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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.

When tasked with choosing a name for your unborn child, name meanings can carry a lot more weight than they will at any other time in your child’s life. As much as you want to give your child a name that will ensure they grow up to be someone who is brave, honest or hardworking, how little baby name meanings actually matter is illustrated by the random origins of so many. Turns out, Javier means “owner of a new house,” Glen means “from the secluded narrow valley,” while Huxley means “from Hugh’s meadow” and Jameson means — you guessed it — “son of James.”

It seems most names, regardless of origin, can be traced back to some variation of “God is my savior” or “gift from God.” Still, by looking into the meaning of potential baby names, you can ensure your baby’s name aligns with your values. We found some of the most surprising and interesting baby name meanings; find out what means chaste, house of god, or helper.

Surprising Baby Girl Name Meanings

  • Abigail – source of father’s joy
  • Abra – mother of multitude
  • Acacia – honored one
  • Ada – prosperous, nobility
  • Adair – she who is beautiful, exalted
  • Adalia – honor
  • Adina – she who is delicate
  • Adele – graceful and noble
  • Adelaide – noble, kind
  • Adrianne – woman from Adria
  • Agatha – she who is kind
  • Agnes – sacred and chaste
  • Aida – helper, derived from the French aider, to help
  • Ainsley – a meadow
  • Alana – fair
  • Alea – honorable
  • Alessa – protector of humanity
  • Alethea- truthful
  • Alexis – defender, helper
  • Aliana – light
  • Alice – noble, kind
  • Almira – royal one
  • Amira – leader
  • Amani – faith
  • Amelia – ambitious
  • Amy – beloved
  • Anaïs – graceful, full of grace
  • Anastasia – resurrection
  • Angela – angelic
  • Anika – graceful
  • Anita – Grace
  • Anna – full of grace, mercy
  • Anne – full of grace
  • April – open
  • Araminata – defender
  • Audra – noble strength
  • Aziza – beloved
  • Beatrice – one who brings happiness
  • Bailey – from the French word for bailiff, justice officer
  • Bao – gem
  • Barbara – stranger, foreigner, once used to refer to non-Romans or those considered uncivilized
  • Basimati – to be finished
  • Bea- bringer of joy
  • Bertha – radiant
  • Bibi – full of light
  • Bethany – house of god
  • Bethel – holy place
  • Betsy – pledged to god
  • Bianca – white, shining
  • Billie – determined
  • Bindi – a tiny drop
  • Blair – plain, battle
  • Blanche – white, pure
  • Blythe – kind, joyous
  • Bodhi – awakened, enlightened
  • Bonnie – beautiful, good
  • Brigitte – strength
  • Brittany – strong
  • Bryn – honorable
  • Candence – rhythm, flow
  • Catherine – pure
  • Caitlin – untainted
  • Camille – pure, virgin of unblemished character
  • Cara – friend, she who is dear
  • Carissa – she who is dear
  • Carole – joyous song, full-grown man
  • Cassandra – temptress
  • Cecilia – blind
  • Celeste – celestial, heavenly
  • Cheryl – beloved, dear one
  • Clio – praise
