I’ve written about a lot of unusual baby names over the past seven-plus years.

Which ones are the wackiest? The least wearable, the ones that surely must violate my 12 Signs You’re Considering a Crazy Baby Name?

When I started drafting this post earlier this month there were 1,519 names to choose from.  And many, many of them were unusual – at least according to someone.  Yikes!

The original plan was to carefully whittle this list down to ten. Instead, I came up with dozens of names.  They’re all the tiniest bit outlandish – if only because they’re so seldom heard.  Few of them are completely, unthinkably unwearable – though some might fare better as a surprising, delightful middle name than a first.

So if unusual baby names – maybe even crazy baby names – are your thing, these lists are for you!

And if you can think of some super unusual baby names that have been highlighted at Appellation Mountain, but didn’t make this list?  Never fear – there’s a second installment in the works!

8 Unusual Nature Names for GirlsUnusual Baby Names: From Nature

Some nature names that are very familiar as firsts – think of Lily and Rose. But choosing an unusual name from the natural world is a great option for striking that familiar-but-not-often-heard note.

More lists you’ll like:


Unusual Baby Names: From Books

Often unusual names come to us from books – fairytale and myth, poetry and popular fiction. Authors, characters, and real people highlighted in biographies are all potential sources of inspiration.

More lists you’ll like:


Unusual Baby Names: Super Short

It doesn’t take four syllables and every letter in the alphabet to make a name a striking stand-out.  Plenty of short names are rich with style.

More lists you’ll like:


Unusual Baby Names: Word Names

Word names work for the same reason that nature names do – we all know how to spell Temple or Kismet, and it seems like it could be a name – only we’ve never (or rarely) heard it in use.

More lists you’ll like:


Unusual Names: W, X, Y, or Z

Those last four letters of the alphabet pack a punch!  Every one of these is rare, but names like Alexander and Xavier, Zoe and Wyatt prove that parents like a name with a high-value scrabble letter.  And let’s not even talk about the way that Y has become a go-to letter for respellings galore.

More lists you might like:

Are there any really unusual baby names on your shortlist?  How unusual is too unusual for you?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. My son’s name is on your most unusual or crazy name list and he loves his name and always has (he is 18 now). His name is Coriander. I paired His unusual first name with a simple middle name Jay and had intended to call him C-Jay but he was a Cory from day one. I decided to spell his nickname Cori since that’s how the first half of the name was spelled to make learning to spell his name easier I didn’t learn the Cori spelling was a girls spelling until he was 7 or 8 . I set him down and ask if he liked the nickname Cori and gave other nickname options (C-Jay, Andy, Ander ECT ) he said he liked being called cori. I told him there were other ways to spell cori and gave him the options explaining that I had learned the Cori spelling was the girls spelling, he said he liked his name as it was and to this day fiercely corrects any one who spells his name any other way and likes the “uniqueness” of the spelling of his name.

  2. What about rare Bible names like Zipporah? Or do these not qualify as crazy?
    My guilty pleasure names are Tesla, Corinthia, and Hosanna.

  3. My son had a preschool teacher named Azucena, I have a friend named Myfanwy, and my bff’s youngest’s middle name is Anemone! I would love to encounter some more of these in the wild!

  4. Excellent lists, Abby. These names are a little wacky for my taste (although I would agree that they would be awesome middle names). Still I like the idea of continuing to expand the diversity of names being used. We need to have room for the crazy names too.