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Top 13 Rarest Baby Names In The US That Parents Should Try. Photo KnowInsiders

A name signals your feelings about your family, your cultural heritage, your style, your desire to fit in or stand out in society.

A name is a one-time decision that lasts for your child's entire life - at least unless they decide to change it!

That’s why picking a name is important to a baby’s life. Check out top 13 rarest baby names in the US. The rare names might make your baby outstanding.

Top 13 Rarest Baby Names In The US That Parents Should Try

1. Rome

The name Rome is both a boy's name and a girl's name. Given that Rome is arguably the most important city in European history, it has been used as a first name remarkably little.

Over 300 baby boys were named Rome in the US in 2021, about ten times as many as the baby girls named Rome.

Meaning: Unknown for sure, possibly rock or hill; name of Italy’s capital city

In 2019, only 208 babies were named Rome, making it the rarest baby name in the United States. The unique name comes from the capital city of Italy. No one knows for sure what the exact origins of the name Rome are, but there the leading theory states that it comes from the Etruscan word ruma, which was their name for the Tiber River. There is also the Latin word ruma, which means “motherly breast.” The place where Rome was founded along the Tiber River makes a curve in the shape of a woman’s breast.

READ MORE: Top 10 Most Popular Baby Name in England and Wales

2. Hester

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Meaning: Star

It features in one of the most famous books in American literature - but Hester has fallen out of fashion in recent years.

The disgraced heroine of The Scarlet Letter's name, after long neglect, just might have a chance at revival, following in the wake of sister-name Esther. We've characterized her elsewhere as an eccentric aristocrat, much more accepted in the U.K. than she has been here.

Hester's beyond-Hawthorne's literary appearances include as characters in Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy, in Oscar Wilde's play A Woman of No Importance, in John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meaney, and as Niles and Frasier Crane's mom on Frasier.

Hetty is Hester's usual nickname, sometimes used independently.

A study looked at the names of more than 300 million American infants born between 1880 -2007. In the study, Twenge found out that since the 1950s, common baby names have become less popular. In 1950, more than 30 percent of baby boys were given a name from the top-10 common names by the parents. By the time it was 2007, the number reduced to just under 10 percent.

According to Twenge, parents are choosing unique baby names for their offspring. If they cannot find anything unique, they settle with altered versions of common names. So, Jackson becomes Jaxon. Other parents go for double-barreled names for their babies. So, Marie –Rose or Scott –Joy becomes great choices. Japanese parents have also started combining traditional Japanese characters with unusual pronunciations.

In a German town, some researchers conducted another small study. They analyzed baby names, starting from the year 1894. They found that in 1894, a mere 32% babies had unique names. But by the time the timeline reaches 1994, the statistics have increased to 77%.

3. Aayan

Meaning: Gift of God

Aayan is an incredibly unique name in the West and has Arabic origins. The name is typically used for males and means “Gift of God” or “God’s Gift.” This beautiful name is also a variation on the name Ayan, which is popular in Muslim communities and is frequently mentioned in the Quran.

Before 2019, the name Aayan never appeared on the popular baby names list in the U.S. Maybe in the future, the name will climb up in popularity.

Aayan is also a popular name in India and comes from Sanskrit for Soaked in the Divine (as in Satyanarayan).

4. Romilly

Meaning: Citizen of Rome

Originally a surname deriving from the Roman twin Romulus, this attractive name was introduced to the English-speaking world as a first name by painter Augustus John who used it for his son. Romilly John became Admiral of the Fleet in England.

A French surname from the twelfth century on, it's more recently been heard as a girls' name. Emma Thompson, for example, used Romilly as her daughter Gaia's middle name. And Romilly was used in the US last year for a dozen baby girls.

The logical nicknames would be Romy or Milly, both very much in style.

How common is the name Romilly for a baby born in 2021? Romilly was the 15165th most popular girls name. In 2021 there were only 5 baby girls named Romilly. 1 out of every 355,897 baby girls born in 2021 are named Romilly.

5. Lilac

Meaning: bluish or lilac

Could Lilac be the next Lila or Lily or Violet? It certainly has a lot going for it--those lilting double 'l's, the fabulous fragrance it exudes, and the fact that it's a color name as well, providing a ready made nursery theme. In addition, the lilac is symbolic of first love.

Actor Stephen Moyer was ahead of the curve when he named his daughter Lilac in 2002.

Why do parents love choosing unique/rare names for babies?

Wealth makes people stick to the uniqueness

Wealth makes people stick to the uniquenessMichael Varnum, Arizona State University’s assistant psychology professor conducted a study, where he noticed that people in the more developed, stable, and ever-progressing sections of the society tend to go with unique baby names. These developed parts of any particular society are big on expressing individuality – and hence, the unique names. But, what is the connection between wealth, individuality and uniqueness?

According to Professor Varnum, wealthy people are financially and socially secure. Hence, they can afford to break ties with conformity and adhere to the individual expression of uniqueness. Moreover, Professor Varmun states that wealthy people are better off when they are away from the crowds, since it presents various opportunities for innovation.

