Ocean names along with names that mean ocean or sea are increasingly popular for cats males and females. Popular ocean-inspired names include Kai, Morgan, Dylan, Jennifer, Malik, Marina, Marley, Mira, and Wade. Unique names with ocean meanings that strike a stylish note include Mariner, Merrigan, and Wave, the name of Cardi B and Offset's little boy.

 

A subset of names that mean water and of the wider world of nature names, ocean names include cats names with ocean or sea-related meanings, such as Kai and Morgan, the names of specific oceans and seas, as well as the names of sea creatures and mythological aquatic figures.

Ocean names for females we're hearing more of include Cordelia, a Shakespearean name that means “daughter of the sea”, Kailani, a Hawaiian name meaning “sea and sky”, and Nixie, a sprightly German name that means water nymph.

 

We see the following ocean names for males as being especially hot right now. Kai, while technically unisex, is a Hawaiian name finding widespread popularity in many Western countries. Caspian is name of a sea in Europe and is one of many trendy Cas-beginning names. And Rafferty, an Irish name chosen by Jude Law, means floodtide and has a larger meaning of abundance.

 

Many of the best ocean names for cats are gender-neutral. Some we especially like: are Dune, Murphy, and Ocean itself.

 

If you love the ocean and want to draw on its power and mystery for a name for your kitty, consider the choices on this list.

Kai

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian

  • Meaning:

    “sea”

  • Description:

    Kai has many origins and meanings. What does the name Kai mean? That depends on which Kai you're referring to.

 

Caspian

  • Origin:

    Place name

  • Meaning:

    “white”

  • Description:

    One of the most romantic of appellations, as well as being a geographical name of the large salty sea between Asia and Europe that probably inspired C.S.

Cordelia

  • Origin:

    Latin; Celtic

  • Meaning:

    “heart; daughter of the sea”

  • Description:

    Cordelia, the name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, has style and substance, and is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name that many parents are seeking today. If you're torn between Cordelia and the equally lovely Cora, you can always choose Cordelia for long and then call her Cora for short—or Delia, Lia, Del, or even the extremely different Cordie. Cordelia is a Nameberry favorite—Number 106 on the site—and it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 60+ year absence.

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Dylan

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “son of the sea”

  • Description:

    Dylan was derived of the Welsh components dy and llanw, meaning “sea.” In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.

Kaia

  • Origin:

    Latin, Scandinavian, or Hawaiian

  • Meaning:

    “to rejoice or sea”

  • Description:

    The new Maia, the next Kayla, Kaia has been on the charts since the year 2000. You might see it as a female form of the also-rising Kai, which means sea in Hawaiian and is sometimes used for girls as well, or as a Kardashianization of the ancient goddess name Caia.

Mira

  • Origin:

    Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Sanskrit

  • Meaning:

    “admirable; peace; female ruler; ocean”

  • Description:

    This name owes its present life to actress Sorvino. Mira and Mirra have an arty aura. Mira is a true cross-cultural choice, with the literal meaning of “look” in Spanish, a peaceful meaning in several Eastern European languages, a well-used name in Arabic cultures meaning queen-like or a female ruler, and a nature name in Sanksrit. In Greek, it means “fate, destiny”. Mira can also be a short form of Miryam or Miranda.

Miriam

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    The oldest-known form of Mary, serious and solemn Miriam has been a particular favorite of observant Jewish parents. But we can see it extending beyond that sphere into the next wave of Old Testament names post-Rachel, Rebecca, Sarah, Hannah, and Leah. Miriam is currently the Number 1 girls' name in Israel.

Guinevere

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “white shadow, white wave”

  • Description:

    Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.

Mary

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include “drop of the sea” (from Hebrew roots mar “drop” and yam “sea”); “bitter” (from Hebrew marah “bitterness”); and “beloved” (from the Egyptian root mr).

Rosemary

  • Origin:

    Latin or English

  • Meaning:

    “dew of the sea, or rosemary (herb)”

  • Description:

    Despite appearances, Rosemary is not a “smoosh” name, not even a traditional one. The name derives from two Latin terms “Ros” meaning ‘dew’ and “Marinus” “meaning “of the sea”. The plant was termed ‘dew of the sea’ due to its salty texture and its ability to thrive in coastal climes. Only after the Middle Ages did the English names of Rose and Mary become interchanged with the name Rosmarinus and give us the modern name we use today.

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Maren

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “sea”

  • Description:

    Maren is one of the many twenty-first-century takes on Mary–but we find the more classic Marin spelling preferable. When spelled Maren, the pronunciation seems more clearly to resemble Mary, with the emphasis on the first syllable. Marin, the spelling also used for the beautiful coastal county north of San Francisco, is often pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, as in Marie.

Rafferty

  • Origin:

    Irish

  • Meaning:

    “floodtide, abundance, prosperity”

  • Description:

    Jaunty and raffish, Rafferty is one of the most engaging of the Irish surnames, used by Jude Law and Sadie Frost for their son. Fortunately, it doesn't still go by its original form: O'Raighbheartaigh.

Marina

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “from the sea”

  • Description:

    This pretty sea-born name was used to dramatic effect by Shakespeare in his play Pericles for the virtuous princess who says she is “Call'd Marina, for I was born at sea.”

Mariah

  • Origin:

    Hebrew

  • Meaning:

    “the Lord is my teacher; or drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Thanks to Mariah Carey, everyone now knows this name – and is aware that Mariah's pronounced with a long i – just as Maria was in the Jane Austen era. And though Mariah now sounds modern, it was heard as far back as 1550 in Great Britain.

Tiberius

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “of the Tiber”

  • Description:

    The name of an important ancient Roman emperor, Tiberius might sound a bit heavy for a modern boy to carry, but with the rise of Atticus, Tiberius and brothers begin to feel more baby-friendly, much in the same way as Old Testament names like Elijah and Isaiah have been rejuvenated.

Jenna

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Jennifer

  • Meaning:

    “white shadow, white wave”

  • Description:

    Jenna was first noted on the 1980s TV series Dallas, later associated with one of the First Twin Daughters. Jenna is still being used, but no longer feels much fresher than Jennifer. You can also spell it Jena, but then many people will pronounce it jeen-a, as in Gina.

Ocean

  • Origin:

    Nature name

  • Description:

    Nature names like Ocean and River are flowing back into favor, especially with nature lovers and green-oriented parents.

Arnav

  • Origin:

    Hindi

  • Meaning:

    “ocean”

  • Description:

    This popular Indian name is heard in the US. Bollywood actor Akshay Khanna has a son named Arnav.

Jennifer

  • Origin:

    Cornish variation of Welsh Guinevere

  • Meaning:

    “white shadow, white wave”

  • Description:

    Jennifer is the Cornish variation of Guinevere, which ultimately derived from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. It has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century but came to prominence in the 20th. Playwright George Bernard Shaw chose Jennifer for the name of his leading lady in his play The Doctor’s Dilemma, which drew more attention to the name.

Marie

  • Origin:

    French variation of Mary

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    The ubiquitous French version of Mary came into the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century. In the United States, Marie was a huge hit at the turn of the last century and for the ensuing fifty years, becoming the seventh most popular name in the country for three years, from 1901 to 1904.

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Murphy

  • Origin:

    Irish

  • Meaning:

    “sea warrior”

  • Description:

    This jaunty Celtic surname — the most common family name in Ireland — is totally viable as a first. Although there was a possibility of its being feminized via the old TV sitcom “Murphy Brown,” it has never taken off for girls and very much retains its masculine image.

May

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret and Mary; month name

  • Description:

    May is a sweet old-fashioned name that hasn't been on the national charts in several decades, but is definitely sounding fresh and springlike. Parents are beginning to see it once more as one of the prettiest middle name options. May was as high on the list as Number 57 in the 1880s; it's now 228 on Nameberry.

Marilyn

  • Origin:

    English, combination of Mary and Lynn

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + lake”

  • Description:

    For a name that was in the Top 20 for a whole decade – the 1930's – Marilyn has attained the status of almost a one-person name. Just say the name Marilyn, and most people will know who you mean. Yet strangely enough, though Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jean and renamed in tribute to earlier star Marilyn Miller) was the sex symbol of her generation, very little stardust adhered to her name. In fact, when Mariah Carey wished to honor the star in her daughter's name, she chose to call her Monroe rather than Marilyn.

Marnie

  • Origin:

    English

  • Meaning:

    “of the sea”

  • Description:

    Retro short form of Marina, now dated to the era of the Hitchcock movie that made it famous. In the UK, it's one of the hottest vintage names of the moment, perhaps inspired by British singer Lily Allen, who gave it to her second daughter in 2013. It's also a character name on the hit TV show Girls.

Morgan

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle”

  • Description:

    Morgan, once split evenly between the sexes, is a strong and attractive Welsh favorite, still a common boys’ name in Wales. Morgan is now more often a girls' name in the U.S. – about 2000 girls were given the name in one recent year, vs. 362 boys – though it's one of the most traditional unisex choices. Morgan was actually a Top 200 pick for boys in Victorian Britain!

Maria

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    As a highly popular girls’ name in all Spanish-speaking countries, this saintly Latin variation of Mary retains a timeless beauty. Through the centuries, Maria remains one of the most widely-used girl names starting with M.

India

  • Origin:

    Place name, from the River Indus

  • Description:

    Euphonious and long stylish in England, India was one of the fastest-rising names on the 2013 list, after jumping 240 spots back into the Top 1000.

Moira

  • Origin:

    Irish, variation of Mary

  • Meaning:

    “bitter; beloved; drop of the sea”

  • Description:

    Well-established Irish and Scottish name that has never really caught on across the pond. Remembered by an older generation as the beautiful red-haired ballerina in the film The Red Shoes, Moira Shearer.

Mariana

  • Origin:

    Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian

  • Meaning:

    “related to the god Mars”

  • Description:

    Mariana is that unusual name that is more than the sum of its parts. While Mary or Maria and Ana or Anna are both perfectly nice classic names, Mariana achieves a lyrical elegance that transcends them.

Wade

  • Origin:

    English

  • Meaning:

    “at the river crossing”

  • Description:

    Wade has never been outside the US Top 1000 for boys – there's a reason for that. It has a clean spelling, fresh sound and is neither too trendy (unlike Kade or Cade) or too old-school (like Richard or Albert). We think Wade is a winning name

Murray

  • Origin:

    Scottish

  • Meaning:

    “settlement by the sea”

  • Description:

    Murray, you may be surprised to discover, is a Scottish surname name –that of an ancient noble clan–with a sea-swept meaning, and just could be in the next wave of reevaluated grandpa names. Currently Number 60 for baby boys born in its native Scotland; it was at its highest in the US in 1922, when it reached Number 208, but has been off the list since 1975. Could it be time for a comeback?

