Choosing a name for your baby is the first step of your new full-time career in the parenting industry — well, the first step after the whole deal that brought you to this point, at least. If you’re going to be spending the next 18 years growing together with this little person, you want to make sure you’re picking something cool that’s going to fit for the long haul.
Some people take it to a whole new level, though. Celebrities out there often get the spotlight when they announce their baby’s name, and these are usually so weird that people’s reactions are exactly as you can imagine. Memes are born, tabloids deliver epic headlines, and the internet enjoys a field day.
But celebrities aren’t the only ones that can get creative with their child’s name. You might have some crazy friends who are just as bad as celebrities when it comes to picking baby names, or you could even be one of those people yourself — we all know someone who has a weird name for their kid! It can be hard to understand why parents would want to give their kids such strange names, but these parents seem to have no problem explaining themselves.
We’ve rounded up some of the most unusual baby names that have been making headlines or that we found while exploring the web. Some are inspired by pop culture; some sound like they belong in a fairy tale; others are so rare that parents had to explain the meaning behind them. Only one thing is sure: these are the most unique baby names you will ever hear!
X Æ A-XII - Probably the most famous one on the list, X Æ A-XII is the son of Elon Musk and Grimes. The name, pronounced “Ex Ash A Twelve,” contains references to “the unknown variable,” the elven spelling of “AI,” and the precursor to their favorite aircraft.
Nimrod - A name of Biblical origin, Nimrod is described in Genesis as “a mighty warrior on the earth.” Unfortunately, it’s now synonymous with being an idiot.
Phelony - Calling your child a name like this should probably be considered a crime itself.
Moon Unit - The late rocker Frank Zappa was a master at choosing eccentric names for his children. Moon Unit Zappa is the name of his first daughter.
Xxayvier - Alternative spelling for Xavier, it was included among the worst names for boys in 2019.
Robocop - Sci-fi hardcore fans, assemble! The Mexican state of Sonora felt compelled to publish a list of banned names after some parents registered their kids as Burger King, Circumcision, Panties, Hitler, and last but not least, Robocop. The law avoids words that could lead to bullying in school.
Shanda (Lear) - Shanda is actually a common name, but when your father is called Bill Lear and has a passion for dad jokes, you end up being called Shanda Lear (yeah, like chandelier).
Marijuana - Full name Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, she was born in Chicago in 1972. She earned a Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University in 2019 with a dissertation on uncommon African-American names.
Slayer - Among the newborns registered in the US in 2017, there were six boys named Slayer. Fans of the famous metal band or just the wish to give your kid a badass name?
Exa Dark Sideræl - When your parents are Elon Musk and Grimes, you can only expect the unexpected. After making headlines for the name of their first child, X Æ A-Xii (known as “X”), they announced the name of their newborn daughter: Exa Dark Sideræl (known as “Y”). Exa is a reference to the term “exaFLOP,” used in supercomputing.
Spicy - Call it weird or unusual, but it has a kick. It was registered in the late 1800s.
Vanity - The name Vanity seems like an odd choice for a child, but to each their own.
Portabella - Baby names from flowers are all well and good, but what about mushrooms? The name got somewhat famous on Reddit when a poster stated her pregnant sister chose this name for her baby.
Maybelline - In 2017, 20 baby girls were registered with this name in the US.
Omega - In the year 1893, 10 babies were given the name Omega. As the last letter in the Greek alphabet, the families used it for their last planned child.
Sage Moonblood - The name of Sylvester Stallone’s eldest son.
Nutella - A French court has stopped a couple from naming their baby girl Nutella, stating that the name would make her the target of bullying. The judge ordered that the child be called Ella instead.
Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 - Submitted in protest against Sweden’s naming law that requires parents to send the name for approval within three months of birth. It was rejected.
Cyanide - In 2016, a judge denied the request of a Welsh woman to call her baby girl Cyanide.
