The Most Unique Baby Boy Names of the Year
All parents want their babies to stand out. And what better way to guarantee that than by giving them a rare baby name?
With all the traditional names out there, it can be difficult to find unique boy names, but we have cool ones for you to consider. From Lennon to Remy to Banks, here are some of the most unique baby boy names of the year.
Hugo means “mind, intellect” and is of German, Spanish and Portuguese origin.
It’s popular throughout Europe; however, it currently only ranks No. 422 on the U.S. Social Security Administration’s (SSA) baby name list, making it a wonderfully unique name for a baby boy born in the United States.
This gender-neutral name means “small clock or cape.” Of course, it’s one with rock ‘n’ roll roots that brings to mind The Beatles’ John Lennon.
A unique unisex name, it ranks No. 675 on the SSA baby name list for boys and a bit higher for girls.
A diminutive of the seemingly always-popular Henry, Hank is a German name that means “estate ruler.”
Famous country music star Hank Williams and his son are certainly worth naming your son after as well as sports stars like Hank Aaron. This name just broke into the top 500 baby boy names in recent years, so you know it's not overused.
This Irish name is pronounced “ree-uhn” and means “little king.”
While it’s very similar to Ryan, this name isn’t even in the SSA’s top 1,000 list of baby names for boys.
This name is of English and Irish origin and is perfect for nature lovers. After all, it means “beehive, little brook or bee cottage.”
While it currently ranks No. 227 on the SSA list for boys, the shorter Beck is equally fun and hasn’t even cracked into the top 1,000.
Gray is a fun color name that’s also a diminutive of the English Grayson, which means “the son of the bailiff.”
It’s more common as a surname, which makes it a unique baby name that still feels and sounds traditional.
Conroy is yet another example of the popular “surnames as first names” trend. Often used as an Irish surname, it means “hound (or wolf) of the plain.”
It’s a more unique “Con” name that is always worth considering and has yet to break into the top 1,000 SSA baby boy names.
The name Remy derives from the Latin name Remigius and is both a given name and a surname. It’s oftentimes used as a nickname for the full name Remington.
It currently ranks No. 425 on the SSA list.
If you like to travel and hope your baby boy also, this might be the name for you. Brooklyn is a New York borough named after Breukelen, a Dutch village.
Victoria “Posh” Beckham and David Beckham have a son named Brooklyn.
This is the Gaelic form of the Latin, “columba,” which means “dove.”
A symbol of peace would be perfect for an even-tempered babe.
Felix means “happy, fortunate” in Latin.
It’s still quite unique abroad and in the U.S., where it currently ranks No. 231.
Turn to the Marvel movies for lots of baby name inspiration, but one of our favorites is Zuri from “Black Panther.” It’s an African/Kiswahili name that means “good, beautiful.”
It was a great choice for the shaman, warrior and trusted advisor (played by Forest Whitaker) to T'Chaka.
No. 294 on the SSA list, the name Ronan is quite traditional, dating back to the sixth century to the saint of the same name.
Other legendary Ronans include a king who was tricked into killing his own son as well as the centaur in “Harry Potter.”
This is a name of English and Latin origin and typically reminds people of none other than country legend, Johnny Cash.
It is also a diminutive of Cassius and means “hollow.” In 2018, Cash was only No. 276 on the SSA list, making it a rather uncommon choice.
This name doesn’t even make it into the top 1,000, which means it’s uber unique. Of course, Neo, aka “The One,” is the main character in “The Matrix” that everyone’s rooting for in the movie’s alternate universe.
And don’t forget that “One” is also an anagram for Neo.
Jasper is a Persian name that means “bringer of treasure.” As a character in the “Twilight” series, Jasper now ranks at No. 154 on the 2018 SSA list.
It’s also one of the few “gem” names for boys.
Cormac still hasn’t cracked the U.S. top 1,000, so it's another one you likely won't see on the playground. This traditional Irish name dates back to Celtic mythology when Cormac Mac Airt was one of the legendary high kings of Ireland.
Award-winning author Cormac McCarthy of “No Country for Old Men” fame is putting it on parents’ radars.
