Menu

Island Names for Babies: What's mainstream on the mainland

Island Names for Babies: What's mainstream on the mainland

Island names are a subcategory of place names — an increasingly well-traveled world of baby names, including continents (Asia), countries (India), states (Georgia), cities (Florence), and even boroughs (Brooklyn).

With summer just around the corner, our thoughts drift to place names that connote the calm, peaceful image of an isolated retreat surrounded by the sea.

Isla is one of the most notable island names in today's world — a fast riser that has now soared into the US Top 50. Isla is not only the Spanish word for "island", it is also the name of a river in Scotland.

The variation Islay is striking and far more unique, given to only 51 baby girls in 2022. Islay is the name of a Scottish island known for its breathtaking beaches. The word name Island itself is also an intriguing option with a unisex vibe.

Beyond Scotland, our planet's oceans are full of lush and scenic islands with lovely names to match. Here are our picks of 10 girl names and 10 boy names inspired by islands from around the world.

Island Names for Girls

Aruba

This Caribbean island and popular travel destination is known for its stunning white sand beaches and bright blue waters. Aruba has strong potential as a name, even lending to the fashionable nickname Ruby, but surprisingly has little history as a given name.

Capri

Capri is a chic island in Italy’s Bay of Naples that attracts many celebrity yachts and features the famous and dramatic Blue Grotto — a fantastical sea cave. It was rarely heard of as a baby name until the late Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa chose it for their fourth daughter, born in 2019.

Catalina

Santa Catalina is one of the California Channel Islands and is a popular tourist destination.  A Spanish version of Catherine that is more colorful and rhythmic, Catalina has been rising in popularity since the late eighties and now ranks at #149.

Gaya

Gaya is an island in Malaysia that holds historical and spiritual significance in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Pronounced like Gaia, Gaya makes a sleek and on-trend girl name in line with fashionable Maya and Kaya.

Iona

Iona is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. The name has a storied place in Celtic lore and the Iona Monastery in Ireland was the birthplace of the Book of Kells. Iona is a Top 100 name in native Scotland.

Ireland

The island of Ireland is made up of both Northern Ireland — a part of the United Kingdom — and the Republic of Ireland. Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin put Ireland on the map when they chose it as a first for their daughter, saying that geographic names were a family tradition.

Lucia

St. Lucia (pronounced LOO-sha) is a lovely member of the Caribbean Virgin Islands.  An increasingly popular name, this Italian and Spanish version of Lucy has been steadily climbing up the list, reaching Number 126 in 2022.

Madeira

An archipelago situated south of the coast of Portugal — of which Madeira is a part — and known for the production of fortified wines of the same name. If the alcohol association isn't a drawback, Madeira has a beautiful sound that is more unique and fresh than Madison or Madeline.

Sanibel

Sanibel is an island off the Gulf coast of Florida and tourist destination noted for its colorful history and variety of birds and seashells. Another possible addition to the bel family of names — a more distinctive alternative to Annabel and Isabel.

Skye

The Isle of Skye is the largest island in the rocky Inner Hebrides of Scotland and has a strong folk music tradition.  Skye is currently the 416th most popular girl name in the US, and a Top 50 name in Scotland.

Island Names for Boys

Cayman

The Caymans consist of three islands in the western Caribbean south of Cuba. Peaceful and beautiful, they are also a major offshore banking hub.  The name Cayman would fit right in with in-style boy names.

Cyprus

This Meditteranean island nation is known for its rich history and appearances in Greek mythology — notably the birthplace of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Cyprus has a cool and modern sound, in line with rising Cyrus or botanical Cypress.

Fraser

Fraser is an island off the coast of Australia notable for being the largest sand island in the world. The name Fraser is Scottish, meaning "strawberry". Despite variations like Frasier and Frazier being better recognized today, Fraser is the original form.

Kauai

The Hawaiian island of Kauai — pronounced "kuh-WAI-ee" — is nicknamed "the garden isle" due to the thick tropical rainforest covering much of its surface. As Hawaiian names like Kai and Koa rise fast in the US charts, Kauai is becoming an increasingly plausible and attractive choice.

Kitts

The larger of two islands making up the nation St. Kitts and Nevis is known for its rainforested mountains and beautiful beaches. Kitts has little use as a given name, but with the similarity to rising unisex Kit as well as the trendy -s ending, Kitts has plenty of potential.

Maui

This Hawaiian island name was brought into a new light when Disney bestowed it upon the hilarious demigod character Maui — played by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson — in the film Moana. In Polynesian mythology, Maui was a trickster god, famous for his many feats and adventures including stealing fire for humans from the underworld.

Milos

Milos is a volcanic Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. Venus de Milo, the statue of the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite, was famously discovered on this island in 1820. The name Milos is commonly heard in Greece as well as Slavic cultures, and is the original form of popular names Miles and Milo.

Nevis

The smaller of the two islands making up the nation St. Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies. Like its counterpart Kitts, Nevis has strong potential as an attractive and unisex baby name. Singer Nelly Furtado used the name Nevis for her daughter in 2003, but the name feels equally fashionable for a boy.

Rhodes

This Greek island name has academic associations and fits in with the preppy s-ending name trend such as Brooks and Hayes. Rhodes debuted in the Top 1000 for the first time in 2022 and is likely to keep climbing.

Trinidad

Trinidad, an island off Venezuela in the southern Caribbean, is Spanish for ‘trinity’ and is a common unisex name in Latin America—it was also as high as #451 for boys in the U.S. in 1922.  Performers Trini Lopez (male) and Trini Alvarado (female) were both born Trinidad.

More Island Names

Loving the serene and evocative island vibe? Here are 14 more island names that may peak your interest, from the established Dominica and Solomon to offbeat Malta and Paros.

About the Author

Brynn McKeon

Brynn McKeon

Brynn McKeon joined the Nameberry team in August of 2022 as an editor, and has written about topics such as the Ultimate Guide to Goddess Names and Redefining Classic Names. As Head Moderator, she also oversees our active Nameberry forums community. Brynn also writes the daily Name of the Day newsletter.

Outside of Nameberry, Brynn lives in New York State with her dog Raven, where she is working towards her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy. You can reach her at brynn@nameberry.com