This summer, the ocean’s influence can be found in the latest and coolest baby names, both unusual and traditional. Whether it’s the sandy dunes off the shore, the seaweed that washes up in the waves, or even the ancient gods and goddesses who controlled the seas, these fresh new baby names all allude to the extraordinary appeal of the coast.Here are a few of the coolest new beach-inspired baby names:
Beach- This boys’ name could pay homage to the 1950’s American boy-band The Beach Boys or be an evocative choice for hard-core beach lovers.
Cordelia- Meaning “heart; daughter of the sea,” Cordelia’s origin is Latin and Celtic. In Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear, Cordelia was the King’s youngest and favorite daughter. Though a bit grown up sounding, it also yields the fresh nicknames Cora, Delia, Del, Lia, and Cory.
Doris- This female name is Greek, meaning “gift of the ocean.” A longtime grandma name, Doris is not quite back but could make a Geek Chic choice for the adventurous parent.
Dune- A unisex name! Dune can also allude to the science-fiction franchise stemming from Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel.
Dylan- A Welsh name meaning “son of the sea,’ which still feels poetic and romantic. In Welsh belief, Dylan was a god of the sea who made the seas of Ireland and Britain cry when he died. The name became prominent after the success of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan paid homage to. Popular for boys at Number 31 (it’s Number 512 for girls), the name can also be spelled Dillon.
Guinevere — Along with its modern forms Jennifer and Jenna, Guinevere means “white wave” and may make an elegant beach-related choice.
Irving- This Scottish name meaning “green river, sea friend” was popularized by in the U.S. a century ago by immigrants; a notable example is composer Irving Berlin.
Kai- A multi-cultural name! In Hawaiian it means “sea,” but in Japanese “forgiveness,” in Navajo “willow tree,” and in Scandinavian “earth.”
Maren- is Latin for “sea” and also a twenty-first-century take on the traditional Mary. Can also be spelled Marin to denote the coastal California county north of San Francisco.
Moanna- Hawaiian, meaning “ocean.” In the 2006 dark fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth, Moanna was the name of a Spanish princess.
Morgan- This Welsh name means “circle; sea.” Though a common name for boys in Wales, Morgan is more popular as a female name in the U.S.
Muriel- This Irish name, meaning “of the bright sea,” is a so-far-out-it’s-in choice, if your taste runs to forgotten vintage choices.
Murphy- Murphy, which means “sea warrior,” is the most common surname in Ireland.
Neptune- was the Roman god of the sea. Though rarely heard for human babies, that could change with the new fashion for mythological names.
Nerissa and Nerida- Both Greek names meaning “of the sea” and “sea nymph; mermaid” are possible replacements for Melissa or Marisa. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” Nerissa was Portia’s witty confidante.
Nori- Until Kim and Kanye announced this would be the nickname of their newborn daughter North, Nori was best known as the Japanese word for “seaweed,” known to most Americans as a sushi wrap.
Obama- The surname of our current president is Kenyan, but Obama is also a Japanese surname and place name meaning “little beach.”
Oceana- is the Greek word for “ocean”. Derived from the name of the Titan god Oceanus.
Pelagia- A Greek name, meaning “the sea.” Pelagia was the name of several saints.
Ronan-, the name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints, means “little seal.” Though it now ranks #458 in the U.S., Ronan is in the Top 50 in Ireland and the Top 30 in Northern Ireland.
Seaton- Last-name-turned-first is a Scottish and English surname meaning “town by the sea.”
Thalassa- refers to the Greek goddess of the Mediterranean Sea. In 1991, the newly discovered moon of Neptune was named Thalassa.
Ula- A Celtic name meaning “gem of the sea,” Ula belongs to the rare U-starting sisterhood of names.
Photo by Georgia Brizuela.
Denise K. Potter is Nameberry’s newest intern and a student at Montclair State University.
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