The glorious summer sun is a great source of name inspiration for babies born in June, July and August. Here are 13 baby names whose meanings and histories relate to the sun -- from the French "soleil" to the ancient sun gods.
Apollo was the god of many things -- medicine, music, poetry -- and was also the Greek god of the sun. This is one of the ancient deity names that have recently been deemed appropriate for mere mortals. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale chose it for their third son last year.
One of the many possible meanings of this Old Persian name is "the sun.” It’s very popular in the Iranian community in tribute to the powerful Cyrus the Great, who established the Persian Empire. Now feeling much friendlier and more modern, it was picked by Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy for their baby boy.
This Italian and Spanish charmer is one of several derived from Apollo’s alternate sun god name, Helios, the young god who rode across the sky each day in a horse-drawn chariot. Other related names include Eliane and Elliana.
This unusual name derives from Idalion, an ancient Greek city meaning "I see the sun," and is currently found in a number of European countries. It could make an interesting and viable variation on other "alia" names.
A lovely, rhythmic Hindi name meaning ‘sun’ and relating to other natural phenomena like the mythical Kalinda Mountains. Americans would most likely be familiar with it via the character Kalinda Sharma on "The Good Wife," played by British actress “Archie” Panjabi.
The perfect name for a summer baby, with its elements combining the sun and the sea. Well used in Spain, it’s a regular on American TV, with characters in "Orange is the New Black" and "Devious Maids," and is also the name of an American Girl doll.
Like the more common Ariana, Oriana is associated with the sunrise, emphasizing its golden aspect. She starred in several medieval tales and was sometimes used as an epithet for the first Queen Elizabeth. Oriana Fallaci was an internationally noted Italian journalist.
An alternate name for the sun god Apollo, Phoebus could appeal to some parents because of its trendy Latinate s-ending, and relationship to the "Friends" name Phoebe. It is borne by a character in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The meaning of the name borne by the biblical symbol of consummate physical strength is "sun child, little sun." Samson is now at its highest rank ever -- Number 628, adopted by some parents who like the nickname Sam but want something less popular than Samuel.
You won’t find the French word for sun used as a baby name in Normandy, but it does have a lot of appeal for us outsiders, who first associated it with Soleil Moon Frye, back when she was Punky Brewster.
A Norwegian name meaning "sun gift," this is the name of the ancient Irish-born patron saint of Western Norway and would make a distinctive choice for a family with Scandinavian ancestry. It’s pronounced SOON-ee-va.
Viewed as a quintessential hippie name of the 70s, sunny Sunshine has started to come out from behind the clouds, especially since she’s appeared on "Glee." Sunshine actually ranked as high as Number 536 in 1975, the same year that nickname Sunny was at 542.
Another name often heard in its own culture, the exotic Surya means "sun" in Sanskrit and is used primarily for boys in India, though outstanding French-American figure skating champion Surya Bonaly is female.