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100 Cool Names That Mean Brave: Both Fierce and Mighty

Take a stand with courageous names that mean brave for the valiant little one you love.

There are many more names out there than you think, denoting bravery and strength. Which ones can charm your baby boy or girl to a life of valor?

Our list of unique names that mean brave includes ancient classics, obscure finds, and modern takes on strength. Find out each name’s meaning, while learning about famous namesakes. You’ll be left with the perfect name for your brave little one in no time.

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100 Fearless Names Meaning Brave

Celebrate courage with the boldest names that mean brave for your heroic boy or girl.


Abir means “strong” for boys in Hebrew or “fragrance” for girls in Arabic. It’s also a settlement in Galilee, Israel, and a term used for the colorful powders used during Hindu rituals.

  • Origin: Hebrew, Arabic
  • Meaning: Strong, brave
  • Pronunciation: Aa-BIHR
  • Variations: Abeer, Abhir
  • Namesakes: Abir Har Even, the Israeli correspondence chess champion for the 1974 championships. Abir Al-Sahlani, an Iraqi-Swedish Member of the European Parliament since 2019.
  • Popularity: Abir is rare worldwide, mostly used in Bangladesh, and ranked 168th in Tunisia in 2014.
Cute, Ancient


Adila is the female equivalent of the Arabic Adil, meaning “just and fair.” It also means “upright” and “lawful” when using the Arabic root “adl.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Righteous, fair
  • Pronunciation: AA-Diy-laa
  • Variations: Adilla, Adillah
  • Namesakes: Adila Bayhum, a Syrian co-founder of the Syrian Women’s Union in 1924. Adila bint Abdullah Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family and daughter of King Abdullah.
  • Popularity: Adila is rare worldwide, mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 133rd in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014.
Feminine, Unique


Aila is the Finnish version of Helga or Olga, meaning “from the strong place” in Scottish Gaelic. It’s sometimes associated with the Turkish Ayla, meaning “halo,” and the Hebrew Eilah, meaning “oak tree.”

  • Origin: Finnish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Bringer of light
  • Pronunciation: AY-Lah
  • Variations: Ayla
  • Namesakes: Aila Flöjt, a Finnish ski competitor and gold medalist at the 1975 World Ski Orienteering Championships. Aila Paloniemi, a member of the Parliament of Finland since 2003.
  • Popularity: Aila is rare worldwide and primarily used in Finland, where it ranked 118th in 2014.
Pretty, Cute


Alaric comes from the Old German Alaricus, made up of “ala,” meaning “all” and “ricja,” meaning “rule.” It’s well-known among names that mean brave for kings and is a more interesting variation on Alan.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: All-powerful ruler
  • Pronunciation: AEL-ah-Rihk
  • Variations: Alarick, Alarik, Allaric
  • Namesakes: Alaric Jacob, an English writer and a Reuters correspondent during the 1930s. Alaric Tay, a Singaporean appearing in the TV film The Great Wall of China.
  • Popularity: Alaric is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 86th for boys in 2021.
Ancient, Powerful


Alcina goes back to the Greek Alkinoos, inspired by a mythological sorceress who ruled an island. It’s best recognized as a similar sorceress appearing in a Handel opera inspired by Orlando poems.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Strong-willed
  • Pronunciation: Ael-SIY-naa
  • Variations: Alceena, Alcinah
  • Namesakes: Alcina Lubitch Domecq, an Israeli short story writer of The Mirror’s Mirror.
  • Popularity: Alcina is rare worldwide and mainly used in Angola, where it ranked 353rd in 2014.
Feminine, Unique


Amaury is a variation of Maurice in Latin and also means “dark-skinned.” It means “work” and “labor” in French based on the Old French Amalric.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Moorish
  • Pronunciation: Ah-MAOW-riy
  • Variations: Amary
  • Namesakes: Amaury Filion, a Dominican basketball player for Mauricio Báez. Amaury Nolasco, a Puerto Rican actor in the series Prison Break.
  • Popularity: Amaury is rare worldwide, primarily used in Brazil, and ranked 361st in Cuba in 2014.
Masculine, Unusual


Amzi means “strong” and “mighty” when taken from the Hebrew “amtsi.” It refers to several biblical characters but is an example of a name meaning brave that fits into the modern world.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: My strength
  • Pronunciation: AEM-ziy
  • Popularity: Amzi is very rare worldwide and was mostly used in North Macedonia in 2014.
Cute, Uncommon


In Scandinavia, Anders was given to a “son of Anders.” It’s one of many names that means ” courage ” and “manly.” It derives from the Greek Andréas, a name first used for a “husband” that became the English Andrew.

