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Portrait of happy young boy holding paddle near a kayak on the river, enjoying a lovely summer day


River is absolutely a gender-neutral name. Born from the “hippy” generation, it has come to be quite popular these days with both genders. River was ranked in the top 200 most popular baby names for both boys and girls in 2020.

River is derived from the Latin word “ripa” which actually translates to “riverbank.” The name River also means “flowing body of water.” River symbolizes a kind of yin and yang. The tranquility of slowly moving calm water versus the raw power of raging water.

Baby name River


Nicknames for River

The name River evokes a feeling of freedom, passion, and romance. While it might be difficult to come up with a nickname based on the name “River”, it just provides an even better opportunity to discover a nickname unique to their personality. However, we've come up with a fun list of possible nickname options to get you inspired:

  • Riv
  • Rivvy
  • Rick 
  • Sliver
  • Iver

River Name Details

Style: Modern

Gender: Neutral

Pronunciation: RIV-er

Syllables: Two

Alternative Spellings for River

  • Ryver
  • Rivor

River Name Popularity

According to the Social Security Administration index, River was the 186th most popular girl name in 2020. It was ranked as the 129th most popular boy name.

White baby bodysuit with wooden tiles saying baby names on a fluffy background

©Anicka S/Shutterstock.com

  • Rvers
  • Rivar
  • Rive
  • Rivor
  • Ryvers
  • Riv
  • Riviera

Great Middle Names for River and Their Meanings

Aiden (fire)
Chance (good fortune)
Grey (grey hair or beard)
Kaden (companion)
Nova (new)
Rayne (queen; counsel; song)

Famous People Named River

River Jude Phoenix (actor)
River Shields (actor)
River Matthews (singer, songwriter)
River Phoenix (son of Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara)

River Song (character in the television show, “Doctor Who”)
River Baldwin (character on “The Young and the Restless”)
River Ripple (character from the book series “Warriors” by Erin Hunter)

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