New York City is one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse cities in the world. It’s a melting pot of different cultures, languages, and traditions, which makes it a truly unique place. For parents who want to give their child a name that reflects this energy and resilience, there are plenty of options to choose from. From iconic landmarks to famous figures, New York City is rich with baby name possibilities.
In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of 25 New York City-inspired baby names that are perfect for parents who want to pay tribute to the Big Apple. Whether you’re a native New Yorker or love the city’s energy, these names are sure to capture the essence of what makes New York City so special. If you’re looking for a traditional name with a twist or something completely unique, keep reading for some baby name inspiration!
Brooklyn is a borough in New York City known for its diverse cultures, trendy neighborhoods, and vibrant arts scene. As the most populous of New York’s five boroughs, Brooklyn is home to millions of people from all walks of life. As a baby name, Brooklyn is wildly popular today for both boys and girls, but it is currently skewed toward girls. Brooklyn comes from Dutch and means “marshland.”
“The Big Apple” nickname for New York City dates back to the 1920s. The term was coined by horse racing journalists who used “apple” to describe the big prize money available at races in New York City. As a baby name, Apple is rather rare, but when it is used, it typically goes to baby girls.
York is a name that comes from English and means “from the yew clearing.” York has only charted as a top 1000 baby name, and that was all the way back in 1881 for boys. We think this name wears well on any baby and should be considered gender-neutral.
Chelsea is a neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. It’s known for its art galleries, trendy restaurants, and nightlife scene. The name also belongs to a neighborhood in London. Chelsea is technically a unisex option but has gone virtually unused for boys in the US.
The Bronx is a borough in New York City and is known for its rich cultural heritage and history. It’s the northernmost borough of the city and is home to Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Garden.
As a baby name, Bronx has yet to take off in the same way as Brooklyn, but there’s potential for it to become trendy.
The Statue of Liberty is a shining symbol of the promise of America. Liberty has only ever been popular for baby girls in the US, but we think it works for any baby. You get the cute nickname Libbie baked in if you use it for your daughter. Liberty is mildly popular today but it has slipped from its height in 2003.
Lincoln Square is a neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. It’s named after the iconic Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which sits at the heart of the neighborhood. The area is known for its cultural attractions, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Juilliard School.
Lincoln is such an attractive choice and, historically, one of the US’s most beloved names. Today, it’s a top 100 pick for boys. The name is of English origin, meaning “town by the pool.”
Jackson Heights is a neighborhood in Queens, New York, known for its multicultural community and diverse cuisine. The area has a rich history of immigration, and today it’s home to people from all over the world, including Latin America, South Asia, and the Middle East.
Jackson has seen its most popular years ever in recent decades. The name means “Jack’s son” and is of English origin.
Astoria is a vibrant neighborhood located in the borough of Queens in New York City. The area is known for its rich history and unique architecture, with many buildings dating back to the early 1900s. The neighborhood is also home to several parks, including Astoria Park, which offers stunning views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline.
Astoria has never been a popular choice in the US, but a handful of parents have started using it. Astoria is a name of English origin with an unclear meaning. Some experts think the name could mean “hawk.”
Madison Avenue is a bustling commercial street located in the heart of Manhattan in New York City. It’s known for its upscale boutiques, designer stores, and high-end restaurants. The avenue runs from Madison Square Park to the Upper East Side and is home to several iconic New York City landmarks, including the Flatiron Building and the Empire State Building.
Madison is a unisex name that has taken off for baby girls. Its rise began in the 1980s; today, it’s a top-50 pick. Madison comes from English and means “Matthew’s son.”
The Hudson River is a picturesque waterway that flows through the heart of New York City. It’s named after Henry Hudson, an English explorer who sailed up the river in 1609. The river runs for over 300 miles, from the Adirondack Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, and serves as an important transportation and shipping route for the region. In New York City, the Hudson River is a popular spot for outdoor recreation, with several parks and public spaces located along its banks.
Hudson is more popular today in the US than ever before, firmly ranking in the top 50. The name is of English origin and means ‘Hugh’s son.”
Penn Station is a major transportation hub located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It’s one of the busiest train stations in the country, serving commuters and travelers from across the region and around the world.
Penn has never been a popular given name in the US. It is of English origin and means “enclosure.” We think this one works perfectly for any baby.
Roosevelt Island is a small, narrow island in the East River between Manhattan and Queens in New York City. The island is named after Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, and is home to several residential buildings, parks, and cultural institutions. One of the most notable landmarks on Roosevelt Island is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, a memorial dedicated to the former president that offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
Roosevelt was once a popular given name for boys, but it fizzled out by the 1990s. Roosevelt is a name of Dutch origin, meaning “rose field.”
Another name inspired by a president, Kennedy, is a unisex option of Irish origin that means “misshapen head.” Despite its unsavory meaning, the name is one of the most popular for baby girls today.
