Follow TV Tropes


Animal Theme Naming

Go To

"People don't want cars named after hungry, old, Greek broads! They want names like Mustang and Cheetah, vicious animal names."

A common form of Theme Naming. Naming things after animals.

This is not surprising since the Animal Kingdom is a rather diverse bunch that serves as an easy source of design ideas. There's definitely some appeal in naming cool things after our favorite beasts, especially the ones that are universally considered badass like birds of prey or big cats. Bonus points if the stuff in question physically resembles their namesake in some form, even if there's no practical reason for it.

The referenced animals are sometimes all of a particular species, such as snakes (Viper, Python, Cobra, etc.) or dogs (Dachshund, Husky, Rottweiler, etc). They may also follow a theme related to their behavior or environment, like, say, nocturnal animals (Wolf, Bat, Owl, etc.) or cold climate dwellers (Penguin, Walrus, Orca, etc). Most of the time though, they're unrelated.

If a human character adopts an animal name, either as a nickname or Code Name, then said name is likely to have meaning behind it, usually by invoking Animal Stereotypes into play. For example, a guy named "Bear" will reasonably be assumed as strong, rough and aggressive, with maybe a lazy or gluttonous streak, a dude named "Snake" will probably be sneaky, cunning and deceptive, and a lady named "Cat" is expected to be playful or snobbish (or both). Of course, this doesn't prevent Ironic Names from popping up every now and then. It's always fun to see a large, scary man refer to himself as "Shrimp" of all things.

For superpowered people that adopt this, see Animal-Themed Superbeing. If this gets applied to an animal itself, then it's either a case of A Dog Named "Dog" (if the name reflects the animal's species) or A Dog Named "Cat" (if not). Super-Trope to Color Animal Codename, which basically combines this with Colourful Theme Naming.

Do not confuse with Animal Naming Conventions and Stock Animal Name, which are about certain recurring patterns in naming animals.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Anima Yell!: The main cast's names all contain kanji related to animals: Kohana Hatoya (pigeon), Uki Sawatari (monkey), Hizume Arima (horse), Kotetsu Tatejima (tiger), and Kana Ushiku (cow).
  • The Shiba siblings in Bleach follow a pattern: Kaien means "sea swallow," Ganju means "rock eagle," and Kuukaku means "sky crane."
  • Boarding School Juliet uses Animal Motifs for the competing Black Dog and White Cat houses, and students at the school have names that reference their respective house animal.
  • In Cowboy Bebop, the crew's personal ships are named after fish: Swordfish (Spike), Redtail (Faye), and Hammerhead (Jet).
  • The characters in Cyber Team in Akihabara are all named after birds. Let's take the five main girls as an example: Hibari (skylark), Tsugumi (thrush), Suzume (sparrow), Kamome (seagull), and Tsubame (swallow). And there are much, much more.
  • In Deadman Wonderland the Deadmen fighting in the Carnival Corpse deathmatches are given bird-themed nicknames: Ganta is Woodpecker, Senji is Crow, and Minatsuki is Hummingbird.
  • The Namekians from the Dragon Ball franchise have gastropod names, such as "Nail" ("snail"), "Cargo" ("escargot"), "Dende" (from "denden-mushi", the Japanese word for "snail"), and "Lord Slug".
  • Fist of the North Star have all the named members of Jackal's gang (which consists only of himself, Fox and Hawk) and some of the Shura warriors (Hyoh, Shachi, Zebra)
  • Most (if not all) of the important characters in Gakuen Babysitters have names based on various animals. The two central characters, Ryuuichi and Koutarou, have names based off of dragon and tiger, respectively.
  • Haikyuu!! does this some of the schools, giving them Animal Motifs corresponding to their volleyball team attributes. For example: Karasuno (crow)s, Nekoma (cats), Nohebi (snakes), Shiratorizawa (swans).
  • In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki: Each of the twelve student teams are named after an animal found on the Chinese Zodiac note .
  • In Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san, everyone but Aki has an animal name and fits some stereotype about that animal. The title characters are Inugami (inu meaning dog) and Nekoyama (neko meaning cat).
  • In Is the Order a Rabbit?, all the café's the girls work at have Rabbit in the name; in English, Rabbit House, in Japanese, Amausa-an, and French, Fleur De Lapin.
  • Yurie's assistants (Ino, Shika, and Chou) in Kamichu! have names related to the animals they resemble.
  • The first characters in the surnames of the Elite Four in Kill la Kill, Gamagoori, Sanageyama, Inumuta, and Jakuzure mean "toad," "monkey," "dog," and "snake," respectively.
  • In Knight Hunters, the members of Weiss all have cat-themed codenames: Bombay, Siberian, Abyssinian, Balinese, Manx, Birman, and Persia(n). Sequel series Weiß Kreuz Glühen adds LaPerm, Havana (Brown), and Rex.
  • Mega Man Star Force: Bud Bison and Damian Wolfe. Their compatible EMians are a bull and a wolf respectively.
  • The Monster Union Agents in Melody of Oblivion all have animals as a part of their name - Global Wildcat, Flying Bunny, Electric Sheep, etc.
  • Naruto:
    • Some members of the Nara, Yamanaka and Akimichi families have names that include Shika (deer), Ino (boar/pig), and Chou (butterfly) after a hand in a Japanese card game.
    • The Inuzuka ("dog hill", taken from an epic novel) family has names having to do with dogs, such as Kiba (fang), Hana (nose) and Tsume (claw).
    • Itachi is Japanese for weasel. One of his ancestors, Izuna, is also named after another word for weasel.
    • There is Sasori (scorpion), who primarily dons costume with a scorpion-like tail and has mastery over poison.
    • Kisame (literally "demon shark") is an unsubtle example. Even without mentioning his signature technique, he already has blue skin and gills.
    • Team Hebi (snake), later renamed to Team Taka (hawk).
  • Noein has the Dragon Knights, who are all named after different birds (Karasu=Crow, Fukurou=Owl and so on) that were representative of their personalities. Guess being called Dragon Knights sounded cooler than being called Bird Knights.
  • One Piece:
    • All of the original Seven Warlords of the Sea [Crocodile, Jimbei (whale shark Fishman), Bartholomew Kuma (Bear), Gecko Moria, Donquixote Doflamingo (complete with pink feather boa), Boa Hancock(Giant pet snake, called the snake princess, and comes from an island of snake themed Amazons) and Dracule Mihawk].
    • The three Admirals ("Blue Pheasant", "Yellow Monkey", "Red Dog", all nicknames based on the animal companions of Japanese folk-hero Momotaro) have animal-themed names assigned to them, which more or less correspond with their characters or abilities. After the Time Skip, there are two newcomers- Fujitora("Wisteria Tiger") and Ryogyuku ("Green Bull")
    • A recurring theme is that many of the female characters are named after birds, such as Nico Robin and Tsuru(the latter's name means "crane" in Japanese).
  • Paranoia Agent: Virtually every character has the character(s) of an animal in his/her name, a Meaningful Name. A good example is Harumi Cho no, a schoolteacher with a split personality disorder. "Cho" is one word for "butterfly" in Japanese, another is "chocho" reflecting on her dual selves. This is put into even simpler terms in Episode 5, in which a Shonen Bat impersonator tells the story so far from his... "unique" perspective, many of the characters are depicted or referred to as their respective animals.
  • Ron Kamonohashi: Deranged Detective: With the exception of the headmistress, all of the Blue Academy instructors introduced so far have animal-based names or surnames: Spitz Feier, John Grizzly and Fin Fennec.
  • The Saberdolls from Saber Marionette J are named after German tanks from World War II which were, in turn, named after large wild cats (Tiger, Luchs/Lynx, and Panther.) This also qualifies them for Vehicular Theme Naming.
  • Sailor Moon:
  • In Shuukan Shounen Hachi, the four main characters have nicknames reminiscent of animals: "Hachi" is a common name for Japanese dogs, "Saru" means monkey, a "Mike" can designate a calico cat, and Myahko's "myah" is the seagull's cry in Japanese.
  • Characters in the satire Sword of Heaven are named for animals, typically those that share traits with the characters themselves- e.g., Komadori, meaning robin, whose special techniques typically revolve around birds. The exception to the rule seems to be the Flotsam/Jetsam duo, named after an American metal band.
  • Wolf's Rain: The four main characters are all named for aspects of the wolf; Kiba (Fang), Tsume (Claw), Hige (Whisker), and Toboe (Howl). The pun in the title of the second episode, "Toboe, Who Doesn't Howl", is thus lost in the English translation.

