What are your favorite unique baby names?

Posted by
Photo by love life lens

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 — 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?

You might also be interested in…

[related-post align=”right”]

Comments on What are your favorite unique baby names?

  1. I have a long list of “offbeat” and offbeat light names, depending on who you are.
    My favorite boy name is Daelion, which is what I would have been had I been a boy. It’s a family name on my dad’s side that my mom loved when she was told it, but my dad didn’t really like it as much, so they gave my twin brother a different name, and used it as a back up incase I came out male.

    For boys, I also like Tycho (tee-co, like the astronomer), Ifan, Seeker, and Dartan.

    My girls list is even longer lol. I love Charlotte, but only because i love the nickname Lottie. If we have a girl, that will probably be her name.

    Prudence, Lisette, Heidi, Brynna, Iona, Estacia, Georgette, Danella, Bryla, Davina, Odette, Briar and Tarina are all on my top girls list as well. I like some more ‘onbeat’ names as well. My major issue is that my boyfriend’s last name has a z in it, and it makes some names that I love difficult, just because of the sounds.

  2. we have a 15 month old daughter whose name is Viola Grace, after her great grandmother. We have a son due in a month whose name we cannot settle on. We know we want Danger to be the middle name and so far the frontrunner is Max Danger, but my husband isn’t quite sold on it. I’m so glad this topic came up, it’s given me some good suggestions!

    • Oh my goodness, I was just about to comment that I LOVE Danger as a middle name (girl or boy), but my husband won’t get on board. Makes me happy that someone else will use it.

      For the record, we’ve settled on Zoe Alane for a girl (love the sound of Zoe, plus the fact that it means “light,” and Alane is a family name), but stumped on boys’ names (our first is due 12/25). Love this discussion!

      • I’m seeing a lot of stuff about Danger as a middle name! A few years ago a friend of mine gave his first born daughter the middle name Danger. When they got pregnant with their second, they asked everyone for suggestions for a middle name that goes with Danger, and they picked my suggestion, Adventure! They have two sweet little girls with some awesome middle names, I think, but just about everyone I tell about it says that it was incredibly cruel to give those kids those names. I don’t get it. You rarely even hear a person’s middle name. What’s the big deal? You think they had gotten the first name of Uglyface or something.
        Anyway, I’m glad it won’t be quite so uncommon, so all the Danger haters can shove it. Lol.

  3. I work for a doctors office now and I love seeing all the names in there. We have a patient named Colorado (a man), which I think is AWESOME. Also, I love the name Denver. Not sure how I feel about having those names given that we live in Denver, Colorado, though. I would likely go with a subtler tribute to where I live. Pike (or Zebulon, after Zebulon Pike, the guy Pikes Peak is named after), Rifle, Vista, Roxbouough, Connifer, Columbine, Colfax, Kipling, I can think of a bunch now! Anyone else name kids after places?

  4. We don’t have kids, but I keep a list of names I like on my phone and we argue about it a lot.
    For a boy, I really like Gideon August. My name is April and August/Augustus are family names. Gideon is just cool, but the hubs just doesn’t like it.
    For a girl, I’m torn between Ripley (like from Alien), Freya, and Isadora. My husband likes all those, too. Middle name would be Moon or Luna.

  5. I am seriously anxious about choosing an offbeat name. We are down to two names for our son who is due in 2 months.

    Ryan or Orion.
    (Ryan Shepherd Burnett or Orion Shepherd Burnett – last name similar but not exact for privacy of course)

    Everyone in our life is so….normal. I just know that we would receive some raised eyebrows and scoffs if we chose a unique name like Orion. If he we named him Ryan and he is phenomenally excellent (as we expect him to be) then we would regret giving him a “boring” name. If he ends up being a very serious man like the rest of our family will he be laughed at for the rest of his life?

    • If you name your son Orion and he doesn’t like having an offbeat name, it’s a short step for him to go by Rion (or even spell it Ryan, to avoid spelling confusion). Or Ri or Ori (Which is also a Hebrew name meaning “my light”. While Ori is not a very common name, it would probably strike people as less odd than Orion). Lots of options.

    • I vote Orion because it is SO CLOSE to Ryan. And he could go by Ryan if he doesn’t like Orion, ya know? But it’s harder to go the other way, calling yourself Orion when your name is Ryan.

    • I honestly don’t think anyone would seriously laugh at an Orion. Kids grow into their names (most of them do), and families soften to names once they get to know the kid. Orion isn’t that offbeat anymore, and if I were you, I would set sail with it.

  6. I have a Noah Michael and an Evelyn Claire, If I were to ever have more kids a boy would be William Arlo and a girl would be Adeline Rose. We love older names in our house.

