One-of-a-Kind Names for Girls
Rare girl names that nobody (literally!) 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 rare girl names are vintage gems such as Leocadia, Ottoline, Effia, and Zephyrine. Other literally unique girl names include hot international choices Madelief, Lowri, and Petronilla, and nature names Freesia, Quarry, and Plum.
Among these one-of-a-kind girl names are many classic choices as well as new and unusual name ideas. If you want a truly rare name for your baby girl, any of these are excellent suggestions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Feminine variation of Zephyr, Greek
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.
Origin:Flower name from English
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.
Origin:French, diminutive of Amanda
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Hebrew, variation of Aphrah
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.