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Gender: Female Meaning of Barbara: "foreign woman" Origin of Barbara: Latin Barbara's Popularity in 2017: #908

The name Barbara is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "foreign woman". Barbara is ranked #908 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Classic Baby Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

If you can get the lively young Barbara Bush to replace her grandmother's white-haired image, you might discover a rhythmic classic with an interesting history. Barbara is undoubtedly among the most classic girl names starting with B.

There is the popular third century St. Barbara, who was reputed to have been imprisoned in a tower and so became the patron of architects, stonemasons, fortifications, and geologists. 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 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.

Barbara entered the Top 100 in 1913, and then the Top 10 a decade and a half later; she held the Number 2 spot from 1937 to 1944. At this point in time, Bebe, Bobbie, or Babs might make a cuter retro nickname than Barbie.

Bottom line: Though she now seems to have a terminally middle-aged image, the classic and lovely Barbara will eventually make a comeback.

Find other names based on Barbara using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Barbara

Saint Barbara, 3rd century martyr
Barbara of Portugal, Queen consort of Ferdinand VI of Spain
Barbara of Austria, Duchess consort of Alfonso II d'Este of Ferrara
Barbara Pierce Bush, former U.S. First Lady
Barbara Pierce Bush Coyne, daughter of former US President George W. Bush and twin of Jenna Bush Hager
Barbara Levy Boxer, U.S. Senator from California
Barbara Ann Mikulski, U.S. Senator from Maryland
Barbara Walters, American broadcast journalist
Barbara Luddy, American actress
Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby Catherine Stevens), American actress
Eleanor "Barbara" McClintock, American cytogeneticist and Nobel Prize winner
(Mary) Barbara (Hamilton) Cartland, English novelist
Barbara Jean (Morehead) Eden, American actress
Barbara Schett Eagle, Austrian tennis player
Barbara Rittner, German tennis player
Barbara Woolworth Hutton, American heiress
Barbara Palvin, Hungarian fashion model
Barbara Jo Walker, Miss America 1947
Bárbara Micheline do Monte Barbosa, Brazilian football player
Barbara Fialho, Brazilian model
Barbara Ferreira, American model

Pop Culture References for the name Barbara

Barbara Millicent "Barbie" Roberts, fashion doll made by Mattel
Barbara Gordon aka Oracle and Batgirl, character in the "Batman" series
Barbara Eileen Kean Gordon, mother of Barbara Gordon; wife of Commissioner Gordon
Barbara Fazlinovic, character in Bosnian TV's "The Crazy, Confused & Normal"
Barbara Brownstein, character on TV's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
Barbara Wright, companion on TV's "Doctor Who" 1963-65
Barbara Covett, character from "Notes on a Scandal"
Barbara Barga, character from "SS-GB"
Barbara Gilbert, main character on TV's "Call the Midwife"
Barbara "Bebe" Stevens, character in "South Park"
Barbara "Bobbi" Morse, character in Marvel comics and "Agents of SHIELD"
Barbara Lake, character 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
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Bar, Barbi, Bobby, Barby, Bobbi, Bobbee, Barb, Barbie, Bab, Barbe, Babs, Babbie, Barra, Baba, Babba, Bobbie, Barbee

Barbara's International Variations

Barbika, Barbica (Nordic) Babette (French) Borbála (Hungarian) Varinka, Vary, Varenka, Varyusha, Varvara (Russian) Barabal (Scottish Gaelic) Babara (Hawaiian) Barbarella (Italian) Baibín, Baírbre (Irish Gaelic) Basia, Basha (Polish) Barbro (Swedish)