26 Rare, Unique & Beautiful Girl Names You Hardly Ever Hear

Olivia, Emma, and Charlotte are lovely names — and thousands of people agree. At last count by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), over 17,000 baby girls were given the name Olivia last year alone; over 15,000 were named Emma, and over 13,000 were named Charlotte. The only problem with this is that when you name your daughter Olivia, Emma, or Charlotte — currently the top three most popular girls’ names in the U.S. — and there are thousands more given those names each year, she is likely to meet other Olivias, Emmas, and Charlottes in droves. Pros: She’ll always find her name on personalized trinkets at tourist destinations. Cons: Her name is, well, everybody else’s name too.

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So if you’re looking for something that’s more of a standout without being … out there (the name Dweezil comes to mind), you’re going to love these rare and unique girl names. We combed through the most recent data from the SSA to find a collection of names that were used 10 times or less in the last year. These names are beautiful and distinctive, yet have sounds that are similar to some of the most popular names, so they feel just familiar enough. They’ll have people saying, “Oh! That’s a pretty name!” rather than “Oh, that’s an … interesting choice.”

As a bonus, many of them have the potential for some really cute (and more mainstream-sounding) nicknames — so if, for example, your daughter Adelise doesn’t dig her full name, she can always go by Addie!

Unlike the baby girl name “Big Three”, the names on this list were only used 10 times or less last year, according to the most recent data from the SSA. That means if you choose one of these for your little girl, it will be just as unique and special as she is.




  • Alegria

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    Meaning “joy” and “cheerfulness” in Italian (and also Portuguese!), this unique name — used only 10 times in the United States last year! — is as pretty and melodic as it is jovial.

  • Camber

    This one’s an invented name, likely a modern combination of Cam- names (Cameron, Camille, Camden) with -ber names (like Kimber and Amber). A similar name that’s a smidge more feminine-sounding is Cambria, a Welsh name meaning “the people”; not as rare as Camber, but still only used 186 times last year.

  • Eulalie

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    The French form of Eulalia, which has Greek roots and means “sweetly speaking,” Eulalie is full of the vintage charm that’s so popular these days — with a lot less of the popularity. 

  • Lilit

    Lilit is the Armenian form of the name Lilith, which means “of the night”. In ancient myths, Lilith was a demon; and in some versions of religious text, the wife of the Biblical first man Adam, banished from the Garden of Eden for her refusal to submit before Eve came along. Lilit, however, is a lighter-sounding alternative … and can use the cute nickames Lil or Lili.

  • Novie

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    The name Nova — with an A — is really hot right now, coming in at #32 out of the top 1000 most popular girl names in the United States. Interestingly, though, the very-similar Novie was used for only 10 babies last year. It’s like a mashup of Nova and the super-cute name Jovie, and we love it!

  • Sayda

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    Likely a version of Sa’ida, which means “happy” or “lucky” in Arabic, Sayda would make a great alternative to the much-more-popular Sadie.

  • Taia

    There is no real meaning for this name (although it is the Māori word for “printed”), but it does feel like a fresh alternative to Kaia, which is currently in the top 250 most popular girl names.

  • Aelani

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    While this is an invented name, the “-lani” suffix means “heaven” or “sky” in Hawaiian. Considering that the name Kailani and its alternate spellings Kaylani and Kehlani have all increased dramatically in popularity over the past few years, Aelani is unique without being too “out there”.

  • Avalise

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    Like Annelise, this name is a combination of two pre-existing names: Ava, meaning “life”, and Lise, meaning “God’s oath”. Since Ava was in the top three most popular names for several years (and is still within the top 10), it’s easy to see how this spinoff came about. You could also pronounce it with a flat A, like “avenue” (or Avril, as in Lavigne!), which we think is an even prettier and more unique option.

  • Riviera

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    If people are naming their kids River, Lake, and Reef, then why not Riviera? Meaning “coast” in Italian, it also makes a beautifully unique geographic name. The French Riviera is renowned for its luxury appeal. And as a name, there are plenty of cute nickname options too — Rivi or Vivi both work!

  • Breslyn

    This is actually a transferred use of the surname Breslin (as in actress Abigail Breslin), which is derived from the Irish surname Ó Breisláin. But last names as first names are huge (think Carter, Jackson, and Madison) — and Breslyn is reminiscient of Evelyn, which is in the top 10 most popular names right now.

