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200 Unique Word Names You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

March 11, 2020 Emma Waterhouse
unique word names

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!

1. Unique Botanical Names

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.

Abrus
Bonsai
Caraway
Conifer
Dittany
Evergreen
Fennel
Freesia
Hickory
Ixia
Lupine
Marjoram
Sago
Tamarisk
Tarragon

2. Unique Animal Names

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?

Akita
Boa
Bronco
Cormorant
Dotterel
Egret
Firefly
Jacana
Minnow
Nightingale
Pinto
Pipistrelle
Rooster
Skylark
Viper

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.

Adelite
Alnico
Brocade
Cambric
Celsian
Denarius
Gossamer
Lazuli
Obsidian
Papyrus
Pewter
Tourmaline
Velveteen
Quartz
Zircon

4. Unique Geographical Names

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!

Acre
Caldera
Drumlin
Everglade
Fosse
Glacier
Islet
Meander
Oasis
Orchard
Plateau
Rivulet
Spur
Tundra
Woodland

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!

Ardent
Comet
Cosmic
Dusk
Glow
Horizon
Luminance
Mirage
Nebula
Solstice
Spark
Twilight
Umbra
Vespertine
Wildfire

6. Unique Occupational Names

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.

Artisan
Aviatrix
Bard
Dreamer
Explorer
Guardian
Mage
Mariner
Paladin
Pioneer
Samurai
Selkie
Sentinel
Voyager
Wanderer

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.

Alacrity
Carefree
Eager
Fierce
Flair
Gregarious
Jovial
Kindred
Parity
Power
Reason
Tenacity
Valiant
Vigor
Zeal

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!

Arabesque
Cabriole
Chorus
Clarinet
Duet
Evensong
Fresco
Jive
Lullaby
Madrigal
Novel
Rondeau
Sonata
Stanza
Triolet

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.

CalyxCal
CleomeCleo
BayouBay, Bou
EphemeraEffie, Emmy
EvanescenceEvie, Evan, Annie, Essie, Ness, Van
DulcetDulcie, Etta
HallelujahHallie, Lou
JulepJules, Jupe
KismetKizzy, Izzy
LaureateLaurie
OrisonOri, Ozzy, Sonny
SibilanceSibby, Billie
TheoryTheo
VividVivi, Vida
RosegoldRosie, Goldie

Which are your favorite unique word names from the new list? What else would you add? Tell us below!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from pregnancy and birth to unique baby names from fiction and fantasy. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles

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