Everybody’s always trying to give their kid a unique name. But it isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Thanks to the wide availability of the Internet and pop culture, baby names spread like wildfire. Suddenly, something that was unheard of becomes a name you hear all the time, leading parents everywhere to lament that they gave their baby that name “before it was cool.”
But the names we’ve compiled here are different. These names didn’t make the top 500 most popular — or even the top 1,000. In fact, according to the baby name data compiled annually by the U.S. Social Security Administration, each of these baby names were used only five times.
The etymology of this pretty, rhythmic name is unclear — there are a couple of possibilities as to its origin — but that’s part of what adds to its mystique. And K names have an undeniable appeal these days.
Maeve has enjoyed a steady increase in popularity, and the name Navy has recently burst onto the baby naming scene as a promising newcomer (bolstered thanks to singer Jason Aldean’s daughter, born earlier this year). When you combine the two of them, you get Mavy: cute, charming, and totally underrated.
Part Sabrina, part Bree, all adorable. As a bonus, you could use Sabby as a nickname, which calls to mind both the super-popular Abby and the recently-popular Savvy.
This romantic-sounding name (it’s pronounced ee-VAIN) is the feminine version of a name found in the legendary stories of King Arthur, Yvain — but it was brought into modernity by author Neil Gaiman in his book (and later, movie) Stardust.
This name is derived from the Spanish word “risa,” which has the best meaning: “laughter.”
A literary name, stemming from the “Throne of Glass” series by Sarah J. Maas, where Aelin is the magical-power-possessing lost princess of the fictional Terrasen.
The similar-sounding Greta has been in the top 1,000 most popular names consistently since at least 1900, so why not Bretta? After all, the “etta” suffix has that cool vintage feel which is a prized component of the popular baby names (just think of Ella and Emma!).
Thanks to Dolly Parton, the name Jolene has an elevated status in pop culture — and given the popularity of names like Jewel, Juliana and Juliette, Julene doesn’t sound dated and out-there, but like an underutilized retro gem.
Names with the V sound are on the up-and-up: Liv, Everly, Ava, Ivy. Ivvy, with a short “ih” sound at the front (as opposed to the long “eye” sound in Ivy), has the V-factor going for it, plus the benefit of being undeniably unique.
O-names, like Olivia and Ophelia, have an old-fashioned charm, and Omnia isn’t a big departure from their sounds. Not to mention, it has the option of using Nia as a nickname.
Everybody knows that Em- names are all the rage; Emma, for example, has been in the #1 most popular slot in the U.S. since 2014. There have been plenty of spinoffs — Emmeline, Emmie, Emelia — but Embri is one that you almost never see.
This Irish name (an Anglicized version of Fionnuala, which is a lot less easy to pronounce) has that quirky-but-cute vibe, and the nicknames Fin, Finnie, Noa, or Nola to boot.
A spelling variation of the Welsh word for “star,” Seryn combines the classic beginning sound of Sarah with the modern “-yn” suffix for a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary sounds.
Names with this sound and these letters are hot; Layla was ranking in the upper 20s at last count, and Laila — just like Lalia, but with two letters switched — was at #172 with a history of a steady rise. Even Lilia is within the top 1,000. But Lalia, like the other names on this list, was just given to five baby girls last year.
Jade, Jada, Jadyn… they’re all within the top 1,000 (in fact, Jade is within the top 110!). Add in the perennial-favorite sound of Katie, and you’ve got the makings of a clear winner that just hasn’t been discovered by the masses yet.
Luna is one of those names that has enjoyed a pretty swift rise to the top. In 2008, it was #400; now it’s broken top 40 status. And while Lunara isn’t that different, and can even use Luna as a diminutive, it’s still unique enough to be considered rare.
Names like Addison and Emerson have proven that even though they have “son” in them, they’re perfect for girls. And combined with the “Ever” prefix that’s on a clear rise, this name is on-trend without being trendy.
It sounds like “aster,” which is a flower (and flower names are popular). But it’s actually a surname you may recognize — the Astor family was prominent in business and politics during the 19th and 20th centuries — and is rarely used as a given name.
This unique and practically unheard-of name would make a great way to pay homage to someone named Mary (or Marie, since it’s a French diminutive of that name).
Though it’s technically its own name (meaning “noble, kind”), it sounds like a mashup of Adelaide and Eliza, two names that fit into the current “vintage” trend. And Addie, Liz, and Liza — or even Adela — are potential nicknames.
A diminutive of the name Johanna, this is like Hannah with a Slavic-sounding twist. The only drawback is that while it’s authentically pronounced “HAH-nuh,” many people will be inclined to pronounce it “HANNY.”
We’ve already discussed how everybody’s vowing to name their daughter Arya, but how about Varya? It’s similar enough to sound on-trend and not outdated, and that strong-V sound at the beginning makes it sound, if possible, a teeny bit more badass.
If you’re looking for a name that’s beautiful and wearable, but still unique, these 22 names guarantee your little girl will be a standout.
Who are we kidding, though? She’ll stand out, no matter how many people she shares her name with.
For baby names from popular to rare, browse the Scary Mommy baby name database to find the perfect fit.