Baby Names Inspired by the Desert

Updated on March 4, 2020
ControlledChaos1 profile image

I have many interests and an inability to make up my mind about which one to focus on. That's how I came up with my name: ControlledChaos1.

From Abalos to Zuni, this extensive name list can help you pick a unique, desert-themed name.
From Abalos to Zuni, this extensive name list can help you pick a unique, desert-themed name. | Source

Desert-Themed Names That Will Stand Out

Naming your child after a desert can be a creative way to come up with a unique name. It's quite the rage these days to choose a name that stands out from all the rest—so, using the desert as inspiration, I've made a list of names that may be a little different from the norm.

Basically, anything related to the desert was fair game, whether it be the names of the deserts themselves, desert towns, language translations, plants or animals found in the desert—even feelings the open sands may evoke. I must admit that it was a little harder than I expected, as not everything inspired by the desert makes for a cool baby name. I've even included the meanings or origins behind the names for some of those listed below.

If you've always been fascinated by the shifting sands or rocky outcrops of the hotter regions of our planet, this may be the perfect names list for you. My plan is to keep adding to it on a regular basis, so check back every once in a while for new ideas. I hope you enjoy the list and find it a useful starting place as you're searching for that perfect first name for your child (or for a fictional character in a story). Thank you for taking a look. Enjoy.

I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune; sees nothing; hears nothing; yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams . . .

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "The Little Prince"

Popular Desert Names for Newborns

  • Arizona: A fitting, albeit obvious, name.
  • Audun: This name means "desolate."
  • Bast: The Egyptian goddess associated with protection and cats. She is also the daughter of Ra, the sun god.
  • Chaya: Hebrew for "life."
  • Cleopatra: A beautiful desert name that may be shortened in formal situations to "Cleo." I've actually know two Cleo's in my life up to this point.
  • Edan: Celtic for "fire."
  • Grannus: The Celtic god of fire and the sun.
  • Jordan: A river in Israel.
  • Phaedra: A name of Greek origin that means "bright."
  • Pyla: The largest sand dune in Europe.
  • Sage: Desert sage is a very common plant in a lot of deserts.
  • Sandy or Sandra: A pretty, albeit obvious, name that's inspired by the desert.
  • Seri: An indigenous tribe associated with the Sonoran Desert.
  • Tomesha: A Native American name meaning “ground afire."

This stark desert landscape demonstrates why we find this region so fascinating and inspiring.
This stark desert landscape demonstrates why we find this region so fascinating and inspiring. | Source

A–B Names With Meanings and Notes

  • Abalos: A sand dune on Mars.
  • Ahote: Hopi for “restless one."
  • Amaterasu: Japanese goddess of the sun.
  • Anasazi: A Navajo word that means "enemy ancestors."
  • Aranda: My great aunt was given this beautiful name.
  • Ari: Hebrew for “lion."
  • Arid: A name for someone with a dry sense of humor.
  • Aridisol: Arid soil.
  • Ar Ramlah: The sand.
  • Aster: After the Mojave aster plant. This name is also Greek for "star."
  • Atacama: A desert in South America.
  • Baja: A great desert-themed baby name.
  • Barren: A name that most mothers wouldn't want to use.
  • Bloom: Because deserts come alive with color every time it rains.
  • Boa: After the desert rosy boa (a snake) of the Mojave Desert.
  • Bosa: Derived from the Old English meaning "clearing or glade."
  • Brick: You can't make these pillars of construction without sand.

More A–B Names

Aberdeen
Apache
Beetle
Acacia
Argus
Bernd
Acuna
Ariella
Bilby
Adeline
Armadillo
Bishop
Adara
Artesia
Bisbee
Addax
Ashdod
Blane
Adder
Asia
Blaze
Agave
Azahara
Bruneau
Alexander
Badger
Burn
Ant
Barstow
 
A name is permanent, but desert sand is in constant motion.
A name is permanent, but desert sand is in constant motion. | Source

Inspiration From the Rocks and Sands

Using the desert as inspiration for a good name may seem a little ironic because a name is seen as a permanent thing, whereas most deserts are always changing. Water (when it comes) and wind erode the ground and rock. Alluvial (or sand) deserts are always in constant motion. Also, don't forget the fact that all deserts are not hot.

Look closely enough at the most barren desert, and you will discover life. Life always seems to be permanent—like a name.

