Truly Unique Names You’ll Never Meet IRL
“Unique” is something of a buzzword when it comes to baby names.
Most of the time, it means unconventional, a little bit edgy, or even simply below the Top 1000 names nationwide. British newspaper The Daily Mail this week reported on the unique baby names chosen by some of its readers: uncommon choices like April and Avni, Kaydence and Khaius, Titus and Theoden.
Unique Baby Names in the US
But truly unique baby names — those never recorded in the US at all — are a little harder to come by. Especially if you’re looking for something straightforward to say and spell, in line with current trends, and not made up or creatively respelled. It’s a tough ask!
Luckily, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best one-of-a-kind baby names that meet all of these criteria. None of these truly unique names has ever been given to 5 or more babies in the US in any given year (for privacy reasons, the SSA doesn’t record names used four or fewer times), so we’re as sure as we can be that you’ll never run into another!
Anstice: This sweet medieval variant of Anastasia has fallen out of use today, but it shares a lot of the appeal of Top 100 favorite Alice. The masculine form Anstace has also never charted in the US.
Dimity: This unusual word name (dimity is a type of fabric) has seen most use in Australia. It shares its jaunty three-syllable rhythm with popular picks like Emily, Kennedy and Trinity, as well as rarer vintage virtue names like Amity, Verity and Felicity.
Eska: A cool character name from the animated series The Legend of Korra, and an old Frisian name derived from the element ?s, meaning “god”.
Ivalo: This quirky Greenlandic option shares sounds both with the popular “Eve” group of girls’ names, and with up-and-coming o-ending picks like Indigo, Cleo and Juno. It’s one of the middle names of Princess Josephine of Denmark, born in 2011.
Lowenna: A light and lovely name with a wonderful meaning to match: “joy”. Fellow Cornish beauty Morwenna is also yet to make it across the Atlantic, despite its appearance in the popular BBC series Poldark.
Venla: A Top 10 pick in its native Finland for at least the past decade (Finnish records only go back to 2007), this funky Nordic name is a feminine relative of Wendell — but it feels far fresher!
Artair: Legendary Arthur is rapidly regaining lost ground — and it’s already a Top 10 choice in France and England. But this debonair Scottish variant is yet to be discovered, despite lending itself even more naturally to the jazzy nickname Art.
Fiero: A rare Italian word name (meaning “proud”) with a strong and fiery sound.
Ibsen: Boy names ending -son are big, literary names are on the rise, and I is swiftly becoming the hottest initial on the block… Ibsen, after the great Norwegian dramatist, would certainly be a cool choice.
Lumis: Beyoncé’s iconic first name was inspired by her grandfather, Lumis Beyincé. Despite its similarity to the Latin lumen (“light”) and the Finnish lumi (“snow”), this unique option actually derives from the English surname Lomax.
Struan: Another stylish Scottish name with an attractive nature-inspired meaning: “stream”. Struan has hovered around the #100-120 mark in its native country for the past two decades, but is yet to make it across the pond.
Which are your favorite truly unique baby names for girls and boys? What’s the most unique name you’ve ever actually encountered? Tell us in the comments!
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on February 6th, 2020 at 8:48 pm
I’m so surprised about Fifer! Love that for a girl. Did not realize it was so rare.
on February 7th, 2020 at 2:18 pm
So happy to see Ibsen!
on February 16th, 2020 at 4:44 am
Surprised Cariad was there! Feels like every other girl I meet is called that.
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