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Naia

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian, Greek, Basque

  • Meaning:

    “dolphin; to flow; wave, sea foam”

  • Description:

    Multicultural option, equally intriguing as, but more unusual than, Maia.

Malik

  • Origin:

    Arabic; Greenlandic

  • Meaning:

    “king; wave”

  • Description:

    A name popular among African-American parents, with many spelling variations, including Malek and Maliq.

Doris

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “gift of the ocean”

  • Description:

    Doris had long been on our so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out-for-babies list, and seemed to be written there in indelible ink. But there are signs of a sea change, that Doris could profit from the revivals of Dorothy and Dorothea.

Khai

  • Origin:

    Arabic or Hawaiian

  • Meaning:

    “benevolence; sea”

  • Description:

    Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik notably chose this name for their daughter in 2020, as a variation of Gigi's grandmother's name, Khairiah. In 2021, the name caught on for boys — Khai was a new debut on the Top 1000 and one of the fastest-rising names that year.

Marin

  • Origin:

    Latin, of the sea”

  • Description:

    Marin is a lovely county north of San Francisco, and a lovely baby name on the rise, one which sounds more refreshing than the more familiar Marina.

Maryam

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Arabic, Iranian

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    As Mary falls further out of favor, her variations become more appealing, whether you're honoring an ancestral Mary or Marie or Miriam or simply love the tradition of the name.

Nixie

  • Origin:

    German

  • Meaning:

    “water nymph”

  • Description:

    If you love Dixie, Trixie and Pixie, this name of a mermaid-like sprite in German folklore may be for you. It might also make an update for Nicki.

Mariam

  • Origin:

    Arabic variation of Mary

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Popular among parents with Arab roots. Also found as Maryam.

Maris

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “of the sea”

  • Description:

    Maris is an unusual and appealing name that has never appeared in the U.S. Top 1000, overshadowed by its twentieth century elaboration, Marisa/Marissa. It derives from the phrase “Stella Maris,” star of the sea, one of the many epithets of the Virgin Mary, and became familiar via the unseen (but unliked) character of sitcom Frasier's ex-sister-in-law

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Irving

  • Origin:

    Scottish

  • Meaning:

    “green river, sea friend”

  • Description:

    It might be surprising to know that this name originated as a Scottish place and surname name, as in Washington Irving. It became a popular choice for first-generation Jewish-American boys, such as best-selling authors Irving Stone and Irving Wallace, whose parents looked to surnames from the British Isles to confer a measure of assimilation and class. Irving Berlin changed his name from Israel; actor Ving Rhames streamlined and coolized it. Irving was a Top 100 name during World War I, and though we don't envision it reaching those heights again, we can see some hipster parents having their own little Ving.

Marvin

  • Origin:

    Welsh, variant of Mervyn

  • Meaning:

    “sea hill”

  • Description:

    Marvin has been neglected for so long that it's hard to believe that it has windswept Welsh roots. It also has some strong namesakes going for it — singer Marvin Gaye, composer Marvin Hamlisch and boxer Marvin Hagler. It's the real name of both Neil Simon and Meatloaf. And let's not forget mention Marvin Gardens on Monopoly.

Merlin

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “sea fortress”

  • Description:

    This name of the famous fifth-century sorcerer and mentor of King Arthur may or may not be a bit wizardy for a real-life modern child. Its most noted modern bearer: football star turned actor Merlin Olsen, whose father was named Merle.

Marissa

  • Origin:

    Variation of Maris or a combination of Maria + Louisa

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + famous battle”

  • Description:

    Pretty feminissima name that never became as overused as cousin Melissa. The more streamlined Maris is a more modern sounding option.

Marion

  • Origin:

    English and French diminutive of Marie

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    An underused classic that has proved surprisingly unisex over the last few decades, being given to roughly the same number of baby girls and boys in the US from the 1970s to the 2000s. For a girl, Marion has a sturdy old-fashioned charm.

Morwenna

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “waves of the sea”

  • Description:

    Morwenna is an ancient Cornish name now being revived in Wales. It's been heard in the British series Doc Martin and Poldark.

Morgana

  • Origin:

    Female version of Morgan, Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “sea-circle”

  • Description:

    Since Morgan is used as–or more–frequently for girls as for boys, this feminization has fallen by the wayside. It drew some brief attention via the pop singer Morgana King.The similar Morgiana appears in Tales from the Thousand and One Nights.

Fisher

  • Origin:

    Occupational name

  • Meaning:

    “fisherman”

  • Description:

    As a member of two trendy name categories, animal and occupational, this name broke into the Top 1000 in 2004 and would make a nice tribute to an angler Grandpa.

Marian

  • Origin:

    French medieval variation of Marie

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Marian's (and sister spelling Marion's) image has gone through a sea change of late, recalling less middle-aged matron and more Robin Hood's romantic Maid Marian. Some influences: the SJ Parker-M. Broderick twin daughter Marion and the glamorous French actress Marion Cotillard.

