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Geographical Places as Names

Naming children after places really took off in the 1990s in the United States, mainly evidenced by the popularity of girl names Madison and Savannah. But before that, masculine place names like Austin and Jordan hit the tops of the charts starting in the 1980s. Fast forward to the 21st century, and parents have a more wide-ranging repertory of geographical places from which to choose. For some parents, just the sound of a specific place name is appealing, while for others they may have some sentimental association with a particular location. Just consider Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon who named their son Moroccan Scott in 2011 (after the Moroccan styled room where Nick proposed marriage to Mariah). David and Victoria Beckham named their first son Brooklyn after the NYC borough because, as Victoria was once quoted, “it’s [a] very multi-cultural, very grounded” place. Influencing the popularity of yet another place name were pop-musician/fashion icon Gwen Stafani and her musician husband Gavin Rossdale who named their son Kingston in 2006, apparently chosen in homage to father’s English heritage and mother’s love of Jamaican culture.

Place names are more multifaceted than first meets the eye. For instance, do you know that Ariel, Bethany, Shiloh and Sharon are actually place names from the Bible? Of course there’s also Israel, Judah and Zion which are places important to the Jewish people; not to mention the River Jordan where Christ was baptized has significant meaning for Christians. There are also the “ultimate” Biblical places like Eden and Heaven. In homage to various important places among the Hispanics and Latinos include Fatima, Guadalupe, Carmen, and Monserrat where the Virgin Mother is venerated.  Names such as Finn, Dane, Scott and Brett could be considered place names in homage to Finland, Denmark, Scotland and Brittany, respectively. Parents also like to use flat-out country names for their daughters such as America, India, Ireland and Kenya. The “tough” state of Texas is well represented for little boys as we see Austin, Dallas and Houston all on the masculine charts.

As with surnames-turned-first-names, many of the place names are considered unisex and readily bestowed on both males and females today.  Below is a list of geographical places currently in use for babies in the United States:

Geographical Places as Names – Boys Names

Geographical Places as Names – Girl Names

Geographical Places as Names – Unisex Names

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