State Capital Baby Names
In addition to Madison and Nash, state capital names in the US Top 1000 include Austin, Boston, Denver, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Olympia, and Phoenix. Unique state capital names for babies include Albany, Juneau, Providence, and Raleigh.
You may be inspired to give your child a name related to the capital of your home state, or one that is personally significant. Browse our full list of state capital inspired baby names here.
State Capital Baby Names
Origin:Arizona place-name and Greek
Description:Phoenix rolls a lot of cool trends into one: it's a place-name and a bird name, it ends in the oh-so-hip letter x, and as the mythic bird that rose from the ashes, it's a symbol of immortality. It's also got celebrity chops, via the acting family that includes Joaquin and the late River, and as the child of an ex-Spice Girl.
Origin:Latinate form of Helen, Greek
Meaning:"torch; shining light"
Description:Helena is a more delicate and dainty version of Helen, a favorite of Shakespeare, who used it in both All's Well That Ends Well and A Midsummer's Night Dream. Historically, Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great (and, supposedly, the daughter of Old King Cole), who became a fourth century saint--Evelyn Waugh wrote his only historical novel, Helena, based on her story.
Origin:English, shortened form of Augustine
Description:Austin is one of the most attractive city names for babies, with an attractive southwestern feel, place-name panache and the solid base of having long been an Anglo-Saxon surname and a first name since medieval times. Austin reached the Top 10 in the 1990s, but has been gradually slipping down the list.
Meaning:"by the ash tree"
Description:Nash is an English surname whose sound puts it right in step with currently trendy names like Cash, Dash and Ash. It first came to prominence via TV character Nash Bridges, portrayed by Don Johnson in the late nineties, and also via mathematician John Nash, played by Russell Crowe in the acclaimed film A Beautiful Mind.
Meaning:"town by the pool"
Description:Lincoln cracked the Top 50 for boys' names for the first time in 2016, more than 150 years after the death of its most famous bearer. This is especially remarkable because, as crazy as it seems now, Lincoln was deeply out of fashion as recently as the late 90s, consistently hovering near the bottom of the Top 1000. This admirable presidential choice with a stylish two-syllable sound projects the tall, rangy, upright, image of Honest Abe. Bill Murray is father to a son named Lincoln, and Kathryn Erbe's boy Carson has Lincoln for his middle name. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard gender-bent it for their daughter.
Meaning:"son of Jack"
Description:Cool name Jackson is one of the celebrisphere's top favorite boy names, having been chosen by, among others, Spike Lee, Poppy Montgomery, Carson Daly, Maria Bello, Natalie Maines, Scott Wolf, Maya Rudolph, and Katey Sagal. After a spectacular rise, this stylish presidential name has been in the Top 25 since 2010, overtaking John as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
Origin:Irish and Scottish
Meaning:"son of the marsh-dwellers"
Description:Carson is one of the most long-running popular androgynous baby names, with a dash of the Wild West via the legendary Missouri frontiersman Kit Carson. Dating back to when it was the name of Nancy Drew's Dad, Carson is still steadily in the Top 100 baby names.
Current Carsons include TV personalities Carson Daly and Carson Kressley, and Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer. Carson Wells was the bounty hunter character played by Woody Harrelson in No Country for Old Men, and Carson is the name chosen by actress Kathryn Erbe for her son.
Description:To the thousands of girls who screamed the name of their favorite Beatle in the 1960s, the boys' name Paul had a thrillingly unique image, but to the rest of the world, then and now, it's a name that's so simple and yet so widely diffuse that it could belong to almost anyone. Paul is an ancient name for boys -- popular in Roman and medieval times -- that's not very fashionable now, which can work in its favor, scarcity balancing simplicity.
Description:This image of this distinguished Anglo-Scottish surname, drawn from the French place name of the ancient castle of Saint Foi de Montgomery, is rapidly shifting from fusty and formal to cool. And dashing short form Monty (or Monte) nudges it to cute.
Origin:Diminutive of Louise or Lucy, or Arabic
Description:Lula has a firecracker personality, a singing and dancing extrovert. Interesting that Lulu was a Top 100 name when the Social Security list was born in 1880, but it's been sliding ever since and has not been in the Top 1000 for decades. Modern parents in love with Lulu might well reverse that trend.
Origin:Biblical place-name or Arabic
Description:Salem is a Biblical place name in Canaan, believed to be the same as Jerusalem, as well as the Massachusetts town famous for its late 17th century witch trials. Salem is also a popular first name in its own right throughout the Arabic world.
Meaning:"son of Harry"
Description:When Harrison is too much, but Harry isn't enough, try this stylish surname name with a touch of British flair. It briefly reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time since 1988 in 2016, but has since dropped just below the radar again.
Meaning:"from Mount Olympus"
Description:With its relation to Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods, and to the Olympic games, this name has an athletic, goddess-like aura, making it the perfect Olivia substitute.
Origin:Feminine variation of Augustus
Description:Augusta is a dignified name reminiscent of wealthy great-aunts, but with the fashion for both August and Gus for boys, Augusta could get some fresh energy.
Origin:English or French place-name and surname
Description:Before there was Aspen, Denver was the Colorado city name of choice, and it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2015 after a 14 year absence as a stylish two-syllable boys’ name with its trendy -er ending. Its decade of greatest use was the 1920s, when it reached as high as Number 422.