    Comic Books 
    • The Phantoka Makuta from all have a bat theme going on, and are named appropriately: Antroz (Antrozous pallidus, or pallid bat), Chirox and his Matoran partner Kirop after Chiroptera, and Vamprah should be obvious. Then there is Makuta Bitil, based off a beetle.
    • The Barraki were all based on water creatures. Thus we have Kalmah the calamari, Ehlek the electric ell, Mantax the manta ray, and Carapar the crab with a carapace. Also, Barraki — barracuda.
  • Black Canary: The Twelve Brothers in Silk are a criminal mercenary group, consisting of twelve brothers each of whom was named after an animal of the Chinese Zodiac, and born uunder the corresponding sign.
  • In Power Pack, the Emperor of the Snark was named Bhadsha (badger) and his son and successor was Jakal. While other Snark didn't follow this trend, Al Ewing's Snarkwar in Royals, Guardians of the Galaxy and S.W.O.R.D. (2020) has run with it, with characters including Wezel, Kuga, Djagyar, Hyinar, Koyoti, Stote, Khondor, and so on.
  • Scarecrow: Year One begins with the established character of Jonathan Crane and goes on to introduce his ex-mentor Professor Pigeon and his grandmother Olivia Dove (in a different apparent Shout-Out to Psycho, her original name was Marion).
  • Marvel's Serpent Squad and its successor, the Serpent Society, consists of supervillains with snake-themed codenames.
  • Zipi y Zape: Lechuzo looks a bit like an owl ("Lechuza" in Spanish is "barn owl", but he looks more like a regular owl, "buho")

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey has a younger brother named Chigger. The Comics Curmudgeon has speculated that their sister Lois was originally named "Ladybug" "before she quit this sad, creepy family for good".

