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Colorful Baby Names: Violet, Navy and Grey

and other news of the week

By Clare Green

This week’s news includes an assault on the senses with colorful and tasty names, what’s hot in Sweden and the Netherlands, and changing your mind on your baby’s name.

A taste for names

We’ve talked about synesthesia before on Nameberry – that’s a condition where the senses are interconnected, so hearing a sound may trigger people to see a color or taste a flavor, for example. For blogger Kaitlin, saying a name out loud gives it a color, dimension and texture. Shannon also associates names with colors and vivid images.

A journalist in Scotland recently shared on Twitter that she can “taste” names, and offered to answer requests. She got waaay more than she bargained for, with thousands of people asking what their name tastes like. Some highlights include Amelia (which tastes like muesli), Madison (“ear wax with chocolate”), John (“leathery button on an old man’s cardigan”) and Donald (“rubber duck dipped in vinegar”).

Colorful names: Violet, Navy and Grey

“You imbue the world with color” is a line from a song that helped the parents in this essay to choose a name with all the qualities they wanted for their son: a nod to the different parts of his heritage, strong but not burdensome. The final choice: Ali.

Several high-profile babies this week have names that literally imbue the world with color, and conjure up some striking images.

Rachel Platten (of “Fight Song” fame) welcomed a daughter named Violet Skye, a powerful image if ever there was one. Baseball player Derek Jeter named his daughter the more muted Story Grey.

Country singer Jason Aldean and his wife announced their daughter’s name would be Navy Rome back in November. Three months later, she’s arrived! Her middle name Rome, an up-and-coming place name, makes a nice link with her big brother’s name, Memphis.

Another kind-of colorful name: Winston Roy is a new arrival for model Lily Aldridge and Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followill. The couple already have a daughter called Dixie Pearl, so it looks like their style is old-timey names that sound fresh again. And the color connection? That’s Roy, a Scottish name meaning “red-headed”.

I’d love to know how all these names look, taste or feel to synesthetes.

Reverse, reverse!

The Aldeans shared their baby’s name before she was born, and stuck with their choice – but it’s ok to change your mind.

Case in point: a journalist from Indiana announced that her son’s name would be Sullivan, her maiden name, breaking a tradition of juniors in her husband’s family. When I say “announced”, I mean, she shared the name on TV. She even filled out a birth certificate. But once he arrived, he just didn’t look like a Sullivan. His parents went back to tradition and named him Allan Eugene III.

(Aside: it’s Allans/Allens all round this week, with TV host Andy Cohen naming his son Benjamin Allen after his grandfather.)

In this list of things parents wish they knew before naming their children, several say they wish they’d known it was alright to change their minds…and some say they still might.

Name news from northern Europe

Do you love four-letter girl names? You might feel at home in Sweden, where Maja, Ella, Ebba, Alma and Elsa are all in the Top 10 (read all about it in English here). Alice tops the list, and William is number one for boys – and it’s probably the only place today where you’ll find Wilma in the Top 10.

Short names are still in vogue in the Netherlands too. Julia and Lucas were the most popular names there in 2018, followed by petite names like Tess, Mila, Eva, Levi, Finn and Bram.

The Dutch name statistics website even has a nifty tool that lets you search for names by length. So if you want to know all the 10-letter boy names recorded in 2018, for example, you can find out. (For your info, they are Sebastiaan, Christiaan, Aleksander and Maximilian.)

Want to name your baby George? Good news, you can…even if you live in Iceland. It’s been approved in the latest round of decisions by the Icelandic naming committee, along with Franklin, Oktavías and Amon.

The first rule of Lois Club

Imagine a club that’s open to anyone…as long as you have the right name. There have been a lot of name clubs over the years, and the latest in the news is a regular gathering of women called Lois in Minnesota. (It’s not the only one: there are at least two more in Minnesota alone.) Lois was at peak popularity in the 1920s and 30s, so it’s no surprise that most of the members are over 70.

But what goes around comes around, and there are signs that after a long dormant period, more parents are starting to choose Lois again: it’s been given to over 100 girls a year since 2014. So who knows, maybe Lois clubs will get a few very young members soon!

French dog names from A-Z

My favorite new name fact of the week (ok, it’s a tie with learning that Donald tastes like a rubber duck dipped in vinegar) isn’t about baby names, it’s about dogs.

In France, pedigree dogs must be registered with a name beginning with the correct letter for the year they were born. It cycles through the alphabet, minus the rarest letters, so dogs born in 2018 had to have O names, 2019 is P, and 2020 will be R. That’s why this year you’ll find lots of articles with titles like “P names for dogs for 2019”. There are some cute options on the list, like Peanuts and Pirouette… but if you need to name a human baby, I’d suggest one of our lists of P names instead.

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3 Responses to “Colorful Baby Names: Violet, Navy and Grey”

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pixiegretch Says:

February 7th, 2019 at 7:32 am

I’m a synesthete, but I just have the color-letter association.

JuliaKateElizabeth Says:

February 7th, 2019 at 12:01 pm

This is so interesting. I have word-colour association but for some reason never connected that that would be why I’m more drawn to some names than others. I’m going to start considering this more as I come up with my lists!

beynotce Says:

February 7th, 2019 at 12:08 pm

I love color names! One of my guilty pleasures is the spelling Nayvee for a girl. I know kreatyve spellings get a bad rap amongst name nerds, and typically they aren’t to my taste, either, but I just find Nayvee so feminine and appealing. Navy works on either sex, imo.

I didn’t know that Roy came from Ruadh! I always assumed it came from the French “roi,” meaning king. I feel like there are lots of Celtic names that refer to a color of hair or complexion.

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