Origin:American word name
Description:Saint as a descriptive word name was first chosen by rocker Pete Wentz for his younger son (baby brother is Bronx), and now Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have catapulted the name into the celebrity stratosphere by choosing it for their baby boy. The couple called their baby "Saint" throughout the pregnancy because his conception had been so difficult. Saint was named in our predictions for the top baby name trends of 2015, on descriptive word names which also include Royal and Noble, King and Rogue. Saint is moving beyond the group of names that are only celebrity baby names and into the general lexicon.
Description:There's only one Trenton, New Jersey, but it's a widely used name, more for its fashionable -on ending than the reference to the city. Since 2007, however, Trenton has been on a steady decline. Trenten is another popular spelling.
Meaning:"land of the Indians"
Description:Indiana is one of those place-names (think Camden and Trenton) that sounds cooler than the place that inspired it. Its fashionable -ana ending certainly sounds eminently name-like, and Indie/Indy/Indi is one of the hottest nickname names for girls right now.
Origin:French variation of Peter
Description:One of the most familiar—if not stereotypical—Gallic names.
Origin:Diminutive of Talia
Meaning:"gentle dew from heaven"
Description:Nickname sometimes heard on its own, sort of an updated Sally and playmate of Hallie.
Meaning:"meadow of roe deer"
Description:Attractive North Carolina place-name and surname of explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. Distinctive, classy-but-approachable choice for either sex.
Meaning:"son of Matthew"
Description:Madison was at one time a strictly boys' presidential name, reaching as high as Number 311 at the end of the nineteenth century. That all changed in 1985 when it entered the girls' list, zooming up quickly until it reached the Number 2 spot, with more than 22,000 female babies given the name in 2001. As is so often the case, its use for boys has dropped precipitously.
Description:Unseen in the USA since 1901, Boston rocketed back into the Top 1000 in 2004 and, like other place-names such as Brooklyn, London and Paris, is now a reliable presence on the list.
Meaning:"son of Jeffrey"
Description:The name of the third U.S. President sounds, like Harrison and Jackson, more modern and stylish now than its root name. Used as a first name long before our surname-crazed era, Jefferson was most famously connected to the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis--and is the middle name of another Prez, William Clinton. Fictional Jeffersons include Jefferson Bricks in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit and Jefferson Almond in Henry James' Washington Square, the title character in the Frank Capra classic film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," plus others--for better and for worse-- in "Married With Children," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Kit Kittridge: An American Girl."
Description:Lovers of the languid South Carolina city might be attracted to this rich-sounding name. Could make an interesting update on Charles -- and can certainly work for a girl too. Actor Joey Lawrence used it for his daughter.
Description:Relatively popular in Spain until the middle of the 20th century, this sweet and lively Spanish virtue name is also a Marian name, short for María de Fe. In Galician, it is sometimes also short for Fernanda, meaning "brave voyager".
Description:British habitational surname that calls to mind the Connecticut capital
Description:Richmond is a place-name -- it's the capital of Virginia -- that makes a fresh way to honor an ancestral Richard.
Description:Georgia and Savannah are already popular, but Atlanta is just entering the baby-name map. Atalanta takes it mythological.
Meaning:"divine protection or care"
Description:A Puritanical virtue name and also a place name, belonging to the state capital of Rhode Island and several other towns and cities in the US.
Meaning:"land of Columbus"
Description:Columbia is a rarely used name with many associations. From the eighteenth century it has been used as a female personification of the United States, often appearing as a flag-draped patriotic figure. And as such it's inspired a plethora of place and company names, from the District of Columbia to Columbia University to Columbia Records, and songs like "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean." A character called Columbia appears in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Description:Two-syllable place-names are stylish, and this one is attached to a British city noted for its white chalk cliffs, but there are a couple of minuses: associated with the fish, Dover sole, and also rhymes with the doggy Rover.
Description:With its ties to tranquil Walden Pond, and harmonious meaning, this could be a modern virtue name.
Description:Juneau, the name of the city in Alaska, has rightfully taken a back seat as a name to the classic Juno. Most famous reference: When the pregnant teenager is introduced in the movie "Juno," the prospective adoptive father says, "Oh, like the city in Alaska." Juno takes a deep breath and then says simply, "No."
Origin:Variation of Columbo or Columbia, Latin
Description:This is a big name, both in heritage and sound. On the right child, this could be inspired, but others may shrink from all the connotations. While your preferred nickname for this option might be Col (or Kit if you're connecting it to Christopher Columbus), you may end up with the slightly more cumbersome "Bus" as the short-form.
Description:Not yet on the place-name map, this name has Shakespearean ties via the Duke Of Albany character in King Lear.
Meaning:"people of a different language"
Description:This is a great American name that deserves more attention from parents looking for a name that balances a soft sound with a more traditionally masculine cowboy image.
Origin:Dutch and English surname
Meaning:"son of Lans; family of Wlanc"
Description:Lansing is perhaps best known as the state capital of Michigan, which was named after the town of Lansing, New York. The original Lansing was named in honor of John Lansing Jr., a Chancellor of New York and mayor of Albany. He was of Dutch parentage.