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Baby Boy Names Inspired by States

Photograph by Twenty20

From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. If "God Bless America" makes you feel a little misty, a patriotic name is right for your little guy. Not all 50 states have names that work for babies, but add state capitals to your list of contenders and you'll find one that's just right.

Dakota

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #360

Meaning: Allies, friends

It means "allies" in the native language of the Dakota people, who are part of the Sioux tribe. Hey, maybe your little Dakota will grow up to be a diplomat. Or maybe he'll forge his own path with this striking name.

Washington

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

It's a big name for a little guy, but as far as American namesakes go, it's hard to do better than the first U.S. president. Washington was originally the name of an English town. Shorten it to Wash as a nickname.

Pierre

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

Meaning: Stone

When you're looking for names based on U.S. states, Pierre is probably not what you'd expect. But as the name of South Dakota's capital city, Pierre is both exotic-sounding and wholly patriotic. It's the French form of the Greek name Peter.

Kansas

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

It's an unexpected baby name, but consider the perks of Kansas. It has a sweet and unassuming sound, and when your little guy is trying to get out of chores, you'll get great joy out of singing "Carry on Wayward Son" by the band Kansas.

Boston

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #556

Die-hard Yankees fans, this isn't the name for you. Other expectant parents can appreciate this strong, distinctive name that comes with the built-in nickname of Boss. The city is known for its Irish heritage, so this name is especially fitting if you have an Irish surname; Boston O'Brien just sounds right.

Tennessee

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

Even if you don't have roots in the Volunteer State, you can appreciate the bluesy Southern charm of Tennessee. It's not a common name, but now that Reese Witherspoon and country singer Eric Church have named their boys Tennessee, that might change.

Lincoln

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #87

Name your little guy Lincoln and it's unlikely people will immediately think of the Nebraska capital, but you'll know. This name, which is derived from that of an English city, has a decidedly formal sound but can be shortened to the friendly Linc.

George

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #134

Meaning: Farmer, earthworker

Georgia is as sweet as pie for a baby girl. But for Peach State parents expecting boys, choosing George is a lovely way to nod to the state's name. This Greek name is as classic as they come.

York

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

Pick the name York and you may be taken as a superfan of the British royal family. But if you're a native of the Adirondacks, Manhattan or anywhere in between, choosing York is a way of nodding to the Empire State. This short, stately moniker—derived from a British city—pairs nicely with a long or complicated last name.

Juneau

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

The movie "Juno" introduced this title to the population, so be warned: you're going to see your little Juneau's name misspelled often. That hassle will be worthwhile if you love the rugged-sounding name of the Alaskan capital.

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