Names That Mean Dear

  1. Mila
    • Origin:

      Slavic, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "gracious; dear"
    • Description:

      Mila is a popular name that took a 125 year nap, ranking in the Top 1000 in 1881 and then not ranking again until 2006, after actress Mila Kunis appeared on That 70s Show.
  2. Milan
    • Origin:

      Italian place name, Slavic, Sanskrit "gracious, dear; union"
    • Meaning:

      "gracious, dear; union"
    • Description:

      As Mila rises for girls, so Milan is becoming a more popular option for boys, especially after singer Shakira chose it for her son. After a 55-year hiatus, it reentered the Top 1000 in 2013 and is heading dramatically upward.
  3. Carina
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "dear little one"
    • Description:

      Carina is a pretty feminissima name whose fall from popularity may be speeded by similarity to (hurricane name) Katrina.
  4. Darwin
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dear friend"
    • Description:

      Enough parents have found naturalist Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, a worthy hero to keep Darwin relatively consistently in the Top 1000 (it dropped off in 2021 but is back in 2022)—though some might just like its trendy two-syllable sound. It has a lovely meaning too—"dear friend."
  5. Lewin
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dear friend"
    • Description:

      Sounds like a Lewis variant, but in actual fact the surname-turned-first-name Lewin derives from the Old English name Leofwine, meaning "dear friend".
  6. Levin
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "dear friend"
    • Description:

      Levin, known in the U.S. mostly as a surname, is a Top 100 boys' name in Germany. There have been saints with variations of this name, whose meaning relates to love.
  7. Milan
    • Origin:

      Italian place name or Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "gracious, dear"
    • Description:

      In many Slavic and other European countries, Milan is purely a boys’ name, but in the US, it's also popular for girls – no doubt inspired by the fashionable Italian city. It entered the Top 1000 for boys in 2013, while for girls it has been in the Top 1000 since 2009.
  8. Caro
    • Origin:

      Diminuitve of Carol or Caroline, English, French ,"free man"
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Upper-crusty nickname occasionally used in Britain, particularly in 1930s novels featuring significant garden party scenes, but eclipsed here by Carrie et al.
  9. Darrell
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "dear one, beloved"
    • Description:

      Beach boy name of the 1960s, Darrell is still a presence on the charts and may graduate into a stately surname name.
  10. Mileva
    • Origin:

      Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "gracious, dear"
    • Description:

      Albert Einstein's first wife was Mileva Maric, a Serbian student and his classmate at the Zurich Polytechnic. (Her childhood nickname was Mitza.) With the newfound popularity of Mila, this obscure Old Slavic name may be discovered outside of its native land.
  11. Darling
    • Origin:

      English surname, English word name
    • Meaning:

      "dear"
    • Description:

      Darling has history as an English surname, but it would most likely be read as a quirky and loving word name, a la Sweetheart or Honey.
  12. Dariel
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Darrell, French
    • Meaning:

      "dear one, beloved"
    • Description:

      Dariel is one of many similar forms and variations of different names—Dara, Dariela, Daria and Darya—that are all unusual and pretty if not quite authentic-feeling.
  13. Luba
    • Origin:

      Russian, Slavic, Yiddish, "love, lover, dear"
    • Meaning:

      "love, lover, dear"
    • Description:

      Its association with the word liebe gives this name an endearing, adored aura.
  14. Drago
    • Origin:

      Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Bulgarian
    • Meaning:

      "precious, dear"
    • Description:

      Drago sounds fierce but has a sweet meaning. It may be used as a standalone name or as a short form of other Slavic names beginning with the element dragu "dear", such as Dragoljub or Dragomir.
  15. Caro
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "dear"
    • Description:

      The meaning is endearing, but it also feels uncomfortably like a short form for Caroline. Its artistic reference is British sculptor Anthony Caro.
  16. Lleucu
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "dear light"
    • Description:

      Lleucu is often considered the Welsh equivalent of Lucy, as it shares the same meaning of "light", and a similar sound. (Lwsi and Liwsi are the phonetic Welsh spellings of Lucy.) It's a statement choice even within Wales, and the spelling/pronunciation would make it extremely bold in other countries.
  17. Livingston
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dear friend's place"
    • Description:

      When Matthew McConaughey and wife Camila Alves chose the old English surname and place name Livingston for their third child, they elevated it from half of a Stanley & Livingston joke to a modern possibility. Kind of. The only other well-known bearer of the name in the contemporary world is singer Livingston Taylor, brother of James, who is called Liv. Given that little Livingston McConaughey's older brother is named Levi, that uplifting nickname may be too close, though his parents apparently like its sound. An original choice.
  18. Darrell
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "dear one, beloved"
    • Description:

      Once exclusively male name, Daryl Hannah made the Darrell spelling just as appropriate for girls -- and maybe even more feminine than masculine these days.
  19. Graziano
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "pleasing, beloved, dear"
    • Description:

      Italian form of Gratian, the name of a Roman emperor who campaigned across the Rhine and favored Christianity over paganism. Graziano isn't common either in the English-speaking world or its native Italy, although the boxer Rocky Graziano adopted it from his grandfather's surname. In the current vogue for names ending in -o and Italian names, it may be worth a second look.
  20. Dariela
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Darrell, French
    • Meaning:

      "dear one, beloved"
    • Description:

      Dariela may have a not-quite-authentic provenance, but it's a pretty name and an unusual choice in the girly Isabella-Gabriella group.