Butterfly and other Nature Names from the Sky
Secret nature names are an intriguing category: baby names that reference animals or weather or some other aspect of nature in their meaning without being explicit about it the way names such as Lily and Fox are.
If you’re a nature lover but value subtlety in your name choices, these kinds of secret nature names may be perfect for you. We’ve explored secret garden names in the past, but today we turn our attention to nature names from the sky: names that mean butterfly and bird, that relate to rain and clouds and the sky itself.
Here, a wide range of secret nature names from many cultures:
Farasha – This lovely Arabic names means “butterfly”.
Jarita – A legendary bird in Hindu mythology.
Mariposa – Another butterfly name, long used as a first name in Spanish cultures.
Mavis – Another traditional first name, French for “songbird”.
Palila – A rhythmic Hawaiian name that means “bird”.
Branson — This patronymic means “son of the raven” — or owner of the airline.
Dion – This 60s pop star name is Greek and means “child of heaven and earth”.
Zeru — A Basque name that means “sky”.
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on March 28th, 2013 at 12:20 am
Amaia is the basque form, there’s no y in Basque. The meaning is the end.
on March 28th, 2013 at 12:26 am
First commenter! I’m super excited that you mentioned Mariposa, one of my favorite guilty pleasure names. I’ve always loved its meaning and have a great nickname for it: Posy.
on March 28th, 2013 at 5:59 am
Judging by my username you MIGHT be able to tell that my name is Talia. Of course, not everyone pronounces it the way mine is (TAL-yuh, Tal as in talented). A lot of people say Tuh-LEE-uh or (ugh) TALL-ya.
Oh, and Thalia was the Greek muse of comedy! Pretty sweet. I love my name 🙂
How do you think Halcyon is supposed to be pronounced? It always looked so pretty to me.
on March 28th, 2013 at 6:11 am
Hi Talia — My understanding is that Halcyon is pronounced HAL-see-on, with the Hal sounding like, well, Tal in talent.
on March 28th, 2013 at 6:53 am
Where did you find this meaning for Canada? In history class, we’re taught that it is an Iroquois word for “village”. This meaning is very pretty, but is it true????
on March 28th, 2013 at 6:59 am
Yikes! LilySong, you’re right! Too bad — wherever that meaning came from, it was very poetic, but alas, wrong. Thanks.
on March 28th, 2013 at 7:15 am
I love this list so much!! Mariposa is a lovely name, I plan on using it as a reverse nn when I have a daughter named Posy 🙂 I also added Palila to my list, it’s beautiful! I don’t think there is a name on this list that I don’t like, i’m definitely bookmarking this page!!
on March 28th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
The Brazilian/Spanish Yara- a water nymph- is different from the Arabic Yara.
on March 28th, 2013 at 3:33 pm
Love a lot of these–Sena, Mariposa (love nn Posy), Palila . . . But my favorite “sky” name is the Hawaiian Noelani, meaning “heavenly mist.”
on March 28th, 2013 at 3:57 pm
I quite like Lonan…
on March 28th, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Love Sena made the list! Been talking it up a lot recently since its our daughters birth name and we’re working on middles 🙂
on March 28th, 2013 at 8:14 pm
FYI, Amaya is properly pronounced uh-ma-ya *(uh as in law and ma as in Molly) in Japanese, not Ah-MY-uh.
on March 30th, 2013 at 4:48 pm
on March 31st, 2013 at 8:50 pm
Mariposa is a pejorative slang term for gay men in several Spanish-speaking countries. The Spanish speakers I know consider Mariposa to be ridiculous as a given name. I can see the attraction just based on the literal meaning and the sound, but I think it’s worth considering how a name is currently perceived in the culture(s) it comes from before using it.
Also, Mavis comes from Old French ‘mauvis’ via English; it has no meaning in modern French. I apologize if this sounds nitpicky but it would be incorrect to inform people that Mavis means songbird in French; it does not.
So as not to end on a negative note, I absolutely love Zephyr and Zephyrine. 🙂
on April 1st, 2013 at 4:57 pm
LOL you are killing me with Sena and Halcyon. First a laxative, then a sleeping pill? If a mom said, “I have to go pick up my little Sena,” I would think ew TMI.
nature names Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on May 21st, 2013 at 11:03 pm
[…] What are your favorite nature names? Do you tend to like one group of names over another, prefer nature names that keep their source secret or those that come right out and say […]
on October 21st, 2013 at 5:38 pm
I really like Jarita, thanks for the list!
on October 31st, 2013 at 8:07 pm
I love Zephyr and Zephyrine! I also love Vanessa and didn’t know it was a species of butterfly, now I love it even more!
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