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The 363 Most Surprising Baby Name Meanings

You'll be surprised by which name means graceful and which just means... bailiff.

Choosing a name for your baby boy or girl is an exciting task, if a high pressure one. Names carry meaning, many of them obscured by time, and before your child’s specific personality and life story fill out the baby name you’ve given them, the baby name’s meaning carries most of the weight. Every parent wants to give their child a unique name with great meaning, one that will help them to grow up to be brave, honest, or hardworking. But some of the strongest, unique baby boy and unique baby girl names have comparatively humble meanings, which just goes to show how little the meaning of a name can matter in the end. Javier, for instance, means “owner of a new house,” while Glen means “from the secluded narrow valley.” Jameson means — you guessed it — “son of James.”

Dozens of baby names, regardless of their origin, can be traced back to some variation of “God is my savior” or “gift from God.” Still, looking into potential baby name meanings is a helpful tool for exploring unique, uncommon names you might not otherwise encounter, and ensuring your baby’s name aligns with your values.

Surprising Girl Baby Name Meanings

  1. Abigail – source of father’s joy
  2. Abra – mother of multitude
  3. Acacia – honored one
  4. Ada – prosperous, nobility
  5. Adair – she who is beautiful, exalted
  6. Adalia – honor
  7. Adina – she who is delicate
  8. Adele – graceful and noble
  9. Adelaide – noble, kind
  10. Adrianne – woman from Adria
  11. Agatha – she who is kind
  12. Agnes – sacred and chaste
  13. Aida – helper, derived from the French aider, to help
  14. Ainsley – a meadow
  15. Alana – fair
  16. Alea – honorable
  17. Alessa – protector of humanity
  18. Alethea- truthful
  19. Alexis – defender, helper
  20. Aliana – light
  21. Alice – noble, kind
  22. Almira – royal one
  23. Amira – leader
  24. Amani – faith
  25. Amelia – ambitious
  26. Amy – beloved
  27. Anaïs – graceful, full of grace
  28. Anastasia – resurrection
  29. Angela – angelic
  30. Anika – graceful
  31. Anita – Grace
  32. Anna – full of grace, mercy
  33. Anne – full of grace
  34. April – open
  35. Araminata – defender
  36. Audra – noble strength
  37. Aziza – beloved
  38. Beatrice – one who brings happiness
  39. Bailey – from the French word for bailiff, justice officer
  40. Bao – gem
  41. Barbara – stranger, foreigner, once used to refer to non-Romans or those considered uncivilized
  42. Basimati – to be finished
  43. Bea- bringer of joy
  44. Bertha – radiant
  45. Bibi – full of light
  46. Bethany – house of god
  47. Bethel – holy place
  48. Betsy – pledged to god
  49. Bianca – white, shining
  50. Billie – determined
  51. Bindi – a tiny drop
  52. Blair – plain, battle
  53. Blanche – white, pure
  54. Blythe – kind, joyous
  55. Bodhi – awakened, enlightened
  56. Bonnie – beautiful, good
  57. Brigitte – strength
  58. Brittany – strong
  59. Bryn – honorable
  60. Candence – rhythm, flow
  61. Catherine – pure
  62. Caitlin – untainted
  63. Camille – pure, virgin of unblemished character
  64. Cara – friend, she who is dear
  65. Carissa – she who is dear
  66. Carole – joyous song, full-grown man
  67. Cassandra – temptress
  68. Cecilia – blind
  69. Celeste – celestial, heavenly
  70. Cheryl – beloved, dear one
  71. Clio – praise
  72. Constance – unchanging
  73. Cora – young woman
  74. Cynthia – luminous
  75. Dahlia – flower, gentle, tender
  76. Daisy – inspired by the popular flower; the old English word “doeges eage,” days eve, refers to the sun-like yellow center of the flower
  77. Danica – morning star
  78. Daniele – feminine form of Daniel, which means “God is my judge” in Hebrew
  79. Dale – valley
  80. Daria – prosperous
  81. Delma – from the sea
  82. Denise – derivative of the greek god Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry
  83. Diane –  divine
  84. Donna – lady
  85. Edna – pleasant
  86. Elena – bright, torch
  87. Elaine – light, bright, torch
  88. Eleanor – bright shining one, light
  89. Eloise – great in battle
  90. Elsa – noble young woman
  91. Esmé – beloved, loved, guardian
  92. Esmeralda – emerald
  93. Estelle – star
  94. Eva – life
  95. Fatima – captivating,
  96. Finley – fair haired, hero, warrior
  97. Frances – free one
  98. Francesca – free one
  99. Gabrielle – God is my strength
  100. Georgia – farmer, earth worker
  101. Gloria- Glory
  102. Greta – a pearl
  103. Haley – heroine
  104. Hannah- full of grace, mercy
  105. Harriet – rules the home
  106. Hazel – victory
  107. Heidi – noble
  108. Hella – the sun
  109. Hera – protector
  110. Hillary – bringer of joy
  111. Hilda – battle, war
  112. Ida – labor, industrious one
  113. Idalia – industrious
  114. Ingrid – beautiful, fertile
  115. Irene –  peace
  116. Iris – rainbow
  117. Isadora – gift, fertile
  118. Isla – island
  119. Jennifer – fair lady
  120. Jolie – pretty
  121. Kalliope – beautiful
  122. Kamila – free born
  123. Kara – pure
  124. Karen – pure, unsullied
  125. Klohe – blooming, verdant
  126. Kleopatra – glory, father, of a famous father
  127. Katrina – pure
  128. Keara – dark one
  129. Kendra – knowledgeable
  130. Kristin – anointed one
  131. Kyle – she who is pretty
  132. Kyra – sun
  133. Lala – cheerful
  134. Lana – little, soft
  135. Leandra – lioness
  136. Martha – lady, mistress
  137. Mirabelle – wondrous
  138. Mona – alone
  139. Nadia – filled with hope
  140. Nicole – victory the people
  141. Nicolette – people’s triumph
  142. Nina – gracious
  143. Noel – Christmas, birthday of the Lord
  144. Odele – song
  145. Olivia – olive, symbol of peace
  146. Ophelia – helpful, successor
  147. Pandora – all gifted
  148. Patricia – aristocrat
  149. Renee – reborn
  150. Rita – pearl
  151. Roxanne – dawn of day, radiant
  152. Sadie – princess
  153. Sally – princess
  154. Sarah – princess
  155. Sandra – helper, defender
  156. Solange – yearly, solemn
  157. Sophie – wise
  158. Valerie – strong, healthy
  159. Venus – love and desire
  160. Vera – believed to be derived from either the Russian word for faith (vjera) or the Latin word for truth (vera)
  161. Victoria – victory
  162. Viola – inspired by the name of the flower
  163. Violet – also inspired by a flower
  164. Virginia – spring like, flourishing
  165. Vivienne – alive, full of life
  166. Willa – feminine version of William, originated from German word for “resolute protector”
  167. Xena – welcoming, hospitable
  168. Yasmine – jasmine flower
  169. Zadie – princess, mother of Zeus
  170. Zara –  flower, blossoming
  171. Zelda – blessed, happy
  172. Zoe – life
  173. Zola – earth, quiet, tranquil

