13 Rarest Girl Names You Won’t Find on a Keychain

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Finding the perfect name for your child can be a stressful task, especially with so many options to choose from. Despite the countless baby books and naming websites, a few unique and interesting names go unused or unnoticed each year. Below you will find some of the rarest girl names, which share a range of meanings rooted in religion, personal characteristics, and/or the natural world.

  1. Cilla
  2. Origin: Latin/Norse
    Meaning: Ancient/Blind
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 22,644 (2018)
    photo source: © stefano.pellicciari via Fotolia

    Cilla is the rarest girl name on this list. Cilla is so rare that consensus about its origins and exact meaning is nonexistent. It’s often considered a shortened version of the name Priscilla, but dissenters believe it is a different version of the name Cecilia. While these two names signify different things, Priscilla means “ancient” and Cecilia “blind,” they clearly share similarities and possibly sources.

    Did you know

    The earliest documented usage of Cilla is in 1795 in Sweden.

  3. Buffy
  4. Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: God’s Oath
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 10,151 (2020)
    photo source: Disney – Fair Use

    Buffy is a shortened version of Elizabeth, a Hebrew name meaning “God’s oath” or “consecrated to God.” The name Buffy comes from a child’s pronunciation of Elizabeth’s final syllables— turning “-beth” into “buff” and then adding a “-y” as a term of endearment. It hit a peak at #529 in 1972, but has not been within the top 1,000 US names since 1977. Modern usage most likely stems from Joss Whedon’s hit television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” in which an unlikely hero juggles high school problems and the forces of evil. Through this name association, Buffy suggests power and leadership.

    Did you know

    “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon chose the name Buffy for his protagonist because it’s the name “[He] took least seriously” and thought it contrasted well with the rest of the title.

  5. Helga
  6. Origin: Norse
    Meaning: Blessed, holy
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 4,630 (2020)
    photo source: Ernest Wallcousins – Public Domain

    Helga is the feminized form of “Helge,” or “Helgi” which references the word, “heilagr,” meaning “holy” or “blessed.’ In one version of Norse mythology, an unnamed hero happens upon a Valkyrie, a sort of demigod handmaiden, who gives him the name “Helgi.” She also helps him avenge his father’s death by telling him the location of a magical sword. Helga last ranked in the top 1,000 US names in 1912 at #978.

    Did you know

    While Helga is rare internationally, it ranked at #33 in Iceland in 2016.

  7. Greer
  8. Origin: Scottish
    Meaning: Alert or watchful/ Of or relating to the Greer family
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 4,099 (2020)
    photo source: Edi Libedinsky via Unsplash

    Greer acts as both a given name and a surname. As a first name, it is the Scottish feminized version of Gregory, which derives from the Latin “Gregorios,” meaning “alert.” As a last name, Greer traces back to ancient times in Dumfriesshire. There is evidence of the Greer family immigrating from Scotland to Ireland and the United States.

    Did you know

    Although Greer doubles as a Scottish surname, it has Latin roots.

  9. Pandora
  10. Origin: Greek
    Meaning: All gifts/Relates to the myth of Pandora
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 3,439 (2020)
    photo source: Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Public Domain

    Pandora is a Greek name that means “all gifts” and refers to the myth of Pandora’s box.The gods created a woman named Pandora, giving her several physical and mental endowments. Additionally, they gifted her a jar and instructed her not to open it. Ever so curious, Pandora opened the box and unknowingly released pain and suffering into the world. Simultaneously, however, she freed hope, which provides comfort in dark times. The name’s complex significance could play a role in its rare status.

    Did you know

    The infamous Pandora’s box was actually a jar.

  11. Sabina
  12. Origin: Latin
    Meaning: Reference to the Sabine people
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 2,953 (2020)
    photo source: Jacques Louis David – Public Domain

    Sabina refers to a “Sabine,” a member of a group of ancient peoples who occupied what is now modern Italy. As with most groups in the region, the Sabine people lost their land to the Roman Empire after a series of battles. Historians believe they had a substantial impact on the cultural practices of ancient Rome, contributing certain words and traditions to the empire. They received full Roman citizenship in 268 BCE, 200 years after being conquered.

    Did you know

    Despite its overall rarity, the name Sabina is popular in the Czech Republic, ranking # 41 in 2016.

