Best Baby Names: Beyond the Top 1000

May 30, 2019 Emma Waterhouse

by Emma Waterhouse

Every year when the SSA baby name data is released, the big news stories are all about the names at the very top of the list: which have made it to that hallowed #1 spot, which have entered the Top 10 or Top 100, and which have made the most impressive leaps up the charts over the past 12 months.

But while it’s fun to follow trends and try to predict which names will make the cut, when it comes to actually choosing a name for a real-life baby, the most common requirement for the best baby names that we see from expectant parents who come to our Forums for help is “unusual, but not weird”.

In 2018, it took 206 births for a male name to feature in the Top 1000 (Benton, Coleman, Markus) and 259 births for a female name to register (Elina, Kimora, Maliah, and also Paityn at #1001).

So, we’ve looked to those names that were used 200 times or fewer last year — picking out 400 of our favorites, sorted by sex and number of births. These names represent a wide variety of sounds, styles and sources, but they’re all widely familiar, straightforward in terms of spelling and pronunciation, on-trend… and yet still extremely uncommon. Which are your favorites?

151-200 births



101-150 births



51-100 births



50 births and below



Do you know anyone with any of these names? Would you use any yourself? Let us know!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from where to find a cool vintage boy name to why some names become popular memes. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles


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