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User comments for Barbara

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Barbara has a pedigree stretching all the way by to the Homeric Proto-Greeks, who couldn’t understand their Persian (and other) neighbors. To them, many such tongues sounded like a stammering repetition of "Bar-Bar-Bar..." hence the term Barbarian for such an obviously uncivilized outlander.
-- tiaparker  2/7/2005
It also means "stranger," "exotic." Short names or pet names are Babs and Barbie. This is also my Grandmother's name.
-- Tbird  6/27/2005
"Barbara" is the feminine form of the Latin word "barbarus", meaning "wild, free, untamed". I think it is a very strong name to bear as it also stands for independence.
-- Paganqueen  7/16/2005
Barbara can be shortened to 'Barb'. When I was a baby, I called my mom Barbara instead of Mommy. Barbara is my mother's name.
-- Anonymous User  10/12/2005
This name is commonly used by the Amish.
-- Anonymous User  1/2/2006
Barbara Bush, former First Lady, wife of George Bush and mother of George W. Bush, is a famous bearer. President Bush has also named one of his twin daughters Barbara, after his mother.
-- Anonymous User  1/4/2006
This is my name, and I must admit it's never done much for me. That said, I don't find myself tripping over other Barbaras (it's kind of startling to me when I do!), and it ages well.
-- BarbaraEllen  1/7/2006
This is my mother's name and she's been called "Margaret" by one lady who insisted that that's what "Barbara" was the nickname for. Like "Bill" for "William."
-- Labonne  1/9/2006
I can't imagine anyone under the age of 40 having the name Barbara. It's a very middle aged name, and it seems a bit odd for a child to have it.
-- Anonymous User  2/20/2006
"Barbara Ann" is a popular song by The Beach Boys.
-- WeloveyouJesseLacey  3/4/2006
Well I can't say anything bad about this name, I know 3 great people with this name. My grandmother's name was Barbara Gladys, she went by the nickname Babs. My mum's name is Barbara but she goes by her middle name Diane. My friends name is Barbara, she wasn't too thrilled with her name while young but says she hasn't gotten used it now.
-- Anonymous User  4/25/2006
Famous bearer: Barbara Kodetová - Czech actress. Jiří Kodet´s daughter and Kristián Kodet´s niece.
-- Maggie_Simpson  7/24/2006
Famous bearer is Barbara Mandrell, one of the greatest country singers of all time.
-- audreyhubley  8/5/2006
And for all you Veggie Tales fans, the wonderful silly song, "Barbara Manatee". :)
-- rain-angel03  9/22/2006
One of the main characters in Beetlejuice was called Barbara.
-- claraelizabethann  9/29/2006
I know someone who is 34 and has the name Barbara. It isn't a bad name.
-- Anonymous User  10/9/2006
Famous novelist is named Barbara Michaels.
-- Anonymous User  11/28/2006
A not so famous bearer of this name is Barbara Cook, who played Cunegonde in the Broadway production of 'Candide', which was first a novel by Voltaire.
-- Moon  12/30/2006
Barbara Stanwyck was a famous actress between the years 1927-1964. She starred in 'Baby Face' (1933) amongst other brilliant movies.
-- mashlover  1/18/2007
My sister's name is Barbara Jeanine and I always wanted to have her name. She seemed to fit it perfectly she's so elegant and graceful. Even when she was little it fit her. I would have given it to my daughter Therese-Clare but I didn't want to steal her name.
-- Anonymous User  1/24/2007
I do not think it is a name for old ladies. In Slovenia it is a very popular name. My sister is Barbara and we call her Barbi - in English it is like Barbie. I like the name.
-- katarina ana  2/28/2007
Spooky, my mom is named Barbara and is a geologist! Saint Barbara was the patron of geologists!
-- chocolatebox527  7/17/2007
I think this is a very pretty name, but I can't imagine a little girl being called Barbara.
-- Honeyrose  7/29/2007
Actress Barbara O'Neil (1910-1980)
-- BlueSomehow  8/7/2007
Barbra Streisand. Apparently she changed the name from Barbara to Barbra because Jewish religion doesn't allow three same letters on the same name (correct me if I'm wrong).
-- Anonymous User  9/3/2007
A previous poster suggests that Barbra Streisand dropped the middle -a- because of a Jewish taboo on three identical letters in the same name. Maybe; maybe not; but in the 1940s and 1950s especially, Barbara was a very popular name for Jewish girls in South Africa and not one of them was Barbra to my knowledge. Their families ranged from the extremely devout and observant to very ordinary atheists.
-- Anneza  3/19/2010
Another bearer of this name is the famous doll Barbie! The inventor of the doll called her Barbie because that was the name of her daughter, Barbara.
-- Anonymous User  9/3/2007
Barbara Walters is a famous American journalist, writer, and media personality.
-- Anonymous User  9/21/2007
Barbara Spooner (1771-1847) was the wife of abolitionist and MP William Wilberforce, and mother of their six children. She was portrayed by actress Romola Garai in the film "Amazing Grace."
-- Kate  11/19/2007
My mother's name is Barbara. My father's name is Ken. I'm not kidding! Barbie and Ken! But don't EVER call her Barbie! Uh-oh! Or any variation except maybe Barb if you've known her for a decade or so! She was Bobbie Jo in high school and hated it, so careful with those middle names (forget Joan!). By the way, Barbara is BEAUTIFUL said with a French accent!
-- leananshae  11/25/2007
Barbara Wright, a companion of the First Doctor on "Doctor Who".
-- FMRadio  2/2/2008
Barbara Boxer is a famous bearer. She is the senator of California. And she is also included in the new book In Their Shoes by the author Deborah Reber.
-- Patricia Underwood  3/7/2008