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Nori

  • Origin:

    Japanese

  • Meaning:

    “doctrine or seaweed”

  • Description:

    Japanese name that would have no trouble assimilating–though many would associate it with the dried seaweed used to wrap sushi. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West use Nori as a nickname for their daughter North.

Marley

  • Origin:

    English

  • Meaning:

    “pleasant seaside meadow”

  • Description:

    Harley is a tough guy, while the rhyming Marley has a softer, gentler image. The name brings to mind reggae great Bob Marley, as well as the lovable dog from bestseller Marley and Me.

Ginevra

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Guinevere

  • Meaning:

    “white shadow, white wave”

  • Description:

    A lovely alternative for the Jennifer-lover.

Kehlani

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian

  • Meaning:

    “sea and sky”

  • Description:

    This name first entered the US Top 1000 in 2016, probably because of R&B singer Kehlani, whose full name is Kehlani Ashley Parrish. It was the fastest-rising girls' name of the year. Kehlani may be a variation of Kalani. Hawaiian or Hawaiian like names are particularly popular for girls, with the lani suffix appending to a range of prefixes.

Marianne

  • Origin:

    French combination of Marie and Anne

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + grace”

  • Description:

    A midcentury Catholic classic that's not chosen by many parents today. Leonard Cohen fans might think of the beautiful song So Long, Marianne, named for his lover and muse Marianne Ihlen.

Mariella

  • Origin:

    Italian and Dutch diminutive of Maria

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Lilting and nearly unknown here, with the currently popular ella ending, makes a good Marissa alternative.

Nerissa

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “from the sea”

  • Description:

    An offbeat possible replacement for the overused Melissa and Marisa, Nerissa was used by Shakespeare for Portia's witty confidante in The Merchant of Venice. Queen Elizabeth has a cousin named Nerissa.

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Muriel

  • Origin:

    Irish

  • Meaning:

    “of the bright sea”

  • Description:

    Once a poetic Celtic name, that of the angel who governs the month of June, Muriel became the mom or grandma on TV sitcoms. She does have literary cred via Edinburgh-born author Muriel Spark, author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and also appears as a character in Anne of Green Gables. Muriel was a Top 200 name from 1912 to 1933.

Beryl

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “sea-green jewel”

  • Description:

    Dated British favorite that never caught on in this country, where Jade remains the green gem of choice. Interesting namesakes: British writer Beryl Bainbridge and British aviatrix Beryl Markham

Kailani

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian

  • Meaning:

    “sea and sky”

  • Description

    This name's similarity to Kalani and pretty Hawaiian origin helped catapult it into the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013.

Saga

  • Origin:

    Swedish word name

  • Meaning:

    “story; seeress”

  • Description:

    Apt name for a little drama queen with a long future ahead of her. Saga is a Top 30 girls' name in Sweden.

Mariel

  • Origin:

    Dutch diminutive of Mary

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Mariel Hemingway popularized this attractive and unusual variation of Mary. It's a fairly recent form, emerging in the twentieth century. Other variations include Marielle and Mariella, which is found in Italy.

Neptune

  • Origin:

    Roman god of the sea, freshwater springs, and horses.

  • Description:

    This Roman mythology (and planet) name would be very hard to handle. It derives from a root meaning cloud.

Maribel

  • Origin:

    English combination of Mary and Bel

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + beautiful”

  • Description:

    This modern name gathers some steam from the wildly popular Isabel.

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Zealand

  • Origin:

    English place name from Dutch

  • Meaning:

    “sea land”

  • Description:

    Zealand is the English translation of the Dutch province name Zeeland (originally Seelant). It's more commonly associated with New Zealand, the Oceanic country named by the Dutch. As a baby name, Zealand entered the popularity charts for boys in 2000, but has never been given to more than 40 babies in a single year. It is used for girls as well, but with less frequency.

Zale

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “sea-strength”

  • Description:

    Appealing sound and meaning, but there is that discount-store association.

Oceane

  • Origin:

    French

  • Meaning:

    “ocean”

  • Description:

    Oceane (oh-see-EN) has been one of the chicest names in France for several years, ranking in the French Top 50. This is a sophisticated name that could easily cross the ocean, and is much more stylish than the English Ocean or Oceana.

Thalassa

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “the sea”

  • Description:

    A pretty, rarely used Greek name, Thalassa is the ancient personification of the sea, particularly the Mediterranean, who is sometimes considered the mother of Aphrodite. In 1991, a newly discovered moon of Neptune was dubbed Thalassa.

Marine

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “from the sea”

  • Description:

    Marine is an extremely popular and fashionable name in France that's virtually unknown here — and is ready to set sail. Marine feels more contemporary than Marina and less hippie-esque than Oceane, another popular name for girls in France.

Halcyon

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “kingfisher bird”

  • Description:

    This highly unusual name — the Halycyone was a mythic bird who could calm the seas — conjures up images of utter peace and tranquility because of the phrase “Halycon days”…and the sleeping pill.

Kia

  • Origin:

    African

  • Meaning:

    “season's beginning”

  • Description:

    Kia is a sweet, simple name that is now, unfortunately, associated with a Korean car label. Better today: Nia, Thea, or Keira.

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Ondine

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “little wave”

  • Description:

    Mythological spirit of the waters; spelled Undine, she was an Edith Wharton heroine.

Llyr

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “the sea”

  • Description:

    Llyr is a name with a great meaning and a lovely sound, but that sound is going to be next to impossible to get non-Welsh speaking people to pronounce (google the double L sound in Welsh). If you are outside Wales, you may wish to consider the Irish alternative Lir, which has the same meaning and an easier sound.

Kairi

  • Origin:

    Japanese

  • Meaning:

    “sea”

  • Description:

    Kairi is the name of the main female character in the popular role-playing video game series, Kingdom Hearts. Voiced by Hayden Panettiere in the main series, Kairi is one of the seven Princesses of the Heart. Kairi entered the US Top 1000 in 2010 and was given to over 400 baby girls in one recent year.

Marilla

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “shining sea”

  • Description:

    Marilla is a names that's familiar via its resemblance to Mary and variations, but also distinctive: It hasn't been on the Top 1000 since the 1800s and was given to only nine baby girls last year. Delicate and sweet, which began life as a short form of the flower name Amaryllis. Marilla Cuthbert was a character in L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.

Marisa

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish combination of Maria and Louisa

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + famous battle”

  • Description:

    A name made famous by Marisas Berenson and Tomei, never became as saturated as its cousin Melissa, so still a feasible choice. Marisa is one of those Spanish and Italian names for girls that sounds at once unusual and familiar, which makes it truly an international choice.

Maryjane

  • Origin:

    English, combination of Mary and Jane

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + god is gracious”

  • Description:

    Mary was such a common name for so long that it sprouted a whole family of chimeric name splices: Maryann, Marybeth, Mary-Lousie, ad infinitum. Spiderman's Mary Jane Watson and the common nickname for marijuana have helped keep this one especially familiar to the American ear.

Pike

  • Origin:

    American animal name

  • Meaning:

    “pike, a fish”

  • Description:

    The field of nature names is constantly expanding to include all species of flowers and trees and animals and birds and even fish. In addition to its appeal for anglers, Pike recalls Zebulon Pike, the explorer who discovered and gave his name to Pike's Peak.

Oceana

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “ocean”

  • Description:

    If you're a lover of the beach and sea, and want a name that relates to the largest body of water, there are several variations you could consider.

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Lir

  • Origin:

    Irish mythological name

  • Description:

    Lir is the Irish god of the sea, the equivalent of the Welsh Llyr which some equate with Shakespeare's King Lear. This is one of those rare names that is simple and has a deep history with an appealing meeting and yet is completely unused in the modern world — no baby boys were recorded as receiving the name Lir in the US last year. Maybe because it sounds like the unappealing leer?

Anahita

  • Origin:

    Persian

  • Meaning:

    “a river and water goddess”

  • Description:

    Anahita is the name of the water goddess who rules, among other things, fertility and wisdom. Associated with Venue, Anahita is a stylish Iranian name for girls.

Moana

  • Origin:

    Maori, Samoan

  • Meaning:

    “deep ocean, sea”

  • Description:

    This Maori name, often heard in New Zealand, is an attractive, evocative choice for lovers of the ocean made famous – perhaps too famous – by the Disney heroine. Moana was also an alternate name for the heroine Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth. Moana may also be a color name for a deep ocean blue (“lanu moana”).

Rosemarie

  • Origin:

    Combination of Rose and Marie

  • Meaning:

    “rose flower + drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Rosemarie had its moment in the sun back in the middle of the last century, when parents were looking for new ways to recycle traditional family names. So a child might combine her two grandma's names and become Rosemarie (or Annmarie or Maryjean), but these combination names feel dated now.

Darya

  • Origin:

    Russian or Persian, variation of Daria or feminine form of Darius

  • Meaning:

    “kingly; the sea”

  • Description:

    The beguiling Darya is the name of a character in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. As a Russian name, it's a spelling variation of Daria, while in Iran, it's a girl's name that means “the sea”.

Mar

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “sea”

  • Description:

    The Spanish and Portuguese word for “sea” is a Top 100 name in Spain. In America, it's sometimes used as a nickname for names like Martina and Marina, but it could also plausibly stand on its own.

Ula

  • Origin:

    Celtic

  • Meaning:

    “gem of the sea”

  • Description:

    Ula is among the unusual U names that may have a range of origins and meanings, from the Celtic one given here to its possibilities as a short form of Eulalia or Ursula. Ulla is a Scandinavian name usually an abbreviation of Ursula or Ulrika.

Marlee

  • Origin:

    English

  • Meaning:

    “pleasant seaside meadow”

  • Description:

    The combined inspiration of reggae master Bob and the dog-loving romp “Marley and Me” catapulted this name up the chart in recent years. But what goes up….

Sereia

  • Origin:

    Portuguese

  • Meaning:

    “mermaid”

  • Description:

    The lovely Sereia is the Portuguese word for mermaid but can also be used as a name. English speakers may shy away from the name because of pronunciation questions and indeed, any little Sereia growing up in London or Chicago will encounter many questions and mispronunciations. But it's not difficult to say once you know it and Sereia pay countervailing dividends with its beauty.

Havelock

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian

  • Meaning:

    “sea competition”

  • Description:

    A name from medieval romance with an endearingly clunky sound, à la Sherlock. The most famous modern wearer was twentieth-century psychologist/sexologist Havelock (born Henry) Ellis.

