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Names That Mean Dark

JennaHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Jennifer
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    Jenna was first noted on the 1980s TV series Dallas, later associated with one of the First Twin Daughters. Jenna is still being used, but no longer feels much fresher than Jennifer. You can also spell it Jena, but then many people will pronounce it jeen-a, as in Gina.

PhoenixHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dark red"
  • Description:

    Phoenix is a New Age name symbolizing rebirth and immortality; Scary Spice chose Phoenix for her daughter.

DonovanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "dark"
  • Description:

    One of the first of the appealing Irish surnames to take off in this country, this boys’ name has long outgrown its "Mellow Yellow" association, which came via the single from a sixties singer-songwriter named Donovan.

MelanieHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "black, dark"
  • Description:

    Gone with the Wind inspired a generation of girls named Melanie, though it looks as though Scarlett will triumph in the end.

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.

CiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Ciara is very popular in Ireland, more familiar here as the Anglicized Kiera or Keira. The uninitiated will tend to pronounce Ciara as the Italian Chiara, a form of Claire—kee-AHR-a or even see-AHR-a, like the American singer-songwriter Ciara. In the US, Ciara peaked in 2005, when it was the Number 150 name; it's since fallen down to Number 882.

EbonyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "deeply black wood"
  • Description:

    Word name favored by African-American parents because of its connotations of blackness and beauty, trending down since the eighties.

HadrianHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dark-haired"
  • Description:

    Most parents would find this old Roman name pretentious compared to the more accessible Adrian, but some history buffs just might want to commemorate the enlightened emperor.

CorbinHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "crow"
  • Description:

    Corbin, the name of the castle where the Holy Grail was said to be hidden, came to the fore in the 1980s via actor Corbin Bernsen when he was the high profile star of LA Law, but its use is only now escalating as part of the mania for two-syllable names starting with c or k, as well as from the more youthful image of Corbin Bleu, the attractive actor-model-dancer-singer who was one of the stars of the Disney hit High School Musical.

DouglasHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "black water"
  • Description:

    Douglas, and more particularly its nickname, Doug, had a real romantic swagger in the 1950s and 1960s dating back to swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, but today is more likely to conjure up your mom's prom date. Originally a Celtic river name, it became attached to a powerful Scottish clan, renowned for their strength and courage. In its earliest incarnation, Douglas was used equally for girls and boys.

GinevraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Guinevere
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    A lovely alternative for the Jennifer-lover.

NigelHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "dark, black-haired"
  • Description:

    A name that Yanks might see as overly British, but combined with the right surname, it does have a measure of Sherlock Holmesian dash via Nigel Bruce, who played the original Dr. Watson to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes.

MorrisHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Maurice
  • Meaning:

    "dark-skinned"
  • Description:

    Morris is as quiet and comfortable as a Morris chair, and has the same vintage feel. Once a Top 100 name in the early 1900s, Morris fell completely off the roster in 1995, probably due to lingering fallout from his identification with Morris the cat's ("the world's most finicky cat") 9 Lives cat food commercials.

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.

SmithHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "blacksmith"
  • Description:

    Even if it is the Number one surname in the U.S.--with more than 2.5 million bearers--we still think that Smith would make a cool first or middle name, whether or not it has family history.

MauriceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dark-skinned"
  • Description:

    In the USA, Maurice was in the Top 200 for most of the 20th century; since 1990, however, it has been on a slow and steady decline. This name has the potential for some old-school cute nicknames such as Mo as well as the more trendy Reece.

CalibanHeart

  • Origin:

    Romanian
  • Meaning:

    "black"
  • Description:

    In Shakespeare's The Tempest, Caliban is the name of the deformed son of a witch: not the greatest literary reference for a child. But Caliban does have an appealing international-yet-accessible feel and a rhythmic sound. As long as nobody knows its origin, it might make a great name for a boy or even a girl.

KaliHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "black one"
  • Description:

    Cute name but be warned: Kali is the Hindu goddess of destruction, the fierce side of the goddess Devi.

LonanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "blackbird"
  • Description:

    This name of several early Irish saints makes a nice Logan/Conan alternative.

SableHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "animal name"
  • Description:

    Sable is often associated with the Dynsaty soap opera, but it is actually a type of animal historically hunted for its fur. Sable is also used as a word for a warm, rich black color. Both associations carry hints of luxury.