When it comes to naming babies nowadays, there are a lot of things to consider. How does the name sound when it's said out loud? What middle name pairs with it the best? Will mothers-in-law hate it?
Baby names are taking a whole new turn these days - and moms are skipping the traditional John, Mary, and Peter and opting instead for names that are a little more outside of the box. We've been seeing a lot of typical names being spelled differently as well. It seems to be that parents are picking names based more on their meaning rather than deciding what's popular and easy to remember when it comes time to scold their kids. Because we have to think about these things!
There are some up and coming names that are simply beautiful, in both meaning and the way they sound. Some of these names are currently on the unusual side, but unusual names are becoming pretty popular!
We've collected some of those unusual, but beautiful, names that will make even the darkest people smile...they will be oohing and ahhing after babies and consider having their own little bundle of joy! So here is our list of 25 names...
Celebs touting this name: Luna Simone (John Legend & Chrissy Teigen's daughter), Luna Encinas (Penelope Cruz & Javier Bardem's daughter), Luna Marie (Constance Marie & Ken Katich's daughter)
Luna is a beautiful name meaning moon, and it perfect for the mom that wants a beautiful and mysterious sounding name! It is also the name of the ancient Roman goddess of the moon (fitting, giving its meaning), who is often portrayed riding her white chariot across the night sky. So if your baby has you over the moon as soon as you've met her, this name might be the one for her!
In pop culture, Luna is the name of one of the characters in the Harry Potter series (Luna Lovegood) and serves as Harry's future daughter's middle name, and is also a character on True Blood (Luna Garza) as a shapeshifter.
Winter: the season of winter
Celebs touting this name: Winter Morgan (daughter of Gretchen Mol & Tod ‘Kip’ Williams), Harlow Winter Kate (daughter of Nicole Richie & Joel Madden), and Winter Victoria (daughter of Alexandra Lenas & Sean Parker).
Winter is a beautiful little girl's name that comes from the season of winter! Much like the names Summer and Autumn that are already popular, the name Winter is rising in popularity and has some adorable nicknames (like Winnie, Win, Winty, Winterfresh). We can already see a playful dad calling his daughter Winterfresh, how cute is that! It's a great name for your little one if they happen to be born in the cold winter-y months of the year.
In pop culture, Winter was the name of the dolphin in Dolphin Tale, Winter Anderson AHS: Cult
Celebs touting this name: Aurora Robinson Perrineau (daughter of Harold Perrineau and Brittany Perrineau)
Sleeping Beauty fan? Aurora is the name for your little girl, then! This name originally comes from the Roman goddess of dawn, who (in Roman mythology) would fly across the sky to announce the coming of the sun each day. It makes a beautiful name for a little girl who brings sunshine into your day just by being your daughter!
In pop culture, Aurora is probably most commonly known for being the name of Sleeping Beauty, but it is also the name of Aurora Borealis (better known as the Northern Lights) which can be seen in Alaska and Canada. The Northern Lights are a magical display of dancing and glowing lights that include white, green, blue, yellow, violet, orange, pink, and red.
Drake: dragon; male duck
Celebs touting this name: Drake (born Aubrey Drake Graham, son of Sandi and Dennis Graham), Drake Bell (son of Robin Dodson and Joe Bell).
With all of the recent mythical fanfare that's popular these days (Game of Thrones, anyone?), it's understandable why the name Drake is climbing up in the popularity charts with its unique meaning! And how cool would it be for your kids to look up the meaning of their names to find out that it means dragon? This name currently holds rank in the top 500 U.S. boy names (although it hit a spike in 2010 thanks to famous rapper Drake, which launched it into the top 200 for a while before declining in popularity again).
In pop culture, Drake is a fictional character in Dragonheart: A New Beginning, a character in Blade: Trinity, Drake Ramoray (Joey Tribbiani) on Friends, and a character in Drake & Josh on Nickelodeon.
