Naming your baby is one of the most important decisions you will make as a new parent. You may consider choosing a name that is popular, or you may want to go for something unique. Perhaps you have a particular idea in mind for a name that holds a special meaning. For instance, if you are someone who truly loves the ocean or is drawn to lakes or rivers, you may consider choosing a baby name that means water.
Water is arguably the most important substance on Earth. It sustains life, provides for all living things, and covers more than two-thirds of the planet’s surface. As such, it would be fair to say that water has a strong influence on our lives. Our health depends on it; we drink it every day; we use it in many aspects of our daily routines–from brushing teeth to cooking dinner.
So, what does it mean? The word water has been around for centuries and derives from Old English, as well as from other Germanic languages. In fact, many words in modern English have their roots in one or more forms of this word.
Water is pure and sacred. It is mentioned several times in the Bible, with allusions to spiritual concepts. Water is also powerful and strong, something that may cause destruction if not handled or treated properly. Water is patient and unyielding. Water is connected to feelings of love and compassion. If you are the parent of a water name, these are all things their name may convey.
How To Name Your Child After Water
There are many ways to give your child a water name. First of all, you can name your child after a body of water. Names like Ocean, River, Brook, Creek, Lake and Pond are all considerations.
Another option is to name your child after water-related natural occurrences. Rain, Storm, Spring, Tempest, and Gale are great names for boys or girls.
People often choose names that honor specific water bodies such as Jordan, Hudson, Pacific, and Caspian.
And we can’t forget that there are many amazing names that mean “water” in languages other than English.
If your preference is to name your child after water, read on to find your perfect baby name and study its meaning so you can make an informed choice.
Boys Names That Mean Water
This Scandinavian name of Finnish origin means “wave.” It is famous as the last name of a Finnish designer and architect. Not common in the US, it would be a very distinctive choice.
This name means “sea” or “water” and is of Latin origin. It’s a shortened version of Adrianus.
This biblical name equates to “water spring.” It is derived from the Gospel of John and is inspired by his baptism after meeting Jesus. In the Middle East, it is used to name sources of water.
This Welsh name is inspired by the Afon Alun river in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. While not well known in the US, followers of rugby may recognize it due to the famous player, Alun Wyn Jones.
This interesting name is from the English for “dweller at the rabbit lake.” It would be perfect for a family who loves water AND bunnies!
In Italy, Arno is a river that flows from the Ligurian Sea into the mainland. It translates to “flowing water.”
This German name means “the dweller near the brook.” With its connotations to Johann Sebastian Bach, it would be perfect in a musical family.
If you want a unique name, you can’t get much better than Barbeau. From Germany to France, it means “fisherman.” It’s commonly used as a surname and derives from the word “barbel,” a type of fish.
This name simply means “water,” but it is used in many cultures, tracing its roots back to German, Tibetan and even Aboriginal origins. It is also famous for Saint Bardo, a bishop in 11th century Germany.
This name has an English origin meaning “one living beside a small stream.” It was originally a boy’s name, but it’s become quite popular for girls, too. You may recognizy it by the added ‘y’ at the end – Becky.
Pronounced similarly to Bernie, this is another name of English origin. It means “island with the brook.” It has variations in spelling, such as Burney or Berney. But don’t be tempted to change it to Bernie – that changes the meaning entirely! Bernie means “brave as a bear.”
More traditionally used as an English surname, this name is obviously means, “black well” or “black stream.” This name has a darker undertone, so it’s a fun choice for a family with a love of the dark side.
Bourne is of English origin and means “one who lives near a stream.” While it sounds basic, who can forget the heroic book and movie protagonist Jason Bourne who made the name super popular not long ago?
This name descends from “broad ford” in old English, describing a wide river with shallow water. It’s a city in England as well as in the US states of Pennsylvania and Illinois.
This is a rare name that isn’t too outlandish. It is Slavic in origin and means “person dwelling near a stream.” Grab it for your son before it is discovered for the gem it really is.
Brooks means “of the brook” and comes from England. It is the masculine version of Brook and Brooklyn.
This Irish name means “dweller near the Brosna River.” While Brosnan is the standard spelling, it’s often times spelled as Brosnahan, O’Brosnan, Brosnochain or Bresnahan. Whew!
