Zooey Deschanel reveals why she named her daughter after an animal

Ainhoa Barcelona

When Zooey Deschanel welcomed her first baby with her husband Jacob Pechenik last year, it took the actress almost three months to reveal her little girl's name – Elsie Otter. In a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Zooey, 36, explained why she chose the unusual middle name.

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"Is that a family name?" joked Ellen.

"In the sense that we're all mammals," laughed Zooey, before saying: "No, we thought Elsie is kind of a classic name, a lot of people have grandmas and aunts name Elsie. And then we were like, the middle name can be a little bit... wild."

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Zooey Deschanel and her husband Jacob Pechenik named their daughter Elsie Otter

"I love animals so much," she added. "And we love otters because they're so cute, and playful, and fun. And they're really smart. We liked that otters had these particular attributes."

"Now your husband Jacob, did you both say at the same time, let's name an animal, one, two, three, otter?" asked Ellen.

"Yeah, yeah," laughed Zooey. "No we both found that we had a mutual love for otters. We went through different middle names, there were some more normal ones, but then I realised that no one else probably had the middle name Otter. Maybe, but unlikely, and it's cool, so why not?"

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"We love otters because they're so cute, and playful, and fun," said the actress

The New Girl star and her producer husband Jacob welcomed their first child, who Zooey described as "freaking cute", in July. The couple tied the knot in secret a few days before.

During the TV appearance, Zooey was given an adorable onesie for her daughter, that read "I'm new girl's new girl".

The 500 Days of Summer star is back at work filming the popular sitcom, after Megan Fox temporarily stepped in to play a new character while Zooey was on maternity leave.

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