Grey: gray-haired; pleasant
Celebs touting this name: Grey Damon (Friday Night Lights), Grey Douglas (son of Molly Sims and Scott Stuber), and Greyson Valor (son of Jennifer 'JWOWW' Farley and Roger Mathews).
Grey (alternatively spelled Gray) is actually considered a unisex name, although it's more typical to see it on a boy's birth certificate than a girl's. It can stand on its own for a first name, or it can be a nickname for a longer name like Greyson (also spelled Grayson). Consider that 50 Shades Of Grey came out in these last few years, and women left the theaters from their wild ladies night out to go home and see their husband's and suddenly felt like making a baby!
In pop culture, Grey can be most familiarly associated with the 50 Shades Of Grey franchise, where women fell in love with Christian Grey, opting to name their babies after their fantasy hunk's last name. There's also the hit TV show, Grey's Anatomy, where plenty of beautiful doctors and interns swoon their viewers with their ability to save lives and break hearts.
Damien: to tame; subdue
Celebs touting this name: Damien Rice (Singer/Songwriter), Damon Wayans (Actor - Major Payne, Little Man, Malibu's Most Wanted), Damien Sandow (WWE Wrestler), and Damien Charles (son of Steven Bing and Elizabeth Hurley).
Damien is the French variation of the name Damian, which is most commonly recognized for being the name of the character in the movie The Omen, where a child causes many deaths around him and is revealed to in fact by the AntiChrist. It means 'to tam, or subdue'. While Damian is still recovering from its horror movie association, the alternatively spelled Damien seems to do better for parents who still love the name but don't love that movie.
In pop culture, Damien is normally used to name fictional antagonists within a plot (this is probably thanks to the whole 'Omen' scenario).
Onyx: claw; fingernail
Origin: Name of a gemstone
Celebs touting this name: Onyx Solace (daughter of Alanis Morissette and Souleye). There aren't a whole lot of celebs with this name!
Onyx is a unisex name, derived from the gem, but is typically used for boys due to its 'harsh' sound, and the addition of the final letter 'x', which is considered to be more masculine than feminine. We happen to think it makes a gorgeous girl's name, and a strong and powerful boy's name - it truly works for both sexes! As far as the physical gemstone goes, Onyx typically occurs in two varieties (red and black), with the colors alternating in color with bands of white.
In ancient times, Onyx proved to help with many superstitions. The Romans used it to show courage in battle, Europeans thought it showed a certain eloquence in Renaissance times, Sardonyx (the red kind) was used by the English to help make childbirth easier by placing the gemstone on the woman giving birth's chest.
In pop culture, Onyx is the name of a DC comics character who was a member of the League of Assassins.
Asher: fortunate; blessed; happy one
Celebs touting this name: Asher Roth (American Rapper), Asher Allen (NFL Football Player), Asher Dylan (son of actress Embeth Davidtz and Jason Solane), and Asher James (son of Shay Mooney from Country duo Dan + Shay).
Asher, alternatively spelled Ashor or Ashur, is a very old but sweet name for a little boy! It has also been used for girls but is much more popular as a man's name. A great nickname for this sweet baby boy's name is Ash. It currently sits in the top 100 baby names in the U.S.
In pop culture, Asher is a very popular secondary character name (featured in shows like Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, and The Giver), and was also the name of one of Jacob's twelve sons in the Bible.
Storm: bad weather
Celebs touting this name: Storm Reid (actress in 12 Years A Slave and A Wrinkle In Time), and Storm Thorgerson (he designed the album covers for the bands Led Zeppelin, Anthrax, Cranberries, and Pink Floyd).
Storm sounds like a beautiful name for either a boy or a girl! This name originates from Denmark and Sweden, where the popular surname Stormr is abundant. It paints the picture of a dramatic and windswept scene that will have you cracking up during your little one's years of puberty! Storm is perfect for the mom and dad that are in love with nature, and want an original (and currently unpopular) name. Especially if you happen to give birth during some bad weather.
