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100 Unique Butterfly Names

Updated
These names that mean butterfly are as sweet as nectar!

With your delicate bundle on the way, you want a name to help your baby spread their wings. Butterflies have long captivated and inspired with their rainbow of vibrant patterns and graceful dances among the flowers. Why not give your little nest egg a fresh start with our list of names that mean butterfly?

Boy or girl, these brilliant butterfly names are sure to stun. But our curated collection isn’t just for decoration. We’ve provided unique options along with their meanings, origins, and popularity stats. Let’s get learning each of these beautiful names meaning butterfly!


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100 Cute Butterfly Names for Boys and Girls

Fill your garden with our collection of gorgeous names that mean butterfly.

Admiral

Admiral is a perfect pick, referring to the red admiral butterfly with its black wings and striking red bands. The English word “admiral” derives from the Arabic “amir,” “amir-al,” or “al’amir,” meaning “prince” or “commander.” Of all the butterfly names for boys, Admiral lets everyone know who’s really in charge.

  • Origin: English, Arabic
  • Meaning: High-ranking officer, commander
  • Pronunciation: AD-muh-rull
  • Namesakes: Admiral Donovhan Schofield, a British-American professional basketball player. Admiral Dalindlela Muskwe, a Zimbabwean professional football player.
  • Popularity: In 1900, Admiral ranked 579th in the U.S.
Strong, Badass, Unique

Adonis

The Adonis Blue is a sexually dimorphic butterfly species with stunning sky-blue males. Much like their mythological namesake, these males are exceptionally beautiful and beloved. Though Adonis is Greek, it’s suggested that it stems from the Canaanite word “adon” meaning “lord.” For your handsome little lord, Adonis is a gorgeous choice.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Lord
  • Pronunciation: uh-DON-iss, uh-DOH-niss
  • Variations: Adonia
  • Namesakes: Adonis Antonio Rivas, a Nicaraguan professional boxer. Adonis Jordan, an American professional basketball player.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Adonis was 761st in England and Wales and 223rd in the U.S.
Mythical, Cool, Regal

Aglais

Aglais is more popular as a surname in the Philippines and Brazil but is still rare. It comes from “Aglaia,” a Latinization of the Greek word for “splendid.” Aglais is a genus of brush-footed butterflies. It also contains tortoiseshells — butterflies with a mottled yellow and brown color pattern. Aglais could do wonders for your brilliant boy or girl.

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: Splendid, shining, brilliant
  • Pronunciation: uh-GLAY-ss
  • Variations: Aglaia
  • Popularity: Aglais does not rank in the U.S. top 1,000 and is rare worldwide.
Unusual, Sunny, Exotic

Aleda

Although Aleda can also mean “prosperous,” “archaic,” or “old,” it mainly means “small and winged,” much like a tiny butterfly. If you wish for your sweet girl to grow wings, take up Aleda and watch her soar.

  • Origin: Latin, German
  • Meaning: Small and winged
  • Pronunciation: ah-LEE-uh, uh-LAY-duh
  • Variations: Elida, Alida, Alyda
  • Namesakes: Aleda Seren Adamson, daughter of soap star Linsey Godfrey and Robert Adamson.
  • Popularity: Aleda is most popular in the U.S. but doesn’t appear in the top 1,000.
Sweet, Cute, Sunny

Amaryllis

Much like a newly emerged butterfly, Amaryllis depicts a fresh start. It’s also the name of a vibrant flower — a butterfly’s favorite snack! There is even a rare type of amaryllis called the Butterfly Amaryllis. At this point, Amaryllis is practically beating you over the head to be picked.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Fresh, to sparkle
  • Pronunciation: am-uh-RILL-iss
  • Namesakes: Amaryllis Virginia Garnett, an English actress. Amaryllis Fox, an American TV host, writer, and former CIA officer.
  • Popularity: Amaryllis is most common in the U.S. and Greece but doesn’t make the top 1,000.
Beautiful, Sunny, Regal

Annabella

Annabella seems to be falling out of favor, and not just in the U.S. In England and Wales, Annabella peaked in 2016 at 307th but fell to 588th in 2021. Annabelle is much more popular in the U.S. But if the Vanessa Annabella, or West Coast Lady butterfly, has any say, Annabella might soon see her comeback.

  • Origin: Latin, French, Italian
  • Meaning: Favored grace
  • Pronunciation: a-nuh-BEH-luh
  • Variations: Anabella, Annabelle, Annabel, Anabela
  • Namesakes: Annabella “Bella” Thorne, an American actress, singer, and model. Annabella Sciorra, an American actress. Annabella of Scotland, a Scottish princess, and countess.
  • Popularity: Annabella peaked on the U.S. charts at 256th in 2014 but ranked 1000 in 2021.
Sophisticated, Formal, Sweet

Aponi

Aponi is taken from the Blackfoot Siksika root “apaniiwa” meaning “butterfly.” If you wish to honor your heritage or to step outside the box in your hunt for butterfly names for girls, Aponi is ideal. Aponi has a simple charm that’s hard to deny.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: uh-POH-nee
  • Variations: Apani
  • Popularity: Aponi doesn’t show up in the U.S. top 1,000,
Exotic, Cute, Unusual

Argus

Argus is the Latinized form of the Greek Argos. In Greek myth, Atalanta’s son, Parthenopaeus, slew a giant called Argus. Afterward, the giant’s hundred eyes were placed in a peacock’s feathers. Despite Argus’s tragic fate, the Meadow Argus and Brown Argus butterflies were given his name. Whether a peacock’s feathers or a butterfly’s wings, Argus is a name that truly shines.

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: Glistening, shining
  • Pronunciation: AR-gus, AH-gus
  • Variations: Argos
  • Popularity: Argus is most prevalent in Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S. but doesn’t make the top 1,000.
Sophisticated, Strong, Regal

Asmara

Although Asmara is gender-neutral, it seems to have a more feminine ring. Other etymologies aside, it could also mean “moonless night.” Asmara rolls off the tongue with effortless grace, so why not give this exotic option to your precious love?

  • Origin: Arabic, Indonesian
  • Meaning: Beautiful butterfly, love
  • Pronunciation: US-muh-ruh, az-MAH-ruh, ah-SMAR-uh
  • Variations: Asmera
  • Popularity: Asmara is most prevalent in Indonesia but falls shy of the top 1,000 names.
Beautiful, Unique, Sweet

Atalanta

Atalanta was a heroine huntress of Greek mythology and the mother of Parthenopaeus. In one telling, she was so skilled at footraces she used her swiftness to avoid the advances of men. In modern times, Atalanta has also come to be associated with a species of butterflies. Atalanta balances its neat origins with the beauty of butterflies all at once.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Equal in weight
  • Pronunciation: a-tuh-LAN-tuh
  • Variations: Atalante
  • Popularity: Atalanta is most prevalent in Brazil and Albania but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names.
Strong, Mythical, Sophisticated
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Azure

Parents looking for a unique butterfly name are in for a treat with Azure. A color commonly associated with the prettiest of butterflies, Azure evokes images of the Spring Azure. Also called the Echo Blue, these metallic insects cover most parts of the U.S., from Alaska to Hawaii. But don’t worry. There’s always room for more Azures.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Sky blue
  • Pronunciation: a-ZHAWR, a-ZHR
  • Variations: Azura
  • Namesakes: Azure Parsons, an American actress known for many TV roles. Sky Azure Van Vliet, an American actress, dancer, and model.
  • Popularity: Azure is most popular in Ghana but falls just shy of the top 1,000 names.
Unique, Cool, Sunny

Babochka

Babochka is a combination of the Slavic word “baba” meaning “ancient ancestor,” and the suffix “ka,” usually added to feminine nouns or diminutives. This strange association with ancestors stems from the Russian folk belief that the dead become butterflies. Babochka captures the precious memory of a loved one while still keeping it as light as a butterfly.

