Many parents have syllable requirements for their newborn's name, whether they want something short and snappy to avoid nicknames, or like the strong sound of two syllable names. After you read this you might be drawn more to the three-syllable names yourself. They have some great benefits: they're long so they lend easily to nicknaming, they're not as popular as they used to be so your child's name will stand out, and they're often old and full of cultural meanings that lend them elegance and strength. We've found some of the rarest three-syllable names to share with you-- each was given to less than ten children in the United States in 2015. If you pick one of these names it'll be unusual and associated with a rich history. It's the best of both worlds!
It's surprising that this name has fallen out of popularity, because the first president of the United States had a strong name that inspired confidence even before he got to it. Originally, the name came from the town of Wassa in England and meant "from the smart man's farm". If you want to give your son a name that speaks of their leadership you can't go wrong here.
This Slavic name has enjoyed popularity in Russia and surrounding countries ever since it was first coined. The poet Zhukovsky used the name for the title of his famous poem published in 1813 (found without translation here). In the poem Svetlana is a beautiful and sweet girl, whose friend died but came back to life.
This is an unusual spelling of the biblical name Isaiah. It is Hebrew in origin, of course, but not used in English until after the Protestant Reformation. A new spelling is a great way to refresh traditional names while maintaining their historic meanings.
This elegant French name is a lovely choice for a baby girl. Its nickname Gwen is more popular, and surely your child will be answering to Gwen often. The longer form was the name of King Arthur's wife who was renounced for her beauty. The name means "fair one".
Though this name only appeared in the U.S. in 1993, it's noun form was used back in the Middle Ages to refer to a nobleman. As time went on the word picked up an extra 'l', and chancellor now refers to someone of high rank. As a name it sounds commanding while its nickname Chance is playful.
This name is taken from the herb of the mint family, Thyme, pronounced as time. The ancient Greeks used the herb as an incense because of its sweet smell. As a name, its a unique choice that fulfills the trend of naming girls after herbs and flowers like Daisy and Rosemary.
This names come from the Old French word Reynard, meaning fox. Historically, it and the other derivatives of Reynard imply strength and cunning. Unsurprisingly, a few famous athletes carry the name.
This is an alternate spelling of the Arabic name Fatima. Fatima is wildly popular, likely because it was the name of one of Muhhamad's daughters. Fatima was said to be a perfect woman. It's quite the shoes for your little girl to fill, but she will always be perfect in your eyes.
Beowulf is an epic tale first told in the sixth century (we're not completely sure). The hero's name was Beowulf, of course, and he was an honorable warrior who slayed a monster named Grendel, among others. Beowulf means "bee hunter" which was an Anglo-Saxon riddle meaning bear. Get it, a creature that hunts bees for honey? This is a courageous name if there ever was one.
Morrison has a long history as a surname. But currently author Toni Morrison is the most famous example of Morrison as a first name. This African American woman has won many prestigious awards including a Nobel Prize for literature. Little girls with this name will inspire some serious respect and will (hopefully!) be inspired to read and become brilliant. Or for anyone who was or is a fan of The Doors, and subsequently, Jim Morrison, this could be a cool name.
This is a popular surname in India and with Hindi speaking people, and is just starting to become popular as a first name in America. In Sanskrit the name means "of compassion" but it varies based on pronunciation. It has a simple nickname, "Mo", that adds a playful possibility to this otherwise regal name.
This is the female version of Santo, meaning Saint in Italian, from the Latin word sanctus. The nickname here is very cute, Tina, but not likely a name you'd give to your baby girl by itself. It may seem like this name carries a lot of expectations too, but why not shoot for the moon?
This name is from the African Igbo culture, usually given to boys but occasionally girls as well. It means "glorify god" or "thank god" in English. Children given this name might be inspired to be grateful and humble.
This Irish name is actually a short form of Fionnuala, which means "white shoulder". In Celtic mythology Fionnuala was transformed into a swan, cursed, and was eventually saved 900 years later. This name is popular in Ireland, and is sure to pick up in popularity in America for its beauty and rich mythological connections.
In Greek mythology Daedalus was the father of Icarus. Unlike his son, he was a wise and brilliant inventor, who designed the labyrinth for King Minos. If you treasure a child's artistic ability and natural curiosity then this may be the name for you.
Hold on-- Godiva isn't just a woman who rode through a town naked. She was only trying to get her husband to lower the taxes on the poor. Besides, the whole town respected Lady Godiva so much that they went inside and closed their blinds to preserve her modesty. Godiva would be a perfect name for a charitable girl who commands respect.
Marsalis was the surname of a famous American family who were civil rights activists and amazing jazz musicians. Whether you want a name that packs some historical power or inspires a musical child, Marsalis would be a lovely choice.
This name is from Japan, where it means "cherry blossom growing". The cultural associations of Japanese cherry blossoms are famous around the world. They symbolize fragility, beauty, and the short instability of life. Sakiya makes for an elegant name with a deep meaning.
This name means "from the city of Sparta" and usually refers to a brave slave who escaped and then led a revolt against this ancient Greek city. There are plenty of modern adaptations of this tale, so the associated meanings of strength and courage will be familiar to whoever hears it.
This is a version of the Italian name Laura, which is very popular in America right now. In Latin this name means "laurel tree", and wreaths made of laurels were a sign of victory. We think that the ending "etta" adds some elegance to the classic name that really makes it stand out.
This name is Albanian for "free spirited". There is even a female version, Liridona, for girls. The most famous contemporary Liridon is Liridon Latifi, an Albanian soccer player. Parents who want a sporty name for a rebellious boy might just decide on this name!
This French name means "heavenly" and is used for so many things. It's been the name of multiple popes, a bright blue mineral, and a famous book on Eastern philosophy. As a name it implies something as bright and hopefully as the heavenly bodies.
This was the name of Muhammad's first wife, known as "Mother of the Believers" or "Mother of Islam". She was fierce, successful, wise, generous, and an overall ideal person. It's quite the namesake for a special little girl.
This Latin name means "Lion" and comes with all of the associations the fierce king of the jungle brings. Many ancient Greek musicians had the name, and the oddest Leadros is the character from Assassin's Creed. This is a more refined alternative to the popular name Leo, that still inspires the ferocity.