Otter - Actress Zooey Deschanel and film producer Jacob Pechenik took their love for otters to the next level. The couple named their first child Elsie Otter because of how sweet and intelligent otters can be.
Lucifer - Would you call your son Lucifer? A couple of parents in Scotland said “yes” in 2018, and there were no restrictions on it. Other unusual names registered the same year included Nun, Awesome, Royalty, and Pepper.
Doll - Popular boy name around 1900.
Number 16 Bus Shelter - This is probably the weirdest one we found. New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs rejected a series of bizarre names, including 4Real and Mafia No Fear. But Number 16 Bus Shelter somehow got through.
Xela - Xela belongs to the trend of backwards-spelled names. It’s the opposite of Alex.
KVIIIlyn - An Australian couple has been mocked for the name they chose for their baby daughter. It’s pronounced as Caitlin.
Dorcas - A girl’s name from the Bible. It means “gazelle.”
Darth - With Darth Vader being one of the most iconic villains of all time, it’s no surprise that some die-hard fans of the saga would choose this name for their kids. You’ll be amazed to discover that Darth was also registered as a name for 10 girls born in 1920.
Dijon - Dijon is the capital city of Burgundy and the home of fine wines and Dijon mustard. Now there’s another reason for Dijon to be proud: parents have started naming their newborns after it.
Jermajesty - No name can beat this one if you want to feel like royalty. Even more so when your father happens to be Jermaine Jackson.
Sanitiser - Another kid victim of the covid-related names trend. In their defense, the family said the name symbolizes protection.
Awesome - When you want to boost your child’s confidence from day one. It was registered in Scotland.
Talula Does The Hula - A girl named “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii” was put into court guardianship in New Zealand by family judge Rob Murfitt so that she could change her name without her parents’ permission.
Ima - Former Texas governor James Hogg was so smitten with Ima as a name for his daughter that he overlooked the unfortunate pairing with his own last name.
Bear Blaze - Bear Blaze was chosen for Kate Winslet and Ned Rocknroll’s son. Bear comes from a friend of Kate’s, while Blaze refers to the couple’s first meeting when there was a fire at Richard Branson’s house.
Zowie - David Bowie and his first wife, Angie, chose the name Zowie for their only kid so it could rhyme well with his father’s stage name. Zowie Bowie wasn’t a fan of it and now goes by the name Duncan Jones.
Aero - A gender-neutral Greek name, it means “of the sky.”
Hashtag - When the search for trendy names goes a little further.
Tarantula - Let’s hope arachnophobes won’t be scared by this kid.
Sparrow Midnight - Nicole Richie and rocker Joel Madden went for Sparrow James Midnight for their son — the last part of his name because he was born at midnight.
Seven - Seven Sirius Benjamin is the celebrity kid of Erykah Badu and André 3000. Chosen because “the number 7 can be divided by nothing but itself.”
$helly - A hip-hop star since day one!
Fifa - It’s no wonder dedicated football fans end up naming their kids after legendary football stars, but calling them the name of a sports association? That’s new.
Cinnamon - Unusual but popular in the 1960s, with more than 200 children registered with this name in 1969.
Candida - Its Latin meaning could make it a delicate and feminine name (it means “pure”). But as you know, Candida is also the name for something else. Something quite annoying.
Tu Morrow - You must be a crazy weirdo or a genius (or a bit of both) to call your child Tu. Especially if you are Rob Morrow and have a quirky sense of humor.
Man - Well, I mean, he’s gonna be a man anyway, right? There were 5 baby boys registered as Man in 1884.
Binx - A gender-neutral name popularized by the cult movie Hocus Pocus.
Wealthy - Seven couples gave this name to their daughters in 1887. Seems like they clearly knew what they wanted their kids to become in life.
North West - When you know you’re gonna inherit Kanye West’s last name, you don’t expect your parents to name you like another cardinal compass point, right? But this is what happened with the couple’s first daughter, North West. Kim Kardashian and Ye are no strangers to unusual names, and they called their other kids Psalm, Chicago, and Saint.
