Beach Baby Names

This summer, the ocean’s influence can be found in the latest and coolest baby names, both unusual and traditional. Whether it’s the sandy dunes off the shore, the seaweed that washes up in the waves, or even the ancient gods and goddesses who controlled the seas, these fresh new baby names all allude to the extraordinary appeal of the coast.Here are a few of the coolest new beach-inspired baby names:

Beach– This boys’ name could pay homage to the 1950’s American boy-band The Beach Boys or be an evocative choice for hard-core beach lovers.

Cordelia– Meaning “heart; daughter of the sea,” Cordelia’s origin is Latin and Celtic. In Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear, Cordelia was the King’s youngest and favorite daughter. Though a bit grown up sounding, it also yields the fresh nicknames Cora, Delia, Del, Lia, and Cory.

Doris This female name is Greek, meaning “gift of the ocean.” A longtime grandma name, Doris is not quite back but could make a Geek Chic choice for the adventurous parent.

Dune– A unisex name! Dune can also allude to the science-fiction franchise stemming from Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel.

Dylan– A Welsh name meaning “son of the sea,’ which still feels poetic and romantic. In Welsh belief, Dylan was a god of the sea who made the seas of Ireland and Britain cry when he died. The name became prominent after the success of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan paid homage to. Popular for boys at Number 31 (it’s Number 512 for girls), the name can also be spelled Dillon.

Guinevere — Along with its modern forms Jennifer and Jenna, Guinevere means “white wave” and may make an elegant beach-related choice.

Irving– This Scottish name meaning “green river, sea friend” was popularized by in the U.S. a century ago by immigrants; a notable example is composer Irving Berlin.

Kai– A multi-cultural name! In Hawaiian it means “sea,” but in Japanese “forgiveness,” in Navajo “willow tree,” and in Scandinavian “earth.”

Maren– is Latin for “sea” and also a twenty-first-century take on the traditional Mary. Can also be spelled Marin to denote the coastal California county north of San Francisco.

Moanna– Hawaiian, meaning “ocean.” In the 2006 dark fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth, Moanna was the name of a Spanish princess.

Morgan– This Welsh name means “circle; sea.” Though a common name for boys in Wales, Morgan is more popular as a female name in the U.S.

Muriel– This Irish name, meaning “of the bright sea,” is a so-far-out-it’s-in choice, if your taste runs to forgotten vintage choices.

MurphyMurphy, which means “sea warrior,” is the most common surname in Ireland.

Neptune– was the Roman god of the sea. Though rarely heard for human babies, that could change with the new fashion for mythological names.

Nerissa and NeridaBoth Greek names meaning “of the sea” and “sea nymph; mermaid” are possible replacements for Melissa or Marisa. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” Nerissa was Portia’s witty confidante.

Nori– Until Kim and Kanye announced this would be the nickname of their newborn daughter North, Nori was best known as the Japanese word for “seaweed,” known to most Americans as a sushi wrap.

Obama– The surname of our current president is Kenyan, but Obama is also a Japanese surname and place name meaning “little beach.”

Oceana– is the Greek word for “ocean”. Derived from the name of the Titan god Oceanus.

Pelagia– A Greek name, meaning “the sea.” Pelagia was the name of several saints.

Ronan-, the name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints, means “little seal.” Though it now ranks #458 in the U.S., Ronan is in the Top 50 in Ireland and the Top 30 in Northern Ireland.

Seaton– Last-name-turned-first is a Scottish and English surname meaning “town by the sea.”

Thalassa– refers to the Greek goddess of the Mediterranean Sea. In 1991, the newly discovered moon of Neptune was named Thalassa.

Ula– A Celtic name meaning “gem of the sea,” Ula belongs to the rare U-starting sisterhood of names.

Photo by Georgia Brizuela.

Denise K. Potter is Nameberry’s newest intern and a student at Montclair State University.

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16 Responses to “Beach Baby Names”

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sweetpeacelove Says:

July 29th, 2013 at 11:38 pm

I love Moana (the Hawaiian name is actually spelled this way, not Moanna). I may use it as a middle for a future daughter to honor her heritage. I also really like Murphy, but I don’t know if I can get over the Murphy’s Law association.

orange Says:

July 29th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Other ones I’ve met are Sandy and Reef!

BasicSand Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 12:45 am

It was really interesting to know that Obama is also Japanese and a place name.

Whirligig Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 2:59 am

I LOVE this blog! I am obsessed with the sea and the beach. I especially like Ula as a nn for Ursula!

livia Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 6:53 am

I love the ocean and the beach. I think Cordelia and Guinevere are beautiful, and I love that Kai has so many different meanings for such a short name!

Haannahh Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 10:49 am

Yes, yesss!! I live on the beach so this is fantastic! My mom would really like for me to use Murphy, she loves it! It’s okay…. But I like Seaton. And yes Reef is adorable, don’t forget that every other little girl there is named ……Sailor

blessedmommajennie Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 11:08 am

I LOVE the name Guinevere. 🙂

Kibby Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 11:20 am

I think Beach would be a bad move for any gender. Life’s a Beach, and all that jazz….

Poppy528 Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 11:38 am

Fun list! Went to the beach this summer with my 5- and 6-year-old cousins; had so much fun coming up with “mermaid names.” They are considerably better namers than me – Coral Leaf was my favorite of their creation. I would also like to mention that I love the name Océane, or as my iPhone autocorrect keeps insisting, Océanie.

EmilyVA Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Sorry if this is duplicate; I couldn’t see my post.

I really like this list. I would add a few if I may.

I like:
Pearl makes me think of the ocean since natural pearls are from oysters.

I knew the most wonderful old lady name Muriel, but think the name sounds dated. I like the Irish variation Meriel instead which has the same meaning and could honor our friend Muriel.

From the list I like Cordelia, Oceana, Ronan, Doris and Beach.

nat108 Says:

July 30th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Love beach names; born and raised in a beach town. Apart from Dune and Beach and the Hawaiian names, none of them feel very beach-y. They’re obviously water names, though

To me names that evoke the beach aren’t necessarily water names- Zephyr, Sol, Azure, Bodhi, Coral, Piper, Reed…

tori101 Says:

August 4th, 2013 at 4:04 am

Ah I love the beach, the sea and all the connotations of the seaside. The seaside reminds me of my Grandma who retired by the sea, of my father as he has a love for the sea and whenever near the sea has to go and see it, so for me this is a really interesting blog!

From the list I love Cordelia, Dylan, Guinevere, Kai, and Morgan. However the other choices on this list are really fantastic as well. Great list.

darlingdear Says:

August 4th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

My favorites from this list are Cordelia and Seaton!! I also love the name Shelly, short for Michelle, which sounds very beachy.

Name of Our Babies Says:

August 8th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

[…] covered 36,544 Japanese babies born between January and November this year, … Beach Baby Names ? Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Are you a beach lover, or simply dreaming of sun, sand, and waves as you consider your baby name […]

wickedjr89 Says:

November 10th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Love this! I love the beach and ocean! Some great baby names here!

Beach Boys Names – Wonderful Beach Says:

October 26th, 2016 at 11:03 pm

[…] Beach Baby Names […]

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