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Names That Mean Protector, Defender, or Guardian

Names That Mean Protector, Defender, or Guardian

Names that mean protector, defender, or guardian include all variations of some of the most widely-used and enduring names in the western world: William, Edward, and Alexander.

The top boy name with a meaning related to protection or defense is Liam, for several years the Number 1 male name in the US. Liam is a form of William, which has been among the most popular boy names throughout the English-speaking world over the centuries. Other popular boy names that mean protector or guard include Raymond, Howard, and Alex.

Girls names meaning protector, defender, or guardian that rank highly include Alexandra and Willa. Other girl names with meanings related to protection or defense include Ramona and Aminta.

Intriguing unique names with meanings related to protection or guardianship include Sasha, Xandra, Wylie, Ansel, Rosamund, and Pim.

Many name meanings fall into this group, including guard, defense, defending, protect, and protection. Names with protection-related meanings may be appealing as a way to give your child strength and courage and to add an extra layer of protection to their lives.

  1. AlexanderHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first Alexander was Paris, who was given the nickname Alexander by the shepherds whose flocks he defended against robbers. He was followed by Alexander the Great, aka Alexander III, who conquered much of Asia.
  2. LiamHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish short form of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Liam originated as a nickname for Uilliam, the Irish variation of William. William is an English name from Germanic roots that was brought to Ireland when the British fled England following the Norman Conquest. The Irish began using English names, including William, which led to the development of Uilliam and its short form, Liam.
  3. WillaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree.
  4. AlexandraHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek, feminine form of Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alexandra is the feminine form of Alexander, which ultimately derived from the Greek components alexein, meaning "to defend," and anēr, "man." In Greek mythology, Alexandra was an epithet of the goddess Hera. International variations include Alessandra and Alejandra.
  5. WilliamHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, "will," and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.
  6. AlistairHeart
    • Origin:

      English spelling of Alasdair, Scottish version of Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      With many British names invading the Yankee name pool, the sophisticated Alistair could and should be part of the next wave. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2016. You have a triple choice with this name--the British spell it Alistair or Alastair, while the Scots prefer Alasdair--but they're all suave Gaelic versions of Alexander. Adopted by the lowland Scots by the seventeenth century, the name didn't become popular outside Scotland and Ireland until the twentieth century.
  7. RayHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Raymond
    • Meaning:

      "wise protector"
    • Description:

      Ray, still and forever, is one of the all-time hippest boys' names, with its jazzy Ray Charles biopic overtones. It's one of the coolest middle names), but works perfectly fine as a first.
  8. EdwardHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy guardian"
    • Description:

      Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. This royal Anglo-Saxon standard has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight — Edward Cullen — who has given his name a new infusion of cool.
  9. XanderHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alexander, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Xander is a diminutive of Alexander, the Latin variation of the Greek Alexandros. Its meaning, “defending men,” is taken from the Greek roots aléxein, “to defend,” and andros, “men.” Zander, pronounced the same way, is an alternate spelling.
  10. RaymondHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wise protector"
    • Description:

      Now that the show has gone into reruns, does anybody still love Raymond? Though it's been long dormant, some parents, including Jack Nicholson, are finding its cool name component, largely through the nickname Ray.
  11. EdmundHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "fortunate protector"
    • Description:

      The sophisticated Edmund and its nearly-identical French twin Edmond are coming out of mothballs now that Edward, inspired by Twilight, is once again a hot name.
  12. AnselHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "with divine protection"
    • Description:

      Ansel, primarily associated with the great western photographer Ansel Adams, famed for his magnificent photographs of the Yosemite Valley, could make a creative artist-hero choice. For Adams it was a family name – he was named after his uncle, Ansel Easton. And, in turn, Adams was the namesake of young heartthrob Ansel Elgort, son of a photographer.
  13. BillieHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Wilhelmina, Wilma
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Billie is a tomboy nickname name, part of the growing trend for using boyish nicknames for girls and now destined for stardom along with its most famous contemporary bearer, music sensation Billie Eilish.
  14. SashaHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian, diminutive of Greek Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Sasha, largely male in Russia--and also spelled Sascha and Sacha--is an energetic name that has really taken off for girls here, chosen by Jerry Seinfeld (using the alternate Sascha spelling) and other celebs. The Barack Obamas use it as the nickname for their younger daughter, whose proper name is Natasha. But in line with a trend toward softer-sounding boys' names like Asher and Joshua and thanks to Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen, Sasha also still has life as a boys' name too--it's popular in France for boys and girls almost equally.
  15. SashaHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian, diminutive of Greek Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Sasha, largely male in Russia--and also spelled Sascha and Sacha--is an energetic name that has really taken off for girls here, chosen by Jerry Seinfeld (using the alternate Sascha spelling) and other celebs. The Barack Obamas use it as the nickname for their younger daughter, whose proper name is Natasha. But in line with a trend toward softer-sounding boys' names like Asher and Joshua and thanks to Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen, Sasha also still has life as a boys' name too--it's popular in France for boys and girls almost equally.
  16. RamonaHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish, feminine variation of Ramon
    • Meaning:

      "wise protector"
    • Description:

      Ramona is a sweet spot name – neither too trendy nor too eccentric. Kids will associate it with the clever Ramona Quimby character in the series of books by Beverly Cleary, also seen on TV. It was chosen by starcouple Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard for their little girl, who would be joined by sister Gloria.
  17. AlecHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alexander, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alec, though an old nickname for Alexander, is much fresher sounding than Alex, with the additional advantage, at least to some parents, of being distinctly male (there are as many girl Alexes these days as there are boys). While Alec has a clipped British image, it's actually one of the classic Greek names for boys, by way of father name Alexander.
  18. AlexHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alexander, Alexis
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      The independent Alex has become a classic in its own right. One of the truest unisex names, Alex is used almost equally for both sexes. Alex is used both on its own and as a short form of formal names of both genders, such as Alexander, Alexandra, and Alexis.
  19. EamonHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish variation of Edmund
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy protector"
    • Description:

      Eamon is one of the traditional Irish names that has not yet emigrated to the US. This Irish name pronounced ay-mon was popularized by early president of the independent republic Eamon de Valera (birth name George), who was born in the United States to an Irish mother and a Cuban father. Eamon definitely has possibilities as a successor to the epidemically popular Aidan/Aiden.
  20. AlessiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Alexis
    • Meaning:

      "defending warrior"
    • Description:

      Young Canadian pop singer Alessia Cara has given this spicy-sounding name a new lease on life, propelling it into the Top 1000 in 2016. (It was one of the year's fastest-rising girls' names.) The main risk is that it feels so close to Alexa, Alicia, Alexis and Alyssa-- all becoming overused -- that it could be mistaken for one of those more familiar names.