Surprising Boy Baby Name Meanings

  1. Aaran – strong mountain
  2. Aaron – enlightened
  3. Aariz – respectable
  4. Abba – father
  5. Abbey – father rejoiced
  6. Abbot – Hebrew word for “father” or “head of community”
  7. Abie – servant
  8. Abir – strength
  9. Addison – son of the mighty warrior
  10. Ace – one
  11. Adair – from the brook by the oak grove
  12. Adam – made from the earth
  13. Adler – he who is brave
  14. Adrian – derived form the ancient place in Italy
  15. Ahmed – praiseworthy, comfort
  16. Aidan – he who helps
  17. Alan – attractive man, fair one
  18. Albert – he who is brilliant
  19. Andrew – courageous
  20. Baldwin – bold friend
  21. Ba0 – treasure
  22. Ballar – brave, strong
  23. Baxter – baker
  24. Barney – dweller from the barn
  25. Beau – French for “beautiful” (masculine)
  26. Beck – dweller near the brook
  27. Benedict – blessed
  28. Benito – blessed
  29. Benjamin – right hand’s son, favorite son, son of my sorrow
  30. Benson – son of Ben
  31. Bentley – bent grass meadow
  32. Bert – shining, bright
  33. Bingham – one who lives by the bridge
  34. Bill – willful one, strong-minded
  35. Blake – dark or fair
  36. Blythe – cheerful
  37. Braden – from the wide valley
  38. Bram – father of multitudes
  39. Carl – strong
  40. Carlin – little champion
  41. Carlton – from the strong, courageous town
  42. Carmen – vineyard of the lord
  43. Carmelo – fruitful
  44. Carter – cart maker
  45. Casey – brave, aggressive
  46. Cato – cautious wisdom
  47. Chandler – candle maker
  48. Charles – full grown, a man, a historically royal name
  49. Chekani – to cut
  50. Chimango – builder
  51. Chipati – to part
  52. Clark – learned scholar
  53. Claud – weak
  54. Cortez – courteous
  55. Cosgrove – from the cows grove
  56. Costa – little, constant, steadfast one
  57. Covey – from the cove
  58. Craig – from the rock
  59. Creed – one who believes
  60. Crosby – from the village with a cross
  61. Dale – living in a valley
  62. Dalton – from the town in the valley
  63. Damien – tamer
  64. Darby – freedom
  65. Daren – born at night
  66. Dario – wealthy
  67. Davis/David –  beloved
  68. Dempsey – proud
  69. Denley – from the meadow
  70. Dillon – faithful
  71. Dimitri – immeasurable, gracious
  72. Donovan – dark warrior
  73. Dorion – gift
  74. Drew – wise, esteemed
  75. Duka – to dance
  76. Duncan – steadfast warrior, strong in faith
  77. Earl – promise
  78. Earl – friend of the sea
  79. Edmond – wealthy protector
  80. Edwin – wealthy friend
  81. Eli – uplifting
  82. Eloi – chosen
  83. Emery – industrious, hardworking ruler
  84. Emre – brother
  85. Eric – forever ruler
  86. Felix – lucky, happy
  87. Fidel – faithful
  88. Fortino – fortunate
  89. Garcia – brave spear carrier
  90. Glen – from the valley
  91. Golden – gold friend
  92. Grady – noble, illustrious
  93. Grant – grant
  94. Guy – guide from the forrest
  95. Hamilton – from the proud town
  96. Hedwig – fighter
  97. Henry – ruler of the house
  98. Herald – news bringer
  99. Herb – brilliant warrior
  100. Hermes – messenger
  101. Hillel – new moon
  102. Horace – time keeper
  103. Howard – watcher, guardian
  104. Howell – little, alert
  105. Hubert – bright mind and heart
  106. Huey – intelligent
  107. Hugo – intelligent
  108. Humbert – bright giant
  109. Hugh – having a bright mind
  110. Humphrey – a peaceful warrior
  111. Ike – one who brings laughter, god smiles
  112. Ira – alert, watchful stallion
  113. Isaac – one who brings laughter, God smiles
  114. Jabbar – one who consoles other
  115. Jaime – he who supplants
  116. Jamal – a handsome man
  117. Jason – healer
  118. Jax – son of Jack
  119. Jay – victory
  120. Jayce – healer
  121. Jayden – thankful
  122. Jaylan – calm
  123. Jeffery – man of peace
  124. Jonah – accomplisher
  125. Joya – to have restraint
  126. Jude – right with the law
  127. Justin – righteous, just
  128. Kacey – brave
  129. Kade – from the wetlands
  130. Kadir – spring
  131. Kadish – holy
  132. Kai – willow tree
  133. Kalani – heaven, chief
  134. Keanu – sea breeze
  135. Kent – lord
  136. Kin – golden
  137. Kirby – from the church by the meadow
  138. Kingsley – from the king’s meadow
  139. Kyle – from the straight
  140. Lamar – famous
  141. Lavern – springtime
  142. Leif – beloved
  143. Leo – lion man
  144. Leon – lion-like
  145. Leonard – bold, strong
  146. Leor – light of mine
  147. Leroy – king
  148. Louis – famous war
  149. Luke – bringer of light
  150. Marcus – warrior
  151. Maren – sea
  152. Marion – sea
  153. Marlow – from the hill by the lake
  154. Michael – from the Hebrew “who is like God”
  155. Milan – loving
  156. Millar – grain mill worker
  157. Milo – peaceful, merciful, mild
  158. Nicolas – people’s triumph
  159. Norman – composed of French words for north and man, once used to identify a group of Scandinavians living in Normandy
  160. Oakley – from an oak tree
  161. Oliver – derived from either French Olivier (olive tree) or German Alfihar (elf warrior)
  162. Otis – wealthy
  163. Paco – French man
  164. Paul – derived from Latin word for small, Paulus
  165. Quigley – loving nature
  166. Quincy – fifth, patient
  167. Quon – bright light
  168. Rafi – musical, friend
  169. Raleigh – jovial
  170. Ralph – advisor to all
  171. Randy – secretive
  172. Ravi – sun god
  173. Rio – River
  174. Rich – wise
  175. Roan- red-haired
  176. Robert – bright fame
  177. Robson – son of Robert
  178. Rocco – battle cry
  179. Roger – famous spear
  180. Roland – famous country
  181. Ronan – little seal
  182. Sandros – defender and freer of mankind
  183. Sander – defensive
  184. Schneider – stylish
  185. Seamus – replacement, bonus
  186. Sebastian – dramatic, honorable
  187. Serge – gentle man
  188. Sergio – handsome
  189. Vincent – conqueror
  190. Vito – full of life