Names That Mean Noble
Along with Audrey and Kareem, other names that mean noble in the US Top 1000 include Adelaide, Alaric, Alonzo, Duke, Freya, Grady, Marquis, and Patrick. Among the more unique noble names we recommend are Arwen, Elke, Ellsworth, and Oberon.
Names with a meaning of noble are more likely than some to start with the letter A, given that some names meaning noble such as Alice and Adeline have many variations. If noble or nobility is the name meaning that appeals to you, browse this list of names.
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.
Description:Alice was derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis. Adalhaidis, from which the name Adelaide is also derived, is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type." Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland popularized the name in modern times.
Origin:Variant of Adelheidis, German
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.
Description:Ada is derived from the German name Adelaide, which came from the ancient name Adalheidis. The root, adal, is a Germanic word meaning "noble." Ada can also be considered a variation of the biblical name Adah, pronounced AH-da, one of the first girls’ names mentioned in the Book of Genesis.
Origin:French, diminutive of Adele
Description:Adeline originated as a French diminutive of Adele, which came from the Germanic root adal, meaning "noble." Adeline was introduced to England by the Normans in the eleventh century, was very common during the Middle Ages, then vanished until the Victorian Gothic revival. Common variants of Adeline include Adalynn, Adalyn, Adelyn, Adelynn, Adelina, and Adaline.
Description:Audrey is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Aethelthryth, the name that later evolved into Ethelred. 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.
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.
Meaning:"with divine protection"
Description:Ansel, primarily associated with the great western photographer Ansel Adams, famed for his magnificent photographs of the Yosemite Valley, could make a creative artist-hero choice. For Adams it was a family name – he was named after his uncle, Ansel Easton. And, in turn, Adams was the namesake of young heartthrob Ansel Elgort, son of a photographer.
Origin:Sanskrit; Modern variation of Aria
Description:Arya was derived from an Indo-Iranian word meaning "Aryan" or "noble." It is a masculine given name in Iran, Indonesia, Bali, and Sanskrit-speaking regions of India. In Hindu- and English-speaking parts of the world, Arya is more often a feminine name, the latter influenced by the similar Italian name Aria, meaning "air" or "song."
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.
Origin:Spanish variation of Alice
Description:Alicia is a Latinized variation of Alice, a name ultimately derived from the German Adalhaidis. It emerged in the 19th century, but the 20th saw many spelling evolutions for Alicia, including Alecia, Alisha, Aleesha, and Alysha. Alyssa originated as a form of Alicia.
Origin:Diminutive of Adelheid; German
Description:Heidi became known—and popular—via the 1880 eponymous children's classic by Swiss writer Johanna Spyri and, despite decades of American Heidis of all sizes, shapes, and personalities, the name seems permanently tethered to that spunky little girl on the Alpine mountaintop in the book and Shirley Temple movie.
Description:Alaric is an ancient regal name that sounds modern enough to be considered. Alaric was a traditional name for the kings of the Ostrogoths, the most famous of whom was Alaric I, the King of the West Goths who sacked Rome in 410.
Description:Albert has acquired a new gloss as one of the top royal baby boy names, a serious upgrade from its serious, studious image (think Einstein, Schweitzer). Albert remained popular for 80 years, and though it's far less fashionable today, it's still a widely used choice. Still, along with such stalwarts as Walter and George, it could now make an unusual yet classic choice. It became especially popular in Britain following the 1840 marriage of Queen Victoria to the German Prince Albert. Enlivening nickname Bertie is popular on its own in England.
Origin:Variation of Auberon
Description:The Shakespearean character Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream is King of the Fairies, but the name, with its strong 'O' beginning, projects a far more virile image than that.
Description:Eugene is a classic that has rather lost its way. On the one hand, it's a grandpa, even great-grandpa name that hasn't been one of the cool kids recently—or to quote Jim Carrey, who bears this name in the middle spot, "You can never get too cool with a name like Eugene." The hero of Disney's Tangled felt the same way, when he changed his birth name of Eugene to the more romantic Flynn.
