Baby Names That Mean Love
Baby names that mean love are especially, well, beloved by parents right now, with such stylish names as Esme, Cordelia, Amias, Amara, and Lennon all having meanings related to love.
Love might be the perfect choice for a baby born near Valentine's Day or conceived on a honeymoon. Of course, names with love meanings can also work for any child welcomed into the world with love.
Love is always a wonderful meaning for a name, and there are baby names meaning love for baby girls and boys in every language and style, including the Welsh Rhys and Latin or African Obi, the classic David and the new word name, Love itself.
Along with Esme and Amara, other top girl names that mean love include Mila, Amy, Amanda, Mabel, and Philippa. Top boy names meaning love include Rhys, Philip, Lev, and Hart. Names that mean love or beloved in languages other than English include Carys, Querida, Rudo, and Sajan.
If you're looking for baby names that mean love, you can include names with a range of meanings related to love and names that reference different kinds of love, from charitable love to romantic love to spiritual love. Included here are names that mean loving, names that mean beloved, names that mean desire, names that mean heart, and even names that mean lovely.
Leading the list are Nameberry's most popular names that mean love for both baby boys and girls, followed by more unique baby names that mean love.
Description:Esmé comes from the past participle of the Old French verb esmer, meaing "to esteem" or "to love." It can also be considered a derivative of the Spanish name Esmeralda, which means "emerald".
Meaning:"heart; daughter of the sea"
Description:Cordelia, the name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, has style and substance, and is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name that many parents are seeking today. If you're torn between Cordelia and the equally lovely Cora, you can always choose Cordelia for long and then call her Cora for short—or Delia, Lia, Del, or even the extremely different Cordie. Cordelia is a Nameberry favorite—Number 106 on the site—and it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 60+ year absence.
Origin:Diminutive of Amabel
Description:Mabel is a saucy Victorian favorite searching for its place in modern life; if you love offbeat old-fashioned names like Violet or Josephine, only sassier, Mabel is one for you to consider--it's started making a comeback and could rise to popularity a la Sadie. Several celebs have chosen it, including Chad Lowe, Nenah Cherry, Bruce Willis and Dermot Mulroney.
Description:There's Rhys and there's Reese (now more popular for girls) and there's Reece, and we particularly like the traditional Welsh spelling, which entered the list in 2004, possibly influenced by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, of The Tudors, and Welsh-born actor Rhys Ifans.
Origin:Igbo, Sanskrit, Arabic
Meaning:"grace, immortal, tribe"
Description:Amara is the Italian word for bitter, from the same root as Mary and Miriam. It has separate roots in West Africa as a name that means "grace" in the Igbo language. These two meanings are the best-known, but Amara is also a Sanskrit name meaning "immortal", an Arabic word meaning "tribe" and a Mongolian name meaning "peaceful".
Description:Mila is a given name with Russian and Slavic provenance. It began as the diminutive form for names such as Ludmila, Milena, and Milica. Mila can be a nickname for any name containing the element mil, meaning "gracious" or "dear."
Description:Amias or Amyas is a unique name with an attractive sound and feel and a lovely meaning. Though it might sound like a Biblical name, it is not, but is a surname that may be related to Amadeus or even be a male version of Amy--which would make it one of the few boys' names to be derived from a girls'.
Origin:Italian, Portuguese, Slovene and Croatian variation of Agnes
Description:This form of Agnes, Ines has always been popular since the true story of the thwarted lovers Queen Ines of Castro and King Peter of Portugal. This has to be one of the most heartbreaking and bloody true romances in history!
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.
Description:A growing number of high-profile (and other) parents are choosing to honor their musical idols, such as Hendrix, Presley, Jagger, and now Lennon, an Irish name for girls as well as boys with a wonderful meaning on many levels. Lennon first came to notice when Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit used it for their son in 1999, and singer-musician Adam Pascal followed their lead two years later.
Origin:English, diminutive of Philippa
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Pippa, a peppy condensation of Philippa that turns it from serious to sprightly, has come into the public eye in a big way via the former Kate Middleton's sister. Heard far more in the UK (where it's currently just outside the Top 100) than the US, Pippa has been used on its own since the nineteenth century, popularized by Robert Browning's dramatic poem, Pippa Passes. A recent book and film was titled The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Philip, the name of one of the 12 apostles, is still favored by parents in search of a solid boys' classic that is less neutral than Robert or John and more distinctive than Daniel or Matthew and has many historic, royal ties.
