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Ever wondered about those baby names that never make it onto the popular baby name lists?

These are baby name unicorns, so rare that only a handful of babies are bestowed with the unusual monikers each year. The name mavens at Nameberry decided to do some digging into the baby name archives, and uncovered some rare gems.

They’re kind of like the one-hit-wonders of baby naming – the baby names that made it to the US Top 1000 for just a single year. They’re quirky, strange and a little crazy. But who are we to judge? Somebody loved these names enough to give them to their precious offspring.

A good chunk of the names comes from the 19th century, with all of the names in this list used for at least five babies the year that they actually made it to the Top 1000 Baby Names. Some have been used as recently as 2020.

44 Quirky Baby Names

Quirky baby names

Almond

In the year 1885, six baby boys were named Almond in the US. It’s thought this may be a variation of the name Almund.

Birdella

Five little girls were given the name Birdella in 1882. We actually kinda love the nickname Birdie.

Bluford

A handful of little gents were given the name Bluford, which may have been a variation of Buford, which is virtually unheard of in modern times.

Branch

In all honesty, with the current obsession with nature baby names, we wouldn’t be surprised if Branch made a comeback. It was given to seven baby boys in 1889.

Bush

It’s highly unlikely this name, which was given to seven baby boys in 1889, will ever make a comeback thanks to American politics.

Cannie

Such a sweet name really, this was given to 11 girls in 1893.

Cappie

Five baby girls were given the name Cappie in 1883. Nameberry suggests that it was a nickname for Capitola, which is a literary name, from the novel The Hidden Hand.

Christop 

A whopping 1082 boys were given this name in 1989 – but it’s not what it seems. Apparently some New York baby names were only recorded up to eight characters in 1989, so these little fellas were most probably named Christopher. We hope.

Cinnamon

Oh hello sweet ’60s! More than 200 little girls were given this name in 1969, and isn’t just the ultimate hippie moniker?

Dijon

In 1991, parents gave this name to 132 baby boys. We’re pretty sure it wasn’t because they loved mustard, but perhaps had an affinity for Dijon in France.

Doll

Seven baby boys were given the name Doll in 1902. Perhaps they had German backgrounds, as that’s where the name hails from.

Edw

Nope, this wasn’t another naming length glitch. Six boys were named Edw in 1889, but it could have been a shorthand form of Edward that was used on birth certificates.

Ermine

Six little ladies were bestowed with this unique baby name in 1883. An ermine is actually a type of weasel (it’s super cute), so perhaps it was the 19th century version of Fox or Bear.

Ewart

Nine baby boys were given the name Ewart in 1898, which is connected to Edward. It was unheard of by the 1960s.

Foch

The story behind 58 baby boys being given this name in 1918 is entrenched in the ending of World War I. Ferdinand Foch was a French general and Supreme Allied Commander of the war. His name is actually pronounced ‘Fosh’.

Friend

Gosh this is sweet! Six baby boys were given this name in 1880 – perhaps much like Jamie Oliver named his son Buddy.

Fronnie

A shortened version of Sophronia, this adorable name was given to five girls 1880.

Girtha

Thirteen girls were given this name in 1903, and the name hasn’t really seen the light of day since.

Gorge

We actually love this nature-inspired name. Nine baby boys were named Gorge in 1900.

Governor

Seven rather regal young lads were given this occupational name in 1889.

Harm

Hmmm, we’re not sure what to make of this one. Nine boys were named Harm in 1904, most likely a throwback to the Dutch name Harm, which is a derivative of Herman.

Hence

Six boys were given this adverb name in 1880, and it’s more than likely that’s the only time we’ll ever see it in the top 1000 baby names.

Lovey

A gorgeous nickname, Lovey was the actual name of five baby girls in 1883.

Lytle

Talk about a strange way to spell a common word. And as a baby name? Ah, no thanks. But five baby boys did get this name in 1884.

Quirky baby names

Man

Can you imagine chatting to your baby boy, Man? Five little gents got this name in 1884 – and more than likely it was a short version of Emmanuel.

Maryland

Not just a cut of chicken, this name was actually given to five boys in 1884.