John F. Kennedy International Airport, also known as JFK Airport, is one of the busiest airports in the United States and serves as a major gateway to New York City. Located in Queens, the airport is named after the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy.
Ellis Island is a small island located in New York Harbor, just off the southern tip of Manhattan Island. The island is famous for its historic role as the primary gateway for immigrants to the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, Ellis Island is home to a museum that tells the story of the millions of people who passed through the island on their way to building new lives in America.
Ellis is a unisex name of English and Welsh origin and means “benevolent.” The name is enjoying a renaissance today for both boys and girls.
Fort Tilden is a former United States Army installation located in the Rockaway Peninsula of Queens, New York City. The fort was built in 1917 and played an important role in the defense of New York Harbor during both World Wars. Today, Fort Tilden is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with miles of sandy beaches, hiking trails, and birdwatching opportunities.
Tilden is a rare name these days, but when it is used, it typically goes to boys. The name is of English origin and means “fertile valley.”
Castle Clinton National Monument is a historic fort located in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City. The fort was built in 1811 to defend New York Harbor from a potential British invasion during the War of 1812. After its military use ended in the mid-1800s, the building served as a popular entertainment venue, hosting concerts, lectures, and even a large aquarium. Today, Castle Clinton is a National Monument and a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a chance to explore its rich history through guided tours and exhibits.
Clinton is a name of English origin that means “town on a hilltop.” The name was very popular for baby boys until the political career of President Bill Clinton took off. As with most presidents, names often fall from fashion after they enter the White House.
The General Grant National Memorial, also known as Grant’s Tomb, is a mausoleum located in Riverside Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. The tomb was built in memory of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States and a Union Army general during the Civil War. The tomb is the largest tomb in North America and contains the sarcophagi of General and Mrs. Grant.
Grant comes from Scottish and French origins and means “large.” The name has been in the top 500 most popular names for boys since records began in 1880.
Marsha P. Johnson State Park, located in Brooklyn, New York City, is a tribute to Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender rights activist and a key figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. The park is situated along the East River and offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
Marsha is a diminutive form of Marcella that comes from Latin and means “warlike.” Marsha was once a huge hit for girls, but it fell from favor in the 1990s. Let’s keep this inspired option alive.
The Jackie Onassis Reservoir is a peaceful and picturesque body of water located in the heart of Central Park in New York City. The reservoir was named in honor of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who worked tirelessly to preserve the beauty and historical significance of the park.
As a given name, Jackie peaked in the 1960s for both girls and boys. It’s considered a nickname for Jacqueline and Jack. The name is English from Hebrew and means “supplanter.”
Washington Square Park is a vibrant public park located in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City. The park is famous for its iconic arch, which was modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and commemorates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president.
Washington, although a lengthy name, was popular for boys before the 1920s. The name is of English origin and means “of the Wassa people.”
Fort Hamilton is a historic military installation located in Brooklyn, New York City. The fort was built in 1825 to defend New York Harbor from potential foreign invasion, and played an important role in both the Civil War and World War II. Today, Fort Hamilton serves as the headquarters of the Army’s North Atlantic Division and is home to several military units, including the Army National Guard.
Like Washington, Hamilton was a popular name in the US, but that’s not been the case for about 100 years. The name is of English and Scottish origin and means “treeless hill.”
Cooper Union is a prestigious college located in the East Village neighborhood of New York City. The college was founded in 1859 by industrialist Peter Cooper with the mission of providing free education to all students regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Today, Cooper Union remains committed to this mission, offering degree programs in art, architecture, and engineering to students from diverse backgrounds.
As a given name, Cooper is more popular than ever before for boys. The name is of English origin and means “barrel maker.”
We’ve got more George Washington meets New York City to share with you. The George Washington Bridge is an iconic suspension bridge that spans the Hudson River, connecting New Jersey and New York City. The bridge was completed in 1931 and was, at the time, the longest main-span suspension bridge in the world. Today, it remains one of the busiest bridges in the world, with over 100 million vehicles crossing it each year.
George is a name of Greek origin that means “farmer.” George is technically unisex, but it has always been more popular for boys in the US. The name has ranked in the top 200 since 1880 but it has been slipping in recent years.
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The Whitney Museum of American Art is a renowned museum located in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan in New York City. The museum was founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney with the goal of promoting and celebrating American art and artists. Today, the museum’s collection includes over 25,000 works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Whitney is a gender-neutral name of English origin that means “white island.” The name stopped being popular for boys in the 1980s when it became a mega-hit for girls simultaneously. Today, the name no longer ranks in the top 1000. We are sad to see this classic go.
New York City is a city that inspires creativity and individuality, and that’s exactly what these baby names represent. From Brooklyn to Central Park, each name on this list captures the essence of the city in its own unique way. Whether you choose a name for its historical significance or simply because it sounds cool, these New York City-inspired baby names are sure to make your child stand out. So if you’re expecting a little one and looking for a name that’s both meaningful and distinctive, consider one of these 25 names as a nod to the city that never sleeps.
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