C–E Names With Meanings and Notes

  • Cactus: These trees of the desert come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
  • Camel: A ship that needs no water.
  • Christmas: Like a Christmas cactus.
  • Creo: After the creosote bush.
  • Crimson: After the crimson hedgehog cactus.
  • Darwin: The strongest survives.
  • Datura: A summer perennial of the desert.
  • Desert: A bit on the spot, but still a good name.
  • Dune: A great name with a sci-fi feel.
  • Dykuma: Lithuanian for "desert."
  • Dyssodia: Another desert plant.
  • Eolian: Wind activity.
  • Ezra: An old Hebrew word that means "help."

More C–E Names

Cadiz
Chicory
Coulter
Dusty
Calico
Chill
Daisy
Dwan
Calvin
Cholla
Darius
Eagle
Cardinal
Claret
Dassie
Egypt
Catriona
Clay
Desolation
Emerson
Cera
Cliff
Dez
Emperor
Cerro
Cobra
Dingo
Ephedra
Chad
Coral
Dryscoll
 
Chaparral
Cotton
Dubai
 
Chia
Cougar
Dustin
 

Not All Deserts Are Hot

A lot of people only associate deserts with heat, which is incorrect. The global environments are defined by their lack of rainfall (how dry they are). As a result, many different regions all over the world are classified as deserts. Some are cold, some are hot, all are harsh, and all have life. I bet you never thought that you could freeze to death in a desert, but you can.

F–H Names With Meanings and Notes

  • Gila: After a venomous lizard native to the southwestern U.S. Also a river running through New Mexico and Arizona.
  • Gobi: This was my great uncle's name.
  • Hammada: A rocky desert.
  • Hesperia: An ancient Greek name of Italy that means "land of the setting sun."
  • Hopper: Named after the locusts that populate the arid desert world.
  • Hotness: Keep in mind that not all deserts are hot.

More F–H Names

Fern
Gibson
Filaree
Glaze
Forge
Griffon
Fox
Gundi
Fraser
Hadley
Fulani
Hassuna
Gecko
Hyrax
Adjectives used to describe deserts may include "great," "majestic," "sunny," "bright," and "brilliant." Why not choose a name with a similar meaning?
Adjectives used to describe deserts may include "great," "majestic," "sunny," "bright," and "brilliant." Why not choose a name with a similar meaning? | Source

I–K Names With Meanings and Notes

  • Jalal: Meaning "great; majestic."
  • Javier: Meaning "bright."
  • Johona: Navajo name meaning "sunny."
  • Khufu: A great Egyptian pharaoh.
  • Kuuma: Finnish for "hot."

More I–K Names

Indio
Javelina
Karroo
Indus
Jerome
Kelso
Israel
Jericho
Kesha
Ivy
Jewel
Kestrel
Jack
Joshua
Kharan
Jacinto
Juniper
Kiowa
Jackal
Kalahari
Kirbus
Janusia
Kara
Kit
The unique desert plantlife can provide a lot of name ideas.
The unique desert plantlife can provide a lot of name ideas. | Source

L–P Names With Meanings and Notes

  • Lawrence: A solid desert name for a boy.
  • Leona: Latin for "lion."
  • Lithop: Living stones.
  • Maracanda: Modern-day Samarkand.
  • Marrram: A desert grass.
  • Molopo: A river running through the Kalahari Desert.
  • Neema: Means "born in prosperity."
  • Ordos: A desert in China.
  • Oryx: A gazelle that lives in some deserts.
  • Papago: The English name for the Tohono O'odham people of the Sonoran Desert.

More L–P Names

Lily
Mia
Odora
Maddox
Mirage
Olive
Marigold
Monte
Owami
Mariposa
Namib
Pecos
Mathias
Nectar
Phacelia
Medanos
Nessa
Phlox
Menodora
Nevada
Phoenix
Mesa
Nolina
Poppy
Mescal
Nomad
Primrose
Mex or Mexico
Oasis
Puma
Nefud
 
 

What's Hidden in the Sands?

Many people don't realize that, at one time, the deserts used to be lush, green areas of land with rivers and lakes. Some of them were even centers of civilization or large communities. Our ancestors had to share the land with a variety of animals. Going back much further, you'll find fossils from the ages when reptiles ruled the lands.

If you dig deep enough beneath the desert sands, odds are good that you'll find something quite interesting—and some of those interesting items can be quite large. All you have to do is tolerate the heat and itchy sand.

R–S Names With Meanings and Notes

  • Red: There are a few desert sands that are deep red in color.
  • Rocky: The majority of desert lands are rock.
  • Sadzi: Meaning "sunny; happy."
  • Sahara: The largest hot desert in the world.
  • Sand: A strange but unique name.
  • Senna: From the Arabic name "Sana," which means "brilliance, radiance, splendor."
  • Sunshine: A fitting name, though not all deserts have sunshine.

