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30 Great Names You’re Not Using!

30 Great Names You’re Not Using!

Looking for a cool name that's rare but not too out-there? You've come to the right place.

There are lots of reasons to choose an uncommon baby name. Maybe you hated being one of five Jessicas or Joshuas in your class, and don't want the same fate for your child... or maybe you have an unusual name yourself, and love it!

You might want a name that's a blank slate with no associations — common for teachers and other people who work with a lot of kids! — or just love choices off the beaten track.

Below are thirty names that prove there are plenty of great options way, way below the Top 1000 most popular baby names. They were all given to just ten girls or boys in the US in 2022.

Amazing Rare Girl Names

Aika

Japanese name with several beautiful meanings, which travels easily to other languages.

Atlanta

Place name that's surprisingly rare given how namelike it sounds. It could honor the state capital of Georgia, or the Atlantic Ocean.

Bridie

Vintage diminutive of Bridget that's just as sweet as up-and-coming Birdie.

Bryony

A fresh botanical that's more popular in the UK, but slow to catch on Stateside... and a way to honor Brian?

Cicely

Another name with British/Victorian energy, Cicely is a streamlined form of Cecilia.

Dominica

International classic, and country name, that's underused in the US, especially given the nickname potential: Minnie, Nica, Domino?

Franklin

This androgynous surname sounds like a -lynn name, but looks more businesslike with several famous namesakes. And, of course, it's also an alternative way to get to Frankie.

Kiran

A unisex cultural crossover, meaning "sunbeam" in Sanskrit.

Magenta

A vibrant color name that may appeal to fans of Marigold, Magnolia... and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Manon

If you like Maren, here's another member of the Mary family you might just love. It's well used in France and Wales, but could travel further.

Posy

Sweet and floral, Posy is lovely in its own right. It can also be a nickname for a whole range of long names, from Josephine to Sophia to Persephone.

Rosanne

This name reached peak popularity in the 1950s, so maybe it's not quite time for a full-on comeback... but we still love it as an alternative member of the Rose group. It avoids the sitcom spelling Roseanne.

Saga

Short yet dramatic, Saga is a Top 50 name all over Scandinavia, and a great option if you love all things Norse.

Sinead

The Irish version of Janet is a classic in Ireland, but has never gathered momentum in the States.

Zanna

Zippier and cooler than Susanna, this nickname can stand alone.

Cool Unusual Boy Names

Anselm

An ancient name that's both saintly and arty (as in Anselm Kiefer).

Bannon

An Irish last name, meaning "son of the little white one", that's just as evocative and attractive as Nolan, Keegan, and the rest.

Chancelor

A high-status occupational surname, and also the full name of Chance the Rapper.

Cisco

Another music artist name (ok, that's spelled Sisqó), this short form of Francisco is one of the coolest boy names ending in -o out there.

Cleon

Just a step away from popular Leon, and with a similar meaning to Cleo: "glorious".

Ennis

Gentle-sounding Irish place name used by Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons for their son.

Fitzpatrick

This surname, meaning "son of Patrick", could be a good option as an honor name — and Fitz is a cool nickname too.

Imri

A surprisingly modern-sounding Old Testament name, meaning "my statement" in Hebrew.

Joby

Another biblical-adjacent name, Joby lightens up Job, and sounds like a jauntier spin on Toby.

Kalian

Variant spelling of an Indian name meaning "beautiful", and with the cool nickname Kal: what's not to like?

Kincaid

This Scottish place name has been in use for American boys since 1993, whether that's for Scottish nostalgia or just its interesting, lilting sound.

Leyland

A rare, but more complete-looking, alternative to popular Leland.

Nicanor

This dramatic, uncommon member of the "Nick" name family makes an unexpected way to get to Nico (or Nick).

Sandy

Not just short for Alexander, but also a wholesome nature name.

Tor

A punchy multinational name with roots in Scandinavia, Hebrew, and British geography.

Read next: our complete guide to Unique Names

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com