Browse Names

This is a list of names in which the meaning contains the keywords dark or black or shadow or night.
gender
usage
meaning
Anisha f Indian, Hindi
Means "nightless, sleepless" in Sanskrit.
Asra f Arabic
Means "travel at night" in Arabic. It is related to Isra.
Bibigul f Kazakh
Means "nightingale" in Kazakh.
Blake m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from Old English blæc "black" or blac "pale". A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827). It was originally a mainly masculine name but in 2007 actress Blake Lively (1987-) began starring in the television series Gossip Girl, after which time it increased in popularity for girls.
Blakely f English (Modern)
From an English surname that was derived from Old English blæc "black" and leah "woodland clearing".
Catahecassa m Indigenous American, Shawnee
Means "black hoof" in Shawnee. This was the name of an 18th-century Shawnee warrior and chief.
Charna f Yiddish (Rare)
From a Slavic word meaning "black".
Chausiku f Eastern African, Swahili
Means "born at night" in Swahili.
Chernobog m Slavic Mythology
Means "the black god" from Slavic cherno "black" and bogu "god". Chernobog was the Slavic god of darkness, evil and grief.
Ciar m & f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Derived from Irish ciar meaning "black". In Irish legend Ciar was a son of Fergus mac Róich and Medb, and the ancestor of the tribe of the Ciarraige (after whom County Kerry is named). As a feminine name, it was borne by an Irish nun (also called Ciara) who established a monastery in Tipperary in the 7th century.
Ciardha m Medieval Irish
Irish byname derived from ciar meaning "black".
Colby m English
From an English surname, originally from various place names, derived from the Old Norse nickname Koli (meaning "coal, dark") and býr "town". As a given name, its popularity spiked in the United States and Canada in 2001 when Colby Donaldson (1974-) appeared on the reality television show Survivor.
Donndubán m Old Irish
Composed of the Old Irish element donn "brown" combined with dub "dark" and a diminutive suffix.
Dougal m Scottish
Anglicized form of the Scottish Gaelic name Dubhghall meaning "dark stranger", from Old Irish dub "dark" and gall "stranger". This name was borne by a few medieval Scottish chiefs.
Douglas m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was from the name of a town in Lanarkshire, itself named after a tributary of the River Clyde called the Douglas Water. It means "dark river", derived from Gaelic dubh "dark" and glais "water, river" (an archaic word related to glas "grey, green"). This was a Scottish Lowland clan, the leaders of which were powerful earls in the medieval period. The Gaelic form is Dùghlas or Dùbhghlas. It has been used as a given name since the 16th century.
Dubhán m Irish (Rare)
From Old Irish Dubán meaning "little dark one", derived from dub "dark, black" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a few early saints.
Dubhshláine m Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish dub "dark, black" and either slán "challenge, defiance" or Sláine, the Irish name of the River Slaney.
Dubthach m Old Irish
Old Irish name derived from dub "dark, black" in combination with a second element of unknown meaning. This was the name of a 6th-century saint, a bishop of Armagh. It also appears in Irish legend as a companion of Fergus mac Róich.
Duff m English (Rare)
From a Scottish or Irish surname, derived from Anglicized spellings of Gaelic dubh meaning "dark".
Dunstan m English (Rare), Anglo-Saxon
From the Old English elements dunn "dark" and stan "stone". This name was borne by a 10th-century saint, the archbishop of Canterbury. It was occasionally used in the Middle Ages, though it died out after the 16th century. It was revived by the Tractarian movement in the 19th century.
Feardorcha m Irish (Rare)
Means "dark man" from Old Irish fer "man" and dorchae "dark".
Ferrer m Various
From a surname that meant "blacksmith" in Catalan. This name is often given in honour of Saint Vicente Ferrer, a 14th-century missionary who is the patron saint of builders.
Garnet 1 f English
From the English word garnet for the precious stone, the birthstone of January. The word is derived from Middle English gernet meaning "dark red".
Gethin m Welsh
Means "dark-skinned, swarthy" in Welsh.