  • Constance – unchanging
  • Cora – young woman
  • Cynthia – luminous
  • Dahlia – flower, gentle, tender
  • Daisy – inspired by the popular flower; the old English word “doeges eage,” days eve, refers to the sun-like yellow center of the flower
  • Danica – morning star
  • Daniele – feminine form of Daniel, which means “God is my judge” in Hebrew
  • Dale – valley
  • Daria – prosperous
  • Delma – from the sea
  • Denise – derivative of the greek god Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry
  • Diane –  divine
  • Donna – lady
  • Edna – pleasant
  • Elena – bright, torch
  • Elaine – light, bright, torch
  • Eleanor – bright shining one, light
  • Eloise – great in battle
  • Elsa – noble young woman
  • Esmé – beloved, loved, guardian
  • Esmeralda – emerald
  • Estelle – star
  • Eva – life
  • Fatima – captivating,
  • Finley – fair haired, hero, warrior
  • Frances – free one
  • Francesca – free one
  • Gabrielle – God is my strength
  • Georgia – farmer, earth worker
  • Gloria- Glory
  • Greta – a pearl
  • Haley – heroine
  • Hannah- full of grace, mercy
  • Harriet – rules the home
  • Hazel – victory
  • Heidi – noble
  • Hella – the sun
  • Hera – protector
  • Hillary – bringer of joy
  • Hilda – battle, war
  • Ida – labor, industrious one
  • Idalia – industrious
  • Ingrid – beautiful, fertile
  • Irene –  peace
  • Iris – rainbow
  • Isadora – gift, fertile
  • Isla – island
  • Jennifer – fair lady
  • Jolie – pretty
  • Kalliope – beautiful
  • Kamila – free born
  • Kara – pure
  • Karen – pure, unsullied
  • Klohe – blooming, verdant
  • Kleopatra – glory, father, of a famous father
  • Katrina – pure
  • Keara – dark one
  • Kendra – knowledgeable
  • Kristin – anointed one
  • Kyle – she who is pretty
  • Kyra – sun
  • Lala – cheerful
  • Lana – little, soft
  • Leandra – lioness
  • Martha – lady, mistress
  • Mirabelle – wondrous
  • Mona – alone
  • Nadia – filled with hope
  • Nicole – victory the people
  • Nicolette – people’s triumph
  • Nina – gracious
  • Noel – Christmas, birthday of the Lord
  • Odele – song
  • Olivia – olive, symbol of peace
  • Ophelia – helpful, successor
  • Pandora – all gifted
  • Patricia – aristocrat
  • Renee – reborn
  • Rita – pearl
  • Roxanne – dawn of day, radiant
  • Sadie – princess
  • Sally – princess
  • Sarah – princess
  • Sandra – helper, defender
  • Solange – yearly, solemn
  • Sophie – wise
  • Valerie – strong, healthy
  • Venus – love and desire
  • Vera – believed to be derived from either the Russian word for faith (vjera) or the Latin word for truth (vera)
  • Victoria – victory
  • Viola – inspired by the name of the flower
  • Violet – also inspired by a flower
  • Virginia – spring like, flourishing
  • Vivienne – alive, full of life
  • Willa – feminine version of William, originated from German word for “resolute protector”
  • Xena – welcoming, hospitable
  • Yasmine – jasmine flower
  • Zadie – princess, mother of Zeus
  • Zara –  flower, blossoming
  • Zelda – blessed, happy
  • Zoe – life
  • Zola – earth, quiet, tranquil

