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Names That Mean Friend or Friendly

If you wish to invest your child with friendliness and friendship, a name that means friend or friendly could give them a head start. Many familiar names have meanings that relate to friends or friendship, such as Winnie and Ruth for girls and Alvie and Edwin for boys.

Along with Edwin and Ruth, other names that mean friend in the US Top 1000 include Alvin, Samir, Amy, Dakota, Arden, Samira, Bellamy, and Alden. Many names that mean friend contain the Old English element win, meaning “friend.” Unique names with this component include Oswin, Winslow, Corwin, and Winton.

Names that mean friend represent a range of cultures and styles. If you want to give your baby a name that means friend or friendly, consult our extensive list below.

Names That Mean Friend or Friendly
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RayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "friend"
  • Description:

    More unusual alternative to Maya.

BellamyHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Irish from French
  • Meaning:

    "fine friend"
  • Description:

    Bellamy is a surname name with an admirable meaning and upbeat rhythm, similar to jovial choices like Rafferty, Barnaby and Willoughby.

RuthHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "compassionate friend"
  • Description:

    Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890s, remaining in the Top 10 through the 1920s. It's still in use today as some parents tiring of Rachel and Rebecca are giving Ruth a second thought. Some see such Old Testament girls’ names as Ruth and Esther rising on the heels of boy equivalents Abel and Moses.

WinnieHeart

  • Origin:

    English diminutive of Winifred
  • Meaning:

    "holy peacemaking, gentle friend"
  • Description:

    This pet form of such names as Winifred and Edwina and Gwendolyn has loads of vintage charm, a la Millie and Maisie, with a decidedly winning vibe. And it just got celebrity cred as the baby daughter of Jimmy Fallon.

ArdenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "valley of the eagle"
  • Description:

    Arden, the name of the magical forest in Shakespeare's As You Like It, is a stylish A name with a strong, straightforward image. Another reason to love Arden: its similarity to "ardent." Arden is solidly unisex, with the gender distribution running about 2 girls for every boy.
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AmyHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "beloved"
  • Description:

    Amy is the English variation of the Old French name Amée—Aimée in modern French. Amée was a translation of the Latin name Amata, which derived from amatus, meaning “beloved.” Other spelling variations include Amie and Ami.

RowenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white spear or famous friend"
  • Description:

    A fabled storybook name via the heroine of Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe (1819), which featured a heroine called Rowena of Hargottstanstede, and also a Harry Potter name, as Rowena Ravenclaw, founder of one of the Hogwarts houses.. Rowena has some old-fashioned charm, though most modern parents seem to prefer Rowen. Pronunciation, however, is NOT like Rowen with an a at the end, but with a long e and an emphasis on the middle syllable.. She was on the popularity list until 1963, several years in the Top 500.

AldenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "old, wise friend"
  • Description:

    Hot young actor Alden Ehrenreich, the new Han Solo, gives this formerly-stodgy surname name an attractive new image, making it a fresh successor to Aiden or Holden. Before it got this fresh shine, Alden was among the classic Thanksgiving baby names.

CaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Italian, Irish, Spanish, and Portuguese
  • Meaning:

    "dear; friend; face"
  • Description:

    Cara is a simple, sweet, Italian endearment that enjoyed its greatest popularity from the 1970s through the 1990s, reaching a high of Number 189 in 1977. Though the name has been on the decline in recent years, that could change soon due to the rising celebrity of English model/actress Cara Delevingne, who played Enchantress in Suicide Squad. Cara is a highly popular choice in Ireland.

AudenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "old friend"
  • Description:

    The poetic, soft-spoken Auden has recently started to be considered as a first name option, used for both sexes, appreciated for its pleasing sound as well as its link to the distinguished modern Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden.
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EdwinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy friend"
  • Description:

    Some might be surprised to learn that Edwin has been a consistent presence on the popular names list since statistics have become available.

AmityHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "friendship"
  • Description:

    Amity--what nicer gift to give your little girl than a name that signifies friendship and harmony? This virtue name is also more rhythmic and feminine than the single-syllable Hope, Faith, and Grace.

IrvingHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "green river, sea friend"
  • Description:

    It might be surprising to know that this name originated as a Scottish place and surname name, as in Washington Irving. It became a popular choice for first-generation Jewish-American boys, such as best-selling authors Irving Stone and Irving Wallace, whose parents looked to surnames from the British Isles to confer a measure of assimilation and class. Irving Berlin changed his name from Israel; actor Ving Rhames streamlined and coolized it. Irving was a Top 100 name during World War I, and though we don't envision it reaching those heights again, we can see some hipster parents having their own little Ving.

DakotaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name; Sioux
  • Meaning:

    "friendly one"
  • Description:

    An early and still one of the most popular unisex names, also a place name and name of a Native American people in the northern Mississippi valley, which makes it a controversial baby name choice. While the popularity of Dakota is trending downward for both genders, it's one of those rare genuinely gender-neutral names that is used for nearly equal numbers of boys and girls.

BuddyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, nickname name
  • Description:

    Until recently it was rarely used as a proper name; Buddy Holly, for example, was christened Charles, and Salinger's Buddy Glass was born Webb. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver did name his fourth child Buddy Bear Maurice--a fittingly named brother to Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela and Petal Blossom Rainbow, and singer Tom Fletcher has a double-nicknamed Buddy Bob.
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WinslowHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "friend's hill or burial mound"
  • Description:

    Winslow, despite its creative connection to the distinguished American painter Winslow Homer, does still retain remnants of the image of a Victorian boy in a sailor suit, making Winston or even just Win a preferable modern choice.

JebediahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "beloved friend"
  • Description:

    Like its better known cousin Jedidiah, Jebediah is one of those four-syllable Old Testament names that is being shorn of its long white-bearded image, with the help of its modern-sounding Jeb nickname.

AmesHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "friend"
  • Description:

    One of those place and surname names that hasn't be used much as a first name yet -- but could soon. You could think of it as a fun, one-syllable twist on Amos.

AlvinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "noble friend, friend of the elves"
  • Description:

    Alvin has a sturdy, no-frills sound that belies its somewhat whimsical meaning. Interesting potential namesakes include British rocker Alvin Stardust, and US footballer Alvin Williams, and African-American dance legend (and activist) Alvin Ailey.

ElvinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "noble friend"
  • Description:

    Elvin had his peak in the 1920s - which was when jazz musician Elvin Jones was born - but parents are still using it for over 100 boys a year. That's less than Kelvin, but more than Delvin.
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TheophilusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "friend of God"
  • Description:

    This is a multi-syllabic New Testament relic that could be yet another fresh way to get to Theo. In the beginning of Luke's gospel, he dedicates his words to Theophilus.

DarwinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "dear friend"
  • Description:

    Enough parents have found naturalist Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, a worthy hero to keep Darwin consistently in the Top 1000—though some might just like its trendy two-syllable sound. It has a lovely meaning too—"dear friend."

SamirHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "a friend to talk with in the evening"
  • Description:

    Samir has a pleasing sound and lovely meaning. One of those distinctive names that can also fit right in—and you could always call him Sam.

IrvinHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "handsome, fair of face"
  • Description:

    Irvin is an Old Man name that has an uncertain future. Losing the final g in Irving makes the name slightly less dated -- but just slightly. There's something about the 'erv' sound that makes Irvin and brothers feel unappealing.

ReuelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "friend of God"
  • Description:

    This soft-yet-sturdy Biblical name belonged to Moses’ father-in-law (also called Jethro) and was the second middle name of J.R.R. Tolkien.
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EmreHeart

  • Origin:

    Turkish
  • Meaning:

    "friend"
  • Description:

    This Turkish name meaning "friend" should be very useable outside Turkey, given that it is pronounced just as it is spelled. Famous men named Emre include Emre Can, a chess grandmaster, and Emre Sahin, the director.

OswinHeart

  • Origin:

    Old English
  • Meaning:

    "God's friend"
  • Description:

    Ancient name, near obsolete now, but could make a good alternative to Owen for the adventurous baby namer.

ErwinHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "respected friend"
  • Description:

    One of the many names with a strong "er" sound, like Bertram and Ernest, that was huge in the 1920s and is languishing in style limbo now. One famous bearer is the physicist Erwin Schrödinger, as in Schrödinger's cat.

EldenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "noble friend"
  • Description:

    This old-fashioned name looks like it could be on the edge of a revival, following in the footsteps of Alden and Auden.

JebHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Jebediah, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "beloved friend"
  • Description:

    Both Jeb and Jed are very attractive Old Testament short forms with long and bright futures. Jeb's main current association is with the Bush brother and former governor of Florida, but the name was a mainstay on early TV westerns, and then went upscale as the nickname (his birth name being Josiah) of the President on "The West Wing."
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LevinHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "dear friend"
  • Description:

    Levin, known in the U.S. mostly as a surname, is a Top 100 boys' name in Germany. There have been saints with variations of this name, whose meaning relates to love.

ArvinHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "friend of the people"
  • Description:

    This name's popularity peaked in the 1930s in the mid 600s - but we think it is time for a reconsideration. Arvin feels more modern than similar names like Marvin and Alvin. It also boasts a beautiful meaning and defies easy shortening (which is an asset to many parents who choose a name because they want it to be used!).

CorwinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "heart's friend"
  • Description:

    Corwin is an upstanding surname name that has been seen occasionally as a first in literature, but rarely in real life. But maybe with the recent acceptance of Darwin, that might change.

AnissaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "friendly"
  • Description:

    A pretty and delicate cousin of Anna is often heard in Scotland and is also currently popular in France. In the US it was brought to public attention by child actress Anissa Jones, who played Buffy on the popular TV show Family Affair, which debuted in 1966, bringing her name onto the charts the following year. Born Mary Anissa, her middle/stage name reflected her Lebanese heritage.

AlvieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alvin, English
  • Meaning:

    "noble friend; friend of the elves"
  • Description:

    Archie, Albie, and Alfie are coming back into style, so naturally, we think Alvie could be next.
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AmitHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "friend; infinite"
  • Description:

    Simple yet exotic, popular and carrying two positive meanings in two diverse cultures. A winner prime for wider use.

EmilienHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Emil
  • Meaning:

    "friendly"
  • Description:

    Might make a worthy masculine spin on either of the uber popular Emma or Emily.

ReiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my companion"
  • Description:

    A very unusual biblical name, Rei was one of David's most loyal supporters.

IrwinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "boar friend"
  • Description:

    Son of Irving.

EdwinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Edwin
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy friend"
  • Description:

    Edwina may still be taking tea in the parlor, but we can see her joining friends like Matilda and Josephine for a comeback, especially if pronounced like Edwin rather than Edween.
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NitaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi, Hebrew, and Choctaw
  • Meaning:

    "friendly, to plant, and bear"
  • Description:

    One of those slender names, like Lena or Etta, that's used in several cultures and carries a range of meanings. But by being so many things, it doesn't feel decidedly like anything.

SafiyyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "confidante, best friend"
  • Description:

    The fact that this is pronounced sah-FEE-yah would cause Western ears to hear it as Sophia.

MitraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "angel"
  • Description:

    This name of the Hindu god of the sun and of friendship sounds feminine enough to work for a girl.

RuthieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Ruth, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "compassionate friend"
  • Description:

    After a dip in the early aughts, Ruth is on the upswing again, and so too is Ruthie. It softens Ruth's harsher edges, but most parents will still prefer to put Ruth on the birth certificate.

YadiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, meaning unknown
  • Description:

    Feminine name consistently popular in the Latino community.
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KahlilHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "friend"
  • Description:

    Kahlil, spelled in various ways, was first brought into the American consciousness by the poet Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet.

ElvinaHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "elf friend"
  • Description:

    Sounds elven in every sense of the word.

TaffyHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh pet form of David
  • Meaning:

    "beloved friend"
  • Description:

    Taffy, in addition to being a diminutive of David, is a slang term for Welsh people in general--probably from the River Taff. Too candy-like to be used in the US.

BlyHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname name
  • Meaning:

    "friendly"
  • Description:

    The surname of enterprising journalist Nellie Bly and poet Robert Bly makes a simple, modern, and upbeat sounding choice for either a boy or a girl.

LakotaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, Sioux
  • Meaning:

    "friend to us"
  • Description:

    The name of one of the branches of the Great Sioux Nation has a very namelike sound, but is not used as a name by the Lakota people themselves, and could be seen as appropriative.
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