20 Inspiring Names for Your Genius Baby

Aug 25th 2015

 baby name roundups by theme

Whether you're excited for the new school year or wondering where your summer went, it's time to usher in the season with our favorite intellectual names. They make the grade for any parent who hopes their child will always love learning and astound the world with their honor-roll worthy accomplishments.


  1. Albert: Einstein, perhaps the most famous scientist and important theoretical physicist of all time would make a great namesake for your little one. This quirky classic has been slipping in popularity, but just imagine how cute your little Albie will be in a onesie that reads "E = mc2".

  2. Alexander: There are too many notable Alexanders to count, but two standouts include Alexander the Great (Greek King and exemplary military commander) and Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone). This name sounds commanding and intelligent and comes with lots of variations to suit any style. It's also a reliable top-10 favorite.

  3. Alice: Alice is a sweet, enduring classic brought to life in the pages of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Its link to English literature and the character of the curious schoolgirl give this name an intellectual air.

  4. Apollo: The Greek god of knowledge with a standout name, Apollo has been gaining popularity in recent years. Though it's on this list for its meaning and history, some may think of this name as having a sporty edge due to speed skater Apolo Ohno. Trendsetting namers Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale chose Apollo for their third son, born in 2014.

  5. Athena: Another name from Greek mythology, Athena was the Olympian goddess of wisdom. Her name is quickly rising up the charts in the US with each year, as parents look for intriguing feminine names with Greek connections and an airy sound. Tina Fey chose this as a middle name for her daughter Penelope.

  6. Catherine: There are several saints with this name, and one of them happens to be the patron of librarians and teachers who was known for her sharp debating skills. Catherine is a classic name with a multitude of literary and royal connections.

  7. Eleanor: Perhaps the most famous Eleanor is Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving first lady in America's history. Known for her accomplishments in human rights, she was outspoken and well-educated. Namipedia users find this name to be "smart" and "sophisticated".

  8. Elizabeth: The epitome of a classic name, Elizabeth is still associated with Queen Elizabeth I, who transformed England into a world power and ushered in the literary culture of the Elizabethan age. Another noted Elizabeth is Blackwell, the first female medical doctor in the United States.

  9. Galileo: Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. His iconic name is both elegant and brainy, perfect for a boy who loves stargazing. (Possible nicknames? Leo, pronounced either LEE-oh or LAY-oh, and Gale.)

  10. Henry: Henry is another English classic that brings to mind a young gentleman who takes his studies seriously. From kings and dukes to Shakespearean characters, authors and composers and more, Henry has been the name of many intelligent and accomplished people throughout history.

  11. Isaac: Sir Isaac Newton has a perfectly fashionable given name, and his contributions to physics, calculus, and modern science are undeniable. This biblical trendsetter has found a place near the top 30 mark in recent years.

  12. Lawrence: Lawrence is the name of several colleges and universities, prep schools, and even a federal research lab in California. It's got a no-nonsense formality that makes us think "scholar" when we hear it. (The nickname Larry is on the other end of the spectrum, however, thanks to Larry the Cable Guy and others.)

  13. Leonardo: Better known as Fibonacci, Leonardo Pisano Bigollo is known as the most talented mathematician of the middle ages. He shares a name with Leonardo da Vinci, famed Italian artist, mathematician, and inventor. Today, this name comes across fashionable and intelligent, and it has a great down-to-earth nickname: Leo.

  14. Margaret: The full name Margaret reminds us of UK Prime Minister and "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, as well as Dennis the Menace's know-it-all and spectacled friend, Margaret Wade. They may not have much in common, but both have contributed to the intellectual appeal of this classic name.

  15. Marian: For fans of The Music Man, this pretty name has a bookish personality. It's not Marian's fault that it just happens to rhyme with "the librarian". In contrast, the legend of Robin Hood gives this name a more romantic feel, as Maid Marian is his love interest.

  16. Marie: The first woman to win a Nobel Prize, Madam Marie Curie developed the theory of radioactivity and left an unparalleled legacy in the medical field and beyond. Her name is a charming classic with French overtones.

  17. Raphael: A Renaissance painter and architect with a high IQ, Raphael's name is the picture of intelligence with international appeal. Alec and Hilaria Baldwin chose the spelling Rafael for their son, born in June of 2015.

  18. Tesla: Nikola Tesla was an inventor, engineer, and physicist whose ideas were so forward-thinking that he's become a modern day hero. The Steampunk movement often pays tribute to his inventions, and Tesla's name is not unheard of for little girls among parents who love everything steam-powered.

  19. William: Playwright William Shakespeare is just one of the most famous and intelligent people to bear this perfectly classic name. Because of its popularity and versatile short forms, William is also an "every man" choice that will adapt well to any child.

  20. Yale: This name has Ivy League written all over it, thanks to the famed university. It's an English surname that's rarely used, but it would definitely make a distinguished statement.


Love these intellectual names? You might also like 20 Baby Names for Creative Girls and Boys or 20 Baby Names Inspired by Poets.


August 25, 2015 8:39 AM

5 out of 20 genius names start with an A?? What makes the letter A such a genius letter?

Or is it an artefact of the list generating process, starting to collect names alphabetically and getting tired after the first five letters of the alphabet?

Missing great names like Linus (Pauling and Thorwalds) Minerva (the Roman equivalent of Athena), Sofonisba (Italian Renaissance painter), Vitruvius (Roman engineer) ...

August 25, 2015 10:12 AM

It's another A name, but surely Ada (as in Lovelace) belongs on the list?

Albert is also Albert Szent-Györgyi, Nobel Prize winner for his discovery of vitamin C. Plus, the -bert theme in Germanic names (like Albert and Robert) can be translated as 'bright', in all of that word's possible meanings.

Mrs. Roosevelt may be the most famous modern Eleanor, but overall, the most famous bearer of the name has to be Eleanor of Acquitaine.

Other names with clearer "scholar" connections than, say, Catherine and Alexander: Tycho, Kepler, Schuyler (and its many respellings), Niels, Hedy or Hedwig.

August 25, 2015 2:18 PM

I think there's always an abundance of A names...truly! I like this list and think they all seem like possibilities for a fit without getting pulled to one tangent or another (ex. surnames first or other world geniouses that would be hard to pronounce). I learned something about my middle, Catherine as well; it is a passed-down middle name for women on my father's side (think more old west tradition, and not actually Catholic) so Thanks for the bit of intelligence! 

August 25, 2015 8:34 PM

So glad to see Tesla on this list! 

August 26, 2015 9:42 AM

I vote for kicking Margaret Thatcher out of the "intellect" group.


August 29, 2015 11:54 AM

Don't forget Galen the Greek Physician