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: ba-BUCH-kah, BA-buch-kah
  • Popularity: Babochka is most popular in Russia and Belarus but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names.
Unusual, Exotic, Playful

Bindi

In Australia, Bindi means “little girl” and “butterfly,” but in India, it means “drop” or “point.” We think all its meanings are charming. The animal-loving Bindi Sue Irwin makes a fine role model for your little butterfly girl. It hasn’t yet taken off in the west, so there’s no better time to take a chance on Bindi.

  • Origin: Native Australian, Indian
  • Meaning: Little girl, butterfly, drop
  • Pronunciation: BIN-dee
  • Namesakes: Bindi Sue Irwin, daughter of Steve Irwin, an Australian TV personality, conservationist and zookeeper. Bindi Singh Kullar, a Canadian field hockey player.
  • Popularity: Bindi is most prevalent in India but doesn’t rank in the top 1,000 names.
Sunny, Playful, Cute

Birabiro

Birabiro looks a tad eccentric, but there’s some appeal in that. It may be one of the rarest picks on our list of names that mean butterfly. From Amharic origins, Birabiro might work better as a middle or nickname. For parents unafraid of the road less traveled, Birabiro produces a variety of nicknames, like Bee, Roro, or Bi-Bi.

  • Origin: Ethiopian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: BEE-ruh-BEE-rohw
  • Popularity: Birabiro belongs to one person worldwide, making it extremely rare.
Unusual, Exotic

Blue

Blue is a match made in heaven for your Bohemian butterfly baby. Blues, or Polyommatinae, are a diverse subfamily of butterflies ranging from common Blues to silver-studded Blues, Adonis Blues, and more. Though not part of that family, the neo-tropical Blue morphos are some of the most widely recognized iridescent blue butterflies. Are you falling for Blue yet?

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: The color blue
  • Pronunciation: BLOO
  • Namesakes: Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles and an American singer. Dakota Blue Richards, an English actress known for the 2007 movie, The Golden Compass.
  • Popularity: Blue is most popular in the U.S. but does not make the top 1,000 names.
Cool, Beautiful, Casual

Borboleta

Borboleta sounds distinctly Portuguese. If your baby girl has a heritage you’d like to preserve, Borboleta is a fun and unique way to do so. Its length also makes it a perfect candidate for a second name. With Borboleta, the lovely nickname Letta comes to mind.

  • Origin: Portuguese
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: BOR-boh-leh-ta
  • Popularity: Borboleta is most popular in Brazil and Portugal, though it doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Exotic, Unusual, Playful

Butterfly

For English-speakers, Butterfly is the most obvious option. It feels very “flower child,” but in modern times, most people won’t bat an eye. Butterfly Boucher is proof that even with a girlish name, your Butterfly can spread her wings and touch the stars.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Namesakes: Butterfly McQueen, born Thelma McQueen, an African American dancer and actress. Butterfly Boucher, an Australian songstress, instrumentalist, and record producer.
  • Popularity: Butterfly is most prevalent in Saudi Arabia but doesn’t crack the top 1,000.
Unique, Sweet, Sunny

Caligo

Caligo is both refined and a little gothic. This rare gem is the genus of forest-dwelling insects known as owl butterflies, so titled for their owlish eyespots. Owl butterflies are a fitting match for a name that means “darkness” and “obscurity of sight.” Just don’t be surprised if your little Caligo turns out to be a night person.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Darkness, obscurity of sight
  • Pronunciation: KA-lih-goh
  • Popularity: Globally, Caligo belongs to about 11 people.
Cool, Formal, Regal

Celastrina

Celastrina ladon is the scientific name of the Spring Azure butterfly. But the Celastrinagenus includes many species that can appear grayish, lavender, and blue. Celastrina is a beautiful choice that sounds like the heavenly Celeste but has ties to sky-colored butterflies instead.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Genus of butterflies
  • Pronunciation: cell-us-TREE-nuh
  • Popularity: Celastrina is most popular in Italy and is very rare worldwide.
Beautiful, Sweet, Sophisticated

Cho

Besides being a common Korean and Chinese surname, Cho is used for girls. It was more popular in Japan during the Edo era than in modern times. Despite this, Cho’s meaning has not changed. This three-letter epithet is the Japanese word for “butterfly” and remains the basis for several butterfly-inspired names.

  • Origin: Japanese, Korean, Burmese
  • Meaning: Butterfly, beautiful, sweet
  • Pronunciation: ch-OH
  • Variations: Chō, Chou
  • Popularity: Cho is most popular in Myanmar and Micronesia, ranking in the top 100 in 2014.
Casual, Cool, Unique
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Choka

Choka can also mean “fragrant butterfly” and “long poem,” among other things. While most people don’t sniff butterflies, Choka’s flowery meanings certainly make for a serene atmosphere. It conjures impressions of sprawling gardens populated by colorful butterflies. Choka could be a lovely spring-time pick for a boy or girl.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Butterfly child, butterfly flower
  • Pronunciation: ch-OHW-ka
  • Variations: Chōka, Chouka
  • Popularity: Choka is rare worldwide but is most prevalent in India.
Sweet, Unusual, Sunny

Choko

Though there isn’t an equivalent sound in English, Choko is pronounced with an extended hard “OH” in the first syllable. With other kanji combinations, meanings for Choko include “small child” and “sweet tea.” But for a girls-only Japanese butterfly name, look to Choko. Speaking of butterflies, is it a coincidence that the most famous Choko is a female pilot?

