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That Name Means What????

August 14, 2020 Clare Green
names with unique meanings

There are a lot of names with meanings related to God, a lot of names with meanings related to love and battles and hope, and then there are those names with really unique meanings.

Like footprint. Or pirate. Or pain.

Whether it’s for a baby or a character, a name’s roots can be a factor in making the final choice. For some people, it’s so important that they use an everyday word, then each time they use the name they’ll be reminded of Hope, or a River, or the color Gray. And some are keen to choose a name from a different language with a positive meaning, like strong, happy, or light.

But for others, etymology isn’t important at all. It’s no dealbreaker if a name’s meaning sounds a little odd out of context (like Cameron or Claudia), or it has an uncertain origin, or is a cool-sounding coinage without any translatable meaning (like Nevaya or Brylan).

Whichever camp you fall into, we hope you’ll enjoy this collection of names with one-of-a-kind meanings.

Where did we find them? In addition to our hand-curated baby name lists (including the fabulous user lists), our database auto-generates hundreds of name lists based on meanings. Scrolling through them can fling up a few surprises.

Read on for the names with quirky and unique meanings that made us go, “ooh, interesting” or “wait, what?” We bet you’ll find a few you don’t know (but bonus name lover points for any that you do)!

Name meanings: Household items

Basket: Binnie
Binoculars: Jumelle
Bowl: Bogart
Cellar: Keller
Corner: Zaniah
Cup: Tasso
Door: Minahil
Fireside: Hestia
Jug: Jara
Mirror: Kyoko
Needle: Obelia
Pencil: Matita
Pillow: Cody
Shed: Booth
Spade: Bechette
Table: Mesa
Washtub: Taci

Unique name meanings: Body parts

Armpit: Ascella
Eyesight: Osiris
Footprint: Olwen
Skin: Sharpay
Tooth: Dandelion
Womb: Delphia

Unique meanings: Appearance

Crooked: Cameron
Frizzy: Roc
Hairy: Esau
Misshapen: Kennedy
Moustached: Algernon
Puffy cheeks: Gifford 
Scarred: Hamill
Speckled: Brecken
Striped: Rajiv

Unique meanings: Food and drink

Blueberry: Mora
Chickpea: Cicero
Cinnamon: Cassia
Crumb: Miette
Eggs: Bezai
Fig: Idra
Garlic: Craven
Honeycomb: Jarah
Leek: Layton
Lettuce: Rapunzel
Milk: Galador
Noodle: Fideo
Oyster: Auster
Pancake: Galette
Pomegranate: Rimona
Quince: Dunja
Raspberry: Malina
Scallop: Vieira
Walnut: Noyce
Wine: Palin

Unique meanings: Nature

Bamboo: Takeo
Beaver: Castor
Camel: Gilead 
Cow: Boyne
Jungle: Fana
Kingfisher: Halcyon
Panther: Numair
Peacock: Poe
Pelican: Shada
Rabbit: Arley
Sandalwood: Rohan
Sheep: Alioth
Snake: Osman
Stork: Koko
Sturgeon: Nahma
Swamp: Tupelo
Thistle: Azami
Thornbush: Arantxa
Tortoise: Kobe
Twig: Berquist

Unique meanings: Occupations

Actor: Vedette
Accountant: Tupac
Caretaker of the mill: Millard
Chambermaid: Odalis
Charioteer: Carbry
Doorkeeper: Porter
Enameler: Mailer
Engineer: Jenner
Forecaster: Neviah
Interpreter: Idrissa
Miner: Collier
Pirate: Halloran
Raider: Sloane
Surgeon: Bader
Vikings: Lochlainn

Name meanings: Descriptive words

Adventurous: Kymani
Bashful: Bilhah
Chubby: Kessie
Dauntless: Shea
Eminent: Howell
Fashionable: Vogue
Haughty: Dempsey
Impulsive: Caprice
Nonconformist: Maverick
Overhanging: Pendleton
Pointy: Montague
Resourceful: Motoko
Sensible: Sophrona
Tiny: Panya
Understanding: Bina
Venerable: Molloy

Unique meanings: Actions

Abstains: Fatima
Befriend: Faunia
Childbirth: Nixi
Dancing: Terpsichore
Evaporate: Ido
Fishing: Devere
Grieved: Malala
Hitting: Tycho
Jumping: Pakuna
Kiss: Philemon
Leaping: Tallulah
Plowed: Nira
Quivering: Waverly
Roaring: Leib
Smile: Susmita
Whistling: Ligeia
Yearning: Ozlem

Unique meanings: The dark side

Bane: Ares
Cauldron: Torquil
Darkness: Duald
Exiled: Fogarty
Gloomy: Ephai
Lament: Elegy
Mournful: Penthesilea
Onslaught: Snorri
Pain: Jabez 
Quarreling: Meribah
Regret: Rue
Slayer: Gorgophone
Tears: Masozi
Wrathful: Odysseus

Unique name meanings: the best of the rest

Awe: Tafari
Bristle: Burr
Canoe: Missouri
Dairy: Chadwick
Evolution: Evrim
Fragrance: Mika
Gleaming: Koren
Hurricane: Corentin
Intoxicates: Maeve
Kite: Keats
Lighthouse: Faro
Mutterer: Balbo
Nobody: Nemo
Opportunity: Calah
Pondering: Nicomedes
Revolution: Devrim
Sweet smelling tree: Chan
Togetherness: Heber
Wagonmaker: Wainright
Yokel: Petronilla

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles