Names That Mean Light
Meaning:"light of man"
Description:Cassander is the masculine form of Cassandra, and the name of an ancient king of Macedon from the 3rd century BC. It could make a nice alternative to Alexander or a refreshing way to honour a female relative named Cassie/Cassandra/Sandra.
Description:A pretty Kazakh name derived from Turkish ayla, meaning "moonlight". The Hawaiian name 'Ailana (with the 'okina mark) means "loving".
Origin:Italian word name
Description:Names ending with O are popular, but this one is almost unheard-of. Faro has the advantages of being easy to spell and pronounce (unless it's confused with Pharaoh), and a bright meaning. Ultimately it comes from Pharos, the island where the great Lighthouse of Alexandria was built, and there's a district and city in Portugal called Faro. Be aware: it's also the name of a gambling card game, highly popular in the nineteenth century before poker took over.
Origin:Hebrew; also Swahili from Arabic
Meaning:"thunderbolt, lightning; or blessing"
Description:The name of the 44th president, which he inherited from his Kenyan father, is related to the Swahili word "baraka," meaning "blessing," derived from the Arabic "baracka." It is linked, through the Semitic root, to the Hebrew name Baruch. Barack is also sometimes an alternate spelling of the Hebrew name Barak, which stems from the Semitic word for "lightning." Barack Obama may have found it a difficult name to grow up with, but the same won't be true for the many babies starting to be given that name. Other parents are being inspired to use Obama, which is a common surname among the Luo people of East Africa meaning "to lean or bend."
Origin:Greek, feminization of Fotis or Fotios
Description:Toula came to light as the name of the heroine of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," short for Fotoula, a feminine version of Fotis or Fotios which means light. Toula is cute -- and indeed can be used as a short form of many feminine Greek names -- but it's hard to imagine Fotoula making it in the U.S. The simpler spelling Tula is also an option.
Origin:Latin; Arabic; Italian
Meaning:"grain; light, splendor; aunt"
Description:A short and zippy name that would blend right in with but also stand out among a group of girls named Mia, Gia, Lia and Tia. If you're searching for girl names that work in many cultures, this is an accessible yet distinctive choice. One caveat though: in an Italian-American family it would be strange to have a baby named Aunt.
Origin:Italian variation of Latin Electra
Description:Less electric and melodramatic, more serene, than Electra. Isabella Rossellini's daughter (and Ingrid Bernman's granddaughter) is named Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann.
Meaning:"bright blue enamel"
Description:Cyane is a mythological Sicilian nymph who lived in a pool and whose name is an intriguing twist on the color name trend.
Origin:English, feminine variation of Albert
Description:This jazzy old name could make a comeback, the way Josephine and Ella have. In England the name was popularized by Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, after whom her governor general of Canada husband named the North American province. Jazz singer Alberta Hunter was a noted bearer.
Origin:Aramaic and Hebrew
Description:Beguiling cousin of Sahara.
Origin:Hebrew or Greek
Meaning:"burning light or ocean spirit"
Description:A simple but unusual name with roots in disparate cultures, Neri appears in the Bible as a male name and is still sometimes used for boys as well as girls. The appeal of Neri are its deep roots combined with its simple, upbeat, modern feel, ala Peri and Rory.
Origin:Diminutive of Elaine
Meaning:"bright shining one"
Description:Lainie is a nickname for Elaine that has been in the public eye via Lainie Kazan (that was her full given name), who was a popular singer in the 1960s and 1970s (she was Barbra Streisand's understudy in "Funny Girl"), and then became a motherly character actress. We still find Lainie a bit flimsy for a full first name.
Description:Unfashionable surname, best left in the forest with Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Meaning:"Daughter of the twilight / nightingale"
Description:Lúthien Tinúviel is an elf princess in J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium, who falls in love with a mortal human, Beren, and chooses to become mortal herself rather than to live without him. Tinúviel is a Sindarin name given to her by Beren, meaning “daughter of twilight” and therefore “nightingale”.
Description:A pretty addition to the Au-girl names like Audrey, Aurora and Autumn. The beginning Aur syllable, which often relates to gold, makes this an appropriate and one of the more unusual names for autumn babies.
Description:Isambard is derived from Old German Isanbert, meaning “bright iron” or “famous iron”. Its most famous bearer, rather fittingly, is the 19th century British civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, noted as one of the driving forces of the Industrial Revolution.
Meaning:"gold, brilliantly bright"
Description:Zariza is a unique name sure to appeal to Z lovers.
Description:Lucasta was invented by seventeenth century poet Richard Lovelace for a collection of poems dedicated to a lover named Lucy, and is familiar through the Eugene O'Neill play and film Anna Lucasta. Lucasta is a distinctive, rarely used choice and a logical extension of the Luke/Luc/Luca names.
Description:Positive meaning -- and a choice of spelling variations.
Origin:Norse mythological name
Description:Dagur, one of the top boys' names in Iceland, is the personification of day. His mother is Nott, or night, and together they are thought to ride in a chariot around the earth every 24 hours.