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The Weirdest Names Ever

The Weirdest Names Ever

What are the weirdest names ever?

We looked at names that made the US Top 1000 for only a single year — one-hit wonders — to find the quirkiest, strangest, and craziest names that have ever been used for babies.

Many of these names come from the 19th century, when it took fewer births for a name to reach the Top 1000. Back then, record-keeping was not as organized as it is today, and only some of the births each year were registered with the Social Security Administration.

Nevertheless, all of the names here were used for at least five babies the year they broke the popularity list — some as recently as 2020.

Below, the weirdest baby names to ever crack the Top 1000.

Almond

1885, six baby boys

Perhaps the parents of the six baby boys called Almond in 1885 were big fans of the nut, but more likely, they were using Almond as a variation of the name Almund. Almund is a contraction of Adalmund, an Ancient Germanic name meaning "noble protection."

Birdella

1882, five baby girls

Birdie doesn't need a formal name, but several sets of parents in the 19th century created the elaboration Birdella — a combination of Birdie and Ella.

Bluford

1883, five baby boys

Buford went extinct decades ago, but back in its heyday, it spawned the quirky variation Bluford.

Branch

1889, seven baby boys

We foresee Branch coming back into fashion as a sturdy, unisex nature name, but were surprised to see it on the Top 1000 of 1889. Back then, Branch was likely used as a surname name.

Bush

1889, seven baby boys

Apologies if Bush is a family name, but we deem it wholly unusable as a first name for a child of the 21st century. Name teasing may be in decline, but Bush is just asking for it.

Cannie

1893, 11 baby girls

Most baby name sites will tell you Cannie is a short form of Candice, but it appeared on the Top 1000 well before Candice made its debut in the 1940s. Sources suggest Cannie has Scottish Gaelic origins and is related to the word "canny."

Cappie

1883, five baby girls

Cappie was the preferred nickname for Capitola, which gained popularity because of the novel The Hidden Hand, which was re-serialized in 1883. Interestingly, Capitola didn't rank at all that year.

Christop

1989, 1082 baby boys

Why were almost 2000 baby boys named Christop in 1989? Blame "The Great Baby Name Glitch of 1989" (coined by our friend Nancy). That year, some of the New York baby names were only recorded up to eight characters, putting Elizabet, Alexadr, Katherin, and Alexande on the list of one-hit wonders as well.

Cinnamon

1969, 202 baby girls

Warmly spiced Cinnamon gets a bad rap these days, but late '60s hippie parents found a lot to love about it. Two songs with the name were released around that time: "Cinnamon" by Derek, in 1968, and Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" in 1969.

It may seem weird now, but we predict Cinnamon could make a comeback, much like Pepper (another one-hit wonder, in 1975).

Dijon

1991, 132 baby boys

Maybe these parents had mustard on the mind, but many of these boys named Dijon were likely named after Dijon, France, where the mustard originated.

Dijon shared sounds with many other names that peaked in 1991, including DeSean and Devon.

Doll

1902, seven baby boys

Doll and Dolly were common nicknames for girls named Dorothy and Dorothea, but in 1902, Doll made the Top 1000 on the boys' side. It may have been used as a last name as a first name, of which Doll has German origins.

Edw

1889, six baby boys

How do you pronounce Edw? It's an abbreviation of Edward — commonly found in census records — rather than a separate name or a short form. In some historical cases, Edw was put on the birth certificate instead of Edward, much the way Md is sometimes recorded in place of Muhammad today.

Ermine

1883, six baby girls

Although they're incredibly cute, ermines are not the animal we think of naming children after today (try Fox or Bear). But the "-ine" suffix was fashionable in the 1880s, with girl names such as Pauline, Angeline, and Ernestine ranking in the Top 500.

Ewart

1898, nine baby boys

Ewart is a surname name, related to Edward, that went completely extinct in the 1960s. Probably because of the "wart" in there.

Foch

1918, 58 baby boys

World War I ended in 1918, and both one-hit wonders that year — Victory (for girls) and Foch — relate to the war. Victory is self-explanatory, but Foch is after Ferdinand Foch, French general and Supreme Allied Commander of the war.

His name is pronounced "FOSH," but if you're not careful, it could get a little close to a different four-letter word.

Friend

1880, six baby boys

An affable appellation, without a doubt, but not one that sounds particularly name-like. These days, Buddy feels less on-the-nose than Friend.

Fronnie

1880, five baby girls

There's nothing obstensibly wrong with Fronnie — it was originally short for Sophronia — but the sounds of this name have been out of fashion for so long, it's almost impossible to picture on a baby girl.

Girtha

1903, 13 baby girls

Gertha is a widely-cited example of a name that will probably never come back into style, but Girtha is another story. No child wants to have the word "girth" in her name.

Gorge

1900, nine baby boys

This nature name used to be used as a variation of George or Jorge, but we prefer it in all its natural glory. Now that Fjord and Glacier have joined the charts, does Gorge stand a chance?

Probably not, thanks to the less-than preferable definition of gorge: to eat greedily.

Governor

1889, seven baby boys

Top of the morning, Governor! It's an occupational name that never quite took off, much like President and Senator (which each have been given to a handful of babies over the years).

Harm

1904, nine baby boys

As far as word names go, Harm is not a particularly desirable one. Thankfully, the parents of these baby boys weren't likely using it as such. Harm is actually a Dutch name that is derived from Herman.

Hence

1880, six baby boys

It's not often you see an adverb baby name (Frankly and Truly crack the charts today), but Hence made the list in 1880. This is another name that got lost in translation — it's a German short form of Heinrich or Hans.

