13 Amazing Animal Baby Names

Apr 12th 2016

Do celebrity baby names predict trends or reflect them? Zooey Deschanel named her daughter Elsie Otter last year, an almost totally unique middle name. But Kate Winslet named her son Bear Blaze in 2013, well after Bear had started showing up on name lists. Either way, these bold names are more than just nature-inspired - they’ve got animal magnetism!

Bear. Short and strong names for boys are on the rise - think Max, Jack, or Ben - and Bear fits right in aurally. However, Bear is much brighter and more modern. Strong celebrity namesake Bear Grylls (born Edward) is another great outdoor connection. You’ll never have to guess if little Bear is adventurous and spirited - it’s all in the name!

Fox. In the 1990’s, America was introduced to dashing agent Fox Mulder of The X-Files (which premiered on the Fox network, of course), and the name has been rising in popularity ever since! It’s a great edgy alternative to Felix, Jax, or Dax, and it holds onto that x-factor in plain sight. There’s also a sense of cleverness and mischief in the name - Fox will always keep you guessing!

Wren. One of only two names on this list in the US Top 1000, Wren jumped onto name records in 2013 and has been moving up quickly! It’s a lovely avian name with an unexpected first initial, and it’s nearly nickname-proof. There are only a few famous Wren’s in history - I look forward to being proven wrong in the comments - but quite a few recognizable fictional Wren’s. If you’re looking for a lovely, single-syllable name with subtle natural qualities, why not Wren?

Lion. With names like Leo, Leonardo, and Lionel starting to climb in popularity, it’s no surprise that Lion is joining them. It fits in well with the current two-syllable ends-in-N trend - like Landon or Leighton - but it will probably raise a few eyebrows. Still, the name Lion makes one think of strength and confidence, which aren’t bad traits to associate with your little one! Recent cartoon Steven Universe has Lion as a character name (though the character is admittedly a magical pink lion).

Pike. The only fish name on this list, Pike has the added benefit of associating with other namesakes - Zebulon Pike, for example, was an American explorer after whom Pike’s Peak was named. A pike is also a long, spear-like weapon. Its sound is straightforward and accessible, masculine and spunky. It could be an understated honorific for a fisherman relative, or a distant nod to a familial Mike.

Falcon. Sharp and powerful Falcon has only been given to about twenty children a year - far too few for this usable animal name! It’s a unique alternative to Griffin, and the boys’ answer to the many female bird names out there (see Wren and Lark on this list). Falcon might also increase in use over the next few years due to the Marvel superhero who shares the name - somehow Falcon works better than Hulk or Black Widow, don’t you think?

Cricket. This name has a much longer history than some of the other names on this list - Cricket has been used for girls since the 1950’s! Perhaps Buddy Holly and the Crickets were an inspiration? It’s the only insect name on the list, but Cricket is more lively and human than Butterfly or Ladybug. The cadence is like adorable Bridget, and the name itself reminds one of music and happy summer evenings.

Wolf. Like Bear and Lion, Wolf is tenacious and tough. Longer form Wolfgang has been out of fashion in the United States for a while, and the short form might be a way to revitalize it. It’s slowly been trending upwards, but the name is still rare enough that your Wolf will likely be the only one in their class. Be aware, however, that the many folk tales, songs, and movie characters associated with wolves will be mentioned to your child constantly throughout their lifetime.

Sparrow. One of the more unisex names on this list (though really any could work for either), Sparrow is melodic and bright. Disney pirate Captain Jack Sparrow gave this name a boost in recent years, but the name is not only associated with the buccaneer. Sparrow is also perfect but unexpected for a springtime baby. The recent trend of names like Willow and Harlow will help Sparrow fit in nicely, too.

Hart. This name is not easily recognized as an animal name - for those wondering, a hart is another name for a male deer. The name was used briefly in the 1880’s, but fell out of use. Hart is definitely hardy and hearty, but it will probably be confused for its homophone “heart”. Yet its history and similarity to names like Harley or Arthur could help it soar again!

Lynx. There are a lot of reasons to like Lynx: its most obvious rhyme, “jinx”, adds an air of playfulness; the sound is similar to darlings Lennox, Knox, and Lux; the real-life feline is seen as supernatural in a few ancient religions, which further cements its mystery. It even sounds like Link, a cute vintage nickname from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Sable. In the 1980’s, the soap opera Dynasty had quite a big influence on baby names; Alexis, Dominique, and Amanda are among their characters. One lesser-used name was the unusual animal name Sable, with calls to mind luxury and excess (think sable-trimmed coats). But with Sadie and Abigail getting popular, Sable might just strike the right note between opulence and subtlety.

Lark. A beautiful name that has been around for decades, but never became popular, Lark is a lovely name used for boys and girls. Associated with the dawn of a new day, larks have long been used as religious and secular symbols, with many positive traits. The name itself sounds light and lilting, but the hard k at the end adds substance. If you like Parker or Laura, Lark might work for you!


April 12, 2016 5:06 PM

My favoruties are Wren, Lark and Bear. I know the most gorgeous dog who is called Bear.

April 14, 2016 12:41 PM

Bear Grylls illustrates the problem I have with word names: surname context. Noun names must be avoided if the surname is also a noun! Case in point: Bare Grills sounds like an X-treme BBQ-ing reality tv show.

By Rebe
April 17, 2016 10:20 AM

I love Lark, Fox, Bear, Wolf, and Hart.

April 26, 2016 7:53 AM

I like Sable but not the rest. They sound better on the creatures.

April 26, 2016 3:07 PM

There's a character named Wren in Tom Robbins' novel "Jitterbug Perfume" (1984).

April 26, 2016 4:19 PM

Peregrine was on our short list for boys.  My husband is a mad keen bird watcher.  Our daughter is named Phoebe (which is a small bird similar to a wren). 

April 30, 2016 9:01 AM

My 8yo son's best friend in PK was a Wren.  I've always loved that name and every Wren I've met has fit the name so well.


May 6, 2016 12:59 AM

Cricket was the name of a long-standing character on "Young & the Restless" played by blonde Lauralee Bell, daughter of the show's creator and executive producer. Cricket was technically a nickname, but I can't even recall her real name. She dated rock star Danny.

May 10, 2016 9:35 AM

My favorite animal names








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