25 Of The Most Rare Baby Names

Apple, North, Saint, Coco. Celebrities are going to great lengths to ensure that their children have unique and rare names. For everyday people, naming a child after a fruit or direction can seem a bit cruel and unusual. Parents across the nation want unique names that perfectly suit their extraordinary children.

However, parents are careful to choose a name that isn’t so unusual that it draws negative attention. The schoolyard can be a tough enough place for children without having a name that is easily ridiculed by others. There’s a fine line between unique and downright bizarre that thoughtful parents are careful not to cross.

This makes finding a unique name almost impossible. There are the names from high school that conjure up bad memories of our classmates and then there are the names that you’ve just heard way too many times. Nobody wants to give their child the same name as three or four others in their class.

Luckily, if you look hard enough you can find some wonderfully rare baby names that will set your child apart from the crowd. Different cultures and nature are great places to look for inspiration for a unique baby name with significant meaning.

If you’re looking for an extraordinary name for your amazing baby-to-be, look no further. You won’t find any Sarah, Jessica, Katie or Mary’s on this list. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy to jot down some of the greatest rare baby names around.

25 Koa

This exotic baby name literally has Hawaiian roots as the name of a tree native to Hawaii. This Koa tree is often used to make surfboards and canoes. If that’s not a cool enough reason to name your son Koa, it’s strong meaning might. Koa means ‘warrior’ in Hawaiian. The combination of nature and strength in this name means Koa’s are both gentle and bold, never backing down from an adventure.

With a name, this rare your son will be sure to stand out among his future classmates.

While many fearless little boys could certainly live up to this strong name, very few will be given this rare Hawaiian name. For parents looking for a name that separates their son from the pack while also shaping the resilient yet tender man he will grow up to become, Koa is an ideal choice.

24 Olive

The baby name Olivia has been popular for centuries, but have you ever considered naming your baby girl, Olive? Of course, this name comes from the plant, but it also holds significant meaning. Olive has Biblical origins as a symbol of peace. In the bible, a dove offers Noah an olive branch to signify that the floods are ending and peace will soon be restored.

This is also where the term ‘extending an olive branch’ originates as a symbol of goodwill.

Who wouldn’t want to name their daughter such a unique name with Biblical origins? Aside from growing up with a distinguished name, Olive’s are sure to grow up to be charismatic, gentle and loving girls. As the name suggests they are often peacemakers and strive to rectify any conflict, even if keeping the peace creates a personal disadvantage to themselves.

23 Bear

Much like the animal itself, the name Bear inspires thoughts of incredulous strength and prowess. In the wild, bears are at the top of the food chain, rulers of the forest that can dominate and threat that comes their way. Humorously, British adventurer Bear Grylls embodies this to a tee as a famous survival expert.

Parents looking for a unique and robust name for their baby boy should consider this offbeat name.

While some celebrities including Kate Winslet, Jamie Oliver and Alicia Silverstone have all chosen this name for their sons, it has yet to explode in popularity. Perhaps it is due to the quirky nature of the name. However, with names like Apple, Blue, and North becoming accepted first names, Bear can most certainly join the ranks.

It is a strong, unique and empowering name that could provide your future son with the confidence he needs to take on any challenge thrown his way and succeed.

22 Ash

The one universal wish of parents around the world is for their children to be happy. With that in mind, a baby name that means happiness could be the perfect first gift you give you to your child. In Hebrew, Ash means happiness. The English root of the word is derived from the ash tree, giving this name both a unique and natural appeal. This charming little boy’s name can also be used as the short form of the more traditional names; Ashton, or Asher.

The recent resurgence of Pokémon has brought the name Ash into the spotlight, as the name of the main character, but so far the name remains rare. Children named Ash tend to be kind, generous and ambitious. At times they can be quiet and introspective as they digest the world around them. With a name meaning happiness, Ash’s are destined to find joy in everyday moments.

21 Maddex

This adorable baby boy name is of English and Welsh origin. With roots in the United Kingdom, Maddex or Maddox is a traditional name that has flown under the radar for centuries. The name means ‘good’ and ‘generous’. Since it is often a mother’s dream to raise their son to be a good man. Since this is the very meaning of Maddex, he’s sure to make his mother proud.

Typically boys with this name have relentless energy, which can make them a handful to raise. However, when they eventually run out of energy they are the sweetest boys around. Little boys named Maddex love deeply. As children, they can be mommy’s little boy and grow into a profoundly caring and loving husband as an adult.

It’s truly hard not to love this little guy with his boundless energy, sense of humor and loving smile. This strong, proud name is suitable for your relentlessly robust baby boy.

