Opinions on these rare/unusual names

These names have been on and off my favourite names list for a while and I am curious as to whether y’all like them and think they are usable or not.

Some are newly created names ([name_f]Kinley[/name_f], Sabriel), some are old names that are almost extinct in the UK (Talwyn, [name_f]Thisbe[/name_f]) but all of them are unranked or were used less than 20 times in 2018 in the UK (where I am based).

Let me know your thoughts! And I’d love to hear of any UR or low ranked names that you love as well!



I’ve always thought [name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] is such a fun name! Talwyn is interesting but I prefer [name_f]Tanwen[/name_f]. [name_u]Blue[/name_u] and [name_u]Dove[/name_u] would make great middle names! From your boys list, I really like Lorien and [name_u]Sky/name_u. I prefer [name_u]River[/name_u] to Riven, and [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m] or [name_m]Sabian[/name_m] rather than Sabriel.

Some rare names that I like are:


[name_m]Hi[/name_m] there.

Here are my thoughts:


[name_f]Kinley[/name_f]-Meh. I don’t care for this one. It just seems trendy & lacking substance.

Talwyn-Ooh, this is cool. I’ve never heard it before, but I tend to like other ‘wyn’ ending names.

[name_f]Alethea[/name_f]-I don’t mind this. I kind of like [name_f]Althea[/name_f] more, but this is interesting & not sounds nice enough.

[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f]-This is quite sweet.

[name_u]Blue[/name_u]-I think that I’d like this as a mn better. A little odd for a first.

[name_u]Dove[/name_u]-Same as above.


Lorien-Not sure that I care for this. It seems a bit made up.

Sabriel-Same as above, even though according to behindthename.com it’s not. It just sounds off & also a tad feminine.

[name_u]Sky[/name_u]-I actually like this one for a boy. Kind of prefer [name_u]Schuyler[/name_u] nn [name_u]Sky[/name_u], but either. It’s really gentle & calming.

Riven-This doesn’t have a super nice sound to me.

[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u]-This is one of those names that’s too masculine for a girl & too feminine for a boy. I can’t get on board.

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f] - I wouldn’t have said this was a new made up name, it feels quite trendy, perhaps a less known version of [name_f]Kinsley[/name_f]. I don’t dislike it though, and I think it’d be cute a with a feminine middle name.

Talwyn - This is sweet, it doesn’t wow me though!

[name_f]Alethea[/name_f] - This is quite nice, I like how it looks written down but I worry then when said out loud it sounds a bit like I have a lisp.

[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] - I’ve never liked [name_f]Thisbe[/name_f], idk why. Perhaps the [name_m]Shakespeare[/name_m] reference. It just feels a bit harsh and I don’t like the sounds.

[name_u]Blue[/name_u] - I actually think this would be really sweet on a girl! Probably just a gp though.

[name_u]Dove[/name_u] - Perhaps a cute middle name. [name_f]Kinley[/name_f] [name_u]Dove[/name_u] would actually be nice.

Lorien - I can kind of see the appeal, but it’s not my style.

Sabriel - I agree with pp that this feels a little feminine. Maybe it’s the similarity to [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f]? I’m not sure, but I’m not loving it.

[name_u]Sky[/name_u] - I can’t decide if I like this on a boy or not. It is sweet, I suppose!

Riven - I prefer this on a girl, but it works on a boy too.

[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] - Same as Riven.

My thoughts as well, sorry if it’s not very nice:

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f]: sounds like the surname of a cartoon villain, the evil Mr. [name_f]Kinley[/name_f]. Definitely not like a name for a little girl.
Talwyn: a good name for an elf character from The [name_m]Lord[/name_m] of the Rings.
[name_f]Alethea[/name_f]: I actually really like this one, but only as a second name… as a first name, it’s just too strange, and she would have to spell it out all the time. “What’s your name?” “[name_f]Alethea[/name_f].” “What? [name_u]Andrea[/name_u]? [name_f]Anna[/name_f] [name_f]Thea[/name_f]? [name_f]Altea[/name_f]? [name_f]Letta[/name_f]? [name_f]Alexandra[/name_f]? [name_f]Audrey[/name_f]? [name_f]Blythe[/name_f]?” “A-L-E-T-H-E-A.” [name_f]Imagine[/name_f] that every time you have to introduce yourself…
[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f]: “This be”? Too strange. Doesn’t sound like a name.
[name_u]Blue[/name_u]: very cute, actually. I like color names.
[name_u]Dove[/name_u]: kinda cute, but it’s like a pet name? Would you name your child “[name_f]Honey[/name_f]”? “[name_f]Babe[/name_f]”? “Sweetheart”? "[name_f]Princess[/name_f]?

