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Baby Name Origins

Looking for just the right name for your baby-to-be? Browse thousands of baby names by origin to help you pick the perfect name for your baby.

African Names

African baby names (which include Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Arabic names) are beautiful, exotic, and full of meaning—think Barack (Swahili for “blessing”) or Aaliyah, (meaning “to rise up.”)

American Names

American baby names are as diverse and creative as the people who make up the USA—from strong and traditional, like William and Sarah, to unique, like Phineas and Apple.

Arabic Names

Arabic baby names—Christian and Muslim—are steeped in history. Baby boy names include the traditional Salim, meaning “peaceful.” Popular baby girl names include Aisha, as well as the more traditional Akeelah.

Celtic Names

Celtic baby names (a combination of Irish, Welsh, Gaelic, and Scottish names) tend to have a magical, timeless, and musical feel. More modern Celtic names are often unisex—like Morgan and Quinn.

Chinese Names

Traditional Chinese baby boy names connote strength, prosperity, or characteristics you hope your baby will exhibit—like Quon (meaning “bright, shining”). Baby girl names tend to skew towards beauty, grace, flowers, or trees—like Lian.

Czech Names

The Czech Republic has given us some of the most famous people in sports, literature, and business. Hoping your baby girl will grow up to be a successful businesswoman? Consider Ivana. Hockey fan? Try Dominik. Lit buff? Maybe Milan.

Danish Names

Danish baby names (which include Norse/Scandinavian names) come in and out of style, but some have popular for generations—like Karen or Eva for girls and Cristofer or Erik for boys.

Dutch Names

The Dutch are known for their creativity, even in names. Famous Dutch include artist Vincent van Gogh, performer-cum-female spy Mata Hari (born Margaretha Geertruida and made famous by Greta Garbo), and celebrity James Van Der Beek.

Egyptian Names

Egyptian baby names go back thousands of years and bring to mind ancient pharaohs—Ptolemy and Cleopatra. Modern Egyptian names are closely related to Arabic names so be sure to take a peek at both.

English Names

Andrew, Abigail, Charles—these are some of the more popular English baby names today. Traditionally, English names were biblical or conveyed a virtue—think Hope, Charity, and Faith. If you’re feeling literary, you can also mine Shakespeare for English name ideas.

Finnish Names

Can’t decide on just one name? In Finland, it’s not uncommon to give your baby up to three names. One of the most popular Finnish baby girl names is Aino, but there are plenty of other Finnish favorites from which to choose.

French Names

French baby names are traditionally saints’ names, but the French sometimes add a little twist by using hyphenates (think Jean-Baptiste or Marie-Élise). Très bon!

German Names

For a classic German name, just think of the children in The Sound of Music. (Nevermind that they’re supposed to be Austrian!) German baby names tend to have strong consonants, like Friedrich, Kurt, Louisa, Brigitta, and wee Gretel.

Greek Names

If Greek names bring to mind only Zeus, Aphrodite, or Apollo, think again. Beyond mythical Greek baby name, there’s Alexander for your baby boy—still popular after thousands of years—or Sophia for your baby girl, and hundreds more classic and creative names to choose from.

Hebrew Names

They’re so common that you may not have noticed some of the most popular baby names these days are Hebrew, including Jacob, Noah, Ava, and Abigail, for starters. Even classics like Abraham and Sarah are still in favor.

Hindu and Indian Names (Sanskrit Names)

Indian baby names are typically associated with Hindu gods—think Indra (“supreme ruler of the gods”) and Anahita (“goddess of fertility and water”)— or Sanskrit words like Arun (“sun”) or Chandra (“of the moon”) that represent the natural world.

Hungarian Names

Hungarian baby names look striking and unusual to American eyes. For example, Anastasia becomes Anasztaizia and Joseph become Jozsef. An appealing alternative if you like name spellings with a twist.

Irish Names

Irish baby names tend to be magical, timeless, and musical in nature. And a few of today’s trendiest Irish names are actually surnames. (Do Brady, Cullen, and Quinn ring a bell?) Other infamous Irish names: Sinead, Connor, and Arthur.

Italian Names

Milan, Rome, Venice—in addition to being great places to visit, they are unique Italian baby names. But if you are looking for more traditional Italian or Latin names, Antonio, Angelo, and Mia are popular picks.

Japanese Names

Whether you choose a traditional Japanese baby name (Masao) or a more modern one (Hina), one thing is for sure, it’s meaning in Japanese is likely to be complex. One Japanese name could have dozens of meanings!

Latin Names

As Hispanic culture expands in the United States, so does the popularity of Latin baby names. Latin and Latina celebrities tend to top the list (Eva, Antonio, Penelope) and names like Dora and Diego aren’t just for explorers anymore.

Native American Names

Many Native American names are drawn from nature, like Jacy (“moon”) or Koko (“night”). And it’s not uncommon in Native American culture for a person’s name to evolve over time. It reminds us of the way nicknames come and go as you get older.

Norse Names

Nordic names dominate Viking and Scandinavian history and seem to us to run the gamut from tough and strong, like Bjami, to lovely and delicate, like Dahlia. Browse Babble’s full list of Norse baby names and meanings to see if you agree.

Persian Names

Because Iran (formerly Persia) has a large Islamic population, many Persian names overlap with Arabic Muslim names. Ava (“voice”), Faraz (“above”), and Jasper (“treasurer”) are some of our favorites, but read on for more Persian baby name ideas.

Polish Names

Unlike in countries where unisex names blur the distinction between boys and girls, there’s no mistaking a Polish girl name. In our entire list of Polish baby names, we could only find a handful of girl names that didn’t end in “a.” If you’re not a fan of gender bending baby names, a Polish name could be just what you’re looking for.

Portuguese Names

Portuguese baby names, much like names from other European countries, are inspired by saints or historical figures—think Ferdinand and Bartolomeu or more modern alternatives like Cristiano and Amalia.

Russian Names

Popular Russian baby girl names include Anastasia (meaning “resurrection”) and Svetlana (meaning “luminescent”). Browse our list of Russian baby names to find the perfect name for your baby girl or boy.

Scandinavian Names

Vikings, dragons, and Norse gods, oh my! Scandinavia is the geographic region that includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden, so be sure to take a look at those names as well for a full list of Scandinavian baby names.

Scottish Names

Brave, heroic, reckless—well, you may not want that last quality for your baby, but from William Wallace (Braveheart) to Alexander Graham Bell, Sean Connery, and Kelly Macdonald, Scotland has given us plenty of brave, creative, and inventive names to choose from.

Slavic Names

Looking for a unique spin on common names? Consider a Slavic variation. For example—Danica, meaning “morning star,” is a Slavic variation of Daniella. Browse our list of Slavic baby names to find a unique name for your baby boy or baby girl.

Spanish Names

Searching for the perfect Spanish baby name? From Diego to Miguel, Adriana to Graciela, we’ll help you find the best pick for your bebé. De nada.

Swedish Names

Browse our list of Swedish baby names to find the perfect one for your baby girl or boy. Popular names include Lucas, Erik, Anna, Elias, and Elsa. You might recognize the name Annika from Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking. It’s the most recognizable Swedish name we can remember from children’s literature.

Welsh Names

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, has a decidedly un-Welsh name. But browse through our list to find plenty of traditional Welsh baby names and their meanings. One of our favorites: Owain (meaning “young warrior”).

Yiddish Names

You may already be familiar with Yiddish names if you’ve ever watched Fiddler on the Roof or An American Tail. Our trick for spotting Yiddish names is noting their creative spellings when written in Roman letters, for example Schmuel for Samuel.