yes, there are some cool baby names that start with U. Namely:

  • Cool Baby Names That Start With Z

    Z may be the zippiest, zestiest first initial for baby names around. Here, the wide selection of cool baby names that begin with Z.

  • Cool Bible Baby Names

    Cool Bible Baby Names are those that move beyond the biblical baby names that have been popular for several decades now. Such previously off-limits Bible names as Moses and Noah are now completely baby-worthy and ever-more-obscure baby names from the Bible are being revived all the time. For more popular Bible names, check the Biblical Baby Names: Most Popular list. Here are the top cool baby names from the Bible.

  • Cool Boy Names From Ancient Cultures

    Unique baby names are the order of the day, yet why invent a unique name when there are so many ancient names -- from Rome and Byzantium, from Olde England and Germany -- that deserve to be unearthed in the interest of cool? Here's a selection of worthy ancient choices, from a range of eras and places, that make unique baby names for boys.

  • Cool Boy Names From Around the World

    Cool boy names from Italy and Ireland, Scandinavia to the Middle East and beyond include the following choices.

  • Cool Girl Names from Ancient Cultures

    There are so many ancient names for girls -- from Rome and Byzantium, from Olde England and Germany -- that deserve to be unearthed in the interest of cool. Here's a selection of worthy ancient names, from a range of eras and places, that make unique baby names for girls.

  • Cool Girl Names From Around the World

    Cool names for girls from a range of cultures and countries include the following choices.

  • Coolest Baby Names That Aren't Really Names

    The coolest baby names sometimes aren't names at all. There are an uncountable number of words turned cool baby names, beyond the scope of any one source. The only limits are your reference books, your imagination, and your taste. Here are some of the coolest and most evocative of the group.

  • Crazy Celebrity Baby Names

    Crazy celebrity baby names have been around for a long time, since the Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa era. But now there's a whole new generation of crazy celebrity baby names. These are some of the most outrageous.

  • Day Names

    The ancient tradition of day-naming -- choosing a name from the day of the week, the month, the season or holiday, or even a time of day -- feels fresh again now. Here, examples of day names that could work as modern baby names,.

  • Designer Baby Names

    Designer kids' clothes these days often have adorable brand names--names that would be equally stylish baby names on your own little boy or girl. Here's a selection of some of the best designer baby names from Agatha to Zella.

  • Disney Baby Names

    Baby names from Disney films can summon up positive memories. For some of us, watching The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Lady and the Tramp shaped our childhoods. Here is a list of baby names from the classic Disney films of our time:

  • Early African-American Names

    Early American slave rolls are filled with classical and biblical names designed to show off the slave-owners' education and not normally used for whites; variations of African day names and place-names; along with other unusual names more closely identified over the years with black than white American culture. Some of the most notable:

  • Fictional Princess Names

    Fictional princess names -- from fairy tales to modern cartoons -- are well-known to little girls, most of whom would be delighted to have one for her very own. Here, the wide range of fictional princess names.

  • Film Noir Baby Names

    Baby names drawn from film noir or "black film," the genre of Hollywood crime dramas that capture the suspenseful happenings of private eyes in distinct black and white form, tend to be dramatic and rooted in an earlier era. Here, our collection of film noir baby names.

  • Finnish Baby Names

    Finnish names may look simple, but those double vowels are undeniably exotic to native English speakers. Some prime Finnish baby name examples:

  • French Word Names

    The parent in search of truly distinctive baby names has to move farther than ever away from the established roster. One new direction -- or is it two? -- for the intrepid baby namer is toward international word names, which combine two of today's coolest trends. We combed our own diccionarios for French, Italian, and Spanish words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive baby names, and here are some French choices. But no reason to stop here--consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.

    Here, some French words turned baby names for your consideration:

  • Fruit Baby Names

    Fruit baby names have come to the fore as a new species of nature names thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow's little Apple Martin. Exploring further, here are some of today's possible fruit baby names.

  • Geezer Names for Girls

    Blame it on Sidney. This name, which conjures up images of thick glasses, a snowfall of dandruff on shoulders, and plaid polyester pants pulled up to the sternum, sounds (strangely enough) nothing less than charming, nothing short of cool when applied to a little girl. And so too can the other geezer names here. Caution: Most of these names should not be bestowed on a boy. The world is not yet ready for another generation of male Seymours and Sheldons, although keep in mind that among the hottest boys' names in the UK now are Harvey and Leon.

