June Baby Names: Juniper, Juno and Junior

Yes, June is busting out all over—the summer solstice month of long days, of bridal parties and Father’s Day tributes.  If you’re anticipating a June baby, why not consider one of the names that relate directly or slightly indirectly to the month of its birth?  Here, an update of our annual rundown of June names to ponder.

June—Too obvious for a June baby?  Perhaps.  Until recently, June was considered the quintessential fifties goody-goody girl name, as in June Cleaver– apronned mom of Beaver– and twinkly actress June Allyson (born Ella).  But as those images have faded to sepia, June is sounding less saccharine and more modern.  Balthazar Getty used it for his daughter in 2008, and Amanda Peet realized its middle-name potential when she named her daughter Molly June.

Junia –Junia is the name of a Roman woman who was an early convert to Christianity and in all probability the only female apostle in the New Testament, praised and complimented by the apostle Paul. A common name in ancient Rome, it also belonged to the first wife of the Emperor Caligula, Junia Claudilla, but is rarely heard today, though Zak Hanson did use it for his daughter in 2010.

Junior—Once common as an independent given name and not just tacked onto the end of a dad’s, Junior was a Top 200 name from 1920 to 1936, and was still given to almost three hundred babies in 2012.  Edgy British musician Peter Andre and model Katie Price have a son named Junior (and a daughter named Princess Tiaamii Andrea), suggesting that these days it might be bestowed with a sense of irony.  The musician known as Junior Walker was christened Autry.

Juniper –A recent favorite of fashionable parents, the fragrant Juniper entered the Top 1000 in 2011 for the first time.  It’s got an appealing mix of assets, as a nature name via the fragrant shrub and its berries used to make gin, a biblical reference to its wood, a slight retro hippie edge via the Donovan song ‘JenniferJuniper,’ a few literary associations (eg. Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary)–as well as a bouncy, rhythmic sound.

JuniusJunius is the name of an ancient Roman family, derived from Juno.  Fusty sounding now, Junius was actually in the Top 1000 until 1950, peaking at 345 in the 1890s.  Though it means ‘born in June’, most contemporary parents would prefer Julius—if not Julian.

Juno is the name of the Roman queen of the gods, wife of Jupiter and mother of Mars and goddess of marriage and childhood, which was first brought to US attention via the 1924 Sean O’Casey play Juno and the Paycock.  But it really popped here with the release of the popular eponymous indie film in 2007.  With its energetic o-ending, this Roman goddess name has seemed more and more feasible as a modern baby name—Coldplay’s Will Champion used it for one of his twins.

JunotThis unusual  name is associated with Junot Diaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican-American author of the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  It is pronounced just like Juno—which could cause confusion.

Jun is a common name in both the Chinese and Japanese cultures.

The month of June has three birthstones, the moonstone, Alexandrite and Pearl, pointing to the possibilities of all the Alex+ names from Alexa to Alessandro, and to newly polished-up Pearl.  June’s birth flower is the Rose, leading to a score of further options, including putting Rose back in first place after a decade of middle-spot stature.

James Joyce aficionados will know that Bloomsday falls in the month of June, opening the door to the cast of rich Irish character names that appear in his novel Ulyssesincluding:

Dilly

Florry

Garrett

Hugh

Josie

Kitty

Leopold

Lydia

Malachi

Marionbetter known as Molly

Millicent/Milly

Simon

Zoe

From the dozens of saints’ feast days that fall in the Month of June, here are some of the most interesting:

Ada

Adelaide

Alice

Ambrose

Aquilina

Augustine

Bardo

Barnabus

Bartholomew

Benno

Bron

Bruno

Calliope

Candida

Cassius

Colman

Cornelius

Didier

Felix

Florentina

Humphrey

Inigo

Jarlath

Laszlo

Lorenzo

Olive

Ronan

Samson

Zenon 

Would you use a day, month or season-related name?  Which would you pick for a June baby?

