Celestial Baby Names: Star names that twinkle and shine

June 25, 2013 WaltzingMoreThanMatilda

By Anna Otto of Waltzing More Than Matilda

For those who find themselves enchanted by the magic of the night skies, here are names of stars and constellations which could be used as baby names. I’ve sorted them into male and female, but a few could be used on either gender.



In the constellation Serpens. Its name comes from the Arabic for “fat tail (of the sheep)”.


A constellation named after a beautiful princess from Greek mythology, who was chained to a rock as an offering to a sea monster. Her name is said to mean “to think as a man” in Greek, interpreted as meaning to be as intelligent or brave as a man.


In the constellation Orion, this is among the brightest stars in the night sky. It means “female warrior” in Latin, and is sometimes called The Amazon Star.


In the constellation Canes Venatici (“The Hunting Dogs”), which represents the dogs belonging to the nearby constellation, Boötes (“The Ploughman”). Astronomers thought it would be nice to give him two dogs, and one is called Chara, meaning “joy” in Greek – it sounds like Cara. The other dog-star is Asterion (“starry”).


A constellation whose name is Greek for “lyre”. The lyre belonged to Orpheus, a legendary musician, poet and prophet from Greek mythology.


Part of the asterism called The Southern Cross. The star is named Mimosa because it is yellow, like mimosa (silver wattle) blossom. Mimosa is from the Greek for “to mimic”.


In the constellation Cassiopeia. Although it has no traditional name, the American astronaut Virgil Ivan Grissom called the star Navi, which is his middle name backwards.


The brightest star in the constellation Andromeda, although some astronomers place it in Pegasus instead. Its name is from the Arabic for “navel (of the mare)”, in the belief that it is the centre of Pegasus. It is a “lucky star”, bringing honour and riches to those born under its influence.


The brightest star in the constellation Lyra, and fifth-brightest in the sky. The name is from Arabic, and means “falling” or “landing”, because Arab astronomers called Lyra “The Alighting Vulture”.


A star system in the constellation Virgo. Its name is from the Arabic for “corner”.



The brightest star in the constellation Aquila, and amongst the brightest there are. Altair is a translation of the Arabic for “the flying eagle”, and can either be said al-TAH-yir, or al-TARE.


In the constellation Draco. Its name is from the Arabic for “the dancer,” although it can also be translated as “the trotting camel”.


Barnard‘s Star is in the constellation Ophiucus, and is the nearest star to Earth in the northern hemisphere – fourth-nearest overall. It was named after its discoverer, American astronomer E.E. Barnard. His surname is a variation of the name Bernard, meaning “brave as a bear”.


The Garnet Star gained its name from astronomer William Herschel‘s description of it as “a very fine deep garnet colour.” A red supergiant in the constellation Cepheus, it is one of the largest in the Milky Way. The colour garnet is named for the red gemstone. Its name is said to be derived from the pomegranate fruit, which means “seeded apple”.


A star system in the constellation Eridanus. Its name is from the Arabic word for “(egg)shells”, and can be pronounced to either rhyme with hide or heed.


The ancient Chinese name for Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. Kio comes from the Chinese for “horn,” as Spica was seen as “the horn of Jupiter”, and the Chinese viewed it as a “lucky star”. It rhymes with Rio.


In the constellation Sagittarius. The name is from the Arabic for “arrowhead”, and this star forms the tip of the archer’s arrow.


A constellation which is one of the most noticeable in the night sky, instantly recognisable to even the astronomical novice. It is named after a gigantic, handsome huntsman from Greek mythology, who is something of a bawdy folk hero. His name is from the Akkadian for “heaven’s light”.


A constellation which represents the hero from Greek mythology who rescued Andromeda, and married her. The meaning of the name is not certain, but it is thought to come from an ancient word meaning “destroyer”.


The brightest star in the constellation Orion, and one of the very brightest in the night sky. Because it is easily visible in both hemispheres, it is traditionally used when navigating by the stars. Its name means “foot (of the great one),”as it seen as being Orion‘s left foot. It rhymes with Nigel.  

 Anna blogs about a wide variety of Australian names, and Aussie name trends, at Waltzing More Than Matilda.




About the author


Waltzing More Than Matilda is the creation of Anna Otto, who blogs about a wide variety of Australian names, and Aussie name trends.

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