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Unique Baby Names

Unique Baby Names
It may feel impossible to find a baby name that is stylish, practical, and no one is using, but trust us, these names do exist. Historical archives, international popularity charts, and even the dictionary offer hidden gems of baby names.

Some of the top names internationally, such as Ebba and Florian, would make stylish and practically one-of-a-kind choices for American-born children. Word names including Isle and Poem and Prairie, Finch and Fielder may be ideal for parents searching for a modern moniker for their little one.

These are 100 of our favorite highly unique baby names, each given to 25 or fewer babies in 2021.
  1. OttilieHeart
    • Origin:

      German, French
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in battle"
    • Description:

      Ottilie and its diminutive Ottiline are a pair of names heard among the British upper crust, but have rarely been seen here since the 1880's. Ottilie does have a few cultural references: She is a key character in Goethe's Elective Affinities, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a poem called To Ottilie, Franz Kafka had a sister named Ottilie, and it is the name of the protagonist in the John Wyndom sci-fi story Random Quest.
  2. LysanderHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "liberator"
    • Description:

      Lysander is a distinctive Greek name that could be thought of as a more creative cousin of Alexander. In ancient history, Lysander was the name of an esteemed Spartan naval commander and his literary cred comes from one of the two star-struck young men in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as one of the twin sons (the other being Lorcan) of Luna Lovegood, whom we learn about in the Harry Potter epilogue.
  3. RufusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "red-head"
    • Description:

      Rufus is a rumpled, redheaded (it was the nickname for red-haired King William) ancient Roman name popular with saints and singers (e.g. Rufus Wainwright); now, Rufus is on the cutting edge of cool.
  4. RaffertyHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "floodtide, abundance, prosperity"
    • Description:

      Jaunty and raffish, Rafferty is one of the most engaging of the Irish surnames, used by Jude Law and Sadie Frost for their son. Fortunately, it doesn't still go by its original form: O'Raighbheartaigh.
  5. IsoldeHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh, German
    • Meaning:

      "ice ruler"
    • Description:

      Now that Tristan has been rediscovered, maybe it's time for his fabled lover in the Arthurian romances and Wagnerian opera, a beautiful Irish princess, to be brought back into the light as well.
  6. AlbieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Albert, Alban or Albus
    • Description:

      This cute masculine nickname -- with connections to princes, Hogwarts headmasters and the Manzo family of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" -- almost has enough heft to stand on its own. But all of its precursor names have merit.
  7. IvoHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "yew wood, archer"
    • Description:

      Ivo is an unusual, catchy name with the energetic impact of all names ending in 'o'. Hardly heard in the U.S., it is used a bit more frequently in England, as is the related Ivor, a favorite of such novelists as Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse. Ivo is currently most popular in the Netherlands.
  8. SaskiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Dutch
    • Meaning:

      "Saxon"
    • Description:

      From the first time we saw the name Saskia attached to a portrait of Rembrandt's wife (her full name was Saakje van Uylenburgh, but she was always called Saskia), we have found it utterly charming and wondered why it hasn't attracted more fans In this country--she's appreciated by the Brits, who have moved her to Number 392. Saskia is one of those names that's been used in Europe since the Middle Ages, but has never crossed the ocean.
  9. LorcanHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little, fierce"
    • Description:

      Lorcan is a name rich in Irish history as belonging to several kings, including the grandfather of the most famous high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. Lorcan O'Toole, known in English as Laurence O'Toole, is the patron saint of Dublin, so it's not too surprising that Irish-born actor Peter O'Toole named his son Lorcan.
  10. CaoimheHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish, Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful"
    • Description:

      Caoimhe, pronounced (more properly) kwee-va or kee-va, is a pretty and distinctive Gaelic name but one that could well lead to no end of confusion outside the Irish community. Even in its native habitat, it is sometimes spelled Keeva.
  11. CirceHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "bird"
    • Description:

      In Greek myth, Circe, daughter of Helios, the sun, was a sorceress living on the island of Aeaea, who could turn men into animals with her magic wand, which is just what she did to Odysseus's crew in Homer's Odyssey, transforming them into swine. All was forgiven, however, as Circe and Odysseus later had a child together—Telegonus. The name and legend have appeared in countless forms, from a section of James Joyce's Ulysses to short stories by Julio Cortazar to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to films to DC comics to a dance by Martha Graham. So is Circe's seductive legend too powerful for a modern little girl to carry? Your call.
  12. InigoHeart
    • Origin:

      Basque, medieval Spanish variation of Ignatius
    • Meaning:

      "fiery"
    • Description:

      Inigo, almost unknown in the U.S., is an intriguing choice, with its strong beat, creative and evocative sound, and associations with the great early British architect and stage designer Inigo Jones. The sixteenth-seventeenth century Jones shared his name with his father, a London clockmaker, who received it when Spanish names for boys were fashionable in England, especially among devout Roman Catholics.
  13. FergusHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish and Irish
    • Meaning:

      "man of force"
    • Description:

      In Celtic lore, Fergus was the ideal of manly courage; Fergus is a charming, slightly quirky Scottish and Irish favorite.
  14. BarnabyHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of Barnabas, Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "son of consolation"
    • Description:

      Barnaby, a genial and energetic name with an Irish-sounding three-syllable lilt, is an ancient appellation that manages to be both unusual and highly attractive and deserves to be used more than it is. A sweet-spot name that's a real winner.
  15. AramintaHeart
    • Origin:

      Invented hybrid name from Arabella and Aminta
    • Description:

      Araminta is an enchanting eighteenth-century invention familiar in Britain and just beginning to be discovered here. It was used in 1693 by William Congreve in his comedy The Old Bachelor, and in 1705 by the versatile Sir John Vanbrugh, architect of Blenheim Palace as well as a playwright, for his comedy The Confederacy.
  16. FleurHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "flower"
    • Description:

      Fleur is a generic, delicate flower name that emigrated into the English-speaking world when John Galsworthy bestowed it on one of the Forsytes in his celebrated saga. More recently, there was Fleur Delacour, a French witch and the Beauxbatons champion for the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.
  17. RomillyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "citizen of Rome"
    • Description:

      Originally a surname deriving from the Roman twin Romulus, this attractive name was introduced to the English-speaking world as a first name by painter Augustus John who used it for his son. Romilly John became Admiral of the Fleet in England.
  18. MaudeHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Matilda
    • Meaning:

      "battle-mighty"
    • Description:

      Maude, also spelled Maud, is a lacy, mauve-tinted name that was wildly popular a hundred years ago, but has been rarely heard in the past fifty. Some stylish parents are starting to choose it again, especially as a middle.

      Maud's early popularity was influenced by the Tennyson poem that included the oft-quoted line, "Come into the garden, Maude." Then, in the 1970's, along came the sitcom Maude, featuring the vociferous and opinionated character Maude Finlay, putting a very different spin on the name. But enough decades have now passed for the name to have settled back into its soft, sweet pastel image.

  19. IzaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Arabic, Basque, Hausa
    • Meaning:

      "shawl; star; section of tree"
    • Description:

      Attractive, rhythmic choice with roots in several languages and cultures. It's a lesser-known a celestial name, meaning "star" in Basque and referring to a star in the constellation Boötes in Arabic.
  20. ToveHeart
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful"
    • Description:

      Tove is a modern variation of an Old Norse name for which there are no letters on the twenty-first century keyboard. It's related to Thor, and Tove and Tuva are the forms that survive and thrive in modern Scandinavia. Beyond Tove, other popular Scandinavian names not well known outside of the Nordic countries include Toril, Maja, Tyra, and Ebba.