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Bodhi Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Bodhi Overview

  • Meaning: Bodhi means “enlightenment” and “awakening” in Sanskrit.
  • Gender: Bodhi is technically a unisex option, but it’s more likely to be used for little boys.
  • Origin: Bodhi is taken from “bodhisattva,” a Sanskrit term that points to aspiring Buddhas. Bodhi is also connected to Nirvana, the final stop on Buddhism’s Eightfold Path.
  • Pronunciation: Bodhi is pronounced “BOH-dee” worldwide.
  • Popularity: Bodhi is well-known worldwide but is particularly famous in America and Europe. In the U.S., Bodhi is consistently among the top 400 names for boys.
  • Nicknames: Beau, Bo, Bobo, Bodes, Bodhi Bear, Buddy, Dee, Dhi, Hi.
  • Variations: Bode, Bodi, Bodie, Bohdee, Bowdie, Bowd.
  • Namesakes: Bodhi Elfman, American actor. Bodhi Jones, Canadian singer and songwriter.

What Does Bodhi Mean?

Bodhi is a Sanskrit title that means “awakening” and “enlightenment.” In Buddhism, it is equivalent to Nirvana, the final stage of the Eightfold Path. Once people reach Nirvana, they are free of all earthly sins and eligible to be made a Buddha.

To attain Bodhi, a person must be willing to forsake worldly goods and embrace the simple life. Parents choose this title for their children in hopes that they’ll pursue their religious calling. For many, Bodhi symbolizes spiritual discipline, knowledge, and wholeness.

What Is the Origin of the Name Bodhi?

Bodhi is of Sanskrit origin and is heavily rooted in Buddhism. It is taken from “bodhisattva,” which refers to someone determined to become a Buddha. This title wasn’t given lightly, as the person’s spiritual path had to be confirmed by a Buddha. In Buddhism, the bodhisattva is well-respected because few people have the spiritual discipline to complete the Eightfold Path to Nirvana.

How Popular Is the Name Bodhi?

Bodhi stayed under the radar until 2010, when it first appeared on American name charts. With celebrities like Megan Fox and Jenna Elfman choosing the title for their sons, Bodhi quickly rose in popularity. Bodhi peaked in 2020 when it was ranked among the top 284 names for American boys.

Due to its star power, Bodhi remains an American favorite, but it’s also popular in the Middle East and Europe. With a cool spiritual vibe, Bodhi is bound to be top-ranked for years to come.

How Do I Pronounce Bodhi?

Bodhi is pronounced “BOH-dee” worldwide.

Is Bodhi a Boy or Girl Name?

Bodhi is technically a unisex forename, but it’s likelier to be used for little boys.

Variations of Bodhi

Check out these heavenly variations of Bodhi.

  • Bode (Sanskrit, German)
  • Bodi (Sanskrit, Hungarian, Slavic)
  • Bodie (Sanskrit, French, German)
  • Bohdee (Sanskrit)
  • Bowdie (Sanskrit, English)
  • Bowdi (Sanskrit, English)

Nicknames for Bodhi

Try one of these angelic nicknames for Bodhi.

  • Beau
  • Bo
  • Bobo
  • Bodes
  • Bodhi Bear
  • Buddy
  • Dee
  • Dhi
  • Hi

Similar Names to Bodhi

Take a peek at these titles, which are similar to Bodhi in meaning, origin, and pronunciation.

  • Aikya
  • Beau
  • Bliss
  • Bo
  • Brodey
  • Buddha
  • Chimon
  • Cody
  • Cosmo
  • Darmha
  • Dechan
  • Dokai
  • Karma
  • Kobe
  • Lode
  • Nirvana
  • Rishi
  • Sangha
  • Sanjay
  • Vishtu
  • Zen

Middle Names for Bodhi

Try one of these noble Bodhi middle names.

Sibling Names for Bodhi

These sibling names for Bodhi will make your children the cutest pair.

Famous People Named Bodhi

Here’s a list of Bodhi’s most famous namesakes.

  • Bodhi Elfman: American actor.
  • Bodhi Jones: Canadian singer and songwriter.

Bodhi in Popular Culture

Keep an eye out for these pop culture references to Bodhi.

  • Bodhi: Character in Alyson Noel’s “Riley Bloom” series.
  • Bodhi: Main character in the hit film “Point Break.”
  • Bodhi: Leading character in the Baldur’s Gate video game.
  • Bodhi and Friends: Popular Chinese cartoon series.
  • Bodhi Rook: Character in the “Star Wars” franchise.

Bodhi FAQs

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the name Bodhi.

What Is Bodhi Short For?

Bodhi is short for “bodhisattva,” a complex title referring to future Buddhas. Bodhisattvas are generally community members with kind hearts and immense discipline. Some believe that they’re christened with magical powers once they achieve Nirvana.

Bodhi can also refer to the Bodhi Tree, known as “the tree of awakening.” This statuesque fig tree is sacred to Buddhists and is located in the heart of Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India. The original Buddha was said to have achieved Nirvana under the Bodhi Tree. Though the original tree is long gone, many copycats hold significance.

What Does Bodhi Mean in Buddhism?

In Buddhism, Bodhi is the equivalent of Nirvana, the ultimate state of spiritual being. To achieve Nirvana, one must be spiritually pure and unencumbered by the things of this world. As you can imagine, few accomplish the state of bodhi, and those who do are spiritual giants.

To Buddhists, choosing Bodhi for your child signifies your best wishes for them. After all, what parent doesn’t want their child to have a close relationship with the unseen?

Who Has a Child Named Bodhi?

Bodhi is well-known in Hollywood, where spiritual celebrities consistently choose the title for their children. Actress Megan Fox named her son Bodhi in 2014, while Jenna Elfman claimed the title before that in 2007.

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio named his son Luka Bodhi in 2009, and Carly Simon’s grandson is also a fun namesake. With a combination of savvy and spiritual, we’re sure Bodhi will continue to be a star favorite.

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About the Author

Cate Hoepner

Cate Hoepner is a professional blogger and freelance writer of seven years. Before transitioning into a writing role, she worked in finance and customer service. Cate enjoys DIY projects, old movies, music, and a good cup of coffee. In her free time, you'll find her homeschooling her three kids, crafting her dream homestead, and reading anything she can get her hands on.