June Names: June has arrived–or has it?
This being the first day of June, it’s the perfect time to take a look at her namesake for June baby name possibilities. Never as high profile as other month names April or May—or, for that matter, cousins Jane, Jean or Joan— June just might be ready for a quiet comeback.
June is a name that has suffered from, more than anything else, having a goody-goody/perfect mom image. This was formed in midcentury America via June (born Ella) Allyson, who played a succession of sunny, saucy ingenues and adoring, long-suffering movie wives in the 1940s and 1950s, along with ideal mom June Cleaver on the sitcom Leave It to Beaver, whose name became symbolic of the archetypal sympathetic suburban, stay-at-home mom of the 1950s, and June Lockhart, who played another quintessential midcentury parent as Timmy’s mother on the long running Lassie TV series. June Haver was another wholesome midcentury star—so wholesome that she actually entered a convent for a while in the middle of her career.
The few other well known Junes include actress June Havoc—the famous Baby June in Gypsy, whose birth name was actually Ellen–and singers June Christy (born Shirley), June Carter Cash and June Pointer. In literature, June was the defiant daughter of Young Jolyon in John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga, and it has appeared in movie titles like Henry and June and Happy Birthday, Wanda June. June has started to make inroads into the celebrisphere as well: Balthazar Getty named his daughter June Catherine in 2007, and just about a month ago, Amanda Peet used it in middle place for her daughter Molly.
Although the name is based on an ancient Roman goddess, June didn’t start to be used as a first name until the turn of the last century, when month and flower and jewel names were coming into vogue. It was already in the top 500 in 1880, when Social Security records began to be kept, was in the top 100 from 1915 to 1941, was the 46th most popular name of the 1920s. June dropped off the list completely from 1986 to 2008, when it reentered at #867, climbing 205 places this past year to #662. So even if June isn’t busting out all over, as the song says, signs of a revival are stirring.
And if you’re not ready to consider June, there are three other names connected to the month. Rose is the flower for June, Pearl is its jewel, and then there’s the original Roman goddess name Juno which burst onto the scene with the eponymous 2007 hit movie of and was used for one of his twins by Will Champion of Coldplay.
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Charlotte Vera Said
on June 1st, 2010 at 1:57 am
June doesn’t seem so unfamiliar to me since I’ve been fairly immersed in North American Asian families, where June is a favoured name. June is also my aunt’s middle name. I’ve sometimes wondered whether it was wishful thinking on my grandmother’s part to give my aunt a name so closely related to summer, given that my aunt’s birthday falls at the end of November.
on June 1st, 2010 at 4:45 am
I never warmed to June as I like girl names to have a bit more spice to them. I loved Juno for years and then that self-conscious movie came out and people still haven’t forgotten it – very annoying!
My favourite ‘Jun’ name is Juniper, with nickname Junie. Somehow the extra syllable adds something edgy which June just doesn’t have. I think Jean is pretty spunky too.
on June 1st, 2010 at 8:27 am
Maybe Junie B Jones will break up some of that goody-goody image.
I love June (and June Allyson) but I feel uncomfortable using the name if the corresponding baby isn’t born in June. Same with May, January, Spring, Aurora, etc.
British American Said
on June 1st, 2010 at 8:59 am
Growing up in the UK, I’m not familiar with any of the American Mom images of June. My parents did watch a British sitcom in my childhood called ‘Terry and June’ – so that gives the name an old-lady vibe to me.
Several name fans were watching to see what ‘Design Mom’ would call her 6th child:
http://youcantcallitit.com/2010/04/16/on-baby-names-open-letter-to-gabrielle-and-ben-blair/ and their new daughter is known by her middle name of June. So that definitely gives the name ‘fashion points’.
I do like the name June. I did consider it for my daughter, who was due in July, but then born in June. But then her name is Rose, so she does fit in with the flower of her birth month – I don’t think I realized that at the time we named her.
on June 1st, 2010 at 10:19 am
I think June sounds clunky and frumpy, but Junie is fun. It is the sort of name that I probably wouldn’t use for my child, but I’d love if my sister or a friend chose it for theirs. I love Jane–we seriously considered it for both of our daughters. Here is my question about month/season names–do you all think the child should be born in that month/season in order to use the name? I know several April’s and I don’t think any are born in April, but would it be odd to name a child one of the less standard month names (like June) and have them born in say, December? I wonder the same thing about the names Holly (winter/Christmas-y) and Summer. Any thoughts?
