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Baby Names That Mean Red

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by Pamela Redmond Satran

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.

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Great Redheads with Great Names

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Looking for a name for a red-haired baby? The most common method is to go through the long list of names that mean, well, red-haired, from Rory to Rufus, Flynn to Flanagan. An alternative is to find yourself a worthy titian-tressed namesake, either from the pages of history or a current celeb. So, at the risk of offending by omission such ordinary-named notables as Helen of Troy, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, James Joyce, and Margaret Sanger—here are our nominations for best-named redheads of all time. Oh — and where is the most famous redhead of all? Turns out Lucille Ball’s natural hair color was mousey brown.

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Blond, Brunette, and Redhead Baby Names

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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

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