Most of us, as kids, lived in a world colored by crayons, and for those of us fascinated by words and names, those assigned to the different hues in the big 64-crayon Crayola box were particularly evocative. I can still remember, as a little girl, being intrigued by such mysterious names as Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber.
These memories were reawakened by a communique from our inspired creative contributor Nephele, when she wrote:
“Perhaps one of the fondest childhood memories shared by many of us is that of opening up a fresh box of crayons. What a joy to the senses it was to experience that clean scent of wax and the beautiful sight of those colorful rows of pointed tips awaiting one’s creative process. Adding to the delight was the fact that one’s crayons bore wonderful individual names on their wrappers, such as “Periwinkle” and “Cadet Blue.” With such names, how could a child not help but personify her crayon friends?
‘Crayola’ was synonymous with ‘crayon’ in my childhood days, as it pretty much is today. The bonus for today’s children is that the Crayola company now includes, along with English, both French and Spanish language versions of their crayon names on the wrappers of each crayon–providing even more name choices for one’s crayon companions!”
Here is Nephele’s list of crayon names which might also make pleasing names, with a few additions by Nameberry:
ALMENDRA (Spanish, “Almond“)
While A, E, I and O-starting names abound, increasing in popularity all the time, poor little step-sibling vowel U tends to get neglected. Of course there are many fewer names starting with that letter, and even fewer that would appeal to the modern baby namer, but there are definitely a few that are at least worth a look, most of them with a touch of the exotic.
ULLA, ULA — Seen in several cultures, this stong name (it actually means strong-willed in Norse), is sometimes used as a pet form of Ursula or ULRICA/ULRIKA. Most recently associated with the leggy Swedish secretary character in The Producers.
UMA — Thanks to Ms. Thurman almost a one-person name, this throaty, exotic appellation is a name of the Hindu goddess Parvati–which surely inspired her father, a renowned expert on Eastern religion, to bestow it on her.
UMBER — A highly unusual color name, dark and mysterious, which could be used for either gender.
UMBRIA — Richly evocative, shadowy Italian place name–a neighbor of Tuscany known for its wines, olive oil and truffles. Could be a possible replacement for the rapidly becoming overused Siena/Sienna.
UNA — An ancient Irish name, also Anglicized as Oonagh or Oona, used by Edmund Spenser for the heroine of his classic The Faerie Queene; she’s the daughter of a legendary king and the quintessence of truth and beauty (it was for her that St. George slayed the dragon).
UNIQUE — Not any more.
UNITY — One of the newly appealing, lesser used Puritan virtue names, with an admirable meaning.
URANIA — One of the nine Greek Muses, whose special area was astronomy. This one is not recommended, for obvious reasons.
URBANA — An unusual possibility for a city girl.
URSULA — Kids today will probably associate this martyred saint’s name with the campy, corpulent octopus sea witch in The Little Mermaid, while others might tie it to a character in Shakespeare‘s Much Ado, Ursula Brangwen in D. H. Lawrence‘s The Rainbow, novelist Le Guin, 60’s Bond Girl sex goddess Andress, or the character on Friends. Novelist/style icon Plum Sykes chose it for her daughter, which puts it on trend alert.