The Southern European country of Italy — that boot-shaped peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea — shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia.
Last year, Italy welcomed 400,249 babies.
What were the most popular names among these babies? Sofia and Leonardo.
Here are Italy’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:
Sofia, 5,578 baby girls (2.86%)
Diletta, 804 – means “beloved” in Italian.
Leonardo, 8,448 baby boys (4.12%)
Enea, 1,963 – form of Aeneas.
According to Greek mythology, the Trojan hero Aeneas was an ancestor of twins Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. One ancient source associates Aeneas’ name with the Greek adjective ainos, meaning “unspeakable, causing nervousness, fear, terror.”
Ettore, 1,002 – form of Hector.
Leonardo is still the clear favorite for baby boys, while Azzurra — no doubt inspired by Italy’s national soccer team gli Azzurri, “the Blues” — continues its rise among baby girls:
The country of Finland is located in Northern Europe and shares land borders with Russia, Sweden and Norway.
Most of the people in Finland speak Finnish (86.5%), but the rest of the population speaks either Swedish (5.2%), Sami (0.04%), or some other language (8.3%) such as Russian, Estonian, or Arabic.
Last year, Finland welcomed over 51,000 babies. At the time the country released its baby name data, 50,547 of these babies — 24,764 girls and 25,783 boys — had been named.
And what were the most popular names overall? Olivia and Leo.
Finland’s baby name data is broken down by language group, so lets start with the Finnish speakers…
Of the 41,478 (named) babies born to Finnish speakers in Finland last year, 20,301 were girls and 21,177 were boys.
Here are the top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:
Olivia, 312 baby girls
Venla, 254 (3-way tie)
Aino, 254 (3-way tie)
Isla, 254 (3-way tie)
Linnea, 214 (tie)
Ellen, 214 (tie)
Ilona, 140 (tie)
Mila, 140 (tie)
Amanda, 134 (tie)
Alisa, 134 (tie)
Elsi, 132 (tie)
Alina, 132 (tie)
Hertta, 119 (tie)
Lumi, 119 (tie)
Saimi, 107 (tie)
Selma, 107 (tie)
Viivi, 105 (tie)
Iida, 105 (tie)
Leo, 397 baby boys
Aatos, 230 – a Finnish term meaning “thought”
Oiva, 178 – means “splendid” in Finnish
Otso, 157 – means “bear” in Finnish
Eelis, 139 (tie)
Matias, 139 (tie)
Veikko, 138 (tie)
Aaron, 138 (tie)
Jasper, 127 (3-way tie)
Samuel, 127 (3-way tie)
Rasmus, 127 (3-way tie)
Eemeli, 126 (3-way tie)
Milo, 126 (3-way tie)
Niklas, 126 (3-way tie)
Iivo, 120 (3-way tie)
Veeti, 120 (3-way tie)
Max, 120 (3-way tie)
Minna Saarelma-Paukkala, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, had this to say about Finland’s unique baby names:
Many of them are nature-related, such as Havu (Sprig), Vadelma (Raspberry), Skysy (Autumn) or Tyrsky (Wave). Many new names are also created on the basis of older names, such as snow (Lumi) related ones like Lumia, Lumiina and Lumitähti.
She also noted that names trendy in Finland in the 1940s — particularly those beginning with the letter r, such as Ritva and Raimo — could be coming back. “Reino, for example, has already risen into the top 100.” (Reino is the Finnish form of Reynold.)
Of the 3,458 (named) babies born to Swedish speakers in Finland last year, 1,698 were girls and 1,760 were boys. Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names:
Interestingly, Alice and Noah — the top names in Sweden — weren’t as popular among the Swedes of Finland. Alice didn’t even make the top 50. (Noah ranked 50th exactly.)
Of the 5,611 (named) babies born in Finland last year to parents who speak something other than Finnish or Swedish, 2,765 were girls and 2,846 were boys. Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names:
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:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
The name Violette is a form of Violet used in French.
Violette is currently the 1,033rd most popular girl name in the nation.
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.
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.
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.
Azalea flowers are sometimes purple. The (obsolete) genus name Azalea is derived from the ancient Greek word azaleos, meaning “dry.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over at The Public Domain Review, I found a collection of 51 novelty playing cards — several incomplete decks, mixed together — from 1916 that feature the images and names of popular movie actresses from that era.
Below are all the first names from those cards, plus where those names happened to rank in the 1916 baby name data. (Two-thirds of them were in the top 100, and over 95% fell inside the top 1,000.)