  • Girl Baby Names That End With A

    A may be the most fashionable beginning letter for names today, but it's also a hit at the end, especially with girl baby names. From top choices Isabella and Sophia and Olivia to more obscure names, the letter a has feminine appeal. Here, some out-of-the-box a-ending ideas.

  • Girl Names from Africa

    African baby girl names hail from all around the continent and offer an exotic yet usable complement of choices. While these are some of our favorites, for even more African baby girl names, go to Supersearch and search by origin.

  • Goddess Baby Names

    Goddess names, the names of mythological figures from all over the world, seem more baby appropriate now that ever, with the rise of ancient Roman names and the discovery of many antique choices. Baby names for your own little goddess might include the following.

  • Gothic Baby Names

    Gothic baby names relate to the culture that combines horror with romanticism. Gothic can refer to the medieval or the modern; Gothic style encompasses music and architecture, literature and fashion. Here are some names that, for a range of reasons, might be considered Gothic. Baby appropriate? In a dark sort of way....

  • Harry Potter Names

    Since the release of the mega-hit Harry Potter series, muggles everywhere have been interested in the magical and mystifying names within J.K. Rowling's wizard world. Here's a list of the most notable and enchanted names of Harry Potter. Which one casts a spell on you?

  • Hunger Games Baby Names

    The Hunger Games trilogy has inspired a post-Harry Potter generation of original baby names. These characters' names, which include elements from ancient history and sci fi, might be right for your literary baby.

  • Invented Baby Names

    Some parents attempt to come up with a cool name by inventing one of their own. They may alter a too-ordinary name, vary a spelling or a pronunciation, or cobble together several euphonic but previously unrelated syllables. We have heard of a few such invented baby names that may hold some appeal -- a short list follows.

  • Italian Baby Girl Names Beyond Rosa & Rosetta

    Looking for Italian baby girl names? Here are some fresh choices for your little signorina.

  • Jazz Baby Names

    The list of jazz baby names, a special subset of musician baby names for both girls and boys, is full of old-school cool.

  • Literary Names for Boys

    These literary baby names for boys are derived from characters in books from all genres and periods. Here, a selection of the most distinctive baby names from books. In the literary names category, as always, feel free to think about your own personal favorites.

  • Literary Names for Girls

    These literary baby names for girls are derived from characters in books from all genres and periods. Here, a list of the most distinctive literary baby names for girls. In the literary baby names category, as always, feel free to think about your own personal favorites.

  • Military Baby Names

    Military ranks and weapons--everything is fair game in the struggle to find the right baby name.

  • Mineral & Metal Baby Boy Names

    Mineral and metal baby boy names are hard-edged choices that impart a new brand of masculinity.

  • Movie Character Names

    Movie character names may be the only names cooler than the names of the stars that play them. In fact, with the exception of Jack, which has long seemed to be the name of the male character in every other movie and TV adventure show, characters' names veer from the unusual to the outlandish. A few, such as Trinity from The Matrix, jumped right onto the popularity charts.

    For more ideas, check out our lists of TV Character Names and Celebrity-Inspired Baby Names.

  • Mythological Baby Names for Boys

    Baby names inspired by mythological figures are on the rise, inspired by the use of mythological names for boys in the Hunger Games series. The pantheon of Greek and Roman deities and other classical mythological figures can provide an abundant source of audacious baby names, all combining deep history with not-heard-in-a-long-time freshness. Mythological names that might sound right for modern baby boys include:

  • Mythological Baby Names for Girls

    Mythological baby names for girls can impart both tradition and strength to a child. The pantheon of Greek and Roman deities and other classical mythological figures can provide an abundant source of audacious options, all combining deep history with not-heard-in-a-long-time freshness.

  • Names for Autumn Babies

    For those expecting a fall baby, there are a flurry of colorful autumn-inspired choices. Here are some of the most inspired picks for autumn baby names:

  • New York Neighborhood Names

    Brooklyn is, of course, the most widely used of these choices, but Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz recently added baby name Bronx to the mix and there are lots of other intriguing New York-themed baby names here.

  • Offbeat Baby Names

    Offbeat baby names are those that are just a little bit quirky, a tiny bit unusual, off the beaten track. Here are some offbeat baby names you might want to consider today.

  • Operatic Baby Names

    You don’t have to be an opera buff to appreciate the rich variety of baby names found in the classic repertoire. It’s an especially appealing category because it contains such an interesting mix of languages: there are frilly French female names, unusual Italian mens’ names, as well as some usable German and Russian character names. These range from leads such as Aida and Tristan, to featured players to those with minor roles. So, omitting common names like Amelia, Norma and Susanna, and the more uber-the-top names like Brunhilde, here are some lyrical opera baby names:

  • Patriotic Baby Names

    Baby names with a patriotic flavor honor the land of the free and the home of the brave. Whether you're having a fourth of July baby, or you're just a proud American, here is a list of patriotic baby names sure to pay tribute to America.

  • Pixar Baby Names

    Pixar has a knack for developing characters you can't help but love, Mike Wazowski anyone? Not only does Pixar create some unforgettable characters, but Pixar names can be lovable as baby names too! Here's a list of some of the more interesting character names from Pixar films:

  • Place Names Off The Map

    The coolest place names are those that are undiscovered. Some place names can be used for boys, but most of the cool place names work best for baby girls. Here are some choices on (and off) the map.

  • Poet Baby Names

    The great poets can provide naming inspiration for both girl and boy babies. Here, some poet baby names to consider.

  • Rocker and Rapper Kids' Names

    If you call yourself Ludacris or Slash or Flea, chances are you're not gonna name your kid Matthew or Martha or Mike. In fact, rock-and-roll and hip-hop musicians are probably the most imaginative (or outrageous, depending on your point of view) baby namers around, honoring their musical heroes (Thelonious, Lennon, Hendrix), using words as names (Million, Dream, Zeppelin), or just letting their fantasies fly. To wit:

  • Roman Names for Boys

    Names from Ancient Rome are enjoying a major style revival. Among the Roman choices for boys are the following, all at home in the modern world.

  • Roman Names for Girls

    Names from Ancient Rome are enjoying a major style revival. Among the Roman choices for girls are the following, all at home in the modern world.

  • Russian Names for Boys

    Russian names for boys from the Nameberry database include the choices here.

  • Saints' Names For Boys

    It is tradition in the Roman Catholic Church for a child receiving baptism to be given a saints' name. However, even parents who don't find themselves particularly religious have begun to take interest in the rare, uplifting, and sometimes unheard-of names of saints' for their sons and daughters. This list includes the likes of saints' names for boys.

  • Saints' Names for Girls

    Saints' names are still required for a Roman Catholic baptism, but beyond religious strictures, you might be interested in saints as inspirational namesakes or as a source of unusual ancient names. This list includes a range of saints' names for girls, from the classic to the cool to the rarely-heard.

  • Sci-Fi Baby Names

    Sci-fi baby names come from the most popular Science Fiction movies, books and television shows. From Star Wars to Blade Runner, here's a list of unique sci-fi baby names.

  • Scottish Names for Boys

    Scottish names for boys in the Nameberry database include the choices here.

  • Scottish Names for Girls

    Scottish names for girls found in the Nameberry database include the choices here.

  • Shakespearean Names

    Shakespearean names were drawn by the Bard from a range of ancient and modern cultures. Many have survived through the ages and are ripe for modern play. Among the Shakespearean names we recommend are the following.

  • Soap Opera Baby Names

    Baby names from soap operas, inspired by melodramatic characters, often appear on the popularity charts. If you're expecting a dramatic little one, a "soap" name may be right up your alley. Soap opera writers tend to choose names some may consider a bit over the top.

  • Spanish Word Names

    The parent in search of truly distinctive baby names has to move farther than ever away from the established roster. One new direction -- or is it two? -- for the intrepid baby namer is toward foreign-word names, which combine two of today's coolest trends. We combed our own diccionarios for French, Italian, and Spanish words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive baby names, and here are some Spanish ideas. But no reason to stop here--consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.

  • Spice (& Other Food) Baby Names

    Apple launched the trend toward food-oriented baby names, with lots of tasty names joining the menu.

  • Spiritual Baby Names

    Spiritual baby names suggest qualities we'd all like our children to aspire to and fit our new definition of cool. While they seem as if they can work for both genders, most spiritual baby names have been veering toward the feminine side. A few, such as Trinity, Destiny, Sky, and Genesis, are already staples on the girls' popularity lists. Here, some spiritual names that might be right for your baby.

