120 Uncommon Baby Names to Help Your Child Stand Out from the Crowd (2024)

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From Apollo to Zuri

120 Uncommon Baby Names to Help Your Child Stand Out from the Crowd (1)

By Marissa Wu

Published Nov 18, 2023

Additional Reporting by

Dana Dickey

120 Uncommon Baby Names to Help Your Child Stand Out from the Crowd (2)

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Choosing a popular baby name sounds great in theory, but what about when your daughter is one of six Sarahs in her fifth-grade class alone? To help, we compiled a list of unique baby names (that aren’t all that tricky to spell). To guarantee uniqueness, we checked the latest Social Security Administration listings to make sure none of our picks were among the past few years' top 100 picks. Keep scrolling for 120 uncommon baby names that’ll have your little boy or girl standing out from the crowd.

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Uncommon Baby Girl Names

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1. Dahlia

This female name comes from the late summer-blooming flower, so perhaps a good choice for a girl born in August or September. It’s a variant of the Arabic name Dalia, which means "gentle."

2. Inez

We cribbed this from a lyric in the Taylor Swift song “Betty”—anything more front-and-center TS-related is sure to be a name on many newborns, so we stayed away from those. The name itself is a derivation of Agnes, which comes from the words “pure” or “holy” in Greek.

3. Ondine

This one comes from Latin, and is defined as "a water sprite." It has served as an inspiration for many creatives, from authors in the 19th century to a member of Andy Warhol’s Factory. As such, this moniker's a great choice for artistic families.

4. Cressida

What’s a list of baby names without a little Shakespeare? This name is from the Bard’s Troilus and Cressida; Cressida is a strong Trojan woman.

5. Imani

This popular East African name is derived from Imam, the person who leads people to Muslim prayer.

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6. Darcy

This gender-neutral name is from the Irish and means “dark.”

7. Luella

A name that means, fantastically, “famous elf” in Old English, this moniker evokes rosy cheeks and ringlets.

8. Joni

It’s a name from Hebrew meaning “God is gracious”—and also brings to mind female folk singer treasure Joni Mitchell.

9. Haruko

This Japanese name means “spring child,” so it’s ideal for babies that are due after the winter cold is passed. It can be shortened to Yoko or Youko.

10. Dasha

A shortened form of the Greek name Daria, Dasha is a Russian nickname that is a given name all to itself.

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11. Luz

This one means “light” in Spanish, coming from Nuestra Señora de la Luz, meaning “our lady of the light,” which refers to the Virgin Mary. Luz is a name that represents eternal love, beauty and heavenly purity.

12. Winnie

A nickname for Winifred and Gwendolyn, it also works as just plain old Winnie. The name means “gentle friend” and “friend of peace.”

13. Nailah

An Arabic name meaning “success,” you can’t go wrong with this baby girl name. It is also spelled Nayla.

14. Blaise

Unisex names FTW. Blaise has a rich legacy, including Saint Blaise and Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and inventor of calculating machines and the hydraulic press.

15. Fleur

Not just for flower lovers, this French name is delicate and elegant. It is most notably the name of Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter and the character of John Galsworthy’s celebrated The Forsyte Saga.

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16. Zuri

Zuri is a unisex Swahili name meaning “beautiful, good.”

17. Murphy

Who said it’s only a surname? In Irish, Murphy means “sea warrior” and is a popular last name. Shake things up by making it your baby’s first name, perhaps taking inspiration from Murphy Cooper, the scientist in the hit sci-fi Interstellar who successfully saves humanity.

18. Tansy

If you like flower names but aren’t so keen on the well-loved Rose and Lily, Tansy is a good option. In Greek, it translates to “immortality.”

19. Zahra

A trendy twist on Sarah, Zahra is one of the names of the prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatima, her full name being Fatima al-Zahra. It means “flower” and symbolizes compassion and generosity. The alternative spelling is Zara.

20. Indigo

As the name suggests, Indigo means “blue,” stemming from the Greek Indikon, which means “from India.”

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21. Cordelia

Cordelia has Latin and Celtic roots, meaning “heart” and “daughter of the sea.” A daughter of King Lear in Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name, Cordelia is known for her sympathy. The name also has an admirer in a certain Anne of Green Gables, who said she wished it was hers.

