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Baby Name Meanings

by Pamela Redmond and Linda Rosenkrantz, creators of Nameberry
Baby name meanings can point to a personal quality like strength or a feature of nature such as water or might relate to a more spiritual quality, such as love or God. The lists here organize baby names with similar meanings for you. You'll find Baby Names That Mean Powerful and Names That Mean Beautiful, there are lists of baby names with fire meanings and names that mean water. The meanings of names might be hidden in an ancient language or stated flat-out as in word names or flower names. Use these lists to get a comprehensive look at all the names that carry each meaning or to survey the range of boy and girl name meanings. You can start with the meaning and find the right name, or begin with a name you love and explore other names with the same meaning.

  • Botanical Baby Names

    Botanical names are a subset of nature names relating to plants and plant-life. Included in this category are flower names, tree names, herb names, fruit names, and names inspired by herbs, grasses, sprouts, and shrubs, such as Chloe and Bentley.

  • Brilliant Names That Mean Light

    Names that mean light or bright shine beautifully and boldly on a baby. The meaning light can commemorate a sunny day or burst of knowledge, can confer brightness on your baby's future or illuminate a mid-winter birth. Babies born at Hanukkah or New Year's sometimes are given names that mean light, such as Aaron and Clara.

  • Classic Names That Mean God

    There are hundreds of names that mean God, many of them originating in ancient religious and scriptural sources such as the Bible.

  • Colorful Names That Mean Blue

    Names meaning blue got a big visibility boost when Beyonce and Jay-Z named their daughter Blue Ivy. The meaning blue relates to names in a range of styles, for both baby girls and baby boys.

  • Cool Names That Mean Blond

    Blond baby names include names for boys and girls meaning white, fair, golden, or blond. Along with popular blond (or blonde) baby names in the US Top 1000, like Aubrey, Blake and Finn, you can find many more unusual names meaning blond on this list, like Fenella (which is more popular in England), Flavia and Finnian. If your baby has blond hair -- or you're expecting a little towhead -- here's a selection of the best boy, girl, and gender-neutral baby names that mean fair or blond.

  • Fierce Names That Mean Lion

    Baby names that mean lion are among the most appealing of all the trendy new names with animal meanings. The reason has everything to do with the lion's majesty and ferocity as king of the beasts.

  • Names That Mean Air

    Names that mean air reference the sky, the wind, the weather, even the breath we take. Air names are ethereal and celestial. Many of the baby names meaning air are word names such as Aura and Sky, but other names have more subtle air meanings hidden in their ancient roots.

  • Names That Mean Beautiful

    Baby names that mean beautiful come from a range of cultures and represent a variety of styles. Beautiful baby names might literally mean beauty or beautiful, such as Astrid and Bella, but also includes those with meanings like handsome and fair.

  • Names That Mean Blessed

    Baby names meaning blessed and names that mean blessing may have a religious connotation to you or may simply mean gifted in any number of ways. Blessed is a meaning fitting names of different origins and styles for both girls and boys. Along with names that mean blessing, blessed or bless, we also include here names that mean gift, such as Dorothy and Jesse.

  • Names That Mean Dark

    Expecting a baby with dark hair, or eyes, or skin, or simply looking for a name that means (or suggests) darkness? You could search for names that literally mean black, dark, or night. Or you might prefer to browse for names that suggest dark things, such as Jett or Raven.

  • Names That Mean Dawn

    Baby names that mean dawn appeal on both a literal and a symbolic level. Dawn might mean a new beginning for your family or your child's emergence into the world. You might want a name that means dawn for a child that's born at sunrise or early in the morning. Dawn might mean a new attitude, a new realization, a new way of life. Included here are also the names of gods and goddesses and other notable figures associated with the dawn. Of course, a name meaning dawn might simply relate to the newness associated with any brand-new life. In this group of names that mean dawn, we also include names for girls and boys that mean sun, names that mean new day, names that mean light and names meaning bright, names that mean gold, names that mean morning, and names that mean early.