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Courageous
  • Pronunciation: AAN-Derz
  • Variations: Ander, Andar
  • Namesakes: Anders Sandøe Ørsted, the Prime Minister of Denmark from 1853 to 1854. Anderson Bjork, an American ice hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Popularity: Anders is rare worldwide and mainly used in Sweden, ranking 14th in 2014.
Cool, Ancient


Andrew is a female version of Andrew, meaning “warrior” or “protector.” It means “courageous” in Latin as Andreas. Andrew has regularly ranked in the top 100 U.S. names and peaked in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: Aen-DREY-ah (Italian), AEN-driy-Ah (English)
  • Variations: Aindrea, Aondrea
  • Namesakes: Andrea Murez, an Israeli-American swimmer who competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Andrea Pirlo, an Italian head football coach of Süper Lig club Fatih Karagümrük.
  • Popularity: Andrea ranked 87th worldwide and is primarily used in Italy, where it ranked 7th in 2014.
Pretty, Popular


Andreas means “man” in Greek when derived from “anis.” It also means “masculine” and “brave” for your baby boy, who’s a fighter.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Courageous
  • Pronunciation: Ahn-DREH-ahs
  • Variations: Andrea
  • Namesakes: Andreas A. Miaoulis, a Greek navy’s chief admiral during the Greek War of Independence. Andreas W. Smith, an English journalist and one of the founders of The Independent newspaper.
  • Popularity: Andreas ranked 604th worldwide, is mostly used in Germany, and ranked 1st in Cyprus in 2014.
Ancient, Popular
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Like the Greek Andreas, Andrew also means “strong” and “manly.” It’s based on the root “anir,” meaning “man.” Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Greece, Russia, and Scotland.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Strong
  • Pronunciation: AEN-Druw
  • Variations: Andrews
  • Namesakes: Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American 19th-century industrialist in the American steel industry. Andrew Fletcher, an English musician, and member of the band Depeche Mode.
  • Popularity: Andrew ranked 145th worldwide and is mainly used in the U.S., ranking 57th for boys in 2021.
Traditional, Popular


Angus comes from the Gaelic Aonghus, the god of love and youth in Celtic mythology. It also means “one force,” when composed of the Irish “óen,” meaning “one,” and “gus,” meaning “force” or “strength.”

  • Origin: Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: One strength
  • Pronunciation: AENG-ahs
  • Variations: Aengus, Aonghas
  • Namesakes: Angus Young, an Australian musician, and co-founder of the hard rock band AC/DC. Angus Deayton, an English TV host for the game show Have I Got News for You.
  • Popularity: Angus is rare worldwide, primarily used in England, and ranked 160th in Scotland in 2014.
Powerful, Masculine


Archie is one of the cutest nicknames for Archibald, from the Old German Ercanbald, meaning “genuinely bold.” It’s a name royal enough for Prince Harry’s son Archie too.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bold
  • Pronunciation: AARCH-iy
  • Variations: Archey, Archi, Archy
  • Namesakes: Archie Bradley, an Australian boxer and the Australian Welterweight Champion from 1922 to 1924.
  • Popularity: Archie is rare worldwide, mostly used in the Philippines, and ranked 399th for boys in 2021.
Informal, Noble


Arnold is composed of the Germanic “arn,” meaning “eagle,” and “wald,” meaning “power.” It peaked at 89th in the U.S. in 1916 and diminished after the 1950s, but it is still a resilient choice for your powerful lad.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Strong as an eagle
  • Pronunciation: AAR-Nahld
  • Variations: Arnald, Arnhold
  • Namesakes: Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-American actor and the 38th governor of California between 2003 and 2011. Arnold Ebiketie, a Cameroonian-American football player for the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Popularity: Arnold ranked 1,719th worldwide and is mainly used in the Philippines, where it ranked 73rd in 2014.
Traditional, Common


Asta means “love” and “star-like” and is a diminutive for Astrid. It also means “holy” in Latin and is sometimes used as a nickname for Anastasia or Augusta.

