Uncommon Girl Names
Origin:Greek, Feminine variation of Apollo, Greek sun god.
Description:This name of a third-century Christian martyr has an romantic, appealing feel in the modern world. It first came to American attention via Prince's love interest in the film Purple Rain.
Meaning:"to give thanks"
Description:Zendaya has propelled her unusual African name into the spotlight and up the popularity charts. Zendaya is one of the major baby name influencers of our era. What does Zendaya's name mean? The name Zendaya comes from the word for thanks, Tendai, in the Shona language, spoken in Zimbabwe and southern Zambia. The name Zendaya's popularity is directly connected to this actress-singer's rising celebrity, as it made its first appearance on the US Top 1000 in 2014. It's a distinctive choice, and thanks to our affection for the letter Z and Zendaya's great meaning, more parents are choosing it for their daughters.
Origin:Feminine variation of Augustus
Description:Augusta is a dignified name reminiscent of wealthy great-aunts, but with the fashion for both August and Gus for boys, Augusta could get some fresh energy.
Origin:Swedish or Cornish
Description:Pixie is a cute -- quite possibly too cute -- name that suddenly feels possible thanks to the craze for names that contain the letter x. Though its origin may be uncertain, a pixie is internationally recognized as a sprite or fairy: tiny, sometimes green, usually pointy-eared.
Meaning:"God will judge"
Description:As the song says, "Dinah, is there anyone finer?" Dinah is a charming, underused Old Testament name with a rich literary and musical resume.
Origin:English variation of Italian Lauretta; diminutive of Laura
Description:Though Loretta has long ago lost its Latin flair, fashionable Sarah Jessica Parker's choice of it as the middle name of one of her twin daughters freshens it up a bit. It's one of several such names, like Anita and Rita that we can envision making a comeback.
Description:Though the tragedies of the Greeks and Eugene O'Neill that used this name are filled with incest and murder, Electra is still a brilliant choice. Isabella Rossellini chose the gentler Italian verson, Elettra, for her now grown daughter.
Description:Not too long ago, Temperance was found only on lists of Puritan baby names.
Description:Verena is pleasant but old-fashioned. Whether that's the outdated kind of old-fashioned or the so-out-it's-in-again kind is your call.
Origin:Hebrew, variation of Sarah
Description:Suri, a once obscure name, hit the headlines when chosen by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise for their daughter in 2007. Multi-cultural, it also means "the sun" in Sanskrit, "rose" in Persian, and is the name of the Andean Alpaca's wool, as well as a Yiddish form of Sarah, a title used for Jain monks, and a Japanese word for "pickpocket."
Meaning:"woman of honor"
Description:Honora and Honoria are two ways of softening the severity of Honor, while retaining its righteous meaning. They were predominant until the Reformation, when the Puritans adopted the abstract virtue names, and were introduced to Britain by the Normans.
Meaning:"force of Zeus"
Description:With historical roots as a beautiful and intelligent ancient queen and literary ties to Hawthorne and Edith Wharton novels, this rarity could appeal to adventurous parents seeking the romantically unusual. Tina Fey used it as her daughter Alice's middle name.
Description:The fact that this Spanish classic, which honors the Virgin Mary, does not end in the conventional letter 'a' gives it a special sense of strength, elegance, and style, making it a worthy choice.
Origin:Latin, feminine variation of Caius
Description:Caia Caecilia was the Roman Goddess of fire and women. The name Caia would make a truly fresh alternative to the flagging Maya, with which it rhymes.
Description:Vital and vivacious, Vita is stirring back to life along with many of her V-themed sisters -- Vivian, Vivica -- and is becoming a new celebrity baby favorite.
Origin:Greek variation of Helen
Description:A common choice in Greece, Eleni is starting to rise in the US thanks to its bouncy rhythm and trendy I ending.
Description:Anahita is the name of the water goddess who rules, among other things, fertility and wisdom. Associated with Venue, Anahita is a stylish Iranian name for girls.
Origin:Latin, Hebrew, Arabic
Meaning:"like a star; order, sequence; lotus tree"
Description:Sidra is an uncommon name shared by a gulf off the coast of Libya. Popular in the Jewish community of North Africa, its Hebrew meaning refers to a weekly reading portion of the Torah. In Arabic, it's the name of a tree, which is an Islamic symbol of the upper limit of heaven.
Origin:English from Persian
Description:Jessamine, a charming name occasionally heard in England, is just beginning to be appreciated in the U.S. as a possible successor to all the Jess names of the past. It's also spelled Jessamyn, as in Quaker novelist Jessamyn West, author of Friendly Persuasion--who started life with Jessamyn as her middle name.
Origin:Hindi, Hebrew, and Choctaw
Meaning:"friendly, to plant, and bear"
Description:One of those slender names, like Lena or Etta, that's used in several cultures and carries a range of meanings. But by being so many things, it doesn't feel decidedly like anything.