Unusual Names: 10 More You’re Not Using

Unusual Names: 10 More You’re Not Using

Here, our latest collection of names that have been overlooked and are deserving of  greater consideration:


ALOISA. Aloisa has several things going for it: It starts with A, which is nearly a guarantee of appeal these days; it’s superfeminine; it’s a grownup name ready to face the tough times ahead; and it’s also a distinctive spin on such up-and-coming choices as Louisa and Eloise.

AMITY. Virtue names like Hope, Faith and Grace have been on the rise for several years as parents look back to the righteous values of an earlier time in history; then Jessica Alba stepped out of the box with the less used Honor. Amity, taking it a step further, succeeds in combining virtue with an attractive feminine sound and a warm, friendly meaning.

CRESSIDA. Mythological and Shakespeare name that would be the perfect stand-in for the now overused Jessica.

POSY. Flower names have been well-used over the past decade or two, with such garden variety specimens as Lily, Rose, Violet and Daisy blossoming (sorry, can’t help it) everywhere and parents now looking to somewhat rarer blossoms like Aster, Lilac, Lotus, Poppy and Amaryllis. Our nominee for cutest underused flower name: Posy.

VARYA. President Obama has introduced an unprecedented sense of multiculturalism to our country, which is reflected in the global initiative of his daughters’ names, the Russian Sasha and the Hawaiian Malia. Varya is, like Sasha, a Russian nickname name (short for the rhythmic Varvara, the Russian version of Barbara), that starts with V, which happens to be the consonant du jour.


ADLAI. A long neglected Old Testament name very closely connected with defeated 1950s presidential candidate Stevenson. But maybe now that the Democrats are back…

CASSIAN. A Latin clan name turned Irish saint’s name that means curly-headed and is ready for import.

FRANK. This is the perfect name for the new Era of Transparency: what could be more frank than Frank? Out of the Top 10 since 1922, Frank feels like a grandpa—or great-grandpa—name, and yet doesn’t carry the vintage baggage of names like Stanley and Marvin. It was picked by hip musical duo Diana Krall and Elvis Costello for one of their twin boys (the other was Dexter), and was recently portrayed by Leonardo Di Caprio in Revolutionary Road.

HAMISH. Hamish is a Scottish name popular in Britain but nearly unheard of here, where it’s more familiar as hamishe, the Yiddish word for family-like, an increasingly popular value in an ever-more-impersonal world. Bonus: It’s a variation of the overused Jacob and James, so would make a perfect alternative to those.

LORCAN. Irish names such as Aidan and Logan have enjoyed a meteoric rise, and this fresh choice, which means “fierce,” is ideal to follow in their footsteps.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.