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Butterfly girl, butterfly child
  • Pronunciation: ch-OHW-koh
  • Variations: Chōko, Chouko
  • Namesakes: Choko Mabuchi, a female Japanese pilot, and pioneer of overseas flight among female pilots.
  • Popularity: Choko is most prevalent in Japan, ranking in the top 3,000 names for 2014.
Cute, Sweet, Unique

Chomi

Chomi is quite cute. Though it might be ideal for a baby or small child, it becomes slightly adolescent in an older woman. Regardless, having a cutesy butterfly-themed name shouldn’t be a problem. With Chomi, your darling can stay forever young and be the envy of all her friends.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Beautiful butterfly, butterfly ocean
  • Pronunciation: ch-OHW-mee
  • Variations: Choumi
  • Popularity: Chomi is carried by about 508 people worldwide.
Beautiful, Cute, Sweet

Chrysalis

Chrysalis comes from “khrysallis” which derives from “khrysos.” It refers to the metallic gold coloration many butterfly pupae have. Chrysalis seems like an unusual pick, but it provides an easy nickname with Chrys. Plus, it’s a perfect representation of transitioning from one major life stage to the next. Wrap your baby girl in the warm, golden pod that is Chrysalis.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Gold sheath
  • Pronunciation: KRIH-suh-liss
  • Variations: Khrysallis
  • Popularity: Chrysalis is most prevalent in the U.S. and the Philippines but is rare worldwide.
Unusual, Beautiful, Cool

Clemanthe

Clemanthe sounds like Calanthe and Clementine mashed together. It makes for a strong but sweet epithet. Clemanthe is the species name of the Redspot Sawtooth butterfly. This brilliant orange, white, and black insect has a distinctive red spot at the base of its wings. Similarly, Clemanthe could be a bright spot in your life.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Redspot sawtooth butterfly
  • Pronunciation: klem-AN-thee, KLEM-uhn-thee
  • Popularity: Clemanthe does not appear on popularity charts.
Regal, Sophisticated, Unique

Clodius

Clodius is possibly from “Claudius” meaning “lame” or “crippled.” Despite the connotations, it has been used by army leaders and men of great strength. Clodius is also a species of white butterflies with an inconsistent wing pattern in the U.S. and Canada. This is one butterfly name for boys with a serious ancient Roman feel.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Lame
  • Pronunciation: cl-O-dee-us, cl-O-dee-oos
  • Variations: Clodia
  • Namesakes: Clodius Celsinus Adelphius, a prefect of the ancient Roman Empire. Decimus Clodius Albinus, an ancient Roman general, and imperial candidate.
  • Popularity: Clodius is most popular in Haiti but is rare worldwide.
Strong, Cool, Regal

Cressida

Cressida derives from the ancient Greek, Chryseis. This, in turn, comes from “chrysos” and is ultimately from “khrysos,” meaning “golden.” It harkens to the butterfly’s chrysalis but is also not too overstated. Cressida could be just right for your golden child.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gold
  • Pronunciation: KREH-suh-duh
  • Variations: Criseida
  • Namesakes: Cressida Cowell, a British children’s author known for How to Train Your Dragon. Cressida Curzon Bonas, an English actress and model.
  • Popularity: Cressida is most popular in England and Anguilla but doesn’t appear in the top 1,000 names.
Regal, Beautiful, Sophisticated

Cynthia

Cynthia is a formal option with an air of maturity. In the U.S. and other nations, Cynthia has mostly lost favor, making it a touch vintage. The butterfly species of the Cynthia group are colloquially and collectively called the Painted Ladies. Cynthia is the way to go if you prefer a more down-to-earth butterfly name for your baby girl.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: From Mount Kynthos/Cynthus
  • Pronunciation: SIN-thee-uh
  • Variations: Kynthia, Cynthea, Cintia
  • Namesakes: Cynthia Ling Lee, an American dancer and choreographer. Cynthia Bailey, an American model, actress, and TV personality.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Cynthia peaked in 1957 at seventh and, in 2021, ranked 806th.
Formal, Strong

Danaid

Danaid comes from the Greek myth of the Danaïdes or Danaids, who were the 50 daughters of King Danaus. Each of them except one killed their husband on their wedding night to preserve their purity. We imagine that didn’t go over well with the gods. Danaid is synonymous with butterflies, as the Danainae subfamily includes over 300 butterfly species worldwide.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Of Danaus
  • Pronunciation: duh-NAYD
  • Popularity: Danaid is most popular in Mexico and rare worldwide.
Unusual, Formal, Mythical

Delen

Delen is a modern Cornish name that paints a picture. The butterfly’s wing is much like a “tiny delicate petal,” so we included Delen on our list of butterfly names for girls. Besides butterflies, Delen is a floral choice. Why not give this pretty petal a place in your butterfly garden?

  • Origin: Cornish
  • Meaning: Tiny delicate petal
  • Pronunciation: DAY-ln
  • Popularity: Delen is prevalent in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea but is rare globally.
Sweet, Unique, Casual
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Dione

Dione is a powerful pick for your goddess girl. Dione comes from the Greek god Dionysos, which is from the root “dios,” meaning “of Zeus.” Dione is a genus of primarily orange and some yellow butterflies. Under the sunlight, orange and yellow sparkle like gold. A fitting color for the divine Dione.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: She-Zeus, divine queen, goddess
  • Pronunciation: DEE-ohn, dye-OH-nee
  • Variations: Dion
  • Namesakes: Dione Taylor, a Canadian singer-songwriter. Dione Lucas, an English chef and the first female graduate of Le Cordon Bleu.
  • Popularity: Dione peaked in the U.S. at 840th for 1970 before dropping off the charts after 1972.
Strong, Regal, Badass

Eilir

Though Eilir is uncommon in the west, it has its fans in its birthplace. This unusual moniker works for both boys and girls, falling into a neutral-sounding sweet spot. If unisex butterfly names are what your heart desires, choose the unusual Eilir.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: AY-lair
  • Popularity: Eilir ranked 1,040th in Wales in 2014.
Cute, Unique

Ekval

Ekval is a hard-to-come-by masculine name that means “butterfly.” It is of Hindu origin but is rarely used even in India, where it is the most prevalent. Since the options are already so limited, parents wanting to call their little boy “butterfly” should try out this exotic name.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: ek-VUL
  • Popularity: Ekval is most popular in India but is very rare worldwide.
Exotic, Unusual

Euthalia

Euthalia is perfect for a princess. The prestigious air is not unwarranted because of its association with the brush-footed genus of butterflies known as Barons or Dukes. We know that every parent wants their little flower to flourish. That’s why we believe Euthalia is the best butterfly name for your darling flower.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Flower, bloom, flourish
  • Pronunciation: EW-thay-lee-uh, ew-THAY-lee-uh
  • Variations: Efthalia
  • Namesakes: Saint Euthalia, a 3rd-century virgin martyr from Sicily.
  • Popularity: Euthalia is most prevalent in Brazil and St. Lucia but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Beautiful, Sophisticated, Regal

Faranak

Faranak, from Parvaneh, can also mean “guide” or “leader.” Faranak has a more abrasive sound among the options on our list, but it could just as well imply strength. If you or your spouse would like to show respect for Persian or Arabic heritage, Faranak is a great way to accomplish this.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Butterfly, little butterfly
  • Pronunciation: fa-ruh-NEK, fuh-RA-nuuk
  • Variations: Farânak
  • Popularity: Faranak is most popular in the U.S. and Qatar but is somewhat rare.
Unusual, Strong, Exotic

Farasha

Farasha is as pretty as a butterfly. Something is alluring about the pronunciation of this Arabic option, especially if you remember to tap the “r” slightly. If you are looking for an exotic twist on butterflies, Farasha is the most compelling choice. It could easily be the name of a far eastern princess from long ago. Farasha makes Disney’s Jasmine look basic.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: fahr-RAA-shuh
  • Variations: Farashah
  • Popularity: Farasha is most popular in Oman but does not appear in the top 1,000 names.
Beautiful, Unique, Sophisticated

Farfalla

Farfalla isn’t often used as a proper name, but that certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be. As Giuliana Farfalla’s stage name, Farfalla takes on an atmosphere of stardom. There’s even a type of pasta that looks like the wings of a butterfly called farfalle. The larger version is called farfalloni, and the smaller, rounded version is farfalline. How cute!

