40 Rare Baby Names to Set Your Little One Apart (2023)

If you’re looking for a rare baby name for your little love on the way, there are so many gorgeous options to sift through. Pulling inspiration from all over the world, with a heavy emphasis on exceptional meanings, we’ve assembled a list of some very rare baby names with lovely sounds and great potential.

Choosing a unique baby name for your child is all about personal preferences, cultural ties, and often fitting in with the names of your other children. We encourage you to consider branching out from the top 100 (or in many of these cases, the top 1,000!) names into unchartered baby name territory. Our list of the best rare names is a great place to start!

Rare Baby Boy Names

Argo: A handsome and cute rare baby boy name that comes from Greek mythology, belonging to a ship. It ranks only within the top 1,300 names for baby boys born in the US today.

Baldwin: It’s a grand-sounding and unique baby boy name from the German meaning “brave friend,” and while you recognize it from the author James and the Hollywood brothers Alec et al., chances are you haven’t heard this one used for a first name among neighborhood children.

Banyan: The Indian name translating to “the god tree” is steeped in history and meaning, and very rarely given to American babies.

Booker: It’s adjacent in sound to more popular picks like Brooks and Baker, but we love this rarer name for boys—it’s an English occupational surname meaning “scribe.”

Breccan: This cheerful Irish name for boys means “freckled” or “speckled” and is reminiscent of the name of a popular Colorado ski town, Breckenridge.

Coltrane: The jazzy name you probably hadn’t considered will definitely remind people of John Coltrane, the famed American saxophonist. Aside from being a jaunty music name, it’s also a rarely heard Irish surname. (See more music-inspired baby names!)

Dune: Your little beach babe will grow beautifully into this cute nature name from the natural peaks that occur in the sand by the ocean.

Falconer: An occupational name meaning “falcon trainer,” this rare baby name is profound and strong, yet definitely not often heard.

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Gannon: It sounds comfortable and familiar in a way, but this rare baby name has been given to just over 1,000 boys total since 1880. It’s an Irish name meaning “fair-haired” or “fair-skinned.”

Hale: The English baby name meaning “someone who lives in a hollow” is a unique rare baby boy name.

Jericho: A strong and storied biblical name you won’t hear often, which could make it the perfect pick for your little guy.

Leander: We love this name from Greek mythology meaning “lion man.” It’s in the top 400 in Norway, and its French version Leandre is popular in that country, but here in the States Leander hasn’t been in the top 1,000 baby names for boys since 1960… which is why it has great potential as a rare baby name choice for you!

Oberon: A gorgeous Shakespearean name with power and drive meaning “noble, bearlike.” Only five babies out of every million born last year were given this rare gem.

Pippin: This sweet-sounding boy name meaning “awe-inspiring” with German roots also belongs to a type of apple. Between 1944 and 2019, only 24 Pippins were born throughout the US and Europe.

Rhodes: A rare baby name for boys with mixed European roots meaning “where roses grow” that carries a scholarly feel and didn’t make the US charts until 2012. Rhodes was only given to 45 babies in its most popular recent year.

Rare Baby Girl Names

Ambrosia: It’s as sweet as the little girl you might consider it for; the Greek mythology name meaning “immortal” has dessert-y connotations to Americans. Only one dozen baby girls received this precious name in the most recent year it charted.

Breeze: The English word name for a soft or more powerful gust of wind creates a lovely feel for a little one.

Caledonia: A cute rare baby girl name from the Latin meaning “rocky or hard land,” it’s as strong as the gritty girl you plan to raise and carries with it a slew of nickname options including Callie, Leddie, and Nia.

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Clea: This one might get some attention thanks to Clea Shearer, Netflix’s The Home Edit breakout star, but it’s still very low ranking in terms of popularity and many find it unfamiliar. Clea is a literary name thought to be invented by Lawrence Durrell for his Alexandria Quartet. It means “glory of the father.”

Delta: The fourth letter of the Greek alphabet also makes for a unique place name for baby girls as it belongs to the historical Mississippi Delta. The rare girl name meaning “mouth of a river” from the Hebrew has not ranked in the top 100 in any country ever, and recently has only been given to a dozen or less babies each year in the US.

