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Looking for sunny names that mean sun? Then check out this list of 50 sun names for baby girls and boys. Each sun name also has information about the name’s meaning, origin, and popularity trends.
These sun names include names that mean sun, and names meaning light and bright in honor of the sun’s radiance.
I’m a name researcher and I curated this list of sun names from my personal database of over 2000 names and meanings. I also researched names and their origin stories on online forums, websites and baby name reference books.
For a different spin on sun names, you’ll find lots of unique names on this list of cheery sunflower names.
I hope you find a shining name idea for your future baby on this list.
(Note: name popularity rankings references in this article come from the Social Security Administration)
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Girl names that mean sun
First up are girl names meaning sun and sunshine. These bright sunny girl names include beautiful international names like Solana and Solenne, along with classic names like Helen.
Soleil, pronounced so-lay, is a charming name that means sun. It is a French word name and was the real name of the actress who played Punky Brewster.
Soleil is also a name meaning sunflower in France.
It narrowly eked out a place on the popularity chart for the first time in 2021, entering as the 999th most popular girls name in the U.S.
Solana is a beautiful Spanish-origin name that means sunshine and sunny. The name can also mean “eastern wind.”
Eliana is a great sun name with one of its meanings being “daughter of sun.” As a Greek sun name, the name has its origins in “elios,” god of the sun.
Another soft, flowing name, Eliana started gaining popularity in the early 1990’s and has skyrocketed all the way to #48 today.
Eliana’s alternate meaning comes from Hebrew and means “God answers.”
In Persian, Lina means “ray of sunlight” and “beautiful girl.” The name also has Greek roots where it means “sunlight.”
Iliana is a Greek name that means “ray of light.” It also has roots in “helios” which means “sun.”
Sunniva is a Scandinavian name meaning “gift of the sun.” It is a Norwegian variation of the Old English name Sunngifu, made of the roots sunne meaning sun and giefu meaning gift.
The name is associated with lore about an Irish princess who fled to Norway. She was killed by a collapsing cave after praying to God to collapse the cave as locals approached to take them.
Norway has since turned her into a saint (source).
Helen is a name coming from Greek that means “shining light.” It may also derive from the Greek “helios” which means “sun.”
Aelia is a rare ancient name meaning “sun” coming from Latin. It could be a unique alternative for popular names like Amelia or Ella.
Though Liza is more commonly thought of as a nickname for the classic name Elizabeth, it also can be considered a sun name.
Liza is the name of a sun deity of the Fon people. This group is found primarily in the West African countries Benin, Nigeria and Togo.
Marisol is a portmanteau name that means “sea and sun.” The name likely originated as a shortening of “Maria de la Soledad,” a Spanish title for the Virgin Mary.
Solange is name meaning “solemn,” though some sources also say the name means “sun angel.”
The name is most known for being the name of Beyonce’s little sister, Solange Knowles.
Lenora is another Greek-derived name that means sunny, sun ray, or light. It would be a great sun name option for those who also love the name Nora, which would be an easy nickname for Lenora.
Solenne is a name with Latin, French and Spanish roots meaning both “sunlight” and “solemn.” Solenne would be a very unique sun name pick, having never charted on the top 1000 list.
Girl sun names meaning light and bright
Next up are girl names with ray of light meanings in honor of the light from the sun. It includes names meaning bright, light and radiance.
Claire is a classic and beautiful name that also works as a sun name. It is a French name meaning bright, like the sun, and has its origins in the Latin name Clara.
Claire has been a staple on the top name list for over a century and currently sits at #59. Claire feels timeless and radiant, much like the sun.
Alena means “light” in Greek and is a nod to the the sun’s light. It is considered a variation of the classic name Helen, that has roots in helios meaning sun.
Alena has been a steady presence on the top name chart’s 600-700 range since the 1980’s but has yet to take off.
The soft vowels and flowing sounds of Alena make it a sun name that fits nicely with current baby naming fashion.