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: far-FAHL-uh
  • Namesakes: Giuliana Radermacher, stage name Giuliana Farfalla, a German model.
  • Popularity: Farfalla is most prevalent in Italy but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names.
Playful, Sunny, Exotic

Fei

Most depictions of fairies show them with butterfly wings, making Fei an ideal butterfly name in more ways than one. Fei may be short and sweet, but Fei Fei makes an even sweeter nickname. Watch your baby dance through the air with Fei like their dainty namesake.

  • Origin: Chinese, English
  • Meaning: To dance on air, to fly, fairy
  • Pronunciation: FAY
  • Namesakes: Fei Gao, also known as Ying Gao, a Chinese actress and singer. Fei Meng, a Chinese artistic gymnast.
  • Popularity: Fei ranked 34th in Hong Kong in 2014.
Sweet, Playful, Beautiful

Flutter

Everyone knows butterflies flutter. Get a little literal with Flutter. Although it’s still rare around the globe, it’s already taking off in Zimbabwe. Don’t stand around watching Flutter fly into the future without you. Trends can be unpredictable, and Flutter may be one of them.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: To flutter
  • Popularity: Flutter is most prevalent in Zimbabwe and is borne by about 32 people worldwide.
Unique, Sunny, Playful

Flutura

Flutura is the username of former CS:GO player and streamer Eda Mutu. Already a pretty choice, it gains cool points for its association with a gamer. Even though Flutura means “butterfly,” it looks similar to the English word “flutter,” another thing associated with these gorgeous insects. If you’re planning a trip to Albania, Flutura might fit right in!

  • Origin: Albanian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: FLOO-too-ruh, FLOO-too-ra
  • Variations: Fluture
  • Popularity: Flutura ranked 119th in Albania in 2014.
Beautiful, Exotic, Sweet
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Fluturim

Looking for the male equivalent to Flutura? Fluturim is your guy. Stemming from the Albanian word for “butterfly,” Fluturim means “flight.” Something about the “im” suffix just makes this derivative extra adorable. Try Fluturim for a baby boy with dreams of reaching the sky.

  • Origin: Albanian
  • Meaning: Flight
  • Pronunciation: FLOO-too-reem
  • Popularity: Fluturim is most prevalent in Albania but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Cute, Unusual, Cool

Gossamer

Lovers of the dark and gothic might find Gossamer right up their alley. Usually referencing silky spider webs, it’s also part of a term for the second-largest family of butterflies — the Gossamer-Winged butterflies. Meaning “delicate,” “light,” and “fine as silk,” it isn’t hard to see the correlation between these fragile creatures. Put the wispy Gossamer on your list.

  • Origin: Gothic
  • Meaning: Light, delicate, fine silky thread
  • Pronunciation: GOS-uh-muh, GAH-suh-mr
  • Popularity: Gossamer belongs to about six people globally.
Unusual, Cool

Hu dié

Hu dié is the only Chinese option precisely meaning “butterfly.” The film star, Hu dié, or Butterfly Wu, had a prosperous career before the Second Sino-Japanese War interrupted it. Afterward, she returned to acting, taking on roles as an older woman. We couldn’t say why such a beautiful pick isn’t more widespread. Maybe it’s waiting for the next legend-in-the-making.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: HOO dee-ay, HOO dee-eh
  • Variations: Dié
  • Namesakes: Hu Dié, also known as Butterfly Wu, a Chinese actress of the ’20s and ’30s.
  • Popularity: Hu dié is rare worldwide.
Exotic, Beautiful, Sunny

Icarus

The Greek tale may be popular, but Icarus is uncommon. In the myth, Icarus flew too close to the sun on wings held together by thread and wax. Inevitably, the wax melted, and Icarus plummeted to his demise. Despite the tragedy, the meaning of Icarus was likely the reason behind the species name of the European Common Blue butterfly.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: One who reaches the sky
  • Pronunciation: IH-kuh-rs
  • Variations: Ikarus, Ikaros
  • Popularity: Icarus is most popular in Hong Kong but is uncommon worldwide.
Mythical, Cool, Unique

Ītzpāpālōtl

Ītzpāpālōtl looks intimidating, but it is one super cool cat. It comes from “itztli” meaning “obsidian,” and “pāpālōtl” meaning “butterfly.” The Aztec warrior goddess, Ītzpāpālōtl, is depicted either with obsidian bat wings or butterfly attributes. She’s also associated with the genus and species Rothschildia orizaba, more commonly known as the Orizaba Silkmoth. Delve into Aztec myth and lore with Ītzpāpālōtl.

  • Origin: Aztec
  • Meaning: Obsidian butterfly, clawed butterfly
  • Pronunciation: ITSS-papa-lot
  • Popularity: Ītzpāpālōtl is extremely rare worldwide.
Unusual, Exotic, Mythical

Jamides

Jamides may look like a fancier version of James, but it’s so much more than an over-hyped knockoff. The genus of butterflies called Jamides is commonly referred to as cerulean. Jamides perfectly captures the imagery of a field of butterflies for a baby boy at home in nature.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Lover of glades
  • Pronunciation: juh-MEYE-ds
  • Popularity: Jamides is most popular in Colombia but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names there.
Sunny, Sophisticated, Cool

Josephina

The Ganyra josephina, or Giant White, is a butterfly that lives in dry, subtropical forests. Josephina isn’t as popular as Josephine in the U.S., but it’s in Belgium, Tanzania, and Namibia’s top 1,000. The refined Josephina is great for parents who want a slightly more mature version of Josephine.

  • Origin: Hebrew, English
  • Meaning: Jehovah will increase
  • Pronunciation: joh-seh-FEEN-uh, JOH-seh-feen-uh
  • Variations: Josephine
  • Namesakes: Josephina Johanna Troost, a Dutch swimmer. Jeannette Josephina Witziers-Timmer, a Dutch sprinter.
  • Popularity: Josephina ranked 186th in Namibia in 2014.
Beautiful, Formal, Sophisticated

Kaiser

Kaiser comes from the Latin Caesar, a name and title. It’s popular in Germany, and surrounding nations as a surname but is globally beloved as a first. Go with Kaiser if you adore emperor butterflies but don’t want to be too on the nose.

  • Origin: Latin, German
  • Meaning: Emperor
  • Pronunciation: KEYE-zr, KEYE-zuh
  • Variations: Keiser, Keizer, Kiser, Kayser, Kyser
  • Namesakes: Kaiser Johnson, an American actor and voiceover talent known for his role in Stranger Things.
  • Popularity: Kaiser was 793rd in the U.S. in 2021 and 829th in England and Wales in 2020.
Badass, Cool, Regal

Kamehameha

Best known as the famous attack in the Dragon Ball anime franchise, Kamehameha was also a lineage of Hawaiian kings. How is this crazy-long name related to butterflies? The Kamehameha butterfly is one of only two species native to Hawaii, and in 2009 became its state insect. For most anglophones, Kamehameha might be more suited to a middle name.