  • Names That Mean Earth

    Baby names with earth-related meanings might be perfect for a child born under one of the earth signs of the zodiac: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earthy names might literally mean earth, stone, or ground, such as Adam or Jade, or they may refer to places and characteristics of the earth. Earth-related heroes and mythological figures related to the earth can inspire earth names too.

  • Names That Mean 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. If you’re expecting a fair baby, these names are worth your consideration.

  • Names That Mean Faith

    Names that mean faith, belief, or devotion are often rooted in centuries-old religions and cultures.

  • Names That Mean Fame and Fortune

    Baby names meaning fame or fortune might not be able to bless your child with these covetable attributes, but they can certainly give him or her something to aspire to. Names meaning famous, fortunate, or wealthy come from a wide range of cultures and can fit many different styles. Consider these famous names for your child if your dreams for them include the limelight.

  • Names That Mean Fire

    Baby names that mean fire are a diverse group, from a range of cultures ancient and modern, representing different feelings and styles. Fire names might literally mean fire or fiery or blaze or sun . They might also be the names of gods or goddesses of fire or the sun or have other fire-related associations, like Ember and Phoenix.

  • Names That Mean Freedom or Free

    Baby names meaning freedom or free might inspire your child to reach for the stars, liberating him or her to be whatever she chooses.

  • Names That Mean Friend or Friendly

    All these baby names have meanings that relate to friends or friendship—something we're sure you wish for your child. Names that mean friend represent a range of cultures and styles. Friendliness is a positive quality to invest in your baby's name. Names for a friendly baby include those like Arden, Jeb, and Sameria. Browse these names that mean friend or friendly.

  • Names That Mean Gift

    Baby names meaning gift might reference your child being a gift from God or from the universe, a gift for your family or for the world. A name meaning gift might also imply the gifts your child may receive from God, nature, and from his or her loved ones. And of course, a perfect name is the most important gift you can give your child.

  • Names That Mean Gold, Yellow, or Orange

    Baby names that mean gold, yellow, or orange are an elite group, evoking the warm glow of these rich, beautiful colors.

  • Names That Mean Good or Kind

    Kindness is a quality that all parents hope to imbue in their children. We’ve added all the names that mean goodness and kindness in this list. Good and kind baby names can also be related to concepts such as gentleness and generosity. If you are in need of names for a kind baby, one of these could be perfect for you.

  • Names That Mean Grace

    Baby names meaning grace imply beauty, gentleness, and kindness. Grace or gracious is a lovely meaning for a name for both girls and boys.

  • Names That Mean Green

    Names that mean green embody that color's qualities of youth, freshness, and the natural world.

  • Names That Mean Handsome

    Baby names that mean handsome can help your little boy's self-image. A number of names imply good looks, from Keeley and Keefe to Bello and Beau. Names for good-looking babies come from many cultures, including Japan, Ireland, and Hawaii. Any of the names on this list would be appropriate for your beautiful baby boy. Handsome baby names for boys include:

  • Names That Mean Happy

    Happiness is a wonderful meaning for a baby's name, suggesting an upbeat personality and a positive future. Names that mean happy, happiness, joy, bliss or some other upbeat feeling include ancient mythological names, such as Arcadia and Festus, along with modern word names, like Revel and Jubilee.

  • Names That Mean Honor

    Many parents hope their child grows up to be honored and respected, and some might choose to reflect that in their son or daughter’s name. Names related to honor and respect have meanings such as praise, esteemed, admirable, and integrity. Prestigious baby names include current favorites like Nora and Jude, as well as lesser-heard names like Cadogan and Mireya. Take a look at this list if you need an honorable baby name for your child.

  • Names That Mean Hope

    Names meaning hope reflect the optimism we're filled with for our babies' futures. The baby names here either mean hope in various cultures or symbolize hope. We also include names with meanings related to hope: newness, rebirth, light, sun, butterflies, daisies, spring, and the color green.

