Rare baby names can either go really right, or really, really wrong. There's a fine line between unique and flat-out odd. But obviously, when you're naming your baby, you want something special! Choosing a name for your baby is one of the first big decisions you will have as a parent. And there are a lot of ways you can go wrong. Like really wrong. A name sticks with your child and as much as we may want to ignore this fact, it is often a first impression marker. So choosing wisely is key -- but you don't want your kid to get lost in the crowd either.
There are a bunch of really amazing names that are about to hit it big on the baby name scene. These names will help your child stand out right now, because they're not yet majorly popular. But they are about to be -- or on their rise anyway. We picked out 18 that you might want to consider for your little one! These rare baby names are gaining in popularity, so get it while they're still new!
Image: HBO / Game of Thrones
What better way to guarantee that your little girl will grow up to be a badass woman than by naming her after the Mother of Dragons? Daenerys is quickly becoming one of the hottest names for little girls, which makes sense when you consider how popular Game of Thrones is right now. And while she'll never be able to escape the association with the show, at least she'll always have a ton of cool merchandise to choose from, right? Plus, you can always name your girl Daenerys and call her Dani for short. Or Dragon Master! That would work, too.
Image: Instagram / @davidbowie
What better way to pay homage to one of the most talented and exciting artists of our time? Bonus: Bowie is totally androgynous, like the master himself. But Bowie isn't just the last name of an absolute rock star: people have been naming their kids Bowie for quite some time! It's still one of those rare baby names, but it's got some steam. It's derived from the Gaelic nickname buidhe, which means "fair-haired" or "yellow". Obviously very fitting for Mr. Bowie himself, and perfect for your little tow-headed boy (or girl!). If you were inspired by David Bowie when choosing this name, you can always use Ziggy as a cool nickname.
Image: 20th Century Fox
Sure, it's been a couple of decades since Ellen Ripley saved the world from aliens, but her fierceness is timeless. The character Sigourney Weaver played in the timeless sci-fi movies is synonymous with strength and fearlessness, and the name Ripley is perfect for your little warrior girl. Funnily enough, the English meaning of the name Ripley is much sweeter and more mellow than the character from Alien - it actually means "from the shouter's meadow" or "from Hrypa's meadow". For fans of sci-fi or kick-ass women, naming your daughter Ripley would be the ultimate show of respect.
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Boys named Elon grow up to drive fast cars. Or invent them. But while Elon Musk might have invented one of the coolest car brands around, he didn't invent the name Elon. It's actually a pretty popular name in other parts of the world, but it definitely belongs on the list of rare baby names here. Elon is a Hebrew name meaning "tree" or "oak tree", and it features prominently in the bible. Elon was the name of the biblical leader of the Israelites in the Book of Judges. We have a feeling that the name will continue to grow in popularity in the US (people sure do love their Tesla's, don't they?), so if you want to get in on it while it's still rare, now's your chance.
We're seeing a lot of GOT names on the list! Ramsay or Ramsey is an, uh, interesting choice. But yay for another androgynous name! If you're not familiar with the show Game of Thrones, then you should probably brush up on the character of Ramsay before falling totally in love with the name. See, the thing about Ramsay is ... he was sort of a psychotic asshole. He helps his dad betray House Stark, tortures a guy (a little too gleefully, to be honest), and then pledges allegiance to House Lannister. He marries Sansa, but is so awful that she flees, which leads Ramsay to murder his entire family. He eventually gets what's coming to him, but still. Ramsay is a cool name, but tread lightly using it.
Image: Lionsgate / Hunger Games
Finnick was one of our favorite characters in The Hunger Games. And we seriously loooooove the name Finnick. It's one of those names that's sort of familiar, but still rare and unique. Most people who aren't big fans of the series probably wouldn't even make the connection. The name itself has English and Saxon origins, and it is related to the name Fenwick, which is an old Anglo-Saxon place and surname that means "marshland farm". But considering Finnick Odair won the whole shebang in The Hunger Games, it's clearly a winning name. Plus, Finn or Nick as a nickname! You really can't go wrong.
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Aoife (pronounced Eee-fa) is a popular girl's name in Ireland, making it's way stateside. Former Miss Ireland turned model Aoife Walsh may have something to do with that. The name is most likely derived from the Gaelic aoibh, which translates to "beauty" or "radiance". And honestly, it's SUCH beautiful name. Sure, you'll have to pronounce it for literally everyone, but that sometimes goes with the territory for rare baby names. There are a couple of different spellings, which are a bit more phonetic: Aife or Aeife are also common. The name is prominent in Irish mythology, as well. Aife is the daughter of Airdgeimm, a warrior woman in the Ulster Cycle.
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When you like a more common name, but want to rare it up, add an "x"! Funnily enough, Beaux is the plural for Beau. The name Beau is popular for girls and boys. It's a French name which means "handsome" or "beautiful". While the spelling Beaux is a bit more unusual, the name Beau has been popular in this country for decades. It's been on the list of baby names released by the Social Security Administration nonstop since 1969! Nameberry puts it at #156 on their list of the most popular baby names in 2017. It has a certain Southern charm, doesn't it? If you want something more formal on the birth certificate, you could always go with Beaumont or Beauregard.
