22 Rare Baby Names Suddenly Bursting onto the Scene

Tanvier Peart | Jun 27, 2017 Pregnancy
Image: iStock.com/ozgurdonmaz

little girl standing shocked face
iStock.com/ozgurdonmaz

Choosing a unique baby name can often feel like an uphill battle for different couples. Just when mom or dad picks a name they thought was too different to be popular, they immediately hear of three new babies with the exact same moniker. If uniqueness is a top goal, it never hurts to look to the underdogs -- the baby names just starting to make waves that haven't hit their peak yet. Laura Wattenberg, founder of BabyNameWizard.com, has identified a group of new baby names that are just starting to let their presence be known and have true potential to go down in baby name history.

"Every year, a new crop of baby names stakes its claim to a place in our culture," writes Wattenberg. "I call them the '100 Club': names given to 100 American boys or girls for the first time ever."

More from CafeMom: The 6 Biggest Baby Name Trends of the Decade

Now that these adorable and fresh names are on the scene, having made the 100 Club in 2016, we think their popularity is going to keep rising. Here's a peek at some of these spankin' new names that are quickly becoming favorites and could be the next big thing.


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  • Bowie

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    "In the year of music legend David Bowie's passing, parents used names as memorials," notes Wattenberg. Bowie is a gender-neutral title with Gaelic origins that's simply too cute for words. No wonder moms and dads are now flocking to this adorably charming baby name (most choosing Bowie like it for boys) -- it totally rocks!

  • Ripley

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    Sci-fi lovers will likely dig the sound of the name Ripley. This gender-neutral title can be a hat tip to the iconic character Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver), who kicked major butt in the Alien movies. Noted as a baby name on verge, Ripley is finally making waves as a wonderful option for future heroines, suggests Wattenberg.

  • Finnick

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    While many of us are familiar with the Irish Finn, Finnick could be destined for greatness, according to BabyNameWizard.com. "I've written about Finnick, a character from the Hunger Games saga, as one of the 'names everyone wonders about,'" Wattenburg reveals. "The popularity of the name Finn and the coming of age of some Hunger Games fans has pushed the trend from just wondering to naming babies."

  • Daenerys

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    Come on, don't act like you're surprised to see a Game of Thrones name make this list. Daenerys -- aka Khaleesi, aka the "Mother of Dragons" -- is kicking ass and taking names on the HBO mega-hit, making the title a fresh option for future queens of the seven kingdoms (aka headstrong girls).

    More from CafeMom: 15 Fierce Female 'Game of Thrones' Names Perfect for Baby Girls (or Dragons)

  • Elon

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    "Entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has raised the profile of this previously obscure biblical name," Wattenberg notes. Hebrew for "oak," the name Elon is a sturdy title that is an awesome baby name option for boys.

  • Adalind

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    Adalind is a bit rare, but truly unforgettable. Combining the Germanic ADAL ("noble") and LIND ("liden tree"), Adalind is thought to mean "noble linden tree" and is also the name of fictional character Adalind Schade in the TV show Grimm.

  • Calder

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    The name Calder "is one of the 'new generation -er names' that take their style cues from tradesman names like Cooper and Tanner but have very different cultural associations, in this case with sculptor Alexander Calder," explains Wattenberg.

    An English surname with Gaelic and Welsh influences, Calder is a name you might want to put on your radar.

  • Maple

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    We've all seen maple trees, used maple syrup, and come across home products made from this wood. Apparently, Maple is also a syrupy girl baby name option that's starting to gain a little steam in popularity. Very sweet!

  • Bjorn

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    Bjorn is yet another unique baby name option that packs a serious punch. Aside from being the name of the fictional character Björn Ironside on series Vikings, this sturdy title is Swedish for "bear" so it lets out a giant ROARRRR.

    More from CafeMom: 15 Baby Boy Names Inspired by the Dopest '90s TV Shows

  • Aoife

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    Pronounced EE-fa, Aoife is an Irish title full of radiance and wonder. Thought to mean "beautiful," this adorable girl baby name is one for the books. It's simply too lovely to pass up.

  • Denim

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    It's not too shocking to see Denim make this list of rising baby names. Like a pair of reliable jeans, the name is an everyday staple we know is there but haven't always paid much attention to -- though some parents are starting to, according to BabyNameWizard.com. It's worth considering for your blue jean baby.

  • Rebel

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    Something tells us actress Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, How to Be Single) might've had some influence on the popularity of the name Rebel. Not only is this name revolutionary and a bit antiestablishment, but Rebel is also a fun baby name for little girls. Perhaps it will inspire sheroes everywhere to raise their fists.

  • Evander

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    Something tells us this baby name will have people wrapping up their hands ready to lay a cross-hook combo.

    Believe it or not, the name Evander -- which some consider a hat tip to former professional boxer Evander Holyfield -- is kinda rare. But more parents are just now starting to use this Greek title, which means "manly." That's so crazy considering how much of a knockout Evander is.

  • Kehlani

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    Did you know Kehlani is the fastest-rising girl baby name of 2016? It's true! Rising up the charts thanks to a certain R&B singer, Kehlani is an adorable Hawaiian title that leaves us grinning from ear to ear.

    More from CafeMom: 20 Beautiful & Unique Hawaiian Girl Baby Names

  • Arrow

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    It's so hard to look at the name Arrow and not feel like it wasn't inspired by the popular TV series Arrow. Gender-neutral in form, this piercing baby name has the potential to become a heroic hit among parents as moms and dads are starting to bestow Arrow on their sons. It's like "Aaron" with a sharp twist.

  • Giulietta

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    Giulietta, Giulietta. Wherefore art thou, Giulietta?

    Obviously, Shakespeare opted for the French form of Juliet in the classic Romeo & Juliet, but that doesn't mean there's isn't any love or room for Giulietta. This Latin title is truly "youthful" and gives us so many feels.

  • Azrael

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    Most of us are familiar with the Hebrew Israel and not Azrael, an uncommon baby name with ties in both Judaism and Islam. An alternative to Azriel, Azrael is sometimes considered "the angel of death," as the celestial being is thought to have separated his physical form from his spirit when he died.

    You have to admit, Azrael is a pretty unforgettable (boy) baby name.

  • Josephina

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    Having a few options is never a bad idea, which is why we dig the name Josephina. Earning a spot in the "100 Club" for the first time in 2016, this baby name is a variant of the French Joséphine, which is rooted in the Hebrew Yōsēf ("God will add"). It's fresh, distinctive, and extremely precious.

  • Teo

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    The lovely Teo can be a charming pet name for, you guessed it, Teodore -- or Theodore as many of us know this baby name. Greek for "God's gift," Teo proves you don't need a ton of letters in a name to be unforgettable.

  • Oaklyn

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    Oak is known for being pretty resilient and sturdy. That makes the name Oaklyn a rare title, perfect for a strong little girl. One has to wonder why parents haven't scooped up this captivating name considering roughly 176 parents named their child Oaklyn between 1880 and 2015. It's such a winsome baby name that deserves to be used!

  • Callahan

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    We find it so hard to believe parents haven't been using Callahan as a baby name on the regular. This surname is beyond stately and can give a nod to one of the baddest fictional characters ever to grace the big screen: Dirty Harry, aka, Harry Callahan. Irish for "bright-headed," Callahan is thought to be a variant of the classic Callaghan that means "lover of churches."

  • Majesty

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    Superlative baby names are SUPER HOT this year, with titles like Royalty and Reign becoming more and more popular by the day. One title that might give these names a run for their money is Majesty, which not only excudes royal prowess but forces you to stop and bow down.

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