Lovey

1883, five baby girls

It's hard to get sweeter than Lovey, but it's just too cutesy for us to endorse as a baby name today. Keep it as a nickname — no harm, no foul.

Lytle

1884, five baby boys

In 2022, we like baby names that suggest big things for our children — like Legend, King, and Ace. Lytle sends a differnt message. It petered out for good in the 1950s, and hasn't been seen since.

Lytle's appearance on the chart was likely as a surname name, where it can also be pronounced LYE-dell, in addition to "little."

Man

1884, five baby boys

Your baby is going to grow up one day, so why not cut to the chase and name him Man?

Man is a traditional name in several Asian cultures, but in the US it was commonly used as a nickname for Emmanuel.

Maryland

1884, five baby boys

With Mary front and center, you'd think Maryland would be reserved for girls. Indeed, baby girls named Maryland eventually outnumbered the boys, but it wouldn't appear on the female side of the charts till 1901, six years after it was a Top 1000 choice for boys.

Mazikeen

2020, 253 baby girls

We have to admit, we were surprised when Mazikeen jumped 300 places to join the Top 1000 in 2020. She's a Hell-hailing demon character on the TV show Lucifer, whose name was inspired by evil spirits of Jewish mysticism.

Mazikeen is a complicated namesake, but at the rate her name is rising, it will probably be on the charts for years to come.

Metha

1886, eight baby girls

We don't condone baby names in which "meth" has a prominent placement. The name's original form, Meta, is A-OK. Meta is a Germanic and Scandinavian diminutive of Margaret.

Moroni

1880, five baby boys

If the word "moron" wasn't so conspicuous, Moroni might have a chance in the modern baby naming world.

Moroni is a significant name to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as he was the son of the prophet Mormon and later resurrected as an angel. A separate figure called Captain Moroni, a military commander, is also featured in the Book of Mormon. Unlike other significant names from the Book of Mormon, such as Lemuel, Ammon, and Gideon, Moroni sees little to no use each year.

Neppie

1880, six baby girls

Can you guess which of today's popular girl names Neppie used to be short for?

Penelope! We'll keep Neppie relegated to a bygone era and vouch for Penny, Nellie, or Poppy as nicknames instead.

Nimrod

1880, five baby boys

After Bugs Bunny called Elmer Fudd a "nimrod," (as an English word, it means "hunter"), the word became synonymous with an idiot or fool. Despite its authentic biblical origins, we'd say that's enough to make Nimrod off limits for your baby.

Nute

1901, six baby boys

Newt is difficult enough to wear as a name, but the spelling Nute doesn't do it any favors. Nute actually has different origins — it is derived from the Norse name Knute, which we much prefer as a baby name.

Oddie

1894, seven baby boys

Yes, it's probably just a variation of Odie (a name we love), but Oddie suggests an alternate pronunciation — emphasis on the odd.

Offie

1896, seven baby boys

A decidely offbeat choice for a son, likely derived from the name Ophrah, a biblical city.

In the UK, "offie" is slang for a liquor store, typically called an "off-license."

Omega

1893, 10 baby girls

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, so the girls given this name were probably youngest children. After the recent slew of COVID variants named by the Greek alphabet, parents are probably going to shy away from using it for baby name inspiration.

Pinky

1883, five baby girls

Cute but slight, Pinky is best reserved as a nickname these days. If you're interested in names that mean red or pink, Ruby, Rose, and Scarlett have more substance.

Shelvie

1937, 64 baby girls

Shelvie emerged as a variation of Shelby, which also reached a peak in 1937. Shelby hit it big once again in the 1990s, but Shelvie was not resuscitated.

Sip

1885, five baby boys

Sip's appearance in the Top 1000 is a baby name mystery. 1885 was the only year Sip was recorded, even on the extended charts. There's evidence of Sip as a surname in Scotland and China, which may have inspired its use as a first name.

Spicy

1883, five baby girls

Hot hot hot! Why choose one of the spice names when you could have them all? Five sets of parents did so for their daughters in 1883. We're not sure how wearable Spicy is as a baby name today, but it does make a very fun grandparent name.

Tiney

1881, five baby girls

The feminine answer to Lytle, at least in the 19th century. Unfortunately, babies don't stay tiny forever, evne if you give them a diminutive name.

Tiney was also used as a nickname for names that ended in -tine or -tina, such as Christina and Ernestine.

Tip

1887, five baby boys

Tip is a long-forgotten nickname for Thomas, although a modern bearer is rapper T.I. (born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.), who was called Tip in honor of his great-grandfather.

Unnamed

1991, 120 baby boys

Unnamed made it onto the Top 1000 in 1991, when over 100 baby boys left the hospital with provisional birth certificates. Each state has a different system for these situations, and "names" like Infant, Unknown, Babyboy, and Baby can be found on the charts almost every year.

Wealthy

1887, seven baby girls

Historically, Wealthy was used to reflect a wealth of blessings, rather than money. But with the financial meaning, Wealthy feels like a modern baby name, in the key of names that mean wealth such as Billion and Currency. But Wealthy was most common in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and hasn't been seen in the data since 1941. We'll be keeping an eye out.

Wing

1881, five baby boys

Wing may seem like an interesting English word name, but it's actually a Chinese surname that likely was recorded as a first name in a handful of cases. In Chinese, family names are traditionally written before given names. Several other Chinese surnames made the Top 1000 in 1881, including Chin, Lum, Wong, and Yee.

Thanks to Das Garcia for data analysis

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.