This name isn't as popular as some of its variations (like Stormy, Stormi), but is still ranking in the top 1000 baby names in the U.S.
Anda: variation of Amanda or Ananda
Celebs touting this name: Anda (aka Andamiro - South Korean singer, actress, and model), Ananda Lewis (former BET and MTV host)
This name is probably the most unique name on our list! Because this name is pretty new (but still quite beautiful), it doesn't really have a meaning. Anda is derived from Amanda though, which means deserving to be loved; worthy of love; loved very much by everyone, and has Latin roots. It can also be a variation of the less popular name, Ananda, which has Hindi roots and carries the meaning of bliss.
So if you love the meanings behind the names Amanda or Ananda, but aren't in love with the actual names for your little girl, you should consider Anda as a unique alternative.
Celebs touting this name: Imogen Poots (actress; Jane Eyre, Need For Speed, I Kill Giants), Imogen Anthony (fashion designer), and Imogen Thomas (model).
This is one of our faves! Imogen is such a beautiful name, even if its meaning is pretty generic, being maiden. It is most popular in Australia but is gaining some momentum with the top baby names in the U.S. in recent years as well. If you are a big Shakespeare fan, you'll be happy to know that the first documented use of Imogen was in a play of his called Cymbeline. Although some people believe that the name Imogen was actually Innogen, and it was misspelled during transcription and was just accepted as the true form of the name Shakespeare intended. Either way, we are loving this beautiful name!
Some variations of Imogen would be: Imogene, Emogen, Innogen, and Imogine.
Ophelia: help; serpent
Celebs touting this name: Ophelia Lovibond (actress; Guardians Of The Galaxy), Ophelia Saint (daughter of Jordyn Blum and Dave Grohl- Foo Fighters).
Another Shakespearean introduction, Ophelia (coming from his famous play titled Hamlet) is topping the charts with its beautiful and poetic (but perhaps somewhat sinister) sound and meaning. We love that on one end, this name means something sweet like help, and on the other end, it means something a little darker like serpent. It's currently ranked in the top 600 baby names in the U.S. and ranks in the top 300 names for England. Some variations of the name Ophelia would be Ophelie (close to the original and just as pretty sounding!), Ofelia, Ofilia, and the Spanish version Filia.
Some great nicknames for Ophelia include: Ophie, Opie, Feely, and Lia
Origin: Variation of the animal name, 'Wolf'
Celebs touting this name: Wolfe Lee (son of Kimora Lee Simons and Tim Leissner), and Wolfe Henry (son of comedian Merrick Watts and Georgie Sulzberger)
Kimora Lee Simmons blazed the path for this name, which was traditionally a surname. That's her cutie pictured above, and he makes the name so much more adorable! Wolfe is a more masculine sounding name, but we wouldn't be surprised to see some moms stepping outside the box to select it for their daughter although we haven't seen it happen just yet. This would be a great name selection for any new mom and dad that are big fans of the supernatural as well (werewolves, etc).
Because Wolfe is already pretty short, there aren't really any nicknames for it.
Origin: The word 'Rain"
Celebs touting this name: Rain Phoenix (actress and sister to River and Joaquin Phoenix), Rain Pryor (daughter of Richard Pryor), and Rainn Wilson (actor; played Dwight in The Office).
If the name Storm was too much for your liking, Rain might be a good middle ground for a nature-themed first name! With its down to earth meaning (and origin), this name is great for any little boy or girl. Some people love the smell of rain, which would be a great reason to choose this one. Rain is actually much more common as a middle name than as a first name.
Alternate spellings for Rain include Reign, Rayne, Reine, Raine, and Rainn. Because Rain is only one syllable, it doesn't have any well-known nicknames.
Indigo: Indian dye
Celebs touting this name: Indigo Sanara (daughter of Lou Diamond Phillips), IndigoPacker (daughter of James and Erica Packer).
