Unusual Baby Names: What’s your favorite?
I was looking at the names similar to Pixie the other day — y’know, just to pass the time — and I thought: Wow, there’s an unusual collection of names. From Alala to Kitto, Spartacus to Whimsy, there wasn’t a common name in the bunch.
Which got me thinking about how most people say they like unusual names, but do they really? Which unusual, unique, rare, uncommon baby names would people say they liked best?
Which led me, of course, to this Question of the Week.
What are your favorite unusual baby names? And, bonus round, why do you like them so much?
About the author
View all of 's articles
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
on September 16th, 2014 at 11:32 pm
I love rare Irish saint names. Cillian, Malachy, Colmcille, Ruadhan, Bricin, Jarlath, Finbar, Ciaran, Gibrian,……these are not Patrick or Brendan, they are very rare and just waiting to be discovered in the States.
on September 16th, 2014 at 11:47 pm
According to the SSA list, these names were used only a handful of times last year, and possibly not at all, so I’d say they qualify as rare and unusual:
Celestine (for both)
Valentine (for both)
on September 16th, 2014 at 11:49 pm
I’d have to say Adelisa and Merewen for girls and Caspian, Brintsan and Edmund for boys.
on September 16th, 2014 at 11:49 pm
Someone on Nameberry just turned me on to Ferelith, a beautiful, rare Scottish name I really like.
Names that are almost unheard of, little used, and/or outsie the top 1,000, I like Atrella, Jerusalem, Vesper, Ophelia, Emerald, Aquila, Prudence, Chrysanthe, and many more. And yes, I would use an unusual name. Clementine is outside the top 1,000 and it’s our #1 if we have a girl.
For boys I like more classic names and probably would not actually use anything very odd in the first name spot, but I do like unusual boy’s names, such as Bastien, Faber, Thane, Jericho, Wilder, Severus, Virgil, and Whittaker.
on September 16th, 2014 at 11:56 pm
are all names I really like
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:19 am
I consider Genesis to be unusual but it’s a long time love. Also like: Demelza, Hestia and Jacquetta. Neither of these have been ranked in UK for a number of years.
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:28 am
There are two separate categories going on: names that are recognizable as names but don’t get used very often and names that don’t appear to be names at first glance. Like Apple, for instance. I quite like some of the hipster names. I had a friend in college named Moss, and that always felt really warm and friendly to me.
I also like names like Clementine and Constance that are charming, but rare.
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:30 am
Every name on my list is unusual! I love Viola, Elspeth, Arianwen, Illyria, Amaryllis, Evanthe and Aveline- and many others. I like some popular names but I can’t see myself ever using a top 200 name.
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:39 am
I love rare and unusual names (shocking, I know). I would define a truly unusual name as one that has never been in the US Top 500.
My top unusual names for each gender:
Cordelia, Marigold, Phaedra, Juniper (though I’m not sure this name will stay unusual for long), Matilda (ditto), Lucinda, Sylvie, Thea, Nova, Seraphina, Dulcinea, Araminta, Elektra, Clio, Thalia, Ramona, Mavis, Geneva, Vesper, Winifred, Ursula, Thisbe, Calliope, Quintana, Delphi, Mercy, Salome, Clementine, Isolde, Carlotta, Vashti, Irina, Solange, Roxana, Apollonia, Aster, Belphoebe, Saskia, Marjorie, Fiammetta, Rosemarie, Giovanna, Antigone, Saga, Ariadne, Jamila, Valora, Jacinta, Esme, Vega, Lumina, Hester/Hesper, Cassia, Ismay, Hero, Aurelia, Nimue, Lavender, Solace, Tamsin, Lilith, Alouette
Marlowe, Lucien, Atlas, Augustus, Mariner, Roscoe, Amadeus/Amadeo, Darwin, Reeve, Emrys, Rainer, Casimir, Balthazar, Oswin, Tam, Jules, Luther, Cosmo, Dov, Sasha, Remy, Corentin, Thaddeus, Ferdinand, Baxter, Wallace, Waldo, Remy, Octavian, Adair, Rigel, Wilder, Wolfgang, Sage, Adler, Caspian, Oisin, Florin, Quillan, Zephyr, Ivor, Thorin, Jago, Artemas, Fraser, Cassius, Dashiell, Darwin, Tamerlane, Jove, Bowman, Angelo, Sylvan, Mordecai, Rafferty, Magnus, Otto, Valor, Tesla, Valentine
It’s also worth considering sound pattern when looking at unusual names. Naomi may be in the Top 100, but there’s aren’t really any other commonly-heard names that share her distinct and unique sound (Nay-OH-mee). By contrast, names like Bree and Aveline may not chart, but among a proliferation of girls named Brynn, Brianna, Briella, Aubrey, Ava, Avery, Maeve, and Caroline, they don’t sound unusual at all.
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:50 am
Boy? Carrick or Ender
Girl? Morgaine or Madigan
on September 17th, 2014 at 1:03 am
For boys I love the names Brighton, Ewan, and Tadhg.
