Category: animal baby names
Perusing through the Nameberry database, it occurred to me that all the nature names are pretty straightforward, normal names. So, in my never-ending search for unheard of names, I discovered these nature names that aren’t to be found there that I think are ripe for the picking. Since they’re nature names, I won’t separate them into gender categories since technically, all nature names should be unisex, but I will express my preference.
Aletris – Otherwise known as Colic Root, Blazing Star, Unicorn Root, and Stargrass, this is a flowering plant whose roots are used to make medicine. The flowers are tiny, delicate wide bells. The root is used for digestive problems (including colic), muscle problems, and some women use it to prevent miscarriage, though I wouldn’t recommend it without a doctor’s permission. As a name, I think it’s very cool. It sounds like it could fit into the ‘ancient name’ revival trend, or the ‘boyish names on girls’ trend as it does have a sort of masculine sound. For boys, it’s got the nickname Al and for girls there’s Allie and Lettie.
Animal baby names are a new group in the lexicon.
Would you use an animal name for your child? Why or why not?
But there is also a – well, can we say herd? pack? – of names that are much more subtle about their animal connections.
These names have animal meanings but you’d only know that if you read a name dictionary. Discovering their secret animal connection is likely to prove delightful for a child given one of these attractive names.
While the list of names with animal meanings is longer than this – here’s a full list of animal names for boys and one of animal names for girls – we’ve picked some of our favorites.
Arthur – bear
This classic Celtic name has, after hitting a low in 2010, turned upward and may be heading back to the Top 20 status it enjoyed a century ago. Cited as a possibility for the upcoming royal baby, Arthur is a kingly choice with the bonus creative nickname Art.
What with the movie Ted, starring an outrageously potty-mouthed teddy bear, becoming a box office sensation, and celebs giving their baby boys the actual first or middle name of Bear, this seems like a perfect time to think about Teddy and other fictional bear names for possible inspiration.
So, though you might not want to name your son Paddington, Fozzie, Corduroy, Smokey, Yogi, Bobo or Baloo, here are some ursine character names you might want to consider if you’re into the idea of animal names.
Ted, Teddy, Theodore—These ultimate bear name cluster was inspired by a Theodore Roosevelt hunting trip incident that became the subject of a political cartoon which in turn inspired the making of a little stuffed bear cub toy dubbed “Teddy’s Bear”–which soon ignited a national craze. The name Theodore is currently experiencing a resurgence—it’s now at Number 231, partially sparked by love for the nickname Theo, which itself entered the Top 1000 in 2010 and is a Nameberry fave. Not so many Teds or Teddys these days, though. In addition, of course, many Edwards—as in Edward Kennedy, have also been known as Teddy.
Winnie, Winifred, Winston—Winnie the Pooh, second only to teddy as an ursine icon, was created by A. A. Milne in 1926, and named after a stuffed teddy owned by his son Christopher Robin. The boy had taken the name from a bear that he often saw at the London zoo called Winnipeg, nn Winnie. In real life most Winnies are more often formally Winston (as in Churchill) or Winifred—both of which are starting to be used again. Maybe Winnie could be the next Hattie.
Our guest blogger Marion Roach first wrote about her sister Margaret’s horse-inspired name on her blog She Said, She Said, part of the sisters’ joint site, The Sister Project. Margaret Roach, the former editor of “Martha Stewart Living”, also runs the site A Way To Garden.
My family frequently names those we love for sports idols. For instance, among the dozen cats and dogs who have come and gone in my life there was Saratoga Roach, a terrier of a beagle, named for the late-summer racetrack in upstate New York, and Cleveland, a hapless chocolate lab, named for the Browns.
Then there is my sister, Margaret, named for the 1954 winner of the Belmont Stakes.
At one point in his life our father was a turf reporter, spending his winters at Hialeah, his summers in Saratoga and the time between at the racetracks in the East. Amid the crowd he covered, one of the great pastimes was naming thoroughbreds. It’s an art—no name can be more than 18 characters, including punctuation and spaces—as well as a science: Names frequently reflect breeding, sometimes with great flourish. For instance, the year before my sister was born, the great horse of 1953 was a colt whose father was Polynesian and mother was named Geisha. Their champion offspring was crowned Native Dancer. It’s a great tradition.
And one that continued into my family. My father had a horse named for him—it was called Sportseditor. I have a sailboat named Ruffian, for the magnificent dark filly who didn’t know the meaning of the word quit, until she broke down at the mile marker in a match race against Foolish Pleasure in 1975.
In due course it was revealed that there was an offspring on the way in our household.