    Fan Works 
  • In a probable Shout-Out to Kill Bill, the evil ninjas in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Flutterspy use reptile-themed Code Names that combine this trope with Color-Coded Characters: Red Adder, Blue Cobra and Yellow Viper.
  • A common trend in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction is to name changeling characters after insects or insect-related words. For example, Maternal Instinct has OCs named Pupa, Cricka, Pincer, Silkworm, Silverfish and Morphin (after the butterfly genus, Morpho). Starting because the only named changeling character initially was Queen Chrysalis, it even became semi-canonized with post-reformation characters Thorax, Pharynx and Ocellus.
    • This particular fanfic trope is used and justified in the FiM fanfic The Changeling of the Guard; all changelings of the Infiltrator caste are deliberately given insect reference names, and instructed to carry around something relating to insects on their disguises — an ornament, a Cutie Mark, etc. This allows different infiltrators to covertly recognize each other and make contact. This leads to Topaz thinking back on some rather odd encounters she's had with ponies and she realizes she's actually been repeatedly mistaken for a changeling by actual infiltrators.
    Cersus: “I say something about a cersus, like, I have something with an earwig pincers on it and I talk about cersuses… cersii? Whatever, I talk about them, and I seem a little weird, but if someone brings up that you can almost make out the carapace on the earwig… bam! That’s probably another drone named Carapace. Get it?”
  • Much like the show itself, the names of locations in the fanfic The Meaning of Harmony are all horse-themed.
  • In the My Hero Academia fanfic Crimson and Emerald, Hawks and his mother are both fond of giving things and people bird-themed names. His agency is called the Aery and calls his interns fledglings/baby birds. Mirko calls her agency the Warren.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Gnomeo & Juliet, the lawn movers Benny was looking up on the Internet are all named after different types of cats, except for the Terrafirminator. Guess which lawn mover Benny ended up buying!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): In keeping with previous protagonists with bird-themed names, Aguilar means "eagle house" in Spanish (as in "pigeon house"), coming from the Spanish word for "eagle" (águila), while Callum means "dove" in Scottish and Irish Gaelic (as in "Hawk and Dove").
  • The Avenging Eagle have the eagle clan of assassins, all their members being named after birds of prey. Condor, Vulture, Falcon, you name it.
  • Black Lizard: The operatives in Black Lizard's criminal gang get nicknames/code names that are reptile based, starting with their leader, Black Lizard herself. Not all of them, though, as it's basically an award for good service. For helping with the second kidnapping, Mrs. Hima is bestowed the code name "Blue Turtle". Amamiya, Black Lizard's right-hand-man and would-be-boyfriend, is hurt that she doesn't give him one.
  • Fantastic Beasts:
    • All of protagonist Newt's many names are plays on his love of animals. Newt(on) is the name of a type of salamander, his first middle name Artemis is the name of the Greek god of animals, his second middle name Fido is a stock dog name, and his family name Scamander is a play on salamander. Although unlike most examples in the franchise (see Harry Potter under literature), this isn't foreshadowing to him being some sort of polymorph and is just a reference to his career as a wizard zoologist.
    • His eventual wife, Tina Goldstein, also has an animal theme named. Her full name is Porpentina which is a feminization of "porpentine", an archaic word for porcupine.
  • In Kill Bill, Bill gives each of his agents of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad code names matching the 5 snakes that have the deadliest poisons in the world: Black Mamba, California Mountain Snake, Cottonmouth, Copperhead, and Sidewinder. Bill himself is also called "Snake Charmer". Except that California Mountain Snakes are non-venomous. However they do eat other snakes. Particularly rattlesnakes. Like the Sidewinder.
  • The wuxia The Mighty One have its villains all named after dragons. The Big Bad is Abbot Lung (Dragon), and his five acolytes are named Dragon Eye, Dragon Tooth, Dragon Tail, Dragon Gall and Dragon Claws.
  • In Over the Top, the finalists of the arm wrestling tournament are all named after animals, whether it's their real name (Lincoln Hawk, John Grizzly, Bull Hurley) or a nickname ("Mad Dog" Madison)
  • The protagonists of Pirates of the Caribbean have a bird theme — there's Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann, and Will Turner (a type of swan, appropriately enough). William Turner happened to be the name of a 16th century naturalist who did extensive studies of birds.
  • The Fishes in Children of Men are named for their goal of having Britain be open to refugees from other countries, most of which aren't doing too well. It's also mentioned that the term "Cod" is used for English people who support the Fishes.