  • Spring Baby Names

    Spring has sprung in the world of baby names. For your springtime baby, or just to represent the season's lively qualities, consider these baby names that mean or relate to spring.

  • State Capital Baby Names

    Baby names that reference state capitals might make your little girl or boy feel extra important and one-of-a-kind. The state capital baby names include:

  • Steampunk Baby Names

    The steampunk movement has been inspired by literature and cinema, blending futuristic themes with 19th century Victorian style. Think alternate history meets science fiction entwined with elements of steam power and clockwork. Here is a list of baby names incorporating this unique style.

  • Summer Baby Names

    Summer is one of the nicest times of year to have a baby, the warm weather and slow pace making it that much easier to relax into new motherhood. Here is a list of baby names that summon the season, from nature to the ocean to the gemstones of summer months:

  • Supermodel Baby Names

    It's not enough that supermodels are skinny, gorgeous, world-revered millionaires. They've got babies, too, and not just ordinary babies, but babies with incredibly cool names. Here is the recent crop of supermodel baby names:

  • Supermodel Names

    Supermodels provide a real international smorgasbord (excuse the expression, girls) of beautiful baby girl names.

  • There's Only One Oprah

    There are some celebrity names so singular that the celebrity in question barely needs a last name -- and often doesn't even use one. While a handful of these names start out as one-of-a-kind only to spawn a legion of little namesakes (case in point: Elvis), others remain indelibly linked to the personages who inspired them. Our picks for this distinctive group;

  • Tree Baby Names

    Tree baby names are just one branch of the nature names growing in popularity, with many original choices, especially for boys.

  • Unique Baby Names

    Unique baby names are literally one-of-a-kind, but a unigue name may also mean one that is unusual, cool, and distinctive. Nameberry offers thousands of unique names: Here are some of the best to get you started.

    Want more more more? See all the lists of unique baby names.

  • Unique Baby Names from History

    Unique baby names aren't only the new and the invented; there are also many highly unusual names with deep historic roots. Read more about this topic in our blog on unique baby names from history. Here's a selection of the most intriguing.

  • Unique Boys' Names

    Nowadays, a lot more people are looking to unique names to help their little boys stand out in the crowd. Fifty years ago, the Top 20 boys' names represented 41% of all male children; by contrast in 2015, the Top 20 boys' names represented only 14% of all baby boys. Ironically, the greater variety of names being used today means that unusual names are more likely to be accepted at school or in the workplace. There are lots of ways for names to be unique, from spelling to new creations, but here at Nameberry we're often most inspired by those names which are at once unusual and yet filled with history and meaning. Here is a selection of our current favorites:

  • Unusual Baby Names

    Unusual baby names come from a range of categories, from ethnic names to place names to word names to surnames used as first names. The best unusual names are distinctive without being strange, seem unique yet are also easy to understand. Of the thousands of unusual baby names on nameberry, here are some of our favorites.

  • Unusual Biblical Baby Names

    The Bible is full of names, many of them having grown more popular as baby names over recent years but hundreds of others still unusual. Unusual biblical baby names for boys and girls from both the Old and New Testaments include the following.

  • Unusual International Baby Girl Names

    There are hundreds of unusual international baby girl names throughout this site. Here's a handful of the most appealing.

  • Unusual Nature Baby Names

    There are lots of great nature baby names around these days, some of them mainstream -- Lily, River -- and many more off the beaten track. Here, some of the most unusual baby names drawn from nature.

  • Vampire Baby Names

    Vampire baby names from the world of books, television, and movies are hot right now. Whether you're a vampire fan or just looking to have some fun, here are some vampire baby names you might find inspirational.

  • Werewolf Baby Names

    Interested in a werewolf name for your little, um, monster? Check out our blog on werewolf baby names or consult the list here.

  • Winter Baby Names

    Here, inspirational winter baby names for the child born when the snow is falling and the weather is chill. Along with Winter itself, you might consider these winter baby names:

  • Word Names

    Word names -- basically, words used as names -- are a growing class as parents rush to find truly unique baby names for their children. While you'll find word names among nature names and day names and occupational names and color names, we gather some of the most intriguing here.