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Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before

40 monikers inspired by famous explorers

By babbleeditors |

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  • Boys


  • Francisco


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Christopher Origin: Latin
    Meaning: Free man

    The two most famous explorers named Francisco — Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and Francisco Pizarro — took the meaning of their name, free man, to heart by searching the New World for treasure.

  • Alexander


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ChristopherOrigin: Greek
    Meaning: Defender of man

    Although it’s a common misconception that Lewis and Clark were the first to cross North America from to reach the Pacific Ocean, that distinction lies with Alexander Mackenzie, a Scottish explorer who crossed Canada in 1793. Alexander also ranked as the eighth most popular baby name for 2011!

  • Daniel


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Christopher Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: God is my judge

    Who better to name your son after than Daniel Boone, the most American explorer of all? While his legacy as a folk hero has been largely exaggerated in pop culture (he never wore a coonskin cap as in the 1960s television serious Daniel Boone!), he was one of the first settlers to go west of the Appalachian mountains and is known for his willingness to cooperate with the Native Americans.

  • Jacques


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Christopher Origin: French
    Meaning: Supplanter

    Even today, one of the least explored areas on earth or otherwise is the sea. Although he had no formal science training, Jacques Cousteau became the most famous undersea explorer, educating millions about the sea and conservation and emerging as a truly original explorer. Jacques just might be the perfect name for your unique little one.

  • Ferdinand


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Ferdinand Origin: German
    Meaning: Courageous, bold voyager

    Not only is this name shared with Ferdinand Magellan, the famous explorer who sailed around the world and became the first person to circumnavigate the globe, but the meaning translates to “bold voyager" — a perfect choice if you want your baby to see the world when he grows up.

  • Christopher


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Christopher Origin: Greek
    Meaning: Christ-bearer

    Ah, Chris Columbus. Though this guy obviously has a lot of controversy surrounding his explorations of the Americas, you can’t dispute that he had a pretty big impact on history. And hey, your kid would have an official holiday with his name!

  • Leif


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Leif Origin: Scandinavian
    Meaning: Heir

    If you’re not a Columbus fan, pay tribute to Leif Ericson instead, the man who is thought to be the real first European to “discover” North America. This name works especially well if you have Norse ancestry in your family … or if you think your kid would look good in a Viking hat.

  • Amerigo


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: AmerigoOrigin: Italian
    Meaning: Home ruler

    There are already two continents named after Amerigo Vespucci — why not your baby, too? On his voyages, he explored South America extensively and was also the first European to identify that the New World was not Asia, as Christopher Columbus had originally assumed.

  • Marco


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: MarcoOrigin: Italian
    Meaning: War-like

    The game Marco Polo will take on new meaning if you give your little tyke this moniker. Even if he follows in explorer Marco Polo’s footsteps by wandering the globe when he grows up, with this namesake, he’ll always respond when you call.

  • Hudson


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: HudsonOrigin: English
    Meaning: Son of Hudd

    If you love New York, you have Henry Hudson to thank — a 17th century navigator who explored the river (now named after him) and laid the foundation for the Dutch settlement that has grown to be the biggest city in the U.S.

  • Lewis & Clark

    Lewis & Clark

    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Lewis and ClarkLewis
    Origin: English
    Meaning: Famed warrior

    Origin: English
    Meaning: Clerk

    Hoping for more than one boy in the family? Expecting twins? Consider using the surnames of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the famous explorers of the western expedition of America. Just be prepared for fearless brothers who get into all kinds of mischief together! The names also make a cute first-middle name combo for double the adventure.

  • Walter


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: WalterOrigin: English
    Meaning: Army ruler

    If you want your son to really “go for the gold” in life, name him after the English aristocrat and explorer, Sir Walter Raleigh, who sailed to South America in 1594 in search of a “City of Gold” that he heard rumors about. He later wrote a book about the mythical city, which contributed to the popularity of the legend of El Dorado.

  • Fabian


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: FabianOrigin: Italian
    Meaning: Bean grower

    Ice, ice, baby! In his second expedition to circumnavigate the globe, Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb Benjamin von Bellingshausen (say that five times fast!) was the first person to lay eyes on the continent of Antarctica. Bonus: Its variant, Fabio, is also the name of famous romance novel cover model (and “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” endorser), Fabio Lanzoni.

  • Neil


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: NeilOrigin: Irish
    Meaning: Champion, passionate

    One small step for baby, one giant leap for babykind. Perhaps sharing a name with Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, will inspire your baby boy to shoot for the moon, too!