Origin:English variation of Alicia
Description:Alyssa was in the Top 20 from 1997-2010 and peaked as the 11th most popular girls’ name in 1998 and 1999 but has become less popular in recent years. It's related to the flower alyssum as well as to the classic Alice and variants. Alyssa Milano helped give it a bounce back when she was still a child sitcom star.
Origin:French diminutive of Adelaide
Description:Credit the award-winning single-named British singer for taking the girls’ name Adele from a quiet semi-retirement back into currency. Adele reentered the US Top 1000 popular baby names in 2011 and has remained there ever since.
Adele is both a saint's and a royal name, having originated as the French version of the German Adela. It's one of the most stylish girl names starting with A.
Molly Ringwald chose Adele for one of her twins, and Fred Astaire's first dancing partner was his older sister Adele.
Origin:Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Slavic variation of Adeline
Description:Adelina is back in the Top 1000 after an absence of nearly a century, thanks to the meteoric rise of her sister name Adeline -- along with Adelaide, Adele, and Ada. Some parents choose Adelina because they want to get to cute vintage nickname Addie, but others favor it as a slightly more unusual form of this sweet vintage girls' name. A lot of attention was focused on it recently via the women's figure skating gold medal winner at the Sochi winter olympics--Adelina Sotnikova.
While Adeline is usually pronounced in the U.S. with a long i in the last syllable, to rhyme with mine, Adelina is pronounced with the long e sound at the end, as in 'lee-na'.
Description:Following in the footsteps of popular brother Brady, Grady is another lively, ebullient Irish surname name. The O'Gradys (originally O Gradaugh) were an ancient clan that produced an impressive number of bishops.
Perhaps the most remarkable O'Grady descendant is Muhammad Ali, whose mother's maiden name was Grady.
Origin:Diminutive of Arthur
Meaning:"noble one; bear man"
Description:Though short and brisk, no nickname name could have a more creative image. Comic actor Chris O'Dowd named his son Art, as in his native Ireland it's used as a name on its own, separate from Arthur., coming from an ancient word for “”a bear,”” and used in the sense of “”outstanding warrior”” or “”champion.”” A pagan High King of Ireland, Art’s rule was so honest that two angels hovered over him in battle.
Description:Patricia still sounds patrician, though its scores of nicknames definitely don't. Wildly popular from the forties (alternately Number 3 and 4 throughout the decade) to the sixties, Patricia has been fading ever since. But a comeback in its full form is definitely conceivable—just look at Penelope.
Origin:Scottish, diminutive of Alice
Description:Widely used here since the fifties, Allison -- a derivative of Alice -- has far surpassed the original in popularity, though now it's eclipsed by Addison. Alice itself is also rising again. Ellison -- another Allison-inspired variant -- is another fresh spin. For more, see Alison.
Origin:English from German
Description:Rarely heard in the US, Auberon has a gentle autumnal feel rare in a male name. Possibly starting as a pet form of Aubrey, it was also infuenced by Oberon, the king of the fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Description:Ethel is a name we once declared as 'So Far Out They'll Probably Always Be Out,' but with the return of other names on that list and with its new starbaby cred via Lily Allen, its soft sound and admirable meaning, we're not so sure.
Origin:Italian diminutive of Alphonso
Description:Alonzo is dashing and debonair, with a large measure of Latin flair.
Origin:English rank of nobility
Description:While John Wayne and Duke Ellington are worthy role models, the reason Duke is currently enjoying a revival and returned to the Top 1000 in 2013 as one of the year's fastest-rising boys’ names is more likely due to the name given to high-profile TV couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Christened Edward Duke, he has always been called by his middle name, just as Edward Duke Ellington was. Duke is just one of several aristocratic titles being increasingly used by ordinary citizens.
Meaning:"noble friend, friend of the elves"
Description:Alvin has a sturdy, no-frills sound that belies its somewhat whimsical meaning. Interesting potential namesakes include British rocker Alvin Stardust, and US footballer Alvin Williams, and African-American dance legend (and activist) Alvin Ailey.
Origin:Variation of Adeline
Description:Adeline in all its forms, including Adelyn, is rocketing up the list, but we do prefer the original to the variations. Or you might consider varying it yet further to Adelia, Adele, or Adelaide. Or lengthen it to Madeline/Madelyn.
