In a sea of baby girl names, you want one that will be a standout … but not in a way that makes people say, “You named your daughter what?”
If that middle ground is what you’re going for, we’ve got you covered! This list is made up of girl names that have a similar sound and feel as the most popular names, but are still rarely used. They’re unique enough to raise eyebrows — in a good way!
This name has a little bit of everything popular: the letter Z, the “-lynn” ending, and the proximity to popular names like Evelyn — yet it was given to fewer than five babies in the United States last year. You could also spell it with one N: Ezlyn.
This is likely a variation of the name Zhavia (the “zh” is pronounced like a soft “j,” with a “zhuh” sound: zhuh-VY-ah), which just entered the top 1,000 most popular names. Taking the H out may not make it easier for the general public to pronounce, though, since there are several ways it could go.
Lovers of fiction and fantasy will know that the name Jadis has gotten a pop culture “bump” from two sources: first, Jadis the White Witch in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, and second, Jadis, the leader of a group called The Scavengers on the TV series The Walking Dead. It’s like Jade or Jada or Jaden, which have all enjoyed a decent level of popularity, but with a more distinctive ending sound.
With the name Coraline on the rise (from the 800s to the 500s in a five-year span), it’s no wonder that such a similar sound is also catching the attention of parents-to-be. Another similar name that’s moving up the ranks: The lovely Cordelia.
Parents who love the wildly popular Sophia (currently at #5 on the charts) and its soundalike counterpart, Sofia (currently at #17) are looking for an alternative, and Fia is it: it’s short and simple, which is a favored trait these days, and sounds like the more popular names, yet hasn’t even broken into the top 1,000.
Given to just five babies in the past year, this name plays on people’s love of Hawaiian names like Kehlani and Kailani (which were both among the fastest-rising girl names on the charts last year), and its closeness to Nola (which is currently #644 and rising).
Gender-neutral names are big, and Aston is about as gender-neutral as you can get. Plus, it calls to mind names like Arden: not only for its identical beginning and end, but because luxury brand-names-turned-baby-names are definitely on the rise (Dior, for example, was the second fastest-growing among girl names last year).
One caveat about this name: it sounds a lot like Emery, Emory, Emerie, and Emmarie, which are all popular variations of the same name. But, it could also be seen as a feminized version of the Hungarian boy name Imre, which means “power.” Imrie is, as yet, one of the rarest girl names, having been given to fewer than five babies per year at last count.
This lovely, romantic-sounding name has a more medieval, less 1950s-secretary vibe than Yvette or Yvonne.
With the name Mila in the top 20 right now (#14, to be exact), people are looking to alternatives. One is the Slavic name Mileva, for which Mila can actually be a nickname.
Just seven baby girls were given the name Winsley last year, but given the popularity of names like Kinsley and Tinsley — and the adorable nickname Winnie — we wouldn’t be surprised if this one starts to climb.
The name Daleyza, without the A in the front, burst onto the charts in 2013, narrowly missing the top 500; by the next year, it had jumped another whopping 360 spots, and is currently in the top 300. Adaleyza is a spinoff to make an already-unique name even more unique, and align it more closely with names like Addison and Adeline. Bonus: this one, too, leads to the cute nickname Addie.
This one’s another unisex choice, but it echoes the sound of a very popular name: Noah. The “El-” prefix has been popular among girl names since … well, forever, and gives way to the diminutives Elle or Ellie.
Maiara sounds like an appealing combination of Maya (currently #61 on the charts) and Yara, which was one of the fastest-rising girl names last year thanks to the Yara Greyjoy character on “Game of Thrones.”
It’s on the up-and-up, but last year, fewer than 400 baby girls were given this melodic Greek name. It’s getting its time in the spotlight thanks to the popularity of names like Lyla and Layla.
This one’s rise can likely be attributed to singer Alessia Cara — but it doesn’t hurt that it’s similar to names like Alicia, which has been consistently in the top 500 since 1922. Also Alyssa, in the top 500 since 1972.
From Harlow to Marlo, names with this sound have experienced a surge in popularity. Add in the appeal of a unisex name (Arlo is currently #278 on the boy name charts), and you’ve got a recipe for success. For an Arlo/Charlotte hybrid with a more distinctly feminine sound, try Arlette, or the similar Arleth.
It’s like the ever-popular Paisley with an updated sound, and was given to fewer than 200 baby girls in the United States last year. Sometimes it’s seen with its alternate spelling, Eisele.
Naming trends are interesting, and this one is a perfect illustration of why. The name Aurelia gained popularity as an alternative to names like Amelia and Olivia. And now that it’s experiencing some popularity in its own right, people are looking to alternatives to Aurelia — via its diminutive, Aurie.
Finding a name that’s unique and distinctive, yet doesn’t tread into the territory of “weird,” can be a tough job. But even if it is weird — or found in every classroom (twice) — so what? Whatever name you choose will be the perfect name for your little girl, whether it’s Emma or Eleftheria.
Discover the best girl names, fun and inspirational lists, and answers to your biggest baby-naming dilemmas in Scary Mommy’s baby naming section!