Plus, we’re wild for names inspired by color. Think Hunter and Olive, Scarlett and Rowan. But until recently, shades of blue baby names have taken a back seat.
That feels like it’s changing. Navy is racing up the girls’ popularity charts, and Indigo recently debuted in the rankings. Many of these have been heard in small numbers over the years.
Some baby names meaning blue immediately conjure a specific shade. Others feel more obscure. And while many of these seem like great first name choices, other seem better suited as daring, adventurous middle names.
But they all belong in this part of the rainbow, baby names meaning blue that could be the perfect choice for your child.
Afina might be a Slavic form of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. Except it’s also the Romanian word for blueberry. That makes it a subtle choice among baby names meaning blue.
Sure, you might expect to find Tiffany on this list. The iconic jeweler uses a very specific shade of blue for their packaging. But Tiffany is more likely to be the mom than the daughter these days, so how ’bout Alice instead? It’s an icy white-blue, not named for the Wonderland girl, but for First Daughter Alice Roosevelt Longworth, a socialite and fashionista. This hit 1919 song is about her famous Alice blue dress.
AOKI, AOKO (unranked)
In Japanese, the name element Ao means blue. And so it begins several names that might span both cultures and languages, including Aori, Aomi, and Aone. Japanese surname Aoki is sometimes heard as a girl’s given name. That’s down to reality television and fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons, who welcomed daughter Aoki Lee Simmons in 2001. Mother and daughter both appeared on Life in the Fab Lane beginning in 2007.
Atasi means flax in Sanskrit, which suggests pale yellows and beiges. Except it’s also the name given to a small blue flower, one with significance to the goddess Durga in Hinduism.
The Arabic word for blue, Azraq is used as a place name in Iran and Jordan, including a large wetlands nature reserve.
The Spanish word for blue seems like an obvious possibility, with that zippy Z sound. It appears as a name a handful of times in the history books, and it’s been heard more recently, too. As with any import, pronunciation can be dicey. Still, this sound appeals, a name both rare and accessible – and oh so very blue!
Strictly speaking, azure is an English word for a shade of blue – though we rarely use it in everyday conversation. We borrowed it from the French, who translated the medieval Latin lazur as l’azur – as if the L were an article. It’s a specific shade of blue, the color of the sky on a clear day. And it’s used in heraldry, too, appearing on coats of arms. In 2021, 62 girls were named the elaborated Azura, too.
Beyonce and Jay-Z named their firstborn Blue Ivy, and Blue has history as a bold middle name stretching back decades. (Cher named her son Elijah Blue back in 1976.) With color names gone mainstream, Blue isn’t dramatically different from Grayson or Olive. It’s bold, but it’s a wearable one-syllable first, and a great middle, too. Spelling Blu was given to 46 boys and 35 girls in 2021, while the French spelling Bleu was used for 42 boys and 33 girls. And, for a real rarity, Paris-born actor Bleutte Bernon became an early silent film star at the turn of the twentieth century.
When Spice Girl Geri Halliwell named her daughter Bluebell in 2006, it might’ve caught on. It’s not so different from Annabelle, right? So far, it remains obscure – though perhaps it’s more familiar in the UK. Bluebell – or the equally rare Bluebelle – fit with baby names meaning blue, and they overlap with nature names and all things botanical, too – plenty of reasons to embrace this rarity.
Greek myth gives this name to the enchantress who kept Odysseus captive seven long years. But it’s probably more familiar as a type of Caribbean music. From Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O” to “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, it’s everywhere. And it’s the sound of the islands, a beguiling mix of history and rhythm, a style of music that immediately connects to its home.
There are plenty of shades of blue associated with colleges. This one ties to the University of North Carolina. But unlike Yale Blue or Columbia Blue, Carolina feels like a name. Well, it is a name, the Latinate feminine form of Charles, as in King Charles I of England. It’s a spin on classic Caroline, a name appearing in the US Top 1000 most years since 1900. That makes it among the most wearable of the baby names meaning blue.
Like Azure, Celeste is sometimes used in heraldry, where it is known as bleu celeste – sky blue. It comes from the Latin word caelestis – of the sky, or heaven. Nicole Kidman’s turn as Celeste in Big Little Lies has lifted the name in the rankings. But the layers of meaning – as a nature name and a spiritual one – feel very of the moment, too. Add in that it’s feminine, but tailored; familiar, but uncommon, and it’s an appealing option.
At first, Cerulean sounds outlandish. But is it really that different from Adrian and Julian? It’s a different shade, but it shares roots with Celeste. Cerulean comes from the Latin word caeruleus, first meaning a dark blue or a blue-green color. It appears as a color name in England in the late 1500s; Crayola rolled out a Cerulean color crayon in 1990. It’s even mentioned in 2006 blockbuster The Devil Wears Prada. But it’s not exactly a color we think of in the same way as green or red … or blue.
Cobalt brings to mind Jacob and Cole, and it clearly belongs with blue baby names. But it has a wild backstory. First used to describe a type of rock that made miners sick, cobalt comes from kobold – the German word for goblin. It’s been a color name since the nineteenth century.
Cyan is a greenish-blue hue. It’s pronounced like Siam, only with an ‘n’ sound instead. There’s also Cian, a name from Irish myth, pronounced with a long ‘e’ sound. Given the popularity of Ryan, Cyan could be slightly confusing. And Kyan has seen some use, a sort of Kyle-Ryan mash-up. But Cyan belongs with blue baby names, a word familiar to anyone who has ever changed a printer cartridge.
Delphine comes from Delphi, the ancient city. But I’ve added it here because of the delphinium flower. Also called larkspur, it’s most often blue or purple in color. Delphinia and Delfina are seen, too, but Delphine remains most common as a given name. A second tie to the natural world – and to the ocean blue – comes from the meaning. Delphi and company are share a Greek origin, from the Greek word delphis – dolphin.
Denim fabric comes in lots of different colors. But we think of blue jeans as, well, blue – the iconic Levi’s that took denim from heavy-duty work wear to everybody’s daily uniform. It feels rather name-like, a two-syllable choice akin to Declan or Callum, a more contemporary spin on Dennis. And no question, Denim belongs with blue baby names.
Also spelled Firouzeh and Firuze and Firuza, to name just a few, this intriguing name is Persian for turquoise. The blue gem might not seem particuarly linked to the Middle East, but it actually has a rich and ancient history of use. Firuzeh’s middle Z sound makes it both unexpected and accessible, a culture-spanning choice that could wear well.
HYACINTH, JACINDA, JACINTA (unranked)
In Greek mythology, Hyacinth was the name of a beautiful prince. In practice, we tend to give the name Hyacinth to our daughters – or, in Spanish, Jacinto is the baby boy’s name; Jacinta for our daughters. Jacinda is a sometimes-heard English language version, as in former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. It’s often a bright blue flower, and sometimes they’re closer to violet or purple. Other colors, including pinks, reds, and yellows are also seen. It’s not immediately a name that we assume would mean blue, but the connection is there.
It’s the surprise in the ROY G BIV rainbow, a color name seldom used in everyday speech. The indigo plant has given us a dye to make all sorts of things blue for millennia. It remains in use today. There’s also a Canadian bookstore chain by the name, and a growing number of children, too.
Iris brings to mind a shade of blue-violet commonly associated with the flower, though they come in different colors. In Greek myth, Iris was goddess of the rainbow. But this color name feels thoroughly botanical. Vincent van Gogh painted them; in the Victorian language of flowers, the iris expresses faith and wisdom. It’s a powerful combination, all wrapped up in a colorful, ecovintage name.
Typically short for James or another traditional J- name, Jay makes this list because of blue jays, the birds found throughout much of eastern North America. Known for their bright blue color, the birds also serve as the mascot for Toronto’s baseball team, the Blue Jays.
If Larimar takes you to the Caribbean, that’s exactly right. Just like Calypso, this blue name has its roots in the island. In this case, the Dominican Republic. It’s the only place where blue pectolite – also known as larimar – is found. Miguel Mendez found it in 1974, and named it for his daughter Larissa, and the Spanish word for the sea – mar. It’s often a light green-blue color.
Lazuli is cousin to Azure, both derived from the Arabic lazuward via the Latin lazulum. (Which eventually became l”azur.) Lapis lazuli was mined as far back as the 7th millennium BCE. During the Renaissance, it was ground up into pigments to create the most vivid blues in many a masterpiece. That’s a powerful set of associations, and yet, this unusual sound is among the rarest of baby names meaning blue.
We hear Livia as short for OH-livia, that chart-topping favorite. Except it’s not at all. It’s a Roman name, meaning blue, or possible envious. (Were ancient Romans blue with envy?)
Marina seems far more name-like than Lazuli or even Blue. It might come from Marius, or possibly from the Latin marinus – the sea. Since we often think of marine as an adjective for all things oceanic, and a marina as a place to dock boats, it’s equally effective as a blue baby name. It peaked in the US in the 1990s, but remains familiar.
Mayim means “water” in Hebrew. Like Marina or Sea, it’s only indirectly a blue name. While Mayim remains a unique name, actor Mayim Balik makes it more familiar. In her case, Mayim evolved from the more conventional Miriam.
Navy benefits from the appealing color association, but also the middle ‘v’ it shares with Oliver and Ava and company. But the associations with the military might make it an equal opportunity choice. Another plus? It’s brief, but complete, a big sound in just four letters.
An Indian name, Neel sounds like Neal and Neil. But it means blue – or nila/neela does. Hindu epic Ramayana includes a monkey-chief by the name of Nila. The story might date as far back as the seventh to third centuries BCE. It’s been told and re-told, and traveled across cultures and languages. No question, it’s one of the reasons Neel has become an established choice for a son, and a great crossover possibility. Related names like Jalaneel, Nilakshi, and Neeladri are heard, too.
A cousin to Neel, Nila means dark blue. And while it might claim masculine origins, it’s exclusively feminine now. Nila rhymes with chart-topping favorite Mila, another reason to imagine it would be a winning choice. The elaborated Nilima is another, rarer option.
With River trending, Ocean makes a logical successor. Océane – pronounced oh SAY ahn – had a good run in France. It feels promising in the US, with a distinctive sound, and plenty of pleasant associations. Celebs have used it, with actor and fearless namer Forest Whitaker welcoming son Ocean way back in 1990.
New Hampshire natives might recognize this name. Legend tells of Owaissa, a Native American girl who befriended white settlers against her father’s orders. When she defied him to continue visiting their village, he retaliated by setting her friends’ home on fire. She rowed out to sea and was never seen again. Her name means bluebird, which puts it on this list. Or maybe it comes from poetry. Longfellow’s 1855 poem “The Song of Hiawatha” also refers to the bluebird, the Owaissa. Either way, it’s an intriguing rarity, though using Native American names can be challenging.
The rise of Royal coincides with our love of King and Reign, epic choices that feel to the castle born. But Royal is every bit a color name, too, thanks to royal blue. It’s said that the hue was created for Queen Charlotte, wife of King William IV, in the 1800s. The British royal family is big on the color today, but then, who isn’t? It’s a staple choice, from suits to dresses to housewares and beyond.
Sparking red Ruby ranks in the US Top 100, so how ’bout a name borrowed from a precious blue gem? Sapphire might sound a little less name-like, but it has every bit as much sparkle. We took the name straight from the Latin sapphirus – blue stone. As colors go, sapphire blue is a rich, intense shade. A handful of fictional characters answer to the name, and more and more real girls, too.
We tend to think of the sea as green, but that’s not really right, is it? Both oceans and seas shift from vibrant blues to murky greens and everything in between. Sea sounds so much like an initial that it seems awkward as a child’s name – at first. But then, you might say the same of Kay or Jay, Dee or Bea – all choices that wear perfectly fine. The blue sea could be the perfect inspiration for a baby boy or girl.
SHYAM and SHYAMA (unranked)
From a Sanskrit word meaning black or dark blue, Shyam is the masculine and Shyama the feminine form. It’s also associated with more than one god in the Hindu and Jain traditions.
A Finnish name meaning blue color, Sini is a rare possibility for a daughter. Finnish names like Lumi have attracted lots of attention on name sites in recent years; while that hasn’t translated to births, never say never. (Though it may be worth noting that it’s not particularly popular in Scandinavia – though it’s not unknown, either.)
Few words so quickly conjure a shade of blue as sky. And it’s wildly popular – if you count surname-inspired Skylar and Skyler, plus Skye, Skyla, and other Sky-with-a-twist names. The imported Ciel and Cielo – the French and Spanish translations – make for even more sky blue baby names. It’s upbeat and optimistic, straightforward and strong. While it only ranks for girls, it’s clearly a unisex option.
Midway between green and blue sits teal. We borrowed this color name from a bird. (More specifically, the stripe on the teal duck’s head.) We’ve only been using it to refer to the color since the early twentieth century. It’s a short, strong sound that seems like it would wear well for a child’s name. The nature tie-in probably feels like a plus for lots of parents, too.
A former favorite, Tiffany defined the typical baby girl’s name during the 1980s. But here’s a surprise: Tiffany’s roots are medieval. It comes from Theophania, an ancient name meaning “manifestation of God” and strongly associated with Epiphany – January 6th. But none of that has to do with the color blue. Instead, it’s a signature shade of robin egg blue associated with the jeweler Tiffany & Co., established in New York City in 1837.
True blue implies loyalty and trustworthiness. There’s no color True, but the word’s automatic association with the hue of blue puts it on this list. Reality star Khloe Kardashian gave the name to her daughter in 2018. A little bit virtuous, a tiny bit vintage – you can find Trues popping up over the years – and perfectly at home in the 2020s, True is a blue baby name with potential, and a gender-neutral name in the key of River, too.
A blue-green mineral often used in jewelry, Turquoise belongs with blue jewel names like Sapphire and Lazuli. The word turquois in French means Turkish. That’s because the very first precious stone came to France via Turkey. It’s among the oldest of all gemstones, used in ancient civilizations like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China, to name just a few. Today it’s associated with Native American jewelry, especially in the American southwest.
What baby names meaning blue would you add to this list?
First published on January 27, 2020, this post was updated on February 22, 2021; June 1, 2021; May 23, 2022; May 6, 2023; and October 4, 2023.