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Animal Baby Names: Rare specimens

posted by: Dantea View all posts by this author

By Dantea, aka Angel Thomas

Animal names seem to be all the rage: Bear, Fox, Wren, and Lark…Not only are there celebrity children with these names, but I see them all over Nameberry. If you’re looking for an animal name but don’t want your daughter to be one of ten Wren’s or your son to be one of five Foxes, then maybe my list of more unusual animal names will help you find something you like.


Brocken – A two-year old stag. Brock was a popular name decades ago, but has since become old and dated. With the popular –en sound at the end,  Brocken might be a way to update Brock and use a nature name other haven’t heard.

Fennec – A nocturnal fox that lives in the Sahara desert. Have you ever seen this fox? If not, you need to–it’s a gorgeous animal. Fennec would make a great name in that it sounds like Finnick, a name from the very popular Hunger Games, and has the trendy Finn sound.

Jerboa – A nocturnal desert-dwelling jumping rodent. Go Google search Jerboa while I wait…That’s the cutest mouse you’ve ever seen, isn’t it? Aside from the fact that the Jerboa is adorable, it’s got easily accessible nicknames. It could have Jerry, Bo, or Boa (like the snake).

Urial – A wild central Asian sheep with a reddish coat and long curved horns. Since Ariel seems to have gone to the girls, Urial might be a way to get a similar sound. Aside from being a sheep, Urial is sound alike to Uriel, the name of an Old Testament archangel. Uri makes a fabulous nickname.

Zander – A variety of European perch. This is one of those sneaky nature names that only you will get. Zander, to the average person, is usually a nickname for Alexander, but to you, it’ll be a nature name as well as a fashionable, popular name. It’s the only one on this list that’s in the Nameberry database, just not as a nature name.

Zebrule – The hybrid offspring of a male zebra and a female horse. This one is a little more daring, but I think it’s very cool. It sounds exotic. It has Zeb and Zule (zool), too, which I think are neat nicknames.


Barbet – A stout-billed tropical bird. Barbet is an interesting name. It has the beginning part of Barbara and the end of so many popular French names. Maybe this is a new name to honor grandma Barb? Aside from that, she could go by Barbie, Betty, Ettie

Cabrilla – An Atlantic sea bass. This might be a good one for fishing families. Cabrilla has the same sorts of sounds as Camilla and Abrilla, with the cute nicknames Cabby and Rilla.

Galah – A blue-white Australian cockatoo. This one’s got that exotic sound. It’s a lovely name and I just think Lala is the cutest nickname.

Jacana – A long-toed tropical freshwater wading bird. Here’s one to bring back Jackie. Jacqueline seems so tired and dated to me, bit Jackie always seemed to have just the right level of boyishness.  In addition to Jackie, you could use Ana or Annie.

Rosella – A bright colored Austrailan parakeet. As far as Rose names go, this one is one of my favorites. It’s simple and still elegant, combining the timelessly beautiful Rose and the currently popular Ella.

Vedalia – An Australian pest-eating ladybug. Though this sounds like an onion, Vedalia is actually a type of ladybug. It’s got a gorgeous sound and is perfect as a princessy name but is still nature related. Veda, Dahlia, Dolly, Lia, Via…all great nicknames.


Anoa – An Anoa is a small wild ox of Indonesia. This is a simple, but very nice sounding name. Noah is a boy’s name and Noa is a girl’s name, so this name works perfectly for either gender.

Grayling – A silver-gray freshwater fish. Gray/Grey is a getting pretty popular right now for boys and girls and Grayson/Greyson is getting overdone, so how about Grayling?

Quinnet – The king salmon. Quinn is a unisex name that lots of people like; Quinnet just updates it a bit. Quinn is still there for a boys nickname, Nettie for a girl.

Angel Thomas, better known on Nameberry as Dantea, is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for onomastics who writes fantasy novels in her spare time. Her knowledge of Greek names stems from her ancestry and her religion. 

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About the author


Angel Thomas, better known on Nameberry as Dantea, is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for onomastics who writes fantasy novels in her spare time. Her knowledge of Greek names stems from her ancestry and her religion.
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20 Responses to “Animal Baby Names: Rare specimens”

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Khoury.jk Says:

September 24th, 2013 at 11:07 pm

You wouldn’t hear Galah as a name in Australia – calling someone galah is slang for a fool! haha.

But Rosella is a great suggestion! I might have to add that to the list 🙂

Rin Says:

September 24th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

@Khoury.jk, That’s exactly what I was going to say about Galah. I’m from NZ but specifically remember my Dad saying stuff like, “You great galah!”, usually when watching the cricket(!)