Eleanor is a tried and true name that has been a constant on the top 1000 name charts. It was incredible popular in the first half of the 20th century and has seen a surge in popularity again as parents today revive names of their grandparents’ generation.
Eleanor is of Greek origins and it means “light.”
Aine is an Irish name that means brightness & radiance, and it also the Celtic goddess of summer. Radiance is such a great name meaning and works well as a sun name.
This sun name is pronounced like “awn-ya,” and is alternatively and more often spelled as Anya in the U.S.
Clarissa is another name with roots in the Latin name Clara meaning bright. Ever present on the top name list for the last century, Clarissa saw peak popularity in the 1990’s around the time of the cultural phenom Clarissa Explains It All.
This bright and bold sun name will seem fresh and unique on a baby today.
Eileen is a baby name of many meaning. From its Greek origins, it means shining light. From its Scottish and Irish roots, it means “desired” and “little bird.”
Eileen’s popularity started decreasing at the end of the eighties but it is still a top 1000 name today.
Elena fits in perfectly with today’s naming style. With lots of flowing vowels and cute nickname options like Ellie or Lenny, Elena’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down.
Its “bright, shining light” meaning makes it a lovely nod to the sun. Globally, it is a widely used variation of Helen and has Spanish, Italian, Slavic and Greek origins.
Lucy is the feminine form of the name Lucius, which derives its meaning from the Latin word lux. This light-meaning name has soared in popularity in recent years, and is currently a top 50 name in the U.S.
Nora is a true international name, with roots in Latin, Irish, Arabic, Greek and Hungarian roots. It can mean “light” or “honor,” and is a diminutive of Eleanora or Honora depending on its origin.
Names starting with Z are on trend with parents looking for uniqueness in names. Ziva is a lovely Z-name and a charming alternative to popular Zoe.
It is a Hebrew name meaning “radiance,” “brilliance,” and “light.”
Phoebe is a name meaning “radiant” and “shining one,” just like the sun. The name took a hiatus from the 1950’s until the 1990’s.
Unsurprisingly, its popularity popped in 1995 — right after the debut of Friends.
Girl names meaning sunrise and dawn
Lastly, we have girl names that mean sunrise or dawn. These names honor the rising sun returning each day.
Roxanne is a Persian originating name meaning “dawn.” It saw peak popularity in the 1950’s and it exited the top 1000 list in 2014, making it a unique pick today.
Dawn was a popular girl’s name from the early 1900’s until 2000. It is of Greek origins and is a great sun name because it means “daybreak,” the first sighting of the sun each morning.
Dawn’s popularity peaked in the 1970’s and the name exited the top 1000 chart in 2000. Dawn hits a sweet spot of being simple, recognizable but rare for a baby today.
Zariah has multiple origins with different meanings.
From its Russian roots, the name means “dawn.” In Arabic, the name means “radiance” or “flower.” From Hebrew, Zariah means “God helps.”
This top 50 baby name means the beginnings of light as the sun rises on the day. Popular Aurora is of Latin origins meaning dawn, and can also reference the Northern Lights.
A true sun name, Aurora is also the Roman goddess of sunrise. Aurora has been a steady presence in the U.S. top name list and is #36 as of 2021.
In Spanish and Italian, Alba means “sunrise” or “dawn.” Alba hasn’t been in the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. since the 1920’s and seems posed for a revival.
It is a unique name while still fitting in with the feel of currently popular names like Ava, Ella and Isla.
Zora is a great name meaning “dawn” from Arabic, Slavic and African roots. The name hit peak popularity in the 1880’s and slid off the charts by the 1930’s.
That makes the name primed for a resurgence so don’t be surprised to see Zora’s popularity grow in coming years.
Boy names that mean sun
Next we turn to boy names meaning sun, light or bright, in honor of the sun’s luminosity.
These sunny meaning names include cool names like Apollo and classic names like Robert.
Apollo is the Greek god of sun and light. As a baby name, Apollo is cool and strapping while also having a nerdy side with references to Greek mythology and NASA’s space travel.
