We fancy ourselves to be collectors of baby names the way some people collect fringed brocade lampshades or taxidermied rodents wearing seersucker suits. So when we come across a handful of rare baby boy names we’ve never seen — and that we think have real potential to scale the baby name charts — we perk up like we’ve just pounded seven consecutive nitro cold brews.
You probably already know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps careful data of baby names — and not just the top ones, as you may have thought. If more than five wee infants have been honored with the same moniker in a single year, the SSA is on it and the name goes into the database. Which is maybe kind of creepy, come to think about it.
Scary Mommy went digging in the deep dark root cellar of the 2018 SSA baby name files, just to see which names were only used five times last year. And dang, they’ve got some serious charm and je ne sais quoi going on, we’re telling you.
Because there are only so many rhymes for Aiden, people. You’re going to have to branch out from the Bradens and Jadens and Cadens eventually, so why not get a head start on your parent peers? Baby naming is a ruthless game, and these gems might ensure that your precious bundle of XY chromosomal material never has to be the fifth of his kind in his kindergarten class (or walking across his graduation stage).
So try these dark horses on for size. Practice your rusty cursive. What do you think?
- Esher — Nice for art lovers and fans of M.C. Escher, minus one “c” (although you can keep the “c” if you like).
- Beaudry — It’s got that “Reese Witherspoon could have a baby named this” vibe. Southern, or faux Southern.
- Fielder — Nah, doesn’t matter if he can’t catch.
- Joen — A Joen will be devastatingly brilliant and work on his environmental studies thesis at the corner table of an Amsterdam cafe. Guaranteed.
- Ridger — Nice for outdoor families who live near mountains, or for those who breed Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Or, you know, neither of those things.
- Tenneson — Attention lit lovers who adore Lord Tennyson but can’t spell well: This name is all yours.
- Cario — From the Latin word “carus,” or “beloved,” Cario has a dashing Europass vibe to it.
- Enric — Catalan instead of the Germanic “Heinrich” or English “Henry.” Yours if you like the thought of saying, Oh, Enric? It’s Catalan.
- Geddy — Not recommended if your last name is Spurg. Otherwise, have at it.
- Joviah — Mildly, vaguely Biblical, but no one will be confident enough to challenge you on it.
- Parson — Fab if you’ve got a preacher in the house (or Grandma or Grandpa is a pastor). Prob best avoided by rabbis, but hey, that’s your call.
- Siler — It’s got that roving, roaming feel. Turns out seiler is German for rope-maker. Excellent for a boating squad or lake lovers.
- Argo — The ship of the legendary Argonauts. And Jason, whose name took a beating in the ’70s and ’80s, poor dude.
- Brennox — If Shannen Doherty and Annie Lennox had a love child? Cool and artistic and slightly over-the-top. We dig.
- Caz — How cool is this child? So cool, he can handle the long version of his name, too: Casimir.
- Doren — There are already Sorens and Torens and Laurens and Warrens. World, meet Doren.
- Andri — Super-slick gender-neutral name. We adore its laid-back modernity.
- Levyn — Means “dear friend,” has that “-yn” suffix that parents love. Not a good choice for pun-obsessed families who celebrate Passover, though. Dad, quit it with the un-Levyned bread.
- Beacon — SO much better than naming your precious bundle Lighthouse.
- Imre — A little gem from landlocked Hungary, pronounced “EEM-ray.” Which kind of sounds like “sting ray.” Which would be a cool nursery theme.
- Zyrie — Who cares how you pronounce it? It gets your baby the coveted nickname “Z.” Period.
Come on, don’t you love at least one of these? We sure do. Caz, be a lamb and clear the table, buddy.