The name appears in various languages. It could be from the Arabic meaning, “tender.”

In Russia and the Ukraine, it is used as a short form of Svetlana and Ruslana.

In South Eastern Europe this short form has carried over as a popular independent given name. As of 2009, Lana was the most popular female name in Croatia. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 2 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 19 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 52 (France, 2009)
  • # 90 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 169 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 480 (United States, 2010)
It is the name of a river in Albania and this fact may also be the inspiration behind the name’s popularity in South Eastern Europe.

Lana can also be Hawaiian, meaning, “floating; calm; still as water.” It has even been linked with the Spanish word for wool.

In the United States, it was brought to attention via actress, Lana Turner (1921-1995).


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Azeri Эльнур
Meaning: “the light.”

The name is a corruption of the Arabic, al Noor meaning, “the light”, and was possibly orginally an azerified form of the Russian male name, Svetlan (light).

It is currently the 5th most popular name among the male population in Azerbaijan.

Its feminine form is Elnura.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Russian
Meaning: “light.”

The name is derived from the Slavic element, svetlo, meaning “light.”

It was used as a vernacular form of the Greek, Photine, (see Photine), in honour of St. Photine, the Samaritan woman.

Its usage was further popularized in 1813 via Alexander Vostokov, a Russian philologist and poet. Another Russian poet of the same period, Vasily Zhukovsky, also used the name for his ballade, Svetlana.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Svjatlana Святлана (Belarusian)
  • Svetla (Bulgarian)
  • Svjetlana (Croatian)
  • Světlana (Czech)
  • Swetlana (German)
  • Szvetlána (Hungarian)
  • Świetlana (Polish: shvyet-LAH-nah)
  • Swietłana (Polish: svyet-WAH-nah)
  • Sveta Света (Russian)
  • Svitlana Світлана (Ukrainian)

The name is also used in Bulgarian, Latvian, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovene and Slovakian.

A South Slavic masculine form is Svetlan.

The designated name-days are: February 6 (Bulgaria), February 26 (Russia), March 15 (Slovakia), March 20 (Czech Republic), April 2 (Russia) and September 28 (Latvia).

The name is borne by Svetlana Alliluyeva aka Lana Peters, the youngest daughter of Joseph Stalin, (b.1926) and the current first lady of Russia, Svetlana Medvedeva

Sveta, Sveti, Svetlanka and Lana are used as short forms in Russian.

Photine, Fotini

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “light.”
(foh-TEEN; foh-TEE-nee)

The name is derived from the Greek φως (phos) meaning “light.”

The name is borne by a Christian saint, considered very important to the Greek Orthodox Church.

St. Photine the Samaritan woman, has been honoured as an Equal-to-the-Apostles.

A legend, which was based on the story in the New Testament when Christ met the woman at the Well, was that the woman at the well was named Photine and that, after repenting of her sins, she went on to evangelize Carthage, only to be martyred under Nero’s reign.

She had 4 sisters who were venerated as saints, one of whom was named Fotis and who shares the same name-day as her, and her son Photinos, who also shares a name-day with her.

Fotoula and Toula are modern Greek diminutives.

Another form is Fotine, and a Polish form is Fotyna.

In Russian she is referred to as St. Svetlana, (which is a literal translation of the name Photine).

The designated name-day is January 5.

Lucia, Lucille, Lucy, Lucian, Lucius

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “light.”

Today is December 13, said to be the darkest night of the year, and also the feast of St. Lucy, whose name appropriately means “light.” Contrary to popular belief, Lucy is the English form of Lucia, and is not a nickname that later became an independent given name, in fact, Lucy was fairly common in Medieval England, particularly after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The latinate form of Lucia, is a feminine version of the Latin, Lucius, which was a Roman praenomen derived from the Latin word lux meaning “light.”