August means “great, magnificent” and is a wonderful summer name. Of course, it comes from Augustus who was the first emperor of the Roman Empire.
In 2018, it ranked No. 170 on the SSA baby boy name chart.
While this currently ranks No. 684 on the SSA list, that will likely change after the recent death of basketball great Kobe Bryant.
We're likely to see many new boys with this name that's an Irish variation of Brian, meaning “strong, virtuous and honorable."
Kevin is pretty ’90s sounding, but if you like it, why not go with the Gaelic alternative, Nevin?
This name means “holy” and can also be spelled Nevyn.
A world-class boxer, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield is the only four-time heavyweight champion. His name, believed to be Scottish or Greek in origin, means “bow warrior; strong man” — how fitting!
This name is quite unique, too, not even breaking into the SSA’s top 1,000.
People may have thought the place-name Tennessee (adopted as a pen name by playwright Tennessee Williams) was back in the spotlight when actress Reese Witherspoon gave her son the name in 2012.
But it’s still as unique as ever.
Floyd may mean “gray-haired,” but all we can think of is the awesome English rock band: Pink Floyd.
It’s a name with off-the-wall appeal that very few baby boys will have on the playground.
This Scottish name means “winding valley,” and several cities and neighborhoods throughout the world have this popular name. But perhaps the best known is the London Borough of Camden, famous as a haven of counter culture.
It’s one that’s growing in popularity in the U.S., currently ranking No. 152.
Pronounced “kill-ian,” this name is more popular now, thanks to actor Cillian Murphy’s award-winning role in “Peaky Blinders.”
In the U.S., Killian is the more common spelling, and it was No. 286 in the baby boys’ name chart in 2018.
Ahhhh… Waylon Jennings. He personified the outlaw country movement of the 1970s, demanding — and eventually getting — the right to record the material he wanted.
The name means “land beside the road,” and it’s steadily becoming more popular in the U.S., reaching an all-time high of No. 142 in 2018.
The one-syllable name, Max, has quite a nice ring to it. And the “Mad Max” franchise probably has something to do with it’s biker-gang coolness.
The name currently ranks No. 136 and has been in and out of the SSA’s top 100 in recent years.
Pronounced “Boh-dee,” this name means “messenger" and might be an especially good choice for religious families.
At least that’s what, Jeremy and Audrey Roloff, stars of “Little People, Big World,” thought when they gave their son the name. Audrey wrote on Instagram, “We pray for our Bode to be a messenger of the Gospel. That his life would be a message of hope, truth and love to many.”
This is quite a regal-sounding name. After all, Kingston literally means “king’s town.”
Currently ranking No. 117, musicians Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale gave the name to their first-born son.
Adler is of German origin and means “eagle.”
Quite a unique name, we saw it first used by actress Danielle Fishel (of “Boy Meets World” fame) and her husband, Jensen Karp, when they gave their baby boy the name in 2019.
Another name of Irish origin, Kieran means “little dark one” and was the name of Ireland’s first-born saint.
Actor Kieran Culkin (from “Succession”) might be why this name has grown in popularity in recent years, albeit slightly, ranking No. 497 on the SSA chart.
Here’s a rockin’ name that is actually more popular for girls than boys, which makes it all the more unique. Of course, you can’t help but think of Elvis Presley when giving your son this name, but if you have musical ties, we prefer it to Elvis hands down.
An English name meaning “priest’s meadow,” Presley hasn’t ranked in the top 1,000 for boys for more than 100 years.
This traditional English boy’s name means “fire” or “heather-grown hill” and currently ranks No. 180 on the SSA list for baby boy names.
It has multiple spelling variations, including Haydyn, Haiden, Haydn and Haydon, so you can still make it your own, whether you like the connection to “Star Wars” actor Hayden Christensen or football player Hayden Smith.
This name is Scandinavian in origin and means “yew wood, archer.”
While this name is rather unique, model Coco Rocha and artist James Conran named their son Iver in 2018.
The name Hart was originally an English surname that has yet to appear in the top 1,000 names in the U.S. in the past 100 years, so this name is all kinds of original.
