28 Rare Baby Names Rising in Popularity – Can you See Why?

Rare baby names are the ones you don’t hear very often, ones that often herald plenty of comments for new parents or names that may be made up or derived from a word not typically used as a name.

In any case, many new parents gravitate towards rare baby names because they are looking for something unique to name their special little one.

unique baby names 2022

While some rare baby names stay uncommon, others will see a big spike. The baby naming experts at Nameberry have recently shared 28 names that fit into this category – rare baby names that are piquing everyone’s interest.

These are the names that have seen the biggest percentage increase in pageviews on our site over the past six months. And it’s a really fascinating mix!

There are uncommon names that spiked due to a specific association or event during that time and stylish names that were already trending but have all of a sudden really hit their stride,” Nameberry writes.

Ready to see the fastest-rising rare baby names? Check out the list below, as well as the percentage that these names have risen (in the brackets).

1. Royal (+2296%)

Heavy-hitting and regal names are quite popular but in Australia, you actually can’t name your baby Royal. But in America… the Royals are rife!

2. Non (+2185%)

Non. Not a name I’m familiar with, but a name nonetheless. It’s of Welsh origin – St David’s mum was named Saint Non. So there you go. Non means a few different things – “fish”, “eternal” and “perpetuity”.

3. Niharika (+1853%) 

This is the name of a popular YouTuber – Niharika NM, which, of course, I didn’t know until my kids told me. Perhaps this is the reason for the rise in this rare baby name, which means “admired for her looks”.

4. Kitty (+1809%)

Kitty is one of the many animal-themed names we’re seeing these days. It’s cute, it’s quirky, and it’s super trendy right meow.

5. Vivaan (+1733%)

Vivaan means “full of life” and it’s actually quite a vibrant and lively name, even though it’s incredibly rare.

6. Smoke (+1731%) 

Really? GUYS! Who is naming their kid Smoke??? According to Nameberry, it has something to do with the Mortal Kombat character, which is less bogany than what I thought people were using as namespiration.

7. Shivani (+1368%) 

Shivani is another name that’s got that powerful vibe to it. It actually means “life and death” and Nameberry predicts that the reason for the rise in this rare baby name is due to the celebrity “wardrobe fairy godmother” Shivani Dhillon who was featured in Hello! in August.

8. Cleo (+997%)

Short, sweet and sassy, Cleo was once considered rare but it quickly becoming quite popular. It stems from the Ancient Greek verb kleó, which means “to celebrate” or “to make famous”.

9. Jream (+888%) 

#NotaTypo #ActuallyAName. Yep. Jream is a rare baby name indeed. It’s basically just a form of Dream but for some reason, people replace the D with a J. I jon’t know why.

10. Inaya (+755%)

For girls, the names starting with vowels and ending in a vowel are really popular. Add a Y in there, and you’ve got a winner. It’s pronounced the name as Anaya (another cute option) and means “care, concern”.

four letter baby names

11. Beaux (+750%)

Next up we see Beaux, which is actually just the plural form of the word Beau, which means ‘beautiful” or “handsome” in French. It’s pronounced the name as Beau too – just Bo. Not Bo-ex. Or Bew-Ex. Which is totes what I thought it said at first.

12. Janae (+706%) 

I feel this name screams the late 80s but apparently, it’s coming back.

13. Kamala (+689%)

America’s first female vice president is named Kamala so we can see why this name is moving up the charts!

14. Jessamy (+672%)

Nameberry credits this rare baby name’s rise with the Netflix’s fantasy drama The Sandman which premiered in August. Jessamy means “jasmine flower” and can easily be shortened to the cute Jessa as a nickname.

15. Grisha (+668%)

This name features in the popular dark fantasy anime Attack on Titan, and means “watchful”.

16. Oonagh (+659%)

You pronounce this name “Oo-na” for anyone confused and, while the name remains popular in Ireland, it’s not too common over here. However, this is also the name of Amber’s Heard daughter which could be the reason for the rapid rise lately.

17. Sevyn (+631%) 

For anyone playing at home, this says “Seven”.

magical baby names

18. Cielo (+587%)

What is this? Well, it’s the name of Michael Buble’s fourth baby, born recently, so perhaps that’s why we’ve got the increase. It means “sky” and is pronounced See-Lo.

19. Dacre (+553%)

Where is this name coming from? It’s the name of an actor on Stranger Things – Dacre Montgomery who plays Billy Hargrove in the hit series. It’s a bit daring and dark but also kind of cute.

20. Sachin (+536%)

An Instagram video posted by cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar went viral last month so perhaps this is why people are loving the name. It’s pronounced “Sat-chin”.

21. Rhodes (+341%)

Actress Emma Roberts named her son Rhodes, pronounced Roads, and driving plenty of attention.

22. Khaza (+287%) 

Shazza, Dazza, get off the stage! Khaza’s in town! Yep, the latest -za name to bring on the searches is Khaza, which means “treasure”.

23. Stiles (+266%)

The hip version of the word Styles, this name screams new-age cool.

 24. Nori (+230%)

Kim and Kanye nicknamed their kid Nori so perhaps that’s why this rare baby name is on the list. This name literally means “seaweed”, but, as far as food-inspired monikers, I suppose it’s pretty cute. Better than Bacon.

25. Arden (+194%)

This rare baby name is a beauty in our opinion – it’s stylish, strong and Shakespearean with a cool meaning – “valley of the eagle”. Rise up Arden – we predict this one name is definitely one to watch!

26. Aquila (+189%)

What is this? It’s actually another name for “eagle” and comes with Biblical connotations. It’s also the name of an eagle-shaped constellation. We like!

27. Salem (+158%)

Sure, it’s a bit Witchy, but, the S-names are super trendy right now. Silas, Soren, Shiloh – all once rare baby names that are now considered common.

28. Nox (+156%)

The Roman goddess of the night, Nox is a short and sweet form of Knox.

What to read next

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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