Selena: A melodic name with celestial and cultural connections
The name Selena has roots in Greek mythology, where it’s associated with the goddess of the moon. Derived from the Greek word “Selēnē,” it has long been linked to lunar themes and celestial beauty.
Selena is pronounced as “suh-LEE-nuh,” with the emphasis on the second syllable. It’s a three-syllable name that’s relatively straightforward to pronounce, but some might mistake the emphasis and pronounce it as “SEH-leh-nah.”
Tracking the name’s popularity
Selena is a name that has achieved a fairly stable level of popularity over the years, particularly in the United States. According to the United States Social Security Administration, as of 2021, the name Selena ranks within the top 300 names for girls.
It experienced a significant spike in the 1990s, possibly influenced by the fame of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the American singer-songwriter who was widely loved for her contributions to Tejano music.
Selena enjoys a fair level of popularity in various countries, but its strongest presence is often in English-speaking nations and Latin American communities.
In the United States, Selena has consistently been a popular name, especially in states with larger Hispanic or Latino populations. According to the Social Security Administration, the name is within the top 300 names for girls as of 2021.
The name Selena has special significance in Latin American countries, primarily because of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, who left an indelible mark on Tejano music. Her influence made the name popular in countries like Mexico, the US territory of Puerto Rico, and among Spanish-speaking communities in the United States.
While Selena is not as commonly used in non-English-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking countries, it’s recognized in many places due to global pop culture and the internet. Celebrities like Selena Gomez have given the name international recognition.
The name’s association with lunar and celestial themes also adds to its universal appeal, making it a name that is appreciated across different cultures and languages.
Selena in pop culture
Selena has been immortalized in various forms of media and pop culture, adding to its widespread recognition.
- Selena Gomez: An American singer, actress, and producer who gained fame for her role in Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” now also known for her role in the Hulu TV show “Only Murders in the Building,” as well as for her mental health services charity, Rare Impact Fund.
- Selena Quintanilla-Pérez: An American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, businesswoman, model, actress, and fashion designer.
- Selene: A character in the “Underworld” film series, which may be confused with but is a variation of Selena.
Variations and similar names
Spelling and gender variations
- Selina: A different spelling that maintains the same pronunciation.
- Céline: A French variation of the name.
- Selene: The ancient Greek version, which is a more direct reference to the moon goddess.
Similar sounding names
- Serena: Another name with the same “Ser” sound and also means “clear, tranquil, serene.”
- Celina: Shares the “Lina” ending but starts with a “C.”
- Selene: In Greek
- Séléné: In French
- Selina: In German and other European languages
If you’re drawn to names with mythological and celestial references, or if you appreciate names that have been given extra flair by pop culture, Selena might be worth adding to your list. Its enduring popularity and rich, varied background make it a compelling choice.