Unique International Baby Names

21 unusual girls' names from around the globe

International baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

If you’re looking for an unusual baby name, you don’t have to go to the extreme of inventing a new name or creating a novel spelling when there’s a whole world of unique international baby names out there to browse and choose from.

We’re not suggesting extreme, challenging global examples like Järnsaxa (Scandinavian) or Orfhlaith (Irish), which would be strictly tied to members of their own ethnicity, but rather to the countless others that are accessible and could be worn comfortably by any child anywhere.

The following are just a few examples for girls that boast both appealing foreign flair, accessibility and solid histories. And just as you don’t have to be Scottish to name your daughter Fiona, these unique international baby names for girls may (so much the better) or may not reflect your own ethnic heritage.

More good news? None of these names has ever been in the US Top 1000.

AmandineA fragrant French diminutive of Amanda, it was the birth name of novelist George Sand, and is still a Top 100 name in France

AnoukA cool French/Dutch diminutive of Anna, a character in the film Chocolat, and used by Ewan McGregor for his daughter

BethanA popular Welsh form of Elizabeth, rarely heard here, a nice extension of Beth

CarounA rich Armenian name meaning Springtime, it’s also spelled Karoun

ConstanzaThe more musical and graceful Latinate form of Constance, linked to the wife of Mozart, still popular in South America

DashaOne of the great, undiscovered Russian nickname names, as energetic as Sasha and Misha, with a bit more dash

EdwigeSophisticated French choice—much more appealing than its English translation Hedwig

ElunedA Welsh saint’s name that can lead to the nickname Luna

GinevraGeneva is a pretty place name, and so is its more unusual Italian version– currently a Top 15 name in its native habitat.

Isabeau—A gorgeous French version of Isabel, it was worn by Michelle Pfeiffer in the film Ladyhawke.

KalindaAn evocative Hindi name familiar via the character on The Good Wife, more appeal than the dated Linda, Melinda, Belinda.

MignonA French word name that means delicate and dainty, and feels delicate, dainty and endearing; but though it’s charming here, it’s not used as a name in France

LilouThis delightful Provencal name is now #12 on the French list, spurred by its use in the film The Fifth Element (spelled Leeloo)

OlwenAmericans are just beginning to discover Welsh names and this is a native favorite, the name of a legendary princess and a classic in Wales

PilarThe name of a noble character in Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, this is a strong and dynamic Spanish classic

RozaThe sweet Rosa takes on a more dynamic persona in this Russian/Polish translation.

SaskiaTake Sasha one step further with this great artistic choice, remembered as the name of Rembrandt’s wife. And also the daughter of artist Red Grooms.

ShoshanaThis exotic modern form of the Hebrew version of Susannah came to contemporary life in the person of the Zosia Mamet character on Girls, aka Shosh.

SignyThis sleek, sophisticated Scandinavian name, also spelled Signe, makes an intriguing alternative to Sydney.

SuzuA lively Japanese alternative to It’s a Wonderful Life’s nickname Zuzu, it means tiny tinkly bell.

Varvara. The Russian equivalent of Barbara has so much more energy and verve!

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4 Responses to “Unique International Baby Names”

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Catlady86 Says:

February 16th, 2017 at 9:51 am

My mums name is Eluned, I love the idea that it might lead to the nickname Luna but that is absolutely not how it’s pronounced. My mum usually goes by Lyn because it’s pronounced El-een-ed or El-in-id. My dad used to call her Ned, lol!

flamingo Says:

February 16th, 2017 at 9:31 pm

I really like Olwen and Eluned (but I thought it was pronounced e-LOO-nid).
I hear Shoshana all the time in my circles.

purplekismet Says:

February 17th, 2017 at 10:07 am

Love these more exotic names! (My own daughter is named Alida, which I feel would fit in well here!) Dasha is actually the Russian diminutive for Daria. I know Mignon as the “Grammar Girl” and it reminded me of another cool foreign “M” name, Maiken. Please keep these kinds of posts coming, Nameberry!

Unique yet pretty baby girl name inspiration from around the world | Latest Viral News Says:

August 3rd, 2017 at 5:54 am

[…] Nameberry have put together a list of names that are truly hard to come across. […]

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