Parents are constantly on the hunt for that rare baby name that is a tad unusual, without being bizarre. Of course parents want to give their baby-to-be a baby the perfect baby name, but choosing one these days is no easy feat.
For parents who want make more bold power plays for their baby's name we've got just the thing you're looking for. Uncommon baby names from every tradition are in huge demand. The names on this list are from common categories, but they're far from the trendiest choices in those categories.
We've got everything from floral names to mythological ones, from Harry Potter inspired names to virtue names. And, of course, we can't forget occupational, Bible, nature lover, and adventure names. Here's the perfect opportunity to snatch a name that is refreshing and not overused, not yet at least!
For parents who are just browsing or for true pioneers in the baby name search, we've got just the list for you. Want a baby name that's not common, but also not completely unheard of? Then the hunt is over! We've put together a list of 30 of the rarest baby names that you need to hear!
While the spelling Reese has moved over slightly more to the girl's side, traditional spelling, Rhys, pronounced the same, is one that we love for the boy's! Rhys didn't enter the American list until 2004 at #979, and has only made it to #494 since.
Rhys is Welsh for "ardor," no matter how you spell it. It's a popular surname in Wales as well as a given name. The Tudor's Henry VIII was played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Welsh actor Rhys Ifans may are both two contemporary name bearers. Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block named his son Rhys.
Rhys, Reese, and Reece are all great choices, but we love the traditional Welsh option, Rhys! This name might not stay as rare as it is for too much longer!
This German moniker hasn't had a great history of success in the U.S. It entered the American list in 1880, had a ton of ups and downs on the chart, broke into the top 500 once, then was booted out completely in 1965. It's headed for the top 3oo this year!
Millicent is German for "strong in work." Millicent came into use in the Middle Ages. The English variation of Millicent derives from the French name Melisende. Millicent has been used in literature, like in the novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, written by Anne Bronte as well as in the Harry Potter series. It's also Barbie's middle name.
Millicent is an old fashioned name that has now become super rare and nostalgic. The nickname Milly is definitely a bonus for this one.
Though Bruno hasn't done very well in the U.S. recently, it's one of the top 100 names in over 5 other countries. Bruno had a pretty steady start in the U.S. when it entered in 1880. It hit #259 by 1915, but by 1948 it had dropped to almost completely out of the top 1000. Today, Bruno made its way back up to #483.
Bruno is German for "brown." Saint Bruno of Cologne founded the Carthusian order of monks in 1084. Bruno is a character in Irish novel Bruno's Dream and Sylvie and Bruno. Dancing with the Stars Bruno Toniolo and singer Bruno Mars are two famous celerity name bearers.
Bruno is a modern sounding name with a rich and surprising history that dates back to the year 1084! There couldn't be much more to ask for in a name!
This Hebrew name has only been seen on the American charts since last year, and it only made it to #765! This moniker has been severely overlooked, especially by parents looking for a name in the Bible category.
Aviva is the feminine variation of the male name, Aviv. It is Hebrew for "springlike, fresh dewy." Aviv was borrowed from the Hebrew word abib, which means "a time of year when the ears come into grain." Which is where Aviva gets its springtime meaning. It's also a day during Passover called Holiday of Aviv."
Aviva is a fresher take on trending names Vivian and Vivienne. Aviva is light and beautiful, not to mention, ancient and sophisticated. It's the perfect name for a baby girl born or even conceived in the Spring.
Soren is a Danish import that made its way to America in 2003 at #955 on the charts. It's only made its way to #568 last year, but is said to be looking at #39 on Nameberry.com. Soren has so much going for it that we wouldn't be surprised if it did break into the top 100.
Soren is the Danish and Norwegian variation of Severus, meaning "stern." Kind of a harsh meaning for such a likable name, but its softness makes up for that. One notable Soren is Soren Kierkegaard, the 19th century philosopher, poet, religious author and theologian.
More contemporary name bearers are the characters in The Matrix Reloaded, Guardians of Ga'Hook, Charlie and Lola, and Underworld. Soren is definitely a name that's on its way to the top, you better grab it before your friends do!
This moniker is surprisingly older than it sounds. It may sound like a modern invented name, but it's actually been around for much longer than that. It entered the American list in 1881, never broke into the top 500, and then was completely kicked out of the top 1000 by 1910.
Zadie is a variation of Sadie that means "princess." Zadie hasn't received much attention until the British writer, Sadie Smith, changed her name to Zadie when she was fourteen years old. Sadie is actually not as old as Zadie, and originated as a nickname for the name Sarah, but of course stands on its own today.
Now Zadie is back in the top 1000, but still only at the #776, making it rare and distinct enough to be a perfect addition to this list!
Though this one is doing very well in Sweden, it hasn't quite caught on here in the States. Cleo has a little bit of work to do before it gets to the top.
It was added to the Social Security Administration top 1000 names in 1880, and started off pretty well at #406. It was in the top 500 until 1945, and left the top 1000 ten years later.
Cleo is Greek for "glory." It is traditional a short form of Cleopatra, but can also stand on its own. Cleo Laine was a famous musician and Cleo was also used for characters on Law and Order and ER. It was also recently chosen by Friends star, David Schwimmer, for his daughter, which might give it a boost in popularity.
Stellan is another Scandinavian import that has made its way to our shores and we love it! Stellan hasn't been on the American list until just last year when it finally entered the top 300.
Stellan is Swedish, but is meaning isn't quite known for sure. It is said to possibly mean "calm." It could also be used as the masculine form of the name Stella, which means "star." The first namesake recorded was from Germany and landed in Sweden in the year 1597, but the name isn't used in Germany today.
Actor Stellan Skarsgard is a one contemporary namebearer. Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany chose Stellan as the name of their son. They named him after Skarsgard. Stellan is an old name with a modern feel that parents are beginning to appreciate!
Roscoe is an old fashioned name that somehow dropped out of parents favor in 1978! It began its American journey in 1880 at #118. It didn't leave the top 500 until almost 60 years later. By 1978 it completely left the top 1000 and didn't come back until last year when it hit #692.
Roscoe is Norse for "deer forest." It was originally used as a place name and surname, but has stood on its own for quite some time now. Roscoe is finally beginning to get some appreciation and is starting to join trendy "R" names like Roman, Rowan, Remy and Rufus.
Roscoe was used as a character on The Dukes of Hazzard and Roscoe Arbuckle was an American silent film actor. Roscoe is a fun yet strong name that has an outdoorsy meaning that nature loving adventure seeking parents will love!
Penn has never been seen on the Social Security Administration's top 1000 baby names until last year when it finally entered as the #572 baby name. Penn's connection to geography, history and writing is appealing to a wide variety of parents, and just might start to rise faster.
Penn is English for "enclosure." Comedian, Penn Jillette, and Penn Badgely from Gossip Girl and actor Sean Penn are three contemporary name bearers. Penn also has a deep rooted history, especially the Penn surname. William Penn, Irving Penn, and Arthur Penn are just a few name bearers.
Penn is a short and sweet name that has a distinct pedigree perfect for parents looking for a name with a little sophistication. Penn is still rare, but we don't expect it to be for much longer!
Another Greek name has made our list, but this one hasn't been resurrected by parents just yet. In fact, it hasn't been getting much love at all since it dropped off the charts in 1970. Dorothea entered the American list in 1880 at #425, and was in the top 500 until 1954. Today, Dorothea is ranked #710.
Dorothea is Greek for "gift of God." Dorothea has a rich history. In literature, it was used for a character in Don Quixote and Middlemarch. Dorothea Lange was a documentary photographer and Dorothea Dix was a civil war nurse and American activist, and First Lady, Dorothea Todd Payne Madison.
