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Native American Names for Boys

Native American boy names might by definition be the truest, most authentic version of American names, which are also an amalgamation of invented names, English word names, names of English derivation, and American place names.

Native American names for boys, most not frequently heard these days, include the following. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.

DakotaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name; Sioux
  • Meaning:

    "friendly one"
  • Description:

    An early and still one of the most popular unisex names, also a place name and name of a Native American people in the northern Mississippi valley, which makes it a controversial baby name choice. While the popularity of Dakota is trending downward for both genders, it's one of those rare genuinely gender-neutral names that is used for nearly equal numbers of boys and girls.

DenaliHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name and Native American
  • Meaning:

    "the great one"
  • Description:

    Alaska's Denali National Park is the home of the highest mountain in the US, officially renamed Denali in 2014, endowing the name with a lofty feel. There were 20 boys and 55 girls given the name in 2014.

TennesseeHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, Cherokee, place-name
  • Description:

    When playwright Thomas Lanier Williams adopted the pen name of Tennessee, he created a new possibility among American place-names, although it's admittedly a bit bulky in size. Reese Witherspoon brought it back into the spotlight when she chose it for her son.

DasanHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "son of bird clan leader"
  • Description:

    Name from legend that might be an interesting Jason alternative.

YanceyHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "yankee"
  • Description:

    A fancy TV western name that didn't catch on like fellow cowboys Luke and Josh, but definitely has a certain amount of charm. It is also spelled Yancy, as in the 1950s series Yancy Derringer. It was first spotted in the Edna Ferber novel Cimarron, which became a popular movie.

GeronimoHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American; Italian variation of Jerome
  • Description:

    This name of a renowned Apache leader and mystic would be a difficult choice, since it was used as a rallying cry in so many old westerns and by paratroopers jumping out of their planes in World War II.

CoroHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "wind"
  • Description:

    A place name from Venezuela believed to come from an indigenous word for wind, this can make an innovative choice for a child of either sex.

LakotaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American tribal name
  • Meaning:

    "friend to us"
  • Description:

    The name of one of the branches of the Great Sioux Nation has a very namelike sound, but is not used as a name by the Lakota people themselves, and could be seen as appropriative.

TahoeHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "edge of the lake"
  • Description:

    A unique natural-wonder option, conjuring up the beauty of the lake between California and Nevada that has become a popular tourist destination.

YosemiteHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American tribal name
  • Meaning:

    "those who kill"
  • Description:

    The evocative name of one of our most beautiful national parks -- yes, but also the bombastic cartoon character, Yosemite Sam.

HalianHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "youthful"
  • Description:

    A Julian derivative, via Spanish conquistadors, that could be a more unusual yet still reasonable substitute for that current favorite.

MojaveHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American tribal and place-name
  • Description:

    Resonant place-name of the beautiful Southern California desert.

NakosHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, Arapaho
  • Meaning:

    "sage, wise"
  • Description:

    Interesting Native-American choice that could be taken for Greek.

HakanHeart

  • Origin:

    Turkish
  • Meaning:

    "emperor, ruler"
  • Description:

    A Turkish twist on the trend for ruler names.

SequoyahHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, Cherokee
  • Meaning:

    "sparrow"
  • Description:

    A strong, meaningful name, associated with a famous Cherokee linguistic scholar; also suggests the magnificent California sequoia redwood trees.

EjaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, meaning unknown
  • Description:

    Singer Shania Twain is said to have chosen this name, pronounced as Asia, for her son to honor her father's Native-American culture.

TetonHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, Sioux tribe; also western American place-name
  • Description:

    Rare and rugged, though one of the baby names with a lot of teasing potential.

IgashuHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "wanderer, seeker"
  • Description:

    Igashu has a primitive feel that doesn't quite fit into the modern mainstream.

QuanahHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "sweet smelling, fragrant"
  • Description:

    Name of a major figure in Indigenous history, Quanah Parker, a Comanche chief who became a judge on the Court of Indian Affairs.

CherokeeHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American tribal name
  • Description:

    Cherokee is the name of a Native American tribe, the largest in the United States stretching from North Carolina through Oklahoma. The meaning of the word Cherokee is uncertain: It may be Choctaw for "those who live in the mountains" or "those who live in the cave country" or it may be an Anglicization of the word the Cherokee use to refer to themselves, Tsalagi. The name was given to 19 baby girls in the U.S. in 2013 but was not recorded on the boys' roster, though we'd consider it equally appropriate for either gender.