Summer Baby Names: Let the Sunshine in!
By Linda Rosenkrantz
It’s the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—heralding the sun-drenched days of the season after what was to many a particularly harsh and seemingly endless winter. To welcome the sunniest season, let’s look at some summer baby names that start with the syllables Sun and the Sol—even sneaking in a couple that don’t relate directly to the sun.
SUNNY SUMMER BABY NAMES
SOL—Sol is the Latin name for the sun and is a sun god in Roman mythology as well as a Norse sun goddess. As a given name, however, most people would read it as the short form of the name Solomon. Some notable Sols include artist Sol LeWitt and impresario Sol Hurok. If you’re looking for an alternative, better call Saul.
SOLACE—A word name with a compassionate, comforting vibe. Flannery O’Connor used it for a character in her novel Wise Blood and Alanis Morrissette dubbed her daughter the distinctive Onyx Solace in 2016.
SOLANA—A lovely Spanish name meaning sunshine or sunny side of a mountain or valley. It is also the name of a California beach and a Florida community. Solana, with its slightly futuristic feel, is the female protagonist of the Pokémon Ranger video game and the name of a Groovy Girls doll.
SOLANGE—Yes, I know–this is a sol name that has nothing to do with the sun. The French name of the younger Knowles sister actually means solemn, or religious, and is the appellation of a martyred 9th century saint, a patron saint of rain. Novelist George Sand had a daughter she named Solange; it was also the name of Scarlett O’Hara’s grandmother and one of the original Bond girls.
SOLARI is a surname/place name meaning sunny, or more literally ‘land exposed to the sun.’ According to Urban Dictionary it’s used to describe beauty bigger than the sun. Solari was a character on Xena: Warrior Princess.
SOLEIL—The word for sun in French, Soleil is rarely used as a proper name in its native milieu, but is creating some increasing interest in the US. First noticed in recent years via the former TV child star Soleil Moon Frye, it did see some American use in the 1920s. Currently ranking at Number 680 on Nameberry, Soleil has been used as a middle by a few celebs. Many Americans learned the pronunciation via Cirque du Soleil.
SOLOMON—Another Sol name with a different meaning—in this case peace. An Old Testament king of Israel known for his wisdom, one of the name’s current bearer is Solomon Northup, author of the memoir Twelve Years a Slave. Solomon/Sol is one of the main characters on Grace and Frankie. Solomon currently ranks at #388.
SOLSTICE—A word name just beginning to appear on birth certificates. Author Lionel Shriver used it for a character in her novel Big Brother. It could make an interesting choice for a girl born around the summer or winter solstice—June 21 or December 21st
SUNDAY—One of the most usable of the seven day names; Sunday Rose is the daughter of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban and Mike Myers has a Sunday Molly. Sunday was a one-year wonder on the US popularity list in 1966. One of its early appearances was on an old radio soap opera, Our Gal Sunday.
SUNNIVA—A Norwegian name meaning ‘sun gift’. Sunniva was a legendary Irish-born saint who fled to Norway, becoming the patron saint of Western Norway. Very popular in the 1920s, Sunniva has again been a Top 100 name in Norway since 1992, reaching as high as #32.
SUNNY—Sunny Sunny is one of the old-timey nickname names making a return—now ranking at #871–though it saw more use in the mid-70s. Adam Sandler named his second daughter Sunny Madeline, sister of Sadie and Sunny Baudelaire is a character in the Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events books.
SUNSHINE—A name that hasn’t quite succeeded in shedding its 70s hippy-dippy feel IRL, it has nevertheless made some fictional appearances, as in the Annie Proulx novel Shipping News and the Sunshine Corazon character on Glee. SUNBEAM, SUNRISE and SUNSET take it one step hippier.
Whats your favorite summer name?
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on June 21st, 2019 at 2:06 am
I met a little girl called Soleia!
on June 21st, 2019 at 7:44 am
How fun! We plan on using Solomon as a middle.
on June 21st, 2019 at 6:13 pm
When I awoke this morning to my favorite season, I repeatedly thought of how Summer is one of my favorite names. I think it has become more mainstream and less hippie-ish over the decades. I know you’re looking for ‘Sun’ names, but Sunny is a good nickname for Summer because of all the sun in the season.
Sunrise is nice, too, and I once heard of a Misti Sunrise. Both Sunrise and Sunday seem a tad more ‘Easter.’
I agree that “Sunshine’ is more ‘hippie,’ including others such as Sundance, Sunray, Sunlight, and Summerbreeze.
Dawn or Misty Dawn seem summery, too.
Sun, itself, is an option, as in Chastity Sun Bono.
on June 23rd, 2019 at 10:12 am
Our son is named Solomon, so I’m obviously a big fan of the name! I’m not sure if I’d use it, I think it would be misheard as Sunny, but I really like the sound of Sunna.
on June 23rd, 2019 at 7:10 pm
I love the French variant of Solana, Solenne. Soleia up in the comments is beautiful, too! And I have a soft spot for Solstice, since my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on the Summer Solstice.
on June 25th, 2019 at 7:59 pm
I actually know a girl named Sunshine!
on June 27th, 2019 at 1:12 pm
Sunshine! I’ve met two women with this name and it’s just so happy, hippie or not! Sunbeam would be cool for a middle I think.
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