Unique Names Starting With W
Description:One of the few remaining unrestored vintage gems, with a choice of two winning nicknames--the girlish Winnie and the tomboyish Freddie--as well as the slight stretch Freda. Winifred, the name of a legendary Welsh saint, was a Top 200 name into the mid-1920's.
Description:Wren may not be as time-honored a bird name choice as Robin or even Lark, but it's more fashionable. Given to just a handful of children a decade ago, in 2020 there were 850 girls and 150 boys in the US given this cool and quirky name.
Description:Wilbur is a stylish name in the UK whose merits are just starting to be discovered in the US. Wilbur, the loveable pig who Charlotte of the Web called Some Pig, is an inspirational hero. And Wilbur and Orville Wright were early aviationists.
Origin:Animal name or diminutive of Wolfgang
Description:Wolf is a name with a split personality. It can be seen as one of the fierce animal names, like Fox and Bear and Puma, with a touch of the werewolf, or it can be viewed as a quieter, Wolf Blitzer kind of name, fairly common in German (where is pronounced Vulf) and Jewish families, sometimes as a short form of Wolfgang.
Origin:German, feminine variation of Wilhelm
Description:Wilhelmina was long burdened with the Old Dutch cleanser image of thick blond braids and clunky wooden clogs, but that started to be changed somewhat by the dynamic Vanessa Williams character on Ugly Betty, and even further by the choice of Wilhelmina by ace baby namers Natalie and Taylor Hanson. For the less adventurous, Willa is, for now, still a more user-friendly female equivalent of William.
Description:Chef Wolfgang Puck has helped soften this thunderous Germanic name; music-lovers will appreciate its association with Mozart, though the composer's middle name Amadeus is more appealing.
Description:Wilfred is one of those Old Man Names that still sounds fusty in the US but is fashionable in the UK. It comes with readymade short forms Will or Fred and might make an adventurous alternative to the ubiquitous William. The central character of Walter Scott's Ivanhoe is the knight Wilfred of Ivanhoe. Wilfred Owens was a well-known British poet.
Origin:Slavic or German
Description:Rarely heard, and when it is, usually attached to a witch. Historically, though, Wanda was a legendary eighth century queen of Poland, and in literature it is the central character of Ouida's eponymous novel Wanda. A musical namesake is the great Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska.
Meaning:"friend's hill or burial mound"
Description:Winslow, despite its creative connection to the distinguished American painter Winslow Homer, does still retain remnants of the image of a Victorian boy in a sailor suit, making Winston or even just Win a preferable modern choice.
Description:Wendy was invented by Sir James Barrie in 1904 for the big sister charater in his play Peter Pan; he supposedly took it from the nickname Fwendy-Wendy that he was called by a young girl acquaintance. Wendy's heyday was once upon a time; it's now seen as bouncy and peppy—the perfect babysitter (or mom) name. It currently ranks at Number 854, a bit of a bump from its all time low of Number 936 in 2015.
Description:Sweet, modern descriptive name, but perhaps a little too cute for its own good.
Description:Name made famous by the macabre character Wednesday – middle name: Friday – Addams is taken from the name of the day dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon god Woden, who relates to Mercury. Cartoonist author Charles Addams was said to choose the name because "Wednesday's child is full of woe."
Description:Rode two rockets to fame, with actress Winona Ryder and singer Wynonna Judd.
Origin:Diminutive of Woodrow
Description:While Woodrow is too forbidding, its nickname Woody is a bit cartoonish, as in Woody Woodpecker and the animated cowboy character in Toy Story. Woody Allen was born Allen.
Description:Wylie is a friendly, nonchalant rodeo name with an almost irresistible charm; parents may pick up on its pleasant similarity to the more popular, unisex Riley. Although more masculine, we see Wylie as working as well for boys and girls (Richard Anderson used it for his daughter in 1999). Wylie (or the interchangeable Wiley) can also be an original and authentic way to honor an ancestral William. We don't, however, recommend you spell the name the way Corey Parker did: Wylei. Why lay?
Origin:Scottish diminutive of William, German, English
Meaning:"resolute protection; from Wylye"
Description:Wiley is a perfectly appropriate way to spell the Scottish name also known as Wylie. Given all the babies named William and Liam today, Wiley or Wylie can be a wonderful variation that's more distinctive but still honors Grandpa Bill. Wiley might also be considered an Attitude Name, given that its other meaning lends it a lot of sass.
Description:The girls have dibs on Spring, Summer, and Autumn, leaving this name evocative of snowy landscapes as the one possible seasonal choice for boys. And naturally, it's one of the most obvious names for winter babies.
Meaning:"row of houses by a wood"
Description:Aside from President Wilson (born Thomas), most Woodrows, including Herman, Guthrie, and Harrelson, have chosen to be known as Woody, which says it all.
Origin:Flower name, from English surname
Description:A frilly southern-accented flower name yet to be planted on many birth certificates. In the language of flowers, the wisteria is a symbol of devotion. It is named for American horticulturalist John Caspar Wister.
Description:Wynn is an attractive unisex Welsh name, especially worth considering as a winning middle name.
Description:West is the most fashionable of what you might call the direction names, with North and East (or Easton and Easter) coming up behind, and South not yet on the map.
Meaning:"settlement by the weir"
Description:Pronounced the same way as tWarrick, Warwick is the name of an historic university town on the River Avon in England.
