I have this fascination with the Arctic Circle. I think it stems from my love of Christmas movies, as most of them feature scenes set in the magical North Pole. Rudolph, Elf¸ The Santa Clause, The Polar Express…they all show snippets of what I believe to be real-life documentary footage from the Northernmost regions of our globe, complete with the striped peppermint stick that is the North Pole. What a haven of whimsy and charm that polar region is.
In all seriousness, the real Arctic Circle that I have visited on Google Earth is, of course, nothing like the sparkling, colorful Santa Land featured in those films, but it has a breathtaking beauty and splendor all its own. It may not feature singing snowmen or dancing elves, but it is magical in its own right. Its bleakness is eerie and mystifying. Its simplicity is elegant. Crisp, clean, untouched. I have never been there in person, though I would love to visit someday (any Alaskan Berries have a guest bedroom??), but I have had a lifelong fascination with the frozen North. I have seen the Northern Lights twice from my hometown in Pennsylvania, and no scene on earth compares to that sublime light show that hails from the skies above the North Pole. For us name enthusiasts, things like that inspire us in the area we love best: naming.
I’ve put a good deal of thought into names that could elicit the imagery and feelings of the arctic region. Admittedly, my creativity extended down into the subarctic region, encompassing that area just below the Arctic Circle treeline that is still pretty chilly. Put on some thermal socks, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and enjoy this list of artsy and eccentric arctic-inspired names. Perhaps one of them will suit your own little snow baby.
Glacia (“GLEY-shuh,” a futuristic sound that elicits imagery of glacial ice)
Icy (this chilly little gem of a name was listed among the top 1,000 girls’ names in the United States until 1907)
Ivory (the material of walrus tusks)
Orca (a whale found in the Arctic Ocean, also known as the killer whale…cool sound, but maybe you shouldn’t)
Neva (“NAY-vuh,” a Spanish name meaning “snow”)
Neve (“NEY-vey,” the Italian word for “snow”)
Poppy (arctic poppies are among the few flowers found in the frozen region)
Swan (Tundra Swans breed in the arctic and subarctic tundra)
Taiga (“TAHY-guh” is a term for subarctic forests found just below the Arctic Circle)
Tundra (an arctic treeless zone with permanently-frozen soil; also, a very cool sound)
Bear (one of the few species that call the Arctic Circle home)
Fox (one of the bears’ few neighbors)
Heath (a name descriptive of much of the arctic and subarctic tundra)
Orion (something about the Arctic Circle brings to mind the night sky and its constellations that are so vividly clear in the absence of light pollution)
Wolf (wolves are among the hardy animals that thrive in the arctic region)
Bering (a sea in the arctic region that sounds like “baring”…making it, well, daring)
Berry (one of the few types of edible vegetation to thrive in the frozen region)
Borealis (the Northern Lights’ Latin surname)
Boreas (“BAWR-ee-uhs” or “BOHR-ee-uhs” is the ancient Greek personification of the north wind)
Brooks (arctic mountain range in Alaska)
Eider (“AHY-der,” waterfowl found in the Arctic Circle)
Evergreen (obviously no trees are found above the Arctic Circle, but evergreens are all over the subarctic region…and let’s face it, it’s what we all think of when we picture the North Pole)
Grey (type of arctic wolf)
Pine (subarctic tree)
Klondike (a region and river in northwest Canada; hmm…some heavy teasing potential, but the ice cream bar association sweetens the deal a bit, no? …No.)
Kodiak (an Alaskan community and a type of Alaskan grizzly bear, not quite in the Arctic Circle but with an oh-so-cute name!)
Lynx (these felines are creeping around the arctic tundra at this very moment…with a very cool name)
Seal (sleek, cute, and arctic…one-syllable names are all the rage for boys right now anyway)
Silver (the color that comes to mind when most of us picture the arctic region)
Would you ever dare to give your baby an arctic-inspired name? What words or names make you think of the glittering, silvery polar regions?
Donna Davenport has been a name addict since her adolescence, and has been a Nameberry fan since discovering it last year. She and her husband are currently trying to conceive their first child, whose name changes daily.