Wednesday, May 11, 2016

10 Native American Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls


If you're someone who likes names with meanings to match, Native American names are right up your alley. All of their names have very intentional meanings that were (and sometimes still are) widely known throughout the tribes. There are thousands of wonderful Native American names from tribes all over the country, but I chose ten I think would work on girls of all cultures. As always, let me know your favorites (and names you wish I'd featured) in the comments.

Aylen- Aylen is a name from the Mapuche tribe that means "happiness." Even though she has ancient roots, Aylen features a contemporary sound that would fit in seamlessly with other children's names of today.

Citlali- Citlali is absolutely stunning. She means "star," and comes from Nahautl culture. Citlali had a brief run in the top 1000 from 2001-2006, peaking in 2005 at #915.

Galilahi- This Native American name may seem very similar to the faith-based names Galilea and Galilee, but they share no connection. Galilahi means "gentle and attractive" in Cherokee. Gala and Lila would make cute nicknames.

Lilakai- Lilakai is a name that I can see becoming embraced by people of all cultures, a la Leilani. The Navajo name feels upbeat and youthful--a quality coveted by my parents. Plus, with easy-access nicknames like Lily and Kai, Lilakai is hard to argue with.

Maiara- Maiara comes from the TupĂ­ tribe. Despite her Native American roots, she's most popular in Portugal. Maiara made it into their top 100 for the first time in 2014, coming in at #81. I'm not sure if she could become as equally popular in America, but I do believe Maiara could make it into the top 1000 one day if she got some publicity 

Miski- Miski means "honey" and "sweet" in the Quechua language. She has a old-school sound a la Misti and Missy, but Miski is still wearable for a 21st century baby.

Nayeli- Nayeli comes from the Zapotec tribe, where she means "I love you." She is most common  among Latino families, and has been at a relatively steady ranking around #400 for the past ten years. Nayeli peaked at #175 in 2001.

Siaska- Need an uncommon way to get to Sia? Take a look at Siaska. She is a name from the Ho-Chunk tribe, which is native to Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Uki- It's not often that I recommend a U name, so I was thrilled to find the charming and likable Uki. She's an Inuit name that means "survivor." She's pronounced the same was as the Japanese name Yuki, which could lead to some confusion.

Zyanya- Like Nayeli, Zyanya comes from the Zapotec tribe. She means "forever and always," which I'm sure many parents would find delightful.

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