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Hurley

  • Origin:

    Irish

  • Meaning:

    “sea tide”

  • Description:

    Hurley is a possibility as a unisex surname-name ending with the “lee” sound. It is perhaps most associated with British actress Elizabeth Hurley, and is much rarer than Harley, because the “ur” sound is currently out of fashion (and the word “hurl” may put some off).

Nerida

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “sea nymph, mermaid”

  • Description:

    This is one of the more unusual examples of a group of Greek names connected to the sea.

Maelyn

  • Origin:

    Variation of Mae, English

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea; pearl”

  • Description:

    Maelyn practically doubled in use in 2019 after singer Maelyn Jarmon won that year's season of The Voice. It dropped a little the following year.

Triton

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name

  • Description:

    The Greek god Triton was the messenger of the sea and the son of sea god Neptune. He is usually represented as a merman, the the head and upper body of a human and the lower body of a sea creature. In The Little Mermaid he is the father of Ariel.

Marietta

  • Origin:

    Italian diminutive of Maria

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Marietta would make for a classy and uncommon long form for cool nickname Etta.

Neri

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Greek

  • Meaning:

    “burning light or ocean spirit”

  • Description:

    A simple but unusual name with roots in disparate cultures, Neri appears in the Bible as a male name and is still sometimes used for boys as well as girls. The appeal of Neri are its deep roots combined with its simple, upbeat, modern feel, ala Peri and Rory.

Maire

  • Origin:

    Finnish, Irish variation of Mary

  • Meaning:

    “sweet; drop of the sea, bitter”

  • Description:

    Both Maire and Mare have begun making inroads with parents seeking novel yet authentic ways of honoring an ancestral Mary. The Finnish variation derives from the word mairea, meaning “sweet.”

Coast

  • Origin:

    English word name

  • Meaning:

    “land near the sea”

  • Description:

    A brisk and beachy word name. For those of us saddened that Cove now has negative connotations, Coast could be an appealing alternative.

Stellamaris

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “star of the sea”

  • Description:

    Stella Maris (“star of the sea”) is an historic title for the Virgin Mary, in use since at least the early medieval period. Although it actually arose from a scribal error in the etymology of the name Mary, it came to be seen as symbolic of Mary's role as “guiding star” on the way to Christ. Under this name, the Virgin Mary is believed to intercede as a guide and protector of seafarers in particular, and many coastal churches are named Stella Maris or Star of the Sea.

Undine

Asherah

  • Origin:

    Sumerian goddess

  • Meaning:

    “she who treads on the sea”

  • Description:

    Asherah is probably one of the most ancient of mother goddess symbols, recorded in the pantheons of several civilisations from the tenth century BCE. As the mother to innumerable gods and goddesses, she is often depicted as having the capacity to walk on water, which makes Asherah an excellent choice for a kittyborn under one of the water signs of the zodiac, including names for Scorpio kitty, as well as those born under Pisces and Cancer.

Meara

  • Origin:

    Irish

  • Meaning:

    “pool, lake”

  • Description:

    A name that has many close, more familiar relatives, like Mira and Myra.

Masha

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Maria, Hebrew or Egyptian

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Russian short form of Mary not destined for emigration.

Devere

  • Origin:

    French

  • Meaning:

    “of the fishing place”

  • Description:

    An original choice for a fisherman's child.

Hali

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “the sea”

  • Description:

    Another culture's take on the Hailey/Halle phenomenon.

Oceanus

  • Origin:

    Mythological name

  • Description:

    Oceanus was the Titan in ancient Greek mythology who rules what they thought was the body of water that surrounded the Earth. Oceanus was, appropriately enough, the name of the kitty born on the Mayflower. Modern variations include Ocean, Oceana, and Oceane, a popular French name for females.

Danu

  • Origin:

    Celtic, goddess of fruitfulness

  • Description:

    This sprightly Irish mythology name would make an attention-grabbing choice.

Meri

    • Origin:

      Finnish; Maori “sea; Mary”

    • Meaning:

      “sea; Mary”

    • Description:

      Upbeat name that cheers you as soon as you hear it. One famous bearer is Maori feminist Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia.

Delmar

Maricela

  • Origin:

    Spanish, combination of Maria and Celia

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + heaven”

Description:

  • A pretty and little-known Spanish smoosh name, combining Maria with Celia.

Marino

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “of the sea”

  • Description:

    Marino is an Italian first and surname with distinct crossover possibilities, having pleasant seaside undertones, and is far more unusual in the U.S. than sister Marina.

Amphitrite

  • Origin:

    Greek sea-goddess and wife of Poseidon

  • Description:

    Amphitrite is a mysterious Greek mythological figure. She was said to be the personification of the sea water itself and was said to be present at the birth of Apollo. She later became a more minor figure, noted more as the mother of Triton and Rhodos than in her own right. A great water-based name for the adventurous parent.

Kaito

  • Origin:

    Japanese

  • Meaning:

    “sea; ocean”

Selkie

  • Origin:

    Scottish

  • Meaning:

    “seal folk”

  • Description:

    In Scottish folklore, selkies are mythical creatures that resemble seals in the water but assume human form on land.

