Barbara meaning, girlBarbara

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Meaning and name origin

Barbara \b(a)-rba-ra, bar-bara\ as a girl's name is pronounced BAR-bra. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Barbara is "foreign woman". The adjective was originally applied to anyone who did not speak Greek; it has the same root as "barbarian". In Roman Catholic custom, Saint Barbara is invoked as a protector against fire and lightning; she is patron saint of architects, stonemasons, and fortifications. Barbra is a spelling variant made familiar by singer/actress/film director Barbra Streisand. Many people may associate the name with the popular doll Barbie, which with Babs, are informal pet forms. Barb is the short form. Actress Barbara Stanwyck; writer Barbara Tuchman; First Lady Barbara Bush.


Barbara has 53 variant forms: Bab, Baba, Babara, Babb, Babbett, Babbette, Babbie, Babe, Babett, Babette, Babita, Babs, Baibin, Barabara, Barb, Barbar, Barbarella, Barbarit, Barbarita, Barbeeleen, Barbel, Barbera, Barbette, Barbey, Barbi, Barbie, Barbora, Barbra, Barbro, Barby, Barra, Basha, Basia, Baubie, Bauby, Beba, Bebe, Berbera, Berberia, Berberya, Berbya, Bibi, Bobbe, Bobbee, Bobbi, Bobbie, Bobby, Bonni, Bonnie, Bonny, Borbala, Varvara and Varina.

For more information, see also related girl names Barinda, Bunny and Wava.


Barbara is a very popular first name for females (#4 out of 4276, Top 1%) and also a very popular surname or last name for all people (#11413 out of 88799, Top 13%) (2000 U.S. Census).

Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Barbara for girls. Barbara reached its highest rank of #3 in the U.S. in 1940-1949. (2014 statistics).

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Barbara name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Barbara outside U.S.

Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Barbara and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Barbara (#863), Bonnie (#866), Bonny, Wava, Bobby, Bobbie, Barbra, Bobbi and Barb. (2014 statistics).

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Barb, Barbara, Barbra, Bobbi, Bobbie, Bobby, Bonnie, Bonny, Wava in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Barbara, Bonnie outside U.S.