There’s Scarlet and Violet, Ruby and Jade. But if you seek a truly daring color name for a daughter, this could be one option.
Thanks to Imogen for suggesting Fuchsia as Name of the Day.
Plenty of color names have become commonplace. Others, like Indigo or Lilac, are less expected, but not eye-poppingly unusual.
Fuchsia crosses the line from the surprising to the downright dramatic.
Maybe it is because fuchsia is a relatively new color. As a hue, the word first appears in English late in the nineteenth century. It wasn’t until 1990 that Crayola added a fuchsia crayon to the roster. (It’s #25 in their Box of 64 – check out fuchsia’s coloring page on their official site.)
Before it was a color, it was a plant. Still is, actually. Named in honor of Leonhard Fuchs, the sixteenth century botanist, the plant produces vivid pinkish-purplish-reddish blooms.
It’s the botanical angle that just might make Fuchsia wearable. With parents looking to expand the Garden of Girls from Rose and Lily to Azalea and Juniper, it is possible that Fuchsia could make the cut.
In fact, Fuchsia was chosen by musician Sting all the way back in 1982, for his firstborn daughter. I’m not sure if dad regretted his daring pick, or if his darling daughter didn’t care for her outlandish moniker, but Fuchsia Catherine prefers to be called Kate.
Word is that Dad borrowed the name from a fictional Fuchsia. Back in 1946, Mervyn Peake penned Titus Groan, the first book in a series about the inhabitants of Gormenghast, a remote, desolate kingdom. Lady Fuchsia is big sis to Titus, the heir to the Earldom of Gormenghast. There have been multiple adaptations, including two by the BBC – radio in the 1980s, a mini-series in 2000. Sting himself voiced the scheming servant Steerpike in the radio version, just a few years after his daughter’s birth. In the 1970s, a short-lived progressive rock band named themselves Fuchsia in her honor; a 1981 song by The Cure references Fuchsia, too.
There’s also at least one real-life Fuchsia – English food writer, Fuchsia Dunlop. You’ll find her work in Gourmet and Saveur, as well as anywhere an expert’s opinion is need on Chinese cuisine.
But even if you’re all about extreme baby naming, there’s one hitch that might steer you away from Fuchsia towards Azure or Gardenia. The flowers’ fan club – the American Fuchsia Society – readily admits that their cherished bloom is among most misspelled of all flowers.
It leads me to think that Fuchsia’s flaws might outweigh her charms, even for the boldest babynamer, the kind who can shrug off accusations that their child’s name is better reserved for a drag queen. That’s not to say that color names aren’t possible options. In fact, Nameberry posted on appellations inspired by Crayola just a few months ago.
And yet, wait a few years. No so long ago, Violet and Scarlet were edgy and Indigo was extreme. Fuschia might make it into the wearable category yet.