When my son was a baby, I’d often sing to him, “
You Are My Sunshine.” I even sang it to him when he was still in my belly. The line, “You make me happy, when skies are gray,” just hits me in the heart. If you want your baby to be a beam of sunlight, shining their beautiful energy onto everyone who encounters them, why not give them a baby name that means sun, light, or warmth.
Every language and culture has words for light and the sun, so there is a wide variety for both
girl, boy and unisex names with this meaning. These names can prove very useful as, let’s face it, some days — especially during those all-nighters or the toddler and threenager phases — you might need a reminder that your child can be bright and cheerful.
More than those warm and fuzzy meanings, the sun and light are also powerful forces, and life-giving. This list of sunny names cover a range that will make you feel warm and fuzzy, to inspired and proud. They carry in them the joy and happiness you’ll feel the moment — and hopefully, every morning after — you meet your little ray of sunshine, just like that beautiful sun.
In early Hinduism, the Aditya is a group of sun gods who were the sons of Aditi. However, in later Hinduism, the use of the word changed, and it came to mean “sun.”
Beltane means “bright fire,” and it is the name of the May Day festival held in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Many Pagans also celebrate this day as the beginning of summer. It is often used as a boy’s name, with Beltaine for girls.
Aelius is an ancient Roman name for a boy meaning “sun.” It was also the family name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who was known for building
Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the northern limit of Britannia. 4 Anatoli
Anatoli is a Greek name for boys meaning “sunrise.” It also means “from the East.” Variations include Anatole, in French, and Anatoly, from Russia, and spelling variations include Anatol, Anatoliy and even Anatolio.
Castor’s Germanic meaning is “he who shines,” and it’s also the name of one of the Gemini twins. So if your baby is born between May 21 and June 21, it would be pretty fitting.
Akino is a unisex Japanese name meaning “rising sun.” This beautiful baby name could also mean “bright shining field.”
Éliane is a French girl’s name meaning “daughter of the sun.” In Hebrew, it also means “God has answered me” or “Jehovah is God.” Note that it looks a lot like the related name Elaine but sounds different.
Cuthbert is an English name for a boy that means “famous and bright,” and Saint Cuthbert was also the patron saint of Northern England.
Alba is a Spanish and Italian female name that means “dawn” or “white,” but it can also be a unisex name. It is related to the word for the white of eggs.
The name Elanor means “sun ray” and “God is my light.” It is usually given to girls. If you’re a
Tolkien nerd, Elanor is the name of the sun star in The Lord of the Rings. 11 Tapti
The name Tapti is Hindi girl’s name that means the “sun’s daughter.” It is also the name of a river on the Indian subcontinent.
A name with an obvious meaning in English, Sunny is a unisex British name that means “happy, cheerful,” and of course, “full of sunshine.” It can also be a nickname for popular Indian names Sunil, Sundaram, and more. The sound-alike nickname Sonny means son or “little son.”
Elio is an Italian and Spanish boy’s name that means “sun” and is derived from the Roman sun god Helios. A feminine counterpart is Èlia, a Catalan name that means “sun” and also means “gentle or innocent.” In Hebrew, it means “God has answered.”
Solana is a Spanish and Portuguese female name meaning “sun.” Similar names from other cultures include Soleil, in French; Sole, pronounced So-LAY, in Italian; and Solvita, a Latvian name meaning “life-giving sun.”
15 Marici Peathegee Inc/Getty Images
The name Marici is a unisex Sanskrit name that mean “ray of light,” or “one who is a beam of light.” It is pronounced maa-rih-ch-iy. So unique, beautiful, and sunny, just like this baby.
Dawn is “the brightening period between darkness and sunrise.” This simple girl’s name was also given to an awesome character in
The Baby Sitters Club books, who was an environmentally-conscious, hippie flower child from California. 17 Dai
Dai is a Welsh boy’s name that means “to shine.” Dai also means beloved or friend, and it is also the name of the main protagonist in the
Dragon Quest series of video games, anime, and manga. 18 Brigid
Brigid is the Irish goddess of fire and dawn whose personality is known to be complex, contradictory, and powerful. There are other meanings in Irish lore, including poetry, spring, and fertility. Variations of the name include Bridget and Brigitte.
Anwar is an Arabic boy’s
name that means “brighter, more luminous.” Anwar was also the given name of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat who was awarded the Nobel peace prize. 20 Anpao Carles Navarro Parcerisas/Moment/Getty Images 21 Roxana
Roxana is an ancient Greek girl’s name meaning “bright or dawn.” Or you could also name your child Roxanne if you’re a fan of Sting and the Police as well as sunshine.
Clara is from the Latin word for “clear and bright.” Related names for girls include Clair, Claire, Clare in English and Chiara in Italian. Sometimes boys are named Clair, with this same meaning.
In Irish and Gaelic, however, the names Ciara (female) and Ciaran (male) have the opposite meaning — “black” — and usually are bestowed on dark-haired babies. In Spanish, the similar-looking name Charo means “rosary.”
Areg is an Armenian boy’s name that means “sun” or “god of the sun.” For girls, the name is Arega.
Tesni is a Welsh girl’s name that means “warmth from the sun.” And if that doesn’t give you the fuzzies, I don’t know what will.
Arani is a Sanskrit name that can mean “sun.” It is also a word that means “flintstone,” the stones that generate sparks to start a fire when rubbed together.
In the South Asian language Sanskrit, Arun is a boy’s name that means “dawn” and red, “the color for the morning sun as it rises in the sky.” In Hebrew it means enlightened or exalted.
Shemesh is a Semitic name that means “eye of the sun,” or “fountain of the sun.” There also is an Israeli city, west of Jerusalame, Beit Shemesh.
Naming babies is like a chicken-egg puzzle. Will your baby live up to the meaning of their name or will the name influence the person your baby grows to be? Either way, if you name your baby for the sun, the qualities that may emerge are joy, cheerfulness, energy, vitality, and, basically, power over everything, especially your heart.