20 Hawke

Obviously inspired by nature, this name is truly unique. Of course, the first image you envision when you hear the name is a predatory bird, however, the meanings associated with Hawke are truly significant. In Native American culture, the hawk is the messenger of the spirit world, which is likely why those with the name are deeply connected to nature and the energies of those around them.

Little boys named Hawke tend to use their incredible power of sight and intuition in their daily lives. Much like a Hawk soaring in the sky, boys with this name are able to see the big picture. They can observe the situation, take it all in and make decisions accordingly. They are also meticulous and have a keen eye for detail.

All of these impressive characteristics coupled with the fact that no one else will likely have the same name makes Hawke an ideal choice.

19 Stina

While some may assume this name is simply the tail end of the common name Christina, it is much more than that. This beautifully rare name is Swedish in origin and appropriately means ‘pure’. Alternatively, in Danish, Stina means ‘Christian’. With such symbolic meanings, this name is perfect for your innocent baby girl.

This unique name is certainly worth considering for parents who are searching for an extraordinary name for their baby girl. While there are many famous Danish, and Swedish Stina’s, the name is virtually unheard of in North America. Stina’s are exceptionally elegant young women who exude beauty and grace everywhere they go.

They are often soft-spoken, well-mannered and eloquent. All in all, Stinas epitomize everything that is elegance, grace, and beauty. Make sure to add this to your list of baby names; you certainly don’t want to forget this one!

18 Kale

We’ve all heard the rave about the countless health benefits of the magical vegetable kale, but have you ever considered it as a name? While some will be quick to dismiss this as a name for yoga-loving, wheatgrass drinking hippies, it’s much more than that. Gaelic in origin, Kale is a unisex baby name that tends to be used for boys more often than girls.

Alternative spellings of the name include Cale or Kayle. The name could also be used as a short form for the more traditional names, Kalen or Kaleb. While the vegetable has been exploding in popularity, it’s use as a baby name has been quite limited.

The Hebrew meaning of Kale is brave. Kale’s are known for being fearless and bold. While sometimes Kale’s boldness can be mistaken for arrogance, they are typically well-intentioned. It can take some time to get to know them, but once you do Kale’s are unwaveringly loyal.

17 Mika

This rare name can suit both boys and girls. The female version of the name originates in Japan and means ‘beautiful fragrance’. The male version originates in Finland and Scandinavia and is the short form of the name, Mikael. Whether used for a boy or girl this name is certainly unique. It’s very unlikely that your child will come across another with the same name as its own.

Mika’s are usually gentle and caring people. Like the feminine meaning suggests they spread a lingering happiness everywhere wherever they go much like a beautiful fragrance. The Japanese heritage of the female version of this name is exotic. A name your daughter will surely appreciate through every phase of her life.

While the male version may not appear quite as exotic, it is unique in its own right and your son will likely enjoy the individuality that his name provides him.

16 Mads

While Mads is a common name in Denmark it’s popularity has yet to take off in North America. It is the Scandinavian form of the Biblical name Matthew, which means ‘master’s gift’. Parents looking for a unique twist on a traditional name should look no further than, Mads. While the name sounds distinctively modern and cool, it’s traditional meaning remains intact.

This name is sure to set your son off on the right foot since boys named Mads tend to be born leaders. They seek out success and are relentless in their pursuit of their goals. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is a great example of these characteristics. Originally a dancer and gymnast he relentlessly pursued his dream of acting until it became a reality.

Mads also tend to be polite, lighthearted and kind young men thanks to their well-mannered Scandinavian heritage.

15 Lise

Little girls all over the world have been named Elizabeth for centuries, but rarely are little ones given the short form of the name, Lise. The name is French in origin and means ‘pledged to God’. While Elizabeth has strong historic heritage, Lise offers a modern individuality and twist to the name.

Although Lise has yet to reach popularity in North America, it’s use is more common in the United Kingdom, perhaps due to the immense popularity of the long form Elizabeth. Girls with this name tend to be quiet and sensitive. Outsiders shouldn’t feel the need to fill the silence around Lise since this is how she absorbs what is going on around her.

While her reserved nature can make it hard to get to know her those she does open up to will have a lifelong friend. Not only is the name rare, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a girl as special as Lise as well.

14 Tenley

Tenley is a rare English name derived from the surname Towneley, which means ‘town’ in Olde English. This name is unique and prior to the appearance of Tenley Molzahn on ‘The Bachelor’ was virtually unheard of in the United States. While at first, many parents find the name rather odd, it allows for some fun adaptability.

Girls with this name can go by either Lee or Ten for short. If you think of the nickname ‘Ten’ in terms of 10/10 it takes on a meaning similar to ‘Ace’. Meaning that your little girl is an all-star at everything she does.

