Unique Baby Names

Tips for Finding Unique and Unusual Baby Names

Many moms and dads prefer not to find their baby's name in the Top 100 Baby Names - or even the 1000 Popular Baby Names - List. Instead, they look for a baby name that's a little different or unusual. If you are looking for a truly unique - or maybe even an odd - baby name you might consider what some of the parents did in our list of 500 Unique and Uncommon Baby Names:

1. Maiden Names or Surnames:
Maiden names of mom and grandmas are a great source for unique and uncommon names. I have a friend who named one son "Trevor", one son "Spencer" and her daughter "Taylor" which were her mom's, her husband's mom, and her own maiden name. In addition to being a unique name, maiden names allow Mom's name to be passed on to the next generation and provides a sense of heritage to your children.

2. Names of City, States, and Locations:
While I, personally, have never heard of a child named New York, Oklahoma, or Atlantic City, names from Cities, States, Rivers, and other locations have always played a part in the names of babies. For instance, "Dakota", "Austin", and "McKenzie" are not uncommon names for girls and boys. Location Names can be a great way to find a name of significance for your child - especially if you (or your spouse, grandparents, etc.) were born in a unique place, or if there is a special place from your childhood memories.

3. Weather and Seasons:
Summer and Autumn are two of my favorite uncommon girl names (I know parents who used these names for their twin girls). While you may not be as excited about naming your child "Winter" or "Snow" as your spouse is, you might look at what those words are in another language to find a truly unique baby name. For instance, Kazahana is a Japanese word for "snowflake", and the Italian word for snow is Neve. Use caution when depending on the internet for meanings of foreign words. For instance, there are a few websites that have hundreds of made up meanings of words, such as the Inuit words for snow . . .

4. Two Names:
The general rule of thumb in the US is to name your child with a first name, a middle name, and a last name. You might think about calling your child by their first and middle names to have a unique name. Sue Ellen, Katie Ann, Betty Jo, Billy Bob, Jim Bob, and Collin Ray are all examples of this practice.

5. Different or Variations of Spellings:
Look at different spellings, and variations of popular names, to find the perfect, uncommon baby name. For instance, instead of the more popular "Michael", you might consider "Micah"; instead of the popular "Sara", you might consider "Sahara".

In general, I'm not a big advocate of spelling baby names too different from conventional spellings. If you make the spellings too odd or difficult, your child (and your childhood's teachers and playmates) could have a difficult time pronouncing and spelling your child's name. I have seen my own friends come up with unique spellings of names for their own children, and people aren't sure how to pronounce them!

6. Consider the ethnicity of your last name:
If your last name is Irish or Scottish, you may want to look at popular or traditional baby names from those countries (for instance, say, Collin and Evan). There is a wealth of information on the web for finding traditional baby names from each country.

7. Make up your own:
Courtney Cox's little girl is named Coco (an interesting way to make sure baby carries on mom's name, too!). The media did this recently with various celebrity relationships (Bennifer comes to mind), but fortunately they've seemed to give it up as an idea that just doesn't work all the time. It can work, though. Look at your name, your spouse's name, and see if there isn't a combination that might work. I'm not suggesting naming your child Geoura (a combination of George and Laura), or Bradlina (a combination of Brad and Angelina), but maybe you and your spouse have names that could work . . . like Dalyn (David and Lynn) or Darla (Diana and Charles).

Additional Articles and Information:

The Right Baby Name Book

Baby Boys Names

Baby Girls Names

Odd Baby Names

Unique Baby Names