What are your favorite unique baby names?

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Baby names are obviously a perennial parenting topic, but in all of our discussions about names we’ve never just point-blank asked: what are you favorite unique baby names?

Is your kid’s name a combination of family names handed down through generations? Something you pulled from your favorite book or movie? A name you totally made up? Or does your kid have one name β€” but you secretly love a totally off-the-wall name? (I knew someone who wanted to name her kid Saturn but went with a much more traditional name.)

Scroll through the comments on this open thread to find out: What are your favorite unique baby names?

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Comments on What are your favorite unique baby names?

  1. If we have a girl, we are considering Alba Jacqueline Bria for the girl. The reasons we like these names are : 1) Jessica Alba, my man’s favorite actress, 2) Jackie Kennedy plus the French part of my ancestry and the fact that my middle name also begins with J, and 3) the second middle name reflecting my man’s Irish ancestry. We would call her “AJ” for short. However, I am partial to Priscilla and Twila as well.

    In the case of names for boys, we really like the name Royce because it means “prince,” but we would use it as a middle name since the man’s middle name begins with R. With that said, I am also open to the idea of the boy going by his middle name on a regular basis because I think Royce is such an awesome name! We still aren’t done trying to come up with more cool and offbeat boys’ names though.

    • Alba is on our short list should we have a second girl, but after the daughter in The Time Traveller’s Wife, as well as a female version of Albus Dumbledore. πŸ™‚

  2. I really, really want to name ours Bellatrix if she’s a girl, but I’m already getting raised eyebrows and forced smiles from my family when I mention it. If I can’t handle *their* disapproval, I don’t know if I can take it from strangers. I keep telling myself, “Just because one author used a name for a villain in one book series, does not mean you can never use that name again.” But it’s hard to believe on some days!

    • this is why we kept our baby’s name a secret until he was born. too many opinions. but nobody has said anything rude now that he’s born.

      Bellatrix could easily be shortened to Bella or Trixie.

      • That reminds me: We were thinking of using Belle (like from Beauty and the Beast) for a girl’s name, that is until my man’s brother and sister-in-law used it for their DOG!!!

        But yeah, definitely recommend keeping names hush-hush until the little one’s born. Not just because of too many opinions, but also because someone in the family may like the name so much that they decide to use it themselves for their children or pets and then you have to try hard to pick something else that you might like just to avoid name confusion.

        • Oh! We sort of have the reverse dilemma… We have a dog named River (after the character from fire fly)… But my husband really likes it for our kid too!
          Personally, I’m pushing for Storm. Yes, like the Xmen!

    • Do they dislike it because of the name itself, or the Harry Potter connotations?…

      How many perfectly nice names get shot down because you remember someone with that name who was beastly to you at sometime?!

      • My mom is a teacher, and I’m studying to be one, and she has (mental) lists of names that bring back flashbacks of awful kids. I work with kids too, and I’m getting the same list.

    • When we found out we were having a boy, my hubby really wanted Drago for a 1st name (I don’t care for it) after a dragon character in an older movie. But whenever it is mentioned to people, they always think we are saying Draco after HP character Draco Malfoy.

    • Reading this thread again 2.5 years later, in search of our next baby name. We did end up naming our first Bellatrix Rose, and I have never regretted it. We call her Bella most of the time, and I decide in the moment how I introduce her to new people, depending on if I want the extended conversation. Now I need something just as awesome for the next one πŸ™‚

  3. We’re planning to name a son Strider, after the character in The Lord of the Rings. It actually started as a joke suggestion from my husband, and then we both realized that we loved it. Haha. We’re a little less set on girls’ names… I love Rosalind, from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, but we’re still pretty open on that one, whereas our boy name is pretty set in stone.

    • Oh, and we’re planning to do William as the middle name. It’s my husband’s late father’s name, plus we both feel he should have a more traditional middle name so that he can choose to go by that if he ever decides that he dislikes his offbeat first name.

  4. Our daughter’s name is Ramona Dawn (after both her grandmothers). We also kicked around Zelda and Scout among others.
    For boy names, we like Scout and Augusto (Gus for short)

  5. So not really offbeat but I wanted to name a future son Travis James after two of my favorite bands, the husband has vetoed this. So far we’ve settled on Killian Thoren.

