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Ask Baby Names

Baby name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder of BabyNames.com. Have a question for Jennifer? E-mail it to question@babynames.com

Native American Names

Jennifer,

I’ve always loved the name Dakota. While I’m not yet expecting, it’s at the top of our list for a girl as it’s one of the few names we agree on. Recently, though, someone mentioned to me that it’s a culturally insensitive name due to the Native American tribe and that it would be cruel to use it for a child’s name. If I were to name my future daughter Dakota, would people commonly make this association?

Also, I’ve noticed that you don’t have the names Gloriana or Alexianna (a name that a friend of mine made up but that I’ve seen mentioned on a few name blogs) in your database.

Thank you so much for all of the work you’ve put into your site. As an author, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred to it for name inspiration! It’s truly helpful. 🙂

Jody

Dear Jody,

Thank you for your compliments. As an author, I appreciate it!

To answer your first question, yes. I’ve been told that Native Americans are offended when white people use tribe names for their children. What I was told was that they feel that we have taken so much from them, now we want their names, too? It is insensitive. That being said, Dakota is a U.S. state name and a more widely accepted Caucasian name than say, Cree or Lakota.

As for the second question, Gloriana and Alexianna are both combination names of two other names. To find their meanings, look up Glory and Anna or Alex and Anna. I will put them on our list to add to the database but it’s almost impossible to enter every combination of two names morphed into one!

Hope that helps!

Sincerely,
Jennifer