This cool name means “rocky water.” It is English in origin and has become quite a popular name in the last ten years.
Latin in origin, this name means “pleasant stream.” Two great actors have both held the name – Cary Grant and Cary Elwes. You can’t get a better recommendation than that!
Caspian is the name of the salty sea located between Asia and Europe. You may also recognize it from the childrens’ book series “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
This is a Scottish name, honoring the river Clyde which runs through Glasgow. It has a vintage feel to it, but it’s rising in popularity in the US.
This is growing in popularity as a boy’s name lately, and it’s definitely a fun water name. A cove is a coastal inlet or small bay.
Douglas is another Scottish boy’s name. It means “black water.” It was initially a Celtic river name, relating to a powerful Scottish clan.
Eaton is of English origin and means “riverside.” It is close to the more famous name, Ethan.
Fisher, as one would expect, means “fisherman.” It is more popular as a surname.
Ford is English in origin and means “dweller at the ford.” Some famous celebs have named their children Ford, including Owen Wilson. The name can also be an abbreviation for Clifford.
This is a boy’s name, originating from England. Holm, by itself, means “islet in the river or near the mainland.”
Of course, most people have heard of the famous Sherlock Holmes, so how cool would it be to name your child after him?
Hudson is of English origin and means “Hugh’s son.” While the name origin has nothing to do with water, there’s a famous river in New York called the Hudson, and many choose to name their children for it. In fact, in 2018, it ranked number 54 for boys names in the US!
Hurley is an Irish name that means “sea tide.” It’s more well known as a surname, but if you want to be bold, you could definitely do worse!
Irving means “green river” and “sea friend,” and it originates in Scotland.
This commanding name has roots in both Japan and Africa. It means “god of the water.” Definitely a powerful name for your son.
A masculine alternative to Shelby, this English name means “dweller at the farm by the stream.” Perhaps a name for a farmer’s son?
This Scottish name is the Gaelic word for “lake.” It is also the diminutive of Lachlan. It’s not the most popular name these days, but it’s still a pretty cool thing to name your child.
This is a common name in the Middle East, but for our purposes, we are looking at the Greenland version which means “wave.”
If you’re familiar with your Bible, you’ll know that Moses originates in Egypt and means “delivered from the water.” It is widely popular all over the world and has water storied associated with it for many reasons. Not only was Moses found floating on a basket in the river Nile, but he was also said to have parted the Red Sea. That’s a heck of an awesome water name for a baby.
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Another amazing Egyptian name is Nen, which means “ancient waters.” It is associated with the Nile.
Believed to be of English origin, Orwell means “river branch.” It was made famous by the great novelist Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name – George Orwell!
Spanish for “river,” this name has a sporty sounding vibe thanks to famous names like Rio Ferdinand, a pro soccer star who played for Manchester United.
Struan is a Scottish name that means “stream.”
This is a pretty hefty name for a boy, but why not be the first to make it popular? It comes from the Latin for “of the Tiber,” referring of course to the famous river. It’s also the middle name of Captain Kirk!
This trendy name straddles the line between old school and stylish modern. It has English origins and means “by the river crossing.” It’s a perfect water name for your baby boy.
Girls Names That Mean Water
This name comes from Japanese and Basque cultures and has many meanings, one of which is “night rain.” It’s a gorgeous name for a little girl.
Little girls who grew up in the 80s and 90s might be familiar with the Ann of Green Gables books and TV shows, and as such might already know the name of Avonlea. The name means “river by the field,” and it’s a lovely name that has all the markings of today’s popular girl’s names, such as Ava and -lee endings.
Our first Portuguese name, this one is pretty straightforward in its meaning. It means “bay.” Consider it as a cool alternative to Maya.
Of course a bay is a “recessed coastal line.” It has been gaining popularity as a middle name, but who’s to say it couldn’t be an awesome first name?
This name means “dweller of the beaver stream,” which is pretty particular. The name meaning might not be all that enchanting, but there are many famous Beverlys that do the name justice.
Brooke is another name with English heritage. It means “small stream.” Famous women such as Brooke Shields give the name a stylish history so it would be perfect for a hint of sophistication.
