Everyone has had the experience of falling in love with a song. When this happens we are excited to hear it come on the radio. We listen to it at home, while we work, while we exercise, and while we relax. Then suddenly we hear it on the radio one time too many and it’s just too much. We flip the channel. Songs get overplayed, overused, overdone…
Unfortunately the same thing happens with baby names. Hearing the same names over and over again can ruin them for expectant parents. We might be absolutely in love with a name but their very popularity can do them in. What’s a parent to do when their chosen name is overused? Well there are a few options, of course…
They could choose it anyway. Some parents can’t envision going with a different name for their baby when their heart has been set on one for so long - so they stick with it. If they love it, they love it. Another option is to select their second or third name choice and hope they fall in love with it as much they did their first choice. A third option is for parents to search for a name that wasn’t even in their consideration set. Scary? Exciting? Daring? Perhaps a little of each mixed together. It certainly can’t hurt to look!
Here, at BabyGaga, we produce a fair number of baby name articles as a means to inspire parents as they search for that perfect name. If parents want to stay away from names that are becoming completely common thanks to their popularity, the following list provides some awesome options for fabulous baby girl names that simply aren’t overused.
Paige makes our list because it’s pretty, simple and sweet, and certainly isn’t overly common. From humble beginnings as an English surname meaning servant, the name Paige came in at #140 in the U.S. in the most recent rankings.
This pretty girl’s name was actually more popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. Its most popular year was 2003 when it rose to baby girl name #47. Since then, it’s been slowly loosing favor.
Paige is a particularly great name because it goes well with almost any two-syllable middle name – think Paige Marie, Paige Ellen, Paige Suzanne… We could go on of course.
We love that it’s quite beautiful in its simplicity and doesn’t come with any baggage. It’s a great choice for parents who want something less run-of-the-mill while not entering bizarro-land.
Shea is a gentle and pretty name that we don’t hear often today. It ends in an “a” like many of the most popular baby girl names of today do, but the “ea” ending alters that typical “a”-ending pronunciation. It falls off the tongue like a gentle whisper.
Shea has been around as an American name since the 1970s but never rose to mass popularity. It has Irish roots and arose from the name Séaghdha which means "admirable" or "hawk-like" in Gaelic. Its present ranking is #969 so there is little risk of any baby girl Shea being one of a dozen in her classroom.
This name can be used for a boy or girl but we think it’s best suited for a little girl. It would pair very nicely with a multi-syllabic middle name or surname.
Fiona first appeared on the baby girl name charts in the 1990s but never came close to cracking the top 100. Most recently it ranked at spot #219. Fiona has Scottish roots and is the feminine form of the name Fionn which means “fair” or “white”.
We like this name for several reasons. First it’s only five letters long but still registers three syllables, making it simple and complex at the same time. Second it ends with that telltale popular “a” sound but doesn't jump on the Emma, Mia or Sophia bandwagon. Third it starts with an “f” which makes it unique right from the get-go. There are very few popular baby girl names that start with an “f” if we stop to think about it.
For these reasons, Fiona represents a great alternative to some of the overdone names of today. Plus parents can call her "Fi" or "Fifi" for short.
Blythe is one of the most rare names on our list. This one syllable packs a beautiful amount of originality and sophistication. Pronounced bl-eye-th, this name assures any little girl a certain degree of elegance.
Blythe doesn’t even rank in the top 1,000 baby girl names in the U.S. making it anything but common. It can be used for a baby boy or girl but we think it sounds distinctly feminine. It arose from an Old English surname meaning "cheerful"; even its meaning is a great start for a baby girl.
We really hope to see this name make an entrance into the world. If it does, it would basically represent its debut since it’s been so rarely chosen up to this point.
Blythe Danner is one famous woman bearing this name. She is a movie actress and mom to none other than actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Thea is the short form for Dorothy or Theodora. While these longer forms are matronly, dowdy and old-fashioned, Thea is light, lively and quite unique. It comes in at spot #464 in the most recent rankings.
The name Thea ticks a couple of the popular baby girl trends of today, without actually being popular itself. First it ends in that sing-songy aaaa sound and second it is short. There is some real beauty in keeping names short and simple. They are easy to spell, easy to pronounce and can be very pretty and feminine. Thea fits this bill perfectly.
Dorothy means, “gift of God” and given Thea is its short form, it shares this meaning too. This certainly isn’t a bad start to life whether parents are religious or not.
Robyn is such a perfect name for a pretty baby girl. That said, it hasn’t been in the top 1,000 since 2004. This is interesting because we feel like it’s more common than it actually is. The alternate spelling “Robin” is about as popular for a girl as Robyn with a “y” is, although Robin had wider appeal from the fifties through the seventies.
It’s noteworthy that the name “Robin” is actually the medieval diminutive (or nickname) for Robert. So at the end of the day, the name did not originate from the red-breasted bird of the same name but many people think of it that way. The bird may very well help to carry it on.
This name could also be used for a little boy but we think it’s better suited as a more feminine name. Famous Robyns or Robins include Robin Wright Penn, Robin Tunney, Robin Givens, and Robyn Lively.
Bryn is short, sweet and simple and might be considered a welcomed relief from some of the long, vowel-packed baby girl names of today. But not everyone agrees! Bryn is tanking in the rankings. Last year, it was clinging to the top 1,000 by a thread but couldn’t hang on long enough.
Last year it held spot #968 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1177, dropping a considerable 209 spots. Bryn has been on and off the baby name scene since 1999 (but mostly off) so we suspect it just never really caught on.