Ezlynn: A Sri Lankan name with possible shared Hebrew roots meaning “lake of help” or “one who resides by the river.” The watery baby girl name did enter the top 3,000 in the US this past year, but that still makes it quite rare.

Fauna: Disney fans will adore this quirky pick after one of Sleeping Beauty’s favorite fairies. It’s more heard in conversation as part of a pair with Flora (relating to plants and animals), but is far less popular as a name choice than the other. Fauna was actually the Roman god of nature and animals, giving this rare pick something truly special for your little girl.

Glynnis: While Gwyneth and Gwen are slowly rising, this cuteness is in the old-fashioned camp that could be headed for a comeback but hasn’t gotten there yet. Glynnis is an Irish name meaning “glen” or narrow valley, with unexpected nature vibes and the adorable nickname options Glynnie or Lynnie.

Imara: The beautiful rare Swahili name meaning “firm” is a perfect metaphor for your little girl: tough on the inside with a beautiful exterior. We love it, but it hasn’t caught on in a big way yet. You’d definitely get ahead of the trend with this unique choice! (See more African baby names!)

Jessamy: The Jessica trend faded in the 90’s, and Jasmine and Juniper are having a bit of a hayday, but this adjacent floral “J” name for girls that means “jasmine flower” is hardly ever used here in the States.

Lavinia: It’s another old-school pick that we couldn’t resist; with potential like Charlotte and Harper for softness and classic appeal but still distinctly unique, the ancient Latin place name could be a perfect rare baby name for your little girl.

Orla: An Irish name meaning “golden princess,” this one is picking up a tiny bit of speed in the UK but is virtually unknown in the States.

Persephone: The Greek mythology name is laden with lore, belonging to a daughter of Zeus. Its length and complexity offer up multiple nicknames including Pers, Persy, and Sepha, but in its own right it’s a solid and pretty choice. Luckily for those who like it and want to go with a cute rare baby name, Persephone is just barely in the top 1,000 for US babies.

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Riella: Unlike Brielle and Raina, this trendy-sounding baby girl name is virtually unheard of. Yet, with contemporary appeal and the meaning “God is my strength,” it should definitely be a contender for those who like royal-sounding names that are not heard every day.

Sabine: A French-sounding name that actually stems from an ancient tribe of Italians called Sabines, it has the same sort of short, chic, to-the-point feeling as Celeste or Simone but has never ranked in or near the top 1,000 in the US for girls.

Zosia: About as rare—and gorgeous!—as they come, the Polish name meaning “wisdom” is actually a take on Sophia and is not currently ranked in US popularity charts or births.

Rare Gender-Neutral Baby Names

Addax: This rare nature name for boys and girls also belongs to a white antelope in Africa, makes a beautiful choice for a little one.

Bramble: A cute rare baby name with natural roots meaning “blackberry shrub” is less heard than many in the same camp but makes a smart pick for a little boy or girl.

Cotton: Not popular by any means, but certainly familiar as a word, this rare gender-neutral baby name has softness and charm to consider.

Gable: Another word name, this one from the French, it’s an architectural structure and also a solid yet rare gender-neutral baby name.

Lapis: Hipster parents might reach for this Persian baby name referring to the blue stone; it’s on trend for color and gem names but not nearly as heard as Onyx or Pearl.

Marble: We had to throw another stone in; like Lapis, it’s got the natural meaning and visual connotation without the overused feeling.

Sea: Nature names are in, but some are more heard than others. If you’re beach people, consider this lovely one-syllable choice for your baby boy or girl.

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Tierney: The Irish gender-neutral name meaning “descendant of a lord” has promise. Currently not ranked for US babies, it’s got both aristocratic vibes and a cute sound.

Winsome: Unlike Winston or Winnie, the English word name meaning “agreeable” or “lighthearted” is very rare for both boys and girls, but could be perfect for yours.

Less Rare Baby Names…

Want something more mainstream? Check out our other favorite baby names:

  • Celebrity Baby Names
  • Baby Name Trends on the Rise
  • Old-Fashioned Baby Names
  • See All Baby Name Inspiration

Planning for Baby? Be sure to check out SNOO Smart Sleeper and learn how it could add hours of sleep for the whole family!

