Barbara

Latin
"foreign woman"

Barbara Origin and Meaning

The name Barbara is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "foreign woman".

Barbara is back! Among the fastest-rising names of 2023, Barbara came back from oblivion at the very bottom of the Top 1000, gaining nearly 100 places on the popularity list.

Credit 2023's breakout movie Barbie, which gave a new stylish feel to the classic Barbara. Rooted in ancient Greek and ranking in the Top 10 in the US throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, Barbara is now poised to become fashionable again for the next generation of babies.

The name Barbara has the same root as the word barbarian, meaning stranger or foreigner. There is the popular third century St. Barbara, who was reputed to have been imprisoned in a tower and may have been the inspiration for Rapunzel. She became the patron of architects, stonemasons, fortifications, and geologists, and protects against fire and lightning.

Barbaras appear in works by Dickens and Thackeray and, most notably, as the idealistic protagonist of the George Bernard Shaw play Major Barbara. Noteworthy bearers include real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, actress Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby), novelist Barbara Pym, TV's Barbara Walters, and "My Name is Barbra" Streisand. Barbara Gordon was the original Batgirl in the comic books.

And the of course there's Barbie, though today, Bebe, Bobbie, or even Babs might make a cuter retro nickname.

# 877 in the US

Barbara Rank in US Top 1000

# 615 on Nameberry

Barbara Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Barbara Popularity

Famous People Named Barbara

  • Saint Barbara3rd century martyr
  • Barbara of PortugalQueen consort of Ferdinand VI of Spain
  • Barbara of AustriaDuchess consort of Alfonso II d'Este of Ferrara
  • Barbara Pierce Bushformer U.S. First Lady
  • Barbara Pierce Bush Coynedaughter of former US President George W. Bush and twin of Jenna Bush Hager
  • Barbara Levy BoxerU.S. Senator from California
  • Barbara Ann MikulskiU.S. Senator from Maryland
  • Barbara WaltersAmerican broadcast journalist
  • Barbara LuddyAmerican actress
  • Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby Catherine Stevens)American actress
  • Eleanor "Barbara" McClintockAmerican cytogeneticist and Nobel Prize winner
  • (Mary) Barbara (Hamilton) CartlandEnglish novelist
  • Barbara Jean (Morehead) EdenAmerican actress
  • Barbara Schett EagleAustrian tennis player
  • Barbara RittnerGerman tennis player
  • Barbara Woolworth HuttonAmerican heiress
  • Barbara PalvinHungarian fashion model
  • Barbara Jo WalkerMiss America 1947
  • Bárbara Micheline do Monte BarbosaBrazilian football player
  • Barbara FialhoBrazilian model
  • Barbara FerreiraAmerican model
  • Barbara MooreAmerican Model Playboy Playmate of the Month for December 1992,
  • Barbara BaldieriAmerican actress

Barbara in Pop Culture

  • Barbara Millicent "Barbie" Robertsfashion doll made by Mattel
  • Barbara Gordon aka Oracle and Batgirlcharacter in the "Batman" series
  • Barbara Eileen Kean Gordonmother of Barbara Gordon; wife of Commissioner Gordon
  • Barbara Fazlinoviccharacter in Bosnian TV's "The Crazy, Confused & Normal"
  • Barbara Brownsteincharacter on TV's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
  • Barbara Wrightcompanion on TV's "Doctor Who" 1963,65
  • Barbara Covettcharacter from "Notes on a Scandal"
  • Barbara Bargacharacter from "SS,GB"
  • Barbara Gilbertmain character on TV's "Call the Midwife"
  • Barbara "Bebe" Stevenscharacter in "South Park"
  • Barbara "Bobbi" Morsecharacter in Marvel comics and "Agents of SHIELD"
  • Barbara "Barb" Hollandcharacter in Netflix's Stranger Things
  • Barbara Lakecharacter in the Netflix series "Trollhunters"
  • "Barbara Ann" song by the Beach Boys
  • "Barbara Allen" folk ballad
  • "Please Don't Ask About Barbara" song by Bobby Vee

Barbara in Nameberry Blog Posts