  • Origin: Danish
  • Meaning: Divine strength
  • Pronunciation: AOS-Tah
  • Variations: Astra
  • Namesakes: Asta (born Asta Binnie-Ireland), a Tasmanian singer-songwriter whose song “My Heart Is On Fire” won Triple J’s Unearthed High in 2012.
  • Popularity: Asta is rare worldwide, primarily used in Cameroon, and ranked 69th in Lithuania in 2014.
Pretty, Unique


Audrey was first the Old English Æðelþryð, which was used for the 7th-century St. Audrey. Audrey Hepburn represents the most famous modern Audrey, which is why it’s still common.

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Noble strength
  • Pronunciation: AO-Driy
  • Variations: Audry, Audrie
  • Namesakes: Audrey Wells, an American screenwriter who wrote the 1999 film, Guinevere. Audrey Hepburn, a British actress inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
  • Popularity: Audrey ranked 1,888th worldwide and is mostly used in the U.S., ranking 60th for girls in 2021.
Traditional, Common


In the Bible, Aziel was a member of the Levi tribe. It’s super rare, but you may be tempted by Lord Aziel, a character in the Galactic Empire in the Star Wars franchise.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my strength
  • Pronunciation: AEZ-iy-Ehl
  • Variations: Azaleah
  • Popularity: Aziel is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil.
Ancient, Bold


Baldwin derives from the Old German Baldavin, made up of “balda,” meaning “bold,” and “vini,” meaning “friend.” It’s also associated with the Old English Bealdwine, meaning “brave.”

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Bold, brave friend
  • Pronunciation: BAOLD-Wiyn
  • Variations: Baldewin, Baldwyn
  • Namesakes: Baldwin Domingo, a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 2004 to 2012.
  • Popularity: Baldwin is rare worldwide, primarily used in Zambia, and ranked 360th in Jamaica in 2014.
Formal, Uncommon


Bali means “soldier” in Hindi, yet it’s famously a beautiful locale in Indonesia known for its beaches. Bali is also a lesser-known Hungarian nickname for Balint or Balazs.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Strength
  • Pronunciation: BAA-Liy
  • Namesakes: Bali Ram Bhagat, a member of the Indian parliament from 1984 to 1989. Bali Rai, an English children’s book author, and winner of the 2002 Angus Book Award.
  • Popularity: Bali is rare worldwide, mostly used in India, and ranked 329th in Burkina Faso in 2014.
Unusual, Cute


Barreyy was first an Old English surname meaning “strife” brought to England by the Normans. It’s also associated with the Gaelic Bairéid, meaning “warlike people.” As a boy’s name, Barrett has been somewhat common since the early 2000s.

  • Origin: English, Irish
  • Meaning: Bear rule
  • Pronunciation: BAA-Reht
  • Variations: Barett, Barrete, Barrette
  • Namesakes: Barrett Brown, an American journalist, and founder of Project PM in 2010. Barrett Foa, an American performer in the Broadway show Mamma Mia!
  • Popularity: Barrett is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 297th for boys in 2023.
Formal, Traditional
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Bathilda comes from the Old English Bealdhild, meaning “bold battle.” Bathilda takes some inspiration from Saint Balthild, a 7th-century saint, but may be best associated with Bathilda Bagshot, a fictional Harry Potter character.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Woman warrior
  • Pronunciation: Baa-TIHLD-ah
  • Variations: Bathilde
  • Popularity: Bathilda is extremely rare worldwide, with 26 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in the U.S.
Bold, Powerful


Bedelia is a much beloved Irish alternative to Bridget,” also meaning “power” and “virtue.” The adorable nickname Biddy is used for the Irish children’s book character Amelia Bedelia.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Exalted one, strength
  • Pronunciation: Beh-DIY-Lyaa
  • Variations: Bedeelia, Bedelea, Bedeliah
  • Popularity: Bedelia is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Formal, Vintage


Bernadette is the female form of Bernard, meaning “strong.” It’s also based on the German “bear-hard,” for a person “as brave as a bear.” Saint Bernadette was a 19th-century French saint whose religious site is located at Lourdes.

