Violet: Baby Name of the Day

Violet Elizabeth
I just got the email: The first mom of my second-time moms' group has had her baby, and her name is Violet! Good enough for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, good enough for anyone -- that’s what I say.

Violet is one of those names that has made a beautiful transition from old-lady to hipster-girl. I absolutely love it, though I can’t resist quoting Mr. Beauregarde from Willy Wonka when I hear it: “Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet!”

So what’s in this name?


As you would have guessed, the only meaning behind “Violet” is the pretty purple flower. No baggage there. I had expected to find it in the top 20 in terms of national popularity -- after all, to my ears it’s similar to Isabella and Chloe, two top-10 contenders. But according to the Social Security Administration, it sits comfortably at spot 141, though it’s been steadily, albeit slowly, increasing in popularity (from 739 in 2000).

But here on CafeMom, it holds the #53 spot -- with 351 CafeMoms giving their daughter this delightful moniker.

If there are just too many Violets at your local playground, there are variations that are equally gorgeous and even more unusual, and carry literary weight. For instance, Viola is a character in the Shakespeare play Twelfth Night -- and she’s really a pip. Finding herself lost in a strange city, she dresses like a boy to protect herself, and finds herself in the awkward position of having a guy fall in love with her -- as a guy. It’s a confusing, funny, and fantastic play. (Well, and let’s not forget, Viola is also Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in Shakespeare in Love.)

In Greek, Violet becomes Iolanthe, which is a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, and Yolanda, which you don’t hear that often.

Violet was quite a common name in Scotland in the 1500s and in England in the 1800s. So it holds a British tinge in addition to its lavender tint.

What do you think of the baby name Violet? Do you have one? If so, why did you choose it? Tell us in the comments!

Image via aliceryannesmom/CafeMom

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