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person orcondition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child oryourself, please contact your health provider.


What are some beautiful rare names? ›

If you would like a name with a pretty sound, these unique girl names surely fit the bill.
  • Annalise. A combination of the name Anna and Lise, this name is simple, pretty, and unique.
  • Brigitta. ...
  • Charmaine. ...
  • Constance. ...
  • Geneviève. ...
  • Larisa. ...
  • Lorelei. ...
  • Lucinda.
Feb 10, 2022

What is the rarest name to name your child? ›

10 Rarest Baby Names in the U.S.A
  • Luisa.
  • Dixie.
  • Ariadne.
  • Stone.
  • Seven.
  • Dhruv.
  • Aayan.
  • Rome.
Jan 10, 2021

What are super unique names? ›

Unique and unusual Baby Names 2019
RankGirls NamesBoys Names
6 more rows

What is a very uncommon name? ›

  • Flynn.
  • Loyal.
  • Everest.
  • Indigo.
  • Caspian.
  • Rome.
  • Hadleigh.
  • Yehuda.
Dec 22, 2022

What is a fancy name? ›

Fancy names are those elegant, sophisticated choices that have a posh, upscale feel. Fancy baby names are those that go beyond the merely long and elaborate. These names are rare, precious, almost too dressed-up for everyday use.

What is the luckiest girl name? ›

The Most Popular Lucky Baby Names for Girls
  • Iris - meaning 'rainbow', symbolising luck.
  • Evangeline - 'Bearer of good news' in Greek.
  • Beatrice - Latin meaning of 'she who brings happiness; blessed'
  • Jadie - stone transmitting wisdom and clarity.
  • Kiara - 'bright/light' in Italian.
  • Felicity - 'luck/good fortune' in Latin.
Dec 7, 2022

What is a royal female name? ›

Diana, Elizabeth, Eugine, and Mary are some famous yet common royal names for girls.

What is the rarest unisex name? ›

Most Rare Gender-Neutral Names
  • Florian.
  • Gardener.
  • Guthrie.
  • Hero.
  • Indiana.
  • Jagger.
  • Jericho.
  • Kit.
Mar 15, 2019

What is the #1 common name? ›

Top Names Over the Last 100 Years
86 more rows

What names can't you name a child? ›

These Baby Names Are Illegal In The US
  • King.
  • Queen.
  • Jesus Christ.
  • III.
  • Santa Claus.
  • Majesty.
  • Adolf Hitler.
  • Messiah.
Feb 11, 2022

Is there a name unique? ›

The name Unique is of Latin origin meaning "only one". While most commonly used as a name for girls, it is sometimes used for boys, too.

What names are no longer used? ›

Baby Names from the Early 1900s No One Uses Anymore
  • of 20. Mildred. This popular name was once in the top 10 but last ranked in the top 1,000 back in 1984. ...
  • of 20. Ethel. ...
  • of 20. Gladys. ...
  • of 20. Clarence. ...
  • of 20. Bessie. ...
  • of 20. Bertha. ...
  • of 20. Earl. ...
  • of 20. Gertrude.
Sep 16, 2022

What are hippie names? ›

If you love nature these names are the perfect choice.
The best hippie names for girls
  • Celeste. ...
  • Dawn. ...
  • Harmony. ...
  • Indigo. ...
  • Janis. ...
  • Karma. ...
  • Meadow. ...
  • Saffron.
May 5, 2015

What is a iconic name? ›

an iconic brand name. : widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence.

What names are coming back? ›

Top 10 Vintage Baby Names
  • Luna. Ranking: #7 in 2022. In ancient Roman mythology, Luna was the moon goddess. ...
  • Hazel. Ranking: #26 in 2022. ...
  • Iris. Ranking: #69 in 2022. ...
  • Olive. Ranking: #161 in 2022. ...
  • Frankie. Ranking: #639 in 2022. ...
  • Edwin. Ranking: #640 in 2022. ...
  • Nellie. Ranking: #898 in 2022. ...
  • Patricia. Ranking: #1,110 in 2022.

What is a powerful name for a boy? ›

Names for Boys that Mean Power

These powerful boy names have strength in their very definition: Alistair is an old-fashioned but unique option that means “man's defender.” Ethan is a classic name that means “strong and firm.” Maximus or Maximo both sound regal and are a Latin word for “greatest.”

