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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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. Its meaning of white relates to snow, making it one of the prime names for winter babies.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.