The name was popularized by a 4th-century Sicilian martyr, who, according to legend, was a beautiful Christian woman of noble lineage. She was particularly known for her striking eyes, and when a local pagan suitor tried to force her to marry him, she spent the entire night gouging her own eyes out, presenting them on a platter to the lovelorn nobleman the next day, proclaiming that if he loved her eyes so much, he could marry them instead of her. St. Lucy was immediately tortured and put to death and as a result, she is considered the patron saint of the blind.

Her feast day in Sweden is an especially popular celebration. Each year a girl is chosen to represent the saint, while leading a procession of singing white clad men and women. In older traditions, it was usually the oldest girl in the household who was picked, but since becoming a school or city festival, the title is either given to the prettiest girl or the most popular girl, sometimes done by popular demand of the populace, or school, in which the procession is held. The Sankta Lucia wears a wreath of lit candles upon her head and a red sash around her waist, afterwards, glög and lussekatte, (a type of Saffron biscuit),are served. Its popularity in Scandinavia may be due to some ancient pre-Christian roots, in which the early Germanic tribes would fend off the dark wintery nights with a procession of candles, its true origins have been somewhat lost to history, but there is a Scandinavian legend that claims that Saint Lucy appeared to a band of lost vikings, and lead them back safely to shore. Thereafter, Lucy became a popular saint among the Scandinavians.

The holiday is also celebrated in some parts of the United States, especially in Minnesota, where there are large Scandinavian enclaves, as well as in Norway, and among the Swedish speaking populations of Finland and in Estonia and Latvia.

Lucille is a derivative of the Latin feminine name, Lucilla, which was an old Latin diminutive form of Lucia. It was popularized as an independent given name, early on, due to the popularity of a 3rd century Roman martyr.

A modern famous bearer was Lucille Ball (1911-1989), a famous American actress and comedienne, known for her popular sitcom, I Love Lucy.

Lucille currently ranks in as the 613th most popular female name in the United States, she did experience a peak in popularity a the beginning of the 20th century, ranking in the highest back in 1919, coming in as the 27th most popular female name.

Its masculine form of Lucius, was a fairly common Roman praenomen during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It was borne by two kings of Etruria, and it was also borne by the Roman statesman, orator and philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Lucius is also found in the New Testament, the name of a minor character, an Antiochan Christian. In addition, it was borne by three popes and a 3rd century male saint.

Lucianus, another male praenomen, is related to Lucius, but with slightly different meaning, the meaning refers to one who carries or bears light.

As of 2008, Lucian was the 810th most popular male name in the United States.

Other forms of the names include:


