Animal Names for Babies
Animal names for babies include the obvious, such as Robin or Fox, and names with secret animal meanings, such as Paloma (which means dove) or Arthur (bear).
Animal names have become wildly fashionable for babies, especially in their blatant form. Bear, Fox, Hawk, and Wolf are all bounding up the charts for boys, while bird names Wren, Birdie, and Lark are reaching new heights for girls.
Animal names are a subset of the ever-widening world of nature names. While many traditional names carry animal meanings -- the Old Testament Rachel means ewe, for instance, while the royal Philip means horse lover -- the newest and arguably coolest animal names are unique choices such as Wolf, Birdie, and Bear. This list of baby names with animal meanings contains both those that announce themselves clearly and those whose animal meanings are more hidden. The following range of animal baby names would be perfect for your wild child, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.
Origin:English or Irish
Meaning:"God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
Description:Oscar is one of the most stylish Old Man Names of our era. While it's softened slightly in popularity over the past 20 years, that may be considered a very good thing.
Meaning:"radiant, shining one"
Description:Phoebe is the Latin variation of the Greek name Phoibe, which derived from phoibos, meaning “bright.” In classical mythology, Phoebe is the by-name of Artemis, goddess of the moon and of hunting. The masculine version of Phoebe is Phoebus.
Description:Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.
Description:Leo was derived from the Latin leo, meaning “lion.” Thirteen popes have carried the name, including St. Leo the Great. In Germanic languages, Leo has historically been used as a nickname for names including Leon and Leopold. In Latinate languages, Leonardo is considered a full form for Leo.
Description:Ronan is the compelling legendary name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints that is now drawing some deserved attention; this cousin of the ascending Roman and Rowan was chosen by actor Daniel Day-Lewis and his writer-director wife Rebecca Miller in 1998, and more recently by actress Catherine Bell.
Origin:English variation of the German Eberhard
Meaning:"brave as a wild boar"
Description:Everett is a statesmanlike, wintry New England name whose recent leap in popularity can be credited to its similarity to trendy girls’ names such as Eva and Ava. Its high point was about a century ago, when Everett was a Top 100 name.
Description:Wren, a lilting songbird name, could be the next Robin. It makes a particularly pleasing middle name choice, as does her newly discovered cousin Lark. Wren entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2012 and is among the new wave of popular English names for girls.
Origin:English, diminutive of John
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Jack is a derivative of John that originated in medieval England. The name went from John to Johnkin to Jankin to Jackin to Jack. The name was so common in the Middle Ages that Jack became a generic term for a man.
Origin:Scottish form of Columba, Latin
Description:Callum, a charming Scottish name high on the list in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is rising through the ranks in the US now too. And it comes complete with the easy nickname Cal.
Origin:English and Irish
Meaning:"bee hive, little brook or bee cottage"
Description:Beckett is one of the big baby name hits of the decade.
Origin:Diminutive of Ariel, Hebrew
Meaning:"lion of God"
Description:Ari, the short form of Ariel (or any other Ari- beginning name, such as Aristotle) stands up better as a boys’ name than its progenitor does. It is also short for Aristotle, as in Onassis, and is a prominent character on TV's Entourage -- the uberagent Ari Gold.
Origin:French from Greek
Meaning:"of Delphi; womb"
Description:Delphine is a sleek, chic French name with two nature associations — the dolphin and the delphinium, a bluebell-like flower, a well as a link to the ancient city of Delphi, which the Greeks believed to be the womb of the earth. All of these derive from the Greek word delphus "womb".
Description:Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.
Origin:English from German
Description:Ralph has two diametrically different images: there's the suave Ralph Fiennes-type Brit (often pronounced Rafe), and then there's the Jackie Gleason blue-collar, bowling blowhard Ralph Kramden bus driver. It's all in the eye of the beholder, though its hip factor did rise when it was chosen for his son by cool U.K. actor Matthew Macfadyen.
Origin:Latin and English
Description:Orson has had in the past a rotund teddy-bear image, a la Orson Welles, who early on dropped his common given name of George in favor of his more distinctive middle one, and who seemed to own it during his lifetime. No longer a single-person signature, it's now an interesting possibility for any parent seeking an unusual yet solid name. It's started to appear to the celeb set--both Paz Vega and Lauren Ambrose have little Orsons.
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Philip, the name of one of the 12 apostles, is still favored by parents in search of a solid boys' classic that is less neutral than Robert or John and more distinctive than Daniel or Matthew and has many historic, royal ties.
Description:Jonah, the name of the Old Testament prophet who was swallowed by the whale, only to emerge unharmed three days later, is increasingly appreciated by parents looking for a biblical name less common than Jacob or Joshua, yet not too obscure. Plus, Jonah comes with a ready-made nursery-decorating motif.
Description:This concise one-syllable name, has two possible derivations and two positive meanings associated with it. In Hebrew, it means "heart", while in Russian it means "lion". So strong and simple Lev has both a soft and a fierce side.
Origin:Variation of the Italian Chiara or the Irish Ciara or Aboriginal Australian, Korean
Meaning:"light, clear; little dark one; cockatoo; first ray of sun"
Description:Kiara can be considered a variation of both the Italian name Chiara and the Irish name Ciara. Chiara is the Italian form of Clara, meaning "bright" or "clear," while Ciara is the feminine form of male given name Ciar, derived from the old Irish cíar, meaning "dark." Kiara is also an Australian name derived from an Aboriginal word for the white cockatoo, and has roots as a Korean name meaning "first ray of sun".
Origin:English diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
Meaning:"people of victory; pup"
Description:Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image — due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell — and its C-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.