22. Guinevere

Welsh for “white shadow,” Guinevere lives in the mind of popular imagination as the beautiful, doomed Queen of Camelot. In modern English, it’s spelled Jennifer, but Guinevere is sure to stand out from the crowd.

23. Agatha

Agatha, which gets a chic twist as Agathe in French, means “good woman” in Greek. In history, Agatha was a daughter of William the Conqueror and also a patron saint of firefighters and nurses. Not to mention the name of famed mystery author Agathie Christie.

24. Charity

A virtue name, Charity is less common than Hope and Faith, but has appeared across popular culture, from Charles Dickens to Harry Potter and Two Broke Girls.

25. Yvette

In French, Yvette translates to “yew tree,” so if you’re fond of plant names but don’t want to go the flower route, this one is for you. The tree itself is known to be durable and persistent with a long life.

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26. Primrose

A British name, Primrose is a pale-yellow flower and one of spring’s first blooms. It symbolizes protection, safety and love.

27. Leonie

In Latin, Leonie translates to “lion,” with variations including Leona and Leonia. Leonie makes an appearance in Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, whose aunt is a major character in the novel.

28. Allegra

If you’re musical, you know that “allegro” means you should play with a “quick, lively tempo.” Similarly, Allegra, an Italian baby girl name, means “joyous.”

29. Saffron

Best known as the yellow spice of the crocus, Saffron is Arabic for “yellow flower.” It’s only fitting to name your baby girl after something so precious, no?

30. September

On the 10-month Roman calendar, September was the seventh month of the year, and in Latin (“septem”) means “seven.” As the harbinger of fall, September evokes color, change and fresh starts.

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31. Augustina

A variation of Augusta, in Latin Augustina translates to “great, magnificent”—both of which you hope your little girl to be.

32. Atlanta

Far from being a charming Southern city, Atlanta has Greek roots, meaning “secure, immovable” and stemming from the ancient Greek “Atalanta.” It is the name of a huntress in mythology who said she’d only marry the person who beat her in a foot race.

33. Calico

Calico is the English version of Calicut, the Indian port that exported the beloved fabric.

34. Anise

With its star shape and mild sweetness, Anise is a popular spice but less popular name, making it a fun moniker for the baby who brings fun and flavor into your life.

35. Claramae

A sweet mashup of Clara and Mae, Claramae is a British name that means “bright, clear.”

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36. Delta

In Greek, Delta means “fourth,” being the fourth letter of the alphabet and symbolizes “positive change” in mathematics, while also evoking the serenity and strength of a river mouth.

37. Marlowe

Marlowe is a gender-neutral English name translating to “Driftwood,” perfect for an adventurous spirit. Alternative spellings include Marlo and Marlow. Celebrities like Jason Schwartzman and Sienna Miller have chosen the name for their daughters.

38. Valencia

Aside from being a vibrant Spanish Mediterranean coastal city, Valencia is Roman for “strong, healthy” and in Latin, “Valentia” means “valor.” The name is a symbol of strength and bravery.

39. Athena

Athena is a Greek goddess and daughter of Zeus. Most reputed as the goddess of wisdom, she also presides over warfare and craftwork.

40. Riya

In Hindu, Riya means “singer” and is also spelled Aria. Perfect if your little girl shows musical inclination.

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41. Rainey

If you want a regal name full of grace and poise, Rainey is the way to go. With Latin, Scottish and English origins, it means “queen.”

42. Emerald

This beautiful green gemstone evokes the verdant country of Ireland, known itself as the Emerald Isle. It’s also the May birthstone for any Gemini and Taurus babies arriving late spring.

43. Magdalena

Greek for “woman from Magdala,” Magdalena has made an appearance in Spanish, German and Slavic countries, often spelled Magdalene and referencing Saint Mary Magdalene. In ancient Greek, “magdala” means “great, elegant.”

44. Emmaline

Emmaline is German for “work,” also spelled Ameline and Amelina to describe and foreshadow good work ethic.

45. Paloma

In Latin and Spanish, Paloma translates to “dove.” The name famously belongs to a daughter of Pablo Picasso and symbolizes peace.

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46. Reagan

Another regal name, Reagan is Irish for “little king” and is gender neutral, invoking majesty, promise and youthfulness.

47. Opal

Sanskrit for “gem,” in ancient Greece, it was believed that these were Zeus’ tears after his victory over the Titans. Opals are a symbol of hope and good fortune and reportedly Queen Victoria's preferred gemstone.