  • Drita (Albanian: literally means “light” in Albanian, it is sometimes used as an alternative for Lucia).
  • Luzía (Aragonese)
  • Lusia (Breton)
  • Llúcia (Catalan)
  • Lucija Луција (Croatian/Latvian/Serbian: loot-SEE-yah)
  • Jasna (Croatian/Serbian: literally means “light” occasionally used as an alternative for Lucy. YAHS-nah)
  • Lucie (Czech: LOOT-syeh)
  • Lucia (Danish/Dutch/Corsican/Estonian/Norwegian/Romanian/Slovakian/Slovene/Swedish)
  • Luus (Dutch/Limburgish)
  • Lucy/Lucia (English: older pronunciation of the latter is LOO-shah, and in modern times, often pronounced loo-SEE-ah)
  • Lusia (Faroese)
  • Lukki/Lukka (Finnish)
  • Luusi/Luusia (Finnish)
  • Luce/Lucie (French)
  • Lucette (French: initially a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name, though considered very dated)
  • Luzie (Fruilian)
  • Lucia/Luzei/Luzia/Luzie/Luzi (German)
  • Zeia (German: old Pet form of Luzei, very obscure)
  • Loukia Λουκία (Greek: Modern)
  • Luca/Lúcia (Hungarian: former is pronounced LOOT-sah)
  • Lúcía/Lúsía (Icelandic)
  • Luce (Italian: LOO-chay)
  • Lucetta/Lucietta (Italian: initially diminutive forms, now used as independent given names)
  • Lucia (Italian: loo-CHEE-ah)
  • Luciella (Italian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Lux (Latin: directly from the Latin word for “light” it is occasionally used as a given name in the English speaking world, and it was further popularized by the Eugenides book The Virgin Suicides, in which the lead character is named Lux Lisbon).
  • Liucija (Lithuanian: lyoot-SEE-yah).
  • Luċija (Maltese: loo-CHEE-yah)
  • Ruhia/Ruihi/Ruruhi (Maori)
  • Løssi (Norwegian: dialectical form of Lucy, from the regions of Møre and Romsdal).
  • Lucja (Polish: LOOT-syah)
  • Łucja (Polish: WOOT-syah)
  • Lúcia (Portuguese: LOOS-yah)
  • Luzia (Portuguese: loo-ZEE-uh)
  • Luziya/Svetlana (Russian: the latter is from the Old Slavonic meaning “light” and is sometimes used as an alternative form Lucy)
  • Liùsaidh (Scottish)
  • Lucìa (Sicilian)
  • Lucía (Spanish/Galician: loo-THEE-ah in Iberian Spanish and loo-SEE-ah in Latin American Spanish)
  • Luz (Spanish/Portuguese: literally ” light” in Spanish and Portuguese, it has been used as a variation for the Latin Lucia. LOOTH-Iberian Spanish LOOS-Latin American Spanish, LOOZH-Portuguese)
  • Luci (Swedish/Norwegian)
  • Lussa (Swedish: very old and obscure form of Lucy)
  • Lukia/Lucia (Ukrainian)
  • Lùsia (Venetian)
  • Lleucu (Welsh)


  • Luken (Basque)
  • Lukian (Breton/Danish/German/Norwegian/Polish)
  • Lusian (Breton)
  • Llucià (Catalan)
  • Lucian (English: LOO-shen)
  • Lukianos (Finnish)
  • Lucien (French)
  • Lukianosz (Hungarian)
  • Lúkíanos (Icelandic)
  • Luciano (Italian/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish: Italian diminutives are Ciano, Luci and Lucio)
  • Lucianus (Latin/Dutch)
  • Lukiāns (Latvian)
  • Lukianas (Lithuanian)
  • Lucjan/Łucjan (Polish)
  • Luchian/Lucian (Romanian)
  • Lukián/Lucián (Slovakian)

Feminine forms are:

  • Liczenn (Breton)
  • Lucienne (French: luy-SYEN)
  • Luciana (Italian/Latin/Portuguese/Romanian/Spanish: Italian loo-CHAH-nah, Latin loo-KYAH-nah, Portuguese loo-SYAH-nah, Spanish: loo-THYAH-nah or loo-SYAH-nah)
  • Luciane (Brazilian Portuguese: loo-SYAH-nay)


  • Lucille/Lucile (French; English)
  • Lucilla (Italian/Latin: loo-CHEEL-lah in Italian)
  • Lucélia (Portuguese)
  • Lucília (Portuguese)
  • Lucila (Spanish/Portuguese)

An Italian masculine form is Lucilio


  • Lucius (English LOO-shus)
  • Luvcie (Estruscan)
  • Lucius/Luzius (German)
  • Lúciusz (Hungarian)
  • Lucietto (Italian: obscure)
  • Lucido/Lucidio (Italian: obscure)
  • Lucio (Italian: loo-CHEE-o)
  • Luciolo (Italian: obscure)
  • Lucione (Italian: obscure)
  • Lugh (Manx)
  • Ruhiu (Maori)
  • Lucjusz/Łucjusz (Polish: LOOT-syoosh)
  • Lúcio (Portuguese)
  • Luci (Romanian)
  • Luzi (Romansch)
  • Lucio (Spanish: loo-THEE-o, loo-SEE-o)