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Names That Mean White or Fair

Names That Mean White or Fair
Baby names that mean fair are perfect for light-toned or blonde-haired babies. Many fair baby names originated in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, where pale-skinned children were common. Names for fair babies include those with more conspicuous ties to lightness, like Whitney and Fairchild, as well as names with subtler connections, such as Fiona and Banning.

Along with Fiona and Whitney, other names that mean white or fair in the US Top 1000 include Finley, Finn, Gavin, Gwendolyn, Ingrid, McKinley, Nola, and Teagan. Fair baby names with origins beyond Western Europe include Arjun, Hiroko, Laban, and Zuleika.

You’ll notice many names on this list that end in -wen and -wyn, which are Welsh components meaning "white." Contrary to American standards, -wen indicates a feminine name, and -wyn indicates a masculine name. If you’re expecting a fair baby, these names are worth your consideration.

FinnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair or white"
  • Description:

    Finn is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (aka Fionn mac Cuumhaill), an intrepid warrior with mystical supernatural powers, noted as well for his wisdom and generosity.

BlakeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired, dark"
  • Description:

    Blake -- an early unisex option -- dropped out of the Top 100 in 2017 for the first time since 1988, but remains a sophisticated choice. And yes, both conflicting meanings of Blake are accurate. It originated as a surname in England derived from a nickname. Much of its masculine image was influenced by the wealthy, silver-haired character Blake Carrington in the massively popular 80s TV series Dynasty. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Blake.

IngridHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "fair; Ing is beautiful"
  • Description:

    The luminous Ingrid Bergman's appeal was strong enough to lend universal charisma to this classic Scandinavian name, which has been somewhat neglected in the US. Even today, a child named Ingrid would be assumed to be of Scandinavian ancestry, signaling the name has never been fully integrated into the English lexicon the way other European choices from the same era like Danielle or Kathleen have.

GuinevereHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.

AlbaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "white"
  • Description:

    Alba is quietly making a behind-the-scenes comeback, perhaps thanks to actress turned baby-product mogul Jessica Alba. Last on the Top 1000 a century ago, the name was given to more than 150 baby girls in the US last year. Alba might be tomorrow's successor to Ava and Ella. In Spain, Alba ranks among the Top 10 girls' names. Alba is the name of a character in The Time Traveler's Wife.

FionaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "white, fair"
  • Description:

    Fiona entered the American consciousness with the opening of the 1954 Broadway musical Brigadoon, but didn't come onto the U.S. popularity list until 1990.

BiancaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "white"
  • Description:

    Bianca, the livelier Italian and Shakespearean version of Blanche, has been chosen by many American parents since the 1990s, just as Blanca is a favorite in the Spanish-speaking community. It's meaning of white relates to snow, making it one of the prime names for winter babies.

ArjunHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining, white"
  • Description:

    Popular in India and among Indo-Americans, this name of the hero of a famous Hindu epic has an extremely pleasing sound.

NolaHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "white shoulder"
  • Description:

    Nola, a name with a sleek, enigmatic quality, was used for the much-pursued heroine of Spike Lee's 1986 breakout film, She's Gotta Have It, and again by Woody Allen in Match Point. It's a short form of the traditional Irish name Fionnuala. Nola reentered the US Top 1000 in 2008, for the first time in 50 years.

FinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    This was a 100 percent boys’ name until celebs Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon bestowed it on their daughter, recently followed by Lisa Marie Presley, who used it for one of her (female) twins. Finlay is also now among the most popular unisex names.

GavinHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "white hawk"
  • Description:

    Gavin, a name with Scottish roots, has stepped into the spotlight, replacing the dated Kevin, thanks in part to pop-rock sensation Gavin DeGraw and Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale.

FrithaHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "fair, beautiful"
  • Description:

    Related to Frida but with a softer sound, this name is Old Norse for "fair, beautiful"

GwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Gwendolen/Gwendolyn
  • Meaning:

    "white circle"
  • Description:

    While Gwen may have originated as a short form of Gwendolen and Gwendolyn, these days it frequently stands on its own. Rocker Gwen Stefani has given it a shot of cool, and parents are choosing it as a standalone more and more often—Gwen hopped back onto the US Top 1000 in 2013 after an absence of over 30 years. Gwen could also be short for Guinevere.

JennaHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Jennifer
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    Jenna was first noted on the 1980s TV series Dallas, later associated with one of the First Twin Daughters. Jenna is still being used, but no longer feels much fresher than Jennifer. You can also spell it Jena, but then many people will pronounce it jeen-a, as in Gina.

GwendolynHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Gwendolen, Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white ring"
  • Description:

    One spelling variation that's more popular than the original, this somewhat old-fashioned name might be in honor of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer prize for poetry, or may be a way to get to the modern short form Gwen.

TeaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "little poet or fair"
  • Description:

    As Meghan/Megan and Reagan/Regan show signs of wilting, along comes Teagan to take up the slack: definitely one to consider. The vast majority of American babies named Teagan are now girls. A variant spelling is Teaghan.

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.

JenniferHeart

  • Origin:

    Cornish variation of Welsh Guinevere
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    Jennifer is the Cornish variation of Guinevere, which ultimately derived from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. It has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century but came to prominence in the 20th. Playwright George Bernard Shaw chose Jennifer for the name of his leading lady in his play The Doctor’s Dilemma, which drew more attention to the name.

BlancheHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "white"
  • Description:

    Blanche, which originated as a nickname for a pale blonde and then became associated with the notion of purity, was in style a century ago, ranking in the double digits until 1920. She then had to fight the stereotype of faded Southern belle, a la Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Blanche Devereaux in TV's Golden Girls. Now all three of the Golden Girls--Blanche, Rose and Dorothy--could be ready for revival, with Blanche sounding like a stronger, simpler alternative to Bianca.

ElviraHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "white, fair"
  • Description:

    Before there was the campy TV Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Elvira was the long-suffering wife of Don Juan, and remnants of those negative, gothic images still cling to it, though they are fading.

    Other references include the romantic film Elvira Madigan, based on a real person, and the main ghostly character in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, as well as appearances in several operas.

EuphemiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "fair speech"
  • Description:

    Ancient martyr's name that, though not especially appealing, might still be mildly possible, especially for Anglophiles. It was widely used in early Scotland, but was overtaken by its nickname, EFFIE.

FintanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "white fire or white bull"
  • Description:

    Fintan is an ancient Irish saints' name that in legend is also the name of the only person to survive The Flood. Popular in modern Ireland, Fintan is ripe for export to the US where it is rarely used but could make an excellent long form for the stylish Finn.

AnwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "very fair, beautiful"
  • Description:

    Anwen is one of the simplest and best of the classic Welsh girls' names, more unusual than Bronwen but with the same serene feel.

IvoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name meaning the hard, white material from the tusks and teeth of animals; can also mean "pale, white"
  • Meaning:

    "pale, white"
  • Description:

    Ivory was last popular a hundred years ago. In 2013, it finally began to regain some momentum in the female rankings, reentering the Top 1000.

FinneganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair"
  • Description:

    If you like the Finn names and love James Joyce, Finnegan is extremely winning. Will & Grace 's Eric McCormack chose the Finnigan spelling for his son. And of course Finnegan gains you access to the great short form Finn.

BronwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white breast"
  • Description:

    Bronwen is widespread in Wales, but still rare enough here to sound somewhat international — we think Bronwen is a real winner. (Note: the Bronwyn spelling is an Anglicization, since the -wyn ending is masculine in Welsh).

CandaceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "white, pure, sincere"
  • Description:

    Candace, an ancient title of a dynasty of Ethiopian queens mentioned in the New Testament, is associated both with actress Candice Bergen and Sex and the City writer Candace Bushnell. Both spellings were most popular in the 1980s, but are rarely used for babies today, perhaps due to the sticky sweetness of nickname Candy.

ArianwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white, fair, blessed"
  • Description:

    Rarely heard outside of Wales, Arianwen is one of many pretty wen-ending names prominent in ancient Welsh legend.

FinbarHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired"
  • Description:

    This is an ancient saints' name well used in Ireland but a rarity here and unlikely to ever reach the popularity of other Finn-ish names. St. Finbarr (the more common spelling) is the patron saint of Cork and in Irish folklore, Finbarr was king of the fairies.

SherlockHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired"
  • Description:

    If ever there was a one-person name, it's probably Sherlock. But Sherlock Holmes the character has arguably never been hotter: he's been played by Robert Downey Jr., Ian McKellen, Jonny Lee Miller and, most memorably, Benedict Cumberbatch, in various film and TV adaptations over the last few years. So you never know.

NevaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "white snow"
  • Description:

    Has a pure, clean aura, but is also evocative.

EffyHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, diminutive of Euphemia
  • Meaning:

    "fair speech"
  • Description:

    This can be a short form of any Greek girls' name starting with 'Ef', such as Efstraria or Efrosini. It has also been suggested as a possible nickname for Elizabeth.

FinianHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair"
  • Description:

    This lilting Irish saint's name shone in neon lights on Broadway for the classical 1947 musical "Finian's Rainbow," later made into a film starring Fred Astaire as Finian McLonergan, and there was also a character on "General Hospital" named Finian O'Toole. With the growing popularity of Finn and Finlay/Finley--and boys' names ending in 'an'--Finian, which can also be spelled Finnian, seems like a sure-fire winner.

NualaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, short form of Fionnuala
  • Meaning:

    "white shoulders"
  • Description:

    Officially a shortening of the traditional and tricky Gaelic Fionnghuala/Fionnuala, Nuala makes a lovely choice all on its own. Nuala is well-used in Ireland.

GinevraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Guinevere
  • Meaning:

    "white shadow, white wave"
  • Description:

    A lovely alternative for the Jennifer-lover.

EvantheHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "fair flower"
  • Description:

    Evanthe is a pretty Greek name not often heard outside its native culture. With its stylish Ev-begining, Evanthe could make an interesting choice if you're looking for a generic flower name.

WynHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "fair, blessed"
  • Description:

    Extremely popular in Wales, where it began as a nickname for someone with fair hair or a fair face, this bright and simple name is a winner by its very nature. Can also be spelled Wynn, Winn or the very literal Win.

WhitneyHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname
  • Meaning:

    "white island"
  • Description:

    Yesterday's sensation that rose with the popularity of Whitney Houston. Whitney may have lost some of its style value, but it still sounds like one of the quintessential English names for girls. Today, you might want to shorten it to cool nickname Whit.

GalateaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "she who is milk-white"
  • Description:

    This name's meaning derives from the material from which the mythical sculptor Pygmalion chiselled his ideal woman - she was carved from ivory. Pygmalion fell in love with his creation and Aphrodite, taking pity on him, brought the sculpture to life. The woman was named Galatea due to her incredibly pale skin. The Pygmalion myth was the inspiration behind the story of "My Fair Lady" starring Julie Andrews on stage and Audrey Hepburn on screen.

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.

FenellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "white-shouldered one"
  • Description:

    More unusual than Fiona and more user-friendly than Fionnuala, the engaging Scottish Fenella, has been scarcely heard in this country.

WhittakerHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "white field"
  • Description:

    If you discount the connection to the controversial Whittaker Chambers in the days of the Red Scare, Whittaker is a pleasant enough British surname with the preppyish nickname Whit.

EdelweissHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from German
  • Meaning:

    "noble white"
  • Description:

    Edelweiss, made famous by the Rogers and Hammerstein song in "The Sound of Music", is a rare female name. In German 'edel' means 'noble' and 'weiss' means 'white'. Edelweiss is the colloquial name for the Leontopodium alpinum, a small white mountain flower sometimes used in herbal folk medicine. In this age, though, Edelweiss might make a better name for a white cat than for a little girl.

FiannaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair or white"
  • Description:

    Fianna, a virtually unknown Irish name in the U.S., combines the best elements of Fiona and Brianna. In Irish and Scottish mythology, the Fianna were independent bands of warriors.

FionnualaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "white shoulders"
  • Description:

    This lovely Gaelic name, very popular in the Emerald Isle, has inspired a whole host of diminutives (including Nuala and Nola) and variant spellings, from Finola to Finula to the Scottish and English Fenella. In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir who were transformed into swans for 900 years.

OlwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white footprint"
  • Description:

    Olwen is a Welsh favorite, the name of a legendary princess in what is believed to have been the earliest Arthurian romance, and in fact one of the first recorded examples of Welsh prose.

GannonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-skinned, fair-haired"
  • Description:

    The name of a historic Irish leader, Gannon has a solid, yet spirited feel. It was one of the fastest-rising names of 2014, but that trend didn't continue. One pop culture influence was the name of Teen Mom 3 son Gannon Dewayne McKee.

RhonwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "slender, fair"
  • Description:

    The delicate and haunting Welsh Rhonwen is still a rarity in the U.S., where her English version Rowena is better known, but would be a lovely choice for any parent in search of a name that was both unusual and traditional, classically feminine yet strong.

MuireannHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "sea white, sea fair"
  • Description:

    The popular Irish name Muireann comes from a mythical mermaid who was tranformed into a woman by a saint. Pronunciation is like the surname of the actress Helen Mirren, but with the spin of a w sound after the initial M.

AubinHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Alban
  • Meaning:

    "white, blond"
  • Description:

    More appealing than the English version, Aubin might be seen as a fresher and more decidedly masculine twist on Aubrey. This handsome discovery is now ranked at Number 311 in its native France.
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