Looking for baby names that are associated with yellow — including baby names that mean “yellow”?
If so, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve collected dozens of options for you in this post.
Before we get to the names, though, let’s take a quick look at what the color yellow represents…
Symbolism of yellow
What does the color yellow signify?
In Western cultures in particular, yellow can be symbolic of:
The color is primarily identified with the sun, which is the most important source of energy for life on Earth.
Interestingly, the sun’s light is actually white. It only appears yellow (or, sometimes, orange) from our perspective because particles in the Earth’s atmosphere scatter short-wavelength (e.g., blue) light more efficiently than long-wavelength (e.g., red) light.
Top baby names associated with yellow
Determining the top names in a category isn’t difficult when you’re working with an easily definable category, like gender-neutral names. When it comes to names that have a connection to the color yellow, however, we need to account for the fact that certain names have a stronger connection than others.
With that in mind, here are the top baby names that have an obvious association with the color yellow:
Unsurprisingly, four out of the five were inspired by the sun.
Here are the same five names again, but this time around I’ve added some details (including definitions, rankings, and popularity graphs).
The word sunny simply means “having plenty of bright sunlight.” In Middle English, it was spelled sonni. Sunny is also a homophone of the name Sonny, which is based on the English word son.
Sunny is currently the 650th most popular girl name in the U.S.
The word soleil (pronounced soh-lay, roughly) means “sun” in French.
Soleil is currently the 999th most popular girl name in the nation.
The word sol means “sun” in Latin and in several of the languages that descend from Latin, including Spanish and Portuguese. Sol is also a short form of the name Solomon, which explains why it was a popular choice for baby boys in the early 20th century.
Sol is currently the 1,054th most popular girl name in the U.S.
The word sunshine refers to the light (and warmth) of the sun. In Middle English, it was spelled sonne-shin.
Sunshine was given to 69 baby girls in 2021.
The word lemon — which can be traced back (via Old French limon and Arabic limun) to the Persian word limu — refers to the citrus fruit of the lemon tree (Citrus limon). By extension, it also refers to the yellow color of this fruit.
That said…most of the U.S. babies named Lemon during the 20th century (and earlier) were not named after the fruit. Instead, their names were inspired by the surname Lemon, which was derived from the Middle English word leman, meaning “sweetheart, lover” (from the Old English elements leof, “dear, beloved,” and mann, “person, man”).
Lemon was given to 50 baby girls in 2021.
More names associated with yellow
Ready for the rest?
All the names below are associated with the color yellow. 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.
- Antu, the Mapuche word for “sun,” is the name of the Mapuche god of the sun.
- Arevik is an Armenian feminine name based on the word arev, meaning “sun.”
- Aspen trees (in particular the North America species Populus tremuloides) are famous for their golden-yellow autumn foliage. The word aspen is derived from the Old English word for the tree, æspe.
- Beryl is a mineral that can be yellow. The name of the stone ultimately comes from the ancient Greek word beryllos.
- Blaine comes from a Scottish surname that can be traced back to the Old Irish word blá, meaning “yellow.”
- Bowie comes from a Scottish surname that can be traced back to the Gaelic word buidhe, meaning “yellow.”
- Buff is a light brownish-yellow color — the hue of buff leather, which was often obtained from the European buffalo.
- Buttercup flowers are yellow. “Buttercup” is the common name of several species of flowering plants in the genus Ranunculus.
- Boglárka is the Hungarian word for “buttercup.”
- Canna flowers are sometimes yellow. The genus name Canna is derived from the Latin word canna, meaning “reed.”
- Chrysanthemum flowers are commonly yellow. 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 often yellow. The adjective citrine can be traced back to the Latin word citrus.
- Daffodil flowers are frequently yellow. “Daffodil” is the common name of plants in the genus Narcissus.
- Dahlia flowers are sometimes yellow. The genus Dahlia was named in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.
- Dandelion flowers are yellow. “Dandelion” is the common name of the plant species Taraxacum officinale. The common name is derived from the Latin phrase dens leonis, meaning “lion’s tooth” — a reference to the shape of the leaves.
