The baby name Azura fits right in with color names like Navy and Scarlett, but feels subtle at the same time.

Thanks to Chloe-Marie for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.

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SKY BLUE

Azure refers to the color of the sky on a clear summer’s day. 

That sounds poetic, but it is based on the technical definition from the modern color wheel. 

Azure was once the French word for blue; today, bleu is commonly used. 

The term azure persists in heraldry, where the shade is associated with sapphires and the planet Jupiter.

The color suggests restraint; tranquility and serenity, and the optimism of a cloudless blue sky. 

So the baby name Azura comes from the word azure, which means the color blue, but where did the word azure come from?

LAPIS LAZULI

The Old French azure begins with the gemstone lapis lazuli. 

The original Persian name for the semi-precious stone is lazhuward, meaning deep blueIt’s been mined in what we now call Afghanistan since somewhere around 7000 or 6000 BC. The gem circulated throughout the ancient world for millenia.

By the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli appeared in Europe. Marco Polo called referred to it as lajward, the modern Persian word for the gem.

The Greek called it lazour. As sometimes happened, the French reinterpreted the L as an article. (Think “the jewel.” It becomes “le bijou” in French.)

Lajward became lazour, then l’azuli, then azur.

The whisper-down-the-alley process continued. The Spanish word for blue remains, even today, azul. 

That makes Azura a nature name through and through. But when did we make the leap from a color and gemstone a given name?

BOOK of JUBILEES

It would be easy to declare Azura an elaboration of azure and thus a modern(ish) innovation.

Except for the Book of Jubilees. 

Strictly speaking, it’s a non-canonical book of the Bible. It’s not a forgery by any means; the writings date to religious scholars from the early Christian era. Plenty of familiar names have referenced the Book of Jubilees, and it remains widely read.

For various reasons, most Christians do not consider it an official part of the Bible.

Much of Jubilees recounts the same events as the Book of Genesisbut it adds more detail on the descendants of Adam and Eve. 

Some accounts list Aclima as a twin sister of Cain; other names, including Jumella, Awan, Lusia, and Luluwa refer to their siblings.

The Book of Jubilees specifically mentions that Cainand Abelhad a younger brother named Seth, and Seth married his sister, Azura.

Does the sister’s name refer to the color blue? Possibly. At the time of writing, the gemstone was almost certainly familiar.

In other words, the baby name Azura has ancient roots, indeed.

AZURITE

Besides lapis lazuli, there’s a second gemstone connection. 

Azurite is a mineral related to copper. Known since ancient days, the mineral is also blue, and known as kuanos in Greek; cerulean in Latin. Eventually it became azurite, from the word azure. 

BY the NUMBERS

So how popular is the name Azura?

It’s been in sparing use since the 1970s. In 1999, eight girls received the name. By 2011, that number reached 16. And as of 2023, 85 girls were named Azura.

Azure is unisex. In 2023, it was given to 30 newborn baby boys, along with 13 girls in the US.

Looking at the list of baby girl names, similar names include:

  • Azzura, an Italian version of Azura, does not appear in the US popularity data for 2023, but has been used a few times in recent years.
  • Azzurra currently ranks #20 on the list of Italy’s most popular names. In the US, it was given to 13 girls. It’s the more common form of Azzura.
  • Azra looks similar, but has separate Arabic roots. It was given to 61 girls and 14 boys in 2023.
  • Azaria and Azariah are unisex names, again with Biblical roots, appearing the US Top 1000 for boys and girls alike.

Overall, the baby name Azura is quite rare – possibly because expectant parents have so few places to hear the name in the first place.

AZURA

“blue sky”

A rare name related to the color blue, with the same sound as stylish Eliza.

Popularity

Unranked in the US Top 1000

Trend

Rising in use

Origin

From an earlier French word meaning blue, azure, which ultimately comes from the gemstone lapis lazuli

REAL and FICTIONAL AZURAS

Actress Azura Skye was born Azura Storozynski. Azurite inspired her unusual first name, as her parents were amateur gemologists. She’s worked steadily in television, including appearances in Girls and Riverdale. 

A handful of fictional characters have also answered to Azura, including in Marvel Comics and, in The Elder Scrolls video game, she’s a princess of dusk and dawn.

There’s also a mention of the name in The Owl House, an animated series on the Disney Channel. In the show, The Good Witch Azura is the name of a fantasy novel series the main character likes.

STYLISH and RARE

No question this color-inspired name mixes plenty of current trends. It brings to mind names like Aurora and Ezra. Azura might substitute for more popular favorites like Aria and Athena.

With ancient roots and a lovely sound, the baby name Azura could the perfect choice for parents looking for a meaningful name both stylish and rare.

What do you think of the baby name Azura?

First published on May 2, 2013, this post was substantially revised and re-posted on March 11, 2024.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?

12 Comments

  1. I have 2 young daughters one name skye and one named Azura I don’t know where we got Azura from but we liked it and thought there wouldn’t be many Azuras around

  2. I really love Azura. It’s one of the names that has been a front-runner on my list for a few years (which is rare, I change my mind often). I can’t remember where I first heard it. I like Azure (for a girl), but it feels unfinished to me. Azura feels like many names that are trendy right now – especially with the z, but is so rare! Do you think it reminds people of Acura though (the vehicle)?

    1. I never would have thought of Acura, especially since I don’t pronounce the /u/ the same way in the two of those.

  3. I think this name is rather cool. I met a real Azure finally, last year. No Azuras yet though. I did watch a film and I thought the character’s name was Azura, but maybe it was the actress you’re referring to. I’m curious about this name Izora mentioned above. I also wondered if the Hebrew Azura could be at all related to Asshur?

    1. Unlikely — A(s)shur is spelled with aleph.shin [אשׁ], not ayin.zayin [עז] as in Azur/a.

  4. Do you remember when you do did a name of the day on Izora a hundred years ago – or last year maybe? For some reason I always wondered if Izora was a pioneer-spirit sort of enthusiasm over authenticity spelling of Azura.

    ə-ZHUR-ə?

    1. Well … maybe. But Izora was in use in pretty decent numbers back in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, while Azura was more obscure. And the -ora ending was all the rage in the era. So I can’t rule it out, but there’s nothing that points to that connection. It seems like Izora was established first …

      Unless Azura was in use somewhere out there and I’m missing it? There were a very few women by the name in the nineteenth century. My instinct would be to attribute the use to the Biblical figure … but maybe not.

  5. The Hebrew Azura is a feminine form of Azur/Azzur/Azor [עזורה, ayin.zayin.vav.resh.hey] meaning “help/er”. You could also form Azura from az (strong), and ur (light).

    1. To clarify, that Hebrew spelling is for Azura — Azur is [עזור, ayin.zayin.vav.resh].