Outdoor- and Nature- Themed Baby Names

You may not have known I was pregnant for several reasons.

  1. You can’t see me so you couldn’t tell I that was already having problems tying my shoes.
  2. It never really came up in a blog post. “Today on the blog we’ll be discussing leftover turkey recipes. Do turkeys ever get pregnant you may wonder, because I’m pregnant.” See, just awkward.
  3. With a couple miscarriages under my belt, I take my time on making baby announcements.

Now to answer all the usual questions that come after making such an announcement.

  1. How far along are you? Just made it past the 1/2 way mark. 21 weeks, due in April.
  2. Do you know what your having? A girl. Yes, the most shocking phrase I’ve ever heard is “I don’t see a turtle”, which is apparently ultrasound tech lingo for: ‘you’re having a girl’.
  3. How was the first trimester? Not that great. Should have known it was a girl.
  4. What are you going to name her? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Because yes, now comes the task of naming this child, and just as we have with every child, the terms outdoor- and nature- themed baby names ends up in a google search. So I present to you a list of some such baby names we’ve come across, and of course you can go all Idaho and spell them however you want…

Also, what’d I miss? Any outdoorsy name suggestions I can add to the list? If so, leave them in the comments!

General Nature-Themed Names

Andrena – April – Aurora – Autumn – Azure – Bay – Breeze – Brooke – Canyon – Carin – Cascade – Clay – Cliff – Dawn – Dawn – Dusty – Ember – Fawn – Flora – Ford – Forrest – Glenn – Haze – Hazel – Hunter – June – Leaf – Linden – Luna – Meadow – Misty – North – Olive – Rain – Ridge – River – Ryder – Savannah – Sienna – Sky – Star – Stormy – Summer – Sunny – Trail – West – Windy – Winter

Outdoor Place-Themed Names
The best thing to do in this situation is to get out a map. Because really, if your going to name your child after a place, you really should choose a place that has meaning to you.

Aspen – Bryce – Dakota – Denver – Jackson –  Madison – McKinley – Nevada – Phoenix – Rainier – Tahoe – Zzzyzzx.

(Just kidding on that last one).

Names for the Outdoor Enthusiast
This is a matter of thinking of your favorite outdoor sport and running through the lingo. A few we thought might work.

Aerial (skiing, surfing) – Axle (biking) – Cam (climbing) – Eddy (river sports) – Ender (kayaking) – Keel (canoeing) – Ollie (surfing, skateboarding) – Pearl (surfing) – Rider (biking) – Scout (river sports)

Botany-Themed Names

Alder – Arbor – Ash – Aspen – Aster – Blossom – Bracken – Cedar – Dahlia – Daisy – Fauna – Fern – Flora – Ginger – Iris – Ivy – Juniper – Leaf – Lilac – Lilly – Linden – Lupine – Maple – Petal – Reed – Rose – Sage  –  Salix  –  Sequoia  –  Spruce – Tulip – Vanessa – Veronica – Violet  – Willow – Zinnia


Nature Names with Foreign Origins

Adan (Spanish form of Adam, red earth) –  (Ava (Latin, bird) – Bryn (Welsh, hill) – Bryony (Greek, climbing plant or vine) – Elona (Hebrew, oak tree) – Estmund (English, protector of beauty) – Gemma (Latin, gem or jewel) – Kai (Hawaiian, big water, ocean, the sea) – Kanya (Sanskrit, water born) – Keanu (Hawaiian, breeze) – Melissa (Greek, honey bee)  – Neva (Spanish, snow) – Pierce (Welsh, rock) – Ren (Japanese, water lily) – Rowan (Celtic, magic tree of protection) – Sierra (Spanish, mountain) – Stella/Stellan/Estelle (Latin, star) – Talia (Hebrew, morning dew) – Teva (Hebrew, nature) – Thalia (Latin, flowering nature Goddess) – Tivona (Hebrew, lover of nature)

Ornithology-Themed Names
For the record, one of these birds actually has a 50/50 chance of being our girls first or likely middle name…

Dove – Harrier – Kestrel – Lark – Oriole – Phoebe – Raven – Robin – Rufus – Sparrow – Starling – Wren


Geology-Themed Names

Amber – Flint – Garnet – Jade – Jasper – Mica – Opal – Pearl – Rock – Ruby – Stone – Topaz


41 Comments so far

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  1. I always like Salix (the Latin genus for willow), but I am a plant geek. I also thought of it as a boys’ name, but it could probably go either way. And a huge congratulations to you!

    • Mel – Salix a great name!! I swear that was even on one of our lists at one point long ago. I’m adding it to the post for sure. Plant geeks unite!

  2. Congrats! My fav. nature inspired girl’s name is Cairn. (the little piles of rocks you build as landmarks)

    • Tanya – I just fell in love immediately with that name. Very very good option! Thanks.

  3. Both my boys have outdoorsy names (Ford and Walker) and we have been really pondering the choice for boy #3 who is due soon. So many choices…..eek!

