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Unique Names Starting With Y

YvesHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "yew wood"
  • Description:

    On paper, with its stylish ties to fashion legend Yves Saint-Laurent (born Henri), Yves looks great, but the pronunciation--EVE-- could lead to gender confusion. German variation Ivo might be cooler and clear up the issue.

YaelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "to ascend"
  • Description:

    Yael is an Old Testament name often heard in Israel that could work well here: just remember that it's pronounced with two syllables...it is also spelled Ya'el. In the Bible she was a Kenite woman in the time of Deborah who killed the enemy general, Sisera.

YvetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine of Yves
  • Meaning:

    "yew tree"
  • Description:

    This French name has the elegance of other '-ette' names such as Colette and is a botanical name without being too obvious about it.

YvaineHeart

  • Origin:

    Female variation of Yvain or Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "evening star"
  • Description:

    A mix of Yvonne and Elaine, Yvaine was first noticed in the Neil Gaiman fantasy novel and then movie Stardust, in which Claire Danes played the 'fallen star' Yvaine. This In all its forms, one of the most classic Scottish names for girls is now attracting namer attention--just as that other Gaiman-inspired name, Coraline, did. Yvaine has a definite romantic, medieval charm. A small segment of namers are definitely taking notice.

YukiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "snow"
  • Description:

    An appealing Asian name with a nickname feel.

YukioHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "snow boy"
  • Description:

    In the Japanese culture, this name suggests a sense of independence and is one of the popular names for December babies.

YeseniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish tree name
  • Meaning:

    "floral"
  • Description:

    This unique girls' name is a Latinx favorite popularized by a character on a Spanish-language soap opera. Jessenia is another variation. The name is drawn from the name of a tree in South America.

YvonneHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "yew wood"
  • Description:

    Peaking in the 1950s, Yvonne has now dropped out of the Top 1000 in 2003 and doesn't look set to return soon, although its rare Y initial might endear it to some. Yvaine, from Neil Gaiman's Stardust, has more modern appeal.

YaelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "to ascend"
  • Description:

    A common unisex name in Israel, , more properly written as Ya'el.

YelenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Helen
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining one"
  • Description:

    One of many international versions of this classic.

YuriHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of George
  • Description:

    Common Russian name familiarized here via cosmonaut Yury Gagarin and a character in Dr. Zhivago, but we don't see it ever gaining permanent resident status.

YuiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "superior garment"
  • Description:

    Very popular girls' name in Japan not quite as easy to transport westward as the also-popular Rin.

YanisHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    One of the relatives on the widely-branching family of John names, Yanis is in the French Top 50.

YoshiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "good, respectful"
  • Description:

    A classic Japanese name known to kids around the world as a Nintendo video-game character.

YadielHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Yehudiel
  • Meaning:

    "God has heard"
  • Description:

    This name, which is the Spanish version of the Hebrew name of one of the archangels, appeared on the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2008.

YmirHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse mythological name
  • Meaning:

    "twin or cry"
  • Description:

    Ymir comes from Norse mythology, he is a giant and forebear of all the Norse gods and goddesses. A moon of Saturn is named Ymir.

YannickHeart

  • Origin:

    Extension of Jann or Yann
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Known through flamboyant French tennis star/singer Yannick Noah, a name not likely to appeal to many American ears.

YonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Cherokee or variation of Jonah, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "bear; dove"
  • Description:

    A name with a double animal connection.

YarrowHeart

  • Origin:

    Botanical name, English
  • Meaning:

    "rough stream"
  • Description:

    Highly unusual as a baby name for either gender, Yarrow is an herb that grows wild and has long been used for its medicinal property. It's named for the mythical Achille, who was said to carry yarrow into battle.

YoniHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "gift of Jehovah"
  • Description:

    Short form of Yonatan heard throughout Israel.

YulHeart

  • Origin:

    Mongolian or Latin
  • Meaning:

    "beyond the horizon; youthful, downy-bearded"
  • Description:

    Russian-born actor Yul (christened Yuliy) Brynner gives this short name a strong, steely image.

YasmineHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic variation of Jasmine
  • Meaning:

    "jasmine flower"
  • Description:

    Any of the Y forms, which also include Yasmeen, Yasmin, and Yasmina, make this name more unusual and distinctive.

