Unisex Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Dakota

  • Gender:
  • Unisex
  • Origin:
  • American
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Dakota

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - Dakota

Dakota is an American name taken from a Native-American Sioux sub-tribe known as the Dakotas; an indigenous people who dwelled in the northern region of the Mississippi Valley. The name of the Dakota tribe comes from a dialect of the Lakota Sioux language meaning “friend, ally” and/or “alliance”. The Great Sioux nation comprised of three major divisions: the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota. The Dakotas were known for their physical strength, unquestionable bravery, mental astuteness and moral righteousness – no wonder other tribal nations wanted the Dakota people as “friends” and “allies”! American parents began to use Dakota as a name for their baby boys starting in 1985 and it officially became gender-neutral when it showed up on the female naming charts in 1990. This unisex name is now used with relative equality between the two sexes.

Popularity of the Name Dakota

The name Dakota first appeared on the male naming charts in 1985. The female version of the name followed five years later in 1990. Dakota’s sudden usage for girls may have been influenced by the then celebrity couple Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith who named their daughter Dakota at the end of 1989. Regardless, between 1993 and 2001 Dakota was a Top 100 favorite name for baby boys (it has never achieved Top 100 status on the nation’s female charts). However, in 2010, Dakota for baby girls surpassed her male counterpart in usage for the first time. We’re sure that the popular young actress Dakota Fanning has helped identify this name as more female. Dakota is a well-known name in the United States; two of our 50 states bear the name of this Native American sub-tribe. The name gives us a sense of Wild West ruggedness and for this reason we weren’t surprised to see it on the Top 100 list of most popular girl names in the great state of Wyoming. It’s a solid unisex name with boyish strength and girlish charm. We also like Kota for a nickname. One thing to keep in mind, though – Dakota is often used as a name for dogs (like Bailey or Riley for instance). We actually like Dakota for canines; after all, dogs are Man’s Best “Friend”. Very fitting, indeed!
Popularity of the Unisex Name Dakota
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Dakota

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Dakota

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Dakota

    Dakota We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Dakota.

  • Popular Songs on Dakota

    Popular Songs on Dakota

    Dakota - a song by Junction 18

    Dakota - a song by Steel Train

    Dakota - a song by Stereophonics

    Dakota (The Dancing Bear) - a song by Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge

    North Dakota - a song by Lyle Lovett

    Reno Dakota - a song by The Magnetic Fields

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Dakota

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Dakota

    A Home for Dakota (Jan Zita Grover) - Dog No. 241 lives in a crate in a cold, dark barn that is stacked with hundreds of other caged dogs in a puppy mill breeding operation. She has never known human companionship, exercise, or decent care. One night, rescuers arrive and take her and the other dogs away to lead new and happier lives. Soon, despite her fears, she finds herself in a warm, secure foster home, being bathed and groomed and loved by a young woman named Emma. At first, she is too frightened to respond; all she wants is to return to the familiar dark. Winner of the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Dakota Fanning (Joanne Mattern) - By the time she was 11 years old, Dakota Fanning had taken Hollywood by storm. Her roles in I Am Sam, War of the Worlds, Dreamer, and other movies have showcased her talent and made her extremely popular. She started her acting career when she was just a little girl, then she went on to fame in television and in movies. Meanwhile she has continued to live a normal, carefree life. Here is the story of one of Hollywood s brightest stars a girl who is just as happy to be on a movie set as she is playing dress-up with her little sister at home! Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Dakota's Revenge (Janette Rallison) - Despite her Mormon faith, seventeen-year-old Dakota hates her new home in Arizona, sabotages her mother's remarriage, and plots revenge against the boys who have worsened her poor self-esteem by publicly insulting her. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Playdate Kids: Dakota's Mom Goes to the Hospital (Annie Thiel) - Dakota just doesn’t understand why her Mom is not there to do all the things that Dakota liked: making banana pancakes, saying I Love You, and picking her up from school. When Dakota's mom didn't feel well, her Dad called the doctor and they had to take Dakota's mom to the hospital because she was very sick. Dakota missed her mom and was scared. Dad tried everything to take care of Dakota but he didn't do it the way Mom did it. Dakota was jealous of the other kids because they had their Moms. Dad encourages to talk about her feelings of being afraid, jealous and confused to him or grandma. He explains that the hospital may seem scary but it is the best place for a sick person to go to find out what is wrong. Dakota and Dad found new ways to have fun. And when Mom comes home from the hospital, they help her together to get well. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    When God Made the Dakotas (Tim Kessler) - Oh, Great Spirit, the Dakotas would like a land of great stone mountains whose jagged peaks are topped with the snow of many winters, mountains where flashing trout spawn in fast rushing streams….Wakantanka opened his bag and peered inside. He set the bag down slowly, shaking his head. Im sorry, Old Friend, he said quietly. I have no mountains left to give. Ask for something else. Before he creates the Dakotas, the Great Spirit, Wakantanka, asks Woksape, the Dakota medicine man, about his dreams for the land. Woksape soon learns that many of the things he imagined - verdant forests, vast lakes, towering mountains, and desert canyons - have already been given away. When Woksape allows the Great Spirit to fashion the Dakotas in his own way, however, he finds that the Dakota lands far exceed his expectations. Tim Kesslers creation story, framed as a Native American legend, reminds readers to find beauty and joy in what surrounds them. Paul Morins stunning illustrations, inspired by the landscape and spirit of the Dakotas, celebrate the unique qualities and character of the Dakota lands and people. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Dakota

    Famous People Named Dakota

    Famous People Named Dakota - Dakota Abberton (Australian surfer); Dakota Culkin (sibling of Macaulay Culkin); Dakota Fanning (actress); Dakota Floeter (musician); Dakota Goyo (actor); Dakota Johnson (model/actress); Dakota Lane (author); Dakota Meyer (U.S. Marine and Medal of Honor recipient); Dakota Blue Richards (English actress); Dakota Staton (jazz singer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Dakota

    Children of Famous People Named Dakota

    Famous People Who Named Their Child Dakota - Don Johnson (actor); Jessica Lynch (Iraqi war veteran and POW); Melanie Griffith (actress); Melissa Gilbert (actress)

  • Historic Figures

    Dakota - Unisex Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Dakota - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Dakota.

Personality of the Unisex Name Dakota

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Dakota

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