Feeling that geographical names have become kind of ho-hum? It’s true that many people have tired of Paris and some of the over-visited names from the American West like Cheyenne, Sierra, Dakota and Dallas. But that’s no reason to write off the whole category—we can renew our passports and look a bit farther afield for some fresher, more interesting and exotic choices from the global atlas.
AILSA — Ailsa Craig is the name of a rocky island off Scotland, and Ailsa has long been used as a Christian name–as all of us namberryites well know
ÁLORA– A picturesque Spanish town near Malága, overlooking citrus orchards and olive groves
ANDORRA — A small country located in the Pyranees—could work as an updated Andrea
CORTINA—Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the most famous and beautiful ski resorts in Italy; a more feminine namesake for Courtney?
ELANORA –This name of an Australian suburb is used as a girls’ name in that country
ELBA—The Italian island best known as the site of Napoleon’s exile; possible update of Ella?
GENOA –Picturesque birthplace of Christopher Columbus, native version is GENOVA; a possible newer path to the Gen nickname
IBIZA (ih-BEETH-a)—Another interesting island name, though a little bit lispy
ISCHIA (IS-key-a)—An Isla-like Italian island name
JAVA — This Indonesian island name was recently used by Lost hunk Josh Holloway for his daughter
LILLE — (LEELE) –We’ve seen the growing popularity of double-L names, now here’s a French city with three of them
LIXA –An old Portuguese city with a modern-sounding name
LULEÅ — A city on the northern coast of Sweden; birthplace of the founder of the Nordstrom department store chain
LUCERNE –A Swiss canton and lake name, with the possibility of a Lucy nickname
LUZA – A Russian town on the Luza river—but too much like loser?
MAJORCA (my-OR-ca) — One of the most elegant and fashionable of the Spanish Balearic Islands
ODESSA — The name of a Ukranian port city inspired by Homer’s ‘Odyssey’
QUINTANA — Quintana Roo is a Mexican state in the Yucatan Peninsula and is one of the prettiest Q possibilities
RAVENNA –Italian city known for its Byzantine mosaics makes an appealingly feminine choice
TAVIRA — An attractive town in the Algarve area of Portugal; a possible namesake for a Great-Aunt Vera?
TRALEE– The county seat of Kerry, Ireland, associated with the old song “The Rose of Tralee”
VALENCIA – Orange-scented Spanish city name
VALLETTA – the capital city of Malta, as well as being the surname of glamorous model/actress Amber
VERONA –home town of Romeo & Juliet
ARRAN — A Scottish island with a wide diversity of landscapes; possibility of being confused with Aaron
BELLO — A sizable city in Colombia
BRECON — A historic market town in Wales; similar to saint’s name Breccan
CADIZ — A Spanish coastal province known for its windswept beaches, white villages and celebrated sherry.
CARLOW – An Irish county and city on the River Barrow
DONEGAL – Another of the traditional counties of Ireland
DURANGO –City in Mexico founded in 1565
ENNIS — an ancient and picturesque town in County Clare
GUERNSEY – Channel Islands name that is also a surname and occasionally used as a first; might be used for a girl as well
MALMÖ — The third largest city in Sweden
MALO — Saint-Malo, France is a walled city in Brittany on the English Channel, named for the saint who founded it
OVAR — A small city in Portugal
PERTH – The capital city of Western Australia
THANE — A city in India near Mumbai, as well as the word used in ancient Scotland for a hereditary king (see Macbeth)
TOULOUSE –a thriving city in southern France; a name associated with artist Lautrec
VIGO — the largest city in Galicia, Spain
YORK – a beautiful historic city in North Yorkshire
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