Dorothea is a pretty and feminine Victorian option that is overdue for a revival! It even has a ton of nicknames to choose from like Thea, Dottie, Dory and Dot.
Edison is another historical name that is most people associate with a surname, like as in Thomas Edison, of course. However, this name has actually been on the charts as a first name since 1881. It has never broken into the top 500 until recently when it hit #365 last year.
Edison is English for the "son of Edward," which would be perfect for an actual son of an Edward! It can also be spelled Eddison. Its most famous name bearer is probably Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman who most are familiar with.
I'm surprised parents are just beginning to appreciate Edison, especially because of its familiarity. It's this plus its rarity that makes it a perfect choice! This one just might begin to take the place of the popular Addison.
Slightly different than the popular Cecilia, but not too different that its obscure. Cecilia is actually completely unrelated to Celia, and has a completely different meaning. Celia is another name on our list that has been around since 1880, but this one actually had a pretty successful start.
It was in the top 500 until 1964, when it dropped to #858 by 2015. Celia is beginning to be revived, however, and hit #229 last year. It's also a top 50 name in Spain.
Celia is Latin for "heavenly." Shakespeare was a huge fan of this moniker. It was him who is credited for introducing the name to the world in his play As You Like It. George Eliot and Lionel Shriver also used the name in some of their works.
This moniker has been basically non-existent in the U.S., even though it entered charts in 1889, it didn't stay around for long. By 1910 it left the American list and hasn't been back on since, that is until it finally reached #513 last year.
Pascal is French for "Easter." It was traditionally used for boys that were born on Easter, and would be perfect for a boy born around the Easter season. It was derived from the early Medieval period, and was used even earlier in the 9th century in other forms when it was used for boys born on the feast of Pentecost.
Pascal is a great option for parents looking in the seasonal and Bible categories. It hasn't done extremely well on charts in the past, but its recent jump from out of nowhere to the top 600 makes us think this one might start to be a fast riser!
Juniper didn't hop onto the American list until 2011 when it entered at #970. It's had a pretty slow and steady climb up the charts and made it to #352 in 2016, though it did rise 500 spots since 2012, it dropped back down to #445 last year.
Juniper is a nature name that would appeal to a wide variety of parents. The Juniper tree is a deep evergreen shrub that is part of the cypress tree family and often used as Christmas trees. Juniper was mentioned in the Old Testament and was often used as a symbol of chastity. It was the name of the saint of comedy and is pretty rampant throughout literature.
Junie B. Jones' real name is Juniper and Margaret Wise Brown uses Juniper Sage as a pen name. The berries on the Juniper tree are used for flavor in gin.
This place name hasn't even made onto the American list, and I'm not sure how! "El" names are a huge trend right now, on both the boy's and girl's side. Ellington hasn't joined its friends on the list yet, but we think it will pretty quickly!
Ellington is an English place name and surname that means "Ellis town." Ellington has an undeniable sophistication and pedigree, but is also a fun jazzy musical name. American composer, pianist and band leader, Duke Ellington, is a probably the most familiar and famous name bearer, and a great one too.
Ellington is the perfect pick for parents looking for something musical and deep rooted. It's that rare name that is familiar, yet uncommon and distinctive. It could, perhaps, be the next Elliot of Addison.
Olympia is the feminine form of the Greek Olympus, the mountain in Northern Greece known as the home of the Greek gods. In 1865 Edoard Manet painted a work he called Olympia. Olympia Snowe was the former Republican senator from Maine and Olympia Dukakis is an actress.
Olympia is a more exotic and intriguing choice than names like Olivia and Amelia, one that might just start taking their place at the top. We've been waiting for a name to start competing with them and this one just might be it!
Poet is new to the roster and as rare as they come. It hasn't made it onto the American list yet, at least as a first name. It is a popular surname though, which makes it a familiar, yet uncommon, but not weird either. This unisex moniker is definitely one to keep your eye on.
