For centuries, humans have been fascinated and inspired by the moon. It has the power to impact the tides of the ocean, the gravity of the earth, and — some say — even human behavior.
It has given birth to legends of its ruling deities from cultures across the world, and been the subject of iconic art and written work. Not to mention, it’s just pretty damn cool to look at.
Here’s a list of our favorite picks for baby names inspired by our amazing moon (and the nearly 200 others in our solar system), the ancient mythological characters associated with them, and the explorers and innovators who study them today.
Selene was the Greek goddess of the moon. In paintings, she is always depicted as very beautiful, and the Greek poet Hesiod described her as “rich-tressed.” So basically, Selene with the good hair.
The name of this Palestinian city, ancient enough to have been mentioned in the Bible, comes from the Hebrew word yareakh, meaning “moon.”
Literally the Italian and Spanish word for “moon,” and the name of the Roman goddess of the moon — Selene’s Roman counterpart. It’s also the root word of words like “lunatic” and “lunacy,” since it was long believed that the moon has an effect on people’s moods; the Late Latin phrase was “lunaticus,” meaning “moon-struck.”
A Turkish name that means “moon halo.” Folklore says that when a halo appears around the moon, stormy weather is coming up — and this is often proven to be true.
This same meaning can be applied to the name Ayla.
Yes, it seems a weird addition to this list, but the word “Monday” actually comes from the Old English components mona (“moon”) and dæg (“day”). Sunday makes a little more sense now, too, doesn’t it?
A name originating with the indigenous Tupi people of Brazil, Jacira is made up of two Tupi words: îasy, meaning “moon,” and ira, meaning “honey.” We’ve all heard the term “honeymoon baby” — and if you’re expecting one, it’s pretty much impossible to find a more fitting name.
This is another one plucked from Greek mythology, but its association with the moon actually has something to do with a different moon: namel, Io, the largest moon of Jupiter. And considering that a recently-released science fiction movie also bears that name, we’ll likely be hearing it a little more often.
(By the way … it’s pronounced eye-oh.)
Also a moon of Jupiter (there are at least 67 of them), this one has a name too beautiful to leave off the list. It’s named for the Greek mythological character Elara, who was one of Zeus’s mortal lovers and bore a giant baby. Ouch.
On July 20th, 1969, Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the moon, so it’s only fitting to include this Greek name on the list.
“Mahina” is the Polynesian word for “moon,” derived from the Hawaiian moon goddess Hina. It is said that Hina was so beautiful that nobody would leave her alone, so she escaped to the moon for some peace and quiet.
(We’d probably do the same, TBH.)
This unique name is an astronomy term; the meridian is an invisible line that runs north and south, extending into the sky. The moon passes through the upper meridian to get to its highest point, or zenith. *cue :”The More You Know” music*
This means “moon” in Hindi and Sanskrit (though the non-English version is spelled like this: चंद्र).
Though we see this name as overwhelmingly female, Chandra was actually a male lunar deity in Hindu mythology.
Saturn’s largest moon, Titan is unique because it’s the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere and evidence of stable, earth-like bodies of liquid … meaning the science-y types are eyeballing it as a potential place for humans to settle someday.
As a name, it’s of Greek origin and means “defender.”
Whether your baby is born under a full moon (or conceived … we’re not judging), or you’re just fascinated by the glowing orb in the sky and the legends and mysteries associated with it, these names are the perfect choice to show your little one some lunar love.
Find thousands of baby names and fun, inspirational lists in the Scary Mommy baby name database!