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Animal Names for Babies

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.

You can also hop (or leap or fly) back to our main page of Name Meanings.

  1. OscarHeart
    • Origin:

      English or Irish
    • Meaning:

      "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
    • Description:

      Oscar has Irish and Norse roots—Norse Oscar comes from the Old English Osgar, a variation of the Old Norse name Ásgeirr. The Irish form was derived from the Gaelic elements os, meaning “deer,” and car, “loving.” In Irish legend, Oscar was one of the mightiest warriors of his generation, the son of Ossian and the grandson of Finn Mac Cumhaill (MacCool).
  2. ArthurHeart
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      " bear"
    • 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 some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.
  3. LeoHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • 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.
  4. PhoebeHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • 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.
  5. CallumHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish form of Columba, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • Description:

      Callum was derived from Latin Columba, a unisex given name meaning "dove." Callum was popular among early Christians because the dove was a symbol of purity, peace and the Holy Spirit. St. Columba was one of the most influential of the early Celtic saints.
  6. RonanHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little seal"
    • 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.
  7. WrenHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "small bird"
    • 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.
  8. EverettHeart
    • 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.
  9. JackHeart
    • 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.
  10. AriHeart
    • 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.
  11. BeckettHeart
    • 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.
  12. JonahHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • 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.
  13. WolfHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wolf"
    • Description:

      Wolf is a name with a split personality. It can be seen as one of the fierce animal names, like Fox and Bear and Puma, with a touch of the werewolf, or it can be viewed as a quieter, Wolf Blitzer kind of name, fairly common in German (where is pronounced Vulf) and Jewish families, sometimes as a short form of Wolfgang, or even Wolfram or Wolfhart.
  14. DelphineHeart
    • 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".
  15. EverlyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wild boar in woodland clearing"
    • Description:

      Everly originated as a toponymic surname derived from the Old English roots eofor, meaning "boar," and leah, "clearing." It is related to the Germanic name Eberhard, meaning "brave as a wild boar," from which popular name Everett also derived. Wild boars represented strength and courage to ancient Germanic peoples, who often took on names with animal meanings.
  16. KiaraHeart
    • 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".
  17. BirdieHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "bird"
    • 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.
  18. ArdenHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "valley of the eagle; high"
    • Description:

      Arden, the name of the magical forest in Shakespeare's As You Like It, is a stylish A name with a strong, straightforward image. Another reason to love Arden: its similarity to "ardent." Arden is solidly unisex, with the current gender distribution running about 60 percent girls and 40 percent boys.
  19. BearHeart
    • Origin:

      Animal name
    • Meaning:

      "bear"
    • Description:

      Bear has suddenly lumbered onto the baby name landscape. Perhaps inspired by British adventurer Bear Grylls (born Edward Michael), first celebrity chef Jamie Oliver used it as the middle name for his boy Buddy, and more recently Alicia Silverstone called her son Bear Blu., followed by Kate Winslet's Bear Blaize. It's part of a current trend normalizing once aggressive animal names like Wolf and Fox. Bear is now Number 218 on Nameberry and in the Top 900 in England.
  20. ColinHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "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.