Poet is an English word name that can be used for a girl or boy. Punky Brewster, also known as Soleil Moon Frye in real life, chose Poet for her daughter. Po would be an adorable nickname too.
Occupational names like Sawyer, Tanner and Bailey are a huge trend right now, why shouldn't we add a name from the creative side? If Forest Whitaker can use Sonnet for his daughter, we can definitely consider Poet as a viable option too!
Sacha is the Russian variation of the Greek name Alexander, which means "defending men." Jerry Seinfeld chose Sacha for his daughter, while Sacha Baren Cohen is a male name bearer. Sasha Cohen is an Olympic gold medalist and Sasha Alexander is a character on the tv show Rizzoli and Isles.
While Sasha has made it to the 500s, Sacha is a more rare and distinct choice. In Russia, both spellings are used more commonly for males, but here they translate well for either gender.
Collins is a cool girl name that has broken into the top 1000. It was traditionally used for boys and entered their side in the late 1800s, but dropped off the charts not long after. Colllins wasn't used for girls until 2012, and has reached #647 since.
Collins is a surname that derived from Nicholas, which means "people of victory," or the Scottish surname Colin, which may derive from Nicholas as well, but may also mean "young pup." The Welsh derivation is Collen and means "hazel." Its earliest use in England dates back to the 12th century.
Collins as a first name doesn't have as long of a history, especially for girls. It's just beginning to gain some popularity and has a long way to go before making it to the top, but we have no doubt that it will get there soon!
Darien's time in the top 1000 was relatively short lived. It entered the American list in 1965, made it to #383 in 1994, and left completely by 2014. The alternative spelling Darian, though slightly more popular, has the same sad story, except it hit #846 last year.
Darien is Persian for "kingly." It is also the name of a Connecticut town located on the state's "Gold Coast," and was listed as #2 on America's "top earning-towns" making Darien an unexpected mix of posh and beachy.
Darien hasn't been getting enough attention from parents. Even the most popular of the family, Darian, has been neglected by parents since its prime. Darien has a ton of unseen potential that makes it a really strong contender for the top 500 in the next couple of years.
Saskia is a Dutch import that has been taking America by storm. It hasn't ever made an appearance in the U.S. until last year, and it entered as the 106th baby name in the country. Saskia is an exotic name attached to a pretty deep rooted history.
Saskia is Dutch for "Saxon." It was written on a portrait of Rembrandt's wife, Saakje Van Uylenburgh, who went by Saskia. It has been used in Europe since the middle ages, and is ranked #392 in England, but never translated well here until last year.
Saskia was recently chosen by Red Groomes and Anne Dudek for their daughters and Saskia Reeves is an actress. Saskia has finally crossed the ocean and made it to our shores and isn't doing too bad for itself either!
Rosalind joined the ranks in 1890 and didn't have too bad of a run at it until about 1978 when it was booted out of the top 1000. It wasn't heard from since until last year when it started to make a comeback and hit #247.
Rosalind is Latin for "pretty rose." It began as a literary name coined by Edmund Spenser. It was then made even more popular when Shakespeare used it for his play As You Like It. Movie star Rosalind Russell gave the name the boost in popularity it had in the 1940s. Uma Thurman chose Rosalind as the first of the five names she gave her daughter.
We think its pretty safe to say that this one, though still fairly rare, will start joining other floral sisters like Rose and Lily at the top. You better snatch it before it does!
Indigo hadn't made it onto the list, despite the success of other color names, until last year when it landed on the charts for the first time at #857 on the girl's side. It is being used for boys as well, but it hasn't entered charts just yet.
Indigo is a deep blueish purple dye that is native to India. Their is a female folk band called The Indigo Girls. Indigo was used in the novel by Ntozake Shange called Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and Moon Indigo is a song by Duke Ellington. Lou Diamond Phillips chose Indigo for his daughter.