Unusual girls names I love are Calista, Karrigan, and Verity.
on September 17th, 2014 at 1:23 am
Too many to think off the top of my head! I’ll be back!
on September 17th, 2014 at 2:30 am
For girls I love the names Ellea (pronounced L(as in the letter)-leah) and Lakelyn and for boys I love the name Zepeda (pronounced zip-ay(as in pay)-da)! None of them are on Nameberry though!
on September 17th, 2014 at 3:02 am
Thorin and Melusine.
on September 17th, 2014 at 4:39 am
My husband and I are fans of Alex James from Blur’s boys names… Artemis, Gallileo and Geronimo. Personally I’d probably only use Artermis. I also like Atticus and Atlas,
For girls if Ottilie is unusual I like it a lot and definatly would use it. My top girls names are Clementine, Celeste, Fenella and Ottilie all of which are unusual…
However I feel these are all recognisable as names and the ones on ‘names like Pixie’ are way more outrageous!
I like Ignatius also
on September 17th, 2014 at 6:00 am
Love this question!
Izara- love the nature connection and that she could go by Izzy.
Mazarine- just sounds so regal to me and love the nn Mazy (Mah-z)
Ferris- sounds so current but is underused, such a fun name!
Beauchamp- love the sound (even though it is pronounced way different than it looks, its (beach-am), reminds me of a sunny day.
on September 17th, 2014 at 6:21 am
Girls: Braelyn, Collette, Citlati, Harlyn, Izadora, Finley, Sarene, Xandra, Zakia, Zafrina, Verona, Rhiannon, Persephony, Ninette, Monae, Kaydence, Miette, Nakia, Genevia, Ophelia.
Boys: Adaye, Arwen, Cardarrius, Corwin, Deitrich, Ephraim, Halston, Kale, Kieran, Omari, Parson, Rylie, Desean.
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:00 am
Most of the names I love are considered unusual, but among the name nerd community they run on the vanilla side. Some of the most unusual would be:
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:17 am
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:52 am
Lakshmi, Paloma, and Forsythia.
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:56 am
Girls – Gwenhamara, Christabell, Isabeau, Sybilla
Boys – Carrick, Artorius, Rouquin
on September 17th, 2014 at 8:02 am
My favorite name that honestly I don’t know if I’d call it unusual but you don’t really hear it very often or at all is Dalton. There is something about it that I just absolutely adore. One I came across recently that I don’t like but I like to say is Fritzie. It’s just so fun to say, I’m not sure why but it is. I guess you could say it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure name.
on September 17th, 2014 at 8:45 am
I like a good mix of common/unusual names, especially since I have to compromise with my hubby on naming our children.
My favorite names include
Dagny – what this baby would be named had he been a girl
Evander – my son
Gabriel – my son due in Dec.
on September 17th, 2014 at 8:54 am
Not sure about boy names.
North (yes I do love. Don’t laugh)
on September 17th, 2014 at 9:39 am
For some reason, unusual Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, and Celtic names intrigue me.
on September 17th, 2014 at 9:41 am
on September 17th, 2014 at 10:22 am
These names are gorgeous! My top rare gems are:
Angus- DH and I discovered thanks to NB. We both instantly fell for it’s tough-guy charm, strong meaning, and friendly nickname Gus. We will definitely be using it for this baby, if (s)he is a boy.
Jethro- Love it’s Biblical roots and zippy -o ending. Would use equally edgy nickname Jett.
Amity- It’s a shame about the pop-culture ties this name embodies for some. It has an up-beat sound and lovely meaning.
Thisbe- I love this name because it’s Shakespearean, (as is my own name), and has shares the strong sound of Phoebe.
Ursula- A recent crush of mine. Another Shakespearean name. I think it sounds elegant and refined. Sula is a cute nickname.
on September 17th, 2014 at 10:50 am
Unusual is such a subjective term. I think it all depends which country, which city, which neighbourhood, what activities that you’re in. A lot of the names above aren’t unusual at all to me. I’ve met Cillian, Malachy, Isolde, Emmaneulle, Valentine, Edmund, Prudence, Clementine, Thalia, Cormac, Juniper, Matilda, Sylvie, Theax2, Nova, Ramonax2, Clio, Saskia, Marjorie, Rosemarie, Esme, Marlowex2, Augustus, Remyx2, Cassius, Morgaine, Ewan, Finleyx3, Verona, Arwenx2, Kale, Kieran, Rileyx4, Georgiana, Magnus, Robin, Dalton, Annabellex2, Gabriel, Sebastianx3, Piper, Angusx2 on the playground, at work. Even names I hear and think ‘wow, I’ve never heard that!’ quickly become commonplace after I meet another. Isla did that to me. I do live in a pretty multicultural hipster area. I feel like everyone is aiming for unusual and usually they’re quite far off in reality. I learned that lesson with my daughter’s name. So now I feel like I want to avoid the ultracommon, but the most important part is loving the name regardless of how common it is. You never know how the trends will go with pop culture and celebrities paving the way.
on September 17th, 2014 at 11:45 am
I tend to like the Shakespearean names that you don’t see as often: Cressida, Hero, Lysander. And certain virtue names: Verity, Honor, True. I’d use as character names or maybe middles. Still favor classic, traditional for firsts.
on September 17th, 2014 at 11:46 am
I think sometimes people have different definitions of ‘unusual’. Some of the name mentioned here aren’t what I’d call out of the ordinary. Sure they aren’t popular but I don’t know unpopular and unusual are different to me.
My favorite unusual names are, like word names, Wednesday, True, Wisdom, and Honor or like super old fashioned a la, Severina, Aloysius and Ignatius.
on September 17th, 2014 at 11:50 am
I love Clover, Ottoline, Saffiya, Ffion, Sparrow, Cecily, Avonlea, Phlox, Elette, & Maple for girls.
