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A Lexicon of International Nature Names

November 3, 2015 emrys

By Kelsey Andersen

Nature has always been a spring (pun intended) that people have used for inspiration when coming up with names for their children. Many of them are heard time and time again, and the search for fresh alternatives never ceases. I know even in my own case, I’ve scoured the Internet for unusual scientific names for trees, flowers, and more for potential names. But what about nature names in other languages? This is an untapped source for new ideas. Here are some to get you started!

Lavender: Lavendel (German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish)

Lily: Lelie (Dutch), Lys (French), Lilia (Polish)

Flower: Fleur (French), Fiore (Italian), Flor (Spanish), Blume (German)

Ivy: Lierre (French), Edera (Italian)

Lilac: Syrin (Norwegian), Lilla (Italian), Lilas (French)

Violet: Fiolett (Norwegian), Jolanda (Greek), Yolanthe (French)

Zinnia: Zinnie (German)

Hyacinth: Jacinta (Spanish), Giacinta (Italian), Jakinda (Basque)

Rose: Rosyn (Welsh), Rois, Roisin (Irish)

Poppy: Rosella (Catalan), Amapola (Spanish)

Oak-tree: Ektra (Swedish)

Azalea: Azalee (German, Romanian)

Lotus: Loto (Spanish)

Huckleberry: Airelle (French)

Cedar: Zedro (Basque), Zeder (German)

Chestnut: Castan (Welsh, Romanian)

Apple: Mela (Italian), Manzana (Spanish)

Pear: Pera (Spanish, Italian), Madari (Basque)

Holly: Celyn (Welsh)

River: Riu (Catalan), Elv (Norwegian), Rio (Spanish)

Primrose: Briallen (Welsh)

Saffron: Azafran (Spanish)

Sage: Salvia (Spanish, Italian)

Sapphire: Safir (Swedish, Norwegian, Catalan), Saphir (German, French), Sapphira (Greek)

Sky: Zerua (Basque), Ciel (French) Cielo (Italian, Spanish)

Lake: Meer (Dutch), Loch (Irish), Llyn (Welsh), Jezero (Czech), Lago (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)

Bay: Baia (Italian), Badia (Basque), Bahia (Spanish)

Forest: Foresta (Italian), Floresta (Portuguese), Silva (Latin)

Grove: Llwyn (Welsh), Lehto (Finnish)

Hawk/Falcon: Falco (Italian, also a Nintendo character), Halcon (Spanish)

Eagle: Adler (German), Aquila (Italian), Arrano (Basque)

Fern: Varen (Dutch)

Lark: Alosa (Catalan), Kiuru (Finnish), Alouette (French

Clover: Klee (German)

Fox: Vos (Dutch), Azeria (Basque), Kettu (Finnish), Rev (Norwegian), Renard (French), Zorro (Spanish)

Wolf: Susi (Finnish), Lupo (Italian), Lobo (Spanish)

Emerald: Maragda (Catalan), Esmeralda (Spanish)

Winter: Zima (Croatian, Polish), Talvi (Finnish)

Summer: Sivi (Estonian), Vasara (Latvian, Lithuanian), Vara (Romanian)

Spring: Jaro (Czech), Primavera (Spanish)

Snow: Elurra (Basque), Neve (Italian, Portuguese), Nieve (Spanish)

Rain: Xita (Maltese), Lluvia (Spanish), Chuca (Portuguese)

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About the author

emrys

Kelsey Andersen is a longtime name lover based in the Pacific Northwest. She is a senior at Western Washington University and majoring in history, which has inspired her passion of etymology. When she isn't obsessing over names and reading historical monographs, she loves to spend time with her fiancé, baking, being outside, and photography. Kelsey can be found in the Nameberry forums under the username emrys.
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