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City Names for Babies

City Names for Babies
City names are a special breed among place names used for babies: hip, sophisticated, street smart. Of course, city-bred kids can be named anything at all, but we collected these downtown-related names to provide inspiration for urban parents in search of names with a city theme.

Along with Madison and Brooklyn, other city names in the Top 1000 include Savannah, Vienna, Denver, Paris, Santiago, London, Kingston, and Trenton. One-of-a-kind city names connected to international locales include Genoa, Kyoto, Quebec, and Tangier.

Many city names — Orlando, Charlotte, Adelaide — started out as person names, so it all gets a bit meta. But the connection is what makes the names of towns and neighborhoods work so well for babies.

City Baby Names

CharlotteHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine diminutive of Charles
  • Meaning:

    "free man"
  • Description:

    Charlotte is the feminine form of the male given name Charles. It derived from Charlot, a French diminutive of Charles meaning "little Charles," and the name of Charlemagne’s son in French literature and legend. The name was popularized by England's Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III.

AdelaideHeart

  • Origin:

    Variant of Adelheidis, German
  • Meaning:

    "noble, nobility"
  • Description:

    Adelaide is now heading straight uphill on the coattails of such newly popular sisters as Ava, Ada, and Audrey, and in the company of Adeline and Amelia. It was chosen by actress Katherine Heigl for the name of her second daughter.

FlorenceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "flourishing, prosperous"
  • Description:

    Florence is back, returning to the US Top 1000 girl names in 2017 after a nearly 40 year absence. Other English-speaking countries have been quicker to welcome Florence back into fashion.

AustinHeart

  • Origin:

    English, shortened form of Augustine
  • Meaning:

    "great, magnificent"
  • 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.

AspenHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature and place-name
  • Description:

    Aspen is part of two groups of stylish and unique baby names: nature names and place-names. The name of a graceful tree in the poplar family with heart-shaped leaves so delicate they quiver in the gentlest breeze, Aspen is also the name of a trendy Colorado ski resort. Aspen started as a unisex name possibility but now is much more frequently worn by girls.

GreyHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    The girls have Violet and Scarlet and Ruby and Rose, but for the boys there's a much more limited palette of color names. Grey/Gray is one exception, which could make for a soft and evocative—if slightly somber—choice, especially in the middle. Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney named their son Leo Grey.

SofiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "wisdom"
  • Description:

    Sofia is a variation of the Greek name Sophia, which was derived directly from sophia, the Greek word for wisdom. It was the name of a Roman saint—the mother of Faith, Hope, and Charity—and queens of Russia and Spain. Sonya is the Russian form of Sofia.

JacksonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • 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.

CamdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "winding valley"
  • Description:

    Camden is a surprise hit, probably as a result of some star baby cred: it has been chosen by no less than four celebrity parents since 2012. Camden is a Jersey Boy name, along with equally popular Trenton -- these are two cases where the names are more attractive than the places that inspired them.

SydneyHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "Saint Denis"
  • Description:

    A couple of decades ago, nerdy boy Sidney morphed into a polished, poised, creative, elegant girl Sydney. Sydney's been on the rise since the nineties -- it was in the Top 25 from 1999 to 2003 -- but has recently dropped out of the Top 200.

SantiagoHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name or Latin
  • Meaning:

    "Saint James"
  • Description:

    Santiago is a spirited Spanish name with great crossover potential: a place-name (it's a city in Chile), a surname, and the patron saint of Spain. It's a name on the rise in the charts.

OrlandoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Roland
  • Meaning:

    "famous throughout the land"
  • Description:

    Orlando, the ornate Italianate twist on the dated Roland, with a literary heritage stretching back to Shakespeare and before, has appealing book-ended o's, and is open to combination with almost any last name, a la British actor, Orlando Bloom.

SavannahHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "flat tropical grassland"
  • Description:

    A place name with a deep Southern accent, the once-obscure Savannah shot to fame, with others of its genre, on the heels of the best seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was set in the mossy Georgia city of Savannah. Originally a substitute for the overused Samantha, Savannah is now becoming overused itself, long among the top girls' names starting with S.