  • In Always Coming Home, the first names given to girls are often those of birds.
  • In the Bardic Voices series, all Free Bards take on (or are given by their new peers) bird names. They adopted this practice from the Gypsies, who take on use-names based on their jobs.
  • In Tom Holt's Barking. The werewolf law firm is named Ferris and Loop (after Fenris and Lupine) while the vampire firm is named Crosswoods (cross: trans. Woods: sylvania).
  • We only ever see one member of the Tern family in A Brother's Price, Captain Raven Tern, but it's mentioned that she has or had a sister named Hawk. Sisters of this family seem to function as Hypercompetent Sidekicks to princesses they are assigned to, helping them as they learn to govern.
  • Heralds in Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm medieval fantasy series have bird-themed names, possibly referring to their swift bearing of messages. Names include Ploverian, Wrenassandra, Ptarmiganna, Robinarden, Ospreyan, and Eagleynne.
  • All entries in Raditya Dika's comedic book series detailing his personal life have animal names in them. Examples include Kambing Jantan, Cinta Brontosaurus, Marmut Merah Jambu, and Manusia Setengah Salmon (translated from Indonesian, those titles mean "Male Goat", "Love of Brontosaurus", "Pink Guinea Pig", and "Half-Salmon Human", respectively).
  • Kim Newman's Diogenes Club series
  • The Faerie Wars Chronicles every faerie's name is that of a butterfly, lampshaded in the third book and also linked to the fact that when they travel through a wild portal to the analogue world, they become miniature and sprout wings. Like a butterfly. The most notable are; Holly Blue, Pyrgus Malvae, Apatura Iris - the Purple Emperor, Prince Comma, the Painted Lady - Madam Cynthia Cardui, Lord Black Hairstreak, Silas Brimstone, Jasper Chalkhill, Nymphalis Antiopa and Cleopatra Antiopa (an amalgamation of a species of Brimstone butterfly and the Antiopa species).
  • Ferals Series: Ferals tend to re-name themselves after the type of animal they represent, Caw the crow feral and Crumb the pigeon feral being but a few examples.
  • Good Omens has a variant: the demon who tempted Adam and Eve in the form of a snake ended up adopting the name Crawly, which mutated to Crowley by the time the story takes place.
  • Harry Potter: You can sometimes spot an Animagus or lycanthrope in the series by their name. Professor Remus Lupin was a Werewolf (not only is Lupine the generic name for a Wolf, Remus is the brother of Romulus, two boys who were literally Raised by Wolves and created Rome), another werewolf is Fenrir Grayback (Fenrir is the wolf that eats Odin in Norse mythology), Sirius (another name for Dog Star) Black a black dog, and Rita Skeeter was a bug ("skeeter" being a slang term for mosquito).
  • In the James Bond novel Casino Royale, Felix Leiter is described as having feline slanted eyes.
  • The Wickan Clans in the Malazan Book of the Fallen are named after animals, for example the Crow Clan, the Foolish Dog Clan or the Weasel Clan.
  • In the Myth Adventures novel M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link, The Squad that Guido and Nunzio have joined included Bee (a wizard, nicknamed "Spelling Bee") the Flie brothers, Spyder, and Juney (nicknamed Junebug). When the Drill Sergeant Nasty gets to Guido, he checks that he doesn't have a nickname like "Cricket".
  • Night World:
    • Besides plants and gemstones, lamia vampires traditionally have animal names, especially birds. This includes Dove, Kestrel and Raven; Hunter is a borderline example. Jez may also count; her full name is Jezebel and there's a species of butterfly called this.
    • Shapeshifters sometimes have names hinting at their animal form. Bern is a bear shifter, Gavin is a hawk/falcon shifter, Fulton is an eagle shifter. There's a shifter named Sekhmet whose form isn't specified, though if you know your Egyptian mythology, it's insinuated she's a lion given Sekhmet is a goddess with lion's head or who takes the form of a lioness.
  • Star Carrier:
    • Similar to the Real Life examples below, the USNA names its nuclear-tipped missiles used in space combat after venomous snakes. So far, we have Kraits, Mambas, Boomslangs, and Taipans. Less clear are Space Fighter models. Some appear to be named after birds (SG-92 Starhawk, SG-55 War Eagle), one is named after a reptile (SG-88 Rattlesnake), a dinosaur (SG-101 Velociraptor), and a mythical beast (SG-112 Stardragon). At best, all these are related by virtue of having something reptilian in them (even birds are descended from dinosaurs).
    • Some of the Pan-European fighters also fit the vague pattern, such as the KRG-60 Death Eagle.
  • In the Ukiah Oregon series the Pack is divided into outlaw motorcycle clubs: the Dog Warriors, the Demon Curs, the Devil Dogs, the Hell Hounds and the Wild Wolves. This is due to the fact that they all share wolf DNA.
  • In Warrior Cats,
    • The Clans often use animals as a prefix in their names. This includes:
      • Various birds (e.g. Birdsong, Buzzardkit, Crowfeather, Eaglekit, Finchflight, Goosefeather, Hawkfrost, Heronwing, Kestrelflight, Larksong, Owlclaw, Quailfeather, Ravenpaw, Robinwing, Rooktail, Sparrowfeather, Starlingwing, Swallowflight)
      • Other animals found in their environment (e.g. Adderfang, Badgerpaw, Deerleap, Doespring, Ferretclaw, Foxleap, Frogtail, Hareflight, Lizardstripe, Minnowtail, Molewhisker, Mousefang, Ottersplash, Pikepaw, Rabbitfur, Ratscar, Sheeptail, Shrewpaw, Snailpaw, Snaketooth, Squirrelflight, Stagleap, Stoatfur, Toadfoot, Troutstream, Vixenkit, Voleclaw, Weaselfur, Wolfheart)
      • Big cats found in their mythology (e.g. Lionheart, Leopardstar, Tigerclaw).
      • -bird, -fish, -hawk, and -mouse are also suffixes that have been used at least once (Palebird, Sunfish, Silverhawk, Mistmouse).
    • Some Tribe cats - who happen to be named after the first thing their mother sees/hears after their birth - have names involving creatures, mostly birds: Bird Who Rides The Wind, Flight of Startled Heron, Eagle Feather, Fluttering Bird, Swoop of Chestnut Hawk, Jackdaw's Cry, Lark That Sings At Dawn, Lion's Roar, Screech of Angry Owl, Splash When Fish Leaps, Talon of Swooping Eagle, Turtle Tail
    • A few other random characters have animal-based names: (Fox, Frog, Magpie, Mole, Mouse Ears, Owl Feather, Raven Pelt, Running Horse, Shy Fawn, Snail Shell, Snow Hare, Sparrow, Swift Minnow, Toad, Wee Hen)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: "Blink" has as its one-shot protagonists Sally Sparrow and siblings Kathy and Larry Nightingale.
  • Frasier: Almost certainly a coincidence (the characters are unrelated and never meet) but the show has two Romantic False Leads named after predatory fish. Roz claims that Donny "the Piranha" Douglas is named less for his fearsome reputation as a divorce lawyer and more for his "night-grinding problem", while in the cruise boat episode Maris pursues a sleazy Lounge Lizard called "the Barracuda" (who lives up to his name with a rather revolting jaw-snapping action when coming on to a woman).
  • The Kill Point: The robbers/hostage takers use animal aliases to address each other: Mr. Wolf, Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Pig, Mr. Mouse, and Mr. Cat.
  • The major male villains in Luke Cage all have snake-like nicknames, with Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes, Willis "Diamondback" Stryker, and John "Bushmaster" McIver. Although of the three, only Diamondback actually has used the snake analogy for his nickname. Cottonmouth got his nickname from the cotton swabs he regularly put in his mouth when his teeth were knocked out in fights, while Bushmaster got his nickname from the brand of rum that his parents brewed when they worked with the Stokes'. In general, animal nicknames are very prevalent in the criminal world of Harlem, since season 2 also gives us Raymond "Piranha" Jones and Dontrell "Cockroach" Hamilton. have its villains all named after dragons. The Big Bad is Abbot Lung (Dragon), and his five acolytes are named Dragon Eye, Dragon Tooth, Dragon Tail, Dragon Gall and Dragon Claws.
  • In Neighbours, regular character Jarrod "Toadfish" Rebecchi got his nickname by analogy with his older brother Kevin "Stonefish" Rebecchi. Later storylines introduced his cousins: Scott "Stingray" Timmins (the rest of his side of the family never got their own nicknames) and Wayne "Tadpole" Reeves (his adoptive sister Gemma was occasionally called Gemfish, and their mother's actual name was Coral). Later, Toadie's adopted son Callum would be nicknamed Squid, while his and Sonya's daughter Nell was nicknamed Jellyfish before she was born (and has since been called Nellyfish). After Jarrod's other brother Shane was reintroduced, his daughters Yashvi and Kirsha were nicknamed "Clownfish" and "Lionfish" respectively, though these have not come up very often. As of August 2018, Jarrod's illegitimate son Hugo has been given the name "Sunfish".
  • All but one of Harold Finch's aliases in Person of Interest are birds or bird-related. So far we've seen Mr. Partridge and Harolds Wren, Crane, Crow, and Burdettnote . It's likely that Finch isn't his real name, either.
    • In case you're wondering, the exception was when he introduced himself as a blogger with the pen name "Thomas Paine".
    • One of the persons of interest is an intelligence analyst named Henry Peck. What do birds do?
  • In Selfie, Freddy is telling Eliza about his friends, Checkers, Peanut, and Whiskers. Eliza instantly asks "why do all your friends have cat names?" Freddy says they just do, and then mentions going to meet his friends Sylvester and Hobbes.
  • Super Sentai:
    • Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan, being the first animal-themed Sentai team, had the main heroes and their civilian counterparts named after animals. Ryūsuke Ōwashi became Vul Eagle, Kin'ya Samejima became Vul Shark and Asao Hyō became Vul Panther. Halfway through the series, Ōwashi was replaced by Takayuki Hiba (whose family name means "flying feather").
    • Similarly, Dengeki Sentai Changeman used codenames based on mythical creatures for the heroes (Change Dragon, Griffon, Pegasus, Mermaid and Phoenix), while their full civilian names were somehow related to their Changeman alter-egos (see article for full details).
    • Choujuu Sentai Liveman and Choujin Sentai Jetman both used a codename system where the color of each ranger's suit was the head word and their animal motif as the tail word. Curiously, Liveman's red ranger (Red Falcon) was avian-based just like all the members of Jetman, often leading to some confusion between him and Red Hawk.
    • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger and Gosei Sentai Dairanger had the animal names as the head word and the word "Ranger" as the tail (i.e. Tyranno Ranger, Ryu Ranger, Mammoth Ranger, Shishi Ranger, ect.)
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger has this in spades with the heroes' real names corresponding to their totem animal: Kakeru Shishi (Lion), Gaku Washio (Eagle), Kai Samezu (Shark), Sotaro Ushigome (Cattle [he had the bison]), and in each of these cases the kanji for the animal's name was the same as it was written in their name. Sae Taiga (for tiger) and Tsukumaro Oogami (ookami being "wolf") are the only stretches.
    • The main antagonists of Juken Sentai Gekiranger have animal-related names based on their martial art style: Rio (Leo) the Lion Fist, Mele the Chameleon Fist, and Long ("Dragon" in Chinese, as in Shenlong) the Dragon Fist.
    • Most characters in Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger have insect-related names. Humans tend to be named after insects related to their kingdom's Shugod, while Kaijim are generally named after the insect they're based on.