48. Rayne

Rayne is Scandinavian for “counsel, helpful friend” and a gender-neutral baby name that evokes comfort of water hitting the window on a grey day.

49. Clementine

From Latin “clemens,” translating to merciful, Clementine is the feminization of Clement and also brings to mind happy orange hues of the citrus fruit.

50. Dallas

This Scottish, gender-neutral name means “from the dales” and “the valley meadows,” as well as “skilled” in Irish.

51. Khaleesi

All credits to George R. R. Martin for this one. In the author’s fictional language Dothraki, Khaleesi means “queen” and is a title worn by Queen Danerys, Mother of Dragons. With that context, it’s a formidable name for your baby girl.

52. Paityn

Paityn is a gender-neutral English name with American spelling—alternatives include Payton and Peyton.

53. Quinn

With roots in Irish, Celtic, Gaelic and Latin, Quinn is a unisex name that means “wise.” In Latin, it translates to “girl who is as pretty as two.” Of course, the name also evokes a certain Quinn Fabray on the hit TV series, Glee.

54. Fatima

In Arabic, Fatima is a name meaning “captivating.” In Islam, Fatima was a daughter of the prophet Muhammad and is described in the Qur’an as one of four perfect women, the Islamic equivalent of the Virgin Mary. The name also means “chaste, motherly, shining one.”

55. Serafina

Also spelled Seraphina, this moniker means “angel, fiery.” It derives from the Hebrew word seraphim, used to describe celestial or angelic beings.

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56. Emerson

Emerson is a gender-neutral baby name of German origin that means “brave, powerful”—two qualities your little one is sure to have.

57. Petra

The female version of Peter, Petra means “rock,” stemming from the Greek “petros.” You may also know it as a city in Jordan, home to pink sandstone temples.

58. Amalia

Before the names Emily and Amelia burst onto the scene, there was Amalia. The name has roots in Hebrew, German and Italian. Notably, it is born by Princess Catharina-Amalia of Orange, the heir to the Dutch throne. In history, Anna Amalia was a renowned European duchess and arts patron.

59. Vida

Translating to “life” in Latin and Spanish, this unisex name is a celebration of potential and possibility.

60. Evalyn

Evalyn has Hebrew roots, stemming from Eve, “to live.” In old French and German, variations include Aveline, Avelina and Avila.

Uncommon Baby Boy Names

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1. Jago

Pronounced “ya-go,” this baby boy name has Spanish and Cornish roots, meaning “supplanter.” A variation in spelling would be Jacob.

2. Massimo

The Italian version of Max, Massimo adds flair, which is fitting as the name means “biggest, greatest.”

3. Darius

The moniker means “to possess good” and stems from Greek, Latin and Persian. It’s the name of kings, including Emperor Darius the Great of Persia.

4. Xander

Xander is a Greek name derived from Alexander meaning “defender of the people.” You can also spell it Zander.

5. Macauley

*Cue Macauley Culkin’s Home Alone face* This Scottish name means “son of righteousness.” But if the Hollywood tie-in isn’t an indicator, this name is destined for a little (mis)adventure, too.

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6. Leroy

In French, Leroy means “the king” and was a popular boy’s name in the early 20th century.

7. Louis

The French version of the German Ludwig, Louis means “famous warrior” and was the name of no less than 14 French kings, so your baby is in good company.

8. Zigmund

German for “victorious protector,” Zigmund can also be fun and games, coming complete with a nickname, “Ziggy.”

9. Treyvon

This combo American name brings together Trey and Devon.

10. Santos

In Spanish, Santos translates to “the saints” and is a heavenly pick for your new bundle of joy.

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11. Declan

An Irish name meaning “man of prayer,” Declan is the English version of the Irish name Déaglán, a notable fifth-century saint.

12. Marquis

It’s a French name that means “nobleman” or “lord of the borderlands.” It’s also a noble title, and you can shake things up by spelling it Marquez.

13. Bear

German for “strong, brave,” the name Bear symbolizes strength, courage and wisdom.

14. Alistair

It means “defender of the people” and is considered the Scottish version of Alexander.

15. Atlas

Not to be confused with a book of maps, in Greek, Atlas means “to carry.” Fitting, as in mythology, Atlas was the Titan who held the world on his shoulders.

