Is the Latest Celebrity Baby Name Trend All About Animals?

Zooey Deschanel and Jacob Pechenik are just the latest in a string of celebs to pick cute and cuddly or totally fierce animal baby names. Should you jump on this trend?

Zooey Deschanel baby names Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock
Actress Zooey Deschanel and her husband, Jacob Pechenik, opted for similar baby names for their two children—a brand new son, Charlie Wolf, and his big sister, Elsie Otter. But they aren't the only celebrities who have opted to give their kiddos nature-themed names more suited for a zoo than a nursery. Animal names have become red hot for celeb kids—but are they coming to a playground near you? Here's a peak at what's been hot (and what may be not-so-hot).

Bear is perhaps the most popular example of the animal name trend, with nearly a half-dozen celebs picking it for the first or the middle spot—there's Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole, Kate Winslet (Bear Blaze), Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis (Everly Bear), Alicia Silverstone (Bear Blu), and "Naked Chef" Jamie Oliver (Buddy Bear). It's a name that can be at turns both cuddly and fierce (think teddy bears—or grizzly bears), so it's a name that can kind of grow with your child.

Wolf is decidedly more fierce, and perhaps a little more traditional, given classic names like Wolfgang. Zooey Deschanel is only the latest one who used it—actor Jonathan Rhys Myer gave his son the moniker as well.

Another animal in the fierce category is Puma, which was the name Erykah Badu selected for her son, while John Mellencamp picked Wildhorse as a bold middle name for his son, Speck.

Bird names may seem more "girly" by comparison, with stars selecting sweet songbird names for some of their daughters—Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany picked Lark for the middle name for their daughter Agnes, while Busy Philipps named her older daughter Birdie. But boys can also follow the trend—Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their son Sparrow James, while country singer Eric Church gave his son the name Tennessee Hawkins, with the nickname Hawk.

And as always, there's an outlier—Busy's younger daughter has the cheerful insect name, Cricket.

If you're looking to jump on the trend, consider how your child might like the name as a grownup. So Bear, maybe. But Cub? Maybe not. If you're nervous, a middle spot could be the best place to share your love of wildlife with your child, as the middle is generally used less often for anything but official paperwork. And consider opting for the more "traditional" animal names—like Wolf, Wren, and Robin—rather than the more offbeat. (Maybe think twice about Snake, Gator or Giraffe.)

What do you think of Zooey Deschanel's baby naming concept? Would you give your child an animal name?

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