Sometimes a name is so incredible and unusual that it is easy to wonder if someone has just simply made it up. And why not? There are so many names around and let’s not forget that originally, way back in time, someone must have made them up at some point.
Whether they are based on a person’s location, employment or physical features, names originally meant something to someone. So why not keep up that tradition now and create a new name, or reuse one that has been virtually forgotten in the annals of time.
If mom is fed up with the plethora of Isabelles, Sarahs, Andrews and Marks at the school gates, then go for something completely different. Here is a list of 25 names that dare to be different. Some are ancient, some are very new, some have just been forgotten for a few hundred years, but all of them are so out-there that most moms just don’t consider them.
Don’t worry about what other people will think of the unusual or whacky name choice, just consider whether mom and child are likely to enjoy this name in the long term. Give the baby a chance to stand out from the crowd with one of these unique and out-there names.
If you like the sound of names such as Sarah or Maria but are looking for something a little different, then Zariah might be the name for you. Pronounced ‘ZAHR-ee-ə’ it is not only a major city in Nigeria but also translates from the Arabic name ‘Zahrah’, which means ‘blooming flower’.
Zariah or Zaria is the Russian word for sunrise and in Slavic mythology, Zaria is the goddess of the dawn. She was known as the morning star and her ancient worshippers called her the heavenly bride.
Here is a beautiful girl’s name that went out of fashion around 100 years ago but is becoming more popular again in the USA thanks to American author Willa Cather.
The female version of William, this name originates in the Germanic words ‘wil’, meaning ‘will or desire’ and ‘helm’ meaning ‘helmet, protection’. So literally Willa is a valiant protector. Brought to England during the Norman invasion of 1066, it is still used in Germany, along with its variations Wilhelmina and Wilma.
Naming children after literary characters appears to be coming into fashion through the 21st century and you may well be a lover of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, if you are considering Atticus. Harper Lee’s great hero is a symbol of decency, fairness, wisdom and legal acumen but far from being an instant 1960’s success, Atticus has stayed on the sidelines.
Attica is actually a Greek region dating back to Antiquity and Atticus is an old Roman nickname meaning ‘man of Attica’.
Suitable for any cheeky or overly independent child, Rebel is a strong and confident name. It comes from the Old French word ‘rebelle’, meaning someone with little respect for authority or someone who had taken part in a rebellion.
Although this name has been in use for hundreds of years, it has only started to become better known in the last 5 years. In 2016 only 46 babies per million were given this name, meaning that is still very rare.
If you are looking for an animal to name your child after, the loyal and strong wolf is surely a great choice. Although this has never reached the top 1000 American names, it was actually a common Jewish name in the 18th and 19th centuries in Central and Eastern Europe. In the Bible, the wolf is the symbol for the tribe of Benjamin.
Wolf is either quite simply the English or German word for this fearsome animal, or is a short form of other Germanic names beginning with Wolf, such as Wolfgang, Wolvesbane, Wolfford and Wolfworth.
This lovely girl’s name is so rare in the USA that only 30 people have it. Ranked at number 134,801 this name truly is considered ‘out-there’ in western countries.
It is actually a Nigerian name, originating as ‘Yoruba’ and means ‘born during a trip’.
Name analysis tells us that Abiona tends to be graceful, soft-spoken and mysterious. She is usually a person who appreciates the arts and the finer things in life and would be happiest as a teacher, philosopher, writer, psychiatrist, or even fortune teller.
Right down at number 1,157 on the baby name charts, only 166 babies per million have this name in the US. Originally an Old English word, this graceful and stately name refers to an area of box trees or woodland clearings. It is now also a locational name, being an affluent suburb of Columbus, Ohio and a section of Greater London famous for its heath.
With nickname options including Bex, Lee and Leah, this is a name that will grow well from babyhood to adulthood.
Rockstar or blimp fanatic? This name is for you! This striking boy’s name may immediately bring to mind the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin and will give your son that cool edge over more common names. Alternatively, it is used in Germany as a unisex name and is another term for the famous airships that hover over land. This name is so rare that famous bearers are few and far between, but rock band Korn’s singer recently named his son Zeppelin in tribute to the great musicians.
This ‘brave or strong’ name comes from the Latin word ‘valens’, This, in turn, means ‘he who has value, valiant or courage’. It is even translated sometimes as ‘strength or health’. So this is a super masculine and positive name, outlining all the qualities you would want in your son!
Add this to its association with Valentine, and you have another side to this beautiful name - romance and love.
There are a few famous Valentinos including Valentino Mazzola, Italian footballer, and Valentino Rossi, Italian motorcycle racer, but you won’t find many in your typical American playground!
Brinley, or Brinlee, is an American respelling of Brynlee. This, in turn, comes from the old Welsh male name Bryn, meaning ‘hill or mound’. This very pretty and cute name is so rare that it can’t be found in any significant popular culture or in the celebrity world, nor does it rank in the top 1000. Studies of the name show that Brinley is likely to be dependable and studious. A practical and hard-working girl, Brinley is conservative but very industrious.
The feminine form of Armel, which is pronounced the same, this gorgeous name is from France. Of Celtic origin, it originally comes from the region of Brittany. It comes from the words ‘Arz’, meaning bear, and ‘Mael’, meaning prince. So Armelle is literally a bear princess.
If you’re not quite sure that it’s the right choice, then try one of its many variations including Armaël, Armella, Maël, Arzel, Arzela and Ermel. With this name, Armelle is likely to be energetic and extremely likeable.
This was originally a Scottish name and is a variation of the name Cameron. Whilst Cameron is popular as both a surname and given name, Camari is usually used as a unisex first name only. The famous Scottish Cameron clan are thought to have been named after an ancestor with a ‘crooked nose’, so although the name has a less than flattering translation, it makes up for it in chic style.
For girls, it is currently at number 3,924 having fallen 858 places, whereas for boys it is on the rise and currently at number 2971.
Although fans of the children’s programme ‘The Magic Roundabout’ may immediately be thinking of a strange creature on a spring, this name actually dates from Biblical times. Translating as ’gift of God’, this is an Anglicized version of the Hebrew ‘Zebediah’. Some translate it as ‘abundant’ or ‘portion’, but either way, this name has a funky ring to it and will make your son stand out from the crowd.
With nickname options such as Zeb or Dee, this is a versatile and unusual name.
This exotic sounding name is actually Latin and translates as ‘light’. It was popular in ancient Rome and has been the name chosen by three popes, and two kings of Rome, but wasn't ranked in the top 1000 since 1968. An alternative to the much more common ‘Luke’, Lucius is a great masculine name with variations such as Loukios, Lucio and Lucjusz.
There is also a variety of pronunciations to choose from, including ‘LOO-kee-oos’ in Classical Latin, and 'LOO-shəs' or 'LOO-si-əs' in English.
For those of you who love fantasy and fairies then this gorgeous girl’s name should be top of your list. Translating not merely as ‘elf’ but in fact ‘leader of the elves’, Elva has that old world Celtic feel to it, whilst also sounding up to date and very chic.
Elva makes a unique alternative to the super-popular Elsa, Ellie and Emma. If you want a more authentic spelling you could keep to the original Irish spelling of Ailbhe.
This distinctive name has a long history and has developed several meanings over its long life. In some places it is known merely as a suffix, so a nickname for names like Marina or Kristina. In Ireland, the common form for Ina is Agnes, whilst in Anglo-Saxon, the name means ‘home’ or ‘to entertain’. The name also translates as ‘Christian woman or queen’.
In the first century, it was a popular name for boys, with King Ina of the West Saxons being notable for increasing taxes in 725AD!
This ‘young warrior’ comes from the ancient Latin name ‘Marcellus’. A fantastically elegant boy’s name, Marcello comes from the God of War, Mars and is pronounced ‘mar-CHEL-lo.