  • Vasco


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: VascoOrigin: Spanish
    Meaning: Crow

    Two for the price of one! This unique name pays tribute to both Vasco da Gamo (a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the coast of Africa and to India) and Vasco Nunez de Balboa (a Spanish explorer and the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean through the “New World” by crossing the isthmus of Panama).

  • Adrien


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Adrien Origin: Latin
    Meaning: Person from Hadria (Northern Italy)

    If you want your little guy to be idealistic and a big dreamer, the Belgian Antarctic explorer Adrien de Gerlache is a great person for him to look up to. At just 29-years-old, Adrien decided to lead an expedition to Antarctica, exploring the Southern latitudes and attempting to reach the South Pole.

  • David


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: DavidOrigin: Hebrew
    Meaning: Beloved

    After dozens of expeditions to Antarctica, Welsh geologist and professor Sir Edgeworth David became the first person to reach the South Pole in 1909. He also discovered the major Hunter Valley coalfield in New South Wales, which yielded millions of pounds and turned him into a household name during his time.

  • Tristan


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: TristanOrigin: Welsh
    Meaning: Tumult

    Spanish explorer and conquistador Tristan de Luna y Arellano was sent to the New World to “conquer” Florida in 1559, but the leader of New Spain (Mexico) chose him to start a settlement on the Gulf Coast instead, one of the first European settlements of what is now the United States.

  • Charles


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: CharlesOrigin: German
    Meaning: Free man

    This strong and classic name is shared with the first major explorer of the skies, aviator Charles Lindbergh. He’s most well-known for making the first solo non-stop flight over the Atlantic in 1927.

  • Girls


  • Rebecca


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ChristopherOrigin: Hebrew
    Meaning: To tie or bind

    Rebecca Rolfe, better known as Pocahontas, is credited for saving the life of English explorer John Smith, although many of the details have been romanticized over the years. Nevertheless, she was an important figure in improving relations between the native Virginians and the English settlers.

  • Freya


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ChristopherOrigin: Norse
    Meaning: Lady

    Early childhood illness and a factory accident gave Freya Stark, born in 1893, plenty of free time to read about the Middle East and teach herself Latin. She would later go on to author more than two dozen travel books and become one of the first non-Arabians to travel through the deserts of southern Arabia (dressed as a man, of course), proving that girls could do anything a man could do.

  • Nellie


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ChristopherOrigin: English;
    Meaning:  Form of Eleanor, meaning shining light

    In 1888, Nellie Bly, the pen name of journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran, became the first person to travel around the world in under 80 days, breaking the fictional record set in the novel Around the World in 80 Days. And since Nellie is a nickname for a number of names, including Cornelia, Eleanor, and Helen, you have plenty of opportunities to name your daughter after this great adventurer!

  • Hester


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ChristopherOrigin: Greek
    Meaning: Star

    Born into nobility, Lady Hester Stanhope used her wealth to fulfill her adventurous spirit, leading the first modern excavation in Palestine. Although it might be one of the more unusual names, your little Hester is sure to inherit her namesake’s daring attitude.

  • Raleigh


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ChristopherOrigin: Old English
    Meaning: Deer’s meadow

    While boys named after Sir Walter Raleigh might be given the moniker Walter, Raleigh is an unusual — but not unheard of — girl's name. And any baby bestowed with this name is sure to have many talents, just like her namesake, who was a skilled writer, poet, soldier, spy, and explorer.

  • Amelia


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: AmeliaOrigin: Latin
    Meaning: To strive, excel, rival

    Taking after Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic. The spunky aviatrix made headlines for this and other daring flights. She mysteriously disappeared during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe by plane in 1937, but her spirit can live on in your own little adventurer.

  • Lucy


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: LucyOrigin: English
    Meaning: Light

    British mountaineer, Lucy Walker, got her start in climbing when her doctor encouraged her to take up walking to cure her rheumatism. Many major climbs and 13 years later in 1871, Lucy became the first woman ever to climb the Matterhorn — and she did it while wearing a white dress!

  • Annie


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: AnnieOrigin: English
    Meaning: Gracious, merciful

    In 1908, in a time when women were still fighting for their right to vote, mountaineer Annie Smith Peck became the only woman (and the first person) to beat out male climbers to the peak of Mount Huascaran, a 22,205 foot mountain in Peru. How’s that for girl power?

  • Elisabeth


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ElisabethOrigin: Hebrew Meaning: God is my oath

    In between her five (!) pregnancies, Elisabeth Casteret spent her life exploring some of the deepest caves in France (and the world) with her husband, Norbert, throughout the ‘20s and ‘30s. Though she died giving birth to her fifth child, her life as a wife and mother up until that point was anything but mundane.

