Category: unusual names for girls
By Abby Sandel
The Oscar-winning actor and his public relations executive wife chose a sophisticated, nickname-proof name for their first child. Iris has so many qualities expectant parents seek. It’s literary and glamorous, but not too much for a young child to wear. It’s nearly impossible to shorten Iris. And ecovintage Iris feels modern, but has history to spare, from the ancient world right through today.
So what’s the parent to do who loves this kind of elaborate girls’ name but wants something a lot more rare?
Some of the best choices in this style don’t even make it onto the extended list of American baby names: All the names starred below were given to fewer than five baby girls in the US in the last year counted. And the others were used for only a handful of babies.
Is Cassiopeia or Petronilla too much name for a baby girl (or even a grown-up woman, for that matter)? Maybe, but you can always call her Cassie or Nilla and trust she’ll grow into her august appellation, at least by the time she’s 40.
And if you like super-feminine names for girls, why stick with the safe Gabriellas and Valentinas when there are all these exotic beauties out there?
Thirty rare, feminine names you might consider for your little girl are:
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.
By Aimee Reneau Tafreshi
Unusual names are becoming more, well, usual these days, especially for baby girls. Most parents are aware of the Top 1000 baby names, but what do you find when you look further down the list? Literary thousands of unusual baby names for girls and boys waiting to be discovered.
I decided to check out the names that flew below the radar this past year to find possibilities for parents seeking a unusual baby names that are not too far out there. I began my analysis with the girls’ names. A foray into the name data can be comical at times and involves wading through misspelled names (Deisy, Serinity), made-up monikers (Lakelyn, Naveah), and “kreatif-lee” spelled baby names (Avarie, Kynnedi), in addition to luxury goods (Chanel, Lexus, anyone?). Beyond these types of choices, many names in the lower rankings are brimming with possibility.
Think you have to pick between names that are classics, with deep roots and centuries of use, and names that are unusual?
You don’t, as these classic girls’ names, all ranked below the U.S. Top 1000, attest.
Some were popular in recent years and are now sinking from view — Pamela, Jean — while others are rising stars we predict will soon appear on the official Top 1000: Imogen is a prime example, along with Mabel, the Margos, and Clementine.
That still leaves dozens of classic girls’ names that are neither coming into style nor sailing out but simply holding steady below the radar.
A note on how we chose the names: We did not include variant spellings of more popular classic names such as Emilee, and for the most part excluded short forms unless they have been traditionally used on their own. Our definition of classic embraces ancient names such as Phaedra and Keturah along with more recent widely-used girls’ names such as Maureen.
If you’re in search of a classic girls’ name that’s both traditional and unusual, consider these 100+ picks, ordered from those given to the highest number of baby girls in the U.S. in 2012 (Aurelia, at 250) to the least (Petal, used for just 5).