This 2016 Baby Name Trend Has a Leafy Twist
Just when you thought that every possible baby name on the planet had already been scooped up, celeb baby name news proves that it just isn’t so. English actor Jack Huston from Boardwalk Empire and American model Shannan Click recently welcomed a son, Cypress Night. While plenty of tree baby names for children are well established — Rowan, Aspen and Forrest instantly come to mind — Cypress has a novel ring to it. 2016 might be shaping up to be the year of the tree, at least when it comes to creative baby names.
Top Baby Boy Names Inspired by Trees
1. Cypress: Cypress is a nature name possibility that shares sounds with the ancient Cyrus and the oh-so-stylish Silas. It was given to just over 50 children in 2014, split almost evenly between boys and girls. The new celeb baby on the block might make more parents take notice. Cypress trees were long associated with mourning, but they also have many other meanings attached to them. Vincent van Gogh painted them, and the iconic “lone cypress” can be found along the rocky California coast on the famous 17-Mile Drive.
2. Alder: Asher is in the US Top 100 and Archer is rising fast. The similar-sounding Alder is an under-the-radar tree name and surname name that could work for a son or a daughter. Alder wood is often used to make electric guitars, turning Alder into a gentle nature name with a rock-and-roll sensibility. If you’re curious, 44 boys were given the name in 2014.
3. Ash: Speaking of Asher, it’s the latest Ash-name to catch on in the US, following Ashley and Ashton. Just plain Ash is a tree, a cousin to the olive. But it also brings to mind Ash Ketchum, Pikachu’s trainer in the Pokemon universe, or possibly Ash Williams of Evil Dead fame. For the record, 66 boys were named Ash in 2014.
4. Elm: The rarest of the tree baby names on this list, Elm hasn’t been given to even five children in a single year. It could be a patriotic choice though: During the American Revolution, Boston colonists met under the Liberty Tree, a white elm, to plain their uprising. The British chopped it down, but it lives on as a symbol of independence.
5. Oak: It’s not just elms that are richly symbolic. Congress named the oak America’s national tree, and it’s also an official symbol of more than a dozen other nations. It’s often associated with strength and endurance. Sound-wise, Oak is close to names like Jack and Kai. The related surname name, Oakley, has entered the US Top 1,000 for girls and boys in the last few years.
6: Linden: This is a great, gender-neutral way to update Linda or Lynne, or substitute for Landon or Logan. The presidential Lyndon is a spelling variation. 69 boys and 58 girls were given the name in 2014, making it rare, but not unknown.
7. Koa: Koa sounds like a creative spin on Noah. It actually has more in common with the Hawaiian nature name Kai. Koa is one of the most common trees in Hawaii and the word means warrior. The tree’s wood is prized as material for canoes and surfboards. In 2014, 110 boys and 13 girls were given the name, making Koa one of the more popular of the rare tree names.
8. Sequoia: California’s Sequoia National Park is home to towering sequoia trees, but this is a nature name with even more significance. Botanist Stephen Endlicher gave the name to the trees in the 1840s, apparently inspired by Sequoyah, the Cherokee silversmith who invented the very first alphabet for his native tongue. In 2014, 13 boys and 66 girls were given the name. With A-ending choices like Noah, Elijah and Luca so popular, Sequoia could be a great nature name for a son.
9. Hawthorn: Hawthorn is a nature name with a literary connection. The author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s surname is spelled with an “e,” but it comes from the family of shrubs and trees. Because they flower in the spring, they’re associated with hope. Six boys were given the name Hawthorn in 2014, plus an additional 19 Hawthornes. It’s a name that feels buttoned-down and bold at once.
Are you inspired to name your bouncing baby boy after a coniferous entity? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
This post was originally published on Nameberry by Abby Sandel.
(Photos via Getty)