Category: names that mean light

By John Kelly

June 21st marks the 2017 summer solstice. On this longest day of the year, let’s bask in the light of 14 names whose origins literally shine bright.

Abner

Abner means “father of light” in Hebrew. Though closely associated with the rustic comic strip Li’l Abner, the name also graced King Saul’s commander in the Old Testament and Abner Doubleday, the once-touted inventor of baseball. Reaching #371 back in 1901, the sun may shine on Abner again.

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Baby Names That Mean Light

If there’s anything we crave at this time of year, it’s light: Sunlight, daylight, the light at the end of the long dark winter tunnel.Light is also an inspiring meaning for a baby name, appropriate for a midwinter baby – or one due to arrive in spring or summer.  Our favorite baby names with meanings relating to light include:

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Winter Baby Names: From Amethyst to Zohara

It’s the first day of winter–and plummeting temperatures and shorter days mean just one thing at Nameberry: it’s time to revisit  and update our annual survey of winter baby names. Just a few years ago, we might have said that Winter was the season least friendly to names, whereas now it seems to offer the newest choices for the adventurous baby namer.

Why?  Two reasons:  Nicole Richie choosing Winter as one of the middle names for her high-profile little girl Harlow and then Gretchen Mol using it as her daughter’s first, plus January Jones, beauteous star of the hit show Mad Men.

Winter is the season name that’s seen the least amount of use over the years, yet one that holds the most potential for boys as well as girls.  Translations of the seasonal name include the French Hiver (pronounced ee-vair), Italian Inverno, and in Spanish, Invierno.   In Dutch and German, it’s still Winter and and in Swedish, the comical-sounding (to the English speaker’s ear) Vinter.

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Baby Names With Uplifting Meanings

What does a name’s meaning really mean? Lots of parents today don’t know, much less care, what the baby names they like mean in Old German or Ancient Hebrew. The root meanings of so many names come down to some equivalent of “dark-haired sword protector gift of Jehovah” that have very little relevance to modern life.

And yet there are some names with meanings so uplifting that they gain appeal on that basis alone. What parent can fail to hope that a name that means wise or noble or loving might inspire a child to embrace those qualities?

If the meaning of a name means a lot to you, consider this wide range of choices. And there are lots more where those came from. Search either via the meaning option on supersearch or download the ebook version (or hey, even buy an old school paper edition!) of The Baby Name Bible.

girls

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Christmas Baby Names

It’s now an annual nameberry holiday tradition, presenting the comprehensive   blog written for us by Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of the wonderful name blog youcantcallitit.com, so here it is!

Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that tree…), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before it’s too late. Some may have bigger –or smaller– things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name. There’s a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:

Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:

Balthasar, Balthazar– One of the Magi

Casper, Gaspard, Jasper– While he doesn’t appear in the Bible, this is also said to be the name (here in several versions) of one of the three wise men

Christian, Christine, Christina, Christopher, Christabel (girl) and Cristobal (boy) – Followers of Christ

 Emmanuel for a boy, or Emmanuelle, for a girl

Epiphany– For the celebration just following that commemorates the visit of the Magi

Estelle, Estella, Estrella, Esther, Seren, Stella– All have meaning related to “star”

Eve– For the night before

Jesus

Joseph, Josepha, Josephine (also cognates Giuseppe and Jozef)

Yeshua– Other versions of the name Jesus

Maria, Mary– The mother. Miriam is also etymologically linked to this name

Melchior– The third king to visit Jesus

Natalia, Natalie– Derived from natal which means “birth”, Natale is the Italian word for Christmas; Natasha is an Eastern European nickname for Natalia

North– After the guiding North Star

Theodore/a, Dorothea, Dorothy– “Gift of God”

Virginia– There are any number of names that represent the Virgin Mary. Plus you can say to her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

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