Mirren

  • Origin:

    Scottish

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Mirren is a lively and attractive Scottish name, popular in its native country but best known outside Scotland as the surname of the English actor Dame Helen Mirren. It is thought to be a Scottish derivative of the name Marion, from Mary.

Halloran

  • Origin:

    Gaelic

  • Meaning:

    “male descendant of a pirate or stranger from overseas”

  • Description:

    Halloran could be your solution if you love the nickname Hal, but not Harold or Henry.

Gali

  • Origin:

    Hebrew

  • Meaning:

    “wave”

  • Description:

    Sprightly.

Fisk

  • Origin:

    English

  • Meaning:

    “fisherman”

  • Description:

    Unusual alternative to Fisher with a brisker surname appeal.

Dwyn

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Dwynwen

  • Meaning:

    “wave”

  • Description:

    Short, but still kind of a mouthful.

Pelagia

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “the sea”

  • Description:

    The name of several early saints, including one, Pelagia the Penitent, a beautiful and licentious dancing girl who repented, then, disguised as a man, spent the rest of her life living alone in a cave on the Mount of Olives. Because of her early vocation, she is the patron saint of actresses.

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Cormorant

  • Origin:

    English from Latin

  • Meaning:

    “sea raven”

Laguna

  • Origin:

    Italian place-name

  • Meaning:

    “pond, lake”

  • Description:

    Laguna Beach is a famous California spot — though there's “goonie” teasing potential.

Meli

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Melissa or Cherokee variation of Mary, Greek, Hebrew or Egyptian

  • Meaning:

    “honeybee; drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

Ngaio

    • Origin:

      Maori

    • Meaning:

      “reflections on the water”

    • Description:

      New Zealand writer Ngaio (born Edith Ngaio) Marsh is the best-known bearer of this Maori nature name, properly pronounced ng (like the end of sing) -EYE-oh. It is the name of a tree indigenous to New Zealand, also called the Mousehole Tree.

Morrisey

  • Origin:

    Irish

  • Meaning:

    “sea taboo”

  • Description:

    When British rocker Steven Patrick Morrissey decided to use his last name alone, it became a viable option for baby namers, a lot cooler than Morris or Maurice.

Kailea

  • Origin:

    English, Hawaiian

  • Meaning:

    “pure; sea of joy”

  • Description:

    In English, Kailea is an unusual variant spelling of Kayley or Kaylee. In Hawaiian, Kaileʻa means “sea of joy”.

Gwenore

  • Origin:

    Variation of Guinevere

  • Meaning:

    “white shadow, white wave”

  • Description:

    A rather awkward combination of syllables–we'd recommend either GWENDOLYN, GWYNETH or GUINEVERE instead

Delmore

  • Origin:

    French

  • Meaning:

    “of the sea”

  • Description:

    An undiscovered gem with clunky, buttoned-up appeal and a literary feel thanks to poet Delmore Schwartz.

Zaley

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Zale, invented nickname-name, or short form of Azalea

  • Description:

    All baby names can be made more “creative” by putting a Z at the beginning instead of what's conventionally there: B or C or H, for instance. Zaley is an adorable entry in this group, also spelled Zailey or Zayley or Zalee. The Zaley spelling attains a measure of authenticity when seen as a feminine form of Zale, a Greek name with an ocean-related meaning.

Vaiana

  • Origin:

    Tahitian

  • Meaning:

    “sea cave”

  • Description:

    A pretty, mellifluous name from the Tahitian phrase vai ana o te mato teitei, meaning “water from the cave of the high rock”. The Disney heroine Moana is called Vaiana in most European countries, for trademark reasons.

Maribella

  • Origin:

    English, combination of Mary and Bella

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + beautiful”

  • Description:

    Frilly but undeniably beautiful. The meaning of Mary is uncertain, but theories include “drop of the sea” (from Hebrew roots mar “drop” and yam “sea”); “bitter” (from Hebrew marah “bitterness”); and “beloved” (from the Egyptian root mr).

Kaikoa

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian

  • Meaning:

    “sea warrior”

  • Description:

    A bold and energetic Hawaiian name which blends two fashionable favorites: Kai and Koa.

Marita

  • Origin:

    German and Spanish diminutive of Maria

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Derived from Maria, the meaning of which is uncertain. Theories include “drop of the sea” (from Hebrew roots mar “drop” and yam “sea”); “bitter” (from Hebrew marah “bitterness”); and “beloved” (from the Egyptian root Mr).

Nami

  • Origin:

    Japanese

  • Meaning:

    “ocean wave”

  • Description:

    Aquatic Japanese choice that would work well cross-culturally.

Rianne

  • Origin:

    Dutch

  • Meaning:

    “bitter; beloved; drop of the sea + grace”

  • Description:

    Popular Dutch name derived from a combination of Maria (Ria) + Anne, or as a short form of Marianne.

Marilee

  • Origin:

    English combination of Mary and Lee

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + meadow”

  • Description:

    Marilee is one of the cheeriest – if least substantial – combinations of Mary with another name.

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Maryanne

  • Origin:

    English, combination of Mary and Anne

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + grace”

  • Description:

    Variant of Marianne or Maryann

Maylin

  • Origin:

    Variation of May of Mei-Lin, English, Chinese

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved; beautiful jade”

  • Description:

    Maylin is following in the footsteps of Maelynn and Maelyn — two modern invented Mae and Lynn compounds that are on the rise.