on June 1st, 2010 at 10:30 am
June is my birth month and I love the name Juniper, nn June. This only solidifies my June-bug love! <3
Erin B. Said
on June 1st, 2010 at 10:46 am
My 13 month old daughter’s name is June Katherine. We planned to name her Juniper but everybody thought we were crazy, so now we just use it as a nickname. I hope June doesn’t become popular though!! I’m talking to you, celebrities and hipsters! We love the name – it’s uncommon but classic, simple, and sweet.
on June 1st, 2010 at 12:20 pm
I’ve seen it more often in birth announcements here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it move up a bit more. I think June Carter and the recent movie about her and Johnny Cash may have had something to do with it. There was also a hit country song called “I Want a Love Like Johnny and June” that I bet had some influence.
on June 1st, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Another sort-of-June that comes to mind is from the movie Benny & Joon.
I don’t mind June, but I’m just not into month names (I could be swayed with Mae, though). I like Juno, and would have considered it if not for the movie. Juniper is adorable and I can see how it could grow with a person well if they had the right personality.
on June 1st, 2010 at 3:29 pm
June is a nice name. She is strong yet feminine at the same time.
on June 1st, 2010 at 7:10 pm
A friend of mine named her daughter June last summer I just love it: June Delphina. Another friend named her Daughter Emery June. I hope June does not get stuck in the middle name spot like Rose or Grace.
Charlotte Vera Said
on June 2nd, 2010 at 4:23 am
Apparently Cameron Diaz plays a June in this summer’s Knight and Day. Should be interesting to see if the movie gives the name a boost or helps to make it less popular.
on June 2nd, 2010 at 11:55 am
Don’t forget Junie B Jones, one of my favorite kids’ books characters ever!
on August 24th, 2010 at 4:36 am
june is a really great name. It’s unquestionably a girl’s name, but it’s strong and not too frilly or precious. It can be as feminine as you want it to be. i’m born in february. mothers, don’t freak out about not having your child born in that month. if anything, an unexpected answer to the perennial “were you born in june?” question is a great way to break the ice and won’t matter after about 5 minutes of conversation. actually, when june 1st rolls around, it feels like another birthday. It’s also a great name to have when traveling because it’s really easily translated. i have family in french canada who call me only as juin. if you’re thinking of having yourself a little junebug, go for it!
on October 7th, 2010 at 11:09 am
I think Juniper with the nickname June could ultimately have more success. The botanical connection is a little more modern and lively sounding, but you still get the classic June as an elegant nickname.
on October 7th, 2010 at 11:10 am
And Junie as a nickname is quite nice. Our dog is Juniper (called June and Junie) and we love her name. Could definitely work well on a little kid 🙂
on December 7th, 2010 at 11:09 pm
I have a little boy named Otis, and someday plan on having a little girl named June! Otis Jay and June Elizabeth…. awwwwe …. I’m in love. : )
on January 12th, 2012 at 4:04 pm
I’m a June and I love my name. And, I’m definitely not “clunky and frumpy”. June means young and I’m definitely young at heart. I’ve been called Junie as well, which I think is very cute. I was born in January and at the time there was a popular song called “It’s June in January When I’m With You”. My father really liked the song and said that June should be my name. There was even a restaurant in California that featured a drink called “June in January”. When I am introduced to someone I am fond of saying, “I’m June, like the month”, helping people remember my name. In the south, boys were named June as well, as a shortened version of Junior. June is somewhat unique, without being weird. I hope all the babies who get named June are as happy to be a June as I am.
on October 23rd, 2012 at 8:58 pm
So..I was watching a tv show and saw that a character was named June…my baby girl (she is almost 4) is June. So I wanted to see if the name was becoming more popular. When I had her in 2008 I knew of no other Junes, other than my grandmother who she is named after. My grandmom was born in June, but my daughter came in December. Coincidentally, my husbands grandmother was also named June and her birthday was in December too. So my daughter was born to be a June. My grandma was fiery and a handful…and so is my daughter! I love what you said scjunebug! it warmed my heart and I hope my daughter feels the same as you as she gets older. She is already called Junie, Junebug, Buggy, and June A. instead of Junie B. 🙂 She lights up a room and is always center stage. She is fiery and spunky. She has a flare that just makes people stop and look at her. I know I am biased, but really she is just naturally gorgeous. So June Ashlyn is a name that suits her well 🙂 I hope it doesn’t become too popular because I wanted somewhat of a unique name for her unique personality 🙂
June baby names Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on June 10th, 2013 at 11:21 pm
[…] or slightly indirectly to the month of its birth? Here, an update of our annual rundown of June names to […]
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