October 30, 2008


updated Sept 2015
Iris ~ Rainbow ~ Greek

My husband recommended I feature this name next, and I was so glad he did. I love the name Iris. It's in the floral family of girl's names, and it sounds a little vintage without being too old-fashioned. It's popular enough that most will like it, but it's not overused and might be a good alternative to Lily or Rose. The sound is unique, sophisticated, and sweet at the same time. In fact, when my good friend told me that her baby was named Iris and wanted to know what I thought of it, I said her name made me think of flowers and rainbows, and that's something that crosses cultures and continents too.

History and Meaning
Iris is the Greek goddess of the sea and sky, particularly of rainbows. The word is synonymous with rainbow or colors in many languages, and it's where we get the term for the colored part of the eye. Each person's iris is unique in colors and patterns, just like our fingerprints are one-of-a-kind.

The iris genus of flowers got its name from the Greek goddess as well, likely because of the variety of colors the flowers can display. They are elegant and carry royal connotations, as they were often the symbolic flower of choice for monarchs.

A lot of art has been inspired by Iris one way or another. The flower is honored by Vincent Van Gogh in his painting titled Irises, and the name is used for a beautiful song by the Goo Goo Dolls. I suppose one could also credit some of the best childhood paintings and inspirational photos to iris as well, in the form of the rainbow.

Iris is ranked at #245 for 2014.

Celebrity babies named Iris:
  • Jude Law & Sadie Frost's daughter
  • Melanie Brown & Eddie Murphy used Iris as a middle name: Angel Iris
  • Leslie Mann & Judd Apatow's daughter:
  • Iris is already an actress, you may have seen her in the movie Knocked Up along with her mom. (She's the younger girl in the photo.)


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