Celebrity Names Blog

Zooey Deschanel's Baby Name Is Certainly Original

Zooey Deschanel baby name

She might be funny and play the New Girl, but when it comes to her family, Zooey Deschanel likes her privacy. That was until recently -- as Zooey revealed her 3-month-old daughter's name that just might inspire you to take a trip to the zoo.

Let's just say that Zooey and her husband, Jacob Pechenik, gave their little girl a very unique middle name -- that just might be a great subject for a future book report. So, what is it? Elsie Otter.

Yes, otter, like the semi-aquatic mammal that loves a fish diet. Apparently, Zooey and her hubby really adore the animal. During an appearance on Today, Zooey revealed her infatuation with otters. According to her, they're sweet, really smart, and seem to know their way around tools (probably not the kind you would find in a home improvement store).

I suspect that Zooey and Jacob enjoy Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.

I'll admit, Otter is a little odd for a middle name, but to each their own. If it gives this family joy, then more power to them.

Hopefully Zooey will pass along her love of otters, as it's now a part of baby Elsie's name. And if she doesn't like it, at least it's just a middle name.

Image via TODAY.com

Originally on The Stir


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October 22, 2015 10:40 AM
By Mary (not verified)

I have a daughter named Kat, albeit short for Katerina. I've heard of boys named Bear. "Birdie" used to be a pretty common girl's nickname, I think (and of course there's Lady Bird Johnson). I knew a guy named "Fox" in college, and then there's Wolf Blitzer...

So animal names aren't totally unprecedented, I think. They make as much sense as flower names, really. "Rose" and "Lilly" are also English words.

And "Otter" is not a bad one. Cute animal known for being smart and playful, so not a bad association. And "Ottile" and "Ottilia" are names with a long history, so the sound is quite name-like as well.

All in all, I think it's perfectly usable in the middle-name spot, and would make a cute modern-sounding nickname for a little Ottile, if someone wanted to use it as a call-name. A little too informal for the first name spot on a birth certificate for my taste, but really not that out-there. Raises my eyebrows less than "Apple" anyway... or "Midnight Skye" which I have actually heard.

October 22, 2015 10:45 AM
By Mary (not verified)

Funny that right now on the "Ask the Name Lady" page, they are discussing "Wren," another animal name I didn't think of... Which makes me think of "Lark" as well. I bet there are a lot more I haven't thought of yet, too.

October 22, 2015 10:14 PM
By Juli (not verified)

Of the animal world, birds have long been fodder for names: Robin, Lark, Wren, Peregrine, Raven, Jay, Dove, Kestrel, Linnet, Philomel, Phoenix, Sparrow. Mammals are rarer, and tend to be masculine: Wolf, Leo, Fox, Tiger, Fawn.

I think the only mustelid name in anything approaching common use is Brock (an old word for badger). Sable is much rarer, and can arguably mean the color or heraldic tincture rather than the critter or its fur. Then there's Hermine, which is unrelated to ermine but is only one letter away from it.

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