Nature Names Chosen by Celebrities
Nature names have been a defining trend of the 21st century, and that includes trends in celebrity baby names. Dozens of high profile parents have borrowed names from the natural world for their children. Beyond Hollywood, those names have become go-to picks for all parents, with names like River and Willow making mainstream popularity lists in recent years. Here, a collection of nature names for babies that have been used by celebrities over the past few years, several of them more than once.
Description:The name of the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is derived straight from the Latin word for moon, luna. Luna’s divine complement is Sol, the god of the Sun. In Roman art, Luna is often depicted driving a chariot.
Origin:English from Latin
Description:Violet is soft and sweet but far from shrinking. The Victorian Violet, one of the prettiest of the color and flower names, was chosen by high-profile parents Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, definitely a factor in its rapid climb to popularity. Violet cracked into the Top 50 for the first time ever in 2015.
Origin:Latin tree name
Description:Juniper is a fresh-feeling nature name -- it's a small evergreen shrub -- with lots of energy. A new favorite of fashionable parents, Juniper joins such other tree and shrub names as Hazel, Acacia, and Willow.
Description:River shares the tranquil feeling of all the water names, and seems to have pretty much escaped its past strong association with River Phoenix and his unfortunate fate. Keri Russell and the Taylor Hansons both have sons named River, Natasha Henstridge used it as the middle name of her boy Tristan, and Jason Schwartzman pluralized it for daughter Marlowe Rivers.
Meaning:"rose, a flower"
Description:Rose is derived from the Latin rosa, which referred to the flower. There is also evidence to suggest it was a Norman variation of the Germanic name Hrodohaidis, meaning “famous type.” In Old English it was translated as Roese and Rohese.
Origin:Arizona place-name and Greek
Description:Phoenix rolls a lot of cool trends into one: it's a place-name and a bird name, it ends in the oh-so-hip letter x, and as the mythic bird that rose from the ashes, it's a symbol of immortality. It's also got celebrity chops, via the acting family that includes Joaquin and the late River, and as the child of an ex-Spice Girl.
Origin:English from Latin
Description:Poppy, unlike most floral names which are sweet and feminine, has a lot of spunk. Long popular in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at #5 in 2014, Poppy is just starting to catch on in a big way in the US, where it entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2016 and – just three years later – the Top 500 in 2019.
Meaning:"deep red precious stone"
Description:Ruby, vibrant red, sassy and sultry, has definitely outshone the other revived vintage gem names, with its sparkling resume of cultural references.
Origin:Diminutive of Margaret or flower name, from English
Description:Daisy, fresh, wholesome, and energetic, is one of the flower names that burst back into bloom after a century's hibernation. Daisy is now second only to Delilah among most popular girl names starting with D. Originally a nickname for Margaret (the French Marguerite is the word for the flower), Daisy comes from the phrase "day's eye," because it opens its petals at daybreak.
Origin:English nature name
Description:Willow came into use as a given name after the willow tree, whose name was derived from the Old English word welig, meaning "willow." Willow trees are associated with grace and elegance, which gave way to the adjective "willowy." Other names with meanings related to willows include Arava, Willoughby, Dozier, Wellesley, Selby, and Salton.
Origin:English flower name
Description:Lily came into use as a given name as a direct influence of the flower. The floral name was derived from the Latin lilium, itself derived from the Greek leirion. Lily later became an adjective to describe whiteness and purity.
Description:Unlike Pearl and Ruby, this is one gem name suited for boys, the final x making it sound strong and virile. Musician Iggy Azalea chose the name Onyx for her son.
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.
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:Animal name or diminutive of Wolfgang
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.
Origin:Word name, English
Description:Though perhaps not as currently stylish as Ruby, Jade, or Pearl, Amber has a colorful history (remember the notorious Forever Amber heroine?). Unfortunately, it does come with the "Amber Alert" connotation for modern parents (and their children).
Description:Nature names like Ocean and River are flowing back into favor, especially with nature lovers and green-oriented parents.
Description:Although Greek in origin--in the fourth century, a bishop by that name established the principles of the Greek Orthodox Church--Basil for years took on the aura of aquiline-nosed upper-class Britishness of Sherlock Holmes portrayer Basil Rathbone, then spiced with the fragrant aroma of the herb that entered with the Pesto generation.
Origin:French occupational name
Meaning:"woodsman or woods"
Description:The Forest variation of Forrest, used by actor Whitaker, nudges the meaning more toward the woods and away from the woodsman.