That's my name, and one of the many reasons why I like it is that it's pretty much international and spelled the same everywhere. In my job I have to talk with people from countries all around the world, and any person I introduce myself to is able to write my name down correctly, everyone recognizes it - extremely practical, if you ask me. :)
-- Anonymous User  3/23/2008
I must say that the first thing that comes to my mind after reading or hearing this name is a middle-aged woman with a big 80s hair style, too much make-up in the eyes, red lips enhanced with silicone, a tight face that has been surgically altered to a point where it looks unnatural, long, red fake nails, silicone implant breasts, and some horrible fuchsia outfit. I've learned to associate the name with rather ditzy and shallow women with an unpleasant personality, but they're not all bad. I've gotten the impression that Barbara Ehrenreich is a pretty witty person.
-- Anonymous User  5/15/2008
Barbara Meier is a successful, young, redheaded, German fashion model.
-- platyfrog  5/20/2008
Actress Barbara Nedeljáková, born 16th May 1979, Bánská Bystrica.
-- Emilie007  9/30/2008
Not much given in France, as "barbe" means beard.
-- luxsword  10/25/2008
I can see an older woman (not old, but like in her late 20's or early 30's) called this these days, and back then I can see a little girl named Barbara. You know what I mean? It's an interesting name, not ugly or pretty, just interesting. But it does have it's class and grace to an extent.
-- _0TophasNails_1  11/24/2008
In Italy Barbara was overused in the 1970s. It was the most popular name in Rome in 1971, the 8th in 1976. Nevertheless, in Italian "barba" means "beard", and "Barbara" means "barbarian woman; uncivilized woman". But fashion is fashion.
-- presentperfect  12/19/2008
Barbara Kent is a former actress who starred alongside John Gilbert and Greta Garbo in the 1926 film Flesh and the Devil.
-- bananarama  3/16/2009
A famous bearer is American actress Barbara Harris (born July 25, 1935). She is known for her award-winning work in theatre (Tony Award for 'The Apple Tree') and film ('Who Is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?' (Academy Award nominee), 'Peggy Sue Got Married,' 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels').
-- AndrewJKD  3/18/2009
Well, the only people I know named Barbara are over 40, but my friend has a friend named Barbara Anne (age 12) who I can SO picture.
-- baileymarissa  5/5/2009
The German pronunciation is BAHR-bah-rah. [noted -ed]
-- mafiosa  8/6/2009
Also used in Croatia. [noted -ed]
-- goricar  11/12/2009
Barbara Ruick played Carrie Pipperidge in the musical "Carousel" in 1956.
-- breakofday  3/24/2010
This is my mom's name, and I like it. It's so cool that I am a geologist and my mother's name is Barbara, since she is the patron saint of geologists!
-- Anonymous User  4/21/2010
A famous bearer of the name is a fictional character from the young adult novel 'Penny From Heaven' (2006)-- the main character's name is Barbara, but she prefers to be called "Penny" after the Bing Crosby song, 'Pennies From Heaven.' The name "Barbara" was very popular in the 1940s and 1950s, which is why many middle-aged and elderly people bear this name.
-- Anonymous User  7/8/2010
Bobbie is a common nickname for Barbara. It's the one my mom uses, since she hates Barb, Barbie, or Babs. Her full name is Barbara Anne, like the song. I always tease her about that. She was born before the song came out, so she definitely was not named after it.
-- Anonymous User  7/16/2010
Not a bad name, but kind of old fashioned. Who ever picks up a baby and says "she looks like a Barbara"?
-- Chrila96  9/11/2010
As an Italian name, Barbara is derived from the Latin "Barbarus," known to commonly mean, "Who Doesn't Know How To Speak; Stutterer," which is referring to foreigners who spoke neither Greek nor Latin.
-- Francesca  12/2/2010
The nameday, feastday, and memory of this name is to St. Barbara, who was beheaded in the 4th century.
-- Francesca  12/2/2010
Extremely distasteful. It sounds like "barbaric" when pronounced how it's spelled "bar-bear-ah." It's very old-fashioned and not fit for a little girl. Sounds like a 1950's mom with very big hair.
-- Dawson  12/31/2010
Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, nowaday Oracle, is a famous bearer of this name.
-- Katrine  1/3/2011
Name of the Day: March 19, 2011.
-- AndrewJKD  3/19/2011
Barbara of Austria (1539-1572), eighth daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor. She later married Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.
-- CarolinW  2/26/2012
I think it is a dignified and attractive name, although I am not crazy about the nickname Barb. If I were a Barbara, I believe I would ask for people to call me either Barbara or Bee (I do like Bee).
-- linden-tree-murmur  3/27/2012
The diminutive BÄRBEL (Baerbel) in German is missing; and of course in German the name is used in exactly the same way/pronunciation as in English.
[noted -ed]
-- PhilLC  7/1/2012
Barbara (1711-1758) was the daughter of King Joao V of Portugal and his wife Maria Anna.
-- CarolinW  7/18/2012
I don't think anyone has mentioned Barbara Eden (the star/title character of "I Dream of Jeannie") or Barbara Feldon (Agent 99 on "Get Smart") yet.
-- AlanPalgut  10/20/2012
Barbara Palvin (b. 1993) is a Hungarian fashion model.
-- overtheclouds  10/31/2012
I love this name; it's lovely but not frilly and sensible without being severe. I just wish it had a better choice of nicknames!
-- Anonymous User  12/17/2012
Actress Barbara La Marr (1896-1926).
-- moonbaby9307  12/29/2012
Name of the Day: March 19, 2013.
-- dwayne1996  3/19/2013
Ba-ba-ba, Ba-Barbara Ann... Got me rockin' and a-rollin', rockin' and a reelin' Barbara Ann!

