Every time I found out I was pregnant, I'd calculate my baby's likely star sign. But what's often overlooked during these soon-to-be parent calculations is that all 12 signs of the Zodiac are associated with one of the four elements of nature — Earth, Air, Fire, and Water — and each element is associated with particular character traits. So you better believe there are some earth-inspired names for your earth-sign baby, tailer-made to fit their unique, earthy personality.
Elemental qualities are such a part of our cultural dialogue. Like, if I said someone had a "fiery" personality, you probably already have an image in your head of a somewhat volatile, passionate person. If I say someone is wishy-washy, down-to-earth, flighty... same. So the characteristics of people born under the three earth signs are probably what you would expect — they're practical and grounded. Because they're associated with the land they're known for their great work ethic. They're dependable and cautious. Because they're so interested in the tangible, they can truly appreciate "the finer things," and, if unchecked, can tend to be materialistic. (Status tends to be important to earth signs.) Because of their love of practicality and the material world, they're also very goal oriented and are known to be go-getters.
So if you're interested in paying homage to your child's earthy nature, here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Some people avoid this name because of the sea witch from The Little Mermaid, though I don't know why... Ursula is the best, most fabulous character in the whole movie. You may think it has an aquatic meaning, but it actually comes Latin and means "little bear," which is adorable.
This name can mean "old" or, for our purposes, can reference the alder tree, a species found around the world.
This name has grown steadily in popularity over the last 20 years and is now one of the most popular names in the United States. While it tends to carry a sophisticated, urbane feel, the meaning is actually much earthier — it means "olive tree."
Demeter was the Greek goddess of the harvest, probably most famous for fighting the Lord of Hell for her daughter, Persephone. Demeter probably means "Earth mother."
A "heath" is a shrubland habitat found around the world. The name Heath is an Old English name, meaning "heath-dweller."
Ainsley is a Gaelic name meaning "meadow." While it's more popular among baby girls, it's a unisex name.
Bryn is a Welsh name that means hill. More popular among girls in the United States, it is generally used as a boy name in Wales.
Linguistically, there's a lot of overlap between Old French and Middle English (what with William the Conqueror coming in and... conquering), and the name Pierce is no exception — it's an English name meaning "son of Piers." "Piers" is an Old French version of the name "Pierre," which means "rock."
Clay is a shortened version of "Clayton," a name of Old English origin meaning "town near the clay pit."
Also... like... Clay is clay, which is about as earthy as you can get.
The name Basil comes from the Greek basileus, which means "king" or "royalty." But... it's also a really delicious herb, so I am definitely counting it as an earth name.
Daphne is a greek name meaning "laurel tree." In mythology, the nymph Daphne escaped Apollo's advances by turning herself into a tree, because f*ck you, Apollo, you don't own me. I own me, and now I've decided to become a tree.
Cedar describes a variety of different trees around the world. They are known for being being especially fragrant and evergreen.
Another name from Greek mythology, Atlas was the Titan (ancient God) who carried the entire world on his shoulders. The name itself means "to carry."
Ilana is a Hebrew name meaning "tree," so it's definitely a great earth name, but can also serve as an homage to Broad City badass Ilana Wexler (played by Ilana Glazer).
Hazel (describing the tree or plant of the same name) became popular in the late-19th and early-20th century and has made a resurgence in recent years.
Sage is a name of Latin origin meaning "wise one," but is also an herb known in some cultures for its purifying, spiritual qualities.
Tamar is a Hebrew name meaning "palm tree." In the Bible, Tamar is the clever, staunch daughter-in-law of Judah, a leader of the Ancient Israelites.
Jasper is a stone that can represent strength, endurance, and finding your center.
It's... a meadow. Pretty straightforward, right? This name was popularized by the character of the same name in The Sopranos.
Opal is a vibrant, iridescent, precious stone. It is also the birthstone for the month of October, so if your baby has a moon or rising sign in either Libra or Scorpio (which cover October birthdays) this could be a good pick!
Savannah is a name of Spanish origin meaning "treeless plain." It can serve as an homage to the African Savannah or Savannah, Georgia (or both)!
Rowan means "little redhead," which is adorable but, you may be thinking, not especially earthy. But it means little redhead, because rowan is a type of ash tree that produces bright red berries.
Terra is the Latin word meaning "earth." So, as far as earth-inspired names go, #micdrop.
No, not a reference to one of the chipmunk Rescue Rangers (though, I mean, technically that fits the nature-y/earthy criteria). Dale is an Old English word for "valley."
Linden is a decorative, fragrant tree found around the world. Its flowers are often used in perfume. The name can also be spelled "Lyndon," if you fancy extra Ys in your lyfe. (See what I did there?)
Aaron is a Hebrew name whose meaning is unclear but probably means something along the lines of "high mountain." In the Bible, Aaron was the brother of Moses and High Priest of the Israelites.
Gaia, also spelled Gaea, is the Greek personification of the Earth. She is a goddess so old she gave birth to the Titans, the giants, and various sea gods.
Wekesa is a Kenyan name meaning "born during the time the crops are gather." It is both a surname and a given name.
Midori is a Japanese name (and everyday word) meaning "green," which is such a lovely, simply ode to nature!
More commonly a surname, Farley is an Old English name meaning "fern clearing." It also derives from the Gaelic name Fearghal meaning "brave man."
This name has a super fancy, bougie feel to it (which is par for the course when it comes to anything of French origin), but this name means "beautiful mountain." Bonus for this name: you could use the nickname "Monty."
Eben is a Hebrew name meaning "stone of help." It's a great name, and definitely worth regularly correcting people who think it's "Evan."
Saffron is a fragrant, highly prized spice, so the name evokes both the natural world and something cherished. Also I feel like if my daughter's name were Saffron I would sing "Mellow Yellow" all the time because "I'm just mad about Saffron! Saffron's mad about meeeee!"
Landon started off as an English surname, but has become a given name. It means "long hill" or "ridge."
Also spelled Bryony, Briony comes from Latin meaning "to sprout." So, obviously, Little Briony's nickname just has to be "sprout."
Juniper is a type of tree found around the world. Its berries are used to make gin (yum).
Cypress is a name of uncertain Greek origin, but is also a widespread, adaptable type of tree.