YuHeart

  • Origin:

    Chinese
  • Meaning:

    "shining brightly"
  • Description:

    Yu the Great founded China's first dynasty, but in this country "Hey, you!" would make this name utterly confusing, in an Abbott and Costello way.

YanaHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic variation of Jana
  • Description:

    A Slavic classic, as common as Jane or Joan here.

YolandaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "violet flower"
  • Description:

    Yolanda conjures up visions of midcentury films like "Yolanda and the Thief," complete with gauzy veils, harem pants, and invisible navels. Iolanthe, with the first syllable pronounced the same as in Yolanda, is a softer version, but most modern parents would opt for the English Violet.

YahyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic, Turkish, and Persian form of Yochanan
  • Description:

    As a form of Yochanan, Yahya is an Islamic name that honors the prophet John the Baptist. A new entry to the US Top 1000 in 2015, it's a widely used choice in Italy and in England and Wales.

YsabelHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Isabel
  • Description:

    Ysabel is the original spelling of this ever-more-popular name, though to English-speakers, the initial Y may confuse pronunciation.

YseultHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair, light-skinned"
  • Description:

    Variation of Isolde, the name of a great Celtic heroine.

YuleHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "winter solstice"
  • Description:

    A possible Christmas name for a baby boy, if you find Noel too mundane. But we fear it doesn't sound very festive.

YokoHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "good girl"
  • Description:

    There are many in Japan, but for most Americans there's only one Yoko.

YorkHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "from the yew estate"
  • Description:

    This British royal family name is rather formal and brusque.

YadiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, meaning unknown
  • Description:

    Feminine name consistently popular in the Latino community.

YariHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "gold"
  • Description:

    The derivation and meaning of the Hebrew or Spanish names for girls Yari may be uncertain, but the name might get more attention thanks to its similarity to Yara, which means butterfly and is becoming more popular for baby girls throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

YuriHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "lily"
  • Description:

    Most familiar to American ears as the Russian variation of George. Not recommended for a daughter.

YoelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "Jehovah is his God"
  • Description:

    The Hebrew version of Joel has a pleasant, almost jolly sound.

YsellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Cornish
  • Meaning:

    "modest"
  • Description:

    A subtle virtue name, a name that can be shortened to two popular nicknames (Izzy and Ella) and a rare Cornish name - what isn't to love about this modest appellation? It has been used as a name in Cornwall since the 1970s.

YaritzaHeart

  • Origin:

    Elaboration of Yara
  • Description:

    Variation of the name Yara—an Arabic name well-used in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries meaning "butterfly"—with the suffix from names like Maritza.

YnezHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "pure, virginal"
  • Description:

    Y is a very rare initial, and this feisty mini-name packs a double punch with its spiky final Z. Inez or Inez are the more familiar spellings of this chic name, which is related to Agnes and could be an interesting way to honor a relative with that name.

YannHeart

  • Origin:

    French/Breton variation of John
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    This might be a better choice than the similarly pronounced Jan, to avoid gender confusion.

YevaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian and Armenian variation of Eve, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    A Top 10 name in Moscow. In Russian, the emphasis is put on the first syllable.

YannisHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek variation of John
  • Description:

    As common in Greece as John is here.

YanaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "he will answer"
  • Description:

    The biblical husband of the queen of Sheba; an unusual name with an interesting sound, rhyming with lanai.

YansaHeart

  • Origin:

    Cherokee
  • Meaning:

    "buffalo"
  • Description:

    Buffaloes are honored in Cherokee culture, as they were notoriously difficult to hunt yet an important food source.

YumaHeart

  • Origin:

    North American Indian
  • Meaning:

    "son of a chief"
  • Description:

    The a ending gives it a feminine feel.

YasirHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy, prosperous"
  • Description:

    In this country, very much tied to PLO leader Arafat.

YulianHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian and Bulgarian variation of Julian, English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "youthful, downy-bearded, sky father"
  • Description:

    A Julian translation that would be easy to wear — Yulian strikes the proper balance between unusual and familiar. Yuli is a common nickname in Russia.

YaleHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "fertile upland"
  • Description:

    An appellation that couldn't be more Ivy League or sound less Welsh. The name of the University is taken from the surname of college benefactor Elihu Yale. In the movie Manhattan, Yale Pollack is the name of Woody Allen's best friend. The Hebrew Yael is not related.
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