[ 2 syll. i-ris, ir-is ] The baby girl name Iris is pronounced in English as AY-RihS or in Dutch and German as IY-RihS †. Iris is of Old Greek origin. It is used mainly in Dutch, English, and German. It is derived literally from the word iris with the meaning 'rainbow'. The name was borne in Greek mythology by the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. Iris is also a genus of flowering plants named after the rainbow. The first name was adopted by English speakers in the 16th century as a flower name, and also in reference to the sphincter around the pupil of the eye, which is named for its myriad of colors. The first name later enjoyed an increase in use during the late 19th century vogue for flower and plant names.
Iris has 21 variant transcriptions that are used in English and foreign languages. English variant transcriptions of the name include Irea, Iria, Irida, Iridian, Iridiana, Iridiane, Iridianna, Iridianny, Irisa, Irisha, Iriss, Irissa, Irys, Iryss, Iryssa, Risa, Risha, Rissa, and Yris. Another English variant is the familiar form Irita. Iride (Italian) is a variant transcription of Iris that is used in foreign languages.
Iris is popular as a baby girl name. The name's popularity grew from the 1900s up to the 1920s; before that, it was of only modest use. Its usage peaked in 1928 with 0.085% of baby girls being named Iris. It was #200 in rank then. The baby name has dropped in popularity since then. In 2012, it ranked at #282 with a usage of 0.058%, but it was nevertheless the most regularly used among all girl names in its family.
† Pronunciation for Iris: AY as in "side (S.AY.D)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)"
A famous person named Iris is Author, Iris Murdoch, born 15 July 1919 - 8 February 1999, Dublin, Ireland.