200 Unique Word Names You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
Lovers of unique word names, put your dictionaries down!
We’ve found a better way to come up with truly original word names for babies: crowdsource it! We recently asked our brilliant Berry community to suggest cool new word name possibilities that no one’s thought of yet — and they didn’t let us down.
These were our criteria:
1. English words (and foreign words used in English) only
2. In line with current trends
3. Never in the US Top 1000
Over 1000 inventive new word names were submitted, from Aloe and Anaphora to Zealous and Zap. A selection of our favorites is below, sorted into ten popular categories, or you can view the full shiny new list of 200 Unique Word Names for Babies here.
None of the names chosen has ever been given to more than 15 babies per year in the US, and most have never appeared on the SSA list at all.
A big thank you to everyone who took part!
Botanical baby names are trending in a big way right now, but there are so many fresh options out there if the likes of Rowan and Rose feel too popular. Our favorite from this category has to be the lovely Caraway, suggested by @Anthiese. We love its soft, dreamy sound and unisex appeal.
Cool animal names — and especially bird names like Hawk and Wren — have really caught on for babies in recent years. There are plenty of rare bird names to consider in the list below, but we really love the suggestion of Pipistrelle from @columbiacharm. If birds are fair game, why not bats too?
3. Unique Material, Metal and Mineral Names
Gem names like Jasper and Ruby are popular for both sexes right now, but the material world has so much more to offer! We’re especially intrigued by @pixiegretch’s suggestion of Papyrus, which has a super cool sound and history.
From Forest to Ridge, there’s a plethora of cool geographical names rising rapidly up the popularity charts at the moment. We got so many great suggestions in this category, but @sgsg8’s suggestion of Meander fits so perfectly into the current namescape that it has to be our favorite!
5. Unique Names Meaning Light or Dark
Names with meanings relating to light or dark feel especially fitting for babies born in the morning or evening. Our top pick from this category was suggested by both @Mega_Muffin and @freddiethepink: Vespertine, meaning “of the evening”. Stunning!
From Hunter and Harper to Piper and Parker, today’s most popular occupational names have a modern, energetic appeal. But there are so many other options — and other ending sounds — out there. We especially love the fabulous Aviatrix, suggested by @sarahmezz.
7. Positive Virtue Names
Traditional virtue names with upstanding moral meanings can feel a bit too Puritanical for modern usage — especially for girls. (Think Chastity, Modesty or Prudence.) Our top picks all have a bit more bite! We think Parity, suggested by @Kasey131313 and @renchickdee, hits exactly the right note for 2020. And, fittingly, it feels equally wearable for either sex.
8. Unique Artistic and Musical Names
From Aria to Lyric, musical baby names feel very fashionable right now. But we think word names from art and literature are worth a look, too. Our favorite, Fresco, shares sounds with stylish Roscoe and feels so… well, fresh. Kudos to @moonwriteen for the suggestion!
9. Magnificent Meanings
Everyone loves a baby name with a great meaning, whether it’s beauty or joy or strength. But these submissions have some of the most intriguing meanings we’ve seen. We’re especially taken with Petrichor, suggested by @Selkit and @monstrositee, which describes the pleasant smell of rain on dry earth.
Aeolian — “of the wind”
Alpenglow — “the rosy light of the setting or rising sun seen on high mountains”
Apricity — “the warmth of the sun in winter”
Daystar — “a planet visible in the east just before sunrise”
Elysian — “of heaven or paradise”
Luminary — “a person who inspires or influences others; a natural light-giving body”
Meridian — “a circle of constant longitude; a pathway in the body along which vital energy is said to flow”
Moonglade — “the bright reflection of moonlight on water”
Nepenthe — “a poetic drug said to banish sorrow from a person’s mind”
Panacea — “a cure for all ills”
Penumbra — “a space of partial illumination between perfect shadow and full light”
Petrichor — “the earthy scent of fresh rain on dry ground”
Serendipity — “unexpected good fortune”
Sonder — “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”
Velleity — “a wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action”
10. Great Nickname Potential
Nickname names are growing in popularity all the time, but most parents still prefer to put a formal name on the birth certificate. Still, who says your Theo has to be a Theodore, or your Jules a Julia? Our prize for the most versatile word name suggestion has to go to Evanescence, from @mill1010.
Calyx — Cal
Cleome — Cleo
Bayou — Bay, Bou
Ephemera — Effie, Emmy
Evanescence — Evie, Evan, Annie, Essie, Ness, Van
Dulcet — Dulcie, Etta
Hallelujah — Hallie, Lou
Julep — Jules, Jupe
Kismet — Kizzy, Izzy
Laureate — Laurie
Orison — Ori, Ozzy, Sonny
Sibilance — Sibby, Billie
Theory — Theo
Vivid — Vivi, Vida
Rosegold — Rosie, Goldie
Which are your favorite unique word names from the new list? What else would you add? Tell us below!
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on March 11th, 2020 at 8:41 am
I particularly love Conifer, Evergreen, Hickory, Egret, Skylark, Tundra, Solstice, Vespertine, Wildfire, Dreamer, Voyager, Carefree, Jovial, Tenacity, Meridian, Nepenthe, Serendipity and Sonder. I think I suggested a fair few of those!
I would add:
on March 11th, 2020 at 10:26 am
I’ve had Sonder and Vespertine on my list for a long time now!
Other loves from here:
I also love the idea of Selkie as a name, though I do wonder how a seal/girl creature from Scottish & Norse mythology counts as an occupation…
Emma Waterhouse Said
on March 11th, 2020 at 3:23 pm
@freddiethepink You did indeed, you had a ton of fantastic suggestions and quite a few of those you’ve mentioned are in the full list of 200. Thank you!
@blueylit Yes, Selkie as an occupation… it was just too good not to include in a list of “person” type names!
on March 12th, 2020 at 6:20 am
I would add Sorrel to the list.
on March 12th, 2020 at 11:51 am
Participating in this contest really solidified my confidence when it comes to using English as a second language. I realised how many amazing name-worthy words I know (and can still learn).
Thank you for highlighting my suggestion of Fresco and adding several other ones! I have been a visitor here since 2015 and joining this community for real after all those years feels like a dream!
My favourites from here include:
Sibilance nn Sibby
on March 12th, 2020 at 4:10 pm
I happen to LOVE Word names, so this list is practically heaven for me.
My favorites for each category:
1.Bonsai, Conifer, Fennel, Freesia, Tamarisk
2.Akita, Dotterel, Jacana, Minnow, Pinto, Skylark, Viper
3.Alnico, Denarius, Tourmaline, Zircon
4.Acre, Everglade, Glacier, Meander, Rivulet, Tundra
5.Comet, Dusk, Glow, Luminence, Mirage, Solstice, Vespertine
6.Aviatrix, Bard, Mage, Pioneer, Wanderer
7.Fierce, Jovial, Kindred, Reason, Valiant
8.Clarinet, Evensong, Fresco, Lullaby, Rondeau, Sonata
9.Alpenglow, Elysian, Meridian, Moonglade, Serendipity, Sonder
10.Calyx, Cleome, Julep, Orison, Vivid, Rosegold
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