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Virtue Names and Their Meanings

All You Need Is Love

If you want to give your wee one that extra injection of positive reinforcement, use a name that represents one of the three main biblical virtues—hope, faith, and charity—or one that just spells L-O-V-E (literally or figuratively--it's up to you!). You can check out the Puritanical names listed in the beginning of this chapter or try out one of the following.

Boys' Names:

  • Amadeo: This Italian name comes from the Latin amadeus, meaning "lover of God."
  • Craddock: From an ancient Welsh name meaning "love."
  • David: It means "beloved of God," or simply "beloved," and was the given name of one of the most loved Biblical kings.
  • Dewey: It's a Welsh variation of David, with the same meaning.

Girls' Names:

  • Chanah: This Hebrew name is also translated as "full of grace" or "mercy." Its Anglicized forms include Hannah, Anna, and Ann.
  • Carys: From cam, the Welsh word for "love."
  • Agapi: From agape, one of the words used to describe God's love.
  • Amal: A Muslim or Arabic name meaning "hope." It's used for both boys and girls.
  • Esperanza: Spanish for "hope."
  • Elpida: Elpis means "hope" in Greek.
  • Amy: Spelled in this manner or Aimée, as the French do, it means "beloved."
  • Amanda: Taken from the Latin saint name Amandus, it means "much loved" or "lovable."

To Tell the Truth

No grand juries needed here! The names that follow stand for truth and justice (of which you should remind your child if you ever catch him or her in a little white lie.

Boys' Names:
  • Amin: Hebrew for "truthful" or "trustworthy." The feminine form is Amita.
  • Amitai: Amitai was the father of Jonah. This name is translated as meaning "truthful" or "faithful."
Girls' Names:
  • Alethea: A Greek name meaning "truth."
  • Amana: From the Hebrew, meaning "loyal" or "true."
  • Verena: One of many names based on the Latin word verus. Verity, a Puritan virtue name, and Veronica are several other well-known names in this genre.

Me Tarzan, You Jane

Following are virtue names having to do with traditionally prized traits of each gender:

Boys' Names:
  • Andrew: The English version of the Greek andreas meaning "manly." Another manly Greek name, but a bit overblown for many, is Apollo.
  • Arsenio: The Greeks liked names that left nothing to the imagination. This one means "masculine."
  • Devlin: This Irish name means "fierce and courageous."

Girls' Names:

  • Adiva: This name appears in both Arabic and Hebrew lexicons as meaning "agreeable" or "gentle." The masculine form is Adin.
  • Chastity: Based on the Latin word for "pure."
  • Choni: Hebrew for "gracious."
  • Inez: A pretty Spanish name meaning "pure." Not in wide use as it seems a little dated, but a possibility for a middle name.
  • Katherine: One of the oldest names around, based on the Greek word for "pure."
  • Naomi: In the Old Testament, Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth. Her name means "beautiful" or "pleasant."
  • Wynne: This Welsh name means "fair" or "pure."


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More on: Choosing a Name

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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