Unique Place Names
Place names for babies is 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.
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.
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.
Origin:American place-name and Arabic
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.
Description:Verona is a scenic place-name with the added attraction of a Shakespearean connection, as in Two Gentlemen of....
Description:This undiscovered Scottish port city name has a nice, upbeat feel and lots of good nickname possibilities.
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.
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.
Origin:English place-name and surname
Description:A rarely-used place name (probably because of the last three letters), Essex was the ancient kingdom of the East Saxons and is now a county in England. The singer David Essex used it as his stage surname, and reality TV couple JP and Ashley Rosenbaum used it for their daughter's name, though few have followed suit.
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.
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.
Description:This Mediterranean island name would be a plausible choice for parents with a Greek or Turkish heritage.
Description:This name of the Roman goddess of fruit trees is also associated with a suburban town in Southern California.
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.
Origin:Native American place name
Meaning:"rich in springs"
Description:Among the least gimmicky, most appealing and colorful of all the names found in the atlas, Jamaica almost sings out the rhythms of the West Indies.
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. Though one of the distinctly American names, Chicago has almost never been used as a first name before. The Social Security administration reported no newborns named Chicago in 2016, meaning it was given to fewer than five children, and quite possibly none. But we doubt that will be the case for long. Saint tripled in popularity after they used it for their son!
Origin:Native American tribal and place-name
Description:Resonant place-name of the beautiful Southern California desert.
Meaning:"from the oxen crossing"
Description:High-collared and straightlaced, with the deadly "Ox" nickname.
Description:Kauai is known as the Garden Isle of Hawaii. Ironically, it qualifies as a baby name based on spelling variation and homonym Kawhi, as in basketball star Kawhi Leonard.
Meaning:"land of the Parsa"
Description:The name Persia derives from Avestan Parsa, the name of the Indo-European nomadic people who migrated into southern Iran in about 1000 BCE. Persis or Persea, the feminine form of Perseus, feel more namelike.