Whenever it comes to figuring out what to name a baby, there are so many factors that play into the decision. Many parents want to use a name that is trendy, which means there will be others in their kids' classes with the same name. And, there are many others that also prefer to use names that are unique and even eccentric.
There are also other parents that want to name their kids by honoring a loved one, whether they are deceased or living. That also depends on the culture. And, there are other parents that want to name their kids a name for other sentimental reasons. One example of that would be them naming their children after a certain place - whether that would be a region, a city, a country, or even a continent.
The fact of the matter is that place names are becoming trendy, and some have been used for quite a while. Place names like Jordan, Israel, Ireland, China, and India have been used quite a few times. There is absolutely nothing rare about those place names.
However, there are parents out there that are naming their kids after names of places that are heard less often than that, and are likely using those names for sentimental reasons- or maybe they just like it. Let's check out 25 of those unusual place names that parents probably have not heard more than once- which may include what readers are about to read!
25 Odessa (Ukraine)
Whenever you think of the name Odessa, you may think of a city in the Ukraine, which it is. And, the meaning behind this name means odyssey and it is of Greek origin. And, according to the experts at Nameberry, the city's name was named after Russia's Catherine the Great. She was inspired by Homer's Odyssey.
Odessa is one of the place names that are quite rarely used. According to Baby Center, Odessa ranks at #2,427 in their feminine name popularity charts. And, the popularity of it has been consistently dropping. And, according to the same source, the name was a lot more popular a century ago. Not anymore though.
24 Tirana (Albania)
Have you ever heard of the city Tirana in Albania? If you are Albanian, then you most definitely have. However, if you are not and know nothing about the country, then it is possible that this is the first time you have heard that name. Tirana is the capital, but many outsiders know very little about Albania in general.
However, Tirana is not only a name of the Albanian capital city. It is also a girl's name which is incredibly rare. According to Baby Center, Tirana ranks at #15,630 on the feminine name popularity chart. That said, it is one of the rarest baby place names around, and it is difficult to say if the name will ever really catch on.
23 Dacca (Bangladesh)
There is a good chance you have not even heard of the name Dacca, which is the capital city in Bangladesh. And, some parents absolutely love it to the point that they have named their daughter's that. That is according to the article written in Aplus, 40 Unusual Baby Names Inspired By Real Places.
There is no ranking information available for Dacca because it is so incredibly rare. However, Dacca is a great option for parents that love anything unique, and who love to travel. More so, if they absolutely love different cultures. If you were to decide to use this name for a girl, a one-syllable middle name would go well with it like Dacca Lynn or Dacca Rae.
22 Aberdeen (Scotland)
The names already mentioned may not be familiar to most people in the Western world, however, there is one unusual place name that everyone has heard of. And, that is Aberdeen. Aberdeen is a port city in Scotland, and according to Baby Center, the name never really caught on until recently.
Aberdeen is a girl's name, and it currently ranks, according to the same source at #11,103 on the feminine name popularity charts. Some cute nicknames can be made out of this name, such as Abbey, which most people would associate with Abigail. Not in this case, however. Since this name has been recently used occasionally, it may end up catching on at some point.
21 Ewa- Hawaii
If you are of Polish origin, then there is a good chance you have heard the name Ewa. That is because Ewa originates from Polish roots, and it means bringing life. That said, this name represents giving birth because that is what bringing life means.
However, what makes this name unique is that it also counts as a place name, as Ewa is a city in Hawaii. According to Baby Center, Ewa currently ranks at #17,043 on the feminine name popularity charts. Additionally, over the past year, it has gone up 358 points which is a clear indication that Ewa is catching on. That said, your child may have a few female classmates with that name down the road.
20 Alaska (USA)
Whenever you think of Alaska, you may think about the coldest state in the USA. And, Alaska is of Native American origin which means great land. And, you may be surprised to learn that Alaska is a name that some parents have used for their daughters.
According to Baby Center, Alaska currently ranks at #2,820 on the feminine name popularity charts. Even though it is a rare name, it is not so unusual that it ranks close #10,000 or beyond on their charts. According to the same source, the popularity of Alaska has fallen slightly over the past year. However, that is not a clear indication of how popular it really may become down the road.
19 Geneva (Switzerland)
Whenever you hear the name Geneva, you will automatically think of Switzerland. And, Geneva is definitely a nice city as I have been there many years ago. And, the name is of French origin that means juniper berry or juniper tree. Geneva is also a baby place name that is somewhat uncommon for girls.
