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There’s many different ways to choose baby names. Some people pick out a name they like, and perhaps quickly check to make sure it doesn’t mean something horrible, like “he who has the face of a deranged warthog”, or maybe not even care what it means. Others think of a meaning they would like to associate with their baby, and then hunt around for a name that fits that meaning.

These are all the web searches people used to get to the blog this year, looking for names with particular meanings. I don’t know if I’ve always come up with a name they wanted to know about, and I’m not even completely sure that I’m correct on each one, but I did my best.

NAMES WITH MEANINGS RELATED TO STARS

Boys name that means “star”

The English word Sterling, referring to sterling silver, is said to most likely mean “little star”, as some early Norman pennies were imprinted with a small star. The Old French word for the pennies is Esterlin. We also use the word sterling to mean “excellent, of high quality”, so you get another layer of meaning from it.

Latin boy’s name meaning “star”

The Latin for star is Astrum. Astro is a Latin prefix meaning “pertaining to the stars”, as in the word astronomy. I have seen this used as a name.

Swedish girl’s name that means “star”

Stjarna.

A boy’s name that means “bright star”

Nayyar is an Arabic boy’s name which is understood as meaning “bright star”. It also refers to the sun, which of course is our nearest, and thus brightest, star.

Male name meaning “bright star in the southern hemisphere”

There’s isn’t a star name which means that, but Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, and is visible in both hemispheres. However, Canopus, the second brightest, is more often connected with the southern hemisphere; it is always visible from some parts of Australia. It is occasionally called Soheil in English, and the Maori name for it is Atuatahi, meaning “stand alone”.

Spanish girls name that means “constellation”

I’m not sure there is one, but the Spanish for constellation is Constelación. I haven’t heard of it being used as a person’s name, but Constelacia might look a bit more name-like. I don’t speak Spanish, so apologies if this looks absurd to Hispanophones.

Boy name that means “many constellations”

The Japanese name Ikuto has this meaning, although I’ve only seen it used as a fictional surname.

A constellation name which means “small”

All the constellations have names which are nouns or “things”, not adjectives, so there isn’t one. A few have Minor as part of their name, to indicate they are the smaller of two eg Ursa Minor. The closest I could find was Equuleus, meaning “little horse, foal”.

Name meaning “starry sky”

In Japanese, Hoshizora means “starry sky”. It’s used as a surname in the Japanese anime Smile Pretty Cure!

Boys name that means “galaxy”

I have seen Galaxos as a character name in online games, and Galaxian would mean “of the galaxy” or “from the galaxy”.

NATURE NAMES

Boys name that means “beach”

Beach, Bay or Cove.

Names that mean “songbird”

Hebrew has both a male and female name with this meaning. Efrona for a girl (meaning “lark”), and Zalmir for a boy.

Flower name that means “peaceful”

There’s a native plant from Western Australia called the Gunniopsis pax – it’s a succulent, and it does have small flowers. There is also the Peace Lily, and the Peace Rose, and a type of guzmania (a bromeliad) called Pax. The White Poppy, the Lotus and the Daisy have all been used as symbols of peace.

Boy name meaning “otter”

In Japanese, Rakko means “sea otter”. That seemed to be the most usable word for otter in another language I could find.

POSITIVE MEANINGS

Indian boy’s name meaning “one who cannot be defeated”

It seems to be a popular meaning for boy’s names in India, for there are several. I managed to find Adityendra, Ajay, Ajeenkya, Ajeesh, Ajit, Aparajita, and Durjaya. Take your pick!

Viking name meaning “prince”

Balder is translated as meaning “lord, prince, king”, and it was used as an epithet for heroes. In Norse mythology, Balder was the son of Odin and Frigg.

Girl name that means “independence”

Liberty or Freedom.

Sanskrit girl’s name meaning “bright, happy”

Nandita.

Girl’s name that means “beautiful”

There’s a lot. A few you may not be familiar with are Mei (Chinese), Shayna (Yiddish) and Ziba (Persian).

Name that means “bewitching”

Mohana is an Indian unisex name which means “bewitching, infatuating, charming” in Sanskrit. It is used as an epithet of several gods and goddesses.

The word for “lovely” in some other language

Delightfully vague! I pick French – Jolie.

NEGATIVE MEANINGS

Baby name that means “spiteful”

I hope this is for a story and not a real baby! The German surname Sauer means “spiteful” (related to the word sour, acid), and it can be Anglicised as either of the unrelated names Sawyer or Sayer, so I guess those are possible options.

Hindi word for “proud”

Ooh there’s quite a few. Garvi, Garvit and Nidar look the most like names, to me.

DOESN’T EXIST

Name that means “daughter of a princess”

Hmm, seems a bit narcissistic as a baby name, somehow! Anyway, there’s no term for a princess’ daughter, and the daughter of a princess doesn’t necessarily have any special status – Princess Anne’s daughter Zara is just Mrs Tindall. I would choose a name that simply means “princess” or is royal-related. However, the Indonesian name Putri means both “daughter” and “princess”.

Norse name which means “female knight”

Vikings didn’t generally fight with a cavalry, and although there were some female warriors, it’s very unlikely they would have ridden horses, as this was usually reserved for leaders of a warband. It does make me think of the Valkyries, who were mythological women of the afterlife, always depicted on horseback. Valkyrie means “chooser of the slain”.

Norse name meaning “hunter”

There isn’t one. The Old Norse word for hunter is Veiðimaður, and some think this word is the basis of the English surname Waitman. This is occasionally used as a first name.

Name for a girl that means something

More specific, please!

NAMES FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Name that means “perfect time”

I know it’s not quite right, but I keep thinking Serendipity. Also Season, because of the saying that “For everything there is a season, and a time for everything under heaven”. The Japanese girl’s name Aya means “design”, suggesting a planned pregnancy. Musical names like Rhythm or Cadence come to mind, as music must be perfectly timed. Ogechukwukama is an Igbo girl’s name meaning “God’s time is the best” – good for a surprise, but very welcome, baby.

Name that means “beating the odds”

Lucky or Chance.

Boy’s name that means “when two souls join”

I’d probably be thinking of names that mean “bliss, joy”. Anand is a Sanskrit name meaning “bliss”, while Anglo-Saxon has Wynn, meaning “joy, bliss”. The word Bliss itself can be used for both sexes. The Chinese unisex name Zheng or Zeng means “harmony, union”, which seems to describe the state of soul togetherness.

Zulu name for boys that gives hope for the future

Mduduzi is a Zulu boy’s name that means “bringer of hope”.

Boy’s name meaning “not meant to be”

Oh how sad, and what a sad meaning. I’m so sorry. I thought long and hard about this one, and it seems to me that the concept behind “meant to be” and “not meant to be” is the same, that is, some idea of Fate, Fortune or Destiny. We usually think of it as feminine (“Dame Fortune” etc), but the Ancient Egyptians had a god of fate, named Shai or Shay, meaning “that which is ordained”. I think that’s a nice name for a boy, and has the sense of the meaning you’re looking for.

(Picture shows the Milky Way above Lake Moogerah in south-east Queensland; photo from Perth Now)

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