Category Archives: Nature Names

Alaska Baby Names

coldbaby

Baby, it may be cold outside in Alaska, but these names inspired by the state of are hot and ready to be used! Alaska has an expansive and diverse terrain which yields to many great Native names and nature names. Let’s look at some great names from America’s last frontier.

Alaska
It seems only fitting that we start with this dynamic place name. Alaska comes from a Native American word meaning great land. Not very common as a first name, only 51 little girls were given the first name Alaska last year. Alaska Young is the title character in John Green’s popular novel Looking for Alaska. Alaska may also remind you of Alaska Matthews the pint sized beauty queen from the show Toddlers and Tiaras.

Benson
In 1927 13-year-old John Ben “Benny” Benson Jr. won a contest for designing the flag of the then territory of Alaska. Benson is an English name that as you may have guessed means son of Ben. Much less popular than Benjamin, which ranks at Number 6, Benson comes in at Number 428. If you love Ben names you may also consider Benedict, Bennett, Bentley, or Benton.

Denali
Denali is a National Park in Alaska that has the highest mountain peak in North America. Denali is a Native American name meaning great one or tall one. 62 girls and 24 boys were named Denali last year. You may also recognize Denali as the name of one of the vampire covens in the Twilight saga.
Name nerds like me will appreciate that Denali is an anagram for Daniel.

Frontier
Alaska has been nicknamed “The Last Frontier.” Frontier definitely brings to mind images of cowboys and unsettled regions. A bold and uncommon word name, Frontier is two syllables and ends in “r” like Fletcher, Carter, and many more popular boys names. As you may have guessed Frontier is so uncommon as a name that less than 5 babies were named it last year.

Jade
Alaska designated Jade as its state gemstone in 1968. Jade is a beautiful precious green stone. As a name Jade has Spanish roots meaning stone of flank. One of the most popular names on our list today, Jade is currently Number 117 for girls. Though this name has clearly gone to the girls, it was still used by 53 boys last year. I’ve also seen Jade commonly used as a middle name in recent years.

Juneau
Juneau is the capital of Alaska and comes from a french word meaning young. If you do have a connection to Alaska, Juneau is a distinctive place name. The spelling Juno may be assumed when this name is said out loud, in part due to the popular 2007 film Juno. A rarely used name, 10 girls were named Juneau last year.

Kodiak
Kodiak is Alaska’s largest island and the second largest island in the United States. Fittingly, Kodiak is a Russian name meaning island. In addition to being a place name Kodiak is also the name of a species of bear. 25 boys were named Kodiak last year. Nicknames like Koda or Kody may make this untapped place name feel more usable.

McKinley
Denali was once called Mount McKinley. There is some naming controversy surrounding the highest point in North America. Native’s called the mountain Denali then later William Dickey began calling it McKinley after President William McKinley. Both names are still used interchangeably though locals will call it Denali. In 2015 Obama approved officially restoring the name to Denali. McKinley is a Scottish name meaning son of the fair warrior. Currently more popular with girls were it ranks at Number 428, McKinley was used by 68 boys last year as well.

North
Alaska’s motto is “North to the future.” This directional name made waves when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West used it for their daughter in 2013. I still associate North with Elijah Wood in the 90’s film North. I think North would make a handsome middle name choice. 11 boys were given the first name North last year.

Winter
A land of winter, many people associate Alaska with ice, snow, cold, and a seemingly endless winter.  A beautiful seasonal word name, Winter is rising in popularity, currently coming in at Number 506. Winter can also work on the fellas, 45 boys were named Winter last year. I love Winter as a middle name, it yields a clean, crisp (pun intended) sound. I also think Snow and Frost would make for fun cold weather middle names.