  • Josephine


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: JosephineOrigin: French
    Meaning: God will increase

    Another daring married couple, Josephine Peary and her husband, Robert (who was the first person to reach the North Pole), spent their lives in the late 19th century exploring the Arctic. She even gave birth in the high North to their daughter, Marie, whom the press lovingly called “the Snow Baby.” Josephine later wrote widely popular books, accounting their adventures.

  • Marianne


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: MarianneOrigin: French
    Meaning: Of the sea

    Want a baby who’s adventurous and artistic? This name captures both qualities, after Marianne North, who spent the late 19th century toting easels and canvas to six continents and completed more than 800 oil paintings. Not only did she see the world, she helped others see it, too!

  • Sylvia


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: SylviaOrigin: Latin
    Meaning: Forest

    If you suspect your little girl is going to be more of a water baby, you might want to name her after Dr. Sylvia Earle, who in 1979 set a record of diving 1,250 feet below the surface without a tether of any kind. She continues to spend her days exploring, studying, and protecting plant and animal life in the ocean — which she considers her home.

  • Sacagawea


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: SacagaweaOrigin: Native American
    Meaning: Bird woman

    This is a unique name, but this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the important Shoshone woman who helped guide Lewis and Clark on their Western expedition — all while caring for her newborn son! If all those syllables seem too daunting for a first name, consider giving it to your daughter as a middle name.

  • Isabelle


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: IsabelleOrigin: French
    Meaning: God is my oath

    If you sense your daughter might have a bit of a rebellious streak, Isabelle could be just the name you’re looking for. Isabelle Eberhardt was the 19th century Swiss explorer who rejected the European lifestyle she was born into. Throughout her travels in North Africa during her twenties, she often dressed as a man so she would be able to move freely through Arab society.

  • Valentina


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ValentinaOrigin: Latin
    Meaning: Strength, health

    Going where no woman had gone before, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to go to space in 1963, when she was selected out of over 400 applicants to pilot Vostok 6.

  • Mae


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Mae Origin: English
    Meaning: Month of May

    Persistence is key, and what better way for your daughter to learn that than by sharing a name with Mae Jemison, who in 1992 became the first African-American woman in space. Mae faced adversity when trying to achieve her dreams — even her kindergarten teacher encouraged her to be a nurse instead — but Mae didn’t give up. She attended top colleges, served in the Peace Corps, and eventually was accepted to NASA’s astronaut program.

  • Christa


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: ChristaOrigin: English
    Meaning: Christ-bearer

    This name is a beautiful way to honor the first schoolteacher chosen to explore space, Christa McAuliffe, who died in the tragic Challenger shuttle explosion in 1986.

  • Jeanne


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: JeanneOrigin: French
    Meaning: God is gracious

    In 1767, French woman Jeanne Bare left her work as a maid and disguised herself as a man to enlist as an assistant to the botanist Dr. Philibert Commerson on his voyage around the world. Years later, Jeanne became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe when the ship returned to France.

  • Jackie


    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: JackieOrigin: English
    Meaning: Supplanter

    Consider this name if you want your daughter to be ready for adventure at a moment’s notice. Jackie Ronne (real name Edith) never meant to take a trip to Antarctica, but at the last minute, her husband, Finn, convinced her to go along on his expedition, even though at the time she had only brought along a dress, pair of heels, and a suit. Jackie’s daring paid off though, and in 1947, she became the first woman to explore Antarctica.

  • Liv & Ann

    Liv & Ann

    Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before: Liv and AnnLiv
    Origin: Scandinavian
    Meaning: Cover, shield

    Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: Gracious, merciful

    Even today, there are still bold women explorers conquering new feats. In 2001, Liv Arneson and Ann Bancroft became the first women to ski and sail across the entire continent of Antarctica — pulling a 250-ton sled the entire 1,700 miles. Just imagine what a pair of sisters with these names would be capable of!

About babbleeditors



The Bugle is a new blog dedicated to providing updates on the exciting goings-on at Babble — new launches, new contributors and members of the team, changes in policy, hairstyle, milestones, and other noteworthy scuttlebutt.

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4 thoughts on “Go Where No Baby Name Has Gone Before

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  2. 74306 says:

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  3. Teige says:

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I “discovered” Ferdinand recently, and found this article after I had written a post about the name for my blog, but before I published it while doing some research.

    For anyone who is interested, the post is here:

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