MontgomeryHeart

  • Origin:

    Norman
  • Meaning:

    "man power"
  • 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.

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.

PhoenixHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dark red"
  • Description:

    Phoenix is a New Age name symbolizing rebirth and immortality; Scary Spice chose Phoenix for her daughter.

ViennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name: the capital of Austria
  • Description:

    Vienna is one of the more popular of the European place-names, with a particularly pleasant sound, evoking elegant images of the Blue Danube, of castles and cafes, sweets and sausages and Strauss waltzes—and Sigmund Freud. It could be a possible substitute for the popular Sienna.

SalemHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name or Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "safe"
  • Description:

    Salem is a biblical place-name in Canaan, believed to be the same as Jerusalem. Americans may be more familiar with Salem as the name of the Massachusetts town famous for its witch trials in the late 1600s. It's also a popular Arabic name widely-used for both genders.

OdessaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian place-name
  • Description:

    Odessa, a Ukrainian port city, was given its name by Russia's Catherine the Great, who was inspired by Homer's Odyssey. It would make an original and intriguing choice.

KingstonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "king's town"
  • Description:

    Chosen for their first son by musical couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, this Jamaican place and elegant British surname also boasts the more regal yet user-friendly short form, King.

OsloHeart

  • Origin:

    Norwegian place name
  • Description:

    Oslo, the capital city of Norway, makes for an intriguing new place name, especially with its bookended o's, as in Otto. One berry has already used it and we predict others will follow.

ValenciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "brave, strong"
  • Description:

    This lovely orange-scented Spanish place-name would make an inventive namesake for an Aunt Valerie.

MemphisHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek and Coptic place-name
  • Meaning:

    "Enduring and beautiful"
  • Description:

    A place name with so much history, from Ancient Egypt, where so many pyramids were built, to the US blues southern city. The name also has a great meaning. Although it's being given to babies of both genders, Memphis (unlike most place names) is much more common for boys than girls.

OlympiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • 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.

MilanHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian place name or Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "gracious, dear"
  • Description:

    As Mila rises for girls, so Milan is becoming a more popular option for boys, especially after singer Shakira chose it for her son. After a 55-year hiatus, it reentered the Top 1000 in 2013 and is heading dramatically upward.

SamaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "under God's rule, companion in night conversation"
  • Description:

    Alluring and lovely — and much more distinctive now than Samantha or Tamara. Samara is a city in western Russia, a winged seed like the whirlygigs that fall from maple trees, as well as a bona fide first name that could make a more unusual update on Samantha or Mara. It can also be a variant spelling of the Arabic name Samira or Sameera.

AugustaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Augustus
  • Meaning:

    "great, magnificent"
  • 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.

LourdesHeart

  • Origin:

    Basque
  • Meaning:

    "craggy slope"
  • Description:

    This name of the French town where a young peasant girl had a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1858 vaulted into the spotlight when Madonna chose it for her daughter, but few other families except for devout Roman Catholics have followed her lead (any more than they've used Rocco for their sons).

BrooklynHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name
  • Description:

    Extreme makeover: Brooklyn has gone from jokey Borough Boy name in the 1990s to the leading girls' name starting with B. The status of New York's Brooklyn as hipster heaven is ironic as few bona fide Brooklyn hipsters would choose this name.

CheyenneHeart

  • Origin:

    Sioux
  • Meaning:

    "people of a different language"
  • Description:

    The name of a courageous tribe, Cheyenne became quite popular in the 1990s, inspiring a wide range of spelling variations—Shyanne is one example that's still on the rise.

DallasHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "skilled"
  • Description:

    Relaxed, laid-back cowboy name with broad appeal, although none of the western place-names packs the same style power they did a few years ago.

CairoHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name
  • Description:

    Exciting place name possibility with upbeat o ending. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015.

GenevaHeart

  • Origin:

    Swiss place-name or French
  • Meaning:

    "juniper tree"
  • Description:

    Unlike its somewhat formal Swiss city namesake, this is a lively and appealing place-name that also has a real history as a female name.

