50 Colorful Baby Names for Every Style

Dec 8th 2014

 baby name roundups by theme

Are color names truly a new trend? Not really. Parents have been inspired by the beautiful world around them for a long time. Between the floral names of the Victorian era and the  beloved jewel names of the turn of the century, nature's colors charmed parents quite some time ago.

But we are in the middle of a colorful name revival, and we're exploring far beyond the tried-and-true colors of yore. Maybe you've noticed celebrity babies from Blue Ivy Carter to Violet Affleck and wondered if you can use a similarly vibrant name. The good news is that there is such a wide variety of color-inspired names, you are bound to love one or two.

Some serve a dual-purpose as gems, botanicals, spices, and even precious metals, but all of them bring to mind a particular shade. And that's what we love about these names that strike us as artistic and fresh, in both bold and softer colors to suit any personality.

Whether you're looking for something with Victorian spirit or modern flair, you don't have to be somewhere over the rainbow to love these names. They run the gamut between bygone classic and avant garde, but all are quite stylish hues that your baby just might love to wear.

Contemporary Swatches
These trendier shades don't have a long history as baby names, but over the past few years they have become mainstream. They are spirited, stylish choices just right for your modern baby.

Grey, Gray





Antique Painter's Palette
Quaint and sweet, these old-fashioned color names remind us of a Monet painting. This trend has us tickled pink, with girls' names like Violet and Ruby in the top 100.













On-the-Cusp-of-Cool Colors
Looking for something modern and unusual? You'll love these choices that are on the brink of discovery. The most popular of the group are gems Emerald and Sapphire, followed by Denim, a name chosen by singer Toni Braxton.











Unexpected Hues
These rare names are guaranteed to surprise your friends and dazzle your acquaintances. They are far out of the top 1,000, but they aren't completely unheard of. Some sound very modern (Blue and Silver), while others seem like they should be old-fashioned (Lilac, Plum) though they are all new to the naming scene.










Colorful Connectors
The first thing you think of when you hear these names may not be a color, but we commonly use them to modify shades (think royal blue, for example), and, as such, they conjure up color in their own right. They range in popularity and style, but we couldn't create this list without a nod to these names that are perfect color complements.




Forest, Forrest











Do you love color names? Tell us your favorite hues and styles.

40 Top Baby Names Inspired By the Best TV Characters of All Time

Dec 5th 2014

Stirring Up Baby Names

Originally appeared on The Stir

Choosing the perfect baby name is one of the toughest decisions new parents will make. There are so many choices -- almost too many. So some folks have turned to their favorite TV shows and characters for inspiration. Truth be told, I have an uncle who was such a huge fan of Dallas' J.R. Ewing, he actually named his son the same thing. Take a look at 40 other (and arguably more sane) name choices inspired by TV.

1. Meadow, The Sopranos
2. Vinnie, Welcome Back, Kotter
3. Bart, The Simpsons
4. Arya, Game of Thrones
5. Tobias, Arrested Development
6. Jordan, My So-Called Life
7. Dexter, Dexter  
8. Erica, as in All My Children vixen Erica Kane
9. Jean, Star Trek the Next Generation
10. Lafayette, True Blood
11. Rose, Golden Girls
12. Dana, X-Files
13. Chandler, Friends
14. Lucy, I Love Lucy
15. Veronica, Veronica Mars
16. Barney, How I Met Your Mother
17. Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory
18. Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
19. Santana, Glee
20. Dean, Supernatural
21. Liz, 30 Rock
22. Rory, Gilmore Girls
23. Jack, 24
24. Frasier, Cheers and Frasier
25. Ally, Ally McBeal
26. Carrie, Sex and the City
27. Sydney, Alias
28. Sam, Cheers
29. Ari, Entourage
30. Leslie, Parks and Recreation
31. Hurley, Lost
32. Pam, The Office
33. Winnie, The Wonder Years
34. Bree, Desperate Housewives
35. Theo, Cosby Show
36. Jess, New Girl
37. Phil, Modern Family
38. Brita, Community
39. Alexis, Dynasty
40. Don, Mad Men

What other TV show character names do you like?


No, Muhammad Isn't the Top Baby Name In England. But...

Dec 2nd 2014

First things first: ignore any screaming headlines you see claiming that Muhammad is now the U.K.'s #1 name for boys. The most recent national statistics for England and Wales rank the name Muhammad at #15, only half as popular as the real #1. In the rest of the U.K. it's even less common.

The headlines were inspired a Babycentre.co.uk press release, which reported on the top names submitted by that site's users. Their list may differ from national stats for multiple reasons. Most obviously, a website's user base isn't a representative sample of a whole country. For instance, no Spanish boys' names ever crack the USA top-100 list produced by Babycentre's U.S. sister site -- no José, no Angel, no Luis.

Further, the Babycentre tally combined variations of some names in its count. They apparently treated most global forms of Muhammad/Mohamed/Muhamet as one, while names like Sophie and Sophia, Eve, Eva, and Evie were all counted separately. My take-away lessons: when you're studying name popularity demand actual government stats, and list every name for clarity.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get to the real heart of this story. The apparent rise of Muhammad struck a nerve because it seemed to signal a momentous change in Britain's population. If you look closely at the names, though, I think there's a subtler factor at work. Imagine for a moment that the headlines hadn't read "Muhammad Is Now the #1 Baby Name in Britain!" Imagine that they said instead:

"More British Babies Are Named Muhammad Than Oliver!"

That doesn't seem nearly so momentous, does it? The single baby name Oliver obviously represents only a tiny slice of the population. Yet tiny-slice Oliver is the U.K.'s real #1 name.

To me, this story isn't only about the rising Muslim population in England. It's about the rapidly changing way non-Muslims name their babies.

The fact that Muhammad is even in the discussion of top names is remarkable, given that the Muslim community represents only one in ten births in the U.K. In centuries past, the names John and Mary alone would have dwarfed that entire Muslim baby population. But John and Mary no longer crack the top 100 in England. Only one English boy in a thousand is named John. Even the #1 boy's name accounts for only one boy in fifty.

Muhammad, in various spellings, is given to one in five Muslim boys in the UK. The "anchor names" of Islamic tradition continue to dominate, while the anchor names of Christian tradition are being abandoned on fashion grounds. It's telling that more English girls today receive the Arabic name Maryam than its English equivalent Mary.

What we're seeing is two changes in the baby name population at once. The first is a religious demographic shift, the second an attitude/style shift away from tradition -- one which varies by religious demographic. The result is a huge name-style gap. Given that names represent our hopes, dreams and values, that's a gap worth paying attention to. In the United States, growing differences in how groups name their babies have signaled deeper rifts in mutual understanding and good will.