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100 Popular Animal Inspired Names

Updated
Discover the cutest animal names for babies that nature has to offer right here.

There’s a whole treasure trove of charming animal names for babies out there. Whether you decide to go for a majestic bear, graceful cat, or cute puppy, there’s plenty to inspire. Do you go for popular animal names everyone will recognize or look for rare creatures?

Allow our thoughtful list to take you on a journey through the animal kingdom so you’ll make the best choice for your little fawn boy or girl. Check out these awesome animal inspired names for the baby you’re expecting.


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100 Cute Animal Inspired Names for Boys and Girls

Keep reading to find fun animal names for babies that honor creatures big and small.

Abeille

Abeille comes from the French “abelha.” When spelled Abiel, it becomes a Hebrew boy’s name meaning “my father is the Lord.” Abeille was the name of many French navy ships, but its animal-related meaning may be the cutest.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Bee
  • Pronunciation: AEH-beh-Ehl
  • Variations: Abielle, Abiel
  • Namesakes: Abeille Gélinas, a Canadian actress known for the TV series 3 Seasons in 2009.
  • Popularity: Abeille is extremely rare worldwide and mostly used in DR Congo.
Cute, Pretty

Abitha

Abitha also means “lovely” and “hearty” in Hindi. It’s another variation of Tabitha, and one of those animal names for girls that celebrates majestic wildlife.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Gazelle, doe
  • Pronunciation: Eh-BIH-thah
  • Namesakes: Abitha, an Indian actress known for the Sun TV series Thirumathi Selvam from 2007 to 2013.
  • Popularity: Abitha is extremely rare worldwide and mainly used in India.
Unique, Rare

Alondra

Alondra is a nickname for Alejandra, the Spanish version of Alexandra. It was ranked number 1 for girls in Puerto Rico in 2009. Alondra’s “lark” meaning symbolizes the sweet melodious song for which the lark bird is famous.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Lark
  • Pronunciation: Ah-LAON-Drah
  • Variations: Alandra
  • Namesakes: Alondra Quintero, a Mexican voiceover actress known for the anime series Naruto. Alondra de la Parra, a Mexican conductor and founder of the Mexican-American Orchestra in 2003.
  • Popularity: Alondra is rare worldwide and primarily used in Mexico, ranking 675th in 2014.
Unique, Informal

Ander

Ander is a Basque form of Andrew and a Swedish form of Andreas. It may have originated as the Greek Alexander. Ander also means “man” and “warrior” for your little king of the jungle.

  • Origin: Greek, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Lion man
  • Pronunciation: AEN-Der
  • Variations: Anders
  • Namesakes: Ander García, a Spanish basketball player for Saski Baskonia. Ander Monson, an American writer, and editor of the literary magazine DIAGRAM.
  • Popularity: Ander is rare worldwide, mainly used in Spain, and ranked 893 in the U.S. in 2022.
Traditional, Masculine

Arden

Arden means “high” in Old English. It refers to many place names in Great Britain, including the forest of Arden in Warwickshire. In Hebrew, Arden means “garden of Eden,” wherever your baby boy spreads his wings.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: From the eagle valley
  • Pronunciation: AARD-ehn
  • Variations: Ardan, Arrden
  • Namesakes: Arden Maddison, an English footballer for Stoke. Arden Hayes, an American child prodigy known for reciting Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”
  • Popularity: Arden is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,088th for girls in 2021.
Cool, Unique

Aria

In Greek mythology, Aria is the mother of Miletos, whose father was the god, Apollo. Aria also means “melody” after the musical interlude famous in opera, so this lioness can obviously sing.

  • Origin: Greek, Italian
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: AAR-iy-Ah
  • Variations: Ariah, Aryia
  • Namesakes: Aria Aber, a German-Afghan poet whose work has appeared in The New Yorker. Aria Fischer, an American water polo player who competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Aria is rare worldwide, primarily used in Indonesia, and ranked 22nd for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Strong, Cool

Ariel

Ariel is an angelic lion in Jewish and Christian mysticism. It’s derived from the Hebrew “arī’ēl,” meaning “lion of God,” and was a symbolic name for Jerusalem.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion of God
  • Pronunciation: AER-iy-Ahl
  • Variations: Arriel, Arriele, Arriell
  • Namesakes: Ariel Schulman, an American filmmaker who directed two of the Paranormal Activity films.
  • Popularity: Ariel ranked 1,734th worldwide, is primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 178th for girls in 2022.
Strong, Traditional

Arnold

Arnold is made up of the Germanic elements “arn,” meaning “eagle,” and “wald,” meaning “brightness.” It was initially Arnwald, but it may be better for your strong eagle boy as Arnold or Arnie.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Eagle power
  • Pronunciation: AAR-Nahld
  • Variations: Arnold, Arnolde
  • Namesakes: Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-American actor and the 38th governor of California between 2003 and 2011. Arnold Smith, the first Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1965 to 1975.
  • Popularity: Arnold ranked 1,719th worldwide and is mainly used in the Philippines, where it ranked 73rd in 2014.
Masculine, Strong

Auberon

Auberon also means “noble” in German. It originated as the German surname Alberich, but is elegant among animal names for babies with charm.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Royal bear
  • Pronunciation: AO-ber-Ahn
  • Variations: Auberron
  • Namesakes: Auberon Waugh, an English journalist who wrote for the publication Private Eye. Auberon Herbert, a British politician and the President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries between 1914 and 1915.
  • Popularity: Auberon is extremely rare worldwide and primarily used in England.
Obscure, Rare

Averett

Averett means “brave” in Old English and originated from the German surname Eberhard. It also means “strong” and “hardy” for boys who aren’t afraid of anything.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Strong boar
  • Pronunciation: AHV-eh-Reht
  • Popularity: Averett is extremely rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Formal, Rare
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Ayala

Ayala means “doe” in Hebrew. In Spanish, it’s a surname for those who live near a pasture, which is why it also means “pasture/hillside.”

