Being a San Francisco parent means you have a big heart and killer calves: you’ve hiked to the top of Nob Hill with a toddler in tow and we’re betting you’ve been on MUNI one too many times while pregnant. If you’re looking for boy baby names or girl baby names, from the Bay Bridge to Ocean Beach, we’ve revisited our favorite city’s streets and neighborhoods for some adorable baby name inspiration. Read on for the list!
Alma de Bretteville Spreckels was an old-school SF socialite and philanthropist who—along with her husband Adolph—gifted the city many an iconic institute including the Legion of Honor. Most famously, though, she’s the model for the statue in the middle of Union Square (Dewey Monument).
There’s no reward without a little risk, and SF residents know that the San Andreas fault runs right through our city. It keeps us on our toes, like your little guy might!
Angelou (or Maya)
The famous poet, activist and author who was awarded over 50 honorary degrees in her lifetime, was also the first African-American streetcar operator in San Francisco.
You have to be okay with a certain “aesthetic” to name your kid after this iconic street but you’ll likely get a free-thinker on your hands. Plus we think Ash is just the cutest nickname.
What could be more SF than naming your kid after the Bay Area Rapid Transit train?
The city by the bay couldn’t get more recognizable in this local name that also makes a perfect middle name, too.
You know it as the street, but did you also know it’s the last name of an abolitionist senator who died as a result of a wound inflicted during the last known duel within the boundaries of SF? Well, you do now.
Cesar (or Chavez)
Both names pay homage to Cesar Estrada Chavez, a fierce fighter for civil and labor rights who co-founded (along with Dolores Huerta) National Farm Workers in 1962. You also know it as the name of what was once known as Army Street.
For Charlotte L. Brown, who was the one of the first people in the US to legally challenge racial segregation. In the 1860s Charlotte was removed (by force) from a horse-drawn street car for being a person of color. She filed a lawsuit. It took several years, but in 1865 she won.
One of San Francisco’s lovelier streets, it’s also one of the shorter streets, starting at Fulton and winding its way up Ashbury Heights toward Twin Peaks where it affords some pretty stunning views.
Home to a diverse array of foods and one of the best neighborhood farmer’s market in the City, we love the idea of naming a kiddo this and calling him Clem for short. Name for Roswell Clement who is often credited for the idea of creating Golden Gate Park.
For something with a little versatility, this "regular" name comes from the iconic Cliff House (did you know they have the best breakfast biscuits in the West?). The Cliff House burned down in 1907 but was rebuilt, and rebuilt again to become the more modern structure that stands today.
Cole Valley has a rep for being one of the most kid-friendly hoods in the city, so why not name your kiddo for it, too?
It’s not just a beautiful street name or your favorite park. It's the namesake of the first mission in SF (which is also home to one of the only cemeteries within the city proper). Even more fun, it's also the name of Dolores Huerta, who fought for migrant worker rights and co-founded National Farm Workers in 1962.
This street and park are part of every N-Judah rider's commute. Named after a colonel in command during the Spanish-American War (Victor Duboce). As long as you pronounce it right, you've got a sweet sounding name that has a Parisian tinge to it.
Francisco or Francis
This is probably the most overlooked but most obvious name for any kid hailing from our city’s boundaries.
Most people recognize him as Lt. Governor and now Governor of California, but once upon a time, Gavin Newsom was our fair city’s mayor.
Why choose Gary when you can go with the totally San Francisco variation, Geary? One of the longest, cross-town streets in the city, Geary Blvd. takes you from Market Street all the way out to the ocean (and so does the 38!).
Harvey Bernard Milk was the city’s first openly gay official, elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1951. Today we remember Harvey Milk for his courage and tenacity in standing out by standing up—a true San Francisco attitude.
It's a valley, it's a street and at one time was the last name of a prominent SF family. We think it would be an adorable first name, too.