Description:Though associated traditionally (and fashionably) with boys, it has been used occasionally for girls as well – by Garth Brooks and by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, for example. But August is used significantly more often for girls these days than traditional feminine variations Augusta and Augustina, and makes for a fresh twist on traditional month names like April and May, as well as an updated spin on season name Autumn.
Meaning:"dweller near the woods"
Description:Forrest is one of the earliest appealingly sylvan, outdoorsy choices, borne by newsman Sawyer, actor Whitaker, and football Hall of Famer Gregg. Forrest Gates was a character on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Origin:Bird name; or English, diminutive of Robert
Description:Now that it's no longer fashionable for girls, Robin is rising for boys again. Robin Hood, Robin Williams, Christopher Robin, and Robin the Boy Wonder are all male namesakes, after all. It reentered the US Top 1000 boys namesin 2015 for the first time since 1999.
Description:Sky is an ambigender nature name that was first legitimized as the character of Sky Masterson in the 1950 musical Guys and Dolls, played in the film version by Marlon Brando. It's a name we appreciate for its clear, wide-open feel, less hippyish than others like Rainbow and Starlight, and makes an appealing middle name possibility.
Description:Most of the notable Rivers have been male, but this nature name certainly flows as well for a girl. Kelly Clarkson's choice of River for her newborn daughter further raised the profile of the name for girls.
Description:Indigo is one of the most appealing and evocative of the new generation of color names. Color names have joined flower and jewel names -- in a big way -- and Indigo, a deep blue-purple dye from plants native to India, is particularly striking for both girls and boys. Although most people don't think of it like this, Indigo might also be considered among the most stylish Greek baby names in use today. Some cultural references: The Indigo Girls are a folk duo, 'Mood Indigo' is a classic Duke Ellington jazz composition, and there is a 1970's New Age theory that Indigo children possess special, sometimes supernatural abilities. Indigo is the name of a character in the Ntozake Shange novel Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and was used for his daughter by Lou Diamond Phillips.
Description:Though some may find such names rather harsh and severe, increasing numbers of parents are gravitating toward this kind of flinty, steely, stony single-syllable name.
Description:The original oddball celebrity baby name, via Frank Zappa's daughter Moon Unit, who claims she's always liked it.
Origin:Word name, variation of Stormy and Storm
Description:Stormi is like Sunni, with angst. If naming your child Storm or Stormy is asking for trouble, naming her Stormi -- as Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott did -- is asking for trouble of several different kinds. But we're sure she'll be adorable and as celebrity baby names go, this one is nearly normal.
Origin:English word name
Description:There's definitely a cold front of names for winter babies moving in, with Summer, Spring and Autumn giving way to Winter--plus North, January, Frost--and Snow. This name feels brisk, fresh, pure, evocative -- and magical. A haunting middle name choice.
Description:Most parents today would prefer the softer-sell Stella. But Star has symbolic power related to Christmas, so this could make one of the perfect names for December babies.
Description:One of the more unusual of the current crop of strong, single-syllable boys' names, evoking the images of both old-fashioned blackboards and modern stepping-stones and countertops.
Origin:Word name or diminutive of Regina, Latin
Description:Has an old-time country feeling, perhaps due to Ma Rainey, considered the "Mother of the Blues". This is the most popular spelling of the name, given to about 50 girls last year, with half as many called Rainy and a quarter named Rainie, the spelling used by Andie MacDowell for her now-grown daughter.
Description:There is a whole new species of bird names open to the baby namer, from the light and feminine Lark to the sleek and powerful Falcon.
Description:Colorful, yes, but also probably among the hippiest of hippie names. Holly Madison recently chose it for her little girl.
Description:Attracted attention as the stepmother of Princess Diana.
Description:An ubercool and mysterious name, brought to you by director M. Night Shyamalan.
Description:With other bird names such as Lark and Phoenix on the rise, why not chirpy Sparrow? Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their son, born in 2009, Sparrow James Midnight.
Description:If it's a choice between golf champ Woods's real name Eldrick or nickname Tiger, we'd have to go with the latter. But while animal names are becoming more familiar and stylish, we'd recommend Wolf or Fox over Tiger.
Description:While we don't see many parents adopting Otter as a name for their own babies, Zooey Deschanel put this one in the lexicon when she used it as a middle name for her adorably-named daughter Elsie Otter. Even in the celebrisphere, Otter is one of the most unique baby names we've heard.
Description:Mountain names such as Everest and Denali are being used more frequently, but Mountain itself was unknown until Hunger Games star Jena Malone used it as a middle name for her son Ode Mountain. And really, why not? It's one of the most unique baby names in the hot nature category.