More Americans have pets now than ever before. Since the 1950s, people have been adopting cats, dogs, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other pets and have given them a place to call home. According to the most recent data collected by the American Pet Products Association or APPA, 68 percent of American households have pets! Compare that to 56 percent in 1988. We’re definitely smitten with our kittens. Experiencing nature’s splendor and witnessing wildlife thrive is an experience that we all universally cherish. Why do you think there are so many nature and wildlife documentaries? We simply can’t get enough. Because we all love and cherish animals so very much, we decided to explore some names to celebrate our furry friends. Many baby names for animal lovers are hiding in plain sight. There are several commonly given names that have meanings associated with animals and their care. Here are our favorite baby names inspired by animals and our neverending love for them.
English actor Rosamund Pike has a glamorous name that you might think is associated with roses. However, the name comes from German and means “horse protector.” If you’re parents who love all things equestrian, you could do no better than choosing this bold name for your daughter.
The Hebrew name Ari has become extremely popular around the world. It’s short, sweet, and not fussy. The name means “lion of God.” If you want your son to carry a name that connotes strength, Ari would be a great name for your little lion cub.
For Indigenous Australians, the word and name Kiara is associated with the white cockatoo. In other languages and cultures, the name is also associated with light and brightness. It’s a beautiful name and for any birdwatchers who just so happen to become expecting parents, this name would be perfect for you.
32. Jonah or Jonas
If you want your son to be destined for a life at sea, avoid the name, Jonah. Many sailors consider the name bad luck! Jonah and Jonas both come from Hebrew and have the same meaning: “dove.” Again, another bird name here, but doves also symbolize peace and prosperity.
Vanessa, as a name, was invented by writer Johnathan Swift in the 18th Century as a shortened form of his lover, Esther Vanhomrigh’s name. Can you believe that? Vanessa also refers to a species of butterfly. For lovers of butterflies or any lepidopterists, this name would be perfect for your little one.
This name is slightly on the nose, but we love it! The name, of course, belonged to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name is German and means “wolf traveler.”
Kate Middleton’s sister, Pippa Middleton, helped reenergize the popularity of this beautiful and playful name for girls. Pippa is an English invention and a shortened form of the name Philippa. The name Pippa means “horse lover.”
Baz is a common nickname for boys with the names Basil or Sebastian. However, the name stands on its own and in Kurdish, the name Baz means “falcon” and “regal.” For falconers and bird-lovers, you couldn’t go wrong choosing this single-syllable name for your baby boy.
Channing is a gender-neutral baby name that we prefer for girls, but by all means, do what feels right for you! The name comes from Irish and English origins and means “wolf cub” or “people of Cana.”
Paco is a super cute name for boys that we think needs to make a comeback. It’s fallen out of favor for parents in the US and we need to change that! Paco is a Spanish name that means “eagle.”
20-year-old American actor Yara Shahidi helped bring this name some recognition in the US. The name Yara is common in both Arabic and Brazilian. In Arabic, the name means “small butterfly.” Precious! In Brazil, the name refers to a green-skinned goddess. We’ll take it!
While the name Art might make you think of painting or sculpture, it actually means something completely different. In Celtic, Art has a storied past, the name means “a bear.” It was a moniker associated with the High King of Ireland that was called “a bear” in the sense of being a champion.
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The Native American name of Seneca origin, Tala, means “wolf.” Tala isn’t a name many people hear often, but we wish it was. This stong yet poetic name would be an excellent choice for your daughter.
We need to undo the damage that Oscar the Grouch wrought on the name Oscar. Oscar is a stunning name for a little boy and you should most definitely consider it. The name is Irish and means “deer lover.”
Talk about an animal name hiding in plain sight! The Allman Brothers Band had it right when they sang “with sweet Melissa” because the name means “honeybee.” The Greek name refers to a nymph that nursed baby Zeus with honey. For the beekeepers out there, this name’s for you.
20. Rafe or Ralph
We love the name Ralph but only when it’s pronounced like Rafe. We think Rafe is the stronger choice of the two and the form of the name is gaining popularity for girls as well. Most European names tend to translate from one language to the other. This English name, however, is almost exclusively in use in England and never made it to the continent. It means “wolf-counsel.”
The name Davina comes from Hebrew and means “little deer.” That means she and Oscar (deer-lover) would be great friends! Davina is also a popular name in Scottland with many using it as the female form of David.
