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Names That Mean Brave, Strong, or Powerful

Names That Mean Brave, Strong, or Powerful

Names that mean brave, strong, or powerful are newly interesting to parents who realize those positive qualities are gender-neutral and desirable for all children, whether they're embodied in the meaning of a name or not.

Traditionally, there are fewer girl names that mean brave or powerful than there are strong boy names with powerful meanings. But they're not unknown and several stylish strong girl names — Audrey, Matilda, and Imara, for instance — mean brave or powerful, along with a big group of brave and powerful names for boys.

Along with Audrey and Matilda, other baby girl names that mean brave, strong, or powerful in the US Top 500 include Gabriella, Valentina, and Valerie.

Boy names that mean brave and boy names that mean power include Andrew, Everett, Ezekiel, Harvey, and Zane.

Gender neutral names with strong meanings include Drew, Cairo, Casey, and Wyatt.

If you're searching for names for girls and boys with strong meanings that might empower and inspire your child, browse this selection. You might also want to search the complete list of Name Meanings.

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.

AdiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "strong"
  • Description:

    Adira is one of those rare names that's both little-used and simple, and crosses languages easily. Pronounced ah-DEER-ah, Adira is given to only a handful of girls in the US each year and could make a worthy substitute for such overexposed favorites as Ava and Ariana.

AilaHeart

  • Origin:

    Finnish variation of Helga or Scottish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "from the strong place"
  • Description:

    Now that Isla Fisher has pushed her once-obscure name into the Top 150, some parents are looking for similar-sounding Scottish names for girls that are further off the beaten path. This one is especially promising, with its cross-cultural appeal. Ayla, a common name in Turkey, is also worth considering.

AlcieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alcina, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "strong-willed"
  • Description:

    Alcie and Alsie are antiquated short forms that feel more baby-ready now that names such as Elsie, Elsa, and Isla are becoming popular again. Mother name Alcina was an operatic sorceress who turned men into trees and animals.

AlcinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "strong-willed"
  • Description:

    Alcina is an operatic name, best-known as the name of the beautiful sorceress of the eponymous Handel opera drawn from the Orlando poems. Alcina and her sister Morgana live on an island where Alcina seduces every passing sailor but once their novelty wears off, changes them into plants, rocks, or animals. Alcina comes with modern-sounding short forms Alcie or Alsie, which feel more baby-ready now that names such as Elsie, Elsa, and Isla are becoming popular again.

AlfredHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "wise counselor"
  • Description:

    Alfred is up off his recliner! If you're looking for a path to Fred, you can go directly to Frederick or take the long way around with the so-out-it's-in-again Alfred. Alfred is quite popular in several European countries, especially England and Wales, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

AbelardoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish version of French Adelard
  • Meaning:

    "noble and strong"
  • Description:

    Sometimes heard in the Latino community, has not crossed over into others.

AbirHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "strong, mighty, courageous"
  • Description:

    Place-name of a settlement in Galilee in Israel.

AimiliosHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "strength"
  • Description:

    This male relative of the Emily family was borne by two Greek saints, one a fourth century martyr who destroyed pagan images and the other a ninth century bishop. Variations include Emilios and Aemilios. The Latin Aemilius, from the ancient family name, may be unrelated.

CyreneHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "supreme power"
  • Description:

    Cyrene was a mythical nymph and huntress who was beloved by Apollo. An ancient city in Libya was named after her.

DrusillaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "fruitful"
  • Description:

    Drusilla is an ancient Roman name, (probably) borne by descendants of Antony and Cleopatra, and is one of the 'illa' names that are ready for a comeback, especially with its cute short form Dru.

ValeriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Valeria -- the original form of the name, used by early Christians -- is now more popular than the Franco-American Valerie.

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.

AltheaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "with healing power"
  • Description:

    Althea is a poetic, almost ethereal name found in Greek myth and pastoral poetry, associated in modern times with the great tennis player Althea Gibson, the first African-American to win at Wimbleton.

ValenciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "brave, strong"
  • Description:

    This lovely orange-scented Spanish place-name would make an inventive namesake for an Aunt Valerie.

NeimaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pleasant, agreeable, likeable"
  • Description:

    One of the less attractive Hebrew choices.

BaldwinHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "brave friend"
  • Description:

    Writer James Baldwin could make this an inspirational choice for a child of either sex.

IsaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "strong-willed"
  • Description:

    Isa is a name unto itself but might also be a short form of Isabel or Isadora. With the new popularity of Isabel and Isabella and even Bella, Isa may become more familiar.

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.

RaineyHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name or diminutive of Regina, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "queen"
  • Description:

    Has an old-time country feeling, perhaps due to Ma Rainey, considered the "Mother of the Blues". This is the most popular spelling of the name, given to about 50 girls last year, with half as many called Rainy and a quarter named Rainie, the spelling used by Andie MacDowell for her now-grown daughter.