Night Names: Heavenly celestial choices

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Night and Day names. They’re as different as …well…night and day. Morning and afternoon names can be bright and sunny, while nocturnal names can have an air of subtle mystery.

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

Here are some of the most usable:


Ajambo—usually used for girls, is an African (Luo) name meaning ‘born in the evening’.

Amayaone of its meanings is ‘night rain’ in Japanese

Ilta—a Finnish name meaning night

Kokoa Native American (Blackfoot) name meaning night

Leila, Layla, LilaIn Arabic, Leila means night, but it has come to mean ‘dark as night’ or ‘dark beauty’.

Lilith means ‘of the night’

Nisha is a feminine name that means ‘night’ in Sanskrit

Orpheusa Greek mythological name meaning ‘the darkness of the night’

Otieno—an African boys’ name that means ‘born at night’ in Luo. The female form is Atieno

Rajania name meaning night in Hindi—in mythology another name of the goddess Kali

Samaran Arabic name meaning ‘evening conversation’

Shirina—an Indian name meaning night


Altairthe brightest star in the constellation Aquila

Andromedaa constellation named after a beautiful Greek mythological princess

Aquila, one of the brightest in the night sky

Asta, AstraGreek, meaning ‘star-like

BellatrixNo, it wasn’t invented by Ms. Rowling: Bellatrix is a bight star in the night sky, the third brightest star in the constellation Orion

Cassiopeiathe mother of Andromeda was changed into a northern sky constellation when she died

Estelle, Estella, Estrella—from the Latin, meaning ‘star

Estherfrom Persian for star

Etoile—the French word for star

Izar –it means star in Basque

Lyraa small constellation; in Greek myth, Lyra is associated with the myth of Orpheus, a musician who played the lyre

NashA star in the constellation Sagittarius; it forms the tip of the archer’s arrow, and the name comes from the Arabic for ‘arrowhead’.

NovaA star that suddenly increases dramatically in brightness

Orionthe constellation named for the mythological giant hunter who was changed into a constellation when he died. This is a name that has already come to the attention of namers.

Stella—Latin for star

VegaThe brightest star in the constellation Lyra

VenusThe name of the second planet from the sun (as well as the Roman goddess of love)

VesperLatin meaning ‘evening star’


Kamariameans beauty of the moon in Swahili

Livanaa Hebrew name meaning new moon

Lunathe Latin  word for moon, personified as a goddess–and a major character in Harry Potter

Moonas in Moon Zappa

NeomaGreek, meaning new moon

Raka—a Hindi name meaning full moon


AnnikiFinnish nighttime goddess

ArtemisGreek moon goddess

ChandraIndian moon god

Cynthiaa Greek name related to Artemis

Deliaanother epithet of Artemis

DevaHindu moon goddess

DianaRoman goddess of the moon

IsisEgyptian goddess of the sky

NyxGreek goddess of the night

Phoebeyet another epithet for Artemis

RhiannonWelsh goddess of the moon

Selene/SelenaGreek goddess of the moon


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