How popular is the baby name Iona 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 Iona.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Iona


Posts that Mention the Name Iona

Baby names associated with purple: Violet, Tyrian, Zi

plums

Looking for baby names that are associated with purple — including baby names that mean “purple”?

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 purple represents…

Symbolism of purple

What does the color purple signify?

In Western cultures in particular, purple can be symbolic of:

  • Royalty
  • Nobility
  • Wisdom
  • Luxury
  • Imagination
  • Mystery
  • Spirituality

The color came to be identified with royalty and nobility during ancient times. In those days, creating purple dye for fabric was laborious and time-consuming, so the dye was very expensive. As a result, only the wealthy could afford to wear purple-colored clothing.

Top baby names associated with purple

Determining the top names in a category isn’t difficult when you’re working with a well-defined category, like PH names. When it comes to names that have a connection to the color purple, 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 purple:

  1. Violet
  2. Iris
  3. Violeta
  4. Violette
  5. Amethyst

Now here are the same five names again, but this time around I’ve added some details (including definitions, rankings, and popularity graphs).

Violet

The word violet refers to any flowering plant of the genus Viola — particularly the fragrant species Viola odorata — or to any similar-looking flowering plant. By extension, it also refers to the bluish-purple color of these flowers.

Violet is currently the 35th most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

Iris

The word iris can refer to several things, including flowering plants of the genus Iris, the name of which comes from the ancient Greek word for “rainbow.” The showy blooms of these plants come in a variety of colors (as the name suggests), though we often think of irises as being shades of purple.

For instance, did you know that all of the irises in Vincent van Gogh’s various paintings were once purple? His irises now appear blue only because the red pigment he used to create the purple has faded over time.

Iris is currently the 107th most popular girl name in the nation.

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

Violeta

The name Violeta is a form of Violet used in Spanish, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and other languages.

Violeta is currently the 893rd most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

Violette

The name Violette is a form of Violet used in French.

Violette is currently the 1,033rd most popular girl name in the nation.

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

Amethyst

The word amethyst refers to a purple variety of the mineral quartz. (The ancient Greeks thought that amethyst — perhaps due to its wine-like color — would prevent drunkenness, so they called it amethustos, meaning “not intoxicating.”) By extension, the word also refers to the purple color of these crystals.

Amethyst will only form in quartz that: (a) contains trace amounts of iron, and (b) is exposed to low-level gamma radiation. The radiation will oxidize the iron, and thereby change the crystal’s color from clear to purple.

Amethyst is currently the 1,148th most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

More names associated with purple

Ready for the rest?

All the names below are associated with the color purple. 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.

purple flowers (Aubrieta)
Aubrieta
  • Amaranth flowers are sometimes purple. The genus name Amaranthus is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words amarantos, meaning “unfading,” and anthos, meaning “flower.”
  • Aster flowers are often purple. The genus name Aster, derived from the ancient Greek word aster, meaning “star,” is a reference to the shape of the flower head.
  • Aubrieta flowers are commonly purple. The genus Aubrieta was named in honor of French botanical artist Claude Aubriet.
  • Banafsha is a Persian feminine name meaning “violet.”
  • Betony flowers are usually purple. “Betony” is the common name of plants in the genus Stachys.
  • Bíbor (pronounced BEE-bor) is a Hungarian masculine name based on the word bíbor, meaning “purple.”
    • Bíborka is a feminine form of Bíbor.
  • Bora is a Korean feminine name meaning “purple.” (Though the name has appeared in the U.S. data, this probably reflects the usage of the identical Albanian name, which means “snow.”)
  • Fjóla (pronounced FYOH-lah) is an Icelandic and Faroese feminine name meaning “violet.”
    • Fjólar is the masculine form of Fjóla.
  • Gladiola refers to Gladiolus, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes purple. The genus name, meaning “little sword” (a diminutive of the Latin word gladius, “sword”) refers to the shape of the leaves.
The Jimi Hendrix album "Are You Experienced" (1967)
Jimi Hendrix album
  • Haze (besides being a vocabulary word) is part of “Purple Haze” [vid] — the title of the song by Jimi Hendrix. “Purple Haze” was the opening track of the iconic album Are You Experienced (1967).
  • Heather flowers are usually purple. “Heather” is the common name of plants in the genus Calluna.
  • Honesty (besides being a vocabulary word) is the common name of the plant species Lunaria annua, which has flowers that are frequently purple. The common name is likely a reference to the translucence of the seed pods.
  • Hyacinth flowers are often purple. The genus Hyacinthus was named for the plant’s association with the myth of Hyacinthus (who was one of the lovers of Apollo in Greek mythology).
    • Giacinta is the Italian feminine form of Hyacinth.
    • Giacinto is the Italian masculine form of Hyacinth.
    • Jacinta is the Spanish and Portuguese feminine form of Hyacinth.
    • Jacinto is the Spanish and Portuguese masculine form of Hyacinth.
  • Ianthe, which means “violet flower,” is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words ion, meaning “violet,” and anthos, meaning “flower.”
    • Iantha is a variant of Ianthe.
  • Iole (pronounced IE-oh-lee) is based on the ancient Greek word ion, meaning “violet.” In Greek myth, Iole was one of Heracles’ many objects of desire.
    • Iola is a variant of Iole.
  • Ione (pronounced ie-OH-nee) is also based on the ancient Greek word ion, meaning “violet.”
    • Iona could be considered a variant of Ione, though more often it’s a reference to the Scottish island of Iona.
  • Jacaranda flowers are purple. The genus name Jacaranda is derived from a Tupi-Guarani word meaning “fragrant.”
  • Lavender flowers are typically purple. “Lavender” is the common name of plants in the genus Lavandula. The genus name is derived from the Latin word lividus, meaning “bluish,” and/or the Latin word lavare, meaning “to wash” (due to aromatic lavender being used in washing and bathing).
  • Lilac flowers are frequently purple. “Lilac” is the common name of plants in the genus Syringa.
    • Lila is the Swedish form of Lilac, though the name also has other possible meanings (e.g., “play” in Sanskrit, “night” in Arabic).
    • Liila is the Finnish form of Lilac.
  • Lupine flowers are often purple. The genus name Lupinus is derived from the Latin word lupinus, meaning “wolfish” (from lupus, “wolf”).
  • Magenta is a reddish-purple color. A French chemist first synthesized magenta-colored dye in the late 1850s, and the color was eventually named “Magenta” in honor of the French-Sardinian victory at the Battle of Magenta (1859).
  • Murasaki is a Japanese feminine name meaning “purple.” Originally it referred to the gromwell plant, the root of which was used to make purple dye.
  • Orchid flowers are sometimes purple. 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.”
  • Plum fruits are commonly purple. Plum trees are part of the genus Prunus.
  • Porphyrios was an ancient Greek name derived from the word porphyra, meaning “purple dye, purple.”
    • Porphyrius is the Latinized form of Porphyrios.
    • Porfirio is the modern Spanish masculine form of Porphyrius.
    • Porfiria is the modern Spanish feminine form of Porphyrius.
    • Porfiriy is the modern Russian masculine form of Porphyrius.
  • Purple, which can also be traced back to the ancient Greek word porphyra, is rarely used as a given name…though I did spot a girl named Purple in Los Angeles’ baby name data a few years back.
rebeccapurple
  • Rebecca is part of “rebeccapurple” — the name of the shade of purple with the hex value #663399. The color name pays tribute to Rebecca Meyer, the daughter of web design pioneer Eric Meyer. Rebecca, whose favorite color was purple, passed away on her 6th birthday (in mid-2014). The biblical name Rebecca is ultimately derived from the Semitic root r-b-q, meaning “to tie” or “to secure.”
  • Sigalit is a Hebrew feminine name meaning “violet.”
  • Sumire (pronounced soo-mee-reh) is a Japanese name that can mean “violet,” depending upon the kanji being used to write the name.
  • Temenuzhka is a Bulgarian feminine name meaning “violet.”
  • Thistle flowers are usually purple. “Thistle” is the common name of various prickly plants, most of which are in the Asteraceae family.
  • Twila may be based on the English word “twilight.” During twilight, the sky can turn various shades of purple.
    • Twyla is a variant of Twila.
  • Tyrian (pronounced TEE-ree-uhn) is part of “Tyrian purple” — the name of the expensive purple dye used during ancient times that I mentioned earlier. The source of the dye was a type of sea snail found in the Mediterranean, near the city of Tyre (now part of Lebanon). The city name can be traced back to the Hebrew word tsor, meaning “rock,” as the settlement was originally built upon a rocky formation.
twilight
  • Verbena flowers are sometimes purple. 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.
  • Vernonia flowers are typically purple. The genus Vernonia was named in honor of English botanist William Vernon.
  • Viola is based on the Latin word viola, meaning “violet.” In fact, the genus Viola includes many (though not all) violet flowers.
    • Ibolya is a Hungarian form of Viola.
    • Violia is an elaboration of Viola.
    • Violanda is another elaboration of Viola.
    • Viorica is a Romanian form of Viola.
  • Violett is a variant of Violet.
  • Violetta is an Italian and Hungarian form of Violet.
  • Wisteria (pronounced wuh-STEE-ree-uh) flowers are frequently light purple. The genus Wisteria was named in honor of American physician and anatomist Caspar Wistar.
  • Yolanda may have been derived from the medieval European feminine name Violante, which was based on the Latin word viola, “violet.”
    • Yolande is the French form of Yolanda.
    • Jolanda is the Dutch form of Yolanda.
    • Iolanda is the Portuguese and Italian form of Yolanda.
    • Iolanthe may be a variant of Yolanda influenced by the name Ianthe.
  • Yukari is a Japanese feminine name that can mean “purple,” depending upon the kanji being used to write the name.
    • Yukariko is a Japanese name that can include the element Yukari.
  • Zi (third tone) is a Chinese name that can mean “purple,” depending upon the character being used to write the name.
    • Ziming is a Chinese name that can include the element Zi.
    • Ziyang is another Chinese name that can include the element Zi.
  • Zinnia flowers are sometimes purple. 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 purple?

