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25 Unique Names That Are Sure To Surprise Grandma

Being pregnant can be difficult enough without the added task of trying to choose a name for your newborn child. Whilst this can be a delightful experience, it can also be tricky finding a name that might suit the child and that parents and their family will all like.

There are so many names to choose from: boys names, girls names, unisex names, trendy names, vintage names, foreign language names, the list goes on. Parents could just try a name that sounds nice, but will people be able to spell it? Will they be able to pronounce it when they see it written down?

Choosing a really unusual name is a great option. There are unlikely to be many other children to be confused with, and the child can wear their rare name with pride.

How will the family react when they hear the chosen name for the baby? Grandma might be surprised by mom's choice of a modern twist on an old name, or by a vintage and underused name, but if it is unique and mom likes it, then why not?

So have a look at this list of 25 really unique names to find some inspiration. They are unusual and may surprise the family but there are some beautiful names that might be just what parents are looking for.

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25 Malgosia

The very unusual Malgosia is a Polish girl’s name meaning ‘a pearl’. Malgorzata, the Polish version, comes from the Greek word ‘margarita’ and the name is equivalent to the English ‘Margaret’. Versions of the name include Małgośka, Małgosia, Gosia, Gośka, Gosieńka, and Gosiunia.

This name also has origins in Hebrew and translates as ‘God’s Holy Oath’. It may be related to the Sanskrit word ‘mañjarī’ (cluster of flowers, pearl) or it may be related to the Persian ‘marvârid’ (a pearl or daughter of light).

The most famous bearer of this name is Malgosia Bela, the Polish supermodel.

24 Pernille

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This lovely name is one for the girls. Pronounced ‘per-NEEL-le’ it is a Scandinavian version of Petronilla. It is also a variation of Pernella and Petra. The name translates as ‘stone’.

Saint Petronella was the daughter of Saint Peter and died around the 2nd century. She was apparently so beautiful that Saint Peter had locked her up in a tower to keep her away from men. A pagan king named Flaccus, wishing to marry her, led Petronilla to go on a hunger strike, from which she died.

23 Tenzin

This is a unisex Tibetan name, also written as Tenzing or Stanzin. It means ‘the holder of Buddha Dharma’ or ‘upholder of teachings’ and is generally used by Ladakhi people. The current Dalai Lama has this name amongst many others. Relating to teaching and wisdom, this is a name with a deep meaning. It should be pronounced ‘ten-ZIN’.

In fiction, Tenzin features in The Legend of Korra as the youngest child of Aang and Katara, from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

22 Ulyana

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This is a beautiful and very old Slavic name and a version of the name Julia or Julianna. Meaning ‘youthful and downy’ from the Latin ‘luluis’, this name also has links to Jupiter. Jupiter is the Greek God of sky and thunder in Roman mythology. The name is also thought to have links with the Greek ‘loulos’, meaning ‘haired, bearded or downy-faced’.

Famous bearers include Ulyana Lopatkina, a Russian Prima ballerina and Uliana of Tver, Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania.

21 Hopper

This is an unusual masculine name with several different translations. In Holland it is an occupational name for a person who sells or grows hops. In Germany it is a nickname taken from ‘hoppen’, meaning ‘to limp or stumble’. In the UK it is also an occupational name for a professional acrobat. It is a great nickname for someone who is restless and full of energy. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘hoppian’, meaning to dance, leap or hop around.

20 Auden

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Of English origin, this adorable girl’s name has the lovely meaning of ‘old friend’. It is thought that this name is a result of the names ‘Healfdene’ and ‘Ealdwine’ (incidentally also two names that would definitely surprise Grandma!) merging over time. Healfdene was an Anglo-Scandinavian name meaning ‘half Dane’, a name which features in the poem Beowulf. Ealdwine comes from the Old English ‘eald’, meaning ‘old’ and ‘wine’ meaning ‘friend’.

In the Middle Ages Auden was known in various forms such as ‘Alduin’, ‘Aldine’ and even ‘Elduinus’.

The most famous Auden is probably the poet, WH Auden.

19 Baylor

Baylor is an Anglo-Saxon name that has spent a long time in obscurity. The 21st century is only just noticing it again after a long absence. Meaning ‘horse-trainer’, this would make a great name for any equine mad families. Great for boys and girls there are a few alternative spellings such as Bailor, Bailer or Bayler and this lovely name makes a great alternative to the slightly overused Taylor.

The Urban Dictionary states that a Baylor is a super cool and sweet guy who has much going for him, so this is a great name for your little one.