Much like the contestant from ‘The Bachelor’, Tenley’s tend to be kind hearted, soft-spoken, lovable women. They can at times be too kind, passing up their own happiness for the happiness of others. Generosity comes naturally to most girls with this unique name. Giving back to the community and acting as charitably as possible are important to these impressive girls.

13 Ace

This slick baby boy’s name developed into a baby name through the popularity of the nickname ‘Ace’. The ace card represents good luck and victory in many card games. It is often considered the highest card in a deck of cards, is the best card to be dealt in a game of blackjack and poker as well.

Given that the ace often leads to success in poker, this nickname is often given to individuals that excel in everything that they do.

The positive connotations with this name go far beyond the poker table. Ace is also the name given to an unreturnable serve in tennis, the best pitcher on a baseball team, a perfect test score and predictable victory (ace in the hole). Bestowing such a top-notch name to your son is sure to inspire confidence, pride and optimistically future success.

12 Aliza

This beautifully unique baby girl name literally means ‘joyful’. Prior to the twenty-first century, this name was unheard of in the United States. The name started being used in the United States in the 2000s but has yet to reach widespread popularity positioning it as an ideal name for parents looking for an exclusive name.

Much like the meaning of the name suggests, Aliza’s are typically very content people. Rather than constantly grasping for things outside their reach, they are content with what they have and find joy in the small things. Given the materialistic society that we live in, a daughter who feels happy with what she has could be a parent’s greatest wish.

Rather than constantly pestering you for the latest designer bag or boots, your daughter will be happy knowing you’re doing your best to give her what she already has.

11 Dove

This angelic name obviously comes from the name of the bird. However, what you may not know is the significance of the dove to some cultures. The white dove often symbolizes peace and happiness. Given this symbolism, it comes as no surprise that the nickname Dove is often used to describe gentle, kind people.

While this name has been around for centuries, it rarely makes it onto popular baby name charts.

This gentle, peaceful name is perfect for your future baby girl. The name inspires images of doves being released at a wedding or flying into the heavens to meet with angels. With a name this beautifully peaceful and unique name your daughter will surely grow up to have a calm temperament.

Although this may not seem like an ideal characteristic now, parents of teenage girls around the world would jump at the chance to rename their daughters if it meant less teenage mood swings.

10 Blaze

Naturally, the first image that comes to mind when you hear the name Blaze, is of fire and flames. The term blaze is derived from an Olde English word meaning ‘bright fire’ or ‘flame’. The word has German roots as the element ‘blas’, meaning ‘white shining’, which is where we get the term ‘white hot’.

Obviously, this is a bold choice name, which isn’t suitable for every parent. Blaze stands with other one-syllable names that imply confidence or manliness, such as Ace or Slade. Parents searching for a truly one of a kind name should consider this name for their daughter.

Although the boldness of the name ensures it will remain uncommon for boys, it would be one of a kind for a girl. Independence, ambition and strong-willed are common characteristics of the name that would suit both boys and girls.

9 Hazel

This mystical name originated in England as a name for an extraordinary tree. In Celtic legend, the Hazel tree symbolized wisdom and creativity. For centuries, this tree has inspired many poems and works of art. Interestingly, the nuts that come from this tree, ‘hazelnuts’ are thought to be the greatest brain food.

In fact, a Celtic warrior was thought to gain the knowledge of the universe from ingesting hazelnuts before a battle. More recently, some suggest that eating hazelnuts while meditating under a hazel tree increases knowledge and creativity. Any way you slice it, it seems that any association with Hazel brings vast creativity.

Aside from the obvious creativity, Hazel’s have many other admirable characteristics as well. They tend to be mystical, eccentric, imaginative and intuitive while also managing to be wise and philosophical. It seems that the world would be your daughter’s perpetual oyster with a name associated with so many wonderful qualities.

8 Raine

This original name has two possible origins. Some say it could be a respelling of the word ‘rain’ used to describe water falling from the sky. Others suggest the name is derived from the French word for Queen, ‘Regina’. Regardless of the origin, you choose to accept, the name remains beautifully unique.

Perhaps because of the close associated with nature, girls named Raine tend to be intuitive and ‘at-one’ with the universe. Like other nature-inspired names, Raines tend to be idealists. They wish for world peace and harmony, despite historical evidence that this will likely never be the case.

Drawing from the other origin of the name, Raines can also be independent perfectionists, which positions them as ideal leaders, even if they happen to lead a boardroom rather than an entire country. Like the uniqueness of the name, a daughter with this name would certainly be distinct.

7 Oak

We’ve all heard of the name Oakley, but have you considered the shorter form, Oak? If you’re thinking that you wouldn’t want to name your son after a type of wood, perhaps the significance of Oak will change your mind. In Celtic mythology, the oak tree is the storehouse of cosmic wisdom. Ancient Celtic’s respected the massive oak tree for its perseverance and honorable presence.

