It’s the first day of winter–and plummeting temperatures and shorter days mean just one thing at Nameberry: itâ€™s time to revisit Â and update our annual survey of winter babyÂ names. JustÂ a few years ago, we might have said thatÂ WinterÂ was the season least friendly to names, whereas now it seems to offer the newest choices for the adventurous baby namer.
Why?Â Two reasons:Â Â NicoleÂ RichieÂ choosing WinterÂ as one of the middle names for her high-profile little girlÂ Harlow and then Gretchen Mol using it as her daughterâ€™s first, plusÂ JanuaryÂ Jones, beauteous star of the hit showÂ Mad Men.
WinterÂ is the season name thatâ€™s seen the least amount of use over the years, yet one that holds the most potential for boys as well as girls.Â Translations of the seasonal name include the French Hiver (pronounced ee-vair), Italian Inverno, and in Spanish, Invierno.Â Â In Dutch andÂ German, itâ€™s stillÂ WinterÂ and and in Swedish, the comical-sounding (to the English speakerâ€™s ear) Vinter. In mythology, winter was said to be caused byÂ DemeterÂ in grief over the loss of her daughterÂ 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.Â Other versions you may want to consider:Â Decima, name of theÂ Roman goddess of childbirth;Â Decembra,Â Decimus, orÂ Decio.Â Decemberâ€™s flower is the narcissus or holly, suggesting the namesÂ NarcissaÂ (difficult at best) andÂ Holly (definitely worn at the edges).Â Â DecemberÂ gemÂ TurquoiseÂ can work as a name, as canÂ AquaÂ or its Turkish equivalentÂ Fairuza.Â Â Red, however, seems more suitable asÂ Decemberâ€™s color, which leads you to a whole spectrum of great names, from ScarlettÂ toÂ CrimsonÂ toÂ RufusÂ andÂ Rory.
JanuaryÂ is named afterÂ Janus, god of beginnings.Â Â January WayneÂ was the lead character ofÂ JacquelineÂ Susannâ€™sÂ Once Is Not Enough, and the inspiration forÂ January Jonesâ€™ parents.Â The Saxons calledÂ JanuaryÂ theÂ WolfÂ Month.Â A few otherÂ names related to wolf: Conan, Lowell, Guadalupe,Â Phelan,Â Fillin, Ralph, Raoul, Rollo, Ulric and Zev.
In Finland, itâ€™s called the Month of theÂ Oak.Â Names with meanings related to Oak: Adair, Oak, Darragh,Â Ilana,Oakley,Â Ogden,Â and Quennel.Â Garnetis the monthâ€™s gem and in Japan, the flower is the name-worthy Camellia.
February is from a Latin word meaning purification, unlikely to inspire many baby-namers.Â Itâ€™s also called the Mud month and theÂ KaleÂ month.Â More promising: Finns call it the Month of theÂ Pearl.Â Â Viola andÂ PrimroseÂ are Februaryâ€™s flowers; its stone is AmethystÂ and soÂ VioletÂ â€“ orÂ IolantheÂ orÂ YolandaÂ â€” would be other appropriate choices. JackÂ andÂ FrostÂ are both good winter baby names; weâ€™ve even heard of a chic little ParisianÂ Frostine.Â Â SnowÂ is lovely, and can be turned intoÂ NeveÂ orÂ Neva,Â Nevada, or Yuki.Â Â Crystal fits the theme, though at this point is not so sparkly.
And what is snow but white?Â Nameberry highlightsÂ a long list ofÂ names that mean white. Some of our favorites:
SeveralÂ seasonal holidays might inspire a name for your winter baby.Â Weâ€™ll be saying a lot more aboutÂ ChristmasÂ names later this week, so we wonâ€™t cover those here.Â But you might want to consider Kwanzaa namesÂ such as NiaÂ (for purpose) andÂ ImaniÂ (meaning faith); Bodhi, for the Buddhist day of enlightenment in December; Soyala â€“ Hopi for theÂ WinterÂ Solstice; Epiphany, Valentine, and King, along with Presidentsâ€™Â DayÂ hero namesÂ George, Washington, Abraham, orÂ Lincoln.
And then of course thereâ€™s Hanukkah, suggesting the eternal winter celebration of light.Â There are dozens of wonderfulÂ names whose meanings relate to light.Â A few great ideas: