Them Are Fighting Names

baby names meaning

by Pamela Redmond Satran

We’re always spotlighting baby names that have appealing meanings: nature and intelligence, peace and love.

But the fact is that many ancient names have meanings that relate to fighting and war and victory, undoubtedly desirable qualities to parents who feared that their babies might be kidnapped by Huns or eaten by wolves.

In the modern world, parents tend to choose one of these battle-related name despite rather than because of a meaning like “renowned warrior” or “elf spear”. And those who want a fierce-sounding name may opt for something more explicit like Wilder or Gunner, Hunter or Blade.

But a user-created list we recently spotlighted by @nidorina reminded us just how many fighting, war, soldier, protector, and guardian names there are from deep in the traditional naming lexicon. And there are many more than listed there. An overview:


Fighting names are not all masculine, though many of the girls’ names with war-related meanings stem from male choices. Here is a collection of the most familiar for both sexes, with their meanings.

Alexandra and Alexanderdefending men


Brendablade of a sword

Duncandark warrior

Edwardwealthy guardian


Geraldine and Gerald– ruler with the spear

Liam and Williamresolute protection

Louise and Louisrenowned warrior



OscarGod spear or champion warrior

Owenyoung warrior

Peytonfighting man’s estate

Ramona and Raymondwise protector

Roger — famous warrior

Rosamondhorse protection

Sloane or Sloanraider

Willaresolute protection

Wyattbrave in war

Zeldagrey fighting maid


Here are some of the more unusual names with warlike meanings.


Boris to fight

Caddockeagerness for war

Clancyred-haired warrior


Destrywar horse



Ludovicafamous in war

Mordecai — warrior

Ptolemyaggressive, warlike

Thurmandefended by Thor


Do you care about these ancient meanings of names? Would you give your baby a war or fighting-related name?

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


6 Responses to “Them Are Fighting Names”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


May 17th, 2016 at 5:24 am

My mother and grandmother both have warlike names, Trudy (Gertrude) and Averil

Maple10 Says:

May 17th, 2016 at 5:37 am

Um, Matilda means “battle mighty”. Not sure why it didn’t make the list.

jtucker Says:

May 17th, 2016 at 8:41 am

I was about to say the same thing as Maple10 about Matilda not making the list.

There are some names on here that I would definitely use. Some of the meanings don’t even have a war like meaning to me. For example, those that mean wise protector, doesn’t really shout war like to me, just my opinion.

Myosotis Says:

May 17th, 2016 at 12:10 pm

I love Ptolemy, but I actually don’t like the meaning. It’s not exactly like ‘aggressive/warlike’ can be put in a good light like ‘mighty warrior’. But regardless I adore it and the name itself doesn’t reflect the meaning at all in my opinion thank goodness. I quite like the ‘protectress’ meaning of Hera, but I’m not sure I could use it.

kykruse Says:

May 18th, 2016 at 1:34 am

Delaney means “Dark Challenger”. Should definitely be included.

aranciaincinta Says:

May 20th, 2016 at 5:53 pm

We named our son Walter (army ruler), and the war/military-related meaning never bothered me one bit. In fact, it’s rather fitting since he’s named after a great uncle who served as a Marine! Ironically, both my son and said great uncle are two of the sweetest, tenderest, kindest souls one could ever meet 🙂

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.