Stella Origin and Meaning

The name Stella is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "star".

Stella is a name with star quality and sparkle, that manages to sound both ethereal and earthy. Celestial but not otherworldly, it lands somewhere between the popular Ella and bold Seraphina.

The name Stella was derived from stella, the Latin word for “star”. It was coined by the poet, Sir Philip Sidney who used it in his 1590 sonnet collection, Astrophel and Stella, which translates literally to “the star lover and his star.”

While Astrophel has remained obscure, Stella came into common usage in the 1800s. Inspired perhaps by its similarity to Ella and Esther, and by its association with the Virgin Mary, from her Catholic title, Stella Maris, it was popular in the early decades of the 20th century.

After fading in the 70s, Stella is now back and brighter than ever. Following on the heels of Gabriella and Isabella, it ranks in the US Top 50 and is given to almost 5000 babies each year. With equally astronomical Luna now making the Top 10, Stella might rise even higher.

Stella holds international appeal too and has taken shining spots on the charts in Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Italy, and France.

The name Stella was famously bellowed by Marlon Brando in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and it has proved a popular choice among celebrities, including Matt Damon, Ellen Pompeo, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, and Gena Lee Nolin.

Designer and animal rights activist Stella McCartney is another notable namesake, as is Stella Adler, an influential acting teacher.

If Stella is shining for you but it’s not quite the brightest star on your list, then you could consider its variants, the literary Estella, or the French Estelle. Alternatively, you might like another starry name, such as Astraea, Seren, or Izara, or something just equally celestial, like Elara, Celia, or Celeste.

# 46 in the US

Stella Rank in US Top 1000

# 49 on Nameberry

Stella Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Stella Popularity

Famous People Named Stella

  • Stella AdlerAmerican actress and acting teacher
  • Stella Dorothea GibbonsEnglish actress
  • Estelle Caro "Stella" (Eggleston) StevensAmerican actress
  • Stella Nina McCartneyEnglish fashion designer, daughter of musician Paul McCartney
  • Stella Mae PartonAmerican singer,songwriter, sister of singer Dolly Parton
  • Stella HudgensAmerican actress, sister of actress Vanessa Hudgens
  • Stella Huang(born Stella Ng), Singaporean pop singer
  • Stella GonetScottish actress
  • Stella MaessenDutch singer
  • Stella ObasanjoFirst Lady of Nigeria
  • Stella SoleilAmerican pop singer
  • Stella TennantEnglish model
  • Stella VanderFrench singer
  • Stella CorneliaIndonesian singer
  • Stella Maynes MaxwellNorthern Irish,New Zealand model
  • Stella Keitel (b. 1985)daughter of actors Harvey Keitel and Lorraine Bracco
  • Stella Breeze Baker (b. 1993)daughter of actors Simon Baker and Rebecca Rigg
  • Stella del Carmen Banderas (b. 1996)daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
  • Stella Ritter (b. 1998)daughter of actors John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck
  • Stella Irene August Aykroyd (b. 1998)daughter of actors Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon
  • Stella Busina Matthews (b. 2001)daughter of musician Dave Matthews; twin sister Grace Anne
  • Stella Street (b. 2001)daughter of actress Elisabeth Shue
  • Stella Gregg (b. 2001)daughter of actors Clark Gregg and Jennifer Grey
  • Stella Huston (b. 2003)daughter of director Danny Huston; niece of actress Anjelica Huston
  • Stella Shannon Chesnut (b. 2003)daughter of actress Molly Shannon and artist Fritz Chesnut
  • Stella Mae Vincent (b. 2004)daughter of actress Peri Gilpin and artist Christian Vincent; twin of sister Ava Pearl Vincent
  • Stella Klim (b. 2006)daughter of swimmer Michael Klim
  • Stella Rose Elizabeth Schweain (b. 2007)daughter of singer Kristin Swinford of ZOEGirl and Ryan Schweain
  • Stella Monroe Hulse (b. 2008)daughter of actress Gena Lee Nolin and ice hockey player Cale Hulse
  • Stella Doreen McDermott (b. 2009)daughter of actors Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott
  • Stella Ruby Urich (b. 2009)daughter of TV host Kari Byron and Paul Urich
  • Stella Luna Pompeo Ivery (b. 2009)daughter of actress Ellen Pompeo
  • Stella Jean Saliman (b. 2010)daughter of actress Bree Turner and Justin Saliman
  • Stella Zavala Damon (b. 2010)daughter of actor Matt Damon
  • Stella Haven Walsh (b. 2011)daughter of actor Dylan Walsh
  • Stella Alzner (b. 2014)daughter of ice hockey player Karl Alzner
  • Stella June Coleman (b. 2014)daughter of singer Holly Williams and Chris Coleman; granddaughter of singer Hank Williams, Jr.
  • Stella Star (b. 2017)daughter of American reality television star Briana DeJesus

Stella in Pop Culture

  • Stella Kowalskicharacter in Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire"
  • Stella Maynardcharacter in the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Stella Paynemain character in film "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"
  • Stella Gibsoncharacter on TV's "The Fall"
  • Stellathe nurse in film "Rear Window"
  • Stella Bonaseracharacter on TV's "CSI: NY"
  • Stella Malonecharacter on TV's "Jonas"
  • Stella Yamadacharacter in Disney Channel movie "Lemonade Mouth"
  • Stella Zinmancharacter on TV's "How I Met Your Mother"
  • Stellacharacter on animated series "Hey Arnold"
  • Stellacharacter on animated series "Winx Club"
  • Stella Abbottcharacter on TV's "Life Sentence"
  • "Stella" pseudonym of Celinda Toobad in Thomas Love Peacock's "Nightmare Abbey" (1818)
  • StellaNaylithian character in video game "Aveyond RPG"
  • Stella Beniciacharacter in the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
  • Stella DuBoischaracter in the book Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards
  • StellaPearl's dead mother from the novel 'The Year of The Rat'
  • Stella Carlincharacter on 'Orange Is the New Black'
  • Stella Nicklebybaby on TV's Mistresses
  • Stellalead character in the cartoon "Stella and Sam"
  • Stella Samuelcharacter in 'The Heartbreakers' by Ali Novak
  • Stellacharacter in the game "Minecraft: Story Mode , Season Two"
  • "Stella" children's book by Janell Cannon about the titular fruit bat
  • "Stella and Sam" children's book by Marie Louise Gay and TV series
  • "Stella" song by All Time Low
  • "Bella Stella" song by Highland
  • "Stella Blue" song by the Grateful Dead
  • "Stella" song by Ida Maria
  • Stella Artoisa brand of beer
  • Stella Dorobrand of packaged cookies
  • Stella Rose Buckleycharacter on Netflix series "Insatiable"

Stella in Nameberry Blog Posts