Thursday, August 16, 2012


I'll just start this post by saying that I really do recognise it's not the best idea to name your child after an alcoholic beverage. But I have to admit that Midori is one of my guilty pleasure names. If I ever were to temporarily lose my sanity, I could very well end up with a daughter named Midori.

As alcohol names go, Midori (pronounced mi-DOHR-ee) is one of the better ones, maybe because it is actually an established name in Japan where Midori means 'green'. It's been used for generations in Japan without becoming super popular, and is the name of Japanese figure skater Midori Ito and Violinist Midori Goto. Both ladies are extremely accomplished in their fields - Midori Ito was the world champion in her sport in 1989, and a silver medallist at the 1992 Albertville Olympics. Midori Goto is an internationally renowned violinist who was seleceted to be a UN Messenger for Peace in 2007.

For those unfamiliar with the drink, Midori is a brand of melon liqueur, and was named for it's bright green colour. It is also the key ingredient in my favourite cocktail, the Japanese Slipper. For the uninitiated, a Japanese Slipper consisits of 1 measure of Midori, 1 measure of Cointreau and 1 measure of lemon juice. Although I personally prefer cranberry juice, which ruins the lovely green colour but makes for a less sour drink. I digress though.

The main problem generally with alcohol inspired names is that they are viewed as 'lower class' or more succinctly - 'stripper names' (Brandy anyone?). This has not been helped with the rise of names such as Chablis, Moet and Tequila, which often can't be associated with anything but alcohol. Recently I read a heartbreaking story from Britain on how names such as Chardonnay and Champagne are not only branding children as coming from a lower socioeconomic background, but are also preventing them from being adopted due to laws prohibiting adoptive parents from changing childrens names. If you're interested, you should check it out at

But not all alcoholic drinks are off limits for names - Bailey is a top 100 name for girls in the US, and also a common boys name here in Australia, despite being a very popular liqueur. Not to mention main ingredient of a shooter with a somewhat racy name.

As a name Midori sounds fresh and slightly exotic to many people. With the meaning 'green' it is a great name for people looking for subtle colour names, or a name associated with my favourite season - Spring - a time of year when the world is lovely, green, and starting to bloom.

I think Midori is just a popular TV character away from shaking off it's alcoholic associations and become a widely acceptable name. Those brave enough to get on board early may soon find themselves congratulated for being ahead of a trend, rather than having a flight of fancy after having a couple too many at the cocktail bar on a Friday night.


  1. A lady I'm acquainted with once said she was thinking of naming her next daughter Vesper, to which someone said, "That's the name of a cocktail".

    "Only alcoholics will know that", she retorted. "And who cares for their opinion?"

    I consider this quite a good come-back in this situation.

    Anyway, Midori is indeed a beautiful name - in English, it sounds like the meaning should be, "My gift".

  2. We named our daughter Midori Evie born in 2011 and I wouldn't change it for the world. She is now five and I have yet to met anyone in perosn with the same name , she gets complemented daily on her name . We call her Dori sometimes for short , but in the end I couldn't Imgaine her with any other name , and side note I did not know "Midori" was an alcoholic drink (I'm not a drinker) until after we named her but that didn't phase us at all. Beautiful name that fits our beautiful lil girl :)

    1. I would Love to name my daughter Midori too. It's such an ADORABLE name :D