Them Are Fighting Names

May 16, 2016 Pamela Redmond
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?

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles


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