When parents are naming their children, they take inspiration from a wide range of places, such as films, region, religion, books, and family heritage. And when a particular name becomes too common, they choose to ignore that. As time passes, these names become so outdated that they are classified under rare baby name list, names which are given to less than 50 babies a year.
But usage levels are never the same. Names that are rare today may not be so five or ten years from now. So, if you want a name that’s common, but not entirely heard of, then pick it from the list below. MomJunction has included a wide range of classic and underappreciated names sourced from the US Social Security Administration list. The names are either undiscovered or on the verge of extinction.
Rare Baby Names For Boys:
This neglected name with religious overtones is an attractive naming option. Abbot means ‘father’.
With the rise of mythological names, Apollo also deserves a second chance. This name means ‘to destroy’.
It’s time for Aristotle to be used beyond the Greek families. Aristotle means ‘superior’.
Since brand names are catching on widely, even Armani can be given a second chance. It means ‘freeman’.
The ‘o’ ending of this word name brings it further into the realm of hip baby names.
Atlas, the name of a Greek God, is generally avoided because it’s thought to be too powerful for a baby boy. Don’t you think it’s unfair?
This poetic English name, meaning ‘old friend’, is appreciated for its lovely sound.
This energetic and exotic Italian name isn’t much heard in the US. But it should be given a chance for its beautiful aura. Aurelio means ‘the golden one’.
This hip occupational name evokes scents stemming from the baking oven.
Baxter, meaning ‘baker’, would make a lovely option for someone who wants to pay tribute to their baker’s family.
To be honest, the double ee in this name is a turn off. You can pick the original if you have set your heart on this name. Bentlee means ‘meadow with coarse grass’.
Blade is one of those names that’s macho and unconventional, both at the same time.
Bobo, the variation of Bob, is better used as a nickname than the first name. It means ‘bright fame’.
Bowie, meaning ‘blond’, has a western drawl, musical cred, and Gaelic charm.
This one syllable name is originally a short form of Abraham, and means ‘father of multitudes’.
Casimir, meaning ‘destroyer of peace’, has faced a tough time assimilating outside Poland boundaries.
This romantic place name is a perfect bet for cutting edge and bold parents.
This Irish name has been lassoed by girls, so if you want, you can pick it for your girl instead of boy. Cassidy means ‘curly headed’.
Cedar is one of the latest tree names that is slowly, but steadily beginning to catch on with parents.
Chester, meaning ‘fortress or walled town’, sounds both cuddly and quirky.
Constantine is avoided because it’s considered too grand for every day use. It means ‘steadfast’.
Cosmo, meaning ‘order and beauty’, would make a cool and creative choice for your baby boy.
Dex, the short form of Dexter, is loaded with sensual appeal and energy. It means ‘right-handed.’
This musical name brings to mind the elegant Duke – Edward Kennedy Ellington. Ellington means ‘Ellis’s town’.
Eustace, meaning ‘fruitful and productive’, was popularized by Norway’s St. Eustace.
Everest is one of the few geographical names with a name-like feel.
Ferris, meaning ‘rock’, was last used 20 years ago. Maybe, it’s time for it to resurrect.
If you’ve set your mind on Fisher, then you’ll also like its variant, Fischer. It means ‘fisherman’.
This moniker, meaning ‘son of Gerald’, will work great in the middle spot.
Fraser, meaning ‘strawberry’, is highly popular and used in Scotland. So why can’t it be used in the US as well?
This surname-turned-first name was most used in the last century. It means ‘fields of the village’.
The lisp-y ending of Griffith makes it sound even more amazing. This Welsh name means ‘strong lord’.
Gryffin, a variant of Griffin, is one of the most appealing Celtic baby names.
If you want a name with an old country image, look no further than Hannes, a variant of Johannes, meaning ‘God is gracious’.
Hart is a short, strong, and straightforward one syllable name meaning ‘stag’.
With the rise of animal names, Hawk, meaning ‘eagle’ definitely deserves a second chance.
