A baby's name should sound nice, most people can agree on that. But the trouble comes from picking a name that also has meaning and has been tried, tested, and approved as a solid name. For some parents, there's no place better to look for such names than a map of the world. Countless streets, cities, and even countries have been named after people. From Christopher Columbus being the namesake of Colombia to a small town street named after a local noteworthy person, location names and human names have always been intertwined. That makes a globe or the Earth's map the perfect place to find lovely name inspiration.
By choosing world locations as inspiration for a baby's name, parents have so much variety of names at their disposal. It includes names that are local and classic, but also names that come from the other side of the globe and have a gorgeous exotic sound. So why not, moms? Spin that globe around, pick a spot, and work from there. Or, look at a map of a favorite country. Whether it's the home of mom and dad's ancestral roots or just a spot where they had a great vacation, it's bound to produce the perfect name for the newest member of the family.
Sydney is the largest city in Australia, so it is no wonder that such a spectacular place featuring attractions such as the well-known Opera House and Harbor bridge would make an excellent name. Although the name can be either feminine and masculine, since the 1990’s, it has been predominately female. Sydney peaked in popularity between 1998 and 2000 in the United States and Canada and has since been on a steady decline. However, it is still popular in the United Kingdom. It is a great unique and different name which has been held by statesmen and poets alike.
Savannah, Georgia is one of the oldest cities in the state, established in 1733 and was a strategic port city during the American Revolution and American Civil War. The town features many historical sites including the Historic District and the Victoria Historical District. The name was derived from Taino Native American word Zabana which translates into a vast grassy plain. It made its first appearance in the 19th century and again in the 1980’s after the film ‘Savannah Smiles’ entered the scene. Its overall popularity has much like its meaning seen peaks and valleys, however, since 2004 it has been on a steady incline in popularity.
Austin, Texas is a well-known city for having several Fortune 500 companies headquarters situated there, which includes Amazon.com, Apple Inc, eBay, and Google to name a few. Moreover, the city promotes itself as “The Live Music Capital of the World” according to Wikipedia, due to the many live music venues and TV concert series Austin City Limits. Originally, derived from the medieval name of Augustine, it shot into popularity in 1995 but saw a steep decline in 1997. It has been unable to make its way back up the ladder, which is excellent if you are looking for a more uncommon name.
Brooklyn, also known as Kings County is the most populated borough of New York City with an estimated 2,648,771 population in a 37,306 square mile area. The name was derived from the Dutch Breukelen which translate to “broken land,” according to Behind the name. Moreover, there is a contrasting difference between its use as either feminine or masculine with Canada and the United States being exclusively feminine and England, Wales and New Zealand being a mixed populous. The most notable celebrity to sport the name Brooklyn is none other than Victoria and David Beckham’s eldest son.
Camden, located in England is a district of north-west London established in 1791 as part of Kentish Town. During early development, it became an essential location for railways and reinforced its popularity with the London canal network. Today Camden is a service and tourist industry associated with alternative culture. The name is derived from Old English meaning “enclosed valley,” and is perhaps the least popular name with only 0.135% usage in the United States in 2017. This is a robust and upper-class name that can be either male or female and provide simplicity in spelling and pronunciation that other names may not.
Andorra is an independent micro principality surrounded by France, Spain, and the Mediterranean Sea. Measuring only 467.63 square kilometers, the sovereignty has gained their independence on three separate occasions, which included Aragon in 1278, and the French Empire in 1814, finally establishing its own constitution in 1993. This powerful persevering principality dates back to 803 showcasing a long history and heritage. There is not a great deal of information regarding the name and its origin, with some saying it is pre-Roman and others saying it is English. Regardless of its origin or meaning, it is an incredibly unique name and my favorite girl's name on this list.
Bristol is a city and country in South West England, and during explorations to the New World was the starting place for voyages. Today the famous harbor has been redeployed into city-center docks to maintain and promote heritage and culture. The name is a modern English name with recorded usage in 1985, and peaking in 2014. This feminine name means “the site of the bridge” and would be an excellent choice if you have English ancestry or perhaps a love for England. A number a well-known celebrity is from Bristol or the surrounding area including, Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones; Cary Grant a famous during the classic era of Hollywood; and J.K Rowling, to name a few.
