Category: bird names
I am absolutely chirping with delight to be here today on Nameberry! I’m almost equally delighted to watch an ever growing trend in the world of babynames. Nameberry wrote on the trend in 2008, and since then there have been some noteworthy babes named from within this alluring category of nature-inspired names. Yes, bird names are definitely ones I expect to see much more of.
We may have little Agnes Lark Bettany to thank for making bird names seem more approachable, but Agnes Lark isn’t the only lovely chirper in our midst. Popular blogger Miss James, of Bleubird Vintage has a Gemma Bird. And who could forget Sparrow James Midnight–is his name sounding a little less out there to your ears yet? The rockn’ Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes really freshens this one up for a little boy, and I love the aptness of his sweet name. If you envision a sensitive, bearded son, with the voice of a songbird, this might be a great choice for your baby boy!
Today’s Question of the Week is another two-parter: How do you feel about nature names in general and what are your particular favorites?
This subject obviously covers a broad field, encompassing botanical and zoological names, water and weather, earth and sky. Is there one that particularly conjures up for you a special beachy or prairie landscape, a favorite flower or bird?
Many names provided by Mother Nature have become so widespread and accepted as people names that they’ve moved a step away from their direct association with their origins–Lily, say, or Laurel or Willow, so that perhaps most flower names might be exempt from the discussion. Unless maybe there’s a line to be drawn between Rose and Primrose, Daffodil and Daisy?
Then there are those green names that still retain the groovy-hazy-Hippie-Flower-Child aura of the sixties (eg Sunshine, Rainbow), which they’ve never quite managed to shake off and which might make them offputting to some.
What is you favorite nature name?
Would/did you use one for your child?
Nameberry commemorates Earth Day with this guest blog contributed by Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of one of our absolute favorite blogs, You Can’t Call It “It” . Elisabeth, a writer, artist, and mom, lives in Brooklyn, New York
April 22 has rolled around, and we remind ourselves yet again to care for the Earth– lest it forget to care for us. If you’d like your child to be ever mindful of the planet, consider sourcing his or her name from Earth gods and goddesses, from the Earth’s bounty itself, or from one of the great conservationists (with conveniently attractive surnames, no?).
Happy day! Be good, and enjoy it.
EMBLEMS OF THE EARTH
Avani- Sanskrit, “earth”
Demeter- Greek, “earth mother”, Greek goddess of agriculture
Francis- Italian saint reknowned for his connection to animals
Gaia- Greek, “earth”, and the goddess of the earth
Kun- Chinese, “earth”
Perpetua- Latin, “continuous”
Terra- Latin, “earth”
Vita- Latin for “life”
Zoe- Greek, “life”
Maybe there are certain kinds of names that you really like–flower or color names, say, or virtue names– but you’re reluctant to use one of the more obvious examples, the epidemically popular ones, attractive though they may be. Well, there’s no reason you have to limit yourself to those few; more and more parents are digging deeper into those appealing categories and coming up with newer sounding choices.
IRIS (not exotic, but long neglected)
OK, we have to admit it: We’re not sure we ever saw a picture of a stork before that wasn’t rendered in cartoonish shades of pink and blue, flying along with a baby slung from its beak. Come to think of it, there was one just like that on the cover of at least one of our books.
But this picture of an in-the-flesh stork puts us in mind of the new flock of bird names winging our way. (All right, all right, we’ll stop.) Not Robin, though that long-time favorite feels fresh again for boys. Or Jay, tired for boys but livelier as a short form for any girls’ name that starts with J.
We have in mind the less familiar bird names, starting with a handful heard occasionally over the past few years, sometimes as a celebrity or starbaby name: Lark, Raven, Phoenix, Birdie. Bird name enthusiasts will want to check this list of possibilities — though these are only the beginning.
A few names with bird-related meanings from the list: Merle, Paloma, Avis, Deryn. More intriguing, though, are the choices that are truly unfamiliar and more blatantly birdlike: Wren, Sparrow, Finch, Starling, Heron, Dove.
For our taste, Hawk and Talon are a bit too aggressive. Eagle can go either way: Though as the national bird it has a noble image, Benjamin Franklin campaigned against its elevated status on the grounds that it was a bird of prey and a scavenger, stealing food from smaller, weaker birds. Franklin‘s nomination for national bird: the Turkey, which we don’t see making it as a name anytime soon. Or, for that matter, ever.
Push further, though, and we come up with some more intriguing possibilities. Names that mean eagle include Andor, Aquilla, Arden, Arno, Ezio, Paco, Peta, and Vega, all of which may prove more attractive than Eagle itself.
There are several beautiful names that mean dove, which carries the added message of peace: Callum, Colm, Columba, Culver, Dova, Jonah, and Jemima, along with Paloma. Sparrow-related names include Galvin and Sequoia (who would ever guess?).
Raven-related names include Branigan, Branson, Branwen, Brenna, Corbett, and Corbin, any of which might make a provocative choice for a black-haired, brown-eyed, or dark-skinned child. (Or perhaps for the offspring of an Edgar Allan Poe fan.)
Why choose a bird name for your baby? Birds are graceful and free, transcending the bonds of earth. As symbols, they may well prove inspirational for a child. And a bird or other animal name can be a unique choice as a middle name.
So what do you think: Would you choose a bird name for your child? Which are your favorites — or do you prefer another kind of animal name? Or is this kind of name….for the birds?