In the never-ending search for fresh green nature names, prospective parents have dug all around the flower garden, looked up at tree names and swum through a sea of water names.
One area of nature namesÂ that hasnât been explored as much is âdonât laughâfruit names.Â Maybe this was because there was so much (perhaps unfair) snickering when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their baby girl Apple, even though there wereÂ someÂ who likedÂ the fresh-faced, wholesome image it projected.
Weâre not suggesting that you call your baby Banana (the pen name of a noted Japanese novelist) or Prune (which happens to be really popular in France these days), but if you look beyond the common fruit names to some of their specific varieties and international variations, you might be surprised to find some interestingâand unusual– nature name choices.
ANJOUâThe Anjou is a type of sweet and juicy pear, which originated in Belgium but takes its name from a wine-growing province in the Loire valley with a rich history that includes such characters as Geoffrey the Handsome.Â As a name, Anjou has a charming Bijou-like feel, and might be seen as a cousin to Anjelica and Angelina.
BERRYâBerry has long been used as a unisex first name reaching a high of Number 435 in 1909 and staying in the Top 100 till 1971. It has one male and one female well-known namesakeâMotown founder Berry Gordy, Jr, and the late actress-photographer Berry Berenson (born Berinthia).
CERISEâA color name as well as the French word for cherry, which has itself had some popularity over the years, disappearing in the seventies along with Terry, Merry and Kerryâand also possibly because of the embarrassment it might cause a teenage girl bearing it.Â No such problems with Cerise.
CITRONâThe citron is a fragrant citrus fruitânot to be confused with the lemon which is called citron in French.Â Native to India, itâs used mainly for medicinal and religious purposes.Â Could conceivably be a unisex name.
CLEMENTINEâClementineâwhich is not always immediately identified as a fruit nameâis a Nameberry fave that has been in the public eye since first Cybill Shepherd and then Ethan Hawke and Claudia Schiffer all used it for their daughters.Â Itâs stylish and feminine and has long since shed its clunky âOh my darlinâ image.
CRISPINâIn addition to being a Golden Delicious-like apple, Crispin is a saintâs name (the patron of shoemakers) that has long been used as a name.Â It means curly-haired, and so would make an apt and appealing name for a baby boy fitting that description.
LEMONâBelieve it or not, Lemon was a fairly well used male name a century ago, and it still has some potential as a unisex name.Â When Alex Baldwinâs character on 30 Rock calls Tina Feyâs Liz by her last name Lemon, it makes it sound quite usable.
MIRABELLEâMirabelles are dainty little yellow plums, and the name Mirabelleâor Mirabelâis equally delicate and dainty.Â Often used in literature., Mirabelle was the main character in Steve Martinâs novella Shopgirl.
PLUMâThis is another juicy middle name possibility, and one that has already started to catch on.Â It was first associated with the British-born writer Plum Sykes, whose birth name is Victoria, the nickname arising from the Victoria plum species.
QUINCEâThe quince is a relative of both the apple and the pear and is one of the earliest known fruits.Â Though as a name it could be taken for a shortening of Quincy, thereâs no reason Quince couldnât stand on its ownâĂ la Vince.
In addition, many varieties of fruits are named for personages connected with them, and so become fruit-names-by-association.
Some of these are: