How popular is the baby name Forsythia 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 Forsythia.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Forsythia


Posts that Mention the Name Forsythia

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

20 Baby names from flowers: Kalmia, Magnolia, Begonia, Zinnia

baby names from flowers

Spring is here! Let’s celebrate with some flower names.

But let’s do something a little different. Instead of the same old suggestions, like Lily and Rose, let’s check out some relatively modern flower names that ultimately come from Latinized surnames (via genus names).

Here’s a list of 20. Most of these are rarely used for humans, so if you’re looking for an unexpected nature name for a baby girl, this is a good place to start.

abelia flowers
Abelia

Abelia

Pronunciation: ah-BEEL-ee-uh

Abelia flowers are white or pink, and usually scented. The genus Abelia is part of the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).

Abelia was named for British surgeon and naturalist Clarke Abel (1780-1826). Clarke’s version of the surname Abel is likely based on the Hebrew name Abel, meaning “breath.” An identical German surname is based on a pet form of Albrecht, made up of elements meaning “noble” and “bright.”

The baby name Abelia is currently very rare.

allamanda flower
Allamanda

Allamanda

Pronunciation: ah-lah-MAHN-duh

Allamanda flowers are typically yellow, though some are pink. The genus Allamanda is part of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae).

Allamanda was named for Swiss botanist Frédéric-Louis Allamand (1736-1803). This French surname is based on the Middle French word meaning “German.”

The baby name Allamanda is currently very rare.

begonia flowers
Begonia

Begonia

Pronunciation: beh-GOHN-yuh

Begonia flowers come in a wide range of colors: white, pink, peach, salmon, red, orange, yellow, etc. With close to 1,500 species, Begonia is the 6th-largest genus of flowering plants.

Begonia was named for French office-holder and plant collector Michel Bégon (1638-1710).

The baby name Begonia is currently very rare.

camellia flower
Camellia

Camellia

Pronunciation: kah-MEEL-ee-uh

Camellia flowers are white, pink, red, and sometimes yellow. The genus Camellia is part of the Theaceae family. Leaves of the species Camellia sinensis are used to produce tea.

Camellia was named for Czech Jesuit missionary and botanist Georg Joseph Kamel (1661-1706). The surname Kamel is derived from a word meaning “camel.” Camels are not endemic to Europe, but they were commonly used on house signs in central Europe during the later Middle Ages.

The baby name Camellia is currently ranked 2,597th.

cattleya flower
Cattleya

Cattleya

Pronunciation: KAT-lee-uh

Cattleya flowers come in a range of colors: purple, orange, white, yellow, etc. The genus Cattleya is part of the orchid family (Orchidaceae).

Cattleya was named for English merchant and horticulturist William Cattley (1788-1835). The first element of the English surname Cattley is based on either Catta, a personal name, or a word meaning “(wild) cat.” The second comes from the Old English word leah, meaning “woodland; clearing.”

The baby name Cattleya is currently ranked 1,684th. It was very rare until a character named Cataleya was featured in the 2011 movie Columbiana. The character’s name was based on the genus name.

clintonia flowers
Clintonia

Clintonia

Pronunciation: klin-TOHN-ee-uh

Clintonia flowers are white, red, or green-yellow. The genus Clintonia is part of the lily family (Liliaceae).

Clintonia was named for U.S. politician and botanist De Witt Clinton (1769-1828). The English surname Clinton is based on one of two different place names. One place name was derived from Old English words meaning “enclosure, fence” + “settlement,” while the other means “Glyme (river)” + “settlement.”

The baby name Clintonia is currently very rare.

dahlia flower
Dahlia

Dahlia

Pronunciation: DAL-yuh (first syllable can rhyme with “gal”, “doll,” or “dale”)

Dahlia flowers come in a wide range of colors. The genus Dahlia is part of the daisy family (Asteraceae).

Dahlia was named for Swedish botanist Anders Dahl (1751-1789). The Swedish surname Dahl is based on the Old Norse word dalr, meaning “dale, valley.”

The baby name Dahlia is currently within the top 1,000, ranked 719th.

forsythia flowers
Forsythia

Forsythia

Pronunciation: for-SITH-ee-uh or for-SIETH-ee-uh (chiefly British English)

Forsythia flowers are bright yellow. The genus Forsythia is part of the olive family (Oleaceae).

Forsythia was named for Scottish botanist William Forsyth (1737-1804). The surname Forsyth is based on Fearsithe, a Gaelic personal name made up of the Gaelic words fear, meaning “man,” and sith, meaning “peace.”

The baby name Forsythia is currently very rare.

freesia flowers
Freesia

Freesia

Pronunciation: FREE-zhuh, FREE-zhee-uh

Fragrant freesia flowers are white, yellow, pink, red, or blue-mauve. The genus Freesia is part of the iris family (Iridaceae).

Freesia was named for German botanist and doctor Friedrich Freese (1794-1878). The German surname Freese is based on an ethnic name for someone from Friesland.