Tobin, Hadrian, Bram, Noble, Havelock, Thijs, Booker, Cade, Alder, and Heron for boys.
on September 17th, 2014 at 11:56 am
It’s just got this soft, ethereal quality that brings up imagery of stars and cool night breezes. Plus, I like the homage to evening prayers.
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:05 pm
I favourite unusual name is Vada! I think it’s just so adorable for a sweet baby girl the name has spunk, pizazz and charm.
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:25 pm
Tikvah for a girl. It means hope. It almost was my dds nsme. I also like Nynaeve from the Wheel of time books. I can:t think of any boy names at the moment
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Some of them aren’t that unusual just unused if you catch my drift 🙂
on September 17th, 2014 at 12:47 pm
I really love the name Pixie, and that is how I named my lovely little dog. Another favourite of mine is Nimue, which I believe is quite rare. If I will ever have a daughter, Nimue will be one of her first names.
on September 17th, 2014 at 2:22 pm
These are all unusual where I live but they are some of my favorites
on September 17th, 2014 at 2:25 pm
My top three guilty pleasures are Seymour, Chevy, and Sunshine. I like Seymour due to my favorite musical, Little Shop of Horrors, and that it’s first syllable is “Sey”, like the sea. When I hear this name, I think of a calm day at the sea. But it is too out-there for me to every use it.
I like Chevy because it sounds cool! And it’s pronounced like CHevy, not SHevy. It’s a cool name, and I like Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live a lot. Only problems? The association with Chevrolet, and, as it turns out, many actors think that Chevy Chase is a prissy jerk. Too bad.
And finally, Sunshine. How can you not smile when you read this name? It’s adorable, it’s optimistic, and it is NOT for an adult. Yeah, there is no way I’d ever use this as a first OR middle middle name, but I just love it. It makes me happy.
on September 17th, 2014 at 3:15 pm
The number of times I’ve said ‘This is basically my whole list’, is staggering. XP I love unusual names. Of course there’s the stuff about what unusual is for different people, but these names seem to be considered unusual to quite a few people.
Pandora Valencia Evanthe Rowenna Ailith Winter Morgana Hermione Clio Phaedra Saffron Tallulah Mairead Elspeth Olympia Persephone Skylark Arietta Jessamine Rue Anidora Magdalene Lothira Raven Lillith Astrid Althaia Kalliope Luna Elaphia Minuet Merewen Amaryllis Rain Luna-Fae Antoinette Venezia Lumi Penna Thaleia Morwenna Brontë Talaith Guinevere Elke Snow Illyria Nimue Twila Ilythia Gwendolen Rhea Thessaly Azalea Eibhlin Isadora Nyla Rosemarie Jenna Ariadne Reverie Fiammetta Phyllis Marigold Talaria Maddalena Tempest Winslet Adora Tulip Cypress Alexandria Echo Lunette Mjsette Amadea Pari Elendra Amethyst Zenovia Elowen Accalia Ianthe Lilac Cerelia Lavender Corisande Amidala Muna Owl Linnaea Ithaca Saren Calluna Alafair Esmeralda Sonnet Katriel Leda Kiladra Parthenope Ilsa Bohemia Chrysanthe Aella Arsinoë Delphi Hypatia Viola Eirlys Flavia
Caspian Sherlock Walter Phoenix Blaise Ptolemy Remus Artemus Bartholomew Malik Horatio Wolfgang Dorian Edmund Ephraim Lorenzo Amadeus Nikolai Emrys Barnaby Gideon Indigo Leonidas Valour August (despite popularity, still unusual to me) Lysander Wolf Perseus Leonardo Evander Lucian Alec Alaric Rupert Etienne Skandar Bravey Cedrick Orion Valiant Santiago Aramis Truth Theron Marlowe Aleron Ernest Alberic Simeon Forest Isidore Benoit Lachlan Noble Rhonwyn Laszlo Storm Fabian Kai Tennyson Mordred Icarus Leif Pippin Alonzo Edgar Adalius Benedict
Wow, I really can’t control my name ramblings. :/
on September 17th, 2014 at 4:19 pm
The names Caio and Linnea have really grown on me! I really like the sound of Caio, and the nickname Cai. Linnea is similar to my middle name, Lenee.
on September 17th, 2014 at 4:20 pm
Sya (Pronounce Sye-ah)
Avishai or Avi
on September 17th, 2014 at 4:33 pm
@sea_zuno, Beauchamp is not pronounced ‘beach-m’. It’s “bo-shawn”, without fully pronouncing the N.
on September 17th, 2014 at 5:34 pm
I have a pretty long list sorry! Hahaah
Harlow! I know it’s becoming more common on the popularity list but I’m sure it’s unheard of in my area. I think it’s such a dope yet pretty name. I hated it at first (it made me think of “harlot” but I’m in love with it).
Dylan. Pretty mucn anyone on here knows how much I love Dylan for a girl hahahaha.
Naia. There’s SOOOOOOOO many Naia/Naya/Nia/Nya/whatever in my area that I decided that I hated it but how could I when it’s so pretty especially spelled like this!
Alaïa. My only caveat is that it sounds like “a liar” if you say if you say it a certain way but that wouldn’t stop me from using this stunning name. And the fashion designer connection makes it even better! And with a certain middle name it sounds vintagey like Alaïa Mae for example.
