Animal Names: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

If you’re looking for a theme for your baby-to-be’s nursery, you could do worse than factoring into your name decision those that have animal themes. (I’ll bet half the little boys named Jonah, for instance,  have at least one whale on their walls.)

I’m talking mostly about names that refer to a specific animal in their meanings, as well as some literary and pop culture characters.  There are some caveats though–I mean does Portia really want to be reminded constantly that her name is related to ‘pig’ or that Clifford is eternally a big red dog?

That aside, here are some of the more appealing names and the beasts they’re associated with:

DEER, DOES, FAWNS, GAZELLES
AYELET, BAMBI, CLARICE, DARBY, DOE, DORCAS, DYANI, FAWN, HART, HERSHEL, NIABI, OISIN, ORHRAH/ORPAH, PAKUNA, ROSCOE, TABITHA, ZVI

ELEPHANTS
BAYLOR, CELESTE, GANESHA, HATHI, HORATIO, HORTON, KALA, NELLIE, POM, SHEP, TAJ, WINIFRED

HORSES
AHEARNE, ALFONSO, ARION, BAYARD, CADOC, COLT, DESTRY, EACHNA/EACHANN, FLICKA, HIPPOLYTE, MARSHALL, NARA, PHILIP/PHILIPPA/PHILIPPE, ROSALIND, ROSAMOND

MONKEYS, APES & CHIMPS
ALDO, ARTHUR, CAPUCHINE, CLYDE, DEXTER, DUNSTON, ELIJAH, GEORGE, JUPITER, MASON, SAKI, ZOEY

BEARS
ARTHUR, AUBERON, BARRETT, BEN, BERN/BERNARD, BJORN, DOV, ORSON, RUPERT, TEDDY, URSULA, WINNIE

DOGS
ASTA, BLUE, BOLT, CLIFFORD, EDISON, KERRY, MADIGAN, OTIS, SKYE

RABBITS
ARLEDGE, ARLEY, BENJAMIN, HARDEN, HARVEY, HAZEL, JEMIMA, JEREMY, PETER

COWS & BULLS
ANGUS, BESSIE, BYRON, ELSIE, FERDINAND, GUERNSEY, JERSEY, VACHEL

CATS
ALONZO, ARCHIE, CALICO, CASSANDRA, ELECTRA, FALINE, FELIX, GARFIELD, GUS, KITTY, MEHITIBAL, SYLVESTER

LIONS
Just about every name starting with Leo: LEO, LEON, LEONARD, LEONID, LEONIE, LEONTYNE. But also ALEX, ARI/ARIEL/ARYE, ATALANTA, ELSA, GURI/GURYON, LEANDER, LEV, LEYA, LIONEL, LLEWELLYN, NALA, SARAFINE, SIMBA

SHEEP & LAMBS
JUBAL, MARY, MERONA, RACHEL, ROMNEY, TAJIK

KANGAROO
JIRRA, JOEY, MATILDA, WILLOUGHBY

GOAT
GILES

WOLF
AKELA, LOWELL, RALPH

FOX
FIONA, TODD

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9 Responses to “Animal Names: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

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JLyn Says:

April 3rd, 2009 at 8:03 am

My daughter’s name is Cassandra. Can someone please explain the name’s connection to cats? Thanks!

realpraise Says:

April 3rd, 2009 at 8:37 am

All this time I thought Baylor meant bear. Thanks! But since it means ‘horse trainer,’ shouldn’t it be under horses?

Lola Says:

April 3rd, 2009 at 9:59 am

How is Winifred attached to Elephants? is it something literary? And Pom makes me think of apples! Ellie’s the name that makes me think of elephants! And I like every name on the Bears list! Never even linked Winnie there in my head. *sheesh*

I like that Elsa makes some think of Lions, I have a Leo and that makes a nice but subtle link between them! But make Elsa cutsey and she’s cows, Elsie. How neat is that? And when was the last time anyone actually looked at the Borden label?

Clarice has been a favorite for years, thanks to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and then ‘Silence of the Lambs” had to go and ruin it. Oh, and Jubal makes me think music and partying(jubilation) before sheep! I think the next cat is going to be Jubal!

Linda Rosenkrantz Says:

April 3rd, 2009 at 11:01 am

Lola–Winifred was the name of an elephant in The Jungle Book–the Disney movie, not the Kipling book.

Linda Rosenkrantz Says:

April 3rd, 2009 at 11:07 am

And Cassandra was the name of one of the cats in “Cats.”

Lola Says:

April 3rd, 2009 at 3:06 pm

That explains why it baffled me, Linda; Thanks! I’ve read the book but never seen the Disney movie. there’s probably a dozen up there with literary or movie references that completely escape me! 😀

iheartnames Says:

February 18th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

The name “Arthur” could also be filed under “aardvark” due to the popularity of the Marc Brown series of children’s books.

H8myname Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Wouldn’t it be sad if you named your kid Clifford or Calico, and then they were allergic to fur? Also, what if you named them Auberon or Teddy, decorated their room with bears, then find that they are deathly afraid of bears? IIIIIRRROOOOOOOONNNYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Also, Belinda is related to serpents, isn’t it?

Olivia Says:

April 18th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I don’t know about anyone else, but I had to stop reading half way down the list! I absolutely do not want my favourite names to in anyway remind me of horses. I’m obviously aware of the Philippa-horse relationship, but Rosalind? Was this blog purposely written to discourage name-lovers?

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