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Ocean Names

Ocean Names

Ocean names along with names that mean ocean or sea are increasingly popular for baby boys and girls. Popular ocean-inspired names include Kai, Morgan, Dylan, Jennifer, Malik, Marina, Marley, Mira, and Wade. Unique names with ocean meanings that strike a stylish note include Neri, Rafferty, and Ocean itself.

A subset of names that mean water and of the wider world of nature names, ocean names include baby 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.

Ocean names for girls we're hearing more of include Cordelia, a Shakespearean name that means "daughter of the sea", Kailani, a Hawaiian name meaning "sea and sky", and Nixie, a sprightly German name that means water nymph.

We see the following ocean names for boys as being especially hot right now. Kai, while technically unisex, is a Hawaiian name finding widespread popularity in many Western countries. Caspian is name of a sea in Europe and is one of many trendy Cas-beginning names. And Rafferty, an Irish name chosen by Jude Law, means floodtide and has a larger meaning of abundance.

Many of the best ocean names for babies are gender-neutral. Some we especially like: are Dune, Murphy, 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.

To expand your search of names by meaning, go to our main Name Meanings page.

KinvaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "head of the sea"
  • Description:

    A rare and refined Irish place name (Cinn Mhara) turned baby name, belonging to a picturesque harbor town. As a given name, it has received occasional use especially amongst the upper classes in Britain. Lady Kinvara Balfour is an English playwright and novelist.

KaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    Kai has many origins and meanings. What does the name Kai mean? That depends on which Kai you're referring to.

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.

KaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Scandinavian, or Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "to rejoice or sea"
  • Description:

    The new Maia, the next Kayla, Kaia has been on the charts since the year 2000. You might see it as a female form of the also-rising Kai, which means sea in Hawaiian and is sometimes used for girls as well, or as a Kardashianization of the ancient goddess name Caia.

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.

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.

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.

MiriamHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian
  • Meaning:

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

    The oldest-known form of Mary, serious and solemn Miriam has been a particular favorite of observant Jewish parents. But we can see it extending beyond that sphere into the next wave of Old Testament names post-Rachel, Rebecca, Sarah, Hannah, and Leah. Miriam is currently the Number 1 girls' name in Israel.

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.

MaryHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian
  • Meaning:

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

    Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).

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."

RosemaryHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin or English
  • Meaning:

    "dew of the sea, or rosemary (herb)"
  • Description:

    Despite appearances, Rosemary is not a “smoosh” name, not even a traditional one. The name derives from two Latin terms “Ros” meaning ‘dew’ and “Marinus” “meaning “of the sea”. The plant was termed ‘dew of the sea’ due to its salty texture and its ability to thrive in coastal climes. Only after the Middle Ages did the English names of Rose and Mary become interchanged with the name Rosmarinus and give us the modern name we use today.

MariahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is my teacher; or drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    Thanks to Mariah Carey, everyone now knows this name – and is aware that Mariah's pronounced with a long i – just as Maria was in the Jane Austen era. And though Mariah now sounds modern, it was heard as far back as 1550 in Great Britain.

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.

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.

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.

MarnieHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "of the sea"
  • Description:

    Retro short form of Marina, now dated to the era of the Hitchcock movie that made it famous. In the UK, it's one of the hottest vintage names of the moment, perhaps inspired by British singer Lily Allen, who gave it to her second daughter in 2013. It's also a character name on the hit TV show Girls.