Vowel-heavy names seem to be the trend these days - from Isabella to Emma to Ava, parents are enjoying the open sounds. One vowel that's rather less-used? U.
Only 4/2000 names in the top 1000 (for both boys and girls) begin with U: Ulises, Uriah, Uriel, and Urijah. Notice that they're all male - no U names rank for girls! Let's look at some rare options that could make a comeback in today's world.
A short and snappy gender-neutral choice, Uli was originally a diminutive of Ulrich. Today, this name would fit in with other cute concise picks, like Leo or Ari.
With brand names like Armani and Chanel in the mix, why not try Ultima? It's Latin for "last", and it has a strength and determination not found in many names.
Though Uma is Sanskrit in origin, it's most associated with American actress Uma Thurman. In 2015, sixty-six girls were given this lovely name - it's not just for Hollywood types!
While Amber and Ember have stayed in the girls' lane, Umber is a more distinctive choice that could side with the boys. It's a beautiful color choice with links to the classic Italian Umberto.
Pretty and unusual (at least in the US), this Japanese name has two notable namesakes - Tsuda Umeko, a pioneering feminist educator, and Umeko Ando, an Ainu musician.
Many will recognize the connection to "one", but Una has another origin - it's an ancient Irish name meaning "lamb." It's beautiful and unique, a fantastic alternative to Anna or Luna.
Modern virtue names have been sweeping the top 1000, from Serenity to Trinity. Friendly and fierce Unity fits in with this trend, and especially works with Una as a nickname.
Preppy and posh, Upton has been sporadically recorded in the United States. It's associated with writer Upton Sinclair, as well as model Kate Upton.
Once a papal choice, now connected with country music - Urban is a name that spans multiple styles and tastes. It's a cool alternative to the current ends-in-an names, too.
Relatively popular in the 1960's and 70's, Ursula's fame diminished with the prevalence of Disney's eponymous sea witch. But today, strong and uncommon feminine names are appreciated again.
Olympian Usain Bolt brought this name to national attention in recent years. It's a variant of Arabic Hasan, meaning "handsome" - and it starts with the letters USA!
An Old Testament choice with two Z's? Uzziah could very well join such names as Elijah and Isaiah on the popularity charts, with the machi nickname Uzi (not required).
Any names I missed? Tell me in the comments!