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Water Names Make a Splash

Water Names Make a Splash

Water names are as beautiful and varied as water itself.

You could be considering an aquatic baby name for any number of reasons. Maybe you want to honor a special river or lake, or are big into 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 see some of our favorites. They come 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. In the Top 100, Kai, Hudson, Dylan, Jordan, Brooks and even Noah have watery connections. 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

As straightforward as it gets, these names have water or wetness in their meaning.

Sea Names

For beach babes and ocean-lovers, here’s a selection of names connected to the sea. If these float your boat, we’ve got an even longer list of sea 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

Surname 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 watery 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 some names of deities, spirits and legendary characters associated with water.

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

Got a name story to tell? If you'd like to write about your personal experience with your own name, your child's name, names in your family or your culture, we'd love to consider your story for publication on Nameberry. Email us a sentence or two about your idea at clare@nameberry.com

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from the next high-rising names to how to choose a multilingual name, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. She has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and lives in England with her husband and toddler. You can follow everything she reads about names on Twitter or Scoop.it, or reach her at clare@nameberry.com