The dichotomy between the sun and the moon has been on my mind lately 鈥 two of the most ancient extremes, appearing in every culture鈥檚 history and still a source of interest today. Why do we say someone who鈥檚 happy has a 鈥渟unny鈥 disposition? Why do we say an idle person is 鈥渕ooning鈥 about? Why are these two celestial orbs so polarized? Though I won鈥檛 be answering any of these questions, I will be talking about creative baby names relating to the sun and the moon!

Kids enjoying summer vacation on the beach

We can all agree that these symbols have different connotations. The sun brings to mind warmth, power and positivity; the moon brings to mind serenity, coolness and mystery. There are plenty of baby names 鈥 in and out of use聽鈥斅爐hat tend to relate to the sun and moon directly. Let鈥檚 check them out.

Sunny Names

Happy little girl running on the beach at sunset.

1. 脕ine:聽Pronounced 鈥淎hn-ya鈥, this Irish name belongs to the Celtic goddess of midsummer. It literally translates to 鈥渂rightness鈥 or 鈥渞adiance,鈥 and has the sound to suit it. While spelling and pronouncing the name in the US might prove difficult, it really is a lovely heritage choice.

2. Apollo:聽As the sun god, Apollo was one of the major figures in ancient Greek mythology. Today, the name is attached to all sorts of things 鈥 Gwen Stefani鈥榮 son, the Apollo program at NASA, athlete Apolo Ohno, the fictional Apollo Creed and technology/boats/songs to boot. It鈥檚 at #751 now, and will probably rise sky-high over the next few years.

3. Elio:聽Want an edgy alternative to Elias, Eli, or Elijah? Elio is the Spanish and Italian translation of Helios, another Greek sun god. Its form fits in with modern trends 鈥 the El-beginning and O-ending 鈥 but its history and melodic sound stand out. Elio has gotten popular in France, and it鈥檚 only a matter of time before it crosses the pond.

4. Soleil:聽The French word for 鈥渟un,鈥 Soleil is straightforward but sophisticated. Actress Soleil Moon Frye (what a perfect name for this post!) brought it to US attention in the 1980s, but it鈥檚 now no longer quite as attached to a single wearer. Over 100 girls were named Soleil last year, and the numbers are increasing! Nicknames Sol or Leila offer a little bit of personalization.

5. Summer:聽This name peaked in 1977 at #119, but Summer still hangs on in the Top 200. It鈥檚 light, fresh, and upbeat 鈥 a nature name not mired in dirt or caterpillars. Summer is also nickname-proof, if that鈥檚 your style, and has quite a few namesakes in fiction and reality. Christina Aguilera named her daughter Summer Rain.

6. Sunniva:聽A personal favorite 鈥 it was my confirmation name 鈥 Sunniva is the patron saint of western Norway. Her name means 鈥渟un gift.鈥 Sunniva offers the short forms Sunny and Niva, and it doesn鈥檛 sound like too many names currently in use, despite its rhythm. Only 10聽little Sunnivas were born last year.

7. Surya:聽The Hindu sun god, Surya, represents courage, friendliness, and power 鈥 making it not a bad namesake for a little one! Fifty-one male Suryas and 10 female Suryas were born in the US last year, and the name is accessible enough for any gender. Note: You may have to explain that Suri was not your inspiration.

Lunar Names

Little girl at sunset

8. Ayla:聽There are actually two origins for Ayla 鈥 in Hebrew, it means 鈥渙ak tree,鈥 and in Turkish it means 鈥渕oonlight.鈥 It鈥檚 fairly popular at #265, probably because it consists of two trendy syllables and begins and ends with 鈥渁.鈥 But, usage aside, it鈥檚 beautiful and feminine and a name that will mature with the wearer.

9. Luna:聽It鈥檚 everywhere lately 鈥 Luna has taken nations across the globe by storm. It works cross-culturally, for one thing, and it鈥檚 also easy to spell, pronounce and explain. Luna may also be appreciated for its Harry Potter connection, as well as its prevalence in other types of children鈥檚 media 鈥 Stellaluna, Bear in the Big Blue House.

10. Menodora:聽Meaning 鈥済ift of the moon,鈥 this unusual Greek name gains gravity through its use as a saint鈥檚 name. It also provides a darker counterpart to Theodora or Isadora. It might be difficult to explain, but it鈥檚 well worth the effort. Nicknames can also help make this mouthful a bit more accessible.

11. Neoma:聽While this name might be confused with Naomi a bit, it really does have its own style. Neoma means 鈥渘ew moon鈥 in Greek, and offers the cool Neo- opening (and short form option). It鈥檚 short, sweet and unique 鈥 a veritable name trifecta for any little one born in the right part of the moon cycle.

12. Selene/Selena:聽Only one letter apart, but these names have very different personalities. Selene is subdued, grown-up and tr猫s fran莽aise. Selena is bright, energetic and muy espa帽ola. Either choice is a name to be over the moon about.

Do you have another favorite sun or moon baby name? Tweet us聽@BritandCo聽and let us know!

This post was previously published on Nameberry by Emily Cardoza.

(Photos via Getty)