Category: month names
By E. Wittig
Summer has just arrived, and with it, the celestial Crab. Cancer is the fifth sequential sign of the Zodiac and spans from June 21st to July 22nd. Crabs are sensitive, loyal homebodies and imaginative dreamers. They are ruled by the moon and the element of water. Blue-green, silver, and white are the sign’s colors, and rubies and pearls are its gems.
April showers bring May… baby names? The fifth month, along with tulips, orchids and apple blossoms, promises a number of colorful and exciting baby names, twelve to be exact, that denote its history. This month, it’s astronauts, record-breaking aviators, activists and Olympic athletes who grace the charts of notable May names. Take a look and see if maybe one might be a perfect match for any future Taurus or Gemini.
Alan—The first American to enter outer space, on May 5, 1961, was Alan Shepard, piloting the Freedom 7 spacecraft. This triumph took place during the era of booming technology that became known as the Space Race. The Irish name meaning “handsome, cheerful” is one of three popular spellings, along with Allen and Allan.
October baby names take their cue from the rich associations to the month.
It can be easy to forget where the name of October comes from. Though we count it as the tenth month, its name actually derives from the Latin octo meaning “eight,” as it was once the eighth month of the Roman calendar. From the same route as October we also get several other names:
Libra “the scales” is the astrological sign that runs roughly from September 24th to October 23rd. According to Greek mythology the scales belonged to Astraea (Virgo), the goddess of justice. Libra was used occasionally as a given name in Scotland in the 17th century, and in England in the 19th century.
For thousands of years, and in many different cultures, October was a time of the grape harvest.
The medieval wine trade was big business, but it was very much seasonal. The wine vintage usually took place in early October, and within a few weeks new wines were being widely exported, with annual wine fairs taking place in all of the major wine producing regions throughout October. An Old English name for October was Win-mónaþ “wine month,” also reflected in the Germanic Weinmond.
Wine-inspired names are hard to come by but the importance of the vine is immortalised in a few names:
Oenone – a Greek nymph; her name comes from the Greek oinos “wine.”
Vinicio – from the Latin vinum “wine.”
Heilyn – a Welsh boys’ name meaning “wine bearer.”
Famous wine producing towns have also been known to be used as names. Here a few that either have, or potentially could, be used as given names:
As for the grape itself, the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese know it as Uva, while the Danes and Norwegian call it Drue.
Eleanor Nickerson, better known to nameberry message board visitors as Elea, is a primary school teacher living in Coventry, England and author of the excellent, highly recommended blog British Baby Names.
Yes, June is busting out all over—the summer solstice month of long days, of bridal parties and Father’s Day tributes. If you’re anticipating a June baby, why not consider one of the names that relate directly or slightly indirectly to the month of its birth? Here, an update of our annual rundown of June names to ponder.
June—Too obvious for a June baby? Perhaps. Until recently, June was considered the quintessential fifties goody-goody girl name, as in June Cleaver– apronned mom of Beaver– and twinkly actress June Allyson (born Ella). But as those images have faded to sepia, June is sounding less saccharine and more modern. Balthazar Getty used it for his daughter in 2008, and Amanda Peet realized its middle-name potential when she named her daughter Molly June.
Since the Fall season is officially upon us, it’s time once again for an update of our annual round-up of crisp Autumn names–those appellations which refer to the season directly and those that are more subtle references.
Autumn — Autumn is ironically the hottest season name once again this year, the only one in the Top 100 where it’s maintained its status for over a decade now. The name Autumn first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 1969, inspired by the hippie nature names and word names. While it’s still attractive, however, it’s hardly fresh. (Note: Winter is also in the air—though it hasn’t yet made the list, we’re seeing more and more interest in it as a name.)
Names from other cultures that provide a newer route to Autumn include the Japanese girls’ names Aki and Akiko, the Turkish girls’ name Hazan, the Vietnamese Thu, and, in Chinese, Qiu for either girls or boys.