In Latvia, nature has always been closely connected with human identity and culture. This connection is also reflected in Latvian personal names, many of which are associated with natural phenomena, plants, animals, and flowers. A personal name with a nature-related theme can be given to both a woman and a man, for example, Venta (woman) and Vents (man) (from the name of the river in Kurzeme).

In the name day calendar, we can find many beautiful personal names (and yes, we have one of the rare name day calendars, and we celebrate name days), such as Dzelme (Depth), Dzīle (another form of the Latvian name “Depth”), Mētra (bilberry leaves), Meldra (Bulrush), Rasa (Dew), and Sniedze (Snow), Ziema (Winter).

However, historically the quite popular names of this type have been Ausma, Ausmis (Dawn) – symbolizing dawn and a new beginning, Austra, Austrums (East – literal meaning or Dawn – symbolic meaning related to the rising sun in the east).

Ieva (Eve), symbolizing fertility and the creation of life, and associated by all Latvians with the time of Ieva’s tree (Bird cherry) blooming, which always fits with a great cold in spring, is a very common name among Latvians. In other regions of Latvia, we find other popular nature-inspired names. In Vidzeme, favorites were Selga (a deep place in the sea), Pārsla (Snowflake), Liesma (Flame), and Sarma (Frost).

Throughout Latvia, very well-known and popular personal names associated with real Midsummer herbs (Jāņu zāles) are Gundega (Buttercup) and Madara (upright Hedge-bedstraw), Magone (Poppy). Flower names are also widespread – Roze (Rose), Vijolīte (Violin), Lilija (Lily).

In recent years, there has been a trend to return to nature-inspired names. Names like Jasmīna (Jasmine) and Melisa (Melissa), symbolizing fragrant flowers, have become popular.

For men, there are additional names inspired by nature or its phenomena, including Alnis (Moose), Atvars (Maelstrom), Dzintars (Amber), Ziedonis (often representing beauty of the arrival of spring and new beginnings), and Vilnis (Sea Wave).

Of course, there are also other Latvian-origin personal names in Latvia, as well as Latvian-derived personal names based on personality qualities, great-grandmothers, and grandmothers, and adopted names, but these nature-linked names still deeply carry the Latvian identity. The popularity of nature-linked names reflects Latvians’ strong connection with nature and its values. These names not only sound beautiful but also carry deep symbolic meaning, connecting people with the rhythm and power of nature.

Recourse : Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia | Names