Colorful Baby Names: Rainbow, Aurora and Jett

There have been some colorful baby names–if not wacky ones–in the Nameberry 9 this week, as reported by Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel.

It has been a great week for gutsy, even wacky girls’ names, led by Girl Next Door alum, Holly Madison.

Before we get to her new daughter’s colorful moniker, let’s pause and consider the other issue Madison raised:  to share or not to share your baby’s name in advance?

Madison split the difference.

She hinted throughout her pregnancy that she was going to choose something different, even comparing it to that much-maligned celeb kid choice, Apple.

And then, just a few weeks before giving birth, she tweeted a snapshot of Rainbow Brite’s Colour Buggy with a one-word caption – need.

I’d been pouring over her Twitter feed looking for clues to her baby’s name, and completely missed that one.

So the choices for expectant parents in 2013 are: tell the world your name before the arrival, keep mum until you’ve already made it official, or use social media to drop broad hints to all of your faithful followers.

Maybe it is time to start monitoring Jessica Simpson’s tweets.

On to the names, most of which are meant for Team Pink, but a few boys’ names grabbed headlines this week, too:

Rainbow – Animated children’s characters like Rainbow Brite and Rainbow Dash spring to mind, and there’s a hippie vibe to this one, too.  But Madison says she borrowed the name from a former classmate.  Here’s a thought: assuming Holly and Rainbow were both born in 1979 or 1980, was her friend named after the rock band?  Rainbow scored their first big hit mid-79 with hard rock anthem “Since You Been Gone.”  Ving Rhames has a daughter named Reignbeau, and one of Jamie Oliver’s girls wears this one in the middle spot.  It’s a daffy, daring name, but in our era of Daisy and Sky, Scarlett and Blue, something tells me we could hear more of this colorful nature word choice.

Bo – Another reason to consider RainbowMini name Bo seems to be quite stylish for both genders these days.  Swistle and her readers compiled a long list of possible formal names for Bo, ranging from Elizabeth to Deborah to Bowen, and yes, Rainbow is there, too.  Isabeau is still my personal favorite.

Hero Peregrine – Compared to Rainbow, the literary, mythological Hero almost feels restrained.  Hero is the new daughter of actress Cree Summer – remember her as Freddie on A Different World?  She joins big sister Brave Littlewing.

Margot – Then there’s the second daughter of model Sophie Dahl and singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum.  The couple are already parents to Lyra.  The sisters are a little bit of a style mismatch, but I love both names.  Margot definitely counts as the most classic choice on this week’s list.

Massimo Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria mentioned that this was Alec’s suggestion if their baby-on-the-way is a boy.  It’s a big name – but hey, this baby will be a Baldwin.  By the end of the week the couple revealed that Massimo was off the list, as baby Baldwin is a girl.  Since Alec’s older daughter is Ireland, I’m very much looking forward to this birth announcement.

Asher American Idol alum Justin Guarini went with a modern favorite for baby #2.  Son Asher joins big brother William NekoAsher might be the hottest Old Testament name of 2013.

Aurora – If Asher is rocketing up the charts for boys, Aurora has gained quickly for girls.  The goddess name picks up where 70s favorite Dawn left off.  Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella chose this for baby Rainbow’s middle name.

Jett – Journalist and television host Lisa Ling is a new mom.  If Rainbow is super feminine with a double dose of color, Jett is a hard-edged choice, a brother for Slade or Cole.  Then again, I’ve also heard Jett suggested as a nickname for Juliet, so somehow this feels wearable for a girl.  Plus there’s a swooning, romantic Nat King Cole song called “Jet, My Love.”

Sonnet – If Jett is a bit intense and Rainbow too out there, Sonnet is the kind of unexpected name that gets it exactly right.  She’s as literary as Hero, as tailored as Margot, as unexpected as Rainbow, but with a bit of edge, like Jett.  This one wasn’t used by a celeb – instead, Sonnet appeared in a birth announcement at For Real Baby Names.

What’s your reaction to Rainbow?  And did you keep your baby’s name a secret?  Tell everyone who asked?  Or drop hints?