Indigo children in the 1970s were said to have supernatural abilities. Indigo is definitely the riskier choice in the color name category. It isn't as classic as Scarlett or even Crimson, but we think this one is a contender.
This occupational name joined the American list in 1887 and was ranked #906, but it was only on the list for two years, that year and 2016. It never strayed any closer or further from the top 100. That is, until last year when it jumped over 600 spots to #238.
Shepherd is an occupational name and surname that is beginning to join other occupational names after a 129 year hiatus. Jerry Seinfeld recently chose it for his son, which may have helped its recent boost in population. Shephard Fairey created the HOPE poster that was made in honor of the Obamas.
Shepherd has several spelling options including Shephard and Shepard, and Sheppard. The nickname Shep is also a plus! Shepherd might be headed even closer to the top 100 after being so rare for so many years!
This sweet moniker has an old time Southern belle kind of feel that died out around 1950. It began its journey on the charts in 1880 in the top 300, had some major ups and downs, and then found itself completely off the charts by 1952.
Georgiana is the English feminine variation of the name George which means "farmer." It was traditionally used in upper crust England, like the name bearer Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire, who was also an ancestor of Princess Diana. Charles Dickens and Jane Austen used Georgiana in Our Mutual Friend and Pride and Prejudice.
Georgiana was chosen by 1980s teen star, Molly Ringwald and Drew Barrymore's grandmother's name was Georgiana. Georgia has been trending for a couple of years and Georgina is the Scottish variation.
Chester was a top 100 name from 1880 until 1930. Chester was actually very successful until all of a sudden it surprisingly fell completely out of parents favor in 1994 and hasn't been back since until last year. Chester was resurrected and revived and made it back to #237.
Chester Latin for "fortress, walled town." Chester was a character on The Wire and The Nanny. Chester Bennington is the lead singer from Lincoln Park and Tom Hanks chose Chester for his son. Chester Allen Arthur was the 21st president of the United States and Admiral Chester Nimitz was a World War II hero.
Chester is an old fashioned name with the possibility of using the more contemporary nickname Chet. It has several significant namesakes that do it some serious justice. This moniker is hopefully here to stay this time around!
Indra is so rare in the States that it has never made its way onto the American list. Indra has a rich history and multi-cultural appeal that parents are sure to appreciate soon. The Indra spelling is a Hindu variation, but it can also be spelled Indre, which comes from France.
Indra is a deity in Hinduism that is translated in Sanskrit as "possessing drops of rain." In Hinduism, Indra is the warrior god of sky and son. In Buddhism, Indra is a guardian deity and the king of the highest heaven.
Indra has all the potential it needs to jump onto the American list in the next few years! With its cross-cultural appeal and exotic history and meaning, we're pretty confident we will see it on the charts soon!
Baxter is an old fashioned name that hasn't been getting much use for over 75 years. It entered the American list in 1880, never broke into the top 500, though it was close in 1886, then left completely in 1933. It's definitely due for a comeback.
Baxter is an English occupational name that was used for bakers. It comes from the early Middle English "bakstere" and the feminine form was "bakster." Dr. Baxter was a character on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Buster Baxter was a character on the kids series Arthur.
The nickname Bax is an adorable choice and maybe will start to stand on its own like Max, Jax and Dax have. Until then, Baxter is a perfect choice for parents looking for something rare and distinct.
Pax is a new and modern name that is just beginning to get some attention. Pax is derived from ancient Roman mythology and has been used for both girls and boys, though because of its similarity to Max and Jax, seems to do better for boys.
Pax is Latin for "peaceful." It is born in Roman mythology by the goddess of peace, which is the Greek goddess Irene. The Pax Romana was the period that was war-free during the first and second centuries when Rome had conquered the world. Augustus was responsible for this time of peace. Maybe Pax and Augustus could be siblings!
Pax was chosen by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for their adopted Vietnamese son. Paxton is another trending option that has the rare "x" factor and Paz is the Spanish translation.
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