Figuring out what to name the newborn baby can sometimes feel needlessly complex, even though choosing a baby name really is one of the more important choices that parents make for a child. Most parents have specific things in mind when they're exploring potential names for their new offspring, and unsurprisingly a lot of families have similar ideas when it comes to picking out a baby name. Most parents want something that they personally find beautiful, often times they want to choose a name that somehow honors their own family or someone else that they love. Then, other times they want to choose something that is a unique moniker that will make their son or daughter stand out from the crowd.
But there seems to be an obvious potential conflict there, since honoring people that one loves can often times lead someone in the direction of a really common name, which seems to immediately cancel out picking something really unique. And even if someone has their heart set on a particularly common name they think sounds lovely, it can feel like they are kind of out of options if parents want to give the son a name that is more outside the box.
However, in this world of thousands of different baby names, it's actually surprisingly easy to find a version of an especially common name that puts a fun and unique spin on that name!
Oliver is one of the most popular name choices for new baby boys, it has been a popular choice for a while, and it doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. It's understandable, it's a boy's name that manages to sound elegant and adorable at the same time. But if you want an Oliver with an interesting spin, then maybe consider one with a French twist. Olivier might be only one letter different, but the distinctive pronunciation will distinguish it easily. Plus for any of you who are acting fans, choosing a name in honor of Sir Laurence Olivier is definitely a great way to show it.
Finn is rocketing up the charts of the most popular names for new baby boys, and it's no surprise considering that it's an undeniably cute and fun name. But if you're looking to name your son Finn while still distinguishing him from all the other Finns out there then you might want to consider Finbar instead. Much like Finn, it's actually an old traditional Irish name, which roughly translates to "fair haired". So maybe you have some Irish ancestry you'd like to honor, maybe you have a beautiful blonde baby boy, or maybe you just like the name, but this is a great unusual option if you want to avoid the mainstream.
William has been a popular name for boys for centuries, and it's diminutive form Liam has become one of the hottest and most popular names for baby boys in the past few years, so while they're both beautiful options they're also pretty saturated within the culture already. So for any parents who are looking for possible alternatives, the unusual Eliam seems like a great potential choice. Although they sound extremely similar, Eliam actually isn't related to the names William or Liam at all, it's actually an old and rare Hebrew boy's name that roughly translates to "god is my nation".
Baby names that are a little more literal or that are just words directly transitioning into names have become rapidly more and more popular, and Nature is definitely an interesting option for a baby boy's name. The inspiration from nature itself is obvious, and although the name is considered to be a unisex name by many it's a particularly good option for parents who are fans of "Nate" names but are looking for something exceptionally unusual. Nate or Nat are great nicknames for Nature, and they leave your son with the option of rocking his hip name or blending in with the crowd when he wants.
Jasper is a really popular name in the US and has been hanging out on the most common baby boy names list for quite a while now, but this gemstone name actually has a lot of international appeal. The name, which is originally a Persian moniker that means "bringer of treasure", is actually a beloved name all around the world, and it has a lot of different linguistic variations as a result. One version that is more popular in Germany and Scandinavia is Kaspar, an iteration of Jasper that works for their languages and is still surprisingly uncommon in the United States.
Variations of Luke and Lucas are many, and it is and has been a popular name choice for boys for literally hundreds of years. But if you're looking for a way to name your new baby without giving him a common name and you have a particular love for all things "Luc", then the Italian name Lucca might be a great and unique choice. It's actually a pretty well known Italian surname and also the name of an Italian city. It's also a name that roughly translates to "light", which is a lovely naming inspiration for any new baby and parents.
Whether you're a fan of Aidan, Ethan, or Nathan, Athan is a really unique name that puts an interesting spin on those three super popular monikers. And although it might just sound like an alternative spelling for a common name, Athan is actually an old Greek name which translates to immortal or eternal. It's a pretty name to be sure, and with a meaning like that it's a pretty strong contender in it's own right, not just as a possible alternative to more common names. Plus, although it is growing in popularity in Greece it's still a name that is guaranteed to set your kid apart.
