Autumn Names: A cornucopia of colorful choices

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.

Fall month names are not quite as usable as those of the other seasons.

September – Why are MarchMayJuneAugust and even January hot while September (along with OctoberNovember, and December) is not?  Maybe there’s something chilly about that “ber” ending.  Still, this has an attractive sound and is certainly unusual.  The Latin Septimus, which means “seventh son,” sounds a bit Harry Potter and is perhaps too redolent of things septic.  But Seven, as recently chosen as the middle name of little Harper Beckham, might have some potential.

October – An equally unusual month name that gets an extra helping of cool from hipster writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, who chose it for their daughter.  Perhaps more attractive are the Latin pair Octavius and especially Octavia, both of which mean (as does October) “eighth.”  Other Octavius and Octavia variations you might  consider: Octavian, Octaviana, Octavienne, the Italian Ottavio or Ottavia, or the nicknames Tavy or Tavia.

November – Certainly as usable as September and October, which is to say, not very unless you’re extremely adventurous.

Nature names that summon up an image of fall include tree names, particularly:

Ash (any of the Ash names – AsherAshley, Ashling – relate)

Birch

Branch

Cedar

Forrest

Hazel

Juniper

Laurel

Leaf

Linden

Maplewhich recently aroused interest as the choice of Jason Bateman for his daughter.

Oak

Olive (and Oliver and Olivia)

Pine

Willow

The following may be a stretch, but other names that mean tree in a less obvious way include:

Adair – Scottish and Irish unisex name that relates to oak trees.

Cormac – This handsome Irish boys’ name means “tree trunk,” which is close enough.

Daphne – Classic name that means laurel tree.

Keziah – Beautiful Old Testament name that means cassia tree.

Lennox – A Scottish name that relates to the elm tree.

Nima – Middle Eastern favorite, also found as Neema and Neemah, which means margosa tree.

Perry – Boy’s name that works for girls too, and means “pear tree.”

Rowan – A unisex name that’s also the name of a tree with red berries and that means “little redhead.”  Related names include RowenaRhonwenRoan, and Rowney.

Fall’s brilliant colors might also provide baby-naming inspiration.

Names that mean red include:

Adam

Carmine

Crimson

Omaira

Radley

Rory

Ruby

Scarlett

If golden is the fall hue you prefer, try:

AureliaAurelioAurelius

Crisanta

Dory

FlaviaFlavieFlavius

Golda, Goldie

Marigold

Oriel or Orla

Tawny

Xanthe

Zarina

Even brown, fall’s ultimate color, relates to some appealing names:

Baize – A French girls’ name that means “dark brown”

Bruno or Bruna

Kiona – A Native American girls’ name that means “brown hills”

Roux – Unisex and pronounced “roo,” this might make a good middle name

Sorrell – Can be spelled with one or two r’s and l’s

Some other ideas?

Seasonal signs of the zodiac:

Libra

Scorpio

Fall birthstones:

Sapphire – September

Opal – October

Citrine, Topaz — November

Harvest goddesses:

Annona – Roman, personification of plenty

CeresRoman

Cerridwen – Welsh nature goddess

Demeter—Greek

Gaia – Greek goddess of the earth

Jeyriall—Santharian

Persephone—goddess of harvest and the underworld, daughter of Demeter

Rhea – Greek goddess of the earth

And one god-

Lugh—connected with a harvest festival

Other international names with autumnal meanings:

Ashoun – Armenian—autumn

Chyoh—Chinese –autumn

Jora/Jorah – Hebrew—autumn rain

Liqiu – Chinese — beautiful autumn

Do you have any other ideas for autumn names?

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20 Responses to “Autumn Names: A cornucopia of colorful choices”

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Poppy528 Says:

September 24th, 2012 at 11:50 pm

While I don’t like the -ber months as names, I really like the name Ember. 

