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Names That Mean Light

  1. AlinaHeart
    • Origin:

      Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "bright, beautiful"
    • Description:

      Alina is one of the scores of global variations on the classic Helen, well used in Poland and Russia, and also heard in the Celtic and German cultures, as well as in the US. Alina might be a long form for a daughter you want to call Lena or Lina.
  2. NiamhHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish Gaelic
    • Meaning:

      "bright"
    • Description:

      Niamh, derived from the Old Irish Niam, is an ancient Irish name that was originally a term for a goddess. In Irish myth, one who bore it was Niamh of the Golden Hair, daughter of the sea god, who falls in love with Finn's son Oisin and takes him to the Land of Promise, where they stayed for three hundred years. Niamh can be Anglicized as Neve, Nieve, or Neave.
  3. ElaineHeart
    • Origin:

      French and Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining light"
    • Description:

      This old Scottish form of Helen has had quite a history, going from appearing as one of the shining heroines of the Arthurian legends, the princess who fell in love with Sir Lancelot and became the mother of Sir Galahad, referred to as 'Elaine the fair' and 'Elaine the lovable', to being the name of the most famous of New York's celebrity restaurants, to being the archetypal New York neurotic on Seinfeld.
  4. NellHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Helen, Eleanor, et al
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining one"
    • Description:

      Nell, once a nickname for Helen, Ellen, or Eleanor, is a sweet old-fashioned charmer that is fashionably used today in its own right. While Nell is perfectly in tune with contemporary vintage name style, it hasn't taken off the way some of its sisters have and so maintains an air of distinction. Use Nell or Nellie as a short for any name from Eleanor to Penelope or just name her Nell.
  5. AloraHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Eliora, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord is my light"
    • Description:

      Alora feels like a hybrid name – part authentic, part synthetic – maybe because it is. It squeaked onto the Top 1000 in 2017 as part of the trend for girls' names starting and ending with A, but it has since dropped out again. It is likely a spelling variant of Elora, but also sounds a lot like the Italian word allora, meaning "so, then, therefore, well".
  6. AlbertHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, bright"
    • Description:

      Albert has acquired a new gloss as one of the top royal baby boy names, a serious upgrade from its serious, studious image (think Einstein, Schweitzer). Albert remained popular for 80 years, and though it's far less fashionable today, it's still a widely used choice. Still, along with such stalwarts as Walter and George, it could now make an unusual yet classic choice. It became especially popular in Britain following the 1840 marriage of Queen Victoria to the German Prince Albert. Enlivening nickname Bertie is popular on its own in England.
  7. EileenHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish variation of Evelyn
    • Meaning:

      "desired; or water, island"
    • Description:

      Irish Aileen continues to be more popular than Scottish Eileen, though both names have seen an unexpected resurgence since 2012. Nicknames for Eileen include Isla, Lee and Lina. Eileen is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Eibhlin or Aibhilin, which is technically a form of to Evelyn/Aveline, but is also sometimes considered part of the Helen family of names. It was quite popular in the early part of the twentieth century.
  8. HelenHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times – Helen of Troy was the the mythological "face that launched a thousand ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought.
  9. ArjunHeart
    • Origin:

      Hindi
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining, white"
    • Description:

      Popular in India and among Indo-Americans, this name of the hero of a famous Hindu epic has an extremely pleasing sound.
  10. LucilleHeart
    • Origin:

      French variation of Latin Lucilla
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Lucille is a name that had long been overpowered by its link to Lucille Ball, with an image of tangerine-colored hair, big, round eyes, and a tendency to stage daffy and desperate stunts. But with the newfound craze for double-L names like Lily and Lila, Lulu and Luna, and as the choice of Lucille by hipster parents Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson, Lucille is breaking free from its old clownish image, moving rapidly up the charts over the past decade after a long nap.
  11. SolanaHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "sunshine"
    • Description:

      A bright and warm possibility for a summertime girl, Solana has been heard in a few video games. Solana Rowe is the real name of the singer known as SZA.
  12. ChiaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "light, clear"
    • Description:

      Chiara is a lovely and romantic Italian name that's familiar but not widely used here: a real winner. You might consider Chiara instead of Claire, Clara, Cara, or even Keira.
  13. ReyanshHeart
    • Origin:

      Hindi
    • Meaning:

      "ray of light"
    • Description:

      This unusual Indian name, which refers to one of the names of Lord Vishnu, has been one of the fastest-growing boys' names of the last decade. It first managed to climb into the US Top 1000 in 2014. The nickname Rey Americanizes it.
  14. AineHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "brightness, splendor"
    • Description:

      More commonly seen here as Anya, this traditional yet unique Irish name belonged to the queen of the Munster fairies and is sprinkled throughout Irish folklore as an early Celtic goddess of summer and prosperity. One of the most popular baby names in Ireland, Aine's spelling and pronunciation might seem simple but could prove confusing in the U.S.
  15. RobinHeart
    • Origin:

      Bird name; or English, diminutive of Robert
    • Meaning:

      "bright fame"
    • Description:

      Now that it's no longer fashionable for girls, Robin is rising for boys again. Robin Hood, Robin Williams, Christopher Robin, and Robin the Boy Wonder are all male namesakes, after all. It reentered the US Top 1000 boys names in 2015 for the first time since 1999 and continues to bounce around the lower end of the Top 1000.
  16. OranHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Irish, Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "light, song, little green one"
    • Description:

      A calm and gentle multicultural choice. Oran is popular in Ireland, where its Gaelic form is Odhrán, meaning "little green one". In Scottish Gaelic, the name means "song", and in Hebrew, it's a combination of Or "light" + Ran "singing".
  17. RobertHeart
    • Origin:

      English from German
    • Meaning:

      "bright fame"
    • Description:

      Robert was derived from the ancient Germanic name Hrodebert, from the elements hrod, meaning "fame" and bertha, "bright." Robert was the name of three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce, who freed Scotland from English rule. The name was brought to England by the Normans.
  18. GilbertHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "shining pledge"
    • Description:

      Considered ultra debonair in the silent-movie era, Gilbert then went through a nerdy phase, a la Gilbert Gottfried. Now though, like Albert and Alfred and Walter and Frank, it could be in for a style revival.
  19. AbnerHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "father of light."
    • Description:

      This neglected Biblical name--it was the name of the commander of Saul's army and appears twice in the New Testament--is ready to flee Dogpatch. It was regularly used in the nineteenth century, but was pretty much demolished by the long-running hillbilly comic strip L'il Abner, which began in 1934 and ran through 1977. A more respectable namesake is Abner Doubleday, who has been credited with inventing baseball.
  20. ClarissaHeart
    • Origin:

      Elaboration of Clara
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Clarissa, the daintier version of Claire, has a long literary history of its own, having been featured in the novels of Samuel Richardson, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf—Clarissa was the title character of Mrs. Dalloway—not to mention the 1990s teen sitcom, Clarissa Explains it All.