Barbara Name Meaning & Origin
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.
From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.
Looking for the perfect name? Try the Name MatchMaker to find the perfect baby name for you!
Sister & Brother Names
Know a Barbara? What are her siblings named?
Name Lists Featuring Barbara
- Polish Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Poland 2014
- Chilean Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Chile 2010
- Portuguese Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Portugal 2012
- Hungarian Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Hungary 2010
- Polish Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Poland 2012
- Most Popular Girls' Names of 1950, United States
- Polish Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Poland
- Hungarian Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Hungary
Contribute your knowledge to the name Barbara
- Comments and insights on the name Barbara: | Edit
I am just a few weeks away from becoming 80. There were numerous Barbara's around my age, and I though, when a teenager, that my name was dull. But By the time I was grown, I liked, and now a love it. I think that it has a soft, rather elegant sound, and it is not at all a common name nowadays. The spate of Barbara's in my day was a result, I believe, of the emerging popular movie star, Barbara Stanwyck, who for a number of years averaged one movie per year of more, and most were very popular at the time. I didn't care for her when I was young, but by the time I was grown, I admired her beauty and even more, her acting. She was marvelous actress, whether portraying tragic, comedic, sympathetic or vengeful, sophisticated or common ~ she did them all, and did them all well.
I have gone so far as to offer $500 college fund to my children and grandchildren if they would name a daughter Barbara, but the closest I have come is my only daughter choosing my middle name as her daughter's middle name.!!!
I still like my name!'
p.s. My high school boyfriend called me Barb,and now many people, even when they first meet me, call me Barb. I never wanted to be called Bobbie or Barbie, but one elderly gentleman called me Barbie, because his elderly wife was Barbie, and I felt very much honored by that. I'm fine with Barb, but prefer Barbara.
My name is Barbara and I'm a great-grandmother; however, I don't think of it as an old ladies' name because when I was a child I was such a bad kid that adults (mother, teachers, etc) were always yelling "Barbara!" at me. Whenever I hear the name I think of a rotten little kid!
My younger sister's name is Barbara she is 16 and named after our Grandmother. I like her name mainly because it's cute to call her Barbie, and funny to called her Barbara the Barbarian, but she hates the name with a burning passion. She says it's stuffy, old-fashioned and makes her sound like an old lady. She said it sounds to harsh and not as pretty as my name and that I got the better name, (I am named after our other Grandmother Nila.) She also hates the nickname Barb and gets extremely annoyed when people call her that. She doesn't mind the nickname Barbie but she hates it when people sing The Barbie Girl song or Barbara-Ann song. We've never called her Bobbi but our Aunts sister is also named Barbara too but everyone calls her Bobbi. Also the name is more common then you think. We've met about six people named Barbara. Also a lot of people spell in incorrectly, 'Barbra.'
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.
My name is Barbara and I get so fed up with a guy at my church who, whenever he sees me, he says "Whenever I see you I think of Barbara Bush!" That sucks.
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)
Barbara is an old name. It is flat and not creative at all. A little girl named Barbara will hate her name because it sounds like an old lady. I sometimes think of Barbie or Barbara Stanwyk, but if you like the actress Barbara Stanwyk, her real name is Ruby Katherine Stephens. Name your baby Ruby, or Katherine, but please, please don't name your baby girl Barbara! It is not young or sexy, it's just, well, plain. Creative is the way you wanna go!!!
My name is Barbara and I have always loved the name Ruby. If I'd known Ruby was Barbara Stanwyck's real name when I was younger, I might have changed it, but now it's a little too late.
- 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).
Or go by Bari. I think Bari is cool!
- Nicknames for Barbara: | Edit
Barb, Barbs, Barbie, Babs, Bobbie, Bobbi, Bar, Barbra, Arb, Arba, Arbara, Abby/Abbie, Ara, Bara, Barbara-Ann, Barbel, Barbarella
- 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
Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States of America; mother of former president George W. Bush and former Florida govenor Jeb Bush;
Barbara Everard, botanical illustrator (1910 - 1990)
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 Hendricks, Opera singer
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 Dunkelman, an employee at Rooster Teeth
- Barbara in song, story & screen: | Edit
Barbara, poem by Jacques Prevert
"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
Also sung by the Regents, I like that version better than the Beach Boys version.
"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 'Bobbi' Barton, secret identity of Mockingbird in Marvel comics