Now that that's out of my system... I'd say this name's about due for a comeback.
-- mrose19  3/26/2013
I really love the name Barbara, I think it's beautiful and timeless. My mom's name is Barbara Mary and she goes by Barbara Mary or Barbara. Some people also call her Barb. I don't think this name sounds too old fashioned, especially since names like Edith and Agnes are making a come back. I also think the name Barbie is cute as a nickname for Barbara especially for a little girl. My mom was called Barbie by some relatives when she was younger.
-- briannaharley  3/28/2013
The name Barbara is also in use in Georgia.

In Georgian, Barbara is written as: ბარბარა.
-- Lucille  6/5/2013
This is a bit long... but reading the comments about "my name" really hit a nerve with me. I was given this name at birth by my father, and have never, ever identified with it or liked it. According to my mother, it was the name of his college girlfriend, so it was a point of contention from the very beginning. Additionally, the meaning of Barbara (barbarian, foreigner, uncivilized, "one who doesn't belong", "one who doesn't speak the same language,") has had a deep and profound correlation with how my life has unfolded. Would things have been notably different if I'd been given a name that I liked and identified with? Who knows? But I think it would have helped. "Barbara" is also not an attractive name to my ear, especially the way Americans pronounce it, and ESPECIALLY when it's shortened to just the dreadful first syllable, which we friendly Americans (I've never had this happen outside of the U.S.) frequently do, even if the other person never referred to themselves in that way. I've actually changed my name (not legally, as I have yet to truly identify with another name, ) several times because of my dislike and disconnect with "Barbara". Names are just SO important! In a number of cultures, the child is given a temporary name at birth, which is then replaced by the name of their own choice when they become older. Brilliant! I wish that had been my own scenario. How in the world do we presume to name another human being when we don't know anything about them? Thanks for reading and sorry for the crabby tone of this... like I stated at the beginning, it's a very sensitive subject for me.
-- dellacascata  6/3/2014
I love the name Barbara! It's very classy, respectable, elegant, sophisticated, vintage and beautiful. Xoxo :) And I think the nicknames Babs and Barbie are cute. :)
-- justsomegirl  10/25/2014
Barbara Woolworth Hutton (Born: November 14, 1912, Died: May 11, 1979, ) was an American debutante/socialite, heiress and philanthropist.
-- justsomegirl  10/25/2014
This name is so outdated, it's hysterical.
MOST of the Barbs now are well into their 50's and above.

