Finding that perfect name that combines uniqueness and quality is almost like a game, a seemingly impossible one. Names like Matthew, John and David are on their way out of the door, while others like Atticus and Asher are taking their place in the baby-naming world. And even those names are becoming overused.
Top 100 names are top names for a reason. We all love them, and rightfully so. That being said, no parent wants to choose a name that thousands, or even hundreds, of other babies have. They want their kid, including his name, to be both original and beautiful. They want their baby's name to be special.
We've put together a list of names that are just that. These names aren't ones that we hear all the time anymore. Some of them used to be top names, but for some reason fell off the grid, which is only better for us. Some of these names have never been on the American charts, and some, parents better grab fast. They'll be headed to the top soon.
Parents wanting something that won't be heard in your kid's classroom, we've got just the names for you!
I love the idea of Devon for a girl, as opposed to the still popular use of it for a boy! Though on the boy's side it's still barely outside of the top 500, for the girl's side it has completely dropped off the charts. Devon entered charts for girls in 1977 and was in the top 500 until 1998, but then slowly dropped out of favor.
Devon is an English place name that can also be spelled Devin and Devan, but Devon definitely seems more feminine. Devon is a place in Southwest England filled with beautiful countryside, moores, and seascapes.
Devon had a successful stint in the 90s when it was a unisex name used mostly for girls, but today, it is more commonly used for boys, which may deter some from using it. Another girl named Devon in your daughter's class would be unlikely!
This mythological name actually entered the American list in 1887 and almost broke into the top 500 a few years later. It left charts not long after and didn't reenter until 1979 and didn't break into the top 500 until 2011. Today, Orion is ranked #324.
Orion is a Greek mythological name as well as an astronomical name. The Greek Orion was the legendary hunter who pursued the seven daughters of Atlas. He was killed by the goddess Artemis and placed as the brightest constellations in the sky.
Mark Twain had a brother named Orion and it was used in Harry Potter as well. Chris Noth chose it for his son. This moniker is another one that combines familiarity and uniqueness. This one is a rising star though, so you better grab it fast!
Seasonal names are completely on trend right now. Everything from months of the year to holidays has been used, but Snow is one we don't see used as often. Not on the popularity list ever, but totally perfect for a baby born or conceived in the winter, Snow is one that is unique and rare.
Snow is an English word name that, unlike Summer, Winter and Autumn, is way more specific and haunting.
Snow is magical and just hearing the word doesn't just make us cold, it makes us wonder.
Snow has been a popular last name in film, music and science. Jon Snow from Game of Thrones and President Snow from The Hunger Games are just a couple famous Snows. Hank and Phoebe were singers and C.P. Snow was a famous scientist.
Rebel is a word name that some might say is asking for trouble, but we think it's just a super cute bad boy name bound to produce one cool kid. Rebel is probably never going to make it onto the American list of top baby names, mostly because of its re pore, but that just makes it even better.
Rebel is considered unisex and derives from the English word which means "one who resists an established authority." History has proven that the definition of this name isn't always a bad thing, but in its common use, it may turn some heads.
Rebel was a top 1000 name in Australia, where it was mostly used for girls. According to the Social Security Administration, a little over 600 people were given the name Rebel in the U.S. last year.
The final surname name on our list entered charts in 1985 and entered the top 500 less than a decade later in 1993. Keaton held a secure spot in the top 500 since its beginning on the charts until last year when it dropped to #536. Keaton never entered the top 300, making it rare enough to not be heard too much around the playground.
Keaton is English for "shed town." This surname, unlike many others has a warmth and friendliness about it. Buster Keaton, Diane Keaton and Michael Keaton are all famous actor name bearers.
Keaton is a welcome choice that we think parents looking in the surname category will love. It has a strong heir combined with a jovial sound that has made Keaton a pretty steady contender in the top 500 for over 30 years.
This fun and free spirited name is only better when we add another "l." No matter how you spell it, Holliday has never been featured on American charts, and we don't suspect it will be either. Considering it's in the low 4,000 baby names, this familiar yet unique choice will definitely be one of a kind in the classroom.
