A name is one of our most significant identifiers throughout our lives. It’s how people get our attention, how they differentiate us from others, and it’s usually the first thing they learn about us. This is probably why many expecting parents spend hours and hours pouring over lists of baby names in search of the perfect one.
As Kyla Scanlon put it in an article for Start It Up, “A name is your identity. It’s what people call you, it’s what you respond to, it’s what you understand about yourself. From the day we are born, we are assigned this identifier. Some people get nicknames or change their name entirely after they are born, but the common thread is a NAME.”
There are many options to consider when looking at names. Some people want a family name that’s been passed down for generations, while others opt for something entirely new. Some parents care about the meaning of a name, while others are more interested in the way it sounds. And, while some like traditional names, others prefer something more uncommon. If you’re interested in unique names, this is the article for you. Sorting through lists of hundreds of baby names can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so we’ve done it for you and compiled our absolute favorite unique baby girl names right here.
If you like the name Anna but are looking for something a little more unique for your baby, Annika is a beautiful option that you don’t often hear. According to Charlies-Names, Annika originates from Sweden and parts of Germany, where its the diminutive form of Anna. A diminutive is essentially a cute version of an original word or name. In this case, it’s like a pet name for the first name Anna. But, just because it started as a nickname doesn’t mean Annika can’t be a name in its own right.
Like the name Anna, Annika means gracious or merciful. However, compared to Anna, which was ranked as the 90th most popular baby name in the U.S. by babynames.com, Annika is ranked at 835th. So, when it comes to uniqueness, Annika is definitely the way to go.
You can customize this special name even more by finding the spelling of it you like best. Some common spelling alternatives to Annika are Anicka, Anika, Anikka, or Annica. All of them have the same pronunciation, but sometimes a particular spelling might sit better with you.
Big fan of The Beatles? Why not choose a fun and unexpected baby name inspired by one of the band members? Lennon is an adorable name for a baby girl that is sure to remind people of musical legend John Lennon.
While you can choose this name purely based on The Beatles, it actually has a much longer history. According to Oh Baby! Names, the first written recording of Lennon was as a surname in the 14th century, though it was written as O’Lennon at the time. The name was derived from the Gaelic word Leannáin, which means “lover.” So, Lennon has a significant meaning and history along with its nod to The Beatles.
Despite originating as a last name, Lennon has been used as a first name in recent years. Nameberry attributes a spike in its popularity for Lennon as a girls’ name to the singer and actress Lennon Stella. However, this only led to it reaching the top 1,000 U.S. names in 2013, so it’s still quite unique. The unisex name is also more commonly used for boys, but we think it’s perfect for a little girl, especially for any parents wanting to pay tribute to their favorite musician.
For an old-fashioned name that’s not overused, Constance is an excellent choice. The classic name has its roots in medieval times, and you may find many historical figures by this name. Notably, William the Conqueror’s daughter, Oscar Wilde’s wife, and one of Shakespeare’s characters in “King John” were all named Constance. Mozart’s wife also had the German version of the name Constanze and went by Stanzi, which is such a darling nickname.
Like Faith or Charity, Constance is a virtue name. These kinds of names are based on desirable qualities. Constance comes from the Latin word for constant, so it represents steadfastness. If you are interested in a virtue name, this is a beautiful option that not many other children will have.
Despite its background and beautiful meaning, Constance has declined in popularity in the U.S. since the early 1950s, according to Nameberry. Though it’s the 120th most popular girl name in France, it hasn’t broken into the top 1,000 names in the U.S. for decades. All the more reason to bring it back!
Bronwyn is a traditional Welsh name. Though it is worth noting that in Wales, it’s spelled Bronwen, the E is typically exchanged for a Y in the U.S. Oh Baby! Names explains that the name was derived from the Celtic meanings of Bron, which means breasted, and (g)wyn, which means fair. Together they represent purity of heart.
You may have heard this name before, but it’s pretty uncommon. If you’re wondering just how uncommon, The Bump ranked it at number 6,121 in popular baby names. So, if unique is what you’re after, this is an excellent choice.
However, the name is more prevalent in Australia. Australian Olympians Bronwyn Thompson and Bronwyn Eagles are both well-known individuals with the name. The Australian sculptor Bronwyn Joy Oliver, and Australian fashion designer Bronwyn Bancroft have also made the name a bit better known.
