When thinking of names for my kids, I wasn't interested in the ultra-unique. Mine is an uncommon name with an uncommon spelling, and while I like it, I felt that I was okay with my progeny not having to spell their name for every new acquaintance. But as you know, there are others who feel differently. Some want something new and fresh and basically unheard-of to grace their baby's birth certificate.
I'm a sucker for lists of baby names -- it's fascinating to me that names can become popular all of a sudden, all at once, and even those who try to find something uncommon end up choosing the same name as everyone else. Unlike other lists, this one doesn't feature names that are way out there. They are mostly commonplace by now, but it's surprising how unpopular they were not long ago.
According to MooseRoots, a genealogy search engine, the following names had been given to fewer than 100 babies in the United States prior to 2000:
26. Vivienne - a lovely French-based name with that very popular letter "V."
25. Arya - gaining popularity in England, Scotland, and Wales as well.
24. Karter - in the modern trend of using K's in place of the traditional C, or vice versa.
23. Brynlee - the splicing of syllables is another millenial trend.
22. Beckett - perhaps due in part to the Irish playwright, this one even comes with the cute built-in "Beck" as a nickname.
21. Jaylah - adding consonants can help others with the pronunciation of a name, but the practice is fairly new.
20. Cash - before 1950, you could count the kids named Cash on one hand. Now there are over 1,300.
19. Arabella - a fresh spin on more traditional names such as Isabella or Annabella.
18. Jax - all the best of a cool classic name like Jack with the "X" to make it cutting-edge.
17. Norah - sweet on a baby and beautiful on an adult, this name has exploded in terms of popularity, in the top 200 in the U.S. as well as a few European countries.
16. Adalyn - chances are pretty good you have met one or two Adalyns as the rate this name is gaining popularity. Adding a -lyn is another trend that has exploded in the last 15 years.
15. Isla - another gem that is also wildly trendy across the pond, Isla is ranked #4 in England and Wales.
14. Londyn - The trend of naming babies after famous places is not new, but subbing consonants makes this take a little different.
13. Lyla - Lily and Layla both outrank Lyla, but this relative newcomer is still climbing the charts.
12. King - When Rex or Ray are just too subtle to get your point across, you can cut right to the chase with King. This also illustrates the trend of using surnames as first names - not a new trend, but certainly gaining popularity.
11. Zayden - the -ayden, -aden, -aiden, etc., trend is everywhere, as is the popularity of the letter Z. This name has it all.
10. Kingston - This name sits right on the edge of proper and quirky, making it a good choice those looking for something different without being straight up weird.
9. Gael - Maybe the Hunger Games trilogy had a hand in this one? A name on the rise for boys, especially in Spain.
8. Maddox - Even if you aren't Angelina Jolie, you can still use this cute formal-yet-fun name for your little one.
7. Ryker - there is some debate about whether the veritable army of Rykers in the nursery of the maternity ward are the product of Star Trek fans or Marvel groupies, but either way, it was virtually nonexistent before 2000.
6. Brantley - another one of those names with a handy nickname -- Brant -- this name is #16 in West Virginia and most of its popularity is in the southern region.
5. Paisley - P is a less-common letter for girls names, which may be part of why this traditionally Scottish name gained so much traction in the past decade.
4. Khloe - The K spelling is mostly reminiscent of a certain Kardashian, but it seems that there will be a few thousand left on the earth long after she is gone.
3. Mila - Short, sweet, and to the point, Mila is insanely popular all over Europe as well.
2. Nevaeh - Every day, there are most babies names Neveah born than there were in the entire in 1999. To say that this name is trending is an understatement.
1. Bentley - This one is popular for both boys and girls, but much more so for the gents. If you've always dreamed of having a Bentley, it appears you are not the only one.
These names, for the most part, aren't popular enough to be in the top 100 names of the year, but they might be worth avoiding if you are looking for something completely unique.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.