Gender: Female Meaning of Dakota: "friendly one" Origin of Dakota: Place-name; Sioux Dakota's Popularity in 2018: #247

Dakota Origin and Meaning

The name Dakota is a girl's name of Native American origin meaning "friendly one".

One of the first trendy nineties western place-names, now flagging a bit in popularity. Young actress Dakota Fanning helped give it a feminine spin; Rosie O'Donnell chose it for her newborn daughter. Interestingly, Dakota is one of those unisex baby names used for almost exactly equal numbers of girls and boys.

16 names similar to Dakota

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Dakota. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Dakota, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Dakota using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #247

- this week

Famous People Named Dakota

Pop Culture References for the name Dakota

Dakodah, Dakoda, Dekota, Dakkota, Dekotah, Dakotah


April Ludgate Says:


My name is Dakota. I appreciate this comment. :)

April Ludgate Says:


Oregon is too close to organ.

April Ludgate Says:


PS Stop being an SJW.

April Ludgate Says:


Can we please focus on actual racism and not the myth of cultural appropriation.

lisaskye Says:


This name honestly turns my stomach, and I have two family members who bear it. It's so awkward having to say their name. Aside from the gross horrifying cultural appropriation issues, it's a bit like naming a child Chinese or Italian. Only worse because of the genocide. I just can't with this name.

Eliane Says:


I have a big celebrity crush on Dakota Johnson so this name is perfect lol!

Hydra Says:


Yeah,I gotta side Lavender and Alix here...using names like Cheyenne and Dakota do indeed count as cultural appropriation,most especially because they are the names of the tribes themselves,not actual names used by them.It's not "spreading their culture",its disrespecting it by using the name of the people for a child.Native American culture in general is extremely complex,and many things,including names,are very meaningful;no native name is/was chosen just because it sounds nice.If you want to "spread" and honor Native American culture and peoples,don't use the name of their tribes-actually,don't use their names in general.If you absolutely must,talk to a member of the tribe for the okay(even though that in itself is problematic).

All this is coming from a very white person that likes the way Dakota sounds and looks,not that I'd ever use it,even for a character.And,you know,there are a lot of children named this every year because,to be blunt,most Americans simply don't care about the Natives-and that's coming from an American.It shouldn't be used at all,and it serves as a small piece of proof that America is far less progressive than seems.

Apologies for the lecture itself,not the point of the lecture.

LavenderAir Says:


Completely agree and I feel the same way about the name, Cheyenne. Fluffy kitten, the point is that their culture isn't yours to "spread." Do some research on cultural appropriation before you use this name.

Fluffykitten101 Says:


Other Alix, by giving your child the name Dakota you are not taking anything from Native Americans, rather spreading their culture. You are basically saying that embracing another culture is wrong, even inappropriate?
Some people name their kids Adolf and I can see how that is totally inappropriate yet Dakota is a perfectly appropriate name to name a child. You are confusing me here. Sure, I don't love the name Dakota but I definitely do not believe that it could be problematic, seeing as how many children are named it each year. Sorry for the long reply...

cabosanmucus Says:


So what you're saying is a Native American tribe is trashy

actingfun Says:


I prefer this name on boys, but I can definitely see it on a girl. It's a little bit more modern and trendy, but so is my name, so I can deal with that.

Lola Says:


I try to see the positive side of things. If you want to be negative, go for it. I know you want to voice your opinion, but don't tear down mine. Thanks.

Lola Says:


The name Dakota is not racist towards the Dakota tribe. The name is after the two states (North D and South D). I could just as easily name my daughter Oregon. I think that naming your daughter Dakota is a celebration of the culture!

headintheclouds Says:


I'm personally not a big fan of place names, but I objectively think that Dakota seems appealing from an objective point, purely from the sound and feel alone. I personally like this better on a boy than a girl, but I think the name seems truly unisex, and I hope that real-life influences like Dakota Fanning won't make people shy away from using Dakota on boys.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I'm pleasantly surprised to see a name is trending equally for both genders. Unusually, even "unisex" names lean to one side (most often the girl side). Ah, Dakota sounded so fresh to me back when I was just starting school. But now it's gotten a bit too popular.

otheralix Says:


I'm replying only because saying something that is from a culture not belonging to you, used in a way that was not given to you is trashy is wrong and gross. Think about what you say before saying it.

otheralix Says:


Using names of Native America (sub)tribes and languages is extremely problematic and inappropriate. Given the history and current struggles of Indigenous people in North America, it's amazing that people would be okay with taking even more from them.

Audrey328 Says:


Sounds kind of trashy, in my opinion.

Love_Baby_Names Says:


This is a pretty name, and it's very unique. When I write short stories, I sometimes name one of the characters Dakota, because it is so pretty.

dakota jones Says:


so my name is dakota that must mean i am the freindly one

dakota jones Says:


wait what

dakota jones Says:


i love this