Barbara – Name Meaning

The name Barbara is a Latinized form of the Greek word “barbaros”, which means “foreigner” or “stranger”. It was popularized by Saint Barbara, a 3rd-century martyr who was venerated in the Catholic Church. The name has been used in various forms throughout Europe since the Middle Ages.

Origin and History

The origin of the name Barbara is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated from the Greek word “barbaros”, which means “foreigner” or “stranger”. It was popularized by Saint Barbara, a 3rd-century Christian martyr who was venerated in the Catholic Church. The name has been used in various forms throughout Europe since the Middle Ages.

In England, the name became popular during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603). In Scotland, it was first recorded in 1590. In France, it was first recorded in 1602. In Germany, it was first recorded in 1620. In Italy, it was first recorded in 1630.

Popularity

Barbara is a very popular name throughout Europe and North America. It has been consistently ranked among the top 100 names for girls in the United States since 1880. In 2018, it ranked at number 81 on the Social Security Administration’s list of most popular baby girl names.

In England and Wales, Barbara has been consistently ranked among the top 200 names for girls since 1996. In 2018, it ranked at number 191 on the Office for National Statistics’ list of most popular baby girl names.

Famous People Named Barbara

There are many famous people named Barbara, including:

  • Barbara Bush (1925–2018), former First Lady of the United States
  • Barbara Walters (born 1929), American television journalist and author
  • Barbara Streisand (born 1942), American singer and actress
  • Barbara Boxer (born 1940), former U.S. Senator from California
  • Barbara Eden (born 1931), American actress best known for her role as Jeannie on I Dream of Jeannie

Variations of the Name

The name Barbara can be spelled in various ways, including: Barabara, Barbarah, Barbora, Barborah, Barbra and Barbro.

By Ava Isabella Hartley

Ava Isabella Hartley is a renowned expert in the field of onomastics, the study of names and their meanings, with a particular focus on baby names. She holds a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge and has over 15 years of experience in the study of etymology, name trends, and cultural naming practices.

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