Outrageous Baby Names You Might Just Fall in Love With
We all love to raise our eyebrows at unique names, but some of them are actually pretty great.
Part of me would love to be the kind of person who names their kids Neptune and Villanelle. It’s never going to happen, but I can still admire those who dare to use them.
Outrageous names can come from history, myth and literature; from the world of word names; and from the non-traditional gender. What makes them surprising is their rarity, the “Really?!" factor. But that’s subject to change, of course. The names that seem too much today might be mainstream in ten years’ time, like Maverick (in the US Top 40) and Bear (in the Top 800).
Whether you’re bold enough to give any of these to your children, or prefer to appreciate them from afar, here are 10 out-there names you might just fall in love with.
Blue-green color names are a hot trend for 2023, according to our expert prediction. But if the likes of Navy and Azula aren't dramatic enough for you, you could go big with this colorful, nautical gemstone name. It has never been popular enough to rank on the US charts, but is occasionally spotted as a one-off.
Girl names ending in O, like Margo and Cleo, are popular with parents who want something offbeat yet feminine. Echo, with its mythological and scientific associations, is increasingly feeling like a viable alternative. It's gaining in popularity for boys too.
In the center of the Venn diagram of Scandinavian names, mythology, and neo-Christian celebrity names, you'll find Helgi! Not many people in the States have heard of it, but it was worn by a Norse saga hero, and many historical figures, and means holy... or Saint. Can we interest anyone?
Bear, Wolf, and even Lion are climbing the charts — so why not Jaguar? This wildcat name is occasionally used in the US, and we love its sleek yet namelike sound (it's a mashup of Jagger and Joshua, right?). The car connection might be a bonus for some parents.
Brooklyn's popularity is waning. Bronx is hot right now. And Manhattan? Positively cutting edge. Originally from the Munsee Lenape language, the name of New York's beating heart wasn't in the charts in 2022, though it has been used for both boys and girls in past years.
Why pick one nature name when you can have Nature itself? This unisex word name is rare but climbing fast: in 2022, it was given to 49 girls and 24 boys. Other names in the same mold that have been used in recent years include Kulture (Cardi B and Offset's daughter), Couture, Future, and Venture.
Neptune debuted on the US baby name charts in 2021 — surprisingly late given the popularity of other mythology/space names like Apollo and Jupiter — and was given to 9 boys last year. Could the Roman sea god take the naming world by storm?
Is Villanelle the new Sonnet? This elaborate name is a form of poetry — an example is Dylan Thomas's Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night — but many Brits know it better as an assassin's codename in the TV show Killing Eve. Inspired by that, 3 girls in England and Wales were named Villanelle in 2021. It's rich with nickname potential, but we're not sure if it sounds too villainous... or if it could be an appealing "bad girl name" like Delilah.
...plot twist...for a girl! Winston as a boy name is dignified and vintage-chic. On a girl? Even more so, with the bonus of Winnie or Wynne as nicknames. Other "Win" names like Winry and Winslow are rising fast for girls, and this one could too. Last year it was recorded for 6 girls in the USA.
In true mix'n'match style, Zaxon — which was given to fewer than 5 boys in the States last year — combines the edgiest parts of Zack and Jaxon. Zaxton saw a sudden leap in 2022, when it was given to 129 boys, so it really is one to watch. And shorter, snappier Zax hasn't made the charts at all...yet.