American Place Names

A list of names that are also the names of towns, cities, and states in the US.
  1. Alabama
    • Origin:

      Place-name; Choctaw
    • Meaning:

      "vegetation gatherers"
    • Description:

      Alabama is a hot southern place-name, picking up from Georgia and Savannah. This is not a geographical name come lately, though--there have been girls named Alabama dating back well over a century.
  2. Alaska
    • Origin:

      Native American
    • Meaning:

      "great land"
    • Description:

      State name Alaska stems from an Aleutian word for the land mass itself. The number of baby girls named Alaska has doubled in the past five years, and is sure to continue increasing as more place names are annexed as baby names. Wilder but as habitable as Dakota or Cheyenne, Alaska is a girls' name choice for the future.
  3. Albany
    • Origin:

      Place-name
    • Description:

      A capital place-name possibility.
  4. Arizona
    • Origin:

      Place-name from Papago Indian
    • Meaning:

      "little springs"
    • Description:

      We usually think of place-names as a modern invention, but in fact Arizona ranked on the US Top 1000 from its inception in 1880 until 1911, when it vanished below the surface. It peaked at Number 510 in 1882, before Arizona became a state. One notorious vintage bearer: criminal "Ma" Barker, born Arizona Clark.
  5. Atlanta
    • Origin:

      Place name
    • Meaning:

      "Atlantic Ocean"
    • Description:

      The capital of Georgia is far from the ocean, but got its name from the Western and Atlantic Railroad which ran through the city. Best known as a hub of industry and transport, and for its roles in the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, it has never been popular as a baby name despite sounding like one. Its peak popularity was in 1995, the year before Atlanta hosted the Olympic Games.

  6. Aurora
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dawn"
    • Description:

      The goddess name Aurora has consistently been on the US popularity list since the nineteenth century, but has really taken off in the past 30 years. Aurora also enjoys remarkable international popularity, ranking in the Top 100 throughout the English-speaking world as well as in Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, and several other European and Latin American countries.
  7. Austin
    • Origin:

      English, shortened form of Augustine, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      Austin is one of the most attractive city names for babies, with an appealing southwestern feel and place-name panache.
  8. Baltimore
    • Origin:

      Place name, English from Irish
    • Meaning:

      "town of the big house"
    • Description:

      With place names extending their range, this is an unmapped possibility, though a bit stiff. Baltimore, Maryland was named after Cecil Calvert, the 2nd Baron Baltimore. Baltimore is ultimately derived from the Irish Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning "town of the big house."
  9. Boise
    • Boston
      • Origin:

        Place-name
      • Description:

        Unseen in the USA since 1901, Boston rocketed back into the Top 1000 in 2004 and, like other place-names such as Brooklyn, London and Paris, is now a reliable presence on the list.
    • Boulder
      • Origin:

        Nature name
      • Description:

        A tough and rugged nature name.
    • Bronx
      • 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.
    • Brooklyn
      • Origin:

        Place-name from Dutch
      • Meaning:

        "marshland"
      • Description:

        Extreme makeover: Brooklyn has gone from jokey Borough Boy name in the 1990s to a 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.
    • Burbank
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "riverbank where burrs grow"
      • Description:

        Beautiful downtown Burbank -- about as glamorous a place-name as Akron...or Detroit.
    • California
      • Origin:

        Place-name
      • Description:

        Has not caught on as much as other Golden State place-names -- Sierra, Marin, West, or even Francisco -- probably because of its length.
    • Carolina
      • Origin:

        Variation of Caroline; also place-name
      • Meaning:

        "free man"
      • Description:

        Languid, romantic, and classy, this variation heats up Caroline and modernizes Carol, adding a southern accent.
    • Charleston
      • Origin:

        American place-name
      • Description:

        Lovers of the languid South Carolina city might be attracted to this rich-sounding name. Could make an interesting update on Charles -- and can certainly work for a girl too. Actor Joey Lawrence used it for his daughter.
    • Charlotte
      • Origin:

        French, feminine diminutive of Charles
      • Meaning:

        "free man"
      • Description:

        Charlotte, the name of the young Princess of Cambridge, is the latest classic name to join Sophia, Emma, Olivia, and Isabella at the top of the popularity list. It is now among the most popular girl names in many English-speaking and European countries.
    • Chicago
      • Origin:

        American place name, Algonquin
      • Meaning:

        "wild garlic"
      • Description:

        Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have done it again for their third child: Chosen a name that feels iconic yet strangely inevitable. They named North and Saint's younger sister Chicago, after Kanye's hometown. The name Chicago derives from a Native American word for "wild garlic," which once grew plentifully in the Illinois city, the third most populous in the US.
    • Cleveland
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "hilly land, from the cliff"
      • Description:

        A presidential and place-name that's not a stand-out in either category.