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Brave bear
  • Pronunciation: Ber-naa-DEHT
  • Variations: Bernadet, Bernedette
  • Namesakes: Bernadette Peters, an American actress known for performing the theatrical works of Stephen Sondhein. Bernadette Smith, a Canadian First Nations member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba since 2017.
  • Popularity: Bernadette ranked 979th worldwide, is mainly used in DR Congo, and ranked 22nd in Benin in 2014.
Feminine, Common


Bernard derives from the Old German Berinhard, made up of “berin,” meaning “bear” and “hard,” meaning “stern.” It ranked in the top 100 U.S. boy’s names from 1880 through the 1940s, peaking at 45th in 1921.

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Brave bear
  • Pronunciation: BAHR-Nahrd
  • Variations: Bernerd, Bernhard
  • Namesakes: Bernard Hopkins, an American boxer and the Middleweight Champion from 2001 to 2005. Bernard Caprasse, the Belgian governor of Luxembourg from 1996 until 2016.
  • Popularity: Bernard ranked 322nd worldwide and is primarily used in France, ranking 11th in 2014.
Traditional, Popular


Branko is specifically used in the South Slavic countries of the former Yugoslavia. It also means “glorious defender” and is considered a pet name for mighty little boys named Bronisalv and Branimir.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Protection, glory
  • Pronunciation: BRAEN-Kow
  • Namesakes: Branko Lustig, a Croatian film producer known for Gladiator. Branko Cvetković, a Serbian basketball player for the Serbian national team.
  • Popularity: Branko is rare worldwide, mostly used in Serbia, and ranked 15th in Croatia in 2014.
Powerful, Masculine


Bree means “noble” and “power” and is an example of brave names based on other traditional ones like Brigid. It uses the Irish root “brígh,” meaning “exalted one.”

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Strength
  • Pronunciation: BRIY
  • Variations: Bri, Brie
  • Namesakes: Bree Amer, an Australian TV contestant on Big Brother Australia 2004. Bree White, an Australian rules footballer for the Collingwood Football Club.
  • Popularity: Bree is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 1,505th for girls in the U.S. in 2018.
Cute, Pretty


Like other Irish names meaning strong, Bride is based on Brighid, meaning “the high one.” Brighid (also called Bridget and Bride) was a popular Irish saint and the Celtic goddess of fire and poetry.

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Strength
  • Pronunciation: BRIEY-Dee
  • Variations: Bridie
  • Popularity: Bride is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Canada.
Cute, Uncommon


Bridget represents the Anglo spelling of the Irish Brighid, from “brigh,” meaning “strength” and “vigor.” St. Bridget is known as the patron saint of scholars and poetry.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Exalted one
  • Pronunciation: BRIH-Jhaht
  • Variations: Brigitte, Bridgette
  • Namesakes: Bridget Fonda, an American actress appearing in Single White Female (1992). Bridget Kendall, an English journalist for the BBC.
  • Popularity: Bridget is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 35th in Ireland in 2014.
Traditional, Feminine


Britta may simply be a nickname for Brittany, meaning “from Britain.” When considered the Scandinavian Britt, it’s a variation of Birgitta, a form of Bridget.

