Category: place names for babies

baby name Malaysia

The website Swimmingly recently published this very cool infographic on which place names were used for the most babies in the US in 2013.  The surprising results: Malaysia is the hottest place name for babies, beating out America, India, and yes, Sierra Leone. (And yup, there was a pop culture connection–the Malaysia on the reality show Basketball Wives LA.)

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There’s no shortage of place names on the baby-name map. In the Top 300 alone, we find Sienna and Sierra, Camden and Trenton, London and Paris, not to mention Brooklyn, Austin, Sydney, Kingston, Hudson and Georgia. But what if you’re looking for a less traveled destination? Here are some fresher possibilities.

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posted by: denisekpotter View all posts by this author

By Denise K. Potter, Nameberry

New Jersey gets no respect. We’ve been laughed at, lied to, hell—we’ve even endured some pretty serious storms. But hey, you have to hand it to us, we’re survivors. The Garden State has a lot going for it—like these baby names with history you’ve got to read to believe, written by yours truly, a proud ‘Joi-sey’ girl. You want to make something of it? And for all those who think we’re just a landfill: Dream on, read on, and just remember, we’re Jersey Strong; we can handle anything you’ve got.

Aberdeen This Scottish place-name for girls can also refer to the beach-township in Monmouth County.

Alice– In 1920, the celebrated suffragist and women’s rights activist, Alice Paul, led the campaign that resulted in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Born in Mount Laurel and died in Moorestown, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1979. A name that is strong and sweet, Alice is also popular, jumping from Number 258 to Number127 this past year!

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What’s Your Favorite Place Name?

place names

Place names for people are a category that’s exploded over the past generation.

A couple of decades ago, names like Dakota and Chelsea were hot and trendy, while  Paris and London were wildly exotic.

Today, place name possibilities have moved far beyond such standards as Asia and Georgia.

There are popular city names — Savannah, Brooklyn, Milan — as well as state and country names, from Indiana to India.

There are place names that reference mountain ranges, like Sierra, or bodies of water, such as Hudson.  Place names can even refer to otherworldly locales, such as Heaven, Orion, or Zion.

Some place names owe their popularity to the epically beautiful places they reference: Kenya, for instance, and Venice.  And then there are those names that are much more attractive than the places they represent: We’re thinking of Trenton, Camden, Detroit.

Several celebrities have helped make the place name fashion more, well, fashionable.  Just last year, Reese Witherspoon had a son named Tennessee, while Jemima Kirke named her boy Memphis.

Our question this week: Would you use a place name for your child?  Have you used one?  In the first place, or only as a middle?

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The revelation of Tennessee as the name of Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth’s baby boy came as something of a surprise to the celebrity babies‘ name-watching world—but perhaps it shouldn’t have been, what with other recent starkids named Alabama, Indiana and Arizona.  And a simple Google search will tell you that though Reese was born in New Orleans, most of her childhood was spent in Tennessee, her mother’s native state, explaining why it was meaningful to her.

Although the name Tennessee’s two notable most namesakes, playwright Williams (born Thomas) and country singer ‘TennesseeErnie Ford, are male, Tennessee actually had some popularity as a girl’s name in the late nineteenth century, appearing in the Top 1000 five times between 1880 and 1890.  It reached as high as Number 580 in 1884—though granted that accounted for only fourteen girls—the same year that Missouri, Nevada and Florida were also on the girls’ list.  (The nickname Tennie, on the other hand, reigned for more than forty years.)

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