How popular is the baby name Sunniva in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Sunniva and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Sunniva.
On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have — or conceive! — a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that isn’t as audacious as Eclipse itself). So what are your options?
Names with “celestial” associations
A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…
Helios, Elio, Sunny, Sol, Solange, Soleil, Solaris, Ravi, Samson, Surya, Sunniva, Haruko, Hinata
Star, Stella, Estelle, Starla, Astra, Seren, Tara, Citlali, Hoshi
Luna, Moon, Selene, Selena, Chandra, Mahina, Qamar, Dawa
Eartha, Gaia, Tierra, Tlaloc, Avani
Sky, Skyla, Skylar, Lani, Miku, Akash, Alya, Celeste, Celestine, Ciel, Sora
Names with “dark” associations
The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. You could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…
Shade, Umbra, Shadow, Zillah
“Dark” or “Black” names
Melanie, Duff, Dubhan, Ciar, Ciara, Ciaran, Sullivan*, Krishna, Charna, Jett, Raven
Nisha, Layla, Nyx, Lilith, Miyako, Rajnish
*Sullivan essentially means “descendant of the little dark eye” in Irish — weirdly appropriate for a solar eclipse baby name, don’t you think?
Name combos with both “celestial” and “dark” associations
You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…
- Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
- Jett Samson: “black” and “sun”
- Ciaran Sol: “black” and “sun”
- Melanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
- Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)
Names (or name combos) featuring the letters “S” and “E”
This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…
Selene (“moon” in Greek)
Seren (“star” in Welsh)
Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…
Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?
Sources: When & Where to See the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017, Two Minutes Of Darkness With 20,000 Strangers
A reader named Klaudia is expecting her fourth child, a baby girl, and she’d like some help brainstorming for a first and a middle name. Here’s what Klaudia says:
We like…unusual names. I mean, not names that sound “made-up” but real names. At least, not trendy, popular names.
Juniper was at the top of their list, but then a friend used it, so now they’re back to the drawing board.
A few more details:
- The first name should have 3 syllables.
- The middle name should have 2 syllables and start with an n.
- The surname will be a one-syllable s-name.
- The older siblings are named Kendra Darlene, Carmen Nellie and Matteo Kendell.
I think Juniper paired with an n-name would have sounded nice, so I tried to come up with a lot of name suggestions that also include the letter n:
None of the above are currently in the top 100.
Now middles. It’s tricky to pick a middle if the first isn’t already in place, but here are some possibilities. Names on the left have a stress on the first syllable, names on the right have a stress on the second syllable.
What first names would you suggest for the sibling of Kendra, Carmen and Matteo? What middle names would you pair with those first names?
Theresa, Joan, Monica, Clare…if you’re thinking about female saint names, these are probably some of the first names that come to mind.
But what if you’re looking for a name that’s a little less ordinary?
Well, things get tricky. Many other female saint names range from unstylish (e.g. Agnes, Gertrude) to basically unusable (e.g. Sexburga, Eustochium).
But some lady-saints do have cool, unusual names. To prove it, I’ve gone through the entire Roman Martyrology (and a few other sources) and collected sixty names that I think might appeal to modern parents. Here they are, ordered by feast day:
- St. Geneviève, Frankish, 6th century. Feast day: January 3.
- St. Talida, Egyptian, 4th century. Feast day: January 5.
- St. Genoveva Torres Morales, Spanish, 20th century. Her name is the Spanish form of Geneviève. Feast day: January 5.
- St. Marciana, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: January 9.
- St. Savina, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: January 30.
- St. Marcella, Roman, 5th century. Feast day: January 31.
- St. Viridiana, Italian, 13th century. Feast day: February 1.
- St. Cinnia, Irish, 5th century. In Irish, the letter C is always hard (i.e. pronounced like a K). Feast day: February 1.
- Sts. Maura, various places and centuries. Feast days include February 13, May 3, and November 30.
- St. Belina, French, 12th century. Feast day: February 19.
- St. Romana, Roman, 4th century. She may be merely legendary. Feast day: February 23.
- Bl. Villana de’Botti, Italian, 14th century. Feast day: February 28.
- St. Foila, Irish, 6th century. Also recorded as Faile and Faoile (possibly pronounced FWEE-la), her name may mean seagull in certain dialects. Feast day: March 3.
- St. Fina, Italian, 13th century. Her full name may have been Serafina. Feast day: March 12.
- St. Maria Gemma Umberta Pia Galgani, Italian, 1878-1903. Feast day: April 11.
- St. Vissia, Roman, 3rd century. Feast day: April 12.
- St. Domnina, Roman, 1st century. Feast day: April 14.
