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Night Names are Heavenly

September 27, 2020 Sophie Kihm
night names

Night names and day names are as different as …well…night and day. Morning and afternoon names are bright and sunny, including names that mean sun or light or bright, while nocturnal names have an air of subtle mystery.

What do we mean by night names? There are names that mean night or born in the evening. There are astral names that mean star or that relate to the starry night sky, lunar names associated with the moon, and god and goddess names connected with any of the above.

If you recently welcomed a night-born baby, or perhaps just love the nighttime, consult our guide to the most usable boy and girl names related to the night.

Top Night Names

Some of the hottest names in the US are connected to nighttime through myth and legend. The most popular night name for boys is Orion, one of the sky’s brightest constellations. It was named after the huntsman Orion from Greek mythology.

The top night name for girls is Luna, the Roman goddess of the Moon. Luna was notably used by celebrity couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend for their daughter in 2016. The similar name Lyra — a constellation, named after the lyre of Orpheus — is also on the rise. Ed Sheeran recently chose it for his baby girl. This celebrity endorsement will likely contribute to a rise in baby Lyras in next year’s dataset.

Other night names to watch include bright and energetic Nova, which was one of the fastest-rising names of the decade, and multicultural Amaya, which means “night rain” in Japanese.

Below, the most popular night names for babies:

Amaya

Apollo

Aries

Aurora

Ayla

Celeste

Diana

Estella

Estelle

Esther

Estrella

Layla

Lilith

Luna

Lyra

Nova

Orion

Selena

Stella

Titan

Names That Mean Night

Names that mean night come from all different cultures and languages. Japanese names such as Miyabi and Miyu are strongly represented, as the common elements ya and yu mean “night” and “evening,” respectively. Night and Evening can be used as word names themselves. Actor Jack Huston and model Shannan Click named their son Cypress Night in 2016.

Samir and Samira are two familiar Arabic names with one of the all-time best baby name meanings — “a friend to talk with in the evening.” Tinuviel, perhaps the most obscure name on this list, is a literary name invented by J.R.R. Tolkien meaning “daughter of the twilight.”

Here, 20 of the best baby names that mean night:

Ajambo

Esra

Evening

Hesper

Hoku

Ilta

Koko

Manu

Miyabi

Miyako

Miyu

Night

Nightingale

Nisha

Orpheus

Otieno

Rajani

Samir

Samira

Tinuviel

Names That Mean Star

Baby names that mean star include those that literally mean star (think Celeste and Stella), as well as names of notable stars in our galaxy. Many stars are named after characters from Greek or Roman mythology, but Vega — the biggest and brightest star in the Lyra constellation — is Arabic in origin. It is derived from the phrase an-nasr al-wāqi, meaning “the swooping eagle.” At Number 18, Vega is an extremely popular girl name in Spain, where it is also a common surname.

Starry names on the rise in the US include Astraea, Sidra, and Bellatrix. Vesper, Latin for “evening star,” is a Nameberry favorite. It’s also a term used for evening prayers, putting it among our collection of modern Christian baby names.

Below, our favorite unique names that mean star:

Altair

Andromeda

Aquila

Astraea

Bellatrix

Cassiopeia

Celestial

Etoile

Hoshi

Izar

Namid

Rasalas

Roxana

Sidra

Seren

Tarabai

Vega

Venus

Vesper

Yvaine

Names That Mean Moon

There’s more to moon names than Luna and Selena. Fans of Luna may appreciate the Armenian name Lucine or Altalune, the full name of Uma Thurman’s daughter Luna. Indu, a Hindi name meaning “moon,” also features the fashionable “oo” sound but is extremely rare, having been given to fewer than 5 babies in 2019.

You may also be inspired by the names of planetary moons. While the Earth only has one moon, Luna, planets can have dozens and dozens of moons in their orbits (Jupiter has 79!). Most moons are named after Baby-Names-for-Girls”>characters in Greek mythology, and some planets have even stricter naming conventions. Jupiter’s moons must all be named after lovers or descendants of Zeus, such as Io and Callisto. Uranus is the only planet to have moons with names outside of mythology. Uranian moons each have Shakespearean names, including Oberon, Cressida, and Cordelia.

Here, the best lunar names for babies — all outside of the official US Top 1000.

Altalune

Chantara

Cordelia

Cressida

Esmeray

Indu

Io

Livana

Lucine

Mahina

Miray

Moon       

Nikini

Neoma

Nuray

Oberon

Qamar

Raka

Shirina

Tiziri

Night God and Goddess Names

Gods and goddesses of the night may rule over the moon, the stars, or the entire night sky. Many of the more familiar names on this list — Phoebe, Cynthia, Delia, and Artemis — are epithets or equivalents of the Roman moon goddess Diana. Rhiannon, which was thrust into public knowledge by the Fleetwood Mac song in 1976, is a Celtic goddess of the moon and fertility, which are often linked.

Moon deities you may be less familiar with include the Slavic Zorya, goddess of the night sky, Elatha, Irish god of the Moon, and Annikki, an ancient Finnish night goddess. Ira, when pronounced ih-RAH, is an epithet for the Hindu goddess Saraswati, who is often depicted with the Moon.

Below, names of goddesses and gods of the night, perfect for your nighttime-born baby:

Annikki

Arianrhod

Artemis

Asteria

Callisto

Chandra

Cynthia

Delia

Deva

Elatha

Hecate

Ira

Kali

Killa

Mani

Nyx

Phoebe

Rhiannon

Selene

Zorya

What are your favorite night names? 

About the author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

View all of Sophie Kihm's articles

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