Color Names: Thinking outside the Crayola box

posted by: Dantea View all posts by this author

by Angel Thomas, aka Dantea

We’re all familiar with color names like Scarlett, Ebony, Gray (recently popular), and Cole (as in black) but what if you want a color name no one’s used before, or at least you’ve never heard. What if you want Blue but Beyonce ruined it for you? Maybe you could try Cerulean or Cyan? In this post, I hope to bring to your attention some stunning colors that I think would make fabulous names.


Aero — It’s a pale blue, and sounds like Arrow. I’ve seen Arrow around, so there’s no reason this one couldn’t work. It’s soft but stream lined.

Cordovan — It’s a purply-red wine color . It’s got the nickname Van or Cord and it’s reminiscent of Sullivan and other Irish sounding names.

Malachite — This is a gem and a bright, minty green color. It has the same sounds as Malachi with the cool KITE sound at the end. Kite, incidentally, would make a cool nickname.

Russet — It’s a deep brown. It’s very similar to Russell and other names of the sort, and has the same nickname of Russ, but it’s a color name I’ve never seen used.Tyrian — Tyrian sounds like any number of the old Greek and Roman names that are getting popular right now (names like Julian and the like). It’s a deep, dark purple, like the purple royalty wore in history. It’s got Ty, Tyr, and Rian (Ryan) if you want to stretch.


Carmine — A very pretty rosy pink, this name has a decidedly Latin feel to it. It has the nickname potential of Cara, Carry, and Mimi. It resembles Carmen and Cameron so it could easily be used. (But do bear in mine that is also a traditional Italian male name.)

Citrine — A bright lemony yellow color, this has the feel of citrus and that feels like sunny summer days to me. It makes me think of lemons and sitting at the end of the driveway with a lemonade stand.

Isabelline — With the abundance of little Isabella‘s this one is nice and refreshing. It’s a gray-white color, and decidedly frilly, but if you like that sort of name, it’s lovely.

Olivine — It’s a pretty pale green color similar to Jade. Like Isabelline, Olivine feels like a newer, fresher version of the super popular Olivia and the gaining in popularity Olive.

Xanthene — This is definitely one cool name! A yellowish chemical compound that produces fluorescent dyes ranging from bright yellow to hot pink to flaming red. It sounds like Xanthe but cooler. It does have a slight sci-fi feel, but I love it!


AzureBlue, of course. I’ve seen this one used a few times on both girls and boys and I think it works. It’s got a cool sound and a zippy Z.

Cerulean — It has a soft sound and it’s a striking blue. It’s got Lee for a boy and Roo for a girl if you want a nickname. I think Cerulean would make a very cool name on either gender, stunning for a little blue eyed baby.

Peridot — It’s a lovely green-yellow. You see a lot of jewelery made of this stone. It think it works for either because it’s got the nice Perry right there for a boy if he wants a nickname, but it’s got a lovely French sound that works for either.

Silver — With the popularity of Sterling, why not Silver? I’ve known one, so it has been used for at least one of each sex. Like the well-used Sterling, Silver is shiny, bright, and embodies all the positive qualities of Sterling in a much rarer name.

Angel Thomas, better known on Nameberry as Dantea, is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for onomastics who writes fantasy novels in her spare time. Her knowledge of Greek names stems from her ancestry and her religion. 

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About the author


Angel Thomas, better known on Nameberry as Dantea, is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for onomastics who writes fantasy novels in her spare time. Her knowledge of Greek names stems from her ancestry and her religion.
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17 Responses to “Color Names: Thinking outside the Crayola box”

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Amandagracew Says:

June 18th, 2013 at 11:36 pm

A color name I adore is Ivory. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure as I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to use it. Maybe as a middle name.

KateMP91 Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 12:50 am

I really only like Aero, on this list.

My favorite color names are Blue, Lilac, Green, and Lavender.

BettyDoGooder Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 1:25 am

My fav colour name that is a bit unusual is Emerald.

shanbrownie Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 2:18 am

Great blog! Some cool ideas here I’d never thought of like Russet and Peridot.

But I have to say I LOVE Citrine. I have a fondness for all things yellow and have always dreamed of using it. Your description of the name was so spot on. It made me fall in love with it all over again. It also spurred a craving for lemonade… Make Citrine an official Nameberry entry already!

P.S. I too adore Emerald 🙂

niteowl13 Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 11:34 am

Oh, that is cool about Tyrian being a shade of purple! Did not know that. Might be where George R. R. Martin got the name for Tyrion Lannister…since it is a royal purple.

Mclevine Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I love Cyan and Olivine, so fresh and pretty! My other favorite color names are Maroon, Sienna and Lavender.

Missmolly Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

One of my favorite neglected names is Sorrel…..I usually think of it as a botanical reference, but it’s also the word used to describe that bright, chestnut brown of some horses.

Dantea Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I’m glad you all like it. There’s a lot of really interesting color names out there and some very normal names that are actually colors too. Those are names like Beau Blue, Kelly Green etc. Working on new and interesting word names now. 😛

Saracita00 Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I’m loving Cordovan. I’ve never seen that one before, and you’re right — it would make for a great Irish-sounding name. I also like Peridot and Cerulean. The latter was briefly on my consideration list last baby, but it didn’t get a very good response. Just as well; I finally got a brown-eyed baby, but I think Leo could work as a nn and be very debonair.

ella17 Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Indigo is still my favourite colour name 🙂

senoritashan Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 8:26 am

I’ve actually thought of using Peridot as a middle for a little one born in August, but I probably would chicken out!

tfzolghadr Says:

July 7th, 2013 at 11:27 am

I’ve always liked Cerulean, Carmine, and Olivine. Mavi (blue in Turkish) would be cool for a boy. Also, I know a girl named Cyan, which works so well as it ends in an Anne sound.

VeritablyTrue Says:

July 14th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Marron would make an interesting name. I feel like I couldn’t say it without impulsively using a French accent, but for somebody a bit more sane it might work. It’s trendier than the clunky Marion.

lawsonhaley Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 11:43 am

My favourites are Saffron, Sapphire, Scarlett, Olive, Xanthe, Sienna and Lavender 🙂

littlewren Says:

December 25th, 2013 at 1:33 am

I like:
Aero – interesting
Cordovan – interesting, neat middle?

Citrine – I quite like this!
Olivine – I love Olivine! Such a lovely fresh take on Olivia/Olive.
Isabelline – Pretty, though much more frilly than my usual style and I wouldn’t use it.
Xanthene – Definitely an interesting middle but I’m not feeling it as a first.

Azure – I really like Azure for a boy!
Cerulean – Another pretty and different color name option.
Peridot – I used to think this was prn’d different, with a -dot sound at the end, and liked it with nn Dot. But knowing how it’s pronounced I don’t like it so much, it’s alright though.

ფერების ფსიქოლოგია | ekokashvili Says:

May 9th, 2015 at 4:12 am

elifsu Says:

June 8th, 2017 at 6:49 am

Mavi or Mai for a girl, means blue in Turkish – a loan word from Arabic.

Beyza is also used as a girl names, means white

Al/Ala means red or reddish pink depend on the person

Konur means brown

Boz means grey

Eflatun – boy
Lila – girl
Pembe – girl
Doru – boy

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