The 36-year-old New Girl
star recently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
, airing Thursday, when she revealed how she came up with her 7-month-old daughter Elsie Otter's unique name.
"Otter, like the otter?" Ellen clarified, to which Zooey replied, "Animal, yeah."
"Is that a family name?" Ellen quipped.
"In the sense that we're all mammals," the actress joked back. "No, we thought Elsie is kind of a classic name. A lot of people have grandmas and aunts name Elsie."
Zooey admitted that she and her husband, producer Jacob Pechenik, then went "a little bit wild" with their daughter's middle name.
"I love animals so much," the actress explained. "And we love otters because they're so cute, and playful and fun. And they’re really smart."
"She's so cute," Zooey gushed. "She makes a lot of little, like, pterodactyl kind of noises -- like 'ahh, ooh, ahh.'
"And a noise that sounds like choking," she added. "She'll be, like, 'ah, ah, ah.' And I’ll be like, 'What’s wrong?' and she’ll be, like, 'ha, ha, ha!'"
... The joys of being a parent!
ET caught up with Zooey and her hubby last October at the New York City premiere of Rock the Kasbah
, where the couple talked about how life has changed
since welcoming their baby girl.
"It's sleepless, but wonderful," Zooey said.