  • Gryphon is named for the mythical bird/lion hybird.
  • Referenced by the name of the band Mechanical Animal, which consists of Dan Fox, Eden Swan and Jaque Rabbit.


  • While American sports teams named after animals are common, a few combine if unintentionally: Chicago's football and baseball teams are Bears and Cubsnote , and Atlanta has two Noble Bird of Prey teams (Falcons and Hawks)note . The American Hockey League has two teams whose animals correlate to the associated major league franchise, the San Jose Barracuda with the San Jose Sharks, and the Tucson Roadrunners with the Arizona Coyotes.
  • Several of Argentina's national sports teams are named after great felines. Los Pumas (the pumas; Rugby Union) kickstarted this, and they were eventually followed by Las Leonas (the lionesses; women's field hockey), Las Panteras (the panthers; women's volleyball), Los Leones (the lions; men's field hockey), and the loosely-related La Garra (the paw; women's handball); the men's volleyball team was to be nicknamed Los Chitas (the cheetahs) but it was dropped, while the Rugby Union B Team used to be named Los Jaguares (the jaguars, which is what is actually depicted in Los Pumas's crest) before being renamed to Argentina XV, and it is now the name of the argentine's franchise team in the Super Rugby tournament. The only national sport team that has an animal-themed nickname that is not about a great cat is Los Murciélagos (the bats; blind men's soccer).
  • Australia's national sports teams are often named after Australian Wildlife, particularly kangaroos (if not, they'll probably use Rock Theme Naming).

Kangaroos and Wallabies

  • Kangaroos: Rugby League
  • Wallabies: Rugby Union
  • Socceroos: Men's soccer
  • Matildas (slang term for a female kangaroo): Women's soccer
  • Joeys (a young marsupial, usually referring to a kangaroo): Under-17 boys' soccer
  • Hockeyroos: Women's (field) hockey
  • Mighty Roos: Men's ice hockey
  • Boomers (term for a male kangaroo): Men's basketball
  • Wallaroos (umbrella term for kangaroos and related species): Women's rugby union

Other Australian Wildlife

  • Kookaburras: Men's (field) hockey
  • Sharks: Men's water polo
  • Stingers: Women's water polo

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: This trope is literally everywhere in the game, starting with three of the original sixteen mechs being named the Wasp, Phoenix Hawk, and Shadow Hawk and just going from there. Once the Clans were introduced (which were themselves given animal themed naming in the form of Wolf, Jade Falcon, Ghost Bear, Smoke Jaguar, etc) things got even more animal-themed, as they tried to give animal names to nearly all their mechs matching their totem animal (Smoke Jaguars used cats, Jade Falcons used birds of prey, and so on).
  • In Warhammer 40,000, nearly every army has these to some extent:
    • Space Marine Rhino transports (and its weaponized counterpart, the Razorback).
    • The Imperial Guard's Hellhound flamethrower tank (and the Devil Dog and Banewolf variants), and Vulture gunships.
    • Eldar Falcon, Wave Serpent, Scorpion, Cobra and Vyper Hover Tanks.
    • Eldar Aspect Warriors: Fire Dragon, Striking Scorpion, Swooping Hawk, Warp Spider.
    • Dark Eldar Raven and Void Dragon fighters.
    • Tau vehicles use the names of Earth fish (though whether the Tau actually use those names or if they're just the Imperial callsigns for them is unclear): Devilfish (Awesome Personnel Carrier), Skyray Missile Gunship, Hammerhead Gunship, Orca, Manta, Piranha, Tetra, Barracuda, Tiger Shark, Remora...
    • In the Forges of Mars trilogy, the Titans of the Legio Sirius are named after mythological wolves like the Amarok or the Lupa Capitalina.
    • Most of Leman Russ' forces have wolf-themed names, whether individually or on a Legion level - the Vlka Fenrika, Lord Wolf, King Wolf, etc.
  • Dungeons & Dragons, at least in its 3rd edition, has the boosting spell for each of its six Ability Scores named after an animal — Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Bear's Endurance, Fox's Cunning, Owl's Wisdom, Eagle's Splendor. The unofficial Book of Erotic Fantasy adds a seventh stat and the corresponding spell, Peacock's Beauty.

