Did you know that France is the most-visited tourist destination in the world?
Last year, the country welcomed about 738,000 babies. The most popular names among these babies were Jade (pronounced zhahd) and Gabriel.
Here are France’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:
Jade, 3,802 baby girls
Inaya, 1,867 – an Urdu name derived from the Arabic word inayah, meaning “care, concern.”
Louna, 1,209 – likely based on Luna (#28).
Gabriel, 4,974 baby boys
Gabin, 2,719 – based on the Latin name Gabinus, which might have referred to the ancient city of Gabii (located in what is now central Italy).
Malo, 1,935 – a Breton name probably derived from the Old Breton elements mach, meaning “pledge, hostage,” and lou, meaning “luminous; beautiful.”
Eliott, 1,538 (tie)
Lyam, 1,538 (tie)
Côme, 1,300 – (pronounced kohm, as in the brand name Lancôme) the French form of Cosmas, ultimately derived from the ancient Greek word kosmos, meaning “order.”
The girls’ top 100 included Capucine (52nd), Apolline (65th), Thaïs (82nd), and Garance (98th).
The boys’ top 100 included Sohan (55th), Kaïs (58th), Soan (66th), and Livio (81st).
Soan, a variant spelling of Sohan, has been popularized recently by French singer/songwriter Soan (born Julien Decroix).
Also on the boys’ list, Charly (#78) pulled ahead of Charlie (#90) after the names saw nearly identical levels of usage in 2020. I wonder if this means that Charly is emerging as the preferred male spelling of the name…?
Gabriel also topped the rankings for the capital city of Paris last year. Jade, on the other hand, didn’t even make the top 10 — it was way down in 32nd place.
Looking for baby names that are associated with red — including baby names that mean “red”?
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 red represents…
Symbolism of red
What does the color red signify?
In Western cultures in particular, red can be symbolic of:
The link between the color red and emotionally-charged situations may be attributable to the fact that we blush involuntarily when we experience intense feelings (such as anger, lust, or embarrassment).
Top baby names associated with red
To determine the top red names, I first had to take into account the fact that certain names have a stronger connection to the color than other names. (I also did this for the posts on orange, yellow, blue, and purple names.)
With that in mind, here are the top baby names that have an obvious association with the color red:
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 ruby refers to the red variety of the mineral corundum. By extension, it also refers to the red color of these crystals.
The name of the stone can be traced back to the Medieval Latin term lapis rubinus, meaning “red stone” (from rubeus, meaning “red,” and lapis, meaning “stone”).
Ruby is currently the 62nd most popular girl name in the U.S.
The word rose refers to any flowering plant of the genus Rosa, the name of which ultimately derives from the Greek word for the plant, rhodon.
Roses come in various colors, but shades of red have long been favored — so much so that the word rose, by extension, has also referred to a pinkish-red or purplish-red color since the early 16th century.
Rose is currently the 116th most popular girl name in the nation.
Scarlet is a bright shade of red. The name of the color comes from the Medieval Latin word scarlata (or scarlatum), which referred to a type of woolen cloth that was often, though not always, dyed red.
The more popular spelling of the name, Scarlett, represents transferred usage of the English surname. The surname Scarlett originally referred to a person who sold or worked with the cloth.
Scarlet is currently the 450th most popular girl name in the U.S. (Scarlett ranks 20th.)
The vocabulary word carmine (pronounced KAHR-mien) refers to the pigment made from the cochineal insect, which lives on prickly pear cacti. By extension, it also refers to the purplish-red color of this pigment.
Spanish explorers, who learned of the pigment through the Nahuas (Aztecs), began exporting it to Europe in the early 16th century. Its name (in Europe) is based on the Medieval Latin word carminium — a form of the Arabic word qirmiz, meaning “crimson,” influenced by the Latin word minium, meaning “cinnabar.”
The word also happens to be a homograph of the personal name Carmine (pronounced KAHR-mee-neh), which is the Italian masculine form of Carmen.
Carmine is currently the 1,282nd most popular boy name in the nation.
The pronoun Mars initially referred to the Roman god of war.
Later, when the ancient Romans chose names for the five visible planets of the solar system, they named the one with the reddish color — which is reminiscent of blood — after the god of war. (The surface of Mars appears reddish due to the presence of iron oxide in the planet’s soil.)
Mars is currently the 1,305th most popular boy name in the U.S.
More names associated with red
All the names below have an association with the color red. The names range from traditional to unusual, 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.
Akane is a Japanese feminine name that — depending upon the kanji being used to write the name — can refer to the madder plant (genus Rubia), the dye made from the root of the madder plant, or the purplish-red color of that dye.
Amaranth flowers are frequently red. The genus name Amaranthus is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words amarantos, meaning “unfading,” and anthos, meaning “flower.”
Amaryllis flowers are often red. The genus name Amaryllis is derived from the ancient Greek word amarysso, meaning “to sparkle.”
Anara is a Kazakh and Kyrgyz feminine name based on the word anar, meaning “pomegranate.”
Azalea flowers are sometimes red. The (obsolete) genus name Azalea is derived from the ancient Greek word azaleos, meaning “dry.”
Berry fruits are frequently red. The Old English word for “berry” was berie.
Brick is commonly red. In fact, the term “brick red” refers to the brownish-red color of red clay bricks.