RomeHeart

  • Origin:

    Place name
  • Description:

    Given that Rome is arguably the most important city in European history, it has been used as a first name remarkably little. However, Roman is now in the Top 100, so it was only a matter of time before parents started looking toward the city's actual name.

SalvadorHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish from Latin Salvator
  • Meaning:

    "savior"
  • Description:

    A common epithet of Christ, frequently heard in the Hispanic community, Salvador could also be a great choice for artistic parents, given the continuing popularity of Dada and Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. (If Monet and Raphael get a look in, why not Salvador?)

SienaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian place-name
  • Description:

    Siena is a soft and delicate Tuscan town name given a big fashion boost by lovely young actress/gossip column staple Sienna Miller. A real up-and-comer.

AlexandriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Alexandra, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Alexandria turns Alexandra into a more distinctive place-name, in both Egypt and Virginia.

DenverHeart

  • Origin:

    English or French place-name and surname
  • Meaning:

    "from Anvers"
  • 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.

TrentonHeart

  • Origin:

    English, place-name
  • Meaning:

    "Trent's town"
  • 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.

LondonHeart

  • Origin:

    English place-name
  • Description:

    The capital of the United Kingdom makes a solid and attractive twenty-first-century choice, with a lot more substance than Paris. It's in the unisex column, with one boy starbaby (Saul 'Slash' Hudson) and one girl (Neal McDonough).

ChelseaHeart

  • Origin:

    London and New York place-name
  • Description:

    Chelsea is still being used, but it was much more popular a few decades ago--it peaked at Number 15 in 1992. Chelsea first entered the American consciousness in a major way via the character Jane Fonda played in On Golden Pond in 1981 and later of course was frequently in the headlines when Chelsea Clinton (whose name was inspired by the lyric of a the Joni-Mitchell-Judy Collins song "Chelsea Morning") became First Daughter.

DevonHeart

  • Origin:

    English place-name
  • Description:

    This spelling of Devon, as opposed to Devin or Devan, makes it a pretty and popular British place-name, evoking the beautiful county of farmlands and dramatic seascapes and moors in southwest England. A stylish ambi-gender name particularly well used in the early nineties, Devon remains an attractive option--though be aware that at this point in time, it is used more frequently for boys.

RomaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian place-name
  • Description:

    Never as popular as Florence; today's parents might prefer Venezia, Verona, or Romy. It is also a Hindu name meaning "one with shiny hair" and is another name for the goddess Lakshmi.

ParisHeart

  • Origin:

    French place-name
  • Description:

    Paris, a one-time mythical and Shakespearean boys' name, peaked in 2004 at Number 157 at least in part due to the highly publicized Paris Hilton. Michael Jackson used it for his daughter.

RenoHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name
  • Description:

    Has a lively and swaggering sound, and also some unfortunate associations with Reno, city of gambling and failed marriages.

ThaneHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "clan chieftain"
  • Description:

    This early Scottish title -- known to us via Shakespeare's Macbeth -- has recently surfaced as a baby name possibility, familiar sounding through its similarity to names like Zane and Wayne.

ZariaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "rose"
  • Description:

    Zaria, the name of the Nigerian capital city, could be another Z name for parents to consider. It currently ranks lower than variations Zariah and Zariyah.

BronxHeart

  • Origin:

    Place name
  • Description:

    Rockers Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz put a new baby name on the map when they chose this downscale New York borough name for their son. The Bronx, the place, was named for early Dutch settler Jonas Bronck. Might Bronx become the next Brooklyn? We'd be surprised if it did.

AbileneHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "grass"
  • Description:

    Abilene is a rarely used place name, mentioned as such in the New Testament, that combines the cowboy spunk of the Texas city with the midwestern morality of the Kansas town where Dwight D. Eisenhower spent his boyhood. Abilene is a much more untrodden path to the nickname Abbie/Abbie than the Top 10 Abigail.

LyonHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "lion"
  • Description:

    The y makes it seem more like a name and less like an animal, but it's still not as appealing as several Leo choices.
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