14 Winter White Baby Names

the coolest cold-weather names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The winter solstice, aka the first day of winter, is scheduled to arrive this Wednesday, although for many of us—even here in Southern California—it has already landed. And when we think of wintery names, the color white comes to mind, just as Spring is green, Summer is yellow, and Autumn a riot of red-orange hues.

Almost every culture has a name or names related to the color white and its suggestion of purity, goodness and light. Here are 14 of the best for your winter babe.

Ailbe/AilbheAn old Irish unisex name meaning white, pronounced AL-veh, which was borne by a saint who was raised by wolves, and by a female Ailbhe with a racy mythological story. In Ireland, its nickname is Alby.

AlbionA fairly obscure Arthurian Al name, also the oldest known appellation of the island of Great Britain, related to the Latin Albus, probably referring to the White Cliffs of Dover. The evocative Albion actually appeared on the US popularity list for seven separate years at the end of the 19th century.

Arjunone of the most universally attractive Hindi names, Arjun means “bright shining white.” The name of the hero of a famous Hindu epic, it’s very popular in India, and in this country has reached Number 500.

Baia Chinese name meaning “white, pure, ” it rhymes with Kai and is frequently found as a surname.

BiancaA pretty Italian word name and Shakespeare favorite meaning white, Bianca entered the US ranks in 1973, reaching a high of Number 84 in 1990, and still at 379. The Spanish version is Blanca.

Blanche—The French Blanche’s meaning of white dates back to when it was applied to pale blondes. It was a top 100 name for decades, big in the Silent Screen era, then became attached to faded Southern belles like Blanche DuBois and Blanche Devereaux. Now that image itself is starting to fade, and Blanche finds herself back at Number 586 on Nameberry.

Bronwenwhich means ‘white breast’ in Welsh, is a popular name in the land of the leek and would make a lovely choice here. In Welsh mythology, Bronwen was the daughter of Llyr, the god of the sea—so another name to add to the list of water-related names.

Fenellaone of a whole cluster of Scottish and Irish names, including Fionnulala, Finula, Finola and Fiona, all with white meanings. Fenella, which means ‘white shoulder’, is one of the most distinctive and wearable, especially with its popular ella ending. A Sir Walter Scott novel originally popularized it.

Guinevereanother name with a constellation of similar meaning names, such as Gwendolen, Genevieve, Gwyn and Gwyneth. We pick the Welsh Guinevere—‘white shadow, white shoulder’, with its romantic Camelot history. It is also the first name of the storied Miss Pettigrew.

JanuaryWinter names have begun to join springtime’s April, May and June on the baby name calendar. Thanks to the prominence of January Jones (who was named for a Jacqueline Susann novel character) on Mad Men, January has begun to find her way onto birth certificates.

Labanthe rarely heard name of the Old Testament Rachel and Leah, and frequently used by the Puritans means Light in Hebrew. Nickname Labe would fit right in with Gabe and Abe.

SnowA word name with a clean, pure, white image, Snow is part of a new subset of wintery names—Frost, North, Winter. Snow in particular would make a pure, fresh middle name choice with a storybook Snow White feel. Singer Lisa Lopes used it as her daughter’s first.

WinterThe ultimate winter white name, this is part of the new northerly direction of names. It started with celebs—Nicole Richie and Joel Madden used it as daughter Harlow’s middle, then Grethen Mol and Sean Parker moved it into first. It’s now at #549 and predicted to move even forther north.

Zuri means white in Basque. So, if you thought Suri was exotic…

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1 Response to “14 Winter White Baby Names”

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ceryle Says:

December 21st, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Love the feel of most wintry names, especially Winter, a long-time guilty pleasure that I’m happy is becoming more mainstream.

Though I realize it’s nearly impossible to find a name that has zero potential for teasing or crude name-calling (kids are creative, for better or for worse), naming your child Labe seems ill-advised. Once the kids have reached middle school biology, it won’t take much creativity to make that leap.

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