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16. Kit

This English name means “pure” and is suitable for a baby boy or girl. From enterprising Kit Kitteridge to the dashing Kit Harington, it seems this name is marked for greatness.

17. Glen

In Irish, Glen means “valley” and all that is tranquil and serene. Or, you know, you could take a page from Mean Girls with this one. You go, Glen Coco.

18. Rashaad

Stemming from Arabic, Rashaad means “wisdom” and “good guidance.”

19. Neville

We love a good Harry Potter reference. Though it’s the name of a lovable British character, Neville actually has French roots, meaning “new town.”

20. Jericho

Jericho is Arabic for “city of the moon.” Lofty and fitting as it was an imposing city in Biblical times.

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21. Braxton

An Old English name meaning “Brock’s town,” Braxton is an unconventional and gender-neutral baby name.

22. Genesis

Hebrew for “origin,” this unisex name symbolizes new beginnings and creativity.

23. Ledger

Typically an English last name, Ledger may bring to mind a certain Australian actor—swap things up and give your baby a swashbuckling first name.

24. Hendrix

If you think your baby has rockstar potential, Hendrix will make a fine first name. It originates in the German Heimirich, “ruler of the home” and is an equivalent of the English Henry.

25. Kai

Kai is a gender-neutral name that has meanings across cultures. In Hawaiian, it means “sea,” while in Japanese it translates to “shell” and in German, “warrior.”

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26. Bishop

This is a British name with Greek roots in “epískopos,” meaning “overseer”—perfect for a little one who’s always in charge!

27. Avi

Sanskrit for “sun and air,” this baby boy’s name references the Hindu god Surya, whose domain was the sun. In Hebrew, Avi means “father,” stemming from Avraham, “father of nations.”

28. Emmett

Emmett is a gender-neutral name but can be considered a masculine version of Emma. The name means “universal, truth.”

29. Easton

Looking for a retro baby boy name? Easton has you covered. This British name means “east town” and is sure to have your kid standing out in the crowd.

30. Foster

Foster is an English name that means “forester.” While you’ve probably heard it as a last name—notables include Jodie, Sutton and Norman—it makes an original first name, too.

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31. Caspian

A sea between Asia and Europe, Caspian is also a character in the mythical world of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. From Latin “caspii,” meaning white, it was originally a term used to describe those in Central Asia who originated from the Caucasus. Either way, the name is imbued with adventure.

32. Aydin

The name Aydin has Gaelic and Turkish roots, translating to “fire” in the former and “clear, illuminating, enlightened” in the latter.

33. Miller

A British name that means “one who grinds grain,” Miller is a typical last name but works well as an unconventional unisex first name.

34. Brody

In the 14th and 15th century, Brody was the name of a medieval clan in Moray, Scotland, an area that is known today for its scotch and whiskey distilleries. Sounds like a good time.

35. Shiloh

In Hebrew, Shiloh means “abundance, tranquil.” It’s a gender-neutral name that was historically a vista reputed for its serenity and beauty. In Biblical history, this was the home of the Ark of the Covenant.

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36. Tripp

A name for the third child of the family, Tripp is also French for “someone who stumbles.” And hey, when life knocks you down, it’s always a good reminder to dust yourself off and keep trying.

37. Alden

Alden is a British name that means “old friend.” It stems from the old English “Ealdwine” for a “wizened companion.”

38. Kellan

Gaelic for “slender,” Kellan derives from Irish “caoil” (slender) and “fionn” (fair), which turned into Caoilfhionn. Alternative spellings include Kellen, Kellyn and Keelan.

39. Rocco

In Italian, Rocco translates to “rest, repose.” San Rocco was 14th century saint who cared for the sick during the Plague, and thus can symbolize selflessness, strength and compassion.

40. Finnegan

The anglicized spelling of “Ó Fionnagáin,” Finnegan is Irish for “fair-haired” and is a variation on the name Fionn. In Irish lore, Fionn is known for his strength and wisdom. Notably, the name appears in the writer James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.

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41. Arlo

Spelled “Aherlow” in Irish-Gaelic, the name means “fortified hill.” The first known appearance of the name dates to 1590, when English poet Edmund Spenser published The Faerie Queene.

