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Nature, Place and Word Names

by Pamela Redmond and Linda Rosenkrantz, creators of Nameberry
Baby names drawn from nature, from places, and from words have become increasingly popular over recent years. These lists gather them for your consideration and include flower names and baby names inspired by the heaves, New York baby names and French words that can be used as baby names.

  • Beach Baby Names

    Beach baby names call on the sand, the sea, and the sun for inspiration. Figures from mythology along with beach-related flora and fauna might also be considered beachy baby names. Beach names would be perfect for a child born during the summer months, the child of a sailor or a surfer, or a family that lives near the water. Beach baby names to consider for your list include the following.

  • Best American Baby Names

    American baby names come from a range of sources, just like Americans themselves. There are Native American baby names, American place names for babies, names important in American history and namesakes for American heroes and artists, and baby names invented by Americans and used primarily in the US.

  • Biblical Place Names

    Biblical place names relate not to the people in the Bible but the physical places. As place names become more mainstream, parents are searching for ones with meaning and history, such as those in the Bible. The Bible has many name-worthy settings, from Ariel to Zion.

  • Bird Names for Babies

    Bird names for babies are one of the hottest of the hot nature categories, all the way from Birdie to Wren. Bird names can work as unique first names or meaningful middle names and are appropriate for both girls and boys. While many bird names come straight out and announce themselves, as Robin or Hawk, others are more subtle, carrying bird meanings: Paloma, for instance, means dove.

  • Botanical Baby Names

    Botanical names are a subset of nature names relating to plants and plant-life. Included in this category are flower names, tree names, herb names, fruit names, and names inspired by herbs, grasses, sprouts, and shrubs, such as Chloe and Bentley.

  • Butterfly Names

    Butterfly-related baby names came to wider attention when it was rumored that Kylie Jenner would choose a butterfly name for her new baby girl, to symbolize her love of the fluttery species. 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 the names of stages of the butterfly or mother development such as Chrysalis, the rumored name of Jenner's baby. Other butterfly names include butterfly-related words or species names, such as Vanessa and Julia.

  • Celebrity Baby Word Names

    Gwyneth Paltrow's Apple may still be the most famous case, but these days she's far from the only celebrity child with a word name. Today, there are enough celebrity baby names that are also words that we can fill a whole long list with them. In their ever-widening search for new and unique names, celebrities are turning to words that relate to nature, spirituality, animals, places, weather, colors, even numbers. Bonus: many of these, by virtue of being new and unconventional, count as truly unisex baby names. Here, word names that have been used in recent years for celebrity babies.

  • Celestial Baby Names

    Celestial baby names include those of planets and their satellites, constellations and single stars. That adds up to a whole galaxy of celestial baby names to choose from.

  • City Names for Babies

    City names are a special breed among place names used for babies: hip, sophisticated, street smart. Along with Madison and Brooklyn, other city names in the Top 1000 include Savannah, Paris, London, and Trenton. Of course, city-bred kids can be named anything at all, but we collected these downtown-related names -- some of them the names of actual cities -- to provide inspiration for urban parents in search of names with a city theme. Of course, many city names -- Orlando, Charlotte, Adelaide -- started out as person names, so it all gets a bit meta. But the connection is what makes the names of towns and neighborhoods work so well for babies.

  • College Baby Names

    When you're on the prowl for the perfect name, anything can be an inspiration. Colleges around the country provide an endless possibilities for noteworthy baby names. Check out this list of baby names, each derived from the name of a college or university:

  • Color Names for Babies

    Using color names for babies started with Amber, then Rose drove the point home. While many of the original color names were female, today there are mostly-male color names as well as unisex baby names derived from colors. Today's name hues range from the obvious -- Violet and Scarlett -- to the most exotic, from Azure to Zinc. The full spectrum of color names for babies:

  • Coolest Baby Names That Aren't Really Names

    The coolest baby names sometimes aren't names at all, as the mostly unisex baby names on this list attest. There are an uncountable number of words turned cool baby names, beyond the scope of any one source. The only limits are your reference books, your imagination, and your taste. Here are some of the coolest and most evocative of the group.

  • English Word Names

    English names might be easiest to define when they're actual word names drawn from the English languages and transformed into baby names. This genre has grown tremendously in the past decade, to the point that now parents are creating names from words they love or that have a symbolic meaning in English along with other languages such as Spanish, French, or Italian.

  • Flower Names for Girls and Boys

    Flower names for baby girls and boys too were first popular around the turn of the last century and have started to bloom again as modern baby names, with flower names Lily, Violet, Jasmine, and Rose ranking among the top names for girls.

  • French Word Names

    The parent in search of truly distinctive baby names has to move farther than ever away from the established roster. One new direction -- or is it two? -- for the intrepid baby namer is toward international word names, which combine two of today's coolest trends. We combed our own diccionarios for French, Italian, and Spanish words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive baby names, and here are some French choices. But no reason to stop here--consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.

    Here, some French baby names fashioned from French words for your consideration:

  • Fruit Baby Names

    Fruit baby names have come to the fore as a new species of nature names thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow's little Apple Martin. Exploring further, here are some of today's possible fruit baby names.

  • Italian Word Names

    One new direction -- or is it two? -- for the intrepid baby namer is toward foreign-word names, which combine two of today's coolest trends. We combed our own diccionarios for Italian words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive Italian baby names. But no reason to stop here--consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.

  • Jewel and Gemstone Baby Names

    Jewel names were popular a century ago and they're back in style now as baby names. Long considered the exclusive province of girls, there are some precious stones and minerals that lend themselves to boys, such as Jasper and Onyx.

  • Mineral & Metal Baby Boy Names

    Mineral and metal baby boy names are hard-edged choices that impart a new brand of masculinity.