What is the cutest baby name? ›

  • Liam.
  • Noah.
  • Olivia.
  • Emma.
  • Oliver.
  • Charlotte.
  • Amelia.
  • Ava.
Dec 22, 2022

What are the most meaningful names? ›

  • Gabriella: Hebrew — Devoted to God.
  • Grace: Latin: Goodness; generosity.
  • Hannah: Hebrew — Favor; grace of God.
  • Isabelle: Hebrew — God is my strength; devoted to God.
  • Jocelyn: Latin — Happy; joyful.
  • Kaitlyn: Greek — Pure.
  • Kalila: Arabic — Heap of love.
  • Layla: Egyptian — Dark beauty.
Apr 15, 2022

What is a precious name? ›

Precious is a predominantly feminine given name derived from the English word meaning "of great worth." It is also in occasional use for males. It first appeared in the top 1,000 most popular names for girls in the United States in 1978, when it ranked at 989.

What is the best unisex name? ›

Those are names that have been used pretty evenly for both boys and girls.
According to Yau, these are the most typically unisex names:
  • Jessie.
  • Marion.
  • Jackie.
  • Alva.
  • Ollie.
  • Jodie.
  • Cleo.
  • Kerry.
Jun 23, 2022

What the most prettiest name? ›

The Most Beautiful Sounding Names In The US, According To Linguistics
46 more rows
Oct 26, 2022

Which name means God's gift? ›

Jonathan. He was a prince of great strength in the Bible. His name means "gift from God."

What name means love? ›

Along with Esme and Amara, other top girl names that mean love include Mila, Amy, Amanda, Mabel, and Philippa. Top boy names that mean love include Rhys, Philip, Lev, and Hart. Names that mean love or beloved in languages other than English include Carys, Querida, Rudo, and Sajan.

What is a miracle name for a baby girl? ›

The French baby girl names Mireille, Marvel and Marvella all mean “miracle,” while Mireya is a Spanish name that means “miracle.” Micaela and Mikelle are both English names that mean “gift from God,” while Mirabelle is a French name that means “of incredible beauty.” We also love the names Bea, Gwyneth, Annie, Sachi, ...

Is luxury a girl name? ›

The name Luxury is both a boy's name and a girl's name meaning "extravagance, opulence".

What is a both gender name? ›

A gender-neutral name is unisex, meaning you can give it to a baby girl or a boy. Some gender-neutral names like Avery and Kennedy are traditionally last names that turned into first names after enough people started using them as given names.

What is the most unpopular name? ›

For girls' names, Angela, Kimberley Alexa and Nicole ranked as some of the least popular. Likewise, Ashley, Sophia, Lorraine, Kristen and Suzanne also made it onto the list as the least-desired names.
Most unpopular boys names for 2022:
  • Jeffrey.
  • Nigel.
  • Ashton.
  • Graham.
  • Stuart.
  • Chad.
  • Gary.
  • Bill.
Aug 15, 2022

What is a non gender name called? ›

A unisex name (also known as an epicene name, a gender-neutral name or an androgynous name) is a given name that is not gender-specific. Unisex names are common in the English-speaking world, especially in the United States.

What are the top 10 names? ›

Top 10 Baby Names of 2021
RankMale nameFemale name
6 more rows

What are the top 10 unique boy names? ›

Popular Yet Unique Baby Boy Names
  • Sebastian. Although still a unique name for boys in the United States, Sebastian has been quite popular in Europe for many centuries. ...
  • Mateo. This name has grown in popularity in the United States but remains unique. ...
  • Ezra. ...
  • Elias. ...
  • Silas. ...
  • Waylen. ...
  • Gael. ...
  • Rowan.
Feb 10, 2022

What is a pretty name for a girl? ›

Top 1,000 Baby Girl Names of 2021
  • Olivia.
  • Emma.
  • Charlotte.
  • Amelia.
  • Ava.
  • Sophia.
  • Isabella.
  • Mia.
Aug 12, 2022

