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Baby Names That Mean Happy

Baby Names That Mean Happy
Names that mean happy, happiness, and joy have an undeniable appeal for parents wishing positive things for their child.

Happiness is a wonderful meaning for a baby's name, suggesting an upbeat personality and an optimistic future. Names that mean happy, happiness, joy, bliss or some other upbeat feeling include ancient mythological names, such as Arcadia and Festus, along with modern word names, like Revel and Jubilee.

Names with happy meanings come from a range of cultures and origins, from the Hebrew Asher and Naomi to the Japanese Nara and Miyuki. Along with Naomi and Asher, names meaning happy in the US Top 1000 include Abigail, Beatrice, Bonnie, Delilah, Eden, Felicity, Felix, and Tate. More unusual, or even unique, baby names meaning happy include Blythe, Lettie, Onni, and Seeley.

If you’re hoping your child is joyful and lively, a happy baby name is a good place to start. Here are some joyful names for a happy baby.

FelixHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "happy, fortunate"
  • Description:

    Felix was originally a Roman surname but was adopted as a nickname by the ancient Roman Sulla, who believed that he was especially blessed with luck by the gods. It is the name of four popes and sixty-seven saints; in the Bible, Felix is a Roman procurator of Judea.

AsherHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "fortunate, blessed, happy one"
  • Description:

    In the Bible, Asher was one of Jacob's twelve sons who gave their names to the tribes of Israel. Asher is derived from the Hebrew word osher, which means "happiness." Rabbinical scholars claim that the Asherites lived up to this meaning, as they had the most oil, wisdom, and male children compared to the other tribes.

BeatriceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness; blessed"
  • Description:

    Beatrice is derived from Beatrix, a Latin name meaning "she who brings happiness." In the earliest sources it is also recorded as Viatrix, meaning "voyager", so there is some weight in both meanings.

IsaacHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "laughter"
  • Description:

    Isaac evolved from the name Yitzchaq, derived from the Hebrew word tzachaq, meaning “to laugh.” In the Old Testament, Isaac was the long-awaited son of the elderly Sarah and 100-year-old Abraham, so old that their news provoked laughter, giving the name its meaning. Isaac is used as a given name among Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.

EdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "place of pleasure, delight"
  • Description:

    Eden is an attractive, serene name with obvious intimations of Paradise, one of several place names drawn from the Bible by the Puritans in the seventeenth century.

BeatrixHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness; blessed"
  • Description:

    Beatrix has a solid history of its own apart from Beatrice, with that final x adding a playful, animated note to the name's imposing history.

NaomiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pleasantness"
  • Description:

    Naomi was once a primarily Jewish name from the Old Testament that referenced the mother-in-law of Ruth. Because of this, it is a symbolic name given to girls on Shavuot when the story of Ruth is read in the synagogue. The French version is Noemie, in Italian Noemi. Naomi also has separate Japanese origins as a unisex name meaning “straight and beautiful.”

TateHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Norse
  • Meaning:

    "cheerful"
  • Description:

    A strong single-syllable surname with a joyful meaning, Tate is finding a place on more and more birth certificates.

CaiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "rejoice"
  • Description:

    Caius is classical and serious but also has a simple, joyful quality. There was a third century pope named Caius, as well as an early Christian writer, several Shakespearean characters, and a Twilight vampire. We would pronounce the name to rhyme with eye-us though at Cambridge University in England, where it's the name of a college, it's pronounced keys. Caius is currently Number 164 on Nameberry.

FelicityHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "good fortune, happy"
  • Description:

    Felicity is as accessible a virtue name as Hope and Faith, but much more feminine -- and dare we say, happier. The hit TV show did a lot to soften and modernize the once buttoned-up image of Felicity, and it got further notice as the red-haired Colonial doll, Felicity Merriman, in the American Girl series. A current bearer is actress Felicity Huffman.

BlytheHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "happy, carefree"
  • Description:

    Blythe originated as a nickname for an upbeat person, coming from the Old English word bliðe, meaning "merry" or "cheerful." Today the homophone blithe shares the same meaning. Blythe was eventually adapted to a surname before it became a feminine given name.

AbigailHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my father is joyful"
  • Description:

    Abigail comes from the Hebrew name Avigail and is derived from the Hebrew elements ab, meaning "father," and g-y-l, meaning "to rejoice." In the Old Testament, Abigail was the wife of David, said to be beautiful, wise, and prophetic. In the early nineteenth century, Abigail became a term for a maid.

BonnieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful, cheerful"
  • Description:

    Bonnie is a word the Scots really do use for pretty, thus the root of this name, from the French bonne. Bonnie is teetering on the edge of a comeback right now, along with Betty and Bea one of the girls' names starting with Bthat are so far out they're heading back in, especially in the UK.

