8 Unusual Girl Names
Want your newest addition to your family to stand out among the Emmas, Olivias, and Sophias? Opt for one of these unique, unusual baby girl names for your newborn daughter.
If you’re looking for an unusual girl name for your anticipated bundle of joy, you’re not alone. Over the past few decades, there has been a noticeable increase in families choosing different and unusual names for their children. “Parents increasingly see name choices as a reflection of individuality,” says Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard and baby name expert. “A unique name is chosen as a symbol of a unique, special child and family.”
But since everyone is looking for a “unique” name now, the search for a truly unusual find may be more difficult than before—especially if you’re expecting a baby girl. According to Wattenberg, girl names, historically, have tended to be fashion-driven whereas boys names have been more conservative. For example, while the most popular name has cycled out about every decade for girls, Michael has been on the top 10 names for boys for more than 75 years—with a stunning streak on top from 1961 to 1998. Because of this, there are simply more female names in the popular domain that seem normal to our ears than male names.
Additionally, many trending “unusual” names for girls skew masculine. So if you’re looking for something unique, unusual, but distinctly feminine, you might have to dig deep. Fortunately, we did the heavy lifting for you. We searched through the Social Security Administration’s 2015 database of baby girl names in search of stunning, yet unusual names. Our picks, below, were given to 10 or fewer newborn girls each that year—so there’s a slim chance she’ll have to share her unique name with anyone else.
So you might not have gotten around to reading the most famous Flannery (O’Connor)’s Everything That Rises Must Converge. But that shouldn’t stop you from choosing this warm-sounding Irish name. According to Nameberry, “Flannery” comes from “flann” and “gal,” meaning ruddy and valor in Irish. Only 10 little girls received this name in 2015.
This English moniker, meaning “noble” and “bright,” probably brings to mind the Western province in Canada. However, according to Nameberry, the province is actually named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, one of Queen Victoria’s daughters. Though it might be popular abroad, there were only nine children given the name in 2015.
If you’re into names with special meanings, you might be turned off by Cicely. According to Nameberry, this old English name means “blind.” However, if you’re willing to look past that, you will see that this floral-inspired might just do the trick for you. Not only is Cicely an unusual name that only nine families bestowed on their daughters in 2015—it’s also an “aromatic white-flowered plant of the parsley family, with fern-like leaves” according to the Oxford English dictionary.
If you’re looking for a name that will soar above all others, why not try Mariposa? The name means “butterfly” in Spanish, and was only given to nine other baby girls in 2015.
Looking for a strong, solid choice with a good amount of history to it? Antigone—the brave and principled heroine of the often-retold story in Greek mythology—hits all the marks, and more. Though the name is known throughout history, parents have made it a somewhat unusual choice for their daughters—only eight families named their daughters Antigone in 2015. We’d say “Tig” makes a pretty cute nickname, too.
Not many parents name their daughters Sigourney—in fact, only eight families chose this name in 2015. Even the most famous Sigourney (Weaver) revealed in a 2010 Guardian interview that she changed her name from Susan, inspired by a minor character in The Great Gatsby. But we think that more families should name their daughter this French nom meaning “daring king.”
Whether you want to pay deference to the rich history of Southern Gothic literature, Greek mythology, or just a pleasant sounding unusual pick (only seven girls were named Eudora in 2016), Eudora’s a good way to go. This Greek name, meaning “generous gift” is scattered throughout Greek mythology. But in the past few decades, it has become synonymous with the Pulitzer-Prize winning The Optimist’s Daughter novelist Eudora Welty.
Though many celebrities have named their daughters Tallulah (Demi Moore, Patrick Dempsey, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, for example), only seven families picked this glamorous Choctaw name meaning “jumping water,” in 2015. Previously associated with the great starlet of stage and screen, Talullah Bankhead, it’s grown in connotation in years past as a name for southern belles.