Samuel and it's many inspired variations have been popular names for boys for literally thousands of years at this point, and seeing as what a sweet and lovely name Sam is it's safe to assume that it's not going to lose it's luster in the eyes of new parents any time soon. But if you have your heart set on Sam or you want to honor one of the Sam's that might be in your life, then something like Samal, an Aramaic name that means "symbol", might be a beautiful stand in for one of the more traditional and common names.
Matthew is an exceptionally common name for boys and it's definitely a moniker that is going to (and already has) stick around for a very long time, but in this day and age of baby naming where pretty much anything goes there are some easy and interesting ways to name your son Matt without sticking with it's most common version. A lot of traditional surnames make for very beautiful and elegant first names, and the name Mathis is really no exception. Like Matthew, Mathis roughly translates to "gift from god", and it's a fresh and new way to name your son but still has a very classic sound to it.
Tony and Anthony are pretty classic boys names that have been popular enough for long enough that there are different versions of the name in seemingly half of the different languages on earth. But if you're looking for a more exotic and unusual version of the name that your son won't have to share with any of his future friends or colleagues then Tonio is a really melodic and interesting choice. Tonio is a diminutive form of the more romantic sounding version of Anthony, Antonio. And the name translates to "priceless one", which is a lovely sentiment to name your child after.
Aaron is a nearly ancient and seemingly eternally popular name choice for boys and men all over the world, but if you like the beautiful name but are looking for a more unique spin on it then Arran is definitely a great contender. Although the pronunciation is pretty much identical, Arran actually borrows it's name inspiration from the Scottish island of Arran. So if you've got any Scottish heritage then this might be a lovely way to honor it, or if you're the kind of parent who likes to be inspired by cities or countries for your names then this is a great and unusual choice.
Benjamin and Benedict have been family favorite names for centuries, and they're really so popular that many different variations of the name like Bentley, Bennett, Benson, and nearly every "Ben" name you could imagine has been used to diversify this exceptionally popular name. But for English speaking parents who are looking for a slightly more uncommon twist on these now common names than Benoit, the French version of the more common English Benedict, is a really lovely choice. The name translates to "blessed one", and if you want to bless your own son with a "Ben" name that isn't yet overused then this is an obvious option.
Caleb and Calvin have long been popular choices as a moniker for newborn baby boys, but for parents who are looking for a "Cal" name that is a little off the beaten path then the Scottish name Callan is a beautiful, elegant, and unusual option. While the name is popular in it's native Scotland it hasn't found international popularity quite yet, it's a lovely choice for new parents with some Gaelic heritage, or just parents who really like the name. The name itself is derived from the Gaelic word for "rock", but it also roughly means "strong in battle".
Wesley and Weston are super popular name choices for baby boys and understandably so, Wes is an adorable nickname for any boy but both Wesley and Weston sound like very strong and classy names for men.
However, if you have your heart set on having a Wes but want to give your son a slightly more unusual title, then West is a very simple and beautiful option. It's obviously a very nice nature inspired word name, but one thing that makes West particularly appealing for a newborn boy is it's obvious connection and association with cowboys and all things wild west.
The more a name maintains it's popularity the more that name seems to inspire different, newer versions of that name, so when you're talking about a classic name like Max that has a history that goes all the way back to ancient Rome it's no real surprise that there are dozens of different options to choose from.
The original Maximus, which was Latin for "greatest", has gone through many makeovers over the years, but one particularly unique addition is Maxen. Although it sounds super modern, it is actually the Welsh version of Max that has existed for quite a long time.
Michael has been one of the most popular names for boys for ages now, and it doesn't look like that is going to change any time soon. And while it is a perfectly lovely name and it's understandable that so many parents are attracted to it, there are now enough possible variations and spins to put on it that you can still honor any Michael in your life while giving your son a more individualistic name. For instance there is Mischa, the Russian diminutive form of Michael, that is a really nice name on it's own and is a little more off the beaten path than Michael.
