Names That Mean Wave

  1. Guinevere
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.
  2. Jennifer
    • Origin:

      Cornish variation of Welsh Guinevere
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      Jennifer is the Cornish variation of Guinevere, which ultimately derived from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. It has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century but came to prominence in the 20th. Playwright George Bernard Shaw chose Jennifer for the name of his leading lady in his play The Doctor’s Dilemma, which drew more attention to the name.
  3. Jenna
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Jennifer
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      Jenna was first noted on the 1980s TV series Dallas, later associated with one of the First Twin Daughters. Jenna is still being used, but no longer feels much fresher than Jennifer. You can also spell it Jena, but then many people will pronounce it jeen-a, as in Gina.
  4. Malik
    • Origin:

      Arabic; Greenlandic
    • Meaning:

      "king; wave"
    • Description:

      A name with many spelling variations, including Malek and Maliq. With Muslim roots, Malik ranks in the US Top 500 and is also popular in several European and Arabic countries. Malik can also be thought of as a nature name, via its Greenlandic meaning of wave.
  5. Ginevra
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Guinevere or Jennifer
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      This lovely alternative for the Jennifer-lover ranks among the most popular girls' names in Italy. At this point in the US, the legions of Jennifers born in the 1970s are starting to become grandmas, so Ginevra might make an apt honor name for granny Jen.
  6. Ondine
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "little wave"
    • Description:

      Mythological spirit of the waters; spelled Undine, she was an Edith Wharton heroine.
  7. Aalto
    • Origin:

      Finnish
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      The last name of Finnish moderne designer/architect makes an original, creative choice with an unexpected water-related meaning.
  8. Undine
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "little wave"
    • Description:

      Mythological water spirit with the more common spelling of Ondine, heroine of an Edith Wharton novel.
  9. Nami
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "ocean wave"
    • Description:

      Aquatic Japanese choice that would work well cross-culturally.
  10. Dwyn
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Dwynwen
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      Short, but still kind of a mouthful.
  11. Gali
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      Sprightly.
  12. Gwenore
    • Origin:

      Variation of Guinevere
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      An offbeat way to get to Gwen.
  13. Alda
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      Alda's brother name Aldo has been a mainstay of the U.S. popularity chart for decades now, and the related Alden is soaring up as well. This version has never really caught on. (Maybe it's the association with Alan Alda: great actor, unlikely namesake for a little girl.) However, there is possible hope now that Alba and Alma are on the rise. Aida and Arden are more familiar alternatives.
  14. Malek
    • Origin:

      Variation of Malik, Arabic; Greenlandic
    • Meaning:

      "king; wave"
    • Description:

      Malek may be a variation of the more popular Malik, but it's most familiar via actor Ramy Malek.
  15. Gal
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      This unisex Israeli name, which rhymes with ball, is sure to receive more serious international attention now that actress Gal Gadot is the new Wonder Woman.
  16. Wave
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      Wave made, well, waves when it was revealed to be the name of Cardi B and Offset's son. Evocative of crashing waves at the beach, large surfing barrels, and tumultuous and stormy seas, Wave is a name with a lot of personalities.
  17. Yennefer
    • Origin:

      Literary name, variation of Jennifer or Guinevere, Cornish or Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      Yennefer is the name of one of the protagists of The Witcher series, first books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski and then a video game and now a Netflix series. Yennefer is a powerful fighter and sorceress. As a name, we don't think Yennefer is any improvement on millennial mom name Jennifer, but nickname Yen has it all over the dated Jen.
  18. Gal
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      A unisex name in Israel but in the U.S., it might as well be Sue.
  19. Galit
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "wave"
    • Description:

      A pretty and intriguing elaboration of Gal — made internationally famous by Israeli actress Gal Gadot.
  20. Tsunami
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "harbor wave"
    • Description:

      Tsunami is a Japanese word, derived from the elements tsu meaning "harbor," and nami, "wave." It was first used as a name in 2004 and 2005, then left the charts and reemerged in 2020. At the very least, it makes an interesting way to get to the nickname Sue or Susie (or would that be Tsu/Tsusi?)