When considering baby names with your partner, it can be hard to find ones that aren’t overly popular (i.e., the “Jennifer” of the ’80s and “Michael” of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s) or ascribed to a particular memory you’d rather not envision every time you pick up your bundle of joy (your husband’s ex-girlfriend, for example). So we’ve assembled a list of names — boy, girl and unisex — that are pretty darn cool alternatives to the usual suspects. For your consideration:
1. Adley (Unisex)
People with this name are famously compassionate about family and have a deep inner desire to be a part of a stable, loving community. They tend to be quiet observers and sympathetic toward others. They’re also shy, patient and often very trusting.
Bearers of this name are also very detail-oriented and can find change stressful.
2. Arlo (Male)
Origin: Old English, Latin
Meaning: “Fortified Hill”
People with this name have a deep inner desire for peace and tranquility. They also tend to analyze the world around them, which allows them to explore deeper truths.
Arlos are often fantastic leaders. Their ability to stay focused on goals helps them experience a life of determination and success. However, their courageous attitude can often intimidate others around them.
3. Armelle (Female)
Meaning: “Bear Prince” or “Princess”
This pretty, unconventional name was only given to five girls in the U.S. in 2015.
People with the name Armelle are playful, friendly and optimistic. Bearers of this name are also known to inspire and motivate others around them. They do not have a one-track mind, as their minds tend to wander with creativity.
4. Augstine (Male)
Meaning: “To Increase”
The original Roman variations of this New Age moniker are Augustus and Augustinus. People with this name are naturally creative and have a strong inner desire to be involved in conventional, safe activities. People who hold this name are also born leaders, with powerful personalities. They tend to be goal-oriented, creative and determined.
In addition, bearers of this name are extremely protective and can sometimes come off as aggressive. As creative, unique individuals, they tend to resent authority and are sometimes stubborn, proud and impatient.
5. Bexley (Unisex)
Origin: Old English
Meaning: Woodland clearing; meadow of box trees
In the U.S., only 396 people have Bexley as their first name, so this is a rare name that’s perfect for unique parents. People with this name are known to love adventure, and they are very determined and as original as their name. They are also natural-born leaders and yearn to establish their individuality early on in life.
6. Britta (Female)
Origin: Old Norse
There are a few variations of this lovely name, like the Swedish name Birgitta, the Irish Gaelic name Brighid, as well as the English name Bridget.
It’s said that people with this name have a driving desire to be leaders. They have strong personal independence and would rather spend their time focusing on larger, more important issues. These people love to delegate, analyze and understand — therefore making excellent managers. They excel at analyzing, understanding and learning from others.
7. Bodhi (Male)
Meaning: “Awakened” or “Enlightenment”
This rare name has Buddhist roots; the concept of Bodhi is a spiritual awakening and freedom from the cycle of life. Bodhi is also the name of the sacred ficus tree (ficus religiosa), under which Lord Buddha sat and obtained his enlightenment. This unique, spiritual name often give babies an adventurous spirit, plus a love of travel and meeting new people.
8. Calla (Female)
Meaning: “The Most Beautiful”
People who hold this name are said to have an innate desire for stable love and companionship. According to the numerology of Calla, people with this name are also idealistic, highly imaginative and spiritual. They seek after spiritual truth and long to be peacemakers.
9. Crew (Male)
Meaning: “From the castle or fortress by the water”
People who hold this name are said to be ambitious, determined and goal-oriented. They also tend to be trendsetters and notoriously independent.
10. Delaney (Female)
Meaning: Descendant of the challenger
It’s said that people with this name are spiritual beings who inspire others in a higher cause. And who couldn’t use a little inspiration?
It’s said that people with this name are spiritual beings who inspire others in a higher cause. They also tend to excel in artistic subjects and are often the center of attention everywhere they go. They are sometimes reckless with both money and energy.
11. Embry (Unisex)
Meaning: “Work Rule”
From 1880 to 2015, the Social Security Administration has recorded that only 596 babies were born with the name Embry in the United States.
People with this name can be easily compelled by intense desires. They are also very versatile, clever and analytical;however, they have difficulty directing their interests, as they do not have the patience and practicality for systematic hard work and attention to detail.
12. Elian (Male)
Meaning: “God; God is family”
Elian is a variant of the English and Hebrew name Elijah; it has great historical and spiritual significance. Although it’s uncommon, the name Elian saw a small rise in popularity in the early 2000s.
