Menu

Butterfly Names

Butterfly Names

Butterfly baby names came to wider attention when it was rumored that Kylie Jenner would choose a butterfly name for her baby girl, to symbolize her love of the fluttery species. (As the world now knows, she chose Stormi instead.)

Baby names that relate to butterflies can be literal word names, like Butterfly itself as in the name of Gone With the Wind actress Butterfly McQueen. Or they may be the names of stages of the butterfly or mother development such as Chrysalis, the rumored name of Jenner's baby.

Popular butterfly names include butterfly-related words or species names, such as Vanessa and Julia. Along with Vanessa and Julia, other butterfly names in the US Top 1000 include Annabella, Duke, Edith, Hector, Laurel, Memphis, Pearl, and Valeria.

Among the more exotic and unique butterfly baby names are Cressida, Indra, Mariposa, and Yara.

But butterfly names are not just for girls—we have plenty of options for boys on this list as well. For more, take a look at our list of Names with Animal Meanings.

  1. CassiusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "hollow"
    • Description:

      Cassius, a Shakespearean name rooted in antiquity, is coming into fashion in a major way. There were two notable Ancient Roman figures named Cassius. Cassius Dio wrote an 80-volume history of Rome. Gaius Cassius Longinus, a senator who led the assassination plot against Julius Caesar, is the main figure in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
  2. EdithHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in war"
    • Description:

      Edith was a hugely popular name a hundred years ago that's being revived among stylish parents in Stockholm and London. It's currently beginning to gain traction in the US among those with a taste for old-fashioned names with a soft but strong image.
  3. AlexandraHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek, feminine form of Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alexandra is the feminine form of Alexander, which ultimately derived from the Greek components alexein, meaning "to defend," and anēr, "man." In Greek mythology, Alexandra was an epithet of the goddess Hera. International variations include Alessandra and Alejandra.
  4. JuliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "youthful or sky father"
    • Description:

      Julia was an ancient Roman imperial name given to females in the house of a Julius, as in Caesar. Its origin is shrouded in history, but possible roots include Latin iuvenis, meaning "youthfu"; Greek ioulos, meaning "downy-bearded"; or Jovis, a form of Jupiter, which means "sky father".
  5. ZephyrHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "west wind"
    • Description:

      If you're looking for a name that's light and breezy, this could be it. A name from mythology: Zephyrus/Zephyr was the Greek god of the west wind-- with many European variations, it's a name that's frequently seen in computer and video games, is a character in the children's book Silverwing, and appears in the Babar books--as a monkey.
  6. IsabellaHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish and Italian variation of Elizabeth, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Isabella is the Latinate form of Isabel, a variation of Elizabeth which originally derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba. Variations Isabelle and Isabel are also popular, with the Scottish spelling Isobel another possibility. Newer alternatives include Sabella and Isabetta.
  7. PearlHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin gem name
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .
  8. CynthiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "moon goddess or, woman from Kynthos"
    • Description:

      Cynthia is an attractive name -- in classical mythology an epithet for Artemis or Diana -- that was so overexposed in the middle of the twentieth century, along with its nickname Cindy, that it fell into a period of benign neglect, but now is ripe for reconsideration in its full form.
  9. DianaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "divine"
    • Description:

      Diana, the tragic British princess, inspired many fashions, but strangely, not one for her name. For us, Diana is a gorgeous and still-underused choice.
  10. CressidaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "gold"
    • Description:

      Cressida is a pretty mythological and Shakespearean heroine name much better known in Britain than it is here — an imbalance the adventurous baby namer might want to correct.
  11. YaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "friend, helper"
    • Description:

      The multicultural Yara is also the name of a beautiful green-skinned Brazilian goddess and might make a more unusual spin on Mara or Sara.
  12. AdonisHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek, from Semitic Adonai
    • Meaning:

      "lord"
    • Description:

      The name of a figure from Greek mythology, Adonis is a high-pressure name often synonymous with masculine beauty. Nonetheless, many mythological names that would have previously been deemed off limits have made their way up the popularity charts—for instance, Penelope currently ranks highly for girls. And indeed, Adonis was one of the fastest-rising boys' names of 2016, moving up 307 spots on the U.S. popularity chart in just one year.
  13. AphroditeHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Description:

      The name of the Greek goddess of love has rarely descended to mortal use, though the Roman equivalent Venus, thanks to tennis star Williams, now seems completely possible. But with the new fashion for goddess names, we may see more little Aphrodites in the playground with Jupiter and Juno.
  14. HectorHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "holding fast"
    • Description:

      Previously used primarily by Latino families, this name of the great hero of the Trojan War as related in Homer's Iliad is beginning to be considered more seriously by others seeking noble ancient hero names as well--it was also the name of the knight who raised King Arthur as his own son.
  15. IcarusHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Description:

      Icarus, the mythological figure famous for flying too close to the sun, has a couple of negatives: his rash reputation, and those "icky" nicknames.
  16. ConstantineHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "steadfast"
    • Description:

      This Roman Emperor's name has long been considered too grand for an American boy. But in this era of children named Augustine and Atticus, it just may be prime for an unlikely comeback.
  17. VanessaHeart
    • Origin:

      Literary invention; also a species of butterfly
    • Description:

      Vanessa was invented by writer Jonathan Swift for a lover named Esther Vanhomrigh—he combined the first syllable of her last name with the initial syllable of her first. Swift used it in the poem Cadenus and Vanessa in 1713. A century later, Johan Christian Fabricius used Vanessa as the name of a genus of butterfly.
  18. UlyssesHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin variation of the Greek Odysseus
    • Description:

      Ulysses is one of the few U boys' names anyone knows -- with heavy links to the Homeric hero, eighteenth president Grant, and the James Joyce novel -- all of which makes it both distinguished and kind of weighty for a modern boy. Ulysses was on the US popularity list well into the twenty-first century; it's off now, but Number 684 on Nameberry.
  19. LaurelHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "laurel tree"
    • Description:

      Laurel takes Laura back to its meaning in nature, resulting in a gentle, botanical option. Even more directly than Laura, Laurel relates back to the laurel wreath signifying success and peace in ancient Rome.
  20. PhaedraHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "bright"
    • Description:

      This name of a tragic figure in Greek mythology, the daughter of King Minos, sister of Ariadne and wife of Theseus, has a mysterious and intriguing appeal, and would make a dramatic choice.