    Oh and my husband is an orion, he has only ever heard wonderful things about that name ( and he is a phenomenally excellent serious farmer ;), people only love it! but be prepared for a lot of o’ryan spellings and people thinking it’s a last name when you give it over the phone, but besides that, i would highly recommend it 🙂

    • Thank you! You said exactly what I needed to hear. A name is what you make it and there are so many things a person can be other than JUST serious or JUST excellent. I am sure my son will be a combination of 1000 different traits.

  7. I’ve always been partial to names from mythologies, especially the ones with a partially negative connotation. I don’t plan on having children, so I’ve been naming my animals instead: so far we’ve got Jezebel, Lilith and Ra. I’ve also liked Ceredwyn, Morgana, and Hephaestus.

    • I named a kitten Loki once. I had no idea that there was a comic book villain named Loki (and didn’t for more than a decade after the kitten met its untimely end), I was naming it after the real Norse god. You know, the one that castrated himself with a goat? I guess he might have some negative connotations, especially thanks to Marvel, but he was just the god of mischief, which I don’t think is too bad. Perfect for a mischievous kitten. 😉
      We now have a kitten that really is named after a cartoon character, and a pretty negative (albeit hilarious) one at that. My kitten’s name is Zapp Branigan. We just call him Zapp.

  8. Girl: Ophelia (my daughter’s name), Octavia, Olympia (are you sensing a pattern?), Theta, Seven, Aria, Annika, Penelope

    Boy: Dashiell, Arturo, Sebastian, Octavian…I really struggle with boys names.

  9. For girls:
    -Rose Cosette (When I was younger, I named ALL of my dolls Rose. It has been a name I’ve loved for years and years. Cosette comes from Les Miserables since it’s an awesome name but also because we’re both reading fanatics and I’m studying to be a fiction editor.)

    For boys:
    -December (I love this name, but I realize it’s somewhat feminine. I’m worried it’s unfair to give my son a name I love despite him being the one who will have to deal with the fallout. Thoughts?)
    -Thomas as a middle name (both his dad and my grandad who was like a dad were named Thomas)

    • I love the name December for a boy!! Although it is somewhat feminine, no more so than men named Kelly or Shannon. And if he really, really hates it and wants something more butch, it’s not too much of a stretch to nickname him Dex.

  10. I’ve been considering Narys, after Kira Narys from DS9. I don’t think the husband will go for it though.

  11. Okay, because of this great discussion we have now added Zora and Ezra to our short list of possible names for our second kidlet. Although, I was thinking, since we call our son Leaf maybe our next kid could be called a type of leaf, like Laurel. Any suggestions?

    As a side note, I think Cedar is an absolutely beautiful name for a boy. We can never name a son that because my father died in a hospital with that name, but someone should be using it.

    • In my extended family there are two brothers (high school age now) named Cedar and Sage. If Sage had been a girl he would’ve been Willow.

  12. I’m no where near ready to have kids yet but I’ve had names picked out for years, like I’m sure everybody has lol. For a boy I like Atticus Fincher and Atreyu Alexander and for a girl I like Briony Camille. 🙂

    • I love Atticus, though hubs isn’t huge one that one.
      I have a friend whose son is named Atreyu and they call him Trey for short. Your girl name also reminds me of the same friends daughter – Brilee 🙂

  13. Ever since I was pregnant with my almost 9-year-old son (didn’t find out his gender before birth) I wanted Eloise as a girl’s name. I’m finally sort of getting it this time for our daughter who is due in the next few weeks, she’ll be called Avery Eloise. Avery isn’t exactly offbeat but I have never ever met anyone young or old named Eloise, and we have been getting a lot of comments about how “different” it is. No one ever seems to like it, but I LOVE it.

    • I love Eloise!! It’s beautiful! I’ve had it on my list for years. I think you can use cute nicknames (At least in my opinion) from it too – Elli, Lo, Issie, etc. But I think it sounds so nice, I don’t know if I’d shorten it.

  14. I teach swimming lessons so I see a constant parade of kids’ names.
    Two of my favorites were Sol (girl) and Lua (boy). They were twins, and their mother told me that Sol is Portuguese for sun and Lua for moon. I might just steal Lua for real! I also had a pair of brothers named Judge and Bishop.
    A friend of mine has the last name Erikson, and they named their son Leif. Another friend has Isolde, Izzy for short.
    Another thing that effects me is how I feel hearing the name. I’ve known three Meredith’s, and all of them were fantastic women, so I love the name.
    Also, I love Duke for a boy.
    Our last name is stereotypical Irish, so we always joke that we’ve got to pick something “obnoxiously Gaelic” to go with it.

  15. Our little girl’s name is Taiya (Tai, like Taiwan, and….ya, lol). We just came up with it after list and list of crossing out names that neither of us could agree on. We later found out that Taiya means “River” in Native Australian! To top it off? Taiya’s last name is the word River in Spanish, LOL!

