50 Creative Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular creative baby names

Mom touching the cheek of her smiling baby

Charles Gullung / Getty Images

Some parents gravitate to traditional names like Elizabeth, Sarah, John, William, and Noah. Others love popular baby names like Ava, Amelia, Oliver, Olivia, Asher, and Liam. These can all make wonderful name choices for your baby. But some parents seek more unusual or creative names. Creative names can be inspired by just about anything, from a favorite city, color, language, flower, season, or landmark to a beloved book, word, culture, or character.

Some unique names are actually traditional names that simply fell out of favor, such as Myrtle, Henrietta, Walter, Edmund, or Ethel. Or you might flip expectations by giving your baby a name that's traditionally a nickname, such as Sadie, Hank, or Mac. Alternatively, you might consider spelling your child's name in a unique way, using a last name as a first name, or combining two names into one.

Other choices are words that aren't traditionally used as names, such as Apple, Summer, or Blaze. The point is, anything can be a name for your baby. All that matters is if it sounds right to you. So, let your imagination run wild as you consider possible creative names for your little one.

As you look through these creative baby names, realize that many can be unisex names, so you don't need to be limited by traditional ideas of gendered names.

Popular Creative Baby Names

Let this creative name list be your starting point as you brainstorm possible names for your baby.

Anais

  • OriginFrench
  • Meaning: Grace
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Anaïs, Anaís, Anna
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Anaïs Nin, singer Anaís Martínez
  • Peak Popularity: Anais broached the Social Security Administration's list of the top 1000 baby names in 2003 at 991. The name has made the list several more times in the past 20 years, including at 912 in 2020.

Anakin

  • Origin: Germanic, British
  • Meaning: Warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Annakin
  • Famous Namesakes: Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) of the "Star Wars" franchise
  • Peak Popularity: This name is historically a family surname; however, Hollywood launched it into the top 1000 first names in 2014 at 956. In 2020, Anakin had reached 704.

Fun Fact: "Star Wars" filmmaker George Lucas is credited with creating the given name Anakin for his character Anakin Skywalker. He based the name on his friend, director Ken Annakin's last name.

Angel

  • OriginGreek
  • Meaning: Messenger
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Angelo, Angela, Angelica, Angelina
  • Famous Namesakes: Comic book artist Angel Medina, soccer player Angel Gomez, and Angel on the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel"
  • Peak Popularity: Angel is a consistently popular choice for baby boys but is also often used for girls. In 2000, it was ranked 67 for boys. In 2020, the name was in spot 76. For girls, it's become a bit less common, going from 119 in 2000 to 440 in 2020.

Apple

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: sweet, fruit
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple Martin
  • Peak Popularity: Apple is not on the list of the top 1000 baby names.

Fun fact: You can ponder your favorite foods to come up with more delicious baby name ideas, such as Plum, Peaches, Cookie, Melon, or Kiwi.

Arrow

  • OriginEnglish
  • Meaning: straight and swift
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Arro, Aaro
  • Famous Namesakes: Superhero Green Arrow on "Arrow"
  • Peak Popularity: This name has yet to make the top 1000 most popular names list.

Aziz

  • OriginArabic
  • Meaning: Strong, powerful, darling
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aziza, Azeez
  • Famous Namesakes: Soccer player Azeez Abu, singer Aziz Azion, comedian Aziz Ansari
  • Peak Popularity: Aziz is not on the list of the 1000 most popular names.

Bear

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Fierce protector, strong, brave
  • Famous Namesakes: Bear Grylls, Alicia Silverstone's son Bear Blu Jareki
  • Peak Popularity: Bear is an uncommon name that hasn't make the list of top 1000 names.

Blaze

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Flame, Fire
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Blaze Bayley, poet Blaže Koneski
  • Peak Popularity: The name has been in the top 1000 baby names since the year 2000, and currently ranks at 852.

Fun Fact: Creative names can be mined from evocative words like Blaze that embody traits you wish to bestow on your child. Other ideas include Flame, Power, Titan, Glory, Dazzle, Patience, and Beauty.

Bowie

  • OriginScottish
  • Meaning: Blond
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician David Bowie, actor Bowie Lam, hockey player Bowie William "Bo" Horvat
  • Peak Popularity: Bowie made it into the top 1000 baby names once in the last 20 years. In 2018, the name ranked 984.

