Stella Name Meaning

Girl wearing polka dots with curly brown hair and puckered lips looking at the camera

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What Does Stella Mean?

If you’re looking for a modern name with vintage roots for a baby girl, then Stella might be it. The name Stella is of Latin and Italian origin meaning “celestial star.”

In the past, it could also have been used to describe someone who lived in a location with the word "star" in its name. A person that lived at a place where the roads radiated out in various different directions, like in the shape of a star, may also have been called Stella.

The name Stella may have come into prominence after being used in a sonnet by Philip Sidney, an English poet remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. Composed in the 1580s, Sidney's sonnet, “Astrophel and Stella” tells the story of a love affair between a man and a woman.

Origin: The name Stella comes is of Latin origin meaning “star”

Gender: Stella is most commonly used as a girl name

Pronunciation: stel-uh

Although baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It's important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular is the Name Stella?

The name Stella has appeared in the top 1,000 list of names for baby girls since 1900, the first available year of data from the Social Security Administration. At its debut, the name was already ranked as No. 68 and would remain in the top 100 most popular names for baby girls for the next quarter-century.

Stella steadily decreased in popularity until it fell of the top 1,000 list completely in 1986. However, it jumped back on the next year as No. 965, then disappeared off the top 1,000 list once again in 1988.

In 1998, the name Stella reappears on the list of top girl names as No. 909. It then makes a dramatic comeback, jumping almost 800 spots in the next ten years. The name peaked in 2018 as No. 38 and currently sits as No. 42 in the latest rankings from 2020.

One of the possible reasons for the dramatic rise in popularity of the name Stella in the last few decades was due to the success of Stella McCartney, an English fashion designer, and cultural icon. She is also the daughter of the popular singer-songwriter Sir Paul McCartney. In 2001, Stella McCartney launched a fashion house in her name, which quickly became a global brand. She followed that with the launch of her first perfume, also named Stella.

Name Variations

The following are variations of the name Stella:

  • Estella (Spanish)
  • Estelle (Latin)
  • Estrella (Spanish)
  • Starla (English)
  • Stela (Latin)

Similar Names

Similar sounding names to Stella:

  • Bella
  • Ella
  • Emma
  • Mayella
  • Sadella

Other Italian girl names:

  • Alessandra
  • Camilla
  • Catarina
  • Claudia
  • Elisa
  • Livia
  • Lara
  • Luciana
  • Valentina

Other girl names that start with S:

  • Sadie
  • Samantha
  • Sandra
  • Sarah
  • Savannah
  • Scarlet
  • Shea
  • Sienna
  • Sophia
  • Stephanie
  • Summer
  • Susy

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Stella? Here are some popular options:

  • Ava
  • Celeste
  • Chloe
  • Cosmos
  • Felipe
  • Gemma
  • Joaquin
  • Nova
  • Orion
  • Pasqual
  • Sebastien
  • Skye

Famous People Named Stella

With a name like Stella, there’s no wonder that these luminous personas have risen to fame. The popularity of the name has also spawned many fictional characters with the spunky moniker.

Famous Stellas:

  • Stella Zakharova, Olympic gymnast for the former Soviet Union
  • Stella Parton, American country music singer/songwriter and sister of Dolly Parton
  • Stella Bennett, New Zealand singer-songwriter
  • Stella Nina McCartney, English fashion designer and daughter of the singer-songwriter Sir Paul McCartney 
  • Stella Teodora Hudgens, American singer and actress
  • Stella Tennant, British model and granddaughter of Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire 
  • Stella Stevens, American film, television, and stage actress from the 1950’s and 1960’s
  • Stella Banderas, actress and daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas

Fictional Stellas:

  • Stella, a female galah bird in the Angry Birds series who has her own spin-off called “Angry Birds Stella”
  • Stella Bonasera, character in television series “CSI: NY”
  • Stella Bonnaro, character in “Cowboy Bebop,” a Japanese science-fiction neo-noir anime television series
  • Stella Crawford, character in the BBC soap opera “EastEnders”
  • Stella Kowalski, character in the play “A Streetcar Named Desire”
  • Stella Malone, character in the Disney Channel series “Jonas”
  • Stella the Star Fairy, a character from the Rainbow Magic book franchise
  • Stella Zhau, from the American animated series “The Loud House”

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name Stella

  2. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name Stella.

By Vicky Yip
Vicky is a freelance writer specializing on topics relating to prenatal care, motherhood, parenting, family, and home life. She is also a Senior Contributor for HoustonMoms (City Mom Collective).