  16. My husband and I are avid Whovians, and when we chose names for our baby (before we found out the gender) we chose Amelia Jewell (after Amelia Pond and after my great grandmother Jewell) and Rory Gibson (after Rory Williams and my husband’s first love, his guitar.) My husband is also ginger, so naming our son “red king” was fitting, though so far he has pale strawberry blonde hair. We especially loved the names because our relationship was eerily similar to Amy and Rory’s. He didn’t wait and watch a box for 2000 years, but we were best friends first, then had a great separation (which felt like 2000 years) while he was off doing whatever (Roman Centurion things and whatnot, lol) and I was running off with another man (not the Doctor, but my Sontaran-like ex husband) but the universe brought us back together and we lived happily ever after. So far, anyway. 🙂 I was the Girl Who Waited while he was my Last Centurion. Sounds sappy but I can’t wait to share the story with our little Rory.

  17. I tend to prefer names that don’t have readily available nicknames. My son might have been Jonah had someone not pointed out he might one day go as Joe. I thought for sure Freja wouldn’t have a nickname, but some people have started calling her Fray-Fray (shudder).

  18. My parents gave my brother and me unusual first names and boring middle names (I’m Maisha Dawn, he’s Javen Kyle). We both love our “weird” first names and hate our middle names! (Maisha is “life” in Swahili, Javen is an old testament biblical name – Javen was a grandson of Noah.)

    My partner is half Persian so while kids are probably a few years down the road, we have a list of Persian names (Cyrus, Leila, Sayeed) that we like, as well as some found/amalgamated/invented names like Xylo and Zimri.

    • My sister’s name is Leila (lee-la). I think its so pretty. I think it means something about “night” in arabic.

  19. My favorite names tend to fall into 2 categories: old-fashioned and generally offbeat.
    My 5 angel babies’ names’ are Gabriel, Isabelle (Izzy), London, Maine, and either Ainsley or Olive (the debate rages on).
    Faves for girls: Prudence Hermione, Harper, Emmeline, Eloise Danger, Normandie, Madeleine, and Coraline
    Faves for boys: Atticus, Roosevelt, Jude, Luc, Oliver, Emerson, and Ezra.
    People have reacted strongly and negatively to both Prudence, which apparently makes people think of prude, and Roosevelt, just too much apparently.

  20. I changed my name, the whole lot, legally last year. I always hated my name, so I have weird feelings about choosing baby names, worried my children will hate their names.. 🙁


    River (as in Song and Tam)
    Trisana (as in Chandler from Tamora Pierce’s Circle series)
    Keladry (of Mindelan, Tamora Pierce again)

  21. My husband and I won’t be having kids for a couple more years, but already have three names picked out. Masculine, Feminine, and Unisex. Buttttttt….. I will not be writing those names here, for they could be “stolen”! Dun dun dunnnn…

    But we did come up with a bunch of other names in the process, which I still totally love.

    Viltaute (Met a girl from Lithuania with this name and we thought it sounded so beautiful!)
    Galaxie for a girl, Galaxy for a boy
    … and many more that I cannot immediately list off the top of my head.

    My husband’s name is Christopher, which is so common it annoys him to no end! There were always at least two different Christophers in his classes so they would all have to call each other by their last names. He will be getting his name legally changed later this year to something a lot more unique, to suit his personality.

    My name (Whitney) is not as common and I’ve only met one other person with my name, when I was six. But well-meaning people always make lame jokes like, “Ah you’re Whitney Houston! Sing for us!” It gets real old real fast.

    So we’re making sure our kids will be named something truly unique. Plus our last name is awesome, and anything combined with it will automatically sound badass!

  22. I have been planning on naming my first daughter Antigone (Ann-Tig-O-Nee) since I was 15 (im 26 and still no babies). I say Im going to call her Annie and my mother says she’s going to call her Tiggy.

    I dont know what I’ll do if I have boys!

  23. I love offbeat names, esp since I have a “normal” name. I am French Canadian/Scottish and my love is Irish/ Native American. I want something unique!!!!

    He has a family tradition that the first boy has the middle name Ashley. He hates that he got stuck with Ashley. I am not to happy about having to name my future son ____ Ashley. Plus the first name has to start with an S… my love’s name starts with an S, so does both of our dad’s.

    What we have talked about so far:
    my favorite :Maura Jane McKenzie (I love double first names.)
    his favorite: Alaina McKenzie

    my favorite: Sawyer Ashley Joseph (AJ for short)
    his favorite: Sheppard Jaden Ashley

    • My eldest sister’s new baby is named Sawyer and it’s so so cute! He’s also so so cute!

  24. My daughter’s name is Maeve and my son is Flynn. We are expecting another little baby in November and I am having such a hard time coming up with a third name that ‘fits’ with the other two.
    For girls I love

    For boys

Read more comments

Comments are closed.