Earth Day Baby Names: Eartha, Terra & Clay
By Linda Rosenkrantz
As Earth Day approaches, a commemoration that seems to get increasingly relevant with every passing year, we tend to think of names in shades of green or names that mean earth. But there are also some rich brown-hued names related directly to the earth. So you might want to consider one of these earth-related options to reflect your concern for the environment.
Acajou—This reddish-brown color name may literally mean cashew in French, but is also the wood from the mahogany tree. Acajou would make a lively, surprisingly distinctive choice.
Armona—A name of Hebrew origin whose meaning is ‘chestnut brown’, Armona is also a place name in California
Bronson—A strong surname name meaning ‘son of brown-haired one’ that has climbed its way up the popularity chart to its current rank of Number 675.
Bruna and Bruno—the girl-boy, Italo/Spanish/German twin names meaning brown, of which the male version has been far more accepted in the US. It now ranks at Number 670, thanks in part to the popularity of singer Bruno Mars; it’s also a Top 50 name in Spain and Portugal.
Clay—a rich, earthy single-syllable charmer with a southern-accented, slightly roguish image, seen most recently on The Wire and Sons of Anarchy. Clay is now Number 446 on Nameberry, somewhat lower nationally; its record number was 263 in 1960.
Duncan, Dunham, Dunstan—Three names with dark, earthy meanings. We especially love the jaunty Duncan, now at Number 797 and the name that David Bowie’s son Zowie picked for himself in adulthood. And Dunham could reference Lena.
Eartha—You couldn’t get a more direct connection to the earth and Earth Day than this name that goes back to Puritan use. It was publicized by sultry singer and actress Eartha Kitt, whose parents may well have been influenced by noted African-American philanthropist Eartha M. M. White.
Gaia—Pronounced GUY-a, this is the name of the Greek mythological earth goddess, and it was precisely this ecological element that attracted Emma Thompson to it as the perfect green name for her daughter. J.K. Rowling used Gaia for a character in her 2012 adult novel, The Casual Vacancy.
Sienna—In addition to its other connotations, Sienna is an earth pigment that takes its name from the Italian city Siena, where it was produced during the Renaissance. Crayola has long had colors called Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna. The name Sienna is currently Number 260, 82 on Nameberry, 20th in England and 17 in Australia..
Sorrell—A soft, autumnal reddish-brown name occasionally used for both genders.
Terra—A literal back-to-the-earth appellation, Terra has become a video game name in the modern age, giving it something of a futuristic vibe—making it a possible contemporary namesake for dated cousin Terry..