Names that Mean Red or Redhead
Expecting a little redhead? Or maybe you love the color red or are expecting a baby born under one of the fire signs of the zodiac.
As a name expert named Redmond with red hair, I'm especially interested in this topic. In fact, searching for a name that meant red for my first child is a big part of what led me to start writing a different kind of name book, one that organized baby names by lists related to meanings and style.
Girl names meaning red or redhead include Ruby, Scarlett, Poppy, and Rose. Boy names with meanings related to the color red include Jasper, Flynn, Reed, and Adam.
Some of the top baby names meaning red or redhead are gender-neutral, including Rowan, Phoenix, and Rory, the name I chose for my child. Unique redhead names include Crimson and Clancy, Arusha and Sorrell, along with the other redhead names on this list.
Origin:Scottish and Irish
Meaning:"rowan tree; little redhead"
Description:Rowan – a strong surname and nature name (it's a tree with red berries) – is deservedly growing in popularity. Some scholars identify Rowan as originally a girls’ name, related to Rowena and Rhonwen, while others say Rowan's always been used for both genders. Sharon Stone chose the Roan spelling, which also relates to the reddish color, for her son, while Brooke Shields used Rowan for her daughter. Yet another increasingly popular spelling is Rowen.
Meaning:"bringer of treasure"
Description:Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning "bringer of treasure." As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning "speckled stone." Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.
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,” and also Hros</>, "horse". In Old English it was translated as Roese and Rohese.
Origin:English from Latin
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.
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.
Meaning:"son of the red-haired one"
Description:Flynn, a charming Irish surname, is still used only quietly, despite its easygoing, casual cowboy charm, unlike Finn which is a star of this genre. Flynn was the choice of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr for their baby boy, and is also the middle name -- used as his first -- of a son of Miranda's fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson, of Gary Oldman's son Gulliver and Marley Shelton's daughter West.
Description:Scarlett originated as an occupation surname, designating a person who sold scarlet, a luxury wool cloth produced in Medieval Europe. The word is thought to derive from the Arabic siklāt, referring to silks dyed with kermes. The fanciest, favorited color was scarlet red.
Description:Rory is a buoyant, spirited name for a redhead with Celtic roots. The name Rory is getting more popular overall, but for the past few years has been trending decidedly toward the boys' side -- however, it's been rising to new heights for girls in recent years.
Description:Rufus is a rumpled, redheaded (it was the nickname for red-haired King William) ancient Roman name popular with saints and singers (e.g. Rufus Wainwright); now, Rufus is on the cutting edge of cool.
Description:A slim, elegant, silvery surname, Reed could be a banker or a sculptor, and therein lies the appeal of this simple yet distinctive name. The versatile Reed can be seen as a grass-like nature name and a musical name.
Meaning:"son of the red earth"
Description:Adam -- a primal Old Testament name -- was revived as a 1960s cowboy name. Adam is not as popular as it once was and feels ready for a respite, replaced by newer A names like Aidan/Aiden, Avery and Axel. Its most prominent current bearers include Adams Sandler, Levine, Brody and Driver -- who plays a character named Adam on Girls.
Description:Phoenix is a New Age name symbolizing rebirth and immortality; Scary Spice chose Phoenix for her daughter.
Description:One of many R- boys’ names that started as a nickname for a redhead, Russell had a measure of popularity from the early twentieth century through the 1950s. But it's now lost much of its color -- except for a few dynamic bearers, actors Russell Crowe and Russell Brand and sports stars Russell Westbrook and Russell Wilson.
Origin:Spelling variation of Rowan
Description:Warm-hued spelling spin on Rowan that was chosen by Sharon Stone for one of her three young sons.
Origin:Irish. "little rose"
Description:No, the pronunciation--ro-SHEEN--isn't immediately obvious to the non-Gaelic viewer, but the sound of this shiny Irish version of Rose is pretty enough to make it worth considering. Very popular in its native Ireland, it is now at Number 34. Earlier generations Anglicized at as Rosaleen, but we stay stick to the original.
Origin:French "king,"; Celtic "red-haired"
Description:We've seen Ray regain his cool, but could this country/cowboy name epitomized by Roy Rogers (born Leonard Slye), Acuff, and Clark, do the same?
Roy came into use in the late nineteenth century, probably influenced by the main character of Sir Walter Scott's novel Rob Roy, in which the historical character Robert M'ac Gregor is nicknamed Roy for his red hair.