  • Eisa

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    Looking for a standout name with a Nordic feel ( … that isn’t Elsa)? Try Eisa on for size! A Norse mythological name said to mean “glowing embers”, Eisa was the daughter of the god of mischief, Loki, and his wife Glut.

  • Elyra

    This name is sometimes seen as Allira or Alira, and likely comes from the Latin hilaris meaning “cheerful”. We love this alternate spelling, though, and it was only used a handful of times last year: nine, to be exact!

  • Leta

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    This sweet and simple name is said to be derived from the Latin laetus, meaning “glad” — but it also means “to seek” in Swedish. In a time when Charlotte is so popular that people are increasingly leaning toward nicknames like Lottie and Lettie, Leta fits right in.

  • Alouette

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    Nature names have been super-popular for the last few years, with bird names in particular skyrocketing. Wren, for example, was #998 out of the top 1000 in 2012; fast-forward to last year, and it’s all the way up to #184. So since “alouette” means “lark” in French, it falls in step with the bird name trend — but was only used as a name in the U.S. eight times last year! As far as nicknames are concerned, this one is great too; Alouette can be used for more formal occasions, but she could go by Ali, Lou, or Ettie as well!

  • Avalia

    Like Avalise, the name Avalia — given to eight baby girls last year — feels like a novel alternative to the popularity of names like Ava and Amelia. It could be an invented name, as it’s comprised of sounds we hear a lot these days, but it could also be a version of the Spanish name Evelia, which means “life”. 

  • Joia

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    From the old French joie, meaning — you guessed it — “joy”, Joia is a bright and bubbly name that was used only eight times last year.

  • Solenne

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    A variation of the French name Solange, which means “religious”, Solenne is a gorgeous and lyrical choice that comes with a lot of nickname potential (our favorite is Leni!). 

  • Alder

    Alder is one of those names that can be truly gender-neutral. It’s only fitting, then, that according to Celtic legend the alder tree was said to symbolize the balance between male and female. 115 boys, but only seven girls, were given this name last year.

  • Amabel

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    The name Amabel means “lovable” which is absolute perfection for a sweet baby girl! While the similar Annabelle is far more popular, Amabel is actually older — a medieval name, to be exact. But as its diminutive, Mabel, continues to gain popularity thanks to its vintage charm, we think it’s time to revive Amabel … and last year in the U.S., seven parents did just that.

  • Ophira

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    In the Old Testament, Ophir was a city renowned for its wealth and the riches that came and went from its ports — so it is said that the name Ophira means “gold”. It was used for only seven girls last year, but it has a vintage sound that blends seamlessly with the recent trend of “grandma” names like Ophelia, Margaret, and Beatrice.

  • Adelise

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    Pretty and rare (used only six times last year) — what’s not to love about Adelise?! Meaning “noble”, it’s a fresh spin on names like Adelaide and Adeline, and Addie makes a really cute nickname.

  • Bowyn

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    A decidedly more feminine spelling variation of the name Bowen, which is a Welsh and Irish surname just meaning “son of Owen”, Bowyn was used for a mere six baby girls last year. Considering the popularity of the name Bowen for boys — it’s currently at #389 out of the top 1000 — we think Bowyn is a fantastic option for something that’s rare yet completely familiar-sounding. Plus, the nicknames Bo, Bowie, Wyn, and Wynnie are all adorable.

  • Halona

    Something about the name Halona just sounds ethereal — maybe it’s the word “halo” right at the beginning. Given to just six babies last year, it certainly isn’t a name you’ll run into everywhere. And it’s generous with its nickname possibilities, too; Halo, Hallie, Hala, Lona, Loni … or whatever else you can come up with!

  • Aureliana

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    In terms of modern baby naming trends, Aureliana ticks multiple boxes: it’s a “maximalist” name, and it means “golden”, which is also hugely popular. Yet it was given to only five babies last year. The longer the name, the more potential it has for nicknames: Auri, Eli, Lia, Ana.

  • Sabirah

    Sounding like a more exotic cousin of Sabrina or Sabine, Sabirah was used only five times last year — and we think this gorgeous name should be used more! It is said to mean “patient” or “enduring”.

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