Barbara: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Barbara

Barbara

Pronunciation: BAHR-brə, BAHR-ber-ə (key)

Origin of the name Barbara:

Latin name derived from barbarus (foreign, strange), a term applied to non-Romans or those deemed to be uncivilized. Var: Barbra. Short: Barb. Pet: Babs, Barbi, Barbie.

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US Popularity of Barbara Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Barbara: | Edit

My grandmother is named Barbara. She is 82, and named after her mother. She goes by Barbie to this day! My grandmother would make anyone want to name their girl Barbara - she owns a travel agency and has been to 80 countries in her lifetime, and all 50 states. She is 4'10" and everyone who knows her thinks she's adorable. She has an infectious laugh and a mischievous way about her! If I ever have a little girl, I want to name her Barbara so she can as adventurous and fantastic as their great grandmother.

This is a beautiful classic name, which unfortunately has been downgraded for a long time because of the Barbie doll connection. It could make a comeback in the next few years, as names popular in the 1930s and 1940s begin coming back.

I named my daughter Barbara, she is now 7. Although it is considered "old fashioned", it has an elegant, classic, charm. She was named after the most wonderful person in the world - my grandmother, and that makes it even more special. Barbara gets comments all the time on her name. She will most likely be the only Barbara in her classes (a plus!), and her nickname Barbie has all the little girls jealous. If she chooses, she can go by Belle (her middle name) as an adult, but I suspect she will love it's classic beauty as much as my family does.

My daughter, born in '01, is named Barbara after her grandmother who passed away while I was pregnant. She has a unique name for her age. Her nickname is Barby. We wanted it spelled different from a Barbie doll. She likes her name but doesn't like when kids sing the Aqua song "Barbie Girl" that's the most she's been picked on for her name.

My grandmother is 81 her name is Barbara but she goes by her middle name, Helen. I also have a 6 year old cousin named Barbara and they call her Barbie or Barbie Shell (her middle name is Michelle)

Personal experiences with the name Barbara: | Edit

I was named Barbara in 1972 after my grandmother. I have never liked my name. It's stuffy and old-fashioned. It's not pretty to say/hear or to write. It doesn't even have a nice meaning; it means "stranger." I grew up being called "Barbie Doll" and being asked "Hey Barbie, where's Ken?" and people even singing "Barbara Ann" to me (after the Beach Boys song). Some people even CALL me Barbara Ann, even though that is not my middle name. They think it's funny. I detest being called Barbara so I go by Barb because it's the least miserable form of it for me. The worst part is, I married a man whose mother is also named Barbara (she was born in the '30s) and she goes by that, so when we visit his family, I always get called Barbara (to my everlasting anguish), and now my first and last name are the same as my mother-in-law, which really sucks. People, I don't care if you know someone named Barbara who's awesome. Don't name your kid that. Let her be awesome with a name that she won't get teased for, end up hating, and resent you for until the end of time. I'm not even kidding.

My sister's name is Barbara, and I can say she has a so-so experience with her name.
For me, as her sister, it's a very solid name and I like to call her name. In my opinion this name has very positive vibrations.

I am a Barbara who is now 63 years old but my friends call me Barb because that is what I prefer. I have always loved my name, I was Barbie as a child and actually hate being called Babs. I was named Barbara because it was the second most popular name of the day, after Linda. My mother's best friend named her newborn Linda, so I was naturally named Barbara.

I'm a Barbara who is 21 and I really, really hate this name -- I really feel like the name had a lot to do with my negative self-image growing up and I changed it the first chance I got. I've been told by many friends that they'd expect this name for an older woman, not a young girl. I hate all of the variations like "Barb" and "Barbie" and "Babs", they don't sound pretty at all. And people in the U.S. misspell it "Barbra" all the time which is also very frustrating.

I am Barbara who is 42 in the year 2010. I have always HATED my name. It's an old fat ladies name. But what I hate more than Barbara is Babs and Barbie. I have been called Bobbie, and Barb which I can handle. I was named after a dead relative which I respect so I never changed my name. I did the same thing to my daughter but I feel I gave her a more beautiful name, Virginia Gray.