Lorien: another elf name!
Sabriel: cool and edgy. Too edgy for me personally, but I wouldn’t cringe if I saw it on a child.
[name_u]Sky[/name_u]: oh come on. That’s not a name.
Riven: like river, except even weirder?
[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u]: this sounds like the name of a place. [name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] [name_m]Park[/name_m], [name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] [name_m]Street[/name_m]… and it also seems more girly than boyish.

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f] - Not a fan. It sounds really made up and doesn’t really have any nicknames, which the similar [name_f]Kinsley[/name_f] at least does.
Talwyn - Not bad, I like nicknames [name_u]Tally[/name_u] and [name_f]Wynnie[/name_f] but overall something about the sound is off.
[name_f]Alethea[/name_f] - I [name_u]LOVE[/name_u] [name_f]Althea[/name_f], I think it’s gorgeous, though I don’t love this spelling.
[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] - [name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] is really cute and unique! I really like it.
[name_u]Blue[/name_u] - Not into it. Sounds like a dog’s name, and an overused one too.
[name_u]Dove[/name_u] - [name_u]Dove[/name_u] is lovely, as cool as [name_f]Liv[/name_f] but with the animal imagery making it more timeless

Lorien - Too close to [name_f]Lauren[/name_f]
Sabriel - Too close to [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m]. I actually like it more than [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m], but it’d get mixed up with it all the time
[name_u]Sky[/name_u] - This sounds more like a 90’s girl name to me, not like a boy born in 2020.
Riven - Not bad and I get the appeal, but I still prefer [name_u]River[/name_u]
[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] - Interesting, but it works better on a girl. When it comes to “bell” names the only one I prefer on a boy is [name_u]Campbell[/name_u]

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f]- this is a top 100 name in the USA so I don’t find it uncommon. I’ve known girls named [name_f]Kinley[/name_f] and [name_u]McKinley[/name_u] my whole life. It’s sweet and definitely usable!
Talwyn- I love quirky T names; Tesni is on my own list! It’s fun but definitely usable
[name_f]Alethea[/name_f]- I think it’s usable, I just personally hear “[name_f]Alicia[/name_f]” with a lisp :confused:
[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f]- super cute and another great quirky T name. Brave, but usable
[name_u]Blue[/name_u]- this gives me major Beyoncé/[name_u]Blue[/name_u] [name_f]Ivy[/name_f] vibes. I think it could work but the right girl would have to pull it off
[name_u]Dove[/name_u]- I love this! [name_u]Dove[/name_u] [name_u]Cameron[/name_u] makes this feel very accessible to me

Lorien- I like this as an alternative to [name_u]Loren[/name_u], which feels very feminine now
Sabriel- I don’t think it’s unusable but something seems off about it? I think [name_m]Saber[/name_m] is cute
[name_u]Sky[/name_u]- this has a feminine vibe to me but that doesn’t mean it can’t work. I’d assume it was short for [name_u]Skyler[/name_u] though
Riven- I saw this in a recent Babyberry announcement and was immediately struck! It’s so handsome
[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u]- this reminds me of [name_f]Bella[/name_f] and [name_f]Belle[/name_f] so it leans feminine to me but I’m in the minority about that on this site. It definitely works for a boy

[name_u]Blue[/name_u] and Sabriel are the only names here that give me pause but I don’t think they’re decidedly unusable!

Thank you for the brilliant responses everyone!!!

@freddiethepink - Oh my gosh so many lovely names I hadn’t heard of! I have immediately added Merewen and [name_m]Elwyn[/name_m] to my list so beautiful (my bias for -wen names is showing!). [name_f]Tanwen[/name_f] is so cool, and I hadn’t even considered [name_m]Sabian[/name_m] for some reason, I love that as an alternative to Sabriel.

@michellem Again hadn’t even considered [name_f]Althea[/name_f] and think that is such a beautiful name, and that is totally my issue with [name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] as well and why it keeps going on and off my list, it just doesn’t quite fit for either sex for me regardless of how much I love the name.

@carysmarie [name_f]Kinley[/name_f] is completely unranked in the UK so really rare here apparently. I can’t remember why I thought it was invented so that’s probably on me! But I hadn’t thought of it as an alternative for [name_u]Kingsley[/name_u] that is super cool, and I flipping love [name_f]Kinley[/name_f] [name_u]Dove[/name_u], that is so cute.

