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Names with Inspirational Meanings

Names with Inspirational Meanings
Baby names with inspirational meanings or from spiritual sources strike an uplifting chord. Inspirational baby names are virtuous in nature, with meanings like comfort, generous, and bliss. This list includes classic virtue names like Justice and Grace, as well as names with subtler inspirational meanings, such as Grady and Veronique.

Along with Grace and Grady, other names with inspirational meanings in the US Top 500 include Amara, Audrey, Bodhi, Chance, Freya, Nadia, Solomon, and Vera. Rare and fashionable names to inspire include Anouk, Ever, Pax, and Verity.

Names with inspiring meanings might encourage your child to embody the virtue behind their name. Consider these names if you want to set your child up for a lifetime of inspiration.
  1. FreyaHeart
    • Origin:

      Norse
    • Meaning:

      "a noble woman"
    • Description:

      Freya is derived from the Old Norse name Freyja, meaning "Lady, noble woman." It is the name of the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Freya can be considered a feminization of Frey or Freyr, the name of the goddess’s brother.
  2. AdelaideHeart
    • Origin:

      Variant of Adelheidis, German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, nobility"
    • Description:

      Adelaide is now heading straight uphill on the coattails of such newly popular sisters as Ava, Ada, and Audrey, and in the company of Adeline and Amelia. It was chosen by actress Katherine Heigl for the name of her second daughter.
  3. 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.
  4. CelesteHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "heavenly"
    • Description:

      Celeste is a softly pretty and somewhat quaint name with heavenly overtones, which kids might associate with Queen Celeste of Babar's elephant kingdom. She's a light and lovely choice that's finally getting noticed.
  5. AudreyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "noble strength"
    • Description:

      Audrey is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Aethelthryth, the name that later evolved into Etheldred or Etheldreda. St. Audrey was a seventh century saint who was particularly revered in the Middle Ages. Her name led to the term tawdry, as cheap lace necklaces were sold at the St. Audrey fair. Shakespeare bestowed her name on a character in As You Like It.
  6. GraceHeart
    • Origin:

      English, virtue name
    • Description:

      Grace is derived from gratia, the Latin word for "grace." It existed as Gracia in the Middle Ages but was not in common use until the Puritans adopted it along with other Christian attribute names in the sixteenth century. It was used as a virtue name, in reference to divine grace — the love and kindness of God.
  7. VeraHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian
    • Meaning:

      "faith"
    • Description:

      Vera was the height of fashion in 1910, then was for a long time difficult to picture embroidered on a baby blanket. Now, though, it has come back into style along with other old-fashioned simple names such as Ada and Iris.
  8. AmaraHeart
    • 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".
  9. 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.
  10. WinifredHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "blessed peacemaking"
    • Description:

      One of the few remaining unrestored vintage gems, with a choice of two winning nicknames--the girlish Winnie and the tomboyish Freddie--as well as the slight stretch Freda. Winifred, the name of a legendary Welsh saint, was a Top 200 name into the mid-1920's.
  11. FrederickHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "peaceful ruler"
    • Description:

      Frederick, and friendlier nickname Fred, seemed almost to have disappeared, leaving just the memory of Freds past such as Astaire, Mr. Rogers and Flintstone. But today's parents are beginning to recognize it as a strong classic and one of the top royal baby boy names.
  12. 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.
  13. ElianaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "my God has answered"
    • Description:

      The Hebrew variation of Eliana was taken from the elements el, meaning "God" and ana, meaning "answered." Eliana also has roots as a variation of the Late Latin name Aeliana, a feminization of the male given name Aelianus, itself derived from the Roman family name Aelius. Aelius is related to the Greek word helios, which refers to the Sun.
  14. AlanaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminization of Alan, Irish; variation of Ilana, Hebrew; Gaelic; Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "handsome, rock; oak tree; child; awakening"
    • Description:

      Alana, in all its various spellings, was at one time reserved for daughters of dads named Alan, but is now much more widespread. It came into prominence via model/actress/celeb spouse Alana Hamilton Stewart.
  15. DionHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "child of heaven and earth"
    • Description:

      In ancient Greece, a student of Plato; in modern America, a cool guy.
  16. CeliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "heavenly"
    • Description:

      Celia, splendidly sleek and feminine, is a name that was scattered throughout Shakespeare and other Elizabethan literature, but still manages to feel totally modern.
  17. PatrickHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "noble, patrician"
    • Description:

      Patrick, long tied to a hyper-Irish image, is enjoying something of a renaissance as a stylish classic, as it has long been considered in England. Along with such choices as Charles and George, Patrick has escaped overuse in recent decades.
  18. VerityHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "truth"
    • Description:

      If you love Puritan virtue names and want to move beyond Hope and Faith and Grace, this is a wonderful choice, both for its meaning and its sound. A rare find here, though occasionally heard in England. It was used in Winston Graham's Poldark novels, was Madonna's name as James Bond's fencing instructor in Die Another Day, and made a brief appearance in Harry Potter. Not to mention being a fixture on British and Australian soaps. Verity also appears in one of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries.
  19. 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.
  20. SolomonHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "peace"
    • Description:

      Solomon, a name that evokes wisdom and peace, is an Old Testament name that, along with other patriarchal classics, is finally beginning to shed its long white beard and step from the pages of the Old Testament into modern nurseries.