Semaj - Another result of the backwards-names trend. Yeah, it’s James. Backwards.
ABCDE - More than 300 kids were registered with this name in the 1990s. Well, we hope it was at least easier for them to get started with the alphabet.
Birdella - Probably combining Birdie and Ella, it was given to five girls registered in America in 1882.
Maim - Maim is an alternative version of Maime, which means “star of the sea.” The spelling here though is… quite inappropriate for an English speaker.
Derfla - Again, another name written backwards — Alfred.
Moxie Crimefighter - Magician Penn Jillette named his daughter Moxie Crimefighter. He said it was his wife’s idea, and he defended the trend of giving children unusual names.
Reign Beau - Hollywood star Ving Rhames and his wife Deborah Reed named their children Reign Beau and Freedom.
Raddix - Coined by Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden, the couple claimed the name Raddix means “new beginning.”
Kingmessiah - Talk about high expectations for your kid. A notorious parenting platform named it the worst boy name of 2019.
Almond - Almond, both a boy’s and a girl’s name, has been around since the mid-19th century. It means “noble strength,” other than the meaning we all attribute to it, and it’s thought to be a variation of Almund and Adalmund.
Bingham - Bingham is a pretty unusual name, considering his parents — Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudson — named him after a market town and a last name.
Exton - Exton is the name of various villages in England. A little unusual, but when your father is the legendary Robert Downey Jr., who cares about such a small detail?
Bronx Mowgli - Son of Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz. When asked about this curious name, Pete Wentz said, “Bronx comes back to a very specific story between my wife and me.” As you can expect, the middle name is inspired by “The Jungle Book” main character.
Facebook - Facebook is another name the Mexican state of Sonora had to ban after parents chose it for their kids. But on the other side of the world, in Egypt, a father registered his daughter with this name in honor of Facebook’s role in spurring the Egyptian revolution in 2011.
Covid - Yeah, more than one set of parents chose Covid as the name for their kid during the pandemic.
Author - The trend of calling newborns job names skyrocketed around the 1930s. Numerous kids were registered as Author, Judge, and Singer.
Window - Two kids were registered as Window in the 1950s. As if this wasn’t enough to make them the perfect bullying targets, one of them was blessed with the middle name Coverings.
Moroccan - Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon named their son Moroccan — reportedly in honor of the top floor of Carey’s apartment, which featured Moroccan-inspired decor and was where Cannon proposed.
Cricket - Actress Busy Philipps and screenwriter Marc Silverstein named their second daughter Cricket Pearl.
Sunday Molly - Nothing weird with Molly, but what about Sunday? This is the name Mike Myers and Kelly Tisdale chose for their daughter, explaining that the couple “hate Sundays,” so they wanted to give a new positive meaning to the word.
Version 2.0 - Michigan man Jon Blake Cusack says the American habit of adding “Junior” or “II” to a son’s name is too common. So when his boy was born, he decided to name him Jon Blake Cusack Version 2.0 — as if he were an upgrade. It took months for his wife to accept the idea.
Prince Michael II/Blanket - Michael Jackson made sure to give his name to his kids, even his only daughter. Starting with his first son, Prince Michael, then his daughter, Paris Michael Katherine, ending with his third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, nicknamed Blanket.
Christop - Another victim of the “8-characters glitch” that hit all the Christins, Jacquelis, Alexandes, and Elizabets born in 1989.
Audio Science - Actress Shannyn Sossamon and her boyfriend literally chose this name by reading the dictionary because they wanted a word for their kid, not a name.
Pilot Inspektor - Inspired by a song by indie-rock band Grandaddy, it was chosen by actor Jason Lee for his son.
Like - Submitted and registered by a set of parents in Israel.
