Category: birthstone names
A couple of momberries-to-be who are expecting Fall babies have written in to ask for some Autumn name suggestions, and so, as we come close to the official onset of the season, here is our annual, updated round-up of Autumn names.
AUTUMN — Autumn is ironically the hottest season name, 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.
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 March, May, June, August and even January hot while September (along with October, November, 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.
Today is the official start of summer—though for many of us the weather announced its arrival weeks ago. Summer is one of the nicest times of year to have a baby, the warm weather and slow pace making it that much easier to relax into new motherhood. Here is our annual round-up of names that summon the season:
June – June, a hip middle name du jour (Amanda Peet used it, for one), was out of favor for many years but now is back in a big way. The name, and the month, are derived from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and finances (great role model!) whose name got a big boost from the teenage heroine of the eponymous 2007 film. The related and obscure Junia is a New Testament name. Male versions include the Spanish Junot, popularized by Pulitzer winning writer Junot Diaz, and Junius, Latin for “born in June.”
July – Julius Caesar gave his name to this month, which has spawned many attractive first name variation. Julius itself is being dusted off by a new generation of parents. Julio is the attractive Spanish variation. For girls, Julia is one of the most enduring and appealing classics, fashionable now. The French Juliette or English Juliet has a tremendous amount of style and grace, along with Juliana. Sixties-style Julie is the only variation on the wane.
Back in the Gay Nineties–the 1890s, that is–there was a major craze for flower names, with Rose, Daisy and Lillie high on the popularity lists. Concurrent with that, there was a mini-fad for jewel names, as in Ruby, Pearl and Opal. Today, history does seem to be repeating itself. Not only are we seeing a name garden blooming with Roses, Lilys and Daisys, but also more exotic blossom names like Jasmine, Violet, Lilac, Poppy, Azalea, Lotus, Aster, and Zinnia. And there are signs of a jewel name revival as well, more colorful than the dated Crystal and Diamond: Ruby is a hot hipster name, Pearl was picked by SNLer Maya Rudolph, and Opal is the name of kid characters in several recent movies.
In the jewelry case, there’s a wide variety of both common (Coral, Amber) and unusual names. First, there are the modern birthstone names (others were used in the past), which could be tied to the baby’s birth month:
GARNET for January
AMETHYST for February
AQUAMARINE for March
DIAMOND for April
EMERALD for May
PEARL for June
RUBY for July
PERIDOT for August
SAPPHIRE for September
OPAL for October
TOPAZ (yellow) or CITRINE for November
TOPAZ (blue) or TURQUOISE for December
And here are some others that might be up for consideration:
GEUDA (pronounced gay-oo-la)
HYACINTH ( a flower AND a gem name)
IRIDOT (an old name for opal)
AMBRA (Italian for amber)
BIJOU (French for jewel)
BIYU (Chinese for jasper)
EMERAUDE (French for emerald)
ESME (Persian for emerald)
ESMERALDA (Spanish for emerald)
FAIRUZ/FAIRUZA (Arabic for turquoise)
GEMMA (Italian for gem)
GIADA (Italian for jade)
GRETEL (German for pearl)
GRIET (Dutch for pearl)
JUMANA (Arabic for pearl)
MARIT (Scandinavian for pearl)
PENINA (Henrew for pearl)
PERLA (Spanish and Italian for pearl)
PERLE (French for pearl)
PHAILIN (Thai for sapphire)
RURI (Japanese for emerald
SAPPHIRA (Greek for sapphire–in Hebrew it’s spelled with one ‘p’)
SHINJI (Japanese for pearl)
ULA (Celtic for gem of the sea)