Going Beyond 'Luna': Names We Love Inspired By The Moon

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
moon baby names
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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, been the subject of iconic art and written work, and inspired countless names for baby girls and baby boys all over the world. In India, it’s the highest form of praise and compliment to compare someone’s beauty to that of the moons. Not to mention, it’s just pretty damn cool to look at. The same goes for compliments for both sexes in China. The moon is a symbol of beauty, strength, and mystery, and has been for millennia.

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.

Creative (Real-Life) Lunar Name Inspiration

Unfortunately, no woman has walked on the moon yet. However, NASA’s Artemis program plans to send a woman to the moon by 2024. In the meantime, you can look to females who’ve been to space for naming inspo. A few suggestions might include Jessica (Meir), Christina (Koch), Valentina (Tereshkova), Sally (Ride), Margaret (Rhea Seddon), Mae (Jemison), Chiaki (Mukai), Claudie (Haignere), Kalpana (Chawla), Jasmin (Moghbeli), Zena (Cardman), and Zhanna (Yorkina).

Quotes About the Moon

Need even more inspiration to choose a lunar name? Check out these quotes about the moon.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.” — Les Brown

“I feel like the moon is a very beautiful woman. She’s in control.” — Ravyn Lenae

“Always remember we are under the same sky, looking at the same moon.” — Maxine Lee

“Be both soft and wild. Just like the moon. Or the storm. Or the sea.” — Victoria Erickson

“Drag me to the moon, to catch a star and seize its brilliance as I’m swept up in amorphous dust.” — Bradley Chicho

“The moon is the first milestone on the road to the stars.” — Arthur C. Clarke

“The moon was so beautiful that the ocean held up a mirror.” — Ani DiFranco

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass.” — Anton Chekhov

“I always look up at the Moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos.” — Tom Hanks

“Don’t worry if you’re making waves just by being yourself. The moon does it all the time.” — Scott Stabile

“Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.” — E. E. Cummings

“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Need more baby name ideas for your little tot? We’ve got comprehensive lists for middle names for boys, unique names for girls, last names as first names, nicknames as first names for your little Ace, and so much more!

Curious to know more about your family name and the last names and meanings of other countries, check out our package on last names from around the world. See how many you recognize: Irish, French, Russian, Spanish, Mexican, Brazilian, Portuguese, Italian, and African last names, among others.

1. Selene

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.

2. Jericho

The name of this Palestinian city, ancient enough to have been mentioned in the Bible, comes from the Hebrew word yareakh, meaning “moon.”

3. Luna

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.”

4. Aylin

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.

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5. Monday

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?

6. Jacira

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.

7. Io

This is another one plucked from Greek mythology, but its association with the moon actually has something to do with a different moon: namely 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.)

8. Elara

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.

9. Apollo

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.

If you want a less mythological-sounding choice, there’s always Neil (after Neil Armstrong) or Edwin (the birth name of Buzz Aldrin), the first two astronauts to set foot on lunar terrain.

10. Mahina

“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.)

11. Meridian

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*

12. Chandra

This means “moon” in Hindi and Sanskrit (though the non-English version is spelled like this: चंद्र).

Though in English-speaking countries we tend to see this name as overwhelmingly female due to its A-ending, Chandra was actually a male lunar deity in Hindu mythology.

13. Titan

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.”

14. Deva

This is a girl’s name after the Hindu moon goddess, referring to brightness or radiance. It’s also the name of model-actress Monica Bellucci’s daughter if celebrity kid names are your thing.

15. Artemis

This name comes from two Greek words meaning “butcher” and “safe” (quite the contradiction). But Artemis was actually the name of the Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, so shine on, little butcher!

16. Mona

This name has a variety of origins and means something different in each, so you’ll have a number of reasons to tell her why she’s named the way she is. As mentioned above for Monday, one of those reasons is that it means “moon” in Old English.

17. Diana

Just like Artemis, Diana was the goddess of the moon and hunting — but to the Romans, rather than the Greeks. She was also the twin sister of Apollo, another name on this list. How cute would it be to give a pair of brother and sister these matching names?

18. Qamar

This Arabic boy’s name means “moon” and is perfect for your little moon baby.

19. Badru

This Egyptian boy’s name means “born during a full moon” and at one time was so popular that Egyptian parents started using it for their baby girls.

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.

20. Chandni

A variant of chand, the Hindi word for moon, Chandni is an extremely popular girl’s name in India and the South Asian diaspora.

21. Bader

Arabic for “full moon,” this name evokes a lovely image. It could be just the perfect name for your little darling.

22. Koray

This Turkish name meaning “ember moon” alludes to the golden nights when the moon looks as though it’s on fire. It’s also extremely popular in Turkey.

23. Amaris

In Spanish, this baby name means “child of the moon,” which is a sweet astrological name for your little one.

24. Luan

This name is of Portuguese origin and means “moon.” This is can be a far-out choice for either your baby girl or boy.

25. Ariel

A Hebrew name, Ariel means “lion of God.” It’s also the name of one of the five major moons of Uranus.

26. Celimine

A variant of the girl’s name “Celimene,” Celimine is thought to be derived from Latin and Greek elements meaning “heavenly” and “moon” or “strength.” The name can be traced back to 17th-century French playwright Molière, who used the name Célimène in the 1666 play Le Misanthrope.

27. Hecate

This Greek name may not mean moon directly, but it is related to a Greek figure associated with the moon. This name means “will power.”

28. Altalune

Doesn’t this have a lovely ring to it? A Latin name, Altalune means “over the moon” or “higher than the moon.”

29. Esmeray

This name comes from Turkish origin and means “dark moon.” Bonus: It’s perfect if you want to call your daughter “Esme” for short.

30. Larissa

Larissa comes from Latin origin and means “cheerful” or “joyful.” It is also one of the moons of Neptune.

31. Melinoe

This is the Greek name for the color of quince — a highly fragrant pear-like fruit associated in mythology with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. It is also the name of one of the moon goddesses.

32. Nikini

In Sri Lanka, this name means “full moon in August.”

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