What's in a Name?

Featuring Ocean-themed names!

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Welsh, Welsh Mythology, English
Pronunciation:  DUL-an (Welsh), DIL-ǝn (English)

Meaning & History
From the Welsh elements dy "great" and llanw "tide, flow."  In Welsh Mythology, Dylan was a god or hero associated with the sea.

Famous bearers of this name include the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) and the American musician Bob Dylan (1941-), born Robert Zimmerman, who took his stage surname from the poet's given name.  Due in part to the above-mentioned bearers, popularity of this name has spread outside of Wales in the last half of the 20th century.  In the 1990s, it received a further boost in popularity thanks to a character in television series "The Beverly Hillbillies 90210."

Gender:  Masculine & Feminine
Usage:  Welsh, Welsh Mythology, English, French
Pronunciation:  MAWR-gan (English), MORE-gan (English)

Meaning & History
From the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant, which was most likely derived from the Welsh mor "sea" and cant "circle."  It is also the modern form of Morgen, used in the 12th century by Geoffrey of Monmouth for the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay.  Geoffrey possibly based it off of the Irish name Muirgen, a feminine name meaning "born of the sea" in Gaelic, instead of the Welsh variant, which would have been spelled Morcant at his time.  

Since the 1980s, Morgan has been more popular as a girl's name rather than a boy's, possibly due to stories of Morgan le Fay or the fame of actress Morgan Fairchild (1950-).

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Japanese
Pronunciation:  [possibly] ky-TOH, ky-EE-toh, KAY-toh

Meaning & History
From the Japanese elements kai "sea, ocean" combined with to, which refers to the constellation Ursa Major, or to "soar, fly."

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Literature
Pronunciation:  nah-RISS-sah, NE-riss-sah

Meaning & History
Created by Shakespeare for a character in his play, "The Merchant of Venice" (1596).  It is possible he took it from the Greek Nereis, meaning "nymph, sea sprite," which is ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god Nereus, who supposedly fathered them.  


Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.


  1. Thanks for doing that Sarah!

    I agree with you Morgan is more of a girl name than a boys=)

    I always use the Disney movie Enchanted as an example. Have you ever seen that one?
    They have a little girl named Morgan on there as one of the main actors.
    I always say: see even Disney agrees that Morgan is a girls name!


  2. Hey, I nominated you for an award: http://idlewildcl.blogspot.com/2013/08/elegant-blogger-award.html
    Christina :)

  3. Morgan: You are so very welcome! And yes, I have seen Enchanted, though it has been quite a while since last I watched it...Hilarious! I've read a book or two where a guy's name is Morgan, and I do like it best as a girl's!

    Christina: Many, many thanks! I appreciate the reward -- you just made my good day even better!!!

  4. I really like the names you chose! :)
    Tane ♥ xxx


To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.