Arctic Names: Cool and Wild
If the north calls to you, and you dream of long nights, midnight sun and frozen wilderness, Arctic names could be perfect for you.
Arctic names relate to the nature, weather and landscape in northerly regions, and include place names and beautiful choices from the languages of the Arctic and neighboring areas. They’re ideal for winter babies, for wild-spirited children, and as a pledge to protect the natural environment.
Here are 14 of the best Arctic baby names, from crowd-pleasers to undiscovered treasures.
One of the most popular names here, Aurora is enjoying a well-deserved moment. It ranks at number 31 nationally in the USA, but is the #1 most popular name in Alaska in 2022, where the aurora borealis — the northern lights — are visible in the sky.
A mountain range in northern Alaska, named after the geologist Alfred Hulse Brooks. Surnames ending in S are in style now, and Brooks is one of the hottest, ranking in the US Top 100.
Although it’s technically in the subarctic, Alaska’s highest peak deserves a mention. From a Koyukon Athabaskan word meaning “high”, Denali was used for both sexes even before it became the mountain’s official name in 2015. It has been used lightly but steadily since then… but interestingly, it’s never made the charts in Alaska itself.
Several of the most popular wild animal names are creatures found in the far north: not only the fluffy-yet-deadly Arctic fox, but also Bear, Wolf and Lynx. If it's not your style as a first name, Fox also packs a punch in the middle. Our readers have used combinations like Gideon Fox and Jasper Allan Fox.
One of the most popular last names as first names, ranking in the US Top 30, Hudson combines surname style with a rugged nature vibe. Hudson Bay is the English name for the vast sea bay in northern Canada, after the explorer Henry Hudson (who also gave his name to the New York river).
For such a chilly name, Icelynn is looking pretty hot. It was only given to 52 girls in 2022, but it's risen fast out of almost nowhere. Iceland, Icy and Ice — the name of rapper Gucci Mane's son — have also slipped into the charts in recent years, making this cool syllable one to watch.
A lake and region in the Sámi homeland of Finland (which fans of His Dark Materials may know as Enara, the witches’ home). Inari is both unisex (given to an all-time high of 49 girls in 2022) and multicultural. It has unrelated Japanese roots, and resembles the middle-eastern name Inara.
A name lovers’ favorite that’s finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. Meaning “snow” in Finnish, Lumi combines a wintry meaning with the stylish “Lu” sound found in trending names like Luna and Lucy.
The moss of the tundra may not be showy, but it’s tough and hardy, has healing properties, and is essential to the ecosystem as a food source for caribou. All strong values to celebrate in a child’s name (ok, maybe not the being eaten by reindeer part). Moss is also a surname derived from Moses.
Where Kim and Kanye went, not many parents have followed... but it's been growing on us, especially as a middle name. The idea of North — wild, wintry and the pinnacle of the earth — is appealing, and it sounds more brisk and modern than Norris or Norman.
When the constellation Orion rises in the northern hemisphere, it’s a sign that winter is on the way. The starry Ancient Greek hunter has boomed in recent years, both as part of a growing trend for mythological names, and as a similar-yet-different successor to Ryan.
It isn’t always winter in the Arctic (it’s not Narnia)! The Finnish word for summer is almost unknown in the English-speaking world, but really deserves more love. Sound-wise, it feels like an update on well-worn Susie. And for those wondering, Winter is another girl name: Talvi.
A polarizing name which some love, some don’t, but few dare to use. Ursula’s connection to the Arctic is twofold: as a name meaning bear, it reflects the wild bears of the Arctic, and also the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor in the northern sky.
Meaning “light” in Finnish, this would be a cool rare alternative to popular boy names ending in O.
More Arctic Baby Names
Looking for more inspiration from the far north? But of course: