Unusual Baby Names That Sit Outside The Box

Baby names that make waves and dare to challenge the norms.


Classic baby names are great and all, but there's something to be said for originality. So if you're tired of the tried and true name selection, maybe it's time to consider some unique options. That is, until you set a trend and inspire the rest. 

So that being said, there's no time to waste. Here's our ten favourite unusual baby names.

1. Tigerlily
Peter Pan character, Tigerlily is the princess of the Native Americans living in Neverland. In a word, she runs the show -- just forget all the romantic entaglements that exist between the original version of the story, the Disney version, and the French version. And if you don't like fairytales, focus solely on the flower.

2. Jagger
In honour of the Rolling Stones frontman, "Jagger" is a gender-free name, which is perfect since music isn't meant to appease solely boys or solely girls (it's for everybody, thank goodness). And the name is only emerging now, thanks to music fans growing up and paying tribute to their favourite musicians. "Jagger" has only seen popularity in the last year or so. Meaning? There's still time.

3. Monalisa
You could name your baby "Mona" or you could name your baby "Lisa" or you could name your baby "Mona Lisa," but none would have the effect of "Monalisa" -- a unique take on the age-old, iconic painting. Somewhere in the spirit world, DaVinci is weighing in on this.

4. Rogue
Another name free of gender conventions, "Rogue's" rising popularity can be attribtued to either the X-Men series, or, well, a flair for rebellion. As suitable for a boy as it is for a girl, it's a fast way of telling the world your child isn't about to take orders without good reason (otherwise, they may go . . . "Rogue").

5. Americus
We're in an era of inflated national pride, and if you're a neighbour to a south (or simply feel an affinity towards it), you can pay homage to the United States through a name made famous in the book, Where the Heart Is. However, while "Americus" translates into "home ruler," it can also be changed to "America," which may work better for a girl than it does for a boy -- but that's your call, and your country, and nobody here is about to tell you how to proceed.

6. Ryker
If you're not a fan of Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation but love the way the name flows, you can switch the spelling and capitalize on the meaning: "strong and hardy power" in Danish or "to become rich" in Dutch. Just don't for one minute think "Ryker" is reserved solely for boys -- the best part about unusual baby names is how they go either way.

7. Tate
Another name that defies gender, Tate translates into "cheerful" and actually originated in Norway. However, aside from Tate Donovan (from The O.C.) and my friend's son (hello, everybody), it's still a name that, despite its consistent presence, you don't hear of a lot. Bonus points if you extend it to "Tatum" for either O'Neil or Channing.

8. Perla
A Spanish take on the name "Pearl," "Perla" embraces the tradition of a timeless name, while offering a delicate, lesser-known alternative. And of course if you're a music fan, this is the perfect way to pay tribute to Janis Joplin -- if you don't feel like making "Janis" the middle name.

9. Dulce
After being revived in the early 20th century, "Dulce" -- usually reserved for a girl, and meaning "sweet" -- made a subtle comeback, with few babies still being named after the seemingly popular Italian word. (You may have first thought of Dulce de Leche when you began reading, and let's be honest: you wouldn't be wrong, because that dessert is everywhere.) However, unique for a baby it still is, and would arguably work well paired with another classic Italian name.

10. Winslow
While one could argue that "Winslow" is the perfect tribute to Family Members, others would argue (correctly...or not correctly -- who am I to judge?) that the name's true meaning, "hill of victory," is reason enough to choose it. Last names as first names is far from a fleeting trend, so don't be afraid to opt for some of your favourites.

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