The baby name Freesia is currently very rare.

gardenia flower
Gardenia

Gardenia

Pronunciation: gar-DEEN-yuh

Gardenia flowers are white or pale yellow and strongly scented. The genus Gardenia is part of the coffee family (Rubiaceae).

Gardenia was named for Scottish-born American naturalist Alexander Garden (1730-1791). The English surname Garden is based on an occupational name for a gardener. It ultimately comes from the Old Norman French word gardin, meaning “garden.”

The baby name Gardenia is currently rare.

gazania flower
Gazania

Gazania

Pronunciation: gah-ZAY-nee-uh

Gazania flowers are shades of yellow and orange. The genus Gazania is part of the daisy family (Asteraceae), like Dahlia.

Gazania was named for Greek humanist Theodorus Gaza (1398-1475).

The baby name Gazania is currently very rare.

gloxinia flowers
Gloxinia

Gloxinia

Pronunciation: glok-SIN-ee-uh

Gloxinia flowers are white, pink, red, blue or purple. The genus Gloxinia is part of the Gesneriaceae family.

Gloxinia was named for German physician and botanical writer Benjamin Peter Gloxin (1765–1794).

The baby name Gloxinia is currently very rare.

kalmia flowers
Kalmia

Kalmia

Pronunciation: KAHL-mee-uh

Kalmia flowers are white, pink or purple. The genus Kalmia is part of the heather family (Ericaceae).

Kalmia was named for Swedish-Finnish botanist Pehr Kalm (1716-1779).

The baby name Kalmia is currently very rare. (Years ago, a commenter mentioned that he’d named his daughter Kalmia.)

kerria flowers
Kerria

Kerria

Pronunciation: KER-ee-uh

Kerria flowers are bright yellow. The genus Kerria is part of the rose family (Rosaceae).

Kerria was named for Scottish gardener and plant hunter William Kerr (d. 1814). The Scottish surname Kerr is a topographic name referring to a patch of wet ground overgrown with brushwood. It ultimately comes from the Old Norse word kjarr, meaning “copsewood, brushwood, thicket.”

The baby name Kerria is currently very rare.

lobelia flowers
Lobelia

Lobelia

Pronunciation: loh-BEEL-ee-uh

Lobelia flowers are purple, pink, white or blue. The genus Lobelia is part of the bellflower family (Campanulaceae).

Lobelia was named for Flemsih botanist Matthias de L’Obel (1538-1616).

The baby name Lobelia is currently very rare.

magnolia flower
Magnolia

Magnolia

Pronunciation: mag-NOHL-ee-uh

Magnolia flowers are fragrant and come in white, pink, red, purple or yellow. Because they predate bees and butterflies, they’re typically pollinated by beetles.

The genus Magnolia was named for French botanist Pierre Magnol (1638-1715). The French surname Magnol may be based on either the Latin word magnus, meaning “great,” or on a French place name of uncertain derivation.

The baby name Magnolia is currently within the top 1,000, ranked 831st.

monarda flower
Monarda

Monarda

Pronunciation: moh-NAR-duh

Monarda flowers are various shades of red, pink, and purple, and highly scented. The genus Monarda is part of the mint family (Lamiaceae).

Monarda was named for Spanish physician and botanist Nicolás Monardes (1493-1588).

The baby name Monarda is currently very rare.

plumeria flowers
Plumeria

Plumeria

Pronunciation: ploo-MEER-ee-uh

Plumeria flowers (also known as frangipani) are very fragrant and come in several colors. The genus Plumeria is part of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae), like Allamanda.

Plumeria was named for French botanist Charles Plumier (1646-1704). The French surname Plumier is based on an occupational name for either a feather dresser or a plumber. The former occupational name ultimately comes from the Latin word plumarius, meaning “embroidered with feathers,” while the latter comes from the Latin word plumbum, meaning “lead.”

The baby name Plumeria is currently very rare.

wisteria flowers
Wisteria

Wisteria

Pronunciation: wis-TEER-ee-uh

Wisteria flowers are are purple, violet, pink or white, and often scented. The genus Wisteria is part of the bean family (Fabaceae).

Wisteria was named for American physician and anatomist Caspar Wistar (1761–1818). Caspar’s surname is a modified form of the German surname Wüster.

The baby name Wisteria is currently very rare.

zinnia flower with butterfly
Zinnia

Zinnia

Pronunciation: ZIN-ee-uh

Zinnia flowers come in a wide range of colors (red, purple, orange, buff, yellow, etc.) and shapes. The genus Zinnia is part of the daisy family (Asteraceae), like Dahlia and Gazania.

Zinnia was named for German anatomist and botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759). The German/Jewish surname Zinn is based on an occupational name for a pewter worker or tinsmith. It ultimately comes from the Germanic word zin, meaning “tin, pewter.”

The baby name Zinnia is currently ranked 2,136th.

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What other surname-derived flower names would you add to this list?

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Source: Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Images: All but one of the flower images in this post are in the public domain. They come from MorgueFile, Pixabay, National Park Service websites, and Wikimedia Commons. The gloxinia image was adapted from Gloxinia by abelard1005 under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.