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Deer, gazelle
  • Pronunciation: Ah-YAA-Laa
  • Variations: Ayalah, Ayalla, Ayallah
  • Namesakes: Ayala Hetzroni, an Israeli Olympic shot putter and Israeli Women’s Champion in 1960 and 1962. Ayala Ingedashet, an Israeli-Ethiopian singer and TV host on the Briza TV channel.
  • Popularity: Ayala is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Pretty, Cute

Bear

Bear comes from the German “bera,” meaning “the brown one.” In the animal kingdom, bears symbolize power, independence, and courage for little boys with the same attributes.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Strong, brave bear
  • Pronunciation: BEHR
  • Variations: Baer
  • Namesakes: Edward “Bear” Grylls, a British TV presenter for the series Man vs. Wild (2006 to 2011). Bear McCreary, an American composer most known for their work on the TV series Battlestar Galactica (2004).
  • Popularity: Bear is rare worldwide, primarily used in Lebanon, and ranked 936th for boys in the U.S. in 2020.
Strong, Cute

Beckett

Beckett means “bee cottage” in English and Irish. It’s known as a surname, but Beckett has the animal spirit needed to fit into impressive animal names for boys.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Beehive
  • Pronunciation: BEH-Kaht
  • Variations: Becket
  • Namesakes: Beckett Bould, a British actor who appeared in 1930s films like Black Diamonds and The Outcast.
  • Popularity: Beckett is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S, where it ranked 209th in 2022.
Formal, Unique

Benno

Benno comes from the German name Berenhard, made up of “bernu,” meaning “bear,” and “harduz,” meaning “brave.” It came to England from Normandy after 1066 and has animal protector written all over it.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Brave bear
  • Pronunciation: BEHN-ow
  • Variations: Beno
  • Namesakes: Benno Wiss, a Swiss bicycle racer and silver medalist at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Benjamin “Benno” Fürmann, a German actor and winner of the 1999 German Television Award For Best Actor.
  • Popularity: Benno is rare worldwide and primarily used in Germany, where it ranked 484th in 2014.
Informal, Cute

Bernadette

Bernadette is based on the German “ber,” meaning “bear,” and “hard,” meaning “strong.” It’s a female form of Bernard and is super-feminine for baby girls as lovable as a young cub.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Brave bear
  • Pronunciation: Behr-naa-DEHT
  • Variations: Beradette, Bernadete, Bernadet, Bernedette
  • Namesakes: Bernadette Peters, an American actress with seven Tony Awards nominations. Bernadette Chirac, the widow of the former president Jacques Chirac.
  • Popularity: Bernadette ranked 979th worldwide, is primarily used in DR Congo, and ranked 1,186th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Feminine, Traditional

Birdie

Birdie means “bright” and “famous” in German. It’s based on the Old English surname Byrd and is a sweet name for your baby girl while she finds her song.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Bird
  • Pronunciation: BEHR-Diy
  • Variations: Birdey, Birdy, Byrdie
  • Namesakes: Birdie Alexander, an American educator, and original Music Supervisors’ National Conference member. Birdie Draper, an American stunt performer, known as the “Queen of the Daredevils.”
  • Popularity: Birdie is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked in the top 1,000 names for girls in 2021.
Cute, Pretty

Bjorn

Bjorn derives from the Old Norse bjǫrn, for “bear.” In Norway, it’s a shorter form of various place names like Bjørnsplass. It has the same meaning in Swedish and German, with slight accent variations.

  • Origin: Swedish
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: Biy-OHRN
  • Variations: Bjoern, Bjorne
  • Namesakes: Björn Þórðarson, the prime minister of Iceland from 1942 to 1944. Bjorn Thorsrud, an American music producer who worked with the rock band Smashing Pumpkins.
  • Popularity: Bjorn is rare worldwide, mostly used in the Netherlands, and ranked 441st in Belgium in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine

Branwen

Branwen also means “blessed raven” in Welsh. It’s made up of the Welsh “brân,” meaning “raven,” and “gwen,” meaning “fair.” Branwen was a heroine in the Welsh story Mabinogion and can be your baby bird too.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: White crow
  • Pronunciation: BRAEN-Wehn
  • Variations: Branwyn, Branwynn
  • Namesakes: Branwen Gwyn, a Welsh TV presenter for the children’s program Planed Plant.
  • Popularity: Branwen is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Wales, where it ranked 1,162nd in 2014.
Traditional, Rare

Brayden

Brayden is an Anglo spelling of the Irish Braden, from the Gaelic “bradán,” meaning “salmon.” It’s also a surname meaning “brave” and is cute enough for your little one as he swims upstream in life.

  • Origin: Irish, American
  • Meaning: Salmon
  • Pronunciation: BREY-Dehn
  • Variations: Braden
  • Namesakes: Brayden McNabb, a Canadian ice hockey player for the Vegas Golden Knights. Brayden Wiliame, an Australian rugby union footballer for USA Perpignan.
  • Popularity: Brayden is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it’s been ranked in the top 500 names since 1995.
Formal, Masculine

Buck

Buck comes from the Old English “bucc,” meaning “goat” or “deer.” It also means “cowboy,” which may be why it’s most popular in the United States. Buck was once given to boys resembling a deer, but your baby boy can be any creature he wants.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Deer
  • Variations: Buc, Buk
  • Namesakes: Buck Henry (born Henry Zuckerman), an American actor known as a co-writer for Mike Nichols’s The Graduate (1967).
  • Popularity: Buck is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Strong, Cool
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Bunny

Bunny is a term of endearment for little girls, but it best represents adorable baby rabbits and the Easter bunny himself. Bunnies represent abundance (as in fertility) and good luck, so it’s a great place to start.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Baby rabbit
  • Pronunciation: BUHN-iy
  • Variations: Bunney, Bunni, Bunnie
  • Namesakes: Lady Bunny (Jon Ingle), an American drag queen and founder of the annual Wigstock event. Bernard “Bunny” Carr, an Irish TV presenter for the RTE program Quicksilver.
  • Popularity: Bunny is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Cute, Pretty

Calandra

Calandra originally meant “singing bird” in Greek, which is apt for the lark it represents. Kalandros is the ancient Greek name for larks or those known for having a beautiful voice.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Lark
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-LAEN-drah
  • Variations: Calandrea, Calendra
  • Popularity: Brayden is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Feminine, Uncommon

Callum

Callum comes from the Latin Columba, meaning “dove.” It’s a Christian name since doves symbolize purity and the Holy Spirit, making Callum extra special for your boy.