  • Origin: Hawaiian
  • Meaning: The very lonely one, the one set apart
  • Pronunciation: KAH-meh-ha-meh-hah, kuh-may-huh-may-huh
  • Namesakes: Kamehameha I, or Kamehameha the Great, a Hawaiian king.
  • Popularity: About 12 people were called Kamehameha, worldwide.
Unusual, Exotic, Cool

Kelebek

Can you see a Kelebek in your life? Kelebek comes from the proto-Turkic word “kepelek,” meaning “butterfly.” With little to go on for Kelebek, it’s up to your daughter to give this one a legacy.

  • Origin: Turkish
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: KEH-leh-bek
  • Popularity: Kelebek is most popular in Turkey but is rare worldwide.
Unusual
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Kimama

Kimama is the Native American Shoshone way of saying butterfly. In both Shoshone and Cherokee cultures, there is a ceremonial dance called the Butterfly Dance. The women wear vibrant shawls representing butterfly wings to tell a story of tragedy and rebirth. Give Kimama a chance, if only for the cultural tale it tells.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: kee-MA-ma
  • Popularity: Kimama is most prevalent in Kenya but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Exotic, Cute

Kimani

Kimani has many meanings, but as a derivative of Shoshone, “Kimama,” it means “butterfly.” Being also of Kenyan origin, Kimani is popular on the African continent and on many English-speaking Caribbean islands. It’s also more commonplace in African American communities than any other in the U.S. Add Kimani to your list of butterfly names for a girl or boy.

  • Origin: Kenyan, Native American
  • Meaning: Sailor, adventurer, child of a warrior, butterfly
  • Pronunciation: kee-MA-nee
  • Namesakes: Kimani Maruge, a Kenyan Guinness World Record holder. Kimani Friend, a Jamaican professional basketball player.
  • Popularity: Kimani is most popular in Kenya, ranking 227th in 2014.
Cool, Unique, Strong

Kimimela

Kimimela is of Native American Sioux origin, specifically, the Lakota dialect. It isn’t widely known and would be ideal for parents looking for something super rare. You can even get a few adorable nicknames out of it, like Kiki, Mimi, and Ella. Why not call your own “little butterfly” Kimimela?

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Little butterfly
  • Pronunciation: kee-mee-MEE-luh
  • Variations: Kimimila
  • Popularity: Kimimela does not appear on popularity charts.
Unique, Cute, Sweet

Kipepeo

If you’re intrigued by African words that mean “butterfly,” Kipepeo is a playful pick with a rhythmic ring. It’s also used as a surname but is still highly uncommon overall. A departure from its upbeat feel is its presence in Resident Evil. Here, the Kipepeo is a genetically engineered form of the Plaga parasite with butterfly-like wings.

  • Origin: Swahili
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: kee-peh-PAY-oh
  • Variations: Kipepeyo
  • Popularity: Globally, Kipepeo is very rare.
Playful, Unusual, Exotic

Kocho

The first part of the kanji for Kocho, “ko,” means “antenna,” and the second, “cho,” means “butterfly.” Kocho is a more artistic and traditional way of saying butterfly in Japanese. In the anime, Kimetsu no Yaiba, Kocho is the family name of a demon-slaying lineage. Its most prominent bearer on the show is the lovely Shinobu Kochō.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: KOH-chohw
  • Variations: Kochō, Kochou
Sweet, Sophisticated, Playful

Leptir

Leptir stems from the Bosnian word for butterfly, “leptiri.” Ultimately, this derives from the ancient Greek “lepís” meaning “scale” and‎ “pterón” meaning “wing.” That’s honestly a pretty accurate description. Your baby boy could end up being the fourth person in the world to bear the moniker Leptir.

  • Origin: Greek, Bosnian, Croatian
  • Meaning: Butterfly, fickle, flighty
  • Pronunciation: LEHP-teer
  • Popularity: Leptir is borne by about three people worldwide, making it extremely rare.
Unique, Playful, Unusual

Lolo

If there were a competition for the cutest butterfly names ever, Lolo might come first. Lolo can be found in different cultures and has been posited as a “lotus flower” in ancient Greek. Both butterflies and lotuses have spiritual significance the world over, so Lolo has no shortage of meanings in that regard.

  • Origin: Malagasy
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: LOH-loh
  • Namesakes: Lolo Lui, a Samoan rugby union player. Lolo Soetoro, the Indonesian stepfather of former U.S. president Barack Obama.
  • Popularity: Lolo is most prevalent in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Cute, Sweet, Casual

Luna

Luna has always been beloved and is high on U.S. charts. This ethereal reference to the ancient Roman moon deity is also a type of moth. The Luna moth, or American moon moth, is a stunning mint color with hindwings ending in an extended taper and a fluffy white body. In every sense, Luna is too pretty to pass up.

  • Origin: Latin, Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Moon
  • Pronunciation: LOO-nuh
  • Variations: Lúna, Louna
  • Namesakes: Luna Marie Schweiger, a German actress. Luna Wedler, a Swiss actress known for Netflix’s Biohackers. Luna Maya Sugeng, an Austrian-Indonesian model and actress.
  • Popularity: Luna has risen in popularity in the U.S. since 2004; in 2021, it ranked 11th.
Beautiful, Sweet, Regal

Lyneth

Lyneth is a diminutive form of Lynette, meaning “idol,” “beauty,” or “nymph.” The main difference with its counterpart is the youthful spin Lyneth brings to the table. With a meaning like “little beauty,” it encapsulates the image of a vibrantly colored butterfly. In general, Lyneth is a more relaxed take on butterfly names as it’s more open to interpretation.

  • Origin: English, Welsh
  • Meaning: Little beauty
  • Pronunciation: LIH-neth
  • Variations: Lynette
  • Popularity: Lyneth is most popular in the Philippines and the British Virgin Islands.
Sweet, Unique, Playful

Lysander

Lysander is a Latinized form of the Greek, Lysandros. It stems from the roots “lysis” meaning “freedom,” and “andros,” meaning “man.” And guess what else represents freedom? The Lysander Cattleheart butterfly takes on this moniker for its common and species names. Almost all black with pale red spots on its hindwings, it’s one cool butterfly to be associated with.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Liberator
  • Pronunciation: leye-SAN-duh
  • Variations: Lysandros, Lysandra
  • Namesakes: Lysander, a Spartan military and political leader. Lysander Button, an American inventor. Lysander Farrar, an American politician, and lawyer.
  • Popularity: Lysander is very rare worldwide.
Formal, Regal, Sophisticated
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Mantech

Mantech doesn’t say much, but being from Ethiopia, it may appeal to parents interested in African names that mean butterfly. Though you can also use Mantech for girls, it sounds a little gruff, so it may be better suited for a boy. A huge plus is that your baby Mantech will probably be one in a million.

