First names starting with Y are among the rarest in our culture, with very few entering the top US baby names. But there are many rare Y name choices from around the world stemming in various cultures, most notably from Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic. Are you considering saying “yes” to a Y name? 

We’ve got Y nature names; some best known I names getting a fancy upgrade with a Y in the first position; a few contemporary place names; and some timeless, gender-neutral Y name choices. Whatever your motivation in seeking a Y name for your baby girl or boy, look no further than our list of the best Y names. Why not?!

Girl Baby Names That Start With Y

Yadira: The baby girl name most popular in Spanish-speaking communities has no known meaning in that language; as an Arabic name it means “solitude” or “island.” 

Yamileth: Translating to “beautiful” in Arabic, it’s one of those special names with a sound that matches its meaning.  

Yana: A hopeful baby girl name serving as an elegant alternative to more common choices like Anna, Yana is the Slavic take on Jana, a tier-two diminutive of John—“God is gracious.”

Yara: If you like Tara but want something more unique, we love this pretty Arabic pick meaning “friend” or “helper.”  

Yareli: In a moment when nature names are topping all the charts, consider something trend-driven but rarely heard; the Native American girl name translating to both “waterlily” and “small butterfly” could be the one! Yareli is often also heard among Spanish speakers, possibly as a version of Yara. 

Yaretzi: One of only three baby girl names that start with Y and are currently resting within the top US girl names—it’s at around spot #500, so still quite rare. Yaretzi is of Aztec origin and means, “you will always be loved.”

Yasmina: The Persian flower name, a version of Jasmine, is a lovely choice for a daughter. Its dual meaning is “gift of God.” Yasmine and the spirited Yasamina are adjacent alternatives. 

Yelena: This Russian girl name is a take on Helen, meaning “bright and shining one.”

Yeva: From the Hebrew Eve— “life”—the Russian/Arabic baby girl name has two pronunciation choices, with emphasis on either the first or second syllable as you prefer.  

Yoko: Made internationally famous by the artist and activist Yoko Ono, who was married to The Beetles’ John Lennon, it is a Japanese name with various meanings including “child, sunshine, crystal,” and “the sparkle of jewelry.” 

Yolanda: The Greek name for the violet flower is actually one of the better-known names on our list, but not used much these days.  

Ysabel: Spanish for Isabel meaning “pledged to God,” it’s one of a set of I names like Ynes that received a “Y” rewrite upon use among Spanish speakers.  

Yvette: From the French boys’ name Yves, it’s another like Yolanda that’s fairly well known but no longer common. The name means “yew tree.” 

Yvonne: A French name for girls, it's an offshoot of Yvette and Yvette, translating to “yew wood.” 

Boy Baby Names That Start With Y

Yahir: The boys’ name of mixed Hebrew/Arabic origins translates to “he will enlighten.”  

Yanis: A Hebrew boy name to fall in love with, it means “gift from God,” which might be perfect for a little miracle baby. 

Yannick: A French name meaning “God is gracious,” it’s a rare choice with a natural spelling that could appeal to US parents. 

Yasir: Arabic for “wealthy” or “prosperous,” this Y name for boys is on the rise. 

Yates: An English baby boy name meaning “gate,” it also has ties to the American author Richard Yates if you’re looking for a literary tie-in.  

Yehuda: The Hebrew boy name belonged to a son of Jacob in the Bible, meaning “praised.” 

Yeshua: Another Hebrew baby name with Y, this one means “to rescue, deliver.” 

York: A British place name with potential for your baby boy. 

Yulian: It’s the Russian/Bulgarian take on Julian, meaning “youthful, downy-bearded, sky father.” 

Yuma: The Native American baby boy name translates to “son of a chief.”

Yusef/ Yosef: There are many exotic and familiar versions of Joseph (“Jehovah increases”) around the world—this take, from Arabic, is softened by its opening Y sound. 

Yvain: Originally Owain, the Welsh name has been around in both versions since the 12th century or earlier. It means “youth” and “well-born.” 

Yves: Best known to American ears as the name of the famed French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, this elegant boys name meaning “yew wood” is worth considering if you favor short and chic names for babies. 

Gender-Neutral Baby Names That Start With Y

Yael: The Hebrew name meaning “to ascend” is short in spelling but has two distinct syllables and a classic Hebrew sound. 

Yale: Effortlessly cool, the choice most commonly associated with the prestigious Ivy League university is also a gender-neutral Welsh name meaning “fertile” or “vigorous.” 

Yarden: In the Arden/Camden vein of catchy two-syllable names to love, this one which only sounds like an English or Irish name but is actually from Hebrew, means the opposite of Yael: “to descend.”

Yardley: The English surname meaning “wood clearing” is another cool gender-neutral baby name to consider. 

Yarrow: A lovely nature name for boys or girls, it refers to a rough stream, and is also a white or yellow flowering plant. 

Yosemite: If you love place names, consider this ambling and bold choice for one of the most beloved US National Parks in California, featuring breathtaking views and challenging hikes. 

Yoshi: The gender-neutral Japanese baby name means “good” or “respectful” and lends adorably to nicknames Yosh or Shi-Shi.

Yuki: As the sound adjacent to our “Y” is prevalent in the Japanese language, there are many cute Y baby names to explore from Japan. This is one of our favorites, meaning “snow,” making it a darling name for a baby born in winter

After you say yes to a baby name, say yes to more sleep! SNOO has been proven to add 1 to 2 hours of sleep per night for families by automatically responding to a baby’s fussing. Learn more about SNOO!

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