Emerald. I don’t really care much for the color green but Emerald is a gorgeous color and gem. And a nice addition to the “Em” family.
Emmeline – my dilemma is how to pronounce it! I think I’d settle on Emma-LEEN
Emmanuelle – It’s kind of long but still gorgeous and strong. It means “God is with us” which is wonderful! Emma, Mani, Elle, Emmy, Nu, and Ellie are the nicknames I would use.
Am I terrible for liking Disney as a first name?! HAHAHAHAAHA
Dion/Dionne. My middle name. More common for boys but still not that common. My middle is the girl version nne.
Malaika. The up and coming model Malaika Firth has such an awesome name! It flows together just right. It means “angel” in Swahili.
Mariko. I’m IN LOVE with this Japanese name. I think it means “truth child”. I love the sound of it. It can honor the ancester Mary’s in my family.
Shiloh – I wanted to name my cousin this if my aunt had a girl but she had a boy named Justice. It’s cool amd born-again. It’s a place name. It means “tranquil”. It’s unisex. What’s not to love? 😉
Nouvel. I would 1000% use this as a first or middle. I love that it’s the French word for “new”. I love anything that represents “new”ness/new beginnings. And it’s pretty. Angelina and Brad made me love it.
Lotus. My mom said it reminds her of a system that her job uses but I adore the flower and its symbolism. It’s rare as a name but easy to spell and stuff like that and it’s pretty.
November. If I had a November baby I would definitely name her November. And her nickname would be Nov. or Nova, or Ember!
Chance (for a girl). It means “luck” or “opportunity” which is awesome! It has a fortuitious and fortunate quality to it. Everytime you say Chance it means something good really.
Maddalena. The movie Philadelphia made me fall madly in love with this pretty Italian nome. There’s an emotional scene where Tom Hanks is basically dying within the next week or so and he’s singing an opera about life and death where the main character is Maddalena. It makes Magdalena less clunky and more rhythmic. And there’s Maddie as a nickname!
Indio/Indie — I like the hipsterness of it. I want to use it for a girl just as much as a boy. India is too darn common around me for me to consider using it. Indio and Indie sound so cool to me. It reminds me of Coachella or Sundance. It’s kinda hippie without being stupid. And I’m part Indian myself and I love that “indie” is short for independent which is a word I love. Especially for a daughter.
Amalia. Amelia is gorgeous but Amalia is exotic! Mali or Lia would be the nickname I use.
Jessenia. (pr. JeSSENya) I was in middle school math with a Jessenia and I think it’s a pretty spin on Jessica. Can Nameberry add a description please!
Danica and Dania. Both so beautiful. Danica has a pop to it but Dania is softer.
Behati. I first heard it in 2009 or so in a magazine with Behati Prinsloo in it. I thought it was kind of weird or whatever but I’ve done a complete 180 and it’s on my list. It’s so spunky and ethnic–a combo I love! And it means blessed!!!
Shalom – anything that means “peace” I’m all for. Shalom is the everyday greeting in Israel which I find ironic but I won’t speak on that *nervously laughs*
Mila/Milena. It’s getting popular now but it’s so pretty and Slavic! Milena I would pronounce the correct Russian way “million-a”.
Nicoletta or Nicolette. Becuase of the nickname option Nico is mainly the reason I like it. But it takes boring ol’ Nicole and makes it prettier and more international.
Everly. When Channing and Jenna decided on Everly that’s when I decided to fully love it! A name I felt was kinda weird or like a young Beverly now I feel is incredibly cute in the Ly family.
Lumina (which I would elongate Lux with). It makes me think of the moon and outer space while I warm up to Luna:
Antonia. Annie/Toni/Nia! Perfect! So cute! Spanish but adaptable! Perfection!
Julienne. Since Julian on a girl would apparently be weird or whatever my alternate is Julienne. So feminine and cute to me.
August on a girl. I know that’s not a popular choice but I’m an August baby and I think it’s just as great for a girl! It’s at the top of my list.
Karmen with a K. Carmen with a C I don’t like as much as with a K. I’m usually not for the C to K thing but this one I like. I only like authentic C to K changes not that kre8iv mess like Khamryn.
Cordelia–NOT PRETENTIOUS AT ALL! It is super gorgeous and there’s so many nicknames that bring it down from it’s regal place!
Celine. The French brand made me love this heavenly gorgeous name.
Sparrow. His eye is on the sparrow!!! It got my mom’s seal of approval so it’s at the top of my list as well.
Catrinel. Romanian version of Catherine and super unique and cute! Cat. Trina. Or Nell would be my nicknames.
Angeles. Angels plural! The more the merrier! Homage to Los Angeles! More unique than Angela!
Soleil. I think there’s too much room for mispronunciation with this but it’s still a pretty name that I would totally but in the middle! Sunny!!!
I think that’s it on my list pretty much. Boys coming later. Phew.
on September 17th, 2014 at 5:36 pm
And add Bronwen/Bronwyn and Rhiannon and Carys to the list while I put my boy group together. Haha
on September 17th, 2014 at 5:43 pm
I meant to wedge Athena in there!!!!!!! Athena is such a strong goddess name that I’ve only heard on about two people in real life but I think it’s getting popular too. I used to think it was too grandiose but it’s so regal! She’s the goddess of many things like wisdom and mathmatics and arts and skills and justice and so on. Not a bad namesake for a daughter!