Jack (London, Kerouac, Hirschman)
This classic name has plenty of SF-appeal: Jack London spent quite a bit of time in San Francisco throughout his years living at Beauty Ranch in Glen Ellen; Jack Kerouac became an adopted literary son of the city through the Beat Generation and Jack Hirschman was named SF Poet Laureate in 2006.
Want to name her something fierce? How about naming her after Juana Briones y Tapia de Miranda, the first female property owner in the state of California. She was born in Santa Cruz, of Spanish and African descent, and raised in the Presidio where she became known for being a healer and midwife.
Before she was on the bill as a potential 2020 presidential contender, Kamala Harris was San Francisco’s District Attorney from 2004 to 2011. She was born in Oakland and received her law education both at Howard University in D.C. and right in SF at the Hastings College of Law.
If you’ve lived in SF anytime in the last decade, you likely follow Karl the Fog on Twitter. If not, newsflash: after all these years, our beloved fog has its own name. The “C” variant is also an SF street name.
The founder of City Lights, the iconic North Beach bookstore and world-renowned publishing company, Lawrence Ferlinghetti turned 100 in 2019. To celebrate, the city of SF declared his birthday, March 24, officially "Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day." Name your kid after this guy and we can promise spontaneous poetry will become a household thing,
Leola King, aka the Queen of Fillmore, opened her first nightclub in the 1950s, back when Black-owned and women-owned businesses were scarce. She became a highly successful businesswoman and owned several properties and nightclubs, including the Birdcage. Her clubs hosted greats like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, helping establish the Fillmore District as the Harlem of the West.
This perfectly sweet name has a pretty fierce backstory: Lillie Hitchcock Coit was a champion of SF firefighters and the benefactress who gave us the iconic Coit tower. Known also as Firebelle Lil, she was considered an eccentric woman who smoked cigars, wore pants (back when ladies weren’t supposed to) and gambled in male-only houses around North Beach.
You love this crazy, curvy street every time your tourist relatives insist on snapping photos in front of it. It also makes a snazzy first or second name for a boy or a girl.
The nickname of Charlotte Crabtree, Lotta was raised in the foothills of Grass Valley, CA during the gold rush where she honed her theatrical skills. Though she did perform frequently in San Francisco, her real legacy is Lotta’s Fountain—at Market and Kearny, the site of annual gatherings every April 18 to commemorate the Great Earthquake of 1906. Lotta frequently donated the money she earned as a stage performer for charities or to beautify the city she loved so well.
Lowell High School is the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi. It was founded in 1856 as the Union Grammar School, but became Lowell in 1894. Though it was separated by genders for a time in its early history, Lowell High School was open to both boys and girls 1866.
Marina or Marin
If you like the neighborhood you'll love the name, but don't forget it also means "of the sea" so it's fitting for an SF kiddo no matter their zipcode. Alternatively, you could go with Marin, for our neighbors to the north.
Named for José de Jesús Noé, he served twice as alcade (essentially, a mayor) of Yerba Buena. One of his last acts while serving—along with Lt. Bartlett of the US Navy—was to officially rename Yerba Buena as San Francisco. At one time he owned land that covered much of what we now know as Noe Valley, Eureka Valley, Fairmont Heights, Glen Park and Sunnyside.
While he’s not a native SF-er, Giants catcher #28, Buster Posey, is as iconic an SF name as they come.
Vicki Manalo Draves was born in San Francisco, Vicki was the first woman ever to win two gold medals during one single Olympics. In 1948, not only did she receive two gold medals in diving, she also became the first Asian-American ever to win a gold medal.
William or Willie (Brown, Leidesdorff, Mays)
Willie Brown was the 41st mayor of San Francisco and the city’s first-ever African American mayor. William Leidesdorff was an African-American who sailed to SF from the Virgin Islands in 1841 and became a respected, prominent businessman and politician. Willie Mays, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, spent his primary years playing (14 years) playing for the SF Giants (you’ll find his statue in front of AT&T—we mean Oracle—park).
featured image: fancycrave1 via Pixabay