Mazikeen

We’re back to modern times with this name, which was given to 253 baby girls in the US in 2020. It hails from a character in the TV show Lucifer.

Metha

Oh dear, we can only imagine the unfortunate nickname of any child with this name. Eight little girls were named Metha in 1886, which derives from the name’s original form, Meta.

Moroni

A name shared by just five boys in 1880, this name has significance to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Moroni was the son of the prophet Mormon.

Neppie

This unique little name was the shortened version of Penelope, and was given to six girls in 1880.

Nimrod

Five little fellas had this name in 1880, when it didn’t have the same connotations as it does now (thanks to Bugs Bunny calling Elmer Fudd ‘nimrod’).

Nute

Despite Norse names being super popular right now, we don’t think anyone will be rushing to give their bub this name. Six boys were given this name in 1901.

Oddie

Oh dear. Seven little guys were given this name in 1894, which is most likely a variation of Odie (which is actually adorable).

Offie

Seriously, and we think baby names are left-of-centre now?! Seven baby boys were given this name in 1896.

Omega

Ten baby girls were given this Greek alphabet name in 1893 – but thanks to Covid variants being names using the Greek alphabet we’re pretty sure this won’t take off any time soon.

Pinky

Actually adorable, Pinky was the name given to five girls in 1883.

Quirky baby names

Shelvie

A variation of Shelby, a whopping 64 girls were given this name in 1937.

Sip

Five boys were named Sip in 1885 – and according to Nameberry this name is a bit of an enigma. It never again appeared within the top 1000 baby name charts.

Spicy

Five little girls were given this hot name in 1883. Why? Who knows, perhaps they loved their spice!

Tiney

A cute name, but perhaps strange once you’re an adult, it was given to five girls in 1881.

Tip

Five baby boys were named Tip in 1887, which is actually a nickname for Thomas.

Unnamed

Of course, this wasn’t an actual name – but in 1991 there were 120 baby boys who left hospital without a name.

Wealthy

It’s thought that this was actually more about being blessed with riches other than money, with seven girls bestowed with the name in 1887.

Wing

While five boys were given this first name in 1881, it’s more than likely that their Chinese surnames were recorded as first names.

More baby name inspiration

Looking for some more traditional, yet still unique baby names? Check these articles out next:

QUIRKY BABY NAMES

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  • Some of them I never heard before

    Reply

  • Some of these aren’t allowed to be names now right? Like govenor, man, friend? I remember reading something with names that are and aren’t allowed.

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  • I wonder how these data is collected. It’s really fascinating for me. I understand today’s times but back in 1903 and 1883 etc is too surprising. They are not very common I must say.

    Reply

  • These are a little off beat, but each to their own!

    Reply

  • Hmmmm, can’t say any one of these names grabbed me.

    Reply

  • I will give most of those names a miss. Poor kids when they go to school. Parents should really think ???? about what they name their child and the consequences as a result of that name.

    Reply

  • Birdella? Best to be left as nicknames.

    Reply

  • People always say that you should consider potential baby names by imaging the baby as a child, a teenager, an adult and older person etc. Does the name still work? But the one situation I think that everyone forgets, is what does the name look on a resume. I see so many resumes at work and you really feel sorry for some of the applicants whose parents made some interesting name choices. Naming a child ‘Bacardi’ may be a great way to remember the conception and ‘Denim’ what you were wearing, but to Employment Recruiters, this may make little ‘Bacardi Denim’ less employable in the future.

    Reply

  • Certainly different!

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  • These names are horrid! No wonder they aren’t on the normal list!

    Reply

  • My grandson’s have unusual names Oce’ann and Heaven. My eldest grandson passed away four years ago and his name was Hanumanji ( Indian monkey god). My daughter is quite alternate so she named her last one Heaven as she was told she couldn’t have anymore babies, plus she lost her eldest and thought it was a sign.

    Reply

  • Aww I love rare and uncommon Names. I’m not quite brave enough to choose a name out of the ordinary but I love seeing other people’s choices for their babies.

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  • Cinnamon how cute! Loved reading all the history associated with these quirky names

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  • Maryland? Moroni? Really? Just weird.

    Reply

  • Mostly sound like nicknames but each to their own

    Reply

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