KikiHeart

  • Origin:

    French nickname and Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "double happiness"
  • Description:

    Kiki is one of the Coco-Gigi-Fifi-Lulu bohemian-type French nickname names from the turn of the last century, which have endless energy and sparkle. Artist Kiki Smith is its most well-known contemporary representative, and Kiki was the inspiring heroine of Zadie Smith's On Beauty. Kiki can be a nickname for any name beginning with the K sound, from Katherine to Christina to Kayla.

JoyHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Meaning:

    "joy"
  • Description:

    Joy is from an older generation of word names, which also included Merry, Bliss, and Glory -- all of which exert a certain amount of personality pressure on a child. One interesting name that means the same thing: Chara.

AidaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "happy"
  • Description:

    Aida is a melodic name largely associated with the title character of the 1871 Verdi opera, an enslaved Ethiopian princess who dies to save her people. In the past, her name was rarely heard outside the Latino community, but in the current time of love for all A-starting girls' names, this could very well change.

AllegraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "joyous"
  • Description:

    In music, the term allegro means "quickly, lively tempo," which makes this quintessential Bohemian ballet dancer's name all the more appealing. Allegra is one of the most distinctive yet accessible girl names starting with A.

AlanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "handsome, cheerful"
  • Description:

    In its three most popular spellings -- Alan along with Allen and Allan -- this midcentury favorite has tended to skew older. It was a Top 100 name from 1938 to 1971, peaking at Number 40 in 1951. Alan has had leading roles on recent TV, in shows like Two and a Half Men, 24 and Boston Legal.

NoemiHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Naomi
  • Meaning:

    "my delight"
  • Description:

    Noemi is a charming Latin spin on Naomi, with the accent on the last syllable; another twist is Neomi.

AlaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Basque
  • Meaning:

    "joyful, happy"
  • Description:

    Alaia, a fast riser in the US, sounds just like several other popular stylish names, many of them with different origins and meanings. There's Arabic Aaliyah, like the late singer, and the Hebrew Aliya and the Sanskrit Alaya. Azzedine Alaia is a high-fashion Parisian designer of Tunisian origin.

ArcadiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "region offering peace and contentment"
  • Description:

    Arcadia, a name for an unspoiled paradise, makes an attractive secular alternative to Nevaeh or Eden. For parents who want an unusual name with a friendlier nickname, Arcadia has the advantage of cute Cady.

EdnaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "rejuvenation, delight"
  • Description:

    Edna is one of those names that, until what it seemed like a few minutes ago, felt so terminally frumpy that no one could imagine a parent choosing it for an innocent modern baby girl. But with the great upswing in names honoring ancestral family members, several of them being other four-letter, e-ending names, we wouldn't be so sure.

TrixieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Beatrix, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness"
  • Description:

    A sassy, spunky name for the bold parent who doesn't remember Mrs. Ed Norton on The Honeymooners. It was chosen by Damon Wayans for his daughter. Trixie Belden is the thirteen-year-old heroine of an eponymous series in which she is a girl detective.

NaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese place name or Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "happy"
  • Description:

    Soft, simple, and far more unusual than Tara or Farrah. As a Japanese place name, it's been used occasionally as a surname and is beginning to be used as a first. Nara is also the name of a Hindu (male) God and the name means "man" in Hindi.

LettieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Letitia, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "joy, gladness"
  • Description:

    Lettie, also spelled Letty, is a nickname name not heard in over a century, giving it the patina of a treasured antique. Lettie's style currency is rising with the trend for old-fashioned, down-to-earth nicknames. Lettie is right in step with Lottie, Hettie, Hattie, Josie, and Maisie.

SunnyHeart

  • Origin:

    English nickname
  • Description:

    Upbeat nickname-name that can't help but make you smile. You might want to use it as a short form for a more "serious" name such as Sunniva, but Sunny is undeniably, well, sunny.

AlisaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "great happiness"
  • Description:

    Alisa is less popular than more complicated forms of Alice like Alyssa or Alicia, perhaps because of its association with the once-overused Lisa.

GaiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "to rejoice"
  • Description:

    Stately Gaius (pronounced GUY-us) was in the name of many ancient Romans, including Julius Caesar. Little-used before the year 2000, it now feels like a fresh possibility in the revival of Latin boys' names like Atticus and Cassius. Caius and derivatives like Caio come from the same root. You could also see Gaius as a male version of the earth-goddess name Gaia.

MakennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of McKenna or Eastern African
  • Meaning:

    "happy one"
  • Description:

    Part of the Mackenzie/Mackena/Mackenna family, this variation has a positive meaning.

HanaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Hawaiian, Maori, Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "grace, work, glow, flower"
  • Description:

    Many things to many peoples: a flower name, also spelled Hanae, to the Japanese; a Czech and Polish short form of Johana; and an alternate form of the biblical name Hannah in the US. It also means "craft, work" in Hawaiian and "glow" in Maori.

GwynethHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "blessed, happy"
  • Description:

    Because of Gwyneth Paltrow, this has almost become a one-person name, but not in the prohibitive there's-only-one-Oprah sense. Also seen as Gwenyth and Gweneth, this mellifluous appellation is definitely becoming more and more appreciated by American parents-- enough to land it on this year's Top 1000.

FarahHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "happiness"
  • Description:

    Farah is a soft and lovely Arabic name, best known here in this original spelling via the last Empress of Iran, Farah Palavi. It's currently a Top 250 name in both France and the Netherlands, which both have a large Arabic-speaking population, and appears in at least two video games.

RenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "joyous melody"
  • Description:

    Rena is a Hebrew name all on its own but may also be an abbreviation of Irene or any name that ends in rena or rene or reen. Also spelled Rina.

FestusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "joyous, festive"
  • Description:

    A name from the ancient world that may get a mixed reception today. On the one hand, festive! On the other hand, fester. In the Bible, Porcius Festus was a Roman official who rubbed up against St Paul. In modern times, this name has had more love in African countries than anywhere else.

FeliciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lucky"
  • Description:

    A lacy, lucky name very popular in the Hispanic community a decade ago, less so now.

JoyceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "merry, joyous"
  • Description:

    Once a boy name, this name took off for girls during the mid-twentieth century, when it spent 1930 to 1947 in the Top 20. Now, it's one of the girls' names starting with J least likely to make a comeback any time soon.

GilHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "happiness"
  • Description:

    Pronounced zheel, it's a dashing conquistador; as gill, it's the nice and slightly boring guy down the street.

LetaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "glad, joyful"
  • Description:

    Leta has hipster cred as the daughter of cool mommy blogger Dooce. Related to the Greek mythological Leda, a great beauty who mothered another great beauty, Helen of Troy, Leta is a name that's as unique as it is historic: Only 14 baby girls were named Leta in the US last year, and 18 were named Leda. Pronunciation is lee-tah.

JubileeHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "ram's horn"
  • Description:

    Jubilee has a joyous and jubilant aura, but it wouldn't be an easy name to carry, what with all that pressure to be a living, breathing, 24-7 party. Jubilee was the name selected by television's Duggars for their miscarried child.

BlissHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    A sweet, uplifting and still fairly uncommon modern virtue name. Its single syllable makes it especially good as a middle name, but it would also make a big impact in the first spot.

KeikoHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "happy child"
  • Description:

    Japanese classic with optimistic meaning.

AlanisHeart

  • Origin:

    Female variation of Alan
  • Meaning:

    "handsome, cheerful"
  • Description:

    Singer Alanis Morissette made this twist famous. She was named for her father Alan, who is said to have spotted this version in a Greek newspaper. So far it has been pretty much a one-person name, but could make distinctive update of Alana--especially with s-ending names making a comeback.

EdaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy, happy"
  • Description:

    Sounds too much like "eater".

CharaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "joy"
  • Description:

    Chara is the name of a star in a constellation that represents hunting dogs, recently named as one of the most likely to host extraterrestrial life. Also, Chara is a variation of both Sarah and Charlotte.

IlariaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Hilary
  • Meaning:

    "cheerful, happy"
  • Description:

    Hilary is now too connected to a single personality, but this version offers a fresh and interesting alternative.

CayoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, from the Roman family name Caius
  • Meaning:

    "rejoice"
  • Description:

    Cayo is a rare and rhythmic Spanish name, all but unknown in the English-speaking world, that would make a lively choice.

RevelHeart

  • Origin:

    American word name
  • Meaning:

    "rejoice"
  • Description:

    A joyous (if a little rowdy) word name that's still relatively undiscovered by parents, being given to about 10 babies of each sex per year. Glee actor Matthew Morrison named his son Revel in 2017.

BehatiHeart

  • Origin:

    Afrikaans version of Beatrice
  • Meaning:

    "blessed; she who brings happiness"
  • Description:

    Namibian supermodel Behati Prinsloo, who has walked the runway for every designer from Prada to Versace to Vera Wang, has introduced us to this Afrikaans version of Beate or Beatrice, a rhythmic twist on an international favorite.

TirzahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "delight"
  • Description:

    A fairly common Hebrew name without much crossover potential.

GioiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "joy"
  • Description:

    Prettier than Joy and just beginning to be used here.
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