Mermaid Names: Beyond Madison and Ariel

March 13, 2011 Linda Rosenkrantz

Mermaid names have made it big in recent years.  There’s Madison, Darryl Hannah’s character from Splash.  Disney christened The Little Mermaid Ariel in 1989, and she and her princess friends are now found on little girls’ gear everywhere you look.

Beyond Madison and Ariel: Other Famous Mermaids 

CoraliaAn underwater realm in Flash Gordon, but also a name for a mermaid in a nineteeth-century ballet

Deema – From the new Nickelodeon series Bubble Guppies, about a group of preschoolers and their adventures with teacher Mr. Grouper

DianaFrom 2003 movie Mermaids, about a trio of fish-tailed sisters who set off to avenge the death of their merman father

JuneFrom 2003 movie Mermaids

LoreleiFrom German folktales, now better known as the given name of both Gilmore Girls – though mother and daughter spelled it Lorelai

MelodyAriel’s daughter in the extended Little Mermaid universe

MirandaIn a 1948 British comedy, a lonely fisherman catches the mermaid Miranda and the duo set off on a madcap tour of London

MollyAnother of the Bubble Guppies

Muirgen – An Irish story says that she was brought from the sea and baptized, and in some tellings, became a saint

NixieYet another name for a water-dwelling spirit

OndineA German water sprite who marries a mortal, but never gets her happily ever after.  In 2009, Colin Farrell played a fisherman who makes a surprising catch in the movie Ondine; Audrey Hepburn rose to fame playing Ondine on Broadway in 1954.

Oona – Another of the Bubble Guppies

SabrinaThe name of a water nymph in John Milton’s Comus, and an ancient Celtic river goddess, too

Thessalonike – Sister of Alexander the Great, said to have turned into a mermaid

UndineA variant of Ondine, but perhaps not as wearable

VenusFrom 2003 movie Mermaids, and known for posing on a shell in the Botticelli painting

Names That Would Fit a Mermaid

AvalonA medieval tale tells of three sisters growing up on the lost Isle of Avalon.  The eldest, Melusine, was cursed to spend one day a week as a mermaid.

Cleodora – The daughter of a river god and lover of Poseidon

DorisAn ocean nymph from Greek myth

IantheAnother ocean nymph

MarinaFrom the Latin marinus – of the sea

Melusina – A slightly more name-like version of melusine, and the name of an illegitimate daughter of England’s King George I

NerissaUltimately derived from the Greek word for water, and also used by Shakespeare for a minor character in The Merchant of Venice.

OceanePronounced oh SEE ahn, she’s big in the French-speaking world

PearlThe jewel of the ocean

Sedna – An Inuit goddess of the sea

Tethys – An ancient Greek sea goddess, and mother of thousands of water nymphs

WaverlyNot related to the word wave, but the connection is irresistible

Ariel’s big sisters in The Little Mermaid




Aquata – Probably the least wearable of the group



From the mermaid statues of Norfolk, Virginia












And if you’re expecting a little merman, there’s always Triton.

Guest post by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain.


21 Responses to “Mermaid Names: Beyond Madison and Ariel”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.