50 Unique Baby Names

Learn the meanings and origins of unique baby names.

Mother looking at newborn yawning while lying on bed

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The most popular baby names are, of course, great, but there are more than the top names! You may not meet many people named Emerson or Dallas, but that's the point. You need a stand-out name for your stand-out little one. We've rounded up some of the most unique names the Social Security Administration has to offer. These names may rank pretty low on the popularity scale, but their originality and charm are off the charts.

Here are some of the most unique baby names for you to consider.

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

Choosing a Unique Name for Your Child

Here are some of the most popular unique names.

  • Alora
  • Anders
  • Bode
  • Colter
  • Dallas
  • Emerson
  • Jax
  • Kadence
  • Lorelai
  • Zander


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: A variation of the Hebrew name Eliora, meaning "the Lord is my light"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Allora, Elora
  • Famous Namesakes: Fictional character Elora Danan from the 1988 fantasy film "Willow," directed by Ron Howard.
  • Peak Popularity: Alora didn't break into the top 1,000 baby girl names in the U.S. until 2018. As of 2020, the name ranks No. 601.


  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Honest, Without deceit
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Amaya, Amayah, Amiyah
  • Famous Namesakes: Fictional character Amaya in the Disney Junior show "PJ Masks"
  • Peak Popularity: Amiya joined the list of popular baby girl names in 2000. It fell back off in 2020 after ranking No. 848 in 2019.


  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Brave, Manly
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ander, Anderson
  • Famous Namesakes: Anders Holm, creator and co-star of the Comedy Central show "Workaholics"
  • Peak Popularity: Anders has consistently been in the top 1,000 baby boy names since 2010. In 2020 it ranked No. 831.


  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Tribute, Offering
  • Peak Popularity: Anjali joined the list of top 1,000 girl names in 2000, where it stayed for roughly five years. After ranking No. 965 in 2005, it disappeared from the charts.


  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Ocean
  • Peak Popularity: Arnav ranked No. 1,000 for baby boys in 2003, where it enjoyed a spot for 12 years. Its last year on the charts was 2014, when it held the No. 890. It has since fallen out of the top 1,000.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Helped by God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Azariah
  • Peak Popularity: Azaria has remained a relatively uncommon name, but it made the top 1,000 baby girl names in 2005 at No. 999. It stayed on the charts until 2018 before dropping off again.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: The banks of a river
  • Famous Namesakes: Banks Violet Bair, daughter of American actress Hilary Duff; visual artist Banks Violette
  • Peak Popularity: Banks is a gender-neutral option but has yet to make the top 1,000 names for girls. It made its way into the top 1,000 boy names in 2019 at No. 915, and in 2020 it took a jump to No. 751.


  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: The Spanish or Italian version of Benedict, meaning "blessed one"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Benedict
  • Famous Namesakes: Former professional Italian football player Benito Carbone; former MLB baseball player Benito Santiago
  • Peak Popularity: The name Benito ranked in the top 1,000 boy names from 1900 until 2003. Its most popular year was 1929 when it landed in the middle of the list at No. 513.


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Messenger
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bodie
  • Famous Namesakes: American Olympic alpine skier Bode Miller
  • Peak Popularity: Bode joined the top baby boy names in 2006 at No. 855. It's been on and off the list since then, with its most popular year being 2010 when it ranked No. 775 (likely due to skier Bode Miller taking home a gold medal).

Fun Fact: Bode Miller is one of the most decorated Alpine skiers of all time, having won six Olympic medals (one gold, three silvers, and two bronzes).


  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: The people
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cambree, Kambria, Kambrie
  • Famous Namesakes: American soccer player Cambria "Cami" Privett
  • Peak Popularity: So far, Cambria has made the list of top 1,000 girl names only three times (in 2009, 2011, and 2012).


  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Crooked nose
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cameron, Camron, Camryn
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Camren Bicondova, on TV's "Gotham"
  • Peak Popularity: Although considered a gender-neutral name, Camren has yet to make the top 1,000 names for girls. On the other hand, the name joined the baby boy charts in 1999, where it stayed until 2015 before disappearing again.


  • Origin: Spanish, Old German
  • Meaning: Free man
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carlos
  • Famous Namesakes: Former Italian football player and current manager Carlo Ancelotti
  • Peak Popularity: Carlo bounced around the top 1,000 boy names from 1905 until 2011.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Colt-herder
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Colt, Colten, Colton, Kolter
  • Famous Namesakes: American actor Mike Colter, known for his role in Marvel's "Luke Cage"
  • Peak Popularity: Colter didn't appear in the top 1,000 baby boy names until 1992. It then disappeared from the charts before making a comeback at No. 975 in 2019. As of 2020, it ranks No. 972.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gold
  • Famous Namesakes: Fictional character Cressida from William Shakespeare's play "Troilus and Cressida"
  • Peak Popularity: Cressida has yet to make it to the top 1,000 girl names.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Calf, Gentle
  • Famous Namesakes: American actress and model Damaris Lewis, American celebrity chef Damaris Phillips
  • Peak Popularity: The last time Damaris has been seen on the baby girl charts was in 2010. Its most popular year was 2006.