Brooklyn

  • OriginDutch
  • Meaning: Broken land, near a brook
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Brooke, Brooklynn
  • Famous Namesakes: Photographer Brooklyn Beckham, actress Brooklyn Decker
  • Peak Popularity: Brooklyn is a popular baby name inspired by Brooklyn, New York. It was at its peak popularity of 21 in 2011. In 2020, it ranked 54.

Byron

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Cowshed, barn
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Lord Byron
  • Peak Popularity: Byron has been a fairly common name for decades but its popularity has fallen off a bit in recent years. In 2000, it was 439. In 2020, it ranked 785.

Cairo

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Victorious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kairo
  • Famous Namesakes: Cairo Mowry-Hardrict, daughter of actors Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict
  • Peak Popularity: This name entered the top 1000 baby names in 2015 at 942, and has continued rising in popularity. In 2020, it was ranked 346.

Calliope

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Beautifully voiced
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Calli, Kalliope
  • Famous Namesakes: Calliope, the muse and Greek goddess of music, song, and dance
  • Peak Popularity: Calliope is a name that's growing in popularity. In 2016, it entered the top 1000 names at 939. By 2020, it had reached 691.

Fun Fact: Baby name inspiration can be found in myths from across history and the world. Ideas include Thor, Aphrodite, Atina, Blue Jay, Zeus, Breathmaker, Osiris, Idun, Loki, or Horus.

Calypso

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: She who hides
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Calypso Rose, actress Calypso Valois
  • Peak Popularity: While not in the top 1000 names, Calypso is a well-known name due to popular knowledge of the island nymph Calypso from Greek mythology.

Cinder

  • Origin: Old English, German
  • Meaning: Smoldering ashes
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cynder, Cinderella
  • Famous Namesakes: Cinder of the novel "Cinder," by Marissa Meyer
  • Peak Popularity: Cinder is not in the top 1000 names.

Fun Fact: The character Cinder in the book "Cinder" is based on Cinderella. But in this 2012 twist on the classic fairy tale, Cinder is an orphaned mechanic cyborg with extraordinary powers and strength that she discovers as the series unfolds.

Destiny

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: fate, fortune
  • Famous Namesakes: Track and field athlete Destiny Carter, singer Destiny Clark, American all-girl singing group Destiny's Child
  • Peak Popularity: Destiny has fallen from its recent peak at 22 in 2001 to 351 in 2020.

Eagle

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: honorable, powerful, visionary
  • Famous Namesakes: American independent filmmaker Eagle Pennell, Pawnee chief White Eagle.
  • Peak Popularity: More common as a family surname, Eagle is a rarely given first name.

Fun Fact: There are many names for eagles that could also be used for baby names. These include Polly, Ivette, Clyde, Adler, and Sammie.

Eiffel

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: From the Eifel mountains in Germany
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eifel
  • Famous Namesakes: Gustave Eiffel of Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower fame
  • Peak Popularity: Eiffel is an unusual name that isn't in the top 1000 names.

Elvis

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: All wise
  • Famous Namesakes: Iconic singer Elvis Presley, singer Elvis Costello, figure skater Elvis Stojko
  • Peak Popularity: The name Elvis has dropped in popularity from a ranking of 593 in 2000 to 904 in 2011. Since then, it hasn't been in the top 1000 names.

Ever

  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Always
  • Famous Namesakes: Ever Carradine - American actress and daughter of actor Robert Carradine, son of American singer Alanis Morissette.
  • Peak Popularity: Ever does not rank in the top 1000 baby names.

Fox

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: cunning, playful
  • Famous Namesakes: Fox Mulder of "The X Files," journalist Fox Butterfield
  • Peak Popularity: Fox broached the top 1000 names in 2016 at 747. Since then, it's fallen a bit, ranking 916 in 2020.

Holiday

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Holy day
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Holyday, Holliday
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Billie Holiday, American actress Holiday Hadley
  • Peak Popularity: Holiday does not rank in the top 1000 names.

Fun fact: Other names related to special days or times of year include Noelle, Summer, Winter, Autumn, Valentine, Valentina, Pasqua, and Solstice.

Indigo

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: deep blue-purple dye extracted from the Indigo plant found in India
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Indygo
  • Famous Namesakes: Indigo Samara Phillips, daughter of actor Lou Diamond Phillips
  • Peak Popularity: Indigo is an uncommon name that doesn't rank in the top 1000.