  • Origin: Ethiopian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: muhn-TEK
  • Popularity: Mantech belongs to about six people globally, so it’s extremely rare.
Exotic, Unusual

Mariposa

Mariposa is probably the first thing you think of when you hear names meaning butterfly. This Spanish word is elegant and exotic and gracefully rolls off the tongue. There are even two movies entitled Barbie: Mariposa, which revolve around a fairy called Mariposa and her fairy friends. Everyone should be calling their daughters Mariposa.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: ma-ree-POH-sa, ma-ree-POH-suh
  • Namesakes: Liberty Mariposa Phoenix, a Venezuelan-born American actress.
  • Popularity: Mariposa is most prevalent in the Dominican Republic and is rare worldwide.
Sunny, Beautiful, Regal

Mazarine

Referring to a distinctive, dark purple-blue hue, Mazarine is a unique addition to our list. The Mazarine Blue butterflies take after this epithet because of their coloration. Although still found in the UK, the species has gone extinct on the British Isles, similar to the name’s disappearance from the charts. Maybe it’s about time for Mazarine’s comeback.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Deep blue color
  • Pronunciation: ma-zah-REEN
  • Variations: Mazarin
  • Namesakes: Mazarine Marie Pingeot, a French writer, journalist, and professor.
  • Popularity: In 1996, Mazarine ranked 471st in France but hasn’t appeared on the chart since.
Exotic, Cute, Beautiful

Memengwa

Memengwa is of Native American Ojibwa origin and doesn’t even show up on charts. Fun fact: the plural of this word is “memengwaag.” Try Memengwa as a middle name and have fun with the nickname Meme. And that’s “MEE-MEE” not “MEEM.”

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: muh-MENG-wa
  • Variations: Memengwaa
  • Popularity: Memengwa does not appear on popularity charts, so it may be quite rare.
Exotic, Unusual

Memphis

Memphis is the Greek version of the Egyptian “mn-nfr” or “men-nefer,” which was the ancient capital of Egypt. It’s also a city in southwest Tennessee. Apart from landmarks, the Memphis butterflies are a genus of 61 species. There isn’t much else to say since Memphis is a downright cool butterfly-inspired option.

  • Origin: Egyptian, Greek
  • Meaning: Established, enduring, beautiful
  • Pronunciation: MEM-fss
  • Namesakes: Memphis Kirke Mosberg, son of actress Jemima Kirke and husband, Michael Mosberg. Memphis Depay, a Dutch professional football player.
  • Popularity: Memphis peaked in the U.S. for 2021, ranking 404th.
Badass, Strong, Cool

Monarch

Monarch is fit for royalty and may come from the Old French word “monarque.” Harkening from the well-known monarch butterfly with its easy-to-spot orange and black pattern, Monarch could become just as widely used. Using it as a first isn’t a huge stretch because it’s already a surname. Try nicknames Monty or Archie, for a more grounded feel.

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Royalty, ruler, haughty
  • Pronunciation: MON-ark
  • Variations: Monarc
  • Popularity: About 356 people are called Monarch worldwide.
Strong, Regal, Unusual

Morpho

Morpho is a strong contender for the coolest butterfly aesthetic. It stems from the Greek “morphṓ,” and Latin “morphō,” meaning “shapely one” or “ the beautiful one.” The butterfly genus, Morpho, consists of over 29 species and 147 subspecies. Your baby will inevitably grow and change, but you can’t spell “metamorphosis” without Morpho.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Shapely, beautiful one
  • Pronunciation: MOR-foh
  • Variations: Morphō
  • Popularity: Morpho is most common in Cyprus for girls but falls short of the top 1,000 names there.
Strong, Unique, Beautiful

Moth

Moth is a fairy character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a small page boy in Love’s Labour’s Lost. If there are any lovers of literature and the arts, this may be a fun inside reference. For nature lovers, Moth already seems like an easy pick. When people think “butterfly,” they also tend to think “moth.”

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: A moth
  • Namesakes: Richard Moth, a British Roman Catholic prelate.
  • Popularity: Moth does not appear in the U.S. top 1,000 names.
Unusual, Cute, Sweet

Motyl

Motyl looks like “moth,” but it’s Polish for a “butterfly.” Strange coincidences aside, Motyl, or Motýl, is just so darn cute. It might be a surname, but it’s a common trend for people to switch lasts for firsts. Take Motyl and the nickname Motty for a spin.

  • Origin: Polish, Czech
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: MO-tll
  • Variations: Motýl
  • Namesakes: Vladimir Motyl, a Belarusian Soviet theater, and film director.
  • Popularity: Motyl is most popular in Poland, ranking 995th in surnames for 2014.
Cute, Unique, Sweet

Nabi

Nabi is the Korean word for “butterfly,” and in both Korea and Japan, it’s exclusively feminine. However, in Arabic, Nabi is a boy’s name meaning “prophet.” To say Nabi like a native, prolong the vowel sounds for both syllables. Easy as pie and cute as a butterfly.

  • Origin: Korean, Japanese
  • Meaning: Butterfly, beautiful apple tree
  • Pronunciation: NA-bee
  • Namesakes: Nabi Tajima, the second oldest Japanese person ever, dying just shy of 118 years.
Cute, Sweet, Playful
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Nabichum

Nabichum is a cheerful extension of the Korean word “nabi.” Nabichum means “butterfly dance” and is a real-life Buddhist ceremonial dance. The choreography and the costumes both resemble the look and movements of a butterfly. We’re confident that Nabichum will set your heart aflutter.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Butterfly dance
  • Pronunciation: NA-bee-chuum
Exotic, Playful, Sunny

Nectarios

Nectarios derives from the Greek word “nektar” from the roots “neḱ” meaning “to perish,” and “terh” meaning “to overcome.” Taken together, it meant “overcoming death.” This “nektar” was a miraculous honey beverage for the Olympian gods. The word “nectar,” a sugary fluid in flowers, also stems from this origin. Who knew butterflies drank from the same cup as the gods?

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Of nectar, ambrosia
  • Pronunciation: nek-TA-ree-ohs
  • Variations: Nektarios, Nectarius
  • Namesakes: Saint Nectarios of Aegina, a Greek saint.
  • Popularity: Nectarios is most prevalent in Cyprus, ranking 1,006th in 2014.
Mythical, Regal, Formal

Nova

Nova has to be the most futuristic butterfly name on the planet. It’s already popular for its Latin origins, but we bet most people don’t know it also means “chaser of butterflies” in the Hopi language. Your new addition will delight in the charm of Nova.

  • Origin: Latin, Hopi
  • Meaning: New, chaser of butterflies
  • Pronunciation: NOH-vuh
  • Namesakes: Nova Meierhenrich, a German TV presenter and actress. Nova Pilbeam, an English film and stage actress. Nova Peris, an Aboriginal Australian athlete and politician.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Nova was 34th in the Netherlands and 32nd in Sweden and the U.S. for girls.
Cool, Badass, Unique

Olita

Gift your baby a pair of pretty wings with Olita. Possibly from Olga, meaning “blessed” or “holy,” Olita sounds similar to Alita. That name grew its own wings with its ties to Alita: Battle Angel. At least with Olita, you won’t have people constantly giving you knowing looks and asking if you’ve seen the movie.

  • Origin: English, Latvian
  • Meaning: Winged
  • Pronunciation: oh-LEE-ta, oh-LEE-tuh
  • Namesakes: Olita Rause, a Latvian title-holding women’s chess player.
  • Popularity: Olita ranked 394th in Latvia in 2014.
Sweet, Sophisticated, Sunny

Paloma

Few know that Paloma has a double meaning. Both are equally lovely, but we know why you’re really here — you came for the butterflies, and Paloma delivers. The “butterfly” meaning isn’t universal among Spanish-speakers as it’s a product of different dialects attributing different meanings to the same word.

