There’s more to mermaid names than Ariel, the Disney Princess inspired name from The Little Mermaid that has been a common choice for decades.
Another popular girl name, Madison, also has a mermaid to thank for its acclaim. The name became used for girls after the release of the movie Splash, in which Daryl Hannah’s mermaid character chooses the name Madison for herself after the Madison Avenue street sign.
Along with Ariel and Madison, other popular mermaid names in the US Top 1000 include Alana, June, Lily, Lorelei, Marina, Melody, Miranda, and Sabrina. Also included on this list are names that mean mermaid, such as Naida, Nixie, Morvoren, and Nerissa.
Mermaid baby names of myth and popular culture are a lovely group and may prove inspiration for your little water baby. Mermaid names here are organized by the current popularity on Nameberry.
Meaning:"she who brings happiness; blessed"
Description:Beatrice is back. Stored in the attic for almost a century, the lovely Beatrice with its long literary (Shakespeare, Dante) and royal history is being looked at with fresh eyes by parents seeking a classic name with character and lots of upbeat nicknames, like Bea and Bee.
Origin:English flower name
Description:Lily came into use as a given name as a direct influence of the flower. The floral name was derived from the Latin lilium, itself derived from the Greek leirion. Lily later became an adjective to describe whiteness and purity.
Origin:Spanish, diminutive of Dolores
Meaning:"lady of sorrows"
Description:A hot starbaby name – chosen by Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Lisa Bonet, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Carnie Wilson, and Annie Lennox, and used as the nickname of Madonna's Lourdes – Lola manages to feel fun and sassy without going over the top. Be warned, though: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," to quote a song from the show Damn Yankees.
Origin:Diminutive of Mary, Hebrew
Description:Molly is one of the original nickname names, ALWAYS ranking among the US Top 500 girl names since statistics began, in 1880. Molly peaked in 1991 only to rise just as high again in 2011, and though softening retains a good measure of popularity and charm.
Origin:Latin gem name
Description:Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .
Description:The lovely Lorelei, a name from old German legend, was a beautiful Rhine River seductress whose haunting voice led sailors to hazardous rocks that would cause them to be shipwrecked. And this siren image clung to the name for ages.
Description:June, a sweetly old-fashioned month name derived from the goddess Juno, was long locked in a time capsule with June Allyson (born Ella) and June Cleaver, but is rising again especially as a middle name.
Description:Celia, splendidly sleek and feminine, is a name that was scattered throughout Shakespeare and other Elizabethan literature, but still manages to feel totally modern.
Description:Diana, the tragic British princess, inspired many fashions, but strangely, not one for her name. For us, Diana is a gorgeous and still-underused choice.
Meaning:"son of Matthew"
Description:Madison originated as an English surname, a variant of Mathieson, meaning "son of Matthew." It is occasionally translated as "son of Maud," as Maddy was historically a nickname for Maud. It was introduced as a feminine given name in the 1984 movie Splash, in which the main character takes her name from New York’s Madison Avenue street sign.
Origin:Feminization of Alan, Irish; variation of Ilana, Hebrew; Gaelic; Hawaiian
Meaning:"handsome, rock; oak tree; child; awakening"
Description:Alana, in all its various spellings, was at one time reserved for daughters of dads named Alan, but is now much more widespread. It came into prominence via model/actress/celeb spouse Alana Hamilton Stewart.
Description:The image of the lovely Lady Sybil, tragic youngest daughter of the Crawley family on Downton Abbey is likely to go a long way towards reviving this almost forgotten name, off the list since 1966 and most popular in the 1920s and '30s. Sybil is currently Number 253 on Nameberry;
Meaning:"island of apples"
Description:Avalon, an island paradise of Celtic myth and Arthurian legend--it was where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds-- and also the colorful capital of the California island of Catalina-- makes a heavenly first name. Actress Rena Sofer and British musician Julian Cope used it for their daughters.
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."
Origin:Celtic, 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.
Meaning:"azalea, a flower"
Description:Azalea is one of the fresher flower names, along with Zinnia and Lilac, that are new to the name bouquet — in fact, it entered the Social Security list for the first time in 2012. So if Lily and Rose are too tame for you, consider this brilliant pink springtime blossom with a touch of the unusual that has been growing in popularity.
Description:The name of a heavenly planet and the Roman goddess of beauty and love was an intimidating no-no until tennis champ Venus Williams put an athletic, modern spin on it.
Description:Like Violet, Lavender and Lilac, Ianthe is a purple flower name. Chosen by the poet Shelley for his daughter, Ianthe has a poetic, romantic, almost ethereal quality. In the ancient myth, she was the daughter of Oceanus, supreme ruler of the sea, and also a Cretan woman so beautiful that when she died the Gods made purple flowers grow around her grave.
Origin:Irish, variation of Una
Description:Oona is a name made famous by Eugene O'Neill's daughter, who became Charlie Chaplin's wife. One of the original Oona's granddaughters was named after her, and is now an actress famous in her own right for playing Talisa of Volantis in HBO's "Game of Thrones." The double-o beginning gives their name a lot of oomph.
Description:A melodious choice big in the sixties, Melody is now starting to pick up tempo again. It cracked the Top 150 for the first time ever in 2015. Melody is also the name of Ariel's equally curious and more tom-boyish daughter in The Little Mermaid sequel. Read more about Melody and other Disney Princess Names in our featured blog.