However, Varnum also noted that people in the less economically developed parts of the world choose to stick to common baby names, in a bid to play it safe. People who lack enough financial or social resources to move ahead in life stick to conformity – and this reflects in their choice of baby names as well.

6. Ottilie

Since 2010, Otis has climbed 285 places in the Office of National Statistic's rankings - and its influence is reflected in the female version too.

Meaning: It has French origin meaning 'prosperous in battle'.

Ottilie and its diminutive Ottiline are a pair of names heard among the British upper crust, but have rarely been seen here since the 1880's. Ottilie does have a few cultural references: She is a key character in Goethe's Elective Affinities, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a poem called To Ottilie, Franz Kafka had a sister named Ottilie, and it is the name of the protagonist in the John Wyndom sci-fi story Random Quest.

Probably the best known Ottilie is the German journalist, abolitionist and feminist Ottilie Assing, who had a long involvement with fellow abolitionist Frederic Douglass.

Some attractive Ottilie relatives: Ottoline, Ottilia and Odile. And Ottilie has the adorable nicknames of Lottie and Tillie.

Is it crucial to come up with unique baby names?

Unique baby names seem like a good place to start with if parents are trying to create an individualistic existence for their infant. But, it is highly crucial to understand that uniqueness is not always legible. Unique names can only benefit the child to some extent in the future. But beyond surface level, one must rely on hard work, skill, and determination to stand out and succeed in life. In a bid to shun conformity, or to establish a presence, or to stay away from commonality – one can turn to choosing unique names. But, just like everything else in this world, one should notice the thin line and try not to cross it.

7. Dhruv

Meaning: Faithful, Immovable, Fixed

While Dhruv is a rare name in the United States, it is a very popular baby name in India. It is derived from Dhruva, who was a notable devotee of Lord Vishnu. Dhruva or Dhruv is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavata Purana. The name is impotant in the Hindu community.

Dhruv or Dhruva is the name that Hindus use for the North Star (Pole Star), which is also known as Polaris.

8. Lorcan

Meaning: little, fierce

Lorcan is a name rich in Irish history as belonging to several kings, including the grandfather of the most famous high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. Lorcan O'Toole, known in English as Laurence O'Toole, is the patron saint of Dublin, so it's not too surprising that Irish-born actor Peter O'Toole named his son Lorcan.

In the Harry Potter epic, Lorcan is the twin son of Luna Lovegood Scamander.

Strong, easy to pronounce and spell, Lorcan is an Irish name that would stand out from the more common crop of Connors and Liams.

9. Rafferty

Meaning: floodtide, abundance, prosperity

Jaunty and raffish, Rafferty is one of the most engaging of the Irish surnames, used by Jude Law and Sadie Frost for their son. Fortunately, it doesn't still go by its original form: O'Raighbheartaigh.

Raff and Rafe are two equally great nicknames.

10. Grover

Meaning: lives near a grove of trees

It's most commonly associated with the 22nd President of the United States Grover Cleveland.

However, a mention in Lena Dunham's Girls reimagined this traditional moniker for a younger generation.

Describing how it was given to 23 boys in 2021, Nameberry's CEO Pamela Redmond said: 'When Lena Dunham’s character used Grover for her baby at the end of Girls, it gave a cool modern image to this old school presidential name.'

11. Stone

Meaning: Dweller by the Stone or Rocks

Stone is typically a surname, but it has been used as a first name for boys for many years. It comes from the Old English stān, which literally means “the stone.” Typically the name Stone was used when a person or family lived near a notable stone, boundary-marker, monument, or landmark. For example, John, who lives by the stone, eventually became John Stone.

As a first name, Stone denotes strength as stones/rocks are some of the strongest natural minerals. Although Stone was one the least popular names in 2019, it was ranked No. 694 on the Top 1000 baby names in 2001.

12. Dixie

Meaning: Nickname for the Southern U.S.

Dixie has become one of the least popular baby names in the U.S. for a reason. As America tries to reconcile with its racist past, any names associated with the Southern United States and its problematic history have become somewhat taboo. No one knows for sure where the name Dixie comes from, but it has been used to describe the Southern U.S, especially those states that seceded to form the Confederate States of America, long before the Civil War. Despite it being a controversial name, parents probably choose the name Dixie to honor their Southern roots.

One of the strongest theories for the origins of the name Dixie says that it derives from Jeremiah Dixon, a surveyor of the Mason–Dixon line. Dixon’s work inspired a children’s game played in New York that changed his name to Dixie.

13. Hadleigh

Meaning: Heather Meadow

Hadleigh is a variation on the more common name Hadley and is English in origin. While it is typically a gender neutral first name, the spelling Hadleigh is used more often for girls. Hadleigh isn’t a popular first name, but it is a pretty common surname in England. The name has Anglo-Saxon origins and means “heather meadow.”

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