  • Volpone: This one is Older Than Steam (at least), as Ben Jonson used it in his 1607 play, in which wealthy trickster Volpone (fox) and his double-crossing servant Mosca (fly) attempt an involved con game on the lawyer Voltore (vulture), the decrepit Corbaccio (raven), and the thuggish Corvino (crow).
  • Mrs. Hawking play series: Many characters of significance have bird-themed last names: the Hawking family, Arthur Swann, Clara's maiden name of Partridge.

    Video Games 
  • In Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception, the Aurelian Air Force squadrons seen in-game are named after bird genera.
  • Alnam no Kiba: The 12 main characters all have kanji readings for animals from the Eastern Zodiac as part of their name. Specifically, their names are each derived from the animal they transform into.
  • Assassin's Creed has a long-standing association between its heroes and birds. Altaïr from Assassin's Creed is named "the eagle" but in Arabic. His descendant Ezio is also named "eagle", in Italian via Ancient Greek. Nikolai Orelov from the comic continues this trend: "Orelov" is Czech for "the eagle's son." In Assassin's Creed III, Connor comes to captain a ship named the Aquila, another word for "hawk". In Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Connor's grandfather Edward captains a ship called the Jackdaw. As in the Aesop fable, "The Eagle and the Jackdaw", Edward is a common criminal (jackdaw) who pretends to be an Assassin (eagle).
    • "La Volpe" from the second game is named for the fox, while Il Lupo "The Prowler" takes his (code)name from the wolf.
    • Another, French-language comic has three motifs: eagles (Altair, Ezion, Accipiter and Hawk) must be wary of vultures (Vultur and Greir) and recieve help from crows (other characters named Cuervo and Crow).
  • In Azure Striker Gunvolt, the names of Gunvolt's guns are all serpent-themed in some form or another, with one exception.
    • Orochi, Naga, Mizuchi, and Vasuki all refer to mythological serpents with varying numbers of heads. They can tag eight, five, one, and four enemies respectively.
    • Cerberus was named after the three-headed hellhound from Greek mythology. It can tag three enemies. While the Cerberus is a canine, it's sometime depicted with a serpent's tail and a mane of snakes, which admittedly stretches the serpent theme a bit. In the Japanese version the gun was actually named after Ghidorah, Toho's three-headed giant dragon best known for being one of Godzilla's recurring foes.
    • Technos is a reference to the defunct game company best known for Double Dragon.note  It can tag two enemies.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: The drones used by the Arkham Knight are all named after reptiles of some kind: venomous snakes for the tanks (Rattler, Mamba, Diamondback, King Cobra) and mythological creatures for the aerial drones (Dragon, Serpent).
  • In beatmania IIDX, DJ Troopers had animal names for the songs in its second set of boss songs, complete with Humongous Mecha in the video (Kraken/Eagle/Lion/Scorpion/Humanoid).
  • Bravely Default 2: All of the named members of Savalon's government other than the Royal family have names connected to animals: Dromed (camel), Bernard (bear), Cygnus (swan), Lupus (wolf), Draco (dragon), Leo (lion) and Delphinus (dolphin).
  • In Code 7, most of the EIU agents you meet are named after animals: Bear, Coyote, Lion, Rabbit and Raven.
  • Cube Colossus: The missiles are named after birds: MS-LM "Eagle", MSM-TG "Swallows", MSD-TG "Falcon", except Odd Name Out MSM-X "Fafnir".
  • Dankira!!! -Boys, be DANCING!-: TOXIC team dancers are named after poisonous animals: Shiki Janome (snake), Ageha Kurenai (swallowtail butterfly) and Tsukumo Busujima (spider).
  • Einhänder has almost every single Mook named after an animal... in German, no less. The bosses and minibosses share some traits of the animal they're named after- for example, Greif (griffin) is a robot with a hover ship instead of legs, similar to the griffin being part lion and part eagle, Garnele (shrimp) resembles a cross between a shrimp and a motorbike, while Gecko is a Spider Tank that travels on walls and ceilings.
  • In EVE Online, Caldari frigates, destroyers, and cruisers are generally named after birds, (e.g. Cormorant, Blackbird).
  • Most machines in F-Zero are named after animals. The few that aren't tend to be named after animal appendages ("Deep Claw", "Big Fang"), weather phenomena ("Night Thunder", "Mighty Typhoon/Hurricane"), celestial bodies ("King/Queen Meteor", "Great Star") or just plain objects ("Death Anchor").
  • Conway's Game of Life has numerous examples of spaceships named after animals, including but not limited to wasp, turtle, swan, spider, dragon, seal, lobster, copperhead, caterpillar, shield bug, waterbear, silverfish, and centipede.
  • In the Halo games, most of the UNSC's vehicles are named after animals: the Scorpion tank, Mongoose ATV, Warthog LRV, Elephant troop transport, Hornet VTOL and Pelican dropship, just to name a few. Further, atmospheric flying vehicles are named after flying animals (appropriately).
  • La Corda d'Oro Starlight Orchestra:
    • Takagamine High characters, with Gen'ichirō Washigami (eagle), Ukiha Mikado (close to the name of a species of butterfly), and Taiga Dōmoto (tiger). Ukiha's father Izumi also appears to be named after a species of rodent.
    • Lazarus Academy characters are named after fish, and the band they form is also Neon Fish. We have Hajime Sasazuka (bamboo gall, called "bamboo fish" in Japanese) and Ryōsuke Nishina (Thai Chinese name for tilapia).
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • A number of Skyloft's citizens in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword have bird-inspired names. Pipit and Piper are two species of birds. Fledge is a term meaning a young bird. Groose and Orielle are similar to "Grouse"/"Goose" and "Oriole". Instructor Owlan's name, obviously, has "Owl" in it, and Sparrot and Parrow could swap the last letters in their names to make "Parrot" and "Sparrow".
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Zora King Dorephan's name resembles the word "dolphin." Among the Rito, there are Kass, whose name evokes "cassowary," and Teba, whose name means "chicken" in Japanese.
  • La Résistance members of Mega Man Zero are almost all named after birds, in French. The Rebel Leader who named them, Ciel, means "sky", also in French.
  • Metal Gear series:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, members of FOXHOUND are named after animals.
    • All mercenaries in "Militaires Sans Frontieres" and "Diamond Dogs" have animal codenames. MSF soldiers are called just by the animal, Diamond Dogs soldiers have an another word in front of the animal. For example: "Alligator" for MSF, "Blazing Shark" for Diamond Dogs.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4, The Beauty and the Beast unit takes this trope one step further, combining the animal names of FOXHOUND and the emotions of the Cobra Unit (for example, combining Vulcan Raven and The Fury to make Raging Raven.) Incidentally, they also have the weapons of Dead Cell, but that doesn't affect the naming.
  • In Nectaris, most units that aren't foot soldiers are named after animals, e.g. Panther, Bison, Rabbit, Octopus, Eagle, Mule.
  • Crow from Nefarious.
  • The eponymous heroes from Ninja Commando are respectively called Ryu Eagle, Joe Tiger and Rayar Dragon.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer: Slightly lampshaded when your character meets Efram the Stag and Susah the Crow, part of a five-person group of siblings known as "The Menagerie," who ask for your help in finding their sister, Kaelyn the Dove. You have the option of asking "'The Dove?' Are you all named after animals?" when they tell you this.
  • Punch-Out!!: The Major Circuit opponents in the NES version of included King Hippo, Great Tiger, and Bald Bull. Also included is Don Flamenco, which sounds sort of like "Don Flamingo".
  • Combined with Meaningful Name: In Return Of The Obra Dinn, we have Topman Leonid Volkov, whose first name is a Russian term for "lion-like", meaning that he has pride and is on the prowl, like a lion. His last name, Volkov, is derived from "volk", which is the Russian word for "wolf". And you can tell that this wolf is going wild.
  • In Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, most of the towns are named after various canine breeds, with a couple being feline.
  • Each of the Empire's Generals in Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido are named after animals, and the people who work for them follow their naming scheme too: Kodiak and his group are named after bears, Ausprey and his group are named after birds of prey and scavenging birds, Purrsilla and her group are named after felines, and Tiburon and his group are named after sharks.
  • Fighter models in Tachyon The Fring} not used exclusively by either GalSpan or the Bora tend to be named after predatory fish (e.g. Mako, Piranha). Might be an oblique nod to Space Is an Ocean.
  • Tales of Hearts: Hisui's artes all have a kanji for "bird" in them, e.g. "荒鷹, Arataka "Wild Eagle" or 斬燕、Kiritsubame, "Slashing Swallow".
  • Most of the light Axon vehicles in Unreal Tournament 2004 and Unreal Tournament III are named after animals; the others either have Biblical or punny names.
  • Warframe: Most of the Corpus Mecha-Mooks are named after animals: Moa, Osprey, Jackal, Hyena, Raptor.
  • As befitting of his serpentine nature, Orochi from Warriors Orochi names his demonic generals after breeds of snakes (Copperhead, Diamondback, etc.)
  • Boron, Split, and Teladi ships in the X-Universe games all follow their own version of Animal naming. Boron use sea creatures (Ray, Orca, Barracuda), Split use aggressive animals (Caiman, Mamba, Raptor), and the Teladi use birds (Falcon, Condor, Shrike).
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: Rings that protect against multiple status effects are named after snakes; the best one is the Ouroboros Ring, blocking everything but Instant Death and Stun.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • From hololive, we have three members of the Hololive GAMERS group: Korone Inugami ("dog god"), Okayu Nekomata (named after a cat-themed youkai), and Mio Ookami ("wolf"). Other members include Pekora Usada ("rabbit field"), Botan Shishiro ("white lion") of NePoLaBo (formerly HoloFive), Lui Takane ("hawk ridge") of Secret Society HoloX, Reine Pavolia (from pavo, meaning "peafowl") of Hololive Indonesia 2nd Generation.
  • 774 inc. has all five members of the Sugar Lyric group: Chris Shishio ("lion king"), Rene Ryugasaki ("dragon's fang point"), Anna Kojo (tiger castle), May Oinomori ("wolf forest"), and Tier Hebiyoi (snake eve).
  • RWBY: Qrow and his sister Raven have the bird names pegged down. Their surname, "Branwen", also fittingly means "a blessed white raven/crow" in Welsh.

