As the year 2018 draws to a close, we're taking a look back on a year of wild, wacky and wonderful baby names. While inventive names happen every year, this year, in particular, has seen more than its fair share of the weird and wonderful. Parents have thrown caution to the wind when it comes to spelling or the assumed gender of a name, and are eagerly combing name lists from around the globe for inspiration.
Some parents aren't even looking at name lists—they've bypassed the baby name book section completely and are looking at their interests and other artistic endeavors for names that are making waves and raising eyebrows. It's the era of the unique individual, and every parent out there is looking for that one name that'll tell the world exactly who this new little person is.
Finding a totally original baby name is a lot harder than it sounds, and often we find ourselves trying to bridge the familiar and the unknown by searching for names that will stand out from a crowd without isolating our kid—and that's a tough, thin line to walk. Some of us are great at finding that creative middle, while others of us need a little help. For those of us looking for a little illumination, here are 30 Baby Names We Haven't Heard Before 2018.
30 The Story Begins
It's not unusual for celebrities to create unusual names for their babies, and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, along with wife Lauren Parsekian, didn't disappoint. The couple welcomed Story Annabelle Paul in February of 2018, according to the Daily Mail. Parents everywhere marvelled at the beautiful simplicity of the girl's name—it's both familiar, yet original and creative. Story Annabelle helped to usher in a year that's been full of the new and unusual in the baby name world.
29 It'll Be A Gudrun
As parents expand their name search in 2018 to include more than just old-fashioned names in the US, in other countries, historical names like Gudrun are getting a fresh look. Finding a stand-out name that'll raise the delivery nurse's eyebrows is harder than ever. Gudrun answers the call—while the name is popular in Germany and Scandinavia, it's virtually unknown in the US, as per Nameberry. Meaning “battle,” Gudrun gears the 2018 baby up for whatever her future brings.
28 Welcoming Rani
Fans of Kate Hudson cheered when her daughter with boyfriend Danny Fujikawa, Rani Rose, was born in October of 2018. Then the questions about the baby's name began. Hudson revealed that the couple wanted to honour his grandfather, Ron Fujikawa, and came up with Rani, as per People. Pronounced 'Ronnie,' the name Rani nevertheless manages to be a totally new and fresh reinterpretation of a family name—but we'd expect no less from the hip couple, who paired it with Rose for extra sweetness.
27 Aeric Bringing The Old To The New
While some parents are protesting that Aeric is only an unnecessary spelling deviation from the more-common Eric, others appreciate the nuance. A fresh, yet ancient-feeling take, Aeric is from the Old Norse compound meaning “eternal ruler,” according to Baby Name Wizard. Despite the simplicity of the name, it's an auspicious moniker to gift a baby boy and remains a rare choice that more picky parents can snap up while it's still new and sitting on the outside of the top 10,000 baby names.
26 All Roads Lead To Chicago
A lot of us love our hometowns, but Kanye West may have shown a whole new level of devotion when he named his newest daughter Chicago—after his beloved hometown, according to Time. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are no strangers to selecting one-of-a-kind baby names, and the newest edition to their family didn't disappoint in this arena. While initially surprising and certainly unique, this baby name seems to have stirred up less controversy than their first child, North West.
25 Bingham Shines Bright
We know that technically this name popped up in 2011 when Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy welcomed their son Bingham Hawn, but we think they might have been ahead of a big 2018 trend, as per E! News. City- and region-inspired names are at the frontier of baby name exploration this year, so names like Bingham are getting a lot more respect. It's a totally endearing name for a baby boy, and polishes up nicely as a sophisticated and stylish adult moniker.
24 Dolleah Delivers Difference
Alternative spellings of familiar names is the name of the game for this 2018 trend. Parents are dressing up all sorts of names, and Dolleah is a new spin on the flowery original. Taking advantage of both the alternative spelling and the nature theme trends that are popular this year, Dolleah sounds exactly the same as the still-new Dahlia. That name exploded on the baby name scene in the mid-2000s after the movie The Black Dahlia was released, according to Oh! Baby Names.
23 No Kulture Klash
It's 2018: nobody wants to be basic. That was a primary driver for new mom Cardi B when she and husband Offset gave birth to baby girl Kulture Kiari Cephus several months ago, as per Billboard. Offset had a direct hand in naming the baby girl, and the name is certainly one we've never seen before. Some fans thought it might be an allusion to Migos' albums. What's unclear yet is whether it'll inspire a wave of non-celebrity babies named Kulture or if this is a one-off.
22 Strummer Steals The Show
Late in 2017, Julia Stiles and husband Preston J. Cook welcomed their first son, whom they named Strummer, according to Hello! Because the 10 Things I Hate About You star is notoriously private when it comes to her life, it took us all a minute or two to digest the baby name Strummer. Stiles revealed that neither set of grandparents were fond of the baby's name, but generational disagreements over new baby names are nothing new. The baby naming world is a strange, new place lately.