- Fífill is the Icelandic word for “dandelion.”
- Diell is an Albanian masculine name based on the word diell, meaning “sun.”
- Diellza is the feminine form of Diell.
- Flavius was an ancient Roman name derived from the Latin word flavus, meaning “yellow, golden.”
- Forsythia (commonly pronounced for-SITH-ee-uh) flowers are yellow. The genus Forsythia was named in honor of Scottish botanist William Forsyth.
- Fulvio (masculine) and Fulvia (feminine) are the modern Italian forms of the Roman family name Fulvius, which was based on the Latin word fulvus, meaning “deep yellow, reddish-yellow, gold-colored, tawny.”
- Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) often has yellowish flesh. The word ginger is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit word sringavera.
- Gladiola refers to Gladiolus, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes yellow. The genus name, meaning “little sword” (a diminutive of the Latin word gladius, “sword”) refers to the shape of the leaves.
- Günes (pronounced goo-NESH) is a Turkish feminine name meaning “sun.”
- Haetbit is a Korean feminine name meaning “sunlight.”
- Haru is a Japanese gender-neutral name that can mean “sun,” or “sunny,” depending upon the kanji being used to write the name.
- Helios, the ancient Greek word for “sun,” was the name of the Greek god of the sun.
- Helius is the Latinized form of Helios.
- Helen is part of Helenium, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes yellow. The genus was named in honor of Helen of Troy.
- Heulwen is the Welsh word for “sunshine.”
- Honey can be yellow. The Old English word for “honey” was hunig.
- Meli is the ancient Greek word for “honey.”
- Inti, the Quechua word for “sun,” was the name of the Incan god of the sun.
- Jonquil flowers (which, like daffodils, are part of the genus Narcissus) are frequently yellow. The species name, jonquilla, means “little rush” (ultimately derived from the Latin word iuncus, meaning “rush, reed”) and refers to the shape of the leaves.
- Ketut is a Balinese gender-neutral name associated with the word kitut, which refers to a small banana.
- Khurshid (also spelled Khorshid) is a Persian gender-neutral name derived from the word xorshid, which means “sun.”
- Lillesol is a Swedish feminine name meaning “little sun.”
- Marigold flowers are sometimes yellow. “Marigold” is the common name of plants in the genera Tagetes and Calendula.
- Mehr is a Persian gender-neutral name meaning “sun.”
- Meyer lemons are a cross between citron and hybridized mandarin/pomelo. They were named after Dutch-American agricultural explorer Frank N. Meyer (born Frans N. Meijer), who discovered the cultivar while in China in 1907. The occupational surnames Meyer and Meijer are both derived from the Middle High German word meier, meaning “administrator, steward.”
- Mzia is a Georgian feminine name meaning “sun.”
- Naran is a Mongolian gender-neutral name meaning “sun.”
- Nou is a Hmong feminine name meaning “sun.”
- Nurit (pronounced noo-REET) is a Hebrew feminine name meaning “buttercup.”
- Nyima is a Tibetan gender-neutral name meaning “sun.”
- Orchid flowers are sometimes yellow. Orchids are all members of the Orchidaceae family of plants.
- Oriole is a type of bird that often has yellow 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.”
- Ra, the ancient Egyptian word for “sun,” was the name of the Egyptian god of the sun.
- Seqineq is a Greenlandic gender-neutral name meaning “sun.”
- Sequssuna is a Greenlandic masculine name meaning “egg yolk.”
- Shams is an Arabic gender-neutral name meaning “sun.”
- Shimshon is a Hebrew masculine name meaning “sun.”
- Samson is the Biblical (Late Latin) form of Shimshon.
- Solaris comes from the Latin word solaris, meaning “of the sun” or “pertaining to the sun.”
- Solar is a modern word (used in English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and other languages) based on solaris.
- Sunflower petals are usually yellow. “Sunflower” is the common name of plants in the genus Helianthus, particularly the species Helianthus annuus. The common name is a reference to the sun-like flower heads.
