Adorable Baby Names With Surprising Animal Inspirations!

Something about springtime seems to bring out new beginnings with every passing day!

Flowers are blooming, birds are hatching, and somehow, it seems like more babies are born in these idyllic springtime months than at any other time of the year.

Even if you dont have a bun in the oven yourself, its a nice time of year to think about names, for little ones of the present and future.

Most expectant mothers have a theme that they stick with when it comes to naming. Thats because, as we saw with these common last names, theres always a deeper meaning under the surface of a name.

Some might focus on family history, while others might draw inspiration from a beloved author or symbolic homeland. For our part, we cant help but think of a sweet theme of our very own: names inspired by adorable animals.

Scroll through the gallery below to see a few of our very favorite baby names, which all have unexpected origins in the animal kingdom!


Animal Name #1: Paloma


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Paloma is a lovely name with a grand, Romanesque feel to it.

Most of us probably associate it most closely with the famous jewelry designer Paloma Picasso, daughter of Pablo.

That’s why it may come as a bit of a surprise that this elegant name traces its roots back to the ordinary pigeon.

This girl’s name does a beautiful job of taking an everyday creature, and playing up its subtle,iridescent quality.

Animal Name #2: Leo


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Did you know that Leo is actually the Latin word for lion?

The name, which also lends its fierce power to an astrological sign, has been growing in popularity recently, maybe thanks to celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio.

These days, the strong, ferocious boy’s name makes a nice standalone label, or a good nickname for something a bit longer and less fashionable, like Leonard or Leopold.

It also has the unusual distinction of being the name of a whole slew of popes.

Animal Name #3: Ursula


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The name Ursula is most often associated with the fearsome sea-witch inThe Little Mermaid.

Surprisingly, however, Ursula has its roots in the Latin word for bear,ursa.

We think that it’s about time this underused girl’s name got a much-needed revival, one that celebrates its sweet mama bear origins!

Even better, it already comes with two constellations, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

Animal Name #4: Colin


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Colin is a cute and quaint boy’s name that hasn’t been in popular circulation for a few decades.

We think it’s ripe for a comeback, though, because it has a truly adorable meaning!

Colin comes from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning “young dog.”

In other words, it’s just another word for puppy. That sounds like a pretty sweet name for anyone, if you ask us!

Animal Name #5: Pippa


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Pippais acute name that has been enjoying a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks to Princess Kate’s younger sister.

Before that, this quaint nickname hadn’t been popular since the Victorian days.

That’s because it’s short for the more hefty and cumbersome Philippa, which means “friend of horses.”

We much prefer the nickname, which shares the meaning, but is much lighter than the origin name.

Animal Name #6: Rudolph


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Rudolph is a name with plenty of animal associations; we’re talking about a certain red-nosed reindeer, of course!

Surprisingly, though, Rudolph traces its roots back to a very different creature: the wolf.

The ferocious boy’s name comes from ancient German words meaning “famous” and “wolf.”

We’re betting that the very first Rudolph never thought he’d be associated with Christmas’ favorite reindeer.

Animal Name #7: Ava


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For years, the best-known Ava of them all was the glamorous Hollywood actress Ava Gardener.

Now, that’s likely to change in no time at all; Ava is one of the most popular girl’s names on every list.

It’s from a Latin word meaning, simply, “bird,” and we agree that it has a very pretty ring to it!

Now, along with longtime list-toppers like Emily and Kate, Ava is poised to take over the next generation of little girls.

Animal Name #8: Todd


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Todd is a sturdy, dependable boy’s name that had its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

It’s still popular today, especially for parents looking for a simple, classic name.

However, not everyone realizes that this all-American name has its roots in England, where it comes from the Middle English word for fox!

Animal Name #9: Rachel


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Rachel is an ancient Hebrew girl’s namethat means ewe, or female sheep.

It’s millennia-old; in fact, the first famous Rachel showed up in the Bible, as one of the matriarchs of the Tribes of Israel.

Along with other old-fashioned Hebrew names like Elizabeth, Sarah, and Rebecca, it was popular in the early days of pilgrims in America.

More recently, it bounced up the ranks in the ’80s and ’90s, thanks in part to characters like Rachel Green fromFriends!

Animal Name #10: Corbett


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These days, using surnames as given names is hotter than ever; just look at the popularity of names like Fletcher and Harper!

That’s why we have a hunch that the gender-neutral Corbett is about to have its moment in the sun; it’s a handsome name with a nice ring to it!

Even better, this old European surname comes complete with a cool backstory.

The name, a combination of Old English and Norman French, means”raven” and was traditionally given to someone with dark, glossy hair.

Animal Name #11: Melissa


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Melissa is a sweet and pretty name, with a special meaning to match.

It’s an old Greek name that means “honeybee,” which we think isjust adorable.

It shares its origins with words like “miele” and “meli,” both of which mean “honey.”

Melissa peaked in popularity in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but a name this sweet never really goes out of fashion!

Animal Name #12: Jonas


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If you’re familiar with the Bible, you might associate Jonas with the Hebrew version Jonah, given to an Old Testament figure who spent some time in the belly of a whale.

In fact, thisGreek variation of the classic boy’s name has its origins in a different animal that appears in the Bible: the dove!

The dove, a traditional symbol of peace,would make for a lovely, serene name for a baby boy.

Even better, this name has been climbing up the ranks in the past five years as a nice alternative to played-out names like Jacob and Jonathan.

Animal Name #13: Tabitha


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Tabitha is a pretty, uniquename that feels a little bit dusty to the modern ear, since itwas big back in the late 19th century.

Thislovely name is from the Aramaic language, and means “gazelle,” which has delicate, light-footed connotations.

It had a big resurgence in the 1970s, especially in the U.K., and has dropped back down in recent years.

That said, we think that this name should cycle back up to the top again soon, because it has a distinct and cool ring to it.

Animal Name #14: Arthur


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Arthur is an old-fashioned regal name, with plenty of associations.

Fromthe mythical King Arthur to a certain aardvark, there are plenty of good role models with this name!

The name first became popular thanks to the legend of Arthur, who was probablygiven the name thanks to its meaning: bear-king.

The ancient Celtic name has gone through waves of popularity since then, and is looking poised to make a stylish comeback in the next few years!

If you love these adorable animal-inspired baby names, make sure toSHARE with anyone who is expecting a little one!

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