    Along with Hope itself, baby names meaning hope that rank among the US Top 500 include Evangeline, Xavier, Nova, Ashlyn, Daisy, Chloe, Phoenix, Helen, and Cyrus. Unique names with hope-related meanings on our recommended list range from the sun-dappled Sunniva to the mythical Apollo to the peaceful dove.

    If you're looking for a name meaning hope for your baby girl or baby boy, browse this list.

  • Names That Mean Love

    Baby names that mean love might be the perfect choice for a baby born near Valentine's Day or conceived on a honeymoon. Of course, names with love meanings can also work for any child born into a world of love.

  • Names That Mean Luck

    Baby names meaning luck may not be enough on their own to bless your child with good fortune, but as they say, it couldn't hurt. Names meaning luck or lucky or fortunate include a wide range of different styles and include names with luck-related meanings as well as word-names that literally mean luck, such as Asher and Felicity.

  • Names That Mean Miracle, Heavenly, or Divine

    Baby names meaning miracle include those that mean heavenly, divine, wonderful, and marvelous. Miraculous names can also be inspired by famous miracles of history and myth.

  • Names That Mean Moon

    Baby names meaning moon might appeal to parents who are fascinated by astronomy or astrology. A lunar baby name could be ideal for a child born under the zodiac sign of Cancer, which is ruled by the moon. Moon names may literally mean moon, or they might reference lunar gods and goddesses. Moon-themed baby names also include names of moons on other planets in the solar system, such as Ophelia and Titan.

  • Names That Mean Mother or Father

    Names that mean mother or father exist in many cultures and range from the familiar and popular to the unique and rare.

  • Names That Mean New and New Beginnings

    Baby names that mean new, newness, or new beginnings appeal to parents looking for a name that signifies the hope and fresh start a baby can bring to your life.

  • Names That Mean Noble

    Baby names that mean noble or nobility are plentiful, a positive if you're looking for a name with this exalted meaning. Both boy names meaning noble and girl names with a noble meaning hail from a wide range of cultures and style. 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.

  • Names That Mean Ocean

    Baby names that mean ocean or sea are a subset of names that mean water. Included here are names with ocean or sea related meanings, such as Kai and Morgan, the names of specific oceans and seas, as well as the names of sea creatures and mythological aquatic figures.

  • Names That Mean Peace

    Baby names that mean peace carry a beautiful aura, both for what peace suggests about your child's temperament and what it conveys about your values and hopes for the world. Peaceful meanings of names can include words such as calm, silence, and tranquility, or even relate to a peace-related symbol such as dove or olive branch, like Paloma or Oliver.

  • Names That Mean Pure

    Baby names that mean pure or innocent symbolize the essential innocence of a newborn. With each baby, our faith in the purity of new life is restored.

  • Names That Mean Purple or Violet

    Names that mean purple or violet or lilac or lavender are lovely representations of those rich, lush colors. Violet itself is the most popular of the girl names that mean purple. Along with Violet, names meaning purple in the US Top 1000 include Indigo and Iris. Unique names meaning purple include Lilac, Lavender, and Ione. If you're a purple person, here are all the names meaning violet or purple on Nameberry.

  • Names That Mean Red or Redhead

    Expecting a little redhead? Or maybe you love the color red or are expecting a baby born under one of the fire signs of the zodiac.

  • Names That Mean Ruler or Royal

    Names with royal meanings are not necessarily actual royal baby names, such as George and Charlotte, but names that mean king, prince, queen, royal, or ruler. Choosing a baby name with a royal meaning is one of the many positive ways you can give your child a name to live up to. There are names that mean ruler or royal in every style, from a range of cultures, for girls and for boys. A complete list of our names that mean royal or ruler is here.