There have been lots of notable non-country namesakes, including baseball's Roy Campanella, humorist Roy Blunt, Jr., Walt's brother and partner Roy Disney, singer Roy Orbison and pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. Roy Hobbs was the protagonist of the Malamud novel The Natural, played in the film by Robert Redford.
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.
Description:Clancy, one of the original crossover Irish surname names, is as energetic and appealing as ever — full of moxie, more distinctive than Casey, and also one of the less obvious of the red-headed names.
Origin:English word name
Description:A hot name, though perhaps not in the sense you want for your baby. About 20 times as many boys as girls were named Blaze in one recent year, perhaps because it can be seen as a spelling variation of the classic male saint's name Blaise.
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.
Description:Rogan makes a great, roguish alternative for the more popular Logan, Ronan and Rowan.
Origin:Irish variation of Raymond
Description:We love this partly for purely personal reasons, since it is one of our surnames. We used it as the middle name of a son –and it can make a good first choice too. Redmond – also found as Reamann or Raemonn – is the Irish form of the Germanic name that occurs in modern English as Raymond.
Description:Ruadhan (sometimes spelt with a fada: Ruadhán) is a fashionable name in its native Ireland. Borne one of the Twelve Irish Apostles, it originated as a diminutive of Ruadh, meaning "red-haired". It has sometimes been Anglicized as Rowan.
Meaning:"long life; red"
Description:Omaira is an intriguing Middle Eastern possibility.
Origin:Botanical name and French
Description:A fragrant herbal and color name that could make a sensitive, distinctive choice.
Meaning:"descendent of the champion"
Description:Rooney is one of many bouncy Irish surnames that could make an agreeable first, once tied to Mickey Rooney (who was actually born Joseph Yule) in his young and spunky Andy Hardy period.
Description:This traditional Italian name could have a whole new life when viewed as a color name.
Origin:Jewel name, from the French
Description:One of the jewel names in use a hundred years ago, due for revival along with sisters Ruby and Pearl.
Description:Often thought of as a one-peson name because of Jungle Book writer Kipling, this was actually his middle name. He was middle-named for Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire, the beauty of which inspired his parents to reference it in their first child's name. Trivia tidbit: Actress Kim Raver gave her son Leo the middle name of Kipling.
Description:Ancient martyr name that sounds totally modern, but perhaps too close to rumor.
Meaning:"descendant of Flannghal"
Description:Long before the vogue of using Irish surnames for girls, writer Flannery O'Connor gave this one some visibility. It has a warm (flannelly) feel and the currently popular three-syllable ee-ending sound.
Description:This surname-name originated as a nickname for redheads.
Description:The color red plays a prominent role in Hindu mythology, referring to the rising sun or the reddish horses of the "son of fire." Pronounced ahr-OO-shah, it has a stylish Russian flair. Hindi version is ARUSHI.
Origin:Diminutive or Derek or Dermot or Irish place-name
Meaning:"like an oak"
Description:Merry but slight.
Description:Most closely associated with Australia's iconic progressive Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, this name is a great choice for politicos or parents wanting to honor their Welsh heritage in naming a red-haried son.
Description:Roone is a lively, attractive and unusual redhead entry brought into the mix by the late TV sports and news executive Roone Arledge, who seemed to own it as a one-person name when he was alive.
Meaning:"son of the red-haired"
Description:Inventive way to honor a redheaded ancestor, though most people would mispronounce it reeding, making it sound to some kids like a school assignment: Redding is a preferable spelling.
Description:Might be too close to "ruffian" and "rough."
Description:The color red was considered to have magical properties in early Japanese culture, with the power to cure blood and other illnesses. Pronounced ah-kah-ko.
Description:Philosophical surname that could make an unusual first for a red-headed girl.
Description:Corky was a sitcom moniker of the fifties, Corcoran a better fit for these times.
Description:The Alhambra, which means "red city," is in Granada, Spain. British writer Ali Smith used it for a character in her novel The Accidental.
Description:Flanagan is an elabortion of Flann, and cousin of Flynn and Finn: a member of the family of colorful Irish red-headed names. This one is lively and undiscovered.
Description:Flanna is an uncommon name for a red-haired girl, not as familiar -- or some would say, as pretty -- as its nickname, Flannery.