Rare baby names are more in demand than ever! 2020 was a tough year for all of us. But if you got the incredible news that you were expecting a child, then your whole world just got a lot brighter! Your special little peanut deserves a name that is different from everyone else’s. A name that will make people ooh and aah whenever they hear it. So we have put together a list of the 20 rare names and meanings voted by our readers and specialists! 5 for girls, 5 for boys and 10 gender-neutral.

More and more parent’s are searching for rare names and meanings. Popular trends include reinventing traditional baby names with a new, modern spelling such as Aydan instead of Aiden. Many parents are naming their babies after a happy, memorable place like Paris (the capital of France) or Andorra (a principality in the Pyrenees mountains). Others are choosing beautiful nature-inspired baby names, like Blossom, Coral and Clover.

There are many ways to make a vintage, classic name more unique and modern. Some of the most common ways is to change the vowels (e.g from ‘a’ to ‘e’), swap the ‘c’ and ‘k’, and play around with long ‘e’ endings (e.g ‘ee’, ‘ey’ and ‘eigh’). This gives a traditional name a more edgy sound and look, below are a few examples:

  • Aiden: Aden, Aidyn, Aydan, Aydin
  • Kaden:  Caden, Caiden, Kaeden, Kaiden
  • Aubrey:  Aubree, Aubrie, Aubri, Aubrei
  • Emily:  Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee

Have you already seen our Top 20 Short And Sweet Baby Girl Names?

rare names and meanings

5 Rare Baby Girl Names And Meanings

To kick things off, here are the top 5 rare baby girl names and meanings for your little princess!

Reyna: Meaning Queen, song, counsel
The name Reyna is the first of 5 rare baby girl names and meanings and a variant of the more commonly known name Reina. It can be spelt many ways as it has the easy-to-pronounce phonetics that people often mix around. Some examples include Rainah, Rayna and Reina. The spelling mainly depends on the culture. The origins are Spanish, as the word Reina directly translates to the English word ‘Queen’. Your baby girl will always be a royal gem in your eyes!

Zoie: Meaning life
Zoie is comes second on our lists of rare baby girl names and meanings and is derived from the common Greek name Zoe, meaning life. This name can be dated as far back as the Romans and became more popular in English-speaking countries around the mid-1800’s. Other spelling variants include Zoey, Zooey and Xoe (the letter ‘x’ is more common in China and other Asian countries). The traditional spelling of Zoe has been in our top ranking baby names for many years, but the variant Zoie remains rare and unique.

Averi: Meaning ruler of the elves
Next in line on the list of rare baby girl names and meanings is the name Avery. This name is more commonly known as a baby boys name, it is becoming more popular amongst baby girls when the spelling has been changed. Switching the ‘y’ for an ‘i’ or ‘ee’ gives the name a more feminine appeal. For example changing the name to Averee, Averie and the mentioned Averi. The original name comes from the Old English word ‘aelf’, meaning ‘elf’ combined with the word ‘ric’, meaning king or power. Therefore, the name Avery means ‘ruler of the elves’. Some parents love that the name sounds like ‘Aviary’, which is an area that birds live in and fly around (known as flight-cages).

Bryleigh: Meaning noble, strong
The name Bryleigh is a modern invented name with American origins and deserves a place on this list of rare baby girl names and meanings. Our experts believe it stems from the more common name Briley, which is inspired by the names Miley, Kylie and Riley. We have seen similar spellings for the name, including Brylee, Braileigh and Brailee. Due to Bryleigh being a newly invented name, it does’nt have a particular meaning. However, the name Brylee is of Irish origin, meaning noble and strong. It is also considered a gender-neutral name, but is more common with baby girls.

Rylee: Meaning courageous, valiant, wood clearing, rye woods
Following on from Bryleigh, we have the similar sounding baby name Rylee. This name is also spelt Raileigh, Reilly, Reylee, Railee, Reileigh and so on (the possibilities are really a lot!). The name might come last on the list of 5 rare baby girl names and meanings but deserved a place in the top 5! Keep in mind that the spelling will change the sound slightly from a ‘rai’ sound to a ‘ray’ sound. It comes from the Old English name ‘ryge leah‘, which means ‘rye clearing’ or ‘wood clearing’. It also has Irish origins, deriving from the common Irish surname Reilly (or Raghailleach, a bit more of a mouthful!).

rare baby girl names and meanings

5 Rare Baby Boy Names And Meanings

Here are the top 5 rare baby boy names and meanings for your little warrior!

Ean: Meaning God is gracious, God is forgiving
First on the list of 5 rare baby boy names and meanings is the name Ean. This name is pronounced the same as the more common name Ian, but has a quirky spelling. There are debates of it’s singular origin, but we can confidently say it’s a combination of Irish, Scottish and Hebrew origin. Our experts claim that Ean is the Manx (Isle of Man) and Gaelic (Ireland, Scotland) version of the name Ian. Famous American musician Bo Bice also named his son Ean in 2010.

Greyson: Meaning son of the bailiff
Second on the list of 5 rare baby boy names and meanings is the name Greyson. This adorable baby boy name is of English origin, even though the meaning is a little weak and strange. If you can see beyond the meaning, then it truly is a gorgeous name! Greyson is also spelt Grayson, Greysun, Graison, Gracen and Gracyn (the last two being more common for baby girls). The most common in our database is the spelling Grayson. Grayson has been in the top 1000 US baby boy names since the early 1980’s, and has been climbing higher up the popularity scale ever since. Greyson is a brilliant alternative to Jason and Mason.

