Uplifting Baby Names

I have a soft spot for word names with inspiring definitions. I love how they can often double as one-word mantras.

So here are five word names with two things in common. First, each one has appeared in the U.S. data within the last few years. And, second, each one has a definition pertaining to height or upward movement — which signifies, to me, motivating concepts like progress* and improvement.

Click the links to see the popularity graphs.

  • Summit means “peak” or “highest point.” It can be traced back to the Latin word summus, meaning “highest.”
  • Meridian can mean “highest point” by way of its literal meaning, “mid-day,” from the Latin word meridianum (medius, “middle,” plus dies, “day”). Mid-day is when the sun is at its highest point.
  • Zenith, in astronomy, refers to the point in the sky vertically above a given position and, by extension, means “peak” or “highest point.” The origin is an an Arabic phrase meaning “the way over the head.”
  • Crown can refer to the “top part” of various things (a head, a hill, a hat, an arch, etc.) by extension of its best-known definition, “royal headdress.”
  • Rise means “to move upwards.” It was derived from the Old English word risan, which essentially had the same meaning. (Don’t confuse Rise with Risë!)

Which of the above would you be most likely to use as a baby name? Can you think of any similar names you’d add to the list?

*Progress itself has been used as a name before — it popped up in Alberta data just recently — but it has yet to appear in the U.S. data.

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary

6 thoughts on “Uplifting Baby Names

  1. I’ve seen Zenith and Summit used, and there is a male model named Zenith. I’d choose that one.

  2. Meridian sounds a bit pretentious sci-fi/fantasy, but I do like it.
    Zenith I LOVE, especially for a girl.
    Rise works too, but not really my style.
    My test of if a name is too weird for me: I say out loud ‘What’s your name?’ ‘…’, and see if it makes me cringe! ;-)

  3. I read of a new baby named “Ryser” and immediately fell in love with the positive imagery that came to mind.

  4. This reminds me of the German surname Reiser (pronounced the same as English Riser) with the singer, songwriter, and bandleader Rio Reiser as a prominent namesake He sung in German, therefore his music is probably completely unknown in the USA, but Ton Steine Scherben was a very famous band in Germany.

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