While there's nothing wrong with the Sarahs and Joshes of the world, we all have to agree that more and more, expectant parents are reaching outside of the norm for baby names. And really, who can blame them? When we've got celebrities opting for monikers like Apple and Pilot Inspektor for their offspring, we've got to keep up somehow, right?
But for the best and most unusual baby names, we've got to look beyond the vampire saga-inspired ones and shoot for something a little more unusual, a bit more unique, and all around adorable. Sure, they may not ever find a keychain or coffee mug with their name spelled out in funky letters or jewels, but going the unique route prevents them from becoming "Brittany B." or "Daniel S."
To get the gears turning for you as you try to come up with your own unique name for your soon-to-be bundle of cuteness, we've got the 16 best and most unusual baby names out there. Feel free to use them or put a fun spin on them for your baby's name. But try and remember - despite any naysaying in-laws or friends - that your baby gets the name you choose and you certainly don't have to use that family name that is equally unique, but not so adorable. So, we're sorry Grandma Mildred.
An Irish name, Sinead might make you instinctively think of Sinead O'Conner, the brazen, shaved music beauty. But maybe that's a good thing, since the name's meaning has to do with the grace of God. So perhaps if you opt for a little girl named Sinead, she'll carry with her some sort of grace. We hope. Still though, while a celebrity does carry the name, it has a certain level of distinctiveness to it that makes it unique enough without being totally outlandish.
The origins of the (typically) baby boy name Coltrane are English, but the meaning behind the name - frisky, or young horse - is much more exciting for a rambunctious little one running around the house on those stubby little toddler legs. You can even shorten it to Cole, if you feel so inclined. Bonus points if you or your significant other is a jazz fan, though, as this would be a no brainer.
For good measure, do the old headphones on the baby bump with some cool Johnny Coltrane.
If you're interested in the name Dominique but want to take it a step further - ahem, a step more unique - then opt for Domenica. Not only is the spelling simple, but the Italian and Spanish name is an almost elegant twist on a somewhat common one. It's also not a bad choice if you'd planned on Dominic and find out there's a little girl hanging out in that belly instead of the boy you'd expected!
And even still, if you were shooting for Dominique, as we said, there is no shame in your game or going a little off the beaten path in order to partly stick with your name choice, but also give your child a unique moniker.
That's right, it's more than the last name of a former rock God. But feel free to shorten your little one's name to Ozzy for an even more contemporary name choice. Not that Osborne isn't a fine choice on its own. In fact, the name is said to be derived from the words "os" and "beorn," meaning "god" and "bear.” How's that for something strong to live up to?
If all else fails though, whip out the black eye liner and find some toddler-sized leather pants to send your child on the musical path of Ozzy himself. There's got to be something good that comes out of the name, right?
Similar - but not quite on the nose - to Elizabeth, Lilbeth almost makes you want to save the name for what you expect to turn out to be a petite little girl with naturally pink cheeks and curly blond pigtails.
While we have already established that most names on this list won't be seen on the fronts of T-shirts or down the length of pens, Lilbeth is almost unique enough to be considered totally unclaimed. Which is actually a really cool thing, if you're looking to gift your daughter with total individuality from the get go.
Give you're new little one the name of Guthrie, and you may be looking forward to years of folksy guitar-twanged melodies in the living room, a la Woody Guthrie. Just kidding. But still, to share the name with someone who was a legend in his own time of protests and musical art is a pretty cool thing.
Not into the whole hippy thing? Well then we probably shouldn't tell you that the seriously beautiful Gaelic meaning of Guthrie is "free wind."
The Norse meaning of the name Toril is, quite simply, "thunder." Which is so purely cool that what adult among us doesn't want to change our own name to that right now? As the straight Norwegian name has deep roots in its culture, the name is privy mostly to writers and figures from that country, but everywhere else, you can be sure to have your little Toril be the only little "thunder" within a 50 mile radius or so.
