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PronouncedPron.BAHR-bə-rə English
BAHR-brə English
BAR-BA-RA French
BAR-ba-ra German
bar-BA-ra Polish
BAWR-baw-raw Hungarian

Meaning & History

Derived from Greek βαρβαρος (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.
VariantsBarbra English Borbála Hungarian Barbro Swedish
DiminutivesBabs, Barb, Barbie, Bobbi, Bobbie English Bärbel German Basia Polish 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 Barbora Slovak Bárbara Spanish
Same SpellingBárbara
User SubmissionsBàrbara, Barbára


Icon depicting Saint BarbaraIcon depicting Saint Barbara


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Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute