How popular is the baby name Soleil 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 Soleil.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Soleil


Posts that Mention the Name Soleil

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 is a Scottish surname that can be traced back to the Old Irish word blá, meaning “yellow.”
  • Bowie is 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).
  • 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

Pop culture baby name game results, 2017

Here are the results of Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2017!

To streamline the results post this year, I didn’t include detailed descriptions of the pop culture influences. For the specifics, just click the above link.

On to the names!

Rises

Baby names that saw increased usage from 2016 to 2017.

  • Logan (movie), +2,748 baby boys (also +248 baby girls)
  • Dream (celebrity baby), +198 baby girls (also +22 baby boys)
  • Maren (music), +172 baby girls
  • Amaya (tv), +133 baby girls
  • Alessia (music), +129 baby girls
  • Winston (movie), +129 baby boys
  • Renata (tv), +107 baby girls
  • Callum (movie), +79 baby boys
  • Harvey (event/news), +76 baby boys
  • Asahd (celebrity baby), +58 baby boys (the top debut name for boys in ’17)
  • Brennley (tv), re-entered the data with 56 baby girls
  • Kenzo (celebrity baby), +55 baby boys
  • Ivanka (politics), +52 baby girls
  • Sunny (event), +52 baby girls (but -12 baby boys)
  • Hayes (celebrity baby), +46 baby boys (also +42 baby girls)
  • Barron (politics), +40 baby boys (and Baron rose as well)
  • Kensli (celebrity baby), +39 baby girls
  • Poppy (music/movie), +39 baby girls
  • Kamaiyah (music), +34 baby girls
  • Tala (tv), +33 baby girls
  • Sally (news), +32 baby girls
  • Chosen (celebrity baby), +30 baby boys (also +15 baby girls)
  • Jones (celebrity baby), +28 baby boys (also +5 baby girls)
  • Tommy (movie), +23 baby boys
  • Solana (music), +20 baby girls
  • Mika (tv), +17 baby girls
  • Eissa (celebrity baby), +16 baby boys
  • Moon (event), +15 baby girls
  • Valkyrie (movie), +15 baby girls
  • Zaya (movie), +15 baby girls
  • Kelsea (music), +12 baby girls
  • Shadow (tv), +11 baby boys (also +4 baby girls)
  • Grover (tv), +10 baby boys
  • Halley (tv), +10 baby girls
  • Bear (celebrity baby), +9 baby boys
  • Gal (movie), +9 baby girls
  • Jyn (movie), debuted in the data with 9 baby girls
  • Eleven (tv), debuted in the data with 7 baby girls
  • Thor (movie), +7 baby boys
  • Hela (movie), +6 baby girls
  • Lyric (celebrity baby), +6 baby boys (but -77 baby girls)
  • Sturgill (music), debuted in the data with 6 baby boys
  • Zari (tv), +6 baby girls
  • Eclipse (event), debuted in the data with 5 baby girls
  • Eniko (celebrity spouse), debuted in the data with 5 baby girls
  • Poe (movie), +4 baby boys
  • Sir (celebrity baby), +4 baby boys
  • Dory (movie), +2 baby boys
  • Sire (celebrity baby), +2 baby boys

Same

Baby names that saw no movement from 2016 to 2017.

  • Revel (celebrity baby), no movement as a boy name
  • Rumi (celebrity baby), no movement as a girl name
  • Sovereign (celebrity baby), no movement as a girl name
  • Merlyn (tv), no movement as a boy name

Falls

Baby names that saw decreased usage from 2016 to 2017.

  • Chance (music), -1 baby boy
  • Irma (event), -1 baby girl
  • Via (tv), -1 baby girl
  • Gypsy (tv), -2 baby girls
  • Julien as a girl name (music), -3 baby girls
  • Loki (movie), -3 baby boys
  • Lux (tv), -3 baby boys
  • Soleil (event), -4 baby girls
  • J’onn (tv), dropped out of the data
  • Ned (movie), -5 baby boys
  • Saoirse (movie), -5 baby girls
  • Topaz (movie), dropped out of the data
  • Jacinda (news), -8 baby girls
  • Bea (rumored celebrity baby), -10 baby girls
  • Moxie (book), -13 baby girls
  • Gareth (movie), -16 baby boys
  • Shayla (internet), -30 baby girls
  • Fatima (news), -33 baby girls
  • Kendrick (music), -54 baby boys
  • Shawn (rumored celebrity baby), -121 baby boys
  • Carter (celebrity baby), -415 baby boys (also -103 baby girls)

Absent

Baby names that were not in the SSA data in either 2016 or 2017.

Amilyn, Antiope, Asperitas, Bilquis, Bixby, Cardi, Creeley, Darci Lynne, Fenty, Gravity, Issa Rae, Jumanji, Kygo, Ladybird, Laureline, Libratus, Mahershala, Maisel, Midge, Ovince, Pence, Ragnarok, Saffie, Sonequa, Strummer, Sza, Tenney, Themyscira, Tommen, Totality, Trump, Valerian, Wiseau, Yulin, Zelle

Reactions

Some initial reactions…

I was so surprised that Rumi saw no upward movement as a girl name. Remi is rising fast, Rooney is inching upward, and then Rumi — a name that sounds like a mix between the two — gets the stamp of approval from Queen Bey herself. And still it doesn’t budge. I’m scratching my head over this one.

I’m always fascinated to see how name usage is influenced by events/people that are perceived as negative. Sometimes the associations drag them down, but sometimes the mere exposure lifts them up. In the case of Harvey, we had not one but two negative things: a destructive storm and a sexual predator. And yet, the name continued to rise.

It was neat to see Eclipse debut in the data. We already knew that a few babies got the name thanks to the news, but apparently there were a few more–just enough to nudge the name up to that 5-baby threshold. I wonder how much the August solar eclipse contributed to the rise of the names Luna, Moon, and Shadow in 2017.

How about you? Did the movement (or non-movement) of any of these names surprise you?

[Disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated, and some were no doubt influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence in each case.]

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse: Helios, Mahina, Blake

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse

On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have (or conceive!) a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that perhaps isn’t as obvious as Eclipse itself).

So what are your options?

Names with “celestial” associations

A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…

“Sun” names

  • Haru (Japanese)
  • Helios (ancient Greek)
  • Hina (Japanese)
  • Inti (Quechua)
  • Nou (Hmong)
  • Ra (ancient Egyptian)
  • Ravi (Sanskrit)
  • Shams (Arabic)
  • Sol (Spanish & Portuguese, ultimately from Latin)
  • Solaris (Latin)
  • Soleil (French)
  • Sunniva (Old English)
  • Sunny (English)
  • Surya (Sanskrit)

“Star” names

  • Aster (ancient Greek)
  • Astra (based on the ancient Greek word)
  • Citlalli (Nahuatl)
  • Estelle (French)
  • Estrella (Spanish)
  • Hoshi (Japanese)
  • Najm & Najma (Arabic)
  • Seren (Welsh)
  • Star (English)
  • Starla (based on the English word)
  • Stjarna (Icelandic)
  • Stella (Latin)
  • Tähti (Finnish)
  • Tara (Sanskrit)

“Moon” names

  • Aylin (Turkish)
  • Badr (Arabic)
  • Chandra (Sanskrit)
  • Dal (Korean)
  • Dawa (Tibetan)
  • Ilargi (Basque)
  • Luna (Latin)
  • Lusine (Armenian)
  • Mahina (Hawaiian & Tongan)
  • Máni (Icelandic)
  • Metztli (Nahuatl)
  • Moon (English)
  • Qamar (Arabic)
  • Selene (ancient Greek)

“Earth” names

  • Avani (Sanskrit)
  • Bhumi (Sanskrit)
  • Eartha (based on the English word)
  • Gaia (ancient Greek)
  • Ki (Sumerian)
  • Tierra (Spanish)
  • Tlalli (Nahuatl)

“Sky” names

  • Akash (Sanskrit)
  • Alya (Arabic)
  • Anu (Sumerian)
  • Caelus (Latin)
  • Céleste (French)
  • Ciel (French)
  • Cielo (Spanish)
  • Lani (Hawaiian)
  • Ortzi (Basque)
  • Sky (English)
  • Skyla (based on the English word)
  • Sora (Japanese)

You could even look for a name that contains more than one of these elements. I’ve come across a handful of names that happen to contain both an element meaning “sun” and an element meaning “moon,” for instance. Examples include Ravichandra (Sanskrit), Künnei (Yakut), Aygün (Turkish), and Günay (also Turkish).

Names with “dark” associations

The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. So you could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…

“Shadow” names

  • Chhaya (Sanskrit)
  • Shade (English)
  • Shadow (English)
  • Umbra (Latin)
  • Zalaph (Hebrew)
  • Zillah (Hebrew)

“Dark” or “Black” names

  • Adham (Arabic)
  • Blake (English surname)
  • Charna (Yiddish)
  • Ciar & Ciara (Irish)
  • Ciarán (Irish)
  • Dubhán (Irish)
  • Duff (Irish surname)
  • Jett (English)
  • Kara (Turkish)
  • Krishna (Sanskrit)
  • Melaina (ancient Greek)
    • Melania (Latin, based on melaina)
    • Mélanie (French form of Melania)
  • Raven (English)
  • Sullivan (Irish surname)

“Night” names

  • Layla (Arabic)
  • Nisha (Sanskrit)
  • Njóla (Icelandic)
  • Noctis (Latin)
  • Nox (Latin)
  • Nyx (ancient Greek)
  • Rajani (Sanskrit)
  • Rajnish (Sanskrit)
  • Tuta (Quechua)
  • Yoalli (Nahuatl)

I think Blake and Sullivan are particularly intriguing choices.

The English surname Blake can come from either of two similar Middle English words that happen to have opposite definitions: blac, meaning “black,” or blac, meaning “wan, pale, white, fair.” So it manages to encapsulate the concepts of both darkness and lightness — two key elements of an eclipse.

And the Irish surname Sullivan, “descendant of Súileabhán,” is based on the Gaelic personal name Súileabhán, meaning “little dark eye” — which sounds a lot like a poetic description of an eclipse.

Name pairings with both “celestial” and “dark” associations

You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…

  • Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
  • Jett Helios: “black” and “sun”
  • Ciarán Sol: “black” and “sun”
  • Mélanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
  • Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)

Names (or name pairings) featuring the letters “S” and “E”

This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…

Sela
Selene (“moon” in Greek)
Selma
Seraphina
Seren (“star” in Welsh)
Serenity
Sean
Sebastian
Sefton
Sergio
Seth
Severino

Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…

Sabrina Eden
Sydney Elise
Sarah Evangeline
Susanna Elizabeth
Simon Elijah
Spencer Ellis
Shane Everett
Samuel Edward

Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?

Sources:

Update, 5/15/2018: The baby name Eclipse debuted in the 2017 SSA data! The name Moon also more than tripled in usage last year.