Holliday is a word name that is of Old English origin translated as "holy day."
It was first found as a surname, like as in Billy Holiday, in Annandale, England. It could easily begin to take the place of more specific holiday and seasonal names like Noelle and Valentina. Everyone loves a holiday, so why not use it as a name? Choosing a unique spelling like Holliday gives it a little bit more spunk.
Hart appeared on the American list for one year in 1880 and wasn't seen or heard from again until 2016. Today, Hart is ranked #677. It's beginning a trend as another surname turned first name that is getting some attention from parents.
Hart is English for "stag." Its meaning is almost as cool as its sound. It would be a great middle name, but is definitely strong enough to stand on its own. Classic songwriting duo, Rogers and Hart, is one of the most famous appearances of the name. Hart Crane was a famous tragic poet. Moss Hart was a playwright and Lorenz Hart was a musician.
Hart would be perfect as an honorary name or for parents who love music or poetry. Hart would also be a great one syllable middle name.
This Biblical name actually had a decent stint on the American list in the late 1800s. It entered charts in 1880 and took a roller coaster ride of major ups and downs until 1924 when it dropped off the list completely. It reentered the list in 2016 at #807.
Magdalen is English for "woman from Magdala or high tower."
This Bible name has long been associated with Mary Magdalen. Magdalene and Magdelena are both getting some attention along with the original, Magdalen.
The meaning of the name can sometimes get lost in different translations. It is often considered a place name for Magdala, but Magdala is translated in Aramaic as "high tower." Whichever meaning you choose to go with, Magdalen is beginning to take the place of names like Madeleine and Madelyn.
Apollo is another choice that combines familiarity with rarity. This moniker is definitely a strong contender for the top 100 as it recently hit #267. Apollo entered charts in 2012 at #993 and its been a slow and steady race to the top 300 since.
Apollo is a Greek mythological name. Apollo was the handsome son of Zeus. He was the god of medicine, music and poetry. Apolo Anton Ohno is a famous Olympic speed skater. Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani recently chose Apollo as their son's name. NASA's Apollo program is probably what most of us would associate the name with, despite all of its other uses.
The Apollo Theatre in Harlem helped several celebrities launch into stardom. Apollo is just one of the mythological names that beginning to trend, but we think it's one of the best.
If you didn't like the name True, but liked the idea of it, Verity might be a better option for you. Verity is Latin for "truth." It was never on the popularity list until 2017, when it hit #319. Verity still has enough rareness to make it a distinct virtue name.
If you're a fan of old Puritan names, but want something newer and fresher sounding than Faith, Charity, and Hope, Verity might just be for you.
It has a solid meaning and a vintage sound. I first heard Verity on the show Poldark, and now that I know its meaning I like it even better. It was used in a James Bond movie as well as in the Harry Potter series.
Verity is popular in England and well loved on British soap operas. Verity is one of the best virtue names out there.
This moniker might begin to join other names in the surname category like Sawyer and Tanner. Humphrey has a rich pedigree and an uppity sort of feel without being too snobby. It had a short stint on the American list in the late 1800s for about 14 years.
Humphrey is German for "peaceful warrior." It was brought to the English speaking world via the Normans and their most famous name bearer, Duke Humphrey, the youngest son of Henry the IV and the Duke of Gloucester, patron of literature.
Humphrey is a royal name in Britain and a popular surname throughout the U.S. Humphrey Bogart is a well known Golden Age star who's one of America's most popular name bearer. His mom, a famous illustrator, named him her maiden name.
Seren can be used for either gender, but it's more commonly used for girls, especially in its home country, Wales. In fact, it's a top 100 girl's name in Wales. It's also #145 in England.
Seren only made it onto the American list last year at #913.
Seren is Welsh for "star." Pronounced, seh-ren, it's basically unheard of anywhere else around the world. Seren is the name of the ancient goddess of hot springs. It's considered a goddess name and as well as a nature name.
It's a popular boy's name in Turkey, but taking its goddess name-bearer into consideration, it's probably better left as a girl's name. Seren could be a good alternative to the top 100 name for a few years running, Stella, which also means "star."
