Halloween is right around the corner! Has the upcoming holiday made you curious about baby names associated with the color orange?
If so, you’re in luck — I’ve collected dozens of ideas for you in this post.
But, before we get to the names, let’s take a look at what the color orange represents…
Symbolism of orange
What does the color orange signify?
In Western cultures in particular, orange can be symbolic of:
It can also be associated with safety. A vivid reddish-orange — one that contrasts well with the blue of the sky — is used to make clothing and equipment highly visible in certain circumstances (e.g., at construction sites, during hunting season).
In Eastern cultures, orange is considered a sacred color. In Hinduism, for example, orange represents fire and, thereby, purity (as impurities are burned away by fire).
Top baby names associated with orange
To determine the top orange names, I first had to take into account the fact that certain names have a stronger connection to the color than other names. (I did this for the top purple names as well.)
With that in mind, here are the top baby names that have an obvious association with the color orange:
Now here are the same five names again, but this time around I’ve added some details (including definitions, rankings, and popularity graphs).
The word autumn refers to the season during which the leaves of deciduous trees turn various colors, including orange. Halloween — a holiday strongly associated with the color orange — is also celebrated during Autumn (at least in the Northern Hemisphere).
Autumn is currently the 66th most popular girl name in the U.S.
The word ember refers a glowing, slowly burning piece of solid fuel (like wood or coal). It’s often used in the plural to refer to the smoldering remains of a fire.
Ember is currently the 163rd most popular girl name in the nation.
The word amber refers to fossilized tree resin that is commonly used as a gemstone. By extension, the word also refers to the yellowish-orange color of this material.
The fossilized resin, which washes up on the seashore in the Baltic region, came to be called “amber” during the Middle Ages — likely due to an association with ambergris (a material produced by sperm whales that also washes up on the shore).
Amber is currently the 534th most popular girl name in the U.S.
The vocabulary word blaze refers to a fire, particularly one that’s burning intensely. Blaze is also a homophone of the (more traditional) name Blaise, which ultimately derives from the Latin word blaesus, meaning “lisping.”
Blaze is currently the 775th most popular boy name in the nation. (Blaise ranks 999th.)
The word marigold refers to any flowering plant of either the New World genus Tagetes or the Old World genus Calendula. By extension, it also refers to the yellowish-orange color of these flowers.
Marigold is currently the 1,022nd most popular girl name in the U.S.
More names associated with orange
Ready for the rest?
All the names below have an association with the color orange. The names range from common to uncommon, and their associations range from strong to slight.
Those that have been popular enough to appear in the U.S. baby name data are linked to their corresponding popularity graphs.
- Aethon (also spelled Aithon) is derived from the ancient Greek word aithon, which means “burning, blazing.”
- Alba is a feminine name meaning “dawn” in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and other Romance languages.
- Anatolios was an ancient Greek name derived from the word anatole, meaning “sunrise.”
- Anatolius is the Latinized form of Anatolios.
- Anatolia is a feminine form of Anatolius.
- Apricot fruits are yellowish-orange. Apricot trees are part of the genus Prunus.
- Aurora, the Latin word for “dawn,” was the name of the Roman goddess of dawn.
- Azar is a Persian gender-neutral name meaning “fire.”
- Canna flowers are sometimes orange. The genus name Canna is derived from the Latin word canna, meaning “reed.”
- Carnelian, a variety of the mineral chalcedony, is frequently orange. The name of the stone ultimately comes from the Latin word cornus, which refers to a type of berry, altered by the influence of the Latin word carneus, meaning “flesh-colored.”
- Chrysanthemum (pronounced krih-SAN-thuh-muhm) flowers are often orange. The genus name Chrysanthemum is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words khrysos, meaning “gold,” and anthemon, meaning “blossom, flower.”
- Citrine, a variety of the mineral quartz, is usually orange. The adjective citrine can be traced back to the Latin word citrus.
- Clementine fruits are a cross between mandarin orange and sweet orange. They were named after French priest Clément Rodier, who discovered the cultivar while in Algeria. The name Clément is derived from the Latin word clemens, meaning “merciful.”
- Copper is a metallic element with a lustrous orange-brown color.
- Dahlia flowers are sometimes orange. The genus Dahlia was named in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.
- Dawn refers to the period of time in the early morning (before sunrise) when the sky begins to brighten with daylight. This light at dawn tends to have an orange hue. The word dawn can be traced back to the Old English verb dagian, meaning “to become day.”
- Dysis, the ancient Greek word for “sunset,” was the name of the Greek goddess of the hour of sunset.
- Eos, the ancient Greek word for “dawn,” was the name of the Greek goddess of dawn.
- Fajr is an Arabic feminine name meaning “dawn.”
- Fiamma (pronounced FYAM-ma) is an Italian feminine name meaning “flame.”
- Fox fur, if you’re talking about the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), is largely orange. The word fox is ultimately derived from a Proto-Indo-European word meaning “tail.”
- Gladiola refers to Gladiolus, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes orange. The genus name, meaning “little sword” (a diminutive of the Latin word gladius, “sword”) refers to the shape of the leaves.
- Helen is a form of the ancient Greek name Helene, which is likely based on the word helene, meaning “torch.” Also, plants of the genus Helenium have flowers that are sometimes orange. The genus was named in honor of Helen of Troy.
- Honey can be orange. The Old English word for “honey” was hunig.
- Meli was the ancient Greek word for “honey.”
- Iskra is a feminine name meaning “spark” in Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, and other Slavic languages.
- Jack is part of “Jack-o’-Lantern” — a term that, since the 1800s, has referred to a carved pumpkin used as a lantern during Halloween. It originated as “Jack of the lantern” in 17th-century England, where it was used as a generic term for any lantern-carrying night watchman.
