33 Radiant Baby Names That Literally Mean 'Light'

Mar 19, 2018 at 2:54 p.m. ET
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Aren't babies the epitome of light? They're pure, full of joy and deserve a brilliant name that will inspire their sunlit paths in life. That's why we're loving these baby names that mean "light."

We rounded up some unique names you've probably never heard before (like Ner and Nura) as well as familiar classics like Lucy and Dawn.

And then there are others that might surprise you. For instance, did you know Ellen and Phoebe are both Greek names that mean light? There's something for everyone here.

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Boy names that mean light

  • Abner: A Hebrew name meaning "father of light"
  • Anwar: This Arabic name means "light"
  • Apollo: From Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of light, music and poetry
  • Beacon: Meaning "signal light," this name has Old English roots
  • Chand: This Hindi name means "moon, light"
  • Epifanio: A Spanish name, this means "bringing light"
  • Ivar: Meaning "light," this name has Hebrew origins
  • Jomei: This Japanese name means "spread light"
  • Kiran: A Hindi name, this means "beam of light"
  • Lucian: Of Latin origins, this name means "light"
  • Ner: Meaning "candle or light," this name has Hebrew roots
  • Oran: With Aramaic or Gaelic roots, this means "light"
  • Pradeep: This Hindi name means "light"
  • Uri: Meaning "my light," this name has Hebrew origins
  • Zain: A Hindi name, this means "godly light"

Girl names that mean light

  • Alina: A Greek name, this means "light"
  • Aonani: This Hawaiian name means "beautiful light"
  • Ciana: Meaning "light," this name has Italian roots
  • Dawn: Of Old English origins, this name refers to the first appearance of light
  • Ellen: This Greek name means "sun, ray, shining light"
  • Ilene: Variation of a Greek name meaning "light"
  • Ilona: A Hungarian name, this means "light"
  • Leora: This Greek name means "compassion, light"
  • Lucy: Meaning "light," this name has Latin origins
  • Luz: A Spanish name, this means "light"
  • Mahina: This Hawaiian name means "moonlight"
  • Meira: Meaning "light," this name has Hebrew roots
  • Nura: An Arabic name, this means "light"
  • Oralee: Meaning "my light," this name has Hebrew origins
  • Phoebe: From Greek mythology, this name means "brilliant, radiant"
  • Thea: She was the Greek goddess of light
  • Zia: This Arabic name means "light, splendor"
  • Ziv: Meaning "radiance or light of God," this name has Hebrew roots

Whether you're more interested in choosing a baby name based on its meaning, or are just obsessed with how one of these flows with a potential middle name or your last name, you're likely to find a luminous idea among the names on this list. And hey, if you're nervous about naming your kid Ziv, you can always make it a middle name — or balance it out with a sturdy middle (Ziv John?). Check your family tree for contenders too. And shine on, baby.

More: 42 Unusual Irish Baby Names & the Meanings Behind Them

A version of this article was originally published in June 2013.

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