W names for babies are so precious, running the gamut from nature-inspired and hipster-approved to luxe, presidential, and super unique. W is not a letter or sound in all languages, but in those that contain it, versions of W start off some of the coolest baby boy and girl names around. 

Whether you love the classics like William and Wendy, are reaching for country hits like Wyatt and Winona, or prefer hippie-chic Wick and Waterlily… we’ve got it all, with meanings and history. If you’ve always loved the warm and wandering possibilities of a baby name that starts with W, or are newly considering this dignified first initial for your little one, we’ve got the best W names for girls and boys.

Girl Baby Names That Start With W

Walleria: Meaning “strong, brave, and healthy” or “of the valley,” the Latin baby girl name is super rare. 

Waterlily: With nature names on the rise, parents are reaching for more and more unique options. This lovely flower name fits that bill.  

Wendall: If you’re a fan of popular Kendall but want something less known, this is a nice choice. It’s also a more contemporary version of Wanda, sharing that name’s meaning—“shepherdess, wanderer”—of Slavic roots.  

Wendy: There’s just something about this nostalgic baby girl name that makes you want to smile. Did you know it was actually invented specifically for the character in the 1904 novel Peter Pan that inspired the Disney movie? Wednesday and Wendolyn are full name options if you’d like something longer and to call her Wendy as a nickname. 

Wilhelmina: She might have fallen out of favor in the 1950’s after a stint at the top of the charts, but this somewhat forgotten William offshoot translating to “resolute protection” of German roots (Whilhelm) is making a comeback.  

Whimsy: A word name full of hope and magic, it’s certainly not for everyone, but that could make it perfect for you! 

Willa: Such a pretty way to honor a William in the family with the birth of your daughter; it shares the meaning “resolute protection” but has a softer feel to Wilhelmina due to its brevity. Willabella is a modern take that’s also worth considering if you like more princess-y picks. 

Willow: One of the most popular nature names for girls, it belongs to a truly special tree and is currently in the US top 50. 

Wimberly: Fans of long and bouncy 1980s hits like Kimberly (and Stephanie and Vanessa…) seeking something more contemporary might find “The One” with this stunner of English roots, meaning “someone from the area of Cheshire.” 

Winifred: Cult Halloween classic Hocus Pocus probably has a little something to do with how wildly popular this once forgotten baby girl name is now. It’s a Welsh name meaning “blessed peacemaking,” with the cute nickname Winnie.  

Winsley: A cool-girl name with potential as an alternative for your little Winnie, it’s a compilation of English root words for “friend” and “hill.” 

Winter: The seasonal word name is a lovely choice for a daughter born any time of year. (See more winter baby names!) 

Wisteria: Another captivating nature name to infuse our W baby names list with style and grace, it belongs to a gorgeous, flowering purple plant. 

Wren: This pretty pick plucked straight from nature is currently trending, as fellow bird names like Robin, Sparrow, and Lark also fly around the charts. 

Wynonna: There are multiple spelling applications for the Sioux name translating to “first-born daughter,” which was made popular by the singer Judd. 

Boy Baby Names That Start With W

Wales: A place name with potential, Wales is among the classy baby boy names with W that we just adore. 

Wally: Considering this old-fashioned baby boy name for your son? It’s a pretty darn adorable nickname for Walter or Wallace that also works on its own. We also love the moneyed surname Waldorf as an alternative for the long form. 

Walker: It’s got cowboy vibes and we’re here for all of it. Walker is an English occupational name that is considered gender-neutral, but a better fit for boys according to the name charts.

Warren: If you prefer names that have stood the test of time, this one that was most popular in the 1920s but has never completely disappeared could be it. Warren means “park-keeper” with English roots.  

Watson: It has quirky appeal and some literary references (as in Sherlock Holmes), and happily this not-overused baby boy name is a great compromise if you’d like one that is familiar but not too popular. It’s a Scottish surname for the “son of Wat” (or Walter). 

Weston: In the vein of North West (daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West), directional names are a definite trend. Weston is a handsome choice with extra flair thanks to its second syllable. (See more celebrity baby names!) 

Whittaker: One of those adorable surnames that’s weaseled its way into the first position. You can call him Whit for short or use the whole name—either works. 

Wick: A short and jaunty word name that would be a cute nickname for Wicker or Warwick, but is also enough on its own. 

William: One of the longest standing boys’ names around, it has belonged to so many greats from Shakespeare to Prince William! You’ll also note that many of the other beloved W names for boys and girls come from William originally. The name means “resolute protection” of English/German origin.  

Wilson: It’s straightforward: the son of Will. This sweet baby boy name could be just perfect for your little guy, especially if his dad is a William.

Winston: A vintage name that’s started to be used a bit more, it means “wine’s town” and is currently at its highest point on the naming charts since the 1940s, at around #400. 

Wolf: Animal names are a bold and fun way to bring in nature when naming a boy. The wolf is known for its keen intelligence and devotion to their family (or “pack”). These traits and the rare usage make this one a strong contender if you’d like a rare baby name that starts with W for your boy.  

Worth: This word name packs a powerful (and expensive) punch for a handsome name that’s equal parts bougie and brief.  

Wyatt: The English surname meaning “brave in war” serves up country appeal, having belonged to the famous cowboy Wyatt Earl, born in the 1840’s.

Gender-Neutral Baby Names That Start With W

Waverly: Rambling and uber-chic, we adore the English surname that means roughly, “from the meadow of quivering aspens.”

Walter: Traditionally given to boys, this familiar and stoic German name meaning “army ruler” is being used for girls today, too. 

Wesley: A strong gender-neutral name with natural roots (“western meadow”), it is definitely a contender. If you like it but want something longer and lesser heard, consider Wesleyan.  

Whitney: We love this centuries-old name which, despite being used more widely today for girls, was pretty much only given to boys until it was made popular by the actress Whitney Blake in the 1960s. Whitney means “white meadow” and is perfectly gender neutral. For a more “off the charts” take, consider the adjacent name Whitley. 

Wilder: In the not-too-distant past, this take on the word “wild” would have been unheard of as a baby name, but now its charm and whimsy have worked their way into the hearts of many, making it a name to love for a boy or girl.  

Willoughby: Playful and adorable, the English name meaning “farm near the willow trees” gets the hipster seal of approval for being out-there enough, yet is easy to shorten into Will or Willow. 

Windsor: Anglophiles will fall hard for this beautiful W name for babies, which, of course, brings to mind the British Royal Family. As a name itself, Windsor translates to a “river with a winch,” which is a device that makes it an ideal spot for fishing. 

Winslow: Another super sweet W name for baby girls or boys, it relates to a burial ground (direct translation: “friend’s hill”), so there is a sorrow to the name, but could be the perfect way to pay homage to a deceased family member with the initial W. Will, Winnie, and Low are all cute nicknames. 

Woodland: In a time when nature-based word names are pretty much anything goes, consider this lovely, dark, and deep baby name for boys and girls. 

Wrigley: Surnames are big on our list of the best baby names with W, and this one could be a cute nod to Chicago roots in the family, as it belongs to their famed ballpark.  

Wylie: If you like Riley and Miley but want something a bit more unique, this is a fun W name for a boy or girl. It is a diminutive of William. 

Once you pick the perfect baby name, pick the perfect baby bed. SNOO is proven to add 1-2 hours of sleep—plus it keeps babies in the only safe sleeping position for all nights and naps. Learn more about SNOO. (Because what’s more wonderful than sleep?)

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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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