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Water Names: Nameberry Picks 12 loveliest lakes

lake

There’s probably no word in the English language that sounds quite so calm, cool, clear and refreshing than the word ‘lake’—even more than other water names like River and Bay and Brook.

Lake as a name came to the fore via the film and television actress Lake Bell, and could make an especially cool middle name.  But what about the names of individual lakes?  Looking through the atlas, we found plenty of inspiration there, and these are our Namebery Picks of the twelve best.

1.     Annecy—Lake Annecy is the second largest—and cleanest—lake in France, surrounded by mountains and quaint villages.  Annecy could make for a completely unique and charmingly dainty Ann or Annie namesake.

2.     Caspian—Considered a large lake, a sea, and even in ancient times an ocean, Caspian became a human name via the Prince in the fourth book of C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series.  Strong and appealing, it’s become a recent Nameberry fave.

3.     ConstanceLake Constance, which has shores on three countries– Germany, Switzerland and Austria, is a center for water sports and is surrounded by picturesque castles and churches.  Constance, though one of the less obvious virtue names, nevertheless retains a somewhat prim and proper image.

4.     Elsinore—Lake Elsinore, the largest natural lake in Southern California, was a retreat for Hollywood stars in the 1920s. (another Elsinore serves as the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.) With its smoosh-elements of Elsa and Elinor, it could make a highly original choice.

5.     Galilee—With its religious connotations as being a body of water in the region of Israel where Jesus lived for thirty years, combined with a delicate feminine sound, Galilee becomes an interesting possibility as a girl’s name.

6.     Geneva- Lake Geneva, also known as Lake Léman, is a large, crescent-shaped lake in Switzerland and France.  As a girl’s name it has a lot going for it—the Gen as in Genevieve and the eva as in Eva, together with it being a long-used place name.

7.     Izabal—Lago de Izabal, the largest lake in Guatemala, is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.  One of the many variations on the name Isabel, this one leads naturally to the nickname Izzy.

8.     Lomond—known for its ‘bonnie bonnie banks’, the Scottish Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Great Britain. Lomond could make a plausible boy’s name, stronger than Raymond, more unusual than Desmond.

9.     LouiseLake Louise is a stunning glacial lake in Alberta, Canada, named for Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter, Louise Caroline Alberta.  Louise is a solid semi-classic, with the option of the lively Lulu nickname.

10.  Lucerne—A scenic Swiss lake encircled by mountains and crossed by vintage paddle boat steamers, Lucerne could conceivably be a new member of the Lucy, Lucia, Lucille family.

11.  Mabel—There’s a Mabel Lake in British Columbia, Canada, and there was one in Florida which seems to have changed her name to Port Everglades.  Once a Top 20 name (1884-95), sassy Mabel is seeking a comeback à la cousin Sadie, and has been chosen by several celebs, including Dermot Mulroney.

12.  Vida—This lake doesn’t have quite the refreshing image of the others, being in an isolated area of Antartica and under ice year round.  But the name, which means life, has lots to recommend it: the stylish opening letter ‘V’, and celebrity cred via Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey’s little girl.

Is there another lake name you particularly like?

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