Jordyn: Meaning flowing down
The name Jordyn is third on the list of rare baby boy names and meanings. The name comes from the popular Hebrew name Jordan, meaning ‘flowing down’. Although considered a gender-neutral name, it is much more common with baby boys. It is amongst one of the most popular names for boys, mainly due to famous basketball player Michael Jordan. Originally, the name Jordan was only given to babies that had been baptised in holy water from the River Jordan in Palestine. The bible also states that it was the river that Christ was baptised in by John the Baptist.

Mayson: Meaning stone worker, brick layer
4th on the list of rare baby boy names and meanings is the name Mayson. Although traditionally a baby boys name, Mayson is sometimes used for baby girls. The more common spelling is Mason, which is of English origin meaning stone worker or brick layer. Mason comes from the word Masonry, which is traditional stonework structures. Other spelling variants include Masen, Macyn, Mayson and Maison. However, variations like these are more commonly used for girls, mainly because the nickname will be May or Mai.

Triston: Meaning noise, to clatter, bold
The handsome name Triston is last on the list of rare baby boy names and meanings and is of Welsh origin and derives from the Welsh noun ‘trwst’ or verb ‘trystio’ meaning ‘to clatter’. Variants of the name include Tristen, Tristan, Tristin, Trysten and Trystan. The spelling Tristan was popularised by the character in the Arthurian legend who played a Knight of the Round Table. Triston is also one of the top 1000 baby names for boys today.

rare names and meanings

10 Gender Neutral Rare Names And Meanings

It’s becoming more trendy to choose a unisex name for a kid. Here are 10 gender neutral rare names and meanings that can be used for boys and for girls.

River: Meaning nature name
First on the list of rare names and meanings is the name River. A river is a stream of water that flows gracefully into the sea. It represents a child that will always find their way in the world. They will always come out strong in the end because of their ability to adapt and fierce spirit. Many parents who are considering River, also like the name Rio (meaning River in Spanish and Portuguese).

Bowie: Meaning blond
I think everyone can agree that when we think of the name Bowie, we think of the famous British rockstar David Bowie. He is considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Fame aside, Bowie is of Scottish and Gaelic origin, meaning ‘blond’. Since David Bowie’s death in 2016, the name has shot up on the popularity scale as a well sort after gender-neutral name.

Kit: Meaning pure, bearing Christ
The name Kit is more commonly known as being a nickname of the girl’s name Katherine (meaning ‘pure’) or the boy’s name Christopher (meaning ‘bearer of Christ’). Kit is now a popular gender-neutral first-name. It’s origin is English. Keep in mind that their nickname (although not common), could be Kitty.

Neo: Meaning new, gift
The modern name Neo is Latin for ‘new’, and would suit the new-age parents who are optimistic about the future. It became popular in the late 90’s to early 2000’s due to Keanu Reeves’s character in The Matrix (the ultimate futuristic movie!). In the South African language Tswana, Neo is used as a gender-neutral name meaning ‘gift’.

Fallyn: Meaning superiority, descended from a ruler
Fallyn is a truly unique name that continues to be rare even today. The more common spelling is Fallon, which is of Irish origin meaning ‘leader’. You may have heard of the name Fallon as a surname, but it is now used as a first-name. It had a small peak in popularity in the early 1980’s due to the TV-series Dynasty.

Florian: Meaning flowering, yellow, blond
Florian is one of our favourite gender-neutral baby names. Our experts claim it derives from the ancient Roman name Florianus and the Latin word Florus, meaning ‘flowering’. The name is most common in Europe, in countries such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland. If you want to make the name sound more masculine, some variants include Floriano (Italian) and Florjan (Slovene). On the other hand if you want to make it more feminine, variants include Floriane (French) or Florencia (Spanish).

Indigo: Meaning Indian dye, blue
You probably know the word Indigo as a colour name. The colour Indigo is a rich blue with vibrant purple tones. Colour names are high up on the popularity list, alongside nature, place and stone/jewel names. Indigo is a colour traditionally used as a dye from plants that are native to India. The colour is also considered gender-neutral as it is a combination of purples. Surprisingly, the origin is not Indian, it is Greek.

Shea: Meaning stately, dauntless
We love the name Shea. Mainly because there are so many variations in spelling, pronunciation and meaning. For parents who prefer a baby name that is easy to understand and say in any language, then Shea may not be for you. Shea is of Irish origin and is pronounced ‘shay’. Other spellings include Shae and Shay. For a more feminine twist you could consider Sheana, Shaylee and Shealyn. If you want a masculine version, think of Sheaon, Shean and Sheavon.

Holland: Meaning place name, land of wood
You guessed it, Holland is one of those modern place-names, alongside Paris, Cali and Alabama. Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands, but is often used to describe the whole of the Netherlands (mainly by the non-Dutch!). It is of Dutch origin and means ‘wooded land’. Visions of colourful rows upon rows of tulips come to mind and portraits by artist Rembrandt.

Milan: Meaning place name, gracious, kind
Last on our list is another place-name. The capital of Italy, beautiful Milan. If you have ever been, you will know that the city is adorned with class, etiquette, high-fashion and delicious food. Your baby girl or boy will definitely be born into style. Contrary to popular belief, the name Milan is in fact of Slavic origin, meaning ‘kind, loving, gracious’. It is more commonly used for baby boys but feminine variants such as Mila and Milana are becoming more popular.

rare names and meanings

What Did You Think?

Do you have any suggestions for us on the meanings, origins or spellings of this list of rare names and meanings? Or did you choose a name from this list for your newborn? We would love to hear your feedback! You can leave us a comment below and share your thoughts with the rest of our community, or send us a message here.

Also read: 20 Girl Names That Are Short And Sweet