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Dove
  • Pronunciation: KAEL-ahm
  • Variations: Calum
  • Namesakes: Callum O’Dowda, an Irish footballer for the Irish national team. Callum Macrae, a Scottish filmmaker and founder of Outsider Television since 1993.
  • Popularity: Callum is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked 284th in 2022.
Traditional, Cute

Cane

Cane means “stalk of sugar” in Hebrew and is an alternative spelling for Cain. It’s the literal Italian word for “dog,” or the baby boy who will always be your best friend.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Dog
  • Pronunciation: KEYN
  • Variations: Caen, Cain, Caine
  • Popularity: Cane is rare worldwide and primarily used in North Macedonia, where it ranked 382nd in 2014.
Unusual, Uncommon

Cat

Cat comes from the Old English “catt.” The word cat may have originated from the Egyptian “šau,” meaning “tomcat.” Cat means “pure” in Greek, too, so your feline girl’s name has quite a history.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Cat (animal)
  • Pronunciation: KAET
  • Variations: Catt
  • Namesakes: Catherine Cora, an American chef, TV personality, and co-host of Around the World in 80 Plates. Catherine Smith, a British Member of Parliament since 2015.
  • Popularity: Cat is rare worldwide and mainly used in Vietnam, ranking 380th in 2014.
Cute, Informal

Chinti

Very little is known about Chinti, but it is the Indian word for “red ants.” In Hinduism, ants are divine, and their anthills represent the earth, so it’s more than just a cute name.

  • Origin: Hindi
  • Meaning: Ant
  • Pronunciation: CHIN-Tee
  • Popularity: Chinti is rare worldwide and mostly used in India.
Unusual, Cute

Cicada

Cicada comes from the Latin for “tree cricket.” Cicadas represent resurrection. They’re a sign that summer is ending, but your baby Cicada can be one of a kind all year long.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Loud insect of the night
  • Pronunciation: Sah-KEY-dah
  • Variations: Cicaeda, Cicayda
  • Popularity: Cicada is extremely rare worldwide and primarily used in China.
Unusual, Rare

Colt

Colt is another word for a male horse. It’s associated with everything wild west-like, from cowboys to the Colt 45 gun. Colt remains popular in the U.S., where it’s one of the more American animal inspired names.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Young horse
  • Pronunciation: KOWLT
  • Variations: Colte
  • Namesakes: Colt David, an American football player for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Colt Knost, an American golfer and PGA Tour commentator with CBS Sports.
  • Popularity: Brayden is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 220th for boys in 2021.
Strong, Masculine

Conan

Conan means “hound” in Irish. It’s based on the Irish “cú,” meaning “wolf,” when combined with a diminutive suffix. Conan O’Brien is the most famous Conan, but your little wolf can step up to the plate.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Little wolf
  • Pronunciation: KOW-Naen
  • Variations: Connan
  • Namesakes: Conan Gray, an American singer/songwriter whose album Kid Krow debuted at #5 on the US Billboard 200. Conan Byrne, an Irish footballer for the NIFL Premiership club Glenavon.
  • Popularity: Conan is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Cute, Masculine

Cricket

Cricket is based on the Old French “criquet,” meaning “to creak” or “rattle.” It’s the name of a bat-based British game, but Cricket is still one of the cutest names that mean animal.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Chirping insect
  • Pronunciation: KRIH-Kaht
  • Variations: Crickit, Criket, Crycket
  • Popularity: Cricket is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Cute, Rare
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Dane

Dane can refer to anyone “from Denmark.” It means “God is my judge” in Scandinavian and is used in the U.S., so your Dane can live anywhere.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Dog breed
  • Pronunciation: DEYN
  • Variations: Daen, Daene, Dain, Daine, Dayn
  • Namesakes: Dane Cook, an American stand-up comedian whose special Retaliation went platinum in 2006. Dane Zajc, a Slovenian poet and winner of the Prešeren Award for lifetime achievement in 1981.
  • Popularity: Dane is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it’s ranked in the top 1,000 names since 1945.
Strong, Masculine

Darva

Darva is a very obscure name meaning “honey bee.” It’s also Persian when based on Daria. Darva might have originated in Slovakia, but it’s truly unique for girls who love to buzz.

  • Origin: Slavic, Persian
  • Meaning: Honeybee
  • Pronunciation: DAAR-Vah
  • Variations: Darvah
  • Namesakes: Darva Conger, an American reality show personality and winner of Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire in 2000.
  • Popularity: Darva is rare worldwide and mostly used in India.
Cute, Pretty

Davina

Davina is also the English and Scottish female equivalent of David. It can mean “beloved” or “friend,” so this doe name may be perfect for the baby girl you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Little deer
  • Pronunciation: Dah-VIY-naa
  • Variations: Davinah
  • Namesakes: Lady Davina Lewis, a member of the British royal family and 34th in line to the British throne. Davina McCall, an English TV presenter for Big Brother from 2000 to 2010.
  • Popularity: Davina is rare worldwide, primarily used in Brazil, and has ranked in the top 1,000 names in the U.S. since 2016.
Traditional, Feminine

Delphine

Delphine comes from the Greek “delphís,” for dolphin. It’s also associated with Delphi, an ancient religious temple erected to the sun god Apollo. Delphine also means “of Delphi” and “womb,” perfect for baby girls who swim in a vast ocean of meaning.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Dolphin
  • Pronunciation: Dehl-FIYN
  • Variations: Delfine, Delphina
  • Namesakes: Delphine Batho, a French member of the National Assembly from 2007 to 2012. Delphine Lecompte, a Flemish poet who won the C. Buddingh’-prijs.
  • Popularity: Delphine is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in France, where it ranked 84th in 2014.
Pretty, Uncommon

Dillon

Dillon also means “loyal” in Welsh. It began as an Anglo-Norman surname but has become a cute option for “king (or queen) of the jungle” names for babies.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Like a lion
  • Pronunciation: DIHL-ahn
  • Variations: Dilan, Dylan
  • Namesakes: Dillon Wallace, an American author known for the book The Lure of the Labrador Wild (1905). Dillon Barna, an American soccer player for Ventura County Fusion in the USL Premier Development League.
  • Popularity: Dillon is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked 669th in 2021.
Strong, Unique

Doe

Doe means “female deer,” but it’s also used for female rabbits and kangaroos. The term “doe eyes” is used for women with big, sweet-looking eyes who start life as little Does.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Female deer
  • Pronunciation: DOW
  • Variations: Do
  • Popularity: Doe is rare worldwide, primarily used in Ghana, and ranked 551st in Liberia in 2014.
Cute, Uncommon

Dov

Dov derives from the Yiddish “ber,” since “dov” means “bear” in Hebrew. It’s common as an Eastern-European Jewish name and remains short and lovable for baby boys.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: DOWV
  • Variations: Dove, Dovey, Dovy
  • Namesakes: Dov Lupi, an Israeli-American gymnast who competed for Israel in the 1976 Summer Olympics. Dov Charney, the Canadian founder of American Apparel.
  • Popularity: Dov is rare worldwide and mainly used in Israel, where it ranked 238th in 2014.
Cool, Traditional