  • Origin: Spanish, Catalan
  • Meaning: Dove, butterfly
  • Pronunciation: pa-LOH-ma, puh-LOHW-muh
  • Variations: Palóma
  • Namesakes: Paloma Herrera, an Argentine ballet dancer (formerly a principal dancer) and choreographer. Paloma Efron, an Argentine radio and TV journalist and jazz singer.
  • Popularity: Paloma took the 886th spot in the U.S. for 2021.
Formal, Sophisticated, Beautiful

Papillon

Papillon needs no introduction. If you know about Papillon dogs, you know that those butterfly-shaped ears give the meaning away instantly. In France, Papillon is both a first and last name, but for western parents, it’s just classy. Have a bourgeoisie butterfly back at home? Go with Papillon.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: PA-pee-yon
  • Namesakes: Papillon Soo Soo, an English-born French-Chinese model, and actress.
  • Popularity: Papillon is borne by about 127 people worldwide.
Sophisticated, Playful, Sunny

Parvanak

The Persian lynx or caracal goes by Parvânak, referring to its long, butterfly-shaped ears. Your baby may not be born with that particular feature, but Parvânak still has great potential. Parvânak will always be your sweet “little butterfly,” no matter their age.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: The little butterfly
  • Pronunciation: par-VA-nek, par-WHAH-nek
  • Variations: Parvânak
Sweet, Unique, Exotic

Parvaneh

The Persian Parvaneh is popular in Muslim and Hindu circles and is quite a hit in Iran. It’s the source of several spin-offs and sequels like Faranak and Parvanak. But don’t wait for it to get popular in the west. Open your heart and let a little Parvaneh fly in.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: par-VA-neh, par-WHAH-nehn
  • Variations: Parvana
  • Namesakes: Parvaneh Vasli, an Iranian associate professor and researcher. Parvaneh Pourshariati, an Iranian-born American historian and scholar.
  • Popularity: Parvaneh is most popular in Iran, ranking 105th for 2014.
Sweet, Playful, Exotic

Perhonen

Perhonen is a unique pick. In Finnish, “perho” means “a fly,” which refers to a fishing lure. Considering how colorful lures are, it makes the connection to butterflies more clear. Still on the fence? You can always try Perhonen as a second name.

  • Origin: Finnish
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: PEH-r-hoe-nen
  • Popularity: Perhonen is most popular in Finland, with 144 people carrying this surname worldwide.
Unusual, Formal

Pink-Rose

Hyphenated names like Pink-Rose are more common in the UK than in the U.S. This one refers to the Pink Rose butterfly from the Philippines. A part of the swallowtail family, little is known about them beyond diet and nomenclature. However, they are all-black, save for pinkish spots on the underside of their hindwings and banding their body.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pink rose (color)
  • Popularity: Pink-Rose is borne by about two people worldwide.
Cute, Sweet, Unique
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Pocahontas

Pocahontas is of Native American Powhatan origin. Disney may have popularized it, but Pocahontas was the nickname of a 17th-century Powhatan chief’s daughter. She was born Amonute but is known as Matoaka. Pocahontas could be a great way to honor the memory of the real-life namesake.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Playful one
  • Pronunciation: poh-kuh-HAAN-tuss, poh-kuh-HON-tuss
  • Namesakes: Pocahontas, born Amonute, a Native American princess.
  • Popularity: Pocahontas is prevalent in the U.S. but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Playful, Cool, Strong

Psyche

In Greek myth, Psyche was the goddess of the soul, depicted with butterfly wings. Even though she was only mortal, her beauty rivaled that of Aphrodite. Psyche might have trouble getting into the mainstream, but nothing captures both the essence of butterflies and the goddess of love and beauty herself.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: The soul, to breathe
  • Pronunciation: SEYE-kee
  • Popularity: Psyche is most prevalent in the Philippines and Trinidad and Tobago but is uncommon worldwide.
Unusual, Beautiful, Mythical

Pulelehua

Pulelehua consists of the roots “pulelo,” meaning “to float” or “undulate in the air,” and “lehua,” meaning “reddish.” The Kamehameha butterfly was colloquially called “pulelehua” by Hawaiians but came to be used for butterflies in general. Lele could be a playful nickname for this floaty favorite.

  • Origin: Hawaiian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: POO-leh-leh-hoo-waa
  • Popularity: Pulelehua is borne by about one person in the U.S.
Exotic, Playful

Ranaa

Ranaa is unique even in India and Qatar, as few people carry it. It may not directly mean butterfly, but it’s a perfect descriptor of one. You can’t deny the grace and beauty of a delicate little butterfly. Ranaa certainly makes for a good companion to other options, but stands on its own feet for its melodious tenor.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Graceful, delicate, beautiful
  • Pronunciation: RAH-nah
  • Popularity: Ranaa is most popular in India and Qatar but does not appear in the top 1,000 names for either country.
Sweet, Beautiful, Exotic

Schmetterling

Schmetterling comes from the German word “schmetten,” meaning “cream,” and the diminutive suffix “ling.” This might seem unusual, but it references the folk belief that witches transformed into butterflies to steal cream. Now it’s not so strange but kind of cute.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: sh-MEH-ta-ling, sh-MEH-teh-ling
  • Namesakes: Elisabeth Barbara Schmetterling, a Dutch artist. Lauren Schmetterling, an American rower and gold-medalist.
Unusual, Playful, Unique

Shalabha

Shalabha is both of Hindu Sanskrit and Malayali origin. And its homeland is where it truly shines. Shalabha has a unique sound you probably won’t hear in the west.

  • Origin: Indian, Malayali
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: sha-lub-HAH
  • Popularity: Shalabha is popular in India and Malaysia but doesn’t crack their top 1,000.
Playful, Unusual

Soma

Soma has many origins. From India, it means “lunar nectar,” and in Hungary, it serves as a boy’s name meaning “dogwood.” As a Japanese surname, Soma is written in kanji, usually with the characters for “mutual” and “horse.” As a butterfly name, the reference to nectar makes Soma perfect. Only now, it comes with the added mystery of the moon.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Lunar nectar, moon
  • Pronunciation: SOH-mah, SOH-muh
  • Variations: Sōma
  • Namesakes: Queen Soma, ruler of the Funan Kingdom and the first Cambodian monarch. Soma Pysall, a German actress.
  • Popularity: Soma is most prevalent in India and Nepal but ranked 51st in Hungary for 2021.
Strong, Beautiful, Cool

Sommerflue

Sommerflue means “summer fly,” but it’s related to “sommerfugl,” the Danish word for “butterfly.” Sommer is a pretty rad nickname, but let’s be candid. Sommerflue just sounds like you caught something over vacation.

  • Origin: Danish
  • Meaning: Butterfly, summer fly
  • Pronunciation: ss-O-muh-floo
  • Variations: Sommerfugl
Exotic, Sunny, Playful

Teter

The surname Teter is most common in the U.S. and Poland, with over 7,000 bearers. In India, it flourishes as a forename for both boys and girls. To English ears, it could sound like “teeter,” but we don’t suggest you waver back and forth with your decision. Snatch up Teter before it flies away.

