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ScriptsΒαρναβας Ancient Greek
PronouncedPron.BAR-na-bas German
BAHR-nə-bəs English

Meaning & History

Greek form of an Aramaic name. In Acts in the New Testament the byname Barnabas was given to a man named Joseph, a Jew from Cyprus who was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys. The original Aramaic form is unattested, but it may be from בּר נביא (bar naviya') meaning "son of the prophet", though in Acts 4:36 it is claimed that the name means "son of encouragement". As an English name, it came into occasional use after the 12th century.
VariantBarnaby English
DiminutiveBarney English
Other Languages & CulturesBarnabé French Barnabás, Barna Hungarian Varnava Russian
Same SpellingBarnabás
User SubmissionBarnabáš


athletes, biblical, Franz Kafka characters, Orthodox saints, rare German, saints, uncertain etymology
Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute