Names that mean night come from a variety of naming traditions around the world. Each one of these appellations has a subtle touch of mystery baked in. These enchanting baby names that mean night can specifically mean “night” or they can reference the moon or even the stars. Surprisingly, there are not that many names that mean night for baby boys. Most names that mean night are traditionally given to baby girls. That means if you’re looking for a nighttime name for your son that your options are extremely limited.
We’ve rounded up dozens of names that mean night for you to peruse. These magical names come from around the world. Some will be familiar to you while others will likely be new to you. We really wanted to bring a good mix of exotic and established names so that you have plenty of options to choose from that offer variety. Take a look at these amazing names that mean night and you’re sure to find your star.
Boy Names That Mean Night
The name Hoku is both a boy’s and girl’s name of Hawaiian origin meaning “night of the full moon.” Isn’t that a lovely sentiment to go along with this energetic-sounding name? So many Hawaiian names have poetic and nature-inspired meanings and Hoku is no exception.
Orpheus is a name for boys that originated in Greek. It means “the darkness of the night.” In Greek myth, Orpheus is a legendary poet and musician who performed such beautiful music that the trees would bend to listen and rivers would stop flowing to hear. The name is rare today as the larger-than-life character is hard for a baby boy to shoulder.
Otieno is more commonly seen as a surname among the Luo people of Kenya and Eastern Africa. But, it can be used as a given and means “born at night.” That makes this appellation for boys a perfect choice if you give birth at night.
Samir is a lyrical and meditative name of Arabic origin that means “a friend to talk with in the evening.” There’s a whole narrative baked into this name. The name has been mildly popular in the US since the late 1970s and it’s been on a slow climb ever since. There are many famous folks with this name.
- Samir Amin: Egyptian Marxian economist & professor
- Samir Ayass: Arab, Bulgarian football midfielder
- Samir Bekric: Bosnian professional footballer
- Samir Dilou: Tunisian politician & Minister of Human Rights
- Samir Elmesirri: Award-winning Egyptian artist
Girl Names That Mean Night
Ajambo is the original, female form of the male name Otieno. It is used by the Luo people of Kenya and Tanzania. The appellation means “born in the evening.”
Esra is a unisex option of Turkish origin. The name means “travel at night.” The name is extremely popular in modern day Turkey and it is related to the Arabic Asra or Isra. There are many notable folks with this name.
- Esra Bilgiç: Turkish actress
- Esra Erol: Turkish footballer
- Esra Ronabar: Turkish actress
- Esra Sibel Tezkan: Turkish,German footballer
People around the world have been naming babies for the time of day they were born for centuries. Evening is one such possibility that deserves more attention. While it’s yet to become a fashionable choice in the US today, it is well-used in fiction. The character Evening Primrose (Eve) is one of the 12 sisters in the book Entwined by Heather Dixon. Another character, Evening Spiker, is the protagonist of the book Eve and Adam by Michael Scott and Katherine Applegate.
Hesper is closer to the original Greek name that means “evening” or “evening star.” The Latin variation is Vesper. The appellation is not a popular one in the US but we feel that it has tons of potential.
Pronounced EEL-tah, this Finnish name proves an accessible choice that also feels exotic. The name means “evening” and it’s one of our favorite names that mean night on the list. This would be a unique choice for a baby born in the US as it is virtually unknown here. You can help change that!
Koko is an appellation used in both Japanese and Native American cultures. In Japan, the name means “stork,” To the Blackfoot tribe, the name means “night.” The tribe inhabits what is now modern-day Montana and Alberta, Canada. There are a few notable folks with this name.
- Koko Taylor (born Cora Walton): American R&B singer
- Kōko Tsurumi: Japanese gymnast
- Koko B. Warering the name of James Ware: American male pro wrestler
Miyabi is a handsome Japanese name for girls. It comes with two main meanings: “elegance” or “beautiful night fire.” Although it is popular in Japan, most American parents are not familiar with the appellation. That would make this a distinctive choice, especially if you have Japanese heritage.
Another Japanese possibility is Miyako. It’s a cousin to the previous name and means “beautiful night child.” The name has fallen from fashion in Japan but it was extremely popular in the middle of the previous century. We’d love to hear more of this one.
We’re really exploring these Japanese names that have the Miy element. Miyu is another such option that means “beautiful evening.” If you’re looking for an accessible option, this would be a great choice as it is short and sweet. The name is a great alternative to Maya, Mia, Mila, etc.
Similar to Evening, Night is another straightforward name that highlights the time of day a baby is born. This makes for a great unisex option and an offbeat choice. If you’re after an evocative name that has a touch of mystery, this one’s teed up for you.
Do you want an appellation that sounds like it belongs to a superhero? Nightingale could be the right choice for you. The name is of English origin by way of German and means “night singer.” You’re most likely familiar with this name as the surname of nurse and pioneer Florence Nightingale. It’s one of the names that mean night that has so much untapped potential.
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One of the very best names that mean night on this list is of Sanskrit origin. Nisha is a brilliant option that is popular in India but had a big moment in the UK in the late 1990s. It’s time to bring this appellation stateside, parents! There are many famous folks with this charming name.
- Nisha Adhikari: Nepalese actress
- Nisha Rawal: Indian actress
- Nisha Agarwal: Indian actress
- Nisha Ganatra: Canadian film director
- Nisha Nayar: British actress
- Nisha Varghes: South African blogger of Nisha360
- Nisha Kaur Weber: Daughter of Indian Bollywood actress Sunny Leone
Another one of the Sanskirt names that mean night, Rajani is a rhythmic and energetic option that we wish more American parents would get behind. The meaning of this name is “dark” or “of the night.” Choose this one and you will not regret it!
The feminine form of the name Samir, Samira also is of Arabic origin and means “companion in evening conversation.” This name is wildly popular around the world today. This means there are plenty of famous people with it.
- Samira Ahmed: British TV reporter
- Samira Bellil (19722004: French feminist & activist
- Samira Besic: Bosnian/German ex-singer of MAXX
- Samira Makhmalbaf: Iranian film director
- Samira Said: Moroccan singer
- Samira Shahbandar: Second wife of Saddam Hussein
- Samira Tewfik: Lebanese Syrian singer
- Samira Wiley: American actress
Are you looking for a charming name with literary cred? Tinuviel, pronounced tin-OO-vee-el, was invented by J. R. R. Tolkien who used it for an elf princess who falls in love with a mortal. Her full name is Lúthien Tinúviel and the name means “daughter of the twilight” or “nightingale.”
Amaya is a name found in a variety of naming traditions that include Japanese, Basque, and Spanish. In Japan, Amaya is most commonly seen as a surname but we see the potential for it as a first for girls. The appellation means “night rain.” The name has been a mildly popular choice in the US since 1999. It’s one of the names that mean night that have a ton of famous folks with it.
- Amaya Brecher: American reality TV personality (‘Real World: Hawaii’)
- Amaya Braganza: American Broadway actress
- Amaya Garbayo: Spanish swimmer
- Amaya Alonso: Spanish swimmer
- Amaya Salazar: Dominican painter
Ayla is one of the names that mean night that’s more popular today in the US than ever before. The name is found in both Hebrew and Turkish and can mean “oak tree,” “halo,” and “moonlight.” The name is popular around the world today with many famous people with the appellation.
- Ayla Marie Kell: American actress
- Ayla Marie Brown: American singer
- Ayla Schwartz: American actress
- Ayla Algan: Turkish actress
- Ayla Dikmen: Turkish singer
- Ayla Akat Ata: Turkish MP
- Ayla Malik: Pakistani politician
Sometimes spelled Leila, Layla is an Arabic name with a Semitic root that means “night.” In addition to Arabic, the name is prevalent in Hebrew and Persian as well. Layla is a wildly popular name in the US today, ranking in the top 25, and a popular choice around the world. It’s one of the most popular names that mean night. Notable folks with the name include:
- Layla El: English pro wrestler
- (Zara) Layla Kayleigh: English/American TV presenter
- Layla bint al: Minhal, a disciple of Muhammad and wife of Arab chieftain Malik ibn Nuwayra
- Layla Grace Marsh: The girl who inspired Layla’s Legacy cancer foundation
- Layla Foreman: Daughter of musician Tim Foreman of Switchfoot
Despite all odds, Lilith is one of the names that mean night that’s popular today. The name is of Assyrian/Sumerian origin and means “ghost” or “night monster.” Lilith is derived from the Akkadian word lilitu meaning “of the night.” In Jewish folklore, Lilith is portrayed as Adam’s rejected first wife, who was turned into a night demon for refusing to obey him. How is this name a popular choice?
- Lilith Love: Pseudonym of Dutch photographer and artist Henriëtte Johanna Ignatia Maria van Gasteren
- Lilith “Lilit” Nagar: Israeli Arabic-language television host, actress, and singer
- Lilith Saintcrow: American novelist
- Scarlet Lilith Eleida Page: Daughter of musician Jimmy Page
- Hannah Lillith Assadi: American novelist
Here’s one of the names that mean night that’s night-adjacent. Selena names the Greek goddess of the moon. Thus, the name means “moon goddesses.” Selena is a hugely popular name around the world today. Famous folks with the name include:
- Selena Quintanilla Pérez: American singer
- Selena Marie Gomez: American actress and singer
- Selena Li Szewan: Hong Kong/Canadian actress
- Selena Roberts: American sportswriter
- Selena Royle: American actress
- Selena Steele: American dancer and actress
- Selena Tan: Singaporean actress
- Selena Hamilton: Dancer from Project 21
Cynthia is one of the names that mean night belonging to a mythological, Greek deity. The name means “moon goddess” or “woman from Kynthos.” The name was once a huge hit but it has been on a downward trend over the past few decades. There are so many famous people with the name:
- Cynthia Weil: American songwriter
- Cynthia Ann McKinney: U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia and Green Party presidential candidate
- Cynthia “Cyn” Santana: American model and reality TV personality (“Love & Hip Hop”)
- Cynthia Bailey: American reality TV personality (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”)
- Cynthia DeFelice: American novelist
- Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: American author
- (Cynthia) Jane Fellowes: Sister of Princess Diana
- Cynthia Erivo: British-American Broadway actress
- Cynthia Ellen Nixon: American actress
Deva is one of the names that mean night of Hindi origin. The name belongs to a moon goddess and means “divine” and “shining one,” both references to the moon. The name has yet to take off in the US but there’s tons of potential for this one to be a big hit because it is so completely accessible.
In Greek mythology, Nyx is a powerful goddess and the embodiment of the night. It’s one of the untapped names that mean night that parents should try. Nyx is of Greek origin and means “night.” The name is much more popular in pop culture than as a given name. Some examples are:
- Nyx: Primary, benevolent deity in PC Cast ‘House of Night’ series
- Nyx: “Infamous 2” (video game) character.
- Nyx: Character in Rick Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus” series
Zorya is one of the Slavic names that mean night. In Slavic mythology, Zorya is one of the two main goddesses of the night stars. This name is popular in Russia today and it means “star.”
Altalune is a name of Latin origin and means “over the moon.” It’s one of the names that mean night that’s night-adjacent but we fill still fits with the theme. The name was chosen as a middle name for Uma Thurman and Arpad Busson’s daughter who they call “Luna” for short.
Pronounced ESS-mer-eye, Esmeray is one of the brilliant Turkish names that mean night. This charmer means “dark moon.” Despite being a stunner, this name has never been popular in the US. Let’s change that, new parents!
If you’re looking for an alternative to the ultra-popular Olivia, consider Livana. This rare Hebrew name has never been a popular choice despite it meaning “moon.”
Mahina is one of the most popular baby names in Hawaii. We hope parents on the mainland take notice as this is one of the names that mean night that’s yet to take hold. Mahina means “moon.”
Miray is a name of Turkish origin that’s been hugely popular in the country since 2014. Pronounced mee-RYE, the name means “shining like the moon.” Outside of Turkey, the name is also popular in Germany today. American parents, give this one a shot.
Another one of the Hindi names that mean night, Shirina is one of our favorites on this list. The name is a popular choice in India but most American parents are unaware of its beauty. You can change that!
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We leave you with one of the most colorful options. Tiziri comes from Tamazight and Berber and means “moonlight.” Chances are you have never heard of this appellation but it’s a great option that offers plenty of zest.
There you go! What did you think of these names that mean night? We think they are some of the most enchanting names on earth. Each one offers a touch of mystery and romance. We hope you found some worth considering for your child. 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 Boy Names That Mean Night
- 2 Girl Names That Mean Night
- 2.1 Ajambo
- 2.2 Esra
- 2.3 Evening
- 2.4 Hesper
- 2.5 Iltah
- 2.6 Koko
- 2.7 Miyabi
- 2.8 Miyako
- 2.9 Miyu
- 2.10 Night
- 2.11 Nightingale
- 2.12 Nisha
- 2.13 Rajani
- 2.14 Samira
- 2.15 Tinuviel
- 2.16 Amaya
- 2.17 Ayla
- 2.18 Layla
- 2.19 Lilith
- 2.20 Selena
- 2.21 Cynthia
- 2.22 Deva
- 2.23 Nyx
- 2.24 Zorya
- 2.25 Altalune
- 2.26 Esmeray
- 2.27 Livana
- 2.28 Mahina
- 2.29 Miray
- 2.30 Shirina
- 2.31 Tiziri
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