We are having a difficult time coming up with a baby girl's name. I am due at the end of this month. We do not know if we are having a boy or a girl. We have a 2 year-old daughter named Ripley Anne. We plan to use the boy's name we had chosen from two years ago when we didn't know what we were having the first time around. Since we didn't anticipate having more children, we did not think about additional girl names (or boys names for that matter). We would like a name that is unisex and unique that it is not on any major lists or within the top 1000 names, much like Ripley is not popular. We cannot decide if we should stick with a name that also begins with the letter R or not. We cannot seem to find another R-sounding name that is English that we both agree on.
So far, our possibilities include Ryder (too popular right now). I like Reverie but my husband thinks it's too hard to say.
It's been difficult and stressful to come up with a girl's name that I'm seriously hoping we're having a boy for the sake of not having to pick a girl's name.
I'd love to hear your suggestions as you have helped a friend of mine in the past.
My top suggestion is Kiefer. It's almost unused for boys, and unused for girls (which surprises me: the Kee- of Keelin/Keely/Kira, the -fer of Jennifer)---but I think the sound is very cute on either a boy or a girl, and excellent with your surname and with the sibling name. Ripley and Kiefer. Its popularity is similar to Ripley's: in 2010, according to the Social Security Administration, 70 babies total were named Kiefer/Keifer; 47 babies were named Ripley.
Or Waverly: 61 babies named Waverly in 2010, some girls and some boys, though I'd use it for a girl.
The name Arizona isn't unisex (47 girls in 2010, no boys), but I think it has an androgynous SOUND: I wouldn't think, meeting a boy named Arizona, "But that's a girl name!"---and in fact when I first thought of it, I was going to suggest it to you as a boy name candidate. The -a ending (and even the entire -ona of the ending, like Catriona and Fiona and Mona---and the Ari- beginning like Arianna and Ariel) is probably what tips it to girls. Ripley and Arizona.
Hollis is slightly more common (133 babies in 2010), but this is balanced, I think, by being the best so far in terms of being unisex: 47 girls and 86 boys. You could use it for either a boy or a girl: Ripley and Hollis.
If you can get past the Forrest Gump connection (and really, he was a VERY NICE boy and a good person), I think the name Forest works for either a boy or a girl. I think it works a little better for a boy (and the parents of the U.S. agree with me, giving it in 2010 to 81 boys and no girls, plus 160 boys with the Forrest spelling)---but when I picture it on an actual little girl I think it works just as well as Ripley, and calls up very pretty images of sunlight through the leaves. Ripley and Forest. I think it might not work with your surname, however.
The name Castle was given to 14 boys and no girls last year, but I think the sound of it works just as well for girls: it reminds me of Cassie and lass and Crystal, and the word castle can give a mental picture of princesses, knights, beautiful stone walls.
The name Jensen is more popular for boys (313 boys and 52 girls in 2010; the spelling Jensyn adds another 6 boys and 13 girls), but not common for either and would work for either. Ripley and Jensen.
I will mention one of my friend Mairzy's favorite names: Sterling. It was given to 51 baby girls and 296 baby boys in 2010. I prefer it for girls; I am extremely fortunate that this has not caused Mairzy to ditch our friendship. (Mairzy: "Yet.") But of course it also works beautifully for boys, so I suggest it either way: Ripley and Sterling.
My mother wants me to suggest the name Tylyn: she knew a Tylyn and said the name was surprisingly pleasing to use. In 2010, 25 babies (20 girls, 5 boys) were named Tylyn/Tylynn. For a boy, I would spell it Tylen (68 boys in 2010; no girls) (there were also 39 boys named Tylon, but I suspect that's pronounced differently). Ripley and Tylyn; Ripley and Tylen.
The name Reeve was used for 21 boys and 7 girls in 2010. For me it has pleasing Christopher Reeve associations, and it sounds like Eve for a girl, and it's an R name that goes well with Ripley for either a boy or a girl: Ripley and Reeve.