Meaning & History

Derived from Greek βάρβαρος (barbaros) meaning "foreign". According to legend, Saint Barbara was a young woman killed by her father Dioscorus, who was then killed by a bolt of lightning. She is the patron of architects, geologists, stonemasons and artillerymen. Because of her renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was revived in the 19th century.

Related Names

VariantsBarbra(English) Barbe(French) Borbála(Hungarian) Barbro(Swedish)
DiminutivesBabe, Babs, Barb, Barbie, Bobbi, Bobbie(English) Babette(French) Bärbel(German) Basia(Polish) Boróka(Hungarian) Bara, Barica(Croatian)
Other Languages & CulturesVarvara(Bulgarian) Barbora, Bára(Czech) Barbare(Georgian) Varvara(Greek) Báirbre(Irish) Barbora(Lithuanian) Varvara(Macedonian) Bárbara(Portuguese) Varvara, Varya(Russian) Barabal(Scottish Gaelic) Barbora(Slovak) Bárbara(Spanish)
Same SpellingBárbara
User SubmissionsBàrbara, Barbára, Barbarà

People think this name is

classic   mature   formal   upper class   natural   wholesome   strong   refined   simple   serious  

Name Days

Austria: December 4
Croatia: December 4
Denmark: December 4
Estonia: December 4
France: December 4
Germany: December 4
Hungary: December 4
Italy: July 31
Italy: December 4
Latvia: December 4
Norway: December 4
Poland: December 4
Sweden: December 4


Icon depicting Saint BarbaraIcon depicting Saint Barbara


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Entry updated April 5, 2022