Keep an eye on this name — Apollo has been shooting up in popularity, jumping from #983 to #400 in the last decade with no signs of slowing down.
The boy name Robert means “bright fame” or “glory bright”, coming from German roots. This classic name has been a top 100 name for over a century.
Altan is a Turkish given name for boys meaning “red dawn,” referencing when the sun rises. The name also has Mongolian roots, where it means “golden.”
Cyrus is a name that means sun for boys of Persian origin. The name also means “one who cares.” It has been a constant name in the U.S. top 1000 name list for the last century.
Most popular in the early 1900’s, it is again raising in popularity. In 2021, it was the #350 most used boys name.
Elio is an Italian name meaning sun. It entered the top 1000 U.S. baby names last year and seems posed for a quick rise.
With its vowels and soft ‘L’ sound, this sun name fits nicely with current favorites like Liam and Leo (its actually one of my favorite Leo alternatives).
It is also a unique alternative to popular Elijah, Eli and Elias.
Ciro is a name that means “sun” in Italian. It is considered the Italian and Spanish version of the more commonly used Cyrus.
Ciro has not broken the top 1000 U.S. names so it is a great sun name option for someone looking for a unique name that is also simple to spell and say.
It is a nice alternative to other “O” ending boy names like Leo, Hugo, or Theo.
Helio is the Spanish answer to Elio, meaning sun. Helio has yet to crack the top 1000 list and seems more likely to remain unique than Elio.
Consider Helio as an interesting alternative to popular Theo.
Ishaan is primarily a boy’s name of Hindu origins meaning “the sun.” The name first entered the U.S. top 1000 chart in 2008.
Lucian is another name with roots in lux, the Latin word for “light.” In 2021, the name Lucian was given to 465 baby boys in the United States, making it a fairly unique name pick.
Dimas is a rare baby name in the United States. It is of Portuguese and Spanish origins and means “sunset.” It also has Greek roots where it means both “sunrise” and “loyalty.”
Samson is a Hebrew name meaning “of the sun.” It comes from the Hebrew name Shimshon, which itself comes from the Hebrew word for sun, shemesh.
It has gained some popularity in the last decade, ranging from 590-671 in the popularity charts, but it still a more uncommon biblical name.
The name Blaze is a lively name that works as a nod to the blazing sun. It is of Latin origins and it means fire or flame. It is a spirited and lively name that was given to just over 300 boys in the U.S. last year (#775 rank).
Gender neutral sunny names
Lastly, we close this list of names that mean sun with some gender neutral ideas.
These sunny names are perfect for those who want to give their baby more gender flexibility in the future.
Not to be confused with Irish Kieran, Kiran is a gender neutral Indian name meaning “beam of light.” It comes from the Sanskrit word kiraṇa, which means ray of light.
Marici is an uncommon unisex name with a beautiful, sunny meaning. This Sanskrit-originating name means “one who is a beam of light.”
Ravi is a name that means sun that also comes from Sanskrit. Ravi is also another name for the Hindu Sun God Surya (source). The name is more commonly used for baby boys but could easily be worn by a girl.
Senna is a gender neutral name that comes from Arabic. The name means “brightness,” like the bright and shining sun.
Sol is the name of a Norse sun god and is also the word meaning sun in Spanish.
Sunshine is a playful name for sun lovers. It is perfect for a person who is cheerful and warm. Sunshine is a word that comes from Middle English and is a rare pick for babies.
It has a great boho feel and made our list of great hippie name ideas.
Zia is a unisex name meaning “shine” or “light,” with roots in Arabic, Latin and Hebrew. Zia are also an indigenous nation in New Mexico.
With the cool Z, Zia is a cool alternative to hugely popular names like Mia and Sophia.
Lastly, we close the list with an obvious sun name that works for either boys or girls. Sunny is a great name for those who love today’s nickname-style name trend.
The name is particularly rising for girls, jumping from #983 in 2017 to #650 in 2021.
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