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Names That Mean Warrior

Names meaning war, warrior, warlike, army, soldier, fighter, and knight are common among a range of cultures through the ages. Which makes sense, when you consider how common war and fighting has always been. Ancient favorites such as Gunnar, Marcus, and Walter all have warrior-related meanings.

Along with Gunnar and Marcus, other names that mean warrior in the US Top 1000 include Alessia, Callan, Duncan, Harlow, Kane, Louisa, Miles, and Zelda. Less common warrior names that may appeal include Connery, Evander, Maude, and Ottoline.

In the contemporary world as much as at any other time, you may feel that a name that means war or warrior may arm your baby boy or girl to triumph over the challenges of life. Or your baby may be a fighter, overcoming odds to be born and survive, and you might want a name that's a nod to his or her fighter spirit.

Here are all Nameberry's baby names for girls and for boys with meanings related to war.
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MiloHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin and Old German
  • Meaning:

    "soldier or merciful"
  • Description:

    Milo is most commonly considered to be Germanic name derived from the Latin word miles, meaning “soldier.” However, there is evidence to suggest it also may have independently spawned from the Slavic root milu, meaning “merciful.” Milo predates brother name Miles, a variation that evolved when the name immigrated to the British Isles in the Middle Ages. Mylo is an alternate spelling.

OscarHeart

  • Origin:

    English or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
  • Description:

    Oscar has Irish and Norse roots—Norse Oscar comes from the Old English Osgar, a variation of the Old Norse name Ásgeirr. The Irish form was derived from the Gaelic elements os, meaning “deer,” and car, “loving.” In Irish legend, Oscar was one of the mightiest warriors of his generation, the son of Ossian and the grandson of Finn Mac Cumhaill (MacCool).

OwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "young warrior; well-born"
  • Description:

    Owen was derived from two names—the Welsh Owain and the Celtic Eoghan. Each are connected to Eugene, which ultimately came from the Greek word eugenes, comprised of the elements eu, meaning good, and genes, “born.” Owen became a Welsh patronymic surname during the Renaissance. The legendary St. Owen was a Benedictine monk who was a follower of St. Chad.

MilesHeart

  • Origin:

    English form of Milo
  • Meaning:

    "soldier or merciful"
  • Description:

    Miles, which took on a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished boy name starting with M that has been appreciated in particular by celebrity baby namers, including Elisabeth Shue, Mayim Bialik, Larenz Tate, Joan Cusack and Lionel Ritchie.

MatildaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "battle-mighty"
  • Description:

    The comeback of this sweet vintage name, one of the most stylish girls' names starting with M, has been prompted by a boomlet of starbaby Matildas, beginning with chef Gordon Ramsey's in 2002 and Moon Unit Zappa's two years later. But the renaissance of this name of the charming Roald Dahl heroine was assured when Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger chose Matilda for their daughter.
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LouisHeart

  • Origin:

    German and French
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Kate and William shocked the world when they announced that they'd named their third child Louis -- Prince Louis Arthur Charles, to be more precise. But we've been predicting a comeback for this classic name for a long time.

HarlowHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname
  • Meaning:

    "rock hill or army hill"
  • Description:

    Jean Harlow (born Harlean Carpenter), the original platinum blonde bombshell, was a symbol of 1930s glamour, a factor that first Patricia Arquette and then Nicole Richie and Joel Madden probably had in mind when they gave their daughters the distinctive surname name Harlow.

EvanderHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish; Greek
  • Meaning:

    "bow warrior; strong man"
  • Description:

    Evander is a name that could build on the popularity of shorter form Evan, and could work and play well with schoolmates like Zander and Xander.

AryanHeart

  • Origin:

    Indo-Iranian
  • Meaning:

    "warrior, honorable"
  • Description:

    Aryan derives from the Sanskrit word ārya, meaning “honorable” or “high-born.” As a term, Aryan was used to describe Indo-Europeans—particularly Iranians—who shared common religious, cultural, and linguistic history. It was later misapplied by the Nazis to refer solely to Germanic and Nordic Caucasians, ultimately corrupting the term.

WalterHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "army ruler"
  • Description:

    Walter was seen as a noble name in the Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Walter Scott era, but it then spent decades in baby name limbo. Now quite a few independent-minded parents are looking at it as a renewable, slightly quirky, classic, stronger and more distinctive than James or John, second only to William among the handsome classic boy baby names starting with W. The recent popularity of Breaking Bad has brought us Walter White, conferring on the name Walter a new kind of cool and prompting a fresh wave of popularity.
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KaneHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "warrior"
  • Description:

    A name of multiple identities: a somewhat soap-operatic single-syllable surname, a homonym for the biblical bad boy Cain, and, when found in Japan and Hawaii, it transforms into the two syllable KA-neh. Kane also has multiple meanings: in Welsh, it's "beautiful"; in Japanese, "golden"; and in Hawaiian, "man of the Eastern sky."

HarveyHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "battle worthy"
  • Description:

    Two of the worst events of 2017 involved the name Harvey, the storm and accused sexual harasser Weinstein. And that's not good for the baby name Harvey's future.

LewisHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Lewis is the best spelling to choose if you want this pronounced with the S. Lewis has been in the Top 5 in Scotland since 2000, and is one that parents in the U.S. are just beginning to rethink.

MordecaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "follower of Marduk"
  • Description:

    Mordecai, although it has a noble heritage, has never caught on in this country, because of its rather weighty image.

LouisaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latinate feminine variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Louisa, a quaint vintage name, is an example of the idea that these days, old-style girls’ names are more fashionable when they end with an a rather than with an e, as in Julie/Julia, Diane/Diana. So for the next generation, Louisa may rise again, especially with the growing popularity of other Lou/Lu-starting names, like Lucy and Luna. Louisa reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 45 year absence.
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LuisHeart

  • Origin:

    French and German variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Luis has long been one of the most popular Hispanic names in America -- it was in the Top 100 every year from 1980 to 2014, though it's dropped a bit in popularity. It's familiar, yet would add an exotic touch to an unexotic surname.

MarcoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish form of Mark
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    Simple and universal, Marco is a Latin classic that would make a much livelier namesake for an Uncle Mark. It was used for her son by actress Jill Hennessy and goes well with surnames of any nationality.

BellatrixHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "female warrior"
  • Description:

    J.K. Rowling is a modern master of naming who brought a whole constellation of ancient and celestial names to modern parents. Bellatrix, of one of the stars of Orion, combines fashionable names Bella and Beatrix to make a convivial and original name. The down side: the Harry Potter character Bellatrix, played by Helena Bonham Carter, is a character so evil she's called a Death Eater, killing one beloved character and being murdered by another. And the name Bellatrix is so closely associated with that character that it might be challenging to sidestep the association.

MarcusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    Though ancient, Marcus now sounds more current than Mark, in tune with today's trend towards us-ending Latinate names.

ZeldaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Griselda
  • Meaning:

    "gray fighting maid"
  • Description:

    Classified as an early exotic, Zelda has long and often been used as such for characters in books and films. Since 1986, Zelda has been a prime Nintendo name, as in the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
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RagnarHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "warrior or judgment"
  • Description:

    An fearsome old Norse name with a long history in Scandinavia. It's gotten a boost in the States from popularity of the History Channel drama "Vikings," in which the protagonist is named Ragnar. Ragnar Lodbrok (meaning "shaggy pants") was a legendary warrior whose story was told in the Viking sagas. Ragnar also recalls name of the Norse Judgment Day, Ragnarök.

RagnarHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "warrior or judgment"
  • Description:

    An fearsome old Norse name with a long history in Scandinavia. It's gotten a boost in the States from popularity of the History Channel drama "Vikings," in which the protagonist is named Ragnar. Ragnar Lodbrok (meaning "shaggy pants") was a legendary warrior whose story was told in the Viking sagas. Ragnar also recalls name of the Norse Judgment Day, Ragnarök.

AloysiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "famous warrior"
  • Description:

    This name is a classic example of an underused golden oldie that ticks so many boxes - unusual yet traditional, heaps of cute nicknames, a statement name that exudes retro cool. Aloysius is the Latin form of many more common names like Louis, Luis, Luigi and the uncommon but symphonically familiar Ludwig.

AlessiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Alexis
  • Meaning:

    "defending warrior"
  • Description:

    Young Canadian pop singer Alessia Cara has given this spicy-sounding name a new lease on life, propelling it into the Top 1000 in 2016. (It was one of the year's fastest-rising girls' names.) The main risk is that it feels so close to Alexa, Alicia, Alexis and Alyssa-- all becoming overused -- that it could be mistaken for one of those more familiar names.

LouiseHeart

  • Origin:

    French and English, feminine variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Louise has for several decades now been seen as competent, studious, and efficient—desirable if not dramatic qualities. But now along with a raft of other L names, as well as cousin Eloise, Louise is up for reappreciation—sleek and chic, stylish in Paris, and starting to become so in the US as well. Louisa is perhaps more in tune with the times, but Louise has more edge. Louise has been on the rise lately, and reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time in a quarter century in 2016.
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MarcellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    Marcella has been in mothballs for so long it's starting to feel stylish again. Depicted as the world's most beautiful woman in Don Quixote (where it's spelled Marcela), this long neglected name seemed dated for decades but just might be ready for restoration. Another so-old-it's-new-again relative: Marcellina. Saint Marcella was a Roman matron of strength and intellect who organized a religious sisterhood at her mansion, which St. Jerome guided in religion and learning.

GunnerHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian variation of Gunther
  • Meaning:

    "bold warrior"
  • Description:

    The kind of nouveau macho name favored by NRA-leaning parents. Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers gave it to his son in 2009. Gunnar is another spelling that makes the name a bit less militaristic.

MarcelHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Marcellus
  • Meaning:

    "little warrior"
  • Description:

    Marcel, despite distinguished namesakes including Proust and Duchamp, suffers from a terminal headwaiter image in this country. But along with its sister name Marcella and French variation (and Jolie-Pitt pick) Marcheline, Marcel may be on the brink of a style renaissance.

MarkHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    After centuries of lagging behind other apostle names Peter and Paul, Mark suddenly caught on in the early 1950s, reaching Number 6 by 1960. It was in the Top 10 from 1955 to 1970 and second only to Michael in popular boy names starting with M.

MurphyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "sea warrior"
  • Description:

    This jaunty Celtic surname -- the most common family name in Ireland -- is totally viable as a first. Although there was a possibility of its being feminized via the old TV sitcom "Murphy Brown," it has never taken off for girls and very much retains its masculine image.
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ViggoHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "war"
  • Description:

    Though to most Americans Viggo is a one-person name attached to intense actor Mortensen, it is actually an old Norse name dating back to the Vikings, and is currently the 32nd most popular appellation in Sweden. Viggo Mortensen is a Jr., sharing his name with his Danish father. We think this name is so, well, vigorous, that it might appeal to others as well. Taylor and Natalie Hanson seemed to agree when they chose it for their fourth child.

DuncanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "dark warrior"
  • Description:

    Duncan is jaunty, confident, and open, a Scottish royal name that's brimming with friendly charm and makes it into our golden circle of names that are neither too popular nor too strange. Popularity aside, Duncan is one of the most classic Scottish names for boys.

TroyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "descendant of foot soldier"
  • Description:

    Troy shot to popularity as a first name in tandem with that of 1960s heartthrob Troy (born Merle) Donahue; its image has now, thanks in part to the Brad Pitt-starring epic, Troy, receded back to conjuring up the ancient site of the Trojan wars.

MylaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Mila or feminine variation of Milo
  • Meaning:

    "soldier or merciful"
  • Description:

    Myla can be seen as a female variation of Milo or a different spelling for popular Mila. Though frequently unnecessary in alternate spellings, the "y" here does connote a specific pronunciation.

TillyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Matilda
  • Meaning:

    "battle-mighty"
  • Description:

    Tilly and twin Tillie are hot new nickname names, either short for the newly fashionable Matilda or standing all on their own.
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KoaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "warrior"
  • Description:

    With Noah taking the Number 1 spot in 2013, Koa is attracting more attention than ever.

MarcellusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "young warrior"
  • Description:

    This ancient Roman family name, first borne by the distinguished Marcus Claudius Marcellus and later by two popes, is a possibilty in the hot new category of names from antiquity.

LutherHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "army people"
  • Description:

    Once restricted to evangelical Protestants honoring the ecclesiastical reformer and theologian Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant revolution. In more recent times it has been favored by parents wishing to honor civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. Luther was a Top 100 name at the turn of the last century, but fell off the list in the early 1990s.
    Luther Burbank was an eminent botanist and Luther Vandross was a popular R&B artist. It's the name of a main character on the Disney series Zeke and Luther. The name was given a shot of contemporary energy via Idris Elba's dynamic performance in the eponymous BBC crime drama.

MartinHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    Martin is one of those names like Arthur and Vincent and George that is in the process of throwing off its balding middle-aged image to start sounding possible again, used in full without the dated Marty nickname.

CallanHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "descendent of Cathalan"
  • Description:

    An Anglicized form of the Irish surname Ó Cathaláin. It's a highly popular name in Scotland.
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MaudeHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Matilda
  • Meaning:

    "battle-mighty"
  • Description:

    Maude, also spelled Maud, is a lacy, mauve-tinted name that was wildly popular a hundred years ago, but has been rarely heard in the past fifty. Some stylish parents are starting to choose it again, especially as a middle.

    Maud's early popularity was influenced by the Tennyson poem that included the oft-quoted line, "Come into the garden, Maude." Then, in the 1970's, along came the sitcom Maude, featuring the vociferous and opinionated character Maude Finlay, putting a very different spin on the name. But enough decades have now passed for the name to have settled back into its soft, sweet pastel image.

LuluHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Louise or Lucy, or Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Lula has a firecracker personality, a singing and dancing extrovert. Interesting that Lulu was a Top 100 name when the Social Security list was born in 1880, but it's been sliding ever since and has not been in the Top 1000 for decades. Modern parents in love with Lulu might well reverse that trend.

AlvaroHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "elf warrior"
  • Description:

    A well-used Spanish saint's name with a lot of flair that could definitely cross over to more general usage. It reached its peak in the United States in 1985, when it ranked Number 456. In Spain, Alvaro is a Top 10 boys' name.

ChadHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "battle warrior"
  • Description:

    Despite all the "hanging," "dangling," and "pregnant" chad jokes of the 2000 election, this saint's name and remnant of the Brad-Tad era didn't get a boost in popularity. But Chad still holds some surfer-boy appeal for a number of modern parents.

SenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Korean; Hindi; Arabic; African
  • Meaning:

    "this world's beauty or grace; army; to praise; bringing heaven to earth"
  • Description:

    Sena is one of those names that is as obscure in the Western World as it is simple and straightforward. Sena exists as a name in a range of languages and cultures and may be pronounced like Senna (with a soft e) or Sienna. Sena is also a place name, a surname, the name of several groups of people, and the name of a genus of moth as well as a kind of wine, among other things. The similar Cinna from The Hunger Games may make Sena more plausible as a first name.
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ArminHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "whole, universal or soldier"
  • Description:

    Possibly related to the Ermin- names (which gave us Emma and her variants) or to Herman, this is an unusual choice which fits current trends.

CaseyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "brave in battle"
  • Description:

    Casey is a name with a big wide grin, Irish, friendly, and open, and associated with several American folk heroes--Casey Jones, the engine driver of the Cannonball Express who gave his life to save his passengers, and the legendary Casey at the Bat.

ArmandoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Italian and Portuguese form of Herman, German
  • Meaning:

    "soldier"
  • Description:

    Armando takes the flat-footed Herman and makes it romantic. This is another of the Latin names we expect to be seeing more of.

HaroldHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "army ruler"
  • Description:

    The name of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England before the Norman conquest, and a name that's long been associated with a pipe-smoking, bespectacled grandpa or uncle.

HumphreyHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "peaceful warrior"
  • Description:

    Humphrey is an old name that might have faded completely were it not for that Bogie flair. A royal name in Britain, where it's used somewhat more frequently, Humphrey might just have some life beyond Bogart here, especially with the recent interest in the names of Golden Age Hollywood stars. His first name was the maiden name of his mother, Maud Humphrey, a well-known illustrator who used baby H. as a model.
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