  • Origin: Scandinavian, English
  • Meaning: Exalted one
  • Pronunciation: BRIHT-aa
  • Variations: Brita
  • Namesakes: Britta Ernst, the German State Minister for Education and Youth of Brandenburg from 2017 to 2023. Britta Johansson Norgren, a Swedish cross-country skier and bronze medalist at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009.
  • Popularity: Britta is rare worldwide, mainly used in Germany, and ranked 158th in Denmark in 2014.
Unique, Powerful


Bryan is a more modern spelling of Brian, taken from the Irish “brígh,” meaning “strong” and “giving.” It’s inspired by the fierce greatness of Brian Boru, the 11th-century king of Ireland.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Virtuous
  • Pronunciation: BRY-Uhn
  • Variations: Brian
  • Namesakes: Bryan Adams, a Canadian musician and the most-played artist on Canadian radio in the 2010s. Bryan Engram, a Canadian football player for the Calgary Stampeders.
  • Popularity: Bryan ranked 1,422nd worldwide and is primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 409th for boys in 2020.
Traditional, Common
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Chasen is a form of the male Chase, yet it may be a modern ode to the confident hunter by combining Chase and Jason.

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Huntsman
  • Pronunciation: CHEY-Sahn
  • Variations: Chayson
  • Namesakes: Chasen Shreve, an American baseball player for the Detroit Tigers. Chasen Hines, an American football player for the New England Patriots.
  • Popularity: Chasen is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Unusual, Bold


Conal’s fearless spirit is likely due to the famous Irish hero Conall Cearnach, who avenged Cuchalainn. Conal or Conall have been the names of many powerful kings and rulers in Ireland and Scotland.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Strong wolf
  • Pronunciation: KOW-Nahl
  • Variations: Connal, Connall
  • Namesakes: Conal Keaney, an Irish footballer for Ballyboden St Enda’s. Conal O’Brien, an American TV director for the soap opera All My Children (1987 to 2010).
  • Popularity: Conal is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Ireland, ranking 634th in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine


Cyrene is a differently spelled version of the Greek Kyrene, meaning “ruler” and “sovereign queen.” In Greek mythology, Cyrene was a nymph and female hunter whom Apollo loved.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Lord
  • Pronunciation: SAEY-Riyne
  • Variations: Kyrene
  • Popularity: Cyrene is very rare worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 803rd in the Solomon Islands in 2014.
Unique, Cool


Decebal also means “powerful” and was an ancient ruler of Dacia, who was conquered by Rome. Decebal has become a traditional boy’s name in Romania today but not elsewhere.

  • Origin: Romanian
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: Deh-CHE-baal
  • Namesakes: Decebal Gheară, a Romanian footballer for Farul Constanţa. Decebal Traian Remeș, the Romanian Finance Minister from 1998 to 2000.
  • Popularity: Decebal is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Romania, ranking 1,576th in 2014.
Unusual, Powerful


Djinn comes from the Arabic “jinn,” meaning “hidden from sight.” They are strong-willed supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Spirits
  • Pronunciation: JIHN
  • Variations: Djinn
  • Popularity: Djin is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Indonesia.
Ancient, Cool


Donnelly was first an Irish surname meaning “world mighty” or “brown-haired fighter.” It originated with the Gaelic Ó Donnghaile, meaning “descendant of Donnghal.”

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic
  • Meaning: Brave, dark man
  • Pronunciation: DAHN-eh-Liy
  • Variations: Donelly
  • Namesakes: Donnelly Rhodes, a Canadian actor appearing on the series Soap.
  • Popularity: Donnelly is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Formal, Traditional


Drew also means “wise” in Welsh but is better known as a short form of Andrew. There are also connections to the Irish surname Ó Draoi, meaning “descendant of the Druid.”

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Manly
  • Pronunciation: DRUW
  • Variations: Dru, Druw
  • Namesakes: Drew Carey, an American comedian and host of the game show The Price Is Right since 2007. Drew Barrymore, an American actress known for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • Popularity: Drew is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked 509th for boys and 339th for girls in 2021.
Cute, Modern


Ebba is considered a German nickname for both Eberhard and Everly, meaning “strong.” The male equivalent is Ebbe and could be associated with the Old English Æbbe,

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Brave bear
  • Pronunciation: EHB-ah
  • Variations: Eba, Ebah
  • Namesakes: Ebba Busch, the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden since 2022. Ebba Jungmark, a Swedish high jumper and bronze medalist at the 2007 European U23 Championships.
  • Popularity: Ebba is rare worldwide and mainly used in Sweden, ranking 179th in 2014.
Cute, Unusual


Egemen is Turkish, but, like many names that mean powerful, it has Greek origins. Egemen derives from “igemónas,” meaning “prince” and “sovereign.”