Meaning:"farm near the willows"
Description:Willoughby is an energetic last-name-first route to the popular short form Will, livelier than any of the two-syllable options. It could be picked up by parents attracted to the Willow sound for girls.
Origin:Diminutive of Wilhelmina
Description:In the US, Wilma is appears to be eternally fossilized in Bedrock as Fred Flintstone's wife, but in Sweden it's a Top 10 hottie. It did have its moment in the US--from 1912 to 1940 it was a Top 100 name. One notable namesake: track and field star Wilma Rudolph.
Meaning:"valley of the Welsh"
Description:Walden is a recent entrant to the en-ending boys' names trend, a name that summons up placid images of Thoreau's two-year stay contemplating nature near Walden Pond.
Description:The final -e takes this from a daring word name to a literary honor name, for the inimitable Irish author, poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, infamous for his wit and flamboyance.
Origin:Anglo-Irish surname and variation of animal name
Description:The Wolfe spelling shifts this name from animal name to surname-name, aggressive to aristocratic. One source suggests that bearers of the Wolfe family name were all fierce and cunning and/or hunters of wolves. An intriguing choice.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:Until recently Ward was, like Wally, a Cleaver name, but today's parents are seeing it as a cooler nickname for Edward than Eddie, and are also beginning to use it on its own.
Origin:Dutch variation of William
Description:Common in Holland, the appealing Willem (as in de Kooning and Dafoe) makes William fresh and distinctive.
Origin:English tree name
Description:Fresh and surprising on a boy – and how can you not love the cool classic nickname Will?
Description:Extremely popular in Wales, where it began as a nickname for someone with fair hair or a fair face, this bright and simple name is a winner by its very nature. Can also be spelled Wynn, Winn or the very literal Win.
Description:Most famous as one of the many middle names of Professor Dumbledore from Harry Potter, Wulfric is an earlier form of the medieval English name Ulric. It has also belonged to an 11th- century Earl of Mercia and a 12th-century saint.
Origin:Diminutive of Wilfred
Description:A fairly common nickname in England that has never caught on in America. The rise of acronyms like MILF and DILF probably won't help its prospects going forward.
Meaning:"to travel, to proceed"
Description:This name has hardly been used since Wendell Willkie ran for president in 1940, and doesn't feel anywhere near ready for a revival.
Origin:Short form of Whitman or other Whit-starting names
Description:Whit is an uplifting short form of any number of surname-y full names, for Whitman to Whitford to Whitney. But Whit stands perfectly well on its own and makes for a humorous spin on modern virtue names.
Origin:German variation of William
Description:This dignified German form of William belonged to two German Emperors and Kings of Prussia, as well as a host of other important historical figures. These include composer (Wilhelm) Richard Wagner, philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, and physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, who discovered the X-ray. It now sounds rather dated in Germany, however, having dropped out of the Top 20 there in the late 1920s and continuing to decline since.
Origin:Word name and surname
Description:The name Wilder is still used more than 90 percent of the time for boys, but it's being used quietly for girls too. Along with the rest of the Wild and Wiley family, it's one of the hottest baby names starting with W. Certainly giving your child of either gender such a, ahem, wilder name is setting them up for a certain kind of character and future.
Meaning:"friend's hill or burial mound"
Description:Winslow's most famous reference may be male painter Winslow Homer, but as a name it's beginning to be on the rise for girls. Adorable nickname Winnie may be the reason. Other unusual painterly possibilities for either sex: O'Keeffe, Hopper, and just plain Painter.
Description:If you discount the connection to the controversial Whittaker Chambers in the days of the Red Scare, Whittaker is a pleasant enough British surname with the preppyish nickname Whit.
Origin:English from German
Description:Long-time connection to the movie biz doesn't lend it any pizzazz.
Origin:English surname and place-name
Meaning:"Wynn's channel or stream"
Description:Winslet is one of a legion of surnames newly considered fair game as first names. The inspiration may be British star Kate, but she's not the only reason parents are attracted to Winslet, one of those British girl names that sounds at once classy and winning. Yet be warned that if you choose this, people will forever assume you are major fans of the actress. Other Win- beginning names up for new consideration: Winslow, Winston, Wynton, Winifred and Winnie, along with just plain Win or Wyn or Wynn.
Description:This powerful old name can actually be traced back to two distinct sources. As an Old German name, Wolfram (borne by the medieval poet Wolfram von Eschenbach) derives from a combination of wolf + hraben “raven”.
Meaning:"strong leader who defends."
Description:Warrick has recently come into the spotlight as the character Warrick Brown on the TV show CSI. The more conventional spelling is Warwick, a medieval English noble name.
Origin:Diminutive of William
Description:A common surname almost never used in recent times.
Origin:English surname from place name
Meaning:"people living in the hamlet in the cleared area near the temple"
Description:Wellington is a tony-sounding English surname turned baby name by pregnancy guru Rosie Pope, who calls her son Wells for short. It's also the middle name of one of the Sweet Home sextuplets, Blu Wellington.
Origin:Spelling variation of Wilder
Description:Wilder not wild enough for you? You may need to go all the way to Wylder or Wylie in your search for unique baby names.
Origin:German, diminutive of Walter
Description:A straightforward, down-to-earth nickname many Walters, from Whitman to Disney, have chosen to go by.
Description:Dignified first name of poet W. H. Auden, less exposed than his currently stylish surname.