Natural Names

  1. Afton
    • Origin:

      Place-name
    • Description:

      Name of a town in Scotland that has a feminine strength.
  2. Archer
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "bowman"
    • Description:

      Archer is an Anglo-Saxon surname that feels more modern than most because of its on-target occupational and Hunger Games associations. And it's a nice way to bypass the clunky Archibald to get to the cool nickname Archie.
  3. Brooklyn
    • Origin:

      Place-name from Dutch
    • Meaning:

      "marshland"
    • Description:

      It may be the hippest of hispter neighborhoods, but as a baby name Brooklyn is now on the decline: down from a peak of 120 births for boys in 1999, and over 7000 births for girls in 2011.
  4. Berlin
    • Corsica
      • Origin:

        Place-name
      • Description:

        Corsica, the picturesque Mediterrean island birthplace of Napoleon, makes an easy switch from atlas to baby name book, with its delicate, feminine ending. Just don't consider neighboring island Sardinia.
    • Egypt
      • Origin:

        Place-name
      • Description:

        Ever since Little Egypt practically invented the belly dance in the 1890s, this name has had a suggestive aura. Astonishingly, Egypt is now among the Top 1000 names for girls in the US. Cairo is a related option.
    • Holland
      • Origin:

        Dutch place name
      • Meaning:

        "wooded land"
      • Description:

        Holland is one of the coolest geographical names, unadorned and elegant, evocative of fine Rembrandt portraits and fields of pink and yellow tulips. It first entered the US Top 1000 in 2014.
    • Hunter
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "one who hunts"
      • Description:

        Hunter has been dropping a bit for the past few years but is still one of the leaders of a distinctive band of boys' names that combines macho imagery (Hunter, Austin, Harley) with a softened masculinity. Hunter was for years attached to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson; Josh Holloway used it for his son.
    • Ireland
      • Origin:

        Place name
      • Description:

        Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin put Ireland on the map when they chose it as a first for their daughter, saying that geographic names were a family tradition. And it seems they were a bit ahead of the curve (or trendsetting)—Ireland has been among the fastest-rising names of recent years. Other Irish place names include Shannon, Kerry, Galway, and Dublin.
    • Jersey
      • Origin:

        English place name
      • Meaning:

        "Geirr's island"
      • Description:

        An established place name that sounds more appealing when you attach it to the British Isles than to the Garden State. Its etymology is not certain, but it may derive from the Norse name Geirr.
    • Kestrel
      • Oakley
        • Origin:

          English
        • Meaning:

          "oak wood or clearing"
        • Description:

          As sturdy as Oak, with deeper roots. It's been on the rise for both boys and girls in recent years, with the name comfortably in the top 500 for boys and nearing the Top 100 for girls.
      • Raven
        • Origin:

          Word and animal name
        • Description:

          Bird name Raven, once a symbol of pride for both African-American and Wiccan parents, is finding new life as a superhero name. Raven Darkholme is the real name of Mystique, heroine of the X-Men films played by Jennifer Lawrence. And there is another Raven superheroine in Teen Titans. Some parents may still choose Raven to signal black pride or mystical powers or maybe even Edgar Allan Poe fandom, but we are guessing most inspiration is coming from the comics.
      • River
        • Origin:

          Nature name
        • Description:

          River shares the tranquil feeling of all the water names, and seems to have pretty much escaped its past strong association with River Phoenix and his unfortunate fate. Actor Joaquin Phoenix named his son with actress Rooney Mara after his brother River.
      • Rowen/Rowan
        • Sage
          • Origin:

            Herb name and also Latin
          • Meaning:

            "wise and knowing"
          • Description:

            Fits many criteria sought by modern parents: it's short and strong, with intimations of wisdom as well as fragrant herbal properties. At this point, Sage is given about a third of the time to boys.
        • Tempest
          • Origin:

            English word name
          • Meaning:

            "turbulent, stormy"
          • Description:

            Tempest is one of those names that could go either way. Cool, evocative modern word name? Or asking for trouble? Your call, but if you decide the former image is dominant, be warned that some people will see it as the latter.
        • Vienna
          • 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.
        • West
          • Origin:

            Word name
          • Description:

            Straightforward yet romantic, this is one newly minted name with long-term appeal, especially as a middle name. It was used as such for Tea Leoni and David Duchovny's Madelaine, whom they call West. Definitely ambigender, it was chosen by Marley Shelton for her daughter.
        • Willow
          • Origin:

            English nature name
          • Meaning:

            "willow tree"
          • Description:

            An ancient tree that figures in literature from Shakespeare to Harry Potter and is believed to possess magical powers, Willow is a lovely name, as graceful as its inspiration.