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Category: animal names

animal baby names

Animal baby names are a new group in the lexicon.

There’s Alicia Silverstone’s little boy Bear Blu.

Singer Erykah Badu has a daughter named Puma, and Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen named their now-grown son Wolf long before animal names were fashionable.

Bird names Lark, Hawk, and Wren are rising, and actresses Busy Phillips and Maura West both have small daughters named Birdie.

And then there are those animal baby names that don’t sound like animal names: Arthur (which means bear), Destry (war horse), and Paloma (dove).

Would you use an animal name for your child?  Why or why not?

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Animal Names in Disguise

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Animal names are hot these days: We mean flat-out animal names such as Bear, Fox, and Wren used for children.

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.

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What Are Your Pets’ Names?

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George Washington had a dog named Sweetlips.  Paula Abdul‘s dog is named Puggy Sue.  And Ozzy Osbourne‘s dog is named…..Ozzy.

In my new book Rabid: Are You Crazy About Your Dog or Just Crazy?, a loving look at our sometimes over-the-top dog culture, I include a long list of such strange and surprising celebrity dog names.

And now we want to know about your dogs’ names — and cat, hamster, fish, iguana, and parakeet names.  We want to hear about the names you’ve chosen for your pets over the years, from childhood animals to pets you own now.

Do you give your pets people names?  Names, maybe, that you love but are not brave enough to use on actual children?  Or maybe baby names that, for whatever reason, you’re afraid you’ll never get to use?

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Animal Names: The Wild Kingdom

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel leads us into the jungle for some wild animal names.

Not so long ago, baby boys were named Jason and Kevin and Joshua, and a lynx was something we saw at the zoo on the kindergarten field trip.   

Now a growing number of boys are sharing their names with the zoo’s residents – and not just any residents, but the fiercest of creatures.  The trend owes something to nature choices like River and Sky, as well as tough names for boys like Gunner and Slade.

It isn’t completely new.  Plenty of given names refer to animals.  Wolfgang is a traditional German appellation worn by the legendary MozartFactor in nicknames and the list grows.  There’s Coach Bear Bryant, only his mama named him Paul.  Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait?  He was born Robert Francis.

For parents leaning towards hyper-masculine options like Cannon and Blaze, choosing an apex predator for a son’s name might feel just right.  The more dangerous members of the animal kingdom offer more options than you might imagine, though some are extreme.

I have to offer a disclaimer: this just isn’t my style, though I find some of these intriguing.  Would you consider any of the animal names for your child?  And is there a difference between a gentle creature and a more aggressive one?

Bear – Actor Alicia Silverstone used the name for her son, Bear Blu.  Musician Anthony Kiedis has a son called Everly Bear.

 Caiman – Part Cayden, part tropical island.  The Caymans take their name from this native word for alligator.  You wouldn’t name your son crocodile, but this feels surprisingly wearable.

Dhole – It looks like a kreatif spelling meant to distance Dole from the pineapple and/or the politician.  But dholes are actually wild dogs native to India, China, and Vietnam.  When hunting in a pack, they’re tough enough to take down a tiger.

Eagle – Perhaps a patriotic choice for American parents, and the logical masculine equivalent of stylish girls’ names like Wren and Raven.

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Nameberry Picks: 12 Best Bunny Names

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After we saw Elisabeths’s darling bunny products in the new nameberry style column last week,  our thoughts naturally hopped right over to the area of rabbit names.

Bunny rabbits—the cute and the caustic– have populated children’s stories and cartoons from Beatrix Potter’s Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail to Uncle Wiggily and B’rer Rabbit to Walt Disney’s first character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and then Thumper to Bugs Bunny to Runaway Bunny all the way to the voluptuous Jessica Rabbit in Who Killed Roger Rabbit, who was a rabbit in name only.

A lot of these characters didn’t have actual names, or if they did, they weren’t baby-appropriate, but we burrowed through books, comics and cartoons, movies, television shows, and video games, and came up with our Nameberry Picks of 12 Best Bunny Names:

Benjamin Bunny, a Beatrix Potter character

Cecily Parsley, from another Beatrix Potter story

Harvey, James Stewart’s imaginary six-foot friend in the eponymous movie

Hazel from Watership Down by Richard Adams–the gentle oldie that Julia Roberts jumpstarted interest in

Ivory Monroe, from the comic By the Tail

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