30 New Twists on Old Baby Names

I’ve always loved the idea of using classic or family names when naming kids (my own all have family names) — but sometimes you just want something a bit less popular or a little more unique. Well, if you’re in that boat, I’ve got you covered with this list of 30 baby names that are each a new twist on a classic!


(Instead of: Elizabeth)

Eliza is a great option for those who are looking for a way to put a new spin on the perennial classic, Elizabeth.


(Instead of: Christopher)

While the name Christopher isn’t used as often these days, it feels fresh when shortened to Topher — and you definitely won’t have to worry about your son sharing a name with three other boys in his kindergarten class.


(Instead of: Sara)

The name Sara is a classic, but it’s not exactly the most exciting pick. Saraphina still pays homage to Sara, but feels truly unique.


(Instead of: Emma or Emily)

I am honestly surprised this name isn’t more popular. It’s a great twist on the more often-heard Emma or Emily.


(Instead of: Olivia)

If you absolutely love the name Olivia, but just can’t bring yourself to give your daughter a name that will surely be shared with many other little girls in her future classrooms (Olivia is #2 on the 2017 most popular baby names list), then Olive might be a great alternative. While Olive is increasing in popularity too, it is still a more unique option.


(Instead of: Linda)

The name Linda hasn’t been popular for many years — but if there is a Linda in your life who you are looking to give tribute to with your baby name choice, then Linden might be a great option. I love that it has a lovely nature element to it!


(Instead of: Olivia)

Another great alternative for those who love the name Olivia.


(Instead of: William)

While Willem isn’t a “new name” by any means, it is used far less often than the more classic William. A solid option for a little boy.


(Instead of: Ashley)

Ashley is a name that hasn’t gotten much play in recent years, but get a new life when transformed into Ashling. A truly unique pick for a little girl.


(Instead of: Sophie or Sophia)

When I was a preschool teacher in the early 2000s, Sophie and Sophia were in high use. But Josephine, while still a classic, feels oddly updated. I’m a big fan.


(Instead of: Joseph)

I have never actually heard of a Seph, though I’m sure there are some out there. Such a cool option for those who are looking to use the name Joseph.


(Instead of: Lucy)

While Lucy is still a very lovely name, twisting it into Lucia gives more options. She can be a Lucy now and a Lucia later… or vice versa!


(Instead of: August)


I’ll admit that August is a really cool name on its own, but isn’t the shortened version — Gus — just the cutest? I pushed hard for this one with my son, but we ended up going with another option. I still think it’s so cute, though.


(Instead of: Jack)

Derived from Mackenzie, Mack has a short and sweet vibe, akin to Jack, that I love. A great option for a boy or a girl.


(Instead of: Alexander)

Alexander gives you plenty of twist options… Alex, Alexa, Alexis, Xander… but Xan is one I haven’t heard much and is a wonderful unisex option.


(Instead of: Mae)

Mae has become increasingly popular, so why not opt for Maeve as a unique alternative?


(Instead of: Helen)

Do you have a grandma, aunt or mama named Helen who you’re looking to honor? Give that name a fresh face by swapping it out for Helena!


(Instead of: Amanda)

Amanda hasn’t really been popular since the early ’90s, but when given a twist with Amabel, it feels new again.


 (Instead of: Max)

Max is a name that has been used for ages, but Maxen is a great new take. Perfect for a girl or a boy – also works as a twist on Maxine!


(Instead of: Huck)

I still love the name Huck, but there are quite a few at this point, so what about trying on Huxley for size? Bonus points if you are a fan of Aldous Huxley.


(Instead of: Bailey)

If you love the name Bailey, but want to put your own stamp on it, Bay might be a great alternative. It has a nice nature vibe too.


(Instead of: Henry)

Henry is currently #27 on the most popular baby names list, but if you want something a bit less used Hendrix is a really fun substitute.


(Instead of: Julie)

Turn that Julie into a Juliette with the addition of a few letters. Even though Juliette is still a classic, it’s not often used and still feels like a unique pick.


(Instead of: Brandon)

Brandon is a name I may not been keen on, before being given this twist to Bran. I really love this one for a little boy.


(Instead of: Lily)

Liliana makes a great stand-in for the more popular Lily.


(Instead of: Marie)

This is a name I considered as an homage to my own mother, whose middle name is Marie. Maren is a great twist on it.


(Instead of: Anna)

Anna seamlessly transitions to Annik, and the added consonance gives it a really fun feel.


(Instead of: Eva)

One of the names that was on my personal short list as a middle name for our youngest. It’s a great spin on the more often used Eva.


(Instead of: Natalie)

An unorthodox choice for those who are partial to the name Natalie.


(Instead of: Meagan)

Lovers of the name Meagan can rejoice with this alternative. Teagan is totally cute and reminiscent of its sister name.


Image Source: Getty

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