Eilir

Alban Eilir is the Druid name for the Welsh festival of the Spring Equinox, meaning “the light of the Earth.” It also means “spring,” when the prettiest butterflies come out to play.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: EY-Lihr
  • Variations: Elier
  • Popularity: Eilir is extremely rare worldwide and mainly used in Wales, where it ranked 1,040th in 2014.
Unusual, Cute

Eowyn

Eowyn is rare among names that mean animal since created by JRR Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings. He took Eowyn from the Old English “eoh,” meaning “horse” and “wyn,” meaning “joy,” and made it famous.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Horse of joy
  • Pronunciation: AY-winn
  • Namesakes: Éowyn (born Rebecca Krueger), a Christian alternative rock musician with two top National Christian rock singles. Eowyn Ivey, an American author and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013.
  • Popularity: Eowyn is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 1,817th for girls in 2021.
Unique, Cute

Everett

Everett comes from the German surname Everard, meaning “the strength or courage of a wild boar.” It makes sense since Everett also means “brave” when little boys strive to be strong.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Brave as a wild boar
  • Pronunciation: EHV-eh-Reht
  • Variations: Everrett, Evrett
  • Namesakes: Everett McGill, an American actor first known for the film Quest for Fire. Everett Dirksen, an American politician, known for passing the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968.
  • Popularity: Everett is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 82nd for boys in 2021.
Formal, Masculine
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Ezio

Ezio derives from Aëtius, a Roman surname. It originally meant “eagle” in Greek. Ezio means “friend” and “lover” in Hebrew, but flies as high as your little boy can soar.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Eagle, Greek
  • Pronunciation: EH-ziy-Ow
  • Variations: Ezeo, Eziyo
  • Namesakes: Ezio Mauro, an Italian journalist and editor-in-chief of the La Repubblica newspaper from 1996 to 2016. Ezio Vanoni, the Italian Minister of Finance from 1948 to 1954.
  • Popularity: Ezio is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranked 227th in 2014.
Masculine, Strong

Faline

In Disney’s Bambi, Faline was the name of the pretty doe Bambi fell in love with, but as a name, it’s associated with cat-like attributes. Faline also has English origins and is the perfect name for animal lovers.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Catlike
  • Pronunciation: Faa-LIYN
  • Variations: Falline, Faleane, Faleen
  • Popularity: Faline is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Unusual, Rare

Fauna

Fauna is used to describe animals in a particular habitat. In Roman mythology, Fauna is the goddess of earth and fertility, accompanied by forest spirits known as Fauns. They’re representatives of the Greek god Pan for all things natural.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Young deer
  • Pronunciation: FAON-ah
  • Variations: Fawnah
  • Popularity: Fauna is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Feminine, Uncommon

Fawn

Fawn also describes a young antelope. It comes from the Old English “faun,” meaning “young fallow.” Fawn was used in the 19th-century as a combination of Fay and Dawn, so it has more than one meaning.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Young deer
  • Pronunciation: FAEWN
  • Variations: Fahn, Faun, Faune, Fawne
  • Namesakes: Fawn Johnson, an American journalist, and correspondent for National Journal. Fawn Yacker, an American filmmaker who co-founded the LGBT organization “The Last Closet.”
  • Popularity: Fawn is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Cute, Unique

Fia

Fia is a shorter version of the Irish Fiadh, meaning “wild deer.” It means “dark of peace” in Scottish, yet Fia is accessible enough to grow more popular in time.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Deer
  • Pronunciation: FEE-ah
  • Variations: Fiadh
  • Popularity: Fia is rare worldwide, primarily used in Indonesia, and ranked 1,153rd in Sweden in 2014.
Pretty, Informal

Finch

Finch is one of many bird names used for babies that started as surnames. Finches make great pets because of their sweet song and companionship, which is why it works well for babies.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Finch (bird)
  • Pronunciation: FIHNCH
  • Variations: Finche, Fynch, Fynche
  • Namesakes: Nils Wehowsky (known as Finch Asozial), a German rapper who became famous on the German show Rap am Mittwoch.
  • Popularity: Finch is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Cute, Uncommon

Fox

Fox is based on the Germanic “fuhsaz,” which was originally “puḱ,” meaning “thick-haired” and “tail.” As a surname, it reflects the fox, part of the dog family, known for being wild yet cute.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Fox (animal)
  • Pronunciation: FOKHS
  • Variations: Foxe, Foxx
  • Namesakes: Fox Harris, an American actor known for the film Repo Man (1984). Fox Conner, an American general, known as “the man who made Eisenhower.”
  • Popularity: Fox is rare worldwide, mainly used in Egypt, and ranked 1,229th for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Cool, Strong

Gavin

Gavin is the Scottish form of the Gaelic Gawain. Sir Gawain of the Knights of the Round Table is one of the first famous Gavins. It means “hawk of the battle” in Welsh and is perfectly animal-themed for boys.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: White hawk
  • Pronunciation: GAEV-ihn
  • Variations: Gavinn, Gavyn
  • Namesakes: Gavin Newsom, the 40th governor of California since 2019. Gavin Hewitt, a British journalist, and BBC News Editor.
  • Popularity: Gavin is rare worldwide, primarily used in England, and ranked 139th in Wales in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine

Giles

Giles comes from the Latin Aegidius, meaning “goat kid.” It was the name of St. Giles, known for being a hermit. Giles also means “pledge” for the baby boy you can one day call your kid.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Young goat
  • Pronunciation: JHI-ihlz
  • Variations: Gylles, Gyllis, Gylliss
  • Namesakes: Giles Corey, an English-American farmer and one of the only men accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. Giles Blunt, a Canadian novelist who wrote Cold Eye.
  • Popularity: Giles is rare worldwide and mostly used in England, where it ranked 583rd in 2014.
Traditional, Unique

Griffin

Griffin is the name of a mythical winged creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. It was once a Welsh surname derived from Gruffydd, made up of “udd,” meaning “lord” or “prince.”

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Mythological creature
  • Pronunciation: GRIH-Fahn
  • Variations: Griffon, Gryffin
  • Namesakes: Griffin Dunne, an American actor best known for the film An American Werewolf in London (1981). Griffin McElroy, an American podcaster known for the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me.
  • Popularity: Griffin is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 290th for boys in 2022.
Cool, Formal
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Hamsa

In India, the Hamsa is an aquatic bird that could be a goose, swan, or flamingo. In Sanskrit texts, it’s a spiritual symbol, so Hamsa becomes a more meaningful name for boys and girls to use.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Hamsa (bird)
  • Pronunciation: HAAHM-sah
  • Namesakes: Hamsa Nandini, an Indian model at the Hyderabad International Fashion week 2011 and 2013.
  • Popularity: Hamsa is rare worldwide, primarily used in India, and ranked 182nd in Niger in 2014.
Unique, Uncommon

Haydar

Haydar means “warrior” in Arabic. It’s not very popular outside of Turkey, but you can bring safari-themed names like Haydar to your little lion king.

