Because of factors like the colonization of the Americas, many Native American cultures were watered down and lost. This can make it difficult to find traditional Cherokee names and their meanings today. Your best resource for finding Cherokee names and their true meanings is to consult a member of a modern Cherokee tribe.
Cherokee Names for Girls
Cherokee names for girls translated to English are often very short or very long. They tend to end in vowels and provide unique baby name options.
Beautiful Cherokee Nature Names for Girls
Cherokee girl names that come from animals, plants, and other natural aspects sound beautiful and have beautiful meanings. You could choose a nature name for your little girl based on how she looks or acts.
- Adsila: Blossom
- Ama: Water
- Amadahy: Forest water
- Awinita: Fawn
- Gola: Winter
- Kamama: Butterfly
- Noya: Sand
- Salalai: Squirrel
- Selu: Corn
- Tayanita: Young beaver
- Tsula: Fox
- Walela: Hummingbird
- Woya: Dove
Powerful Cherokee Names for Girls
Although Cherokee tribes were matriarchal, finding strong baby girl names can be a challenge. However, there are a few that could make your little girl powerful from the start.
- Ahyoka: She brought happiness
- Atsila: Fire
- Galilahi: Attractive
- Nanye-hi: Unknown; Famous "beloved woman" Nancy Ward
- Tsianina: Unknown meaning; famous singer
Cherokee Names for Boys
Since Cherokee tribes often had male chiefs and men in centuries past typically documented more things about men, it's a little easier to find male Cherokee names. Boy names with Cherokee roots also tend to end in vowels.
Strong Cherokee Names for Boys
- Conocotocko: Standing turkey
- Danuwoa: The warrior
- Gălă-gi′na: Male deer or turkey; editor of the Cherokee Phoenix
- Junaluska: He tries repeatedly, but fails
- Kana′tĭ: The lucky hunter
- Moytoy: Rainmaker
- Sequoya(Sikwayi): Sparrow; Writer of Cherokee alphabet
- Takatoka: Unknown meaning
- Tsali: Charlie
- Uku: Chief
- Yonaguska: The bear drowns him
Meaningful Cherokee Nature Names for Boys
Like Cherokee girl names, many Cherokee boy names are inspired by the natural world.
- Adohi: Woods
- Ama-Edohi: Water goer
- Enoli: Black fox
- Jistu: Trickster rabbit
- Kanuna: Bullfrog
- Onacona: White owl
- Salonitah: Flying squirrel
- Wohali: Eagle
- Yona: Bear
Cherokee Naming Traditions
Hundreds of years ago, every Cherokee child would go through a naming tradition that typically involved being named by one of the tribes "Beloved" women within seven days of birth. However, a person's name could change at one or more points during their life if they achieved or accomplished something great. This is because the Cherokee believed names could evolve with your identity. Traditional Cherokee names were spoken and written in the Cherokee language and later translated into English by settlers who used the sound of the name to create an English version.
Native American baby names, like Cherokee names, are traditionally reserved for members of Native American tribes. If you want to be culturally sensitive and you're not a member of the Cherokee Nation, consider using these names only as inspiration to invent your own baby name.