10 Excitingly Exotic Baby Names
Searching for a striking name for your child, but not necessarily one that's new-fangled? These exotic names, which we've collected from a wide range of world cultures, offer lasting, universal appeal.
The Hindu goddess of spiritual and material wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi is widely revered as the embodiment of beauty. The name is by all counts an auspicious choice for your most exquisite treasure.
A Native American Hopi name meaning “butterfly chaser,” Nova also means “new” in Latin. In astronomy, it’s a star that releases an incredible blast of energy and dazzling light. Whether you prefer one of its meanings in particular, or all of them together, Nova will be a noteworthy name for your baby girl.
A truly multicultural name, Kai means “the sea” in Hawaiian, “keeper of the earth” in Greek or Welsh, “unbreakable” in Burmese, or “lovable” in Swahili. Alternately spelled Cai, this unisex name sounds upbeat, cool, and contemporary.
Keanu means “cool mountain breeze,” or simply “the coolness,” in Hawaiian. Popularized on the mainland by the actor Keanu Reeves, it’s an appealing and distinctive choice for nouveau-boho baby boys.
A boy’s name meaning “Lord of Sati” in Sanskrit, this name is associated with a friendly, artistic, and passionate Hindu saint. Satish traditionally connotes creativity and resourcefulness, and will perfectly suit any clever baby boy.
Traditionally a boy’s name, Amani’s dulcet, feminine sound has recently made it more popular for girls, especially in English-speaking countries. Meaning “desires” or “wishes” in Arabic, as well as “peace” in Swahili, this is a soft, yet striking name that, while unusual, is easy to pronounce.
Orlando is a boy’s name meaning “fame of the land,” and is also the Italian version of Roland. Having made numerous literary appearances since Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and resurfaced in recent years via actor Orlando Bloom, this unusual name has undeniable presence and staying power.
Padma means “lotus-hued,” or simply “lotus,” in Sanskrit, and refers to the pale pink flowers known to symbolize enlightenment; they grow beautifully from the muddiest of waters. Padma is also one of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi’s many names.
A melodic-sounding girl’s name meaning “truth vehicle” in Sanskrit, Satyana rhymes with the more familiar (and also interesting!) Russian name Tatiana. A sweet name for little seers, Satyana is poised to be the next popular pick among cool yoga moms and dharma daddies.
The Sanskrit word for “knowledge” and “understanding,” (the Vedas are the Hindu religion’s ancient holy texts), Veda is also one of the names for the Hindu Lord Vishnu. Today, it’s a unique unisex name with a precise, yet exotic, sound.
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