Isla

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Pronunciation: EYE-la
  • Meaning: Isla is a river in Scottland, and the Isle of Islay is a Scottish island
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Isla Lang Fisher
  • Peak Popularity: Isla is an increasingly popular name. In 2008, it jumped into the most popular name list at 623. By 2020, it had skyrocketed to 44.

Jagger

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Carter, pedaler
  • Famous Namesakes: Rock star Mick Jagger, son of American Actress Soleil Moon Frye
  • Peak Popularity: Jagger is a moderately popular name. In 2001, it ranked 661, its first time making the chart. In 2020, Jagger had fallen a bit to 718.

Fun Fact: In Sanskrit, the name Jagger means strong and loyal.

Journey

  • Origin: American, English
  • Meaning: Going from one place to another, a day's time
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Journee
  • Famous Namesakes: The rock band Journey, Journey River Green, son of actress Megan Fox and actor Brian Austin Green
  • Peak Popularity: The name Journey has been on a tear, going from 940 in 2001 to 298 in 2020.

Justice

  • Origin: Latin, English
  • Meaning: Just, righteous
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Justyce, Justus
  • Famous Namesakes: Dancer Justice Domingo, football player Justice Cunningham, actor Justice Leak
  • Peak Popularity: Justice has remained a solidly used name for the past 20 years. In 2000, it was at 545, and in 2020, it was ranked 575.

Kenji

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Vigorous, intelligent second son
  • Famous Namesakes: Soccer player Kenji Fukuda, photographer Kenji Ishiguro, anime director Kenji Kamiyama
  • Peak Popularity: Kenji is a name to watch. It just appeared in the most popular names rankings in 2020, at position 904.

Liberty

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Freedom
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Libby
  • Famous Namesakes: Model Liberty Ross, actress Liberty Phoenix, the Statue of Liberty
  • Peak Popularity: Liberty consistently ranks in the top 1000 names. In 2020, 436 babies received this name and it was ranked 653, up from 747 in 2000.

Matisse

  • Origin: Greek, French
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mathis, Matthias
  • Famous Namesakes: Artist Henri Matisse, daughter of cricket player Ricky Ponting, Matisse Ellie Ponting, ballerina Matisse Love
  • Peak Popularity: Matisse is an unusual name that doesn't rank in the top 1000.

Neo

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Gift, new
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nio or short for Neopolitan
  • Famous Namesakes: Neo in "The Matrix," German artist Neo Rauch.
  • Peak Popularity: This name is not in the top 1000 names for any year starting with 2000.

Fun Fact: Another name to consider from the hit movie "The Matrix" is Trinity, a skilled hacker and rebellion leader. She's also Neo's love interest in the film.

Nola

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Fair shoulder
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: shortened form of Finola or Magnolia
  • Famous Namesakes: New Zealand sprinter Nola Bond, NOLA is shorthand for New Orleans, LA
  • Peak Popularity: Nola is gaining in popularity, surging from 917 in 2000 to 553 in 2020.

Nova

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: New
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Novah
  • Famous Namesakes: Badminton player Nova Widianto, entrepreneur Nova Spivack
  • Peak Popularity: Nova has seen a spectacular rise in usage, jumping from 886 in 2011 to 38 in 2020.

Orion

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Hunter, Rising in the sky
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Oryon
  • Famous Namesakes: Politician Orion Clemens, actor Orion Ben, pianist Orion Weiss
  • Peak Popularity: This name has been growing in popularity, going from 552 in 2000 to 326 in 2020.

Fun Fact: In Greek mythology, Orion is the god of hunting and son of Poseidon. Orion is also the name of a constellation of stars.

Paisley

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: A town in Scottland, a curved feather shaped fabric pattern
  • Famous Namesakes: Country musician Brad Paisley, Hong Kong singer Paisley Wu
  • Peak Popularity: This name has seen a huge spike. Paisley first joined the top 1000 names in 2006 at 827 and reached at the rank of 50 in 2020.

Palace

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: A grand home
  • Peak Popularity: Palace is a rare name that is not on the top 1000 name list.

Fun Fact: Palace can also mean a home for royalty. This fits in with a growing trend of using regal names, such as Prince, Queen, Baron, Duke, or Royal.

