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Names That Mean Light

Names That Mean Light

Names that mean light or bright shine beautifully and boldly on a baby. Top names meaning light for girls include Nora, Clara, and Lucy, Popular boy names meaning light include Bodhi, Lucian, Aaron, and the classic Robert.

Names meaning light can commemorate a sunny day or burst of knowledge, can confer brightness on your baby's future or illuminate a mid-winter birth. Babies born at Hanukkah or New Year's sometimes are given names that mean light, such as Aaron and Clara.

Uncommon names with light-related meanings that you might consider for your list include Abner, Eleonara, Helena, Lior, and Lux.

Names with light-related meanings that are well-used in other countries include the Irish Aine, the Italian Chiara, the Israeli Zohar, the Spanish Lucia, and the Arabic Noor.

Here is our collection of names that mean light or bright or clear or shining for baby girls and boys. As on all our lists, the names are ordered according to their current popularity on Nameberry.

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  1. PhoebeHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "radiant, shining one"
    • Description:

      Phoebe is the Latin variation of the Greek name Phoibe, which derived from phoibos, meaning “bright.” In classical mythology, Phoebe is the by-name of Artemis, goddess of the moon and of hunting. The masculine version of Phoebe is Phoebus.
  2. ClaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Clara is a strong, lovely girls' name that's always ranked among the US Top 1000 girl names but has been climbing since the turn of this century. Now holding steady around Number 100, Clara is a modern classic, neither too popular nor too unusual.
  3. LucyHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of Lucia, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Lucy is both saucy and solid, a saint's name and heroine of several great novels. First fashionable in England and Wales, Lucy is now popular in the US as well.
  4. NoraHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Nora is a lovely, refined name that conjures up images of Belle Epoch ladies in fur-trimmed coats skating in Central Park. Long seen as a quintessentially Irish name, Nora is a quietly stylish favorite tiptoeing up the popularity ladder.
  5. LucianHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Lucian is a sleeker, more sophisticated version of Lucius that is climbing in tandem with other Lu-starting names.
  6. LuciferHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light-bearer"
    • Description:

      Lucifer is the name of the archangel cast into hell -- theologians disagree on whether he and Satan are separate beings -- and as such has long been on the forbidden list for religious parents. Still banned in New Zealand, Lucifer is occasionally used in the contemporary U.S.: Six boys were given the name in the most recent year counted.
  7. LuciusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Lucius is an old Roman clan name that has lots of religious and literary resonance, yet is still vital today. It was the name of three popes, appears in several Shakespeare plays, and, like all the names beginning with 'luc' relates to the Latin word for light.It was one of a limited number of forenames used in ancient Rome, and because of its meaning was often given to boys born at dawn.
  8. ElenaHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish, Italian, German, Greek variation of Helen
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining light"
    • Description:

      Elena is at its most popular point ever in the US, thanks to its cross-cultural appeal and the overall popularity of El- names. It's more international than Ellen or Eleanor, but still accessible.
  9. XavierHeart
    • Origin:

      Basque
    • Meaning:

      "new house"
    • Description:

      Xavier originated is use as a given name after Saint Francis Xavier, cofounder of the Jesuit order, who got his name from the Spanish-Basque village where he was born. His birthplace was Javier, the name of which was derived from the Basque place name Etxeberria, meaning “castle” or “new house.” Many Americans pronounce the initial X, as in ex-ZAY-vee-er, but it's equally accepted to pronounce the name ZAY-vee-er, closer to the French pronunciation.
  10. AylaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, or Turkish
    • Meaning:

      "oak tree, or halo, moonlight"
    • Description:

      Tired of Ava and Isla? Consider Ayla, a more offbeat choice and a lovely name that means light as well as tree. Its literary reference is the independent and feisty heroine of Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear.
  11. ClaireHeart
    • Origin:

      French form of Clara
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Claire, luminous, simple, and strong, is one of those special names that is familiar yet distinctive, feminine but not frilly, combining historical depth with a modern edge. And though Claire is enjoying revived popularity, it will never be seen as trendy. Claire is also a great middle name choice.
  12. BodhiHeart
    • Origin:

      Sanskrit
    • Meaning:

      "awakening, enlightenment"
    • Description:

      Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Bodhi tree is a large fig tree under which the founder of Buddhism received enlightenment. Spelling variations include Bodie and Bode.
  13. LuciaHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian, feminine variation of Lucius, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Lucia is a lush, rich Latinate equivalent of Lucy, popular in Spain and throughout Latin America and also a cross-cultural favorite. You might be surprised to know that Lucia has ALWAYS ranked among the Top 1000 girl names in the US, though she's really taken off only since the turn of this century.
  14. AlinaHeart
    • Origin:

      Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "bright, beautiful"
    • Description:

      Alina has been drifting up the US popularity charts since the early 1980s, now nearing the Top 100. But Alina's real strength is in its international flexibility: The name ranks highly in a wide range of European, English speaking, and Latin American countries.
  15. HelenaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latinate form of Helen, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helena is a more delicate and dainty version of Helen, a favorite of Shakespeare, who used it in both All's Well That Ends Well and A Midsummer's Night Dream. Historically, Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great (and, supposedly, the daughter of Old King Cole), who became a fourth century saint--Evelyn Waugh wrote his only historical novel, Helena, based on her story.
  16. EllieHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Eleanor and Ellen
    • Meaning:

      "bright shining one"
    • Description:

      Ellie first took off in the UK—yes, in this nickname form—and this warm and friendly name has also taken off here. In 2011, Ellie entered the US Top 100 girl names for the first time and has remained near the top of the charts ever since.
  17. RupertHeart
    • Origin:

      German variation of Robert
    • Meaning:

      "bright fame"
    • Description:

      Rupert is a charming-yet-manly name long more popular in Britain (where it's attached to a beloved cartoon bear) than in the U.S. Yet we can see Rupert as a more stylish, modern way to honor an ancestral Robert.
  18. AaronHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "high mountain; exalted, enlightened"
    • Description:

      The origin of the name Aaron is debated—some say it was derived from Hebrew, while others claim it originated in Ancient Egypt. In the Old Testament, Aaron, the older brother of Moses who was appointed by God to be his brother's spokesman, was the first High Priest of the Israelites. The Hebrew version is Aharon—in Yiddish it can be Aaran—and the name appears in Arabic as Haroun or Harun.
  19. LucienHeart
    • Origin:

      French form of Lucian
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Sophisticated Gallic version of Lucian, Lucien may appeal to parents attracted to this meaning over that of Lucas and Luke, which have a different root, and also looking for a more unusual choice.
  20. KiaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of the Italian Chiara or the Irish Ciara or Aboriginal Australian, Korean
    • Meaning:

      "light, clear; little dark one; cockatoo; first ray of sun"
    • Description:

      Kiara can be considered a variation of both the Italian name Chiara and the Irish name Ciara. Chiara is the Italian form of Clara, meaning "bright" or "clear," while Ciara is the feminine form of male given name Ciar, derived from the old Irish cíar, meaning "dark." Kiara is also an Australian name derived from an Aboriginal word for the white cockatoo, and has roots as a Korean name meaning "first ray of sun".