For names with a similar sound to Bronwyn, you might be interested in the more modern-sounding Braelyn or Breelyn. But, if you like a traditional name, there is also the incredibly similar Branwen, which comes from Welsh mythology.
Nova comes from the Latin word “novus,” which means new. However, it also has ties to astronomy. In space, a nova is an exploding star that increases in brightness. According to Britannica, it becomes several thousand times — sometimes even up to 100,000 times — stronger than its average brightness. The star reaches its full power a few hours after erupting and can burn that brightly for a few days to a few weeks. Then, the star decreases back to its former shine. But, it’s referred to as a nova during the time of the eruption, so only the brightest stars share this name.
Before the eruption, these stars are often too far for us to see, but the increase in brightness may allow their light to reach earth. They appear to us as new stars, giving them the name novas. The ties to celestial bodies give this baby name a feeling of majesty and wonder that we love. For more unique, space-themed baby girl names, there’s also Luna, Venus, Astraea, or Estelle.
Zuri is such a cute, fun name. One of the things we love about the name Zuri is that it’s not difficult to pronounce or spell. Often, unique names can seem long and complicated, but you don’t have to worry about that with this one. It’s just short and sweet. Plus, starting it with a Z gives it that extra bit of individuality that we love.
According to The Bump, Zuri has Swahili origins and means “beautiful.” So, you get a wonderful meaning along with the appealing sound of the name.
Though Zuri is still somewhat obscure in the U.S., it has been slowly rising in popularity. This might be due to a few celebrities and characters bringing the name into public consciousness. TV host Zuri Hall and fashion model Zuri Tibby are two celebrities who have recently given the name some spotlight. The name was also used for the character Zuri Ross in Disney’s TV show “Jessie.”
Just like Zuri, Veta is a simple two-syllable name that’s as uncommon as it is charming. According to The Bump, Veta, or Veda, comes from Sanskrit and has a few meanings. It can mean either “God’s promise” or “knowledge and wisdom.” Both meanings are lovely and, even without the meanings, the name just has an excellent sound to it. In Hebrew, Veta is also an alternative to Elizabeth, which may surprise you because the names don’t sound very similar in English. But, they have the same meaning, and Veta makes a much lesser-known alternative to the more traditional Elizabeth.
This is another ideal choice if you’re on the hunt for unique baby names because its prevalence has been declining for years. The Bump lists at 11,262 in popularity, making it a pretty rare choice, though it’s hard to know why when it’s so beautiful.
If you like the sound of this name and are looking for other similar options, there are many alternatives. Vita, Vida, Veda, Vada, or Veata are all great ones to look into.
Pandora comes from Greek mythology. As the myth goes, Pandora was the first woman on earth, and she was created by the gods. When the gods made Pandora, they each bestowed a gift upon her, which is how she got her beautiful name. According to Nameberry, the Greek name Pandora translates to “all gifted.”
With the rich backstory, it might be surprising that the name is so rarely used. That’s probably because Pandora’s story doesn’t end well. As a trick, the gods send Pandora to earth with a box. Once opened, it releases all of the hardships of the world upon humanity. In some versions of the myth, hope is also contained in the box and comes out last.
Like many Greek myths, it’s not very uplifting, but the name itself is still quite lovely if you can see past the dark myth. And, if you want a baby name that hardly anyone else is using, it’s an excellent option. The Bump lists Pandora as the 6,510th most popular baby name. There are plenty of other unique names from Greek mythology. Artemis, Daphne, Hero, or Nyx are other favorites.
According to Behind the Name, Salma is derived from the Arabic word “salima,” which means “to be safe.” It’s a lovely name with a soothing sound that matches the peaceful meaning. Some common variations on the name are Salima, Selima, or the masculine version Salim.
Probably the most well-known person with this name currently is the Oscar-nominated actress, Salma Hayek. You may recognize her from “Desperado,” “Like A Boss,” or for her role as Frida Kahlo in the 2002 film “Frida.”
Apart from Hayek, you don’t often come across this first name, which makes it an excellent option for anyone looking for a name that hasn’t been overdone. In 2019 it was ranked at 910th most popular baby name in the U.S., and it’s stayed pretty low on the list for the past few decades. So, if you go with this elegant name, you won’t have to worry about your child sharing a name with a bunch of her classmates.
