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Bella Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Bella including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Bella Overview

  • Meaning: Bella means beautiful and fair.
  • Gender: Bella is usually a girl name.
  • Origin: The name Bella is Italian. Although the base of the name comes from Latin “Bella,” which is the feminine form of Bellus (beautiful and fair).
  • Pronunciation: Pronounce Bella as “bel-uh.”
  • Popularity: Historically, Bella has not had popularity, though it has seen a rise in popularity in the last decade.
  • Nicknames: Bee, Bella Beans, Bells, Jingle Bells.
  • Variations: Belen, Belle, Bonita.
  • Namesakes: Bella Hadid, Bella Hardy, Bella Abzug.

What Does Bella Mean?

The name Bella means fair or beautiful. It is also a nickname for names like Isabella, Gabriella, and Annabella.

What Is the Origin of the Name Bella?

The origin of the name is Latin. In Latin, it is the feminine form of “Bellus,” meaning “beautiful or fair” (1). The name comes from the Italian “Bella,” meaning “fair,” which originated from the Latin word.

Also originating from Latin is the Old French word “bele,” and the French word “belle,” meaning “beautiful woman, well-dressed; reigning beauty”. The origin of the name is Latin and French.

How Popular Is the Name Bella?

According to the Social Security Administration, Bella has experienced a decent rise in popularity in the last decade.

From 1900 to 2000, Bella was fairly low in popularity—not even making the top 1,000 names between 1932 and 2000 (2). It came back on the radar in 2000 when it hit number 700 and then slowly rose in popularity over the following years. In 2008, the name hit number 122.

In 2009, however, Bella experienced a leap in popularity, quickly rising to number 58. In 2010, it hit number 48. Was this due to the release of a certain vampire movie in late 2008? After the first movie in the “Twilight” series was released, the name became popular!

Since 2010, the name has remained in the top 100 names in the United States, although it never made it higher than number 48 (3).

How Do I Pronounce Bella?

The proper English pronunciation for the name Bella is “bel-uh”. The name does have different pronunciations in different languages.

Is Bella a Boy or Girl Name?

Traditionally, Bella is a girl’s name. If you want a boy name that also means “beautiful” or has a similar sound to Bella, you can choose from some variations of boy names as well—like Beau.

Variations of Bella

The name Bella has a few variations that you may feel connected to or that just seem right for your upcoming bundle of joy. Some versions of Bella from other languages include:

  • Belle (French)
  • Bellezza (Italian)
  • Bellissima (Italian)
  • Bonita (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Belen (Portuguese)

Nicknames for Bella

As Bella is already such a short name, most nicknames derived from it are more personalized to the child. Instead of shortening your baby’s name, you can make a play on it that suits your child’s personality. However, you will first need to establish your child’s personality and character.

A nickname like that might not come up immediately, but when it does, it will be special. If you want some inspiration, these are popular nicknames for Bella. Some of these nicknames are cute, silly, or simple.

  • Baby Bella
  • Bebe
  • Bee
  • Belle
  • Lala
  • Bells
  • Tinkerbella

Similar Names to Bella

The name Bella may be getting close to what you want, but it might not feel quite right yet. Perhaps you like the meaning, sound, or origin of the name, but it is not working. This list may help you find a different name that works for you:

  • Annabel
  • Anne
  • Anwen
  • Belle
  • Bonnie
  • Branwen
  • Calanthe
  • Charlette
  • Fiore
  • Gwen
  • Ingrid
  • Isabelle
  • Lilia
  • Naomi

Middle Names for Bella

As the name Bella is short and sweet, you may want a middle name that compliments the length or has a similar sweet sound.

More elegant names may also suit your child. If you have a Victorian-era girl’s name that you fell in love with years ago, you get your chance to use it

If you have no idea what names would go well with Bella and you are looking for help, here are great middle names for Bella.

Sibling Names for Bella

If you are planning on multiple children (or maybe you are expecting twins) you may be looking for names that go well with the name Bella. You may want names with similar meanings, origins, or sounds or just a name that fits well.

Keep in mind that the name should suit the child more than it matches a sibling’s name. Suggestions for names that suit Bella include:

Famous People Named Bella

Some names are always going to be associated with famous people. If that is a concern for you, getting an idea of who else bears the name Bella might help you decide if Bella is a name you like.

You also may not want your child to have a name that calls to mind a particular celebrity or famous figure. Knowing who else out there is named Bella cannot hurt.

  • Bella Abzug: American politician and prominent figure in the women’s movement.
  • Bella Davidovich: American classical pianist.
  • Bella Flores: Filipina film actress.
  • Bella Hadid: American model.
  • Bella Hardy: British folk musician, singer, and songwriter.
  • Bella Igla: Israeli women grand chessmaster.
  • Bella Jakubiak: Australian chef.

Bella in Popular Culture

Fictional characters that share your child’s name may be something to keep in mind when naming your child. Although these characters are fictional, the stories associated with them may have a positive or negative impact on your child.

  • Bella Cooper: from the New Zealand soap opera “Shortland Street.”
  • Bella Dawson: the protagonist of Nickelodeon TV series “Bella and the Bulldogs.”
  • Bella Goth: a recurring sim townie from “The Sims” franchise.
  • Bella Swan: the main protagonist in the “Twilight” saga.

Bella FAQs

The most common questions about Bella are below:

Is Bella a Rare Name?

No, Bella is not a rare name. While it is not the most popular name, it is fairly well known.

Is Bella Gender-Neutral?

Bella is not gender-neutral. Because of its origin, it is a girl’s name. However, variations like Beau can be used for boys.

Is Bella a Good Name?

Bella is an elegant and simple name. It works well with a variety of middle names and sibling names. If you have Italian or French ancestry, Bella is a great choice!

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