Are you looking for baby names that boldly shine? Consider names meaning light to brighten up your child’s appellation. These illuminating baby names can portend a bright future for your child. It’s very common for babies born on Hanukkah or New Year’s to receive names meaning light but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose one of these names for a baby born at any time of year.
We set out to find the best baby names that mean light to discover the most shining appellations. We found names from all sorts of languages and naming traditions that have radiant meanings. The two most popular names that mean light in the US are Aaron and Clara but we will look beyond these common appellations to more unique and offbeat options to present you with a variety of possibilities! Let’s talk bright baby names meaning light!
Girl Names Meaning Light
A perennial favorite, Phoebe comes from Latin by way of Greek. The name is associated with Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and moon. The name means “radiant” and “shining one.”
Nora is a short form of Eleanora and Honora. One comes from Latin and is associated with “honor.” The other, from Hungary, meaning “light.”
Lucy is the English form of Lucia, a Latinate name that means “light.” Lucy and Lucia have traditionally been given to baby girls born at dawn. Thus, it’s one of the most appropriate names meaning light on this list for a morning baby!
Across Europe, you will find Elena as the preferred form of Helen. The name has roots in Greek and means “bright” and “shining one.” It’s a top-100 name for girls in the US today.
From the same root as Elena, Ellie is an English name that also means “bright” and “shining one.” Despite being a version of Elena, Ellis is the more popular choice among baby girls born today. It’s one of the cutest names meaning light.
A true multicultural hit, Kiara can be found as a variation of the Italian name Chiara, meaning “bright.” It also is used by the Irish who translate the name to mean “dark.” In Korea, you’ll find the name meaning “first ray of sun.”
Alina is yet another form of Helen that you will find well-used in Russia and Poland. The Slavic form of this name still maintains its meaning, “bright.” You get the enviable nickname Lina from this one which is an added bonus!
A name that’s pronounced Neve (its Anglicized form), Niamh is an ancient Irish name that belongs to a goddess called Niamh of the Golden Hair who is a daughter of a sea god. This Irish Gaelic name means “bright.”
A name of Greek origin, Cassandra names the tragic mythological character. The Trojan princess was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo but was cursed to never be believed. The name means “bright” and “excelling man.” This name is trending down which makes it one of the ideal names meaning light to mount a comeback!
Nell is a vintage charmer that deserves to be dusted off and put to good use. The name has not been popular in the US since the 1950s! It’s one of the dozens of names that comes from Helen and thus, also means “bright” and “shining one.”
An underused Hebrew name, Eliora means “the Lord is my light.” The name sounds melodic with plenty of pure vowel sounds. This name has never been popular in the US but we feel it has tons of potential!
Lux is a luxurious name from Latin that means “light.” This appellation is starting to gain traction thanks to it belonging to the main character of Virgin Suicides.
Chiara is an Italian name that’s beloved across Europe today but has yet to find its footing among American parents. It’s a top 10 name in Italy today. This gorgeous name means “light” and “clear.”
Pronounced AWN-ya, Aine is a stunning name from Ireland that you’ve probably seen spelled Anya. The name belongs to a Celtic goddess of summer and prosperity. The appellation means “brightness” and “splendor.”
One of the most criminally underused names meaning light on this list, Phaedra is an exotic choice that means “bright.” Phaedra names a tragic figure in Greek mythology, the daughter of King Minos.
Clarrisa has been a mildly popular name over the last 100 years but it is trending down these days. The name is an elaboration of Clara from Latin. The appellation means “bright” and “clear.” The name belongs to the main character in Virginia Woolf‘s Mrs. Dolloway.
Senna is a botanical name and an established Arabic name meaning “brightness.” The name is currently popular in the Netherlands but you will rarely hear it elsewhere. We hope that changes as it is one of our favorite names meaning light.
Deva names a Hindu moon goddess and sounds absolutely amazing. The name means “divine” and “shining one.” We’d love to encounter this unique name more often!
Inara is a stunning name from Arabic that means “shining light.” The name belongs to a goddess worshipped by the ancient Hittites. You will find the name in a variety of languages but for our purposes, the Arabic translation works nicely.
An exotic and unusual name to most American ears, Kamaria comes from Swahili and means “moonlight.” It’s one of the most beautiful names meaning light on this list that has gone largely unheard in the US.
Lucinda is a Spanish form of the name Lucia. Lucinda was coined by Cervantes as the name of a character in his 1605 novel, Don Quixote. The name was hugely popular in the US before the 1980s. It has since gone largely unused. Fix that, new parents!
Zia is a name you will encounter in a number of languages including Latin, Arabic, and Italian. Thus, it can have a variety of meanings including “light,” “grain,” “splendor,” and “aunt.” This zesty name is one of the names meaning light that has yet to gain appeal among American parents.
Muriel was once a huge hit in the US in the early 20th century. The appellation names a Celtic angel who governs the month of June. This handsome classic means “of the bright sea.”
Luz is the Spanish form of the Latin name Lux. Both mean “light.” It’s been off and on the US top-1000 names for decades. It’s currently on the upward climb! We could not be more delighted about that!
Tamil name, Avira could be the perfect cross-cultural name for your baby girl. It’s yet another one of the names meaning light that many American parents have never heard. This charmer means “bright.”
Boy Names Meaning Light
Lucian fell from favor in the mid-century but has rebounded in recent years. It’s one of the names meaning light that’s trending up. Lucian comes from the Latin, Lucius, meaning “light.”
Xavier is an attractive Basque name that means “bright” and “new house.” It’s a top 100 name in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Portugal today!
Rupert is a German name that means “bright fame.” The name is wildly popular in the UK but you won’t find it often in the US today. But, we expect that to change in the coming years.
Arjun names a famous hero in a Hindu epic. The name means “bright,” “shining,” and “white.” It’s been a top-1000 in the US for the last twenty years and we expect it to continue to climb as it’s one of the most chosen names for boys among Indo-American families.
In the UK, Albert has been a popular name for centuries and gained wide recognition after Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert. There, the nickname Bertie is lovingly and liberally used. Albert has German origins and means “noble” and “bright.”
Abner left the US hot-1000 names in 1938 and made a surprise return in 2020. The name has Hebrew origins and means “father of light.” We are thrilled that parents are returning to this classic. It’s one of the most underused names meaning light on this list!
Robin is a popular choice for boys once more! It names a bird, of course, but it has long been considered a diminutive form of Robert, a name that means “bright fame.” Despite this name originating in English, Robin is a top-100 choice for boys born in France today!
Oran likely originated in Aramaic but it was adopted into Hebrew as a name meaning “light singing.” You will also encounter the name in Irish Gaelic as a name meaning “little green one” and Scottish Gaelic as a name meaning “song.” Oran was last popular in the US in the 1940s. It’s one of the names meaning light that is long overdue for a renaissance.
Elio is the Latinate form of Helios, a Greek name that belongs to the sun god and means “sun.” Elio has yet to hit many American babies’ birth certificates but it is wildly popular in France, Switzerland, and England. We imagine American parents will catch on soon!
Uriah is a newly popular again name from Hebrew that means “God is my light.” The name is mentioned in the bible several times.
One of the names meaning light that has never been popular in the US is Albus. The name comes from Latin and means “bright” and “white.” We think this name’s association with Harry Potter is keeping parents from it.
One of the fastest-growing names for baby boys in the US today, Reyansh originated in Hindi and translates to “ray of light.” The name is one of many applied to Lord Vishnu. We imagine the nickname Rey appeals to many Indo-American parents.
Another one of the names meaning light, Anwar comes from Arabic and means “brighter” and “clearer.” The name was mildly popular in the US in the 1970s and 1980s but unfortunately, that’s no longer the case!
A criminally underused name with a zesty sound, Zohar comes from Hebrew and means “light” and “brilliance.” The name has belonged to a variety of high-profile Israelis from athletes to singers.
One of the best names meaning light that you have likely never heard comes from Finland in the form of Valo, meaning “light.”
Ori has evaded most parents’ radars in the US. The name is of Hebrew origin and means “my light.” Despite that sweet meaning, this name has yet to move the needle.
Nuri is a Semitic name found in Hebrew and Arabic as a name meaning “light” or “my fire.” Both are names meaning light so we think this one is a win-win! The name is currently popular in Turkey.
Lat popular in the 1970s, Bertram comes from German and means “bright raven.” We think this appellation has a delightfully retro feel to it that would feel so cute on a little boy and later handsome for a young man.
Clarence is another one of the Latin names meaning light. More accurately, this name means “bright.” Clarence was once a popular choice. Aretha Franklin and Louis Armstrong both chose the name for their sons.
Spiritualist Deepak Chopra made this name a household one in the United States and beyond. The name has Sanskrit origins and means “lamp” and “light.” Despite being well-known and accessible, Deepak is not popular in America today.
Virtually unheard of outside France, Elouan is a French and Breton appellation that names a Breton saint. The name peaked in France in 2006 but it is still in the top 500 there today. This unique find means “light.”
Fynn is the preferred German spelling of the Irish name Finn, which means “bright” and “fair.” Finn has been the favored spelling in the US with it hitting the top 1000 for the first time in 2000.
One of the most popular names in the US until the 1930s, Herbert has been out of style for decades now. It’s one of the names meaning light that’s ready for a comeback! Herbert comes from German and means “bright army.”
Roshan is an exceedingly handsome Persian name that means “light” and “bright.” It’s the origin of the female name Roxanne.
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A gender-neutral option that we love for boys, Hikaru, comes from Japanese and can mean “light” and “radiance.” You might recognize this name as belonging to a character on Star Trek, Hikaru Sulu.
There you go! We hope you found some names meaning light that warm your heart. As you have seen, there is no shortage of appellations with evocative, radiant meanings. We know that finding the perfect name for your baby is difficult but we hope some of these bright ideas will help you on your search! Happy baby name hunting!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Girl Names Meaning Light
- 2 Boy Names Meaning Light
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