  • Origin: Turkish, Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: HHEY-Daar
  • Variations: Hayder, Haider
  • Namesakes: Haydar Aşan, a Turkish-American sprinter who competed at the 1928 Summer Olympics. Haydar Hatemi, an Iranian artist under the commission of the Qatari Royal family for the last decade.
  • Popularity: Haydar is rare worldwide and mostly used in Turkey, where it ranked 299th in 2014.
Strong, Unusual

Hopper

Hopper may generally refer to a “person or animal that hops.” In addition to a grasshopper, it works when describing a frog, rabbit, or kangaroo. Hopper also means “to leap” or “dance” for the young fellow who wants to move around.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Grasshopper
  • Pronunciation: HHAA-Per
  • Namesakes: Hopper Penn, an actor known for the War Machine film and the son of actor Sean Penn.
  • Popularity: Hopper is extremely rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Cute, Unusual

Ibis

“Ibis” is Latin to describe a particular group of wading birds. The egret bird is also described as “Bubulcus ibis.” They are known for their graceful curves, bringing the natural world’s beauty home to your little one.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Long-legged bird
  • Pronunciation: IH-Bis
  • Namesakes: Ibis Gómez-Vega, a Cuban-American Latina novelist and literary critic contributing to Voces: Journal of Chicana / Latina Studies. Ibis Nieves, an American contestant on Road Rules X-treme.
  • Popularity: Ibis is rare worldwide and primarily used in Cuba, ranking 522nd in 2014.
Unique, Cute

Jaguar

Jaguar comes from the South American Tupi and Guarani languages and is based on “yaguareté,” meaning “true, fierce beast.” It also means “he who kills with one leap.” The jaguar is a symbol of ferocity but also protection from evil.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Large spotted feline
  • Pronunciation: JHAE-guw-Ahr
  • Variations: Jaghuar, Jagwar, Jagwhar
  • Namesakes: Jacquelyn Wright (known as Jaguar Wright), an American R&B singer/songwriter known for her collaborations with Jay-Z. Rimi Yokota (known as Jaguar Yokota), a Japanese wrestler and two-time WWWA World Single Champion.
  • Popularity: Jaguar is very rare worldwide and mostly used in DR Congo.
Strong, Cool

Jeleń

Jeleń comes from the Old Czech “jelen,” based on the Slavic “elen,” associated with “yellow-brown.” It refers to a male deer, also called a stag, and is one of the strongest animal names for boys.

  • Origin: Serbian
  • Meaning: Deer
  • Pronunciation: JHEH-Lahn
  • Namesakes: Jelen, Bemoim, a 15th-century buumi king or prince of the Jolof Empire in West Africa.
  • Popularity: Jeleń is very rare worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 1,060th in Serbia in 2014.
Masculine, Uncommon

Joey

Though most known as a “baby kangaroo,” Joey is an Aboriginal-Australian term for many “baby animals.” Whether your little one is more like a wombat, wallaby, or Tasmanian devil, they’ll be covered when named Joey.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Baby kangaroo
  • Pronunciation: JHOW-iy
  • Variations: Joe
  • Namesakes: Joseph Kramer, an American drummer for the rock band Aerosmith. Joey Bishop, an American entertainer and a member of the Rat Pack.
  • Popularity: Joey is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in the Philippines, and ranked 333rd for boys and 1,730th for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Cute, Informal

Kedi

Kedi is the literal Turkish word for “cat.” It also comes from the Byzantine Greek “gatí,” meaning “kitten,” and Latin “cattus.” Kedi is a 2016 documentary about street cats in Istanbul and their special place in Turkish hearts and minds.

  • Origin: Turkish
  • Meaning: Cat
  • Pronunciation: KEH-dee
  • Popularity: Kedi is rare worldwide and mainly used in India.
Cute, Rare

Kefira

Kefira also means “lion cub” in Hebrew. It can refer to a young “lioness” like yours who wants to be the queen of the jungle.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Young lion
  • Pronunciation: KEHF-iy-Rah
  • Variations: Kefirah, Kephira
  • Popularity: Kefira is extremely rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Feminine, Strong

Kimana

Kimana is a very rare name originating from the Native American Shoshone tribe based in Wyoming. Butterflies symbolize growth and change, which comes with any new baby girl.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: Kih-MAAN-ah
  • Variations: Kimanah, Kimanna, Kimannah
  • Popularity: Kimana is extremely rare worldwide and primarily used in Indonesia.
Pretty, Rare
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Kitty

Kitty is a term of endearment for a cat. It’s also used as a nickname for Katherine. Kitty isn’t popular nowadays, but it can return to its funny, lovable glory among animal names for babies.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Cat nickname
  • Pronunciation: KIHT-iy
  • Variations: Kitti, Kittie
  • Namesakes: Catherine Cronin (known as Kitty Kiernan), the fiancée of Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins. Kitty Carlisle (born Catherine Conn), an American actress and panelist on the TV game show To Tell the Truth (1956 to 1978).
  • Popularity: Kitty is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Cute, Informal

Koko

Koko refers to “storks,” symbolizing protection and the hearth associated with the Greek goddess Hera. Storks were traditionally messengers who brought babies to new parents, which fits the bill perfectly.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Stork
  • Pronunciation: Kow-Kow
  • Variations: Coco
  • Namesakes: Koko Darkuncoro, an Indonesian beach volleyball player and gold medalist at the 2008 Asian Beach Games. Aquilino Pimentel III (known as Koko Pimentel), a Filipino politician and the Senate Minority Leader since 2022.
  • Popularity: Koko is uncommon worldwide, mainly used in Japan, and ranked 108th in the Ivory Coast in 2014.
Cute, Uncommon

Kuzu

Kuzu is very obscure and gets mixed up with the Japanese Kudzu, referring to the arrowroot plant. It’s also a Turkish surname and a Japanese town. When people call baby boys “little lambs,” this most unique of animal names for boys answers.

  • Origin: Turkish
  • Meaning: Lamb
  • Pronunciation: KUW-Zuw
  • Popularity: Kuzu is extremely rare worldwide and mostly used in DR Congo.
Unusual, Rare

Laith

Leith means “wet” in Scottish, also belonging to the Leith river in Edinburgh. Some say it means a “baby lion,” which makes this ferocious beast a bit more tamed for your little guy.

