Uncommon Baby Names That You May Have Never Heard Of

Now that there are more than 7 billion people in the world, parents have never had so much pressure to choose a unique name. It can seem as though every name has been taken thousands of times over. However, there is a slurry of names to choose from, even beyond the ones in the baby books. Some names sound out of this world, like Zephyr. Others are spins on common names, like Jessamy. Then there are the names that have simply been shoved to the wayside, like Kermit. Read on to discover names you may have never heard of, or forgot existed.

Tansy

Tansy is a Greek name that means immortality. However, it is also the name of a plant that consists of small clusters of bright yellow blossoms. The plant was used as a natural medicine and is associated with health (hence its immortality meaning).

A baby girl crawls in a feild of flowers.
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Nik Taylor/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The most recent and popular use of the name was a character on the show Hart of Dixie. The name was also briefly mentioned in the show Game of Thrones. Despite its powerful meaning, the name has yet to become widespread.

Circe

Circe is another Greek naming, this time meaning “bird.” The name is most widely known as the daughter of Helios in Greek mythology. According to the myth, she is a sorceress who can turn men into animals.

A baby sleeps in a soft, white sweater.
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Getty Images

She shows up in Homer’s Odyssey and turns his crew into swine. Later on, she and Odyssey have a child together. The name also appeared in Ulysses and Song of Solomon. Apart from old literature, however, the name has yet to gain recognition.

Nephele

Nephele means cloudy, which makes sense considering it is also the name of the Greek goddess who was created from a cloud. She then became goddess of the clouds.

A baby smile while taking a bite of something.
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Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Apart from Greek mythology, the name is virtually unused. If you’re looking for a truly rare name and are fond of overcast weather, this may be the name for you. As an additional twist on the unique name, it can also be spelled Nefeli, which is a modern Greek variant.

Kermit

While the muppets made many of us think that Kermit is just another way to say frog, it actually means “free man.” The name is Irish and was in the Top 500 names until the 1960s when it became tainted by Kermit the Frog.

A baby wither a bear chest is dressed in ear muffs and a scarf.
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H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Another famous, and perhaps favored, Kermit was the son of President Theodore Roosevelt, Kermit Roosevelt. The name peaked in popularity in 1910, but by 1980 it disappeared from the radar entirely.

Cato

Cato is a Latin name that has been used for both boys and girls. The meaning is “all-knowing.” In the United States, the name was most popular prior to 1880. There was a sharp decline at the turn of the 20th century in the name’s use.

A baby sleeps in a pile of blankets.
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STEFANIE GLINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Despite having a few spikes, the name nearly disappeared by the 1990s. The name has been sneaking its way back into use in the 2000s, but its popularity is nowhere near where it was in the 19th century.

Beacan

Beacan is a male name of Irish origin that means “tiny one.” It is the name of an Irish saint who conjures up a beacon of light. Though the name is virtually unheard of in the United States, it was relatively popular in Ireland.

A baby sticks its tongue out between its lips.
Sergei MalgavkoTASS via Getty Images
Sergei MalgavkoTASS via Getty Images

However, the name has become less common even in Ireland in recent years, perhaps because many men would not be fond of being called tiny. Other variations of the name are Beagan, which sounds like a Beagle dog, and Beccan, which sounds like slang for begging.

Edaline

This is one of those names that can be spelled multiple ways with the exact same meaning: Edeline, Edalene, etc. A more popular variation of the name is Adeline; many international figures in the arts have held this name. The meaning of the name regardless of the spelling is “noble.”

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Sergei SavostyanovTASS via Getty Images
Sergei SavostyanovTASS via Getty Images

Only 30 girls have been given the name “Edaline” in the past 200 years, while nearly 70,000 have been given the name “Adeline” in the same amount of time according to Everything Birthday. In other words, the spelling makes no difference in the meaning, but a large difference in terms of popularity.

Failenn

According to Names.org, there have been less that 100 Failenns in the U.S. since 1880. The same goes for its variation, Faylinn. Both are of Irish origin and mean “a graceful woman.”

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H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

It’s ironic that the name is so unknown considering that it consists of two relatively common names: Faye, which means fairy, and Lynn, which means lake. We suppose the name “Fayelynn” would have to mean both “fairy lake” and “graceful woman.” Talk about a loaded name.

Cassius

There are two ways to pronounce this name: CASH-us or CASS-ee-us. Both pronunciations have been used in different countries. The name is of Latin origin and means “hollow.” Shakespeare fans may recognize the name as the prominent figure in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

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NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

More recently, the name was given at birth to boxing legend Muhammad Ali. It is also the name of musician Bobby Brown’s youngest son. Now that celebrities are using the name, it may be a matter of time before Cassius gains some traction.

