How I Named My Baby: Zara Tiger

How I Named My Baby: Zara Tiger

Olivia and Rob Peel live in Australia and welcomed their first child, a baby girl, in 2019. Here, we talk to Olivia about how she and Rob chose the baby name Zara Tiger for their daughter.

How long did it take you to decide on a name?

Zara Tiger! Our little girl’s forever name. Fortunately, even though I may have gone around in circles in my head many times, Zara was the first and only name we could agree on out of them all! Realistically I think we had decided she was a Zara much before she even existed.

Did you ask anyone for advice about baby names?

We didn’t know the gender until she was born, and we were really happy we didn’t. It really was the best surprise. I asked nearly everyone for advice, but always for boy names as we could not decide on a name that both my Rob and myself liked. It’s something I thought was so important and I really didn’t want to get wrong. Asking for advice made me realise how many different tastes there are and how personal deciding what to name your baby really is.

Is your baby named after anyone?

Because I grew up in Spain and all my family lives over there, I really wanted it to be a name that could easily be said in both English and Spanish. Although it’s of Arabic origins, Zara is very easily said and an established name in both Spanish and English cultures. Largely influenced in Spain of course by their most popular shop! And in the UK it has a more royal connotation, thanks to Zara Tindall (the queen’s granddaughter!). Tiger, her middle name, was after my husband’s greatest sporting hero, Tiger Woods. I watched his comeback at the masters in 2019 while I was pregnant and happily agreed it was a great middle name for our little girl.

What name did you let go of?

For me, it was all boys names, I was really into the Latinate names, my favourites were: Rafael, Leonardo, Hugo, Lucciano. My husband, on the other hand, was very much into more traditional names such as James, Jack, and Thomas. Luckily she ended up being a girl because we would have definitely had a fight on our hands while signing the birth certificate haha!

How do you feel about your own name and how did that influence your choice?

My name is Olivia and with my parents’ lead, I always went by the nickname Ollie. My dad said he named me after Olivia Newton John. I’m 28 years old and funnily enough, when I was younger I only ever knew one other Olivia. I’m sure if I was at school now there would be many more than that. The good thing with my name was the versatility from English to Spanish and I have always received compliments on my name.  I wanted something for my girl not overly popular, but not too difficult to say or remember either!

How important a consideration was the flow of the first, middle & last names?

Zara Tiger Peel is her full name.  The flow was important to me, it was hard to find a multicultural name that went with such an English traditional last name, such as PeelTiger slotted right in there and I think they sound great together. Maybe when she can talk she will decide she wants to go by Tiger instead of Zara for a while and that won’t bother me one bit!

What are the trendy names in your social circle?

Amongst my friends in Australia where we currently live, less traditional, more earthy names seem to be in. Lennox, Sage, River, Isla, Freya, Bodhi.

Which partner had more fun with the baby name process?

Definitely me! I thought of names every day of the pregnancy. My husband, Rob, was definitely over me constantly throwing names at him for opinions. We were both so happy with Zara Tiger in the end, it was definitely worth it.

What was the most surprising part of the baby name process?

The responsibility of actually having to name your human for life really weighed on me. Almost a year on now, I’m luckily happier than ever with her name choice!

Thank you so much, Olivia!

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About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest.

Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.