  • Names That Mean Small, Little, or Tiny

    Names meaning little or tiny probably first came into being as a way to describe someone small or short in stature. Today, that original meaning is all but, well, meaningless.

  • Names That Mean Smart, Intelligent, or Wise

    Baby names that mean wise or intelligent or smart have a contemporary feel, with wisdom is a more valuable quality than ever.

  • Names That Mean Strong

    Baby names that mean strong may help arm your boy or girl for whatever lies ahead. Strength-related name meanings have become more popular to parents in recent years, as they prepare their children for challenging times. Names for strong babies come from a variety of different cultures and encompass many different styles, from succinct, no-nonsense names like Drew and Zeke to long and romantic names like Gabriella and Valentino.

  • Names That Mean Strong, Brave 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 girls' names that mean brave or powerful than there are boys' names with strong meanings. But they're not unknown and several stylish contemporary girls' names—Audrey, Matilda, and Imara, for instance—mean brave or powerful, along with a big group of brave and powerful names for boys.

  • Names That Mean Sun

    Baby names that mean sun evoke summer, warmth, fire, and the zodiac fire signs of Aries, Sagittarius, and especially Leo.

  • Names That Mean Sweet

    Baby names that mean sweet can be connected to sugary treats like candy or sundaes, or related to sweetness found in nature, like honey, maple, and nectar. Sweet baby names include familiar word names such as Baker and Sugar, as well as names with less obvious links to sweetness, like Jarah and Eulalie. Here are examples of names for a sweet baby.

  • Names That Mean Trouble

    Baby names with negative meanings used to be a no-no, but now many parents want to arm their children for a difficult world by choosing a name that means trouble, or danger, or aggression. There is a certain charm about modern names like Maverick and Rebel that come prepackaged with a badass image. And you might argue the negative meanings concealed inside otherwise-lovely classic names, such a Cecilia meaning blind and Kennedy meaning misshapen head, don't really matter in the modern world anyway. And then there are names inspired by notorious trouble-makers, like Delilah or Dexter. Whether you're looking for a name with a negative meaning on purpose or you've fallen in love with one by accident, here's a master list of names that mean trouble....literally.

  • Names That Mean Victory

    Names meaning victory or glory have a naturally winning aura, imparting an upbeat feeling to a child. Name meanings related to victory include victorious and glorious. You'll notice groups of related names here which share victory-related meanings: There are the Nicholas names, those related to Sigrid, and names in the Victor constellation. If you want your child's name to mean victory or some other kind of win, consider the choices on this list.

  • Names That Mean Warrior, Soldier, or Knight

    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.

  • Names That Mean Water

    Names that mean water include names that mean ocean and sea, waves and tide, and rain and mist. The names of notable rivers, such as Hudson and Jordan, and other bodies of water are listed here. The names of gods and goddesses of the sea can be counted as water names, as can the names of mythical mermaids and other water creatures.

  • Names That Mean Wealth

    Names meaning wealth or wealthy or rich indicate not only money or material riches but a richness of spirit. The meaning of wealth can be an auspicious element of a baby's name. Edward is perhaps the best-known name meaning wealth, but baby names that mean rich, prosperous or wealthy can be found in all cultures and there are names with wealth meanings for both girls and boys. If you want to invest your child's name with wealth, choose one of these names with a rich meaning.

  • Names with Animal Meanings

    Baby names with animal meanings range from the obvious, such as Robin or Lionel, and those with subtler animal meanings, such Rachel (which means ewe) or Tabitha (gazelle). This list of baby names with animal meanings contains both those that announce themselves clearly, such as Fox and Wolf, and those whose animal meaning is more hidden. The following range of animal baby names would be perfect for your wild child.

  • Names with Inspirational Meanings

    Baby names with inspirational meanings or from spiritual sources strike an uplifting chord. Inspirational baby names are virtuous in nature, with meanings like comfort, generous, and bliss. Names with inspiring meanings might encourage your child to embody the virtue behind their name. This list includes classic virtue names like Justice and Grace, as well as names with subtler inspirational meanings, such as Grady and Veronique. Consider these names if you want to set your child up for a lifetime of inspiration.