@luminifera [name_f]Glad[/name_f] you like [name_u]Blue[/name_u]! I love short names and think [name_u]Blue[/name_u] is super cute. And [name_u]Skye[/name_u] is actually quite well used for girls just less for boys, although the male lead in the Mamma [name_f]Mia[/name_f] film is named [name_u]Skye[/name_u] so it definitely has been used for boys.

@emmievis I love the comparison of [name_u]Dove[/name_u] with [name_f]Liv[/name_f], I hadn’t thought about them being similar but they really are. And on Sabriel I agree with you, I feel like they might be confused with [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m] a lot and be constantly spelling their name which is why I love it but would be hesitant to use it. Also as some other berries said it does sound a bit feminine for some reason.

@sparkleninja18 I didn’t know that about [name_f]Kinley[/name_f]! I hadn’t seen it on any name lists before and its completely unranked here but that’s kind of reassuring to know that it is more well used in other parts of the world. And I agree Riven is so handsome, that is so interesting that it has been on a name list hopefully it might start getting used more!

Alethea and Thisbe are my favourites - the others aren’t really my cup of tea.

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f] -cute, on trend but familiar sounding. [name_u]Linden[/name_u], Linley and [name_u]Keeley[/name_u] are similar options

Talwyn -intriguing. I kind of like it. Feels mythical. [name_f]Deryn[/name_f] and [name_f]Arianwen[/name_f] came to mind

[name_f]Alethea[/name_f] - I much prefer [name_f]Althea[/name_f]

[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] -funky and sweet. [name_f]Thessaly[/name_f] and [name_f]Jovie[/name_f] came to mind

[name_u]Blue[/name_u] - charming and deep feeling. [name_u]Indigo[/name_u], [name_m]Sol[/name_m]/Soul and [name_u]True[/name_u] came to mind

[name_u]Dove[/name_u] -light and soft sounding. [name_f]Paloma[/name_f], [name_f]Lotus[/name_f] and [name_f]Lark[/name_f] might also appeal

Lorien -sounds mythical and interesting. [name_m]Lorcan[/name_m] and [name_m]Lysander[/name_m] might also appeal

Sabriel - not a fan, sorry. It sounds like [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m] misspelled

[name_u]Sky[/name_u] -i like [name_u]Sky[/name_u] for a boy. I like the natury vibe and ethereal feeling.
[name_u]Indigo[/name_u], [name_u]Ocean[/name_u], [name_u]Shiloh[/name_u], [name_u]Cedar[/name_u] and [name_u]Onyx[/name_u] may appeal

Riven has a sleek and interesting sound! [name_u]Raven[/name_u], [name_u]Linden[/name_u] and [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m] came to mind

[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] is cool and classic feeling. [name_u]Amory[/name_u], [name_u]Vyvyan[/name_u] and [name_m]Jonty[/name_m] maybe

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f] - don’t like this one, it’s very on trend in the US though but not so much here in the UK
Talwyn - I like it, it has the same feel as names like [name_f]Bronwyn[/name_f] and [name_f]Arwen[/name_f] so I’m surprised it isn’t more common
[name_f]Alethea[/name_f] - I’m familiar with this, though I prefer [name_f]Althea[/name_f], it’s a nice name
[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] - don’t like this either, although I think this is the most common out of the names here
[name_u]Blue[/name_u] - very on trend but NMS
[name_u]Dove[/name_u] - I like this as an unexpected middle name

Lorien - has a very dystopian vibe [name_f]IMO[/name_f], I like it but wouldn’t use it
Sabriel - unusual, I don’t dislike it but I can’t quite work out if it works or not
[name_u]Sky[/name_u] - neither rare nor unusual if you ask me, although more used on a girl, I don’t care for it
Riven - cool! I like [name_m]Ziven[/name_m] and this reminds me of that name
[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] - adoooore this name, would use it if I could in a heartbeat

I like [name_u]Blue[/name_u], [name_u]Dove[/name_u], [name_u]Sky[/name_u], [name_u]Bellamy[/name_u].

