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Unusual Names

Unusual Female Names

  1. Anima - means "soul, spirit" in Latin. In Jungian psychology the anima is an individual's "true inner self or soul."
  2. Chrysanta - shortened form of the word chrysanthemum, the name of a flowering plant, which means "golden flower" in Greek.
  3. Favour - from the English word favour, ultimately from Latin faveo "to favour." This name is most common in Nigeria & other parts of Africa.
  4. Gypsy - simply from the English word gypsy for the nomadic people who originated in northern India. The world was originally a corruption of Egyptian. It is sometimes considered a pejorative.
  5. Hyacinth - from the name of the flower (or precious stone that also bears this name), ultimately from Greek hyakinthos.
  6. Ivah - from the name of a district of Babylon, mentioned in the Old Testament.
  7. Jolene - formed from Jo & the common name suffix lene. This name was created in the early 20th century. It received a boost in popularity after the release of Jolene by Dolly Parton in 1973.
  8. Keely - from an Irish surname derived from the given name Caoladhe, from Irish caol "slender."
  9. Kelda - possibly derived from Old Norse kildr meaning "a spring."
  10. Keturah - means "incense" in Hebrew.
  11. Kyrie - from the name of a Christian prayer, also called the Kyrie eleison meaning "Lord, have mercy." It is ultimately from Greek kyrios meaning "lord."
  12. Lark - from the English word for the type of songbird.
  13. Lotus - from the name of the lotus flower or the mythological lotus tree. They are ultimately derived from Greek lotos. In Greek & Roman mythology the lotus tree was said to produce a fruit causing sleepiness & forgetfulness.
  14. Mallory - from an English surname that meant "unfortunate" in Norman French. It first became common in the 19080s due to the American sitcom Family Ties (1982-1989), which featured a character by this name.
  15. Maris - means "of the sea" taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary, Stella Maris, meaning "star of the sea."
  16. Moriah - from Hebrew Moriyah, possibly meaning "seen by Yahweh." This is a place name in the Old Testament, both the land where Abraham is to sacrifice Isaac & the mountain upon which Solomon builds the temple. They may be the same place. Since the 19080s it has occasionally been used as a feminine given name in America.
  17. Nova - derived from Latin novus meaning "new." It was first used as a name in the 19th century.
  18. Oneida - from the name of a Native American tribe, perhaps meaning "standing rock."
  19. Pansy - from the English word for a type of flower, ultimately deriving from Old French pensee "thought."
  20. Peninnah - means "precious stone, pear" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the wives of Elkanah, the other being Hannah.
  21. Saffron- from the English word that refers to either a spice, the crocus flower from which it is harvested, or the yellow-orange color of the spice. It is derived via Old French from Arabic za'fara, itself probably from Persian meaning "gold leaves."
  22. Reverie - from the English word meaning "daydream, fanciful musing" derived from Old French resverie, itselffrom resver meaning "to dream, to rave."
  23. Talitha - means "little girl" in Aramaic. The name is taken from the phrase talitha cumi meaning "little girl arise" spoken by Jesus in order to restore a young girl to life (see Mark 5:41).
  24. Wren - from the English word for the small songbid. It is ultimately derived from Old English Wrenna.
  25. Zinnia - from the name of the flower, which was itself named for the German botanist Johann Zinn.

Unusual Male Names

  1. Beaumont - from a French surname meaning "beautiful mountain."
  2. Dacre - from an English surname that was originally derived from a place name in Cumbria, of Brythonic origin meaning "trickling stream."
  3. Eldad - means "God has loved" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is on of the two elders who prophesizes in the Israelite camp.
  4. Havilah - probably means "to dance, to circle, to twist," in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both a place name & a masculine personal name.
  5. Macaulay - from a Scottish surname, an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Amhalghaidh, a given name of unknown meaning. A famous bearer of the name is American former child star Macaulay Culkin (1980-).
  6. Roosevelt - from a Dutch surname meaning "rose field." This name is often given in honor of American presidents Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) or Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
  7. Selwyn - from a surname that was originally derived from an Old English given name, which was formed of the elements sele "manor" & wine "friend."
  8. Tiras - possibly means "desire" in Hebrew. Tiras is a grandson of Noah in the Old Testament.
  9. Willoughby - from a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "willow town" in Old English.
  10. Altair - means "the flyer" in Arabic. This is the name of a star in the constellation Aquila.
  11. Adrastos - means "not inclined to run away" in Greek. This was the name of a king of Argos in Greek legend.
  12. Charon - possibly means "fierce brightness" in Greek. In Greek mythology, Charon was the ferry operator that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
  13. Eros - means "love" in Greek. In Greek mythology, he was a young god, the son of Aphrodite, who was armed with arrows that caused the victim to fall in love.
  14. Sotirios - derived from Greek soter meaning "saviour, deliverer" referring to Jesus.
  15. Conri - means "king of hounds" in Irish.
  16. Hywel - from Old Welsh Higuel meaning "eminent, prominent" (literally well-seen). This was the name of a few Welsh kings, including the 10th century Hywel the Good who was known for establishing laws.
  17. Terminus - means "limit, boundary, end" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman god of boundaries.
  18. Tivoli - from the name of a picturesque Italian town, used as a summer resort by the ancient Romans.
  19. Anand - means "happiness, bliss" in Sanskrit.
  20. Sultan - means "ruler, king, sultan" in Arabic.

Gender-Neutral Names

  1. Bellamy - from an English surname derived from Old French bel ami, meaning "beautiful friend."
  2. Briar - from the English word for the thorny plant.
  3. Fortune - simply from the word fortune, ultimately from Latin fortuna, a derivative of fors "luck."
  4. Greer - from a Scottish surname that was derived from the given name Gregor.
  5. Leith - from a surname originally from the name of a Scottish town, which is derived from Gaelic lite "wet, damp."
  6. Lennox - from a Scottish surname that was derived from the name of a district of Scotland. Possibly means "place of elms" in Gaelic.
  7. Marlowe - from a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "remnants of a lake" in Old English.
  8. Onyx - from the English word for the gemstone (a variety of chalcedony), which can be black, red, or other colors. It is derived from Greek onyx meaning "claw, nail."
  9. Schuyler - from a Dutch surname meaning "scholar."
  10. Sheridan - from an Irish surname, which was derived from the given name Siridean, possibly meaning "searcher."
  11. Sparrow - from the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English spearwa.
  12. Temple - from an English surname that originally belonged to a person who was associated with the Knights Templar, a medieval religious military force.
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