Cormac is another Irish name that's made it onto our list, only this one has never been on the American charts until last year when it all of a sudden reached #294. It's also a top 100 name in Ireland.
Cormac is Irish for "charioteer." It stems from Celtic mythology as the name of one of the legendary high kings of Ireland, Cormac Mac Airt. Author Cormac McCarthy, who was born Charles, used the historical king's name as his pen name. Cormac Maclaggen was also a character in two Harry Potter movies, he was a Gryffindor student.
If you grab it soon, Cormac will still be a rare enough name in the classroom, however, it does look like it's beginning to catch the eye of some parents in the U.S.
Virtue names like Charity, Faith and Hope have been popular since the Puritans brought them to America, but True hasn't made it onto the list. True has been used a good deal as a middle name, but hasn't been chosen as often as a first name.
Short and simple True, is a word name recently chosen by Forest Whitaker for his daughter. American novelist, screenwriter and playwright, Truman Garcia Capote, went by True. The spelling Tru is considered a boy's name, which means "loyal one." The True spelling is a word name typically used for girls.
True is definitely a more out of the box virtue name, but at the same time, it is familiar and not completely obscure. For parents looking for something that one be heard in the classroom, this definitely fits that category.
I guess I am a lover of Irish names because yet another one has made it onto our list, and it won't be the last. Calloway is sophisticated with a well bred pedigree kind of feel that makes a perfect import onto American shores.
Calloway has never been on the charts until last year when it hit #676.
Calloway is Irish from Latin and means "pebbly place." It's a popular surname, even in America, but is just now starting to catch some attention as a viable surname. Others like Sullivan and Finnegan are gaining a ton of traction, and we don't think Calloway is too far behind.
This moniker has an added jazzy appeal thanks to Cab Calloway, the "Dean of American Jive" and was also used in a 1950s show, "Calloway Went Thataway."
Flower names are a huge trend right now, and I think Zinnia should be added to the list! This flower name is unlike others in its category like Lily, Jasmine and Rose. This one is more of a rare gem that has only just recently been added to the list at #544.
The Zinnia flower is in the sunflower and daisy family. This botanical choice was named after the German botanist who discovered it, Johann Gottfried Zinn. The Zinnia signifies remembrance, making it a great honorary name for someone who has passed.
It's popular in the Southwest United States and Mexico, which makes it perfect for a baby girl born or conceived in these regions. Zinnia is a bit edgier and more chic than other flower names, which is why it's making its way into the top 500.
This moniker has never made it into the top 1000 baby names in America, despite its popularity in Ireland. Gulliver is one of the most famous literary surnames. Jonathan Swift chose Gulliver as his adventurer, Lemuel's, last name in the classic story, Gulliver's Travels.
Gulliver is an old French name that means "glutton.' It came from France during the Norman invasion during the 11th century. From the 11th through 13th centuries there have been several variations, but the Gulliver spelling is considered Irish.
In Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver was a surgeon turned sea captain. It was actually only ever seen in the novel once, in the beginning, because it was written in first person. This political satire and bedtime story gives the name Gulliver a traveler and adventurer feel.
This sweet little moniker may be too cute for its own good. That's the only reason we can see for its lack of love from parents. Winsome has never been on the American list, and hasn't fared well internationally either.
Winsome's meaning only makes it more perfect.
It is an Old English for "agreeable and lighthearted." It began as wynsum, a thousand years ago. It derives from wynn, the Old English word for "joy." We see it today in words like awesome. Wynn later became "win," which means pleasant, but hasn't been used in that capacity since the 17th century.
Winsome was ranked 14,000 among the most popular baby names and only about 16,000 people bear the name. Winnie and Winny are adorable nicknames that only make Winsome more appealing.
Making it onto the American list in 1885, Constantine held a pretty secure spot in the top 600-1000 baby names. In 1982 it dropped completely off the list and wasn't seen again until 2016. Constantine is completely off the list today, though it is a top 100 name in Germany.
Constantine is obviously rich in history. The Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, is known for being the first to convert to Christianity. He issued the Edict of Milan, which proclaimed religious tolerance throughout the Roman empire. Constantine has been used for royalty throughout history, including for three Scottish kings.
