A few decades back, naming your newborn Ocean, Daisy or Indigo branded you granola-eatin’, VW-bus drivin’ Flower Children who might not be quite ready for life off the commune.
The world has changed dramatically since the 60s, and naming has gotten a whole lot more liberal. Little wonder, then, that nature names have gone mainstream. Choose any subdivision, peer inside a random minivan headed for soccer practice, and there’s a decent chance that one of the pint-sized occupants will answer to Sage, Willow or River.
If you’re a shade more eco-aware or outdoorsy than most, or if you’re just hoping for a simple name that won’t be shared by three other kids in your child’s class, nature names can be attractive options.
As with many trends, there are more choices for girls than boys in this category. Virtually every flower name is reserved for girls, from the classic and enduring Rose to the super-popular Lily. Here are a few that might suit your newest bloom:
Gems, minerals and semi-precious stones make for great baby names, too:
But the boldest nature names are those that are drawn from beyond the garden, and many of these work for boys as well as girls:
And there’s even a special category – nature names from foreign tongues, like:
- Cascata – From the Italian word for waterfall, or cascade, Cascata is about as rare as it gets. It’s never been in the Top 1000 in the US, and yet, it can shortened to the user-friendly Cassie.
- Ciel – From the French word for sky and also heaven, Ciel is pronounced See-elle. It’s a pretty choice that fits with the popular -el ending names like Annabel and Isabel, but is fresh and new. The Spanish Cielo takes it even farther.
- Jacinda – Derived from hyacinth, this sounds more like a literary heroine than a flower power name, but indeed it is.
- Luna – Perhaps not the most subtle in this category, Luna is from the Latin for moon.
But it must be said that not every nature name is as stunning as a sunset from atop a cliff. My two nominees for Nature Names Most Likely to Give Me Poison Sumac? Star and Sky. Perhaps it is because of an alarming tendency to elaborate. I can stomach Skye and even Starr, but I’ve also seen Starla, Starlet, Skyye, Skie and, of course, Skylar.
This list is not exhaustive – please leave a comment if you have thoughts on missing names. And, of course, we’ll be on the lookout here at ApMtn, too.