There are some parents who like the idea of giving their baby a name that is indicative of a place such as a town, a city, some type of body of water or a natural place. The following selection of names provides examples of these types of names. The names may have a meaning or mean exactly what the name says. Some of the names begin as last names, move to first names for males, then females or vice versa.
Place Names From Nature
The names that refer to natural places could have started as a way to denote where people lived so that neighbors with the same first names could be located and ended up becoming last names. There are also some of these names that were original first names.
Brooks: “Streams” is he meaning of this English male name. It is not exactly a commonly used name, but does show up throughout the 20th century. Brook(e) as a female name came into use during the 70s.
Bryn: This is a Welsh name for both genders that means “hill.”
Chantal: This is a French female name that means “a stone or a rock.” It was a last name way back in the 17th century and a recent spurt of use beginning in the 80s. There are a number of derivatives of the name such as Chantel, and Shantal.
Craig: “Rock” is the meaning of this Welsh or Gaelic name. The name was most popular until the middle of the 20th century but is not used very much today.
Dale: “A valley” is the meaning of this English name for both males and females. It appeared the most as a boy’s name during the middle of the 20th century, but was never very popular for girls in spite of the famous Dale Evans.
Dell: This is a male English name that means “a valley” as does the name Dale. The name was used until the middle of the 20th century. If one would happen to name a son Delbet, Del could be the nickname.
Glenna, Glen: These are Gaelic and Welsh names for females and males respectively. These names also mean “a valley.” Forms of the names show up periodically. We have heard of Glen Miller, Glen Campbell, Glenn Close. Some derivatives of the name are Glyn, Glenda, and Glynis.
Lynn: This name for both genders means “a lake.” The name came into use as a primarily male name at the end of the 19th century. Around the 30s, the name took a turn and became one of those names that would be a female name. There are a few derivatives of the name including Lynne and Linnea.
Ridge: This is an English male name that means “a ridge” which is a “line of sharp hills.” The name shows up only rarely.
Stone: This male English name means “a rock” or “a stone.” This name is also a rarely used name, but there is a current television news personality named Stone Phillips.
Warren: This male French name comes from a river called the Varenne. The name is occasionally still used.
Worth: “A homestead” or “an enclosure” is the meaning of this male English name. It is also related to value. It had some use at the turn of the 20th century.
The following selection of names are actual places that were assumed by people as last or first names. Some of them could also be names of people that became attached to places.
Alton: The origin of this English male name might mean “old town.” It had some popular use during the early part of the 20th century.
Ashley: “Ash wood or forest of ash trees” is the meaning of this English name for both genders. During the mid 20th century, the name was used for boys only. During the 70s it started to be used for girls. Soon after that the male use of the name disappeared. There are some derivatives of the name including Ashleigh and Ashlie.
Ashton: “Ash tree town” is he meaning of this English name for both genders. The name was in popular use for both boys and girls in the 80s, but the female use dropped away completely. We have all heard of the actor named Ashton Kutcher.
Barton: This male English name means “barley town.” It was in use early in the 20thcentury but is not typically used today.
Bethany: This is a Hebrew female name which was the name of a village near Jerusalem. It could also be related to Elizabeth. It was most popular in the 80s and the end of the 20th century.
Blair: “A plain or a field” is the meaning of this Gaelic name for both males and females. It was used for boys during the 20th century. Females with the name have appeared more recently and might be heard today.
Bradley: This male English name means “broad meadow.” It appeared occasionally in the 19th century, but rose in popularity during the 50s and is still used today. There is an actor named Bradley Cooper who is well known at this time.
Brooklyn: This is a female Dutch name that means “marshy watercourse.” which is what Brooklyn, New York was built on. It has recently become more popular as a girl’s name perhaps because of the habit of adding –lyn to names.
Carmel: This is a Hebrew name for both genders that means “garden.” It is rooted to the Mount Carmel of the Bible and the name was used for the Carmelite Order of nuns. The name began to be used in the 19th century through the 20th century. The reader might remember Carmela Soprano from the television show The Sopranos. There are several derivatives of this name such as Carmelo, Carmellita, and Carmella.
Chelsea: “Landing place for chalk or limestone” is the meaning of this female name. There are areas of some cities here and in Europe that are called Chelsea. We also might recognize the name Chelsea Clinton and Chelsea Handler so the name is used for girls.
China: This is a female name that has come into use recently. It may appear as Chyna.