- Surya, a Sanskrit word for “sun,” is the name of the Hindu god of the sun.
- Ravi, another Sanskrit word for “sun,” is one of Surya’s alternate names.
- Susan is part of “black-eyed Susan” — the common name of the plant species Rudbeckia hirta, which has flowers that are typically yellow.
- Taeyang is a Korean masculine name meaning “sun.”
- Tonatiuh, the Nahuatl word for “sun,” is the name of the Aztec god of the sun.
- Topaz is a mineral that comes in several different colors, most notably golden-yellow. Its name is based on the Middle English word topas, which referred to any yellow-colored gemstone (not just topaz). The earliest known form of the word, the ancient Greek topazion, referred to a specific yellow gemstone (possibly yellowish olivine).
- Tulip flowers are sometimes yellow. The name of the flower can be traced back to the Ottoman Turkish word tülbent, meaning “turban.”
- Xanthos was an ancient Greek name derived from the word xanthos, meaning “yellow.”
- Xanthus is the Latinized form of Xanthos.
- Xanthe (pronounced ZAN-thee) is a feminine form of Xanthus.
- Xanthia is an elaboration of Xanthe.
- Zinnia flowers are sometimes yellow. The genus Zinnia was named in honor of German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn.
Can you think of any other names that have a connection to the color yellow?
- Color Symbolism – Interaction Design Foundation
- Dutfield, Scott and Natalie Wolchover. “The meaning of colors: How 8 colors became symbolic.” Live Science 28 Jan. 2022.
- Fulvus – Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary
- Gunn, Alastair. “What colour is the Sun really? Hint: it’s not yellow.” BBC Science Focus Magazine 20 Nov. 2021.
- Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
- Middle English Dictionary
- Nordic Names
- Online Etymology Dictionary
- Stone, Daniel. “The Mysterious Life and Death of Frank Meyer, the Man Behind Meyer Lemons.” Vice 25 Apr. 2018.
- Sunny – Britannica Dictionary
Images by Richard John from Pixabay, Intricate Explorer from Unsplash, RitaE from Pixabay, and xuuxuu from Pixabay
7 thoughts on “Baby names associated with yellow: Sunny, Flavio, Ketut”
Do you know if the 1973 tv movie Sunshine (based on the teen novel by Norma Klein) caused there to be a bump in baby girls named Sunshine in the following years? It was about a young dying woman named Sunshine, and since Jennifer got such a huge boost from Love Story’s dying main character, I thought maybe there was a connection.
Another yellow name is Jaskier from The Witcher written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Jaskier is the Polish word for “buttercup”.
To associate Meyer with yellow some stretch is needed, because in most cases it is probably Jewish (from Meir, “light”).
P.S. For colours in general, I have another book recommendation: Eva Heller, Wie Farben wirken, Rowohlt. The original is in German, and translation to Spanish and Portuguese exist, but AFAIK there is no translation to English.
I love Xanthe and sun and yellow-flower names!
Maybe also Heliodoro/Iliodor/Liodor = gift of the sun,
Sunniva = possibly meaning gift of the sun,
Aurelius/Aurelio/Aurelia = golden,
and perhaps names meaning dawn, like, well, Dawn, Aurora, Oriana, etc.
Amber is a name I always think of in the same general group of names as Sunny or Sunshine.
Also Aurelia, Goldie & Golda
I’ve always liked Girasol since discovering it in the dictionary as a kid. In English the word refers to a type of fire opal and in several Romance languages it refers to sunflowers or sunchokes.
Thank you guys for all the great ideas/additions!
@Sharky – I bet you’re right! I haven’t done much research on the name Sunshine, but I would guess that the TV movie was the main cause of that 1974 jump. The name of the main character’s baby girl, Jill, began to rebound in 1974 as well.
Having seen Amber and Opal in the comments here, I want to throw in Ochre, another yellow-ish colour (and a colour pigment as well).
Amebr, Ochre, and Opal would be a perfect nameset for triplets (nerds would recognise the trivial names of the three stop codon in the genetic code).