closeup of adorable baby with green eye in article about unique baby names for boys and girls
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105 Unique Baby Names You Probably Haven’t Considered

From literature to pop culture, nature to mythology, there’s a rare name out there for your baby.

So you want a name for your little one that stands out. Sure names like Emma and Liam and Noah and Henry are lovely, but they’re all pretty popular. But even names one wouldn’t necessarily expect to be popular — like Scarlett and Luna or Levi and Sebastian — rank among America’s “Top 20” these days. So The question of how to find unique baby names can be a tough one. One way to find a baby name unique enough for your future free-thinker is to consider them by category — look to a source of inspiration and go from there.

Below are some ideas to help get your creative juices flowing, or maybe you’ll fall in love with one of these unique baby names and declare your search over.

Unique baby names inspired by nature

What better place to look for inspiration than in the great outdoors? The wonders of the natural world are breathtaking, beautiful, and incredibly powerful — all qualities most parents want to see in their little ones. Some of these names are pretty straight forward and won’t need much explanation or insight. (You don’t need to be told what “Winter” means). Others are less obvious, but nevertheless pay tribute to nature.

For your little force of nature...Shutterstock

Unique girl names

  • Juniper
  • Gaia (Greek: the name of the primordial Earth goddess)
  • Marigold
  • Solei (French; “sun”)
  • Rainbow
  • Ginger
  • Vanessa (A name invented by writer Jonathan Swift, an amalgam of his girlfriend’s name Esther “Essa” Vanhomrig. After being given to a species of butterfly, the name now means “butterfly”)

Unique boy names

  • Caspian (Latin; the world’s largest inland body of water that lies between Europe and Asia)
  • Reef
  • Kai (Hawaiian; “sea”)
  • Sol (Latin; “sun”)
  • Ivo (Old French; “yew, archer”)
  • Ridge
  • Rhodes (Old English; “where roses grow”)

Unique unisex names

  • Winter
  • Cedar
  • Wren
  • Indigo
  • Raven
  • Irmac (Turkish; “river”)
  • Farley (Old English; “meadow of sheep”)
  • Storm
  • Solstice
  • Aspen

Unique baby names from literature

From authors and playwrights to their most famous (and interestingly named) characters, the literary world offers a world of possibility to draw from in order to find a great name for your little one. Maybe you have a special connection to the book, play, or poem a character comes from. Or maybe you just adore the style or work of a particular author. Here’s a few unique names inspired by literature to get the ball rolling.

For children destined to be scholars...Shutterstock

Unique girl names

  • Eowyn (Lord of the Rings trilogy)
  • Lyra (His Dark Materials trilogy)
  • Joyce (Irish writer James Joyce)
  • Zora (American writer Zora Neale Hurston)
  • Cendrillon (the French name of the classic fairytale Cinderella; as in English, Cendrillion is both the title of the story and the name of the main character)
  • Ursula (American writer Ursula K. LeGuin)

Unique boy names

  • Beowulf (the titular hero of the Old English poem)
  • Merlin (the various legends of King Arthur)
  • Oberon (Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  • Oz (Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz; Ozma, the ruler of Oz in subsequent Oz stories, is a good option for girls)
  • Chaucer (English writer Geoffrey Chaucer)
  • Dante (Italian writer Dante Alighieri)
  • Mycroft (the brother of Sherlock Holmes)
  • St. John (pronounced “sin-jin,” the love interest of Jane Eyre)
  • Baldwin (American writer James Baldwin)

Unique unisex names

  • Brontë (the English sisters Anne, Charlotte, and Emily who wrote novels like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre)
  • Wilde (Irish writer Oscar Wilde)
  • Swift (Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift)
  • Atwood (Canadian writer Margaret Atwood)
  • Quixote (the titular character in Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote)

Unique baby names from pop culture

“Pop Culture” can get a bad rap — as being trendy or vapid or both — but there’s a reason it’s popular and think it’s a great place to turn to get inspired to name your child. Whether you’re a fan of Marvel movies or Star Wars, Disney, or rock and roll generally, here are some unique name ideas inspired by the characters and personalities that move us.