I'm all for classic and vintage names but not outdated ones.
-- Anonymous User  12/6/2014
This name is so heavy, musty, and dated. I've actually known of a few Barbaras a little younger than I am, and the name seems so out of place. I just can't picture it on anyone but a woman over fifty. The "barbarian" meaning doesn't do it any favors either.
-- Anyechka  4/15/2015
My grandmother was named Hattie Barbara. She went by the name Honey... My mother was named Barbara Joan.. but went by the name Joan... I was named Barbara Ann... I thought of course it was family tradition or after the Beach Boys song, however, my Father at a young age saved his allowance to see Barbara Ann Scott the famous Canadian figure skater, she was so lovely, beautiful and charming my Father fell in love with the name and hence in my Father's eyes I was named after her.

Check out images history of Barbara Ann Scott Canadian Figure Skater.
Not sure if middle name is with or without an E.
-- bvan  5/5/2015
My name is Barbara but I have so frequently over my life been called Margaret. How does this happen, I wonder?
Would like to hear if any other Barbara's have had the same experience- any clues as to why this should happen?
I think it is a bit odd! Love to hear any comments! Thanks, Barb.
-- Barbbutcalledmarg  5/8/2015
The medieval French form of this name was Barbe, which nowadays is only used to refer to the saint, as barbe means beard in modern French. Barbara is the form given to French children today.
-- Acajou  7/18/2015
I was honestly surprised to look up the popularity of Barbara, since it shows that Barbara is still in the Top 1000 names in the United States. I've never met any Barbaras my age (born '91) - pretty much all the Barbaras I've met were born in the 50s, when the name was hugely popular.

Honestly, I don't even immediately connect Barbie with Barbara (and I loved Barbie dolls when I was little), and neither do I think of "barbaric" - likely because the emphasis is on a different syllable. I don't usually like names that start with "B," but Barbara actually sounds elegant to my ears - quite the opposite of the name's original meaning.

You have to be careful with middle names for Barbara, though. Double-names like "Barbara Ann" (thank you, Beach Boys) and "Bobbie Jo" are terribly dated. Off the top of my head, I think Barbara Noelle is quite pretty...
-- erb816  7/21/2015
Barbara is emphatically dated. I'm very surprised it's still in the top 1000. I can picture Barbara on a full grown woman. 50's and above.

I can not imagine this name on a younger individual of today. You name a kid "Barbara" now, it would just come across as pretentious and also very sad. It's just a very dated, unattractive name.
-- Anonymous User  8/11/2015
I hate it. My parents were going to name me 'Nicole' but chickened out because that sounded too sexy to them (and they were really down on sex). Truly down on it... pathologically. It was for creating kids and that was it... get it over with. Something to do when you were over-the-top bored.

Yeah, I would have preferred Nicole. Especially since people had always complimented my looks, telling me how French appearing and petite I was... when younger (LOL).

I found out through therapy that my mother was very jealous and threatened by me. She may have seen me as even more of a threat with a sexy name like 'Nicole'.
-- Anonymous User  9/18/2015
I was named after my grandmother and have always been proud of my name. I was called Bobbie by my texan family and friends call me barb or barbie. This is the first time i had heard the story about a saint Barbara who was killed by her father and it seemed stra ge that in all my dreams of my father he is trying to kill me. I also love lightning and my sign is a fire sign.
-- palapala12  9/23/2015
It's a name of my sister and some of my friends. It's a nice short name. Although I wouldn't want to be named Barbara. But I still like it. It's easy to pronounce and can easily be read in other countries. Nicknames me and other people mostly use for my sister and friends are Barbra, Barba, and Barbie. The only minus point for me is its association wth the Barbie doll. I can't help but think of the toy whenever I hear the word Barbie even though it's a cute nickname for Barbara.
-- Stasiya  10/6/2015

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