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f] – Although I’m not overly keen on this myself, I can see the appeal. The K- beginning and -lee endings have been quite popular in recent years, as have surnames-as-first-names (particularly on girls) so it does have a trendy-modern type feel to it, but that’s not necessarily a negative thing. It has a sweet yet cheeky feel to it.
Talwyn – I want to like this one, but it feels a little off to me, as the -wyn ending feels so gentle and light, while the [name_u]Tal[/name_u]- is sharper and somewhat heavier. I don’t know if that makes much sense to you though…? It’s a nice name regardless though, and would fit in well with popular names today.
[name_f]Alethea[/name_f] – This is lovely. It’s sweet and floral, and has great strength, and the meaning (‘truth’) is fantastic. The only think that would put me off, is the potential automatic nickname of [name_f]Ally[/name_f], which I just personally dislike.
[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] – Gorgeous little gem. I love the sounds, it’s unusual, yet fairly straight-forward in regard to pronunciation.
[name_u]Blue[/name_u] – As a first, it could make quite a statement, but as a middle, it just doesn’t wow me. I guess because it is so familiar in the every day (being a colour), it just lacks the lustre and uncoventionality that rare/unusual names generally have. It sits with [name_f]Rose[/name_f] when it comes to a middle…somewhat of a filler.
[name_u]Dove[/name_u] – The sound matches the light, airy and gentle connotations of the bird, ‘peace’ and ‘hope’ associations. It’s a nice little name. I also like the masculine Hebrew [name_m]Dov[/name_m], if that is of interest to you.
Lorien – It has a great old-world whimsy to it, but also a great strength, which I like a lot.
Sabriel – This one feels very much like the name of an angel, so while it still has that lovely flowy ‘whimsical’ type feel to it, it’s a different type, you know, due to the religious connotations.
[name_u]Sky[/name_u] – I would love to see this used more for boys. I think it’s great - simple and strong, with an obvious nature association.
Riven – I’m not familiar with this name at all, but I don’t mind it. It does make me think [name_u]River[/name_u] or [name_u]Raven[/name_u], misspelled, though, I suppose as those are much more familiar.
[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] – I love [name_u]Bellamy[/name_u]. Like [name_f]Jessamy[/name_f], which is a favourite of mine right now (which you might also like). It’s gentle and has this Old English type feel to it that I love.

You probably already know this, but Sabriel is the title and name of the main character (a woman) in a fairly well known fantasy novel. It’s a great book, though :slight_smile:

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f]: I’ve never been a fan of this name (a bit too saccharine for my taste), but it’s usable. I kinda like the name [name_f]Tenley[/name_f], though.

Talwyn: I haven’t seen this name before, but it’s pretty! [name_u]Tali[/name_u] would be a cute nickname.

[name_f]Alethea[/name_f]: Definitely usable! Vintage and elegant, with plenty of nickname potential.

[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f]: the myth is tragic, but I like the romantic association to the name. She’d stand out on a class list, but I don’t think the name is unusable.

[name_u]Blue[/name_u]: I think it’s usable. Might be a bit off-beat, but it’s cute.

[name_u]Dove[/name_u]: definitely usable. I’m surprised it’s not more popular! Simple, yet elegant.

Lorien: this is a cool name. [name_f]Kinda[/name_f] regal, but not over-the-top.

Sabriel: I’m on the fence. I think I prefer [name_u]Sabel[/name_u]. I want to be on-board with Sabriel, but it feels made-up.

[name_u]Sky[/name_u]: love this name!

Riven: very cool. Feels suited for a fantasy character, but it’s not too outrageous to be unusable.

[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u]: personally not a fan, but I think I’m in the minority with that opinion. It’s handsome, and I like the vintage vibe.

[name_f]Kinley[/name_f] – This is my least favorite option on your list. I prefer [name_f]Kinsley[/name_f]
Talwyn – Sounds too made up for me.
[name_f]Alethea[/name_f] --I like this one
[name_f]Thisbe[/name_f] --It’s ok. I don’t think its useable in 2020
[name_u]Blue[/name_u] – Sounds too trendy as a first name I like as a middle name
[name_u]Dove[/name_u] – [name_u]Love[/name_u] this classic and gorgeous!

Lorien – neutral
Sabriel – sounds like a made up version of [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m]
[name_u]Sky[/name_u] – I like it
Riven – Sounds made up I prefer [name_u]River[/name_u] or [name_u]Rylan[/name_u]
[name_u]Bellamy[/name_u]-- too feminine for a boy (thinking the boy would not like his name)

[name_f]Alethea[/name_f] and [name_u]Bellamy[/name_u] are my favourites.
Some other suggestions:
Marais or Meiray

From your list I like [name_f]Alethea[/name_f] and [name_f]Thisbe[/name_f]. I have a friend with an [name_f]Alethea[/name_f] and they call her [name_f]Leafy[/name_f] which I love!
I like [name_u]Blue[/name_u] and [name_u]Dove[/name_u] as possible middle names.

For boys I like Lorien and Riven, I think they’re cute and definitely a [name_m]Lord[/name_m] of the Rings vibe from them as well.