Perhaps this is just a more complicated version or Leonardo, but let's be honest. You'd be super lucky to find a coffee mug with even that name emblazoned on it, so there is no reason not to consider Leomides as a baby name. And yes, you can still opt for the shortened version of the name when you're yelling upstairs and don't feel like belting out the entire thing.
It'll also afford them the opportunity to have a nickname, because let's face it, kids are more than likely too lazy to deal with names that are more than two syllables. Or, names they can't abbreviate to just a few letters via text messages.
There's a reason that Philomena is also the title of a popular 2013 Judi Dench-driven movie. The unique, strong name, accordingly to its Greek background, means strength, courage and purpose. A lot to live up to, we'll admit, but also an impressive name to carry.
While the name has a background in other languages, like Dutch and Spanish, you can't help but keep going back to its Greek roots. How can you not, with "philomene" literally meaning "loved"?
No, we didn't forget a "w" in there to make it Sawyer, though admittedly that is another unique name to think about. But the typically male name Sayer, meaning woodcutter, is a strong, masculine name perfect for the child of equally lumberjack-y parents. Like Sawyer, the name Sayer is more typically seen as a last name, but perhaps that's why it works so well as a more unique first name.
Pronounced just as you'd think, like the more common "Cleo", this one may not seem quite as unique as the rest, but we can agree that it is definitely less common than your typical Sarah or Brittany, eh? To be sure your child's name comes from somewhere interesting, though, take your pick of the famous uses of Cleo.
The band, Letters to Cleo, made waves in the '90s, and Cleopatra alone was a force that anyone would be lucky to share their name with. And even though it sounds just like its "Cleo" counterpart, Clio takes it up a notch with that different spelling.
Call him Chris for short, but feel confident that the name it stems from is both unique and rolls off the tongue pretty nicely. Plus, it's one of those rare and awesome situations where it’s spelled pretty close to how it sounds. No "h" to confuse anyone. From the Ancient Roman name "Crispinus", Crispin has origins further back than other names and could even be used for a girl, if you're so inclined.
With Arabic origins, Sidra stems from the name of a tree and sounds as beautiful as you'd hope for a little girl's name centered on nature. But you can feel comfortable utilizing the name for your child, regardless of your ethnic background, as it sounds beautiful no matter what.
According to The Name Meaning, Sidra also means "of the stars", which is just another reason to consider this name. When both of the available meanings behind your name have to do with beauty or fame, how could you not enjoy it?
Redmond may be the Irish version of the more common Raymond, but it stands on its own as a unique, almost regal sounding name. Which makes sense, as its meaning is " Wise Protector." Maybe your kid would get a bit of a big head with meaning like that behind his name, or maybe he'd use his fancy unique name for good.
Either way, you could always use "Red" as a shortened version a la Morgan Freeman's wise old character in "The Shawshank Redemption." In Ireland, a common nickname for Redmond Is Mundy though, if you prefer to keep the name in the cool and unique clique of names.
In Welsh, Branwen means "beautiful raven." Which is beautiful enough, if the name wasn’t already so sweet sounding. And in Welsh tales, characters by the name of Brenwen tended to be rather lovely princesses. And for most who have little girls, the whole princess thing is pretty spot on.
Branwen may not be an Elsa or an Ariel, but it's much less common than many other typically girly names and still originates from the world of princesses. Perfect for your little, er, princess, we would say.
If you choose to name your child Win, they may not dominate at every board game or soccer match, but they'll be able to boast a pretty cool name and they'll look even cooler when they do win. In Vietnamese, Win is pronounced as you'd imagine but instead spelled as Nguyen, so another plus to this particular unique and cool name is the fact that it will never be spelled incorrectly or mispronounced.
Well, you'd certainly hope not, anyway. Which, let's face it, it’s one of the most common concerns when picking out a name for your baby. We all want our children to be unique and special in their own ways, and choosing a spectacular name for them from the very beginning is a good way to ensure that.
On the flip side, we also don't want our children to grow up the target of teasing just because of their names that we, as parents, chose for them. It's a bit of a fine line we walk, as silly as it sounds, to choose a remarkable name with our children's best interest in mind.