Whether it’s your first or your fifth baby, coming up with a name for your newborn can be overwhelming. You might have parents who are pushing for a family name that you hate or friends who have vetoed the name you chose for your little one. If you’re stumped on what to name your child, why not grab some inspiration from your passport? That’s right, baby names inspired by countries are cool, classic, and can be a great way to commemorate your heritage — and love for travel.
Think about all the places you’ve gone (and all those frequent flier miles you’ve racked up). Maybe your trip to the Maldives was so memorable that you’d like to name your baby after the nation situated in the north-central Indian Ocean. Or you might have been so enchanted by Egypt that you want to savor your experience by calling your kid the name of the country that is the home to those amazing pyramids. And choosing a name that symbolizes where you were born can be a beautiful tribute that honors your heritage and just might make you feel some serious wanderlust.
When it comes to baby names inspired by countries, one thing is certain: your child will always have a cool story to tell about how their name came to be.
Why call your kid the name of a country when you can select a whole continent? Africa, the world’s second largest continent (coming in after Asia) is a beautiful name for your baby. It can pay homage to your roots and is recognized as the cradle of civilization itself.
Sure, The United States of America might be a mouthful if you’re planning to name your child after the good ol’ U.S. of A., but the shortened version — America — can be just as symbolic. America is the country comprised of 50 states and covers the majority of North America, with Canada and Mexico also calling the land home, too.
Known as the Argentine Republic, Argentina is the second largest country in South America after Brazil. The Spanish-speaking country is known for soccer (it’s the birthplace of Lionel Messi, after all), tango, and all things mate, an herbal drink. Argentina is a sweet name for your child, since it means “silver”. It can even have a cute nickname like Tina, too.
If the lyrics, “Aruba, Jamaica, oh I wanna take ya,” come to mind when you think of Aruba, you’re not alone. But the Beach Boys’ hit song “Kokomo” aside, Aruba is an awesome name for your baby. Located in the south of the Caribbean Sea, Aruba is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water. And with the nickname Ruby, it’s hard not to fall in love with this country-inspired baby name.
When you’re looking for some baby names inspired by countries, you can’t get better (or bigger) than Asia. As the largest continent on Earth, Asia covers 9% of the planet’s total surface area. There are a staggering 48 countries in Asia (including China, India, and Pakistan, for example), each with its own richness and cultural diversity. As a baby name, though, Asia is amazing, since it means “resurrection” in Greek. The name is gender-neutral, too.
Chad can be a pretty common baby name for boys, but did you know that it’s also a country, too? Chad is a country in north-central Africa, known for its somewhat desert-like landscape. The name is popular among Brits, since it’s an Old English name that derives from the name Ceadda, which means “protector” or “defender.”
Known for the Nile River Valley, pyramids and Great Sphinx, Egypt is a popular destination for travelers. The country, which links northeast Africa with the Middle East, has a very rich history, which is why you might want to choose it as a baby name. It’s a gender-neutral name and comes from the Greek word “aigyptos.” It’s become more popular in recent years, making the top 1000 names for babies.
Known as the Republic of Ghana, Ghana is a country in West Africa. It’s located on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and compared to other countries on the continent, it’s smaller in size. But that shouldn’t stop you from going forward with Ghana as a baby name. It is thought to mean “Warrior King,” which derives from the Soninke people used the word “Ghana” to refer to the king.
Situated on the eastern coast of Central America, Belize was once known as British Honduras. It is the home to many Mayan ruins and has lush, wild jungles. It has a few origins, from the Mayan phrase “bel itza” meaning, “the road to Itza” to the also Mayan word “Balix,” which means “muddy waters.” Belize has some sweet nicknames, like Bella, Lizzy, Ellie, and more.
India is a country in South Asia. Known as the seventh largest country on the continent of Asia, it is also the most populous country in the world. Its capital is New Delhi and, of course, is home to the Taj Mahal, which is known as one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. India is a popular baby name which can be gender-neutral but is still thought of as a girl’s name. It takes its meaning from the Indus River, which runs through both South and Central Asia.
If you want to celebrate your Irish heritage, there’s no better name than Ireland. Known affectionately as The Emerald Isle, the Republic of Ireland is off the coast of England and Wales. Ireland is popular among baby names inspired by countries, (actress Kim Basinger and then-husband Alec Baldwin named their child Ireland, for example) and can be the perfect name for your wee baby.