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18 Chaucer

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This is a really rare boy’s name that has a surprising translation. Immediately bringing to mind one of literature’s oldest and greatest stars, this English name will really make your child sound distinguished.

The word comes from the Latin ‘calearium’, meaning ‘shoemaker’, and that definition is also found in the Glossary of Early English Words. It is thought to also be related to the French word ‘chaussier’, meaning ‘a hosier’. So essentially Chaucer is an occupational name related to making leg coverings!

17 Dallas

This locational name is originally of English and Scottish origin. In Scotland, Dallas is a small rural village in the far north on the coast of Moray. In English, it comes from the two words ‘dol’, meaning ‘meadow’ and ‘gwas’ meaning dwelling, so a meadow dweller, or someone who lives near the meadows.

There are several other meanings to this name, such as ‘dwells by the waterfall’ and even ‘wise’ or perhaps you just loved the 1980’s soap opera?

Whatever translation suits you, this is a pretty name for your daughter.

16 Dawsyn

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Dawsyn is one of the many spellings of the name more commonly seen as Dawson. Daw was a medieval nickname for the name ‘David’, spelt ‘Dawid’ at the time, so this name literally means ‘son of David’. The first recorded spelling of this name was in the 14th century as ‘Daweson’.

Dawson was very rare until 1998 when TV’s ‘Dawson’s Creek’ exploded its popularity. If you are looking for a unique name but still love Dawson, one of its alternate spellings could be the way to go. So Dawsyn, Dawsin, Dawsun or just Daws would make great variations.

15 Decker

This German name means ‘roofer’. From the word ‘decke’, meaning ‘covering’, the name refers not only to roofs but could apply to other sorts of coverings such as blankets.

Alternatively, it is thought to come from a rare English surname meaning ‘ditch digger’ or ‘dyke builder’. It is very rare, entering the baby name charts in 2006 at position 3857 and not really moving since.

In the media, Decker Moss is a character in the soap opera ‘General Hospital’ and has also been chosen by several celebrities for their children.

14 Alcott

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If you live in an old house then this could be perfect for you! This English name translates as ‘from the old cottage’ so originally would have pinpointed which household you came from in the village. More commonly used for boys, it would also make a pretty girl’s name. A famous bearer of this name is Louisa M. Alcott, author of ‘Little Women’.

Name analysis shows that people with this name competent and practical and often manage to achieve great wealth and success.

13 Rigby

Here is a name that may immediately make you think of the famous Beatles song ‘Eleanor Rigby’, or maybe bring shopping to mind at ‘Rigby & Peller’. It is another name that has made the swap from surname to the first name and is growing to be a more popular option for boys.

From the Old Norse language, it translates as ‘from the ridge farm’. The two words making it up are ‘hryggr’ for ‘ridge’ and ‘býr’ for ‘farm’ or ‘settlement’. It refers specifically to a place in Lancashire where Vikings settled.

12 Nouvel

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From the French word ‘new’, this is a name so stylish that Grandma will definitely be surprised. It screams out French chic but be careful what surname you are teaming it with as it may sound odd with a very common name following it! ‘Nouvel’ signifies a new baby, a new phase in your life as you become a parent and a new love and focus.

Although it makes a beautiful given name, Nouvel is found more as a surname and famous bearers include the architect Jean Nouvel.

11 Quinn

Quinn is an ancient Irish surname, the English form of the Gaelic ‘O Cuinn’. This name, meaning ‘chief’, or ‘leader’, denotes a descendant of Conn. The Gaelic word ‘ceann’, meaning ‘sense’ or ‘intelligence’ is also at the root of Quinn.

The Quinn clan were historically in charge of supplying arms for the kings of Ulster for 4 centuries, so were clearly an important family.

The name is now used mainly for girls in Canada, boys in England and the Netherlands but as a unisex choice in America.

10 Reign

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This regal name has its roots in the Latin word ‘regnum’ and the Old French ‘reignier’, both related to kingdoms and ruling. It is a girl’s name that suggests this person will take control and enjoy being in charge. Pronounced ‘RAY-n’, this person is set to rule or govern others.

There are various spelling option including ‘reine’, the French word for ‘queen’, or even Rain, sometimes used as an abbreviation for Lorraine.

Famous bearers include the British socialite Raine Spencer.

9 Allegra

Allegra is a beautiful girl’s name from the Italian meaning ‘Joyous’. In musical terms ‘allegro’ tells the performer to play fast and lively. This energetic name rolls off the tongue and indicates vitality and spirit. Girls with this name are said to be idealistic, highly imaginative, intuitive, and spiritual.

Perfectly suited to a dancer, the American prima ballerina Allegra Kent is a famous bearer of this name. It has also been chosen for their daughters by a range of poets including George Gordon, Lord Byron and Henry Wadworth Longfellow.

8 Apple

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Along with Peaches and Cherry, Apple joins the list of newly popular fruit or nature names. Whilst apples are a symbol of health, (after all an apple a day will keep the doctor away), they were also the source of temptation for Adam and Eve. This is the fruit that managed to bring down humanity in the Garden of Eden!

If you are into technology or devoted to your phone then you might use this to remind yourself of the modern technology firm. Alternatively, it could be a reference to The Beatles music and the record label they founded in 1968.

7 Binx

This American name is so rare that it is not ranked on any of the American baby name lists. There is some talk of Binx being a superhero cat who is trained to save the world from the bad guys, but no one has ever seen him in action. This may be linked to the boy who was turned into a cat in the film ‘Hocus Pocus’.

It doesn’t seem to have a meaning or a particular gender, so could make an intriguing and unique name for your child.

6 Junya

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Rated at only number 16 675 in the baby name lists, this unisex name is truly unique. As a variation of June, it is named after the Goddess Juno, who was the protectress of marriage and women and the goddess of finance. As a popular Japanese name Junya or Jun’ya is a masculine name with various meanings depending on the context.

Famous bearers of the name include Junya Hosokawa the footballer and the mixed martial artist Junya Kodo. With a host of variations including Janiyah, Jinyu and Jonyaie, Junya is a rare and beautiful name.

5 Fabiola

This beautiful girl’s name is of Latin origin. Deriving originally from the Latin ‘faba’, meaning ‘bean’, it went on to become the Roman clan name Fabius.

Saint Fabiola was from the 4th century and was a noble Roman woman who became a nurse and matron. She devoted her life to charitable work.

Other famous Fabiolas include Queen Fabiola of Belgium and Fabiola Gianotti, the Italian particle physicist. There is also a novel, two films and a band of that name.

4 Guido

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Pronounced ‘GWEE-doh’, this name enjoyed its peak of popularity in the 1910’s. Originating in Medieval Italy, the name morphed into the Old German ‘Wido’ and shortly after spreading around Europe became Guido. The French version is ‘Guy’. Its translation is ‘forest’ or ‘guide’.

As well as being the name of two 11th century saints, Guido is also a character in Pixar’s ‘Cars’ and Guido Carosella is Strong Guy from the X-Men comics.

But be careful when choosing this name as Guido is also a derogatory slang term for an Italian-American male, usually from Long Island, Staten Island, or New Jersey.

3 Monty

This masculine name is a vintage nickname just waiting to come back into fashion. It is a short form of Montague or Montgomery. It comes from the French for ‘pointy hill’, so would be a great choice for those of you living near a mountain. It also translates as ‘mountain belonging to the ruler’.

Boys with this name love harmony and balance in their lives. They respond well to stable family and communities and like to be liked.

Famous bearers of this name include Monty Don, the British horticulturist and Monty Betham, the New Zealand boxer.

2 Ligeia

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This ancient name comes from the Greek word ‘ligys’ and translates as ‘clear-voiced’, ‘shrill’ or ‘whistling’. In Greek legend, Ligeia was one of the sirens, who were a combination of women and birds. Female figures with the legs of birds, feathers and scaly feet, they were often portrayed as playing an instrument. They were also renowned for their beautiful voices.

The Portuguese language versions of Lígia and Lygia are popular and famous bearers of the name are Brazilians Lygia Clark, the sculptor and painter and the writer Lygia Fagundes Telles.

1 Waldo

Waldo has two different translations. In America, it means ‘strong fighter’, whereas in Germany and England it means ‘powerful ruler’ and is an abbreviation of Oswald. Either way, this is a masculine name that packs a punch.

Last ranked in the American baby name charts in 1943, this is a highly unusual name which is due some usage!

The 19th-century philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson is the most famous bearer of this unique name. Waldo is also a ghost town in British Columbia and a mountain in Maine.

References: www.thelist.com www.zergnet.com www.sheknows.com www.stayathomemum.com.au https://www.urbandictionary.com https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaucer_(surname) http://www.ohbabynames.com/meaning https://www.ancestry.co.uk/name-origin https://www.mom365.com/baby-names https://www.babynames.com/name

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