  13. Fern
  14. Origin: English
    Meaning: Fern Plant
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 2,759 (2020)
    photo source: Andy Feliciotti via Unsplash

    Fern is a direct reference to the fern plant, which has long green leaves and thrives in the shade. Ferns are sturdy and ancient, dating back to prehistoric times. Today they are the second most diverse of all flowerless plants. Since ferns lack seeds and flowers, many people had trouble deciphering how they reproduced before the introduction to modern science. In the Middle Ages, people believed that the fern formed a magical invisible seed once a year that allowed one to communicate with birds, locate hidden treasure, and possess super strength.

    Did you know

    Ferns reproduce through spores rather than seeds.

  15. Darby
  16. Origin: Scottish
    Meaning: Deer Town
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 2,016 (2020)
    photo source: John Sykes Jr. via Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

    Darby is a unisex name that has different meanings depending on gender. When used for girls, Darby means “Deer Town.” This location name is most likely due to the fact that Darby began as a surname and surnames usually hold information about a family’s origins. From 2000 to 2002, Darby just made it onto the US top 1,000 baby name list, but has not returned since.

    Did you know

    As a male name, Darby comes from Gaelic and means “Freeman.” It ranks even lower at #13,562 (2020)

  17. Oriana
  18. Origin: Greek
    Meaning: Golden One
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 1,940 (2020)
    photo source: Earthsky.org

    Oriana is most likely the feminized version of the Greek Orion, which means “son of fire.” In Greek mythology, Orion is a talented hunter with potentially god-like abilities (the origins of his birth vary depending on the story). He is so skilled at hunting, in fact, that he swears to kill off every wild animal on earth. Gaia, a titan and mother of the earth, sends a giant scorpion to stop Orion from his mission. The hunter dies in battle with the ferocious beast and Gaia places him among the stars as a warning to others. In another version of the story, Orion is the son of Poseidon and a human mother and Zeus places him and the scorpion among the stars after their battle. His constellation looks like a body holding a bow and arrow.

    Did you know

    There are 19 stars in the Orion constellation.

  19. Asha
  20. Origin: Sanskrit/Swahili
    Meaning: Wish, desire, hope/Life
     Number of Births: Unknown
    Ranking: 1,402 (2020)
    photo source: Sharon McCutcheon – Unsplash

    Asha has two origins. In India, it comes from the Sanskrit word for “wish, desire or hope.” In Africa, it derives from the Swahili word for “life.” While records for its home regions aren’t readily available, Asha is quite rare in the United States as well as in England, despite the large immigrant populations in both places.

    Did you know

    Asha originates from two different places, India and Africa, but is written the same way in English.

  21. Mercedes
  22. Origin: Spanish
    Meaning: Virgin Mary
     Number of Births: 270 (2014)
    Ranking: 989 (2014)
    photo source: Public Domain

    Mercedes is a reference to the Virgin Mary as the “Mother of Mercies,” one of her many monikers. The name Mercedes derives from the Latin “merces,” which means “wages” or “ransom.” This is also relevant to Jesus’ crucifixion as many Christians view his sacrifice as a sort of ransom paid so that souls can enter heaven for eternal life. Mercedes’ rare usage might relate to the famous car brand, which has shifted the original Christian meaning.

    Did you know

    One of the Mercedes founders named the brand after his daughter.

  23. Scout
  24. Origin: English
    Meaning: Someone who discovers/ main character in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
     Number of Births: 274 (2018)
    Ranking: 963 (2018)
    photo source: Universal – Fair Use

    As a common word, scout refers to someone who discovers or gathers information. As a name, it most likely traces to Harper Lee’s classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in which the main character earns the nickname Scout for her tomboyish behavior and curious nature. She also learns lessons about racial tolerance and justice, giving the name those associations as well.

    Did you know

    The name Scout is more popular in Australia.

  25. Della
  26. Origin: Teutonic/English
    Meaning: of Nobility/Dell
     Number of Births: 339 (2019)
    Ranking: 805 (2019)
    photo source: Mitya Ianov via Unsplash

    Della as it refers to nobility is a shortened version of Adela. There is another theory, however, that Della comes from the English word “dell,” which refers to a small valley, For many years, Della was quite a rare name, never making it into the top 1,000 baby names in the US. In 2018 and 2019, though, it surged onto the list, ranking at 861 and 805, respectively.

    Did you know

    Della never made it onto the list of top 1,000 US girl names until 2018.


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