  6. I play around with names a lot. I won’t be having kids anytime soon, but some of my favorite pairings are:
    Rory Neville
    Emrys Octavius
    (For boys, and
    Mary Wells
    Evelyn Ida
    (For girls.

  7. Our son is named Brewer.

    It was my husband’s grandad’s middle name, and a maiden name several generations back. I like that it’s unique, but not too weird…there was a Brewer born three months earlier at our hospital and goes to the same pediatrician. They’ll be in middle school together!

    Plus, he can go by Brewski if he ever joins a college fraternity. Ha!

  8. Our future daughter’s name is Langley, after where we honeymooned. We’re hoping to get pregnant this year and be able to use that name! But shh, it’s a secret…

  9. My husband and are both fans of french names (primarily because my husband is Francophone), but I prefer the more modern names like Anique (my daughter’s name), or LΓΆic (my nephew’s name), I also love Etienne which is a more traditional name.

    I wanted to name my daughter Aydan (Gaelic for little fire), but my husband was worried about pronunciation. I’m a still a little disappointed we didn’t use it, because it fits my daughter to a “t”

  10. Having been raised in a family with offbeat names (I’m Remy, and my sister is Kyrie; my dad AND my grandfather have traditionally female names, too), I swung the other way when it came to choosing names for future kids. They have to be understandable, spellable, nicknameable, initializable (new word!), and the first and middle names should work together as a pen name or stage name if they want to drop our very long hyphenated family name when they’re older.

    I’m settled on James for a boy (Jamie, NOT Jim) and my wife gets to choose his middle name. She likes Xavier a lot, but Cole and Thorn are also in the running. I’ve said for many years that I’d name a daughter Diana Kathryn, but now I’m not so set on the middle name. Others that are awesome (and may never be used, if we only have two kids) are Elena Grace / Elena Rose and Sarah Grace. I will have to spend the rest of my naming on pets and plants.

  11. I love River, for a boy or a girl, and Song as well.

    It’s not offbeat, but I wanted so much to name a boy Jake, but we can’t, because we live in Glasgow.

  12. My husband is insistent on using family names, but fortunately there are some offbeat names in our family trees. The men in my family mostly have fairly common names so if we have a boy one day, he will be James Wilton. My grandfather, uncle, and brother all have Wilton as a middle name and I love it! I’ve never met anyone outside of my family with that name so I guess it’s a bit uncommon. If we have a daughter, her name will be Felicity Sheree. Felicity is quasi common but Sheree is my mom’s name and no one pronounces it right, but I think it’s beautiful. (Sha-ree not Sherry). But I have a feeling we’ll have two girls so the other girl name is Evelyn, but pronounced how my great-grandmother pronounced it – Eva-Lean – very southern. It was her middle name and my cousin will use her first name, Ora, if she has a girl one day. Other options in my family tree were:
    Artellie; sisters: Chlora and Cleo; sisters: Parlee, Pearlee, Estha, Myrtle, and Belle; Ollie, Inna; Lucreece; Jalinah; Mahala; and Ascenith.

    And since Pocahontas was my 12th great-grandmother…then I guess I could have added her name to the mix. =)

      • I’ve rolled both options around in my head. The one reason I want to possibly stick with James being the first name is that it is traditional on my dad’s sides for males to have “J” names. My dad is James, brother is Jacob Wilton, grandfather is John Wilton, and my great-grandfather is Johnny. Also, my husband bears an uncanny resemblance to his quadruple-great grandfather James. But it may also just come down to what the kid looks like when/if (kids are still 5 years down the road for us) he arrives. Does he look like a Wilton or a James or just a wrinkled old man/alien thing?

    • Pocahontas was one of your foremothers?! Now THAT’S some interesting family history you could incorporate into your child’s name!

      P.S. I love the name Felicity too. It reminds me of the American Girl doll.

      • Thanks! I have an interesting and fun lineage. My mom has declared that no matter what we name our future hypothetical daughter, she will call her Pocahontas, or Poco for short. I also have a Oconostata as my 6th great-grandfather (I’ve been doing lots of family tree digging) so she’s going to call our future hypothetical son, Oco. So maybe one day, I’ll have Poco and Oco running around wreaking havoc. πŸ™‚

        Felicity comes from two separate instances of tarot-card readers telling my husband that he will one day find his felicity – meaning happiness. Once he told me that, it was a done deal as our top choice girl’s name.

