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Day Names

Day Names
The ancient tradition of day-naming — choosing a name from the day of the week, the month, the season or holiday, or even a time of day — feels fresh again now. Names inspired by your child’s birthday can be obvious or subtle. Day names include word names like Tuesday and Winter, as well as names that connote time in their meanings, like Layla and Kwame.

Along with Layla and Winter, other day names in the US Top 1000 include Asa, August, June, Natalie, Noel, Samir, Summer, and Zora. Rare day names that deserve to be on more parents’ lists include Ameyo, Dagny, Holiday, and Vesper.

Many day names are African in origin. Historically, the many African cultures and tribes had distinct day names for girls and boys. Akosua, for example, is the Twi name for a girl born on Sunday.

Here, examples of day names that could work as modern baby names.

Day Names

AuroraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of sunrise whose tears turned into the morning dew. She was said to renew herself by traveling from East to West across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun each dawn. Aurora is also associated with the scientific term for the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.

AugustHeart

  • Origin:

    German form of Latin Augustus
  • Meaning:

    "great, magnificent"
  • Description:

    August is THE celebrity baby name of the moment, chosen by both Princess Eugenie and Mandy Moore for their baby boys in early 2021. Before that, August had been heating up in Hollywood – used by Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann, Lena Olin, Dave Matthews and Jeanne Tripplehorn for their sons, and is rapidly becoming the preferred month of the year for boys' names. The month of August was named after the Emperor Augustus.

LilaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic, Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "night; play"
  • Description:

    Lila was derived from the Arabic word laylah, meaning "night." It has separate roots in Sanskrit with the meaning "play." In Hinduism, Lila is a conceptualism of the universe as a playground of the gods. Lilah and Lyla are variant spellings.

AsaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "healer; born in the morning"
  • Description:

    A short but strong biblical name with multicultural appeal, Asa is enjoying new visibility thanks to hot young actor Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame.

AmayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish version of Amaia or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "mother city; the end; night rain"
  • Description:

    The Spanish form of Amaya is both a given name and a surname, originating from the Spanish mountain and village of Amaya. In this context it means "mother city" or "the capital." Amaya can also be considered a derivation of Amaia, a Basque name meaning "the end." In Japan, Amaya is a surname.

NataliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "birthday [of the Lord]"
  • Description:

    Natalia was derived from the Latin word natalis, meaning “birthday.” It refers to the birthday of Jesus Christ, and thus originated as a name for girls born on Christmas Day. Related forms include the French Natalie, Portuguese Natalina, and Russian diminutive Natasha.

AutumnHeart

  • Origin:

    Season name
  • Description:

    Crisp and colorful, Autumn is the most popular season name now -- the only one in the Top 100 in recent years -- with Autumn's coolness only surpassed by Winter. Jennifer Love Hewitt named her daughter Autumn James.

JuneHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, month named for goddess Juno
  • Description:

    June, a sweetly old-fashioned month name derived from the goddess Juno, was long locked in a time capsule with June Allyson (born Ella) and June Cleaver, but is rising again especially as a middle name.

LaylaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Leila, Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "night"
  • Description:

    Layla is derived from the Semitic element layl, meaning "night." It has roots in the Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian languages. In the Arabic story Qays and Layla, Layla is the subject of the poet’s unrequited love. Among the many alternate spellings are Leila, Laila, Laela, Laelah, Laylah, Leyla, Lejla, and Leighla.

NatalieHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Russian Natalia
  • Meaning:

    "birthday of the Lord"
  • Description:

    Natalie is the French variation of Natalia, a name originally derived from the Latin phrase natale domini, meaning “birthday of the Lord.” It was historically given to girls born around Christmas for this reason. Nathalie is an additional, though less common, spelling of the name.

WinterHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Fresher, brisker and, yes, cooler than Summer or Autumn or Spring, Winter is now a full-fledged female choice, especially since Nicole Richie and Joel Madden used it for daughter Harlow's middle name, and Gretchen Mol picked it as her daughter's first, as did media mogul Sean Parker. Winter continues to be the preferred spelling and has risen in popularity significantly over the past few years.

ZoraHeart

  • Origin:

    Serbo-Croatian
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Zora is a meaningful literary heroine name honoring Zora Neale Hurston, an important black writer and leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

VihaanHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Vihaan comes from a Sanskrit word denoting the dawn, but has the symbolic meaning of the beginning of a new age, making Vihaan a wonderful choice for the first baby in a family's next generation.

NoelleHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "Christmas"
  • Description:

    Noelle is the feminine variation of Noël, a masculine given name derived from the French word for "Christmas." As a word, Noël originated as a variant of nael, which evolved from the Latin natalis, meaning "birth." Noelle and Noel have traditionally been given to children born around Christmastime, particularly in the Middle ages.

NatashaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian diminutive of Natalya
  • Meaning:

    "birthday of the Lord"
  • Description:

    Natasha, an appealing, still unusual name, entered the American mainstream post-Cold War but seems to have peaked in the eighties, replaced by the more straightforward Natalie. As is common for Natashas the world over, the Obamas shorten their Natasha's name to Sasha.

AprilHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "to open"
  • Description:

    Once the most popular month names, April has been overtaken by June (for girls) and August (for boys), as well as the charmingly old-fashioned May. Literary reference: the heroine of the book and movie Revolutionary Road, and there have been Aprils on Parks and Recreation, Glee, and The Vampire Diaries. Trivia note: comedian Ralphie May named his daughter April June May.

DanicaHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "Morning Star"
  • Description:

    While Danica may sound similar to Dana, Danielle, and Daniela, Danica is not a variation. Danica, a delicate and unique Slavic name meaning "Morning Star," is synonymous with Venus in many countries. Though it's slipped down the charts a bit since its peak in 2007, we think Danica deserves even more attention given that it is at once feminine without being frilly, and easy to spell without being too common.

OrpheusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Meaning:

    "the darkness of the night"
  • Description:

    Name of the legendary ancient Greek poet and musician — whose music was so beautiful it made trees dance and rivers stop to listen — would provide a child with a challenging but indelible identity.

SummerHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    The temperature is definitely rising for this popular seasonal name, which began being used in the seventies, and has been heard consistently ever since.

NoelHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "Christmas"
  • Description:

    Noel is British, fey, and sophisticated, connoting wit and creativity, much like namesake Noel Coward. Noel has also been a character on Felicity and Pretty Little Liars. Thanks to their association with Christmas, Noel and Noelle make ideal names for December babies and names for Christmas babies.

ValentineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Valentine is an attractive Shakespearean name with romantic associations, but those very ties to the saint and the sentimental holiday have sent it into a decline, one which we think may be about to turn around.

VesperHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "evening star"
  • Description:

    This Latin word used for evening spiritual services was introduced to baby namers by the Eva Greene character Vesper Lynd in the modern James Bond film Casino Royale in 2006, based on the Ian Fleming novel, and is just now beginning to provoke interest among namers, with its spiritual reference and soft, whispery sound.

YvaineHeart

  • Origin:

    Female variation of Yvain or Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "evening star"
  • Description:

    A mix of Yvonne and Elaine, Yvaine was first noticed in the Neil Gaiman fantasy novel and then movie Stardust, in which Claire Danes played the 'fallen star' Yvaine. This In all its forms, one of the most classic Scottish names for girls is now attracting namer attention--just as that other Gaiman-inspired name, Coraline, did. Yvaine has a definite romantic, medieval charm. A small segment of namers are definitely taking notice.

RoxyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Roxanne, Persian
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Roxy, also spelled Roxie, is one of those high-stepping showgal names with plenty of moxie, among the many sassy nickname names on the U.K. popularity list--currently Number 398.

PascalHeart

  • Origin:

    French; English
  • Meaning:

    "of the Passover; Easter"
  • Description:

    The French-accented Pascal was historically used for sons born at Easter, and can make an interesting choice for a boy with Gallic roots arriving around that holiday.

MayHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret and Mary; month name
  • Description:

    May is a sweet old-fashioned name that hasn't been on the national charts in several decades, but is definitely sounding fresh and springlike. Parents are beginning to see it once more as one of the prettiest middle name options. May was as high on the list as Number 57 in the 1880s; it's now 228 on Nameberry.

WednesdayHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "Woden's day"
  • Description:

    Name made famous by the macabre character Wednesday – middle name: Friday – Addams is taken from the name of the day dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon god Woden, who relates to Mercury. Cartoonist author Charles Addams was said to choose the name because "Wednesday's child is full of woe."

AvivaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "springlike, fresh, dewy"
  • Description:

    Aviva is vivacious and memorable, a fresh spin on the Vivian and Vivienne names that have been getting more popular since Angelina and Brad chose one for their twin daughter. Another A-beginning palindrome name: Aziza.

SundayHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Sunday is among the most usable of the day names, with its sunny opening syllable, made famous when Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban chose it for their newborn daughter. Although it had been widely written that Kidman and Urban named their baby after art patron Sunday Reed, Kidman recently was quoted saying that was a myth, they just liked the name. There were 34 baby girls named Sunday last year, but perhaps more parents will be inspired by the Kidman-Urban choice.

CereliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "relating to springtime"
  • Description:

    Cerelia is a melodic and unusual choice, perfect for a child born in April or May. Another version is Cerella.

CassielHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "angel of Saturday"
  • Description:

    This name of the archangel who protects those born under the sign of Capricorn is one of the most attractive and distinctive December baby names or January baby names. Cassiel is a little-known member of the increasingly popular Cass family, which includes Cassius, Cassian, and Cassia.

ManuHeart

  • Origin:

    Finnish, Maori, Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "greatest; bird; man"
  • Description:

    An international name that, although short and simple, sounds strong and distinctive. It can also be short for Magnus or Emmanuel.

TuesdayHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "Tiu's Day,"
  • Description:

    When actress Susan Ker Weld changed her name to Tuesday, she opened up a whole calendar of possibilities. This was decades before the arrival of Sunday Rose Urban.

TwilaHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "woven with a double thread"
  • Description:

    Creative name largely associated with choreographer Twyla Tharp, it also has a pleasant tie to the word twilight.

DiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Mbama, Sanskrit, Latin, and Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "love; lamp; heavenly; day"
  • Description:

    A sweet and simple multicultural choice which has several different meanings and origins.

JuniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Feminine variation of Junius
  • Meaning:

    "born in June"
  • Description:

    Juno is hot, June is showing signs of a comeback along with other month and day names, whereas Junia, the name of the the first century Christian referred to by the apostle Paul as an apostle (and who may have been male), is yet to be discovered.

JuniHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "June"
  • Description:

    Juni is the Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Finnish form of the month name June. While Juni feels cute and fresh, most Americans would assume it was a nickname or a Joni variation. We prefer Juna or the English June.

MidnightHeart

  • Origin:

    English, word name
  • Description:

    Nicole Richie and Joel Madden added this rocking name to the lexicon of day names, which have their roots in the African tradition of naming a child after the day of the week, time of day, or season in which he or she was born. But they wisely used it as a middle name.

JoraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "autumn rain"
  • Description:

    Unique possibility for a girl born between September and November.

SamirHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "a friend to talk with in the evening"
  • Description:

    Samir has a pleasing sound and lovely meaning. One of those distinctive names that can also fit right in—and you could always call him Sam.

KofiHeart

  • Origin:

    Twi
  • Meaning:

    "born on Friday"
  • Description:

    This Akan day name is very much associated with Kofi Annan, the seventh secretary general of the United Nations. The Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. Most Ghanaians have a name using this system.

HarukiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "spring child"
  • Description:

    Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, well known in the U. S. , might inspire some namesakes.

EosHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "nightingale"
  • Description:

    Eos -- that's pronounced with a short e like eros without the r -- is the Greek Titan of the dawn. Any ancient name with a sleek modern feel has definite revival possibilities. Eos could be an inventive way to honor grandma Dawn. Eos is also a Welsh bird name that is occasionally given to girls in Wales — pleasingly the nightingale, so this name covers both morning and night.

NishaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "night"
  • Description:

    Pretty name that hit the popularity charts in England in the late 1990s.

JanuaryHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Meaning:

    "month name"
  • Description:

    Thanks to two cultural influences, January has joined March, April, June and August as a plausible month name.

VernaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "springtime"
  • Description:

    Verna may mean "springtime," but May or Spring is fresher.

SuviHeart

  • Origin:

    Finnish
  • Meaning:

    "summer"
  • Description:

    To the non-Scandinavian ear, a cute and unusual nickname name, used by Finnish supermodel Suvi Koponen.

DecemberHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Meaning:

    "month name"
  • Description:

    Cooler than April, May, or June, but also a tad icy.

DagnyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "new day"
  • Description:

    If you're looking for a name with Scandinavian roots, this would make a stronger and more appealing import than Dagmar. With its meaning of "new day," it could make an ideal choice for a girl born around New Year's.

GennaroHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "January"
  • Description:

    This name of the patron saint of Naples would make an apt choice for a New Year's baby, or one with Neapolitan roots.
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