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Color Names for Babies

Color names for babies have been around for a while, with Amber, Violet, and Rose the longest-standing members of the genre. Today, though, there are a rainbow of color names for both girls and boys, many of them gender-neutral names.

Color names for babies range from the obvious -- Blue and Scarlett -- to the most exotic, from Azure to Zinc. The top color names for babies are mostly for girls, with Ruby, Scarlett, Hazel, and Violet all popular in the US.

Unique color names for babies that strike the right tone include Amethyst, Blue, Clover, Gray, Indigo, Lavender, Lilac and Steel. Color names, especially relating to something meaningful to you such as red (hair) or a favorite hue, also work great in the middle.

The full spectrum of color names for babies:
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HazelHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "the hazelnut tree"
  • Description:

    Hazel is a name applied from the English word hazel, referring to the hazelnut tree. The word was derived from the Old English hæsel of the same meaning. Historically, a wand of hazel symbolized protection and authority.

VioletHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "purple"
  • Description:

    Violet is soft and sweet but far from shrinking. The Victorian Violet, one of the prettiest of the color and flower names, was chosen by high-profile parents Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, definitely a factor in its rapid climb to popularity. Violet cracked into the Top 50 for the first time ever in 2015.

RoseHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "rose, a flower"
  • Description:

    Rose is derived from the Latin rosa, which referred to the flower. There is also evidence to suggest it was a Norman variation of the Germanic name Hrodohaidis, meaning “famous type.” In Old English it was translated as Roese and Rohese.

PoppyHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "red flower"
  • Description:

    Poppy, unlike most floral names which are sweet and feminine, has a lot of spunk. Long popular in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at #5 in 2014, Poppy is just starting to catch on in a big way in the US, where it entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2016 and – just three years later – the Top 500 in 2019.

RubyHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "deep red precious stone"
  • Description:

    Ruby, vibrant red, sassy and sultry, has definitely outshone the other revived vintage gem names, with its sparkling resume of cultural references.
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RoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "red king"
  • Description:

    This spirited Gaelic classic, which became popular in Ireland via the illustrious twelfth century king Rory O'Connor, makes a highly energetic choice, now used for either sex. Rory's gender split is still trending boyward; it's one of the coolest boys' names starting with R.

SiennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian place-name from orange-red color clay
  • Description:

    The historic Tuscan city is spelled Siena, but the Sienna spelling, used by American-born English actress Miller, is rising even faster. Cable newsperson Campbell Brown chose Sienna for her daughter, as did Kevin James.

JadeHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "stone of the side"
  • Description:

    As cool as the precious green stone said to transmit wisdom, clarity, justice, courage, and modesty, Jade has been rising in popularity since Mick and Bianca Jagger chose it for their daughter in 1971. Superchef Giada de Laurentiis chose it as the English translation of her own first name. Jade manages to strike the golden mean as one of the familiar-yet-unusual girl names starting with J.

OliveHeart

  • Origin:

    English, from Latin, nature name
  • Meaning:

    "olive tree"
  • Description:

    Though greatly overshadowed by the trendy Olivia, Olive has a quiet, subtle appeal of its own -- and is now enjoying a remarkable comeback. Olive is one of only four girl names starting with O on the US Top 1000. Cool couple Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen chose it for their daughter, reviving the name to stylishness, and now Drew Barrymore has a little Olive too, as has country singer Jake Owen.

CloverHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from Old English
  • Meaning:

    "key"
  • Description:

    Clover is a charming, perky choice if you want to move beyond hothouse blooms like Rose and Lily, and it's recently become a new celeb favorite, chosen by both Neal McDonough and Natasha Gregson Wagner, who used it to honor her mother, Natalie Wood, one of whose most iconic films was Inside Daisy Clover.
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AshHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Asher, English
  • Meaning:

    "ash tree"
  • Description:

    Ash has Southern charm plus the arboreal-nature appeal. Plus your little boy will prize Ash as the name of the hero of the Pokemon cartoons. Ash can also be a dashing short form of Asher, Ashton, or any other "Ash" name.

LavenderHeart

  • Origin:

    English plant and color name
  • Meaning:

    "lavender"
  • Description:

    Lavender lags far behind sweet-smelling purple-hued sister names Violet and Lilac, but is starting to get some enthusiastic attention from cutting-edge namers. It does have a history as a name, going back to the eighteenth century, when it was also used for boys. But its recent attention comes from Lavender Brown, a witch character in the Harry Potter saga--though Lavender had also been previously featured as a best friend character in Roald Dahl's Matilda.

IndigoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "Indian dye"
  • Description:

    Indigo is one of the most appealing and evocative of the new generation of color names. Color names have joined flower and jewel names -- in a big way -- and Indigo, a deep blue-purple dye from plants native to India, is particularly striking for both girls and boys. Indigo is the name of a character in the Ntozake Shange novel Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and was used for his daughter by Lou Diamond Phillips.

GreyHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    The girls have Violet and Scarlet and Ruby and Rose, but for the boys there's a much more limited palette of color names. Grey/Gray is one exception, which could make for a soft and evocative—if slightly somber—choice, especially in the middle. Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney named their son Leo Grey.

XantheHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "golden, yellow"
  • Description:

    X marks the spot in names these days, usually at the middles or ends of names, but here is one that puts it squarely up front.
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AmberHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name, English
  • Description:

    Though perhaps not as currently stylish as Ruby, Jade, or Pearl, Amber has a colorful history (remember the notorious Forever Amber heroine?). Unfortunately, it does come with the "Amber Alert" connotation for modern parents (and their children).

GrayHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name, also diminutive of Grayson
  • Description:

    The girls have Violet and Scarlet and Ruby and Rose, but for the boys there's a much more limited palette of color names. Gray (or Grey), is one exception, which could make for a soft and evocative--if slightly somber-- choice, especially in the middle. Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney recently named their son Leo Grey.

MarigoldHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from English
  • Meaning:

    "golden flower"
  • Description:

    Marigold, once found almost exclusively in English novels and aristocratic nurseries, is beginning to be talked about and considered here. It has a sweet, sunny, quirky feel. The marigold was the symbol of the Virgin Mary.

SapphireHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Greek, and Latin jewel name
  • Meaning:

    "blue"
  • Description:

    Sapphire goes waaaaay beyond Ruby and Pearl. This September birthstone, occasionally used a century ago, might be worth a reappraisal, perhaps as a Sophie/Sophia alternative. Sapphire is the pseudonym of Romona Lofton, who wrote the book Push, which was turned into the movie Precious.

RoanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Rowan
  • Meaning:

    "little redhead"
  • Description:

    Warm-hued spelling spin on Rowan that was chosen by Sharon Stone for one of her three young sons.
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AmethystHeart

  • Origin:

    Gem and Color name
  • Description:

    As flower names become more exotic, so can gem names move beyond Ruby and Pearl to names like Topaz, Sapphire and Peridot. Amethyst, the purple birthstone for February, has never been in the Top 1000, but could have some appeal, joining similarly-hued Violet and Lilac, all of which make great names for Aquarius babies or names for February babies.

LilacHeart

  • Origin:

    English, from Persian
  • Meaning:

    "bluish or lilac"
  • Description:

    Could Lilac be the next Lila or Lily or Violet? It certainly has a lot going for it--those lilting double 'l's, the fabulous fragrance it exudes, and the fact that it's a color name as well, providing a ready made nursery theme. In addition, the lilac is symbolic of first love.

EmeraldHeart

  • Origin:

    Gem name; Persian
  • Meaning:

    "green"
  • Description:

    Emerald is the intriguing color and jewel name of the deep green stone treasured as far back as ancient Egypt--it's supposed to open one's heart to wisdom and to love and be good for strengthening relationships-- which could make for an interesting, unusual name, particularly with the popularity of so many Em-starting names.

RavenHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Make that bird name, and while it does work for both genders, it's far more popular for girls, via Raven Symone.

RouxHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "russet"
  • Description:

    Roux is the name of the dashing Johnny Depp character in Chocolat. Roux is French from a Latin word meaning russet or brownish red; it's also a cooking term for a mixture of flour and butter that forms the foundation of many gravies or sauces. Most of today's children with this name, pronounced roo, will actually spell it Rue, for the female character in The Hunger Games.
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SterlingHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "of the highest quality"
  • Description:

    A name with some sterling qualities, most associated with the British currency and silver markets. Sterling has several recent TV associations, with characters Roger Sterling (on Mad Men) and Sterling Archer (on Archer), and actor Sterling K. Brown (on This is Us).

HyacinthHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "blue larkspur; precious stone"
  • Description:

    Though it may not be as sweet and gentle as, say, Violet, the purple-hued Hyacinth still might hold some appeal for the parent seeking a truly exotic flower name.

BlueHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    Blue suddenly came into the spotlight, as the unusual color name chosen by Beyonce and Jay-Z for their baby girl Blue Ivy. Blue is also a starbaby middle name du jour, used for both sexes in different spellings and forms, from John Travolta and Kelly Preston's Ella Bleu to Alicia Silverstone's Bear Blu. Dave 'The Edge' Evans named his daughter Blue Angel back in 1989.

MossHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "descendant of Moses"
  • Description:

    This evocative green nature name, heard much more frequently as a surname, is associated with playwright Moss Hart (born Robert), who co-wrote (with George S. Kaufman) such enduring Broadway comedies as The Man Who Came to Dinner and You Can't Take it With You.

EbonyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "deeply black wood"
  • Description:

    Word name favored by African-American parents because of its connotations of blackness and beauty, trending down since the eighties.
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CyanHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "greenish blue color"
  • Description:

    Cyan is a highly unusual blue-green color name, a classmate of Celadon and Cerulean. It does come with the homey nickname Cy.

CeriseHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "cherry"
  • Description:

    Infinitely preferable to the tease-inspiring English version of the word.

JetHeart

  • Origin:

    Mineral and word name
  • Description:

    This super-charged variation of Jett is on the rise -- along with the unlikely newcomer Jetson.

SilverHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    This shimmery Age of Aquarius unisex flower child name is making a comeback, along with metal and gem names like Steel, Jade, and Ruby.

CoralHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    First used during the Victorian craze for jewel names; it could rise again, along with Ruby and Pearl, though it doesn't have as much luster.
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PlumHeart

  • Origin:

    Fruit name
  • Description:

    British-born novelist Plum Sykes has taken this rich, fruity name out of the produce section and put it into the baby name basket. It's more appealing than Apple, more presentable than Peaches. The French equivalent, Prune, is very fashionable there but would not fly with English speakers.

AzureHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    Azure is a colorful choice for a blue-eyed child. Among other blue-toned color name possibilities: Indigo, Cerulean, and Blue itself.

CherryHeart

  • Origin:

    Fruit name
  • Description:

    With other fruity names like Clementine, Olive and Plum ripe for the picking, sweet Cherry remains remarkably underused: just 27 baby girls received the name in 2017, down from 343 at its peak in 1948. The unsavory slang meaning no doubt goes a long way towards explaining its fall from grace.

GingerHeart

  • Origin:

    English diminutive
  • Description:

    Originally a unisex nickname for a redhead -- red hair is called "ginger" in Britain -- or for the name Virginia, Ginger perennially wears pink gingham and spike heels.

AquaHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    One of the new color names that is catching on, invoking a calm, blue-green-sea feeling.
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BrickHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name, various origins
  • Description:

    This is an Anglicized form of various names; the Irish Gaelic O Bruic; German, Bruck or Breck, meaning "swamp" or "wood"; Yiddish, Brik, "bridge"; and Slovenian, Bric, "dweller from a hilly place." Gosh, and we thought it was just a macho word name invented by Tennessee Williams for the hero of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

CrimsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Meaning:

    "rich deep red"
  • Description:

    Crimson could be a possible competitor for Scarlett's success, though it's lacking that Gone With the Wind charm.

SlateHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    One of the more unusual of the current crop of strong, single-syllable boys' names, evoking the images of both old-fashioned blackboards and modern stepping-stones and countertops.

ViridianHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "blue green color"
  • Description:

    Unusual and beautiful blue green color and name possibility, a la Cerulean.

ScarletHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    The Scarlet spelling makes it less a name, less Gone With The Wind and Scarlett Johansson, and more the bright red color that inspired it in the first place.
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SteelHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Hard and shiny, Steel projects an image that's smooth, macho...and cold to the touch.

IolantheHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "violet flower"
  • Description:

    Iolanthe is known primarily through the1882 Gilbert & Sullivan operetta of that name, in which the title character is a fairy. Iolanthe is a softer version of Yolanda, and is the kind of multi-syllabic classical name once considered too weighty for a modern baby girl, but now within the realm of possibility--this one as a dramatic twist on Violet

ViridisHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "green"
  • Description:

    Viridis is a medieval Italian name which is also the Latin word for green. This name is a beautiful option for parents looking for an unusual name that conveys freshness, youth, springtime and nature.

MauveHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "violet-colored"
  • Description:

    Mauve is an offbeat color name whose soft and sentimental Victorian spirit is conveyed by the name. One of the newer color names like Blue, Gray and Plum that are increasingly being used as novel middle names.

RedHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    Fiery but slight middle name choice; much more apt to be a redhead's nickname.
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