20 Baby Names Inspired By the Beauty of the Midwest

Jess Richardson | May 3, 2019 Pregnancy
20 Baby Names Inspired By the Beauty of the Midwest
Image: iStock

Baby Names Inspired By The Beauty of The Midwest
iStock

We love a baby name that connects with the parents' homes, origins, cultures, or passions, and we think that naming a kid joyfully after something we love is a great way to introduce that love and pass it along to a child. We're also fans of the remarkable culture and distinctive beauty offered in every part of the country, from the Alaskan wilderness down to the Florida beaches. We think every kid should feel proud of where they come from, and having a name that speaks to that heritage is wonderful. 

Some parents provide kids with traditional family names to encourage them to love that heritage, while others choose a name that resonates with them and speaks to that heritage for another reason. For example, families with Southern heritage may want a name that reflects that culture -- although no connection to the South is actually needed to fall in love with these names. 

For parents who are interested in geographical inspiration to name their newest family addition,  there are baby girl names for every state, as well as baby boy names for every state in the union -- although we think some of these on both sides are gender-neutral enough to work for the other. We also love trending international names, for those who like to look outside the borders of the US. 

Going with the crowd, look to the most popular baby names by state, which we're not sure how to feel about. On the one hand, it's nice to have a name that's more unusual, but it's also comforting when names are instantly recognizable -- and pronounceable for their classmates. For those who identify with where they went to school, consider name inspiration from colleges and sports stadiums to show that alumni pride. 


  • MEDORA

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    Medora
    iStock

    Medora is the name of several towns in states across the Midwest, and is also the name of Medora Musical revue that is put on every summer at the Burning Hills Amphitheater. We think it's a great name for a girl, as it's also the name of the heroine in Lord Byron's poem The Corsair

  • PARKER

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    Parker
    iStock

    Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Charlie Parker Jr. was an extremely influential jazz saxophone soloist and composer. He was among the musicians who developed bebop, and was an icon of a generation. We think the name "Parker" is a great, gender-neutral option.  

  • PIPER

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    Piper
    iStock

    The piping plover is a bird that's native to the Midwest. We think the name "Piper" is a great way to name a kid after this extremely cute, native namesake. It's more common with girls, but it's a great name for boys, too. 

  • EPHRAIM

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    Ephraim
    iStock

    Ephraim, Wisconsin, is a little town that's absolutely stunningly beautiful. It's right on the water, home to some of the region's most exciting restaurants, and an idyllic spot for a weekend away. The name Ephraim is a Hebrew boy's name meaning "fruitful," and we think it's cool-sounding.

  • GATES

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    Gates
    iStock

    In the 1940s, George W. Gates opened his barbecue shop in Kansas City, Missouri, and it has become beyond iconic in the time since. While George is a solid name, we love a good surname for a first name, and we think Gates would be a cool one.

  • ADDISON 

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    Addison
    iStock

    Addison is a charming little creek in Illinois, a tributary of Salt Creek. We love the name Addison, which is from the Old English, meaning "son of Adam." Originally a last name, it's become a common first name. 

  • MADISON

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    Madison
    iStock

    There are several Madisons in the Midwest, including Madison, Indiana, and Madison, Wisconsin. We love this gender-neutral name for its versatility and all the great nicknames that can come out of it. 

  • RANDALL

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    Randall
    iStock

    The name "Randall" has two elements: the first part means "shield" and the second part means "wolf." We love the idea of naming a baby after the majestic gray wolf, which is native to the Midwest.

  • LLOYD

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    Lloyd
    iStock

    Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the greatest architects and interior designers in American history. He designed structures that were intended to be in harmony with the environment around them. Frank is an excellent name, but we love Lloyd, which is both a given name and a surname. 

  • LAWRENCE

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    Lawrence
    iStock

    Lawrence, Kansas, is an extremely cool college town. There's a thriving music scene, small businesses, and great restaurants. We also just love the name Lawrence -- it's elegant and traditional.

  • LAMBEAU

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    Lambeau
    iStock

    Especially if there's French history in the family, the name "Lambeau" is a lovely choice. Oh, or if there are some serious Packers fans out there. Lambeau Field is home to the Green Bay Packers. 

  • ZANE 

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    Zane Grey
    iStock

    Zane Grey was an American author known for his adventure novels and Westerns set in the American frontier. He was born in Zanezville, Ohio. We think Zane is an awesome gender-neutral name for a contemporary kid.

  • GALENA

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    Galena
    iStock

    Galena, Illinois, is a beautiful small town in Illinois with remarkable architecture, including the home of Ulysses S. Grant. The name "Galena" is also a Spanish girls' name, meaning "intelligent one." What a great namesake!

  • SUSAN

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    Susan
    iStock

    Black-eyed Susans are native to the Midwest, and we think naming a baby after this beautiful local flower is really lovely. "Daisy" is also a cool option, and the "Denver Daisy" is another form of this flower.

  • THEODORE

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    Theodore
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    Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a North Dakota treasure. While the name Theodore is somewhat old-fashioned, we think it's absolutely primed for a comeback -- and it lends itself to a variety of nicknames, including Theo, Ted, and Teddy. 

  • ALMA

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    iStock

    Alma, Wisconsin, is a hip town, packed with galleries, fantastic views, restaurants, and theater. We love the name Alma, too -- primarily a girls' name, it means different things in different languages, including "soul" in Portuguese and "apple" in Hungarian.

  • AMELIA

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    Amelia
    iStock

    Amelia Earhart was born in 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, and received an award for being the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. We love the name Amelia and think it's a great way to honor this woman whose history is so remarkable. 

  • BALDWIN

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    Baldwin
    iStock

    The Baldwin River in Michigan is beautiful and packed full of trout -- we love it for both reasons. We think the name "Baldwin" works so well as a boys' name, too, although it is traditionally more of a surname. 

  • PRAIRIE

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    Prarie

    Prairie is an unusual name for a baby girl, but doesn't it just have a great ring to it? We love the idea of honoring the land of the Midwest this way. It would definitely help her stand out if she pursues a career as a musician or artist.

  • RUSSELL

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    Russell
    iStock

    Russell Charles Means was an Oglala Lakota activist for the rights of Native Americans and indigenous peoples internationally. We love the name Russell, and we especially love it as a way of honoring this leader.  

  • Pin It! 

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    20 Baby Names Inspired By the Beauty of the Midwest Pinterest Image

    If your baby is coming along and you still figuring out what you'd name him or her, add this graphic to your Pinterest board to get inspired 

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