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Names That Mean Hope

Names That Mean Hope
Names meaning hope reflect the optimism we're filled with for our babies' futures. The baby names here either mean hope in various cultures or symbolize hope. We also include names with meanings related to hope: newness, rebirth, light, sun, butterflies, daisies, spring, and the color green.

Along with Hope itself, baby names meaning hope that rank among the US Top 500 include Evangeline, Xavier, Nova, Ashlyn, Daisy, Chloe, Phoenix, Helen, and Cyrus. Unique names with hope-related meanings on our recommended list range from the sun-dappled Sunniva to the mythical Apollo to the peaceful dove.

If you're looking for a name meaning hope for your baby girl or baby boy, browse this list.
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AuroraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of sunrise whose tears turned into the morning dew. She was said to renew herself by traveling from East to West across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun each dawn. Aurora is also associated with the scientific term for the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.

NoraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Nora has two separate origin stories, as a derivative of both Honora and Eleanor. The Irish and Anglo-Norman version derives from Honora, based on the Latin word honor. The Hungarians spawned Nora as a short form of Eleonora, a variation of Eleanor.

XavierHeart

  • Origin:

    Basque or Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "new house or bright"
  • Description:

    Xavier originated is use as a given name after Saint Francis Xavier, cofounder of the Jesuit order, who got his name from the Spanish-Basque village where he was born. His birthplace was Javier, the name of which was derived from the Basque place name Etxeberria, meaning “castle” or “new house.” Many Americans pronounce the initial X, as in ex-ZAY-vee-er, but it's equally accepted to pronounce the name ZAY-vee-er, closer to the French pronunciation.

PhoenixHeart

  • Origin:

    Arizona place-name and Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dark red"
  • Description:

    Phoenix rolls a lot of cool trends into one: it's a place-name and a bird name, it ends in the oh-so-hip letter x, and as the mythic bird that rose from the ashes, it's a symbol of immortality. It's also got celebrity chops, via the acting family that includes Joaquin and the late River, and as the child of an ex-Spice Girl.

ClaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bright, clear"
  • Description:

    Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara has been speeding up the charts on sleeker sister Claire's coattails for the past few decades. Now, many would say the vintage chic Clara is the more stylish of the two names. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.
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ChloeHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "young green shoot"
  • Description:

    Chloe appeared in Greek mythology as an alternative name for the goddess of agriculture and fertility, Demeter. She was referred to as Chloe in the spring months, due to the name’s relation to sprouts and growth. Chloe is also mentioned in the New Testament as the name of a Greek Christian woman.

NovaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "new"
  • Description:

    Nova is a name that has the feel of both newness, from his meaning, and great energy from being an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, then fades.

EvangelineHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "bearer of good news"
  • Description:

    Evangeline is a romantic old name enjoying a major comeback, thanks to its religious overtones, Eva's popularity, and the star of the TV megahit Lost, Evangeline Lilly. Evangelia and Evangelina — two variants of Evangeline — are sure to tag along for the ride.

CyrusHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "sun"
  • Description:

    Very popular in the Iranian community, this name of the founder of the Persian Empire has had a more down-home, corncob pipe-smoking image for most Americans in the past, but this has begun to change.

LucyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, variation of Lucia
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucy is the English form of the Roman Lucia, which derives from the Latin word "lux" meaning "light." Lucy and Lucia were at one time given to girls born at dawn. Lucy can alternatively be spelled Luci or Lucie.
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ClaireHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Clara
  • Meaning:

    "bright, clear"
  • Description:

    Claire is the French form of Clara, a feminine derivation of the Latin masculine name Clarus. The French word for “clear,” Claire’s meaning, is clair, and was traditionally a male name. Now the spelling is used mainly for girls, along with Clare, and occasionally Klaire or Klare.

StellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "star"
  • Description:

    Stella was derived from stella, the Latin word for “star.” It was coined by Sir Philip Sidney in 1590 for the protagonist of his poem collection Astrophel and Stella. The title literally means “the star lover and his star,” but unlike Stella, Astrophel did not catch on as a given name.

BodhiHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "awakening, enlightenment"
  • Description:

    Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Bodhi tree is a large fig tree under which the founder of Buddhism received enlightenment. Spelling variations include Bodie and Bode.

AylaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, or Turkish
  • Meaning:

    "oak tree, or halo, moonlight"
  • Description:

    Tired of Ava and Isla? Consider Ayla, a more offbeat choice and a lovely name that means light as well as tree. Its literary reference is the independent and feisty heroine of Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear.

ElioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish from Greek sun god, Helios
  • Description:

    Elio is a sunny and spirited Italian and Spanish name that makes a great crossover prospect, which could catch on as Enzo has. Elio is also currently popular in France, ranking in the Top 250.
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DaisyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret or flower name, from English
  • Meaning:

    "day's eye"
  • Description:

    Daisy, fresh, wholesome, and energetic, is one of the flower names that burst back into bloom after a century's hibernation. Daisy is now second only to Delilah among most popular girl names starting with D. Originally a nickname for Margaret (the French Marguerite is the word for the flower), Daisy comes from the phrase "day's eye," because it opens its petals at daybreak.

ElenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Italian, German, Greek variation of Helen
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining light"
  • Description:

    Elena, a pan-European version of Helen, has roots in Spanish, Italian, Slavic, and Romanian, among others. Helen, the name from which it derives, came from the Greek word helene, meaning “torch.” Alternate spellings include Elaina, Ellena, and Alena.

LucianHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucian is a sleeker, more sophisticated version of Lucius that is climbing in tandem with other Lu-starting names.

LuciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, feminine variation of Lucius, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucia is derived from lux, the Latin word for light. It is considered to be the feminine form of Lucius as well as the Latinate spelling of Lucy. Due to its connection to light, Lucia was traditionally given to babies born as daylight was breaking.

EllieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Eleanor and Ellen
  • Meaning:

    "bright shining one"
  • Description:

    Ellie derived as a nickname for names beginning with El-, such as Eleanor, Ellen, and Elizabeth. It is increasingly being used as a standalone name, particularly in the UK. Ellie is the standard spelling, but Elly and Elli are occasionally seen as variations.
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LuciusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucius is an exotic old Roman clan name that has lots of religious and literary resonance, yet is still vital today. It was the name of three popes, appears in several Shakespeare plays, and, like all the names beginning with 'luc' relates to the Latin word for light.It was one of a limited number of forenames used in ancient Rome.

MargotHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Margot originated as a French pet form of Marguerite, a name that ultimately derived from the Greek margarites, meaning “pearl.” Other spellings include Margo and Margaux. Margaux Hemingway was originally Margot but changed the spelling to honor the wine from the French village of Margaux that was drunk by her parents on the night she was conceived.

MargaretHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning “pearl.”

ApolloHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    With mythological names rising, the handsome son of Zeus and god of medicine, music, and poetry among many other things might offer an interesting, if high-pressure, option. But if Romeo and Venus are now deemed baby-appropriate, why not Apollo? Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno might inspire some parents. And now that it's been chosen by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, it could take off as their first son's name—Kingston—has.

KiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of the Italian Chiara or the Irish Ciara or Aboriginal Australian, Korean
  • Meaning:

    "light, clear; little dark one; cockatoo; first ray of sun"
  • Description:

    Kiara can be considered a variation of both the Italian name Chiara and the Irish name Ciara. Chiara is the Italian form of Clara, meaning “bright” or “clear,” while Ciara is the feminine form of male given name Ciar, derived from the old Irish cíar, meaning “dark.” Kiara is also an Australian name derived from an Aboriginal word for the white cockatoo, and has roots as a Korean name meaning “first ray of sun”.
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AlinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "bright, beautiful"
  • Description:

    Alina is one of the scores of global variations on the classic Helen, well used in Poland and Russia, and also heard in the Celtic and German cultures, as well as in the US. Alina might be a long form for a daughter you want to call Lena or Lina.

AaronHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "high mountain; exalted, enlightened"
  • Description:

    The origin of the name Aaron is debated—some say it was derived from Hebrew, while others claim it originated in Ancient Egypt. In the Old Testament, Aaron, the older brother of Moses who was appointed by God to be his brother's spokesman, was the first High Priest of the Israelites. The Hebrew version is Aharon—in Yiddish it can be Aaran—and the name appears in Arabic as Haroun or Harun.

SoleilHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "sun"
  • Description:

    An attractive French word name known here via former child TV star Soleil Moon Frye, aka Punky Brewster. It started to be lightly used in the U.S. in the 1920's, and is now attracting some attention as both a sunny nature and an exotic name. It's currently Number 680 on Nameberry.

EstelleHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "star"
  • Description:

    Maybe it's because she shares that winning -elle sound with Isabel and Bella, but Estelle is no longer seen as a muumuu-wearing canasta player of a certain age (think George Costanza's mother on Seinfeld or Joey Tribbiani's talent agent in Friends). This could be in part thanks to the young Royal Couple of Sweden, who chose it for their firstborn daughter, or the single-named British R&B singer. It reentered the US Top 1000 in 2012 after a nearly fifty-year absence.

HelenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latinate form of Helen, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining light"
  • Description:

    Helena is a more delicate and dainty version of Helen, a favorite of Shakespeare, who used it in both All's Well That Ends Well and A Midsummer's Night Dream. Historically, Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great (and, supposedly, the daughter of Old King Cole), who became a fourth century saint--Evelyn Waugh wrote his only historical novel, Helena, based on her story.
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ArwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "noble maiden"
  • Description:

    Arwen is well known as princess of the Elves in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: a lovely name with an authentic Welsh ring. She was played in the film by Liv Tyler.

MeganHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Megan originally evolved from Meg, which itself derived as a nickname for Margaret. Margaret ultimately comes from the Greek word margarites, meaning “pearl.” Megan is no longer a common nickname for Margaret—it is most often used as a full name. Other spellings include Meghan, Meagan, Megyn, and Meaghan.

RobertHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "bright fame"
  • Description:

    Robert was derived from the ancient Germanic name Hrodebert, from the elements hrod, meaning “fame” and bertha, “bright.” Robert was the name of three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce, who freed Scotland from English rule. The name was brought to England by the Normans.

RupertHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Robert
  • Meaning:

    "bright fame"
  • Description:

    Rupert is a charming-yet-manly name long more popular in Britain (where it's attached to a beloved cartoon bear) than in the U.S. Yet we can see Rupert as a more stylish, modern way to honor an ancestral Robert.

NeoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin or Tswana
  • Meaning:

    "new or gift"
  • Description:

    This nouveau name of Keanu Reeves's character in The Matrix has not enjoyed the same burst of popularity as its female counterpart, Trinity, but it definitely sounds, well, newer. Neo Rauch is an interesting contemporary German artist.
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PhoenixHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dark red"
  • Description:

    Phoenix is a New Age name symbolizing rebirth and immortality; Scary Spice chose Phoenix for her daughter.

EsmeraldaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Portuguese
  • Meaning:

    "emerald"
  • Description:

    Esmeralda came into use as an applied use of the Spanish word for emerald, esmeralda. In the 1831 Victor Hugo novel Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the heroine was born Agnes, but called La Esmeralda in reference to the jewel she wears around her neck. The name Esmeralda got increased visibility via the Disney version of the story.

EileenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Helen
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining one"
  • Description:

    Irish Aileen continues to be more popular than Scottish Eileen, though both names have seen an unexpected resurgence since 2012. Nicknames for Eileen include Isla, Lee and Lina. Eileen is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Eibhlin or Aibhilin. It was quite popular in the early part of the twentieth century.

NellHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Helen, Eleanor, et al
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining one"
  • Description:

    Nell, once a nickname for Helen, Ellen, or Eleanor, is a sweet old-fashioned charmer that is fashionably used today in its own right. While Nell is perfectly in tune with contemporary vintage name style, it hasn't taken off the way some of its sisters have and so maintains an air of distinction. Use Nell or Nellie as a short for any name from Eleanor to Penelope or just name her Nell.

HopeHeart

  • Origin:

    Virtue name
  • Description:

    Can a name as virtuous as Hope be cool and trendy? Strangely enough -- yes. But though this optimistic Puritan favorite is experiencing substantial popularity, Hope is too pure and elegant to be corrupted, a lovely classic that deserves all the attention it's getting.
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LuxHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    This name of a character played by Kirsten Dunst in the movie Virgin Suicides, originally a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, is gaining attention, also thanks to the heroine Lux, Lady of Luminosity in the League of Legends games. Luz is the Spanish version.

AprilHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "to open"
  • Description:

    Once the most popular month names, April has been overtaken by June (for girls) and August (for boys), as well as the charmingly old-fashioned May. Literary reference: the heroine of the book and movie Revolutionary Road, and there have been Aprils on Parks and Recreation, Glee, and The Vampire Diaries. Trivia note: comedian Ralphie May named his daughter April June May.

AlbertHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "noble, bright"
  • Description:

    Albert has acquired a new gloss as one of the top royal baby boy names, a serious upgrade from its serious, studious image (think Einstein, Schweitzer). Albert remained popular for 80 years, and though it's far less fashionable today, it's still a widely used choice. Still, along with such stalwarts as Walter and George, it could now make an unusual yet classic choice. It became especially popular in Britain following the 1840 marriage of Queen Victoria to the German Prince Albert. Enlivening nickname Bertie is popular on its own in England.

ElaineHeart

  • Origin:

    French and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining light"
  • Description:

    This old Scottish form of Helen has had quite a history, going from appearing as one of the shining heroines of the Arthurian legends, the princess who fell in love with Sir Lancelot and became the mother of Sir Galahad, referred to as 'Elaine the fair' and 'Elaine the lovable', to being the name of the most famous of New York's celebrity restaurants, to being the archetypal New York neurotic on Seinfeld.

HelenHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining light"
  • Description:

    Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times – Helen of Troy was the the mythological "face that launched a thousand ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought.
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ChiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "light, clear"
  • Description:

    Chiara is a lovely and romantic Italian name that's familiar but not widely used here: a real winner. You might consider Chiara instead of Claire, Clara, Cara, or even Keira.

YaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "small butterfly"
  • Description:

    The exotic Yara is also the name of a beautiful green-skinned Brazilian goddess and might make a more unusual spin on Mara or Sara.

RaidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "thunder and lightning"
  • Description:

    The name of the Japanese god of thunder makes an assertive choice, very much at home in the Western world. Because of the name's similarity to popular baby names Aiden and Jayden, most people will pronounce it RAY-den, but it's more properly RYE-den.

NovaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "new"
  • Description:

    Nova might be a much more commonly used a girls' name, but enough parents saw unisex appeal in it for it to debut on the US Top 1000 for boys in 2017. Nova is an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, then fades.

PalomaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "dove"
  • Description:

    Paloma is vibrant and ruby-lipped a la jewelry designer Paloma Picasso, but it also suggests peace, as symbolized by the dove. Paloma is a highly recommended striking but soft name, one of the best of the names that mean peace and girls' names starting with P.
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