Unique names

Unique names

by Lorna White |
Updated on

Looking for an unusual or unique baby name you've never heard before? If a classic name isn't for you and you're in need of some inspiration on what to call your newborn, we have thousands of unique names to inspire you.

While you might prefer a gender neutral name, if you do know the sex of your baby, you might prefer to look at our list of our unusual girl names. Or, if you've found out you're having a baby boy, check out the list of unusual boy names.

If you've understood the plight of having a common name and don't want the same for your child, it's easy to see why a unique name might be more appealing.

Whether you’re looking for a baby name that no one else on the playground will have, or simply want to find an unusual baby name that helps reflect their individuality, there are a few different angles you can consider as your starting point.

Remember, choosing your baby’s name is one of the most exciting (and daunting!) decisions you’ll make as a parent, but the journey is a fun one. Don't rush it. Make a shortlist. Let it sit. We've made a list of some of the most interesting, unique names from a range of different cultures to help spark your imagination.

Unusual baby names in the UK

Unusual boy names:

• Finn – Finn is a boy's name of Irish origin, meaning 'fair'.

• Abel – Hebrew, meaning ‘breath’ or ‘breathing spirit’. Associated with the biblical son of Adam and Eve, who was killed by his brother Cain.

• Kruze – From the Spanish meaning 'Cross' and referring to the cross of the crucifixion.

• Axel – German and Scandinavian, a Germanised form of the Hebrew Absalom, meaning ‘father is peace’. Made famous by Guns ’n’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.

• Thiago – a boy's name of Brazilian origin, meaning "supplanter."

• Marlo – a gender neutral name that translates to 'remnants of a lake' or 'drop of the sea'

• Zeke – A diminutive of Ezekiel, it can be used as a nickname or a given name on its own. Zeke means “God strengthens”.

• River – English, from ‘river’. Used as both a boys’ and a girls’ name, sometimes in the plural.

• Pax – This is a latin name meaning peace

• Nolan – Gaelic, meaning ‘champion’.

• Colt – English, meaning ‘swarthy’. Evolved from the Old English name, Cola.

• Hudson – English, meaning ‘adventurous’.

• Reid – Old English, meaning ‘by the reeds’.

• Rafe – Meaning Counsel of the wolf, this name comes from Scandinavia.

• Vincent – abbrev. Vin, Vince, Vinnie English, meaning ‘victorious’. Famous Vincents include actor Vince Vaughn, artist Vincent van Gogh and footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones.

• Ziggy – a name of German origin that means Victorious Protector.

• Dex – This Latin name has a meaning of right-handed; fortunate and can be a short form of Dexter.

• Clay – This translates to 'the Earth'

• Wolf – Inspired by the beautiful animal, you could even add an 'ie' to the end for a cuter sounding name

• Hart – This is a very cute unusual name chosen by Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel for their son.

Cool unusual boy names

• Xander – Greek, meaning ‘defender of the people’. A short form for Alexander.

• Nate – Has Hebrew origin meaning God has given or gift of God.

• Sonny – American English, meaning ‘son’. Singer Sonny Bono was half of the duo Sonny and Cher.

• Dawson – Old English, meaning ‘son of David’. Associated with the main character in the TV show Dawson’s Creek.

• Ryker – From Richard, meaning ‘powerful leader’. Possibly the coolest name on our list, Ryker not only sounds amazing but also means rich. It's a name your son will definitely be grateful for.

Unusual retro boy names

• Walter – abbrev. Walt, Wally German, meaning ‘ruler of the army’.

• Harland – Old English, meaning ‘army land’. Fast food chain KFC was founded by Colonel Harland David Sanders. The Titanic was built at Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff.

• Javier – Spanish, meaning ‘bright’. Actor Javier Bardem is known for his roles in No Country for Old Men and the James Bond movie Skyfall.

• Luther – German, meaning ‘soldier of the people’. Famous Luthers include the German church reformer Martin Luther, US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr and Luther Vandross, the multi-award-winning singer.

• Neville – Old French, meaning ‘new village’. Famous Nevilles include former prime minister Neville Chamberlain and Harry Potter character Neville Longbottom.

Cute unusual boy names

• Arlo – Spanish, meaning ‘barberry tree’. Can also be linked back to the Old English for ‘army of troops’. Unconventionally chosen by Leighton Meester and Adam Brody for their baby girl.

• Luca – It has become somewhat of a celebrity favourite with stars such as Colin Firth, Hilary Duff, Rebecca Minkoff and Gabriel Macht naming their baby boys it.

• Milo – This adorable name perfectly suits a tiny little baby. Even better, it has a meaning many little boys will be proud of: soldier.

• Nico  – Meaning Victory of the people, it's a name of Italian origin that can also be used for girls.

• Otis – German, meaning ‘wealth’. Singer Otis Redding was known for his song ‘Sittin’ on The Dock of the Bay’

Unusual girl names:

• Leia – Hebrew name meaning child of heaven or heavenly flowers.

• Nola - Irish Gaelic origin, Latin meaning ‘white shoulder’. Also a city and area in Italy.

• Suzu – Name of Japanese origin meaning long-lived

• Cici – this ancient name means blind

• Saskia – A name of Dutch or German origin, which originally means simply 'a Saxon woman'

• Zelia - Scandinavian, meaning ‘sunshine’.

• Xoey - Variant of Zoe, meaning ‘life’. Often used as a spelling variation for Zoe or Zoey.

• Enola - Native American, meaning ‘solitary’.

• Myra - Latin, meaning ‘scented oil’. Famous Myras include pioneering lawyer Myra Bradwell and pianist Myra Hess.

