The sixth month of the year includes the summer solstice along with the birthdays of lots of fascinating people—big-screen stars, composers and artists, military and sports heroes, and one pioneering pacifist. The month itself has some serious mythological ties, having been named for the goddess of marriage. Here are some of the best June baby names. One of them may even be perfect for your own little Junebug.
Audie— Audie Leon Murphy was the most honored American military hero of World War II, awarded a total of 37 medals and decorations, including the Medal of Honor for his singlehanded attempt to hold off an infantry company of Germans for an hour in France in 1945. Today, Audie is more commonly used as a nickname for the girls name Audrey— that popular choice which is reminiscent of Old Hollywood glamour was Number 32 for girls last year.
Cole—American composer and lyricist Cole Albert Porter is best known for his achievements in musical theatre. His most successful Tony Award winning musical Kiss Me, Kate was completed after Porter was disabled from a serious horseback riding accident in 1937. A Top 50 name in Scotland and #114 in the US, Cole is a short name that embodies a great deal of richness and depth.
Gauguin—Famed French painter Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was born in Paris in June of 1848, though his post-impressionist art was not appreciated until years after his death. Like artists’ surnames Monet and Manet, this French boys’ name can honor a painter whose work influenced modern artists like Pablo Picasso.
Hattie—The first African American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress was Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy in 1939’s Gone with the Wind. Now Hattie is one of the fastest-rising names on the 2013 list, jumping 138 spots between 2012 and 2013.
Jeannette—Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the US Congress in 1916. A pacifist, she was the sole member of congress who voted against declaring war on Japan following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Alternate spelling, Jeanette, is a French diminutive of Jean meaning “God is gracious.”
Judy—Another June-born movie star from the era of Gone with the Wind is Judy Garland (born Frances and shown with daughter Liza), who was famously cast as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Though Judy was the nickname of choice for Judiths born in the 40’s and 50’s, today’s Judiths are more likely to be called Judith or even Jude.
June—The sweet, old-fashioned and most predictable choice for June-born girls was a Top 100 name from 1915 to 1941, and though she’s sunk in the standings in recent decades, we see her rising again. In the Northern Hemisphere, the month of June boasts the longest daylight hours of the year and the first day of summer. The sixth month of the year was named for Juno, the goddess of marriage and the wife Jupiter.
Marilyn—Before she was known as actress, model and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, Norma Jeane Mortenson was born on June 1, 1926. She didn’t legally change her name until 1956, a whole ten years after she began using the now famed moniker. Though high-profile parents Mariah Carey and Nick Canon notably chose the star’s surname for their daughter Monroe in 2011, Marilyn is still a viable choice: There were more than seven hundred babies named Marilyn last year.
Pearl—Along with alexandrite and moonstone, the pearl is a birthstone for the month of June. One prominent Pearl born in June was Pearl Buck, author of The Good Earth, which earned her a 1932 Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. Now sitting at #677, the polished new generation of girls named Pearl includes Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson’s daughter Pearl Minnie.
Rome—Following months of combat between German and Allied forces, the “Eternal City” of Rome was liberated in June of 1944. The capital of Italy, Rome’s extensive history spans more than two and a half thousand years. Roma, Roman and Romy are possible related choices.
Vince—Regarded as the greatest coach in American football history, Vincent Thomas Lombardi is the namesake for the NFL Super Bowl trophy. His reputation bloomed after he led the Green Bay Packers to victory for three consecutive (5 total) championships in a seven year span, including winning the first two Super Bowls. Appropriately, the Hungarian variation of the Latin name Vincent means “conquering” and was #101 last year.