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Baby girl names no one is using

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Tired of the same old baby name suggestions? We've rounded up a dozen names — real names — for baby girls that no one seems to be using.

When we think of uncommon names, what first comes to mind is a pile of unrecognizable characters and syllables. Unique spellings and word names. Names that people whisper about behind backs or roll their eyes at when celebrities choose them. However, hundreds of perfectly good, actual names are overlooked every year in favor of what's currently in. We unearthed 12 real names from beneath the bottom of the charts. These names were inexplicably given to fewer than 100 baby girls last year. Do you think they deserve a better spot?

  • Althea: With 99 births in 2013, Althea takes most popular on our underused baby names list. Shorten this spunky grandmother name to Thea as a feminine alternative to Theo.
  • Augusta: With brother names August, Augustus, and Augustine jumping in popularity, we expected this feminine form to sit higher on the charts. Only 36 baby girls born last year have this sweet summer baby name.
  • Delphine: This stunning Greek name meaning "dolphin" reminds us of familiar Sophie and Fiona. Its popularity peaked in the 1930s: 242 births then, 36 now.
  • Fern: Fern fits in two major baby name trends: children's literary characters (Charlotte's Web) and botanical names. Why then did only 45 baby girls receive this sweet name last year?
  • Jill: So simple! Nursery rhyme partner Jack gets all the love, while Jill belongs to only 46 baby girls. Once a top-50 name, this classic is begging for a comeback.
  • Lenore: It conjures up images of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" as a symbol of tragic love, which probably puts some (save 41) parents off the name.
  • Marlo: Sleek and sophisticated, Marlo's glamor suits the runway as well as the board room. Join the 92 sets of parents who paid homage to Marlo Thomas last year.
  • Maven: Meaning "expert," Maven (belonging to 40 newborns) stands to join rhyming names Raven and Haven in the top 500.
  • Odessa: This Latin beauty means "wandering journey" (think Homer's The Odyssey) and belongs to an Eastern European city. Forty-seven baby girls received this name last year, down from a peak of 457 a century ago.
  • Portia: Don't let its similarity to a German sports car ruin this one for you: we (and 55 families) love Portia for its Shakespearean glamor.
  • Verena: This saint name reminds us of Serena and Verona. Though common in Germany, only 14 families chose this one stateside.
  • Zora: Unbelievably, only 96 baby girls received this name in 2013. Its similarity to chart-topping Nora makes us think it will debut in the top 1,000 within the next few years.

Looking for more ideas? We also recommend Dinah (50), Gretel (44), Juno (53), and Philippa (43).

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Photo credit: Kari Layland/Moment Open/Getty Images

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