Nevaeh - Gotta love the backwards-spelling trend that hit the spotlight in the early 2000s. Nevaeh is just “Heaven” spelled backwards, and it was chosen by POD lead vocalist Sonny Sandoval for his daughter.
Doorman - Another name coming from the job-names trend that spread in America in the 1930s.
Fanny - Fanny was a widespread name in the 19th and 20th centuries. Unfortunately, languages tend to change, and nowadays, this name has a not-so-flattering meaning in both British and American English.
Jacqueli - A similar situation to all the “Christins” out there. The computer system only allowed eight letters, so the name Jacqueline lost its final letters, becoming the official name registered in the US social security system.
Destry - Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw named their youngest child Destry, inspired by Jimmy Stewart’s character in the classic western movie “Destry Rides Again.”
Kal-El - Actor Nicolas Cage and his ex-wife Alice Kim chose Kal-El for their son, inspired by the birth name of Clark Kent, aka Superman. Ironically, Kal-El Cage, now 16, voiced young Bruce Wayne in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies.
Buddy Bear - Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools have a long story about giving their kids the strangest names. Starting with their first daughter Poppy Honey Rosie, they kept the tradition alive with all of their kids: Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Buddy Bear Maurice, and River Rocket Blue Dallas.
Alexande - Around 300 kids born in 1989 ended up with their names being cut off right at the last letter.
Dweezil - Second son of Gail and Frank Zappa, Dweezil was originally the nickname coined by Frank for an oddly curled pinky toe of Gail’s. When he was born, the nurse in charge refused to register this name and forced them to opt for another one. The parents hired an attorney years later to change it and officialize Dweezil.
Corona - A cute name with an interesting meaning tarnished forever by its association with the virus. Two twins were reportedly registered as Covid and Corona.
Apple - The name Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow chose for their daughter, born in 2004.
Google - Full name Oliver Google Kai. It was registered in Sweden by a father who stated he loves Google services.
Girl (Stulka in Icelandic) - In 1998, an Icelandic couple decided to name their daughter Blær — “light breeze” in Icelandic — only to see it rejected by the government. Since the name was not on Iceland’s official list of approved names, they protested the decision by using the word “Stulka” (“girl” in Icelandic) for every official document.
Rocket - Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellán named all their kids with names starting with the same letter: Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue, and Rhiannon.
Hellzel - A Redditor posted the story of how they came to name their child Hellzel: mom liked Hazel, while dad was a biker who wanted to join the Hells Angels. Combine them, and you get a pretty badass name.
Fifi Trixibelle - Fifi Trixibelle is the first daughter of rockstar Bob Geldof and his late ex-wife, Paula Yates. She was named after Geldof’s aunt Fifi. The Trixibelle part of her name was Paula Yates’ idea since she wanted a “Belle” in the family.
Harm - The Dutch version of Herman doesn’t work too well in English.
Alaska - Both a boy’s name and a girl’s name, it comes from the Aleut word “alaxsxaq,” which means “mainland.”
Easton - Similar to Duke, Easton is also gaining popularity as a first name. It means “facing the East” or “toward the sunrise.”
Faris - An Arabic masculine name, it means “knight” or “cavalier.”
Zooey - Zooey Deschanel has quite a curious name herself. She was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s novella Franny and Zooey.
Everleigh - A trendy version of the name Everly, used by actor Cam Gigandet for his daughter.
Christin - In 1989, almost a thousand American babies were registered as Christin. The reason might have been related to a computer system that only allowed up to eight letters; that’s why the last letter was cut off.
Everest - George Lucas, creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and his wife Mellody Hobson decided to name their daughter Everest.
Duke - A common last name that’s growing in popularity as a given name too.
Bear - A badass name for a strong and brave kid. It’s pretty popular lately, maybe inspired by British adventurer Bear Grylls (born Edward Michael). Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver chose it as the middle name for his son Buddy.
Eden - The Hebrew term for “Paradise.” According to the Bible, the Garden of Eden was God’s gift to Adam and Eve.