Gisele I meant to put there too. It’s as pretty as Miss Bündchen herself! It’s Beyoncé’s middle name. It’s gorgeous and soft. Very supermodel-esque. And of course there’s Gigi as the nickname.
on September 17th, 2014 at 6:33 pm
Most of the more unusual names get out on my guilty pleasure list.
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:27 pm
Fritha and Freya, they sound mythical and magical, I would also add Ophelia for it’s beautiful musical sound and the images it conjures up of Pre Raphelite paintings, red hair and water lillies. Plum deserves a mention too for all the delicious connotations it brings – the mouth watering decadence of Christmas and the deep rich jewel colour.
For the boys it’s Ignatius for its fun nickname Iggy and Loki which appeals to my love of myth, I also like its short snappy sound and the playfulness of its namesake.
Finally Indigo for either, a colour name that recently caught my attention, the colour associations of night skies and ink add to its mysterious feel. And if ever a name could be described as ‘cool’ it’s this one.
Freya and Ophelia are definitely names I would use and I would consider Indigo in the middle spot.
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Harvest, Harbor, Haven, Davenport, Cuthbert, Dresden, Scotland (Scot), Wilkie, Nickleby for boys.
Meadow and Pleasant for girls.
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:46 pm
Well, most who know me, are familiar with how I like rare names. Adelrune, Adelmonde, Almond, Almeria, Apheline, Drusilla, Ermintrude, Egbert, Ernestine, Esclarmonde, Fiddleworth, Fitswilliam, Faramonde, Goldgeve, Godesa, Iphigeneia, Helewise, Hildebrande, Leopold, Loveday, Lovelace, Maud, Pomeline, Petunia, Peony, Scholastique, Sophonisba, Tulip. Just name a few of my favorite rare names. I happen to like these names for sentimental reasons. A few were featured in birth announcements and they shined. They were paired with classics like George Faramonde or Henry Egbert and thusly made the names more grand and regal in sound and esthetics, while being adding a touch of quirk.
on September 17th, 2014 at 7:59 pm
Wow! So many great names in these comments. I have added some to my lists.
Pretty much all the names I like are unusual.
Azri, Nala, Phaedra, Issa,Neha, Isis, Allegra
Kida, Padme, Zipporah, Selah, Zofia, Sapphira, Zafira, Esmeralda, Zephyrine, Nymeria, Asami, Olympia.
Malachi, Lucian, Mirò, Phoenix, Zion, Shay, Saul, River, Wolfgang, Cayo, Zephyr, Hendrix, Rio.
on September 17th, 2014 at 8:30 pm
Hero was supposed to be on my girl’s list too! I absolutely positively adore that name! I mean it’s “hero”! A person who saves! A person to look up to! It sounds cool! It’s practically unheard of as a name (just how I like it!) And then when you put it with a traditional name like say Evangeline (Hero Evangeline e.g.) then it’s even better! It’s Shakespearean! It’s Greek! It’s more usable than Messiah! I completely utterly love it!
Now back to the boys list I need to make ahaha
on September 17th, 2014 at 9:10 pm
These are all names that are uncommon in the US, at least, which is where I live.
on September 17th, 2014 at 10:34 pm
my fave is TAWERA (‘ tou-uh-raa’ ) as it’s not only my son’s name but he’s also the only one in my country (the netherlands) with that name. (over here us Dutch parents can go on the official government website regarding anything related to children, including finding out how many children have your name for instance)
on September 18th, 2014 at 12:49 am
I love uncommon Biblical boy names, favourites being Hezekiah, Elisha, Ephraim, Absalom, Job and Abel.
My other favourite names most people wouldn’t call unusual or uncommon, but around where I live, they definitely are. Adelaide, Florence, Harriet are seen as stodgy and old lady. Austen is seen as only a last name, and Theodore is an “old man name”.
on September 18th, 2014 at 9:40 am
See, the thing about unusual names is it really depends where you are at in the world, country, and state. Where Im from Zelda is a very uncommon name. While it may be the name of a character in a game, its unusual for real life. So my list, might not be totally unusual, but it is for where I live.
Sally (This would be unusual to hear on a baby where Im at)
on September 18th, 2014 at 10:50 am
Add Adriel to my girls list. Even though biblically it’s a boy’s name I think it can be unisex even more than Ariel. Adriel is so pretty and unique without being “unique”. And of course there’s Addy as the nickname but I would pronounce the name AYdreeul like Adriana with an el sound.
Corinth as in the biblical place name. Corinne is nice but Corinth has a little something exra. Emphasis in the Cor. CORinth.
Marliese should’ve been at the top of my girls list. It’s a Dutch variation of Mary Louise but rhymes with Charlize and has cool factor of Bob Marley aurally. And it rhymes with my name too! So that’s a bonus for me when I have a daughter.
Noa was supposed to be there too but the page refreshed when I wrote my original girls list (darn iPhone). I love Noa because its basically a homophone to the ever popular Noah while still having the authenticity of being a girl’s name. Unisex dream!!!!
I think Amaryllis is such a gorgeous nature name but it sounds like “I’m the realest” which isn’t that kinda weird? Hahaha
Bahaar was supposed to be on my girls list too. I think it’s the most pretty yet exotic name I know of. It means “springtime” which makes me think of flowers!