Fun Fact: Damaris Lewis was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues from 2009 to 2011.


  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: From the dales, The valley meadows
  • Famous Namesakes: American NFL football player Dallas Goedert; American former MLB baseball player Dallas Braden; Bryce Dallas Howard, American actress and daughter of film director Ron Howard
  • Peak Popularity: Dallas is a gender-neutral option, but more popular for boys. It was put on the map in the early 1900s, and as of 2020, it ranks No. 271 for boys and No. 630 for girls.


  • Origin: Sanskrit, Arabic
  • Meaning: Light, glow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations:
  • Famous Namesakes: Singaporean model Diya Prabhakar
  • Peak Popularity: Diya was off and on the baby girl charts from 2004 to 2011 before falling out of the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: By 20 years old, model Diya Prabhakar had already walked runway shows in Paris and New York.


  • Origin: Dutch, Hebrew
  • Meaning: A Dutch variation of the Hebrew name Elijah, meaning "the Lord is God"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eli, Elli
  • Peak Popularity: Elian has remained in the top 1,000 boy names since 2000. Its most popular year so far is 2020, when it reached No. 355.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Sun ray
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alina, Elaina, Elena, Eliana
  • Famous Namesakes: Swedish singer/songwriter Elina Stridh, Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina
  • Peak Popularity: Elina didn't step into the limelight until 2018, when it ranked No. 1,000 for baby girls. In 2020 it ranked No. 971.


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Emery's son
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Emersyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Brazilian racecar driver Emerson Fittipaldi; American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson; Australian tennis player Roy Emerson
  • Peak Popularity: Emerson is a great gender-neutral option, although it is becoming more popular for girls. It broke into the top 1,000 girl names in 2002, and as of 2020, it is ranked No. 155. It held the No. 267 spot for boys that same year.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Fruitful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Efraim
  • Famous Namesakes: In the bible, Ephraim was the second son of Joseph
  • Peak Popularity: Ephraim spent some time on the baby boy charts in the early 1900s before taking a long hiatus and reappearing in 2013. It ranked No. 1,000 in 2020.


  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Crown, garland
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Estefany, Stefania, Stephanie, Sephany
  • Famous Namesakes: Mexican actress Estefanía Villarreal; Spanish actress Estefanía Ahumada
  • Peak Popularity: The most popular year for baby girl Estefanias was 1996 when it ranked No. 591. It bounced around until 2005 before disappearing from the top 1,000 names.


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Fisherman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fischer
  • Famous Namesakes: American actor Fisher Stevens
  • Peak Popularity: Fisher's most popular run among baby boys lasted from 2014 to 2019, where it kept a spot in the 700s. It took a big dive and landed in the No. 908 spot in 2020.

Fun Fact: The 2017 "Duck Tales" reboot featured a character named Fisher.


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Gravel area
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gram, Graham
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish PGA golfer Graeme McDowell
  • Peak Popularity: Graeme spent 2012 and 2013 barely in the top 1,000 before falling off the charts.

Fun Fact: Golfer Graeme McDowell won the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, making him one of only two players from Northern Ireland to win a U.S. Open tournament.


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Greta, Grete
  • Famous Namesakes: American country singer Gretchen Wilson; American broadcast journalist Gretchen Carlson; fictional character Gretchen Weiners in the popular comedy film "Mean Girls"
  • Peak Popularity: Gretchen was a popular option during the 1970s and 80s, reaching its peak in 1973 at No. 191. Its rank began to steadily decline, and it reached No. 954 in 2008 before dropping off completely.

Fun Fact: Country singer Gretchen Wilson won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2005 for her song "Redneck Woman."


  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Chaste, Lamb
  • Famous Namesakes: Inez Reynolds, daughter of actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively; American singer Inez Foxx; late American Broadway actress Inez Courtney
  • Peak Popularity: Inez was most popular in the early 1900s, with its peak year being 1909. It became less common as the years went by, and after slipping to No. 958 in 1976, it dropped off the list completely.


