Looking for an uncommon name for your baby-to-be? There’s a whole world of names out there.
If you’re looking to honor your family’s heritage, or just looking for a unique moniker for your little one, a name from another culture might be the right fit.
These 11 striking names are from Scandinavia, Japan, Spain, and beyond.
Talk about a cross-cultural phenomenon. Aziza means “precious” in Swahili and Arabic, but also has Hebrew and biblical origins. What’s more, Aziza is prevalent in West African mythology. If you’re having a boy, Aziz is the male version of this powerful name.
This is a strong choice for an exotic-sounding name that’s still easy to pronounce. Raul is a common name in Spanish speaking countries. In France, it’s often spelled Raoul. The name translates to “wolf counsel.” Raul would work well for a boy or girl.
Alain might be a great choice for a Francophile expecting a boy. It sounds French, but it’s actually Irish in origin. The name is a twist on Allen or Alan, and means “handsome” or “cheerful.” Alana and Alaina are also popular for girls in the United States.
Around the world, Zuri is given as a gender-neutral name meaning “good” and “beautiful.” Currently, it’s gaining traction for girls in the United States. The origin is Kiswahili, but some consider it French.
For travel gurus, it’s known as the shorthand version for the Swiss city Zurich. Another variation, Suri, is often associated with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ famous daughter.
There are several spelling variations to this pretty girl name, including Arria and Arya. It’s Italian and Hebrew in origin, and is now one of the top 50 most popular girl names in the United States. Still, some parents prefer Arianna.
Shay is a common Irish name. It’s a great alternative to Shane, a very popular name in the United States. It’s a nickname for the more Irish-sounding names Shamus and Seamus. Having a girl? Shea is a more feminine-friendly variation.
Akira is a common Japanese name for both boys and girls. It means “clear” and “intelligent.” There are a number of famous characters in Japanese comics named Akira. There’s also a Hindu version of Akira that means “graceful strength.”
Are you tired of the name Mark? Merrick might be a good alternative. It’s an Anglo-Welsh name similar to Maurice. If Merrick isn’t the right fit for your son, you might want to try Magnus or Marcus.
Gia is a popular Italian girl name. It means “God’s gracious gift.” Outside of Italy, the name has surged in use in the United States since 2000. Similar names are Tia and Mia. In India, some parents name their daughters Jiya.
Sander is one of the most popular names for boys in Norway. That’s not surprising, given that it’s Dutch and Scandinavian in origin. Sander is a good alternative to Alexander, which has been one of the top names for boys in the United States since the 1990s. It’s also a strong, masculine choice. The name literally means, “defending men.”
Nilo is a popular nickname for Spanish boys named Danilo. Danilo is biblical in origin and means “God is my judge.” Milo is a similar name for boys.