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31 Responses to “Colorful Baby Names: Rainbow, Aurora and Jett”

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sarahmezz Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 12:29 am

Firstly, I would never tell anyone my baby’s name before it’s birth. I’d also never discuss my favourite names with anyone except my husband (and maybe my mum)! I’m always hearing about people’s baby names being stolen. One way to avoid this – keep your lips zipped! Secondly, the name Rainbow is terrible. Thirdly, the name Margot is gorgeous! And lastly, a vaguely interesting sidenote, The Girls Next Door was known as The Girls of The Playboy Mansion in Australia. I never realised until this post (not that it’s important or anything)!

amandaberry Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 3:03 am

My 2 cents on Rainbow: it’s ridiculous.

Poppy528 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 4:21 am

Rainbow Aurora? Quick someone check and make sure Holly’s silicone isn’t leaking into her brain with crazy as a side effect. Alliteratively, Rainbow Aurora does sound pleasant (for an ice cream truck), but nothing says D List like a tacky baby name publicity stunt.

bluesparrow5684 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 6:29 am

I agree…

Lena Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 8:28 am

I wouldn’t say the name Rainbow is horrible or ridiculous. It’s a beautiful image, and the name flows nicely. It made me smile when I first heard it… at least it has positive connotations. Who doesn’t consider themselves lucky when they see a rainbow?

skizzo Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 8:50 am

Rainbow, Bo, Jett and Sonnet are all terrible names.

gabyglez Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 9:27 am

I don’t think Rainbow is that bad… considering is Holly Madison’s daughter. Aurora Rainbow would be beautiful. I’ve heard worst celebrity baby names.

klcalder2 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 9:54 am

I still think that if it were Aurora Rainbow, a lot more of us would be like “Oh, that’s nice.” And I am really like Bo as a nn, but it still doesn’t make Rainbow usable in my eyes. Someone on FB mentioned Hero Peregrine sounds too masculine, but I do love Hero on a girl. I love Margot/Margo. As for Sonnet, it’s fine, but I prefer Fable or Story.

lindseywhite03 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 10:01 am

Just a note on Jessica Simpson:
It seems likely she will be naming her son Ace. One site stated that she had been heard telling friends she was considering the name Ace. While another site leaked that she was going to be choosing a name in honor of her grandfather Acy Edward Drew. While this site predicted she would be using Edward, the rumored Ace seems more likely in honor of grandfather Acy.

JennyJenJen0123 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 11:35 am

I really don’t mind Rainbow, although I would never use it. Lots of people think the name Pepper is great but balk at Rainbow? Whatever.
The main thing I have issue with is that the baby has a very strong ethnic surname and to me Rainbow doesn’t flow well.
I hate Sonnet–makes me think of vomit.

Jenna5128 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 11:42 am

While Rainbow is NMS, I respect the fun, bright choice. Might bring future resume problems, but I agree, at least it’s a positive connotation. What bothers me is the misogyny in comments like “someone check and make sure Holly’s silicone isn’t leaking into her brain.” Not cool, women need to respect and support each other.

MoonlightSonata26 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I love, absolutely adore the name Hero!! And Jett is an intense nn that any girl with that nn could seriously kick butt! Maybe because I’m young, nut I don’t see the problem with Aurora Rainbow. I think it would be an original name that stands out in a good way.

katybug Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I agree with Jenna–my guess is the vitriol expressed here has a lot to do with the mom, not the name.

tori101 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Nameberry is acting strangely for me so hopefully this work!

Rainbow I can understand the attraction in Rainbow, she’s bright and has great nature connotations. Yet I don’t think Holly Madison (who is she??) understands how difficult this name could be for a child to grow up with. Aurora is lovely though.

Hero is a great name and sounds attractive yet I associate her with Hero in Much Ado about Nothing, and I didn’t like her she was so weak as a character…

Jett cute middle name and as is Sonnett. Teamed with something classier like Theodore Jett and Viola Sonnett.

Asher and Massimo are great names!!


tori101 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Ah love Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum daughters have gorgeous names! Lyra & Margot! So sweet.

Just wanted to add that 🙂

namelover77 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I think Sonnet is the most lovely of this list- I know a little Sonnet, who carries the name beautifully.

Aurra Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Rainbow Aurora sounds like a stripper name to me- and Rainbow itself seems like it should stay on ponies. I guess Rainbow isn’t too far of a stretch in this era of Aurora, Daisy and Indigo, but somehow this name seems to be missing something to make it more grown up. I get the appeal, but I honestly don’t think it will age well at all. What about Rain with a middle beginning with ‘B’ and use the nickname Rainbow?
Jett is a boys’ name for me, but I can see the nn possibility for Juliet- and it makes it seem so much wearable on a girl.

