Unique Names Starting With T
Meaning:"leaping water, lady of abundance"
Description:As memories of the outragrous actress Talullah Bankhead have faded, this hauntingly euphonious Choctaw name has re-entered the public domain. A modern hipster favorite, it's been chosen for their daughters by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Patrick Dempsey, Damian Dash, Rachel Roy and Sara Rue, trail-blazed by Demi Moore and Bruce Willis for their now grown daughter. (Trivia tidbit: Bankhead's namesake was her paternal grandmother who, in turn, was named after the Georgia town of Tallulah Falls.)
Origin:Diminutive of Theodore or Edward
Description:Teddy is in some ways one of those midcentury boys' nicknames -- like Jimmy or Bobby or Billy -- yet because it was never that popular, it feels timeless too. The preferred short form of Theodore these days may be Theo and of Edward may be....Edward, but Teddy can work adorably for either and grows up to Ted.
Description:Though it has a Scandinavian ring, this is an out-of-the-ordinary Irish family name. The hard 'T' at the beginning prevents it from sounding as feminine as, say, Loren. Torin's Passage was an early video game.
Description:Though never as popular as the name of her Bewitched mother, Samantha, Tabitha has its own quirky, magical charm. The name of a charitable woman who was restored to life by Saint Peter in the Bible, it was a popular Puritan choice. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick chose it for one of their twin daughters, which gave it a slight boost. Nonetheless, Tabitha remains in decline.
Description:The name of several ancient kings and princes of Ireland, Tadhg became so common at one point that it was used to represent a kind of Irish Gaelic everyman, or man in the street, as Paddy and Mick would later. Tadhg has seen a major resurgence in recent years and is also now ranked in England. It is sometimes used as the Irish equivalent of Timothy and is also anglicized as Teague and Thaddeus. Tadleigh and Thad are pet forms.
Origin:Diminutive of Tobias
Description:This jaunty unisex nickname name has recently been given a shot of testosterone via actor Tobey Maguire and the gruff, erudite character on West Wing.
Origin:Diminutive of Matilda
Description:Tilly and twin Tillie are hot new nickname names, either short for the newly fashionable Matilda or standing all on their own.
Origin:Russian from Latin family name
Description:Tatiana was derived from Tatius, a Sabine-Latin family name of unknown origin. Titus Tatius was the name of an ancient king who ruled over the Sabines, an ancient Italic tribe who lived near Rome. The Romans used the name Tatius even after the Sabines died out and created the short forms Tatianus and Tatiana. The names were eventually disseminated throughout the Orthodox Christian world, including Russia.
Origin:English, diminutive of Theresa
Description:With its solid Thomas Hardy background, Tess has a lot more substance, strength, and style than most single-syllable names, with an efficient yet relaxed image.
Meaning:"of the Tiber"
Description:The name of an important ancient Roman emperor, Tiberius might sound a bit heavy for a modern boy to carry, but with the rise of Atticus, Tiberius and brothers begin to feel more baby-friendly, much in the same way as Old Testament names like Elijah and Isaiah have been rejuvenated.
Origin:English form of the Spanish Teresa
Description:The popular appeal of the strong, intelligent Saint Teresa of Avila, combined with the selfless compassion of the more recent Mother Teresa, have fused to give this second-tier classic a somewhat noble, religious image. Although the origins of the name are uncertain, it has been prevalent particularly in forms Theresa, Teresa, and Therese throughout Europe for centuries.
Origin:Diminutive of Teodoro, Spanish
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:An international take on Theo that would be easily wearable for a child in the US. Teo is traditionally a nickname for Theodore, but like Theo can stand on its own.
Origin:English, contracted form of Thomasina
Description:Tamsin is an offbeat name occasionally heard in Britain and just waiting to be discovered here. U.K. actress Tamsin Greig is a star of the show Episodes, Tamsin Olivier is the daughter of Joan Plowright and Sir Laurence Olivier..
Origin:Norse and Scandinavian
Description:Thor, the powerful name of the Norse god of thunder, strength and rain, would make a bold statement. Long a comic book staple, Thor has now invaded the big screen, and could land on birth certificates as well.
Origin:Diminutive of Beatrix, Latin
Meaning:"she who brings happiness"
Description:A sassy, spunky name for the bold parent who doesn't remember Mrs. Ed Norton on The Honeymooners. It was chosen by Damon Wayans for his daughter. Trixie Belden is the thirteen-year-old heroine of an eponymous series in which she is a girl detective.