Another beauty queen makes the list! 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach is now a tv host and HIV/AIDS awareness activist, so those are some pretty amazing shoes to fill. Pia is really one of those great, unique names that a lot of people can pull off. Plus, think how easy it'll be to teach your kid how to spell and write it! The name has Spanish origins, and is the feminine version of the Latin Pius, meaning "pious". Pretty big meaning for such a short and sweet name! Of course, we're all probably familiar with actress and singer Pia Zadora, and there are a bunch more artists and entertainers with the same cool name.
Image: Disney / Star Wars
OK, so there seem to be a few names on the list of rare baby names that are a little ... dark. Really though, if you're going to go with a Star Wars villain, Kylo is way better than Darth. Who wants to call for their kid Darth at a birthday party?! If you set aside the evil association with the guy who had the audacity to kill Han Solo, Kylo is a pretty cool name! But it's hard to separate Star Wars Kylo with regular Kylo. The movies played a huge role in the sudden popularity of this name, too. It debuted on the list of the Top 1000 Baby Names in 2016, and was the fastest rising boy's name of that year. Coincidence? We think not.
Image: Instagram / @rebelwilson
Seriously loving the strong, not-super-girly names on this list! Rebel is just a kick-ass name, no matter how you slice it. Now, you may be setting yourself up for trouble down the line if you name your kid Rebel. But you can cross that bridge when you come to it (after Rebel has set it on fire). The name Rebel is of Germanic descent, from the name "h(rab) - raven". You could also soften it up a bit by using the French version, Rebelle. That also gives you the option of using Belle as a nickname, until your little girl decides she wants to fulfill her destiny and lead some sort of rebellion.
If you're going to name your kid after a rat, Remy is definitely the one to choose. This is another one of those names that works for a girl or a boy, and you can switch up the spelling depending: Remy or Remi. It's a classic French name, and seems to be as popular for boys as it is for girls. Most boys are named Remy, while girls are usually named Remi. The name Remy means "oarsman". But if you're a fan of Disney, Remy definitely means "a rat who wanted to become a star chef and made some dumb kid his actual puppet in the kitchen to make it happen".
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Jules is an adorable name in it's own, but you can also go with Juliana or Julianne and use it as a nickname! It's also another name that can work for girls or boys (Jules, we mean. Juliana ... probably not!). It's a French name that means "youthful", and honestly, is there a more perfect baby name than one that means youthful?! It also has Greek origins, and is derived from the clan name of a certain Roman dictator, Gaius Julius Caeser. It's also the name of famous science fiction author Jules Verne, who wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Quite the history behind this short but sweet name!
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The success of This Is Us has really lit a spark under the name Milo/Mylo. Jess and Rory FOREVER. But even before Milo Ventimiglia graced us with his presence on Gilmore Girls and This Is Us, we were huge fans of the name Milo. There's just something about it, you know? A Milo can be an artist, a businessman, a leader, but is always a badass. It's a Latin and Old German name, meaning "soldier or merciful". Soldier, for sure. But we think a Milo would show no mercy. And just think, if you have twin boys, you can name them Milo and Miles! Switching up the spelling to Mylo is just one way people try to put a spin on this classic name.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures / Suicide Squad
We saw SO MANY Harley Quinn's at Halloween, maybe Harlyn is a hybrid name? For someone who wants a rare baby name, Harlyn fits the bill, for sure. It seems like people are split between Harlyn being a girl's name or a boy's name, but we love it for both. It's a variation of the name Harlan, an English and Germanic name meaning "grey land" or "hare land". Doesn't it sound like the name of a lawyer? Harlyn Jones, esquire! Personally, we like the spelling Harlan for a boy, and Harlyn for a girl, but we're just really digging this entry on the rare baby names list.
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The Kardashian machine might've worked it's magic on this one. Naming your kid Saint automatically sets them up with some pretty big shoes to fill. Can you imagine the toddler years? When kids are anything BUT saints? You'd have to come up with a nickname just to use for ages 2-4. Now, it's definitely rare, but did you know that Kim and Kanye weren't the first celebrity couple to choose it for their son? Musician Pete Wentz named his son Saint back in 2014, and then Kim and Kanye copped the name for their boy in 2015. Saint Wentz and Saint West - what a coincidence! If you're going to name your kid Saint, make sure your last name is totally different.
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Maybe you're a video game fan? Aveline is a character from Assassin's Creed, and a gorgeous name. But as rare as this name is, it's not JUST the name of a video game character. Aveline is a French name (ugh, they have all the best names!), meaning "the hazelnut tree". It's sort of a hybrid of Evelyn and Adeline, and seriously beautiful. Some good nickname potential here, too! Ava, Vee, Lina - all great options. But when your name is as pretty and unique as Aveline, you probably won't want to go by anything else. You can also change up the spelling a bit and go with Avalene.
Credit: iStock / Anna_Om
W.H. Auden's poetry is absolutely exquisite, so for the poetry fans, this is a good choice. Personally, we love names that are inspired by poetry and literature. Either names of authors and poets, or characters on our favorite books. Auden is an English name, and it means "old friend". All together now: awwwwwww! It's a name that works for boys and girls, and this one is definitely rare. But what an amazing name for kids of teachers or writers or poets, right? There's just something so regal about this name, and we hope more people consider it. It's a good one, guys.
(Image: iStock / aywan88)