Alexandria is one of the largest cities in Egypt dating back as far as 331 BC. Believed to have been founded by Alexander The Great, his vision was to make the city a Hellenistic center and a prominent link between Greece and the Nile Valley. Currently, the city is a major tourist attraction with many architectural wonders including Alexandria Art Center, Alexandria Opera House, Fawzia Fahmy Palace, and San Stefano Grand Plaza to name a few. The name is the feminine version of Alexander and was widely popular in 1993 with a ranking in the United States of 69. However, in recent years it has been on the decline as other names have taken over in popularity.
Aurora is a town in Ontario Canada and is one of the top ten wealthiest communities in the country. This is in part due to Magna International, an auto parts giant, and TC Transcontinental, a printing plant for magazines. Initially settled in 1854 and incorporated in 1888, it was the childhood home of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. The name means “dawn” in Latin which was derived from the Roman goddess of the morning. It has been used in many countries across the world including Australia, Canada, Chile. Portugal and Switzerland. It certainly is a gorgeous name that would make any parents name hunting come to an abrupt end.
Lincoln is another town in Canada located in the heart of the Niagra region. This town offers a terrific rich heritage and is well known for its parks and trails, such as Charles Daley Park and its marvelous view of Lake Ontario. The most notable individual to have had this name was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. In recent years the name has skyrocketed in popularity in the United States, going from rank 224 to rank 41 in the last decade. The name has seen similar increases in demand in Canada, England, and Wales. If you are looking for a unique name, maybe now is not the time to choose this one. However, it is memorable and robust.
Fatima is a Civil parish in central Portugal located on the Estremenho Limestone Massif. The town relies mostly on religious tourism as millions of Christians make a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima to see the Blessed Virgin Mary. The name is Arabic and was the name of the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. Although the name is used in the United States, it is more notably used in countries such as France, Bosnia, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands, with the highest usage being seen in England and Wales at 0.15% in 2017. The name is feminine and scored 75% positive review on Behind The Name.
Geneva is located in Switzerland and is one of the most populous areas in Romandy, the French-speaking part of the country. Geneva is widely held as a global center for diplomacy with the United Nations, and Red Cross have their headquarters there. Moreover, the city offers a vast array of Churches which features spectacular architecture and paintings, notably the St. Pierre Cathedral and Notre-Dame Church. The name is said to be of English descent and is perhaps a shorter version of Genevieve. The name reached its peak in 1924 in the U.S.A and soon began to decline, and since 1995 the name has all but disappeared.
Logan is located in South East Queensland in Australia and was first established in 1978. The city was named after Captain Patrick Logan, an explorer who was disliked by many people and seen as a tyrant. The town was home to some notably influential people including the band Savage Garden and the 2004 three-time gold medalist swimmer Jodie Henry. The name is of English and Scottish descent and was derived from the Scottish Gaelic place name meaning “little hollow.” Due to the popular movie franchise, Ex-Men by Marvel the name has become widely popular and is rated in the top 10 most used name in Canada, Northern Ireland, and the U.S.A.
Cairo is the capital of Egypt and home to 9 million people making it one of the top 20 largest cities in the world. The city was founded in 969 CE and was strategically developed in its current location due to the proximity of the Nile Delta, which is the end of the Nile River which drains into the Mediterranean Sea. Cairo has an extraordinary architecture which includes the Cairo Tower, Mosque of Sultan Hasan, and Al-Azhar Mosque, to name a few. The name in Arabic means “the victorious,” however, it has not seen widespread usage. Although listed as masculine on Behind The Name, I feel that it could also be feminine, whichever way you choose to use it, know that it is unique appearing first in 2015.
Odessa, located in Ukraine, is a significant tourism center on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. The Port was founded in 1794 and has many historical landmarks including the Odessa Opera Theater, Vorontsov Lighthouse, and City garden. The city was nearly destroyed during World War II and bared the weight of the Odessa massacre which claimed a significant amount of lives. As such it is not surprising that the name lost popularity in 1920 and all but disappeared by 1956. The name is none the less still feminine and beautiful, stemming from the name Odysseus a Greek hero who fought in the Trojan War.
Jericho is located in the Palestinian Territories near the Jordan River and was founded in 9600 BC. The city has an extensive history with many successive settlements being unearthed in Jericho dating back to the Holocene epoch, or some 11,000 years ago. With its warm climate and archeological tourism, the city has a lot to offer. The names meaning is unclear. However, there is a connection to the Hebrew word for moon and fragrant. This biblical name from the Old Testament dropped out of the U.S top 1000 names in 2017, but there is no reason it cannot make a comeback.