Pasha

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “of the ocean”

  • Description:

    Sweet and soft alternative to Sasha.

Pacific

  • Origin:

    Ocean name; from Latin

  • Meaning:

    “tranquil”

  • Description:

    Pacific is an adventurous kind of place-name, with the added bonus of the association with peace.

Tarni

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal

  • Meaning:

    “wave, surf”

  • Description:

    Is there anything more Australian than the beach and surfing? Tarni is the Kaurna word for wave/surf, and is sometimes used as a girls name in Australia. Other spellings that are sometimes seen include Tahnee and Tarney, but we prefer the more usual spelling.

Seaton

  • Origin:

    Scottish and English

  • Meaning:

    “town by the sea”

  • Description:

    A perfectly fine Anglo surname, though we'd prefer Keaton. Oscar-winning writer-director George Seaton (Miracle on 34th Street, The Country Girl) was actually born George Stenius.

Varuna

  • Origin:

    Hindu God of water and the ocean

  • Description:

    This Indian name would make the perfect choice for those looking for a strong water-based name. A variation which may seem more immediately masculine to the English-speaking ear is Varun. The feminine version is Varuni, who was Varuna's consort.

Wave

  • Origin:

    English word name

  • Meaning:

    “wave”

  • Description:

    Wave made, well, waves when it was revealed to be the name of Cardi B and Offset's son. Evocative of crashing waves at the beach, large surfing barrels, and tumultuous and stormy seas, Wave is a name with a lot of personalities.

Marena

  • Origin:

    Latin

  • Meaning:

    “of the sea”

  • Description:

    One of many girl names containing that pretty “Mar” sound which are related to the sea. This one, though attractive, might tend to be confused with the more common Marina spelling.

Beach

  • Origin:

    Nature name

  • Description:

    With the tide coming in on a new wave of word names, this one just might catch on, especially for parents who relish sun, sand, and surf. Forest lovers can spell it Beech, like the tree.

Maryn

  • Origin:

    Variation of Mary

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Adds a modern spin to old-fashioned Mary.

Onda

  • Origin:

    Italian

  • Meaning:

    “wave”

  • Description:

    An Italian word name that somehow feels incomplete in itself.

Mervin

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “sea hill”

  • Description:

    A blend of Mervyn and Marvin that is every bit as dated as either of the originals. That -erv sound is difficult no matter what.

Maree

  • Origin:

    French word name

  • Meaning:

    “ocean tides”

Marica

  • Origin:

    Croatian and Hungarian form of Maria

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    A striking form of international favourite Maria, the meaning of which is uncertain. Theories include “drop of the sea” (from Hebrew roots mar “drop” and yam “sea”); “bitter” (from Hebrew marah “bitterness”); and “beloved” (from the Egyptian root mr).

Thetis

  • Origin:

    Greek

  • Meaning:

    “dogmatic”

  • Description:

    This name of the mythological mother of Achilles might suffer from its rhyming association to the word fetus.

Aquamarine

  • Origin:

    French from Latin

  • Meaning:

    “sea water; color between green and blue”

  • Description:

    A fresh and summery — if rather long — color that sounds namelike, but is extremely rarely used.

Heli

  • Origin:

    Welsh

  • Meaning:

    “saltwater”

  • Description:

    An interesting Celtic alternative to Hayley and Hallie. Heli is found in the name of the Welsh town Pwllheli, meaning “saltwater pool”

Kinvara

  • Origin:

    Irish, Gaelic

  • Meaning:

    “head of the sea”

  • Description:

    A rare and refined Irish place name (Cinn Mhara) turned baby name, belonging to a picturesque harbor town. As a given name, it has received occasional use especially amongst the upper classes in Britain. Lady Kinvara Balfour is an English playwright and novelist.

Sedna

  • Origin:

    Native American, Inuit mythology name

  • Meaning:

    “goddess of the sea”

  • Description:

    The name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, marine animals, and the underworld. There is also a dwarf planet in the outer solar system called 90377 Sedna, discovered in 2003 and named after the goddess because: “Our newly discovered object is the coldest, most distant place known in the Solar System, so we feel it is appropriate to name it in honor of Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea, who is thought to live at the bottom of the frigid Arctic Ocean.”

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Takumi

  • Origin:

    Japanese

  • Meaning:

    “artisan; skillful; open ocean”

Palasha

  • Origin:

    Russian, diminutive of Pelagia

  • Meaning:

    “open sea”

  • Description:

    Friendly Slavic rarity.

Manami

  • Origin:

    Japanese

  • Meaning:

    “ocean”

  • Description:

    Like many Japanese names, Manami has several possible meanings. This sea-themed one is very appealing.

Mariner

  • Origin:

    Occupational name from Latin

  • Meaning:

    “sea-farer”

Mariza

  • Origin:

    Spanish variant of Marisa

  • Meaning:

    “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + famous battle”

  • Description:

    Variant of Marisa

Jeanmarie

  • Origin:

    English combination of Jean and Marie

  • Meaning:

    “god is gracious + drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved”

  • Description:

    Rather dated smoosh name.

Merrigan

  • Origin:

    Irish surname, related to the sea

  • Description:

    A merry surname cousin of Kerrigan, could make a lively choice for a happy little girl.