• Lilou – A French name meaning Lily

• Rae -  Shortened form of Rachel, meaning ‘ewe’. Rae Armantrout is known for her poetry and academic writing.

• Axelle - Greek, meaning ‘father of peace’. More commonly used in French- and Flemish-speaking communities.

• Sloane - Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘man of arms’. Usually associated with Sloane Square in London, after which the Sloane Rangers are named.

• Nora - Shortened form of Eleanor, meaning ‘light’, used in its own right. Nora Roberts is an American author who has written over 200 romance novels, some under pseudonyms.

• Ianthe - Greek, meaning ‘purple flower’. Also the name of a character in ancient Greek mythology.

• Safiyya - Arabic, meaning ‘sincere friend’. Also the name of one of Muhammad’s wives, it works as a unique Muslim baby girl name.

• Thalia - Greek, meaning ‘blooming’. There are half a dozen ancient Greek muses, nymphs and graces who share the name Thalia.

• Lyra - Latin, meaning ‘lyre’. The central character in Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy.

• Elora - Greek meaning is 'light' and in Hewbrew 'God is Light'

• Xylia - Greek, meaning ‘from the woods’.

Cool unusual girl names

• Xena - Greek, meaning ‘foreigner’. The popularity of this name rose after the success of Xena: Warrior Princess.

• Ione - Greek, meaning ‘violet’. Also the name of a type of orchid.

• Inez - Spanish, meaning ‘pure’. Also a spelling variation of Agnes.

• Zahara - Arabic, meaning ‘flowering and shining’. The most famous Zahara is the daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

• Oralie - A lovely French girl's name, meaning ‘golden’. Oralia Dominguez is a Mexican opera singer.

Unusual vintage girl names

• Ophelia - Greek, meaning ‘help’. Lead character from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

• Oriana - Latin, meaning ‘dawning’. Oriana was the nickname for Queen Elizabeth I.

• Erma - German, meaning ‘universal’. Erma Franklin, the sister of soul legend Aretha Franklin, was an American gospel singer.

• Winona - Indian, meaning ‘first-born daughter’. Actress Winona Ryder is named after the town where she was born, Winona in Missouri, USA.

• Alda - German, meaning ‘old’ or ‘prosperous’. St Alda was an Italian mystic in the eleventh century, who took care of the sick.

Cute and pretty girl names

• Maeve - Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘intoxicating’. Famous Maeves include Queen Maeve from Irish mythology, author Maeve Binchy and writer Maeve Brennan.

• Arella - Hebrew, meaning ‘angel’. More commonly used in the USA.

• Peony - Greek, from the flower of the same name.

• Tullia - Latin, meaning ‘bound for glory’.

• Sierra - Spanish, meaning ‘saw’.

Cultural inspiration for unusual, uncommon and unique baby names

Unique Muslim baby names

Looking for the perfect unique muslim name for your new arrival? Whether you're expecting a baby boy or a baby girl, you can read our round up of the best unusual and unique muslim baby girl names, such as Zainab, Aziza and Qadira plus unique muslim baby boy names including Zayd, Rafee and Iskander here.

Unique unisex baby names

Whether you're waiting to know the sex or you want to give your baby a gender-neutral name, there are loads of unusual and unique unisex baby names to pick from. We love names such as DakotaAveryRiver and LennonYou can read more unisex names here.

Unique Irish baby names

Do you or your partner want to pay homage to your Irish roots? Or do you just love the sound of an Irish name for your baby? There are so many unique Irish baby names to choose from including Malachi or Daire for a boy or Elva or Ailbhe for a girl. Find more unique and unusual Irish names here.

Unique French baby names

French baby names all seem to sound so chic - it's no surprise you're thinking about naming your new arrival with a stylish and unique French baby name. Some of our favourites include Dion for a boy and Lilou for a girl. Take a look at some more unique and unusual French baby names here.

Unique Italian baby names

There are so many unique and beautiful Italian names out there to choose from that could really suit your baby boy or baby girl! We love Elettra for a girl or Aurelio for a boy. You can take a look at some more unique and unusual Italian baby names here.

Unique American baby names

Why not take some inspiration from across the pond with an unusual American baby name direct from the USA? You could choose a unique name like Dalton for a boy or Autumn for a girl perhaps? You can find more unusual and unique American baby names here.

Unique Spanish baby names

Looking for a more exotic and unique baby name? There are some gorgeous and unusual Spanish baby names that would be perfect for your new arrival. Think names like Adelina or Florencia for a girl or names like Andres or Octavio for a boy. You can read more unique Spanish girl names here and more unusual Spanish boy names here.

Unique biblical baby names

Although many biblical baby names can sound quite traditional, there are loads of more unique and unusual sounding biblical baby boy and girl names including Eden, Sarai and Dinah. You can find more unique and unusual biblical baby names here.

Unique Russian baby names

Ever thought of naming your baby with an unusual Russian name? There are plenty to choose from such as Rolan and Zavid for a boy and Dasha and Nika for a girl. Take a look at some more unique and unusual Russian baby boy names and baby girl names here.

Unique German baby names

There are loads of lovely German baby names to choose from if you're looking for something more unusual and unique. How about something like Heike or Anneliese for a girl and maybe Leopold or Fritz for a boy. Check out some more unique and unusual German baby boy and girl names here.

Lorna White is the Senior Digital Writer for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website, specialising in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, Lorna brought her expertise to Mother&Baby in 2020. She has a keen interest in a range of topics from potty training and nutrition to baby names and early development and has a wide range of experienced medical experts and professionals at her fingertips. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two young sisters, dog walking and enjoying the outdoors with her family.

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