The ‘x’ in this name makes it considerably cooler. Huxley means ‘inhospitable place’.
This almost unknown name in the States would make an intriguing choice for your son. It means ‘fiery’.
If you want to honor an ancestor named John, name your son Jansen, which means ‘Jan’s son’.
The name Janus is perfect for a January baby. It means ‘gateway’.
We think Jedi is a perfect name if your little one is due during the next “Star Wars” release.
Kensington, the name of a posh residence in London, has begun being used as a formal baby boy name, but only by some parents.
Kirk is a friendly, one syllable name, meaning ‘church’.
This Scottish name, meaning ‘lord of the land’, appealed to Sharon Stone so greatly that she chose it for her son.
Latin name Larson, a variant of Lars, has the charisma of a foreigner. It means ‘crowned with laurels’.
Laszlo, meaning ‘glorious ruler’, is a classic Hungarian name with an energetic ‘o’ ending and a stylish ‘z’ in the middle.
Leopold is a formal, but aristocratic name, meaning ‘brave people’.
This concise, one syllable name, meaning ‘heart’, has the potential of being even more popular than Levi.
Maguire is a cheerful and lively family name, meaning ‘son of the beige one’.
Mercer is a sophisticated and cool form of French occupational name Merce, meaning ‘a merchant’.
Since water names are so cool these days, you can go for Nile without giving a second thought. Nile means ‘champion’.
This Roman moniker, which was once used for the eighth child in a family, is now up for reconsideration. Octavius means ‘eight’.
If you like the Norse mythology name Odin, then you can also choose its variation Oden. It means ‘rage or frenzy’.
Parents seeking for unusual, yet solid name can go for Orson, which means ‘bear cub’.
If you want a truly exotic name, this Biblical name, meaning ‘salvation’ will fit the bill.
Pascal, meaning ‘born during Easter’ is perfect for children born during this holiday.
The dynamic ‘x’ in the middle makes Paxon a solid choice. It means ‘peaceful town’.
This simple and elegant name, meaning ‘enclosure’, is ideal for history buffs and writers.
This word name suggests not just a sense of curiosity, but also purpose.
This jaunty name, meaning ‘oarsman’, would work better as a nickname.
This short and sweet name, meaning ‘river’, is occasionally used for girls as well.
Rockwell, meaning ‘rock spring’, would make an intriguing choice for an artist’s child.
Roscoe, meaning ‘deer forest’, deserves a reincarnation, especially by adventurous parents.
Rufus, meaning ‘redhead’, was very popular with Roman saints and singers and still has all the qualities to make a cool naming option.
If you want a spin on a traditional name, pick Rusty, a variant of Russell. It means ‘redhead’.
This name with outstanding qualities of Boy Scout would make an interesting choice for your son.
Shaw, meaning ‘dweller by the wood’, sounds a lot cooler than Shawn to us, more so because of its association with the great playwright, George Bernard Shaw.
We love this English occupational name for its pastoral feel.
Slater is a friendly and genial trade name, meaning ‘slate maker’. Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance recently used it for one of their twins.
The trendy ‘an’ ending of this Scandinavian name makes it a lot more accessible. Stellan means ‘calm’.
Teo is the short and sweet version of the Biblical name Matthew, meaning ‘gift of God’.
Parents looking for a name exemplifying simpler lifestyle and basic values can go for the name True.
The formal German name, meaning ‘protecting army’ is packed with sheen and sparkle.
West is the most stylish of all the direction names in our opinion. The western, cowboy feel to it elevates it even further.
This once common surname is almost never used in the recent times. Willis means ‘resolute protection’.
Cute And Beautiful Rare Girl Names:
Abril, a Spanish variant of April, hasn’t been used for several decades in the US, which explains its ranking at the bottom of the list.
This Old Irish name has several variations and forms, but none could even come close to the original. Aislinn means ‘dream’.
Alabama, a place name, meaning ‘vegetation gatherers’, hasn’t been used much lately. Perhaps, the time is ripe for a revival.