Description:One of the most familiar and usable Asian names.
Description:This concise one-syllable name, has two possible derivations and two positive meanings associated with it. In Hebrew, it means "heart", while in Russian it means "lion". So strong and simple Lev has both a soft and a fierce side.
Description:David is derived from the Hebrew name Dawid, which evolved from the element dod, meaning "beloved." It is the name of the Old Testament second king of Israel who, as a boy, slew the giant Philistine Goliath with his slingshot. He grew up to become a wise and highly cultivated leader who enjoyed music and was a poet, later providing inspiration to such great sculptors as Michelangelo and Donatello.
Meaning:"lover of God"
Description:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's middle name could make an interesting pick for music-loving parents--if only in middle place. Amadeus is the title of a Peter Shaffer play which became an award-winning film in 1984.
Origin:Greek mythology name, meaning "desire"
Description:The name of the Greek winged god of sexual love may seem a lot to live up to, but like other deity names, it's on the rise. He appears in DC comics as an ally of Wonder Woman, and is the alias of Marvel's Starfox character. Eros is also the name of an asteroid in our solar system. The name is more popular in Italy, where it's been in the Top 200 in recent years,
Meaning:"love, warmth, grace"
Description:This popular name in various Slavic countries and in Italy holds considerable Continental appeal. It is the full name of Ukranian-born actress Mila Kunis, most noted for her award-winning role in the film Black Swan. Another actress bearing the name is Milena Govitch, of Law & Order.
Description:A literary name created by J. R. R. Tolkien for a Lord of the Rings noblewoman of Rohan. Pronounced Ay-oh-win, it would make an interesting if somewhat challenging choice.
Description:Priya originated in India as a name derived from the Sanskrit word for “beloved.” In India, where names are often given based on one’s birthday and horoscope, Priya is traditionally given to girls born in August. Priya is used in Hindu mythology as the name of a daughter of King Daksha—known for fathering 146 daughters.
Description:Common name in Wales that's all but unknown in the U.S. Certainly an attractive choice ripe for export. In the UK it sits at Number 330.
Meaning:"lover of strength"
Description:Philomena is an earthy Greek name now used in various Latin countries. While it has felt simply clunky for many years, it's starting -- along with such sister names as Wilhelmina and Frederica -- to sound so clunky it's cool.
Meaning:"she must be loved"
Description:Amanda may no longer be the most popular girls' name in her class, but she is still among the prettiest and has a lovely meaning. Amanda was one of the romantic-sounding girls’ names that rocketed to stardom in the eighties, along with Samantha, Vanessa, et al.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Philip
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Philippa is a prime example of a boy's name adapted for girls that was common as crumpets in Cornwall, but rarely heard stateside, never having appeared in the Top 1000. That was before the advent of royal sister-in-law Philippa Middleton, who goes by the lively nickname Pippa.
Description:Words are not always easy to translate into baby names, but the implications of being straight and swift lend this one great potential as a name. It also has the popular o-sound ending, which brings it further into the realm of possibility. Rising rock star Aja Volkman pulled a gender switch when she named her daughter Arrow Eve.
Meaning:"beloved of the Lord"
Description:Jedidiah, an Old Testament name with a touch of Gunsmoke-era western panache, is right in line to be revived along with the other biblical -iah names.
Description:Hart could be the hero of a romantic novel, but on the other hand, it's short, straightforward, and strong sounding. The most famous bearer of the name was tragic poet Hart (born Harold) Crane, but it also has musical cred via Lorenz Hart, of the classic Rodgers & Hart songwriting duo and a literary tie to playwright Moss Hart.
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.
Description:Common in Wales, this name was introduced to America when Welsh-born Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas chose it for their daughter in 2003. It didn't come into use in Wales until the late nineteenth century. It's currently Number 367 in England and Wales.
Origin:Italian place name or Slavic
Description:As Mila rises for girls, so Milan is becoming a more popular option for boys, especially after singer Shakira chose it for her son. After a 55-year hiatus, it reentered the Top 1000 in 2013 and is heading dramatically upward.
