Adventurous Word Names

Nov 7th 2017

With names like Haven, River, and Journey ranking among the 300 most popular names, it seems that parents have adventure in mind. These word names embody excitement and discovery, but also sound elegant enough for a birth certificate.

If you’re a fan of travel- and exploration-inspired names, check out this list of fifteen uncommon choices. These word names work for all kinds of kids, with connections to the natural world, meaningful connotations, and the promise of daring deeds.

Bridge. Strong and handsome Bridge isn’t too far off from current names like Gage or Bryce, but it feels more substantive - as a connection between two points, a bridge represents the unity created when different paths converge. This sense of togetherness is sure to embolden your little one as Bridge experiences all sorts of new places in life.

Story. This exciting name has already moved celebrity parents such as Soleil Moon Frye and Jenna Elfman, both of whom welcomed boys with the name (though Story is not strictly gender-specific). Such a name encourages the wearer to “write their own story,” be it filled with faraway adventures or mindful journeys close to home.

Cedar. Known for its strength and longevity, cedar wood was used to build Solomon’s Temple (according to 1 Kings) and the Sea of Galilee boat, giving this natural material a few religious associations. The name Cedar holds warmth and positivity, with links to travel, music, and even ancient mythology in its illustrious history.

West. Weston and Wesley rank in the top 1000, but inspiring West has yet to join them. Still, this directional choice has symbolized enlightenment, promise, and freedom for all kinds of cultures, from the Buddhists to the Celts to the Judeo-Christians. West feels both friendly and fearless, a word name with energy and hope.

Beacon. For centuries, beacons have been used all over the world to guide travelers in unfamiliar or dangerous territory; they signify guidance through the unknown. In addition to having this beautiful connotation, the name Beacon is similar in sound to Beckett and Brecken, choices already beloved by American audiences.

Taiga. Unusual and intriguing, Taiga is an intrepid option for fans of the uncommon: the name was only given to 10 boys in 2016. From the Yakut language for “untraversable forest,” taiga refers to the ecosystems of the north, filled with coniferous forests and snowy mountains. Taiga feels vast and vivacious, a bold choice for a child setting out to explore their world.

Cove. In contrast to other boisterous choices, Cove is a calmer name that feels peaceful and safe, a haven in an exhilarating journey. Tranquil Cove fits in aurally with names like Cole and Cora, but feels substantial enough to stand out in a crowd.

Echo. While the name comes from a tragic character in Greek mythology - the nymph Echo was cursed by Hera to only repeat the words of others - Echo seems much more compelling in a modern context. As a reflection of sound, echoes represent the continuation of ideas and words over time, giving this pretty name a significant connection to all that’s come before.

Breeze. Bright as a summer’s day, Breeze is a lovely word name with an upbeat personality. As Brianna and its variants begin to decline, Breeze would make a more wild and free alternative. This beautiful choice has already been used in fiction, from a male Marvel hero to a few female literary characters.

Scout. Though Atticus’ acclaim has waxed and waned over the past few years, adorable and dynamic Scout remains an underdog - it’s never ranked in the top 1000. If you’re not attached to the To Kill a Mockingbird namesake, Scout still offers a confident and pioneering energy, which many celebrity parents have admired.

Prairie. This pretty word is French in origin, but was borrowed by English speakers to describe the grasslands of North America; it’s a word filled with history and discovery. Prairie feels vintage, like Sadie or Daisy, yet it’s filled with the sensation of wide open spaces and blue skies above.

Ocean. Elegant Océane has a following in France, but serene Ocean has yet to inspire the anglophone world. It’s an unexpected choice that feels both unchanging and full of life, a name with an abundance of possibilities. Ocean would fit in well with names like Owen, Orion, or Odin, but it’s by no means strictly masculine.

Timber. Another sylvan name, Timber is an attractive choice that appeals to both genders - the name was given to over 50 boys and 50 girls in 2016. The word calls to mind old-fashioned building and classic craftsmanship, a creative connotation that may appeal to artists. Timber’s aural similarities to Timothy or Kimberly will help it cohere on American playgrounds.

Canyon. Sweeping Canyon conjures images of magnificent landscapes and thrilling voyages, a name that would make any adventurer proud. It’s not too distant from Carson or Camden, with more grandeur and gravitas.

Harbor. Derived from the Old English for “shelter” and “protection,” Harbor is a pleasant name with many positive links: there’s the historic sense of trade and human connection; there’s the emotional sense of security, as in “safe harbor”; and there are the many coastal landmarks that make it a meaningful place-name.


November 7, 2017 8:51 PM

Um, one of the main symbolic associations with west is death, west being the direction of the setting sun. This association is found in the Bible among other places. So,it's not all enlightenment, promise, energy, hope, and fearlessness, far from it. To go west is a common euphemism for to die. Parents might not want to name their children something that symbolizes death. It's misleading to list all kinds of positive associations for west, while blythely omitting the huge and long-standing negative.

Cove is a British and later Australian slang term dating back to Shakespeare's day meaning fellow, chap, pal, mate, guy. So it has overtones beyond the geographical.



November 8, 2017 10:50 PM

My grandson Timber is quite the adventurer! 

November 17, 2017 12:19 PM

Apart from Ocean, none of these names appeal to me.