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21 meaningful baby names

Joyous. Courageous. Strong. The meanings of these unique baby names reflect the character traits we want our kids to have.

by
Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

What’s in a name?
Sure, some baby names sound great…until you check their meanings. It’s so disappointing to find out your favourite name means something like misery or hopeless. Ugh!

So we decided to approach this backward! Here are more than 20 positive characteristics and the unique boys and girls names with that meaning.

1. Blessing
Boys: Boone (English), Barak (Arabic)

Girls: Megumi (Japanese)

2. Brave
Boy: Aiman (Indian), Akin (Indian), Allard (German), Arelie (Hebrew), Baldwin (German), Barrett (German), Gallagher (Gaelic), Lenny (German), Manvir (Punjabi), Wyatt (English)

Girl: Arelie (Hebrew), Bernadette (German)

3. Cheerful
Boys: Corliss (English), Ellery (Latin), Tait (Norse)

Girls: Aliza (Hebrew), Cerena (Latin), Corlissa (English), Hilary (Latin)

4. Courageous
Boys: Farrell (irish), Fernanda (Spanish and Portugeuse), Harding (English), Eyal (Hebrew), Reilly (Irish)

Girls: Fernanda (Spanish and Portuguese), Reilly (Irish), Valora (Latin)

5. Fair
Boys: Arwyn (Welsh), Finian (Gaelic), Kinley (Gaelic), Winford (Gaelic)

Girls: Adelah (Arabic), Arwen (Welsh), Astrid (Norse), Bianca (Italian), Fiona (Gaelic), Glenys (Welsh), Win (Welsh), Zulaika (Arabic)

6. Faithful
Boys: Amnon (Hebrew), Truman (English), Vedha (Sanskrit)

Girls: Emuna (Hebrew)

7. Forgiving
Boys: Ian (Hebrew), Raif (Arabic)

Girls: Sameh (Hebrew)

8. Friendly
Boys: Dakota (Sioux), Alif (Arabic), Kahil (Arabic)

Girls: Dakota (Sioux), Daminca (French), Alifa (Arabic), Raziya (Swahili)

9. Generous
Boys: Miles (Latin), Hiroshi (Japanese), Karim (Arabic), Maddox (Welsh), Nadav (Hebrew), Qasim (Arabic), Hiro (Japanese)

Girls: Eudora (Greek), Lilo (German), Karima (Arabic), Nediva (Hebrew), Samiha (Arabic)

10. Helpful
Boys: Cody (English), Mazi (Hebrew), Dumaka (African)

Girls: Cody (English), Yuko (Japanese)

11. Honest
Boys: Jati (Indonesian)

Girls: Amena (Celtic), Tamah (Hebrew)

12. Hopeful
Boys: Amal (Arabic), Tikva (Hebrew)

Girls: Amal (Arabic), Tikva (Hebrew), Esperanza (Spanish), Nadeah (Russian), Priyasha (Indian)

13. Joyous
Boys: Fane (English), Mhina (African), Radim (Slavonic)

Girls: Allegra (Italian), Joyce (Latin), Rena (Hebrew), Aliza (Hebrew), Aoife (Gaelic), Farhanna (Arabic), Prita (Sanskrit), Ramani (Sanskrit), Maeve (Irish)

14. Leader
Boys: Eldridge (English), Fallon (Irish), Guy (French), Sahil (Hindi)

Girls: Elva (Irish), Fallon (Irish), Raida (Arabic)

15. Loving
Boys: Philo (Greek)

Girls: Annabelle (Latin), Annabella (Spanish), Caron (Welsh), Thandie (South African)

16. Modest
Boys: Yasir (Afghan)

Girls: Haidee (English), Vinati (Sanskrit)

17. Peaceful
Boys: Frederick (German); Friz (German), Kazuya (Japanese), Manfred (German), Shalev (Hebrew), Shiloh (Hebrew)

Girls: Amani (African), Halyna (Greek), Serena (Female), Shiloh (Hebrew)

18. Protector
Boys: Alister (Greek), Asim (Arabic), Eddie (English), Edgar (English), Richmond (German), Sacha (Greek), Warrick (German)

Girls: Asima (Arabic), Bronica (Polish), Bronia (Polish), Sacha (Greek)

19. Sincere
Boys: Dushan (Czech), Sadik (Arabic), Saral (Sanskrit)

Girls: Candace (Latin), Sadika (Arabic); Sarala (Sanskrit)

20. Strength
Boys: Angus (Gaelic), Barrett (German)

Girls: Audra (English), Bali (Sanskrit), Bedelia (Irish), Bridget (Irish), Britta (Scandinavian), Brycin (Celtic)

21. Trusting
Boys: Amin (Arabic)

Girls: Amina (Arabic)

This article was originally published in October 2012.

Read more:
How to pick a middle name for your baby
How to name your baby…without the stress!
Should you reveal your baby’s name before birth?