42. Anderson

Anderson is a gender-neutral name that has Scandinavian and Greek roots. In the former it translates to “son of Anders/Andrew,” while in the latter it derives from “Andreas,” meaning “manly.”

43. Knox

Scottish for “round hill,” Knox is notably, one of Angelina Jolie’s twins, so your baby is in good company.

44. Beckett

Beckett is a British name coming from the old English “beo” (beehive/bee cottage) and “cot” (shelter). It’s considered a unisex name whose most notable bearer might be modernist playwright Samuel Beckett.

45. Aslan

The protector of Narnia in The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan fittingly means “lion” in Turkish. It embodies the quality of nobility and sacrifice and was the name of several Turkish emperors in Middle Ages.

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46. Houston

Aside from being a Texas metropolis, Houston has Scottish roots, translating to “hugh’s town” and “settlement on the hill.” Since it’s more of a last name, Houston is sure to turn heads wherever he goes.

47. Zechariah

In Hebrew, Zechariah means “God remembers.” It was the name of a prophet in the Bible and a pope whose pontificate lasted from 741 to 752.

48. Vaughn

Welsh for “little,” it is alternatively spelled Vaughan and was originally a differentiator to distinguish between parent and child.

49. Ulysses

This uncommon baby name has a lot going for it. It’s considered the Greek version of Odysseus, which means “epic voyage/adventure.” In Latin, it translates to “wrathful.” And in history and culture, it’s the title of James Joyce’s epic modernist work and the name of the 18th U.S. president.

50. Pascal

The last name of notable mathematician Blaise, Pascal is French for “Easter child” and derived from the Hebrew word for Passover.

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51. Anton

A derivation of the Latin Antonius, this name might be a way to honor a relative with the given name Anthony but still making it unique. Especially popular in Russia and Germany, it means “priceless” or “praiseworthy”—just the way you’ll think of your new little guy.

52. Luther

This is a boy’s name that means army in German. (And it’s also the titular hero in a popular Brit TV series played by the charismatic Idris Elba.)

53. Ryland

This English name is most often given to males, and was historically given to families whose homes bordered farms where rye grass was grown.

54. Noam

This Hebrew name means “tenderness” and while a popular boy’s (and lately, girl’s) name in Israel, it’s rare here in the United States.

55. Oscar

A name from the Irish, it’s more commonly thought of as the moniker of the film world’s most sought-after award. No wonder, since in Irish folklore, it means “champion warrior.”

56. Lucien

It means “light,” and this French boy’s name is a great alternative to the more common Luke or Lucas.

57. Rafe

This boy’s name comes from the Scandinavian; it means “cousel of the wolf.”

58. Lyle

Your little one is going to love sharing his name with that of a famous children’s-book crocodile, we’ll wager. And later he’ll appreciate that his Scottish-derived name means “from the island,” inspiring him to travel.

59. Apollo

The Greek god of music and poetry, this boy’s name is going to set him on a path of creativity.

60. Dov

From the Yiddish word ber, translated “bear,” this name sounds as cuddly as your little guy is sure to be.

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Marissa Wu

Associate SEO Editor

I’ve covered the lifestyle space for the last three years after majoring in journalism (and minoring in French) at Boston University. Talk to me about all things sustainable &amp...

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Dana Dickey

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Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or expertise. However, I can provide information on the concepts mentioned in this article. Let's break down the concepts mentioned in the article:

  • Unique Baby Names: The article discusses the idea of choosing unique baby names that are not among the top 100 picks in recent years. It suggests 120 uncommon baby names for boys and girls that can help a child stand out from the crowd.

  • Uncommon Baby Girl Names: The article lists several unique baby girl names with their meanings and origins. Some examples include Dahlia, Inez, Ondine, Cressida, Imani, Luz, and Winnie.

  • Uncommon Baby Boy Names: The article also provides a list of uncommon baby boy names with their meanings and origins. Examples include Jago, Massimo, Darius, Xander, Macauley, and Knox.

  • Name Meanings: The article highlights the meanings behind some of the names mentioned. For example, Dahlia is a late summer-blooming flower, Inez means "pure" or "holy" in Greek, and Jago means "supplanter."

It's important to note that the choice of a baby name is a personal decision, and it's always a good idea to consider cultural significance, family traditions, and personal preferences when choosing a name for your child.

120 Uncommon Baby Names to Help Your Child Stand Out from the Crowd (2024)
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