  • Origin: Arabic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LAAIYTH
  • Variations: Laeth, Laithe
  • Namesakes: Laith De La Cruz, a Dominican-American trans model for Barneys and Calvin Klein. Laith Al-Deen, an Iraqi-German pop musician whose 2004 album Für Alle reached #1 on the German album charts.
  • Popularity: Laith is rare worldwide, primarily used in Iraq, and ranked 1,184th for boys in the U.S. in 2021.
Strong, Unique

Lonan

Lonan derives from the Old Irish “lon,” meaning “blackbird” when combined with a diminutive suffix. It also means “cloud” and names many Irish saints, but it works well as your little bird boy.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Blackbird
  • Pronunciation: LOW-Nahn
  • Variations: Lonin, Lonyn
  • Popularity: Lonan is worldwide and mainly used in the Ivory Coast, where it ranked 1,856th in 2014.
Masculine, Rare

Lovella

Lovella also means “love” and “affection” in the Old Norman culture. It’s the female equivalent to Lovell and may be the prettiest wolf girl name you’ve ever heard.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Wolf
  • Pronunciation: Loh-VEHL-aa
  • Popularity: Lovella is rare worldwide and mostly used in the Philippines.
Feminine, Strong

Lyall

Lyall comes from the Old Norse Liulfr, meaning “wolf.” Wolves are majestic and fierce animals that roam in packs, but your baby Lyall can find friends of his own too.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LIEY-ael
  • Variations: Lyle, Lyal
  • Namesakes: Lyall Hall, an Australian politician and member of the Legislative Assembly from 1897 until 1901. Lyall F. Smith, an American sports writer and president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America from 1955 to 1956.
  • Popularity: Lyall is rare worldwide, primarily used in Canada, and ranked 763rd in New Zealand in 2014.
Unique, Masculine

Lynx

Lynx is based on the Middle English “leuk,” meaning “light” and “brightness.” The wild lynx cat is known for its reflective, bright eyes that can see anything at night.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Forest cat
  • Pronunciation: LINKS
  • Popularity: Lynx is very rare worldwide and mostly used in DR Congo,
Strong, Cool

Mačka

Mačka is the literal word for “cat” that originated from the Slavic “maca,” meaning “pussycat” or “female cat.” It’s rarely used but is a decidedly different way to use animal inspired names for the baby you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Serbo-Croatian
  • Meaning: Cat
  • Pronunciation: MAHTCH-Kaa
  • Popularity: Mačka is rare worldwide and mainly used in Chad, ranking 248th in 2014.
Obscure, Unusual

Madden

Madden comes from the Gaelic “madain,” meaning “son of the hound.” It also means “little dog” in Irish. Madden was an Irish surname related to Madigan but might be best known for famous American football player John Madden.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Hound
  • Pronunciation: MAED-Dehn
  • Variations: Maddon, Maddun, Maden
  • Popularity: Madden is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 957th for boys in 2022.
Unique, Masculine
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Madigan

Madigan also means “son of the hound” in Irish. It began as the Gaelic surname “Mac an Mhadaidh,” from “madadh,” meaning “dog.” Madigan might refer to a mastiff dog, but it’s truly unique for the little one you adore.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Little dog
  • Pronunciation: MAE-dih-Gahn
  • Variations: Maddigan
  • Namesakes: Madigan Shive, an American songwriter and former member of the band Tattle Tale.
  • Popularity: Madigan is extremely rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Cute, Unique

Manu

Manu also means “greatest” and “man” in Polynesian. It means “born second” in Egyptian. Manu is also used as a French nickname for Emmanuel, but Manu is just as strong on its own.

  • Origin: Polynesian
  • Meaning: Bird
  • Pronunciation: MAA-Nuw
  • Variations: Manou
  • Namesakes: Manu Bennett, a New Zealand actor known for the Spartacus TV series. Manu Snellinx, a Belgian cyclist who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Manu is uncommon worldwide, mainly used in India, and ranked 212th in the United Arab Emirates in 2014.
Cool, Unusual

Mariposa

Mariposa is the literal Spanish and Portuguese word for “butterfly.” Mariposa is also a flower known as the Sego Lily, the state flower of Utah. Mariposa is a place name used in Ontario, Peru, California, or wherever your baby girl spreads her wings.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: MAH-rih-POW-Sah
  • Variations: Mareposa, Marriposa
  • Popularity: Mariposa is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the Philippines,
Feminine, Rare

Marlin

In Welsh, Marlin means “land near the lake and sea fortress.” It’s also the name for a large game fish, so the sea is a common theme for this name. Marlin also means “hawk,” so you have the pick of your favorite creatures.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Hawk, Fish
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-Lahn
  • Variations: Marlan, Marlun
  • Namesakes: Marlin Kuykendall, the mayor of Prescott, Arizona from 2009 to 2015. Marlin Ikenberry, an American baseball coach of the James Madison Dukes.
  • Popularity: Marlin is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Unique, Uncommon

Mavis

Mavis is a term used to describe the Song Thrush, a bird with a memorable warble honored in various poems. It also means “joy” in French, which makes this happy little bird name perfect for your baby girl.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Songbird
  • Pronunciation: MEY-Vihs
  • Variations: Maviss, Mavisse, Mavys
  • Namesakes: Mavis Jukes (pseudonym Iris Hudson), an American children’s book author and winner of the Newbery Honor distinction in 1985 for Like Jake and Me. Mavis Leno, an American philanthropist and wife of Jay Leno, the former host of The Tonight Show.
  • Popularity: Mavis is uncommon worldwide and ranked 759th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Traditional, Feminine

Namir

Namir means “panther” and “tiger.” Its meaning can also be described as “big cat,” which covers all these powerful felines with beautiful markings to inspire your little guy.

