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Category: water names

Mermaid Names: Beyond Madison and Ariel

mermaid names

Mermaid names have made it big in recent years.  There’s Madison, Darryl Hannah’s character from Splash.  Disney christened The Little Mermaid Ariel in 1989, and she and her princess friends are now found on little girls’ gear everywhere you look.

Beyond Madison and Ariel: Other Famous Mermaids 

CoraliaAn underwater realm in Flash Gordon, but also a name for a mermaid in a nineteeth-century ballet

Deema – From the new Nickelodeon series Bubble Guppies, about a group of preschoolers and their adventures with teacher Mr. Grouper

DianaFrom 2003 movie Mermaids, about a trio of fish-tailed sisters who set off to avenge the death of their merman father

JuneFrom 2003 movie Mermaids

LoreleiFrom German folktales, now better known as the given name of both Gilmore Girls – though mother and daughter spelled it Lorelai

MelodyAriel’s daughter in the extended Little Mermaid universe

MirandaIn a 1948 British comedy, a lonely fisherman catches the mermaid Miranda and the duo set off on a madcap tour of London

MollyAnother of the Bubble Guppies

Muirgen – An Irish story says that she was brought from the sea and baptized, and in some tellings, became a saint

NixieYet another name for a water-dwelling spirit

OndineA German water sprite who marries a mortal, but never gets her happily ever after.  In 2009, Colin Farrell played a fisherman who makes a surprising catch in the movie Ondine; Audrey Hepburn rose to fame playing Ondine on Broadway in 1954.

Oona – Another of the Bubble Guppies

SabrinaThe name of a water nymph in John Milton’s Comus, and an ancient Celtic river goddess, too

Thessalonike – Sister of Alexander the Great, said to have turned into a mermaid

UndineA variant of Ondine, but perhaps not as wearable

VenusFrom 2003 movie Mermaids, and known for posing on a shell in the Botticelli painting

Names That Would Fit a Mermaid

AvalonA medieval tale tells of three sisters growing up on the lost Isle of Avalon.  The eldest, Melusine, was cursed to spend one day a week as a mermaid.

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water3

Not long ago, a couple I know—both serious swimmers—asked me if I could help them come up with a girl’s name that related to water.  They didn’t want any site-specific water names —no actual names of oceans or rivers or seas, no Hudsons or Niles for them– but something with the feel or sense or literal meaning of water.

I put together a relatively short list for them of water-related words and names whose meanings reference water.  Here’s a considerably expanded version of those water names, with some, of course,  more usable than others.  (By the way, my friends chose to name their daughter Tallulah, in large part because they loved its meaning—“leaping water”)

So if you’re a swimmer, a surfer, a snorkeler, a fisherperson, or just someone who likes to walk in the rain, here are some possible approaches.

1. FIND A WORD RELATED TO WATER:

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What To Name Your Summer Baby

summer baby names

Summer is one of the nicest times of year to have a baby, the warm weather and slow pace making it that much easier to relax into new motherhood (and, from your baby’s point of view, into life!)  Here, our annual round-up of names that summon the season:

SUMMER — As a seasonal name, Summer may not be your top choice.  It’s feeling a tad shopworn after coming close to cracking the Top 100 in 1977; it’s been above number 200 for the past fifteen years.  Autumn is more popular but Winter is cooler.

Summer also has three excellent months names that include several usable variations.  These are:

JUNEJUNE, the hip middle name du jour, was out of favor for many years but now is back in a big way.  The name, and the month, are derived from JUNO, the Roman goddess of marriage and finances (great role model!) whose name got a big boost from the teenage heroine of the eponymous film.  The related and obscure JUNIA is a New Testament name.  Male versions include the Spanish JUNOT, popularized by Pulitzer winning writer Junot Diaz, and JUNIUS, Latin for “born in June.”

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danube-river

We think and talk a lot about place names–countries like China, states like Georgia, cities like Dallas, even boroughs like Brooklyn.  And we also think and talk about nature names, of flowers and trees.  Well there’s one category that merges the two together, and that’s river names.

I was planning to put together a list of interesting river names worldwide, but I came upon so many intriguing and unusual possibilities in Western Europe alone, that I decided to save our own country, England and Ireland and others farther afield for some time in the future.  Some of those listed here are major waterways like the Seine, others are much smaller streams; and some run through more than one country.  And I’m sure you’ll notice that there are those that sound decidedly masculine (Arno), while others could be possible girls’ names (Adaja).

Not surprisingly, some of the most appealing  names come from the French countryside:

AIRE

ALZETTE

ANDELLE

ANOUX

ARLY

AUBETTE

CALAVON

CEROU

CLAREE

CREUSE

DADOU

EAULINE

ESTERON

LAITA

LAQUETTE

LOIRE

MIDOU

RAVILLOU

RHONE

VARENNE

VIENNE

And here are some Latinate choices from Italy, Spain, and Portugal:

ADAJA

ARAGON

ARBIA

ARNO

BREGGIA

CAIA

EBRO

ELVO

ENZA

JABALON

JALON

JARAMA

MAIRA

MARANO

MINO

NAVIA

OLONA

ORBA

PO

SELLA

TAJO

TIBER

TURIA

ULLA

ZANCARA

ZEZERE

And finally a few found in Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium and Greece

ARDOS

AXIOS

DANUBE (which is shown in the illustration)

ELBE

ISAR

KRIOS

LADON

LEDA

LYS

MAURINE

MOSELLE

NEDA

NETTE

ORLA

RABA

REGEN

SENNE

THAYA

TYRIA

VLIET

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