Indigo isn't just a color in the rainbow-it's a baby name! Indigo is considered to be a color between blue and violet. It's climbing up the name charts recently in England, although it hasn't shown much promise in the U.S. But that might be all the more reason to go for this adorable color name for your little girl! Because it's so adorable, but not yet that common, you could be one of the firsts to really implement its use in the U.S. So, if you aren't trying to go all Beyoncé and name your little girl Blue, but aren't feeling the name Violet, you could settle for the perfect in-between color name of Indigo.
Indigo has an adorable nickname of Indi!
Origin: Welsh (female version of Morgan)
Celebs touting this name: Morgana King (singer/actress), Morgana McNelis (Charlie Hunam's (Sons Of Anarchy) real-life girlfriend).
Morgana is the female version of Morgan, although Morgan has been used for both boys and girls for a long time now so this version isn't as popular anymore. Moms and dads who are into names of villains might be interested in this name, given how popular it seems to be to give Morgana to the antagonists in stories. For instance, Morgana is the name of Ursula's sister in the sequel to The Little Mermaid, and is also the name of a major villain in the Wonder Woman comics.
Some nicknames for Morgana include Morgan, Morgie, and Organ (which is definitely on the funnier side of nicknames).
Rowan: little redhead
Origin: Scottish & Irish
Celebs touting this name: Rowan Blanchard (actress; Girl Meets World, The Backup Plan), Rowan Atkinson (actor; Mr. Bean).
Rowan is a unisex name, and it's making its way onto both boys' and girls' birth certificates as we speak! Although it means little redhead, you don't need to wait to see if your little one has red locks at birth to decide on this one! Considering that less than 2% of the population actually has red hair, it's safe to say that almost no one carrying the name will actually live up to the meaning. According to NameBerry, Sharon Stone used the unique spelling of Roan for her son, while Brooke Shields favored the Rowan spelling for her daughter.
Alternate spelling for Rowan include: Roan, Rowen, Rowene, and Rowyn
Some popular nicknames for Rowan are Rowy (also spelled Roey), Rowe, or Ro.
January: born in January
Celebs touting this name: January Jones (actress; American Wedding, Mad Men).
If your little one is born in January, or you really favor the winter months, this name would be perfect for your daughter. The name January comes from the Roman god of doorways, 'Janus'. Janus is best known for being the god of two faces, with one face facing towards the past and the other facing towards the future. He was celebrated at the beginning of harvests, marriages, deaths, and births.
We are big fans of actress January Jones, who brings a beautiful face to this unique name! She is just about the only celeb with her name (for now).
Some popular nicknames for January are Jan, Airy, Janny, JJ, Jane, and Janie
Amaris: variation of Amara, which means grace; bitter.
Origin: variation of Amara, which has Latin roots
Celebs touting this name: Amaris Mira (daughter of South African rugby player Zane Kirchner), Amaris Kirby (actress; The Matchmaker).
Amaris is such a pretty name, it is sure to make anyone smile just by hearing it. With two sides to its meaning, one being grace and the other being bitter, you can find some uniqueness to this name. Amaris was adapted from Amara and has Latin roots. It isn't incredibly popular (although everyone seems to be ditching the traditional Mary and Jane type names), but it's climbing up the baby name charts and sits in the top 300 for the U.S. in recent years.
Some popular nicknames for Amaris are Amy, Marie, and Aris.
Celebs touting this name: Layla El (Pro Wrestler), Layla Foreman (daughter of Tim Foreman; Switchfoot), Layla LaCosta (daughter of singer Tanya Tucker), and Layla Z. Summers (daughter Andy Summers of The Police).
We love the meaning of the baby girl name Layla! Layla means 'night', and sounds like the perfect name for any little girl! This name is wildly popular thanks to the song by Derek and the Dominoes titled, 'Layla', and the fact that it gave the crazy popular name Kayla a facelift, if you will. There were so many young ladies named Kayla in the 90's, and Layla was a refreshing Arabic introduction to the U.S. baby name charts. Some alternate spellings for Layla are Leila, Laylah, and Laila.