That said, model Miranda Kerr gave her first child with husband, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, the name.
This is one that sounds great but has an unfortunate meaning: “misshapen head.” As a last-name-turned-first, Kennedy, of course, has a strong association with the prominent political family.
As a first name, it’s more common for girls, but it also works well for a unique boy name. In fact, it just barely landed in the SSA top 1,000 at No. 996 in 2005 but hasn’t been back since.
We love this name for literary families. While it means “child of Emery,” you can’t help but associate it with writer, poet and thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Another gender-neutral name, It’s still less common for boys, ranking only No. 281 in 2018.
The “nature name” River will likely forever be linked to the late actor River Phoenix — and how cool is that?
While it’s climbing the SSA list, it still only ranks No. 197.
Ian is the Scottish form of John and means “God is gracious.”
The boy’s name ranks No. 79 on the SSA list.
Another color name, Navy is also a good name for a military family.
Maybe that’s why country music singer Jason Aldean and his wife gave their son the name in 2019.
Banks is another English surname and means “one who lives on the hillside or riverbank."
Of course, it’s perfect if you want to give a nod to the Banks family in “Mary Poppins,” but it’s one syllable makes it trendy and unique.
Rhys is a Welsh name that means “ardor,” and it’s another gender-bending name that we love.
In 2004, it first broke into the SSA chart of top 1,000 names, and it’s still hovering in the 400s — familiar, but definitely still unique.
Cannon currently ranks No. 538 on the SSA list, but the single “n” version isn’t even in the top 1,000.
In 2018, pro NBA player Steph Curry and wife Ayesha gave their son this name.
Leo has always been popular among the Latin languages as a nickname for Leonardo, Leon or even Leopold. Derived from the Latin “leo,” it means “lion.”
It’s more popular than some of the names on this list, likely thanks to the ever-cool actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Oakley is a traditional boy’s name that’s making a comeback, now ranking at No. 459 on the SSA list.
It’s a strong and powerful name like the tree from which it’s derived.
This is a unisex Hebrew name oftentimes given in Israel to kids born under the goat sign of Capricorn (it means “mountain goat”).
And it’s super unique in the U.S., with it most recently breaking into the SSA top 1,000 in 2012 in the No. 987 spot. But it’s since dropped off.
Adrian translates to "man from Adria" or "dark one" in Latin and is a great choice for a bilingual name, as it translates well in several Romance languages.
It ranked No. 62 on the SSA list of baby boy names in 2018.
Mateo is of Spanish, Italian and Latin origin and means “gift of god.”
While it’s definitely a more popular name on this list, it’s particularly common as a Spanish name, currently ranking No. 37 on the SSA list.
Of course, if you want a name that’s completely unique, Leafar is probably it. Baby name sites would define this as a “modern invention,” but we like it.
You can thank Leafar Seyer (a.k.a. Rafael Reyes), husband of tattoo artist and cosmetics mogul Kat von D, and their son, Leafar Von D Reyes, who was born in 2018, for the inspiration.
Julian means “youthful” or “downy” and has Latin roots.
The male version of Julia, it is currently No. 36 on the SSA list.
Ranking No. 351 on the SSA list, Keegan is an Irish surname that can be used as a first name.
It means “son of Egan” and is especially fun to say with the double “e” in the middle.
A Latin name with religious roots, Dominic means “belonging to the lord.” It’s typically given to sons born on Sunday since the name’s origin has similar roots to the word “Sunday” in several Romance languages.
You can even name your little one after the swoon-worthy Dominic Cooper, who starred in “Mamma Mia!"
While this name broke into the top 100 for girls, it ranks No. 384 on the boys’ list.
It’s quite a strong name for a baby boy and means “chief leader, intelligence.”
Of course, the first person that comes to mind is rapper Kendrick Lamar. But despite his popularity, this name doesn’t even crack into the top 400 names.
It’s definitely a winning name though, with the meaning “royal ruler, champion.”
Particularly popular in Ireland, this name spelled with one “n” ranks No. 336 on the SSA list, but it’s double “n” counterpart currently ranks at No. 57.
It means “lover of hounds” and was the name of the king of Ulster in Irish mythology.
The eccentric pet detective played by Jim Carrey in the 1990s hit film was so beloved that not one but two movies were made about him.
Currently ranking No. 255 on the SSA list, this Latin name means “one, unity” and makes the perfect moniker for a first-born babe.
Just cracking into the top 1,000 baby names, Heath is a very unique name with English origin that means “the heathland dweller.”
Perhaps the most famous Heath is the late actor Heath Ledger, an ever-cool figure after which to name your baby boy.
This Irish variation of John currently ranks No. 269 on the SSA list, making it wildly more unique.
And who better to name your baby after than the original James Bond actor Sean Connery?
Austin, the state capital of Texas, is also the Live Music Capital of the World, which makes it a particularly good fit for musical parents.
Currently ranking No. 80 on the SSA baby name list for boys, the name has dropped from the No. 23 spot in 2000, making it all the more unique today.
A popular Spanish and Italian name, Sergio is a variation of the clan name Sergius.
At No. 352 on the SSA chart, this name is particularly great for a bilingual family.
Noland means “champion” in Irish and doesn’t even crack into the SSA’s top 1,000 baby names for boys.
Of course, the more-common Nolan is another possibility, ranking No. 64 on the list.
This classic Greek name was uber-popular in the 1970s, but it’s since dropped out of the top 100 baby boy names.
It means “to heal,” making it ideal for anyone looking to have a doctor in the family.
The Scottish form of John, Ian means “God is gracious” and ranks No. 79 on the SSA list.
Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, has made this name particularly special among film buffs.
The male variation of Luisa, which means “renowned warrior,” is the French and German variation of Louis.
It fell to the No. 126 spot on the SSA list, after being No. 49 in 2000.
An alternative variation of the more common Brandon or Brennan, Brannon is of Irish origin and means “descendant of the sad one.” A sweet nickname is Bran.
The name doesn’t even crack the top 1,000 names on the SSA list.
This name hasn’t been popular since the late 1950s, and that’s what we love about it.
Of English origin, the name has strong ties to popular characters like the Marvel comic Captain Flint and as the legendary pirate and parrot in the novel, “Treasure Island.” More recently, Flint Lockwood from “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” won over audiences when he built a machine that converts water into food.
Of Spanish and Italian origin, Marco means “warlike” and likely reminds most people of the Italian explorer, Marco Polo.
Other variations include the more popular Marc or Marcus.
Currently ranking No. 60, Aaron means “high mountain; exalted, enlightened” and dates back to the Old Testament. Aaron was Moses’ older brother and served as his brother’s spokesman.
Popular actors Aaron Paul and Aaron Eckhart keep this name cool.
The Latin name, Martin, means “warlike” and has been given to great leaders in history.
The founder of Protestantism Martin Luther and, of course, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. made this a particularly strong name.
This name of Spanish origin means “Frenchman or free man.”
While it reminds people of free-loving San Francisco, it’s also particularly popular among baseball players, including Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor and Miami Marlins’ Francisco Cervelli.
Late-night host Conan O’Brien is the first person that comes to mind when you think about this Celtic name that means “little wolf.”
Despite the comedian’s popularity, this name doesn’t even crack into the top 1,000 baby boy names.
Jules Winnfield is the ever-cool character played by Samuel L. Jackson from the movie “Pulp Fiction” who is truly uncompromising on his morals.
Of course, the name Jules is a rather unique boys’ name, not even breaking into the top 1,000.
This name of Greek origin means “godly” and was given to a notorious character in “Game of Thrones,” none other than Theon Greyjoy, who suffered merciless torture inflicted by Ramsay Snow. But there’s also several ancient Greek scholars that bore the name.
It’s so unique that only 14 baby boys were named Theon in 2018.
This Latin name literally means “citizen of Rome” and ranks No. 85 on the SSA list.
Oscar has a variety of meanings: “God spear, champion warrior or deer-lover.” It’s one that works across many cultures, as it’s of English-Irish origins while also being common in Spanish-speaking countries.
