You might think that virtue baby names have had their day. And it’s true, many can sound a bit old-fashioned to today’s ears. But if the baby name charts are anything to go by, virtue names are having a bit of a comeback. And a quick look beyond some of the more traditional options makes it clear why.
In the past, virtue names were typically given by the Puritans, English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries, to remind us of the qualities we should aspire to.
Examples often include names like Charity, Obedience, and Modesty. But if you look a little further – to names like Sage, Reverie, and Zen – you’ll realize how many can also sound pretty trendy.
We’ve put together a list of our favorites, and offered some boys’ and girls’ options, too.
While some of the meanings are pretty self-explanatory (Joy means joy of course!), we’ve included a bit of an explanation wherever we can.
Oh, and just for luck, we’ve thrown in a few names that mean virtue right at the end.
In this article: 📝
- 18 of the best virtue names
- Virtue names for boys
- Virtue names for girls
- What about names that mean virtue?
18 of the best virtue names
- Ace: A boys’ name meaning one and unity. Fortunately, no kid today will associate it with Jim Carrey’s role as wacky pet detective Ace Ventura.
- Amity: Meaning friendship, the many syllables in this short name give it a rhythmic quality.
- Blaze: This unisex name has been in the top 1,000 list of names since 2000. It’s originally a form of the saint’s name, Blaise.
- Chase: A strong, slick and cool boys’ name, Chase also means to hunt in French.
- Ever: The timeless quality of this simple name has made it common for both boys and girls.
- Felicity: The 1990s TV series Felicity helped to modernize and popularize this girls’ name.
- Haven: Just the right name to make you feel safe and sheltered.
- Hero: Meaning demi-god, the hero was always a woman in Greek mythology. It’s used as a girls’ name today.
- Irie: A Jamaican name for girls that means positive and powerful.
- Journey: This name has both spiritual and literal connotations – a voyage can take many forms, after all! It’s also sometimes spelled Journee.
- Kismet: A girls’ name for fate.
- Joy: A girls’ name that’s everything it says it is.
- Pax: This boy’s name means peace or peaceful. Brad and Angelina called their Vietnam-born son Pax.
- Reverie: This dreamlike name feels gentler than Dream, which can also be used as a girls’ name.
- Serenity: A sing-song name that also means peaceful.
- Sage: A girls’ name usually, but also sometimes given to boys, Sage means wise and knowing. It’s short and snappy, but also soft and (dare we say it) fragrant.
- Swift: A boys’ name full of movement. Reminiscent of the bird.
- Zen: A boys’ name that brings with it a deep sense of peace and calm.
Virtue names for boys
- Chance: Chance the Rapper has given this name a boost.
- Creed: Meaning belief or faith.
- Dare: Bold and assertive. In Greek, this name means gift.
- Earnest: A virtue name and a variant spelling of the name Ernest, which means serious or resolute. The popularity of this name started to dwindle in the mid-1960s.
- Foster: Meaning forester. Of course, Forrester is a boys’ name too.
- Gabriel: A Hebrew name that means God is my strength.
- Legend: Both a narrative name (like Saga and Fable) and a virtue name, this one.
- Leon: This one you probably weren’t expecting to find on a list of virtue names, it comes from the word Leo, meaning lion.
- Noble: This name could refer to nobility or aristocracy, or maybe someone who has a dignified character.
- Resolve: For someone with the power to end conflicts.
- Royal: Strong and regal, this name has its roots in Latin.
- Tobin: Meaning God is good.
- Valor: Meaning honor or bravery.
- Wisdom: For a little boy wise beyond his years.
- Zeal: We all encourage a zeal and zest for life in our children.
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Virtue names for girls
- Blythe: Means happy and carefree.
- Charity: Together with Hope and Faith, Charity is one of the Big Three abstract virtue names.
- Constance: Somehow both subtle and a little prim, Constance means steadfast.
- Cornelia: Cornelia was the height of womanly virtue in ancient Rome.
- Courage: Something we all need from time to time.
- Destiny: Destiny Hope Cyrus, you might not know, is the birth name of singer Miley Cyrus.
- Faith: A very straightforward virtue name.
- Felicity: This one means good fortune.
- Grace: When this name was originally used as a virtue name, it referred to the love and kindness of God.
- Hope: A classic still popular today.
- Love: Jennifer Love Hewitt made this one popular as a middle name.
- Mercy: One of the more traditional virtue names.
- Prudence: Meaning caution. One of the more didactic virtue names.
- Tahira: This Arabic name means pure and chaste.
- Trinity: Relating to triad, or three, and usually referring to the Holy Trinity.
- Verity: Means truth.
- Winsome: Meaning agreeable or lighthearted.
What about names that mean virtue?
Of course, in contrast to virtue names, there are also names that mean virtue, which is a slightly different thing.
The names below come from many different cultures and languages, but they all mean virtue or virtuous.
- Agatha: Greek, a girls’ name.
- Areta: Arabic, a girls’ name.
- Aretha: Greek, a girls’ name.
- Ammar: Arabic, a boys’ name.
- Ansa: Finnish, a girls’ name.
- Brian: Irish, a boys’ name.
- Briana: Irish, a girls’ name.
- Daphney: Greek, a girls’ name.
- Dharma: Hindi, a unisex name.
- Duc: Vietnamese, a boys’ name.
- Fadil: Arabic, a boys’ name.
- Fursey: Irish, a boys’ name.
- Kala: Sanskrit, a girls’ name.
- Katana: Persian, a girls’ name.
- Honor: English, a unisex name.
- Honora: Latin, a girls’ name.
- Macaulay: Scottish, a boys’ name.
- Merida: Latin, a girls’ name.
- Nikita: Hindi, a girls’ name.
- Nirmala: Indian, a girls’ name.
- Renjiro: Japanese, a boy’s name.
- Rianna: Welsh, a girls’ name.
- Saguna: Indian, a girls’ name.
- Sonam: Tibetan, a unisex name.
- Thelma: Greek, a girls’ name.
- Thurgood: English, a boys’ name.
- Yoshi: Japanese, a unisex name.
- Zaki: Arabic, a unisex name.
- Zhen: Chinese, a girl’s name.
Happy naming, mama!
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