If you’re looking for a theme for your baby-to-be’s nursery, you could do worse than factoring into your name decision those that have animal themes. (I’ll bet half the little boys named Jonah, for instance, have at least one whale on their walls.)
I’m talking mostly about names that refer to a specific animal in their meanings, as well as some literary and pop culture characters. There are some caveats though–I mean does Portia really want to be reminded constantly that her name is related to ‘pig’ or that Clifford is eternally a big red dog?
That aside, here are some of the more appealing names and the beasts they’re associated with:
Just about every name starting with Leo: LEO, LEON, LEONARD, LEONID, LEONIE, LEONTYNE. But also ALEX, ARI/ARIEL/ARYE, ATALANTA, ELSA, GURI/GURYON, LEANDER, LEV, LEYA, LIONEL, LLEWELLYN, NALA, SARAFINE, SIMBA
The poor Simpson-Wentzes caught a lot of flak last week for their baby name choices–not only for first name Bronx, but for Disneyesque middle name Mowgli as well, to the point where Pete Wentz felt called upon to defend the choice on the people.com website. In a story headlined PETE WENTZ: WHY WE NAMED OUR SON MOWGLI, his explanation was “The Jungle Book was something me and Ashlee bonded over. It’s a cool name.” Well, whether or not we agree, we shouldn’t dismiss the whole genre of Disney names–there are a few treasures buried in that vault.
In the beginning, the Disney folks were big on silly, often alliterative names for their cartoon creatures–Horace Horsefeather, Clarabelle Cow, and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald and Daisy Duck. When they moved on to feature films in the 1930s, they began to draw on already created and named characters from fairy tales and children’s books, from Snow White to Peter Pan. Curiously enough, the one early character name that caught on with parents was Bambi–a male deer in the movie that became a popular namesake for girl babies.
The real winners, though, have been the Princess names from more recent Disney films–The Little Mermaid’s Ariel reached #66 two years after its release date and Jasmine from Aladdin has been as high as #23. Other Disney heroine names like Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Violet (The Incredibles) have also been boosted by their Disney connection. Here are some other good Disneyfied options:
AURORA Sleeping Beauty
BIANCA The Rescuers
BRIAR ROSE Sleeping Beauty
CELIA Monsters, Inc
ESMERALDA The Hunchback of Notre Dame
CLAUDE The Hunchback of Notre Dame
PHOEBUS The Hunchback of Notre Dame
REX Monsters, Inc