Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to really get a baby name gem. And while the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. list offers plenty of stellar options, there are lots of head scratchers, too. (Do we really need to spell Journey Jurnee?)
But sometimes, it’s the ones that don’t make the top 1000 list that really shine—especially if you’re looking for something unique. Skip all those creative spellings of Adeline and check out these options.
Tilda With Matilda on the rise, will this shortened version follow suit? It means “mighty,” and has accomplished actress Tilda Swinton as its namesake.
Kismet I’m generally not a big fan of word names, like Journey or Destiny. But there’s something about Kismet (a name that actually means fated) that just seems right.
Marae This relative of Mary means bitter, and evokes the sea as well. It’s a great way to pay homage to a Mary in your family, without using the name.
Jovia By Jove, this name is intriguing—it’s a feminization of the Roman king of the gods, but also has that connotation of happiness, thanks to the word “jovial.”
Aretha The legendary Aretha Franklin may be a tough act to follow, but you could consider this name, which means “blessed,” in lieu of the more popular Athena.
Briony If you like floral names, but are weary of the Rose/Lily/Daisy combo, consider this very offbeat choice, a lovely vine with green-hued blooms.
Dulcinea This ultrafeminine name has a cool past for literary folks—it’s the name of Don Quixote’s fictional true love in Miguel Cervantes’ classic. It means sweet.
Magenta A vibrant purple-red shade could be the next cool color name, after names like Violet and Scarlett. (For Rocky Horror Picture Show fans, there’s the character who goes by the name.)
Ione How has this gem never made it into the top 1000? Popularized by actress Ione Skye (of Say Anything fame), it’s the name of a violet-colored stone, and of a sea nymph in Greek mythology.
Tell us: What offbeat names do you love? Would you consider any of my choices for your daughter?
Check out the wild and weird side of last year’s baby names—and see if you’d pick any of those for your kiddos! You can rate baby names with our popular Baby Name Game—and keep up with the latest in baby name news by liking In Name Only on Facebook!