Surprising Baby Boy Name Meanings

  • Aaran – strong mountain
  • Aaron – enlightened
  • Aariz – respectable
  • Abba – father
  • Abbey – father rejoiced
  • Abbot – Hebrew word for “father” or “head of community”
  • Abie – servant
  • Abir – strength
  • Addison – son of the mighty warrior
  • Ace – one
  • Adair – from the brook by the oak grove
  • Adam – made from the earth
  • Adler – he who is brave
  • Adrian – derived form the ancient place in Italy
  • Ahmed – praiseworthy, comfort
  • Aidan – he who helps
  • Alan – attractive man, fair one
  • Albert – he who is brilliant
  • Andrew – courageous
  • Baldwin – bold friend
  • Ba0 – treasure
  • Ballar – brave, strong
  • Baxter – baker
  • Barney – dweller from the barn
  • Beau – French for “beautiful” (masculine)
  • Beck – dweller near the brook
  • Benedict – blessed
  • Benito – blessed
  • Benjamin – right hand’s son, favorite son, son of my sorrow
  • Benson – son of Ben
  • Bentley – bent grass meadow
  • Bert – shining, bright
  • Bingham – one who lives by the bridge
  • Bill – willful one, strong-minded
  • Blake – dark or fair
  • Blythe – cheerful
  • Braden – from the wide valley
  • Bram – father of multitudes
  • Carl – strong
  • Carlin – little champion
  • Carlton – from the strong, courageous town
  • Carmen – vineyard of the lord
  • Carmelo – fruitful
  • Carter – cart maker
  • Casey – brave, aggressive
  • Cato – cautious wisdom
  • Chandler – candle maker
  • Charles – full grown, a man, a historically royal name
  • Chekani – to cut
  • Chimango – builder
  • Chipati – to part
  • Clark – learned scholar
  • Claud – weak
  • Cortez – courteous
  • Cosgrove – from the cows grove
  • Costa – little, constant, steadfast one
  • Covey – from the cove
  • Craig – from the rock
  • Creed – one who believes
  • Crosby – from the village with a cross
  • Dale – living in a valley
  • Dalton – from the town in the valley
  • Damien – tamer
  • Darby – freedom
  • Daren – born at night
  • Dario – wealthy
  • Davis/David –  beloved
  • Dempsey – proud
  • Denley – from the meadow
  • Dillon – faithful
  • Dimitri – immeasurable, gracious
  • Donovan – dark warrior
  • Dorion – gift
  • Drew – wise, esteemed
  • Duka – to dance
  • Duncan – steadfast warrior, strong in faith
  • Earl – promise
  • Earl – friend of the sea
  • Edmond – wealthy protector
  • Edwin – wealthy friend
  • Eli – uplifting
  • Eloi – chosen
  • Emery – industrious, hardworking ruler
  • Emre – brother
  • Eric – forever ruler
  • Felix – lucky, happy
  • Fidel – faithful
  • Fortino – fortunate
  • Garcia – brave spear carrier
  • Glen – from the valley
  • Golden – gold friend
  • Grady – noble, illustrious
  • Grant – grant
  • Guy – guide from the forrest
  • Hamilton – from the proud town
  • Hedwig – fighter
  • Henry – ruler of the house
  • Herald – news bringer
  • Herb – brilliant warrior
  • Hermes – messenger
  • Hillel – new moon
  • Horace – time keeper
  • Howard – watcher, guardian
  • Howell – little, alert
  • Hubert – bright mind and heart
  • Huey – intelligent
  • Hugo – intelligent
  • Humbert – bright giant
  • Hugh – having a bright mind
  • Humphrey – a peaceful warrior
  • Ike – one who brings laughter, god smiles
  • Ira – alert, watchful stallion
  • Isaac – one who brings laughter, God smiles
  • Jabbar – one who consoles other
  • Jaime – he who supplants
  • Jamal – a handsome man
  • Jason – healer
  • Jax – son of Jack
  • Jay – victory
  • Jayce – healer
  • Jayden – thankful
  • Jaylan – calm
  • Jeffery – man of peace
  • Jonah – accomplisher
  • Joya – to have restraint
  • Jude – right with the law
  • Justin – righteous, just
  • Kacey – brave
  • Kade – from the wetlands
  • Kadir – spring
  • Kadish – holy
  • Kai – willow tree
  • Kalani – heaven, chief
  • Keanu – sea breeze
  • Kent – lord
  • Kin – golden
  • Kirby – from the church by the meadow
  • Kingsley – from the king’s meadow
  • Kyle – from the straight
  • Lamar – famous
  • Lavern – springtime
  • Leif – beloved
  • Leo – lion man
  • Leon – lion-like
  • Leonard – bold, strong
  • Leor – light of mine
  • Leroy – king
  • Louis – famous war
  • Luke – bringer of light
  • Marcus – warrior
  • Maren – sea
  • Marion – sea
  • Marlow – from the hill by the lake
  • Michael – from the Hebrew “who is like God”
  • Milan – loving
  • Millar – grain mill worker
  • Milo – peaceful, merciful, mild
  • Nicolas – people’s triumph
  • Norman – composed of French words for north and man, once used to identify a group of Scandinavians living in Normandy
  • Oakley – from an oak tree
  • Oliver – derived from either French Olivier (olive tree) or German Alfihar (elf warrior)
  • Otis – wealthy
  • Paco – French man
  • Paul – derived from Latin word for small, Paulus
  • Quigley – loving nature
  • Quincy – fifth, patient
  • Quon – bright light
  • Rafi – musical, friend
  • Raleigh – jovial
  • Ralph – advisor to all
  • Randy – secretive
  • Ravi – sun god
  • Rio – River
  • Rich – wise
  • Roan- red-haired
  • Robert – bright fame
  • Robson – son of Robert
  • Rocco – battle cry
  • Roger – famous spear
  • Roland – famous country
  • Ronan – little seal
  • Sandros – defender and freer of mankind
  • Sander – defensive
  • Schneider – stylish
  • Seamus – replacement, bonus
  • Sebastian – dramatic, honorable
  • Serge – gentle man
  • Sergio – handsome
  • Vincent – conqueror
  • Vito – full of life
Fatherly IQ
  1. When selecting games to play with your child, the most important criteria is:
    It's fun. You'll laugh together
    It teaches kids how to follow rules
    It teaches hard skills like counting, matching, reading
    It teaches softer skills like empathy, cooperation, listening
    It brings the kid in on a family tradition
    None of the above
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