Category: wild baby names

secret animal names

By John Kelly

The name Fox has cracked into the UK’s 1000 most popular names, while Kate Winslet and Alicia Silverstone are both raising children named Bear. But if you’re not quite up for naming your baby directly after an animal, consider the many names that have some majestic and inspiring animals hiding in their origins.

A Pack of Canines

The X-FilesFox Mulder sounds snappier than Todd Mulder, doesn’t it? And yet, the name Todd actually does mean “fox.” Todd began as a nickname, of obscure origin, in northern England dialect.

Caleb, 2015’s 37th most popular boy name, might literally mean “dog,” from the Hebrew keleb, with a sense of “devotion.”

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A Week of Wild Baby Names

wild baby names

By Abby Sandel

Just last week, we were enjoying a mini-revival in classic baby names. There was the nicely-named – and beautifully alliterative! – Christopher Carlton Cumberbatch, a Mary Cecilia called Mamie, and lots of kids named Lucy and Oliver.

Then along came this week, and it’s a very different story. The names are bold, surprising, and in many cases, absolutely new.

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Animal Names: The Wild Kingdom


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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