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Names That Mean Water

Names that mean water include names that mean ocean and sea, waves and tide, and rain and mist. The names of notable rivers, such as Hudson and Jordan, and other bodies of water are listed here. The names of gods and goddesses of the sea can be counted as water names, as can the names of mythical mermaids and other water creatures.

Along with Hudson and Jordan, other water baby names in the US Top 1000 include Beckett, Brooks, Fisher, Ford, India, Maren, River, and Talia. Many water names are suitable for boys and girls, such as Bay, Lake, Nile, and Pacific.

Names with water-related meanings might be right for babies born under one of the water signs of the zodiac: Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio. Or you may simply love the image of water reflected in your baby's name. Names with water meanings can be found in cultures all around the world for both baby girls and baby boys.
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KaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    Kai has many origins, but in the US is most commonly referred to as being of Hawaiian derivation, meaning “sea.” In Europe, Kai is largely considered to have Frisian origin as a diminutive of the name Kaimbe, meaning “warrior.” Kai is also found as an independent name in African, Chinese, Turkish and Native American cultures.

MayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name; Central American Indian empire name; Latinate variation of May; Spanish, diminutive of Amalia; variation of Maia; Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "water"
  • Description:

    In addition to being the name of a Central American culture, Maya was the legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus, and means "illusion" in Sanskrit and Eastern Pantheism. It can also be spelled Maia, though both names have so many possible origins and meanings that not all of them are related. To the Romans, Maia/Maya was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May.

CaspianHeart

  • Origin:

    Place name
  • Meaning:

    "white"
  • Description:

    One of the most romantic of appellations, as well as being a geographical name of the large salty sea between Asia and Europe that probably inspired C.S. Lewis to use it for the name of the hero of his children's novel, Prince Caspian, part of the Chronicles of Narnia series.

CordeliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin; Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "heart; daughter of the sea"
  • Description:

    Cordelia, the name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, has style and substance, and is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name that many parents are seeking today. If you're torn between Cordelia and the equally lovely Cora, you can always choose Cordelia for long and then call her Cora for short—or Delia, Lia, Del, or even the extremely different Cordie. Cordelia is a Nameberry favorite—Number 106 on the site—and it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 60+ year absence.

MiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "admirable; peace; female ruler; ocean"
  • Description:

    This name owes its present life to actress Sorvino. Mira and Mirra have an arty aura. Mira is a true cross-cultural choice, with the literal meaning of "look" in Spanish, a peaceful meaning in several Eastern European languages, a well-used name in Arabic cultures meaning queen-like or a female ruler, and a nature name in Sanksrit. In Greek, it means "fate, destiny". Mira can also be a short form of Miryam or Miranda.
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RenHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Rene or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "water lily; lotus"
  • Description:

    A very popular name for boys, also used for girls, in Japan, most familiar in the West as half of cartoon's "Ren and Stimpy," and as the hero in both the original and updated versions of "Footloose."

HudsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "Hugh's son"
  • Description:

    Hudson has risen quickly up the charts after emerging at the bottom of the list in 1995, now solidly in the Top 100.

TaliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "gentle dew from heaven; by the water"
  • Description:

    Talia is derived from the Hebrew elements tal, meaning “dew,” and yah, in reference to God. In the mythology of one ancient sect, Talia was one of ten angels who attended the sun on its daily course. The occasionally homophonous name Thalia has unrelated Greek origins.

AmayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish version of Amaia or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "mother city; the end; night rain"
  • Description:

    The Spanish form of Amaya is both a given name and a surname, originating from the Spanish mountain and village of Amaya. In this context it means “mother city” or “the capital.” Amaya can also be considered a derivation of Amaia, a Basque name meaning “the end.” In Japan, Amaya is a surname.

BeckettHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "bee hive, little brook or bee cottage"
  • Description:

    Beckett is one of the big baby name hits of the decade.
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MaxwellHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great stream"
  • Description:

    A happy medium between the weighty Maximilian and the laid-back Max, Maxwell is one of the most classic and attractive Scottish names. Early influences on the name's revival include Maxwell Smart of the television show, and then movie, Get Smart, and the Beatles song about Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

TallulahHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, Anglicized variation of Tuilelaith, or Choctaw
  • Meaning:

    "lady of abundance, or leaping water"
  • Description:

    As memories of the outragrous actress Talullah Bankhead have faded, this hauntingly euphonious Choctaw name has re-entered the public domain. A modern hipster favorite, it's been chosen for their daughters by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Patrick Dempsey, Damian Dash, Rachel Roy and Sara Rue, trail-blazed by Demi Moore and Bruce Willis for their now grown daughter. (Trivia tidbit: Bankhead's namesake was her paternal grandmother who, in turn, was named after the Georgia town of Tallulah Falls.)

GuinevereHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.

RaffertyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "floodtide, abundance, prosperity"
  • Description:

    Jaunty and raffish, Rafferty is one of the most engaging of the Irish surnames, used by Jude Law and Sadie Frost for their son. Fortunately, it doesn't still go by its original form: O'Raighbheartaigh.

JenniferHeart

  • Origin:

    Cornish variation of Welsh Guinevere
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    Jennifer is the Cornish variation of Guinevere, which ultimately derived from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. It has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century but came to prominence in the 20th. Playwright George Bernard Shaw chose Jennifer for the name of his leading lady in his play The Doctor’s Dilemma, which drew more attention to the name.
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MarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "from the sea"
  • Description:

    This pretty sea-born name was used to dramatic effect by Shakespeare in his play Pericles for the virtuous princess who says she is "Call'd Marina, for I was born at sea."

RainHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Among a small shower of rain-related names, this pure version can have a cool, refreshing image.

ClydeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish river name
  • Description:

    Even though in the past Clyde may have been identified as half of the infamous outlaw duo with partner Bonnie Parker—especially after the 1967 movie in which he was played by Warren Beatty—Clyde has always had an element of jazzy cool that could overcome all the rest.

MarenHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    Maren is one of the many twenty-first-century takes on Mary--but we find the more classic Marin spelling preferable. When spelled Maren, the pronunciation seems more clearly to resemble Mary, with the emphasis on the first syllable. Marin, the spelling also used for the beautiful coastal county north of San Francisco, is often pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, as in Marie.

OceanHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    Nature names like Ocean and River are flowing back into favor, especially with nature lovers and green-oriented parents.
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BrooksHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "of the brook"
  • Description:

    Surname name, nature name, and word name, with a more masculine slant than Brook or Brooklyn. Brooks Robinson was one of the greatest third basemen ever, playing for the Baltimore Orioles from 1955 until 1977. Brooks might be considered one of the new wave of stylish English names for boys.

RiverHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    Most of the notable Rivers have been male, but this nature name certainly flows as well for a girl. Kelly Clarkson's choice of River for her newborn daughter further raised the profile of the name for girls.

BrookeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "small stream"
  • Description:

    Brooke has long projected an aura of sleek sophistication, and can also be seen as a stylish water name.

RemingtonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "place on a riverbank"
  • Description:

    Remington Steele was the perfect name for an upper-crust action hero on 1980s television. Now, Remington is catching fire along with a new generation of predatory baby boy names such as Hunter, Gunner, and Colt. Or you might consider it a unisex namewith a buttoned-up British feel and the friendly short form Rem or Remy.

JennaHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Jennifer
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    Jenna was first noted on the 1980s TV series Dallas, later associated with one of the First Twin Daughters. Jenna is still being used, but no longer feels much fresher than Jennifer. You can also spell it Jena, but then many people will pronounce it jeen-a, as in Gina.
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SabrinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic mythology name; Latin name for the River Severn
  • Description:

    Sabrina, the bewitchingly radiant name of a legendary Celtic goddess, is best known as the heroine of the eponymous film, originally played by Audrey Hepburn, and later as a teenage TV witch; it would make a distinctive alternative to the ultrapopular Samantha. Similar names you might also want to consider include Sabina and Serena.

FordHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "dweller at the ford"
  • Description:

    The long association to the Ford Motor Company doesn't stand in the way of this being a strong, independent, single-syllable name.

BeckhamHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "homestead by the stream"
  • Description:

    Who knew there were so many soccer fans in the U.S.? Beckham -- as in British sensation David -- has exploded onto the baby name scene in the past decade.

MalikHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic; Greenlandic
  • Meaning:

    "king; wave"
  • Description:

    A name popular among African-American parents, with many spelling variations, including Malek and Maliq.

TiberiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "of the Tiber"
  • Description:

    The name of an important ancient Roman emperor, Tiberius might sound a bit heavy for a modern boy to carry, but with the rise of Atticus, Tiberius and brothers begin to feel more baby-friendly, much in the same way as Old Testament names like Elijah and Isaiah have been rejuvenated.
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WadeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "at the river crossing"
  • Description:

    Wade has never been outside the US Top 1000 for boys - there's a reason for that. It has a clean spelling, fresh sound and is neither too trendy (unlike Kade or Cade) or too old-school (like Richard or Albert). We think Wade is a winning name.

WadeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "at the river crossing"
  • Description:

    Wade has never been outside the US Top 1000 for boys - there's a reason for that. It has a clean spelling, fresh sound and is neither too trendy (unlike Kade or Cade) or too old-school (like Richard or Albert). We think Wade is a winning name.

JordanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "flowing down"
  • Description:

    Originally used for children baptized in holy water from the river Jordan, it became one of the leading androgynous names of the nineties. As the balance tips toward the boys' side, it's slipping on the girls' popularity chart. Alternate spelling Jordyn is now more popular for girls.

MosesHeart

  • Origin:

    Egyptian
  • Meaning:

    "delivered from the water"
  • Description:

    Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's choice of this white-bearded Old Testament name helped bring it into the modern age, along with brethren Elijah, Isaiah and Isaac. User-friendly nicknames include Moe and Mose.

BeckHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "one living beside a small stream,"
  • Description:

    The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has moved this onetime shortening of Becky into male territory.
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MorwennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "waves of the sea"
  • Description:

    Morwenna is an ancient Cornish name now being revived in Wales. It's been heard in the British series Doc Martin and Poldark.

KairiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    Kairi is the name of the main female character in the popular role-playing video game series, Kingdom Hearts. Voiced by Hayden Panettiere in the main series, Kairi is one of the seven Princesses of the Heart. Kairi entered the US Top 1000 in 2010 and was given to over 400 baby girls in one recent year.

IrvingHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "green river, sea friend"
  • Description:

    It might be surprising to know that this name originated as a Scottish place and surname name, as in Washington Irving. It became a popular choice for first-generation Jewish-American boys, such as best-selling authors Irving Stone and Irving Wallace, whose parents looked to surnames from the British Isles to confer a measure of assimilation and class. Irving Berlin changed his name from Israel; actor Ving Rhames streamlined and coolized it. Irving was a Top 100 name during World War I, and though we don't envision it reaching those heights again, we can see some hipster parents having their own little Ving.

DouglasHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "black water"
  • Description:

    Douglas, and more particularly its nickname, Doug, had a real romantic swagger in the 1950s and 1960s dating back to swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, but today is more likely to conjure up your mom's prom date. Originally a Celtic river name, it became attached to a powerful Scottish clan, renowned for their strength and courage. In its earliest incarnation, Douglas was used equally for girls and boys.

IndiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name, from the River Indus
  • Description:

    India is one of the first and still one of the loveliest place-names: exotic, euphonious and long stylish in England. It was one of the fastest-rising names on the 2013 list, after jumping 240 spots back into the Top 1000. India was a character in Gone with the Wind, the sister of Ashley Wilkes, and more recently was picked for the daughters of singer Sarah McLachlan, actress Heather Thomas, and Avenger Chris Hemsworth. While not exactly new, India remains one of our highly-recommended favorites.
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RioHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "river"
  • Description:

    Rio is a reductive ranchero place-name with an attractive Tex-Mex lilt. No Doubt's Tom Dumont has a son named Rio Atticus.

KendallHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "valley of the river Kent"
  • Description:

    Kendall, as used for a girl, was initially propelled by a soap opera character (Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kendall Hart in All My Children) and reality star and Kardashian sister Kendall Jenner.

FujiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "dweller near the river where wisteria grows"
  • Description:

    To honor the majestic mountain.

DorisHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "gift of the ocean"
  • Description:

    Doris had long been on our so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out-for-babies list, and seemed to be written there in indelible ink. But there are signs of a sea change, that Doris could profit from the revivals of Dorothy and Dorothea.

OceaneHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "ocean"
  • Description:

    Oceane (oh-see-EN) has been one of the chicest names in France for several years, ranking in the French Top 50. This is a sophisticated name that could easily cross the ocean, and is much more stylish than the English Ocean or Oceana.
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NixieHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "water nymph"
  • Description:

    If you love Dixie, Trixie and Pixie, this name of a mermaid-like sprite in German folklore may be for you. It might also make an update for Nicki.

CalderHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "rocky water"
  • Description:

    Artistic associations with the sculptor who invented the mobile make this one of the more creative surname choices.

MistyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "mist"
  • Description:

    The Play Misty for Me jokes will get old really fast.

DeltaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, fourth letter of Greek alphabet
  • Description:

    Southern charm, lazy-day-down-by-the-river feel.

NimueHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic Mythology (one of the names of the Lady of the Lake in Arthurian legends)
  • Description:

    Nimue (Lady of the Lake) is the ruler of Avalon in the Arthurian legend. Nimue plays a pivotal role in many stories, including giving King Arthur his sword Excalibur, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father.
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