China is one of those baby names inspired by countries that has been around for a while. Naturally, the name is inspired by the People’s Republic of China, a country in East Asia with a population of 1.4 billion people. Typically a girl’s name, China means “filled with affection,” a lovely way to express the love you have for your child.
Sure, it might be the name of a southern U.S. state, but Georgia is also the name of one of the former Soviet republics. The country shares borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey. But as far as baby names go, Georgia is the feminine form of George and has Greek roots. It means, “farmer” or “earth worker.”
An island in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is known worldwide as a tropical paradise. The birthplace of Bob Marley and reggae music, the country boasts British colonial architecture and beautiful beaches. That’s why naming your child Jamaica is just right, whether you’ve visited the island, have Jamaican roots, or simply love the symbolism of the gender-neutral name, which is “land of wood and water.”
Cyprus is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The country has a rich history, thanks in part to its neighbors Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria. A gender-neutral name of English origin, the name has Biblical ties meaning “fair” or “fairness,” as well as “type of tree.”
Perhaps one of the most popular people with the name Cuba would be Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. Still Cuba could be a cute name for your kiddo. The island nation of Cuba also includes the Isla de la Juventud as well as other archipelagos. The name means what you might expect: “a person from Cuba.” So if your family originates from the island, or if you’re looking for a short name for your child, be sure to include Cuba on your baby names inspired by countries list.
A gender-neutral name, Jordan has been around since the beginning of time — literally. It’s of Hebrew origin and means “to flow down,” since it derives from the River Jordan where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. But as far as countries go, Jordan is an Arab nation that lies on the east bank of the Jordan River. It’s known for being the archaeological site of Petra, and also has ancient monuments and is officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Make no mistake. Mali might be a great baby name, but it’s also the name of the Republic of Mali, a country in West Africa. It’s a landlocked nation that is known for age-old architecture and trade networks. It’s also a girl’s name of Latin origin, meaning “industrious” or “jasmine flower.”
Okay, technically Salvador isn’t the official name of the country in Central America (El Salvador is), but if you want a Spanish name for your little sweetie, Salvador is so ideal. A boy’s name of Spanish origin, Salvador means “savior.”
Kenya is a country in East Africa. Complete with a varied landscape and wildlife preserves, Kenya borders Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The name Kenya is gender-neutral and while it has a decidedly African origin, it also derives from British and Russian roots, too. The name means “mountain of white,” as well as “animal horn” and “striped one.”
Derived from the Greek word for “honey,” Malta is an archipelago in the center of the Mediterranean. It’s thought that its meaning is tied to the island’s reputation for beekeeping and production of honey. It lies between Sicily and the North African coast and has many fortresses and scenic cliffs for nature lovers. Still, if you want a name that’s sweet for your little honey, Malta might be it.
Although its full name is Saint Lucia, no one will really care if you skip the Saint and head straight to the name Lucia. That said, Saint Lucia (pronounced Loo-shah), is an island nation home to fishing villages and volcanic beaches alike. If you want to grab some inspo from Saint Lucia for a baby name, Lucia (pronounced Loo-see-yah) can be quite cute. It means “light” and is the feminine form of Lucius.
Located in Western Asia, Oman (officially known as the Sultanate of Oman) lies on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Spanning the opening of the Persian Gulf, Oman is a country that sports jaw dropping scenery and terraced orchards, for example. Oman has a few origins and meanings, starting with the Arabic/Muslim boy’s name meaning “giver of life” or “friend.” It’s also thought to have Swedish origin as well, where it means “island” and “man.”
Sierra is also another shortened name that comes from a country — Sierra Leone, to be specific. The West African country is located on the Atlantic Ocean and has strong ties to the transatlantic slave trade, since thousands of west African captives departed from its ports. In 1787, Freetown, the capital, was founded as a home for slaves who returned to their country. As a name, Sierra means “saw,” “jagged,” or “mountain range” and has Spanish origin.
Morocco is a country situated in Northwestern Africa, with the distinction of having views of both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Rabat but is often more well known for its largest city, Casablanca. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon made a slight twist on the name Morocco by naming their son Moroccan, but as a gender-neutral name, Morocco means “The Western Kingdom.”
So if you’re looking to give your baby a worldly name, consider continents, countries, and other locations as part of your baby naming journey. It just might inspire some travel in the future for your family, too.