The double ‘n’ in this name has done no favor to it. But you can go for its variant, Aliana. This name means ‘my God has answered’.
Alissa may have faded in popularity, but it still maintains some of its appeal. It means ‘noble’.
Angeline, meaning ‘angel’, may not be very popular in the US, but it’s well used in France.
This Basque name was given to less than 46 girls in 2014, and the figure has only been going down. It means ‘thorn bush’.
This combination of Aubrey and Anna is an elaboration of two perfectly good names.
Aubriella, being a combination of Aubrey and Ella, is not used as much as Aubrey and Ella are done individually.
Azaria is the feminine variant of the Biblical name Azariah occasionally used by American parents. It means ‘helped by God’.
This feminine variant of Charles, meaning ‘free man’, owes its life to the South African actress, Charlize Therone.
This English word name is so sweet that people rarely give it a chance. But Charlene Tilton didn’t shy away from using this name for her daughter.
This Latin name, belonging to one of the King Lear’s daughters, has both substance and charm. Cordelia means ‘daughter of the sea’.
This cheery and saucy name, meaning ‘tenth’, owes its tiny bit popularity to Dixie Virginia Carter, the American actress.
Ellis originated as a surname, but began being used for girls as an alternative to Ella. It’s still rarely used, though.
Ellison, meaning ‘son of Ellis’, is one of the freshest spin of El starting names.
Elora, a variant of Eliora, meaning ‘the Lord is my light’, is a strong and powerful three syllable name.
Esma, a short form of Esmeralda, sounds less stuffy than the original. It means ‘emerald’.
This cute moniker became known outside the Irish community when Sir Walter Scott used it for one of his characters in “Peveril of the Peak”. It means ‘white-shouldered one’.
This retro name is finding really hard to renew interest in the hearts of parents. It means ‘free man’.
Giavanna, the spelling version of Giovanna, failed to make to the SSA list, but we hope that it can at least ride on the original’s popularity. Giavanna means ‘God is gracious’.
Hadleigh, meaning ‘heathery field’, sounds appealing in all its variations, including Hadleah, Hadli, and Hadleah.
If you’re into musical names, you can give Harmonee a shot, at least as a nickname.
This floral name was highly popular in the 70s and 80s, but has faded out of favor now.
Some of you may consider it cheesy, but Heavenly was actually used as a name by some parents last year.
If you’re a traditionalist at heart and want a fancy name for your daughter, you can go for Hephzibah, which means ‘my delight is in her’.
Honey is one of the best terms of endearment you can use for your girl.
Idalia is a lovely, vowel loaded variant of Ida, meaning ‘industrious one’.
Indigo has become rare, for both boys and girls. But nothing can take away its charm. Indigo means ‘Indian dye’.
Ingrid Bergman, the luminous actress, lends charisma to this classic Scandinavian name, meaning ‘fair and beautiful’.
Well, if you belong to Ireland, you might as well give this name another chance.
Jazz will work both as a short form of Jazlyn or Jasmine or as a standalone name if you’re an extreme music lover.
Kaelynn is a distinct spelling of Kaylin, but runs into the danger of being misspelled. It means ‘laurel or crown’.
Katana is basically an Old Persian male name and a Japanese word, which has shifted to the girl’s territory and is finding hard to make a mark. It means ‘sword’.
Kiana, a modern invented name, is falling out of favor at a fast rate, despite its association with Americana singer Kiana Brown.
Kimora Lee Simmons, the Afro-Asian model, and designer, brought this name into the mainstream and for a moment, it was considered a lot more exotic than Kim. It’s rarely heard now, but could make a comeback soon.
Kizzy is a variant of the Old Testament name Keziah, meaning ‘cassia tree’. This lovely and rhythmic name indeed deserves emancipation.
Lilia is one of the most distinctive and unusual variants of English name Lily. It means ‘lily’.
This Spanish name, meaning ‘light’, refers to the Virgin Mary. It’s quite well used amongst the Hispanic communities in America.
