Golden Names: 24-karat names
Of course, we all hope our kids will be good as gold, follow the Golden Rule, find the Golden Mean in life, win lots of gold medals and gold stars, and all that other good golden stuff. So why not give them a leg up by bestowing on them one of these golden names?
The most obvious are those with the word front and center. Goldie is an old showgirl name legitimized by and long associated with Goldie Hawn, who was named after a great aunt. The fact that the name Goldie was recently chosen for her baby by Ione Sky sends out signals that it could make a return à la Sadie and Mabel. Golda is one step removed, not heard much since the demise of American-raised Israeli Premier Golda Meir, who was in fact born Goldie. Gilda is sleeker and slimmer, linked forever to the sexy image of Rita Hayworth in the eponymous film classic, then lightened by beloved original SNL cast member Gilda Radner.
A lot more appealing today are the names that stem from the Latin Aurelius, meaning gold, and a distinguished name in itself. The female version is Aurelia, a lovely name with bookended ‘A’s,’ the variants Auralia and Auriel, and the pretty French version Aurélie. For boys, there is the engaging Italian and Spanish Aurelio.
Even closer to the Latin oro is a whole group beginning with ‘O’—the very usable Irish Orla, the poetic Oriana, and others including Ora, Orah, Oralie, Oralia, Orelia and Oriel. There’s even some avian crossover with Oriole, and for the boys, there is the funky Orville, meaning city of gold.
Cressida—This is a name based on the Greek word for gold, which was borne by a Trojan princess in medieval legend retold by Chaucer and Shakespeare. But though she may not have had the greatest reputation–she was faithless to Troilus and broke his heart–the name Cressida today sounds fresh, crystaline and creative.
Flavia—An ancient Roman clan name meaning golden haired, has been heard more in literature (e.g. Princess Flavia in The Prisoner of Zenda) than in real life. If you’re looking for an unusual Italian name that’s easy to pronounce, this might be a flavorful possibility.
Xanthe—Pronounced zanthe, this Greek name meaning yellow/gold was borne by several figures in classical mythology, including one who was a daughter of Oceanus, and another Xanthe who was an Amazon. Xanthe could make an intriguingly unusual choice.
There is also an exotic group of Z-starting names that relate to gold. Zahava is one such Hebrew girls’ name with variations including Zehava, Zahavi and Zehevya, while Zehavi is used for boys; another zippy Hebrew name is Zariza. Zaheb and Zerrin are Turkish for gold; Zarina—often heard in India—is Persian for golden vessel; and Zorina, which has a pretty ballerina-like quality, is a Slavic name meaning golden dawn, boasting such variants and nicknames as Zora, Zorah, Zorana, Zori and Zory; and Zahabu is African for ‘the golden one’.
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on April 26th, 2012 at 12:08 am
Cool post! Others to add could be Orlando and Midas.
on April 26th, 2012 at 8:08 am
Want to go with Marigold if I have a girl but if it’s coming back into bloom…. That’s not exactly a good thing to me. Blah.
on April 26th, 2012 at 9:09 am
I love Marigold as well as Aurelia and Ora (though I prefer it’s spelled Aura). Oh, and saying my name as an intriguingly interesting choice doesn’t hurt 🙂
I really like this list, for it puts these names in a great light. Xanthe, as I understood it, has always meant ‘yellow’ but stretching it to gold is more desirable 🙂
on April 26th, 2012 at 9:51 am
Chryses / Chryssa / Chrysanthe / Crysanthos (Greek)
on April 26th, 2012 at 11:52 am
Marigold would be my first choice, and then Gilda- it’s clunky-cool!
on April 26th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
I love Aurelia!
on May 2nd, 2012 at 4:50 pm
Can you do silver names next?
on August 31st, 2012 at 3:45 pm
How about Aranka? It is a Hungarian girls name meaning Golden.
on March 9th, 2013 at 11:06 am
Cressida is a very interesting name, before it reminded me of French croissants, but it seems more appealing when it’s meaning is unravelled.
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