Maxine is a great name, and we really mean that because it comes from Latin origin and translates to “the greatest.” If you like the boy’s name Max, this is the feminine version of it, and they share the same meaning and Latin root. It has a similar tough sound, and you can still use Max as a nickname.
You may recognize the name from the swing singing trio, The Andrews Sisters, active from the 1920s to 1960s. One of the sisters was Maxene Anglyn, although she used an alternative spelling, which is a fresh variation on the name. In more recent years, you could also have heard the name from Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
But for the most part, Maxine has dropped off in popularity since the time of The Andrews Sisters. The Bump currently lists it as number 1,404 in trending names. It’s a strong name that you don’t hear very often, making it perfect for a comeback.
Kasia stems from a few different origins. According to The Bump, its root is Greek, and it’s a variation on Katherine or Catherine. The Greek meaning is “pure.” However, Baby Names lists Kasia as a name primarily used in Poland, where it is a diminutive, or nickname, for Katarzyna.
In its Polish form, Kasia is pronounced “KASH-a.” But, it’s sometimes used in the U.S. with the same pronunciation as Asia. Either pronunciation makes for a stunning and unique baby name.
Coming in at 9,035 on The Bump’s popularity ranking, it’s quite a rare name. But, since it’s most popular in Poland, a few polish celebrities have the name. Kasia Kowalczyk is a Polish actress who played an Alien in 2009’s “Star Trek.” There’s also the Polish pop star, Kasia Cerekwicka, who’s been on the scene since 1997. Or, if you’d like a boy’s name that sounds similar, there’s Kasiano, like the Australian rugby player Kasiano Lealamanua.
For a powerful and unique name with its roots in mythology, Phoenix is a brilliant option. According to Nameberry, the origins of the word come from Greek and refers to the color dark red — but, it also symbolizes rebirth. The second meaning is one in which it shares the name with a mythological bird.
In ancient Egypt, the phoenix was a large bird with red and gold feathers. It was associated with the worship of the sun and, according to the myth, only one phoenix could live at a time. Phoenix’s are most known for how they are reborn after death. As the story goes, the bird would build itself a nest at the end of its lifespan, then set the nest and itself on fire. The next phoenix was then reborn from the ashes, giving the word its strong ties to the concept of rebirth and new life.
More recently, Phoenix is also associated with a Marvel comic book character. Phoenix is the powerful alter ego of the “X-Men” character Jean Grey. And, of course, the name Phoenix can also be linked to Phoenix, Arizona. So, there are plenty of meanings and inspirations for this legendary name.
Now, you may be thinking that we just misspelled the now much more common name, Annabel. However, while rarely heard now, Amabel is a much older name.
According to Nameberry, the name is of Latin and French origin, meaning “lovable.” It was fairly common during the 12th and 13th centuries and even had a brief resurgence in 19th-century England. However, Amabel has since dropped off and is now rarely heard at all. Currently, The Bump lists it at number 28,475 in popularity.
Part of the reason we so rarely see this name could be due to its nickname, Mabel, becoming more popular than the original name. Mabel was quite a popular name from the 1880s to the early 1900s. According to Nameberry, its prevalence peaked at the 15th most-common baby name in 1891. After that, its popularity had a sharp decrease for a time and, though it is making a small comeback, it’s not nearly as well-used as it was back then. Still less common is the original, Amabel. If you don’t like Mabel but like the full name, Amabel, some other shortened versions you could use for nicknames are Bell or Amy.
Lastly, Roma is a unique name that somehow sounds both elegant and cute. The name comes from the capital of Italy, Rome. And, according to The Bump, the name is seen in mythology where Roma was the daughter of Evander. Roma’s father then named the city of Rome after her.
There are many city-inspired baby names. Cheyenne, Austin, Paris, Brooklyn, and Sydney are just a few of the most popular. Roma, however, is not seen as often. The Bump lists it as number 4,158 in popularity, so it’s ideal for a, even rarer baby name. If you’re interested in other Italian city names, Florence, Verona, or Sicily are other beautiful options with an Italian flair. Of course, you could also just drop the last syllable from the name Roma and go with Rome.
Outside of its Italian roots, Roma is also a Hindu name. According to Nameberry, Roma means “one with shiny hair.” It’s also another name for the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and purity.
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