12 Brilliant Baby Names
If you believe that baby names are destiny and are hoping for a kid who will ace their SATs and go on to have a brilliant career and exhibit great wisdom in life, then a good strategy would be to choose a name that embodies intelligence and wisdom. And these are the smartest baby names that do all that.
Originally a lively o-ending German name meaning ‘old and wise’, Aldo has long been among the most popular baby names in Italy, where it’s Number 175, and is beginning to catch on here: it is now Number 617 in the US. Aldo Moro was an intellectual prime minister of Italy and Aldo Raine (aka Aldo the Apache) is a main character in the film Inglourious Bastards.
The realm of the Greek goddess Athena included wisdom as well as mathematics and courage. At its most popular point ever in the US, the appealing Athena is now Number 157. Tina Fey, looked to her Greek heritage when she chose Athena as the middle name of daughter Penelope.
The meaning of Latin name Cato is ‘all-knowing’—it was given to the Roman statesman Cato the Elder for his sagacity and wisdom. A modernized Cato appeared in The Hunger Games, making it seem a more viable option, especially with its on-trend o-ending.
The mighty Quinn derives from the Irish conn, meaning wisdom and intelligence. One of the few popular Q names, Quinn was once strictly blue but is now in the girls’ Top 100, thanks in part to cute cheerleader Quinn Fabray in Glee and now Quinn Perkins in Scandal.
Minerva is the Roman equivalent of the Greek wisdom goddess and, with adorable nickname Minnie, is more than ripe for reconsideration. A classic Harry Potter moniker, Minerva factored in the Top 55 through the early 1920s, dropping off the list in 1973. But our Berries place her at Number 417.
Odin, supreme Norse god of culture and wisdom, seems like a perfect choice for a 2016 baby boy—strong, solid and accessible. In Norse mythology (and Marvel comics), he is the father of Thor and Loki. Now a Top 500 name in the US, Netherlands and Norway, Odin makes a cool international cousin to Aiden and Auden. Nick Carter recently chose it for his son.
This unusual baby boy name, meaning ‘wise man’, that comes all the way from Madagascar would make a strikingly distinctive namesake tribute for a Grandpa Ken. Cuban-born first baseman Kendry Morales (born Kendrys) has played for several American teams. Kendry is also a Scottish surname.
This sleek but fragrant herbal name, and word name meaning wise, is a unisex hit baby name, though more for girls leading boys 370 to 649. Derived from the fact that the ancients believed burning sage leaves imparted wisdom, Sage was used by Toni Collette and Jack Huston for their daughters and is a character on Vampire Diaries.
Two names that mean ‘mind, intellect’ and are both seeing renewed interest. The patrician, single-syllable Hugh boasts several attractive bearers—Hughs Jackman, Grant, Dancy and Laurie. The livelier o-ending Hugo now ranks at Number 432, and was used by actress Ginnifer Goodwin for her son, and by Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
Sophia, which means ‘wisdom’ in Greek, needs no introduction, being the third most popular baby name in the US and a worldwide smash. But how about considering one of its other-culture variations, such as Sonia/Sonja, Zofia or Zosia?
A name that connotes wisdom from its biblical story, Solomon is now back among the Top 400 baby names for the first time since the 1920s, so a lot more Sols (which also has he nice sun connection) will soon be joining buds Ben, Jake and Sam.
The Irish variation of Raymond—they both mean ‘wise protector’. Redmond first drew attention as a baby name via Redmond O’Neal, the now grown son of Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal. And if you don’t want to nickname your Redmond Red, in Ireland Mundy is sometimes used.
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on August 26th, 2016 at 5:18 am
Ramona Means wise protector ?
on August 26th, 2016 at 2:04 pm
Aldo actually means plain old “old”, and Quinn means “chief”.
Hugh, Minerva and Cato are gorgeous 🙂
on August 26th, 2016 at 3:58 pm
Lol I know Redmond is in one of the site creator’s names but I’m sick of seeing it on all these lists. Why. Redmond is on so many lists so unnecessarily.
on August 26th, 2016 at 11:21 pm
-Maple10 Love Ramona. I also like Sophia and Sage.
on August 26th, 2016 at 11:24 pm
Shannon means wise, old friend
on August 28th, 2016 at 7:15 pm
I loved nickname Minnie/Mini before, and I liked Minerva, but since I discovered its meaning I’m obsessed with it. ?
on January 1st, 2017 at 9:58 am
Great Odin’s Ravens! I love this name! I like it for a girl and a boy. Nn Odie is cute. We already have an Owen in the family and this may be too close, but it’s on my boys list.
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