  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Ing's beauty
  • Famous Namesakes: Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman ("Casablanca"); American singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson
  • Peak Popularity: Ingrid reached peak popularity in the 1960s, with 1967 as its biggest year. The name stuck around until reaching No. 973 in 2019, and by 2020 it had dropped out of the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: In Norse religion, Ing is the god of fertility, peace, and prosperity.


  • Origin: Russian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Russian form of the Hebrew name Isaac, meaning "He will laugh"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Isaac, Issac, Izaac, Izak
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Isaak Presley ("Fuller House")
  • Peak Popularity: Isaak was popular among baby boys in the early 2000s until it fell out of the top 1,000 names in 2010.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: An Americanized form of Jackson, meaning "son of Jack"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jack, Jackson, Jax, Jaxon
  • Peak Popularity: Jaxx barely made the cut in the top 1,000 boy names in 2018 and reached No. 884 in 2020. The variation Jax has remained much more popular, sitting at No. 246 in 2020.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Rhythm, flow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cadence, Kaydence
  • Famous Namesakes: Kadence Hawk, daughter of pro skateboarder Tony Hawk
  • Peak Popularity: While the variant Cadence has been the most popular option, Kadence has had a solid run in the top 1,000 girl names since 2003. Its peak year was 2005 when it reached No. 344.

Fun Fact: All variations of the name Kadence made a big leap in popularity from 2003 to 2004, likely due to January Jones' character of Cadence in the 2003 comedy film, "American Wedding."


  • Origin: English, American
  • Meaning: Keeper of the keys
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caelyn, Cailyn, Kaelyn, Kaylin, Kailynn
  • Peak Popularity: Kaelynn hovered near the bottom of the top 1,000 girl names from 2009 to 2015 before disappearing from the charts.


  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Enclosed valley
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Camden, Kamden
  • Peak Popularity: Although Kamdyn is considered a gender-neutral name, it is much more popular among boys. It hasn't made its way into the top 1,000 names for girls but has been on the boy's list since 2013 (although barely squeaking its way in).


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Free
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carlee, Carleigh, Carley, Carly, Karlee
  • Peak Popularity: Karley reached the top 1,000 in the 1990s. Its peak popularity was in 1994 at No. 704.


  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Handsome, Fiery
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ken, Kenneth, Kenna, Kenni
  • Famous Namesakes: American country singers Kenny Rogers and Kenny Chesney; American saxophonist Kenny G.; American NFL football player Kenny Golladay; late American NASCAR driver Kenny Irwin, Jr.
  • Peak Popularity: While the name Kenny is less common today, it was a popular option from the 1960s through the 1980s. Its peak year was 1960, when it reached No. 169.

Fun Fact: Saxophonist Kenny G. once set a world record in 1997 for playing the longest continuous note on a saxophone. 


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: It is thought to mean "God is gracious"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keshawn
  • Famous Namesakes: Former NFL football player Keyshawn Johnson; American professional boxer Keyshawn Davis; NFL football player Ke'Shawn Vaughn
  • Peak Popularity: Keyshawn joined the ranks for baby boys in 1996. It hung around until 2006 and ranked No. 956 before dropping off the list.

Fun Fact: Former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson helped the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002.


  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Diamond in the sky
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kaia, Kaiya, Kia, Kai, Kiah, Kyah
  • Famous Namesakes: "MasterChef Junior" season 4 contestant Kya Lau
  • Peak Popularity: Kya barely held a spot in the top 1,000 girl names from 2001 to 2007 before dropping off the chart. The variation Kaia is the more popular option, ranking No. 302 as of 2020.

Fun Fact: Singer and actress Kelly Rowland played the role of Kia Waterson in the 2003 horror film "Freddy vs. Jason."


  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: The king
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Leeroy, Leroi
  • Famous Namesakes: Former American NFL football players Leroy Harris, Leroy Kelly, Leroy Cook, and LeRoy Butler; American engineer and NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao; American composer Leroy Anderson
  • Peak Popularity: Leroy is a classic name that held a strong spot in the top 100 boy names from 1900 to 1948. Its popularity has steadily declined since then, and its run in the top 1,000 may be coming to an end, as it ranked No. 930 in 2020.

Fun Fact: American actor Samuel L. Jackson's middle name is Leroy.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: A diminutive of the name Elizabeth, meaning "God's promise"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Libbie
  • Famous Namesakes: Australian author Libby Gleeson; American crime-fiction writer Libby Fischer Hellman; former track and field Olympian Libbie Hickman
  • Peak Popularity: Although it stayed in the top 1,000 names for over a century, Libby never moved too far up on the list. Its most popular year was 1934 when it reached No. 605 and began its decline afterward. It ranked No. 1,000 in 2019 before leaving the charts.


