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14 Surprising Baby Names on The Rise

With celebs going off the charts with their own creations, and parents not wanting their children to share a name with anyone else in their school class, it’s apparent that parents are looking everywhere for unique baby name ideas. From the Bible to the Roman Empire and pop culture, some pretty unusual names are on the rise.

Recently, Nameberry shared 28 Very Surprising Baby Names On The Rise with The Huffington Post. These are the names that are “swimming just below Nameberry’s ‘Most Popular’ lists.” Baby names are attracting new levels of attention. I pulled a few from HuffPo’s list and did a little of my own research.

The results: 7 very unique boy names and 7 unusual girl names that are climbing to the top of the great, big book of names. I have to say, I love almost all of them. They may be unusual, but they aren’t weird.

Below you will find my children modeling the up-and-coming names. Check them out. What do you think? Got any favorites, or are they a little too unique for your tastes?

  • Jax 1 of 14
    name-01

    Names with the letter X in them just sound cool. But if Max and Felix (also rising in popularity) aren't your thing, how about Jax? The name rocketed up 494 places ever since Jackson "Jax" Teller, the leading character on Sons of Anarchy roared onto the scene.

  • Dexter 2 of 14
    name-02

    Another cool name with an X, Dexter is gaining popularity, perhaps because of the character in the popular Showtime series Dexter? According to Nameberry, "Dexter has been climbing up the pop ladder, jumping 22 places in the past year, to reach Number 362. It is also in the Top 100 in the UK."

  • Atticus 3 of 14
    name-03

    I first started hearing of people naming their sons Atticus after the Gregory Peck character in To Kill A Mockingbird a couple years ago. Slowly but surely, the name is gaining steam.

  • Declan 4 of 14
    name-04

    Popular in Ireland, the name is rising on the charts in America. According to Nameberry, "already at Number 143, after debuting on the American list in 1998 — it climbed 33 places in 2012. Like Aidan and Liam, Declan is shaping up to be an American hit."

  • Django 5 of 14
    name-05

    This is one I totally didn't see coming. And yet Django (the D is silent) is rising in popularity. The name has become more familiar with the release of the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.

  • August 6 of 14
    name-06

    According to Nameberry, "August has been heating up in Hollywood--used by Mariska Hargitay, Lena Olin, Dave Matthews and Jeanne Tripplehorn, (and by Garth Brooks for his daughter), and is rapidly becoming the preferred month of the year for boys."

  • Bodhi 7 of 14
    name-07

    The name, meaning "awakening" or "enlightenment," is slowly making the celeb scene and an old co-worker of mine recently named her son Bodhi. According to Nameberry, "it has been used by Amy Brenneman and Oliver Hudson for their sons, and by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio as the middle name for his boy, Luka. Carly Simon and James Taylor have a grandson named Bodhi.

  • Azalea 8 of 14
    name-08

    I went with Violet, but it isn't the only flower name gaining popularity. According to Nameberry, Azalea is beginning to bloom. "It has not been among the most popular flower names for girls, only squeaking onto the U.S. Top 1000 for the first time last year. So if Lily, Rose and Violet are too popular for you, try Azalea, Zinnia or Lilac.

  • Persephone 9 of 14
    name-09

    Haven't you heard? Penelope is SO last year. It's all about Persephone. Check out Appellation Mountain's recent exploration of all things Persephone for more of the name's backstory.

  • Valentina 10 of 14
    name-10

    Got a thing for V names like Vivian and Victoria but don't want the same old, same old? How about the romantic sounding Valentina? According to The Huffington Post, Valentina has ranked among the Top 1000 only for the past 20 years and is now solidly in the Top 200.

  • Gemma 11 of 14
    name-11

    According to The Huffington Post, "Gemma is a gem of an Italian classic, long used in the UK but only entering the US list in 2008 and then speeding 532 rungs up the ladder in five years."

  • Arya 12 of 14
    name-12

    Arya (pronounced are-ee-ya) is on the rise thanks to the popular book and television series Game of Thrones. The name sounds like the musical Aria, also growing in popularity.

  • Perla 13 of 14
    name-13

    I hadn't heard the name Perla until now, but it's the Spanish variation of Pearl, an old lady name gaining popularity. Perla is slowly but steadily getting hotter in the United States.

  • Willa 14 of 14
    name-14

    According to Nameberry, "Willa originated as a short form of Wilhelmina. After a half-century hiatus, it's just re-entered the U.S. Top 1000 and is definitely on an upward course." Actress Keri Russell named her newborn daughter Willa Lou and Philip Seymour Hoffman used Willa for the youngest of his three children. It's also the middle name of Meryl Streep's daughter.

Read more from Monica on Babble:

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