Maybe it’s because we’ve been planning our summer vacation, but the idea of exotic place names sounds very appealing right now. Options can be found all over the map: Nameberry has a big all-inclusive list of exotic place names. A selection we’d like to visit, figuratively and literally.
AFRICA – Most obviously, the name of the continent, but there was also a Celtic queen named Affrica.
BIMINI – Caribbean Island name is cute and casual. Pronunciation: bim-in-ee.
BRAZIL – Also spelled Brasil, this Celtic saint’s name also references the South American country.
CUBA – Cuba Gooding Jr. put this one on the map (sorry, couldn’t resist). Another option: Havana.
JAVA – Java Kumala was chosen as the name for their newborn daughter by Josh Holloway of TV’s Lost and his Indonesian wife.
KYOTO – Kyoto means “capital city,” though the Japanese city is known more for its beauty than for being a center of government or industry.
MOROCCO – Rhythmic name of the north African country could work for boys or girls.
PACIFICA – This peaceful name relates to the Pacific Ocean.
PALMA – Palma de Majorca is a Spanish island city as well as a botanical name.
PERSIA – Though the country is now called Iran, Persia has more chops as a person name. Writer Louise Erdrich has a daughter named Persia (and one named Pallas).
QUITO – The name of Ecuador’s capital works better for boys than for girls: unusual for place names.
RIO – Devil-may-care name drawn from Brazil’s best-known city, better for boys but can work for girls too.
ROMANY – Actor Romany Malco popularized this name relating to Gypsy lands and culture. A fresher spin on Roman or Romy.
SAHARA – Hot, dry, exotic: a good place to go if you want to move beyond Sarah.
SAMOA – An unexpected choice from the South Seas.
SICILY – Everyone will confuse it with Cecily (and Cicely), but all you have to say is, “No, as in Italy.”