Water Names Make a Splash

Water Names Make a Splash

Water names are as beautiful and varied as water itself.

You could be considering a water baby name for any number of reasons. Maybe you want to honor a special river or lake, or are mad about watersports. Maybe the sea calls to your heart… or you just love a good bubble bath.

You might have spiritual reasons, like parents who name their child Galilee or Varuna. Or perhaps your child is due to be born under a watery zodiac sign — if so, you should also check out our list of names for Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces babies.

Whatever it is, dive in and discover some of our favorite water-related baby names. They are drawn from many cultures and languages — not surprising, for something so vital to all life — and cover a wide range of styles.

Some water names have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years, like ancient Tiberius (after Rome’s river, the Tiber) and the pilgrim name Oceanus, given to a boy born aboard the Mayflower. Others are more recent borrowings of English words, including Fen and Fjord, which both debuted on the charts in 2020; or from other languages, like hot favorite Kai.

Some well-worn water names would be cool gender crossovers. Who’s ready to reclaim Lynn and Shannon for boys?

In the States, water names are especially popular for boys right now. Names with aquatic connections in the Top 100 most popular baby names are Kai, Hudson, Dylan, Jordan, Brooks and even Noah. River is rising for both girls and boys (better put out the sandbags), and international star Maya has the Hebrew word for water as one of its origins.

Below is our hand-picked selection of wonderful water names of all kinds.

Names Meaning Water

These names have water or wetness in their meaning.

Ocean Names

For beach babes and ocean-lovers, here’s a selection of names connected to the sea. If these float your boat, you'll love our full list of ocean names.

River and Lake Names

If you’re more of a freshwater person, these nature names come from rivers, lakes, streams and other inland water features.

Watery Place Names

Is there a special river, lake or sea you’d like to use as a name? Some site-specific water names are well-known, like Jordan and Hudson, while others would make your child one of a kind.

As with other nature names, many are not traditionally male or female, leaving you free to use them for a child of any gender. And if your favorite doesn’t have quite the flow you want, there might be a way to adapt it, like Jimmy and Nancy Fallon, who named their daughter Winnie after Lake Winnipesaukee.

The possibilities are as endless as the map, but here’s a selection of watery place names.

Surnames Meaning Water

Last names as first names have seen a huge rise in recent decades, and again are often unisex. If this is your style, there are plenty of options with watery origins, which make great subtle, hidden water names.

Wet Weather Names

Do you love dancing in the rain? Was your baby born on a misty morning? These wet weather names could be for you.

Mythological Water Names

If you like names that are dramatic, romantic and inspired by the ancient world, these are mythological names of deities, spirits and legendary characters associated with water.

For even more inspiration, check out our full list of names meaning water.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com