Description:Erasmus has long retained the image of the bearded and bespectacled Dutch philosopher, but could be one that the audacious baby namer just might dare to dust off.
Description:"Return of the Jedi": strongly linked to the complex "Star Wars" character, Obi Wan Kenobi.
Description:A Scottish favorite that could make it here thanks to its similarity to the word divine. It's the most popular of several feminizations of David used in Scotland, including Davida, Davinia and Davidina, which have less of a chance in the U.S. It reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time in two decades in 2016.
Meaning:"dear little one"
Description:Carina is a pretty feminissima name whose fall from popularity may be speeded by similarity to (hurricane name) Katrina.
Origin:Yiddish variation of Lev
Description:Liev Schreiber's birth name is Isaac Liev, Liev after his mother's favorite Russia author, Leo Tolstoy. Though Liev is increasing in popularity in the secular world thanks to the actor, it originated as a Yiddish diminutive.
Origin:English, diminutive of Philip
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:The original Pip was the main character in Great Expectations (full name Philip Pirrip). Cute for a tike, problematic for a man.
Meaning:"I love you"
Description:A name rarely heard outside the Latino community, but it was popular enough in the early 2000s to crack the Top 200. Since then, it's lost ground.
Description:Love is best left as a middle name, as in Jennifer Love Hewitt. Love alternatives that carry a similar romantic sentiment, and may work better as first names, include Juliet and Valentina.
Origin:Spelling variation of Connor, Irish
Meaning:"lover of hounds"
Description:Conor's more popular brother name Connor has been in the Top 100 for long enough that both are ready to make way for a new generation of Irish boys' names.
Origin:Dutch diminutive of Mary
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:Mariel Hemingway popularized this attractive and unusual variation of Mary. It's a fairly recent form, emerging in the twentieth century. Other variations include Marielle and Mariella, which is found in Italy.
Origin:Finnish and Scandinavian variation of Erasmus
Description:Form of ancient name newly popular in Eastern Europe. Virtually unknown in the U.S. but with its philosophical roots and uplifting meaning, seems prime for use.
Origin:Diminutive of Jedidiah
Description:Cowboyish short form that's both macho and cool. Got prime time exposure on The West Wing.
Origin:Slavic, diminutive of Miloslav
Meaning:"lover of glory"
Description:Commonly heard in Greece as well as the Slavic cultures, Milos has been associated in this country with Czech film director Milos Forman. Pronounced MEE-losh, it's a more original spin on the popular Miles and Milo.
Description:Is Amora a real name? It made a strong entrance to the US Top 1000 in 2017 so it's one of the Spanish names for girls that is obviously catching on, perhaps thanks to its similarity to Amara, a multicultural name that's achieving widespread popularity here and abroad. Amora sounds like the Latinate amore and is one of the romantic names that mean love, familiar via the classic Dean Martin song That's Amore ("When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...). Amora also borrows something from Amanda, something from Maura, and makes an attractive choice no matter what its pedigree.
Description:One of the original French names chosen by midcentury parents for their sophistication and je ne sais quoi, Desiree has since become completely assimilated in the US. It ranked in the Top 1000 from 1954-2017, but has since dropped back out.
Origin:Surname derived from David, Hebrew
Description:Davis is a fresh way to say David. Some sources define it as "son of David," but we see it as a surname spin on the original. While David is an everyman name, Davis has some creative edge -- and still gets you to the classic guy nickname Dave.
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:Mirren is a lively and attractive Scottish name, popular in its native country but best known outside Scotland as the surname of the English actor Dame Helen Mirren. It is thought to be a Scottish derivative of the name Marion, from Mary.
Origin:French, diminutive of Amanda
Description:This fragrant, almond-scented name has hardly been heard in this country, which is a pity--we've loved it since John Malkovich used it for his now grown daughter.
Description:Dua is one of those names made famous by a single celebrity: British-Albanian model-singer Dua Lipa. It's simple, modern, appealing, and may find a wider audience thanks to its attractive namesake.
Meaning:"powerful and beloved"
Description:Aziza is a zippy palindromic choice that is the female variation of Aziz and is found in several Middle Eastern and African languages and cultures. All in all, an attractive and interesting option; a Turkish variation is Azize. In African mythology, the Azizi are a supernatural race of forest dwellers who give practical and spiritual advice.