Barbara Name Meaning & Origin

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.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

Related Names:

Babs, Barb, Barbie, Barbra, Bobbie

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US Popularity of Barbara Over Time

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Nicknames for Barbara

B, Bee, Barb, Barbs, Babsy, Babsie boo, Barbie, Barbie doll, Barbie baby, Babs, Babette, Bobbie, Bobbi, Bar, Barbra, Arb, Arba, Arbara, Abby/Abbie, Ara, Bara, Barbara-Ann, Barbel, Betty, Betsy, Buffy, Barbarella, BeBe (Pronounced BayBay or BeeBee), “Ma poupee" is French for "my puppet" to endear a particular Barbie as a doll.

Meanings and history of the name Barbara

Barbara, Varvara, or Barbra in any spelling is a classical name - reaching back through the Middle Ages, previously and notably through the Byzantine & Roman Civilizations and beginning at the Ancient Grecian civilization. Intolerant Greeks originally used the name to imitate the sounds of those who did not speak their language who sounded like "bar bar bar"; eventually it began to describe those who did not follow customs of Greece and eventually those of Rome - or the conventions of any given land. As Grecians traded with other civilizations - including the Persians, Egyptians, Romans, Phoenicians, and the Scythians, the name began to signify "beautiful, mysterious stranger", as popularity increased, spreading through neighboring, though still distant cultures.

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

St. Barbara, virgin and martyr, patron of artillery and fireworks--also revered by miners & sailors - those who travel for long or sometimes dangerous periods and risk unexpected death. Her statue or engraving frequently adorns US Navy ships Navy and for those of other countries.
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 La Marr- 1920s actress dubbed "the "Girl Who is too Beautiful"
Barbara Sharma- Actress and dancer

Barbara in song, story & screen

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
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' Morse, secret identity of Mockingbird in Marvel comics
Barbara Thunderman from the Nickelodeon TV show "The Thundermans"

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67
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Smart?

63
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Sexy?

62
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Friendly?

61
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Creative?

65
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Strong?

52
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Young?

63
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Sophisticated?