Description:While Irish Gaelic spellings add intrigue to a name, they'll prove endlessly confusing. Ailbhe is pronounced like the less intriguing but infinitely simpler Alva.
Description:Used primarily in Scotland, and represented here by singer Audra McDonald, the girls' name Audra has been overshadowed by the return of the classic Audrey. Audra may be to Audrey what Jenna is to Jennifer and Jessa is to Jessica: A variation that will rise as the original falls from favor, which may take another decade.
Origin:Norman French, diminutive of Alice
Description:Alison has been long popular in Scotland and widely used here since the fifties; this more feminine medieval derivative of Alice had long surpassed the original in popularity. But now sounds a tad dated in the U.S., with Alice having leapfrogged back over Alison, Alicia and other variations. Allison is the only variant still ahead of the stylish Alice.
Origin:Variation of Adela, German
Description:The super-success of Adele, both the singer and the name, has brought attention to all her cousins--Adela, Adeline, Adelina--and the lovely Adelia. An undiscovered gem just waiting to be discovered.
Origin:Dutch, German, and Frisian, diminutive of Adelheid
Description:Though she has long stood on her own, Elke has many longer cross-cultural connections, to the Dutch/German/Scandinavian Adelheid and Alice and the English Adelaide, as a feminine version of Elkanah and as a Yiddish form of Eleanor.
Origin:French from German
Meaning:"noble, ready for battle"
Description:Rarely used, and for good reason. Alonzo is a preferable choice.
Origin:Scottish and Irish
Description:This Anglicized spelling makes the pronunciation of Ailís or Aileas – the Irish and Scottish forms of Alice, respectively – slightly more obvious to English-speakers. Ailis or Aileas are more authentic spellings, but may be fighting a losing battle against the influence of Billie Eilish.
Origin:Swedish and Danish
Description:One of the most popular names in Scandinavia, Freja--or Freyja--was a major deity of Norse paganism. Beautiful, blonde and blue-eyed, she was the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. In the US, the name is most likely spelled Freya.
Description:Luxurious and distinctive, with a biblical bacground--although in the Good Book,Adalia is a male.
Description:Mona had more than a moment in the sun, peaking in 1950 at Number 230 but falling off the Top 1000 completely in the late 1980s. Its similarity to the word "moaner" undercuts the appeal of its simplicity. In one recent year, fewer than 100 baby girls received the name, and we don't see it reviving any time soon.
Meaning:"virgin; or noble, exalted"
Description:Perfect name for a Virgo or an Aries baby. It is also the name of a character in the fantasy Belgariad series.
Description:This variation of Adele sounds somewhat more feminine than the original by virtue of the a- ending. It could join the army of popular A girls' names, especially with its tie to the recent celebrity-related success of Adele.
Description:Adolf may have been a Swedish royal name but the terrible dictatorship of Adolf Hitler has ruled out this name Adolf for any sensible parent. In the US last year, there were more than 100 boys' given the Spanish variation Adolfo and a handful given the old school Adolphus, but none named Adolf or Adolph....thank goodness.
Origin:Variation of Alyssa or Alice
Description:The entire congregation of Alissa-related names—from the classic Alice and Elise to newer forms like Alicia, Alyssa, and Elissa—have faded somewhat from their heyday in the late 20th century but maintain some appeal as a member of the popular class of girl names starting with A. Their major disadvantage is their similarity to each other and the resulting confusion.
Description:This old-fashioned name looks like it could be on the edge of a revival, following in the footsteps of Alden and Auden.
Origin:Flower name, from German
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.
Meaning:"small, noble one"
Description:Feels like a hybrid. Better go for Edith or Evelyn.
Description:Sari is a cute spin on Sarah, though some may hear it as "sorry," and it is also an item of clothing worn in India. These days many people will also confuse Sari with Suri, the lovely and unsual name of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' much-publicized young daughter.
Origin:Scandinavian, pet form of Adalheidis
Description:Much more manageable than the full form of the name. Possible international alternative to Ella.
Origin:Spanish and Italian
Description:Alfonso was a royal name in Spain as far back as the 7th century, but it is rarely heard outside the Hispanic community in the US.