Name hunting is one of my favorite sports. I’m always scanning movie credits and magazine pages on the lookout for a great little name gem. Can we just have a moment to marinate on the fact that in 2013 five baby boys were named Rambo. There were also eight baby girls named… wait for it… Babygirl. Sigh.
21,075 girls were named Sophia and 18,090 boys were named Noah in 2013 . Here are 10 usable names that are underused in the U.S.
Coralie is a delightful little French name, meaning “coral”. Only 58 babies were named Coralie last year. I suspect that Coralie is a name-lover’s name, it ranked #235 on Nameberry.com. Much more popular in French speaking countries, Coralie has a soft, feminine, melodic flow.
If you like the G sound in Griffin or Gavin, then you might consider the underused Gareth. A Welsh name, meaning “gentle”, only 51 boys were given the name Gareth last year. I feel like people would easily be able to spell and say this name, making it uncommon but very usable.
Daria may remind you, as it does me, of the late 90’s MTV cartoon. A lively little name that was only given to 84 girls last year. Daria comes from the name Darius, meaning “to posses well”. I’m surprised hipsters who watched the show Daria haven’t given this name more use!
Rafferty is definitely my favorite name on this list to say. I love a good, hearty, Irish name and Rafferty definitely fits that bill. An anglicized version of an Irish surname, Rafferty means “flood tide”, and was only given to 12 boys last year.
Helene is to chic and has an understated glamor. A French variant of the Greek name Helen, meaning “bright, shining”, Helene was given to 41 girls last year. Maybe Helene is just too old but not quite old enough to be a vintage comeback.
Here I go again with another fabulous, yet underused Irish boys name! Kiernan is a surname name, meaning “little dark one”, that only 33 boys received last year. A great alternative to the similar sounding Kieran, I love the repeating N sound.
With the popularity of the name Jordan, I’m always surprised that Jordana isn’t more utilized. A Hebrew name, meaning “flowing down”, only 50 girls received this name last year. A beautiful bearer of this name is actress Jordana Brewster.
Part Old Hollywood (Clark Gable) and part Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), this name delivers a lot of vintage charm! 14 boys were given this name last year. Gable is a French name with a distinctive sound, meaning “triangular feature in architecture”, fit for a dashing leading man.
Fans of the Shaytard family on YouTube will recognize this name, that of the eldest Butler daughter, Avia. A wonderful alternative to Ava, only 66 girls were named Avia last year. Avia may come from the name Abijah, meaning “my father is Yahweh”, or Avis, meaning “bird”. Either way it’s a lovely name with a familiar sound.
I love “Max” names. Maxfield makes for a less expected Max name and was only given to 10 boys last year. Maxfield feels at home with the surname trend. It’s an English name, meaning “Mac’s field”.
Please check out my friend Aléna’s facebook page Unusual But Usable Names, for more underused name gems!
Happy name hunting!