The name ranked No. 206 on the SSA list.
As a baby name, Reed is short, sweet and simple, especially for musical parents. After all, in music, a reed is what helps an instrument vibrate to create a sound.
This baby boy’s name is quite unique, too, not even ranking in the top 400.
Another name with musical clout is Rani, which means “my song, my joy.”
It’s a Hebrew name that works for both boys and girls and doesn’t even rank in the top 1,000 baby names.
This Irish name means “red, ruddy” and is perfect for a red-headed boy.
Other more common variations of the name are Flann, Flynn or Finn.
Bayu is a nature-inspired name that means “wind.”
The name comes from Indonesia and has set yet to break into the top 1,000 baby name chart.
This gender-neutral name will likely remind you of Brad Pitt’s character in “Legends of the Fall.”
This name has fallen in and out of the top 100 list for baby boys ever since the release of the film, but it’s becoming rarer and rarer, currently ranking at No. 151.
Asher means “fortunate, blessed, happy one,” and is of Hebrew origin.
It’s been climbing the baby name charts since breaking into the top 500 in 2002, so grab it before it gets too popular.
This gender-neutral name remains more popular for boys. It’s an English and Welsh name that means “kind, benevolent.”
Interestingly enough, Emily Bronte used the name Ellis Bell as her male pseudonym when writing “Wuthering Heights.”
This Hebrew name means “lion of God,” and is both short and sweet while also remaining strong.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. is a racecar driver and recent bachelor from “The Bachelor” franchise who uses an alternate spelling.
The new “Top Gun” movie was not released in 2020 as planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put this blast-from-the-past name back into the mix.
Maverick means “independent, nonconformist” and currently ranks No. 58 on the SSA list.
This name is particularly popular in France but not at all in the U.S., not even ranking in the top 1,000 baby names.
It has origins in the Latin word "paschalis,” which literally translates to "relating to Easter."
The English name, Warrick, means “strong leader who defends.”
It’s another unique choice that doesn’t even rank in the top 1,000.
Of course, American folk fans will think of none other than Woody Guthrie and his son Arlo.
But this historically English surname also has roots in the Gaelic gaothair, meaning "windy place.”
The name Ford means “dweller at the ford,” but it’s also a name with serious roots in the American car industry.
So, for those families with a history in auto mechanics, this might be the perfect choice for a baby boy.
This Italian name means “little saint."
While actor Mario Lopez and his wife gave their son this name in 2019, it’s still so unique that it hasn’t even broken into the top 400.
Roark is an Irish surname of one of Ireland’s oldest and most noble families.
It means “illustrious and mighty,” and it can also be spelled Rourke.
Gunner, the Scandinavian version of Gunther (“Friends” fans, anyone?), means “bold warrior.”
An even more unique alternative spelling, though, is Gunnar.
This unisex name was originally an English surname, and it means “fair-haired, dark.”
There are several Blakes in pop culture, including actress Blake Lively and country singer Blake Shelton.
Duncan means “dark warrior,” which is fitting since this Scottish boy’s name was that of two early Scottish kings.
It’s still quite uncommon in the U.S., too, currently ranking No. 915 on the SSA list.
This Native American name means “friendly one” and has become less popular in recent years, falling from No. 88 in 2000 to No. 347.
That means it’s unique enough again to make your babe stand out on the playground.
Another name with some strength behind it, Murphy is an Irish name that means “sea warrior.”
Yes, it’s a fairly common surname in Ireland, but it also makes a great first name.
The name Axel is climbing the baby name charts, currently ranking at No. 83.
But if it’s unique you’re going for, the alternative spelling of Axl hasn’t even broken into the top 600.
Sports families will love the name Peyton, a nod to Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning.
This unisex English name means “fighting-man’s estate” and is much more unique for boys than girls.
Perhaps short for Sergio (already on this list) or Giovanni, Gio is a short but sweet baby boy’s name that can make it on its own.
Plus, it doesn’t even rank in the top 1,000 baby boy names.
This name of English origin means “pointed hill.”