Alexia Mae Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I wish articles had like buttons!

RubySophia Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

It’s terrible, I know, but Hero and Brave? So friggin’ cute. I would like them better on boys, but there is just something wonderful about two little girls named Hero and Brave.

melissa2 Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I’m struggling to align this Rainbow with the only other one I’ve known, a large, burly young man of the Duck Dynasty type who answered to “Bow” but insisted on having RAINBOW on his name tag because, well, that was his name and he didn’t particularly give a s**t what anyone though of it.

periwinkle Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 5:39 pm


LOL! 😛
Poor child.
How can parents possibly make a child’s awkward tween and teen years worse. I think the name Rainbow does it in a landslide.
I’m just saying, there aren’t many name’s i hate.
This name might be the one and only on the list.
If the kid can live with it till 18 there could still be hope yet.

Abby Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

@tori101 – Viola Sonnet is gorgeous! As is Theodore Jett.

@Alexia Mae – thanks!

@lindseywhite03 – Somehow that fact slipped my mind … you’re absolutely right. But I didn’t realize her grandfather’s name was Acy! It makes Ace feel like a must-use name. Off to Google Simpson’s family tree …

What I’ve often said about crazy celeb baby names is this: the strangest thing about being the child of Tom Cruise/Holly Madison/Penn Jillette/Gwyneth Paltrow/Jason Lee/Jamie Oliver is not going to be your name. Who knows? Maybe they’re all really normal and down to earth at home, but living a chunk of your life in the public eye changes things …

Of course, that might make me more inclined to name my child Katherine or John, but then, I’m not a celebrity.

poods Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I really don’t see how Lyra and Margot are a mismatched stle. They’re both offbeat but rooted in history. Lovely.

CatPai Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Goggle the full name of Holly Madison’s girl b/c rainbow rotelle is a pasta I use to make pasta salad. And it is very similar… vowel off. Just saying, I don’t think she put that one together.

HyacinthsNpearls4me Says:

March 11th, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Rainbow: I don’t like the name rainbow, but at least she can go by her middle name Aurora when she is older if she hates her name.
Sonnet: I met a girl once named sonnet- its different but I kind of like it.
Jett: on a girl? Horrid!
Margot: Love it!
Brave and Hero: don’t like on girls
Definately some interesting name choices on this weeks list!

sorta Says:

March 12th, 2013 at 9:58 am

There were a couple Rainbows about 5-6 years ahead of me in school. Also a Sunshine and a Rain, and a few other colorful names (Ebony, Emerald, Ivory, etc. I suppose that’s what happens when you grow up in a town of former hippies). The name seems a little 1970s to me, but as a kid, I thought it was the most beautiful name I’d ever heard. I also like Rainbow Aurora better than Aurora Rainbow. While I generally like Aurora better as a first name, if you put it first in this case it sounds sort of like a pirate stuttering.

I love Hero on a girl. If it’s good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for me.

Abby Says:

March 12th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

@sorta – Nicely said! And Emerald has really grown on me over the years …

ruolan Says:

March 12th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Here’s another vote for “like” buttons on articles and comments!

Hero Peregrine and Brave Littlewing make me think of Indian chiefs’ daughters from an old western movie!

WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

March 13th, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I really like Rainbow Aurora, although it does sound weird with the surname and I kind of wish she had swapped them around.

Holly said that she absolutely loved the name Rainbow, and that she didn’t want to keep being a people-pleaser who did what everyone wanted from her.

So I say, good for her! I can’t help thinking if it was someone other than Holly Madison people wouldn’t be so harsh, or indeed plain nasty, about her baby’s name.

jcjoy Says:

March 13th, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Oddly, I kinda like Rainbow, perhaps it just the imagery. Also love Sonnet, Forrest Whitaker and his wife used it for the daughter, all their kids have lovely boho, hippieish names.

Aurorasky2010 Says:

May 12th, 2013 at 12:58 am

I like the name Rainbow but it does seem like it might be hard for her to be taken seriously as she grows up. But overall I think the baby will love her name as a young child as will most of her classmates, she can shorten it to Rain or go by her middle name when she gets older. I did go a bit hippy with my daughter’s name of Aurora Sky but I liked how it sounded and it definitely suits her as she is fairly mellow.

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