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30 Baby Names Inspired by Animals

From Hawk to Rachel, all of these names are rooted in animal-inspired meanings.

ANIMAL NAMES

We’re not talking about what to name your chihuahua or tabby cat here. We mean baby names inspired by the animal kingdom — with your future son or daughter soaring through life as a dashing Hawk or darling Robin, for example.

Ava

Bird leaving its cage
Ava is a great name for the girl who’s finding her wings.

One of the most popular hits of our day, Ava still calls up the image of sultry Hollywood beauty Ava Gardner. However, you may not know that the name also means “like a bird” in Hebrew.

Rachel

sheep illustration
Help the name Rachel make a come-baaaaaack.

Between 1983 and 1999, Rachel was a top 20 name for girls, particularly during the Friends era, thanks to Jennifer Aniston’s popular character. While its meaning of “female sheep” isn’t so glamourous, Rachel will forever remain a timeless name for any girl.

Phoenix

phoenix illustration
Rise like a phoenix, baby!

Phoenix means “deep red,” and is the name of the colorful, mythical bird reputed to live for a thousand years before erupting into flames and then rising again from its own ashes. As far as boy names go (although it is considered a unisex), this is a pretty cool one and has some rock n’ roll street-cred thanks to the Phoenix acting clan including Joaquin and the late River.

Melissa

bee vector illustration
We’re sure you’ll BEE happy with this name.

There’s a great story with this name: the word Melissa originates from a mythological Greek nymph who fed honey to the infant god Zeus and was later transformed into a bee (the bee’s knees, right?).

Eden

Garden of Eden with animals
Eden is a girl’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “place of pleasure, delight.”

Eden, the biblical paradise home of Adam and Eve, is where Adam names the animals. The serene-sounding moniker is a great choice if you’re looking for a name that’s slightly out-of-the-box, but not too unique.

Penelope

A guan illustration
Penelope sounds more beautiful than its fowl meaning.

“Penelope” is perfect for bird lovers, as it’s also a bird genus in the family Cracidae consisting of a number of large turkey-like arboreal species, the typical guans. Also just a beautiful name.

Deborah

Bee illustration
People are buzzing about this name.

From the Hebrew name דְּבוֹרָה (Devorah) meaning “bee.” In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. So, yeah, a bad-ass name.

Leo

lion illustration vector
Your baby can be King of the (Playground) Jungle.

Meaning “lion” in both Latin and English, Leo is a popular name in ancient Rome and the name of thirteen popes. The lion is a figure in art and religious symbolism of many cultures symbolizing royalty, grandeur, and courage — as well as a supermodel-dating movie star.

Jonah

dove illustration
A peaceful-sounding name.

Hebrew: Dove. Also, in the Bible, Jonah the prophet was swallowed by a great fish and safely emerged from his belly three days later.

Brenda
Gaelic: Little raven

Hawk
English: Hunting bird; When this name was created, hunting with hawks was considered an aristocratic sport.

Taurus
Latin: Bull; Taurus is a constellation picturing the forequarters of a bull and is a sign of the zodiac.

Jay
Originally a familiar form of names such as Jacob, James, and Jason, Jay is now a given name in its own right. This unisex name also refers to several species of a large family of birds.

Robin
English for “bright with fame.” Robin is well-known to children and adults alike as the name of Winnie the Pooh”s boy companion Christopher Robin. Also: the American robin is a migratory songbird.

Tabitha
Aramaic: Gazelle

Wren
A small short-winged songbird found chiefly in the New World. Also English for “from the farm.”

Leona
French and Latin: Lioness; feminine form of Leon.

Teal
English: The bird teal; also the blue-green color.

Lark
English: Lark, a songbird; used predominantly for girls, but no reason it can’t be unisex.

Ursula
The name is derived from a diminutive of the Latin ursa, which means “bear.” Also Ariel’s nemesis.

Paloma
Spanish: Dove

Dorcas
Greek: Gazelle; the biblical woman who abounded in good deeds and gifts of mercy

Jemima
Hebrew: Little dove.

Lionel
English: young lion. Also an ’80s singer who encourages Dancing on the Ceiling.

Ayala
Hebrew: Gazelle or hind (female roe deer), suggestive of a graceful, shy animal.

Una
German: Noble leader. Derived from the Irish word uan (lamb).

Mavis
A girl’s name of French origin meaning “songbird.

Rosalind
Introduced to England by the Normans, Rosalind is of Germanic origin. It is a derivative of the Old High German Roslindis, a compound name composed of the elements hros (horse) and hrôs (fame) and lind (gentle, tender, soft).

Lowell
French: Young wolf.

Loni
English: Lioness; a variant of Leona.

 

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