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If you’ve ever uttered the phrase, “The sea is calling and I must go,” you probably deem yourself something of a mermaid. The salty air. The refreshingly cool water. Everything about the beach and the ocean appeals to you… feels like home. You have a nautical heart. If your love for the ocean is rivaled only by the love you have for your family, we feel you. Now that you have a little beach baby on the way, you might be looking for a way to solidify their bond with the ocean, as well as illustrate yours.
It’s important to remember that mermaids have a complicated reputation. On one hand, they are beautiful and majestic creatures that traverse the oceans. They are considered extremely lucky, especially in countries like Trinidad and Tobago. Within this culture, they are known to grant wishes and make people smarter, richer, or more powerful. However, in British stories, mermaids have an opposite history. They are seen as mischievous and are usually signs of a bad omen. They are either the foreshadowing of a disaster or the cause of it. They are known to lead men to their doom with their beauty. The fact of the matter is, “mermaid” means different things to different cultures. But, trust, none of that takes away from their magic or mystery.
If you’re looking for a mermaid baby name, you’re in luck: There are a ton. It’s not that there are a bunch of named mermaids in the world. (Beyond Ariel and her sisters, we only knew a few more.) In Hans Christen Andersen’s original story, The Little Mermaid, the young mermaid didn’t even have a name. Imagine if Disney felt the same? Yikes. However, in the Disney adaptation, a lot of thought was put into the names of the characters, including Ariel’s sisters. Atina was inspired by an Alan Menken musical called Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy. Alan was the composer behind the Disney classics Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl. Ariel’s sister Alana’s name comes from Alan’s, and Andrina was named after director Ron Clements’ aerobics instructor. Even that pesky shark that tried to eat Ariel and Flounder had a name (even though it was never mentioned in the film). His name was Gut.
There are, however, a million words and names for water. There are gods, goddesses, and spirits of the ocean in nearly every culture. And, if all else fails, there are “beach-y” names like Capri or Malibu. Whatever way you steer your little merbaby’s name, you’ll have plenty of options.
The ocean is freaking huge and so is the range of names you can give your kid that fall under this umbrella. These mystical sea creatures are one of the most beautiful (and frightening…depending on who you read) mysteries of the world. And whether you’re five or 55, they’re just one of those things that cross your mind from time to time. If you love swimming, you’ve probably mulled over the idea of growing fins, a tail, and finding the Lost City of Atlantis. And although you haven’t (yet), that doesn’t mean you can’t live out your fishy fantasies through your kids (what else are children for?) Even if mermaids aren’t your thing, but the ocean has always called your name, you can give your child an aquatic name that is just as enchanting.
Of course, we have our favorites. Amatheia is a Greek sea nymph known for caring for fish. How sweet is that? Kai is used for both boys and girls and simply means “ocean” in Hawaiian. We’re also partial to Sedna, which is the Inuit goddess of the sea. Of course, the Maori name meaning “wide expanse of water” has also become fantastically popular. That name? Moana. As you can see, the options are as deep and wide as the ocean.
Below you can find a healthy sampling. Which ones do you like best?
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