Fiery names

Without a doubt, the most popular (indeed, oversaturated) fire-themed name in the Anglophone world currently is Aidan and its 101 kreatyv spylyngz. It comes from the old Irish name Áedán, a diminutive of Áed (a name which later evolved into Aodh, pronounced AY or EE). However, there are a number of other fire-themed names one might consider.


Azar means “fire” in Persian.

Keahi means “the fire” in Hawaiian.


Agni means “fire” in Sanskrit, after the Hindu god of fire.

Aldebrand means “old fire” or “old sword” in Ancient Germanic.

Aldobrandido is a Medieval Italian form of Aldebrand.

Aliprand means “other/foreign fire” or “other/foreign sword” in Ancient Germanic.

Cináed means “born of fire” in Gaelic.

Conleth is a modern Irish form of Conláed, which possibly means “chaste fire.”

Fintan means “white fire” or “white bull” in Irish.

Ignatius is a Latin name derived from the family name Egnatius, which was a Etruscan name of unknown origin. The spelling was changed to resemble the Latin word ignis, “fire” (whose striking similarity to the Sanskrit agni reminds us how much more similar Sanskrit is to the European side of the Indo–European language family than we often assume).

Other forms of the name include Ignace (French), Ignatz (German), Ignatiy (Russian), Iñaki (Basque), Ignasi (Catalan), Ignaas (Dutch), Ignác (Hungarian and Czech), Ignazio (Italian), Ignacy (Polish), Ignas (Lithuanian), Inácio (Portuguese), Ignacio (Spanish), and Ignas/Ignacij (Slovenian).

Ognyan means “fiery” in Bulgarian.

Plamen means “fire, flame” in Serbian and Bulgarian. I have a secondary character by this name.

Pyrrhus is the Latinized form of the Greek Pyrros, which means “flame-colored, red.” Another form of the name is Pyrrhos.

Yoash means “fire of God” or “God has given” in Hebrew.


Fajra means “fiery” in Esperanto.

Fiammetta means “little flame” in Italian. This is the name of one of the seven women in the brigata of The Decameron.

Hestia means “fireside, hearth” in Greek, after the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.

Ignatia is the feminine form of Ignatius. Other forms are Ignacia (Spanish) and Ignacja (Polish).

Nina means “fire” in Quechua, an indigenous language mostly spoken in the Andes Mountains of South America. This isn’t to be confused with the European and Georgian name Nina, which has a completely different etymology and history.

Seraphina is an English, German, and Latin name meaning “fiery ones,” in reference to the Seraphim angels. Other forms include Serafina (Italian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew), Serafima (Russian and Macedonian), and Séraphine (French).

Shula means “flame” in Arabic. The Turkish form is Şule.

Ugnė means “fire” in Lithuanian.


Dawn names

The name Dawn entered the U.S. Top 100 in 1956, at #92, and rose steadily every year, reaching its peak of popularity at #14 in 1971. The name remained in the Top 100 until 1982, though it had been on a steady downward decline in popularity for awhile. In 1983, it was down to #106, and fell lower and lower, until its final year on the Top 1000, 2000, when it was #912. It hasn’t charted since.

If you feel like Dawn is a bit too dated for your liking, there are still some lovely names with the same meaning, or with the word “dawn” in their meaning.


Li can mean “black, dawn” in Chinese.

Shachar is Hebrew.


Alba is Italian, Spanish, and Catalan. This isn’t to be confused with the Latin name Alba, which means “white, bright.”

Aurora is Latin in origin, and now used in English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Finnish, Romanian, Polish, and the Scandinavian languages. It came into general usage during the Renaissance.

Aušra is Lithuanian.

Ayelet means “gazelle” in Hebrew, though it also refers to the morning star, called ayelet hashachar (gazelle of dawn).

Eos is Greek, the name of the goddess of dawn. It reminds me of the first line of Volume II of The GULAG Archipelago, “Rosy-fingered Eos, mentioned so often in Homer and called Aurora by the Romans, caressed, too, with those fingers the first early morning of the Archipelago.” It’s such a beautiful, poetic way to speak about something so horrific.

Fajr is Arabic.

Fioralba is Italian, roughly meaning “dawn flower” or “flower of dawn.”

Gry is Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish. I wouldn’t recommend using this in an Anglophone country.

Gwawr is Welsh.

Hajnal, or Hajnalka, is Hungarian. I have a character by this name.

Roxana is the Latin form of Roxane, which is in turn the Greek form of the original Persian name Roshanak, meaning “bright” or “dawn.” Ruxandra is the Romanian form, Rossana is Italian, Roxanne is French, Rosana is Portuguese, Roxána is Hungarian, and Roksana is Russian and Polish.

Sahar is Persian and Arabic.

Usha is Sanskrit, the name of the goddess of dawn.

Zora is the word for dawn in the West and South Slavic languages (Czech, Slovakian, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian).

Zoraida is a Spanish name of Arabic origin, with the possible meaning “dawn” or “enchanting.”


Agim is Albanian.

Altan means “red dawn” in Turkish.

Koit is Estonian, and also the name of a beautiful composition by the great composer Heino Eller (7 March 1887–16 June 1970).

Nishant is Sanskrit.

Taner means “born at dawn” in Turkish, and not pronounced the same way as the rather trendy English name Tanner.

Zoran is the male form of Zora, also used in the West and South Slavic languages.

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”:


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.


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.”

2015 blogging stats in review

I really need to work on posting to this blog more often! At least now I’ve taken care of the problem I was having with a persistently negative commenter. Seriously, it’s freaking rude to only ever comment on someone’s blog to disagree, attempt to correct perceived misinformation, or tell the person his or her opinion is ridiculous or incorrect just because it’s not the same as yours.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.