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 moth 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 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, all ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.
Description:Cassius, a Shakespearean name rooted in antiquity, is trending in a major way. It's one of a raft of Cas-starting names for both boys and girls, including Caspian, Cassian, and Cassia, that are enjoying a new moiment in the sun.
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.
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.
Origin:Spanish and Italian variation of Elizabeth, Hebrew
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Isabella has been a Top 10 name for girls in the US for two decades now. The Latinate form of Isabel, a variation of Elizabeth which originally derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba, Isabella reigned as Number 1 in 2009 and 2010..
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".
Origin:Greek, feminine form of Alexander
Description:Alexandra fell out of the Top 100 for the first time since 1983 in 2015 but is still a popular choice. Strong, tasteful, and elegant, Alexandra remains a chic modern classic with a solid historic pedigree.
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.
Origin:Latin gem name
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 .
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.
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.
Origin:Greek, from Semitic Adonai
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Variation of Posy or short form of Mariposa, English or Spanish
Meaning:"a bunch of flowers or butterfly"
Description:Posie and its near-identical twins Posy and Posey are delicate old-fashioned flower names of the type that are stylish today: Think Poppy, Marigold, Clover.
Description:Valeria -- the original form of the name, used by early Christians --has been experiencing significant popularity in recent years. While Valeria was nearly always on the charts, the name peaked in 2009 at #72, surpassing the longtime Franco-American version Valerie. Today Valeria and Valerie are at about equal rankings, sitting in the 150s.
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.