Other names of inspiration: Setav (Hebrew for fall), Apple,  Maisie (Maze), Jack (o-lantern), & Crispin

SwirlyO Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 12:03 am

Loving lots of these! Especially Hazel, Daphne, Ruby and Rhea

Tay2thestars Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 12:16 am

This post rekindled my love for Baize 🙂

shanbrownie Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 1:29 am

Really liking Hazel, Daphne, and Olive.
Not liking any of the -ber month options.
Am intrigued by Citrine.
Two of my favourtie fall names not on the list are Apple and Aster.

maggiemary Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 3:49 am

Loving the thought of a baby born in October being named Octavius, Octavian or Octavia.

From the tree names I like:

Ash
Cedar (as a MN)
Forrest
Hazel
Juniper (love this)
Laurel (a personal favorite)
Maple (cute as a MN)
Oak
Olive (a favorite of mine)
Willow

From the others I like:

Adair (like for boys)
Daphne (love this)
Keziah (another favorite of mine)
Rowan (my [male] cousin’s name)

Aurelia, Aurelio, Aurelius (LOVE these)
Dory (great nickname for Dorothy or Theodora)
Marigold
Oriel
Xanthe

Sapphire (a guilty pleasure of mine)
Opal

Annona (great for a Thanksgiving baby)
Cerridwen

Jora/Jorah (I have long loved this name)

nat108 Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 5:21 am

Weird, so many of my favorites. I didn’t think they were related. Is it because I was born in October? I love:
October (g)
Opal (g)
Ashley (b)
Ashby (b/g)
Linden (b/g)
Ruby (g)
Willow (b)
Perry (b)
Oakley/Oakland (b)
Adair (b/g)
Cedar (b)
Haze (b)

sydnergy Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 6:55 am

A gp of mine for fall is Harvest from another blog post. Hubby says no. My october baby is Archer, my father spends most of fall hunting so its partially a nod to him.

sophiekihm Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 7:16 am

Pomeline! It means apple 🙂

LexieM Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 7:41 am

Citrine is my birthstone and I always thought it would make an AWESOME name! Glad it was mentioned.

Haili73 Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 8:22 am

My friend and I once made up a story called the Kalendar Kids. We were in 6th grade, and the main characters were named after the months. Their nicknames?
Jan (g)
Febbe (b) (pronounced Feb-by, but we spelt it Febbe….)
Marli (g)
April
May
Junie
Julie
August
Ember (g)
Octor (b)
Novi (b)
Demmy (b…before Demi Lovato was popular)

yeah….but I did like Ember as a nn for September.

niteowl13 Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 8:29 am

Every Autumn it’s the same post, about the same names.

Lo Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 8:30 am

Juniper and Pine for me are very much winter names not autumn ones.

blush Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 9:03 am

I have always thought November with the nickname Nova, was really useable! And I think I prefer October for a boy, with the nickname potential Toby.

There are some great names on this list – thanks!

Danni Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 9:35 am

I’ve contemplated for many years if I would use September as a first or middle name. It is a month with lots of significance for me, but it’s not a word that has the flow or elegance of names I usually like. I think October and November are more usable because of their more approachable sounds. November gives me such a fuzzy feeling!

SugarPlumFairy Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 11:32 am

I think October and November are fairly usable, since they have the more “mainstream” nicknames of Toby/Otto and Nova/Ember.

Autumn, Birch, Linden, Rowan, Rory, Aurelia, Xanthe, Libra (nn Libby), Sapphire, Gaia, and Persephone are my favourites from this list.

nikkiolle Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

My second fave girl name is October and I would certainly use it, except it doesnt fit in at all with our other names.. Our fave girl name is Juliet.. so I dont really see sisters Juliet and October working too well, but I love the name so much.. ugh what to do

laurenevelyn Says:

September 25th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

nikkiolle well juliet is july in french so i think they would go great togther matching nut not sisters april and may matching

Thuja Says:

September 26th, 2012 at 5:39 am

Russet: An updated Russell?

Thealove Says:

October 24th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

My sister is expecting in November and she will name the baby Rhea Hazel. Rhea is beautiful autumn name! The Rhea’s sibling is Ruby Caroline. Ruby is born in November too.

MFBerry Says:

August 28th, 2013 at 3:14 am

I really like Autumn, November, and Crimson.

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