Category: day names
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 (and, from your baby’s point of view, into life!) Here, some names that summon the season:
SUMMER — As a seasonal name, Summer may not be your top choice. It’s feeling a tad shopworn after coming close to cracking the Top 100 in 1977; it’s been above number 200 for the past fifteen years. Autumn is more popular but Winter is cooler.
Summer also has three excellent months names that include several usable variations. These are:
If poets and songwriters can draw inspiration from springtime, why not baby namers? The fresh, green, uplifting season offers plenty of ideas. There are the names of the season itself and its months, for starters:
SPRING – The mid-century actress Spring Byington, who played the grandma on a television show of my youth, was one of my early influences in the world of baby naming. I’d never heard of anybody named Spring, but the whole idea was intriguing. If you could name a baby Spring, why not….well, just about anything else? Still an unusual, sprightly choice, and a lot more acceptable now than it was in the 1960s.
MARCH, APRIL, and MAY – May (or Mae, or Mai for that matter) is definitely the most fashionable of these choices, lovely as a first name or a middle. March is the only one of the three that might work for boys, and makes an adventurous first for girls. April (or Avril or Abril) feels a bit tired.
Original names from around the world that mean spring:
BAHAAR – Hindi, for girls
CAROUN – Armenian, for girls
CERELIA – of Latin origin, for girls
GEN – Japanese girls’ choice
HARUKI – Japanese for boys; Haruki Murakami is a wonderful novelist
JAREK – Slavic boys name that can stand alone or be a diminutive for any name that starts with Jar-
KELDA – Girls’ name with Norse origins
PRIMAVERA – Italian, for girls
RABIAH – Arabic girls’ name
VASANT – Sanskrit boys’ name
VERNA — another Latin girls’ choice.
Another possibility for a spring baby is names that mean new:
NAVIN – A Hindi name for boy
NEO – The name of Keanu Reeves’ Matrix character is used for boys and girl
NEVILLE – Stuffy French boys’ name jazzed up by Neville Brothers
NEWLAND or NEWLYN – Boys’ name Newland is most famous as the protagonist of Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence; Newlyn is a forward-looking girls’ version
NOUVEL – Shiloh Pitt’s middle name, for a French architect, can work for girls or boys
SIGNE or SIGNY – This Scandinavian girls’ name means “new victory”
XAVIER et al – This newly-hip Basque name meaning “new house” is Javier in Spanish and, for girls, Xaviera or Javiera.
ZELENKA – Czech girls’ name that means fresh and innocent
Green is another inspiration for spring baby names. Among the names that mean or connote green, most for girls:
BERYL – Old-fashioned pale green gemstone name that’s beginning to enjoy some fresh life itself. Berilo is the attractive Spanish male version.
CHLOE – Name meaning “young green shoot” that’s tops throughout the UK and Europe and is rising in the US as well.
EMERALD – Ultimate green gem name
JADE – Stylish and edgy choice that hasn’t really lost its gleam
MIDORI – The name of both a Japanese violinist and a green liqueur
PERIDOT – Another green gem name, for the adventurous
PHYLLIDA or PHYLLIS – Names that mean “green bough,” with Phyllida way out in front in the style race.
VERDE or VERDI – Could work for either boys or girls
Easter is a wonderful time of year to have a baby, and an inspirational holiday for names. If you’re due right about now, here are some name directions you might consider:
NAMES OF THE HOLIDAY
PARASHA – A Russian girls’ name that means “born on Good Friday.”
PASCAL etc. – There are many attractive versions of this name. The French Pascal, for boys, and Pascale for girls is especially appealing. The Spanish versions are Pascual and Pascuala; Italian is Pasquale.
NAMES OF EASTER PERSONAGES
Mary MAGDALENE – The prime female figure in the Easter story, she witnessed the crucifixion, accompanied his body to the tomb, and later with the other women discovered the Resurrection. A saint, she is a symbol of penitence. Her name means “from Magdala.”
SALOME – One of the women at the tomb.
EASTER-RELATED BOTANICAL NAMES
BIRCH – In Scandinavia, people attach brightly-colored feathers to birch branches in vases.
LILY – We’ve said a lot about Lily and her sisters recently, but this is the flower name most closely associated with Easter. Its many lovely variations include LILIANA and LILIA. DAFFODIL, TULIP and HYACINTH are also in bloom during the Easter season.
EASTER ANIMAL NAMES
BUTTERFLY NAMES – The butterfly is a symbol of rebirth and Easter, and gives flight to many attractive names. KIMANA is a Native American name meaning butterfly, and MARIPOSA is a Romantic Spanish butterfly name. VANESSA was invented by author Jonathan Swift but is also a species of butterfly. And of course BUTTERFLY itself is also a name, perhaps more appealing in its internations versions: PAPILLON in French, BABOCHKA in Russian, or FARASHA in Arabic.
NAMES THAT MEAN REBIRTH
ANASTASIA and ANASTASIOS – Appealing and underused names that mean “resurrection.”
OSIRIS – Egyptian god-king who died and was reborn every year.
Many parents — more and more, it seems — wait until the baby arrives to settle on a name. Some want to see what it looks like and try to gauge its incipient personality (not always easy), and some want to tie it into the circumstances of the baby’s birth–a practice seen in a number of earlier cultures. This could be the season of arrival–Summer or Autumn–or the month, as in June or January, or the day of the week, as in Sunday Rose Kidman Urban (actually born on a Monday).