Add Ireland. At first I thought it was too much of a place name but I think it’s a beautiful jaunty Irish name! And Isla as the nickname!
Ok for my boys list:
—Aleph is at the top. I’m not a Jewish girl but I really genuinely love Aleph and some of my favorite Bible verses are in the Aleph section of Psalm 119. Aleph is the first letter of the alphabet. Aleph means “chief”. It’s first. It kinda reminds me of North, you know like being the highest. But yeah since I’m not Jewish I probably shouldn’t use it unless my future hubby is Jewish.
—-Angelo or Angelos! If I had a boy today Angelo would be his name. Hands down!!! Partly because of Michelangelo and partly because it’s so cool.
—–Raphael. It’s one of the strongest and most artistic names I know! Same for Raphaela! My mom doesn’t like it but that won’t stop me. Hahahaaha
—-Ludwig. To me should be on the Clunky but Cool list. I would make the nickname Lux! Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the greatest musicians and influential in history and would make a really dope namesake.
—-Leonardo is becoming more common but it’s still a name I am madly in love with. Because it’s so adaptable. You can be Leonardo DiCaprio or Leonardo Levine! Leonardo Smith! Leonardo Auerbach! Leonardo Williams! Leonardo Ramirez! Or whatever!! hahahaha. With the cutest nickname Leo!!!!
—-Amadeus. I’m more fond of this gorgeous name than I am of Wolfgang. I love that it means “lover of God”. I think it’s very strong but not as pretentious sounding as Augustus or Aurelius.
—-Hendrix. I’m a HUGE fan of Jimi Hendrix is this would totally go in the middle for a boy or a girl. It has so much swagger about it.
—-Matteo. Got my mom’s seal of approval! I love it so much. Matthew is nice but Matteo has the exotic yet cool factor. Same for Luca!
—-Abel. I think it’s so pretty for a girl since I knew of a girl named Abel and everyone thought it was super cool. For a boy I love it. It makes me think of competence and ability. Skill. Readiness. Etc. Even though poor Abel was killed in the Bible it’s still has a wonderful aura.
—-Abram. Abraham is too old man and presidential for me but Abram is nice and young.
—-Fabian. Because the nickname Fab! How cute is that?! And because of Shakespeare. Fabian is the one who says “be not afraid of greatness”.
—Alec. (By itself). Alex is boring because it’s so common but Alec is more nuanced which makes it cooler.
—Malachi. Well it isn’t that unusual but it’s not Jacob level ya know? Very handsome and has the cool nickname Kai!
—-Alexandros. L O V E it. Not as soft as Alessandro but not as curt looking as Aleksandr. Perfectly Greek.
—Marcel. My aunt’s name is Marcella so this is pretty much taken but I still think it’s handsome.
—Riccardo nn Rico. I love O names. Richard is apparently old man (I still love it) but Riccardo makes it cute and multicultural.
—Nikolai. Nicholas/Nicolas (the spelling I prefer) is nice but one of the most common names in America. Nikolai give it a Russian edge.
—-Gael. Better than boring ol’ Gale. Very handsome and again, multicultural. It’s Welsh and Spanish! Gaelle for a girl is so cute too.
—Agoston. A form of August (which I will always reserve for a girl). Unique but not saintly like Augustine (which I think is even more girly than August to be quite honest).
—–Emilio. I pretty much detest Emily for some reason but Emilio and Emilia are two of my favorite names. Emilio is such a nice underrated Spanish name.
—-Stellan. Even though I think it’s too similar to Stella it’s still a very cool Scandinavian import.
—-Johannes and Jonas. I know they’re different but they sound alike so I grouped them together. Johannes could honor my grandpa John if I don’t go with another version like Giovanni or so on. And even though Jonas always makes me think of The Jonas Brothers, I think it adds something a litte extra to Jonah (but I’m more likely to use Jonah hahaha).
—-Sander. Xander and Zander are nice but I kinda have a thing for Sander. It’s soft and makes me think of the beach or a surfer! =P
—-Taj. Very regal in meaning with a cool sound. I would use for a girl too.
—-Makoto. Unisex Japanese names I would put in the middle for a boy because I love the sound. Also the Hawaiian Nakoa.
—-Keanu. I think I spoke on this already but I’ll say it again anway just in case. I love how Keanu sounds with Reeves! And not to bring race into it but a white actor with that ethnic names is a nice paradigm to show that all ethnicities can have “ethnic” names that sound just as nice!
—–Joaquin. Took me a long time to match this pronunciation with the spelling hahahah. But I love it now.
—–Keaton and Keats. Love the poetry of John Keats so I would elongate it to Keaton! Perfect solution! Keegan I reserve for girls.
—-Antonis. A helluva lot more unique and rare than Antonio and Anthony!
—Bartholomew is so clunky and Bart rhymes with fart but I would deal! It’s a guilty pleasure of mine.
—–Orion. The archer! It’s astronomical so I love it automatically. *heart eyes*
—–Bas (I don’t like Sebastian that much) but Bas is super adorable.
—-Canaan. I want to use on a girl but Canaan is the coolest biblical place name to me. It sounds so modern! It’s the promised land! I adore it.