Sources:

First, second, and last images by congerdesign from Pixabay, Hans from Pixabay, and Chapman Chow from Unsplash

Montana brothers named Reindeer & Rainbow

Around 1920, a 15-year-old Montana boy named Reindeer Coffman was in the news.

Reindeer’s baby brother had died while Reindeer was babysitting. At first, murder was suspected. Later, it was revealed that Reindeer had simply neglected the baby, who proceeded to accidentally strangle himself. (The baby’s shirt collar got caught on a protruding nail.)

One article about the case included a few lines about Reindeer’s name:

The boy’s unusual name caused [Humane Officer A. E. Decew] to make inquiries as to its genuineness. He found not only that Reindeer was called by his correct name but that there was a still more unusual name in the family. Reindeer has a brother named Rainbow.

Sure enough, both Rainbow and Reindeer (spelled “Rainder”) were listed together on the 1920 U.S. Census:

Their parents were William and Mina, and their siblings had the more common names Warren, Emery, Frances, Iona, Henry, Myrtie, Charles, and Allen.

Source: “Nail catches dress, baby is strangled, is brother’s tale.” Great Falls Daily Tribune 13 Mar. 1920: 13.

Popular and unique baby names in Scotland (UK), 2018

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Olivia and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 444 baby girls
  2. Emily, 423
  3. Isla, 383
  4. Sophie, 331
  5. Amelia, 312
  6. Ella, 295
  7. Ava, 292
  8. Grace, 286
  9. Aria, 272
  10. Jessica, 262

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 422 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 330
  3. James, 323
  4. Logan, 307
  5. Leo, 300
  6. Lewis, 298
  7. Alexander, 294 (tie)
  8. Harris, 294 (tie)
  9. Noah, 284
  10. Rory, 280

In the girls’ top 10, Grace replaced Charlotte (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Rory replaced Harry (now tied for 11th with Charlie).

Names inspired by Scottish islands include Arran (118 boys; ranked 47th), Iona (83 girls; ranked 56th), Ailsa (37 girls), Islay (11 girls), Coll (3 boys), Jura (3 girls), Gigha (1 girl), and Tiree (1 girl).

And here are some more baby names that, like Gigha and Tiree, were bestowed just once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Adora-Belle, Brora, Callumina, Cardi, Clemency, Damily, Delarosa, Embla, Everlyn, Fintry, Frankie-Nirvana, Gigi, Honey-Bee, Iwinosa, Izna, Junu, Kindah, Lhotse, Milliemae, Niska, Omnia, Peculiar, Raffie, Swithy, Tiggy, Tophina, Uljana, Veia, Winry, Xanthippe, Yvie, ZuzuAurimas, Avrick, Baroque-Valentyne, Caisson, Camhanaich, Dome, Dune, Eck, Fitheach, Gighian, Haxton, Indio, Izzeldin, Jeddie, Junlin, Kafka, Lucifer, Monder, Neelix, Ouff, Panashe, Rattakorn, Reave, Stark, Svetozar, Thapish, Ual, Velyo, Wit, Xypher, Yogan, Zostera

Possible explanations for some of the above:

  • Cardi B, American rapper and singer
  • Embla, the first woman (according to Norse mythology)
  • Lhotse, the 4th-highest mountain in the world (means “south peak” in Tibetan)
  • Winry, a manga character from the Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Caisson, an ammunition chest or two-wheeled ammunition wagon (means “box” in French)
  • Camhanaich, the Scottish word for “break of day” or “twilight”
  • Fitheach, the Scottish word for “raven” (and also the title of a children’s adventure game show that premiered on the Scottish-language BBC Alba channel in 2018)
  • Kafka, Czech writer Franz Kafka
  • Neelix, a character from Star Trek: Voyager
  • Zostera, a type of sea grass

In 2017, the top two names were the same.

Sources: Most popular names in Scotland, Babies’ First Names, From A to Zidane… unusual names of newborns revealed, 2018 baby names: Scots babies are Awesome and Adora-Belle

100+ things Ionas have owned

iona peacock

The baby name Iona isn’t very popular these days, but it saw a moderate amount of usage in the early 1900s. It has several potential origins, including the Scottish island of Iona and the ancient Greek name Ione.

