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 perhaps isn’t as obvious 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…
|“Sun” names||Elio, Haruko, Helios, Hinata, Ravi, Samson, Sol, Solaris, Soleil, Solfrid, Solveig, Sunniva, Sunny, Surya|
|“Star” names||Asteria, Astra, Astraea, Estelle, Citlali, Hoshi, Seren, Star, Starla, Stella, Tara|
|“Moon” names||Chandra, Dawa, Luna, Mahina, Moon, Qamar, Selena, Selene|
|“Earth” names||Avani, Eartha, Gaia, Tierra, Tlaloc|
|“Sky” names||Akash, Alya, Celeste, Celestine, Ciel, Lani, Miku, Sky, Skyla, Skylar, 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…
|“Shadow” names||Shade, Shadow, Umbra, Zillah|
|“Dark” or “Black” names||Blake, Charna, Ciar, Ciara, Ciaran, Dubhan, Duff, Jett, Krishna, Melanie, Raven, Sullivan|
|“Night” names||Layla, Lilith, Miyako, Nisha, Nyx, Rajnish|
I think Blake and Sullivan are particularly intriguing choices.
The English surname Blake can come from either of two similar Middle English words that happen to have opposite definitions: blac, meaning “black,” or blac, meaning “wan, pale, white, fair.” So it manages to encapsulate the concepts of both darkness and lightness — two key elements of an eclipse.
And the Irish surname Sullivan, “descendant of Súileabhán,” is based on the Gaelic personal name Súileabhán, meaning “little dark eye” — which sounds a lot like a poetic description of an eclipse.
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?
- Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
- Two Minutes Of Darkness With 20,000 Strangers
- When & Where to See the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017