Wren is a recent discovery by stylish parents, and could inspire other ornithological names. For those who want something more familiar, there’s also the unisex Robin, both a diminutive of Robert and the orange breasted bird.
The idea of siblings with obviously themed middle names delights me for some reason. Bird themed middle names seem fresher than botanical themed middle names. One of my imaginary sister sets is:
- Cecily Wren
- Beatrice Lark
- Louisa Robin
Had Paul been a girl, I really wanted to name him Cecily Robin, with Robin being a variation on Robert after my husband. Anyone who knows Rob, knows he was vehemently against the idea. But I was ready to fight for Cecily Robin until the end! Luckily we had a boy!
Being someone who doesn’t advocate getting too experimental with kid’s names, I realize taking it upon myself to decide which bird names would work on a person might be risky. Deciding which names to put on this list required some judgment.
I almost included Coquette. After all, Coquette is like Collette. Something didn’t seem right. Then I remembered, Coquette had a suggestive meaning and removed it from the list!
Some birds that made the cut, like Sparrow, may be experimental to the point of entering the celebrity baby name pool. I kept Sparrow because I was feeling open-minded and adventurous but don’t expect it to catch on.
While others like Sora seem like established names. Sora is like Zora but just a tad softer, making it perfect for the typical parent looking for something just a little unusual with a familiar sound. Some quick research revealed that Sora is a unisex Japanese name, possibly meaning sky. For the Western world, I feel Sora is better suited for a girl.
Then I checked established names with bird in the meaning. I assumed all of them would go on the list. And then I wondered if some of these names were unusable for the modern child.
One example is Sacagawea, the Native American who helped Lewis and Clark. The name could mean “bird woman”. Sacagawea was omitted because it could be claimed by the historic figure the same way Oprah is claimed by the TV personality.
So continued my process until I had a list that encompassed the conservative and the experimental, but eliminated the ridiculous.
Here is the final list, containing both obvious and obscure references to birds. Explanations are provided for some names. Girls are coded pink, boys are coded blue, and unisex are coded green:
Aderyn – Welsh for bird.
Argus – Great Argus is from the pheasant family. Another path to Gus perhaps?
Circe – Pronounced SUR-see. Possibly meant bird in Greek. Circe was a sorceress in Greek Mythology.
Enna – Pronounced AY-na; possibly “bird-like” in Irish. Similarity to Emma may give it cross-over potential.
Faigel – Yiddish for bird.
Nene – Pronounced nay-nay
Spix – Spix’s Macaw is named after Johann Baptist von Spix.
More subtle choices indirectly inspired by birds:
Blyth – Blyth’s Tragopan. Could be a variation on Blythe.
Brent – Brent Goose.
Clark – Clark’s Grebe & Clark’s Nutcracker.
Cory – Cory’s Shearwater.
Elliot – Elliot’s Pheasant.
Lewin – Lewin’s Honeyeater. Could also commemorate Australian artist John Lewin.
Martin – A male name with Roman roots and the name of several swallows such as the Purple Martin, Sand Martin, House Martin, and African River Martin.
Rhea – Greater Rhea is from the Ostrich family. Rhea is also a Greek goddess, and Latinized form of America.
Victoria – Victoria’s Riflebird.
Virginia – Virginia Rail.
Walden – Walden’s Hornbill. Could also commemorate the writer.
Wilson – Wilson’s Bird of Paradise.
Readers: Which “nesting” names are your favorites? Multiple votes are allowed this time.