  • Musical Baby Names

    Musical baby names can be soothing, lyrical, rhythmic, rousing, and melodious. There are musical names to suit everyone’s taste and genre preference, from classical music and opera to blues and rock-and-roll. Musical names are a branch of creative baby names that include musical terms such as Lyric and Tempo, as well as musical occupational names like Harper and Strummer.

  • Names That Mean Water

    Names that mean water include names that mean ocean and sea, waves and tide, and rain and mist. The names of notable rivers, such as Hudson and Jordan, and other bodies of water are listed here. The names of gods and goddesses of the sea can be counted as water names, as can the names of mythical mermaids and other water creatures.

  • Names with Animal Meanings

    Baby names with animal meanings range from the obvious, such as Robin or Lionel, and those with subtler animal meanings, such Rachel (which means ewe) or Tabitha (gazelle). This list of baby names with animal meanings contains both those that announce themselves clearly, such as Fox and Wolf, and those whose animal meaning is more hidden. The following range of animal baby names would be perfect for your wild child.

  • 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.

  • Nature Names for Babies

    Nature names have become more popular for babies with the rise of both the green movement and the quest for new kinds of unique names. Many of the best nature names, such as Sage and River, can work for either gender and also carry the advantage of being easily recognized and spelled and pronounced while at the same time moving beyond the tradition lexicon of names.

  • New York Baby Names

    New York baby names capture everything that's cool about the city. From New York landmarks and streets to notable New Yorkers, get inspired by these Big Apple baby names from the most populous city in the US.

  • New York Neighborhood Names

    Brooklyn is, of course, the most widely used of these choices, but Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz recently added baby name Bronx to the mix and there are lots of other intriguing New York-themed baby names here.

  • Occupational Baby Names

    Most occupational baby names were originally surnames that described a person’s job. Names related to jobs have taken on significant style value over the past years and are destined to rise even further.

  • Place Names for Babies

  • Place Names Off The Map

    The coolest place names are those that are undiscovered. Some place names can be used for boys, but most of the cool place names work best for baby girls. Here are some choices on (and off) the map, including unique city names, country names, island names, and the names of mythical lands, all of which can be used for babies. You might also want to check out our list of more popular place names for babies.

  • Precious Baby Names

    These baby names drawn from gems and other precious materials might be right for your little treasure.

  • Remarkable Weather Baby Names

    Weather baby names are a branch of nature names that reference the—well, the weather! Some have direct weather meanings while others have a subtler connection to the weather—Cyrus, for instance, is a Persian name that means sun, and Keilani is Hawaiian for sky.

  • Southern Baby Names

    Southern baby names are drawn from the people, places, and natural features of the American South.

  • Spanish Word Names

    The parent in search of truly distinctiveSpanish baby names has to move farther than ever away from the established roster. One new direction -- or is it two? -- for the intrepid baby namer is toward foreign-word names, which combine two of today's coolest trends. We combed our own diccionarios for French, Italian, and Spanish words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive baby names, and here are some Spanish ideas. But no reason to stop here--consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.

  • Spice (& Other Food) Baby Names

    Apple launched the trend toward food-oriented baby names, with lots of tasty names joining the menu.

  • State Capital Baby Names

    Baby names that reference state capitals might make your little girl or boy feel extra important and one-of-a-kind. The state capital baby names include:

  • Tree Names for Babies

    Tree baby names are a new branch of the nature names growing in popularity. They convey roots and strength of character—qualities we want our children to possess—and many carry a bohemian vibe, such as Willow and Juniper.

  • Unique Nature Names for Babies

    Some nature names for babies are mainstream, like Lily and River, but if you're willing to explore nature a bit more adventurously, there are many more wonderful nature names for girls and boys that lie off the beaten track. Unique nature names can come from flowers and trees, birds and animals, the sea and the earth and even the skies. Here, browse some of the most unusual baby names drawn from nature.

  • Unique Place Names

    Place names are a hot category for baby names right now, with choices like Savannah, Brooklyn, and Austin all making the Top 100. But if you look a bit further down the map, you’ll find plenty of uncharted baby names. These 30 unique place names were given to 25 or fewer babies last year, meaning your child is practically guaranteed to be the only Cyprus or Louisiana in his or her Kindergarten class.

  • Virtue Names

    Virtue names, favored by the Puritans, represent qualities we should embody or at least aspire to. They are word names that often speak to a parent’s values that they hope to pass on to their children. While some of the Puritanical virtue names such as Obedience and Modesty might be a bit too outdated for a 21st century child, there are plenty of modern virtue names that would feel right at home on today’s playgrounds. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if names like Reverie and Zen or Loyal and True become downright mainstream in the coming years.

  • Wild Nature Names

    Wild nature names are the untamed names of the nature name category, conjuring up images of mountain ranges, fields of wildflowers, and wild animals with names such as Everest, Poppy, and Fox.

  • Wonderful Word Names

    Word names -- basically, words used as names -- are a growing class as parents rush to find truly unique baby names for their children. While you'll find word names among nature names and day names and occupational names and color names and spiritual names, most of those collected on this list don't fit neatly into any category. You'll find even more word names in our lists of Nature Names, Place Names, and many other lists in the category Nature, Place, and Word Names. Finally, a word on gender: English words are not gendered and so most of these word names can work for both boys and girls, even if we have only one gender noted here.

  • Writing-Related Names

    Literary names have become a very stylish group in recent years, and here's an offshoot that's gotten less attention. With credit to @Vana , a berry who created an original list of similar names, these names all relate to writing itself. Writing-related baby names can connect to poetry, plot structure, and literary devices. If you're a writer or simply a book lover, one of those original word names connected to writing may be, well, right for you.