It’s no secret that parents have recently embraced nature names, especially flower names. Beyond flower names are the names from the forest and the trees. Recently we featured bird themed names. Since many birds make trees and the forest their home, naturally forest and tree names should get their day.
Additionally, two notable people recently bestowed a forest themed name on their daughter: Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka’s second daughter, Maple Sylvie, has two forest inspired names. Could the actor and his wife be trendsetters?
These names sure have selling points. They are suitable on both genders, unlike flower names, which are historically reserved for girls. They also have a surprise element that flower names lack, but don’t seem as far-fetched as fruit names (e.g. Apple and Strawberry).
As for the meaning behind Maple Sylvie, most people know Maple is the tree, the wood from the tree, the syrup from the tree and the flavor of that syrup. Maple does not see much use as a given name, but considering the beauty of maple leaves and the sweetness of the syrup, Maple makes sense as a girl’s name.
Maple is more than just surgery-sweet, however. The wood from the tree is very strong, offsetting the syrupy image. Upon inspection, Maple makes a great statement: sweet, but sturdy and resilient.
Sylvie’s woodsy origins are less obvious. Sylvie is the French form of Silvia, the feminine form of Silvius, derived from the Latin “silva” meaning “wood forest.” Rhea Silva was the mother of Romulus and Remus (one of the us-enders) the founders of Rome. The Italian variation, Silvio makes a great alternative to Italian hits Luca and Nico.
One of my favorite combos is Silvia Fern, a less off-beat forest inspired combo, perhaps more suitable for a non-celeb baby.
Here are some more forest inspired names, ranging from the conservative to the adventurous. Since many of the forest-y connections are subtle, often explanations are given. Girl names are coded pink, boy names are coded blue and unisex are coded green.
Acacia – Greek name of a flowering shrub
Arvid – Old Norse for “Eagle Tree”. #21 in Sweden
Bjork – The singer’s name is Icelandic for “birch tree”
Dara One meaning is from the Irish Mac Dara, meaning “oak tree”. #71 in Ireland and #91 in Northern Ireland
Elwood – English surname derived from a place name meaning “elder tree forest”
Hadassah – Hebrew for “myrtle tree”
Javor – South Slavic for “maple tree”
Jelena / Jela – Croatian for “fir tree”
Kiefer – German surname meaning “pine tree” (or “barrel maker”)
Lina – Arabic for “palm tree”
Linden – German surname derived from Linde meaning “lime tree” #88 in BC Canada
Lyndon – English surname derived from place-name meaning “lime tree hill”
Melia – Greek for “ash tree” #421 in France
Myrtle – Another word for the evergreen shrub
Perry – Surname derived from Middle English for “pear tree”
Nash – Surname derived from Middle English phrase “at the ash tree”
Silvia / Sylvia / Sylvie – Origins aforementioned
Silvius / Silvio – Masculine versions of Silvia / Sylvia / Sylvie
Tomer – Hebrew for “palm tree”
Vidar – Old Norse possibly for “forest warrior” #80 in Sweden
These have come up recently in the blogosphere: Ash, Hazel, Hollis, Juniper, Kiefer, Laurel, Silvia, and Willow. While these are surprisingly under the radar: Acacia, Aspen, Cedar, Forrest, Fern, Lina, Linden, Melia, Perry, and Vidar.
Readers: Which forest and tree names are your favorites? (Multiple votes are allowed.)