Some popular nicknames for Layla are Lay (also Lei), and Lay Lay (Lei Lei).
Scarlett: scarlet; red
Celebs touting this name: Scarlett Johansson (actress; The Horse Whisperer, The Island), Scarlett O'Hara (a character in Gone With The Wind).
This gorgeous girl's name launched itself into popularity thanks to the Gone With The Wind phenomenon when the movie was released in 1940 starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara. Gone With The Wind (which sold over 28 million book copies) swept away millions with its melodramatic plot. The name Scarlett has gained even more popularity since the beginning of the 2000s, and keeps climbing up the baby name charts and is sitting pretty in the top 50 baby names in the U.S.
Some celeb babies with the name Scarlett include Rob Schneider's daughter Miranda Scarlett, Stacy Bendet's daughter Scarlett Haven, Sylvester Stallone's daughter Scarlet Rose (only one 'T'), and Melanie Chisholm's daughter Scarlet Starr (also with only one 'T').
Some popular nicknames for Scarlet are Scar, and Lettie.
Willow: willow tree
Celebs touting this name: Willow Morgan (child model), Willow Shields (actress; played Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games), Willow Sage Hart (singer Pink and Carey Hart's daughter)
We love this adorable nature-themed name for a little girl! Much like the other nature-themed names on this list (Winter, Rain, Storm, and Luna), this name sounds wise beyond its years and is both classic and unique. This name is currently ranking in the top 100 baby girl names on NameBerry, and seems to have caught the eye of many celeb parents for their little ones.
While Willow seems to be predominantly a female name, we could totally see this name branching out (pun intended) to being used for boys in the future.
Some popular nicknames for Willow are Wills, Willa, and Lil.
Alaric: all-powerful ruler
Celebs touting this name: Alaric I and II (Kings of the Visigoths), Alaric Alexander Watts (English poet and journalist in 1800s).
There aren't any current (alive and well) celebs with this name, but thanks to The Vampire Diaries and Matthew Davis' character, Alaric Saltzman, this name is creeping up on the baby charts (albeit slowly). Well, with a face like that, it's easy to see why moms-to-be would opt for this name for their little guys. With a meaning like 'all-powerful ruler', you're sure to give him an amazing name to live up to! After all, Alaric was the name of some crazy powerful rulers (Alaric I and II). Alaric is sitting in the top 200 names on NameBerry for 2017.
Some popular nicknames for Alaric are Rick, Ricky, and Al.
Cain: spear; possessed
Celebs touting this name: There are a ton of celebs with this name spelled Kane (which means warrior): Kane Brown (country singer), Kane (WWE Wrestler - real name Glenn Thomas Jacobs who played The Undertaker's half-brother), and Kane Kosugi (actor; Godzilla: Final Wars 2004).
While Cain has a negative Biblical connotation with Cain murdering his younger brother Abel, we're sure you can escape the association as long as you avoid naming any younger siblings 'Abel'. Cain is certainly a strong and masculine name with a meaning like spear.
If you aren't a fan of the spelling Cain, some alternative spellings include Cayne, Cane, Kain, Caine, Kayne, and Kane.
Because Cain is only one syllable, there are not any well-known nicknames for this name, but we suppose Cay could be an option.
Tempest: turbulent; stormy
Origin: Comes from the word 'Stormy'
Celebs touting this name: We couldn't find any celebs with the name Tempest, however, there are plenty with the name Stormy - including the newest Kardashiann/Jenner baby!
Tempest is a truly original and unique name, taking a more popular name like Stormy and putting a modern twist on it! While some would argue that this name sounds a little seductive for a young lady, we would argue that the meaning is so poetic and beautiful. While there aren't many celebs with this name (there are a few with Tempest for a last name), there are quite a few with it's adjacent name, Stormy/Stormi, including Kylie Jenner's new baby girl Stormi Webster.
Nicknames for Tempest include: Temp, Tempy, Storm, Stormy, and Stormi.