Recent celebrity offspring names like Luna and Cricket have meant that nature names are the new wild card. Nature names gather inspiration from the birds and the bees, flowers, trees, the sky and water. The recent wave of nature names for girls are more unpredictable. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian headed in a new direction with daughter, North. George Lucas reached new heights by calling his daughter, Everest. Go organic or au naturel with one of these nature names for girls.
Luna is rising in popularity thanks to a dreamy character in Harry Potter. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem named their daughter Luna in July 2013. Luna is also the nickname for Uma Thurman’s third child, Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson, born in 2012. From another lunar monikered woman, Moon Unit Zappa says her first name “conjures up dignity and beauty and femininity and watchfulness.”
Meaning: little bird or bird
Birdie flew high as a given name in the 1880s, and belongs in the company of old-timey names such as Minnie and Hattie. This chirpy and cheerful nickname evokes the flutter of wings, sunny skies and Lady Bird Johnson. Inspired by a radio program about the former US First Lady, Busy Phillips and her husband named their first daughter Birdie in 2008. Busy (whose real first name is Elizabeth) knows a thing or two about nicknames: “After having grown up with a nickname, there is no way I’m naming my kid one thing and calling her something else.” Her second daughter, born in July 2013, also has a nature name: Cricket Pearl.
Like the idea of bird-like name, but not into this one? Take wing with Ava, Avis, Robin, Wren, Lark, Sparrow, Phoenix, and Swan.
Meaning: olive tree
Why do we love the name Olive so much? It’s a colour, it’s a food stuff, it’s a tree. The olive branch is a symbol of peace. And the name comes with such cool handles as O, Ollie and Liv for nicknames. Olive hasn’t been this popular since the 1930s. Drew Barrymore chose it for her daughter in 2012: “I never would have guessed that would have been the name. But I was reading a book with my husband. I was three months pregnant, and they said, ‘Your baby is the size of an olive.’ And that was it. We never looked back.” Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen chose Olive for their daughter in 2007.
Like foodie names, but not commited to Olive? Other foodie names include Saffron, Ginger, Honey, Celery, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, and Pepper.
Origin: Old English
Meaning: willow tree
Willow is a slender, graceful entry that hit the top 200 for the first time in 2011. (It is slightly more popular than the name Hazel.) Willow trees are known for their strong roots, flexibility and medicinal purposes. Pop cultural references include Willow Rosenberg, the loyal best friend on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and TV anchor and former supermodel, Willow Bay.
Pop star Pink named her daughter Willow Sage in 2011, after her favourite tree: “It’s the most flexible tree in nature and nothing can break it—no wind, no elements. It can bend and withstand anything. I love that sentiment. I want that for her.” Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith named their daughter, Willow, in 2000, probably more for its resemblance to dad’s name, Will (just as older brother Jaden’s name is related to mum, Jada).
Tree-themed names for girls include Twiggy, Ashley (“ash tree”), Lauren, Birch, Juniper, Laurel, Hazel, and Aspen.
Gwyneth Paltrow shocked people when she named her daughter Apple in 2005, but for celebrities, the most popular fruit name to fall out of the crate is Clementine, a variety of mandarin orange. (The fruit derives its name from Father Clément Rodier, a French missionary credited with its cultivation.) Clementine is a sweetheart of a name that became notable in the 19th century. The folksy ballad, “Oh, My Darling, Clementine,” was popular in the 1880s.
This name is also tres chic and popular with celebrities. Winston Churchill’s wife was named Clementine and called “Clemmie.” Claudia Schiffer named her daughter, Clementine Poppy, in 2004. Ethan Hawke named his second daughter Clementine Jane in 2008. Rachel Griffiths named her daughter Clementine Grace in 2009. But Cybill Shepherd was mad about Clementine, way back in 1979.
For the apple of your eye, you might pick Plum, Berry, Quince, Strawberry, Peaches, Lillikoi (Hawaiian for “passionfruit”), Lemon, Satsuma or Tangerine.
Origin: Middle English
The name Lake is derived from the Old English word, laku. As a name, Lake reaches contemplative and peaceful depths of tranquility. Notable namesakes include Veronica Lake, an iconic 1940s screen siren, and actress Lake Bell, who has not one but two word names to her credit.
Water, the sea, rivers, are all sources of numerous names. In Arthurian legend, the Lady of the Lake is known as Vivian or Viviane, Nimue, Elaine, Niniane, Evienne, and other variations. Marina means “from the sea,” Cordelia means “daughter of the sea,” and Morgan means “born from the sea.” Jenny signifies “white wave.” Sirena means “mermaid” in Spanish. Shannon is the name of the longest river in Ireland. Ersa means “dew drops.”
For more names that conjure up water try Brook, Brooke, Rain, Blue, Turquoise, Aqua, and Aquamarine.
Flower names are among the most traditional and feminine first and middle names for girls. The bunch includes the ever popular Lily, Rose, Daisy, Jasmine, and Violet. Newcomers to the field include Dahlia, Azalea, and Zinnea.
Johnny Depp, Kate Beckinsale, Greg Kinnear, and Chris O’Donnell are among the Hollywood parents with daughters named Lily.
Meaning: gem or jewel
Gemma first sparkled on the popularity lists in 2008. A nature name and a saint’s name, it is also a fashionable celebrity name, thanks to a surge of popularity in the 1980s. British actress Gemma Arterton and Aussie model Gemma Ward were both born during this time. Gemma sounds very similar to another top girl’s name, Emma.
Sex and the City’s Kristin Davis adopted her daughter Gemma Rose in 2011. JAG and Army Wives actress Catherine Bell named her daughter Gemma in 2003.
Gemstone names are precious and radiant—perfect for your little treasure. Many of them are heirloom names, brilliantly restored to their previous luster by recent generations of parents. Gemstone names are almost always given to girls. You’d be hard-pressed to find a boy with the first name of Ruby or Pearl (which also has been recently rediscovered and is rising in popularity).
More gem names? Ruby, Pearl, Sapphire, Opal, Emerald, Amber, Esmeralda, Pearla, and Jade.
Stella appeared during the Middle Ages in various appellations for the Virgin Mary. Stella Maris meant “star of the sea,” while Stella Coeli signified “star of the sky.” It was frequently found in British literature from the 16th century to the 19th century, first turning up in sonnets and later in novels. Popular as a given name in the 19th and early 20th century, Stella has risen to meteoric new heights in recent years.
Celebrated namesakes include Stella Adler, a distinguished acting teacher, and Paul McCartney’s daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney. Dave Mathews named one of his twin daughters Stella Busina in 2001. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott named their daughter Stella in 2008. Ellen Pompeo named her daughter Stella Luna in 2009.
More celestial names include Celeste, Estelle, Star, Aurora, Alba, Dawn, Sky, Skye, Sunny and Rainbow.
Want more nature names? Try these:
- Deborah (bee)
- Ursula (bear)
- Chloe (green shoot)
- Neve (snow)
- Ayala (doe)
- Georgia (farmer)
More names for your baby: