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Unusual, Rare, and Unique Baby Names

by Pamela Redmond and Linda Rosenkrantz, creators of Nameberry
Unique baby names come in many types. These lists can be a guide to uniquenames from history and those drawn from nature, unusual baby names from books and those sure to shock grandma. This section includes unique names for baby girls and baby boys as well as uncommon names that are gender neutral. We've got rare names rooted in the Bible, in popular culture, and in countries and languages around the world. This is your center for Nameberry's unusual, rare, unique, and uncommon names.

  • Best One-of-a-Kind Names for Boys

    Unique names that nobody -- and by nobody, we mean zero people in the US the last year counted -- is using for their baby boys in America include the following fascinating boy names.. On this list are many unusual yet classic boys' names as well as fresh, creative choices. If you are looking for truly unique names for your baby boy, any of these would be excellent choices.

  • Best 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 2018. 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.

  • Cool Boy Names—Rare, Unique and Unusual

    Cool boys’ names can have deep roots or be modern inventions but work best when they relate to other stylish names while remaining relatively undiscovered. To make this list, these cool names for boys had to be used for 25 or fewer baby boys, guaranteeing they are considered unique baby names across the US. This list of cool boys’ names features some of our favorite possibilities. For more, take a look at our collections of boys’ names and unusual names.

  • Cool Unique Unisex Names

    Unisex baby names are both popular and stylish, true, but there are also hundreds of cool names that work equally well for boys and girls. Along with Nico and True, other cool unique unisex names ranking in the US Top 1000 include River, Justice, Bowie, and Scout. Other cool unique baby names used more for both boys and girls include Story, Indigo, and Royal. Here, some of our favorite unique baby names that are gender neutral.

  • Invented Baby Names

    Some parents attempt to come up with a cool name by inventing one of their own. They may alter a too-ordinary name, vary a spelling or a pronunciation, or cobble together several euphonic but previously unrelated syllables. This quest to be unique can sometimes backfire—create too cool of a made-up baby name and it might catch on (we’re talking to you, Miley, Meilani, and Maxon). The following invented baby names hold some appeal, but fair warning—some of these made-up names have already become mainstream.

  • Spiritual Baby Names

    Spiritual baby names suggest qualities we'd all like our children to aspire to and fit our new definition of cool. While they seem as if they can work for both genders, most spiritual baby names have been veering toward the feminine side. A few, such as Trinity, Destiny, Sky, and Genesis, are already staples on the girls' popularity lists.

  • Unique Baby Names: Unusual and Rare

    Unique baby names are literally one-of-a-kind, but unique names may also mean names that are unusual and rare, with individual flair.

  • Unique Boy Names: Unusual and Rare

    Unique names for boys are more widely used now in than ever before. Fifty years ago, the Top 20 boys' names represented 41% of all male children; by contrast now, the Top 20 boys' names represented less than 15% of all baby boys, meaning there are many more rare and unusual boy names in general use.

  • Unique Celebrity Baby Names

    Unique celebrity baby names might seem like a redundancy: Aren't most celebrity baby names unique? Not really. Celebrities are just like us: they usually name their babies Jack and Emilia and Max and Mia. But sometimes they break the mold. We are bringing you the most notable, rare, attractive, and striking, trying to stay on the near side of crazy but the far side of popular. Unique names given to celebrity babies over the past few years include the following notable choices.

  • Unique Girl Names: Unusual and Rare

    Unique girl names come in many varieties, from ancient to modern, traditional to invented. The best 2019 unique names for girls are those unusual and rare choices that have deep roots, are attractive, and can fit into contemporary life.

  • Unique Irish Baby Names

    Unique baby names and Irish baby names are two groups with plenty of style power, so what happens when you mix the two? Although Irish baby names have become much more popular in the US in recent years, there are still plenty of unique Irish names waiting to be discovered. We nominate these choices for parents looking for baby names that are both Irish and unique, especially in the US.

  • Unique Middle Names for Boys

    Unique middle names may be a way to add character and distinction to a son's name, especially if his first name is a more traditional name or a conservative family choice. Unique middle names can include word names, place names, surname names, names of heroes from history or the arts. A select group of unique baby names that work in the middle for boys is here, or you can search further with our master list of more than 900 middle names for boys and girls.

  • Unique Middle Names for Girls

    Unique middle names for girls appeal to even more conservative parents, who may look for an unusual middle name to set their little Emma or Elizabeth apart. Unique middle names may be unusual first names or can also be nature, word, or surname-names. When sifting through unique name choices for the middle, try to find one with personal meaning. If you want even more to choose from, see our full list of unique baby names or our master list of middle names.

  • Unique Names from History

    Unique baby names aren't only the new and the invented; there are also many highly unusual names with deep historic roots. Read more about this topic in our overview on unique names of every kind. Here's a selection of the most intriguing, but you'll find many more in our lists of mythological names, biblical names, and names from ancient cultures.

  • Unique Nature Names for Babies

    Some nature names for babies are mainstream, like Lily and River, but if you're willing to explore nature a bit more adventurously, there are many more wonderful nature names for girls and boys that lie off the beaten track. Unique nature names can come from flowers and trees, birds and animals, the sea and the earth and even the skies. Here, browse some of the most unusual baby names drawn from nature.

  • Unique Place Names

    Place names are a hot category for baby names right now, with choices 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 uncharted baby names. These 30 unique place names were given to 25 or fewer babies last year, meaning your child is practically guaranteed to be the only Cyprus or Louisiana in his or her Kindergarten class.

  • Unique Unisex Middle Names

    Gender neutral baby names are red-hot right now, and the middle spot is the perfect place to venture beyond popular unisex picks like Aubrey and Avery to more unique names. This trend is all about thinking outside the box! From novel nature names like Auburn and Zephyr, to intriguing international gems like Adair and Zennor, here are 50 of the freshest gender neutral middle names right now. Or expand your horizons with our master list of more than 900 prime middle names.

  • Unique Vintage Names for Girls

    Unique names don't have to be new and invented: They can also be vintage names revived from either the near or distant past.

  • Unusual Baby Names

    Unusual baby names come from a range of categories, from ethnic names to place names to word names to surnames used as first names. The best unusual names are distinctive without being strange, seem unique yet are also easy to understand. Of the thousands of unusual baby names on nameberry, here are some of our favorites.

  • Unusual Biblical Baby Names

    The Bible is full of names, and many that were once considered unusual—Moses, for example, and Delilah—are now familiar on playgrounds throughout the land. So if you're looking for unique bible baby names, you have to look a lot harder, but they're still there. Instead of Delilah or Moses, you might try Zillah or Moab.

  • Wonderful Word Names

    Word names -- basically, words used as names -- are a growing class as parents rush to find truly unique baby names for their children. While you'll find word names among nature names and day names and occupational names and color names and spiritual names, most of those collected on this list don't fit neatly into any category. You'll find even more word names in our lists of Nature Names, Place Names, and many other lists in the category Nature, Place, and Word Names. Finally, a word on gender: English words are not gendered and so most of these word names can work for both boys and girls, even if we have only one gender noted here.