Origin:Latin, Roman clan name
Description:One of the few ancient Roman names that doesn't end in us, the rarely heard Tarquin has a decidedly creative, even dramatic flair, which could appeal to the parent looking for a strikingly original name. Sir Laurence Olivier used it for his oldest child, who was named Simon Tarquin but called by his middle name.
Meaning:"brave, daring one"
Description:From the verb að þora, meaning "to dare." This is a dwarf's name that first appeared in the thirteenth century mythology compilation Prose Edda, which, along with the Poetic Edda, represents nearly all of pagan Scandinavian mythology. Tolkien later used the name for character Thorin II Oakenshield of The Hobbit.
Description:Talitha appears in the Bible as words Jesus says to awaken a young girl whose parents feared she was dead. It has been used in the US since colonial times. Talitha is also the name of two stars in Ursa Major, where it's related to the Arabic word for "third." Talitha definitely makes a fresh spin on Tabitha or Talisa.
Origin:English, diminutive of Matilda
Description:A surprise recent hit revival with cutting-edge British, Tribeca and Malibu parents; Tillie, also spelled Tilly, is cute, frilly, and sassy all at once. Tilly is currently Number 90 on the England-Wales popularity list, joining such other Top 100 nickname names as Milly, Maisie, Kitty and Lottie. Tillie along with these other short forms transform proper names rooted in other cultures into true English names for girls.
Origin:Latinized variation of German Tillman, “one who plows the earth”
Description:One of the coolest of names, thanks to legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Sphere Monk, who inherited this Latin-sounding German name from his father. It has been used very sparingly since the 1960's, with just a sprinkling of baby boys receiving the name each year, though it's one of the unique baby names we predict will get much less unique as more parents embrace its quirky charms.
Origin:Diminutive of Theodore or Edward
Meaning:"gift of god; rich guard"
Description:Like Ed, Eddie and Teddy, Ted is rarely used as an independent name – in the US, at least. In the UK, Eddie ranks just outside the Top 200, Teddy ranks just outside the Top 30, and Ted is a Top 200 pick.
With Theodore rising, Ted may have new life among parents who don't want to use the short form Theo. And TV's Ted Lasso makes it a quintessential nice guy name.
Description:Theon, an ancient name attached to a noted Greek teacher of mathematics and astronomy, also father to the first woman mathematician, might appeal to parents in this field. You can think of Theon as Theo with something a little extra.
Origin:Diminutive of Thomas
Description:Just like Sam and Ben, Tom could be revived as a simple, well liked name on its own. Tom, just Tom, is one of the Top 100 Boy Names in France
Meaning:"flood, peaceful, or hill"
Description:Tully is a relaxed, rarely used Irish surname possibility. Sources disagree on the meaning, depending on what root is used. The Irish tulach means hill or mound, while tuile means flood. Other sources relate it to the Roman Tullius, most notably the name of the philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, sometimes anglicized as Tully. Statesman Alexander Hamilton used the pen name Tully when he wrote editorials denouncing the instigators of the Whiskey Rebellion.
Description:Despite a rich history in Irish myth preceding its plantation appearance in Gone with the Wind, widespread use in the seventies caused Tara to lose its Irish accent.
Origin:Diminutive of Theodora
Description:Cute boyish short forms like Teddy and Frankie and Billie are in some ways a relic of the past, of the days before unisex names, when girls were given feminized versions of their father's names, but they are starting to come into their own again. Frankie is one choice especially on the rise but Teddy is adorable too, most obviously short for Theodora but it could also work as a nickname for Dorothea or Thea or Althea or Theodosia -- you get the picture. On its own, Teddy feels slighter than Thea.
Meaning:"giving to God"
Description:This feminine form of Theodosius has long been buried deep in the attic, but might be a good discovery for the parent who wants to move beyond Theodora. Vice President Aaron Burr named a daughter Theodosia ("Dear Theodosia" is a song in the smash musical Hamilton), and it was the birth name of silent screen vamp Theda Bara. Theodosia actually appeared on the US popularity lists in the 1880s and 90s.
Origin:Surname derived from Tobias
Meaning:"God is good"
Description:Tobias-related name that makes an attractive and modern-sounding form of the biblical original. It was recently chosen by Karolina Kurkova for her son.
Description:Tai, which rhymes with Kai, is a unisex name with a range of international references. It means the equivalent of "too much" in Chinese but is also used as a Maori name meaning "the tide" and in Romanian means "yours." While it's only ever ranked in the U.S. Top 1000 as a girls' name, during the height of the popularity of Olympic skater Tai Babilonia, Tai makes a simple intriguing modern choice for either gender.