  • Origin: Hebrew, Arabic
  • Meaning: Leopard
  • Pronunciation: Naa-MIHR
  • Variations: Nameer, Nameir, Namyr
  • Namesakes: Namir, an Iraqi singer, composer, and songwriter who became famous through his Instagram page. Namir Noor-Eldeen, an Iraqi war photographer for Reuters.
  • Popularity: Namir is rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil.
Masculine, Strong

Neko

In addition to being Japanese for “cat,” Neko is used in Japanese anime for characters with “cat-like” features. It’s a nickname for the Greek Nicholas, but your baby can meow in style with this fun name.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Cat
  • Pronunciation: NIY-Kow
  • Variations: Nekko, Niko
  • Namesakes: Neko Case, an American singer-songwriter and member of the Canadian rock group the New Pornographers. Neko Oikawa, a Japanese songwriter and winner of the Yomiuri TV Best Award in 1994.
  • Popularity: Neko is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Russia.
Cute, Unique

Oisin

Oisin comes from the Irish “os,” meaning “deer.” It also means “fawn” in Irish. In Irish mythology, Oisin is both a poet and warrior, perfectly mirroring your baby boy’s sensitive and strong nature.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Little deer
  • Pronunciation: OW-Shiyn
  • Variations: Oisean, Oiseen, Oisene
  • Namesakes: Oisin Gough, an Irish inter-county senior hurler with Dublin and Cuala. Oisín Quinn, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland, from 2013 to 2014.
  • Popularity: Oisin is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Ireland, where it ranked 578th in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine

Orsa

Orsa also means “animal strength.” It names a Sweden town, so this little bear has left her mark worldwide within animal names for girls.

  • Origin: Latin, Italian
  • Meaning: Little she-bear
  • Pronunciation: AOR-Sah
  • Popularity: Orsa is rare worldwide and primarily used in Greece, ranking 1,586th in 2014.
Cute, Pretty

Paloma

Paloma comes from the Latin “palumbus,” meaning “dove.” Doves are symbols used to represent everything from the goddess Aphrodite and Christianity to world peace.

  • Origin: Spanish, Latin
  • Meaning: Dove
  • Pronunciation: Pae-LOW-maa
  • Variations: Palomah
  • Namesakes: Paloma Martínez (known as Paloma San Basilio), a Spanish singer awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to Latin music. Paloma del Río, a Spanish journalist for Televisión Española (TVE).
  • Popularity: Paloma is rare worldwide, mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 204th in Spain in 2014.
Feminine, Unique
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Panda

Panda comes from the Nepali “ponya,” meaning “bamboo footed.” It refers to those lovable black-and-white bears that love munching on bamboo and rolling about to make us smile.

  • Origin: Indian, Nepali
  • Meaning: Bamboo-eater (panda bear)
  • Pronunciation: PAHN-Dah
  • Namesakes: Márcio Moreira (known as Panda), a Brazilian footballer for Porto Velho. Noah Lennox (known as Panda Bear), an American musician and founding member of the band Animal Collective.
  • Popularity: Panda is rare worldwide and primarily used in India.
Cute, Rare

Peregrine

The Peregrine Falcon is a bird of prey. It derives from the Latin “peregrinus,” meaning “foreigner” or “traveler.” Peregrines are known for their speed and grace, which are fine attributes for your cute birdie baby.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Penguin species
  • Pronunciation: PEH-reh-Grihn
  • Variations: Peregreen, Peregrein, Peregrien
  • Namesakes: Peregrine Honig, an American artist appearing on Bravo’s reality TV series Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. Peregrine Worsthorne, a British journalist and editor of The Sunday Telegraph from 1961 to 1997.
  • Popularity: Peregrine is very rare worldwide and mostly used in England.
Unusual, Uncommon

Phelan

Phelan more specifically describes someone who is “like a wolf.” It began as the Gaelic surname Faoilain, from “faol,” meaning “wolf.” Phelan uses a diminutive suffix to note little wolves are still adorable to us.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Wolf
  • Pronunciation: FEY-Lihn
  • Variations: Phaelan, Phelin
  • Popularity: Phelan is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Strong, Unique

Poe

As a surname, Poe can have French origins and appears as a Chinese surname meaning “river bank.” It’s a diminutive of the name Peacock too. Poe is a nickname given to people who have colorful appearances or personalities.

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Peacock
  • Pronunciation: POW
  • Popularity: Poe is rare worldwide and primarily used in Cambodia, where it ranked 8th in 2014.
Cool, Obscure

Raoul

Raoul also means “red wolf” in English. It’s made up of “rad,” meaning “advice” and “wolf,” for the fierce animal. Raoul is a French form of Radulf, a version of Ralph, for your wolf cub, who gives great advice.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Wolf counsel
  • Pronunciation: Raa-UWL
  • Variations: Raul
  • Namesakes: Raoul Bova, an Italian actor known for the film The Tourist (2010). Raoul Walsh (born Albert Walsh), an American film director and founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
  • Popularity: Raoul is rare worldwide and mostly used in France, where it ranked 548th in 2014.
Traditional, Strong

Rex

Rex is most famously part of the Greek “Tyrannosaurus Rex,” meaning “lizard king.” Rex is a popular dog name too, so you can choose between awesome animal names for boys for your little king.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Dinosaur, dog
  • Pronunciation: REHKS
  • Variations: Rexs, Rexx
  • Namesakes: Rex Gildo, a German singer of Schlager ballads who sold over 25 million records in the 1960s and 1970s. Rex McGill, a New Zealand cricketer for Northern Districts.
  • Popularity: Rex is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 696th for boys in 2021.
Strong, Cool

Rolly

Rolly means “farmland” in German. It’s often a nickname for Roland but refers to a type of armadillo in Spanish. They tend to roll into a ball and roll down the road, making Rolly fun for rambunctious boys.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Armadillo
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Liy
  • Variations: Rolli
  • Namesakes: Rolly Teranishi, a Japanese vocalist with the Japanese rock band, Scanch. Rolly Xipu, a South African boxer, and the South African lightweight champion.
  • Popularity: Rolly is rare worldwide and primarily used in the Philippines, ranking 184th in 2014.
Cute, Unusual

Ronan

Ronan is based on the Irish “rón,” meaning “seal,” using the “-án” suffix, meaning “little seal.” It’s taken from an Irish folktale about a mother seal who becomes human by swimming too close to the land.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Little seal
  • Pronunciation: ROW-Nihn
  • Variations: Ronann, Ronnan
  • Namesakes: Ronan Keane, the Chief Justice of Ireland from 2000 to 2004. Ronan O’Brien, an Irish author, and winner of the 2009 Irish Book Awards Newcomer of the Year.
  • Popularity: Ronan is rare worldwide, mostly used in Brazil, and is ranked 150th in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Cute, Masculine

Rosamund

Rosamund comes from the German “hros,” meaning “horse,” and “mund,” meaning “protection.” It also means “pure rose” via the Latin “rosa munda” so it shares two meanings among names that mean animal.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Horse protection
  • Pronunciation: ROW-zaa-Mahnd
  • Variations: Rosamunde, Rosemund
  • Namesakes: Rosamund Lupton, a British author known for the novel The Quality of Silence (2016). Rosamund Bartlett, a British writer and winner of the Chekhov 150th Anniversary Medal in 2010.
  • Popularity: Rosamund is rare worldwide and mainly used in England, where it ranked 1,335th in 2014.
Formal, Feminine

