Spring has officially sprung! May is the peak of springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. The spring season can provide inspiration for May baby names, as can those related to May holidays like Victoria Day and Memorial Day. With April showers now behind us, it’s time for fresh May baby names ready to bloom!
Maia / Maya – The month of May was named after Maia, a Greek and Roman goddess of spring; Maia is a Greek name meaning mother. The Roman’s considered Maia to be an incarnation of Mother Earth. Maia and Maya have the same sound, but differ in popularity and meaning. Maia was #487 in 2017 and Maya, a Hebrew name meaning water, was #61. Both Maia and Maya are great names for a baby born in May.
May– Once used as a nickname for Margaret and Mary, May now works as a complete name on her own. May is a simple, one-syllable name packed with sweet old-fashioned charm. If you like the name May, you might also consider names that have the “may” sound in them, like Maisie, Mabel, Maeve, Mason, Macon, or Mayer.
Emerald and Esmeralda – Green is a color evocative of springtime and Emerald is the beautiful, deep green birthstone for the month of May. A lovely gemstone name, Emerald is Persian in origin, meaning green. Esmeralda is a strikingly beautiful Spanish version of Emerald. In 2o14, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes used the name Esmeralda Amada for their daughter. Disney fans will recognize the name Esmeralda from the film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, based on the character in the Victor Hugo novel.
Emerson – Names that begin with the syllable Em are definitely in fashion. Lovers of literature may consider using the name Emerson to honor Ralph Waldo Emerson, born May 25, 1803. Although Emerson is a German surname meaning son of Emery, some celebrities like Terri Hatcher and Shonda Rhimes have used it for their daughters. At 276 for boys and 150 for girls, Emerson truly is a unisex name.
Audrey – A darling name associated with the classy, timeless beauty, Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Kathleen Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929. At Number 46, Audrey is down a tick from her peak popularity of 32 in 2013. A German name meaning noble strength, Audrey has a simple elegance to it.
Quintus – May is the fifth month of the year. Quintus is a Latin name meaning fifth, that was traditionally given to the fifth born child. Quintus fits in well with similar strong masculine Roman names, like Titus and Maximus, both of which have been rising in popularity. Quintus lends itself to familiar and usable nicknames, like Quinn or Quincy.
Derby – A Derby is a bowler hat, a surname, and America’s most famous horse race. The Kentucky Derby has been held on the first Saturday in May since 1875. Derby comes from an English surname, meaning “park with deer”. In England Derby would be pronounced Darby.
Hawthorn – In addition to the lily, one of May’s birth flowers is the Hawthorn. Hawthorns are shrubs and trees often called “May trees” because that’s when they bloom. Symbolic of hope and springtime, Hawthorns were traditionally used to make maypoles. Hawthorn is an old English name meaning “where hawthorn trees grow, ” associated with classic American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Victoria – Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday in honor of the long reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, observed on the last Monday before May 25th in celebration of her birthday. Victoria is a popular and timeless Latin name meaning victory, which wears well on a woman of any age. There are many cool nickname options stemming from Victoria, from the familiar Vicky and Tori, to the spunky Rory and Ria.
What are your favorite May baby names?