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Category: fierce baby names

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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