From TV to rockstars, pop culture offers plenty of unique names for your baby.Shutterstock

Unique girl names

  • Merida (Pixar’s Brave)
  • Fantasia (Disney’s cartoon from 1940)
  • Trinity (The Matrix films)
  • Katniss (The Hunger Games trilogy)
  • Cher (both the singer/pop star and Clueless)

Unique boy names

  • Drax (Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Theon (in addition to being the name of the redeemed heir of House Greyjoy in Game of Thrones; this name also exists in the real world. In Old French it means “untamed,” and in Greek, “godly.”)
  • Drake (Canadian rapper)
  • Kylo (the latest Star Wars trilogy)
  • Theodin (The Lord of the Rings trilogy)

Unique unisex names

  • McQueen (fashion designer Alexander McQueen)
  • Fox (throwback favorite The X-Files)
  • Jagger (Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger)
  • Djarin (the last name of the hero of The Mandalorian, Din Djarin)
  • Bowie (English rockstar David Bowie)
  • Mercury (Zanzibari-English rock star Freddie Mercury)
  • Joplin (American rock star Janis Joplin)

Unique & epic baby names inspired by mythology

Names from mythology are the perfect combination of “rarely popular but always awesome” that a lot of parents struggle to find for themselves. And while some royalty names are well-known, others that are equally regal rarely get used. In short, this category is full of brilliant, powerful unique baby names that people (for some reason) sleep on.

There’s a reason a lot of these names have existed for thousands of years.Shutterstock

Unique girl names

  • Athena (Greek goddess of wisdom)
  • Cleo (Greek muse of history)
  • Thalia (Greek muse of comedy)
  • Czarina (a title used by Russian royalty meaning “empress”)
  • Xanthippe (the name of philosopher Socrates’ wife, meaning “yellow horse”)
  • Odette (heroine of Swan Lake)
  • Io (in Greek mythology a lover of Zeus)
  • Cressida (a figure in the Trojan War)
  • Vesta (the Roman goddess of the hearth)
  • Deianira (Hercules second wife)

Unique boy names

  • Orion (a hunter in Greek mythology)
  • Tyr (Norse war god)
  • Kaiser (German word meaning king)
  • Caesar (Latin title in Ancient Rome; “emperor”)
  • Hurucan (Mayan god of wind and storms)
  • Thor (Norse god of thunder)
  • Anansi (a trickster god among the Akan people that has since become popular throughout Africa)
  • Hercules (a hero of Greek mythology)
  • Jove (Roman king of the gods)
  • Osiris (Egyptian god of death and resurrection)
  • Apollo (Greek god of the sun)

Unique baby names with special meaning

Sometimes, a name holds hidden meaning, but other names just come out and say exactly what they’re all about: no ambiguity, what you see is what you get. These names are bold, powerful, and in some cases have been used for hundreds of years. But despite their longevity, they’ve never become overplayed, ensuring these unique baby names will remain unique. And because they’re all original, you get to decide if they’re a unisex name or not.

Names that say exactly what you mean.Shutterstock
  • Sincere
  • Legacy
  • Karma
  • Blessing
  • Legend
  • Journey
  • Honest
  • Comfort
  • Golden
  • Fearnot (names such as these were common among 17th century Puritans in England, traditionally masculine)
  • Serenity
  • Sage
  • Quest
  • Hero
  • Carmina (Latin; “garden”)
  • Étoile (French; “star”)
  • Makepeace (see “Fearnot”)
  • Glory
  • Justice
  • Saoirse (Irish; “freedom,” traditionally feminine)
  • Noble
  • Paradis (French; “paradise”)
  • Temperence
  • Resolve

...and, of course, you can always go with “Unique.”