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Unique Place Names

Unique Place Names

Place names for babies are a hot category right now, with names like Savannah, Brooklyn, and Austin all making the Top 100. But if you look a bit further down the map, you’ll find plenty of unique place names being used as baby names.

Certain unique place names — including Chicago, Essex, and Morocco — have been familiarized by their use on celebrity babies but haven’t caught on with the general public. You may be interested in a unique place name that bears resemblance to a currently fashionable name, such as Bolivia, Cyprus, Juneau, and Zennor. Or you could choose a name that is virtually unused, including Amalfi, Genoa, Kauai, and Ravello.

These 100 unique place names were given to 25 or fewer babies last year, meaning your child is practically guaranteed to be the only Quebec or Louisiana in his or her Kindergarten class. Consult our complete collection of rare and uncommon place names for babies below.

  1. 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.
  2. OsloHeart
    • Origin:

      Norwegian place name
    • Description:

      Oslo, the capital city of Norway, makes for an intriguing new place name, especially with its bookended o's, as in Otto. One berry has already used it and we predict others will follow.
  3. RomeHeart
    • Origin:

      Place name
    • Description:

      Given that Rome is arguably the most important city in European history, it has been used as a first name remarkably little. However, Roman is now in the Top 100, so it was only a matter of time before parents started looking toward the city's actual name.
  4. ZumaHeart
    • Origin:

      American place-name and Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "peace"
    • Description:

      Zuma was entered in the American name lexicon when musicians Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale chose it for their son. Californians will recognize Zuma as the name of a beautiful beach in Malibu, and it's also the surname of a South African president. With the lovely meaning of peace and its place-name associations, Zuma is one of those American names that literally sprang from the earth.
  5. VeronaHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian place-name
    • Description:

      Verona is a scenic place-name with the added attraction of a Shakespearean connection, as in Two Gentlemen of....
  6. CyprusHeart
    • Origin:

      Place-name
    • Description:

      This Mediterranean island name would be a plausible choice for parents with a Greek or Turkish heritage.
  7. AfricaHeart
    • Origin:

      Place name, various meanings
    • Description:

      Most Africas today would be named for the continent, but the name actually existed in Scotland in medieval times, where there was a Celtic queen named Affrica. Africa has also been a Spanish name for girls since 1421. The church of the Virgin "Nuestra Senora de Africa" is in Ceuta, the Spanish city she is Patron of, in North Africa.
  8. CaledoniaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin place-name for Scotland
    • Meaning:

      "hard or rocky land"
    • Description:

      Caledonia is a rhythmic and alluring place name used by singer Shawn Colvin for her daughter. It would make an interesting and apt choice for a girl with Scottish ancestry.
  9. PomonaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "apple"
    • Description:

      This name of the Roman goddess of fruit trees is also associated with a suburban town in Southern California.
  10. AberdeenHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish place-name
    • Description:

      This undiscovered Scottish port city name has a nice, upbeat feel and lots of good nickname possibilities.
  11. ChicagoHeart
    • Origin:

      American place-name
    • Description:

      Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have done it again for their third child: Chosen a name that feels iconic yet strangely inevitable. They named North and Saint's younger sister Chicago, after Kanye's hometown. The name Chicago derives from a Native American word for "wild garlic," which once grew plentifully in the Illinois city, the third most populous in the US.
  12. YosemiteHeart
    • Origin:

      Native American tribal name
    • Meaning:

      "those who kill"
    • Description:

      The evocative name of one of our most beautiful national parks -- yes, but also the bombastic cartoon character, Yosemite Sam.
  13. MalibuHeart
    • Origin:

      Ventureño Chumash, Native American
    • Meaning:

      "the surf sounds loudly"
    • Description:

      Malibu, the name of a California beach city, evokes sunshine, surfing, and glamour. With its fashionable "oo" sound — as seen in names like Luna and Ruby — Malibu is an unexplored place name worth considering.
  14. AlabamaHeart
    • Origin:

      Place-name; Choctaw
    • Meaning:

      "vegetation gatherers"
    • Description:

      Alabama is a hot southern place-name, picking up from Georgia and Savannah. This is not a geographical name come lately, though--there have been girls named Alabama dating back well over a century.
  15. OxfordHeart
    • Origin:

      English place-name
    • Meaning:

      "from the oxen crossing"
    • Description:

      High-collared and straightlaced, with the deadly "Ox" nickname.
  16. AmalfiHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian place-name
    • Description:

      This name, from the picturesque town on the Italian Riviera, borrows a bit from Amelia and a bit from Emily.
  17. HalifaxHeart
    • Origin:

      Place-name
    • Description:

      If you want to honor your grandfather Hal but can't work up much enthusiasm for his full name Harold, consider the more stylish (if a bit pretentious) capital of Nova Scotia.
  18. LaredoHeart
    • Origin:

      Place-name
    • Description:

      We've seen babies with Texas city names like Austin, Houston and Dallas--, why not the unexplored Laredo, which has a lot of cowboy charisma? Laredo might make for a more modern and creative namesake for an Uncle Lawrence/Larry--as could the related Laramie.
  19. ShenandoahHeart
    • Origin:

      Native American place-name
    • Description:

      While some sources assign the place-name the romantic meaning "beautiful daughter of the stars," the Virginia region itself says the name is of uncertain Native American origin with many possible but no definitive meaning. No matter: Shenandoah is a lovely name that's rare but usable.
  20. ZennorHeart
    • Origin:

      Cornish place and saint's name
    • Description:

      This Cornish place name is possibly named after a female saint, Senara. However, it can work just as well on a boy and would make a very interesting choice for those of Cornish descent or who love Cornwall.