- June (besides being a month) is part of “Flaming June” — the name of the 1895 painting by Frederic Leighton. “Flaming June” features a red-headed woman wearing a diaphanous orange dress and sleeping by the sea (which reflects the golden rays of the setting sun).
- Keahi is a Hawaiian gender-neutral name meaning “the fire.”
- Kealaula is a Hawaiian gender-neutral name that means “the light of early dawn” or “the sunset glow.” The literal definition is “the flaming road” (ala means “path, road,” and ula means “to flame”).
- Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) have wings that are largely orange. They were named “monarch” in the 1800s, possibly in honor of England’s King William III, who was also the Prince of Orange. The word is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words monos, meaning “alone,” and arkhos, meaning “ruler.”
- Orange, of course, refers to the color orange. :) Orange fruits were introduced to Europe by the Moors in the 10th century. The word for the fruit, which can be traced back to Sanskrit, entered the English language (via French) in the late 14th century. The first recorded use of “orange” as a color name in English didn’t come along until the early 16th century.
- This explains why many things that are clearly orange — like red hair, red foxes, and the robin redbreast — are called “red”: They were named long before the color-word “orange” entered the English language.
- Orchid flowers are sometimes orange. Orchids are all members of the Orchidaceae family of plants.
- Oriole is a type of bird that often has orange plumage. “Oriole” is the common name of birds in the genera Icterus and Oriolidae. The common name is derived from the Latin word aureolus, meaning “golden.”
- Peach fruits are typically orange. Peach trees are part of the genus Prunus.
- Pele, the Hawaiian word for “lava flow, volcano, eruption,” was the name of the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes.
- Pyrrhos, meaning “flame-colored,” was an ancient Greek name derived from the word pyr, meaning “fire.”
- Pyrrhus is the Latinized form of Pyrrhos.
- Pyrrha is the feminine form of Pyrrhus.
- Robin redbreast originally referred to the Old World songbird Erithacus rubecula, which has orange plumage on the face and breast. “Robin” is a Middle English diminutive of the name Robert.
- Roth comes from a German surname that can be traced back to the Middle High German word rot, meaning “red.” It was originally a nickname for a red-haired person.
- Ruadh (pronounced roo-ah) means “red” or “red-haired” in Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
- Rufus derives from the Latin word rufus, meaning “red” or “red-haired.”
- Rusty is an adjective referring to rust (iron oxide), which tends to be orange-brown.
- Saffron is a spice made from the styles and stigmas of Crocus sativus flowers. By extension, the word — which can be traced back to the Arabic name for the spice, za’faran — also refers to the deep yellowish-orange color of fabrics dyed with saffron.
- Seville orange is a variety of bitter orange named after the Spanish city of Sevilla.
- Shachar is a Hebrew gender-neutral name meaning “dawn.”
- Shraga is an Aramaic masculine name meaning “candle.”
- Shula is an Arabic feminine name meaning “flame.”
- Smith comes from a surname that originally referred to a metalworker, such as a blacksmith or a farrier. When heated metal (like iron) comes out of a fire to be forged, it’s often glowing a yellowish-orange color. The smith in “blacksmith” is likely derived from the Old English verb smitan, meaning “to smite” or “to strike” (as with a hammer).
- Sunrise and Sunset are times at which the sun appears reddish-orange. Particles in the Earth’s atmosphere scatter more short-wavelength light than long-wavelength light, so when the sun is low on the horizon — and traveling a longer distance through the atmosphere to reach your eyes — you’ll end up seeing less violet and blue, but more red and orange.
- Tangerine fruits are orange. Tangerine trees are part of the genus Citrus.
- Tawny is an adjective that refers to a brownish-orange color.
- Tiger (Panthera tigris), the largest living species of cat, has fur that is mostly orange.
- Tigerlily refers to “tiger lily,” the common name of several species of flowering plant in the genus Lilium — particularly the species Lilium lancifolium — that have showy orange flowers.
- Ushas, the Sanskrit word for “dawn,” was the name of the Vedic (Hindu) goddess of dawn.
- Valencia orange is a cultivar of sweet orange named after the Spanish city of València.
- Zinnia flowers are sometimes orange. The genus Zinnia was named in honor of German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn. (Fun fact: An orange zinnia blossomed in space in early 2016!)
- Zora is a feminine name meaning “dawn” in Serbian, Czech, Croatian, Bulgarian, and other Slavic languages.
Can you think of any other names that have a connection to the color orange?
- Bhattacharjee, Puja. “Orange: The color of warmth and comfort.” CNN 6 Dec. 2017.
- Color Symbolism – Interaction Design Foundation
- Dutfield, Scott and Natalie Wolchover. “The meaning of colors: How 8 colors became symbolic.” Live Science 28 Jan. 2022.
- Hambling, David. “Weatherwatch: Flaming June – a painting not a forecast.” Guardian 6 Jun. 2020.
- Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
- History of Jack-O’-Lanterns | Merriam-Webster
- Na Puke Wehewehe ‘Olelo Hawai’i
- Online Etymology Dictionary
- What determines the colors of the sky at sunrise and sunset? – News | UW-Madison
- Why don’t we say “orangehead” instead of “redhead”? – All Things Linguistic
Images by Karalina S from Unsplash, Sheraz Shaikh from Unsplash, Ralph from Pixabay, and Evan Krause from Unsplash
2 thoughts on “Baby names associated with orange: Saffron, Anatole, Keahi”
Great list! My addition would be Capucine, the French name of my favorite sometimes-orange flower, the nasturtium.
Thank you, that’s a great suggestion!