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Unique Names Starting With R

RenHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Rene or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "water lily; lotus"
  • Description:

    A very popular name for boys, also used for girls, in Japan, most familiar in the West as half of cartoon's "Ren and Stimpy," and as the hero in both the original and updated versions of "Footloose."

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.

RupertHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Robert
  • Meaning:

    "bright fame"
  • Description:

    Rupert is a charming-yet-manly name long more popular in Britain (where it's attached to a beloved cartoon bear) than in the U.S. Yet we can see Rupert as a more stylish, modern way to honor an ancestral Robert.

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.

RainHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Among a small shower of rain-related names, this pure version can have a cool, refreshing image.

RalphHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "wolf-counsel"
  • Description:

    Ralph has two diametrically different images: there's the suave Ralph Fiennes-type Brit (often pronounced Rafe), and then there's the Jackie Gleason blue-collar, bowling blowhard Ralph Kramden bus driver. It's all in the eye of the beholder, though its hip factor did rise when it was chosen for his son by cool U.K. actor Matthew Macfadyen.

RueHeart

  • Origin:

    Botanical names or word name
  • Meaning:

    "herb; regret"
  • Description:

    Rue has gone from Golden Girls actress to Hunger Games heroine. This botanical name is also a coincidental double word name, meaning "regret" in English and "street in" French. Despite these unfortunate secondary meanings, Rue has real potential to be one of the most popular new middle names for girls.

RaeHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Rachel
  • Meaning:

    "ewe"
  • Description:

    All the old ae/ay middle names for girls are back--Kay, Fay, Mae/May, --and Rae is one of the coolest, used as such by celebrities as Mark Wahlberg and Daniel Baldwin. Even more popular in the celebrisphere is the jazzy Ray spelling: among those who used it as their daughters' middles are Bruce Willis, Dermot Mulroney, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman and Lee Lee Sobieski.

RoscoeHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "deer forest"
  • Description:

    Fairly popular a hundred years ago but out of sight now, the quirky Roscoe deserves a place on every adventurous baby-namer's long list. It joins Rufus, Roman, Remy, Romulus, and Ray as one of the R names that sound fresh again after too many years of Robert, Richard, and Ronald.

RemusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, meaning unknown
  • Description:

    Remus is one of the legendary twins who, with brother Romulus, founded Rome. An unusual yet classic name for the extremely adventurous who can put aside the stereotyped image of Uncle Remus. Though because of that "ream" first syllable, we prefer Romulus.

RadleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "red meadow"
  • Description:

    Radical Bradley.

RomyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Rosemary, Roma, Romana, Romilly etc.
  • Description:

    Austrian actress Romy Schneider seemed to be the singular bearer of this international nickname name until it found new style currency in the past decade.

RafeHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Ralph
  • Meaning:

    "wolf-counsel"
  • Description:

    Used almost exclusively in England; would make an equally amiable short form here for Raphael or Rafferty -- and could also stand on its own. If you're looking for boys' names starting with R, this is one of your cooler choices.

RosalindHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "pretty rose"
  • Description:

    Rosalind has a distinguished literary history --it started as a as a lyrical name in early pastoral poetry, probably coined by Edmund Spenser. It was further popularized by Shakespeare via one of his most charming heroines, in As You Like It --and, along with a bouquet of other Rose names, might be ready for a comeback.

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.

RhiannonHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "divine queen"
  • Description:

    Most of us had never heard this lovely Welsh name with links to the moon until we heard the 1976 smash hit Fleetwood Mac song of that name, with lyrics by Stevie Nicks. That same year it popped onto the U.S. Top 1000 at Number 593.

RowenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white spear or famous friend"
  • Description:

    A fabled storybook name via the heroine of Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe (1819), which featured a heroine called Rowena of Hargottstanstede, and also a Harry Potter name, as Rowena Ravenclaw, founder of one of the Hogwarts houses.. Rowena has some old-fashioned charm, though most modern parents seem to prefer Rowen. Pronunciation, however, is NOT like Rowen with an a at the end, but with a long e and an emphasis on the middle syllable.. She was on the popularity list until 1963, several years in the Top 500.

RipHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "strength, might"
  • Description:

    The name of Rip Van Winkle – and Rip (born Elmore) Torn – will probably never be ready for further consumption, if only because of the implications of R. I. P. It's a short form of names containing the Germanic element rik "strong, mighty".

RumiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "beauty, flow, lapis lazuli"
  • Description:

    Rumi is a Japanese girls' name that sounds like a couple of other choices more familiar in the West -- Rumer and Remi -- that is achieving notice because of its choice by two celebrities, including Beyonce and Jay-Z.

RyeHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Ryder, or word name
  • Description:

    Rye has the potential to become the masculine version of Rue—a short and sweet name for nature lovers (and whiskey fans too!).

RuneHeart

  • Origin:

    German and Swedish
  • Meaning:

    "secret"
  • Description:

    Name with connotations both mystical and tragic, newly popular in Europe. For English speakers, though, this name might be ruined by its homonym ruin.

RagnarHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "warrior or judgment"
  • Description:

    An fearsome old Norse name with a long history in Scandinavia. It's gotten a boost in the States from popularity of the History Channel drama "Vikings," in which the protagonist is named Ragnar. Ragnar Lodbrok (meaning "shaggy pants") was a legendary warrior whose story was told in the Viking sagas. Ragnar also recalls name of the Norse Judgment Day, Ragnarök.

RhodesHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "where roses grow"
  • Description:

    A Greek island and a prestigious scholarship make an upper-crusty first name with the uber-stylish S ending. Rhodes was recently chosen by actress Emma Roberts for her son, born in 2020.

RoxanneHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Best known as the beautiful heroine to whom Cyrano de Bergerac says, "Your name is like a golden bell".

RouxHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "russet"
  • Description:

    Roux is the name of the dashing Johnny Depp character in Chocolat. Roux is French from a Latin word meaning russet or brownish red; it's also a cooking term for a mixture of flour and butter that forms the foundation of many gravies or sauces. Most of today's children with this name, pronounced roo, will actually spell it Rue, for the female character in The Hunger Games.

RavenHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Make that bird name, and while it does work for both genders, it's far more popular for girls, via Raven Symone.

RoxyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Roxanne, Persian
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Roxy, also spelled Roxie, is one of those high-stepping showgal names with plenty of moxie, among the many sassy nickname names on the U.K. popularity list--currently Number 398.

RossHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "upland, peninsula"
  • Description:

    Like Friends, Ross is off the air and into syndication as a baby name, having plummeted from its zenith in the late 80s to fall off the US Top 1000 in 2013. Today, Ross is more likely to be a dad name than a newborn name.

RomulusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "citizen of Rome"
  • Description:

    He was the original Roman, Remus's twin and a founder of Rome. But parents attracted to this name are advised to read the legend first. Romulus does have some less than savory characteristics, including killing his twin brother and making Rome in his own image, and is later deified as Quinnius. Romy and Quinn might make good twin names.

RoanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Rowan
  • Meaning:

    "little redhead"
  • Description:

    Warm-hued spelling spin on Rowan that was chosen by Sharon Stone for one of her three young sons.

RoisinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little rose"
  • Description:

    No, the pronunciation--ro-SHEEN--isn't immediately obvious to the non-Gaelic viewer, but the sound of this shiny Irish version of Rose is pretty enough to make it worth considering. Very popular in its native Ireland, it's one of many Irish girl names finding a wider audience. Earlier generations Anglicized at as Rosaleen, but we stay stick to the original.

RioHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "place of the cherry blossoms"
  • Description:

    Rio is one of Japan's most popular girls names, constantly sitting in that country's Top 10. Of course, Rio may also stem from the Portuguese and Spanish word for river, and the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro. A truly international name for a cosmopolitan baby!

RansomHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "shield's son"
  • Description:

    Ransom may be rakish and handsome, but it carries an unavoidable association with holding someone for ransom. But that kind of bad boy image might be exactly what attracts you to Ransom in the first place. While Ransom feels like a modern appellation ala Breaker or Ranger, it's interesting to note on the popularity chart that it was actually quite popular at the end of the 19th century but fell off the Top 1000 around 1930.

RishiHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "sage"
  • Description:

    In Hindu mythology, the Rishis are sages and seers; in modern times, Rishi Rich is a popular British-born musician and record producer.

RainHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    Mostly feminine, though "Office" star Rainn Wilson gives it a slight masculine twist. You might also use this as a short form of Raines.

ReneeHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "reborn"
  • Description:

    Chic in the fifties, now kept in the public eye mainly by actress Zellweger. Variations include Rene, Renae, and Renny.

RuiHeart

  • Origin:

    Portuguese diminutive of Rodrigo
  • Meaning:

    "famous ruler"
  • Description:

    This charming mini name began life as a nickname for Rodrigo but has since taken on a life of its own, ranking as an independent name in Portugal, it’s country of origin. If you’re looking to honor a Rodrigo, Roger, or Roderick in your life, Rui is an appealing international option. Ruy is a spelling variation that is more commonly seen in Spain.

RinHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "dignified, severe"
  • Description:

    A very popular girls' name in Japan whose sound is consistent with its meaning. Another possibility is Ren.

RobynHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Robin
  • Description:

    Spelling variations rise and fall with the fortunes of the name they're based on, and so it is with Robyn, which ranked as high as the Top 200 from the late 1960s through the early 80s, but has dropped from national ranking in the past decade. The original Robin is making something of a comeback...as a boys' name.

ReyanshHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "ray of light"
  • Description:

    This unusual Indian name, which refers to one of the names of Lord Vishnu, has been one of the fastest-growing boys' names of the last decade. It first managed to climb into the US Top 1000 in 2014. The nickname Rey Americanizes it.

ReefHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Modern surfer boy. Just don't call him Reefer.

RenHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "water lily, lotus"
  • Description:

    Though in Japan the lotus is the Buddhist symbol of purity and perfection, most Westerners would prefer Wren.

ReeveHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "bailiff"
  • Description:

    Reeve is cool and dignified, sophisticated and modern — an excellent combination of assets, and a name being seen as a more masculine and distinctive alternative to Reese.

RitaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, diminutive of Margarita
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    One of the glamour girl names of the Rita Hayworth 1940s, Rita was once a Top 50 name and stayed on the SSA list until 2002. It still has enough Latin zip to be a lively, revivable short form of Margarita. Other namesakes include Puerto Rican actress/singer Rita Moreno (born Rosa), poet Rita Dove and novelist Rita Mae Brown. Rita Skeeter is a Harry Potter character.

ReverieHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Reverie is a strong-sounding word for an ethereal, dreamlike state -- a perfect contrast and meaning for a word that intends to become a first name. Popular mommy blogger Rebecca Woolf of Girls Gone Child named one of her twin daughters Reverie, setting off a groundswell of interest.

RainerHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "wise army"
  • Description:

    Rainer is one of those baby names that is still under-the-radar but has been quietly gaining traction: The number of boys who've received the name has doubled in the past decade, to just under 50. Part nature name and part traditional German name for boys, Rainer can claim a place among the two-syllable r-ending baby names so fashionable for boys today.

RolloHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin form of Rolf
  • Meaning:

    "wolf"
  • Description:

    Rollo is a livelier, roly-poly, o-ending version of Roland.

RivenHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Norse
  • Meaning:

    "to split"
  • Description:

    This ancient name makes an intriguing alternative to River.

RueHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Meaning:

    "herb; regret"
  • Description:

    Botanical choice that can work for either gender. Simple and straightforward. Caveats: rue means "regret" in English, and "street" in French.

RemHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch, diminutive of Remment, Remmert, or Remmelt
  • Description:

    The Dutch are fond of short nickname names, and this one is tied to influential and provocative architect Koolhaas, born Remment. Could also be short for Remington or Remy.
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