What does Dakota mean?
Dakota \d(a)-ko-ta\ as a girls' name (also used less commonly as boys' name Dakota) is pronounced da-KOH-tah. It is of Native American Indian origin, and the meaning of Dakota is "friend, ally". Tribal name and American place name: the word may also possibly mean "forever smiling".
For more on this name, see also the related girl name Cree.
Dakota is a somewhat popular first name for women (#4077 out of 4276, Top 95%) and also a somewhat popular surname for all people (#82691 out of 150436, Top 55%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Charted below is the baby name popularity of Dakota for girls. Dakota entered the list in 1990 and reached its peak position of #190 in the U.S. in the year 2006, and is presently at #285. (Top 1000 Baby Names Records, 2014)