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Names That Mean Ocean

Baby names that mean ocean or sea are a subset of names that mean water. Included here are names with ocean or sea related meanings, such as Kai and Morgan, the names of specific oceans and seas, as well as the names of sea creatures and mythological aquatic figures.

Along with Kai and Morgan, names meaning ocean that rank in the US Top 1000 include Dylan, Jennifer, Kailani, Malik, Marina, Marley, Mira, and Wade. Unique names with ocean meanings that strike a stylish note include Caspian, Neri, Rafferty, and Ocean itself.

If you love the ocean and want to draw on its power and mystery for a name for your child, consider the choices on this list.
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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.

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.

DylanHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "son of the sea"
  • Description:

    Dylan was derived of the Welsh components dy and llanw, meaning “sea.” In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.

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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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.

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."

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.
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OceanHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

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

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.

MarleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "pleasant seaside meadow"
  • Description:

    Reggae master Bob's surname was one of the biggest risers on the popularity charts for girls in 2008, with spellings Marlee and Marely also leaping in favor. Also used for boys, Marley is one of the top unisex names in the US.

MurphyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "sea warrior"
  • Description:

    This jaunty Celtic surname -- the most common family name in Ireland -- is totally viable as a first. Although there was a possibility of its being feminized via the old TV sitcom "Murphy Brown," it has never taken off for girls and very much retains its masculine image.

MorganHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle"
  • Description:

    Morgan, once split evenly between the sexes, is a strong and attractive Welsh favorite, still a common boys’ name in Wales. Morgan is now more often a girls' name in the U.S. – about 2000 girls were given the name in one recent year, vs. 362 boys – though it's one of the most traditional unisex choices. Morgan was actually a Top 200 pick for boys in Victorian Britain!
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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.

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.

MerlinHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "sea fortress"
  • Description:

    This name of the famous fifth-century sorcerer and mentor of King Arthur may or may not be a bit wizardy for a real-life modern child. Its most noted modern bearer: football star turned actor Merlin Olsen, whose father was named Merle.

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.
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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.

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.

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.

MorganaHeart

  • Origin:

    Female version of Morgan, Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "sea-circle"
  • Description:

    Since Morgan is used as--or more--frequently for girls as for boys, this feminization has fallen by the wayside. It drew some brief attention via the pop singer Morgana King.

    The similar Morgiana appears in Tales from the Thousand and One Nights.

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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.

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.

MarvinHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh, variant of Mervyn
  • Meaning:

    "sea hill"
  • Description:

    Marvin has been neglected for so long that it's hard to believe that it has windswept Welsh roots. It also has some strong namesakes going for it -- singer Marvin Gaye, composer Marvin Hamlisch and boxer Marvin Hagler. It's the real name of both Neil Simon and Meatloaf. And let's not forget mention Marvin Gardens on Monopoly.

GinevraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Guinevere
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    A lovely alternative for the Jennifer-lover.
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NoriHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "doctrine or seaweed"
  • Description:

    Japanese name that would have no trouble assimilating--though many would associate it with the dried seaweed used to wrap sushi. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West use Nori as a nickname for their daughter North.

MurrayHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "settlement by the sea"
  • Description:

    Murray, you may be surprised to discover, is a Scottish surname name --that of an ancient noble clan--with a sea-swept meaning, and just could be in the next wave of reevaluated grandpa names. Currently Number 60 for baby boys born in its native Scotland; it was at its highest in the US in 1922, when it reached Number 208, but has been off the list since 1975. Could it be time for a comeback?

NerissaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "from the sea"
  • Description:

    An offbeat possible replacement for the overused Melissa and Marisa, Nerissa was used by Shakespeare for Portia's witty confidante in The Merchant of Venice. Queen Elizabeth has a cousin named Nerissa.

FisherHeart

  • Origin:

    Occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "fisherman"
  • Description:

    As a member of two trendy name categories, animal and occupational, this name broke into the Top 1000 in 2004 and would make a nice tribute to an angler Grandpa.

MarissaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Maris or a combination of Maria + Louisa
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + famous battle"
  • Description:

    Pretty feminissima name that never became as overused as cousin Melissa. The more streamlined Maris is a more modern sounding option.
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OndineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "little wave"
  • Description:

    Mythological spirit of the waters; spelled Undine, she was an Edith Wharton heroine.

KailaniHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "sea and sky"
  • Description:

    This name's similarity to Kalani and pretty Hawaiian origin helped catapult it into the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013.

MarisHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "of the sea"
  • Description:

    Maris is an unusual and appealing name that has never appeared in the U.S. Top 1000, overshadowed by its twentieth century elaboration, Marisa/Marissa. It derives from the phrase "Stella Maris," star of the sea, one of the many epithets of the Virgin Mary, and became familiar via the unseen (but unliked) character of sitcom Frasier's ex-sister-in-law.

BerylHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sea-green jewel"
  • Description:

    Dated British favorite that never caught on in this country, where Jade remains the green gem of choice. Interesting namesakes: British writer Beryl Bainbridge and British aviatrix Beryl Markham.

AnahitaHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "a river and water goddess"
  • Description:

    Anahita is the name of the water goddess who rules, among other things, fertility and wisdom. Associated with Venue, Anahita is a stylish Iranian name for girls.
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SagaHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish word name
  • Meaning:

    "story; seeress"
  • Description:

    Apt name for a little drama queen with a long future ahead of her. Saga is a Top 30 girls' name in Sweden.
    /br> Saga was the Norse goddess of poetry, storytelling, and history. She was a prophetess — able to predict events.

ArnavHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "ocean"
  • Description:

    This popular Indian name is heard in the US. Bollywood actor Akshay Khanna has a son named Arnav.

MurielHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "of the bright sea"
  • Description:

    Once a poetic Celtic name, that of the angel who governs the month of June, Muriel became the mom or grandma on TV sitcoms. She does have literary cred via Edinburgh-born author Muriel Spark, author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and also appears as a character in Anne of Green Gables. Muriel was a Top 200 name from 1912 to 1933.

MoanaHeart

  • Origin:

    Maori or Samoan
  • Meaning:

    "deep ocean or sea"
  • Description:

    This Maori name, often heard in New Zealand, is an exotic, evocative choice for a sea lover made famous -- perhaps too famous -- by the Disney heroine. Moana was also an alternate name for the heroine Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth. Moana may also be a color name for a deep ocean blue ("lanu moana").

NeriHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Greek
  • Meaning:

    "burning light or ocean spirit"
  • Description:

    A simple but unusual name with roots in disparate cultures, Neri appears in the Bible as a male name and is still sometimes used for boys as well as girls. The appeal of Neri are its deep roots combined with its simple, upbeat, modern feel, ala Peri and Rory.
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NeptuneHeart

  • Origin:

    Roman god of the sea
  • Description:

    This Roman mythology name would be very hard to handle.

ThalassaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "the sea"
  • Description:

    A pretty, rarely used Greek name, Thalassa is the ancient personification of the sea, particularly the Mediterranean, who is sometimes considered the mother of Aphrodite. In 1991, a newly discovered moon of Neptune was dubbed Thalassa.

LlyrHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "the sea"
  • Description:

    Llyr is a name with a great meaning and a lovely sound, but that sound is going to be next to impossible to get non-Welsh speaking people to pronounce (google the double L sound in Welsh). If you are outside Wales, you may wish to consider the Irish alternative Lir, which has the same meaning and an easier sound.

DanuHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic, goddess of fruitfulness
  • Description:

    This sprightly Irish mythology name would make an attention-grabbing choice.

HurleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "sea tide"
  • Description:

    Hurley is a middle name possibility, though kids might make malicious fun of the first syllable. Hurley may join the gang of trendy new girls' surname-names ending with the lee sound, such as Mosley and Yardley.
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