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Autumn Names: A cornucopia of colorful choices

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Since the Fall season is officially upon us, it’s time once again for an update of our annual round-up of crisp Autumn names–those appellations which refer to the season directly and those that are more subtle references.

Autumn — Autumn is ironically the hottest season name once again this year, the only one in the Top 100 where it’s maintained its status for over a decade now.  The name Autumn first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 1969, inspired by the hippie nature names and word names.  While it’s still attractive, however, it’s hardly fresh. (Note: Winter is also in the air—though it hasn’t yet made the list, we’re seeing more and more interest in it as a name.)

Names from other cultures that provide a newer route to Autumn include the Japanese girls’ names Aki and Akiko, the Turkish girls’ name Hazan, the Vietnamese Thu, and, in Chinese, Qiu for either girls or boys.

Fall month names are not quite as usable as those of the other seasons.

September – Why are MarchMayJuneAugust and even January hot while September (along with OctoberNovember, and December) is not?  Maybe there’s something chilly about that “ber” ending.  Still, this has an attractive sound and is certainly unusual.  The Latin Septimus, which means “seventh son,” sounds a bit Harry Potter and is perhaps too redolent of things septic.  But Seven, as recently chosen as the middle name of little Harper Beckham, might have some potential.

October – An equally unusual month name that gets an extra helping of cool from hipster writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, who chose it for their daughter.  Perhaps more attractive are the Latin pair Octavius and especially Octavia, both of which mean (as does October) “eighth.”  Other Octavius and Octavia variations you might  consider: Octavian, Octaviana, Octavienne, the Italian Ottavio or Ottavia, or the nicknames Tavy or Tavia.

November – Certainly as usable as September and October, which is to say, not very unless you’re extremely adventurous.

Nature names that summon up an image of fall include tree names, particularly:

Ash (any of the Ash names – AsherAshley, Ashling – relate)

Birch

Branch

Cedar

Forrest

Hazel

Juniper

Laurel

Leaf

Linden

Maplewhich recently aroused interest as the choice of Jason Bateman for his daughter.

Oak

Olive (and Oliver and Olivia)

Pine

Willow

The following may be a stretch, but other names that mean tree in a less obvious way include:

Adair – Scottish and Irish unisex name that relates to oak trees.

Cormac – This handsome Irish boys’ name means “tree trunk,” which is close enough.

Daphne – Classic name that means laurel tree.

Keziah – Beautiful Old Testament name that means cassia tree.

Lennox – A Scottish name that relates to the elm tree.

Nima – Middle Eastern favorite, also found as Neema and Neemah, which means margosa tree.

Perry – Boy’s name that works for girls too, and means “pear tree.”

Rowan – A unisex name that’s also the name of a tree with red berries and that means “little redhead.”  Related names include RowenaRhonwenRoan, and Rowney.

Fall’s brilliant colors might also provide baby-naming inspiration.

Names that mean red include:

Adam

Carmine

Crimson

Omaira

Radley

Rory

Ruby

Scarlett

If golden is the fall hue you prefer, try:

AureliaAurelioAurelius

Crisanta

Dory

FlaviaFlavieFlavius

Golda, Goldie

Marigold

Oriel or Orla

Tawny

Xanthe

Zarina

Even brown, fall’s ultimate color, relates to some appealing names:

Baize – A French girls’ name that means “dark brown”

Bruno or Bruna

Kiona – A Native American girls’ name that means “brown hills”

Roux – Unisex and pronounced “roo,” this might make a good middle name

Sorrell – Can be spelled with one or two r’s and l’s

Some other ideas?

Seasonal signs of the zodiac:

Libra

Scorpio

Fall birthstones:

Sapphire – September

Opal – October

Citrine, Topaz — November

Harvest goddesses:

Annona – Roman, personification of plenty

CeresRoman

Cerridwen – Welsh nature goddess

Demeter—Greek

Gaia – Greek goddess of the earth

Jeyriall—Santharian

Persephone—goddess of harvest and the underworld, daughter of Demeter

Rhea – Greek goddess of the earth

And one god-

Lugh—connected with a harvest festival

Other international names with autumnal meanings:

Ashoun – Armenian—autumn

Chyoh—Chinese –autumn

Jora/Jorah – Hebrew—autumn rain

Liqiu – Chinese — beautiful autumn

Do you have any other ideas for autumn names?

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