Amazing Names Below the Top 1000

These 50 great choices swim just beneath the surface

unusual baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

The hallowed Top 1000 baby names in the US end with Kai, given to 262 baby girls last year, and Rylen, used for 205 little boys.

But what about the baby names right below the Top 1000, hiding just out of sight but prime for plucking by the clever baby namer?

We chose 25 names for girls and 25 names for boys we found swimming just beneath the surface of the Top 1000.  These baby names strike the perfect balance between unusual and familiar.

The names are ordered from more to less popular, but even the least popular choices are used for within 50 babies of the Top 1000.  Which are your favorites?

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28 Responses to “Amazing Names Below the Top 1000”

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SimoneKadele Says:

May 25th, 2015 at 11:39 pm

Love Anaïs, Sylvie, Elodie, and Maren. 🙂

SimoneKadele Says:

May 25th, 2015 at 11:40 pm

As well as Torin and Fox (a GP!)

eveyalecia Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 1:05 am

Why isn’t Briar listed as unisex on NB yet? It definitely should be, imo.

ilovenames89 Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 2:05 am

People I know or have met with these names:
Brisa- late 20 something female
Ellery- 20 something Male
Amaris- in her 20’s
Cecily is a friend’s middle name she’s in her late 20’s
Tourin- Female she’s 25
Frankie- A native American woman I met yrs ago
Roxanne- she’s 5/6 yrs old
Sally- I know a few different age groups
Shea- male and Female ( i know like 4/5)
Otis- 5 mo.
Briar- 20 something male
Boone-3 yrs old
Robin- male and female in their late 40’s- and 50’s
Denver- in his mid 40’s
Linus- late 30’s

Maren I wanted to use the spelling for Murron(Mauren)

the name’s i love:

indiefendi2 Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 3:07 am

I think Amaris is so pretty and lovely in a minimalistic way.

I now have a doctor named Maren! She’s kinda young, about early 30s-ish.

I’m surprised India isn’t at least in the top 500 as often as I hear it.

I had a childhood friend named Charity. I think it’s awesome as a name.

Poppy has some negative connotations but it’s such a pretty flower! A gorgeous flower.

On the boys side McCoy, Tobin, and Torin have been on my mind lately!

senseandsensibility Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 4:20 am

My favourites would be Flora, India, Ophelia, Maren, Zelda, Alistair and Edmund!
Also, Roxanne started to grow on me.

amidala01 Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 6:35 am

I love..


katialoves Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 7:38 am

I like Vienna, anais, and elodie, surprised they aren’t as popular.
There is a toddler next door to me named Maren.
I only think of briar as a girls name. Know a couple people who used Frankie for their kids names (boy and girl)

CaitlinBrittin Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 7:39 am

Wow some of my favorites are listed here! For girls I love Arden and Flora and on the boys side Cormac and Edmund are two of my most coveted baby names!

annabelle Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 10:09 am

Can’t believe that some of these names aren’t in the top 1000! Either because they seem so familiar, or because I like them so much, and I don’t see why not more people wouldn’t…

My favorites:


jjayx Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 10:57 am

So many of these feel like they should be popular, given how familiar they are, but I’m so glad they’re not!



Pam Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Agreed, @jjayx! If I were naming a baby right now, many of my prime candidates are on this list. But I”m sure I’d be holding my breath hoping they didn’t get more popular. Top two for me: Flora and Otis.

LePapa Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 2:06 pm

If James, Gary, and Stanley are listed as unisex names on Nameberry, why isn’t Briar, which is just below the top 1000 for boys?

amf0224 Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Love so many of these! Poppy, Vienna, Cecily, Flora, Ophelia, Arden, India, Sylvie, Larissa, and Elodie are favorite girls names of mine on my list and Torin is on my boys list. I’m going to have to add Otis, Alistair, Ellery, Noor, and Shea!

skizzo Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 4:41 pm

I think its time to add Briar to the boys list, but as per usual nameberry take ages to add boy names and are quick to add so called “unisex” names on girls even when they’re used more on boys or have a masculine history… Briar to me sounds like a modern version of Brian.

shelly68 Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 7:23 pm

I like Noor. But I would like to put Jah in front of it (Jahnoor) Because Noor also means light or fire in Hebrew, (Light or fire of Jehovah) Same meaning as Neriah. Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon

Bobcat108 Says:

May 26th, 2015 at 8:55 pm

Larissa’s long been my favorite girl’s name. From this list I also love Cecily, Sylvie (although I’d spell it Silvie), & Maren (although I’d spell it Marin). From the boys’ list, I’ve been a fan of Alastair for decades, although I prefer the spelling Alasdair w/a nn of Dair. I also like Edmund, although I’m not sure if I’d ever use it.

tfzolghadr Says:

May 27th, 2015 at 9:47 am

Good list, but there are so many more than that!
Girls: Pari, Parisa, Soraya, Zari, Camellia, Zenobia, Amaryllis, Hero, Junia, Juniper, Emiliana, Violetta, Aida, Idalia, Lois, Antoinetta, Savina, Bryony, Blythe, Oriana, Marin, Aurelia, and others…
Boys: Teague, Keane, Caelum, Evren, Emrys, Amias, Emre, Pasha, Caspian, Nevin, Cavan, Bastien, Hawthorne, Stanton, Corin, Gawain, Gareth, Eliezer, Eben, Walden, Malachy, Constantine, Augustus, Hadrian, and Cormac…

frustratedauthor Says:

May 28th, 2015 at 9:26 pm

I love:

Girls: Flora, Maren, Shea (I prefer the Shay spelling)

Boys: Garrison, Otis, Boone, Slade, Stone, Torin, Linus, Mac, McCoy, and Tobin

eoxima Says:

May 30th, 2015 at 9:55 pm

I’m surprised to see quite a few out of the top 1000! For example, I’m surprised to see Poppy, Cecily, Ramona, Tess, India and Elodie for girls, and Robin, Harris, Alistair and Gus for boys. I really like Poppy, Cecily, Ramona and India, and Gus is a cool name (I love August). I’m also kind of surprised to see Noor, Larissa, Anais and Flora on the list, but then again I only use Nameberry and these sort of names are loved here.

anyagreenwich Says:

May 31st, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Surprising! Tess and Elodie? I bet they’ll crack the 1000 yet. Of course this 1000 doesn’t include Canada and the UK. I think a few of these names are more popular there, like India and Poppy in the UK, Anais and Elodie in Canada.

Favourites Roxanne and Shea.

For boys I like Alistair despite knowing two not-so-nice people by this name.

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June 19th, 2015 at 6:17 am

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vintageisfave Says:

August 31st, 2015 at 2:43 pm

My faves are Poppy, Elodie, India, Cecily and Sylvie!!

smismar Says:

September 8th, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Great list! I have a Sylvia (we call her Sylvie most of the time, though) and I have a Linus.

I also love Maren, Flora, and Zelda for the girls. Robin totally needs a comeback for the boys. Love Edmund and Tobin, too.

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