  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: The Namekian/Snail themes continue with (Es)Cargot, Lumaca (Italian for "slug"), and Gast Carcolh (the former name brings to mind "gastropod", the latter a French mollusk beast).
  • The three young boys who hang out at Salty Cracker Comics in El Goonish Shive. The main one was eventually named as Duck because of his baseball cap, and his friends were much later named as Drake and Bill. There's also Catalina Bobcat and a catgirl-obsessed minor character called Kitty.
  • Genocide Man: The five titular Super Soldiers took on new surnames to protect their civilian friends and families when they founded the Genocide Project — Jacob Doe, Peter Pup, Kevin Kidd, Lola Lamb, and Joey. Any connotations of innocence are coincidental at best and night-dark Gallows Humor at worst.
  • The missions (and thus plot arcs) in Sturgeon's Law have seemingly random names of the form Adjective Animal: Falling Penguin, Luminous Ocelot, etc.

    Web Original 
  • In Dino Attack RPG, most Dino Attack agents have dinosaur (or, at least, reptile)-based nicknames.
  • All of the pirate factions on the Pirates SMP are named after birds — the Herons, the Kestrels, the Kites, and the Nightingales. The Odd Name Out is a non-Isles faction named the Sabertooth clan, which is named after a mammal instead.
  • Rabbit: Rabbit's job requires code names on account of its illegal nature. Rabbit's own is appropriate, as he spends his time hopping from task to task, doing things "a Taskrabbit wouldn’t do." The only other person doing the same job as Rabbit who appears onscreen goes by "Toad."