21 A Wonderful Wizdom
When baby name experts predicted that names meaning wisdom or intelligence would be big in 2018, they might not have realized that at least a few parents would take them literally. Appearing at least once this year, and as far as we know for the first time, is Wizdom, as per The Sun. Considering the amount of discussion happening online regarding this one quirky name, we're sure no one's seen it before, and may never see again this wise name that also incorporates the trendy letter z.
20 By The Banks
Whether Hilary Duff and partner Matthew Koma were paying tribute to New York artist Banks Violette is unclear, but we have to admit we'd never heard of the baby name Banks before the singer's daughter was born recently, according to People. Duff explained that they planned to use Banks' middle name, but maybe her first name will even grow on them the way it's grown on us. Her son Luca Cruz had some great original name ideas, but we think Hilary and Matthew can pick unique names with the best.
19 A Kael We Can All Love
Irish and Gaelic names enjoy a smaller but loyal following in the baby names world, but when those names cross over into the US, they often undergo spelling or pronunciation changes. One name suddenly peeking out of lists of most original names is Kael. It's a slightly modified version of Cáel, which is from the Gaelic word for “slender,” as per Oh! Baby Names. The name Cáel is known to students of Ireland's folklore, so Kael may just be a modern twist on a very old classic.
18 Caius Captivating
Early in 2018, Mercedes Mason of Fear the Walking Dead welcomed new baby Caius Kane with hubby David Denman of The Office, according to People. While Caius has been seen before, we bet most people outside of historians from Rome aren't familiar with it—it hasn't been common in over 2,000 years. Classical Latin often interchanged the letters C and G, so the better-known name Gaius was often written as Caius in literature, or abbreviated to C. Ancient names are making a comeback big time in 2018.
17 Sassy Sidra Shines
Names from religious texts are a perennial favourite, but as Islam continues to grow and flourish in the US, names from the Quran are slowly filtering into the mainstream baby name lists. One new star of 2018 is Sidra, which is a reference to a tree in heaven, explains Quranic Names. It also served as the name of a pious woman in the Quran. Many parents celebrate their faith by combing through a religious text for inspiration, and Sidra is a beautiful example of this trend.
16 Thanos Is Grandiose
It's an odd baby boy name, to say the least, considering its dark meaning in Greek, but we can't totally hate the name Thanos when Marvel movies are still uber-popular. In the Avengers and Guardians series, Thanos is the biggest and baddest of the evil guys, with incredible powers, according to Nerdist. The comic-book Thanos' real name was revealed to be George, and we agree that Thanos is much tougher and cool-sounding, and that might be what comic-book fan parents are thinking when choosing this brand-new baby name option.
15 Undeniably True
Although we've probably seen the name True before in the past, the Kardashians have a way of selecting baby names that makes them feel totally original and unique. Khloé Kardashian recently gave birth to her daughter with the basketball player Tristan Thompson, naming her daughter True, as per US Weekly. Fans immediately wanted to know where the name came from, and whether Thompson's activities inspired the name. True was new to us in 2018, but it remains to be seen whether this name will stay on the name charts or fade away.
14 Very Unique Varun
Mythological names aren't going anywhere anytime soon. While many parents in the US may be more familiar with names originating in Rome, or Greek or even Norse mythology, some are discovering other mythological pantheons. In Hindi, Varuna is a god of water, and the cropped name Varun has recently appeared on name lists just this year in the US, according to Nameberry. Varun is considered a baby boy's name, and while it may have just appeared on many people's radar this year, we're sure it'll continue to climb the charts in the future.
13 A Safe Haven
When parents are expecting more than just one baby, the naming game gets even more intense. Perhaps that's one reason why Kym Herjavek of Dancing with the Stars fame and husband Robert chose names a little off the beaten path, including the name Haven Mae for their new daughter—whose twin brother is Hudson Robert, as per Insider. Some of us struggle mightily with finding just that one perfect baby name, so finding two unique names is impressive. We think Haven has a comforting sound to it.
12 Ever-Renewing Esme
The Old-French name Esme has been out of style so long it might as well be a totally new name. Parents who are suddenly encountering this seemingly-feminine name in real life this year might be surprised to learn that the name originally came to Scotland's aristocracy as a boy's name, according to British Baby Names. It has crossed the gender divide into almost exclusively girl name territory, but fell far out of fashion for years until the recent resurgence of romantic names.
