Summer Names


In the Good Old Summertime

In the Good Old Summertime (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 26, 2008, and substantially revised on June 11, 2012.

The official start of summer is just around the corner, and if you’re expecting a special delivery in the next dozen weeks, perhaps you’re dreaming of a name that celebrates the season.

The choices are plentiful for girls, but there are a handful of options for boys, too. Read on for some names that bring to mind the best of the warm and sunny months.

First off, you might consider the names of the months themselves:

  • June: A simple and sweet name with a long history of use, suitable for a girl. Juno, the Roman Queen of the Gods, inspired the month’s name; you might also use the mythological moniker for a daughter.
  • July: A spunkier and more innovative choice for a daughter, but likely to be misunderstood as Julie. The month was named after Julius Caesar, making Julia and Julian attractive options.
  • August: A great idea for a boy that could leap over the gender barrier and be used for a daughter, too. Or stick with the traditional Augusta, which has an interesting throwback vibe.

The gemstones and flowers associated with the summer months offer some possibilities:

  • Pearl, Ruby, Peridot: The gems are associated with June, July and August. While Peridot might go too far, Pearl and Ruby are unassailable names with long histories of use. The Italian and Spanish Perla is a Top 500 name in the US right now, but beware – La Perla is also a famous Italian lingerie designer.
  • Rose, Lily, Poppy: June’s flower, the rose, is a simple and enduring choice for a daughter. The water lily is associated with July. And August is the month of the Poppy, a promising botanical option for daughters.
  • Margaret, Margo, Margot, Megan, Greta, Gretchen, Mairead: While it’s a subtle link, the name Margaret – and its infinite variants – all mean “pearl.”

Summer was the 173rd most popular given name for girls in 2011.  She’s been slipping in recent years, perhaps because she feels just too sunshiny to bestow on a real, live kid.  Determined to barrel ahead anyhow?  Consider a foreign variant.

  • Natsu, Natsuki, Natsumi: Japanese girls’ names that mean summer. They’re said NAT soo, NAT soo kee and NAT soo mee.
  • Seika: Another option from Japan, this time meaning “pure summer.” It is said SEH ee kah. Realize that this is quite close to the watchmaker Seiko, and likely to be confused.
  • Soleil: The French word for sun makes an interesting name for a summer-born daughter. Pronounced so LAY, it is not used in France, where all names must come from an approved list.
  • Suvi: A Finnish girls’ name meaning summer. The pronunciation is soo vee.

Finally, the star signs, planets and mythological stories associated with the zodiac offer some ideas:

  • Gemma: While the name means jewel, it is similar to Gemini, the sign for children born from May 21 through June 21.
  • Artemis, Diana, Luna: Babes born from June 22 to July 22 are ruled by Cancer, the Crab – but don’t call your baby Crusty. The sign is associated with the moon, so Luna feels like an appropriate choice. The goddesses Diana (in Roman mythology) and Artemis (from the Greek) are also linked to all things lunar, so their names earn a spot on the list.
  • Chandra, Ayla, Selena: This trio of slightly more exotic names all mean moon.  They’re from Sanskrit, Turkish and Greek, respectively.
  • Leo, Leonardo, Leonidas: Late July into August is ruled by Leo the Lion and the Leo names make for an appealing choice for a son. Leo stands alone, or choose an elaboration.
  • Leonie, Leodora: If your little cub is a daughter, there are a few Leo choices that work nicely for her, too. Or take some creative license and choose the classic Leah or the obscure saint Leocadia.
  • Persephone: Should your daughter arrive at summer’s end, she’ll be a Virgo (August 23 through September 23). Persephone signals the change of the seasons, as in her myth she must annually return to the Underworld and bring an end to fruitful summer.

Lastly, you might consider the classic Theresa or Teresa or the diminutive forms Tess and Tessa. While the name’s origins are debated, the Greek word theros, meaning summer, often prompts baby name guides to list this as yet another summertime name.

So break out the sunscreen, take me out to the ballpark and maybe consider one of these choices for your summer-born child.

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9 Comments

While I’m Winter Fawn, my sister is Summer Rose. Six years apart in age, she is the eldest. She grew up knowing 6 other Summers’, while I never met another Winter until I was 24. One Winter was 12, one the same age, and the other in her 30’s. Summers’ are quite common these days. Most people say, I’ve met a Summer, April and an Autumn, but not the other seasons and months.

Summer has always been, and always will be, my favorite season. My Birthday is almost the dead middle of July so maybe I’m just a tiny bit biased! 😀
I adore Leo – in any form, but used just Leo on my firstborn so I must bypass the rest of them. And oh how I adore Leonie! Oh well. 🙂
I really like simple, classy Rose, sweet Julia and would love August (Gus) on another son, if I could. Poppy is a favorite as well as Luna. I keep thinking Penelope Luna ___ and of calling her Poppy. (Penny strikes me as cute but also faintly silly since it’s also the lowest denomiation of money here in the States. Poppy works beautifully in replacement for me, though! Ahhh, I’m so glad it’s almost summer! 😀

The Zinnia flower also makes a nice, alternate ‘summer’ girl name. Hanna is Japanese for flower. I like Rose/Rosie and the Leo names.

As I live in the Southern Hemisphere, I now have a lovely list of winter names! Some alternate ‘Southern summer’ names might include:
(months) December, January, February (lends itself less to being a given name, though)
(birthstones) Turquoise, Garnet, Amethyst
(flowers) Narcissa, Holly, Carnation, Violet, Primrose

I was just considering “Summer” as a middle name (which I still like, despite the “dis” here :[ ) but maybe Suvi would work well… just as long as people aren’t determined to hear “Sylvie” or something like that. Hmm.

Xanthe *is* an appealing choice, indeed! She’ll be Name of the Day on August 27.

And you’re right – the lovely Lily is terribly overexposed these days – it doesn’t seem that way, thanks to all the variant spellings and endings, but add them together and it’s no wonder you hear it on every playground!

I absolutely love alot of these names. I like Diana (my one aunt’s name is Diane, so I’m partial to it), Leah, Leo, Natsumi, Rose, Ruby, Seika, Selena, and Tess. I love Calla, Yuri or Lilia instead of Lily. They all mean Lily or are a type of lily. Actually, Yuri is the Japanese word for lily. Lily is so common and overused as a first name these days.

I know this name has nothing to do with summer, but how about Xanthe? I saw it somewhere and I love the sound of it. It’s pronounced Zan-thee. I am a huge fan of it. This is another one of the names I am thinking of for my future kids.