Choosing the perfect name for your baby can be daunting. Many couples want a name that is unique so that their child won’t be one of 4 of the same names in their class. It’s no surprise that celebs tend to pick unique names for their babies like Willow, North, and Apple. Finding unique baby names that are pleasing to not just mom and dad, but the in-laws too is a challenge. These 20 baby names are sure to please anyone in the family.
A few tips to stick with when choosing a less common name, are to make sure it’s easily pronounced. Nothing could be more annoying than having your child’s name mispronounced all their lives. Another rule is to make sure the name isn’t just uniquely trendy, but one that will stand the test of time and still be treasured even when the child is 70 years old. Names like Aislinn, Kellen, and Sloane, are just a few of our favorites that made this list of unique baby names that even your mother-in-law will get behind. 10 girl names and 10 boy names, including some that could go either way.
Even if the meaning of the name is not important to you, it may be to your child down the road, and each meaning can be found here.
Marilyn made the name famous, but the first name Monroe for a baby girl is positively adorable! This is a Scottish name, meaning “from the river’s mouth”. Girls named Monroe are said to be competent, practical, and often obtain great power and wealth. They are said to be successful in business and have great material wealth. I’m not sure if any of that is true, but again Marilyn certainly did do all of that! But her last name was Monroe so that’s a bit different. It’s said that Monroes tend to focus so strongly on business that they neglect their private lives and sometimes even relationships. Cute nicknames (though none is really needed) are Moe or Roe, but I think you could certainly do Roey or Rory like from Gilmore Girls. She may become a coffee addict though, so keep that in mind!
Easton is a cool name meaning in English “East town”. People named Easton tend to have an inner desire to express themselves. They are often great at public speaking (score!), acting, writing and even singing. They are cooperative and sometimes quiet. They long to have beauty surrounding them and are typically trustworthy. Detail-oriented describes them well, though they may sometimes feel insecure or restless. Easton has many nickname options like Easty, East, Easta, and Eady. Jenna Elfman’s son Easton Quinn Monroe is a famous celeb child. Another famous celeb is Easton Corbin, and Bret Easton Ellis. Name pairs for Easton that are really fun and masculine are Easton Arlo, and Easton Henley. Easton isalso similar to the name Weston, which is also unique and male only.
Willow is a fun and romantic sounding name meaning “slender, graceful", as is thought of the willow tree, which is a beautiful, feminine-looking tree with slender branches. This English name is sure to be a keeper, and a crowd-pleaser, even with your mother-in-law. Women with this name are said to be orderly, and value truth and justice. A woman of practical nature and tends to be cautious. A few celebs have snagged the unique name for their daughters, including Will Smith, Sarah Palin, and Gabrielle Anwar. Pair this name with another of our unique baby girl names and you get Willow Mae, or Willow Aislinn…both are gorgeous and most certainly not cookie-cutter names that everyone else will have too. Wills or LoLo are cute nicknames for Willow, though it really doesn’t need one. It’s adorable enough.
Greyson is a great name which in English means “gray-haired, son of the Gray family, son of Gregory”. Greysons tend to be orderly and believe in serving others, they value truth and are very disciplined. Though many names can be boy or girl names, this one is very much a boy name. Cute nickname variations include Grey, Gray, and Greyer. Famous Greysons include Greyson Michael Chance, Greyson Gregory Gunheim, Greyson Mackenzie (Derek Mackenzie’s son), and Greyson Wesley Woodyard (Wesley Woodyard’s son). Greyson Arlo is a cool name combination, as is Greyson Chance. Grayson is the version used for girls, though it seems to be predominantly a boy name. Nicknames for the girl variation include Grace and Gracie. To use this as a girl name is similar to that of Peyton which can go either way as well, but is typically a boy name.
A spicy baby girls name meaning “spicy cinnamon.” Cassia is great for a first or middle name. Girls with this name tend to be analytical, and love to learn. They are philosophers, teachers, even scholars. Cassias tend to be more quiet and introspective, but they are thoughtful, and sometimes even melancholic. This is a sweet name for a redhead, or a family looking for a really unique name that isn’t too strange-sounding. This is one of those unique names that spelling it shouldn’t really be much of an issue throughout her life. Cute nicknames for Cassia could be Cass, Cassie, and Sia. Cassia can also sometimes be a nickname for girls named Cassidy, and Cassandra. For parents looking for a feminine, rather unusual “C” name, Cassia hits the mark.
The name Kayson is similar to that of Jason, which is no longer very popular. Kayson is an American boys name that means “rejoice, The Healer”. Kayson is a boys name but is sometimes also used for a girl name. It is masculine and unique. Boys with this name are confident, disciplined, organized and usually leaders. There are no celebs with this name, and because it is still pretty unfamiliar to most, would make a great name for any little boy. Kayson Arlo sounds really cool! A nickname could be Kays. Kayson appeared on the charts in 1997 for the very first time, though it still hasn’t reached the top most popular baby names list. In 2012 it ranked 565 in popularity.
A gorgeous English baby girl's name meaning “wise one.” In Latin it means "prophet". It is said that girls with this name desire stability, love family and communities and enjoy working with others. She is an adventurous visionary with a tendency to be optimistic, energetic, and intelligent. Sage makes a great first name, or a lovely middle name. Though this name is typically thought of as a girl name, it can be a boy name too. Sylvester Stallone’s son, Sage Stallone, and New York Giants quarterback Sage Rosenfels are both men with the name. Still though, it sounds like that Johnny Cash song, A Boy Named Sue. Personally, Sage just sounds way too feminine to give to a boy.
Henley can be a boy or girls name but seems to suit males better. This has been derived from the French name Henri, and the German name Heinrich. The name means “an enclosure, a hedging-in.” Don Henley from the band the Eagles, is one celeb/musician who uses the name. Though it is his last name. Henley is a rugged manly name and would be great for a first or middle name since it is rather short. No nickname is needed for this one, but Hen, or Henny would be cute. William Earnest Henley wrote the poem in 1875 called Invictus. Playwright Beth Henley won the Pulitzer prize for her play, Crimes of the Heart. Henley is similar to Henry, which has really gained in popularity over the last few years. It seems that the old fashioned names are making a comeback.
A gorgeous baby girl name that is Old English meaning “heather field”. Ernest Hemingway’s first wife was named Hadley, as well as a character on the True Blood series, Barbie Princess Charm School, and Barbie’s 12 Dancing Princesses. It seems like the name Hadley, though unique and not too common, is beloved by movie makers, especially Barbie. Nicknames for Hadley could be Haddie, Hads, Haddles, LeeLee, etc. A girl named Hadley is said to be a leader with a powerful personality. She is goal-focused and great with creative ideas. She’s unique, creative and stubborn. A fun blend of both brains and beauty. Though this name is still very uncommon, it is gaining in popularity in the U.S. especially. Similar names to this would be Harper or Harlow.
Elias is similar to that of Eli and Elijah and is the Greek variation to the classic Biblical name meaning "Jehovah is God". Elias is pronounced ee-LIY-es, or eh-LAY-ahs. This is a masculine baby boy name, that works fantastic as a first or middle name. Paired with Henley, it sounds awesome…Elias Henley, or maybe as a middle name Kellsen Elias. Famous people with this name include Walter Elias (Walt) Disney, Elias Kane, Elias Dayton, Elias Howe (the American inventor of the sewing machine), Elias Becker, and Michael Buble’s son Elias Buble. The most common nickname for Elias is Eli. This is a great name option especially if you wanted a Biblical name, or a variation that is less popular than the standard Elijah. This name is most popular in the country of Sweden.
Mae is such a lovely and old-fashioned timeless name, that the meaning is seemingly insignificant. But since the meaning is very important to some families, this little beauty means “bitter.” Though that Hebrew meaning may not be appealing to some, in English it is a month, so think of it as a great time of year when flowers blossom, birds lay eggs, and the earth begins to warm yet again. Girls named Mae tend to resent authority and be rather stubborn, proud, and even impatient. However, despite that, they are courageous and sometimes aggressive. Don’t let the name fool you…she can take care of herself! This could be a really sweet middle name, or a short and sweet first name. Mae West and Mae Jemison are famous women who made this name beloved. One was a pin-up actress, and the other an astronaut.
The name Sawyer inevitably makes you think of the story by Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn and the characrer, Tom Sawyer, who has made this name popular and cool amongst parents looking for a unique baby boy (or even girl) name. In the Celtic form it means “cuts timber”, and the English form means “saws wood”. In any case the boy will love trees! Sawyers tend to be stable and loving. They focus on goals and tend to be creative and wealthy. Sawyer has some of the cutest nicknames including Soybean, SoyBoy, SoySauce, Sawbug, and Sawyer the Destroyer. Sawyer Sweeten is one celeb with the unique name. He is the actor that played one of the twins on the show Everybody Loves Raymond. Saywer Spielberg is the son of Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw.
Sloane (Sloan) is a Celtic baby name for either a boy or a girl, meaning “warrior.” It is particularly cool for girls, since its uniqueness makes it one of those where there certainly will not be two kids in the class with the same name. People with this name are great at analyzing and learning. They may even be teachers. Though they are quiet, they do see the big picture and are typically very thoughtful people. A cute nickname for a baby girl named Sloane is Loany, or LoLo. Mark Sloan from Grey’s Anatomy is quite possiblyl the most famous “Sloan” around today. This is also one of those names that would make a great middle name, unlike the typical names of Marie and Anne, which have been greatly overused.
