Names Meaning Red are Blazing Hot

August 18, 2019 Linda Rosenkrantz

by Linda Rosenkrantz

Names meaning red, in fact all names that are related to the color red, have been red hot recently—and not just for red-haired babies.

There all the engaging Irish boy names meaning red that are used in that redhead-heavy country, plus the rosy red names from Rosie to Rosamund, and the sizzling names related to fire, like Aidan and offshoots. Here are some of our favorites, many of which are gender fluid.


SCARLETTThanks largely to Scarlett Johansson, this brilliant shade of red name has gone from a unique heroine of Gone with the Wind to the top echelons of today’s popularity list—she’s now at #20.

RUBYAlso in the Top 100, this vintage gem has a lot of sass and sparkle. Nikki Sixx is the latest celebrity with a daughter named Ruby.

ROWANRowan is one of the hottest of the red-hot red names, for both boys and girls. Meaning ‘little redhead’, it’s currently #129 for boys, and often appears in book and video game series. Brooke Shields launched the girl trend when she used it for her daughter in 2003—the year Rowan entered the girls’ Top 1000.  It’s now at #211.

RORY/RUARIFrom a Gaelic word meaning ‘red king’ or ‘red-headed ruler’, this friendly and energetic name, long popular in both Ireland and Scotland, is having its moment in the US—recently taking off for girls, thanks in part to Gilmore Girls. It’s now at 368 for boys, 579 for girls.

REEDThis slim, elegant, more subtle surname name also means red-haired. It has been consistently on the pop list since 1881, now at #375. Steve Jobs named his son Reed.

RUSSELLA redhead Dad name still given to a surprising number of babies—Russell ranks at #413.

POPPYIn contrast to sweet floral names like Violet and Lily, the bright red Poppy has a lot of spunky spirit.  It’s now #8 in England, 29 in Scotland, 592 in the US and 103 on Nameberry. Lots of Poppys are popping up on TV shows.

ROHANA name with several different meanings in different cultures, for our purposes Rohan is an Anglicized form of the Irish Ruadhán, meaning red-haired. The similar sounding and more widely used Ronan has a completely different meaning— ‘seal’.

FLYNN Ginger-tressed Flynn joined cousin Finn on the charts in 2011, one year after the release of Disney’s Tangled, featuring dashing hero Flynn Ryder, and is now at #779.


BLAZEAs fiery as you can get.

CLANCYThis jaunty surname derives from the words meaning ‘red-haired warrior’.

EGANA surname/pet form of the mega-popular Aidan, which means little flame.

FLANNMeaning ‘bright red’, Flann was a popular name for both boys and girls in ancient Ireland, used by kings, queens, poets and saints. A cute old diminutive is Flannacán.

FLANAGANAn Irish surname meaning descendant of the reddish/ruddy one.

FLANNERYA warm, rarely used three-syllable name with literary ties to Flannery O’Connor

GARNETthe other red gemstone

KAMALAA pretty Hindi name in the news, one of the meanings of which is ‘pale red’.

RÓISÍN—Pronounced ro-SHEEN, one of the prettiest of the rose names, used by Sinead O’Connor back in 1994.

RUFUSAn adorably rumpled redhead name that originated as a nickname for red-haired King William.

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond Satran of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. In addition to contributing stories on trends and celebrity naming, she guides the editorial content and manages the Nameberry Twitter and Facebook accounts. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of  other books.


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