I am a Barbara who is 16 years old. I went through a lot of teasing through elementary school. especially when my third grade teacher spelled it Barbra and I wne through "Barbara the bra" type things. The minute I entered middle school i went by Evalyn my middle name which is easier to spell and very beautiful. I go by Eva for short. The first chance i get I'm changing my name. My other sisters unfortunately were blessed with normal names: Antonia and Madyssen.

I am 25 years old and I hate my name. When I was in school I was relentlessly teased cause it sounds so old. I often get told by older people that they have never met a Barbara so young, which is so embarrassing. Do not name your kid Barbara!

The only Barbaras I know are grandmothers.

The eldest of five children. Loving mother of 9, yes nine, including two sets of fraternal twins, had this name. Often mistaken to be my sexy older sister. She was small statured; 5'2" and averaged 105 lbs when not pregnant. "I may be small but, I'm wiry" She liked her name "Barbara" or "Barbara Kay" she didn't like it shortened to a nickname. She was beautiful, caring, creative, great cook, intelligent, talented seamstress and interior designer. There was nothing she couldn't do when she set her mind to it. Enjoyed; art; sketching and drawing, music, reading, travel, indoor and outdoor tropical plants and flowers. b.6.25.1941 d.5.13.2005. She treasured her family. -jawave

My great grandmother was named Barbara, Bobbie for short. My grandmother was Corinne Barbara, my mother Barbara Corinne (Bobbie, Barb or Barbie for short), my sister Corinne Barbara. It's not very popular now but I have met multiple younger people named Barbara.

How about doing what some people do going by the last part of the name - i.e. Liam (last part of William) Topher (last part of Christopher), go by Ara (pronounce it Ah-ruh).

Nicknames for Barbara: | Edit

Barb, Barbs, Barbie, Babs, Bobbie, Bar, Barbra, Arb, Arba, Arbara, Bara, Barbara-Ann, Barbel

Meanings and history of the name Barbara: | Edit

The name Barbara comes from the same root as the word "barbarian"; in Latin, it meant a stranger, someone who spoke a foreign language, which to the Roman ear sounded like "ba ba".

Famous real-life people named Barbara: | Edit

St. Barbara, virgin and martyr, patron of artillery and fireworks
Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine; mistress of Charles II of England
Barbra Streisand, singer, producer, director and actress
Barbara Palvin, supermodel
Barbara Billingsley, actress
Barbara Eden, actress
Barbara Bach, actress and wife of Ringo Starr
Barbara Stanwyck, actress
Barbara Carrera, actress
Barbara Hershey, actress
Barbara Bel Geddes, actress
Barbara Tuchman, American historian, author and journalist. First woman to win the Pulitzer prize twice.
Barbara Bain, actress
Barbara Bush, U.S. first lady
Barbara Mandrell, singer
Barbara Howar, writer
Barbara Jordan, former US Representative from Texas. She was the first black woman elected to The House from a southern state.

Barbara in song, story & screen: | Edit

Barbara, poem by Jacques Prevert
Barbarella
"Barbara Allen" (alternatively, "Barbara Ellen") is a folk ballad sung in every English-speaking country. It dates to at least the 18th century
"Barbara Ann" is a 1960s pop song whose best-known version is by the Beach Boys
"Major Barbara", play by George Bernard Shaw
The Barbie doll, one of the most popular toys of all time, was invented by Ruth Handler and named for her daughter.
Barbara Gordon, Gotham City librarian, secret identity of Batgirl and later Oracle in DC comics
Barbara Cooper, character on '70s sitcom "One Day at a Time" played by Valerie Bertinelli
Barbara Barton, secret identity of Mockingbird in Marvel comics

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75
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Smart?

65
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Sexy?

69
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Friendly?

66
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Creative?

73
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Strong?

53
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Young?

70
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Sophisticated?