Oliver is a delightful name for a baby boy. This gives no indication that it could possibly be a girl, as it’s a masculine name. A feminine variation is Olive. The nickname possibilities are super cute too, including Oli, Ollie, and Olive. This is a French name which literally means “olive tree.” This name is most popular in the country of England. Famous celebs named Oliver include Oliver Stone, Oliver Reed, Oliver Platt, Oliver North, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Oliver Phelps. Oliver makes a great first or middle name. Great name combinations include Greyson Oliver, and Oliver Kayson. Charles Dickens story, Oliver Twist is the most famous Oliver of all. O-names are not all that common, which makes this name stand out from the crown. It’s unique and yet no one should have an issue pronouncing it.
This unique name is really beautiful and easy to pronounce. Aislinn, which can be pronounced ASH-lin, or ASH-ling is gaining in popularity. Though the spelling may be an issue throughout her life, this Irish baby-girl name means “dream” or “vision”. A child named this is thought to be a humanitarian, community-minded, loving, family-oriented, affectionate, compassionate, and sensitive. A similar name would be Aisling or Iselin (used primarily in Norway). If this name sounds familiar it may be because you are thinking of Aslan, the lion in Narnia. Though that lion is a male, and a representative of God, the name Aislinn is very much a female-only name. The two names, though they sound a little bit similar, are actually very different.
Quentin is a fun Q name which means, “from the Queen’s place, town” in Old English, and “born fifth" in Latin. It was tradition for families to name their fifth child (if it was a son) Quentin. There are a few different ways to spell this name including Quinton, and Quenton. Quentin Tarantino is quite possibly the most famous one around today. In 1905 Quentin was listed on the U.S. popularity charts but it floundered at the bottom of the list for several years and then made a jump in 1918. Teddy Roosevelt’s son was named Quentin Roosevelt, which brought the name to life as he was a deceased war hero. He was also the fifth child born to Teddy and his second wife. Since Q names are not too common, this is a fun take on an underused letter.
A very sweet, simple, unique baby girl's name, Trina is a great option if you are looking for something different. In Swedish it means “pure", and in Greek it means “innocent.” Girls named Trina are thought to be competent, practical, and focus on business affairs. Sometimes even avoiding relationships because of it. Very similar to Mae, Trinas are goal oriented and powerful. Nickname options are Trin (treen), or TT. Trina can be a first name itself, or it can be a nickname for Katrina. There have been quite a few famous actresses named Katrina, and only a two that are actually named Trina. Speaking of Mae, Trina Mae is an adorable name combination. She will undoubtedly be strong willed and business savvy!
A strong sounding Celtic baby boy (or girl) name meaning “slender, fair” and also “strong warrior”. Not to be mistaken for Kelly, or Callen, this name is strong, and very Irish-sounding. Kellens tend to be adventurous, and excitable. They are visionaries and optimistic. Cute nicknames for a rugged little boy named Kellen are Kel, Kellbell, and K. They feminine version can be spelled Kellyn. Famous celebs named Kellen include Kellen Winslow, Kellen Clemens, as well as Kellan Lutz, and Kelen Capener. Half of the previously mentioned men named Kellen are football players…could this be partially because of the fact that it literally means strong warrior? Possibly! Spelling variations include Kellen, Kellan, and Kelen. Kellen Oliver is an adorable first and last name combination that even your in-laws would love!
Gwen Stefani made this name cool…or maybe her parents did. Meaning “white circle” Gwen is a great standalone name, but can also be the nickname for a woman named Gwendolyn. It’s a Celtic name that is delightfully simple, and yet so non-traditional. It’s said that a woman named Gwen has a deep desire to travel and seeks after adventure. She is a powerhouse and a leader, capable of just about anything. Though this name is quite short and you really wouldn’t expect it to have a nickname, a cute pet name is Gweni, or Wen-Wen. Famous celebs named Gwen include Gwen Stefani, Gwen Verdon, Gwen Hajek, Gwen Taylor, and Gwen Torrence. This is one of those names that is most certainly for baby girls only.
A strong manly name for a boy baby. Arlo makes a great unique boy name. In Latin it means “strong, manly”, and in English it means, “fortified hill.” Arlo may be a short but sweet name that requires no nickname, but it is strong and commanding. Arlos tend to be leaders and have powerful personalities. They are courageous and aggressive, and tend to be stubborn and proud. Johnny Knoxville has a daughter named Arlo, and Toni Collette has a son named Arlo Galafassi. This name can go for either a boy or a girl, but seems particularly cool for a boy name. A fun nickname could be Arie, or LoLo. It’s a handsome, rugged, strong name, and would work great as a first or middle name.
Sources: Sheknows.com, BabyNameWizard.com, BabyCenter.com, Appellationmountain.net, WhatToExpect.com, NameCandy.com, Babble.com
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