Gender Masculine
Scripts Βαρναβᾶς(Ancient Greek)
Pronounced Pron. BAR-na-bas(German)
BAHR-nə-bəs(English)
  [key·IPA]

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, Barnabas came into occasional use after the 12th century. It is now rare, though the variant Barnaby is still moderately common in Britain.

Related Names

VariantBarnaby(English (British))
DiminutiveBarney(English)
Other Languages & CulturesBarnabé(French) Barnabás, Barna(Hungarian) Barnaba(Italian) Barnaba(Polish) Varnava(Russian) Bernabé(Spanish)
Same SpellingBarnabás
User SubmissionBarnabáš

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Entry updated May 29, 2020