Star names

A lot of people find the English name Star tacky, ridiculous, pretentious, etc., though they tend to like foreign names with the same meaning. Maybe it’s something about not being used to certain words being used as names in English, and those words in other languages seeming more normal and poetic. Here are some names meaning “star”:

Female:

Stella is native to Italian and Latin, though also found in English and many European languages. It adapts so easily to the Indo–European languages, since it has a familiar sound and doesn’t sound too unusual or foreign. Stela is a Romanian variation.

Estelle is French, and also used in the English-speaking world. However, this name does feel a bit dated, which is borne out by its huge downward slide in popularity starting around 1928. In 1927, it was #173, and by 1928, it was #187 and kept dropping lower and lower almost every single year after that. Estela is a Portuguese and Spanish variant, and Estrella (Es-TREY-a) is Spanish-only.

Astra is an English name, derived from the Greek word aster. Though it looks similar to Astrid, the two names have completely different etymologies. More elaborated forms are Astraea (Latin), and Astraia (Greek), after the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. She became the constellation Virgo (my rising sign and the ruler of my Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn placements).

Csilla (CHEEL-lah) is Hungarian, and was first used as a name by András Dugonics in the 1803 novel Jólánka, Etelkának Leánya. However, poet Mihály Vörösmarty is credited with really introducing it as a name in his 1826 play Hábador. It’s based on the words csillag (star) and csillog (it shines/sparkles). My character Csilla goes by the less-common nickname Csicsi to be different, though she changes her name to Ilana after she comes to Israel in 1948.

Dara is a unisex Khmer name. However, as a male Irish name, Dara means “oak tree,” and as a male Persian name, it means “wealthy.”

Zornitsa is a Bulgarian name meaning “morning star.”

Zvezdana is Serbian and Slovenian. The Macedonian form is Dzvezda, and the Croatian form is Zvjezdana.

Tara is Sanskrit, and the name of an astral goddess. However, as an English name, it’s an Anglicized form of the Irish Teamhair, which may mean “elevated place” in Gaelic.

Sitara is Hindi.

Izar is Basque.

Hokulani is Hawaiian for “heavenly star.”

Danica means “morning star” in Czech, Slovakian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Serbian, and Croatian.

Hoshi is Japanese.

Steren is Cornish.

Yulduz is Uzbek. Yildiz is the Turkish form.

Seren is Welsh, not to be confused with the Hungarian Szerén or the Italian and English name Serena.

Yllka is Albanian, from the word yll.

Male:

Itri comes from the Tamazight language spoken by the Berbers of North Africa.

Shihab is Arab for “shooting star/meteor.”

Ylli is Albanian.

Astrophel is a Greek-derived name invented by 16th century poet Sir Philip Sidney, probably intended to mean “star-lover.”

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3 comments on “Star names

  1. Nowadays, we may feel self-conscious of “Star” as a name because it is so tied to celebrities. Like naming your child “Outstanding” or “Expert.” 🙂

  2. Zeannaroux says:

    Naming your child something like that nowadays is still cute but leads to being made fun off. Not just by children but adults as well.
    I was going to give my baby the first name is Daisey and the amount of adults trying to tell me it’s a horrible name was astounding. People give others to much grief over a name. While I do think some names are a bit out there, it is up to the parent.
    Now my daughters name is Nocha. Good luck finding the meaning to that. I have found so many and then can’t find any. The person I named her after said it was native American and meant morningstar

  3. LillianC says:

    This is fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing such far-flung variations.

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