A cascade is a waterfall or “water falling downward.” It has a mystical feel to it, making it a great name for the more laid back, boho kind of parents. It’s starting to rise in popularity, but it hasn’t quite broken through yet.
This poetic sounding name has Thai roots and means “moon water.” It’s a more unique name that would work well for a baby girl growing up in a strong household with good female role models.
Cherith is a Hebrew name that means “winter stream.” It’s a name you may recognize from the Bible. It’s the stream that kept Elijah alive!
Cordelia has ties to Celtic cultures where it means “daughter of the sea.” It’s an old name but quite popular today.
A delta is a piece of flat land that divides a river. It is a rarer name these days, but it has a strong feel to it.
Pronounced Derr-ee-ah, this is a Turkish name meaning “sea.” It would make a great alternative to Daria.
While this is definitely an old-fashioned name associated with the 1920s, it’s actually a name from Greek mythology. Doris was the name of Oceanus’ daughter. The name means “gift of the ocean.” How beautiful!
This simple Welsh name means “wave.” It’s short but memorable and evokes a sense of strength.
This sounds a little like ‘air,’ but it means “gravel riverbank.” It traces its roots back to England from Norse settlers who brought it there.
This name draws has its roots in the ancient Norse word for fjord. It origin, however is Scottish, and it means “arm of the sea.”
Another name meaning “wave,” this one comes from Israel. The most famous Gal is actress Gal Gadot, who played Wonder Woman.
In Italian, this name can mean “white wave.” It’s an alternative to the more popular Jennifer. For eagle-eyed readers, you’ll note that it’s also the full name of Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise.
This super popular name is simple in its definition. It means “great river.”
Like Ginevra, Jennifer means “white wave.” It has always been a HUGELY popular name, though today is has dropped in relevance due to modern parents wanting more unique names. Jenna has been one alternative that has gained relevance.
This is a Hawaiian name with a strong meaning of “power of the ocean.” It is a gorgeous name ripe for any baby girl.
An uncommon name in the US, it has Scandinavian roots. It means “river” or “stream.”
This is a very well-known name thanks to the popularity of a certain Kardashian family member. It has English origins and means “valley of the River Kent.”
This mythical sounding name actually has Italian roots. It means “pond” or “lake.”
This rare name is more of a phonetic spelling of its Scottish pronunciation – “lake land.” It’s a male name, though actor Vince Vaughn named his daughter this, so it may be considered unisex.
Pronounced Low-ahr, Loire is a French river and region. It’s famously lush and full of dense greenery. It means “river.”
Lynn is of Welsh origin and means “lake.” It is sometimes known as a boy’s name, but is almost overwhelmingly used for girls.
A Latin name meaning “sea,” this is a modern version of Mary. It has variable pronunciation depending on whether or not it’s spelled with an e or an i. The more classic ‘i’ spelling gives is an emphasis on the second syllable – Mah-reen. While the ‘e’ spelling has the emphasis on the first syllable – Mair-in.
This beautiful name is from the Latin word for “from the sea.” It was very popular in the mid-90s, and is still in use today.
Maya has many different origins. In Hebrew, Greek and Spanish, it means “water.” It has other variants, as well, with a common one being ‘Maia.’
Another name meaning “water,” this one comes from Hebrew. It’s not a popular name, though most 90s kids will be familiar with the actress Mayim Bialik, who played Blossom as well as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory.
This Latin name has many meanings, one of which is “ocean.” (It can also mean “female ruler,” which can only be good for a daughter, right?) This is a popular name worldwide, and it is especially prevalent in Spanish speaking countries.
This famous Disney character should give you an indication of its meaning and origin. It’s a Polynesian and Maori name that means “sea.” It is very common in New Zealand. Just be sure not to use the nickname ‘Moa,’ as that ironically means “chicken.”
This ancient Cornish name is now being revived in Wales. It means “waves of the sea.”
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This Arabic name means “drink of water.” It isn’t that popular in the US, though it is very unique.
This Australian name is pronounced Nuh-relle and is named for the river running through New South Wales. It means “little river.”
If you’re familiar with the legend of King Arthur, you may recognize Nimue as the Lady of the Lake, the ruler of Avalon. She is the one who gave Arthur his famous sword, Excalibur. She also enchanted Merlin and raised Lancelot after the death of his father. That’s a heck of a name to live up to!
If Nicki is too boring for you, consider this German name meaning “water nymph.” Nixie was a mermaid-like sprite from German folklore. Just make sure it’s a water birth!
Ondine is a Latin name that means “little wave.” It’s sometimes spelled ‘Undine,” and it is a mythological spirit of the water.
While most people know of Sabrina as a teenage witch and thus think the name must have some magical origin, the truth is that it comes from Celtic heritage and is the Latin name of the River Severn. There’s nothing especially exciting about that! However, it is a beautiful name anyway, and it’s a great alternative to the more popular Samantha.
A diminutive of Natalia, this Hebrew name means “dew from heaven.” It gets far too little use and is definitely due for more people to start using it.
This name stems from both Native American and Irish roots and means “leaping water.” It’s actually made quite a comeback recently and has become a favorite of hipsters.
This is a favorite girl’s name in Australia, where it means “wave” or “surf.” It has some alternative spellings including Tarney and Tahney, but Tarni is the preferred version.
A traditional English surname, the most famous example being actor Kate Winslet, this name has started to become used as a first name. It means “Wynn’s stream.” Pretty neat!
There is a Slavic myth about an exotic water priestess who was the protector of warriors. Her name? You guessed it – Zarya!
Gender Neutral Baby Names That Mean Water
This adorable girls name has a Scottish origin and means “a river near oaks.” Traditionally a boys name, it wasn’t until the 1980s that it started being used for girls, as well.
Not solely a water name, Beckett can mean “beehive” or “little brook.” It is English in origin and generally means “homestead by a stream.”
Originally a boy’s name, it’s now one of the most popular B names for girls. Brooklyn is an English name meaning “water.” It’s also a borough of New York.
Carlow is an Irish name which means “four part lake.” It is also a county in Ireland.
Deniz is Turkish in origin, and it means “waves” or “sea.” It is a variant of Dennis but with a bit of flair.
A harbor is a place for ships and boats to rest. It is a safe haven. This name is known for being unisex, though it is gaining popularity in baby girls.
This Hindu and Sanskrit name means “possessing raindrops.” In the Hindu religion, Indra is the god of rain and sky. It’s always been a popular boy’s name, but in the US, it’s more popular for girls.
In Hebrew, this name means “flowing down.” It is the name of the holy river where John the Baptist baptized Christ. It is also a symbol of peace in Jewish culture after the freed people went from Egypt to the Promised Land.
It is definitely a unisex name, though many times parents choose to spell it Jordyn for girls.
Kai is pronounced Kye, and is Hawaiian. It means “sea.” It’s important to understand, however, that this name has other origins around the world where the name has different meanings. In Japan it means “forgiveness,” and in Europe, it means “warrior.”
This Scottish name was always known for boy’s, but today it is definitely more gender neutral. It is best known as a Scottish city, as well as a river running through New Zealand. It means “broad river.”
This name means “spring of water” in Hebrew. It’s sometimes confused for Maya in the US. In Israel, it is a very popular name for both girls and boys.
Maxwell is a Scottish name meaning “great stream.” While traditionally a boy’s name, it’s started becoming more mainstream as girl’s name.
Another Scottish name, this one is simply “mouth of the Roe river.” It is probably most famously associated with Marilyn Monroe, but it was also the name of our 5th US president. Currently it works as a name for either sex, and it is gaining popularity!
Rafferty is an Irish name that has multiple meanings, including “floodtide.” It also means “abundance” and “prosperity.” Who wouldn’t wish that for their child?
Rain has an obvious meaning, and it is a lovely name to give a baby. Rain washes away our sins. It erases our past and gives us a second chance. Rain is joyful and pure. Sounds like a new baby to me!
Similar to Ryan, this Arabic name means “land that’s lush and rich in water.” It is very popular in the Middle East and north Africa. It’s a cool take on a more popular name.
While Americans may be familiar with this name as a gun manufacturer, its English origin actual means “place on a riverbank.” Nicknames include Rem or Remy. This name might be perfect for the family who loves to hunt.
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.