11 Calling Up Kaisyn
Divergent spelling strikes again in the newly invented name Kaisyn. This baby name in the spelling Cason was often viewed as strictly a boy's name, but the creatively-spelled Kaisyn may have more universal appeal as a boy or girl's name. It's gone from unknown to making many parents' baby name lists, rising sharply recently, according to BabyCenter. The name Kaisyn ties into several trend patterns, including the rise of alternatively-spelled names, as well as names that once ended in -son now ending in -syn.
10 Marvel At Her
Bassist Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy became a dad again in 2018 and kept up his tradition of choosing unusual names for his children. Wentz and girlfriend Meagan Camper said hello to their newest addition, Marvel Jane, earlier this year, as per BBC. Pete Wentz had already proclaimed his love for the Marvel franchise, so fans took his new daughter's name as further evidence of this. The unique name chosen for Pete and Meagan's little girl has been well-received, but we don't know if any other Marvels are out there yet.
9 A Need For Sage
A few celebrities over the years have chosen this moniker for their newest additions, but in the general public the name Sage went from virtually unknown to somehow getting on hundreds of nature- or hipster-themed baby lists this year. As both a boy or girl name, Sage has moved from a fringe name to mainstream, according to Nameberry. Whether parents are referring to the air-cleansing plant or the term for a wise person, Sage is at once familiar, yet very different from more traditional baby names.
8 Lyrical Lyra
Former model Sophie Dahl and singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum named their daughter Lyra way back in 2011, as per People. Most in the US are only just now seeing the name creeping into baby name lists. Also the name of a constellation, Lyra is from the Greek word for lyre, which is a stringed instrument, as per Nameberry. It could also be enjoying newfound popularity because it's the name of the heroine of the popular His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.
7 Counting To Eleven
Number names are pretty rare in general, but one name that's been tossed around recently is Eleven, most likely because of a character on the hit Netflix show Stranger Things. Played by actress Millie Bobby Brown, Eleven's story isn't exactly a happy one, according to Vanity Fair. The show's been around since 2016, but after a year or two of talking about it, apparently, some parents have elected to reference the show and have named their babies Eleven. We guess that a common nickname for this might be Elle.
6 Hart To Heart
Recently, Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr gave birth to her second son, whom she and husband Evan Spiegel named Hart, according to US Weekly. Hart is pronounced the same as the word heart, but most know it as the archaic word for a stag, and in folklore from Britain, the story of the white hart still lives on, as per the Daily Mail. Harts are seen as lucky and bringers of good fortune. Perhaps Miranda Kerr naming her son Hart will spark interest in this old name with a legendary story.
5 Indie Is A Go-Go
Whether short for Indigo or Indiana, the nickname Indie is beginning to pop up on baby name lists on its own, not as a diminutive. Joe Wicks of The Body Coach and girlfriend Rosie Jones recently named their baby girl Indie, but didn't disclose whether the name had any special meaning for them, according to OK! Magazine. Wicks shared the name choice with his millions of Instagram followers after her birth in July of 2018, and the name has been the subject of renewed interest.
4 Creating Kenzo
At the end of 2017, actor and comedian Kevin Hart and wife Eniko gave birth to their son Kenzo, and the Internet's been buzzing about his name ever since, according to Essence. Baby Kenzo's been on the 'Gram so much in 2018 that he's got his own dedicated following, and fans are keeping his name in mind when thinking about their own future families. Thanks to the Harts, we may be seeing Kenzo leaping up baby name charts by 2019 as parents consider this Japanese name.
3 The Rise Of Gravity
When a baby's parents have the already unusual names, like Lucky Blue Smith and Stormi Bree, it's probably inevitable that the baby ends up with a unique name such as Gravity Blue. Although the daughter of the two models was born in 2017, Gravity has appeared numerous times on her parents' social media accounts, according to W. Fans of the models have watched baby Gravity grow over the past year, but whether the name will catch on or remain a once-in-a-lifetime baby name yet remains to be seen.
2 Elio Emerges
It's currently popular in France, Spain and Italy, and in 2018 Elio has begun to appear on US baby name lists. It's the versions of Helios from Spain and Italy which is the name of the sun god in ancient Greek myths, as per Nameberry. As US parents look abroad for inspiration, more and more names like Elio are bound to make appearances on birth certificates. Elio is in the top 250 names in France and has been included in some recent names lists here just this year.
1 The Map To Mabel
It's not just regular ol' non-famous hipsters that are returning to the old-fashioned names of our great-grandmas. Russell Brand and wife Laura Gallagher welcomed their daughter this year, a little sister to his older daughter Mabel, according to The Sun. Although Mabel was born in 2016, the old-fashioned names trend wasn't as fully-fledged as it is currently. Now parents are taking a renewed interest in the names of yesteryear. Quaint names pepper numerous baby girl name lists, but Mabel's been left off until recently.