13. Harlyn (Female)
Origin: Old English
Meaning: “Grey Land; Hare Land”
This is the feminine variation of the male name, Harlan, and is a wonderful choice for parents looking for something a little out of the ordinary, but still lovely. People with the name Harlyn are known to attract success and money. They are lovers of nature, and are also extremely organized and capable of great achievement in business affairs. They are bold, inquisitive and eager to meet new people.
14. Keon (Male)
Meaning: “God is Gracious”
This name is a great choice for a baby boy, as it’s not only unique but is also very spiritual in meaning.
People with this name are said to have a driving desire to inspire others and share their views on spiritual matters. They are very passionate, intuitive and romantic, with magnetic personalities. They often adopt humanitarian roles; however, because they are overly affectionate and giving, they can be easily taken advantage of.
15. Kaia (Female)
Meaning: “The Sea”
People with this name are known to be piritual and strong-willed. They are dedicated to building their lives on a solid foundation of order and service, often taking care of elders.
Bearers of this name also value truth, justice, and discipline, and may not see eye-to-eye with those whose values aren’t in line with theirs. Their practical nature makes them good at building things in the material world, and they tend to be very successful in business affairs.
16. Knox (Male)
Meaning: “From the Hills”
The name is not only original, but also powerful-sounding. Only 258 parents chose this name for their child in 2015.
It’s said that people with this name are excellent planners, and because they are born leaders, they tend to be successful at initiating events. They are also very goal-oriented, and implement new ideas with efficiency and determination.
17. Lace (Female)
Meaning: Derived from the common female name, Lacey
Originally seen as a surname, Lace is a new-age first name that is both beautiful and unique.
It’s said that people with this name excel in environments where they are able to work with others. They are drawn to the arts and are often the center of attention wherever they go. Because they know how to enjoy life, bearers of this name tend to become involved in many different activities. They are energetic, spontaneous and will sometimes take on more than they can handle.
18. Lathan (Male)
Meaning: “Hebrew Nathan”
It’s said that people with this name have a deep inner desire for love and companionship, and need to work with others in order to achieve satisfaction in life. Bearers of this name also tend to be quiet, cooperative and sympathetic. They are balanced, adaptable and easily intimidated by others. Their trustworthiness makes them excellent partners, however, they can become victim to their own insecurities if they are not paired with a compatible partner.
19. Mireya (Female)
People who hold this name desire a stable, loving environment and need to work with others in order to feel appreciated. This name also reflects competent, practical, successful and wealthy people. They are often able to complete any goal because of their strong ability to focus on what they want.
20. Maxton (Male)
This name is an alternative to the very popular Max, which is seen as one of the most adorable new age short forms of Maximus and Maxwell.
People with this name are very compassionate about humankind. They are community-minded, with a deep desire for a stable, loving family. Bearers of this name are also very sensitive.
21. Rowen (Unisex)
Meaning: “Red Haired”
It’s said that people with this name have a deep inner desire for peace and quiet, and often try to analyze the world they live in. They are spiritual beings and love to learn deeper truths. And, hey, it’s especially fitting if you happen to have a little redhead!
According to the numerology of Rowen, people with this name tend to be successful in business and commercial affairs, with the ability to achieve their goals very easily. Because they often focus so strongly on business and achievement, they may neglect their private lives and relationships.
22. Sena (Female)
We love how this name has an ultra-feminine feel, but is still totally unique. This name is great for a child with a fighting spirit, someone who will not be cowed to others. It’s said that people who hold this name have a great desire for a stable, loving family. They tend to be creative and their expressive nature allows them to excel in the artistic limelight.
23. Roderick (Male)
Meaning: “Famous Power”
This name is often seen as a surname, but it also makes a striking first name. According to the numerology of Roderick, people with this name are known to be visionary, with a talent for inspiring others. They are highly imaginative and idealistic, with a strong desire for love and companionship.
24. Zayley (Female)
Meaning: Derived from “Hayley”
If you love the name Hayley, this is a fresh alternative to that popular name. According to the numerology of Zayley, it’s said that bearers of the name are peaceful, trustworthy and compassionate. They are extremely intelligent and possess exceptional leadership abilities, though they tend to resent authority or anyone who tries to overpower their personality.
25. Zaire (Male)
Meaning: “River that swallows all rivers”
Zaire is the former name of the Congo River, so it has a rich historical meaning as well as a super cool sound.
It’s said that people who hold the name Zaire are free-spirited and love to explore new surroundings. They are adaptable, easy going and very intellectual. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected motion and may stir up some action if there’s not enough around.