May Names Celebrate Spring!

May Names Celebrate Spring!

May baby names are bright and springy — reminiscent of the month itself. It’s been a particularly challenging few years, but May is coinciding with increased hopefulness around the globe. If you’re expecting a child this month, there are many ways to connect his or her name to the month of May.

May’s holidays and annual events may inspire the name of a May baby. In the US, Mother’s Day gives us names that mean mother, and Memorial Day names could be those related to famous veterans of history. A child born around the Kentucky Derby would do well with a horse-related name. And for all you Canadian Berries, what better name for a daughter born on Victoria Day than, well, Victoria?

The zodiac signs that occupy the month of May are Taurus, until May 20th, and Gemini, from the 21st on. Taurus names can be related to the earth or bulls — the symbol of the sign. Gemini names may be connected to air or the color yellow — which is also one of the colors of May.

Other name-inspiring symbols associated with May include its birthstones, emerald and agate, and flowers, lily of the valley and hawthorn.

For all the best in May baby names, consult our guide, below.

Top May Baby Names

The saying “April showers bring May flowers” rings true with the most popular May names for babies. Floral choices including Poppy, Dahlia, and Lily are among the most favored May-related baby names.

The month of May is named after Maya, the goddess of the Spring. Maya has been in the US Top 100 since 2002, but despite being one of the most usable month names, May has not made a comeback yet. It fell out of the Top 1000 in the 1960s and returned for a single year in 1982. Alternate spelling Mae is at Number 548 and rising, but each are far more popular as middle names.

The top May names for boys include Adam and Thomas, which connect to May’s zodiac signs. Adam means “son of the red earth,” relating to Taurus's classification as an earth sign. Gemini is the sign of the twins, making Thomas, which means “twin,” the perfect name for Gemini son.

Here, a menu of the trendiest May names for babies, all within the US Top 500.

May Girl Names

The birthstone for May is the Emerald, which is rising quickly as a baby name — it reentered the Top 1000 in 2019. Spanish variation Esmeralda has seen more mainstream success, particularly in the early aughts, and is currently in the Top 500. Emeraude is the intriguing French variation.

May is also associated with the colors yellow and green, inspiring names like Orla, India, and Xanthe for May-born baby girls.

Famous women from history including Nellie Bly, Sally Ride, and the two most notable Hepburns — Audrey and Katharine — were born in May and may provide inspiration for spring baby names for a daughter.

Below, a selection of the best May baby names for girls.

May Boy Names

May is the fifth month on the Gregorian calendar, making all names that mean five very suitable for a child born this month. There are particularly great options for boys, including Quint– names Quintin and Quintus and the Spanish Ponce.

Botanical names Birch and Hawthorn are ideal for a May baby. Hawthorn is one of the flowers associated with May, and maypoles, used to celebrate May Day on the first of the month, are traditionally made out of birchwood.

Distinguished men of the arts including Orson Welles, Bing Crosby, and Salvador Dali were all born in May. Each of their first and last names would make a fashionable honorific for these creative heroes.

Here, a collection of our favorite May baby names for boys.

Unique May Names

In the US, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. A name that means mother would be very appropriate for a child born around the holiday and can serve to honor an important mother figure in your life. Amaya and Maia are the most common names with maternal meanings — Amma, Lillemor, and Moa are among the more unique options. If it’s a boy, you might consider Quigley, which means “from the mother’s side.”

Nightingale has a double connection to the month of May. It is the surname of Florence Nightingale, who is credited with founding the modern nursing profession and born in May of 1820. It’s also related to the lily of the valley, May’s birth flower. A legend associated with the flower said that the lily of the valley and the nightingale were in love and that the flower would only bloom when the bird would return in May.

Browse more unique names for May babies below, each given to fewer than 70 babies in 2021.

See our entire collection of May names for babies here.

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest.

Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.