Another option is commemorating the time of day or night of the baby’s arrival. There are any number of names associated with sun and moon gods and goddesses, as well as names whose meanings refer to day and night, stars, dawn, sun and moon, in both western and eastern cultures. Some of them worth considering are:
ADOUR — African, meaning born at dawn
ALBA –means dawn in Italian and Spanish
ALTAN — Turkish, meaning dawn
ANATOLE — French, meaning dawn
APOLLO –Greek sun god
AROON — Thai, meaning dawn
ASA –Japanese, born at dawn (in Hebrew it means healer)
AURORA –Roman goddess of dawn
CYMBELINE — Celtic, meaning sun lord
CYRUS –Persian, meaning sun
DAG/DAGMAR/DAGNY — Scandinavian, meaning day
DANICA — Slavic, meaning morning star
DIA/DIAZ –Italian and Spanish for day
ELIANA/ELIANE — in Greek, daughter of the sun (in Hebrew, God has answered)
ELIO/HELIO/HELIOS–related to the Greek sun god
EOS — Greek goddess of dawn
IOLA –Greek, meaning violet-covered dawn
ISHAAN –Hindu sun god
KALINDA –Hindi, meaning the sun
LARK — the bird that sings at dawn
MATIN — morning in French
MATUTA — Spanish, goddess of the morning
NURU — Swahili, meaning born in daylight
ORIANA — like Aurora, means sunrise
PHOEBUS — another name for the sun god Apollo
RA –Egyptian sun god
RAVI — Hindu god of the sun
ROXANNE/ROXANA — Persian, meaning dawn
SAVITA — Hindi, meaning sun (among other meanings)
SABAH/SAHAR — Arabic, meaning morning
SAMSON — Hebrew, meaning sun
SHAHAR, Hebrew, meaning morning
SIRIA/SURYA –Hindi, meaning the sun (also the name of a sun god)
SOL/SOLANA –meaning the sun
SOLEIL — sun in French
SULIEN –Welsh, meaning sun
TALI — Hebrew, meaning dew
TARANA — meaning born during the day in (Hausa) African (also music in Persian)
THEA — Greek goddess of light and mother of the sun
ZARIA/ZARYA — Slavic, meaning morning star
ZORA– Slavic name meaning dawn
ZORAN –Serbian, meaning light of dawn
AJAMBO –African, meaning born in the evening
ALTAIR –the brightest star in the constellation Aquila
ANDROMEDA — a constellation
ANNIKKI — Finnish nighttime goddess
AQUILA — a constellation
ARTEMIS –Greek moon goddess
ASTA/ASTRA — meaning star
BADAR — Arabic, meaning full moon
CHANDRA — Indian moon god
CYNTHIA — Greek, related to moon goddess Artemis
DELIA — another epithet of Greek moon goddess Aretemis
DEVA — Hindu moon goddess
DIANA — Roman goddess of the moon
DIMAS — Greek, meaning sunset
ESTELLE/ESTELLA/ESTRELLA –meaning star
ESTHER — Persian, meaning star
ETOILE — French word for star
HOSHI — Japanese, meaning star
ISIS — Egyptian goddess of the sky
IZAR –means star in Basque
KAMARIA –Swahili, meaning beauty of the moon
KOKO — Native American (Blackfoot), meaning night
LAILA/LEILA//LEYA/LILA –all relate to night in Arabic
LILITH — night monster (uh-oh) in Jewish folklore
LIVANA — Hebrew, means lunar (or white)
LUNA — Italian for moon
MOON (as in Zappa)
NEOMA — Greek, meaning new moon
NISHA — Hindi, meaning night
NOVA — A star that shines very brightly (also means new and is the name of a PBS science show)
NYX — Greek, means night; name of the Greek goddess of the night
PHOEBE — another epithet for Greek moon goddess Artemis
QAMAR –Arabic, meaning moon
RAJANI — Hindi, meaning night
RAKA — Hindi, meaning full moon
RHIANNON — Welsh goddess of the moon
SELENE/SELENA — Greek goddess of the moon
SIDRA — means of the stars in Latin
STELLA — Latin for star
VEGA — falling star in Arabic
Guest blogger Elisabeth Wilborn of You Can’t Call It “It”, a writer, artist, and mother who lives in Brooklyn, New York, brings us this look at the jambalaya of names native to the Louisiana Bayou.An inspiration for everything from vampires to voodoo, from zydeco to the Krewe of Zulu, Louisiana has been a colorful melting pot of divergent cultures for centuries. Cajuns from Canada, Creoles and others of Haitian, African, Italian, Spanish, or Native American descent, all come together to form a mélange of backgrounds, and in point of fact, names. Most share a history of French language and Catholicism, even if it’s not by blood. While these may not be the choices in use today in the Bayou, they have been culled from historical documents, maps, and folklore from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. The majority are either French proper, or my favorite, Frenchified. Still more trace their roots to Classical Greco-Roman civilization, deep Southern culture, or are somewhere farther afield and include a curious preponderance of the letter Z.
So come on! Allez-y! Chew on these names (and some maque choux), prepare to bare all for those beads, and laissez les bon temps roulez!
Acadia- The word Cajun itself has its origins in Acadian
Dixie- Used to refer to the South at large, this may have originated in New Orleans on the ten dollar bill, upon which a local bank printed “dix”, the French for ten.
Tammany- Parish north of New Orleans
Beau, Beauregard- Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was the most famous Civil War soldier from New Orleans and fought in the Battle of Shiloh; his ghost is said to roam the streets of New Orleans whispering “Shiloh“, which means “place of peace”