There are 50 states in the U.S., and some make great baby names — and some of them definitely do not. Which states are prime for baby name lists, and which ones are better left off?
If you want to give your baby a name with deep personal meaning, try a state name on for size. Of course, this will depend on the state you have in mind (you probably don’t want to name your baby New Hampshire, for instance), but there are lots of options for state names, whether you use them as they’re written, or use them as a jumping-off point to a new baby name.
You might be inspired in a few different ways. Are you thinking about your home state, or where you enjoyed your honeymoon, or where your grandparents live? These and a ton of other thoughts are reason enough to consider a state name for your baby. This way, you’ll always be reminded of home or a special place every time you call your child by her name. It also makes for a great story when she asks why you chose that particular moniker!
Some of these state baby names can be (and often are) used as-is. Virginia and Georgia are two very classic baby names, and others lend themselves to a unique choice that will help your child stand out from the crowd. Still others, like Washington, fit right in with the modern trend of using last names for first names, and some feel like more of an option because they were featured in movies, such as Alabama from True Romance, and, of course, Indiana Jones.
Here are several names good for the taking, directly from the names of U.S. states:
Other states have names that can’t always be used as they’re written, but there is no reason you can’t use a name they directly inspire. Here are a few state names and alternative names that are similar enough that you’ll always make the connection, but that won’t feel like you’re naming your baby Rhode Island.
- Louisiana: Lou, Louise, Louis, Ana
- Maryland: Mary, Maria
- Minnesota: Minnie
- New Jersey: Jersey
- North/South Carolina: Carolina, Carol, Lena, Linnea
- North/South Dakota: Dakota, Kota, Coda
- Pennsylvania: Penny, Penn, Sylvanie
- Rhode Island: Rhodes, Rhoda
Choosing a U.S. state name for your baby is a welcome change from the top baby name lists. If this is where your baby naming adventure goes, let it take you along for the ride.
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