Category: names that mean red
When I was having my first child, we had a boys’ name (Henry) picked out from the very beginning. But when it began to occur to us eight months into the pregnancy that this baby might be a girl, we were stumped for a name.
My husband and I had very different ideas about stye in girls’ names. Family names seem to create more problems than they solved, and so when we found a way to focus our search that we could both agree on, we were delighted.
Our mission: To find a name that meant red. I loved the color red, my hair is reddish, and my last name is Redmond, so red incorporated a lot of potent symbols for me and helped balance the fact that our child would carry my husband’s surname.
We ended up naming our daughter Rory, but there are a lot of other wonderful names that mean red for both girls and boys. If red is a meaning that catches fire with you, consider these scarlet-hued options:
Adam — Adam stands out on this list as a true classic boys’ name — Adam‘s meaning is “son of the red earth.” Though a bit overused in recent years, Adam is still and forever a solid choice that remains in the Top 100.
Clancy — This Irish surname name meaning “red-haired warrior” can work for both boys and girls, but it’s got a masculine ring to us, perhaps thanks to the musical Clancy Brothers and author Tom. Clancy is an unusual baby name for either gender, used for only 17 boys and five girls in the US in 2012.
Crimson — Love Scarlett but want a more distinctive alternative? Then crisp and luscious Crimson might be the choice for you. The word comes from the Old Spanish kermes, an insect whose shell created deep red dye.
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.
When I was expecting my first child, I wanted a name that meant “red” or “redhead” for a couple of unrelated reasons. First, I was looking for a name that referred to my maiden name Redmond, since the baby would have my husband’s last name. And I guessed (correctly) that we might be having a little redhead, since my hair is copper-y and my mother’s was bright red.
The name we chose for our daughter was Rory, one of many excellent names that either mean red or red-haired or connote the rich, bright color.
I was thinking of my own color-based name search when I created three of the newest lists on Nameberry: names for blond babies, brunettes, and redheads. Some of the choices are pretty straightforward while others make a sideways nod to the color: Jasper, a reddish stone, for a redhead, for instance, or Sable for a child with dark hair or skin.
Some of our favorites from the three groups:
REDHEAD BABY NAMES
When I was expecting my first child, I wanted a name with a lot of energy, for reasons that seem insane from the perspective of having raised three kids. But I didn’t anticipate that a high-energy toddler might run me ragged; I just knew I wanted my little boy or girl to be active, outgoing, not hobbled by the shyness and insecurities I felt had plagued my own childhood.
Well, I got my wish. Rory burst into the world, all 9 pounds, 5 ounces of her, with a shock of jet black hair and a voice that woke the whole maternity ward. At two weeks old, she was able to stand on my husband’s lap and sing along with him. As she grew, she starred in all the school plays and dominated on the lacrosse field.
The search for a high-energy name was part of the inspiration for our first name book. It was so difficult to sift through all the conventional name dictionaries on the market at the time and try to find names that sounded energetic (and Irish and that meant red, two of my other criteria). There should be a name book that put all the energetic-sounding names in one place, I thought, along with all the names that sounded smart and stylish, that were good for redheads or popular in the 1920s. That’s the thinking I brought to the first Beyond Jennifer & Jason (Linda, meanwhile, a friend and fellow writer, had conceived the same idea from a different direction), now grown up to Beyond Ava & Aiden.
Just a few years ago, it might have been fair to say that Winter was the season least friendly to names, while now it seems to offer the newest choices for the adventurous baby namer. Why? Two reasons: Nicole Richie choosing Winter as one of the middle names for her high-profile little girl Harlow, and January Jones, beauteous star of noteworthy new show Mad Men.
WINTER is the season name that’s seen the least amount of use over the years, yet one that holds the most potential for boys as well as girls. Variations include WINTERS, WYNTER, and (please don’t) WINTR. Translations of the seasonal name include the French Hiver (pronounced ee-vair), Italian INVERNO, and in Spanish, INVIERNO. In Dutch and German, it’s still Winter and and in Swedish, the comical-sounding (to the English speaker’s ear) VINTER.
In mythology, winter was said to be caused by DEMETER in grief over the loss of her daughter PERSEPHONE, consigned forever to the underworld (but rising again as a baby name, with or without the pronunciation of the final long e).
DECEMBER, still a highly unusual month name yet certainly a usable one, means ten. Other versions you may want to consider: DECIMA, name of the Roman goddess of childbirth; DECEMBRA, DECIMUS, or DECIO. December’s flower is the narcissus or holly, suggesting the names NARCISSA (difficult at best) and HOLLY (already a bit worn at the edges). December gem TURQUOISE can work as a name, as can AQUA or its Turkish equivalent FAIRUZA. Red, however, seems more suitable as December’s color, which leads you to a whole spectrum of great names, from SCARLETT to CRIMSON to RUFUS and RORY.