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One-of-a-Kind Names for Girls

One-of-a-Kind Names for Girls
Unique names that nobody (yes, really!) is using for baby girls in the US include the following, all ranking below the five-baby cutoff necessary to make the Social Security extended list in 2020.

Among the coolest one-of-a-kind girl names are vintage gems such as Leocadia, Ottoline, Effia, and Zephyrine. Other totally unique girl names include hot international choices Madelief, Lowri, and Petronilla, and nature names Freesia, Quarry, and Plum.

Among these truly unique girl names are many classic choices as well as new and unusual name ideas. If you want a truly unique name for your baby girl, any of these are excellent suggestions.

AlouetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "lark"
  • Description:

    Alouette is a sweet Gallic twist in the stylish bird name genre made familiar via the charming French children's song, Alouette, gentile alouette.

IantheHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "purple flower"
  • Description:

    Like Violet, Lavender and Lilac, Ianthe is a purple flower name. Chosen by the poet Shelley for his daughter, Ianthe has a poetic, romantic, almost ethereal quality. In the ancient myth, she was the daughter of Oceanus, supreme ruler of the sea, and also a Cretan woman so beautiful that when she died the Gods made purple flowers grow around her grave.

EithneHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "nut kernel"
  • Description:

    Pretty and soulful name of a goddess from Irish mythology and several Irish saints. Singer Enya, born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, has made the Anglicized spelling familiar. Eithne comes from the vocabulary word "kernel", which was used as a term of praise in old bardic poetry.

BluebellHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name from English
  • Meaning:

    "blue bell"
  • Description:

    Bluebell is one flower name that is used very quietly. Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell joined her former Spice Sisters in creative baby-naming with this adventurous -- some might say outlandish -- choice. Distinctive and charming? Or better suited to a farmyard animal? Your call.

DesdemonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "ill-starred"
  • Description:

    Desdemona is as Shakespearean as a name can be, but because the beautiful and innocent wife of Othello came to such a tragic end, her name has been avoided for centuries. But at this point in time, there might be some adventurous parents willing to overlook that.

CereliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "relating to springtime"
  • Description:

    Cerelia is a melodic and unusual choice, perfect for a child born in April or May. Another version is Cerella.

OttolineHeart

  • Origin:

    French and English, diminutive of Ottolie
  • Meaning:

    "prospers in battle"
  • Description:

    Curiously appealing, in a hoop-skirted, wasp-waisted way, Ottoline has recently entered the realm of modern possibility, especially since Sienna Miller chose it as the middle name of her daughter Marlowe.

AphraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, variation of Aphrah
  • Meaning:

    "dust"
  • Description:

    Aphra would make an interesting choice-- especially since it's the name of the first professional female writer in English, the seventeenth century's Aphra Behn. Born in 1640, she was a prolific dramatist of the English Restoration.

ZephyrineHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Zephyr, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "west wind"
  • Description:

    Zephyr may not be a name often heard in the U.S., but its variations are used throughout Europe. Zephyrine, a cousin in sound and feel if not in fact to such lovely names as Severine and Seraphina, has distinctive possibilities.

DelphiHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek place name
  • Description:

    An interesting unisex possibility, with an air of mystery connected to the Delphic Oracle, the most important oracle in ancient Greece; it was also a major site for the worship of the god Apollo.

PlumHeart

  • Origin:

    Fruit name
  • Description:

    British-born novelist Plum Sykes has taken this rich, fruity name out of the produce section and put it into the baby name basket. It's more appealing than Apple, more presentable than Peaches. The French equivalent, Prune, is very fashionable there but would not fly with English speakers.

EndellionHeart

  • Origin:

    Cornish place and saint's name
  • Description:

    Endellion is the name of an early saint who was a daughter of King Brychan and goddaughter of King Arthur whose life is commemorated by the Cornish village of St. Endellion. This intriguing ancient name was brought into modern usage by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who used it as one of the middle names for his fourth child, a baby girl.

AmandineHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Amanda
  • Meaning:

    "much-loved"
  • Description:

    This fragrant, almond-scented name has hardly been heard in this country, which is a pity--we've loved it since John Malkovich used it for his now grown daughter.

ElunedHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "idol, image"
  • Description:

    Romantic and mysterious, Eluned's beauty and intelligence were legendary in Welsh legend; she was the handmaiden of the Lady of the Fountain in a Welsh Arthurian romance, who had a magic ring that made the wearer invisible. Pronunciation is usually similar in emphasis to Eleanor, but with ned instead of nor at the end. However, it's sometimes also pronounced el-LIN-ed or even shortened to Luned, the sounce of Lynette, in Tennyson's Gareth and Lynette.

DiabloHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "devil"
  • Description:

    Diablo Cody, self-named (she's really Brook Busey) screenwriter of Juno, singlehandedly helped popularize not just her heroine's name and her own but all o-ending names for girls. You don't need us to tell you that it takes a brave parent, in every way, to name a baby Diablo. Diablo is one of the Spanish baby names that diverges furthest from the well-paved camino.

AnemoneHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name; Greek
  • Meaning:

    "daughter of the wind"
  • Description:

    Anemone is a floral name that relates to the ancient Greek myth of the famous love story of Aphrodite and Adonis, in which Aphrodite transforms her wounded lover's blood into a flower, the crimson anemone, whose blossoms are opened by the wind — accounting for its other name, windflower.

PerditaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lost"
  • Description:

    A Shakespearean invention for an abandoned baby in The Winter's Tale, Perdita's sense of loss has always been off-putting to parents. But her image was somewhat resuscitated by its association with the appealing canine character in Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmations.

ThalassaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "the sea"
  • Description:

    A pretty, rarely used Greek name, Thalassa is the ancient personification of the sea, particularly the Mediterranean, who is sometimes considered the mother of Aphrodite. In 1991, a newly discovered moon of Neptune was dubbed Thalassa.

NepheleHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "cloudy"
  • Description:

    An enchanting ancient Greek name belonging to the Greek goddess who was created from a cloud by Zeus and so became goddess of the clouds and mother of the centaurs. The name Nephele is not widely known but as among modern parents become used to Phoebe, Penelope, and Persephone, it may become one of the ancient Greek goddess names that's back in the mix.

SidonieHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "from Sidon "
  • Description:

    Sidonie is an appealing and chic French favorite that is starting to attract some American fans as a fresher alternative to Sydney. Also spelled Sidony, Sidonie was the birth name of the French novelist Colette.

    In the old form Sindony, it was a common name in Tudor period England, the 'n' being dropped in the seventeenth century, leading to Sidony, Sidonie and Sidney.

SophroniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sensible, prudent"
  • Description:

    A name some people first encountered in the old children's book series The Five Little Peppers, in which Sophronia, the youngest of the Peppers is nicknamed Phronsie.`It was also used by Dickens in two of his novels: The Old Curiosity Shop and Our Mutual Friend.

AcanthaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "thorn, prickle"
  • Description:

    Acantha is one of the unique baby names in the stylish mythological category that also might count as a flower name. In Greek mythology, Acantha was a nymph beloved by Apollo. An unusual and attractive choice that could make a creative way to honor a grandma Rose.

MelisandeHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Millicent, German
  • Meaning:

    "strong in work"
  • Description:

    This old-time fairy tale name is rarely heard in the modern English-speaking world, but it's so, well, mellifluous, that it would make a lovely choice for a twenty-first century girl--a romanticized tribute to an Aunt Melissa or Melanie.

LeocadiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "splendid brightness"
  • Description:

    Leocadia marries a mix of sounds: the strength of a lion, with a rhythmic Latin ending.

PomelineHeart

  • Origin:

    French, related to "apple"
  • Meaning:

    "apple"
  • Description:

    A rarely heard--even in France--name, most prominent as the third name of Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi, the daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco and granddaughter of Grace Kelly.

KerensaHeart

  • Origin:

    Cornish
  • Meaning:

    "love"
  • Description:

    Kerensa, forever romantic, is a rare Cornish name spelled with an 's' or 'z', the most modern of the Karen family. Kerensa (or Kerenza) has ties to the Welsh Cerys.

DaffodilHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "asphodel"
  • Description:

    Yes, though it seems so extreme, girls were actually sometimes given this name a century ago; now it is so uncommon it would make a strong springtime statement. Biggest obstacle: the nickname Daffy.

CapucineHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "nasturtium"
  • Description:

    Capucine was a chic French actress half a century ago and has been one of the most fashionable girl names in France in recent decades, although it is now slightly off its peak. to Americans and other English speakers, this name still feels fresh.

OlwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white footprint"
  • Description:

    Olwen is a Welsh favorite, the name of a legendary princess in what is believed to have been the earliest Arthurian romance, and in fact one of the first recorded examples of Welsh prose.

ParvatiHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "the daughter of the mountain"
  • Description:

    This Hindu goddess name is very popular in India. The goddess of love, fertility and devotion, representing female force, Parvati is the wife of Shiva and the mother of Ganesh. There is a Harry Potter character named Parvati Patil, a twin sister of Padma..

RhonwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "slender, fair"
  • Description:

    The delicate and haunting Welsh Rhonwen is still a rarity in the U.S., where her English version Rowena is better known, but would be a lovely choice for any parent in search of a name that was both unusual and traditional, classically feminine yet strong.