- St. Anthia, Roman, 2nd century. Feast day: April 18.
- St. Zita, Italian, 13th century. Patroness of maids and domestic servants. Dante wrote her into his Inferno [Canto XXI, line 38] during the early 1300s. Feast day: April 27.
- St. Tertulla, Numidian, 3rd century. Feast day: April 29.
- St. Henedina, Roman, 2nd century. Feast day: May 14.
- Sts. Basilla, various places and centuries. Feast days include May 17, May 20, and August 29.
- St. Emmelia, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: May 30.
- St. Melosa, Greek, unknown century. Feast day: June 1.
- Sts. Melania, both Roman, both 5th century. Melania the Elder is the paternal grandmother of Melania the Younger. Feast days: June 8 and December 31.
- Sts. Julitta, both Anatolian, both 4th century. Julitta is a diminutive of Julia. Feast days: June 16 and July 30.
- Sts. Marina, various places and centuries. Feast days include June 18, July 17, and July 18.
- St. Demetria, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: June 21.
- St. Lucina, Roman, 1st century. Feast day: June 30. (Several other saints were also named Lucina.)
- Sts. Cyrilla, one Egyptian, 4th century, the other Roman, 3rd century. Feast days: July 5 and October 28.
- St. Triphina, Breton, 6th century. Feast day: July 5.
- St. Sunniva, Irish (but associated with Norway), 10th century. The name has become moderately popular in Norway within the past decade or so. Feast day: July 8.
- St. Severa, Frankish, 7th century. Feast day: July 20. (Several other saints were also named Severa.)
- St. Liliosa, Spanish, 9th century. Feast day: July 27.
- St. Serapia, Roman, 2nd century. She was a slave belonging to St. Sabina (below). Feast day: July 29.
- St. Clelia Barbieri, Italian, 19th century. Feast day: July 13.
- Bl. Kateri Tekakwitham, Mohawk, 17th century. Kateri is a Mohawk rendering of the name Catherine. Feast day: July 14.
- St. Kinga, Polish, 13th century. Also known as Cunegunda and Kunigunda, she is the patroness of Poland and Lithuania. Feast day: July 24.
- Sts. Lucilla, both Roman, both 3th century. Feast days: July 29 and August 25.
- St. Seraphina, unknown location, 5th century. Feast day: July 29.
- St. Serena, Roman, 3rd century. Likely a legendary saint. Feast day: August 16.
- St. Sabina, Roman, 2nd century. One of her slaves was St. Serapia (above). Feast day: August 29.
- St. Ammia, Anatolian, 3rd century. Feast day: August 31.
- St. Verena, Egyptian (but associated with Switzerland), 3rd century. Feast day: September 1.
- St. Rosalia, Italian, 12th century. In Palermo, a festino is held every July 15th in her honor. Feast day: September 4.
- St. Melitina, Greek, 2nd century. Feast day: September 15.
- Sts. Aurelia, one possibly Italian, unknown century, the other Austrian, 11th century. Feast days: September 25 and October 15.
- St. Lioba, English (but associated with Germany), 8th century. Also known as Leoba, Liobgetha, and Leobgytha. Feast day: September 28.
- St. Flavia, Roman, unknown century. Feast day: October 5th.
- St. Flaviana, possibly Frankish, unknown century. Feast day: October 5.
- St. Galla, Roman, 6th century. Her name is likely based on the Latin word gallus, meaning either Gaulish (if capitalized) or rooster (if uncapitalized). Feast day: October 5.
- St. Saula, possibly British, possibly 4rd century. Or, she could be legendary. Associated with St. Ursula. Feast day: October 20.
- St. Cilinia, Frankish, 5th century. Feast day: October 21.
- St. Alodia, Spanish, 9th century. Feast day: October 22.
- St. Cyrenia, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: November 1.
- St. Carina, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: November 7.
- St. Apphia, Anatolian, 1st century. Feast day: November 22.
- St. Attalia, Austrian, 8th century. Feast day: December 3.
- St. Asella, Roman, 5th century. Feast day: December 6.
- St. Anysia, Greek, 4th century. Feast day: December 30.
Of all the names in the series, only four (Maura, Marina, Serena, and Carina…see any trends?) currently rank among the top 1,000 baby names in the nation. Eleven others ranked in previous years, but not in 2007.
Did you see any names you liked?
More importantly, did I miss any good ones?
Update, 2016: Here are a few more…
- St. Hyacintha Mariscotti (Italian: Giacinta), 17th century. Feast day: January 30.
- St. Humility, 13th century. Feast: March 22.
- St. Maravillas de Jesús, 20th century. (Maravillas means “wonders” in Spanish.) Feast day: December 11.