Burgundy is a purplish-red color. The name of the shade was inspired by red wine from the region of Burgundy in France.
Camellia flowers are often red. The genus Camellia is was named in honor of Moravian botanist Georg Joseph Kamel.
Canna flowers are sometimes red. The genus name Canna is derived from the Latin word canna, meaning “reed.”
Cardinal birds (genus Cardinalis) — the males in particular — have red plumage. The common name “cardinal,” inspired by the red robes of Roman Catholic cardinals, is ultimately derived from the Latin word cardinalis, meaning “principal, chief.”
Carnelian, a variety of the mineral chalcedony, is often red. The name of the stone ultimately comes form from the Latin word cornus, which refers to a type of berry, altered by the influence of the Latin word carneus, meaning “flesh-colored.”
Cherry fruits are typically red. Cherry trees are part of the genus Prunus.
Chrysanthemum flowers are sometimes red. The genus name Chrysanthemum is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words khrysos, meaning “gold,” and anthemon, meaning “blossom, flower.”
Coral is a pink-orange shade of red. The name of the shade refers to the color of precious coral, which was first discovered in the Mediterranean Sea.
Crimson is a deep shade of red. Crimson pigment was originally made from the kermes insect, which lives on evergreen oaks. (The pigment fell out of favor in Europe after the introduction of carmine from the New World in the early 1500s.)
Dahlia flowers are sometimes red. The genus Dahlia was named in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.
Delima is an Indonesian feminine name meaning “pomegranate.”
Edom is a Biblical masculine name based on the Hebrew word ‘adom, meaning “red.”
Erythia, based on the ancient Greek word eruthrós, meaning “red,” was the name of several figures in Greek mythology.
Eztli is the Nahuatl word for blood. (Fun fact: The red pigment made from cochineal that Europeans called carmine was called nocheztli, or “prickly pear blood,” by the Nahuas.)
Flann is an Irish masculine name meaning “blood red.”
Flannán is a diminutive form of Flann.
Garnet is a gemstone that is typically dark red. The name of the stone ultimately comes from the Latin word granatum, meaning “pomegranate” (literally, “having many seeds”) — a reference to the resemblance between garnets and pomegranate seeds.
Garance is a French feminine name that refers to the madder plant (genus Rubia), the dye made from the root of the madder plant, or the purplish-red color of that dye.
Gladiola refers to Gladiolus, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes red. The genus name, meaning “little sword” (a diminutive of the Latin word gladius, “sword”) refers to the shape of the leaves.
Gül (pronounced gool) is a Turkish feminine name meaning “rose.”
Helen is part of Helenium, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes red. The genus was named in honor of Helen of Troy.
Jagoda (pronounced YAH-goh-dah) is a feminine name meaning “strawberry” in Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Slovene, and other South Slavic languages.
Jasper, an opaque type of microcrystalline quartz, is commonly red. The name of the stone ultimately comes from the ancient Greek word iaspis.
Kamala is a Hindi feminine name based on the Sanskrit word kamala, meaning “pale red.”
Kimmernaq is a Greenlandic feminine name meaning “lingonberry.”
Lohit is a Hindi masculine name based on the Sanskrit word lóhita, meaning “red.”
Orchid flowers are sometimes red. Orchids are all members of the Orchidaceae family of plants.
Phoenix refers to the mythical bird, but the name of that bird was based on the ancient Greek word phoinix, meaning “purple” or “crimson.”
Poinsettia bracts are usually red. “Poinsettia” is the common name of the plant species Euphorbia pulcherrima. The common name commemorates U.S. politician Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant to the U.S. (from Mexico) in the 1820s.
Poppy flowers are commonly red. The Old English word for “poppy” was popig.
Rubina is a Portuguese and Italian and feminine name meaning “ruby.”
Rufus derives from the Latin word rufus, meaning “red” or “red-haired.”
Rufino (masculine) and Rufina (feminine) are the modern Spanish forms of the Roman family name Rufinus, which was based on Rufus.
Russell comes from a surname that can be traced back to the Old French word rous, meaning “red.”
Shani is a Hebrew gender-neutral name meaning “scarlet, red.”
Strawberry fruits are red. Strawberry plants are part of the genus Fragaria.
Tulip flowers are often red. The name of the flower can be traced back to the Ottoman Turkish word tülbent, meaning “turban.”
Ulaan is a Mongolian gender-neutral name meaning “red.”
Vadelma is a Finnish feminine name meaning “raspberry.”
Vardan is an Albanian masculine name meaning “rose.”
Verbena flowers are sometimes red. The genus name Verbena is derived from the Latin word verbena, which referred to the leaves, twigs, and branches of specific plants (like laurel, olive, and myrtle) that were used during religious ceremonies.
American journalist/editor Garance Franke-Ruta was born in the summer of 1972 in southeastern France, then “raised by artistic parents in Mexico and New Mexico.”
Here’s how Garance (pronounced gah-RAHNSS) explained the origin of her unusual first name (links added by me):
The river Durance runs through the Vaucluse, and I was named Garance in honor of that sound and the main character in Marcel Carne’s Les Enfants du Paradis, one of the classics of French cinema. The character, played by Arletty, uses Garance as a stage name, though her real name in the movie is Claire Reine.
The French word garance refers to several things: the madder plant, the dye made from the root of the madder plant, and the deep purple-red color of that dye.