A mermaid name is the coolest thing you can walk around with on dry land. Best known for being part of Greek and Assyrian folklore, Mermaids appear in ancient stories throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and many more places. That’s probably why mermaid names that evoke the beauty and power of mystical sea mavens have such universal appeal.
While we often associate mermaids with cartoon magic these days, these mythical creatures have served as fierce goddesses and protectors in charge of commanding wild seas and still waters for eons. That’s why there are plenty of strong, fierce mermaid names for girls that blow the concept of simply “sitting pretty” on rock out of the water!
Mermaid names resonate so strongly with us all because they remind us of the freedom and unpredictability of the sea. Each time we think of mermaids, we are called to imagine the endlessness, timelessness and mystique of the vast oceans that wait just beyond everything we know. They remind us that there is something bigger and more magical in this world.
What Makes a Great Mermaid Name?
Think of the way a sparkle that shimmers like a wave at daybreak will radiate from your little girl’s eyes each time she shares her name with the world. A great mermaid name blends femininity, whimsy and power. There are a few different ways to approach choosing mermaid names for girls:
- Choosing a name inspired by a mermaid character from film or literature.
- Choosing a name from folklore.
- Choosing an “aquatic” name that calls to mind the beauty of the sea.
Of course, any mermaid name can be tweaked to be more formal or feminine! In the end, a strong mermaid name bridges the chasm between earth and sea in a single breath. Any girl who bears the name of a mermaid is sure to be born knowing how to make waves.
Adrianna, meaning “of the Adriatic sea”, is an enchanting yet simple name that’s perfect for mermaids and humans alike. You can also give it a French twist, with Adrienne for a name that’s classic and otherworldly.
Dating back to ancient Assyria, Atargatis was the chief moon goddess of Syria who transformed herself into a mermaid after casting her body into a lake. Many people consider her to be the first mermaid. The allure of this name is that it leans toward the deeper, more mature aspects of mermaids instead of the “cartoon” mermaid trend.
Coralie is a French name meaning “coral.” It is most commonly seen in France and French-speaking Canada. Some parents sprinkle in a slightly more feminine edge by borrowing the name Coralia from the ballet adaptation of “Udine.” In the drama, Coralia is a mermaid ballet dancer.
This is an elegant and ethereal name that rolls off the tongue like long waves rolling into the shore. It is inspired by the Conus Gloriamaris seashell that is considered to be the rarest of all seashell species in the world. Found in the Philippines, Conus Gloriamaris seashells are also considered to be the most valuable.
The island notes are strong in this beautifully crisp name. Kailani is a popular girl’s name that translates to “sea and sky” in Hawaiian culture. Using a name that represents both the sea and sky is clever when picking a mermaid name because it embodies the duality of mermaids.
Inspired by a water siren who remains an enduring part of German folklore, Lorelei is a strong and feminine name. The legend goes that a beautiful maiden named Lorelei plunged herself into the depths of the Rhine River after being rejected by a lover. She can often be seen posing on the rock that she jumped from to lure sailors to shipwreck with her beauty. The name sometimes appears as Loreley.
This one’s a fun throwback that parents who were children of the 80s will love. Madison is the name of Daryl Hannah’s character in 1984’s “Splash.” In the film, Tom Hanks falls in love with a mysterious beauty who happens to be a mermaid after she saves him from drowning.
Strong and short, Mare is one of the best mermaid names because it calls to mind the entire breadth of the ocean in a single breath. Mare is the Italian word for “sea.” This moniker is a great way for someone with Mediterranean roots to put a unique spin on giving their child an Italian name.
Marina, in a classic mermaid way, means “of the sea” through Latin origins. The interesting part is that this name sounds at-home in almost any part of the world, from North and South America, to Western and Eastern Europe, even through the Middle East.
Melusina is a female spirit of fresh water from European folklore. She appears in a number of French and German literary works dating back to the 1300s. Thought to spend her time in sacred springs and rivers, Melusina is depicted as a beautiful woman with a fish or serpent body from the waist down. The name is also sometimes displayed as Melusine or Melyzin.
One of the shortest and spunkiest mermaid names for girls, Nixie is a name from German folklore that means “water sprite.” Nixie is a water spirit with the ability to shapeshift into the form of other creatures.
In folklore, pearls are known as the tears of mermaids. Perla is Spanish for “pearl.” This is a beautiful name to evoke the shimmering, luminescent qualities of a mermaid while calling to mind the power of her emotions.
Rusalka means “mermaid” in Russian and Ukrainian, but makes for a very pretty name in any part of the world.
Sereia is the Portuguese word for mermaid. Perched on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal’s positioning on the Atlantic Ocean makes it a prime spot for mermaid lore. Port cities throughout this Mediterranean country frequently feature bronze statues of mermaids gazing toward the sea.
This European name works beautifully for anyone looking to give a nod to their polish roots. Syrenka is known as the “Mermaid of Warsaw.” In addition to being featured on the city’s coat of arms, she is represented in a number of statues peppered throughout Poland’s capital. She is always depicted as a protector of Warsaw with a sword and shield in her hands.
The “Little Mermaid” names.
In case you wanted to give your little one a more obvious nod to the underwater world, you can always get inspired by Disney. Ariel‘s six sisters were: Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina.
Have these names gotten the tides of your imagination stirring? Let us know which mermaid name from the list you love in the comments!