Growing up, I didn't know very many kids whose name began with the letter Y. I knew what felt like dozens of Ashleys, Jessicas, Tiffanys, Joshuas, Coreys, and Brads, but nobody with a name starting with the almost-last letter of the alphabet. It’s probably because I grew up in the suburbs of Georgia, but most of us had pretty generic names. I was the odd one out because of the spelling of my name Abigale, and Abi for short. But finding baby names that start with Y doesn't have to be impossible. In fact, there's actually several.
According to The Bump, most of the names starting with the letter Y are Russian, French, Spanish, and Hebrew in origin. It's also easy to alternate girl names and boy names in a list, regardless of which sex you're hoping to name. Nothing says you have to name your kid a traditionally "gendered" name. If you want to name your daughter Yancy or Yaron, and your son Yasmin or Yara, that's totally up to you. Bottom line is, no matter which name you pick, having a name that starts with Y is pretty neat, and I can guarantee you don't know that many people with a similar name. Whether the Y has some significance or it's just your favorite letter in the 26 line-up, here are some names to get you inspired.
According to Babble, the name Yvonne has a nature theme. Its origin comes from a town located in Japan, and the website said its origin is Japanese.
Yousef is an Arabic variation of Joseph, which is Hebrew. It means “God raises,” and is pronounced YOO-sehf.
Yolanda means violet flower in Greek, according to Babble, and it has Spanish origins.
Yevgeni, pronounced yev-Gye-nee, means of noble descent, according to Belly Ballot. Its origin is both Greek and Russian, and “It comes from the Old Greek word, 'Eugenios.’ 'Eugenios' is a combination of two elements, 'eu,' meaning 'good' and 'genos' meaning 'birth,'” Belly Ballot noted.
Yvette as a name was popular in the '60s. Looking for a retro vibe for your baby girl? Yvette could be a winner. Retro names are coming back, after all. And even cooler, it’s Arabic.
This Hebrew name means “established by God.” Yeriel is pronounced “Yeh-ree-ehl,” according to Belly Ballot.
I had a lovely coworker named Yuliya once, and she was such a nice person and smart as hell. She didn’t even get mad when I would accidentally forget the additional Y in her name in emails, making it “Yulia,” like above. Yuliya with a Y has Norse origins. Yulia without the Y is English and taken “from the yew tree valley; surname; variant of Udell.” Sounds pretty fancy or like a Tolkien novel, right?
Yeats has an English origin, and it means “gatekeeper or watchman,” according to Belly Ballot. “Yeats is a variant of Yates. Yates is an Anglo-Saxon name, derived from the Old English word 'geat', which means 'gate'. The name was an occupational name given to a gatekeeper. In Medieval times, the 'g' was pronounced as 'y', which is where the name comes from,” the website noted.
Yara is the name of a Brazilian goddess, and there are actually two origins, according to Babble. The arabic origin is a “small butterfly or white flower,” Babble noted. In Portuguese, it means “water lady.”
Yashawn, pronounced “YE-shawn,” means God is merciful. This name also has Hebrew origins.
According to Babble, Yeva is Hebrew, and it means “established by God.” And it’s beautiful to boot.
A fun twist on the traditional Aaron, Yaron means filled with joy, and its origins are Hebrew.
Yasemin has Russian origins and it means “Appointed by God,” according to Babble. Food for thought: Yazmin is Arabic, and Yasmine is Hindi. So depending on how you spell it, it could have a different origin.
According to Belly Ballot, “Yancy is a variant of Jansen. Jansen is related to Jan, ultimately derived from John. John originates in Hebrew language and means ‘God is merciful.’” Pronounced “yahnt-see,” its origin is Hebrew and English.
Pronounced like “Eee-sa-bell” this beautiful name is Hebrew, and a pretty cool take on the traditional Isabel.
According to Belly Ballot, Yaniv is pronounced “Yah-nif” and is Hebrew. It means, “he will be fruitful” or “he will flourish and produce.”
Naming babies is simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking, especially if you and your partner aren't always on the same page. Hopefully this list will give you both some inspiration on names for your newest family member before they make their debut.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.