Quirky Names

  1. Adler
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "eagle"
    • Description:

      Adler is a German-Jewish surname that is beginning to be used occasionally as a first and is among the stylish new German names for boys. Among the distinguished bearers of Adler as a last name are Freud colleague Alfred Adler, actress and influential acting teacher Stella Adler and Guns N' Roses drummer Steve Adler.
  2. Alice
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, ranking in the US Top 100 and popular throughout the western world. Alice is derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis, which is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type."
  3. Amos
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "carried by God"
    • Description:

      Amos is a robust biblical name that's being discovered by a new generation of parents in a major way.
  4. Ansel
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "with divine protection"
    • Description:

      Ansel, primarily associated with the great western photographer Ansel Adams, famed for his magnificent photographs of the Yosemite Valley, could make a creative artist-hero choice. For Adams it was a family name – he was named after his uncle, Ansel Easton. And, in turn, Adams was the namesake of young heartthrob Ansel Elgort, son of a photographer.
  5. August
    • Origin:

      German form of Latin Augustus
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      The name August is at its highest point since the 1890s, when it ranked among the Top 100 boy names in the US. And deservedly so, given its great meaning, historic roots, and cool nicknames.
  6. Beatrice
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness; blessed"
    • Description:

      Beatrice is back. Stored in the attic for almost a century, the lovely Beatrice with its long literary (Shakespeare, Dante) and royal history is being looked at with fresh eyes by parents seeking a classic name with character and lots of upbeat nicknames, like Bea and Bee.
  7. Blythe
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "happy, carefree"
    • Description:

      Blythe originated as a nickname for an upbeat person, coming from the Old English word bliðe, meaning "merry" or "cheerful." Today the homophone blithe shares the same meaning. Blythe was eventually adapted to a surname before it became a feminine given name.
  8. Calliope
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful voice"
    • Description:

      Calliope is the name of the muse of epic poetry -- and also the musical instrument on the merry-go-round. Bold and creative, it would not be the easiest name for a girl lacking such qualities. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2016. While Americans usually pronounce this name with a long I sound and the emphasis on the second syllables, Greeks pronounce it with the emphasis on the third syllable -- ka-lee-OH-pee.
  9. Charlie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlie derives, of course, from the classic name Charles which, in turn, comes from a German word meaning "free man." Charles became very popular in France during the Middle Ages due to the fame of Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne. Charley is an alternate spelling.
  10. Clementine
    • Origin:

      French feminine version of Clement, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "mild, merciful"
    • Description:

      Clementine is a Nameberry favorite that broke back into the US Top 1000 in 2014 after more than half a century off the list.
  11. Colette
    • Origin:

      French, short form of Nicole, feminine variation of Nicholas, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "people of victory"
    • Description:

      Like the French author with whom the name is most closely associated, Colette is a chic and charming name that is being rediscovered. After disappearing for nearly 30 years, Colette rejoined the Top 1000 in 2012 at Number 659 and has continued to rise since then.
  12. Cordelia
    • Origin:

      Latin; Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "heart; daughter of the sea"
    • Description:

      Cordelia is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name for girls that many parents are seeking for their daughters today. The name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, Cordelia has both style and substance along with its Shakespearean pedigree.
  13. Elodie
    • Origin:

      French, variation of Alodia, German
    • Meaning:

      "foreign riches"
    • Description:

      The lyrical and melodious Elodie, a Nameberry favorite, is starting to rise through the US popularity charts for the first time since the 1880s. It's a uncommon member of the trending El- family of names, which includes Ella, Eloise, and Eleanor.
  14. Elowen
    • Origin:

      Cornish
    • Meaning:

      "elm"
    • Description:

      A beautiful modern Cornish nature name that is rapidly picking up steam in the States: even spawning variant spellings like Elowyn and Elowynn. In its native region, it wasn't widely used as a name before the twentieth century, when the Cornish language was revived. A (currently) unique member of the fashionble El- family of names, it has a pleasant, evocative sound.
  15. Felix
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "happy, fortunate"
    • Description:

      Felix is one of those ancient but nontraditional names for boys that have come into favor over the past few decades, a favorite of parents who want a masculine name with history and heft that breaks ranks with the standard Franks and Freds. Felix is also an international darling, ranking in the Top 100 in several European and English-speaking countries.
  16. Frankie
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Frances
    • Meaning:

      "from France; free man"
    • Description:

      Vintage nickname name, with a down-to-earth country feel. This renewed interest placed Frankie back in the US Top 1000 in 2015 after a 41-year hiatus. For girls, it's a popular choice in England and Wales, Australia, and New Zealand. Drew Barrymore, who helped popularize and glamorize boyish names for girls, has a daughter named Frankie. On TV's Better Things, Pamela Adlon's middle daughter is named Frankie (sister to Max and Duke, both girls).
  17. Hattie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Harriet
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      In the USA, Hattie is one of those nicknames that is now more popular than its parent name, Harriet. In England, however, Harriet is still by far more popular than Hattie, while in Australia, Harriet is highly popular while no data exists on Hattie. In the US, we’d like to see Harriet get more usage but we’re happy to see Hattie again.
  18. Hazel
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the hazelnut tree"
    • Description:

      Hazel has a pleasantly hazy, brownish-green-eyed, old-fashioned image that more and more parents are choosing to share. Former Old Lady name Hazel reentered the popularity lists in 1998 and now is near the top of the charts.
  19. Henry
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 8.
  20. Hugo
    • Origin:

      Latinized form of Hugh
    • Meaning:

      "mind, intellect"
    • Description:

      Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.