I’M SORRY MY LISTS ARE SUPER LONG!!!
on September 18th, 2014 at 1:09 pm
on September 18th, 2014 at 1:33 pm
BOYS- Israel, Onore, Dove, Kelley, Rhett
GIRLS- Verity, Eden, Chamberlain, Fiammetta, Celsetia
MY KIDS- Shiloh Emmanuelle G 23, Quin Stephanos B 25, Collette Creesta G 20
on September 18th, 2014 at 3:49 pm
(I just come back whenever something else comes to mind LOL)
Artemis is a girl’s name that gets used for boys as well but that’s when it even gets used! Artemis is the archer tomboy. Arrows only go foward. The nickname Art! I love Greek mythology names.
Amnesty is a girl I knew in middle school and I had just learned that word so I thought it made a super cool word name.
Verity and Charity I love as names and should replace the standard Faith and Grace.
Elsa. I know it’ll be more common because of Pixar but I’ve only heard it on 2 people I can recall in real life: Elsa Pataky and the Swedish supermodel Elsa Hosk (who look strikingly like the cartoon). It’s so pretty and rare unlike her Elizabeth-diminuative counterparts.
North I like but not with the surname West for obvious reasons. And not with the nickname Nori.
Nasir. Nas made me like this name.
Nazareth. Jesus’s birthplace and I’ve never heard it on a human! Perfect! It’s so soft and pretty. It’s similar to Elizabeth but more rare and interesting. But of course Elizabeth has so many nicknames to choose from.
Scout. I’ve been really considering this lately because I love the phrase “Scout’s honor”. I don’t like the book To Kill A Mockingbird but I like the name Scout.
Sonnet. So pretty and poetic. I like it because of Sonnet 43 which people think is Shakespeare but it’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I like it spelled Sonnett like Scarlett.
Felicidad. I probably wouldn’t use it in real life because Americans say dad as in father and not dahd like it’s pronounced in Spanish in this name. Or Navidad. But if I use a “happiness” related name Felicidad would be my nickname go-to.
Seven. Am I bad for liking this as a name? Lmfao
Gemma. [It’s unusual around me so this counts.] I think it’s beautiful. I didn’t like it at first because I pronounced it wrong but now I love it. Gem as the nickname is so adorable.
Binki. Not a real name a nickname I LOOOOOVE for some reason.
Rayna (I like it spelled like this not Raina or Reina) and Reign. So pretty and princessy!
Alessandrina. A mouthful but a beautiful mouthful!
Rocco. It doesn’t feel like a “real” name to me so I’d use it as a nickname for Riccardo or Richard.
on September 18th, 2014 at 4:30 pm
Hmm I like Augusta Lee’s point. I’d consider an unusual name, something you rarely hear if ever as a name outside of a random occurrence or perhaps something very very unused, or something that initially indicates something other than a name (such as a place or word). Looking at others this is what I found for me:
Names I like:
Girls-Philomena, Elspeth, Vesper, Lavender, Reverie, Snow, Ottilie/Ottiline (not popular but doesn’t really sound unusual to me), Nova/Novella, Seraphine/Seraphina (same at Ottilie), Araminta, Dove, Paloma, Sparrow, Veda, Ariadne, Linnea, Echo, Everly.
Boys-Casimir, Crispin, Cassius, Dashiell, Wilder, Django, Hugo (becoming less unusual, but was a long time before I heard it), Everest, Malachi, Atlas, Mailer, Evander, Lysander, Leland, Booker
Names ( all girls) of people I know that could be considered unusual (at least in the US, as some are ethnic):
Zabrina, Ioana, Ina, Renita, Kyla, Aiyanna, India, Asia, Ziba.
on September 18th, 2014 at 5:36 pm
I love so many unusual names but have chicken out every time. For example my daughter was going to be isadora Eloise but she ended up being emilia louise. My second daughter was going to be Cortana barbara or Sierra barbara but she is savannah Barbara-Lee.
For boys i love
For girls i love
on September 18th, 2014 at 5:51 pm
Whoops forgot to add why i like them.
Gideon have a strong romance that captures my imagination. Plus it be adorable on a child or a man. But hubby vetoed it 🙁
Brylie, lakelyn, lakyn, jaedyn, braelyn, and Addy all feel modern and a bit out there. Especially where im from in regional australia. I like that they would work with my girls names.
Elsie is a lifetime love, i came across at a family members funeral. Love the family connection. Im scared its to nicknamey
Constance, prudence, serenity, and patience are all guilty pleasures i adore the virtue names. Hate most of the nicknames and hubby really dislikes the names especially patience
Dèia i have only recently discovered but it has stolen my heart imagination and mind if i were to have a baby tomorrow this would likely be her name (with DH premission)
on September 18th, 2014 at 10:16 pm
I am not really super adventurous with names; my style is mostly “common vintage”. I guess my guilty pleasures are as wild as I get 😉
I love Della, Phyllida/Philomena/Philomela, Sullivan, and I’m crushing on Amma and Caspar
on September 19th, 2014 at 2:25 pm
I have such a variety of favourites, I have a few that I consider unusual or not high-ranking enough to be considered popular:
I LOVE Star Wars so Leia, Padme and Amidala are all on my list. Other similarly styled girls names (that aren’t attached to a lot of people that I know of) on my list are: Anya, Blaine, Blake, Brooke, Buffy, Kristina, Piper, Sadie, Sheridan, Tatum & I adore Sidney for a girl!
Girls names I love that aren’t necessarily unusual but are classic and highly underused are: Cordelia, Daphne, Judith, Prudence (first choice for a girl) and Rebekah.