A more youthful name bearer is Constantine Maroulis who is a singer song writer and American Idol finalist. Constantine is a perfect name for parents looking for something rich in history and meaning.
This old fashioned name is rarely heard these days. This moniker entered charts in 1888 and was pretty popular by 1920. However, because of Millicent's German origin, it fell off the list not long after World War II.
It's making a pretty drastic comeback though, hitting #238 last year.
Millicent is German for "men at work." It is a translation of Melisende which made its way from Germany to France by the daughter of Charlemagne. Millicent was used for Barbie's middle name and was used twice in the Harry Potter novels. It was also used by classic authors like Anne Bronte and Henry James.
The nickname Milly is a huge plus to this adorable name. It's headed toward the popularity of its former glory days. Millicent is being revived so you better grab it fast!
This might just be my favorite new up and coming Irish import on this list. If you like Brian or Sawyer, than you might just love Tierney! This moniker has never been on the American list, but we don't think we'll have to wait too long until we see it there.
Tierney is Irish for "descendant of a lord." It began as a Celtic surname and is used primarily for boys. It has, however, crossed gender lines thanks to jazz singer, Tierney Sutton. You won't find it used much for girls in its native country.
It was the name of several Irish saints. Old Hollywood actress, Gene Tierney as well as the more youthful name bearer, Maura Tierney, are both famous name bearers. Tierney is definitely a name that you won't hear on the playground often.
Make sure you catch the rare "x" ending on this one because that's what makes it truly unique. It turns this name in to a classic one with a twist that parents in the U.S. are loving. Beatrix has reached #205 on charts after only being seen twice before, once in 1883 and not again until 2016.
Beatrix is Latin for "she who brings happiness." This moniker could be perfect for a little miracle baby.
Beatrix has its own unique history making it into fame when Helen Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit chose it as her pen name. Quentin Tarantino used Beatrix Kidd as his main character in Kill Bill.
Kate Spade and Jody Sweeten chose Beatrix for their daughters, but Beatrix is still rare that there aren't likely to be any kids in the classroom with the same name.
This newly popular name entered the list in the late 1800s then dropped completely off the list until 2016. Today, Orson has made it to its highest ranking ever, #199. Orson has a deep-rooted history and it looks like it might have the same future.
Orson is Latin for "bear cub." It's meaning has paved the way for it to be used in literature and film. Orson Welles gave it a round teddy bear image, just like its meaning. His given name was George, but Orson suited him better. Orson Beaen was a comic, Valentine and Orson was a 15th-century novel, and Orson Hodge was a character on The Desperate Housewives.
Celebrities Paz Vega and Lauren Ambrose chose it for their sons, helping to put it on the map. Orson is up and coming so if you want a name that's still rare, grab it soon!
Shaw is one of my favorite boy names on this list. It's the perfect mix of rare, but solid.
Shaw has never been on the American popularity list, and it just may never make it, but that makes it even more perfect for this list!
Shaw is English for "dweller in the woods." Shaw is a popular surname, but it's a very creative first name. It's connected to novelist Irwin Shaw, Irish writer, George Bernard Shaw, and big band clarinet player, Artie Shaw.
Shaw is open to any parents who want to make it their own. Since Shaw has never been on the list, it has all the potential in the world for creative parents. It could be a tribute to one of the previously mentioned name bearers, or even for parents who just like one of those categories.
If you're looking for a name that few other little girls will have, Thaddea is it! This moniker is as distinctive and rare as they come, but that's not because it's not adorable. Thaddea is one of those undiscovered names that will probably begin to catch on soon.
Thaddea is the feminine variation of Thaddeus, which has long been used in the U.S. Thaddeus and Thaddea are Aramaic "gift of God." Thaddeus is thought to be derived from Theodore, so maybe Thaddea can be an alternative to Theodora.
Thad is used as a nickname for Thaddeus, and it's better left on the boy's side. Dea would be an adorable and still unique nickname for Thaddea. For parents looking for something outside of the box, but not weird, add Thaddea to your list!