On the shore of the Kandalaksha Gulf
On the short of the Kandalaksha Gulf; Image via Wikipedia

She’s a Russian river with an interesting set of international credentials.

Thanks to Emily for suggesting her daughter’s name as our Baby Name of the Day: Niva.

We explored

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I love Neva! I’ve been a Natalia Vodianova fan for years and once I started delving into Russian history and geography via an interest in international adoption, I decided it had to go on my list. I just worry that it would be mispronounced or seen as a made up name, despite its history of use.

  2. My brain automatically reversed the spelling to avin. I think Nevaeh has spoiled some names for me…

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Niva, it’s just “trendy by association.”

  3. I think I like the Neva spelling better. Niva looks too much like Nivea to me, but it’s a brand I use religiously so perhaps that association is lessened for others. They’re bothe pretty names though!

  4. Niva, as the river, is familiar to me. My Great Grandad hailed from the area and had lots of stories revolving around that river. My Great Uncle Pyotr died in it too.

    All in all, Niva’s got a pretty sound (I did think Nivea when I first saw it too, despite the familiarity with it). and does feel a touch wintery. Pretty but too sad for me.