Zooey Deschanel explains daughter Elsie Otter's name

Zooey Deschanel is keeping her infant daughter out of the public eye, but that doesn't mean she won't gush about her on national television.

The "New Girl" star appeared on Thursday's "Ellen DeGeneres Show" and briefed the host on her mommy duties and daughter Elsie Otter, whom she welcomed with husband Jacob Pechenik in July.

Her "freaking cute" kiddo is about 7 months old now and is busy making "pterodactyl-kinda noises" and choking sounds that turn into laughs that still freak out her parents, the 36-year-old told DeGeneres.

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The first-time mom, who is about to celebrate her 100th "New Girl" episode, took six weeks off from filming to care for her newborn and had actress Megan Fox fill in for her on the Fox comedy. Those episodes are currently airing.

"It was so great to be able to be with my baby," Deschanel said.

As for Elsie's unique middle moniker, which DeGeneres quipped might be a family name, Deschanel said she and Pechenik decided to have a little fun.

"[It's a family name] in the sense that we're all mammals," the adorkable actress said with a  laugh. "Elsie is kind of a classic name ... and then we were like the middle name can be a little bit wild."

Like animal kingdom wild, which the host ribbed her about in the scope of oddly fantastic celebrity baby names.

"We both found that we had a mutual love for otters," Deschanel explained, adding that she liked the idea that few other children would share that middle name.

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When she revealed Elsie's full name back in October, the "Rock the Kasbah" star extolled the sea creatures' admirable characteristics: "They're sweet, and they're also smart," she said on the "Today" show. "They use tools, and they keep their favorite tools. They hold hands while they sleep. There's so many things about otters — they're wonderful."

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.

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