    Western Animation 
  • El Tigre has the eponymous character, his father, White Pantera (panther), and grandfather Puma Loco. Their past generations have included people such as Dark Leapord, Golden Leon (lion), Mighty Cheetar, and Justice Jaguar. On the villains side we have the Flock: Lady Gobbler, Vultura, and Black Cuervo (raven).
  • The Pack in Gargoyles had names after wild canines: Fox, Wolf, Jackal, Dingo, Coyote, and Hyena (OK, a hyena isn't actually a canine, but they look and behave similarly). The London Clan, who all look like animals, tend to be named after the animal they most resemble (Leo is a lion, Una is a unicorn, and Griff is a Griffin). Exceptions to the rule are Coco (short for Constance), Lunette and Pog. Could be some of the clan elders like virtue names and names from myth and legend.
  • In Gay Purr-ee, several character and place names—not to mention the title of the film itself—are plays on cat-related concepts, especially the noises cats make: Musette becomes "Mewsette", Maurice becomes "Meowrice", Moulin Rouge becomes "Mewlon Rouge", etc.
  • The Stingers from Jem are a band with a bee theme. They dress in black and yellow, and they're all blonds, though their Stage Names aren't bee related.
  • In Thunder Cats 2011, overlaps with A Dog Named "Dog" due to an abundance of Beast Folk. Catfolk Lion-O, Cheetara, Tygra, Jaga, Panthro, Lynx-O, Leo and Panthera all look as one would expect, as do WilyKat and WilyKit, Fishman Captain Koinelius Tunar and Chameleon Khamai.

    Real Life 
  • The military is fond of this for their vehicles, most notably the US Air force (note however that they don't always match the "type" of vehicle). Examples being the F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-18 Hornet/Super Hornet, F-22 Raptor, F-117 Nighthawk, Sr-71 Blackbird, etc. An example of "does not match the type" is the A-10 close air support jet (officially "Thunderbolt", but more commonly called "Warthog"). They often match when sorted by type or manufacturer. For example, Grumman fighters were named after cats — the Wildcat, Hellcat, Bearcat, and Tomcat for example. Israel Aircraft Industries name their fighters with variant words for cat: Lavi (Lion), Kfir (Lion Cub), and Nammer (Tiger/Leopard).
  • The United States Navy used to name submarines after sea animals (USS Archerfish, for instance, sank the Japanese carrier Shinano).
    • The trend of naming US submarines for fish or other sea animals was ended with USS Cavalla, launched in 1972 and decommissioned in 1998. (Unless you consider US Navy Admiral Hyman G. Rickover a "sea animal"; a submarine named after him is currently under construction.) Currently active US submarines are nearly all named after US cities or states. The old theme was briefly resumed with USS Seawolf (named for the wolffish, although the ship's official badge instead depicts a wolf swimming in the sea), launched in 1989. But it was discarded again immediately after, with her sister ships being named USS Connecticut and USS Jimmy Carter, and the following Virginia class are mostly named for states (though with a total of 66 planned and only 50 states, that'll obviously have to change).
  • The Imperial Japanese Navy named aircraft carriers after auspicious flying creatures, both real and mythological. Some of those names are now being reused by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for submarines; the Souryuu class are all named for dragons.
  • From 2001 to 2012, Apple nicknamed versions of the OS X operating system after big cats.
  • Animation companies Hammerhead Production, Titmouse and WETA are all named after the Hammerhead Shark, Tufted Titmouse and Weta, respectively.
  • Most Razer products are named after predatory or venomous animals, ranging from snakes (mice), insects (mouse mats), arachnids (keyboards), over marine creatures (audio) to felines (console peripherals). Their laptops, on the other hand, named after bladed objects instead.
  • Adolf Hitler seemed to have some sort of affinity for wolves, possibly because his own name is derived from the Old Germanic Athalwolf ("noble wolf"). The majority of his official residences/bunkers were named after wolves, most notably the Wolf's Lair in East Prussia. He used "wolf" as a personal nickname in his early days. And when he financially supported his sister Paula after he became Chancellor, he requested that she live under the assumed name "Paula Wolff".
  • Ubuntu Linux uses an [adjective] [animal] scheme that follows the alphabet, e.g. Utopic Unicorn, Wily Werewolfnote .
  • Fairey torpedo and dive bombers were named after fish (Albacore, Barracuda, and Swordfish).
  • Beginning with the F4F Wildcat, Grumman fighters contained "cat" in the name: F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, F7F Tigercat, F8F Bearcat, and F-14 Tomcatnote . Beginning with the F9F Panther, the feline trend continued with the F9F-6 Cougar, XF10F Jaguar, F-11 Tiger. The one exception was the XF5F Skyrocket.
  • Grumman's flying boats and float planes were named for waterfowl: JF Duck, J2F Duck, G-21 Goose G-44 Widgeon, G-73 Mallard, Hu-16 and Albatross. Again, a sole exception existed with the G-65 Tadpole.
  • Most Lamborghini vehicles note  are all named after either individual or breeds of Spanish fighting bulls (with the Urus being named after the ancestor of domestic cattle).
  • W Motors vehicles note  both have names relating to wolves.
  • The London & North Eastern Railway had multiple variants of this:
    • The majority of their Gresley A1 and A3 steam locomotives were named after racehorses from the era.
    • Sir Nigel Gresley, who designed the A1/A3, was an avid birdwatcher. As a result, many of the A4 locomotives he designed were named after birds. Hence the world's fastest steam locomotive, Mallard, being named after a type of duck.
    • Edward Thompson, who succeeded Gresley, named some of his B1 engines after antelope species.
    • Then, Arthur Peppercorn, who came after Thompson, named some of his A1 and A2 locomotives after either birds or racehorses a la Gresley.
    • And finally, in the British Rail days, the racehorse trend was briefly revived for some of the Class 55 "Deltic" diesels, which replaced the A3s and A4s on former LNER turf.
  • Pedestrian crossings in the UK include, in addition to Zebra crossings, Pelican crossings (Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossing), the classic ones with the red and green men flashing opposite; Puffin crossings (Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent Crossing), which have the red and green men on the same pole as the crossing button, and have more sophisticated sensor systems; Toucan crossings (the ones with bike symbols, because "two can" cross there); and Pegasus crossings (the ones with horse symbols, because horses).
  • Penguin Books' children's imprint is Puffin Books. Their non-fiction imprint is Pelican Books. The US branch also has an SF&F imprint called Roc (which also briefly existed in the UK in the nineties) and an "edgy" YA imprint called Razorbill. (There's also Bantam Books, but that's a coincidence; they picked that imprint up when they bought Transworld.)