Secret Names You Only Know If You're On Nameberry

Secret Names You Only Know If You're On Nameberry

When it comes to baby names, it's not just about finding more, but more and better. Amazing names with authentic roots and fascinating backstories, the kind of names that, when you use it for your baby, make everybody say, "Wow, what a cool name. Where did you come up with that?"

On Nameberry, of course. We've got lots of stunning names that stop even us in our tracks. Names that you've never heard before but that get even more amazing the more you learn about them.

It's not always easy to find them among the thousands of baby names here. We've picked out 64 of the best.


Ancient Roman names are hot, and Aelia is an undiscovered choice that feels like a cousin of popular names like Isla and Ayla and Ella but has a meaning and history all its own. The meaning is related to Elio or Helios, which means sun.


Amaris is a name used for both girls and boys that's related to the Biblical Amariah. The name of several minor male figures in the Bible, Amaris is Hebrew for "said of God". Pronunciation is a bit like amorous, which relates to love.


What child wouldn't want to be named after a divine talking horse, son of the Greek gods Poseiden and Demeter? Or an Ancient Greek poet and musicians who was kidnapped by pirates and rescued by dolphins? Or a powerful sorcerer king in DC Comics? That's a lot of fantastic namesakes to inspire both parents and child.


This sublimely simple Arabic name meaning powerful was given to only 20 baby girls and five boys in the US last year. If it's too simple, you can always use it as a short form of Aziza (for girls) or Azariah (for boys).


Briar has become a popular baby name for both boys and girls in the US, a contemporary update of Brian or Brianna. But if you find Briar hopelessly 2018, you could turn to this nature name that also means a thorny bush where berries grow. Bramble far more rare than Briar.. Is zero babies uncommon enough for you?


Looking for a strong traditional boys' name that's also rare and unusual? There aren't many that fit the bill, but Edric qualifies. A little bit Edward, a little bit Frederic, a little bit Eric, Edric was used by George R.R.Martin for a Game of Thrones character. It means "wealthy ruler."


Eirlys is a Welsh name meaning snowdrop, the delicate white flower that's one of the first to bloom in the spring, sometimes growing straight out of the snowy earth. The initial Ei is pronounce as in Eileen. The name sounds something like Ireland with an s instead of an nd ending.


Elim is a Biblical place name meaning "the place of strong trees," a meaning that combines powerful and gentle images. Elim in the Bible is an oasis where the Israelites stopped on their Exodus from Egypt, representing the blessings of God. In the US, 23 boys and nine girls were named Elim last year.


Love Iris, the name and the flower, but can't deal with a name that's almost in the Top 100? Then consider this lovely Cornish name that means iris but is far more rare. How rare? So rare Elestren didn't even make the five baby cutoff for getting registered by Social Security.


Felix has become a cool (and popular) boys' name, but feminine form Felixa has been far less popular than Felicity, Felicia, and Felice. Zero baby girls were named Felixa in the US last year, but the x's time has come. And the meaning, happy and lucky, can't be beat.


In the Netherlands, Fenna is a vintage-y Old Lady Name that's back in style in a big way, ranking in that country's Top 20. But in the US, it was given to only six baby girls last year. No one will mispronounce it -- it rhymes with Jenna -- and it's got a wonderful meaning: peace.


Everybody's heard of Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. That name ranks in the US Top 200 now. Yet brother name Frey remains nearly unknown, given to only five baby boys last year. This Scandinavian mythological name -- he was the Norse fertility god -- rhymes with gray.


Hanan is a name so smooth and simple -- think of it as Hannah with an n at the end -- it seems synthetic. But Hanan has authentic Old Testament roots. While the Biblical Hanan was a male chief in the tribe of Benjamin, all the babies named Hanan in the US last year were girls.


Howl joins the wild new gang of word names long on attitude: We're talking Rebel, Rogue, Rowdy...and definitely Howl. If Howl scares you, you can button it up by spelling it Howell, which makes it much more genteel.


You can consider Jovan a form of John -- either the Slavic variation or a phonetic short form of Giovanni. Or you can consider Jovan as a form of Jove or Jupiter, the supreme god of the Roman deities.


Kamaria is one of the many lovely names from around the world that mean moonlight. While Kamaria resembles a lot of other names, it's a traditional choice unto itself.


Kasia has two possible roots. It's a Polish short form of Katherine. And it also might be a spelling of the Greek Cassia or Kasiani, which means cinnamon.


Kavi is one of those casual-sounding names with a big serious meaning. It's Sanskrit for poet or sage. Seven girls and 27 boys were named Kavi in the US last year.


Although the Slovakian model Kinga Rajzak introduced this Hungarian or Polish name meaning "brave" to the English speaking world, no baby girls were named Kinga in the US last year.


Kiro is a Macedonian name for boys that's simple, sleek, straightforward, yet nearly unique -- only 21 boys were named Kiro in the US last year. Meaning "lord", it has the same root as Cyril.


There have been so many trendy double L names around the last few years, it's unusual to run into one no one's heard before. This Thai name meaning "one who is praised" is most famous as the name of musical artist Lalisa Manoban, whose name was changed in childhood from Pranpriya to Lalisa after she had her fortune told.


With Olivia now the most popular girls' name in the US, and in a lot of other countries as well, parents will naturally seek a same-but-different substitute. Livana fits the bill. It's yet another name meaning moon, this time from Hebrew.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.