Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Iris

Iris is a name with a few identifications. Foremost, in Greek mythology, Iris is both the personification of the rainbow and the messenger between the gods as well as a link between the gods and mortals. She connects to the earth from heaven via the rainbow which she creates by watering the clouds from her pitcher of water obtained from the sea. The daughter of Thaumas (a sea god) and Electra (an Oceanid), Iris appears in Homer’s Iliad as a minor deity and divine messenger with a winged staff who carries a pitcher of water from the River Styx she uses to cast a sleeping spell on those that perjure themselves. She is therefore associated with not only the rainbow, but also communication and new endeavors. The word “iridescence” is derived in part from Iris and the Spanish word for rainbow is “arco iris” (arco meaning arch). In Greek (ίριδα), Iris simply means ‘rainbow’. Iris is also the word used to signify a certain type of flower, a genus with 200-300 flowering varieties (hence the name since these flowers represent a ‘rainbow’ of colors). The Iris symbolizes faith, hope and wisdom and in ancient times, dark purple irises were planted over the graves of women to call upon the goddess as a guide to the otherworld. In the Middle Ages, Irises were associated with the French monarchy and the familiar fleur-de-lis symbol is modeled after this flower. The Iris is the state flower of Tennessee. Iris is also the word for a blue-violet color and is the anatomical word for the part of the eye that displays eye-color. Iris as a female personal name among English-speakers was mainly popularized in the 19th century when naming daughters after flowers became fashionable.

All About the Baby Name – Iris

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME IRIS

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME IRIS

Iris has been on the U.S. female list of names consistently since the 1800s. Never an overly used name, Iris has managed to maintain a respectable position on the charts for over 100 years. The height of the name’s popularity came in the late 1920s when flower names were still a lingering fad following the turn of the century (Rose, Violet, Daisy, Flora and Lily). Iris hung back modestly, never seeking the spotlight. That just makes her one of the more unique choices today. Worldwide, the name Iris fares much better. It’s a very popular name in flower-loving Holland, and it’s also on the Top 100 lists in the countries of Sweden, Slovenia, Croatia, Spain and Catalonia. Iris has increased in usage in the United States since the turn of the 21st century but still only moderately so. The name did jump almost 100 spots up the charts between 1998 and 1999 following the release of the Goo Goo Dolls chart-topping single “Iris” (which begins with the powerful lyrics “I’d give up forever to touch you…”) and was written for the 1998 film “City of Angels”. The name Iris has its share of antique charm, but it is also offbeat and different from the other flower names. The name has so many references (goddesses, rainbows, flowers and colors) – there’s much more than meets the iris of the eye!

Quick Facts

ON IRIS

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Greek

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

253

PRONUNCIATION:

EYE-riss

SIMPLE MEANING:

Rainbow

Characteristics

OF IRIS

Independent

Individualistic

Ambitious

Strong-willed

Inventive

Successful

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Iris

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME IRIS

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Iris

Popular Songs

ON IRIS

Through The Iris
a song by 10 Years

Iris
a song by The Breeders

For A Bandaged Iris
a song by Poison The Well

Camouflage Iris
a song by Settlefish

Famous People

NAMED IRIS

Iris Chang (author)
Iris DeMent (singer)
Iris Adrian (actress)
Iris Murdoch (British novelist)

Children of Famous People

NAMED IRIS

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Iris

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME IRIS

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Iris