Unusual boys names on my list are: Anakin (following the Star Wars theme), Ashton, Heath, Keanu, Kian, Louis (pronounced Lou-ee), Micah, Niall, Tristan, Xander and Zayn.
on September 19th, 2014 at 9:43 pm
There are a lot of unusual names I like:
Juniper (sadly becoming popular)
Cassian (yes on a girl!), Cassia
Aristotle, nn Ari
on September 20th, 2014 at 9:20 am
The names I would use if I had children are pretty unique I think. First and middle names…
Lyralei (lie-ruh-lay) Tanwyn (tan-win)
undefined; white fire
Marishka (muh-rish-kuh) Liraz (leer-as)
undefined; my secret
Tzipora (zee-pour-uh) Elswyth (el-swith)
little bird; of the willow
Akiva (uh-key-vuh) Silas (sigh-lus)
to protect; forest
Vladimir (vlad-ih-meer) Micah (my-cuh)
renowned prince; who is like the lord
Calixto (cuh-licks-tow) Remus (ray-mus)
most handsome; undefined
on September 21st, 2014 at 7:04 am
*means not in the NB database
Senara: She’s very unique: never has cracked the SSA list yet it’s easy enough to figure out the pronunciation. Nice meaning (Light) and feels very modern.
*Ismeria: A butterfly genus. Beautiful, ethereal name.
Catina: Multiple nickname possibilities. Unique yet familiar. Interestingly, there was a popularity spike in the 1970’s after a baby in a soap opera was named this (or maybe that was the Katina spelling, not sure)
Jovienne or Jovianne: Sounds jovial! Happy. I also love plain Vienne and Vienne…simple enough yet sophisticated and unique.
*Perenna: Means “eternal/everlastine”…how cool. Imagine the combos! Has never made the SSA list.
Cadenza: A fun and spunky name that also hasn’t cracked the SSA list! I hope it does soon and think it may especially with Cadence becoming more popular. Will probably be the first thing I check next May when the list comes out!
Nuria: A Latin name that sounds fresh and pure and could work for any baby girl imo. (Also love Marisol, Paloma, Marina and Esperanza…Esperance is on my middle name unique favorites list!)
*Aleria: Reminds me of the roman Hilaria. Means eagle.
Madrigal: Cool musical term that is very uncommon yet has easy nickname possibilities.
Mazarine, Midori, Azure, Violaine and Cyan: Love some beautiful and unique color names!
Viviette: A pretty smoosh name that made the SSA list briefly after a character in a movie.
Florentine: Loving F names and place names.
Fleurette: Maybe a bit too girly for a first, but definitely love it for a middle. Again, I think F and “ette” names are upcoming trends.
Nydia: Knew a brilliant successful woman with this name. Again, simple enough yet unique.
*Azelie: Love the sound of the French version of Azalea
Charisse: so beautiful on paper! I also love Charis, Carys, and Cerys
Amoret: Love it. Literally.
Verity and Amity: Fun and unique virtue names. I also like Felicity.
Coretta: Definitely could make an early comeback with the “etta” ending. Coretta Scott King…great namesake.
Andromeda: I love her for the galaxy connection.
Aerith: I’m not usually a fan of videogame names, but I love how ethereal this one sounds.
Geneva: Totally ready for a bigger comeback. Rooting for this one. It’s the most popular on my list.
Petra: She feels strong. Solid as a rock.
Mileva: Mileva Maric, Einstein’s wife.
Catalene: love this variation
*Avonlea: great sound.
Salona: Another cool place name
*Maiwenn: Beautiful May or Mary
Hypatia: Favorite. Namesake. Ever.
*Caesura: Cool music term. It’s a grand pause.
Calanthe and Calantha: Love me some orchid names.
Denali: Cool ambigender nature name (Mt. McKinley)
Reeve: Simple, modern, sophisticated. Love the sound.
Almonzo: Loved the dad in Little House on the Prairie. Fun. Vintage. Cool
Drexel: Legit uncommon German name with history of use but a very modern sound. Love nn “Drex”. The next Dexter?
Darrow: Love this as a not to Clarence Darrow and his fight for intellectualism. Also means “arrow” and sounds strong.
Indigo: This one is all boy to me. Unique enough that he probably won’t run into any female Indigos.
Calix or *Calyx: The only flower-associated name that feels boy to me.
Ragnar: Probably a GP but it does have a history of use in Scandanavia.
Kestrel: Nature name for a boy! How cool! (Actually it works for either gender)
*Escher: Maybe my favorite artist.
Rhys: Great meaning.
*Archon: Word name for magistrates in Ancient Greece.
on September 22nd, 2014 at 4:07 pm
My Favorite girls name. Branwen, it is unusual, but still feels familiar, and has a strong feeling, but you can get the nick name annie out of it. I also like Calliope, Freya (virtually unheard of in the US not so much in other places), and Persphone.
boys name is fitzgerald, everyone has heard of it, but no one names their children that, I love the nickname Fitz, and would strongly consider just using the nick name.
on November 28th, 2014 at 12:45 am
Girls: Andromeda, Ania, Cipriana, Irina, Irya, Katia, Minerva, Mira, Petra, and Ramona
Boys: Alexei, Alfie (I know that’s popular in the UK), Hugo, Madoc (it’s related to my last name: Maddox), Mischa, Nikolai, Peregrin/Pippin (not a big LotR fan, but I like the name), Poe and Watson.
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.