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Alluring
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lorelei
  • Famous Namesakes: Fictional character Lorelai Gilmore from the hit TV show "Gilmore Girls"
  • Peak Popularity: Lorelai barely made the top 1,000 girl names in 2006. Although it's not a top contender, it's remained on the list and ranked No. 525 in 2020.


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Star of the sea
  • Famous Namesakes: American professional boxer Marlen Esparza
  • Peak Popularity: Although Marlen is considered a gender-neutral name, its only appearance on the popularity charts was for girls. It squeaked its way into the top 1,000 names in 2000 but was gone by 2003.


  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Mercies
  • Famous Namesakes: America's Next Top Model Cycle 2 finalist Mercedes Scelba-Shorte (known professionally as Mercedes Yvette); Argentinian former professional tennis player Mercedes Paz
  • Peak Popularity: Mercedes hasn't been in the top 1,000 girl names since 2014, but it had a good run in the top 200 between 1990 and 1995.


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Love
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Meena
  • Famous Namesakes: HGTV's "Good Bones" host Mina Starsiak; Italian singer Mina; American journalist Mina Kimes
  • Peak Popularity: You won't find too many Minas today since its peak popularity was in the early 1900s. That said, it's still hanging around the top 1,000 names for girls and ranked No. 662 in 2020.

Fun Fact: The 2016 animated movie "Sing" featured a character named Meena, voiced by singer Tori Kelly.


  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Victory of the people
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nicole
  • Famous Namesakes: British-born American actress Nicolette Sheridan ("Desperate Housewives"); late American singer Nicolette Larson; actress Nicolette Robinson ("The Affair")
  • Peak Popularity: Nicolette was most popular in the 1990s, but remained relatively uncommon. It finally slid back into the No. 1,000 spot in 2006 before dropping off the list.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: The number seven
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sevyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Seven Sirius Benjamin, son of American rapper André 3000
  • Peak Popularity: Seven made its debut on the boy name charts in 2019, and in 2020 it ranked No. 927.


  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Blind
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shaila, Shayla, Sheila
  • Peak Popularity: Sheyla has shown up twice in the top 1,000 names for baby girls—once in 2001 at No. 1,000 and again in 2006 at No. 863, but it hasn't been seen since.


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Wide meadow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sydney
  • Famous Namesakes: Oscar-winning Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier; American writer Sidney Sheldon; fictional character Sidney Prescott from the "Scream" film franchise
  • Peak Popularity: Sidney is considered a gender-neutral name, but has been more popular with boys. It was in the top 100 names from 1910 to 1919 and has steadily fallen since then, ending up in the No. 949 spot in 2013 before disappearing. For girls, Sidney has not been in the top 1,000 names since 2014, but the much more popular variation Sydney ranked No. 243 in 2020.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Wisdom
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sophie
  • Famous Namesakes: Fictional character Sofie Fatale from the film "Kill Bill"
  • Peak Popularity: Sofie barely made the top 1,000 girl names in 2012, ranking No. 997, but hasn't been seen since. On the other hand, the ever-popular Sophie ranked No. 75 in 2020.

Fun Fact: American actress Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for her role in the 1982 film "Sophie's Choice."


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Fair town
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Trevon
  • Famous Namesakes: Former American NFL football player Trevin Wade; American NFL football player Trevon Diggs
  • Peak Popularity: Trevin made a brief appearance in the top 1,000 boy names in the late 80s and 90s. It left the charts and returned in the early to mid-2000s, falling off completely after ranking No. 1,000 in 2009.


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Western meadow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Wesley
  • Famous Namesakes: American filmmaker Wes Anderson; American film director Wes Craven; American musician Wes Scantlin; American former NFL football player Wes Welker; American actor Wesley Snipes; fictional character Wes Gibbons from the TV show "How to Get Away with Murder"
  • Peak Popularity: Wes didn't make its debut in the top 1,000 boy names until 1957. In 1963 it reached its peak at No. 629 before gradually slipping down the list, eventually dropping off in 1972. It made a comeback in 2019 at No. 985 but ranked No. 992 in 2020.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Defender of men
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alexander, Xander
  • Famous Namesakes: American musician Zander Schloss; Zander Martin, son of Good Charlotte band member Billy Martin; American professional golfer Xander Schauffele
  • Peak Popularity: Zander entered the top 1,000 boy names in 2000. It reached peak popularity in 2013 and as of 2020 remains in the top 300 names.

Fun Fact: The popular TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" featured the character Xander Harris.

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By Alex Vance
Alex Vance is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from pregnancy and parenting to health and wellness. She is a former news and features writer for Moms.com and Blog Writer for The HOTH. Her motherhood-related pieces have been published on Scary Mommy, Motherhood Understood, and Thought Catalog.