For parents who are looking for a unique name for their new child there is fortunately a seemingly never ending list of possible options. One particularly interesting and unusual possibility has got to be Leander, a name of Greek origin that basically translates to "lion man". It's a very elegant sounding name for a boy and man, and for parents who are fans of names like Leo or Alexander it seems like a a really solid alternative option that your son won't wind up sharing with many other kids on the playground, and it's perfect for any parent who is hoping their son will have the heart of a lion!
Roman is a great name for baby boys that has made the list of the most popular names for quite a few years running, and it shows no sign of slowing down. But if you're someone who wants to express their love of Rome or Italy in their new son's name without giving him a moniker that he'll probably share with more than a few of his classmates, then Romulus might make for an interesting choice. It's definitely a big name for anyone to carry, but Romulus was the mythical founder of Rome who was raised by wolves and defeated his brother to become the first king of Rome.
Nicholas is an exceptionally popular boys name that certainly isn't going anywhere any time soon, but for parents who are looking for a different spin on the classic name then something like Nico is definitely a very cool sounding contender. Nicholas is a Greek name that means "victory to the people", and Nico is one of the more common diminutive nicknames for Nicholas throughout Europe. But that popularity hasn't yet reached most English speaking countries, meaning that if you decide on Nico as a name for you new son then he and his name are definitely going to stand out from the crowd.
Actor Daveed Diggs has brought the unusual name Daveed on to a national stage, but although it has abruptly become more high profile it's still a name that is staggeringly uncommon. As you may have been able to guess, Daveed is an alternate version of the much more common name David, a Hebrew name that means "beloved". So, for any parents who are looking to honor a David in their family or life but who would like to give their own son a more interesting spin on the name, or for any parents who just like it, Daveed is definitely a cool option.
Mark and Marcus are understandably popular boys names that have been pretty beloved choices for many years going now, but if you're looking for a similar name with a more interesting spin on it then Marqus is definitely an intriguing option. All of the names are derived from the same basic inspiration, and the Latin title means "warlike". Marcus is the ancient Roman version of the perennially popular name, but the addition of the Q makes it a unique interpretation of the definitively classic name. And although alternate spellings of common names are a trendy choice, you have to admit that Marq has an undeniably cool look to it.
Daniel has been one of the most popular names for baby boys for hundreds of years, but if you're looking to have a Danny boy without having your newborn son share his name with a bunch of other kids then you could always consider Danger instead. If Dane is a name you're into then Danger can work really well too, and when someone asks you what your nickname is short for then what could possibly be a cooler response than "Danger"? Obviously giving your kid a name like Danger gives him a lot to live up to, but it's definitely unique!
Ezra and Ezekiel are ancient popular baby name choices for boys that have had a burst of popularity in the past few years, but one similar sounding name that is a moniker that almost guarantees that your new son won't be sharing his name with anyone else he knows is Ezio. Although it does sound strikingly similar to Ezra and Ezekiel, Ezio is actually a Greek name that is basically unrelated to the more religiously themed names. Ezio is actually a name inspired by the eagle, which makes it a very cool and unique nature inspired name as well.
For parents who are looking for a unique and uncommon name for their new baby boys, the Bible is a surprisingly rich source for names with ancient credibility that aren't the kind of names that you hear every day. One particularly interesting old Hebrew name is Joah, a name that is repeatedly used in the Bible and that means "brother of God". But it's a beautiful and unusual name on it's own, and it's a particularly flexible option for a lot of more common names for baby boys, it works well as a stand in for Joseph as well as Noah.
Theo and Theodore are two of the most popular names for boys, and seem to have experienced an extra burst of popularity in the last couple of years. They're both classy and classic names with a lot of dignity so it's easy to see why it's such a beloved choice, but for parents who want to have their own little Theos without giving them a super common name there is a lovely alternative in Theseus. Theseus was a Greek mythical king who founded Athens and had legendary adventures that could rival any of the most famous Greek heroes, which makes a worthy namesake.
Sources: babynames.com, babycenter.com, nameberry.com, wikipedia.com