The most popular names in Alaska last year were:

1 Liam (#2 in the US)
2 Oliver (#12 in the US)
3 James (#5 in the US)
4 William (#3 in the US)
5 Joseph (#20 in the US)
6 Lucas (#14 in the US)
7 Noah (#1 in the US)
8 Owen (#23 in the US)
9 Logan (#18 in the US)
10 Mason (#4 in the US)

1 Emma(#1 in the US)
2 Olivia (#2 in the US)
3 Amelia (#11 in the US)
4 Charlotte (#7 in the US)
5 Sophia (#4 in the US)
6 Abigail (#8 in the US)
7 Ava (#3 in the US)
8 Elizabeth (#13 in the US)
9 Aurora (#66 in the US)
10 Chloe (#20 in the US)

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Wonderful Whimsical W Names

wnamesgirls

W makes for a great initial and there are several slightly hippie, majorly delightful girls names that begin with the letter W. If whimsical nature names are your style, then you’re sure to love this list!

Waverly
Waverly has a melodic, light, easy-going tone. I think Waverly will be this Generation’s Kimberly. Waverly may remind you of the Disney show The Wizards of Waverly Place or one of the main characters in The Joy Luck Club. Waverly is an English name meaning meadow of quivering aspens. Not quite yet in the Top 1,000, Waverly was used by 224 girls and 5 boys last year.

Wednesday
Wednesday may be the bravest and most polarizing name we’re looking at today, it always makes my own guilty pleasure list. Strongly associated with the character of Wednesday Addams, Wednesday is an English name meaning Woden’s day. 50 girls were named Wednesday last year. Wednesday does lend herself to nicknames like Wendy and Winnie which are coming up on our list.

Wendy
Wendy peaked in popularity in the early 1970’s and is one of the names I’d love to see make a comeback. Today Wendy ranks at spot Number 854. As a young name-lover I remember being delighted that Wendy Moira Angela Darling, from Peter Pan, had two middle names. Wendy may have in fact been a name invented by Pan author J.M. Barrie. Wendy may also come from the Welsh Gwendolen.

Willa
Willa is a feminine form of William, meaning resolute protection. Much less common than popular “Will” names, Willa ranks at Number 463. Willa began as a nickname for Wilhelmina, which it can still of course work for, though Willa works well on her own. Willa has a wholesome, bluegrass vibe that works well on a woman of any age.

Willow
Willow may have once been a hippie-dippie name, but now this tree name is in the Top 100 ranking at spot Number 96. I can’t help but think of the 1988 film Willow and I know many fans of the show Buffy associate Willow with a main character from that series. Willow is melodic and smooth with its soft and inviting “o” ending sound.

Winnie
I love Winnie as a nickname for Ceridwen, Gwendolen, and many other beautiful Welsh names, though Winnie is quite cute all on her own. Winnie was mostly seen originally as a nickname for Winifred, meaning fair and blessed friend. Jimmy Fallon has a daughter named Winnie Rose. 233 girls were given this spunky sweet name last year.

Winter
Winter would be a lovely full name to use to get to the nickname Winnie. A lovely season name, I think Winter is also striking as a middle name. At 506 in popularity, Winter is higher up in the charts than most people realize. Winter is a main character in Marissa Meyer’s popular series the Lunar Chronicles.

Wren
Wren is a darling bird name that could easily work well on any gender. At 524 in popularity for girls, Wren could be the next generations Robin. Wren is a straight-forward, one-syllable name with a sweet nature tie. Wren is definitely a name to watch and has been popping up in several modern TV shows and novels.

Which of these wonderful, whimsical W names would you use?

Lovely Names Ending in L

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There’s something feminine and sweet about the letter L.  Lily, Lillian, Layla, and Leah are all currently ranked in the Top 50 for girls.  If you love the luring L sound you may consider one of these great names ending in the letter L.

Nature Names

Coral
A great alternative to the rapidly rising Cora, Coral was only used as a first name by 199 baby girls last year. Disney fans will also recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo.

Hazel
People are really enjoying the vintage vibe of this color and plant name. Hazel currently ranks at Number 63, the highest it has ranked since the late 1920s.