It means “hill or mound” in Welsh so it definitely isn’t equipped with the most inspiring of meanings but it also isn’t offensive either. It would pair nicely with a longer middle or last name. We certainly hope it makes a comeback.
Marlowe represents an alternate spelling of the name Marlo but we think the additional two letters give it added appeal. This name is super cute for a baby girl but it also works for a sophisticated adult without any stretch of the imagination.
There are a few things we really love about this name. First it sounds mysterious and enchanting. Second its ending is unique, and third it doesn’t even appear anywhere on the top 1,000 baby girl name chart. This means the name Marlowe is incredibly uncommon.
The version "Marlo" appeared on the baby girl name chart in 1967 and disappeared again in 1977. The version we’ve put forward is actually an Old English surname that means “remnants of a lake” and would definitely make any baby girl one-of-a-kind.
This pretty girl’s name ranked #385 most recently. It originated from the “Isle of Skye” off the west coast of Scotland. A less popular spelling variation is Sky but parents may find this too familiar. Somehow the “e” really transforms the name.
Another version of this name is Skyla. If you chose this name, your little girl would join the ranks of many other girls with popular names ending in “a”.
We think Skye is a winning name. It’s pretty and simple and would pair well with a lot of middle names. You also wouldn’t have to worry too much about your baby girl sharing her name with any classmates. She’d be unique in that right. We imagine Skye to develop into a real little adventurer with big dreams.
We couldn’t find many famous gals named Skye. Clearly the name hasn’t caught on with the masses and we’re ok with that.
We couldn’t resist adding Briar to this list. This name is rising fast in popularity but is still anywhere but mainstream. We think Briar is cute, spunky, and cool sounding without appearing like it’s trying too hard.
Having said all that, since last year it jumped 597 spots in the rankings and secured spot #844. If it keeps rising this fast, it will be uber-popular soon but we think it will slow down a little. Right now it’s certainly a safe bet for parents who are seeking something pretty and girly, but uncommon.
Briar is the name of a thorny or prickly plant but this doesn’t mean a baby girl will share these traits! Parents could, of course, call their baby girl “Bri” for short, which makes us like the name even more.
Everlea is such a pretty, melodic, girly girl’s name. We love it. It packs in the vowels and the syllables but doesn’t sound or feel cumbersome in any way.
There are several ways to spell this name including Everlea, Everleigh, Everley and Everly. The version we like best – Everlea – doesn’t appear in the top 1,000 baby girl name charts. The version “Everly” sits at spot #138.
One particularly nice bonus to this name is that it lends itself to some great nicknames including Eve, Ev, Evvie, Evie, Lee and Lea just to name a few.
There isn’t any historical information available about this name which suggests it’s a “made-up” name. We’re ok with that since it doesn’t begin to resemble anything odd or bizarre. After all, at some point all names were made up anyhow.
The name Gwenevere sounds sophisticated and regal. To be frank, we don’t think there is enough of this today when it comes to baby girl naming. This name is pretty and feminine and befitting for a perfect little girl.
We think Gwenevere is well-suited as a girl grows up but it also provides the option of the cute short-form “Gwen” for a baby girl. Gwenevere doesn’t place on the top 1,000 baby girl name chart which makes it all the more perfect for parents seeking something different but not weird.
This spelling is a variant of Guinevere which is derived from a Welsh name that contains elements meaning "fair or white" and "phantom or magical being". It is also linked to the more common and familiar name “Jennifer”. We see the resemblance.
Lylah represents another very pretty option on this list. It settled in at spot #632 most recently and has never been more popular than #615 on the baby girl name charts.
Lylah sounds sing-songy and sweet. It would be a great choice for parents who want to stay away from some of the more popular baby girl names but still be on-trend. It is very similar to the much more popular name “Leila” so could it be a good compromise for parents heading in this direction.
Many baby girl names of today start with vowels but Lylah manages to be very pretty without doing so. The “l” beginning consonant also bucks a few trends of today. Lylah represents an alternate spelling to the Hindi name “Lila” and means “play or amusement”.
Simone represents the French feminine form of Simon. It’s amazing what one little “e” can do to transform a name. It’s pretty, smooth, simple, and soothing. We would love to see more parents choose this name for their baby girls.
One reason we put Simone on this list is to give parents an alternative option to the completely over-chosen names along the likes of Sophie, Sofie, Sophia and Sofia. Both Simone and Sophie represent French feminine names beginning with “s” which just goes to show that if parents are gravitating in this direction, it doesn’t need to end at Sophie.
Simone first cracked the top 1,000 baby girl name chart in 1937 but never rose to mass popularity. Most recently it settled in at spot #821 meaning it’s got a long way to go to become mainstream; all the more reason to select it.
We aren’t sure we could come up with a more adorable baby girl’s name than Mabel. Mabel was much more popular in the early 1900s than it is today and we kind of hope it stays that way. Mabel ranks at spot #578 presently so it’s nowhere near common. Parents can safely choose it and still be unique, at least for a time.
Mabel is the diminutive form of Amabel and means “lovable”. It’s a pretty perfect baby name meaning if you ask us. If parents want to apply a short form to Mable, they could always go for “May” or “Belle”.
We think Mabel would go nicely with a monosyllabic middle name like Mabel Anne, Mabel Skye, or Mabel Faye. We really don’t think parents can go wrong with this name. We hope it experiences at least a tiny surge in popularity.