Of course, an alternative spelling is Kip, a diminutive of Christopher that truly stands on its own.
This ever-so-cool name is increasing in popularity ever since it entered the top 1,000 list in 2011.
It currently ranks No. 339 and is a monosyllabic name that oozes “cool” for boys.
This Hebrew nameis short for Abiyram and means "high father."
Patience and wisdom are two traits often associated with the name.
Jax is a modern name that sounds almost as cool as Crew, right?
Derived from the name John, it is associated with the same biblical meaning, “God has been gracious.”
A popular surname — think skateboarder Tony Hawk or actor Ethan Hawke — Hawk as a first or middle name is growing in popularity but is still quite rare.
This bird name currently doesn’t even rank in the SSA top 1,000.
Another Hebrew baby boy name, Adriel roughly translates to "God is my help."
This one’s similar to Adrian but a bit more unique.
This Arabic name is perfect for your little prince, as it symbolizes royalty.
Another spelling variation is Amir.
If other animal names like Wolf, Fox or the aforementioned Hawk seem a bit too much for you, perhaps Cub is more your style.
It’s a short but sweet name that we can get behind.
Kai (pronounced kye) is a worldly name with roots in various cultures, from Hawaiian to Japanese to Greek.
As for meanings, you can also take your pick — “keeper of the keys; earth,” “sea” and “forgiveness.”
This Scandinavian name means “heir, descendant” and has an obvious connection to nature.
Actor Joaquin Phoenix was named Leaf (spelled with an “a”) before he changed his name.
Since we’re already talking about it, Joaquin is another unique baby boy name.
This Spanish name is especially popular in South America. Its meaning, "God will judge," is associated with tolerance and non-judgment.
This Hebrew name has biblical roots but is way less common than the Benjamins and Samuels of the world.
Celebs like Neil Patrick Harris and Ziggy Marley have used it for their sons.
This Scandinavian name means “manly.”
Its considered to be a unique take on the much more common Andrew.
This Arabic name is a Swahili word that means "brave one,” derived from the Arabic jabbar, meaning “powerful ruler.”
For those fans of the show, “Parenthood,” Jabbar was a popular character name, which is an excellent variation.
Another name with Arabic origins, Zade has several meanings, including “stylish” and “kind and generous.”
We can get behind both of those!
Of course, you can’t help but think of the titular character in the movie “Forrest Gump.”
But this name that means “dweller near the woods” is quite unique and perfect for outdoorsy parents.
This old Hebrew name means "carried by God.”
Singer-songwriter Amos Lee has made it ever so cool again.
This unique baby boy name means "he shines.”
Can you think of a better meaning for your new bundle of joy?
Fox Mulder, David Duchovny’s character on “X Files,” brought this name into mainstream pop culture, but you will rarely hear it on the playground.
If Hawk or Cub didn’t do it for you, then perhaps this animal name will.
Or you could go with this animal name, a shortened variation of the German Wolfgang.
We prefer the fierce, zippy variation of Wolf, though, to keep it from sounding too old-fashioned.
Yes, you might think of the plane, so aviation fans this one could be for you.
But Jett is actually inspired by the “jet black” mineral formed when wood is under extreme pressure. Either meaning works for us.
Yet another Hebrew name, Zev means “given by God” and is a shortened variation of Zevadiah.
It also has the meaning “wolf,” so if you thought the previously mentioned animal name was too extreme, Zev might do the trick.
This Spanish name takes from the Italian Durante, which means “lasting, enduring.”
Of course, the most famous Dante is the Italian poet, Dante Alighieri, who wrote the “Divine Comedy.”
This Italian baby boy name is a less common variation of Giovanni and means "God is gracious."
And we think the nickname Jove is super cute.
Rio is the Spanish word for river, but it also means “place of the cherry blossoms” or could be considered a place name after Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
Originated from the Latin word columba or “dove,” this Irish name is meant to symbolize peace, which is all you want from a newborn. Trust us!
Yes, Denver is a place name, but it also means “green valley.”
It could also be a not-so-subtle nod to the singer-songwriter John Denver.