Laurel
A lovely tree name, Laurel is a great way to honor a Laura, Lauren, or even a Laurence.  Laurel currently ranks at Number 772.

Gem Names

Beryl
Beryl peaked in popularity in 1920, falling out of the Top 1,000 in the late 1950s.  Last year this green gemstone name was only used by 9 little girls.

Crystal
Originally a male name, Crystal peaked for girls in the early 1980s.  Today Crystal is Number 550, right in the middle of the charts for popularity.

Jewel
A pretty, sweet, one-syllable name, Jewel is a lovely and fresh way to honor someone with a name beginning in Ju- (Julia, Julian, Juliet, etc..)  Jewel is currently Number 887.

Opal
The birthstone of October, Opal has a strong vintage vibe and hasn’t been in the Top 1,000 since 1960.  Only 229 baby girls were named Opal last year.  Could Opal be the next Ruby?

Pearl
This little vintage name is making a comeback.  Currently ranked at 628, Pearl jumped 331 spots in the last 5 years. Pearl is one of June’s birthstones.

Celebrity Names

Ariel
Modern Family actress Ariel Winter is one of the bearers of this name.  Ariel may also remind you of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Disney’s Ariel gave this name a huge boost in the early 1990s.  Today Ariel ranks at Number 137

Avril
Singer Avril Lavigne is probably the first person who comes to mind when you hear the name Avril.  A French variation of April, Avril was only used by 129 little girls last year.

Bristol
Bristol Palin, spokesperson and daughter of politician Sarah Palin, helped bring this name to the public eye.  Bristol first entered the Top 1,000 in 2009 and currently ranks at Number 447.

Meryl
Legendary actress Meryl Streep was born Mary Louise Streep. Olympic Ice dancer Meryl Davis also shares this iconic name. Meryl was only given to 50 girls last year.

Traditional Names

You may recognize some of these names from your family tree:

Abigail
Annabel
April
Carol
Ethel
Gail
Rachel

Lovely International Choices

These names would be a great way to honor your heritage and are easily usable in the US:

Amabel
Gretel
Isobel
Liesl
Marisol
Raquel
Soleil

A few more great Names to Consider

These lovely names all rank below 500 in popularity:

Chanel
Mabel
Mehetabel
Muriel
Sybil
Teal
Xochitl

What are your favorite names ending in L?

Surf’s Up – Beachy Baby Names

beachbabynames

Summer is officially here! Warmer weather lends itself to some pretty cool names.  Check out these beachy names for your little dude or dudette!

Ripley
A sweet surfer name that works on a boy or a girl, Ripley may remind beach-lovin’ parents of rippling waves. Ripley is an Old English surname meaning strip clearing. A cool alternative to the much more popular Riley, Ripley was only used by 97 little girls and 29 little boys last year.

Marina
Marina is a beautiful, melodic choice for your little water baby. A Latin name meaning from the sea, Marina is currently Number 656 in popularity. Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc gave his daughter the enchanting name Marina Pearl.

Sailor
Sailor is an occupational nautical name that may take off in the years to come. In the last year Bristol Palin used the name Sailor Grace for her daughter and Liv Tyler selected Sailor Gene for her son.  Kristin Cavallari chose the alternative spelling Saylor for her daughter, Saylor James, who was also born last year.  There were 234 girls and 42 boys named Sailor last year. Saylor is actually more popular, ranking at Number 608 for girls.

Coral
In addition to being a pretty summertime color, coral is a word name for underwater skeletal deposits which often form beautiful reefs. You may recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo. Last year 199 baby girls were given the first name Coral.

Morgan
Morgan is derived from a Welsh name meaning sea and circle, the perfect meaning for a little beach babe.  Traditionally a male name, Morgan currently ranks at Number 674 for boys and 120 for girls. Morgan le Fay was a powerful enchantress in Arthurian legend.

Reef
Reef not only has a cool sound, it’s also a great beach baby name for a bar of rock, sand, or coral beneath the water. Only 51 little boys were given this aquatic name last year. Reef is also the name of a popular sandal and clothing company that sells beach gear and active wear.

Ocean
If you’re a fan of the water and of word names, why not consider Ocean? A cool sound that brings to mind a lovely image, Ocean can easily work on either sex.  Last year 80 boys and 65 girls were given the first name Ocean. Other great similar names include Oceanus, Oceana, and Oceane.

Waverly
Waverly is one of my favorite names to say with its easy-breezy flow. Waverly has the word wave in it and has a smooth, laid-back sound. An English surname, Waverly means meadow of quivering aspens. Waverly hasn’t broken into the Top 1,000 yet. It was used by 120 girls and 6 boys last year.

Kai
Kai is a short and sweet name that is on the rise.  Kai not only has a cool sound, it’s also a name used in many cultures.  The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is sea, perfect for a sweet little swimmer.  Kai is currently Number 145 for boys and Number 895 for girls.

Finn
Finn is a great choice for your little fishy. Finn is derived from an Irish name meaning white or fair. Fin is currently Number 209 for boys. Several celebrities including Tori Spelling and Christy Turlington have used the name Finn for their sons.

Dylan
Dylan is a popular Welsh name meaning tide, flow, or son of the wave. A less obvious beach baby name, Dylan currently ranks at Number 27 for boys and Number 397 for girls. Dylan has many great namesakes including writer Dylan Thomas and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman).

Cove
If you’re looking for a smooth, underused nature name, than Cove may be it. A cove is a small bay or coastal inlet.  Only 53 little boys and 5 little girls were named Cove last year.  I can definitely picture this name on a little sun-kissed tike.

What are your favorite beachy baby names?

Set Sail with these Nautical Names!

etsail

Some fun, usable , nautical inspired names for lovers of the sea and sail!

Careen (ke-REEN)
Scarlett O’Hara had a sister named Carreen in Gone With the Wind. Careen may possibly be derived from Caroline, meaning “freeman”.  Careen is also a verb, meaning to tilt a ship on it’s side so that it may be cleaned.

Fisher
An straight forward choice for this category, Fisher means, “fisherman”.  Fisher is part of a growing trend of occupational surnames being used in the first name spot.  In the U.S. Fisher is currently #862 for boys.

chevboatOcéane (oh-say-AHN)
The sleek and beautiful French word for “ocean”.  Océane has a sophisticated and feminine sound.  Oceana, Greek, also meaning “ocean” is a similar and equally beautiful choice.

Reef
A cool, no-nonsense, one syllable word and nature name.  A Reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water.  Reef would be a cool name for a scuba or snorkel lover!

Cordelia
One of my personal favorite names.  Cordelia has Celtic roots meaning, “daughter of the sea”. A subtle nautical tie with a gorgeous meaning. I fell in love with this name whilst reading the Anne of Green Gables series.

Kai (kye)
Kai is a unisex name that has been getting lots of buzz in the baby name world. There are many meanings and origins for this strong little name.  The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is “sea”. Kai is currently #199 for boys and #915 for girls in the U.S.

Marina
A gorgeous Latin name that has been used all over the world. Marina means “from the sea”. A Marina is also a boat dock or basin. Actor Matt LeBlanc used the name Marina Pearl for his daughter – a perfectly sweet nautical name!

chevanchorAnchor
Anchor is a word name that I could easily see rise in popularity.  It has a similar sound to names like Asher and Archer.  Anchors can also symbolize strength and support.

Sailor
A word and occupational name fitting for a sea-lover. Christie Brinkley used the name Sailor for her daughter in 1998, and Liv Tyler recently had a son named Sailor (February 2015)

Dylan
Dylan is a Welsh name meaning “son of the sea”.  Many Welsh names have great meanings with ties to the ocean.  I love the connection to poet Dylan Thomas.  Dylan is currently #28 in the U.S.

Warm waves of names,
Meagan