So you’ve come up with what you’re sure is a unique name for your baby. A Biblical/word/animal/place name no one else has thought of. Right? Wrong!
That special, singular, clever, utterly distinctive baby name that you think no one else has ever conceived of was probably used by as many as a few hundred other parents. Some unusual names have even already reached the Top 1000.
With that in mind, here are 20 baby names that are more popular than you’d think.
A word name that was pretty much unheard of just a few years ago has begun shooting up straight and swift as an arrow ― more than 25 percent in the past year based on the Social Security Administration’s baby names data. One celeb couple even used it for their daughter.
The Greek goddess of the hunt hasn’t yet reached the heights of her Roman equivalent Diana. But she might! There was twice the number of girls named Artemis in 2016 over 2014. And on the boy’s side, the god Apollo is rocketing.
You’ve never met an Aveline? Or an Alaia, Ailani or Aitana? Well, be prepared ― the way all of them are climbing, it probably won’t be long before you do. Aveline could join her more popular cousins Ava, Adeline and Evelyn. The name has increased 79 percent in popularity in the past year.
This name of three minor characters in the Old Testament is set to join more prominent figures like Ezra and Ezekiel. Also on the rise: Ozias, Azariah and Zabdiel.
Think the occupational names category is getting stale? Here’s one that feels fresh from the oven, rising 81 percent this year.
New parents have moved from Belle to Bella to Bellatrix to new-girl-in-town Bellamy; it was given to only 23 girls in 2006, but ten times that many last year.
This obscure British/Ohio place name you may never have heard of was given to 275 girls last year, a jump of 215 percent over the last two years. Why? A combination of the cool letter X with the feminine ley ending ― and probably the fact that 275 parents probably thought it was unique. On the boys’ side, Huxley ― which has some distinguished namesake cred ― is another big sprinter.
Parents are always scouring the map for new place names, and having a trendy o-ending is definitely a plus. The exotic Cairo entered the Top 1000 in 2015, and was given to 266 boys last year, thanks in part to its popular Ky-sound beginning.
Yes, the glowing Ember is rapidly becoming the new Amber. More than one thousand of them got that name last year, a 473 percent increase over ten years ago.
Long in style limbo, the biblical Noah’s great-grandfather has come out of the shadows to become one of the fastest-rising boys’ names, now at number 714 nationally and 320 on Nameberry.
A surprise addition to the Finn, Finlay, Finley, Finnegan contingent, Finnick gained entrance via Finnick Odair of the Hunger Games series ― and he’s already number 675 on Nameberry.
Just as we’ve gotten used to the sleuth (yep, that’s right) of Bears appearing on celebrity baby name lists, along comes a skulk of Foxes. Perhaps inspired by the X-Files’ Fox Mulder character of a few years back, Fox jumped 65 percent last year, so for a unique animal name you might have to look to Camel or Gibbon or Lynx or beyond.
Adjectives and adverbs have joined nouns and other word names, this one with a spiritual aura. After entering the Top 1000 in 2005, it rose to 832 this year. The more worldly Royalty has jumped 165 percent to number 532.
Despite its historical drawbacks, this German word for Emperor has marched ahead since its 2014 choice by a “Teen Mom” star and is now just one place outside the Top 1000, also thanks to its Kai beginning/nickname and er-end. Another rising ruler: Pharoah.
More than 340 baby namers last year wanted to make sure you knew how to pronounce Kai, making it one of the fastest-rising boy names, jumping 66 percent in one year.
You may not have encountered any Maples yet, but this syrupy sweet name for girls is headed for the Top 1000. Jason and Amanda Bateman have already grabbed it for their little girl. Other nature names zooming up: Azalea, Juniper and Magnolia.
Though the strong female Murphy Brown character left TV screens a long time ago, Murphy has now reappeared as a rising baby girl name.
Those parents who didn’t want to go as far as Kimye’s daughter’s name North have likely picked up on her nickname, which is also a Japanese appellation. Nori has risen over 250 percent since 2013.
Royalty is a strong subdivision of the aspirational category, and Reign works for both girls and boys. It got the Kardashian seal of approval for boys in 2014, but is now number 829 for girls.
No, not Weston, but Wesson ― evocative of the Smith & Wesson arms maker. Wesson entered the Top 1000 last year at number 993 and Remington is also on the rise.