Monday, August 31, 2015

And Your Bird Can Sing - Bird Names, Part Two

As products and behaviors go green these days, why not consider some nature-themed names? This avian monikers might work for your little one, to encourage them to spread their own wings and soar!

This is part two of "Bird Names", check out part one here! Again, I'm focusing on the symbolism and etymology of the names, as well as their connotations in pop culture.

And we're off!

Peregrine - from Latin peregrinus, "traveler, foreigner"
A highly underused name with historical roots, Peregrine was a name used by some early saints. It has an excellent meaning and a strong sound: the -in ending calls to mind names like Peyton or Madeline. While only listed for boys on Nameberry, I think this could just as well be an attractive unisex name (or middle name!)

Swan - from Proto-Germanic swanaz, "singer"
As far as bird connotations go, you can't do much better than Swan - beautiful, graceful and elegant describe these creatures to a T. And pop culture references are everywhere - from Swan Lake to Twilight's Bella Swann to Elizabeth Swan of Pirates of the Caribbean. This single syllable name will be memorable - but may provoke a few raised eyebrows.

Raven - from Old English hræfn
These days, the most popular Raven is Raven-Symone, star of her own eponymous Disney show. But it's already at number 507 in the US, so it's not entirely unheard of on the playground. Strong, bold and intelligent, this bird name is one that will age gracefully with your little one.

Dove - from Old English dufe, related to "dive"
Pretty, but it might be too soft for a first name. Like Love or Peace, keep this on as an understated middle name to soften a longer or more intense first one.

Rhea - from Greek Rhea, mother of Zeus
While always low in the top 1000, this name dropped off the list entirely in 2005 - but is it time for a comeback? There are plenty of reasons to consider Rhea today - the connection to a strong woman in Greek mythology; the similar sounds as Nia, Gia and Leah; its appearance in the culture of South American countries (it features on both Argentinean and Uruguayan money). I'd say Rhea could be an original but confident choice.

Kestrel - from Latin crepitacillium, "small rattle"
Incredibly rare - not on Nameberry, and only a tiny entry on Behind the Name - this might just be a personal name crush: I babysat a Kessel in college, and fell in love with the sound of his name! I don't think it's too far off from Kendall or Crystal, though. Another ends-in-L name to consider!

Heron - from Proto-Germanic hraigran
An excellent bird name with a connection to water, this might be the up-and-coming nature name you're looking for! With the popular bell-tone sound, this name will fit in one way but stand out in so many others. For one thing, it's got the word "hero" in it, but the -on ending will connect to cousins Landon or Hayden. It's also a great choice if you live near a body of water and want to honor your surroundings.

Let me know your opinions in the comments!

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