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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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)