The strength, wisdom, and endurance of the oak tree also happen to be admirable characteristics for your future son. With a name deeply rooted in nature, Oaks tend to be intuitive and ‘at-one’ with the universe. Combine the uniqueness of this name with its robust meaning and you have an ideal name for parents who want to set their son apart.

A child named oak is sure to be a strong and humble boy who will never have to worry about being confused with another child of the same name.

6 Payton

Payton is an alternative form of the more popular Peyton. Although Payton is technically a unisex name it’s typically given more often to girls than it is boys. This cute and quirky name is regal by nature, meaning ‘royal’ or ‘regal’ in Scottish and Irish. While this name has certainly seen widespread popularity in the United States, its popularity has declined over the past decade or so.

Boys or girls with this name tend to be fiercely independent and individualistic. They march to the beat of their own drum and are quite happy to do so. They are also inventive, ambitious and strong-willed. At times they can be a bit too stubborn for their own good. Luckily, the combination of inventiveness and stubbornness tends to create the entrepreneurs of the world, meaning Payton’s have a shot at being very successful.

5 Knox

This name was traditionally used as a Scottish surname used to describe someone who lives atop a hill. In the late nineteenth century, the name briefly began its use as a first name in the United States. Since then, the name has rarely found itself on the list of top baby names. However once Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie named their son Knox, the name briefly surged in popularity.

In fitting with ‘atop a hill’ meaning, children named Knox tend to excel in life. They are often successful leaders who take on challenges confidently. Knox is the perfect name for parents who are searching for a unique name that is both quirky and strong. While its roots lie in Scotland, the sound of the name has a southern charm meaning your future son could turn out to be a charming, successful businessman, or whatever he chooses to be.

4 Isla

Pronounced ‘eye-lah’ this beautifully unique baby girl name has Scottish roots. While this name has been wildly popular in other English-speaking countries, the United States has been slow to catch on. It wasn’t until Australian actress Isla Fisher starred in the infamous comedy ‘Wedding Crashers’ that its popularity began to rise.

Regardless of the popularity of the film Isla has yet to make it onto the top baby name charts in the United States.

This beautiful name is definitely understated. Its simple, friendly, and Scottish nature makes this name perfect for the easygoing daughter you’re hoping to have. Fittingly, Isla’s tend to be laid-back, progressive and adaptable girls who are able to roll with the punches. However, parents needn’t worry that their daughter will become a pushover since Islas are also fiercely independent and intelligent girls that are unlikely to blindly follow others.

3 Willow

Here’s yet another nature-inspired name that is much more than mere firewood. The willow tree is known for its graceful elegance; characteristics that any parent would be happy to see in their daughter. The wood of the willow tree itself holds a special significance as well. Willow trees are known for their ability to adapt to harsh, cold environments.

These trees are able to bend into incredible positions without breaking symbolizing the human ability to adapt to our ever-changing circumstances.

The characteristics of the willow tree are noticeably present in girls of the same name. They are strong and dependable while at the same time being flexible and resilient. Much like the name Willows are delicate yet unbreakable, strong yet sensitive. They embody the perfect combination of strength and softness meaning your future daughter will have no problem standing on her own two feet, or allowing someone to take the reigns when she is unable to do so.

2 Paxton

This unique boy’s name originated as an English surname meaning ‘peaceful farm’. Paxton was virtually unheard of in the United States until the trend of using surnames as first names took off in the late 1990’s. It wasn’t until Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie named their son Pax in 2007 that this name became well known.

Luckily, as the hype around the Jolie-Pitts new son faded so did the popularity of this name. This means parents today can choose Paxton knowing their son will certainly be the only one in his class.

Paxton, like Max, Jaxon and Axel has the ‘X’ factor that provides a very masculine feel. While the name inspires masculine, strong thoughts, Paxton’s are known for being gentle, intuitive children. They are independent idealists that strive for perfection in everything that they do. While this makes Paxton’s a bit quirky, they certainly have no problem stealing the hearts of everyone who knows them.

1 Cash

While the first thought that comes to mind when you hear this name is money, there’s much more to this slick boys name than that. The Irish surname Cash comes from the English family name, Cass. As you might have guessed Cass is short for Cassandra, which means ‘shining upon men’. Cash is more commonly used as a surname rather than a first name was the case for famous country music star Johnny Cash. Although this name has been around for many years, it has yet to become a favorite among parents.

Rather than choosing this name as a symbol of monetary success, American parents tend to associate the name with country music and the Old West. This is likely why the name is most popular in the country music loving states of Oklahoma and Montana. This strong one-syllable name is perfect for the dependable, hard-working, respectable man your little one will surely grow into.

Sources: OhBabyNames, SheKnows, Spirit Animal, BabyCenter, NameBerry

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