Name the Rainbow: 20 Color-Inspired Baby Names

Stacy Lenz | Feb 12, 2019 Pregnancy
Name the Rainbow: 20 Color-Inspired Baby Names
Image: FamVeld/iStock.com


FamVeld/iStock.com

Sadly, naming a child is a lot more difficult than naming a pet. When a new pet comes into your home, the family's brainstorm session includes lots of names that just describe it: Fluffy, Goldie, Fuzzbutt, etc. Naming a baby is a lot more complex and (hopefully) no one is planning to name their baby Baldy or Lil Squirmy. 

But maybe in naming babies, we should take a page from pet naming and think of colors. Many a dog has been named Red or Blue based on their respective orangey red or blue-gray coats, and on the flipside Scarlett and Azul are beautiful name options for new babies. (Please note we do not advocate any other overlap in child rearing and pet rearing activities; well almost, we know it's controversial but we always thought those toddler leashes got a bad rap.)

Within the realm of colors are a whole rainbow's worth of name options. Color-based names can still be sentimental. Inspired by a loved one's eye color (Hazel) or the color of flowers blooming the day you realized you might be pregnant (Hyacinth), rainbow-tinged names can still evoke a vivid hue and a nostalgic moment. Other memories to mine for color-based name inspiration include: the color of a cherished family's member's kitchen that always felt filled with love, the color of fragrant herb that has calming properties or a color mentioned in sentimental favorite song.

From Amber Rose to Scarlett Johansson to Sterling K. Brown, pop culture is filled with color-inspired names. They can add a bit of flowery language and whimsy to offset a formal-sounding last name, or like in the case of Amber Rose and Sterling K. Brown a color-inspired first name pairs perfectly with a colorful last name. There are so many brilliant color-inspired name combinations. If all else fails, consult the super size box of crayons, randomly pick a few and see what inspiration strikes!

  • ASH

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    Ash is a unisex baby name following in the popular baby name trend of cool, muted colors. It's origin is inspired by the ash tree. Ash is seen as a modern update to the name Ashley, which is another unisex baby name.

  • SAGE

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    Sage is a unisex baby name. It has a Latin meaning of "wise and knowing." It also refers to the gray-green color inspired by the hue of dried sage leaves. 

  • SIENNA

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    Sienna is a rich brown color and a baby name for girls. In pop culture, the name is shared by actress Sienna Miller. The Tuscan city of Siena only has one 'n,' so for those interested in the name Sien(n)a, be conscious of what your baby's namesake will be.

  • GRAY

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    Gray is a sweet and simple unisex baby name. Other popular forms of this name include Grey, Grayson, and Greyson. It's also frequently used as a middle name. 

  • OLIVE

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    Olive is both a greenish hue and a popular baby name for girls. Many use it as an update to the extremely popular name, Olivia. In pop culture, actresses Drew Barrymore and Isla Fisher have daughters named Olive.

  • LAVENDER  

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    Lavender is a girl's name inspired by the soft-hued purple shade. It also shares the name with the fragrant flower that is said to have calming properties. Consider pairing this name with other purple names like Violet and Lilac.

  • VIOLET

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    Violet is a girl's name that is gaining in popularity. It has a Latin origin meaning "purple." Violet was originally a popular Victorian name but is presently make a comeback.

  • SCARLET

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    Scarlett is a girl's name that led the way in this current crop of color-based names. Originally thought of as a Southern name due to Gone With the Wind character Scarlett O'Hara, the popularity of actress Scarlet Johansson made this name more universal. It's now in the top 20 of baby names.

  • MAUVE

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    Mauve is a girl's name of French origin. It has the meaning "violet-colored" but in English the color mauve takes on more of a grayish, muted purple hue. As a baby name, it's popularity is rooted in the Victorian era.

  • EBONY

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    Ebony is a girl's name of English origin meaning "deeply black wood." Ebony was at its most popular in the 1980s, although its popularity is making a comeback. There has been a slight rise in babies named Ebony since 2015.

  • BRICK

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    Brick is a boy's name with red connotations. It comes from German, Gaelic, and Yiddish origins. In pop culture, Brick was the name of the youngest son on the long-running TV show The Middle.
  • JADE

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    Jade is experiencing current popularity both as a color name and as a gem-inspired name. Jade is more often used as a girl's name but it can be a unisex name. In popular culture, Jade has be climbing in popularity since the 70s when Mick and Bianca Jagger used it for their daughter.

  • ROSE

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    Rose is a girls' name that also evokes the flower and reddish magenta hue. Originally popular in the early 1900s the name is having a modern comeback. In addition to being a popular first name, it's also frequently used as a middle name.

  • HAZEL 

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    Hazel is an old-fashioned name that has made a modern comeback. Formerly, a "grandma name," it's an on-trend name for baby girls. It's popular with celebrities like Julia Roberts and Emily Blunt, who have children named Hazel.

  • AZUL

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    Azul is a beautiful name for a girl. Azul has a Spanish origin, meaning blue. Azul would be a perfect name for a baby born on a day with a clear, bright blue sky.

  • HYACINTH

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    Hyacinth is a girl's name with a Greek origin. It's also the name of a purple flower, making it perfect for springtime babies. The flower gave the light purple color its name. Also consider, Jacinta which is the Spanish version of the name.

  • PLUM

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    Plum is a girl's name based on on the deep purple color and fruit. The French version of the name is Prune. It's popular in France, but has yet to take off in the US.

  • STERLING

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    Sterling in a unisex baby name meaning "of the highest quality." It's frequently associated with silver, giving it the color connection. In pop culture, the name Sterling has been gaining popularity thanks to This is Us star Sterling K. Brown.

  • TEAL

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    Teal is rising in baby name popularity. The name works for boys or girls. The bluish hue would be perfect for a spring or summer baby.

  • MARIGOLD

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    Marigold is a name inspired by the golden-orange color and the perennial flower. It's mainly used for girls. Marigold is more commonly used in England, but it starting to get attention in the US.

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