President Obama caused a stir last week when he scrubbed the name Mount McKinley from America‘s highest peak, bringing back its traditional moniker — Denali. Fans of William McKinley complained that our 25th president — assassinated in 1901 — was getting snubbed for political reasons. Supporters of the Denali name, meanwhile, pointed out that McKinley had no connection to the area (he never set foot in Alaska, which became a state almost 60 years after his death). For me, the controversy is less interesting than the implications for baby name picks. Head over to Nameberry to see my full explanation.


Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, was used as the name for 12 girls and 80 boys last year. (Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas gave it to his daughter, helping put Everest in the spotlight.) Rocky or Sierra also could be used to pay tribute to famed mountain ranges. Fans of Switzerland have an option as well: The name Alp was used on 15 boys last year. You could go a little more subtle too — say, by using Brecken to tip your hat to Breckenridge. The name Bear could pay homage to Bear Mountain or the animals that live there. Atlas, meanwhile, may refer to the mythological character or the mountain range in northwestern Africa. (Sadly, Greece’s Olympus doesn’t register in the Social Security Administration’s database; no one sees that one as a valid name.)

Here’s a sampling of mountain-themed picks you might want to consider, along with how many US babies received the names in 2014.

Mountain-Inspired GIRL Baby Names

Sierra, 932

McKinley, 850

Aspen, 812

Whitney, 463

Denver, 122

Denali, 55

Brecken, 33

Atlas, 20

Everest, 12

Ande, 10

Vail, 6

Mountain Inspired BOY Baby Names

Atlas, 404

Brecken, 304

Rocky, 208

Denver, 187

Bear, 129

Aspen, 91

Everest, 80

McKinley, 71

Denali, 20

Rainier, 20

Kailash, 17

Pike, 17

Whitney, 14

Alp, 15

Hill, 8

Creston, 7

Which of these mountain-inspired names is your fave? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

This post was originally published on Nameberry by Nick Turner.