  • Names with Military Meanings

    Military ranks and weapons have become cool new baby names. We've got military names that reference people general or particular, real and mythical, from Sergeant to MacArthur to Mars. This list also includes word names associated with military objects, such as Arrow and Rocket. We've included names that mean army or battle as well as names meaning warrior, fighter, or soldier. Although the majority of military names are for boys, we also include some that work for girls or that are gender neutral. If you're in the military or want to honor the armed forces with your child's name, browse these military baby names.

  • Names with Uplifting Meanings

    Positive meanings are a plus for all baby names, creating something for your child to live up to. The girl names here include modern virtue names such as Peace and True that are literally inspirational words as well as more conventional names with meanings such as brave, strong, and beautiful. Baby names for girls with positive meanings could set your child on the right course for life. Consider these girl names with uplifting meanings for your daughter.

  • Occupational Baby Names

    Most occupational baby names were originally surnames that described a person’s job. Names related to jobs have taken on significant style value over the past years and are destined to rise even further.

  • Remarkable Weather Baby Names

    Weather baby names are a branch of nature names that reference the—well, the weather! Some have direct weather meanings while others have a subtler connection to the weather—Cyrus, for instance, is a Persian name that means sun, and Keilani is Hawaiian for sky.

  • Son Baby Names

    Baby names that end in son originated just the way you think: they designated that the person—Jackson, say, or Jefferson—was the son of Jack or Jeffery. Son makes a stylish first name ending today, mostly for boys but since the era of Allison, also for girls. Son baby names can make for an original way to honor an ancestor or relative while slightly varying the name. Some prime examples:

  • Space Baby Names

    There are cool star names like Uma and Bono, and then there are the even more extreme astronomical star and constellation names, which might appeal to parents looking for baby boy or girl names that are unique and celestial—in other words, a heavenly name.

  • Spiritual Baby Names

    Spiritual baby names suggest qualities we'd all like our children to aspire to and fit our new definition of cool. While they seem as if they can work for both genders, most spiritual baby names have been veering toward the feminine side. A few, such as Trinity, Destiny, Sky, and Genesis, are already staples on the girls' popularity lists.

  • Stellar Names That Mean Star

    Baby names that mean star reference the night sky and celestial bodies. You might also want to give your baby a name that means star to imply specialness or a celebrity quality.

  • Strong Girl Names

    Strong baby names for girls are a more rarefied group than strong names for boys, with fewer girls' names meaning strong, powerful, or brave. We've gathered all the girl names with meanings that denote strength or power here. Names for strong girls can be long and feminine, like Gabriella or Valentina, or short and unisex, like Drew or Casey. For more strong names for baby girls, consult our lists of Names of Great Heroines and Short & Strong Girls' Names. And you might also want to consult our list of strong boy names.

  • Strong Names That Mean Bear

    Baby names meaning bear are newly fashionable and always fierce in every sense of the word. The name Bear itself is stylish now too.

  • Virtue Names

    Virtue names, favored by the Puritans, represent qualities we should embody or at least aspire to. They are word names that often speak to a parent’s values that they hope to pass on to their children. While some of the Puritanical virtue names such as Obedience and Modesty might be a bit too outdated for a 21st century child, there are plenty of modern virtue names that would feel right at home on today’s playgrounds. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if names like Reverie and Zen or Loyal and True become downright mainstream in the coming years.

  • Writing-Related Names

    Literary names have become a very stylish group in recent years, and here's an offshoot that's gotten less attention. With credit to @Vana , a berry who created an original list of similar names, these names all relate to writing itself. Writing-related baby names can connect to poetry, plot structure, and literary devices. If you're a writer or simply a book lover, one of those original word names connected to writing may be, well, right for you.