    • Sarah – I like them! And Walker, I don’t think that one ever even crossed my mind! Genius. Adding it.

    • Jeanne Walker

      My grandson”s names are Kanyon and Hunter. My Granddaughter”s are Sierra and Aspen. We are a very outdoorsy family! awaiting granddaughter #3 maybe Ember.

      • Jeanne – Thanks for sharing, I like those, especially Ember!

  4. I’m so happy for you. Your little girl is going to become one amazing woman! Separately, I had a blast reading through the names on that Idaho list. Ha! Thanks for a laugh.

    • Olivia – Thanks for the vote of confidence. I know, I think I cried reading that Idaho name thing. Can’t wait for the 2011 installment.

  5. Yes, I was just going to add that some plant genera have pretty nice girl names – Vanessa and Veronica come to mind right away (but I’ll be back with more as I think of them). Also, Melissa means bee, so keep that one in mind too. :)

    • Kristal – Ooooh. I like it. I remember us discussing long ago the name Melissa… Better insert that one into the post ASAP!

  6. We named our fist daugher Madison after the Madison River in Montana. My husband proposed to me in Yellowstone NP & we spent 2 weeks in Yellowstone, Montana and Wyoming fly fishing. We were fishing on the Madison River and both agreed that it was a perfect name for our first whether girl or boy.
    Our second child we named Brook (no ‘e’ on end). Named after the beautiful brook trout (or babbling brook as my mother would prefer – not a fish ;) ).

    • Leigh – I really really like your name choices, mostly because of the story behind them. That’s perfect. You all are almost making me wish I would have gone with outdoorish names for my boys instead of family names!

  7. Aw, congratulations! Very happy for you. Raising little girls is the best. But this list of names is off the hook! What a great compilation.

    • Mark – Thanks for the words of encouragement on raising a girl. I’ll admit, I’m a little nervous. Ok, a lot nervous. Also nice to hear this post refereed to as “off the hook”.

  8. Jen

    Just hoping it’s not Rufus. :) We have always liked the name lupine (loo pin), it just never fit any of our girls. Good luck. Can’t wait to hear if it’s Wren.

    • Jen – Hahaaa. No, you are correct, it’s actually Wren that we are considering, I just had to throw Rufus in there in honor of Rufus Wainwright. Love Lupine, adding it to the post. Thanks!

  9. Lauren

    Funny…all of these lists seem so familiar :P So excited for you guys! Another suggestion to add the ornithological list…and a personal fav of mine is Kestrel. Of course, to add to the botany list, (again, one I am biased on)… Sequoia :)

    • Lauren – Yes, I thought of you while making this, which is why I can’t believe I left off Sequoia! I’ll add that and Kestrel as well.

  10. Brandi

    I have two (science) friends who named their two girls, Elseya and Adalia. Elseya is a genus of snapping turtle, and Adalia is the genus for ladybugs.

  11. Brandi

    And a professor I know has daughters named Flora and Fauna.

  12. Jana

    Wren, is an absolutely beautiful name! I love it! Congrats btw!

    • Jana – Thanks. Wren is in a close tie with my Grandmas name, so it’s gonna be a nail biter!

  13. morning c.

    Our family friend, who is a biologist, named his sons after tree genus. Acer and Silvan. :)

    • Morning C – I like those! I thought about doing another category for famous nature/outdoor people, now that you mention those I really wish I had, great names.

  14. Andrena. Harmonia (ladybug genus). or if you’re in an Idaho mood, go with Xylocopa. ;)

    • Kristal – Vince T would so proud if I named her Andrena, since he really wanted to name is own daughter that. But Xylocopa would be pretty Idahoesque, and we all know Idaho is basically Utah, so I would be honoring my roots.

  15. Well you did it: you take the prize for the coolest pregnancy announcement I’ve ever read on a blog. HUGE congratulations to you & the fam!

  16. Congratulations! Thanks for posting that list – we’ll be needing it in May!

  17. Congratulations! Your turkey comment had me rolling :)

    • Abby – Thank! Glad you liked the turkey comment because I almost too that line out last minute! ;)

  18. Lacey

    wow, glad my girl name came to me in a dream. This looks like hard work.

  19. LOVE the name Fawn…alas, my husband’s name is Jon.


  20. […] little Viviann arrived about a week ago. The birth went quickly and beautifully. In fact I think choosing a name was almost harder than actually giving birth… almost. Everyone is doing really well. Her […]

  21. Alyna

    I noticed you didn’t have the name Holly on there anywhere but that’s definitely a nature themed name and very cute! =)

  22. Erica

    I need help thinking of names that go with Forest and Autumn.

  23. Jesse

    My wife is pregnant…if we have a girl we are naming her Autumn Serenity. We like the peaceful, beautiful picture it paints. (Our son’s name is Justus River.)

  24. Tara

    Thoughts on the name Denali? PS Jeanne, I love the name Ember which is ironic because I’m not a huge fan of Amber…


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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