Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Stellaluna and Soluna
This post was inspired by the credits of a movie I watched the other day. The name I spotted was Soluna, the artist of one of the songs used in the movie. At least I thought it was an artist, as I assumed that it must be a persons name that I just hadn't heard before.
Turns out though that I was on the wrong path. Soluna (pronounced SOL-une-ah) was a group of female Hispanic singers that were together from 1998 to 2004. I hadn't heard of them before so they mustn't have had much success in Australia, but it seems they were relatively successful in the US.
But back to their name. They invented Soluna by combining the Spanish words for sun (sol) and moon (luna). So simple yet such a romantic result. Which made me think about another Luna smoosh name that I first heard sometime over the past year - Stellaluna. Meaning 'stars and the moon'. But how can one decide between the sun and the moon or the stars and the moon?
Almost surprisingly, neither has ever charted. Luna itself has been experiencing an upsurge in recent years, yet it doesn't seem to have transferred to any other Luna names yet. It seems a little strange - a name that is heaven spelled backwards is a top 100 name, but these two pretty names with their lovely meanings and current sound haven't even gotten a foot in the door. What's with that?
Well, both have a less than flattering association with them. And when a name is rare, there's a higher chance that it will only be associated with the one other thing people have heard it for.
Apart from being a girl group, car manufacturer Toyota released a model in the 1990's called the Soluna in Asia. It was a great seller, but marketed as a family car or taxi, which aren't generally considered to be sexy. It also can sound a little like saloon, and no-one wants their child confused with a bar.
Stellaluna on the other hand is most closely associated with the childrens book of the same name. Written by Janell Cannon in 1993, 'Stellaluna' is is the story of a cute baby fruit bat who learns to recognise that her and her friends differences doesn't mean they can't still be great friends. It was featured in the 2001 movie 'I Am Sam' and released as an animation on DVD in 2004. But again, people don't generally find bats very attractive.
I think there's hope for these names yet though. Maybe the children who grow up loving the book 'Stellaluna' will one day give it to their daughters with fond memories and messages of coming together to embrace our differences. Maybe 2012 Eurovision contestant Soluna Somay will bring more attention to the name Soluna, showing that it is one that would work in many countries.
Then again, if these feel a little too frilly as one name for you, they could always be broken up and used as first and middle combinations. Sol (or even the attractive Soleil) Luna or Stella Luna are lovely too. 'Grey's Anatomy' star Ellen Pompeo agrees - she named her daughter Stella Luna in 2009.
For something just a touch exotic, just a touch soft and dreamy; with an almost heavenly meaning, why not consider Soluna or Stellaluna?