Sarika

Sarika also means “princess” in Hungarian and is a version of Sarah. The Indian Sarika bird is known for its beautiful song, which your baby girl can also sing.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Bird
  • Pronunciation: Sae-RIH-kah
  • Namesakes: Sarika Koli, an Indian cricketer for the India A cricket team. Sarika Singh, the first Indian female painter, and teacher in the Buddhist Thangka painting.
  • Popularity: Sarika is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in India, ranking 601st in 2014.
Pretty, Uncommon
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Sparrow

The sparrow is a bird in the Finch family, also meaning “freedom.” Sparrow is sometimes used for a “small, chirpy person,” which little boys and girls tend to be.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Sparrow (bird)
  • Pronunciation: SPEH-Row
  • Variations: Sparow, Sparowe, Sparro, Sparroe
  • Namesakes: Sparrow (born Michael Gorelick), an American poet published by The New Yorker and The New York Times. Robert “Sparrow” Brown, a Scottish footballer for Dumbarton.
  • Popularity: Sparrow is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Egypt.
Unique, Cute

Tabitha

Tabitha also means “beauty” and “grace” in Aramaic. Gazelles are known for their grace and great speed, so your Tabitha can win every race she runs.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Gazelle
  • Pronunciation: TAEB-ih-Thah
  • Variations: Tabithah, Tabbitha
  • Namesakes: Tabitha Soren, an American journalist and former reporter for MTV News. Tabitha Quaye, a member of the first parliament of the fourth republic of Ghana.
  • Popularity: Tabitha is rare worldwide and ranked 1,722nd for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Pretty, Formal

Tiger

Tiger is based on the Persian “tigra,” meaning “pointed” or “sharp.” It also means “arrow” and has become popular among American boys due to famous golfer Tiger Woods.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Powerful cat
  • Pronunciation: TYE-Ger
  • Variations: Tigre, Tigur, Tyger
  • Namesakes: Tiger Chen, a Chinese martial artist and protege of film director Yuen Wo Ping. George “Tiger” Greene, an American football player for the Green Bay Packers.
  • Popularity: Tiger is rare worldwide, mainly used in Egypt, and ranked 1,293rd for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Strong, Cool

Tipu

Tipu also refers to a South American tree with yellow flowers. Tipu Sultan was an Indian ruler called “the pioneer of rocket artillery,” so there’s a lot behind this unusual name.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Tiger
  • Pronunciation: TEY-Puw
  • Variations: Tipoo, Tipou, Tippoo
  • Namesakes: Adnan Shah (known as Tipu), a Pakistani actor known for his comic villain roles.
  • Popularity: Tipu is rare worldwide and primarily used in Bangladesh, where it ranked 701st in 2014.
Strong, Masculine

Una

Una is based on the Irish “uan,” meaning “lamb.” It means “one and only” in Latin. In Irish mythology, Una is associated with the Queen of the Fairies, so your little lamb may be magical too.

  • Origin: Irish, Latin
  • Meaning: Lamb
  • Pronunciation: UW-Naa
  • Variations: Unagh, Unna, Unnah
  • Namesakes: Una Harkin, an Irish Gaelic footballer who reached the 2008 All-Ireland Junior Ladies’ Football Championship final with Derry. Una Baines, an English musician with the group the Fall.
  • Popularity: Una is rare worldwide and mostly used in Ireland, ranked 137th in 2014.
Cute, Unique

Vanessa

Vanessa is a genus of butterflies that includes the “painted ladies.” It became a popular name in 1712 when given to a character in a Jonathan Swift poem. Vanessa also means “of Venus” in Greek and is the richest of animal inspired names.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Butterfly species
  • Pronunciation: Vaa-NESS-ah
  • Variations: Vannesa, Vannessa, Vanesa
  • Namesakes: Vanessa Bayer, an American comedian and a Saturday Night Live cast member from 2010 to 2017. Vanessa Ferrari, an Italian artistic gymnast and the 2006 World All-Around Champion.
  • Popularity: Vanessa ranked 579th worldwide, is mainly used in Brazil and has ranked in the top 200 girl names in the U.S. since 1953.
Formal, Feminine

Wolf

Wolf originates from Germanic names that include “wolf,” like Wolfgang and Wolfram. Wolves are not only powerful but travel in packs and are super loyal, just like your baby Wolf.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Wolf (animal)
  • Pronunciation: WUHLF
  • Variations: Wolfe, Wolff, Woolf
  • Namesakes: Wolf Kahler, a German actor most known for the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Wolf Wigo, an American member of the U.S. National Polo Team since 1993.
  • Popularity: Wolf is rare worldwide and primarily used in Germany, where it ranked 692nd in 2014.
Strong, Masculine

Yael

Yael is another term for the Ibex mountain goat with long, thin horns. Mountain goats have great climbing ability, so let this coolest of animal names for babies help your little one climb high.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Mountain goat
  • Pronunciation: YAA-Ehl
  • Namesakes: Yael Rom (born Yael Finkelstein), one of the first female pilots of the Israeli Air Force. Yael Love, an American novelist and co-founder of the literary studio Plympton.
  • Popularity: Yael is rare worldwide and mostly used in Israel, ranked 22nd in 2014.
Traditional, Unique

Yara

Yara also means “water lady” in Arabic. It means “strength” and courage” in Persian, so your baby girl Yara can soar anywhere her dreams take her.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Arabic
  • Meaning: Small butterfly
  • Pronunciation: YAA-Raa
  • Variations: Yarah, Yarra, Yarrah
  • Namesakes: Yara van Kerkhof, a Dutch speed skater and silver medalist at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Yara Goubran, an Egyptian actress, known for the film Basra (2009).
  • Popularity: Yara is uncommon worldwide, mainly used in Egypt, and ranked 656th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Pretty, Common

Ylva

Ylva is based on the Old Norse “úlfr,” meaning “wolf,” though it refers to a “she-wolf.” It’s the female version of the male Ulf, perfect for the beautiful baby girl you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Female wolf
  • Pronunciation: IYL-Vah
  • Namesakes: Ylva Lindberg, a Swedish assistant coach to the Norwegian women’s national ice hockey team. Ylva Johansson, a Swedish politician and the European Commissioner for Home Affairs since 2019.
  • Popularity: Ylva is rare worldwide and primarily used in Sweden, ranking 178th in 2014.
Strong, Unusual
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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.
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