  • Origin: Armenian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: TEE-tr
  • Variations: Titerr
  • Namesakes: Hannah Teter, an American snowboarder, and Olympic champion.
Cute, Sweet, Unique

Titli

Titli, in Hindi, is a “butterfly.” An Indian TV series called, Titli, stars the main character bearing the same name, who aspires to become a pilot. There isn’t much subtlety there, but at least we know what it’s about. A blossoming Titli could be just as straightforward if given a chance.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: TIT-lee, TEET-lee
  • Popularity: Titli is most common in India and Bangladesh but is rare worldwide.
Sweet, Cute
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Tsubasa

Famously associated with the sports anime Captain Tsubasa, Tsubasa is somewhat popular in Japan. Meaning “wing” or “wings,” parents are free to make the association to their favorite winged animal or insect. Let your son or daughter soar on butterflies’ wings with Tsubasa.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Wing
  • Pronunciation: TSOO-ba-sa
  • Namesakes: Tsubasa Honda, a Japanese actress, and model. Tsubasa Imai, a Japanese singer, actor, and dancer. Tsubasa Masuwaka, a Japanese model.
  • Popularity: Tsubasa is most popular in Japan but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Cool, Exotic, Unique

Tullia

Tullia could be mistaken for Tulip. With such a serene meaning, being a floral look-alike is only a bonus. The Large Heath, or Common Ringlet butterfly, falls under the species name, Tullia. Cicero, the orator, and politician, also had a daughter called Tullia, whom he affectionately nicknamed Tulliola, meaning “little Tullia.” Seriously, how much sweeter can this one get?

  • Origin: Latin, Italian
  • Meaning: Downpour, heavy rain, quiet, peaceful
  • Pronunciation: TOO-lee-uh
  • Variations: Tulia, Tullio, Tulio
  • Namesakes: Tullia d’Aragona, an Italian poet, author, and philosopher. Tullia Magrini, an Italian anthropologist. Tullia Zevi, an Italian journalist and writer.
  • Popularity: Tullia ranked 997th in Italy in 2014.
Sophisticated, Beautiful, Sweet

Vanessa

In most places, Venessa’s presence on the charts is a fairly modern occurrence, but it’s slowly losing favor. That’s unfortunate since Vanessa is both refined and youthful. For those in the west born in the ’90s and early 2000s, Vanessa Hudgens was its most famous bearer. With so much potential, we can’t bear to let Vanessa go out of style.

  • Origin: Greek, English
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: vuh-NESS-uh
  • Variations: Vanesa, Vanessza
  • Namesakes: Vanessa Hudgens, an American actress, and singer. Vanessa Amorosi, an Australian singer-songwriter. Vanessa Bryant, a Mexican-American businesswoman, model, and philanthropist.
  • Popularity: Vanessa peaked in the U.S. in 1988 at 41st and ranked 253rd in 2021.
Beautiful, Formal, Sophisticated

Viceroy

The Viceroy butterfly bears a striking resemblance to the Monarch in the form of Müllerian mimicry. It makes sense since a viceroy’s job is to represent the king. You don’t want your baby boy to be arrogant, but Viceroy sounds too cool to ignore. And, of course, Roy is the obvious diminutive.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Ruler representing the king
  • Pronunciation: VEYE-ss-roy
  • Popularity: Viceroy is most common in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Regal, Sophisticated, Unusual

Vivalter

Vivalter may be of Proto-German and Middle Dutch origin. Those unfamiliar with German or Dutch could mistake Vivalter for a Viking, or an edgy rock band, despite its girlish meaning. To keep up the badass illusion, just don’t tell your friends what Vivalter really means when they ask.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: vih-VALL-ter
Badass, Cool, Unique

Vlinder

Vlinder lives and breathes awesomeness. You might wonder how a butterfly name for girls is this cool, and the answer would be that it’s Dutch. Surprisingly, there’s more than one way you can spin Vlinder. Use the nickname Vee for extra cool points and Lin for a spoonful of nectar.

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Butterfly
  • Pronunciation: FLIN-der, VLIN-der
  • Namesakes: Vlinder Medina Kamerling, daughter of Dutch actor Antonie Kamerling.
  • Popularity: Vlinder ranked 360th in the Netherlands for 2012 and is borne by about 57 people worldwide.
Cool, Strong, Casual

Xiuhtecuhtli

The Aztec deity Xiuhtecuhtli, also called Huehueteotl, was depicted with a turquoise butterfly pectoral on his chest. He was the god of fire, the day, and heat. Due to its length and complex appearance, Xiuhtecuhtli has not taken off in the U.S. or elsewhere. Try the super simple pet name Lee if you give it a chance.

  • Origin: Aztec
  • Meaning: Turquoise lord, turquoise year
  • Pronunciation: SHEW-teh-koht-lee
  • Popularity: Xiuhtecuhtli is most prevalent in Mexico but is extremely rare worldwide.
Unusual, Exotic, Mythical

Yara

Though Yara has many etymologies, the Arabic origin is the only one that means “butterfly.” The Hebrew Yaara, draws a connection to many butterflies’ habitats with the meaning “woodland.” There’s a chance your Yara could end up as elusive as a butterfly, but she will definitely be just as pretty.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Arabic
  • Meaning: Water lady, small butterfly
  • Pronunciation: YAH-ruh
  • Variations: Iara
  • Namesakes: Yara Shahidi, an American actress and model. Yara da Silva Amaral, a Brazilian actress. Yara Martinez, a Puerto Rican-born American TV actress.
  • Popularity: Yara ranked 659th in the U.S. for 2021.
Beautiful, Cute, Casual

Zephyr

Zephyr is a diminutive of Zephyrus. He was the Greek god of the western wind and was a messenger of spring. What else but a butterfly floats on the gentle breezes of spring? There’s even a species of glossy tri-colored butterflies called the Zephyr Blue. So just relax and let the winds whisk you toward Zephyr.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: West wind
  • Pronunciation: ZEH-fir
  • Namesakes: Zephyr Rain Teachout, an American attorney, author, and associate professor.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Zephyr ranked 815th in England and Wales for boys.
Badass, Cool, Unique

Zorina

Go with Zorina, meaning “golden dawn,” if you would like to reference the butterfly’s “golden sheath” or chrysalis. “Dawn” also signifies its emergence as a metamorphosed creature. Zorina is a shining example of a perfect butterfly name.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Golden dawn
  • Pronunciation: zo-REE-nuh
  • Namesakes: Zorina Heming, mother of British-American model Emma Frances Heming Willis.
  • Popularity: Zorina is most popular in Trinidad and Tobago, ranking 663rd between 2012 and 2022.
Exotic, Beautiful, Regal
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About the Author

Leigha Mayers

Leigha-Ceres Mayers is a freelance editor and copywriter from Trinidad and Tobago. Previously a primary school assistant teacher, she went on to acquire a TESOL certification before transitioning to freelancing. Outside of researching baby names, Leigha works alongside her husband, producing and publishing romance sci-fi and fantasy books. As a mum of two, she uses what little spare time she has to create traditional and digital works of art. Her other hobbies include voracious reading, watching anime, and learning new languages.
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