In popular culture, Marcello Auditore appears in the Assassin's Creed series, whilst football manager Marcello Lippi is also blessed with this gorgeous Italian name.
The Spanish and Portuguese version of the name is Marcelo, differing in having only one "l", while the Greek form is Markellos. So if you like Mark but want something a bit more ‘out-there’, Marcello is a great choice.
Although this has been around since ancient Greek times, this cool and creative name has only seen a rise in popularity in the 21st century. In Greek mythology, Orion was the son of Poseidon and renowned as a great hunter. His ill-fated pursuit of the seven daughters of Atlas resulted in him being slain by the goddess Artemis and then placed as one of the brightest constellations in the night sky by Zeus. Meaning ‘rising in the sky, dawning’, his constellation of three super bright stars is commonly known as ‘Orion’s belt’.
This charming unisex name derives from the Irish surname O’Quinn, which in turn is from the Gaelic O’Cuinn. The name means ‘descendant of Conn’, which stands for wisdom, reason and intelligence.
Quinn was extremely rare until the mid-1990’s when TV’s ‘Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman’ possibly brought this name into the limelight for girls. As well as the Manfred Mann song ‘The Mighty Quinn’ and the cute cheerleader Quinn Fabray on the TV series ‘Glee’, the name has enjoyed some exposure in popular culture and is now on the up.
This Spanish name is full of beauty and has the brilliant definition of ‘miracle’ or ‘admired’. It currently sits outside the top 1000 US names and is pronounced ‘mi-RAY-ah’.
Famous bearers of this gorgeous moniker include Mireya Elisa Moscoso, the first female president of Panama, and Panamanian botanist Mireya Correa. It is also the title of a poem by Federico Mistral. If you’re still not sure then you could try the Albanian version Mirela, the Croatian Mirica or the Italian Mirella.
This very unusual Aramaic name dates back to Biblical times and means ‘little girl’. In the Gospel of Mark, there is the story of Jesus resurrecting a dead child with the words ‘Talitha cumi’, meaning ‘little girl, I say to you, arise’.
Even if you’re not religious, this rare name has a beautiful and elegant feel to it and will give your daughter an air of exotic mystery.
Pronounced ‘ta-LEE-tha’ this is a name that deserves to be heard more than it currently is.
If having a child feels like your biggest achievement to date then this is a very rare, yet entirely appropriate name. This beautiful unisex name translates as ‘the peak, or the highest point’, suggesting that your child is quite literally top of everything. With a confident name like that no one will mess with you! Currently sitting at number 5,306 in the baby name charts, Zenith is so out-there that it has even dropped 1,196 places from the year before.
Taft, or Tafton, is an Old English word meaning ‘building site’. However, it is no coincidence that the name’s popularity peaked massively around 1900 when a certain William Taft was the 27th US president. Since then the name has more or less disappeared, apart from a couple of appearances in popular culture. Animated series ‘The Tick’ features Taft, as does E. Lockhart's book ‘We Were Liars’.
Short and to the point, this name is an elegant and chic name for any boy and will grow well from baby to man.
This stunning boy’s name is a modern take on Bomer, which originates as a surname. The name comes from the Old German ‘boheim’, which was the word for a Bohemian, and refers to someone who once lived, owned land or was born in the kingdom of Bohemia.
Boho style is very trendy now, echoing the lifestyle of free spirits and hippies of the 1960s and 1970s, and even the pre-Raphaelite women of the late 19th century.
So bang on trend and completely unknown, Boomer is a fine choice.
This is probably what many people first think when they see children, and in particular, small raucous boys. However, it has been used moderately over the years as a play on the phrase ‘danger is my middle name’. So why not raise the stakes and use it as a first name? Danger has never ranked in the top 1000 names. Suitable for someone destined for a life of adventure, this is a daring name that will ensure everyone notices your child.
References: http://www.ohbabynames.com www.babynamewizard.com/ https://www.babycenter.com www.sheknows.com https://www.behindthename.com https://www.mom365.com/baby-names https://www.scottishgirlsnames.co.uk