MalouHeart

  • Origin:

    Combination of Mary and Lou
  • Meaning:

    "bitter; renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    This charming name, popular in France and the Netherlands, has not traveled to the U.S. yet but would make a modern way to honor grandma Mary or Louise, or as a perfect short form of Mary Louise. Or, with the growing fashion for nickname names, it can stand perfect well on its own. One of several similar variations — Lou, Lilou, Louane — in vogue in Europe.

AtalantaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    Atalanta was a beautiful mythological maiden who refused to marry any man who couldn't beat her in a footrace -- quite a role model. This myth is found in Ovid's Metamorphoses and later in Swinburne's Atalantis in Calydon.

NeelamHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "blue sapphire"
  • Description:

    It is said that if one wears a flawless blue sapphire, it can remove poverty and provide health, wealth, long life, happiness and prosperity.

JonquilHeart

  • Origin:

    English flower name, from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "reed"
  • Description:

    Jonquil is an unusual flower name that is less outlandish than Daffodil and less common than Daisy. It just might appeal to parents seeking a singular botanical option.

    Unlike most flower names, Jonquil wasn't introduced until the 1940s, and saw some usage in the U.K. during the forties and fifties.

FiammettaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "little fiery one"
  • Description:

    Fiammetta, from the Italian word for flame, has both femininity and fire. Fiammetta could make a good alternative to more conventional Italian girls' names like Giovanna.

WinsomeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "agreeable, lighthearted"
  • Description:

    Sweet, modern descriptive name, but perhaps a little too cute for its own good.

KahloHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "bald"
  • Description:

    Contrary to popular belief, the name Kahlo has German origins, rather than Spanish. It derives from kahl, a German word meaning "bald." Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo was born to a German father, photographer Guillermo Kahlo.

MadrigalHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "song for unaccompanied voices"
  • Description:

    Madrigal might be a pretty and highly distinctive choice for a child of a musical family--or for the parent looking for a less conventional path to the nickname Maddie than Madeline or Madison . Definitely more striking than Cadence or even the increasingly popular Aria.

UndineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "little wave"
  • Description:

    Mythological water spirit with the more common spelling of Ondine, heroine of an Edith Wharton novel.

FreesiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from German surname
  • Meaning:

    "Freese's flower"
  • Description:

    A rare, free-feeling flower name for the parent who wants to move far, far beyond Rose and Daisy. Named for German physician Friedrich Freese.

KikaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Francisca, Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "from France or free man"
  • Description:

    Cute diminutive of Francisca.

SwanHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "swan"
  • Description:

    Obsolete Swanhild gives way to oh-so-modern Swan, joining the flock of newly fashionable bird names such as Wren and Lark. In France, the Swann spelling is fashionable for both sexes. But Swan carries an image of grace, though perhaps also a bit of languor. It's a lovely and original name, right for our times.

CelieHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Cecilia
  • Meaning:

    "blind"
  • Description:

    Attractive, underused name made famous by the heroine of The Color Purple. Still, if you're going to go to Celie, why not go all the way to Celia or Cecelia? You can always use Celie for short.

CaroHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminuitve of Carol or Caroline, English, French "free man"
  • Meaning:

    "free man"
  • Description:

    Upper-crusty nickname occasionally used in Britain, particularly in 1930s novels featuring significant garden party scenes, but eclipsed here by Carrie et al.

FaustineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, feminine variation of Faust
  • Meaning:

    "fortunate one"
  • Description:

    Faustine has a positive meaning, although the association with the character who sold his soul to the devil may be off-putting. This name is among the Top 100 girls' names in France, but was given to fewer than five baby girls in the US last year.

CalicoHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    A word name with fashionable o-ending that has associations with both the homespun fabric and the mottled cat. Alice Cooper named his daughter Calico decades ago.

CalpurniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin "chalice; cup"
  • Meaning:

    "chalice; cup"
  • Description:

    Calpurnia is a name with a massive history. As the third and final wife of Julius Caesar, Calpurnia has been forever depicted in literature (Shakespeare) and film (Cleopatra; Rome) as a modest and sweet woman, utterly devoted to Caesar. She is said to have foretold his death and to have tried (and failed) to have warned him of the treachery of his trusted allies. Following Caesar's assassination, Calpurnia never remarried.

CiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Cynthia
  • Description:

    What's Cia short for? Cynthia or most any other C-name. Stylish in its sleek Mia-Nia minimalist feel, but may remind some of the Central Intelligence Agency.

CaridadHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "Charity"
  • Description:

    Caridad is a theological Virgin name, representing Our Lady of Charity, and a popular saint's name in Cuba. Would make an interesting choice, in the manner of the more familiar Soledad, Our Lady of Solitude.
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