Eulalia

Eulalia is a Greek name meaning “well-spoken.” The name peaked in popularity in the 1890s, and fell off the charts around the middle of the 20th century. One of the more significant figures to hold the name was a Spanish saint.

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Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

Saint Eulalia was a Roman Christian from which various legends have spread. She is often celebrated for sacrificing her life on behalf of her faith. Tales of her history gave rise to the name in the Middle Ages.

Roald

Many have only encountered the name Roald due to the famous author Roald Dahl. He has remained well-known since many of his books were turned into movies (Matilda, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach).

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DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Despite Roald’s numerous works, few have dared to mimic his first name. The meaning of the Norwegian name is “famous ruler.” Additionally, it is practically the same as the common title “Donald,” just without the “n.” Nevertheless, Roald has remained a virtually untouched name.

Aminta

Aminta is an Arabic name derived from the Greek term “amyntor,” which means “protector” or “defender.” It is the female equivalent of the Italian name Amintore. English variations of the name are Amynta, Arminta, or the simply the shortened Minta.

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Alexander RyuminTASS via Getty Images
Alexander RyuminTASS via Getty Images

The name was first popularized by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso in the 16th century and peaked during the Restoration period. Nowadays, Amina is the more common variation used, having reached 0.062% usage in 2017 according to BabyNamesPedia.

Tanwen

Tanwen is a Welsh name typically assigned to girls. Sources identify the meaning of the name as either “white fire” or “holy fire.” This name may be the most uncommon one that we’ve encountered thus far.

A baby crawls in a field of tall grass.
Nik Taylor/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Nik Taylor/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There are no known famous people who have been given the name Tanwen. However, it is on various lists of names and the meaning is accessible. If you’re looking for a baby name that virtually no one else has, this one may be the winner.

Jessamy

Jessamy is a Persian name that means “Jasmine flower.” It is an ideal name for those who love the name Jasmine but are looking for something more unique. The name is also the title of a children’s story by Barbara Sleigh.

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BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Being that the story came out in 1967 and is named after its protagonist, it makes sense that there was a spike in the name’s popularity in the seventies. It reached its all-time high in the early eighties before nosediving. Despite having a few spikes, the name has been on a gradual decline since 2005.

Venetia

Venetia is a female name that means Venice, as in the Italian city. Similar to the name Florence, its significance is derived from the land to which it refers. Ironically, most of the famous figures with the name were not Italian but English.

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Nik Taylor/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The name is popular amongst socialites and was thus the name of the aristocratic protagonist in the novel “Scandalous Risks.” In America, the name was known by the 1950s actress Venetia Stevenson, though it didn’t quite catch on.

Roone

Roone is an Irish name that means “red-headed.” The only Roone to appear in pop culture was the American sports and news broadcasting executive Roone Arledge. He was active from the late 1960s through the eighties and he did have red hair, though it turned white towards the end of his career.

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NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Some sources argue that the name is related to the Gaelic Ó Ruadháin, which means “descendant of the champion.” This is the meaning that would probably be favored by the sports enthusiast.

Aero

Despite its pronunciation, Areo does not mean “arrow.” Rather, it means “of the sky.” The Greek name can be used for a boy or a girl, however, it is slightly more common amongst boys.

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Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to Baby Name Uniqueness Analyzer, a child would have about a 0.4% chance of going to school with a boy named Aero, and a mere 0.08% chance of going to school with a girl named Aero. If your last name is Smith and you love the rock band Aerosmith, this might be the name for you.

Humphrey

Amongst many of the other names we’ve seen so far, Humphrey sounds relatively familiar. This is most likely thanks to actor Humphrey Bogart, the star in Casablanca. Despite its popularity at the turn of the 20th century (Bogart was born in 1899), its been on a steady decline since.

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Pascal Saez/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The German name means “peaceful warrior.” Its beautiful meaning may be why it has spiked in use several times over the past century despite dropping overall. Around the year 2000, it nearly fell off the radar, but the name might be making a comeback.

Zephyr

Zephyr is a Greek name that is often used for boys since Zephyr was the god of the west wind according to ancient mythology. The name is most often used in computer and video games.

A baby sleeps surrounded by a soft blanket.
ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images
ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images

You may have heard of actor Zephyr Benson (his dad played the Beast in the 1991 Beauty and the Beast). The name’s popularity declined in throughout the 1900s. It’s rare to find a name that starts with a “z,” making this name a unique one thanks to both its infrequency and its spelling.

Millicent

Millicent is a French name that means “brave strength.” The name was most popular in the 1920s. It slowly but surely lost its high ranking throughout the second half of the 20th century. You may better recognize its nickname, Millie.

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H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

The name sounds similar to the word maleficent, a word that means “causing harm” and was the title of a 2014 Disney film. However, the meaning is quite the opposite, since someone who is brave often defends themselves from that which is causing harm.