Inola f Indigenous American, Cherokee
Derived from Cherokee ᎢᏃᎵ (inoli) meaning "black fox".
Isra f Arabic
Means "nocturnal journey", derived from Arabic سرى (sara) meaning "to travel at night".
Itzal m Basque
Means "shadow, protection" in Basque.
Kali 1 f & m Hinduism, Bengali, Tamil
Means "the black one" in Sanskrit. The Hindu goddess Kali is the fierce destructive form of the wife of Shiva. She is usually depicted with black skin and four arms, holding a severed head and brandishing a sword. As a personal name, it is generally masculine in India.
Kara 2 m Ottoman Turkish
Means "black, dark" in Turkish. This was sometimes used as a byname by Ottoman officials, figuratively meaning "courageous".
Krishna m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
Lamya f Arabic
Means "having beautiful dark lips" in Arabic.
Layla f Arabic, English
Means "night" in Arabic. Layla was the love interest of the poet Qays (called Majnun) in an old Arab tale, notably retold by the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi in his poem Layla and Majnun. This story was a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song Layla by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.
Li 1 f & m Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "reason, logic", () meaning "stand, establish", () meaning "black, dawn", () meaning "power, capability, influence" (which is usually only masculine) or () meaning "beautiful" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
Licarayen f Indigenous American, Mapuche
Means "stone flower" in Mapuche, from likan "a type of black stone" and rayen "flower". According to a Mapuche legend this was the name of a maiden who sacrificed herself in order to stop the wrath of the evil spirit of a volcano.
Lilith f Semitic Mythology, Judeo-Christian-Islamic Legend
Derived from Akkadian lilitu meaning "of the night". This was the name of a demon in ancient Assyrian myths. In Jewish tradition she was Adam's first wife, sent out of Eden and replaced by Eve because she would not submit to him. The offspring of Adam (or Samael) and Lilith were the evil spirits of the world.
Lonán m Irish, Old Irish
Means "little blackbird", derived from Old Irish lon "blackbird" combined with a diminutive suffix. This name was borne by several early saints.
Lugus m Gaulish Mythology (Hypothetical)
Possibly from one of the Indo-European roots *lewk- "light, brightness", *lewg- "dark" or *lewgh- "oath". This was the name of a Celtic (Gaulish) god of commerce and craftsmanship, who was equated by the Romans with Mercury. He probably forms the basis for the characters and names of Lugh (Irish) and Lleu (Welsh).
Makvala f Georgian
Derived from Georgian მაყვალი (maqvali) meaning "blackberry".
Melaina f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek μέλαινα (melaina) meaning "black, dark". This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology.
Melanie f English, German, Dutch
From Mélanie, the French form of the Latin name Melania, derived from Greek μέλαινα (melaina) meaning "black, dark". This was the name of a Roman saint who gave all her wealth to charity in the 5th century. Her grandmother was also a saint with the same name.... [more]
Melanthios m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μέλας (melas) meaning "black, dark" and ἄνθος (anthos) meaning "flower". In Homer's epic the Odyssey this is the name of an insolent goatherd killed by Odysseus.
Merel f Dutch
Means "blackbird" in Dutch.
Merle f & m English, Estonian
Variant of Merrill or Muriel. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula). This name is also common in Estonia, though a connection to the English-language name is uncertain.
Miyako f Japanese
From Japanese (mi) meaning "beautiful", (ya) meaning "night" and (ko) meaning "child". This name can be formed from other combinations of kanji as well.
Moreno m Italian, Spanish
Derived from Italian moro or Spanish moreno meaning "dark-skinned".
Nigel m English
From Nigellus, a medieval Latinized form of Neil. It was commonly associated with Latin niger "black". It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to Walter Scott's novel The Fortunes of Nigel (1822).
Nila f Tamil, Indian, Hindi
Means "dark blue" in Sanskrit.
Nilam f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "dark blue, sapphire" in Sanskrit.
Nilima f Indian, Marathi, Hindi, Telugu
Means "dark blue" in Sanskrit.
Nishant m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati
Means "night's end, dawn" in Sanskrit.
Nyx f Greek Mythology
Means "night" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
Orpheus m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne) meaning "the darkness of night". In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
Otieno m Eastern African, Luo
Means "born at night" in Luo.
Philomel f Literature
From an English word meaning "nightingale" (ultimately from Philomela). It has been used frequently in poetry to denote the bird.
Phoenix m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird that appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοῖνιξ (phoinix) meaning "dark red".
Pittiulaaq f & m Indigenous American, Inuit
Means "black guillemot" in Inuktitut (a guillemot is a type of sea bird; species Cepphus grylle).
Pomare m & f Tahitian
Means "night cough", from Tahitian po "night" and mare "cough". This name was borne by four kings and a queen of Tahiti. The first king adopted the name after his child died of a cough in the night.
Rajani f & m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, Nepali
Means "the dark one" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu goddess Kali or Durga.
Rajnish m Indian, Hindi
Means "lord of the night" from Sanskrit रजनि (rajani) meaning "night" and ईश (isha) meaning "lord, ruler". This is another name for the moon in Hindu texts.
Ratree f Thai
From the name of a variety of jasmine flower, the night jasmine, ultimately from a poetic word meaning "night".
Sable f English (Modern)
From the English word meaning "black", derived from the name of the black-furred mammal native to Northern Asia, ultimately of Slavic origin.
Sam 2 m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "dark" in Avestan. This is the name of a hero in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh.
Scáthach f Irish Mythology
Means "shadowy" in Irish. In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior woman. She instructed Cúchulainn in the arts of war, and he in turn helped her defeat her rival Aoife.
Senka f Serbian, Croatian
Means "shadow" in Serbian and Croatian. It can also be a diminutive of Ksenija.
Sevda f Turkish, Azerbaijani
Means "love, infatuation" in Turkish and Azerbaijani, ultimately from Arabic سوداء (sawda) meaning "black bile, melancholy, sadness".
Shyama m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit श्याम (shyama) meaning "dark, black, blue". This is a transcription of the masculine form श्याम, which is another name of the Hindu god Krishna, as well as the feminine form श्यामा, one of the many names of the wife of the god Shiva. It is also the name of a Jain goddess.
Shyamal m Bengali
From Sanskrit श्यामल (shyamala), a derivative of श्याम (shyama) meaning "dark, black, blue".
Siavash m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "possessing black stallions" in Avestan. This is the name of a prince in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh.
Smith m English
From an English surname meaning "metal worker, blacksmith", derived from Old English smitan "to smite, to hit". It is the most common surname in most of the English-speaking world.
Sullivan m English, French
From an Irish surname, the Anglicized form of Ó Súileabháin, itself from the given name Súileabhán, which was derived from Irish súil "eye" and dubh "dark, black" combined with a diminutive suffix. This name has achieved a moderate level of popularity in France since the 1970s. In the United States it was rare before the 1990s, after which it began climbing steadily. A famous fictional bearer of the surname was James P. Sullivan from the animated movie Monsters, Inc. (2001).
Sunil m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
From Sanskrit सु (su) meaning "good, very" combined with नील (nila) meaning "dark blue".
Tariel m Literature, Georgian
Created by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for his 12th-century epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin. He may have based it on Persian تاجور (tajvar) meaning "king" or تار (tar) meaning "dark, obscure" combined with یل (yal) meaning "hero". In the poem Tariel, the titular knight who wears a panther skin, is an Indian prince who becomes a companion of Avtandil.
Tinuviel f Literature
Means "nightingale" in the fictional language Sindarin. In the Silmarillion (1977) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Tinuviel was the daughter of Thingol the elf king and the beloved of Beren, who with her help retrieved one of the Silmarils from the iron crown of Morgoth.
Tuta f Indigenous American, Quechua
Means "night" in Quechua.
Zelophehad m Biblical
Possibly means either "first born" or "shadow from terror" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Zelophehad is a man who dies while the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness, leaving five daughters as heirs.