All kids are unique in their own right. And one of the best parts of being pregnant is wondering who your little guy or girl is going to grow up to be. But if you really want your kid to stand out from the crowd from the get-go, why not set them up for success with a unique name no one else in their kindergarten class is likely to have? From Leif to Zelda, we’ve rounded up unusual names to get you inspired.
Origin: Arabic | Meaning: An intimate term for God as father | Gender: Male
Yes, Abba is perhaps best known as the name of the famed Swedish pop group (ahem, “Dancing Queen”), but it’s also a fun first name to give your future kiddo. Despite being around for some time, it’s still a rare name that’s an ideal pick for going against the baby-naming norms.
Origin: English | Meaning: The remains of something destroyed | Gender: Male
You’ve heard of Ashley and Ashton, but why not go straight for the nickname? Ash is the root over several names, but it certainly stands strong on its own. It worked for the protagonist of the beloved Pokémon series — it can definitely work for you future little one.
Origin: Sanskrit | Meaning: Enlightenment, awakening
The name Bodhi (pronounced boh-DEE) actually comes from the Bodhi tree, under which the spiritual teacher Siddhartha Guatama sat when he is said to have reached enlightenment. The bohemian name has risen in popularity in recent years, thanks to celebs like Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox, who named their son Bodhi in 2014, and also Ian Somerahalder and Nikki Reed who named their baby girl the name in 2017).
Origin: Latin | Meaning: A
If you’re a true Harry Potter devotee, then you may recognize this name from the popular HP series. But hey, just because the character Bellatrix was up to no good with He Who Shall Not Be Named doesn’t mean you should rule this moniker out for your own kid. It’s actually derived from the constellation Orion, one of the best-known constellations in the universe, and it a great alternative to the name Beatrice or even Beatrix.
Origin: Greek | Meaning: Hidden | Gender: Female
How cool is this name!? Not only does it roll right off the tongue, but it’s also unique and kind of earthy. It may sound familiar from Greek mythology (it was the name of the sea nymph and daughter of Atlas, who beguiled Odysseus for seven years), but we promise you won’t find Calypso topping the popularity charts any time soon — it’s all yours.
Origin: English | Meaning: Glory | Gender: Female
Gloriana isn’t often heard in America, and is more recognizable across the pond in Britain. But it has a musical ring to it that your little one will love learning to pronounce, and is a quirky twist on the name Glory.
Origin: English; Meaning: Wanderer | Gender: Female
Want to instill a love of travel in your little one early? Then the name Gypsy is perfect for the future world-wanderer in them. It’s earthy (and even hippie-ish), and fitting for any family filled with a good dose of wanderlust.
Origin: Latin; Meaning: Flower | Gender: Female
While there may be many girls named Lily or Rose in your kid’s kindergarten class one day, we can guarantee there won’t be another Hibiscus on the roster. It’s a pretty name with a nod towards mother nature.
Origin: Hawaiian; Meaning: The sea | Gender: Unisex
Kai is a lovely name with multiple origins, ranging from Greek to Hawaiian to Native American. While it’s still considered pretty unique, it’s actually the most popular its ever been in the U.S., has been used as both a girls’ name and a boys’ name. It’s easy to see why it’s so beloved, too — it’s melodic and breezy and, let’s be honest, downright cool.
Origin: Norse; Meaning: Son | Gender: Male
According to Norse legend, Viking Leif Ericson landed his longboat on North American shores some 500 years before Columbus arrived in the Caribbean. Your kiddo can follow in his foot steps, discovering new things each day just like his Viking namesake.
Origin: English; Meaning: Breed of fish | Gender: Male
While the name Marlon became a household one in the mid-1950s, thanks to Marlon Brando, this slight variation on the moniker is a bit more unique. Marlin is a highly-prized breed of fish, known for being large and powerful; but if we’re being honest, it also makes us think of the dad from Finding Nemo — who didn’t love him?!
Origin: English; Meaning: Independent-minded person | Gender: Male
Is your little boy already showing signs of independence while in utero? Kicking you all the time and making you crave all the ice cream? Sounds like you have a Maverick on your hands! This name, meaning one who avoids conformity, may be the perfect fit for their independent spirit.
Origin: English; Meaning: Direction | Gender: Unisex
The name North had been pretty much unheard of among baby names for years — until Kim Kardashian and Kanye West gave it to their daughter. Love it or hate it, it’s a full-fledged unisex name now. And it’s still pretty uncommon, outside of the celeb world.
Origin: Greek | Meaning: Home of the gods | Gender: Female
Deriving from Greek mythology, the name Olympia could be the perfect fit for your future baby girl! Who wouldn’t want their name to be synonymous with the location of the original Olympics? You may just have an athlete on your hands!
Origin: English | Meaning: A spice | Gender: Female
A spicy name for a sassy girl! Saffron is most known for the expensive culinary spice of the same name, as well as the gorgeous orange-yellow color it produces when used to dye fabrics. It’s an exotic and interesting name for the food obsessed.
Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Twin | Gender: Male
Whether you simply love Marvel super heroes or you have a thing for Chris Hemsworth (who doesn’t?), the name Thor is a super cool and very unique option for your future kiddo.
Origin: African | Meaning: Second daughter | Gender: Female
There’s probably no one cooler than Uma Thurman, who’s perhaps the most famous Uma there is. If you already have kids, you may also recognize this name from the latest Disney villain to join The Descendants cast. Still, it remains an unusual name that you’re not likely to see on many kids your child’s age.
Origin: German | Meaning: Resolute or peaceful | Gender: Female
Willow trees are known for their grace, flexibility, and resilience — wonderful qualities (and a lovely name) to bestow on a baby girl. Willow, along with its close sound-alike Willa, have both gained favor in recent years, but still have that unique quality you’re looking for.
Origin: Greek | Meaning: Defender of the people | Gender: Male
There’s nothing more unusual than a name that starts with an “X,” but we’re all for it. The name Xander oozes coolness, especially since it’s pronounced “Zan-der.” If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you’ll also recognize this moniker as the same one Buffy’s BFF had.
Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Blessed | Gender: Female
Calling all ’80s kids obsessed with Nintendo: Yes, it is now perfectly acceptable for you to name your kid Zelda. Seriously — we encourage it! The moniker is shared by the princess in the classic Zelda games, but even celebs have taken a liking to the name. Robin Williams even named his daughter Zelda in 1989.