Megalady Says:

September 24th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Love Fennec. I actually was reading about Halcyon, kingfisher, today.

Natural Says:

September 24th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I actually have Fennec, on my boy’s middle name list. I think the fennec fox is so gorgeous and whimsical looking.

Arlina Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 12:02 am

I went to school with a girl named Rosella, but she pronounced it more like Ruhz-ella. It is a very pretty name.

Aveline_Bellefleur Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 9:05 am

Lol, had to giggle @ the suggestion of Galah!! I picture the entire country shaking their heads in unison and disbelief hahahaha 😀 If I used Fennec in Australia, ppl *may* assume I was a boxing fanatic and put my unique stamp on Jeff Fenech’s name 😉 Otherwise, it’s okay 🙂
In all, Brocken & Rosella are the only two I find (semi) appealing. I am amazed at the sudden popularity of Wren though, I do see it quite a bit here on NB 🙂
Great read 🙂

Aveline_Bellefleur Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 9:06 am

Whoa, sorry about all the smiley faces; overdid it there a bit…

taliesin Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 9:10 am

there’s a reason that Apple Martin is so weird. First her mother is who she is and then her name is Apple. I once met a teenager named Apple and I asked her how she liked her name. “I hate it!” All those kids of hippies grew up and changed their names but the damage had already been done.
The point is, sure these are cute unusual names, but maybe for your pet. Your child’s self-identity is formed by their name. This means nothing stupid or too unusual. The rule of thumb is: ask yourself what do celebrities (white trash with money) and trailer trash have in common. bastard children and stupid, embarrassing names for their children.
If you are going to call your child Jackie as a nickname, give her the name Jackie not something she’s going to be embarrassed about or hide.
This is even more true for boys. If there are ten Johns or Justins or Jacobs on the playground, not one of them will care but the kid named Fennec will be considered a freak. You are naming the child for him/her, not to express your own creativity. By the way, the lower down the social, economic scale you go, the more these stupid names are acceptable. If you name your son Zebrule, and you don’t live in a housing project, expect lots of behavior problems.

Mischa Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 9:18 am

My favourite is Grayling. I first heard the name on the British detective show “Inspector Morse”. It was the name of a female forensic specialist who had a father who loved fishing! The Fennec fox is adorable but I wouldn’t want to name my child after it.

Dantea Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 9:40 am

I had no idea about Galah! One instance where I failed to find something in my research. Pam and Linda, maybe go add that in there as a caution? I’m glad you all like some of them.

Taliesin — There is no reason to be rude or aggressive. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it low clash or white trash or the like. I’m not low class nor am I white trash or live in a housing project and my name is Angel. I assume you consider it trashy. My daughter has an unusual name. There are a lot of people from all demographics who use these and other unusual names. They’re getting more and more popular. I would appreciate a more polite response in the future.

jame1881 Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Warning about Urial: I pronounced it like Uriah with an “l” instead of a final “yuh”. Guess what it sounded like? It’s only one “n” away…
I agree with everyone else about Fennec! Love it!

Khoury.jk Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 6:22 pm

hahahahahaha, sorry I can’t help by laugh at Taliesin’s ridiculous post. “bastard children” – what year is it? Pretty sure it’s 2013, not 1950.

“a child’s self identity is formed by their name”. hahahaha. I’m sure psychologists around the world completely agree with you. We’re all slaves to our name really. *sarcasm*

jenagain Says:

September 25th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I think Fennec (and Finnick) sound finicky.

But maybe that’s just me.

I think Jacana, Cabrilla and Rosella could all grow on me.

Fox Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 4:47 am

Yeah, um, galah is also a slang term for a stupid or loutish person, sort of like the better known “jackass”. NOT a good thing to inflict on your poor kid! :\

tori101 Says:

September 27th, 2013 at 3:46 am

My favourites:



Erinm Says:

September 27th, 2013 at 7:08 am

Ah and a galah is pink and grey not blue! Haha. Terrible name…

Erinm Says:

September 27th, 2013 at 7:11 am

Oh Iike Rosella, that is a beautiful parrot in australia. I thought of it the other day when I saw one flying.

Erinm Says:

September 27th, 2013 at 7:12 am

I meant to say I LIKE rosella!!

HannieKitt Says:

September 27th, 2013 at 9:40 am

Just to say that Barbet is also a breed of dog similar to the poodle. I didn’t realise it was a bird too.

IantheL Says:

October 19th, 2013 at 4:50 am

Yes I have an unusual name, and my parents would probably not appreciate being called white trash, nor were they hippies. Actually, it grew on me as I got older, I think it’s character forming! and I would never change it. Some names, though, are just cruel. Luckily the Galah mistake was corrected before anyone went there!

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