So, you’re looking at N names for babies… Nice! The noble sound of the letter N, with its prevalence in languages from all of the world, offers up ample name choices. While you’re familiar with some of our chart-toppers like Noah and Nora, and trend-driven parents have definitely mulled over Nash or Neveah, our list combines the best contemporary and vintage N names.  

We have promising picks from Europe and Asia, biblical favorites, and of course the most of-the-moment N names for babies. Whatever you select for your little one, we hope your No. 1 name is on our list of the best baby names with the letter N.

Boy Baby Names That Start With N

Nash: The English name meaning “by the ash tree” has a contemporary feeling of the Cash, Dash, Ash variety that we just love; this combined with its natural meaning makes it a win for boys. 

Napier: A lovely Scottish name with the somewhat random meaning, “producer of table linens,” this is one you would choose for its rugged sound and bougie spelling. 

Narciso: From the Greek translating to “daffodil,” it’s different enough from the familiar Narcissus to get a bit of distance from the classic tale which gave us the term narcissism

Nasir: This beautiful Arabic name meaning “helper” is used across the globe and will give your little guy something special. 

Nathaniel: Biblical baby names carry meaning and heart for many; this classic means “gift of God” with Hebrew roots and shortens sweetly to Nat for major cool-kid vibes.

Neil: It’s a name you don’t hear too often these days, but its lack of current popularity makes the one-syllable Irish moniker meaning “cloud” no less adorable. Same for the trendier take, Niall, as it belongs to the heartthrob Niall Horan of One Direction fame. 

Nelson: Another vintage pick to love, this one of English origins meaning the son of Neil. (Or for a modern twist, it could work for a descendent of Nell). 

Nevan: The Irish name meaning “holy” is a soft yet solid idea for your little guy. 

Newton: After the groundbreaking mathematician/scientist Isaac Newton, or just because it is an adorable place name with English roots meaning “new town,” this perky pick could be it!

Nicholas: One of the most used N-names for boys ever, he’s come in and out of favor but will never be left behind. Nicholas means “people of victory” of Greek origins.  

Nigel: An Irish name meaning “dark” or “black-haired,” this handsome boy name popped inside the top 500 for US baby boys in the mid-1990’s and is now trending toward the outskirts of the top 1,000.  

Niles: If you like Miles but are seeking a less trendy alternative, this Scandinavian baby boy name is a contender. Funnily, it’s yet another “son of Neil” for our list. 

Nixon: Presidential scandal aside (that is so last century!), this x-centric name choice is a rarely heard offshoot of Nicholas worth not nixing from your list.

Noah: A charming name of Hebrew roots—“rest, repose”—most famously associated with the story of the Ark, this familiar biblical name has risen steadily since the 1980’s and been dancing in the top 10 names for US boys for over 10 years. (Last year, it was #2!). We love it for a girl, too, with the alternate spelling, Noa

Nolan: Your little “champion” will love growing up with this cute Irish “N” name. 

Norwood: Unique and stately, the English name pertaining to woods in the north has a romantic sound and moody, nature-based meaning for your little chap. 

Girl Baby Names That Start With N

Nadia: An enchanting Russian baby girl name meaning “hope,” there is also an Arabic name traditionally spelled Nadya that means “tender, delicate.” If you like these but prefer something with fewer syllables, the French version of Nadia is Nadine.  

Nalani: This gorgeous Hawaiian baby girl name means “calm skies,” for a nature-based name that conjures up a chilled personality as well. 

Nanette: The French diminutive of Anne is a darling N baby girl name, which means “grace.”

Naomi: A Hebrew name for girls which means “pleasantness, lovely” is one of those rare names that shows up in various cultures and languages with similar pronunciation and different meanings. In Japanese, it is a gender-neutral name meaning “straight and beautiful.” You might also consider the French version spelled Noemi, which shares the Hebrew meanings. 

Nari: This absolutely precious Japanese baby girl name translates to “gentle child,” making it as sweet in meaning as it is in sound. 

Natalie: A Christmassy name often given to girls born on that holiday, the French version of the Russian Natalia translates to “birthday of the Lord.” Looking way back, it was barely on the charts in the early 1900’s, but has remained steady in the US top 50 since rising there in the 1980’s. Noelle is another option if you’d like a Christmas baby girl name starting with N.  

Nayeli: A far-off cousin of Natalie sound-wise, but with ancient roots and the sweet meaning: “I love you,” this gorgeous Zapotec name is a unique choice. 

Nell: A classic to ponder, it’s a diminutive of Eleanor, meaning “bright, shining one” with English roots. Nellie is an adorable nickname that can be used as a proper name, too. 

Nessa: Often used as a nickname for Vanessa, the standalone Nessa is actually a given baby girl name from around the world with multiple meanings. In Scandinavian, it means “headlands;” the Hebrew translation is “miracle;” to the Irish it’s “not soft or gentle;” and in the Greek language it means “pure and holy” or “butterfly.” Suffice it to say, choosing this name imparts all sorts of lovely imagery on your baby girl!

Nevaeh: “Heaven” spelled backward makes for a modern invented name with high-reaching meaning and a breathy, lyrical sound.  

Ninetta: The Spanish and Italian diminutive of Nina means “little girl” and has an achingly adorable sound. You might consider it as a long version if you like the nickname Nina but want something more substantial.  

Nora: Derived from the Greek name Honora–“light”—this charming Irish moniker is making itself known on the charts; she’s currently at #30 with the possibility of rising higher in the next few years. An alternate spelling, Norah, could serve as a nod to the singer Norah Jones. 

Nola: The Gaelic name meaning “white shoulder” has made a steep incline in recent years. We love that this one can also be given as a place name in reference to the city of New Orleans.  

Nyla: A short and sweet Arabic baby girl name, this one is a winner, translating to “one who achieves.” 

Gender-Neutral Baby Names That Start With N

Nane: Pronounced NAH-nay, this gender-neutral Muslim baby name means “a good-natured person,” making it a lovely choice for your sweet baby boy or girl.  

Navy: From Ruby to Gray, color names are adding a splash to the trend pool, and this dark shade of blue is absolutely no exception.  

Nazareth: If you like super-rare biblical inspiration, consider this ancient place name where Jesus is believed to have spent his boyhood years.  

Neo: The Latin/Tswana name meaning “new” or “gift” is an exotic yet simple name idea for your little boy or girl.  

Neriah: This rarely heard gender-neutral Hebrew name translates beautifully to “light of Jehovah.” 

Night: Dark and sultry, yet gallant and clear, we like this surprising pick that’s cropping up with new-age parents. Like Onyx and Flame, it is one of those trendy word names that seems to carry a tale with it wherever your little one will go. 

Niko: The Finnish diminutive of Nicholas, or a shortened version of the Italian Nicola, no matter how you trace the roots of this charming unisex N name for babies, it’s a cutie. 

Nima: The gender-neutral name most popular among Persians and other people from the Middle East translates to “blessing” in Arabic and also has Hebrew roots meaning “margosa tree” and the Hindi translation—“coming from wealth.” No matter which meaning and cultural origin feels closest to you, this is a beautiful N name to consider. 

Ning: A gender-neutral Chinese name meaning “peaceful,” it would be lovely on its own or as part of a double name hyphenated with another short name like James or Anne. 

Nirvana: The ultimate in word names, its true meaning comes from Buddhism; in Sanskrit the term is used for the Buddhist goal of reaching Nirvana, the state of being relieved of desire and therefore of suffering. For non-Buddhists, it’s a grunge-rock name worth considering.  

Noam: Love Noah but want something a little more unique? This Hebrew name translates to “pleasantness, charm, tenderness” for what the Jewish people would call a mensch. Definitely a good meaning to instill in your little one.  

Noble: One of those word names that we just can’t pass up, it hails from the Latin and means “aristocratic” technically. Colloquially, to be noble is to be of solid character, showing fine qualities. 

Noor: The Arabic name meaning “light” is a unique choice for your little one. If considering it for a baby girl, it’s worth noting this is also a feminine name from the Dutch, a shortened form of Eleonora. 

Nova: A Latin name translating to “new,” it’s perfect for the newest member of your crew! We also love that this one has celestial connotations, for a bright and fast-burning star. 

Nyx: This might be the first time you’ve come across this quirky one-syllable baby name, but put the gender-neutral Greek mythology name for “night” on your shortlist if you like short names that stand out. 

More Baby Name Inspiration:

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About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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