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Unique Names Starting With B

BeatrixHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness; blessed"
  • Description:

    Beatrix has a solid history of its own apart from Beatrice, with that final x adding a playful, animated note to the name's imposing history.

BlytheHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "happy, carefree"
  • Description:

    Blythe originated as a nickname for an upbeat person, coming from the Old English word bliðe, meaning "merry" or "cheerful." Today the homophone blithe shares the same meaning. Blythe was eventually adapted to a surname before it became a feminine given name.

BirdieHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "bird"
  • Description:

    Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.

BartholomewHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of the furrow"
  • Description:

    Bartholomew is an apostle's name that's been out of favor for centuries but might appeal again to the parent in search of an old but rare choice. The challenge could be to avoid the Simpson-ish nickname. That character, by the way, has the full name of Bartholomew JoJo Simpson, and creator Matt Groening came up with Bart as an--uh oh--anagram for brat. Two old alternate nicknames are Barty and Tolly.

BenedictHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "blessed"
  • Description:

    Parents who like Ben and Benjamin but find those forms too popular sometimes consider Benedict as a more distinctive choice. Unlike the Old Testament Benjamin, Benedict is the name of the saint who formed the Benedictine Order and of fifteen popes,including a recent one.

BalthazarHeart

  • Origin:

    Phoenician
  • Meaning:

    "Baal protects the King"
  • Description:

    This evocative name of one of the Three Wise Men of the Orient, also spelled Balthasar, may finally be ready for prime time. Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar were the Magi who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus, though their names were not mentioned in the Bible.

BarnabyHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Barnabas, Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of consolation"
  • Description:

    Barnaby, a genial and energetic name with an Irish-sounding three-syllable lilt, is an ancient appellation that manages to be both unusual and highly attractive and deserves to be used more than it is. A sweet-spot name that's a real winner.

BeaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Beatrice
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness"
  • Description:

    Bea is a former old lady name that's cute again as a short form -- and is now beginning to stand on its own. Bee is a variation that, like Bea, can work as a diminutive for any name that starts with the letter B, or in the middle. Bea actually stood alone on the popularity lists for four years at the beginning of the twentieth century--and it could happen again.

BettyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Combine the popularity of Betty White and Mad Men's glamorous Betty Draper Francis, with the residual sweetness of Ugly Betty's Betty Suarez, and the result is an impending return of the name. It's got presidential cred via Betty Ford and feminist history through Betty Friedan.

BillieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Wilhelmina, Wilma
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Billie is a tomboy nickname name, part of the growing trend for using boyish nicknames for girls and now destined for stardom along with its most famous contemporary bearer, music sensation Billie Eilish.

BasilHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "regal"
  • Description:

    Although Greek in origin--in the fourth century, a bishop by that name established the principles of the Greek Orthodox Church--Basil for years took on the aura of aquiline-nosed upper-class Britishness of Sherlock Holmes portrayer Basil Rathbone, then spiced with the fragrant aroma of the herb that entered with the Pesto generation.

BowieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "blond"
  • Description:

    Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn put this name in play as a first name, but David Bowie (born with the considerably less marketable moniker of David Robert Jones) dyed it blond and gave it charisma. He changed his surname in 1965 to avoid confusion with the then popular Davy Jones of The Monkees, and especially since his death, his admirers have seen it as an increasingly viable baby name namesake.

BoazHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "swiftness"
  • Description:

    Now that such Old Testament patriarchs as Elijah and Moses fill the playground, Boaz seems downright baby-friendly, having more pizzazz than many of the others, perhaps as a successor to Noah.

BastianHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Sebastian, Latin from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "man of Sebastia"
  • Description:

    In Spanish cultures, and spelled either Bastian or Bastien, this is a fairly common nickname name. The German fantasy children's book The Neverending Story features a young boy character called Bastian Balthlazar Bux, and it has also been seen in several screen versions.

BeeHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name or diminutive of Beatrice
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness"
  • Description:

    We've seen Beatrice and Beatrix climb in popularity, along with traditional nickname Bea. And now there's Bee, giving it a buzzy nature world spin, plus a tie to popular late night TV''s Samantha Bee, not to mention Aunt Bee on the old The Andy Griffith Show TV show. Bee can theoretically be short for any girl names starting with B.

BernadetteHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "brave as a bear"
  • Description:

    Although feminizations ending in "ette" are not particularly popular now, Bernadette is a pleasant, feminine, but strong name that doesn't feel prohibitively dated. And though strongly associated with the saint who saw visions of the Virgin Mary—Saint Bernadette of Lourdes—it is now no longer strictly inhabiting the Catholic diocese.

BuntyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Description:

    A bouncy English and Scottish nickname name, which originally started out as a term of endearment, either meaning "lamb" or (more probably) "plump". It has been in rare but regular use as a full name in Britain since at least the early 20th century, thanks in part to the popular comic play "Bunty Pulls The Strings" (1910). Bunty is also sometimes encountered as a pet name for Elizabeth or other unrelated names.

BryonyHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin flower name
  • Meaning:

    "to sprout"
  • Description:

    Bryony is an unusually strong plant name --the bryony is a wild climbing vine with green flowers --that caught on in the U.K. before sprouting here. The name of the young character in the Ian McEwan novel Atonement is spelled Briony, which is the variation and Bryony the original.

BeckHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "small stream"
  • Description:

    The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has given this cool nature-meets-surname name a new lease of life. Another notable bearer is Beck Weathers, a Texan pathologist who survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which was covered in the book and film Into Thin Air.

BlossomHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "to bloom"
  • Description:

    Now that parents have picked virtually every name in the garden, from the common Rose to the captivating Zinnia, some are reconsidering the old, more generic names like Flora and Posy and Blossom — which was last in favor in the 1920s and still has a Floradora showgirl aura.

BrionyHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Bryony
  • Meaning:

    "to sprout"
  • Description:

    Briony may be the variation and Bryony the original, but many parents will see this as the more authentic-feeling version of this attractive botanical name. Still unusual in the U.S., Briony is in the British Top 100 and may appeal to parents as a fresh spin on Briana or Brittany or an honorific for a Brian, though it bears no relationship to the male name.

BlueHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    Blue suddenly came into the spotlight, as the unusual color name chosen by Beyonce and Jay-Z for their baby girl Blue Ivy. Blue is also a starbaby middle name du jour, used for both sexes in different spellings and forms, from John Travolta and Kelly Preston's Ella Bleu to Alicia Silverstone's Bear Blu. Dave 'The Edge' Evans named his daughter Blue Angel back in 1989.

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.

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.

BrynHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "hill"
  • Description:

    Bryn is an up-and-coming gentle, yet substantial, Welsh name that would also be effective in the middle spot. In Wales it's a traditional boys' name, but it's far more popular for girls now in the US.

BramHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch variation of Abraham
  • Meaning:

    "father of multitudes"
  • Description:

    Bram has an unusual measure of character and charm for a one-syllable name; it started as a hipper-than-Abe diminutive of the biblical Abraham, but is also an independent Irish and Dutch name, made famous by Irish-born Dracula creator Bram (nee Abraham) Stoker. Bram is currently Number 16 in the Netherlands; Bram Howard was a character on The West Wing.

BreeHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, from Brid, Brigh, Brigid
  • Meaning:

    "strength or exalted one"
  • Description:

    A short, breezy name with a sophisticated yet upbeat image, that doesn't betray its Irish roots. Bree first came to notice here in 1971 via the complex prostitute character in the movie Klute, which earned Jane Fonda an Oscar. More recently, it was tied to the character of Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives.

BronwynHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white breast"
  • Description:

    One of the loveliest of the Welsh names, striking the perfect balance between being familiar and unusual. In Wales, the female spelling is always Bronwen, but Americans usually see a "y" as adding femininity.

BernardHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "strong, brave as a bear"
  • Description:

    Bernard is obviously a saint's name, but how did it get to the big, benevolent dog? The eleventh century monk, patron saint of mountain climbers, who lived in the Alps, was famed for setting up safe houses for pilgrims on their way to Rome over the treacherous St. Bernard Pass, and the canine breed, also used to rescue people in treacherous conditions, was named for him.

BookerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational surname
  • Meaning:

    "scribe"
  • Description:

    Booker would make for a very cool name, for writers, reformers, R & B fans and those wanting to pay tribute to Booker T. Washington.

BarneyHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Barnabas
  • Meaning:

    "son of comfort"
  • Description:

    The name Barney is hot among hip Londoners and it has been above the Top 500 in the UK since 2012. You can see why - it's got a friendly happy sound and a lovely meaning and is more easily worn than Barnabas. However, Barney is a more difficult sell in America, due to Barney the Dinosaur and Barney Gumble, the loveable lout from The Simpsons. In the positive column for Barney are jazz clarinetist Barney Bigard and guitarist Barney Kessel. For those who love the name but can't get past the dinosaur, may we suggest the related names Bernard or Barnaby?

BetsyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    This Elizabeth nickname has a decidedly retro feel--think Betsy Ross and the Betsy Wetsy doll-- once seen as a perkier, younger-sounding alternative to Betty. But with Betty on the brink of a comeback, pigtailed Betsy could return as well.

BambiHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "baby girl"
  • Description:

    Although Disney's cute deer was a male, Bambi's always been used for girls, but sounds far too flimsy to face the modern world.

BladeHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    One of the new crop of boys' names that manage to be unconventional and macho at the same time -- though Blade verges on the threatening.

BuddyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, nickname name
  • Description:

    Until recently it was rarely used as a proper name; Buddy Holly, for example, was christened Charles, and Salinger's Buddy Glass was born Webb. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver did name his fourth child Buddy Bear Maurice--a fittingly named brother to Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela and Petal Blossom Rainbow, and singer Tom Fletcher has a double-nicknamed Buddy Bob.

BarnabasHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of consolation"
  • Description:

    Barnabas, whose birth name was Joseph, was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem, who undertook missionary journeys with Paul the Apostle, His name is a bit Old World compared to the update Barnaby, but could gain some attention as boys' names ending in 's' are enjoying a comeback.

BenjiHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Benjamin
  • Description:

    Benji is undeniably cute, much in the way of a — yes, an adorable movie mutt. Ben is the handsome traditional short form of Benjamin, but Benji makes a more unexpected nickname

BronteHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "thunder"
  • Description:

    This lovely surname of the three novel-writing sisters, now used as a baby name, makes a fitting tribute for lovers of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. While the original name took an umlaut over the e, modern English speakers may find that more trouble than it's worth. Trivia note: The Anglo-Irish clergyman who was the father of Charlotte, Emily and Anne changed his name from the original Brunty. According to scholars, the family pronounced the name brun-tee, though in the 21st century world it's commonly pronounced bron-tay. In Australia, the name is more likely to take inspiration from Bronte Beach in Sydney. It was named after Lord Nelson, the 1st Duke of Bronté. He got his title from a town in Sicily, itself named after a mythological Cyclops.

BillHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of William
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Most Bills today are dads...or grandpas. The younger Williams are usually nicknamed Will, or called by their full names.

BillyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of William
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Cute kid with freckles, bouncing a Spalding ball. Cool couple Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton put the name Billy Burton on their son's birth certificate. While the classic William, name of the future king of England, may in fact be German, the nickname Billy along with such other classic short forms as Jim and Joe are authentically English names for boys.

BeulahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "married"
  • Description:

    In the Bible, Beulah is a place, not a person, applied to the land of Israel by the prophet Isaiah. The land of Beulah has sometimes been considered a reference to heaven. Beulah began to be used as a given name in England at the time of the Reformation and was used by the seventeenth century Puritans.

BronwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white breast"
  • Description:

    Bronwen is widespread in Wales, but still rare enough here to sound somewhat international — we think Bronwen is a real winner. (Note: the Bronwyn spelling is an Anglicization, since the -wyn ending is masculine in Welsh).

BelindaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish or German
  • Meaning:

    "pretty one, or, serpent"
  • Description:

    Belinda, cousin of Linda and Melinda, enjoyed a brief return to the Top 1000 from 2005 through 2013, only to fall off again in 2014. A name that some may consider a modern spin on the midcentury popularity queen Linda is in fact a classic with deep and fascinating roots. In Babylonian mythology Belinda was the goddess of heaven and earth, and the name later was used for the heroine of Alexander Pope's satirical poem The Rape of the Lock.

BunnyHeart

  • Origin:

    Nickname deriving from a variety of B names
  • Description:

    Bunny may be adorable, but is it really enough of a name for your daughter? Plus if Buffy is fluffy, what would that make Bunny? Still, Bunny as a baby name is in the spotlight since Bryan Adams named his little girl Mirabella Bunny.

BrutusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "heavy, dull"
  • Description:

    Brutus is the quintessential brute--far too close to the word brutal. And any child with this name would spend much of his life hearing "Et tu."

BluebellHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name from English
  • Meaning:

    "blue bell"
  • Description:

    Bluebell is one flower name that is used very quietly. Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell joined her former Spice Sisters in creative baby-naming with this adventurous -- some might say outlandish -- choice. Distinctive and charming? Or better suited to a farmyard animal? Your call.

BaxterHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "baker"
  • Description:

    An x makes any name cooler, so that Baxter has a bit more pizzazz than the original Baker. Baxter had some currency as a first name a century ago--it was on the popularity lists sporadically from 1880 till the 1920s, peaking at Number 515 in 1886-- which means it's just about due for a comeback. And we can see Bax as a worthy follow-up to Max and Jax.

BenaiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "built by God"
  • Description:

    Benaiah is an unusual Biblical choice that can get you to Ben.

BaileyHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "law enforcer, bailiff"
  • Description:

    Extremely amiable, open-sounding surname that's gradually being taken over by the girls.

BerniceHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings victory"
  • Description:

    Rarely heard today-- it fell off the list around 1980--Bernice is a biblical name of Greek origin. In the Bible, she is a sister of King Agrippa. Bernice was a Top 100 name in the US for more than three decades--from 1900 to 1936--hitting a high of Number 39 in 1921.
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