    • My name is Velda Sheree, and no one ever pronounces it correctly! I didn’t like it as a child, but I have grown to love it.
      Velda is a family name-my aunt was Velda Leon.

  13. We named out little girl (7 months at the moment) Zenelle Anya. We’d planned on maybe Emily Rose when we found out we were having a girl, but when she came out screaming for 20 min it was too placid a name, so we went with something much feistier!

  14. Surprisingly our offbeat name isn’t so offbeat in my family. Our little one is named Wednesday Adventure. We knew Adventure would be the middle name no matter what the name or gender of our baby. But within the extended family there is Pyretta, Rourke, Felix, Brixton, Ixe, Ryker, Kashton, Jaxxon, Skii, Karys, Atlea, Brooklyn and many many more. It’s sort of expected in my family there won’t be any Johns or Mikes or Sarahs, not that there’s anything wrong with those

  15. So many wonderful names! My niece is named River, after both the Doctor Who character and the Firefly character. My nephew’s middle name is Barnabe because we all called him “Barney” while he was in the womb.

  16. We are due in October with a girl, and are naming her Lyra Dragon LeaVergne – Lyra for one of my favorite characters of all time (from Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books), Dragon because I let my wife pick the middle name(s), and she is a year of the dragon baby and a contrarian, and LeaVergne after her maternal grandmother. Our last name also starts with a D, so her initials will be LDLD, or (LD)squared, which totally sealed the deal on the name for me! πŸ˜‰

    Should our sonographer be wrong and we be surprised with a boy instead, his name will be Zen Alexander.

    • Your wife and my husband would be friends! When we found out we were having a boy, he really wanted the name Drago after a dragon character in a movie. πŸ™‚

  17. I didn’t intend to use an offbeat name when I used my grandmothers name for babygirl, even though its greek. But it turnes out it’s not a common name in Greece. Oops.

  18. I of course am biased toward my daughters’ names, but we had a tough time with boy names. They are Paisley Rae and Evey Anais Pearl (and our last name starts with P). For boy’s names, Atticus Fox and Averick Jax were always up there. Paisley is a Scottish name, which my husband’s surname is, and Rae is my middle name. Evey from V for Vendetta, Anais for Anais Nin, and Pearl is a middle name in hubby’s family.

    That said, I also love Clover, Hazel, Stella, Moxie, and Arrietty.

    Lately I’ve heard two boy names I love: Escher and Gatsby, that I might have to throw down if I ever have a boy.

  19. We named our girls after strong, smart characters – Jadzia (Star Trek: DS9) and Kaylee (Firefly/Serenity) – and they both fit their names perfectly. Our next bub appears to be a boy, and we’re naming him Geoffrey after my husband’s favourite grandpa. Thanks to reading Offbeat Mama, his middle name is going to be Danger because that is simply too much fun to pass up. If bub is actually a girl, she’ll be Abigail Danger, thanks to Abby Sciuto from NCIS.

  20. I wouldn’t use these for my kids, but there’s an attorney in DC named Theophany. It’s really lovely and they can go by Theo! I also think the story behind Beyonce’s name is really sweet. It’s her mother’s maiden name and apparently the extended family was initially upset that she was given a last name as a first name. But it’s cute and has worked out really well.

  21. We went with Xavian Tiberius. The best part is when someone hears the name and understands the reference to Star Trek. “Isn’t that Captain Kirk’s middle name?” Why yes, yes it is.

  22. We’re planning on giving our kids Hebrew names. I love my brother’s middle name, Lev, but, well, it’s my brother’s name. I also love the names:

    For a girl-

    For a boy-
    Ariel (pronounced Ah-ree-el, shortened to Ari)

      • I love Aviva! I’m rooting for it if we have a girl, because we’re following the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition of naming our kids after beloved, recently deceased relatives, and my grandmother’s name started with an aleph (Ellah). She passed a few years ago and I was really close with her. But my husband and I haven’t talked too much about it, yet. His grandfather also passed away relatively recently, and he may want to name our kid after him. He had an “L” name…hmmm….

  23. My daughter’s name is Ramona Soleil.
    My top boy names are Finnian (Finn), Soren, Callum, and Silas.
    My top girl names are Ophelia, Wren, Maple, Lark, and Fable.

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