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16 Responses to “June Baby Names: Juniper, Juno and Junior”

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sarahmezz Says:

June 10th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I don’t like the idea of naming your baby after the month they were born, but I do like the idea of naming your baby after the month they were conceived! If I conceive this month, I’m thinking of a June reference! I have a cousin (age 34) named June, although she was born in May. Even more confusing, her husband’s birthday is in June! My cousin June was actually named after her aunt (her mother’s sister). There’s plenty of great June related names mentioned above. I like the idea of a birthstone reference and Pearl is looking good to me! Beatrix Pearl? Susannah Pearl? I haven’t thought of any boys names yet!

EmilyVA Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 12:22 am

I love the name June and in general I love this post.

I love the multicultural elements here. And the literary reference.

As a Catholic names I love the saint names. I once knew a priest who said in really traditional Catholic families children were often named after the saint whose day there were born on. (It explains the European traditional of using Maria for a boy.) I would never do that, but as a Catholic I will probably consider incorporating saints names into my favorites.

With the bride and groom up top, I thought you might mention Bride is nickname for Bridget In Australia.

Mclevine Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 2:12 am

I love Juniper! Never been a fan of June but I just don’t really like month names.
Saint names are lovely! Adelaide, Aqulina, Bruno, Cornelius and Olive sound very appealing.

Ysaline Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 8:11 am

I have a June baby and we mused over the various possibilities such as using Rose (or Rosalie), Pearl or June as a middle name; she wound up with an Alex- name in the middle which I suppose could reference alexandrite. We also considered the name Gemma, and realized that it would have made her Gemma the Gemini – that’s the astrological sign that covers most of the month of June.

I think Junia could be ripe for a comeback, since the -ia ending is currently so popular, and maybe people will latch onto it as they tire of Juliet and the other Jul names. I prefer it to Juniper, which seems to be popular among hipsterish parents.

BritishAmerican Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 8:38 am

I named our June baby “Rose” – not realizing it was the monthly flower. (Or that she would be my “English Rose”.) Our daughter was due in July and showed up almost 2 weeks early. I had thought about the name June, but wasn’t sure if it would be weird for a July baby. I like the accidental tie-ins from her name.

Juniper would have been a nice middle name.

Gemma Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 9:21 am

There is a St. Adelaide with a June feast day, but the more well known St. Adelaide you describe on Adelaide’s info page actually celebrates her feast day in December and inspired my own little snow baby!

I love both Augustine and Benno as well!

KateMP91 Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 9:40 am

A cousin of mine is named Juniper. I have an aunt with the middle name June (she was born in January). Of the names listed, I would consider Benno and Calliope (although, I feel Calliope and Penelope are much alike, and of the two, I prefer Penelope).

ClaireElise Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 10:12 am

I love Juniper! But alas, it’s not baby name material for me, as I used it on my cat! Another favourite of mine is June, which I WOULD use, and I love both Ada and Adelaide (possible tributes to my grandmother as well). Simon is wonderful too! So many favourites mentioned today!

Alexia Mae Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I love Junia. It’s too close to Judah or I would use it.
My least favorite is Candida, as it’s a yeasty parasitic fungus that harms the human body.

vito208 Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

My babys middle name is Juniette

maggiemary Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I love June, Juno, Juniper and Junia. Not so keen on any of the male forms.

auroradawn Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I’m liking the saints’ names. Bardo and Jarlath are two cool ones I hadn’t heard before.

As for Junia, there were no female apostles. The verse referencing Junia, Romans 16:7, reads like this in the New King James version (Paul writing): “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.” In the King James and the English Standard versions, the word “kinsmen” is used. In the Greek New Testament, similar grammatical endings (-on or -an) are used for all the names in the surrounding verses, including the female Priscilla and the male Andronicus, giving no special reason to believe Junia was a woman based on the name alone. Junia was probably a man, and the name might better have been translated Junias/Junius.

amyhope Says:

June 11th, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I love Juniper with nn Juno and mn Pearl. Hip, but still classic and elegant.

MelodyKatherine Says:

June 12th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

If one is looking at June saint names, don’t forget John the Baptist (June 24). My great-great grandfather was named Jean-Baptiste. My dad was named for him but anglicized the spelling to Gene (said he caught a little guff at school over the “Jean” spelling.)

UniqueNameLover Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Calliope is gorgeous! I also like Cassius, Lorenzo, Olive, Felix, and Laszlo.

miriannco Says:

June 15th, 2013 at 3:07 am

Love so many of these: Juniper nn June or Juno would be awesome!

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