Cliffton: “Town on a hill or cliff” is the meaning of this English male name. It was used at times during the 20th century.
Clyde: This male name could be from the river Clyde in Scotland. The name was used later in the 19th century and into the 20th century and decreased in use during the 20th century. One of the most famous men with the name was Clyde Barrow of Bonnie and Clyde fame.
Dakota: This is the name of the Dakota Native Americans and is used today for both genders.
Dalton: “town in a valley or dale is the meaning of this English male name. It has not been a very popular name although there are a few around.
Desmond: Desmond is a male Gaelic name and became popular toward the end of the 20th century. One might recognize the name Desmond Morris, author of books about animal behavior.
Dixie: This is a female name that is often used as a name for the southern United States. It was popular in the 19th century song and was use as a girl’s name n the 30s and 40s. One is unlikely to hear the name today.
Elwood: This English male name might mean “elm wood.” The name was used during the early part of the 20th century.
Erin: This is a popular female name that means “belonging to Ireland.”
Garland: “Triangular piece of land” or “maker of garlands” is the meaning of this male English name. It was popular in the19th century.
Gordon: This is a male name and there is a place with this name in Scotland so it can be considered of Gaelic origin. It had most use throughout the 20th century but currently has lost some popularity.
Hayden: This is a name for both genders that could mean “hay valley.” It was used a lot for boys in the 80s. In the early 21st century, it became more popular for girls also. There is currently an actress named Hayden Panetierre.
Iona: This female Gaelic name might mean “place of yew trees.” It has appeared, but is rarely used.
Keaton: This male name could be a river name. Current readers might be most familiar with this as a last name such as Buster Keaton.
Kent: “Border, edge or coast” could be the meaning of this male name. It was most popular up until the mid 20th century but is rarely used now although one might see this as a last name.
Kirby: “Village with a church” is the meaning of this English male name. The name was infrequently used and is another name one might hear most as a last name.
London: This name for both genders comes from the city of the same name in England. It has just come into recent use as a first name although there are some people with London as a last name.
Milton: “Middle town or mill town” is the meaning of this English name for males. There has been a significant decrease in its use since the middle of the 20th century. We can recall Milton Berle, the comedian and Milton Bradley who started the famous game company.
Monte, Monty: “Mountain” is the meaning of this French male name. The name can also be short for the name Montgomery. It was occasionally used until the mid 20thcentury. It would not be heard much today.
Newton: “New town” is the meaning of this English male name. We know it as the last name of Sir Isaac Newton. The use of the name disappeared in the mid 20thcentury.
Preston: This male English name means “priest’s town.” For some unknown reason the name had an increase in use during the 20th century.
Savannah: This female name means “a treeless plain.” Use of this name has gone up and down in popularity. It was used in the 19th century, decreased in use and came back in the 80s.
Sheldon: “Flat topped hill” is the meaning of this English male name. It has been in use sporadically throughout the 20th century and can be heard as a last name. Currently, there is a character named Sheldon on the television show The Big Bang Theory.
Sienna: This is a female Italian name. The original name of the Italian city was Sena Julia. Sienna is also a color that came from the red/brown earth pigment and used by artists. The name has recently become more popular.
Stanford: “Stony river crossing” is the meaning of this English male name. This name was rarely used in the 20th century.
Trent: This is a male name. It originates from a river and has the meanings of “through, road, and journey.” Use of the name became most popular during the second half of the 20th century. There is a senator from Mississippi named Trent Lott.
Troy: This French male name means from Troyes, France or may relate to the Trojan War. The name appears throughout the 20th century
Virginia: “Belonging to the virgin” is the meaning of this Latin female name. More of the name’s popularity relates to the state of Virginia. It was a popular name in the 19thcentury and continues in use today. Some derivatives or nicknames include Vergie, Ginny and Ginger.
Wesley: “Western meadow” is he meaning of this English male name. The name has been used throughout the 20th century. We have heard of General Wesley Clark and Wesley Snipes. A nickname would be Wes.
Wilton: This male name means “willow town” or “town with a well.” Although the name was used in the first part of the last century, it is rarely used today.
Winston: “Town of a man named Wine” is the meaning of this English male name. The name has had rare use.
Zion: This male Hebrew name is a name for Israel. It became more popular in the last decade of the 20th century and is still used.
The preceding article has provided a selection of baby names related to names of places such as city names and names of natural features of the environment. The range of names includes some that would seem quite old fashioned and some that are currently in use. Perhaps you have discovered the name that will be perfect for your baby.