There’s only one or maybe a few more Madonnas in America. Pick this Latin name if you’re a fan of the diva herself. Madonna means ‘my lady’.
Despite appearing in “Harry Potter”, Mafalda failed to make a mark in the English-speaking world. It means ‘battle-mighty’.
This classic name with Gallic charm is a variant of Margaret and means ‘pearl’.
The name Meilani was invented by Jenni Farley of Jersey Shore, who used it for her daughter. And if it’s cool enough for her daughter, it will be good enough for your little princess too.
Messiah is an unusual and audacious Aramaic name, meaning ‘savior’.
Millicent, meaning ‘strong in work’, is a perfect combination of innocent and mild. And it’s worthy of a comeback.
If you want a fresher ‘belle’ name, go for French name Mirabelle, meaning ‘marvelous’.
This Bohemian name, brought to the spotlight via Monet Mazur is a French artist name, meaning ‘solitary’.
If you want an uncommon alternative to Mariah, you can pick Moriah, a Biblical name meaning ‘the Lord is my teacher’.
Moxie isn’t usually picked because it’s an English slang word, meaning ‘aggressive energy and know how’.
This African name, featured in “The Lion King”, debuted on the SSA list in 2015, but is still not used much. Nala means ‘beloved’.
Neriah, meaning ‘light of Jehovah’, is usually given to girls born during Hanukkah.
Nevaeh, the spelling variation of Nevaeh, was created by spelling ‘Heaven’ backward. It started off with a bang, but became unpopular soon after.
Nyx, the name of the Greek mythology, is now associated more with the makeup brand, than the powerful goddess.
Octavia, a name with literary pedigree and rich history, is recommended for classic loving parents. It means ‘eight’.
Ophelia, one of the most beautiful names featured by Shakespeare, has been off the list for quite a long time now. The name means ‘help’.
Unfortunately, Perpetua isn’t as perpetually used as it was expected to be. Perpetua means ‘perpetual’.
This classic Spanish name honors Virgin Mary. This name means ‘pillar’.
It’s really unfortunate that a quaint and beautiful name such as Primrose is found only in British novels. This name means ‘first rose’.
Reina, meaning ‘queen of the apostles’, is one of the appellations of Mother Mary.
It’s really surprising that a glamorous name such as Rhea is struggling so hard to make a mark. It means ‘a flowing stream’.
Christie Brinkley turned the tide towards girls when she picked the name Sailor for her daughter.
It’s high time parents moved away from typical month names such as June and April and opt crisper and cooler names such as September.
The unpopularity of Stevie is probably because it’s considered only as a short form of Stephanie and not a standalone name. It means ‘garland or crown’.
Can you believe that this was once popular? Well, this name would suit a lot of girls.
Sunshine was once a quintessential name of the 70s and its time for it to make a comeback.
Tabitha, meaning ‘gazelle’, has a unique, quirky charm, which is hard to ignore.
Tate will make a stronger alternative to common name Kate. This Norse name means ‘cheerful’.
Tegan is a unisex Irish name, but it’s been used more for girls throughout the history. This name means ‘fair’.
The ‘-inley’ rhythm of Tinley is really catchy, and makes it stand out from other trendy names that keep coming and going off the charts.
Trixie is a spunky and sassy diminutive of Beatrix, meaning ‘she who brings happiness’.
Floral name Tulip finds hard to pull off as a first name, despite being incredibly cute.
This Sanskrit name, with two syllables, has the makings of a perfect name for a baby girl. It means ‘knowledge’.
Yareli is a variation of Native American name Yara and means ‘water lady’.
Zadie may sound like a modern name, but it has been around for centuries. It’s a variation of Sadie and means ‘princess’.
This modern invented name fell as fast as it rose. But since it’s so attractive, it might make a comeback soon. It means ‘flower’.
These rare baby names may not be so rare now that MomJunction has featured it. So which of these rare names would you like to revive? Let us know by commenting below.
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