Pike is a somewhat common English surname a famous one was American explorer Zebulon Pike for whom Pike’s Peak is named. As a first name, Pike is an American invention and is associated with the pike fish. Pike is a fabulous name for your little tyke.
The name Raleigh might make you think of Sir Walter Raleigh who was a wild individual. The English poet, writer, spy, explorer, and politician wore a lot of hats back in the day. Raleigh is not only a surname but it’s a popular given name as well that means “meadow of deer.” Raleigh works great for both boys and girls.
Conan is a name for a boy destined for a life of adventure. The name is extremely popular in Ireland and has Celtic origins. It means “little wolf.” Which is essentially a puppy, right? We love this strong name.
We’d like to see more Japenese names gain popularity in the US. Mai is pronounced “my” and is a gorgeous name for girls that means “coyote.” The name isn’t only prevalent in Japan, it’s also popular in France and Vietnam.
Call your Buckley “Buck” for short. This handsome English name is a habitational name that means “meadow of the deer.” The name started out as a surname before crossing over and now commonly a given name for boys.
While you might not like the Disney vibes that come along with this name, it’s still quite beautiful. The Hebrew name Ariel has been used for both boys and girls throughout history and it actually predates Ari. It also has the same meaning “lion of God.” This melodic name would be a great choice for your daughter.
Another name that’s pretty in-your-face about its animal nature, but we love it, is Lionel. This name hasn’t been too hot since the 1920s, but it’s time for it to regain popularity like Leo and Leonard. The Latin name means “little lion.” It’s perfect for your little cub.
Okay… so the name Sable means “black” in English. In French, it means “sand.” In Latin and Spanish, it means “sword.” Why is this an animal-inspired baby name? Sable fur, which might scare some of you away, has been considered a luxury for decades. By using the name, you can honor the animals that were traditionally hunted for it. That got a little dark, but we love the name!
While it might make you think of gothic horror or even Star Wars, but this English name actually means “peacock.” Poe can be given to both girls and boys. This simple and hip-sounding name would be perfect for your little birdie.
When most people hear the name Teal they immediately think of the colors blue and green. And, that is totally one interpretation of this beautiful name. However, Teal also refers to a Eurasian duck with signature green feathers.
Pronounced “yah-EL,” the name Jael is a handsome Hebrew name with a fun meaning. It means “mountain goat.” If you’re planning on giving birth to a Capricorn, this name would suit him or her well. It’s a unisex name that’s more common for boys but not unheard for girls.
Raven is a girl’s name that means exactly what you think it does. No mystery here! We love the name Raven and we’re enjoying that it’s growing in popularity. Raven-Symoné was really ahead of the curve when she was given the name in 1985. It’s one of the top 400 names given to girls now.
The German name Eberhard isn’t that cute, but it’s English form Everett sure is. Everett means “brave as a wild boar.” You read the right! If you want a name that sounds pretty but means business, look to Everett for your baby boar.
Astor has a certain ring to it that we’re feeling. It started as an English surname that came from Old Provençal astur, which means “hawk.” In Icelandic tradition, the name means “thunder god.” We think both are interesting.
The late Kobe Bryant is a basketball legend with one very interesting name. Although Kobe Bryant was named for the famous steak producing city Kobe, Japan there’s a deeper meaning to the name. In Swahili, the name Kobe means “tortoise.” How cute and sweet is that?
Everly is a close relative to Everett and it has a slightly different meaning. The name means “wild boar in a clearing.” It too is an anglicized version of a German name involving boars. Everly has picked up steam in the US and as of 2018 it was the 53rd most popular name given to girls.
Adler is a common German surname that’s been favored over the last couple of decades as a given name for boys. The sophisticated name means “eagle.” If you’re looking to raise a high-flyer, Adler is the name for your boy.
While the name sounds like the French “Coco,” this Japenese name has a very different meaning. The sweet name Koko means “stork.” Whether you love Coco or Koko, we love the way the name sounds. It would just be the cutest for a little girl.
The names on this list try and pay tribute to the beautiful creatures that make our world thrive. If you’re an animal lover and you want your kid to be one too, consider passing along a name that embodies that enthusiasm for nature and wildlife.
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Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
Set your terms (sex of the baby, number of letters, popularity, etc.) and then get a list of names that meet your criteria. Maybe the perfect name is just waiting to be generated for you.