Origin:Danish and German
Description:A familiar name in the Nordic countries that hasn't yet gained popularity in the English speaking world. But it could, now that Old Norse names like Thor and Odin are on the rise. It derives from Torbjörrn, which seems less likely to translate outside Scandinavia. But if you're looking for Danish names for a baby boy, Torben could be a choice that's both accessible and unusual.
Meaning:"friend of God"
Description:This is a multi-syllabic New Testament relic that could be yet another fresh way to get to Theo. In the beginning of Luke's gospel, he dedicates his words to Theophilus.
Description:This began as a nickname, usually for someone who was a "third," as in William III. But in an age where any noun goes, this could be thought of as representing a little voyager -- hopefully not into psychedelic realms.
Description:Tiernan is the slightly edgier and more seductive cousin of Kiernan. This is one Irish surname that is attractive but distinctive; Tierney is another, related, option.
Description:A 1970s beach boy surfing buddy of Scott, Brad, and Chad, Todd is given to relatively few babies these days.
Description:When actress Susan Ker Weld changed her name to Tuesday, she opened up a whole calendar of possibilities. This was decades before the arrival of Sunday Rose Urban.
Meaning:"date palm tree"
Description:Tamar is a rich, strong Old Testament name sometimes given to girls born on the holiday of Sukkoth, as palm branches were used to make the roof of the sukkah. In the Bible, there are several Tamars, including a daughter of King David and also Absalom's daughter, who is praised for her 'fair countenance'.
Origin:Diminutive of names ending -tia
Description:A short, bright name which originates as a short form of names including Tiana, and Tatiana. Not as popular as Mia – a plus if you're seeking a short and pretty but less common name. In Spanish and Portuguese tía/tia is a word meaning "aunt".
Description:Tempest is one of those names that could go either way. Cool, evocative modern word name? Or asking for trouble? Your call, but if you decide the former image is dominant, be warned that some people will see it as the latter.
Description:Theia is the Titan of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky. She is the consort of Hyperion, and mother of Helios, Selene, and Eos. The name is more familiar in its Anglicized version, Thea.
Origin:Flower name, from Greek
Description:Tansy is a flower name rarer than Rose, livelier than Lily and a lot less teasable than Pansy.
Origin:Irish, variation of Tara
Description:Taryn is an offshoot of Tara that has a variety of meanings in a variety of cultures. In 1953, Taryn was presented to the public as an invention by actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian for their daughter's name, at which point it gained a short spurt of popularity. Taryn returned to the Top 1000 in 1974, peaking in the 1980s, and has remained on the list ever since.
Origin:English, feminine variation of Thomas
Description:Pre-Thomasina female form of Thomas, now seen as more literary and upscale British. In Thomas Hardy's novel The Return of the Native, a leading character is Thomasin Yeobright.
Origin:Choctaw, Hindi, or Kiswahili
Meaning:"mountain peak, a Libra, or to be tranquil"
Description:Tula is a polyethnic name which, spelled Toula, was used for the heroine of the hit film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
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.
Description:A paramour of Alexander the Great and the heroine of a Jules Massenet opera based on the life of a fourth century Egyptian saint, this name is nothing if not dramatic. Often spelled with a diaeresis or umlaut -- aka two dots -- over the letter i, Thais is a Top 100 girls' name in France and is also popular in Spain.
Description:Not too long ago, Temperance was found only on lists of Puritan baby names.
Description:Truman is an upstanding presidential name that radiates an aura of integrity and moral truth, values any parent would want for a child. It seems definitely headed for a revival.
Origin:Diminutive of Theodora
Description:Theo has a girls' name is used for only a handful of babies today. As a short form of Theodora, Theo is used much less frequently than Thea or even Teddi. One notable appearance was as the younger daughter in Sofia Coppola's film On the Rocks in 2020. Not so in the half century from 1880 till 1930, when Theo was in the Top 1000 for girls. Nicknames given as full names were stylish then, as were boyish nicknames such as Billie and Tommie for girls. Theo fits this old-school trend, but these days, Theo -- on its own and as a nickname for Theodore -- is much more popular for bouys.
Description:Theron is best known these days as the surname of actress Charlize, but it does have a long history as a first name, ranking in the Top 500 in the early part of the 20th century and only dropping out of the Top 1000 in the early 1990s. Theon is a similar name made familiar by the popular series Game of Thrones: Might it and Theron rise in tandem?