Pheonix is located in the U.S state of Arizona and is one of the only state capitals with a population of more than one million residents. It was first established and settled in 1867 before which it was occupied by the Native Americans. Jack Swilling was the man who saw the potential for farming in the area and suggested the name Pheonix too symbolize a new city being born out of the ashes of an old one. The name, which is both feminine and masculine, comes from Egyptian and Greek mythology in the form of a bird who was consumed by fire only to be reborn from its ashes.
Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain and is the location of one of the busiest container ports in Europe. The city offers a diverse heritage as one of the oldest cities in Spain dating back to 138 BC. However, the city ensured that even though they were home to magnificent architecture dating back to the 13th century, they also incorporated modernism into the community, which can be seen in the IMAX Dome cinema and the Prince Philip Science Museum. The name is derived from Latin Valentia which means strength and would be an elegant, modest name for any young lady.
Troy was an Ancient Greek city in the northwest region known today as Anatolia in Turkey. First founded in 3000 BC and abandoned in 500 AD it was the place of the great Trojan War and featured in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey literature. The name initially represented an individual from the city of Troyes in France. However, it has become more popular being featured in T.V shows such as The Stranger Things. It has seen highs and lows over the years, but the name remains in the U.S top 1000 names and would be a strong masculine name for any young man.
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and is situated at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich. The city is among the worlds largest financial centers due to its low tax rates making it an attractive choice for many company headquarters. Moreover, according to several, Quality of Life Surveys Zurich ranked number one from 2006 to 2008 and again in 2012, making the city a great place to not only do business but live as well. The name was not featured on behind the name and appears to be of unknown origin. According to Names.org, it means “Gift of God,” and is more often used as a last name opposed to a first name. Needless to say, this unique name is one of my favorite masculine names on this list.
Bethany was a city in the New Testament home to siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Traditionally it has been identified as the city of al-Eizariya east of Jerusalem and is the site of the tomb of Lazarus and the Lazarus Catholic Church mosaics of Maria and is also a popular pilgrimage site. The name appears to be of Aramaic or Hebrew origin meaning “house of affliction” or “house of figs.” The name has been used as a feminine name since the 19th century primarily by Catholics to honor Mary of Bethany. In the United States, it did not become commonly used until the 1950’s.
Bronx is a borough of New York City in the U.S with the name coming from Jonas Bronck who established the first settlement in 1639 in the area. The Bronx is home to five of the poorest congressional districts in the United States. It began seeing a decline in infrastructure during Prohibition in the 1920’s at the hands of gangs causing sections of the city to become poverty-stricken. However, since the late 1980’s, the city has seen a significant increase in redevelopment with a ten-year affordable housing plan in place. The name gained popularity in 2008 after singers Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson gave this name to their son meaning “branch.”
Dakar is the capital city of Senegal located on the Cap-Vert peninsula on the Atlantic coast on the African continent. Initially settled in the 15th century by the Lebou people, the Portuguese made contact in 1444 as slave-raiders, and it was not until 1456 that peaceful contact was made by Diogo Gomes. The culture in Dakar is widely centered around family, and they hold a very unique school system due to the blending of French colonialism and Islamic religion. According to Baby Center, this masculine name has increased in popularity by 1138 ranks since 2012.
Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria in Australia and is home to 5 million people. Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by three indigenous tribes which included the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Wathaurong. The city multiplied during the Victorian gold rush in 1851 with the population booming in a few months. The origin and meaning of the name are unclear, and it has seen a decline in popularity over the years with a stagnant period from 1989 to 2002 and is currently ranked as number 15885 in demand as of 2018. It is same to say that this name will not be common on the playground if that is what you are looking for.
Florence located in Italy is the capital of the region of Tuscany established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC. The city has a magnitude of monuments, museums and religious buildings which drives a tourist industry valued at 62.5 billion Euro in 2015. The name can be either feminine or masculine and is from the Latin name Florentius derived from Florens meaning prosperous or flourishing. It was also the name held by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War who is considered the founder of modern-day nursing. The name has been on the rise in England and Wales, as well as, New Zealand and with such great history and connection to people such as Leonardo Da Vinci, it is no wonder.