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Unusual Baby Names and What They Mean ✨: Unusual, Unique, Uncommon!

By Guest Blogger
Posted 12 January 2022
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Many names have a rich history and have deep meanings rooted in culture from around the world. Others are important to our family’s lineage, and help us to identify who we are and where we’re from. It's also hugely personal, as we develop an identity and a sense of individuality from them. Because of this, it’s important that we take care when deciding on the names to give our children.

While many parents still opt for traditional names, it’s becoming increasingly common for some parents to choose unusual names for their children!

Why having an ‘unusual’ name is not a bad thing!

The word unusual can be used negatively, however with this article that’s not what we’re insinuating at all... because unusual definitely doesn’t mean anything bad, especially when it comes to a name. It can be original, unique, striking, and personal. For many, a lot of thought goes into a name and the meaning behind it!

Is the meaning behind a name important?

This is completely up to the parents and there is no right or wrong answer. Some parents may want to choose a name associated with strength, hoping their child grows to be strong and independent. Others may want to choose a name associated with creativity, hoping their child is creatively minded.

Other parents may simply choose a name because they like it.

So, only you know whether the meaning behind a name is important. What is important, however, is that you’ve chosen a name you like, and you think your child may like as they grow.

An expecting mother thinking of baby names

Common baby names in the UK -

The most common baby names given in the UK in 2021 were:

Boys: Oliver, George, Arthur, Noah, Muhammad, Leo, Oscar, Harry, Archie, and Jack.

Girls: Olivia, Amelia, Isla, Ava, Mia, Ivy, Lily, Isabella, Rosie, and Sophia.

What are some of the most unusual baby names?

25 Unusual Baby Boy Names -

Atlas - Atlas is famous for carrying the world on his shoulders (however in Greek mythology he carries the heavens). It’s a name that denotes strength.

Abel - In the bible, Abel was killed by his brother Cain. In Hebrew, it means ‘breathing spirit’.

Adel - An Arabic name that means ‘judges fairly’.

Anders - A Scandinavian name meaning ‘lion man’. It’s a popular name in Sweden, but not commonly found in English-speaking countries.

Aziel - A Hebrew name that means ‘God is my strength’ or ‘flower’.

Brennon - Similar to Brennan, this is a Gaelic word that denotes ‘moisture’ or ‘rain’.

Cree - Originally spelt ‘Cri’, Cree has Native American roots and is a tribal name that can be gender-neutral.

Dewi - A Welsh form of another name you’ll recognise: David. Dewi means ‘beloved’, relating to St David (or Dewi Sant), the patron saint of Wales.

Grayson - An alternative to names such as ‘Jason’, Grayson means ‘son of the bailiff’ in Old English.

Griffin - Griffins are mythical half-lion, half-eagle creatures. The name means ‘fierce’, so Griffins aren’t to be trifled with.

Jaylen - Jaylen is a modern name that can be gender-neutral. It means ‘healer’ or ‘tranquillity’.

Kapono - With Hawaiian roots, Kapono means ‘good’.

Kenji - Originating from Japan, Kenji denotes ‘intelligence’ and ‘strength’.

Lake - A nature-centric name, similar to the also infrequently used ‘River’.

Maddox - From Madoc, meaning ‘generous’.

Marcellus - a Latin word that stands for ‘strength’ or ‘young warrior’.

Nixon - Aside from the former US president, Nixon is a version of ‘Nicholas’ that means ‘son of Nicholas’.

Rehan - Similar to the Irish name Regan, Rehan is found in the Quran and means ‘a sweet smell’.

Seven - Seven is considered a lucky number by some, but it also means ‘loving one’ from the Turkish word ‘sevmek’.

Storm - Denotes ‘power’ and ‘thunder’. Has become more popular since the X-Men movies introduced the character to mainstream audiences.

Tiger - Tiger suggests ‘power’ and ‘ferocity’.

Tremaine - Tremaine is a Cornish surname that is growing in popularity as a first name, and means ‘stone settlement’.

Wyatt - Wyatt means ‘from the wide water’ and ‘from wood’, and is not a name often used in the UK.

Xander - A Greek name that is sometimes the shortened version of ‘Alexander’ and means ‘defender of people’.

Zarif - Zarif means ‘elegance’ and ‘grace’, and has Arabic origins.

Baby boy pulling a funny face

25 Unusual Baby Girl Names -

Avalon - As per the legend of King Arthur, Avalon was the island on which he died, and means ‘island of fruit trees’,

Berenice - A Greek name that means ‘victory’ and ‘power’.

Catriona - A Gaelic version of ‘Katherine’ that means ‘pure’ or ‘clear’.

December - Names based on months such as ‘May’ and ‘June’ are common, but December is not often seen and means ‘ten’ and suggests ice.

Enya - Originating from the Irish name ‘Eithne’, Enya means ‘kernel of a nut or seed’.

Euphrasia - A Greek word meaning ‘cheer’ or ‘happiness’, like the word ‘euphoric’.

Fionnuala - Meaning ‘fair shoulders’, Fionnuala is an Irish name and comes from the legend of the girl who turned into a swan.

Harlow - Harlow is an Old English name that means ‘rocky hill.’

Isolde - Isolde comes from Norse mythology and was a princess who healed Tristan when he was injured. It means ‘ice ruler’.

Joelle - The feminine version of Joel, it means ‘Jehovah is God’ in Hebrew.

Kaia - A Scandinavian name that means ‘the sea’.

Letitia - A Latin name that denotes ‘happiness’.

Lillia - A Latin name from the word ‘lilies’, and a version of the name ‘Lillian’. 

Lucinda - An alternative to ‘Lucy’, Lucinda means ‘light’.

Maia - A Greek name that means ‘mother’.

Mercedes - A Latin word meaning ‘mercy’ or ‘mercies’. It also denotes ‘rewards’ or ‘luxury’.

Oceane - As the name suggests, it has echoes of the ocean itself, and is popular in France but is becoming more frequently used in English-speaking countries.

Odette - Odette comes from the name ‘Oda’ and means ‘wealth’.

Sarai - A biblical name that means ‘my princess'.

Solange - A Roman name that means ‘solemn’ or ‘dignified’.

Thekla - A name dating back to ancient Greece, and denotes ‘the worship of God’. Saint Thecla was a saint of early Christianity. 

Tullia - A Latin name that means ‘glory’.

Yesenia - Derived from the name ‘Jessenia’, which is a type of palm tree found in Southern America. Yesenia means ‘like a flower’.

Xylia - Suggesting music, Xylia is a name going back to ancient Greece and means ‘from the woods’.

Zelda - Many know Zelda as a popular video game character, but the name actually means ‘strong’

A cute baby

Why Do Parents Use These Unusual Names?

As previously mentioned, parents choose unusual baby names for a variety of reasons. It’s unlikely that a parent is going to choose an unusual name for their child purely because it’s unusual. It’s more likely to do with it being unique, personal, or with a deeper meaning relating to who they hope they’ll grow up to be.

If you want to look at other baby names, then check out our other blogs below:

 40 Unique Baby Names and 40 Cool Baby Names