Phoenix

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Dark red color, immortality
  • Famous Namesakes: Phoenix, the mythic bird that's perpetually reborn, actor Joaquin Phoenix, actor Phoenix List, actress Phoenix Best
  • Peak Popularity: Pheonix is not in the top 1000 most popular names.

Rainbow

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Symbol of hope, God's promise
  • Famous Namesakes: Rainbow Johnson on the TV show "Black-ish," author Rainbow Rowell
  • Peak Popularity: Rainbow is a rarely used name that isn't in the top 1000.

Ryder

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Horseman, warrior
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Ryder Windham, cyclist Ryder Hesjedal
  • Peak Popularity: Ryder is becoming very popular. It zoomed from 797 in 2000 to 108 in 2020.

Sahara

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Desert
  • Famous Namesakes: The Sahara Desert, politician Sahara Khatun
  • Peak Popularity: Sahara is an unusual name that's not ranked in the top 1000 names.

Satchel

  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Bag
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Satchle, Satchie
  • Famous Namesakes: Baseball player Satchel Paige, creative director Satchel Lee
  • Peak Popularity: Satchel is not among the most commonly used names in the United States.

Seven

  • Origin: African, Hebrew, American
  • Meaning: perfection, completeness
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Erykah Badu's son Seven Sirius, Seven Carter in "The Hate U Give"
  • Peak Popularity: Seven broached the top 1000 baby names in 2019 at a rank of 1000. In 2020, it had moved up a bit to 927.

Fun Fact: The name Seven was first popularized in an episode of the hit show "Seinfeld" when George announced it was his favorite baby name.

Sparkle

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: To shine brightly, glisten
  • Famous Namesakes: Sparkle Edwards, the stage name of singer Stephanie Edwards
  • Peak Popularity: Sparkle is a rarely used name that hasn't made the top 1000 names.

Fun Fact: In a similar vein to Sparkle, you might choose other upbeat words like Dazzle, Zest, Joy, or Shine for your baby's name.

Sparrow

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Sparrow, small bird
  • Famous Namesakes: Sparrow Madden, son of actress Nicole Richie and musician Joel Madden
  • Peak Popularity: Sparrow is not on the list of the top 1000 names.

Storm

  • Origin: German, Dutch, English
  • Meaning: Raging wind or weather
  • Famous Namesakes: Music video director Storm Thorgerson
  • Peak Popularity: The name does not rank on the most popular baby name list.

Fun Fact: Evocative of wind, adventure, and extreme weather, Storm is a popular choice for boys in Sweden and Denmark.

Sunshine

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Warmth, light, life-sustaining
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sunny
  • Famous Namesakes: R&B singer Sunshine Anderson, actor Lloyd Olen "Sunshine" Parker
  • Peak Popularity: Sunshine has not made it onto the list of top used baby names.

Valen

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Healthy, strong
  • Pronounciation: with a short 'a', rhymes with gallon
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Valon, Valentine, Valentin, Valencia, Valentina
  • Famous Namesakes: Cyclist Anita Valen
  • Peak Popularity: This unusual name is not found on the top 1000 baby names list.

Wolf

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Fiercely protective, social, ambitious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Wolfgang, Wolff, Wolfen, Wolfe, Wulf
  • Famous Namesakes: TV newscaster Wolf Blitzer, painter Wolf Kahn, screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz
  • Peak Popularity: Wolf is not in the most popular baby name rankings.

Yennifer

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: White fairy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jennifer, Gwynifer
  • Famous Namesakes: Yennefer of Vengerberg on "The Witcher"
  • Peak Popularity: Yennifer is an unusual name that does not rank in the top 1000 names.

Fun Fact: Like many fantasy books and shows, "The Witcher" is rife with creative names, including Geralt, Cirilla, Triss, Dara, and Jaskier.

Zaire

  • Origin: Bantu
  • Meaning: A name that refers to the Congo River and the surrounding region in Africa now called the Democratic Republic of Congo. The River has been called 'the river that swallows all rivers.'
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Zayre
  • Famous Namesakes: Zaire Blessing Wade, the daughter of basketball star Dwyane Wade
  • Peak Popularity: This unisex name is growing in popularity and has been in the top 1000 names for most of the past two decades. In 2000, it ranked 798, and by 2020, it had reached 522.
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  1. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names. Updated 2021.