According to Baby Center, Geneva currently ranks at #1,796 on the feminine name popularity charts. That said, even though the name is uncommon, it is still used more often than a lot of the other place names that are listed here. However, over the past year, the popularity of Geneva has dropped a little.
18 Okara (Pakistan)
Whenever you hear the word Okara, you may think of soy pulp that is used in many Asian dishes. In fact, you may not even realize it is the name of the capital city of the Punjab province in Pakistan. And, according to the article in Aplus, 40 Unusual Baby Names Inspired By Real Places, Okara has been used as a feminine baby name occasionally.
It is so rare that I could not find the ranking information, however, I bet in time, it will be popular enough to be ranked on the popularity charts for feminine names. Several nicknames can be created from Okara, like Kari or Kara.
We have moved from unique city names now to country names, and that is what America obviously comes from. The name America derived from the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci in the first part of the 16th century. Now, America has been used occasionally as a feminine first name.
According to BabyCenter, America ranks at #2,540 on the feminine name popularity charts. This makes the name unique, but not overly uncommon either. Take a look at the actresses America Ferrera and America Young. They are just two examples that there are some girls around that are being named after the USA, or possibly the supercontinent of North and South America.
Now we are moving to names that are derived from continents, and Asia is a name that has been used many times. In fact, you most definitely have likely heard Asia as a feminine first name more than once. In fact, according to Baby Center, Asia is of Greek origin and it literally means east.
Additionally, Asia currently ranks at #1,143 in the feminine name popularity chart, however, there were times in the past when the name was more common. In fact, the evidence of that is the name of the director, actress and singer, Asia Argento. That said, there is a good chance that the popularity of Asia could increase.
Now that we are talking about continent names, another rare place name that has been used occasionally is Antarctica. Antarctica has been documented as a girl's name on Mom 365, and you would wonder why on earth any parents could name their little girls after the coldest place in the world.
I personally knew a girl named Antarctica, and she said there was a reason as to why she was given that name. Her parents are scientists that met while they were working at a research station near the South Pole. Therefore, she was named that for sentimental reasons. And, I thought that story was really cool, so to speak.
You have already heard little girls being named after cities, countries, and continents. Now, there are many little girls out there that are being named after deserts as well. And, that would be the Sahara desert.
In fact, Sahara literally means desert in Arabic. And, according to Baby Center, the name currently ranks at #2,050 on the feminine name popularity charts. That shows that the name is not overly uncommon but still considered rare. However, the experts from Nameberry said the following: A beautiful and evocative place-name that deserves wider use.
They are right, Sahara really is a pretty name and maybe it will become more popular in time.
Now, there are baby names out there that derive from names of the US states. An example of that would be Arizona, and it is a gender neutral name. The origin of the name is Indian for little spring. However, it is used for girls a lot more than boys. According to Baby Center, Arizona ranks at #1,496 on the feminine name popularity charts.
Whereas, according to the same source, Arizona ranks at #10,308 on the masculine name popularity chart. Additionally, the ranking of this name used for boys is dropping whereas the ranking of Arizona used for girls is climbing. The name Arizona for boys could be phased out eventually.
12 Cairo (Egypt)
Whenever you hear the name Cairo, the first thing you are going to think about is the capital city of Egypt. And, Cairo is also a boy's name that many parents have been using for some time. According to Nameberry, Cairo is currently ranking at #646 on the masculine name popularity charts.
According to the experts from the same source, Cairo actually entered the top 1000 in 2015. That said, it has been used quite a bit for a while. That means chances are you have heard this name more than once. But, it is still rare enough to be documented in this list!
11 York (England)
York is a city in England, and there are many regions in the world that have York in its name. The examples are New York, and the York region in Ontario. And, York is also documented as a boy's name. According to Baby Center, the name ranks at #16,296 on the masculine name popularity charts.
That said, you can see how rare this name really is based on that information. And, there is no previous data on how popular the name was before this year. That can only mean York has not been used as a name often enough before this year to be documented anywhere.
10 Laredo (Texas)
You have heard the names of cities in Texas used as names such as Dallas, Houston, and Austin. And, how about Laredo? Laredo is another Texan city that is gaining momentum surely but slowly. According to BabyCenter, Laredo currently ranks at #10,327 on the masculine name popularity charts.
