The number of uncommon baby names is surging in popularity as parents try to choose unique monikers for their children.
Naming an actual human is a tricky process. Choosing something too out-there could set your child up for a lifetime of mispronunciation.
But equally picking a popular name risks them being one of eight Olivias on the pre-school register.
It's little wonder, therefore, that more mums and dads are opting to think a little outside the box when it comes to picking a moniker for their child.
According to a survey by parenting site ChannelMum, 7% of parents have already chosen a unique name for their child, while a further two thirds (65%) would ponder a more peculiar pick when it comes to naming their little one.
Official figures from the Office of National Statistics show around 60,000 different names are registered each year, but the number of choices is increasing as more parents select one-off monikers for their offspring.
So what's fuelling mums and dads to be to seek out more unusual names?
Turns out the search for something a bit different is being partly driven by a desire for their children to stand out from the crowd, with 72% admitting they opted for a unique name for that very reason.
Meanwhile, one in 50 have even opted to make up their child's moniker so their child can easily be found on social media.
Of course this surge in striving to stand-out can also partly be pinned on celebrities who are continuously pushing baby naming boundaries. (We're looking at you Elon Musk and Grimes!)
Commenting on the trend for more uncommon monikers, baby name expert SJ Strum told Yahoo UK: “There’s currently a huge surge in parents valuing individual names to make their baby stand out – and 7% have even attempted to create their own unique name which no one else uses.
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“While this can be partly attributed to social media and wanting to be 'searchable', the rise of the individual name also reflects our cultural connectivity and shift to celebrating our individuality."
Strum says the trends around how parents choose names for their children have also changed thanks to our evolving cultures.
“Parents used to have slim pickings with royal names or family names being passed on," she explains.
"Now in 2022 we’re inspired by broader influences including nature, space, spirituality and travel. All of these bring bold and exciting new names into a world where we now celebrate differences, embrace diversity and want to highlight what makes us all special.”
If you fancy striking a balance between standing out from the baby massage crowd yet not being too bonkers, here are some of the fastest rising distinctive options to put on the potentials list.
Read more: Baby names predicted to be big in 2022
Distinctive names for girls
One of the biggest trends in baby names right now (aside from ‘Peaky Blinders’ and monikers from eras gone by) is to choose a gender-neutral moniker that could be used for either sex, and Remi totally fits that bill.
Meaning 'oarsman' the name has been growing in popularity of late and is currently one of the fastest rising distinctive options.
"Gender neutral names are so popular and we predict Remi will soon be knocking the more traditional Emily off baby name popularity lists," Strum adds.
It isn’t the first time gender-neutral baby names has been cited as a fast growing trend. Back in 2018 a survey of British parents by online marketplace, OnBuy.com, revealed that almost half (45%) would choose a unisex name, with over a quarter (27%) admitting they would choose a gender neutral name just to follow trends.
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Strum says names ending in 'ie' are proving popular as they are playful and also tick the already-a-nickname box.
Marnie, derived from Marina, a name of Latin origin meaning from the sea or sparkling, has become popular as a name in it's own right and offers parents-to-be the perfect blend of being unusual yet fashionable.
It was also the choice for Lily Allen's daughter, Marnie Rose, who she shares with ex husband Sam Cooper.
This name means life. "Spiritual names like Bodhi and Veda are already booming but outsider choice Zoya currently at 162 is set to peak within five years," explains Strum.
More unique than sister celestial names Luna and Cosmo, Strum predicts Nova, deriving from the Latin Novus, which means new-born star, will continue to prove popular with parents, and currently sits at 144 in the baby name charts.
Rising up 73 places last year alone but still remaining outside the top 100, Strum says Primrose is the trendiest floral name of the moment.
Distinctive names for boys
Chosen by Joe wicks for his second child, Marley, meaning "pleasant woods" is racing up the lower end of the baby naming charts.
Unranked 20 years ago, Archer now sits at 172 in the most popular lists and according to Strum is fast heading for the top 200.
The boy's moniker, which derives from the English word meaning bowman, also taps into the surnames-as-first-names trend.
Though this name is currently pretty rare, Strum says it is on the rise. "This is the ancient name for the two easternmost hills in Jerusalem," she adds.
The moniker, which is the Scandinavian form of the Hebrew, Absalom, meaning "man of peace", was the name chosen by Little Mix's Perrie Edwards and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for their first child, a boy, born last August.
The second fastest rising boy name outside the top 100 last year, Strum says this is a strong name she expects we’ll be hearing more of.
The fastest rising boy name outside the top 100, Strum says this moniker has jumped up over 300 spots in both the UK and America.
According to babycentre.co.uk the name derives from the Slavic form of Jakob, which is a German form of Jacob, from the Hebrew aquv or aqab, meaning "heel" or "supplanter", Kobe has also seen a spike in popularity following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a helicopter accident on January 26, 2020.
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