What names are forbidden? ›

Banned baby names in the United States, around the world
  • King.
  • Queen.
  • Jesus Christ.
  • III.
  • Santa Claus.
  • Majesty.
  • Adolf Hitler.
  • Messiah.
Feb 10, 2022

What are some illegal names? ›

Baby names that are illegal around the world
  • Adolf Hitler: Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, and New Zealand.
  • Akuma: Japan.
  • All Power: Sonora, Mexico.
  • Amir: Saudi Arabia.
  • Ashanti: Portugal.
  • Bonghead: Australia.
  • Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116: Sweden.
  • Carolina: Iceland.
Sep 23, 2022

Are there banned baby names? ›

Below is a list of names that are illegal across the world, alongside where exactly they aren't allowed:
  • Chief Maximus (New Zealand)
  • Robocop (Mexico)
  • Sex Fruit (New Zealand)
  • Linda (Saudi Arabia)
  • Snake (Malaysia)
  • Friday (Italy)
  • Islam (China)
  • Sarah (Morocco)

What is Royalty name? ›

Royalty is a gender-neutral name of American, English, and Latin origin that truly speaks for itself. Meaning “noble kin,” this name will surely tell every person that baby interacts with that they have a majestic, regal spirit.

What girl name means gift from God? ›

Daysha (Latin) “gift from God” Dilsey (Sanskrit) “gift of God” Dolly (English) “gift of God” - Dolly is also on our list of southern baby girl names. Doretta (Greek) “gift of God” - Doretta is also on our list of beautiful old fashioned girl names.

What names mean chosen? ›

Names That Mean Chosen
  • Mustafa. Origin: Arabic. Meaning: "the chosen one" Description: ...
  • Eloi. Origin: French, Catalan and Spanish from the Latin Eligius. Meaning: "the chosen" Description: ...
  • Haakon. Origin: Norse. Meaning: "chosen son" Description:

What are uncommon old boy names? ›

Try one of these names if you're looking for truly different, unique, and uncommon old-fashioned boy names.
Unique Vintage Boy Names
  • Alf. ...
  • Ambrose. ...
  • Aurelius. ...
  • Aulus. ...
  • Barnaby. ...
  • Bartholomew. ...
  • Cassian. ...
  • Cecil.
Nov 8, 2021

How do I find a rare name? ›

15 tips & tricks to find a creative name
  1. Go for quantity. It's easy to come up with a few names. ...
  2. Keep it Simple. Some people find it tempting to construct a name out of old definitions and Latin phrases or words. ...
  3. Associate. ...
  4. What do you want to communicate? ...
  5. Use Alternatives & Variations. ...
  6. Make it visual.
Apr 21, 2015

What are some crazy 1800s names? ›

7. Zebra – Zebra Lynes was born in Southampton in 1875. 8. Ann Bertha Cecilia Diana Emily Fanny Gertrude Hypatia Iug Jane Kate Louisa Maud Nora Orphelia Quince Rebecca Starkey Teresa Ulysis Venus Winifred Xenophen Yetty Zeus Pepper – Ann was born in 1882 in West Derby, Lancs, now Liverpool.

What is the longest weirdest name? ›

The longest personal name is 747 characters long, and belongs to Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr. (b.

What is the least used name? ›

The Most Unpopular Baby Names For 2022 Have Been Revealed
  • Jeffrey.
  • Nigel.
  • Ashton.
  • Graham.
  • Stuart.
  • Chad.
  • Gary.
  • Bill.
Aug 5, 2022

What is a good genderless name? ›

According to Yau, these are the most typically unisex names:
  • Jessie.
  • Marion.
  • Jackie.
  • Alva.
  • Ollie.
  • Jodie.
  • Cleo.
  • Kerry.
Jun 23, 2022

What's a cool badass name? ›

Along with Ace and Axel, other badass boy names in the US Top 1000 include Blaze, Dash, Fox, Harley, Jagger, Justice, Ryker, and Wilder. Many badass names are also impressive occupations, among them Hunter, Pilot, Ranger, and Sargent.

What is the prettiest girl name? ›

Top 1,000 Baby Girl Names of 2021
  • Olivia.
  • Emma.
  • Charlotte.
  • Amelia.
  • Ava.
  • Sophia.
  • Isabella.
  • Mia.
Aug 12, 2022


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