Beyond usage and origin, though, there’s the fascinating fact that the name Iona sounds just like the start of this sentence: “I own a…”

So have you ever wondered what all the Ionas have owned?

I was curious about this. So I checked census records, birth records, marriage records, etc., looking for Ionas who (ostensibly) owned things — that is, Ionas who had nouns as surnames. And I found lots of them.

Here are over 100 of the things that various historical Ionas have “owned,” according to their surnames:

Iona Apple
Iona Attic
Iona Axe
Iona Badger
Iona Barber
Iona Bath
Iona Beach
Iona Bear
Iona Beard
Iona Beaver
Iona Beer
Iona Bird
Iona Blazer
Iona Blunt
Iona Bone
Iona Book
Iona Boot
Iona Box
Iona Brain
Iona Broom
Iona Burger
Iona Bush
Iona Castle
Iona Cello
Iona Cherry
Iona Child
Iona Cleaver
Iona Clock
Iona Cloud
Iona Coast
Iona Coffee
Iona Compass
Iona Couch
Iona Crabb
Iona Dollar
Iona Driver
Iona Dryer
Iona Fiddle
Iona Fiddler
Iona Field
Iona Finger
Iona Fish
Iona Fogg
Iona Foot
Iona Fortune
Iona Fox
Iona Fry
Iona Fryer
Iona Garden
Iona Groom
Iona Hair
Iona Hall
Iona Hand
Iona Head
Iona Heart
Iona Hedge
Iona Hill
Iona Hippie
Iona Hooker
Iona House
Iona Husky
Iona Kettle
Iona Kidney
Iona King
Iona Kitchen
Iona Kite
Iona Kitten
Iona Knee
Iona Lamb
Iona Lamp
Iona Law
Iona Lemon
Iona Lung
Iona Manual
Iona Mitten
Iona Moon
Iona Mountain
Iona Officer
Iona Orchard
Iona Organ
Iona Outhouse
Iona Outlaw
Iona Oyster
Iona Palm
Iona Parent
Iona Partridge
Iona Passenger
Iona Peacock
Iona Peak
Iona Pearl
Iona Pebble
Iona Penny
Iona Pigg
Iona Pitcher
Iona Plant
Iona Plum
Iona Poncho
Iona Prince
Iona Puff
Iona Queen
Iona Seal
Iona Shoulder
Iona Skiff
Iona Skipper
Iona Spear
Iona Star
Iona Stone
Iona Stoner
Iona Street
Iona Stump
Iona Summit
Iona Swan
Iona Tart
Iona Vest
Iona Wall
Iona Wedding
Iona Wine
Iona Wolf

Which one of these combinations did you like best?

And, do you think the name Iona could become trendy again one day soon? (Usage of the name has been creeping upward since the 1990s.)

Baby names from Pullman Cars?

train

Years ago I posted about Livonia, a baby both born on and named after a Pullman car. Recently I wondered: What other Pullman car names would have made good baby names?

So I downloaded a big spreadsheet of over 12,000 Pullman car names from The Pullman Project and was slightly surprised to see that thousands of them could have been baby names, if we allow for the splitting of compound car names (like Fort Miley, Glen Norman, Meredith College, and West Willow).

Here are a handful of examples. On the left are relatively common/familiar names, and on the right are some unexpected choices.

Alana, Archer, ArnoldAdriatha, Arundel, Arvonia
Baxter, Becket, BradleyBantry, Bellonia, Besco
Calvin, Catalina, ClydeCadesia, Clarnie, Clymer
Dana, Deborah, DwightDarlow, Dathema, Dodona
Edith, Eileen, ElmoEdminster, Emalinda, Etherley
Finley, Flavia, FloydFithian, Flaxton, Florilla
Gary, Georgette, GraysonGavarnie, Gilia, Gloxinia
Harper, Harriet, HectorHarista, Humela, Hythe
Iona, Isabella, IvanIrvona, Isleta, Ixion
Jessica, Jordan, JuliaJacelia, Jathniel, Justitia
Kara, Keith, KennethKeinath, Kenia, Kittson
Laurel, Lewis, LindenLauveta, Leolyn, Lysander
Madison, Marco, MaudeMardonia, Mayence, Morganza
Nicola, Noel, NoraNarinda, Nasby, Norlina
Olivia, Omar, OtisOaklyn, Olanda, Oxus
Parker, Perry, PhilippaPenlyn, Pipila, Pixley
QuincyQuarren
Rebecca, Riley, RonaldRexis, Risley, Ruxton
Sarah, Scott, SusanneSalphrona, Sarver, Sibley
Thora, Tracy, TylerTascott, Tilden, Tisonia
Vanessa, Vernon, VictoriaVarick, Vinora, Vivita
Wesley, Wilson, WrenWelby, Wescott, Wexford

Which of the names above do you like best?