More R–S Names

Rain
Samarra
Ramadi
Savanna
Ramses
Sechura
Reno
Sedona
Rhino
Solomon
Rock
Sphinx
Roo
Stone
Ryn
Sunny
Sadie
Susa
Saguaro
Sydney
Salado
Syria

Beautiful and Deadly

Deserts prove that there is beauty in everything. At first glance, most of these areas seem to be barren, uninhabitable landscapes that you wouldn't want to be stranded in. Spend a little time in one and you will completely change your mind. Before doing this, however, it is wise to study the place where you're going and be prepared, for this beautiful entity can torture or even kill those who aren't ready for it.

T–Z Names With Meanings and Notes

  • Takla Makan: A desert in Western China.
  • Tequila: This is made from agave, a desert plant.
  • Ute: A Native American people of Arizona and New Mexico.
  • Vegas: A friend of mine named their child "Vegas" because she was born there.

More T–Z Names

Taj
Warren
Tamburlane
Wash
Tanami
Willow
Tannin
Yucca
Thar
Yuma
Thorn
Zenobia
Tucson
Zinnia
Utah
Zuni
Victoria
 
Desert environments can be quite beautiful and dramatic—perhaps inspiring a dramatic background for your fictional character?
Desert environments can be quite beautiful and dramatic—perhaps inspiring a dramatic background for your fictional character? | Source

Story Ideas

In case you're reading this list to find a good name for a fictional character, here are a few story ideas, character circumstances, and personality quirks that might help inspire you:

  • A person nearly dies from exposure, only to be saved by a nomadic desert tribe. They are reborn and given a new name by the tribe.
  • A character is raised in the desert, but their people are slaughtered by a group of barbarians. They vow revenge in the name of their people.
  • What about a character or characters who can manipulate the desert sands? As such, they never leave their place of power and are practically unbeatable on their own turf. A large oil discovery makes things even more interesting as many powerful nations now want their lands.
  • A person with a giant scorpion tattoo on their back is found wandering the Nevada desert and is brought to a casino to recover. They recover, win a bunch of money, and buy the very casino that they found refuge in.

Finding the Right Name Is Never Easy

Coming up with creative names for a child, fictional character, or even a pet is not as easy as it would seem. I hope this article has helped you do that in some way. Thanks for paying it a visit.

© 2013 Don

Do You Know Someone Who Is Named After a Desert or Has a Desert-Themed Name?

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    • profile image

      Cat 

      13 days ago

      I have a pet snake (sand boa) named Sirocco, meaning desert wind.

    • profile image

      BikersGearGermany 

      4 weeks ago

      Love these ideas. Thanks:)

    • profile image

      Jlo 

      2 months ago

      I’m surprised Cleo and cleopatra aren’t on here

    • ControlledChaos1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Don 

      2 months ago from Tennessee

      How did I not even consider that one? I love the comment section!

    • profile image

      Tyler 

      2 months ago

      Sandman!

    • ControlledChaos1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Don 

      7 months ago from Tennessee

      All baby names aren't necessarily meant to be cute. The names in this article are associated (in some way) with deserts or hot, arid landscapes. While some of the names are cute, a lot are not... just like first names in general.

    • profile image

      !@# 

      7 months ago

      umm these are not very cute names

    • ControlledChaos1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Don 

      14 months ago from Tennessee

      Thank you. Many people don't realize just how cold deserts get at night; I may just have to re-think my position about putting too many cold-nature desert related names onto my list, after all most deserts are of the hot in the day; cold at night variety.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      14 months ago from United States

      My daughter used this list to help select a name for a "pet" stuffed camel. (He's still choosing out of a pool of several names.)

      Where I live in northeastern Colorado, we have sand lilies and bush morning glories, after four to eight months of dirty snow (it often comes in sideways). They are a welcome sight in May and June.

      Besides a few flowers, you might consider adding birds to your list, such as the Peregrine falcon. I knew a boy named Hawk, which was a tremendous inspiration, and very appropriate.

      Wind can be a huge feature, as well...Breeze, or Gale, perhaps. Even Blizzard. But perhaps that is getting a bit broad for your topic. :-)

      I loved your categories, and was happy to find such a list done by a fellow Hubber!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Interesting name list. Some of this are out-of-this world for a desert name.

    • ControlledChaos1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Don 

      6 years ago from Tennessee

      @anonymous: Scorpia would be a good name for a girl while Scorpion could be used for a boy. Can you imagine having a name like that in real life? I think it would be a cool experience.

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 

      6 years ago

      Love these ideas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Scorpia might be a good girls name (because of scorpions).

    • carol2 profile image

      carol2 

      6 years ago

      I know a Chad, several Jordans and several Joshuas. You have an impressive list of desert names.

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