When choosing a baby name, sometimes picking up a book and flipping through the pages to choose a name might be a little hard to properly narrow them down to a book of the best 1,000 names this century.
Luckily, these nature inspired baby names are just unique enough to allow you to name your little one something special. Yes, there is the off chance that by the time your kid is old enough to have friends, their one-of-a-kind name won't be so unheard of. If your goal is to find something inspired by nature, however, and you're in search of something you won't find in an intimidating baby book, these are the way to go.
River has risen in popularity in recent years and can be used for either a boy or a girl, surprisingly. Kelly Clarkson even used the name for her daughter and it has remained popular for the past few years.
Because it’s a purely nature inspired name, there is no clear origin. It is directly linked to a river or stream, however. Really, though, that just makes the name more versatile for different families. And because it’s suitable for boys or girls, the name River can safely be used long before your baby is even born.
The meaning of the name Willow directly refers to the Willow tree. It is historically a feminine name and was ranked in the top 100 names in the U.S. in 2018 alone. In fact, it has remained steadily popular for quite a while and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith named their daughter Willow, which might have added to its overall popularity. A unique alternative to Willow is Willa, or you can even shorten the name to Will as a nickname, which is still totally acceptable for a girl.
You don't have to love the coldest season of the year to appreciate the name Winter, but it certainly helps. You can't exactly name your daughter Winter if you also hate winter as a season. So as long as you can get over that hump, the name is another one inspired by nature that can suit pretty much any little girl. The name peaked in popularity in 2012, but that just means it’s less common these days. So if you are looking for a baby name inspired by nature that not many other kids are likely to have, Winter could be the perfect one to make your short list.
Unsurprisingly, the name Forrest means “dweller near the woods.” Even if your baby isn't going to be running around the woods barefoot, the name Forrest can be suitable for any little boy. Although there was a dip in its national popularity in 2003, it recently had a spike. Still, it’s one of the more unique nature inspired baby names. The one problem you and your little one might run into is dealing with people quoting the movie Forrest Gump to you both in jest until the end of time. But if you can live with that for the sake of using a name you might have fallen in love with, then you’re golden. Technically, you can even use the name Forrest for a girl, but traditionally, it is a male name.
As an Anglo-Saxon name, Cotton is more common as a surname. It’s not totally unheard of as a first name, however, and is typically found in boys rather than girls. As a first name, Cotton was more popular in Puritan days, so it’s a lot less common in modern times.
But for some parents, that can be the allure. And if you’re looking for a nature inspired baby name, then chances are, one of your goals is to go with a unique name you aren't likely to find everywhere else anyway.
Although the name Sage is also associated with the herb of the same name, it also has legitimate origins of its own. As a Latin name, Sage means “wise” and you can't really argue with naming your child something with such important meaning behind it. In the early 90s, the name Sage was popular for both boys and girls, but in recent years, it has become much more popular for little girls. There aren't really any designated nicknames for Sage, but luckily, it’s short enough to make spelling and pronouncing it a breeze.
Fern is a plant name, so parents who would rather steer clear of baby girl names like Rose or Lily might find that Fern has more of a special ring to it. Because it is directly linked to plant life, however, there is no clear origin to give you a clearer image of where it came from as an actual name for a child. It’s not unlike the name Sage, but because it is more of a feminine name, Fern has always been linked to females rather than males. And again, it’s one of those names that is so short and easy to spell that there really is no need for a nickname to go along with it.
If the name Dune immediately evokes images of sandy dunes on a beach, that’s because that is literally where the origin of the name stems from. There are no Latin roots or English names from which the name Dune was born, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less a contender as a top baby name inspired by nature.
Because it’s such a unique name, there isn't much data on its popularity, so it’s difficult to say just how many other kids will carry that name a few years from now. If you’re looking for a totally one of a kind baby name, though, Dune is sort of perfect for either a boy or a girl.
Hawk simply means a bird and refers to the widely known bird of the same name. You don't have to be an avid bird watcher to appreciate or even use the name, however. Because other animal inspired names like Bear and Wolf are also on the rise, Hawk makes sense as another similar contender for some parents. It is typically used for boys and professional skateboarding legend Tony Hawk could be considered a cool namesake for your little guy.
Although the name Meadow barely made the top 500 baby names in the U.S. in 2018, it is still a solid name inspired by nature that might make the cut for some parents. It doesn't have an origin other than its obvious inspiration, and in pop culture, you might remember that Tony Soprano on The Sopranos had a daughter named Meadow. Whether or not this sways you to use the name for your own little girl, there is no denying how uncommon it still is, which could be the main selling point for you.