Additionally, the popularity of the name has increased by 7,074 points over the past year. That means even though this name is rare considering it is beyond the top 10,000, it is becoming more and more popular. The increase in the number of boys being named Laredo is huge. It may be in the top 1000 before you know it.
Now that I had just covered that another Texan city has been documented as a baby name, how about the name Texas itself being used for some baby boys? That is because Texas has been a given name for boys. According to Baby Center, Texas currently ranks at #10,327 on the masculine name popularity chart.
However, as you can see this name is rarely used, and the popularity of the name Texas has been dropping by 4,560 points since 2017 according to the same source. However, you will be surprised to learn that according to Nameberry, Texas is now being used for girls. According to their sources, the popularity of the name is increasing even though there is no ranking information. Go figure!
Now that we are on the topic of baby place US state names, another state that many parents have named their sons is Montana. Montana is of Spanish origin and it means mountainous. And, according to Baby Center, Montana currently ranks at #2,504 on the masculine name popularity charts.
However, according to the same source, the ranking did drop by 172 points since last year. That means this name has been used for some time occasionally, but it may end up not making it into the top 1000 anytime soon. In fact, this name is now being used for girls and according to the same source, the ranking information is similar. However, the popularity is increasing.
If you have heard the name Indiana for a person, you may have literally only heard it once. Hence, Indiana Jones. However, according to Baby Center, Indiana is gaining popularity as a boy's name as it currently ranks at #2,982 for their popular name charts. And, it is also increasing as it has by 509 points from the past year.
The experts from Nameberry had backed this up by saying that the state name had started being used in the 80's since other state names like Dakota became popular. And, Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix have a child named Indiana as well.
6 Miami (Florida)
When you think of Miami, you are going to immediately think of the sunny beaches in Florida. Because that is what Miami is known for. And, it is also occasionally being used as a name for boys. According to Baby Center, Miami currently ranks at #17,756 on the masculine name popularity charts.
And, you can see how uncommon it really is considering it is ranking well beyond the top 10,000 names, and there is no data about how popular the name was even a year ago. That said, it would be fitting for a couple who met in Miami and were inspired to name their son after the city.
5 Memphis (Tennessee)
Memphis is a well-known city in Tennessee. The name is of Greek and Coptic origin which means enduring and beautiful. According to Nameberry, this name is not overly uncommon for boys because it currently ranks at #575 on the masculine name popularity charts. That said, there may be a chance that you have heard the name Memphis for a little boy at least once.
According to the experts from the same source, they stated that this city name is a great choice because it has a fantastic meaning behind it. They also stated that this name is far more common for boys than for girls. Though, some girls have been named Memphis as well. But it's extremely rare.
When you hear of Bronx, you will immediately think of an area in New York City, whether you have been there or not. And, I have not been to NYC, but whenever I hear the name, that is exactly what I associate it with. And, according to Baby Center, Bronx currently ranks at #1,589 on the masculine name popularity charts.
That means the name Bronx is not all that uncommon. And, Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their little boy Bronx. However, according to the same source, the popularity of the name has dropped by 150 points over the past year. It may pick up again at some point though.
What do you think of when you hear the name of the capital city in Massachusetts? You may think of baked beans, clam chowder, and the Red Sox. That is what Boston is definitely known for. And, Boston is also a name that has been used for boys. According to Baby Center, Boston ranks currently at #603 on the masculine name popularity charts.
That said, the name is not all that uncommon since it is in the top 1000. And, it may climb up even further since it the popularity has increased 79 points just over the past year. That means you will hear of more little boys down the road that are named Boston.
2 Rome (Italy)
Rome is the Italian city that has been the most important one in European history. However, just until recently Rome has not been used as a name. Roman, however, has been used quite often. Though now, according to Baby Center, Rome ranks at #1,049 currently on the masculine name popularity charts. Additionally, it has climbed 44 points over the past year.
This most definitely means that eventually Roman may be phased out while Rome takes its place. Even though this name is not overly uncommon since it is on the way to being in the top 1000, but I still have yet to meet anyone with that name.
1 Melbourne (Australia)
Melbourne is a well-known city in Australia, and it is also the name of a city in Florida. I would like to visit both cities one day. However, my priority is visiting the Australian city. And, according to Baby Center, Melbourne is being used as a name occasionally for boys nowadays.
According to the same source, Melbourne ranks at #16,296 for the masculine name popularity charts which means this name is extremely rare. Especially since there is no data on the popularity of the name in the past. So, that said, boys that are named Melbourne would not be even a year old yet.