Any minute now, June will be busting out all over—the summer solstice month of long days, of bridal parties and Father’s Day tributes. If you’re anticipating a June baby, why not consider one of the names that relate directly or slightly indirectly to the month of its birth? Here are some June names to ponder.
June—Too obvious for a June baby? Perhaps. Until recently, June was considered the quintessential fifties goody-goody girl name, as in June Cleaver– apronned mom of Beaver– and twinkly actress June Allyson (born Ella). But as those images have faded to sepia, June is sounding less saccharine and more modern. Balthazar Getty used it for his daughter in 2008, and Amanda Peet realized its middle-name potential when she named her daughter Molly June.
Junia –Junia is the name of a Roman woman who was an early convert to Christianity and in all probability the only female apostle in the New Testament, praised and complimented by the apostle Paul. A common name in ancient Rome, it also belonged to the first wife of the Emperor Caligula, Junia Claudilla, but is rarely heard today.
Junior—Once common as an independent given name and not just tacked onto the end of a dad’s, Junior was a Top 200 name from 1920 to 1936, and was still given to almost three hundred babies in 2011. Edgy British musician Peter Andre and model Katie Price have a son named Junior (and a daughter named Princess Tiaamii Andrea), suggesting that these days it might be bestowed with a sense of irony. The musician known as Junior Walker was christened Autry.
Juniper –A recent favorite of fashionable parents, the fragrant Juniper entered the Top 1000 this year for the first time. It’s got an appealing mix of assets, as a nature name via the fragrant shrub and its berries used to make gin, a biblical reference to its wood, a slight retro hippie edge via the Donovan song ‘Jennifer, Juniper,’ a few literary associations (eg. Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary)–as well as a bouncy, rhythmic sound.
Junius—Junius is the name of an ancient Roman family, derived from Juno. Fusty sounding now, Junius was actually in the Top 1000 until 1950, peaking at 345 in the 1890s. Though it means ‘born in June’, most contemporary parents would prefer Julius—if not Julian.
Juno is the name of the Roman queen of the gods, wife of Jupiter and mother of Mars and goddess of marriage and childhood, which was first brought to US attention via the 1924 Sean O’Casey play Juno and the Paycock. But it really popped here with the release of the popular eponymous indie film in 2007. With its energetic o-ending, this Roman goddess name has seemed more and more feasible as a modern baby name—Coldplay’s Will Champion used it for one of his twins.
Junot—This unusual name is associated with Junot Diaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican-American author of the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It is pronounced just like Juno—which could cause confusion.
Jun is a common name in both the Chinese and Japanese cultures.
The month of June has three birthstones, the moonstone, Alexandrite and Pearl, pointing to the possibilities of all the Alex+ names from Alexa to Alessandro, and to newly polished-up Pearl. June’s birth flower is the Rose, leading to a score of further options, including putting Rose back in first place after a decade of middle-spot stature.
From the dozens of saints’ feast days that fall in the Month of June, here are some of the most interesting:
Would you use a day, month or season-related name?