As a parent-to-be, you want to pick out the absolutely best name for your baby. But with literally millions of names for people on the planet, it’s hard to whittle down that baby naming list to just The One. That can explain why you might be looking everywhere for some inspiration, from reality TV to religion. And that’s where virtue names for babies can help you find not just a name, but an emotion and a dream tied to it, too.
So you might be wondering where virtue names for babies came from. It’s often thought that virtue names appeared onto the baby-naming scene starting in the 16th century, when Puritans often bestowed virtue names upon their babies. The belief was that a child’s name held a lot of power (which, natch, they do), and so they chose names that closely aligned with their own religious beliefs. Today, virtue names for babies don’t have that same strong connection to faith as they once did, but the significance of them still holds true.
Something that you might notice as you go through this list of virtue names for babies is that a whole heck of a lot of them were primarily intended for girls rather than boys. Of course, many of them (like Valor, Ever, or even Honor) can be gender-neutral, so there’s no reason to not name your little guy a virtue name like Legend or Foster, for example. And in the meantime, check out these 20 virtue names for babies that you might fall in love with.
Of all the virtue names for babies, Grace probably leads the list. And with good reason, since Grace means “favor” or “blessing.” The name is of Latin origin, where it meant, “God’s grace.” Parents who prefer the name Grace but want to make it more modern have been known to spell it as Grayce or Grayse, and of course, you can’t get a cuter nickname than Gracie.
Faith can be a sweet name for your newborn. Much like its name connotes, Faith is a girl’s name meaning “trust” or “devotion.” It can also have the cute nickname Faye, too.
Rounding out the trinity for virtue names for babies is Hope. The name Hope has been around for a very long time; in fact, it dates back to the Old English. It means what you’d think it does: “faith,” although the name Faith seems to have a more religious connotation than Hope does. And if you like the meaning of Hope but are looking for alternatives, consider Esperanza, a Spanish name which always means “hope.”
If ever there were a virtue name, it might be Ever. A gender-neutral name, Ever is of American origin and it means, “always.” Singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette named her son Ever, which helped boost its popularity. It also derives from the Scandinavian name meaning, “wild as a boar.”
It’s not a name you hear very often — and that might just be what makes Verity a name you’ll want to add to your list. It’s a girl’s name of Latin origin and means, “truth.” And that, natch, is the truth.
You’ll need a lot of patience to get through those first few days and weeks after Baby’s birth. So the name Patience might make sense for your little sweetie. A virtue name of British origin, Patience means “enduring” and refers to the act of being patient. Nicknames for Patience can be Pat, Patty, or Patsy.
Your baby might be mere minutes old, but you can tell that they’re already a warrior. That’s why you might love the name Valor. It’s a gender-neutral name of Latin origin and means “worthiness,” “courage,” and “bravery” — all attributes that might make you fall in love with this sweet virtue name.
Show your love for your little guy or gal with the name Love. There are no hidden meanings with the name Love; it means exactly that — love. While it’s not an original virtue name like Hope or Grace, Love still makes the list as a name that’s lovely and expresses that sweet sentiment.
A Latin name, Honor derives from the English. It means “dignity” or “reputation” and is gender-neutral for both boys and girls. Actress Jessica Alba named her eldest child Honor, and the name has grown in popularity since then.
As a parent, you want to impart the wisdom you’ve gained to your children. And Wisdom lands on the list of top modern virtue names. A gender-neutral name, Wisdom is of English origin and means “experience” and “knowledge.”
If there were one constant in your life, it’s the love you have for your babies. The name Constance encapsulates that sentiment perfectly. The name, which has French roots, means “steadfastness.” It can also mean “resolute” or “faithful” and is an original virtue name.
Felicity is a fun name for your baby. It means “happiness” which is exactly what you want for your child to feel throughout their entire life. It derives from the Latin word “felicitas” which means “good fortune.” Although not quite as common as other virtue names, actress Felicity Huffman helped bring the name into mainstream culture.
Loyalty is a modern virtue name of British origin. It means “faithfulness,” “support,” and “allegiance.” It’s also a gender-neutral name, which makes Loyalty an ideal choice if you’re planning to have a delivery surprise.
A virtue name with ties back to Puritanical times, Charity is a charming name for your baby. It means “giving” or “kindness” and is of British origin. It can also mean “benevolent goodwill” or “love,” too.
Joy is one of the oldest virtue names out there. It means “happiness” and is typically a girl’s name. It derives from the Latin word meaning “great pleasure” or, yes, “happiness.”
Prudence isn’t a name you hear frequently, and it’s a shame since it’s such a lovely name. It’s of Latin origin, deriving from the word “prudential” which means “caution” or “discretion.”
With a meaning like “aristocratic,” you might not think that Noble would be a virtue name — but it is. A more modern take on the traditional virtue name, Noble is of Latin origin, although the gender-neutral name also has Old French roots, too.
Perfect unity. What better meaning for your baby’s name than that sentiment of concord and happiness. So hang onto Harmony as a potential name for your baby. The name comes from the Greek “Harmonia,” who, in Greek mythology, was the child of Ares and Aphrodite and known for her power to help foster happy marriages.
Mercy is a girl’s name of English origin. A purely Puritanical name, Mercy means “compassion,” which is a lovely sentiment indeed. The name has British roots and continues to be a popular name.
You can’t get more virtuous as a virtue name than the actual name Virtue. As a name itself, Virtue means “strength” and “moral excellence.” It’s of Latin origin and while once a name for girls, the name Virtue is now gender-neutral.
When selecting a name for your child, consider virtue names as part of your baby naming process. At their core, they represent sweet sentiments that reflect kindness, goodness, and purity — just like your little one.