How popular is the baby name Flavius in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Flavius.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Flavius


Posts that Mention the Name Flavius

Baby names associated with yellow: Sunny, Flavio, Ketut

lemons, yellow

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:

  • Optimism
  • Cheer
  • Happiness
  • Warmth
  • Caution
  • Energy
  • Intellect

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:

  1. Sunny
  2. Soleil
  3. Sol
  4. Sunshine
  5. Lemon

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).

Sunny

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.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Sunny in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Sunny

Soleil

The word soleil (pronounced saw-lay, roughly) means “sun” in French.

Soleil is currently the 999th most popular girl name in the nation.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Soleil in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Soleil

Sol

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.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Sol in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Sol

Sunshine

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.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Sunshine in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Sunshine

Lemon

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.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Lemon in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Lemon

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.

aspen trees in autumn, yellow leaves
Aspen trees in autumn
  • 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 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.
  • 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 form of Dandelion.
  • Diell is an Albanian masculine name based on the word diell, meaning “sun.”
    • Diellza is the feminine form of Diell.
daffodils, yellow
  • Flavius was an ancient Roman name derived from the Latin word flavus, meaning “yellow, golden.”
    • Flavian was an ancient Roman name based on Flavius.
    • Flavia was the feminine form of Flavius.
    • Flavio is the modern Spanish and Italian form of Flavius.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Haruki is a Japanese name that can include the element Haru.
    • Haruna is another Japanese name that can include the element Haru.
  • Helios, the ancient Greek word for “sun,” was the name of the Greek god of the sun.
    • Helius is the Latinized form of Helios.
    • Helio (masculine) and Helia (feminine) are the modern Spanish forms 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.
sun, yellow
  • 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.
    • Solara is an elaboration of Solar.
    • Solaria is another elaboration of Solar.
  • 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?

Sources:

Images by Richard John from Pixabay, Intricate Explorer from Unsplash, RitaE from Pixabay, and xuuxuu from Pixabay

Babies named for the story “Flavilla”

Flavilla Doane Loring's gravestone
Flavilla Doane Loring

Flavilla Doane Loring was just 13 months old when she died on October 12, 1847.

She and I clearly never knew one another. We aren’t related in any way. And yet I’ve known about her for decades.

Pine Grove Cemetery, South Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Pine Grove Cemetery shortcut

I grew up on Cape Cod (which is that “hook” part of Massachusetts). The Cape gets notoriously touristy in the summers. So, when I went places as a kid, I took as many non-road shortcuts as possible to avoid having to walk alongside the backed-up tourist traffic.

One of those shortcuts was right through the Pine Grove Cemetery, which allowed me to bypass the busy intersection of North Main Street and Route 28.

Even back then I had a thing for names, so I often stopped to read the headstones. And It didn’t take long for me to discover Flavilla.

She’s buried next to her parents, Capt. John Loring and Hannah Loring, and three of her siblings: William, John, and Hannah. (I later learned that young John drowned at the age of 3 in Bass River — the body of water on the right side of the map.)

John, Hannah, William…these were names I recognized.

But Flavilla? Totally new to me.

I remember staring it, trying to make sense of it.

That’s a name? Really?

It wasn’t like any name I’d ever seen before. The closest thing I could come up with was Priscilla, the name of one of my father’s aunts. But even that was a stretch.

How did she get a name like that? Where did it come from? What does it mean?

I felt like an archaeologist who’d just dug up some curious little artifact. I was eager to identify it, figure it out, give it some context.

I couldn’t, though. Not back then. The Internet hadn’t become particularly useful yet, and our modest town library didn’t offer much by way of research materials.

But now I can…

The Origin of Flavilla

It may look made-up, but Flavilla is legitimate name. And a very old one at that.

It was used by women in ancient Rome, where it was a feminine form of the name Flavius, which was based on the Latin word flavus, meaning “golden” or “yellow.” (The original bearer of the name Flavius was likely a blond.)

The name has since been attached to a species of butterfly with yellow wings:

Nica Flavilla (Butterfly)
Nica Flavilla (Butterfly)

But none of this explains why a 19th-century New England couple gave this fanciful, non-Biblical name to their daughter.

The Flavilla Trend

I checked Flavilla Doane Loring’s family tree for possible namesakes, but didn’t find anything conclusive.

While doing the research, though, I did spot a few other Flavillas — all born in the 1800s.

This made me wonder whether the name Flavilla wasn’t simply a trendy name back in 19th-century America.

Turns out, it was:

  • The first Flavillas I found were born in the 1760s.
  • After that, usage increased.
  • Usage peaked in the 1840s and 1850s.
  • After that, usage decreased.
  • The last Flavillas I found were born in the 1930s.

I’m not quite sure what made Flavilla stylish in the mid-1800s (beyond sound), but I think I know what sparked the trend in the first place: a story.

The Story of Flavilla

“The Fatal Effects of Fashionable Levities: The Story of Flavilla” first appeared in the London periodical The Adventurer in 1754.

The protagonist was a young woman, Flavilla, whose flighty behavior ended up costing her dearly. Here’s a line from the last paragraph: “May every lady, on whose memory compassion shall record these events, tremble to assume the levity of Flavilla.”

The author, English writer John Hawkesworth (1715–1773), may have chosen the name Flavilla because of the romantic sound, or because of the consonance with “levity.”

The story was reprinted (under various titles) in story and essay collections for decades to come. It eventually made its way to the States — either in The Adventurer or in one of the subsequent compilations — and that’s about the time we start seeing the first baby Flavillas.

Bitten by the Name Bug

For years, Flavilla’s name remained a mystery to me.

But I never stopped wondering about it.

Whenever I cut through the Pine Grove Cemetery, I would stop at the Loring family plot just so I could see her name one more time.

Stumbling upon Flavilla’s name is what motivated me to start really paying attention to names.

It’s what got me hooked, you could say.

I started checking name books out of the library. I started visiting other graveyards. I started scanning news articles, phone books, encyclopedia entries — any chunk of text that might contain an interesting name.

And, many years later, I started this blog. :)

Sources:

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