Nature Names for Boys
The best nature names for baby boys are drawn from a range of natural elements, from the sky to the sea, trees to animals.
Nature names are such a fascinating category for boys because they have been growing in so many different directions in recent years. Names like Bear, Koa, River and Orion, once relegated to the fringes, have become mainstream. And other rare nature boy names, like Cosmo, Wolf and Zephyr, are rising up to join them.
Parents like the evocative element of nature names. Many have clear positive meanings, as opposed to traditional names which may have meanings like "spear battle" that don't resonate much in contemporary life.
On the other hand, some of the best nature names for baby boys have their nature element disguised in the meaning. Acacius, for instance, means thorn bush, while Lennox means elm grove.
This list spotlights the cream of the nature names for boys, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.
Description:Oliver is an international star, ranking near the top of the charts in the US and throughout the English-speaking world. And a host of European and Latin American countries, from Norway to Chile, Slovenia to Switzerland.
Description:One of the most romantic of appellations, as well as being a geographical name of the large salty sea between Asia and Europe that probably inspired C.S. Lewis to use it for the name of the hero of his children's novel, Prince Caspian, part of the Chronicles of Narnia series.
Description:Kai is an internationally flexible name with many possible origins and meanings, growing in popularity in the US and a diverse range of European countries.
Origin:German form of Latin Augustus
Description:The name August is at its highest point since the 1890s, when it ranked among the Top 100 boy names in the US. And deservedly so, given its great meaning, historic roots, and cool nicknames.
Meaning:"fair or white"
Description:Finn is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (aka Fionn mac Cuumhaill), an intrepid warrior with mystical supernatural powers, noted as well for his wisdom and generosity.
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.
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.
Origin:Scottish and Irish
Meaning:"rowan tree; little redhead"
Description:Rowan – a strong surname and nature name (it's a tree with red berries) – is deservedly growing in popularity. Some scholars identify Rowan as originally a girls’ name, related to Rowena and Rhonwen, while others say Rowan's always been used for both genders. Sharon Stone chose the Roan spelling, which also relates to the reddish color, for her son, while Brooke Shields used Rowan for her daughter. Yet another increasingly popular spelling is Rowen.
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.
Meaning:"bringer of treasure"
Description:Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning "bringer of treasure." As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning "speckled stone." Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.
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:Orion is a rising star, with both mythical and celestial overtones.
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.
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. Actor Joaquin Phoenix named his son with actress Rooney Mara after his brother River.
Origin:Male variation of Calixta or Latin
Description:Calix is once-obscure name that is starting to see some use in the US, where 62 baby boys were named Calix in 2022. An indirect influence is the actress Calista Flockhart, who introduced Americans to the female version of this attractive Greek name to prominence.
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.
Meaning:"who is like the Lord"
Description:Micah is a biblical name that growing numbers of parents are looking at as a more unusual alternative to Michael, projecting a shinier, more lively image.
Meaning:"son of the sea"
Description:Dylan was derived of the Welsh components dy and llanw, meaning "sea." In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.
Description:With Noah taking the Number 1 spot in 2013, Koa is attracting more attention than ever.
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.