Nonreligious Baby Names

If you don’t wish your baby to have a name with religious connotations, you can always turn to the natural world for inspiration.

Elegant floral and herbal names are almost endless and can work for boys or girls. Aside from common flower names like Daisy, Holly, Lily, and Violet, you might also consider: Amaranth, Artemisia, Aster, Azalea, Balsa, Camellia, Clover, Comfrey, Cosmos, Crocus, Dahlia, Fern, Freesia, Hyacinth, Ivy, Jasmine, Juniper, Laurel, Lavender, Lilac, Linden, Magnolia, Mangrove, Maple, Moss, Myrtle, Narcissus, Oak, Pennyroyal, Rosemary, Rue, Salvia, Shamrock, Snapdragon, Speedwell, Spruce, Thistle, Vervain, Willow, Wisteria, Yew, Zinnia. Edible plants and spices include: Almond, Basil, Calendula, Caraway, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Olive, Parsley, Peppermint, Sage, Sorrel, Verbena. (Most of these were culled from a list of plants on BonnydoonGardenCo.Com.)

As the public becomes increasingly aware of the importance of the polar ice caps, you might want to consider some terms related to glaciers: Albedo, Esker, Loess, Nunatak, Sandur, Till. If you like warmer names: Blaze, Ember, Firewhirl, Flame, Flare, Wildfire.

Words associated with agricultural fertility include: Arable, Arbor, Aquifer, Compost, Delta, Grass, Mulch, Orchard, Regolith, River.

Fishermen like: Alevin, Barb, Bass, Brook, Brackish, Carp, Driftwood, Fathom, Fin, Freestone, Gill, Marina, Minnow, Mysis, Reef, Pike, Saline, Trout.

The good old gemstone standbys: Agate, Amber, Amethyst, Beryl, Bloodstone, Coral, Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Jade, Jasper, Moonstone, Onyx, Opal, Pearl, Peridot, Ruby, Topaz, Tourmaline, Quartz.

Lunar (moon) and solar (sun) terms: Apogee, Aurora, Caldera, Catena, Chasma, Corona, Eclipse, Fossa, Fusion, Lava, Mare, Massif, Perigee, Rille, Sunspot.

There is much in humanity itself that is admirable and not defined by religion. Many virtues are not primarily associated with any religious tradition: Accept, Amaze, Beauty, Compassion, Consider, Courage, Courtesy, Devote, Diligent, Discern, Discipline, Enthuse, Flexible, Forgive, Friend, Generous, Gentle, Grateful, Helpful, Honest, Honor, Humble, Ideal, Integrity, Joy, Justice, Kind, Love, Loyal, Moderate, Modest, Order, Patience, Peace, Persevere, Pure, Purpose, Rely, Respect, Respond, Tact, Thankful, Trust, Truth, Unity, Welcome, Wonder, Wisdom, Worthy. (Most of these were culled from a list of virtues on VirtuesProject.Com.)

Of course, if you have some tolerance for the supernatural, ancient mythology will provide a treasure trove of dragons, devils, heroes, and nymphs. Many names of gods and goddesses have been incorporated into modern scientific terminology. However, for purists, I have tried to avoid these in the preceding lists.