  • Origin: Turkish, Greek
  • Meaning: Dominant
  • Pronunciation: EH-geh-Maan
  • Namesakes: Egemen Güven, a Turkish basketball player for Beşiktaş Emlakjet. Egemen Bağış, the Turkish ambassador to the Czech Republic since 2019.
  • Popularity: Egemen is rare worldwide, primarily used in Turkey, and ranked 1,185th in Northern Cyprus in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine


In German, Egon also means “strong with a sword.” It’s otherwise relatively mysterious but stands by the bravery associated with a “sword” and “blade.”

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Sword’s edge
  • Pronunciation: IY-Gahn
  • Variations: Egan
  • Namesakes: Egon Schiele, an Austrian painter known for his Expressionist style.
  • Popularity: Egon is rare worldwide, mostly used in Germany, and ranked 212th in Denmark in 2014.
Powerful, Bold
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Emeric represents a more simple spelling of the Old German Emmerich. German names ending in “rik,” meaning “rule” were typically reserved for the “king.”

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Home ruler
  • Pronunciation: EHM-eh-Rik
  • Variations: Emerick, Emerich
  • Namesakes: Emeric Partos, a Hungarian-American fashion designer for Bergdorf Goodman. Emeric Pressburger, a Hungarian-British filmmaker known for The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943).
  • Popularity: Emeric is rare worldwide and mainly used in France, ranking 980th in 2014.
Noble, Unique


Enzi may be the most Italian (and cutest) of names that mean brave. It also means “sovereignty” as a nickname for Lorenzo. Like Heinz and Heinrich, Enzi is associated with Henry, meaning “home-ruler.”

  • Origin: Swahilli, Italian
  • Meaning: Powerful
  • Pronunciation: EHN-Ziy
  • Variations: Enzey, Enzie
  • Popularity: Enzi is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Tanzania.
Cute, Informal


Ethan is the English spelling for the Hebrew Eitan, known as the author of the Book of Psalms in the Bible. It also means “enduring” and “strong.” Ethan has ranked in the top 100 U.S. boys’ names for the last 30 years.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Strong, firm
  • Pronunciation: EE-Thahn
  • Variations: Ethen
  • Namesakes: Ethan Bear, a Cree-Canadian ice hockey player for the Vancouver Canucks. Ethan Hawke, an American actor known for the Dead Poets Society (1989).
  • Popularity: Ethan is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked 20th in 2021.
Traditional, Masculine


Evander refers to a “good man” when taken from the Scottish Iomhar. It’s also associated with the Norse Ivor, meaning “bow warrior.” Evander was a Trojan hero in Roman mythology who founded Pallantium, which became Rome.

  • Origin: Greek, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: Eh-VAEND-er
  • Namesakes: Evander Holyfield, an American boxer and the Heavyweight Champion in the 1990s. Evander M. Law, an American Confederate general in the American Civil War.
  • Popularity: Evander is very rare worldwide, mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 767th for boys in the U.S. in 2021.
Unique, Bold


Everett is one of the oldest English names meaning brave and goes back to the German Eberhard. It means “the strength or courage of a wild boar,” otherwise describing the likely stubborn bravery of a “fierce warrior.”

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Strong boar
  • Pronunciation: EH-veh-Reht
  • Variations: Everette, Everrett
  • Namesakes: C. Everett Koop, the 13th Surgeon General of the U.S. from 1982 to 1989. Everett Morton, an English drummer for the rock band The Beat.
  • Popularity: Everett is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 82nd for boys in 2021.
Formal, Modern


Fergus comes from the Scottish Gaelic Fearghas, meaning “highest choice.” In Celtic mythology, Fergus was a big inspiration for this name meaning “man of force.”

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Man of force
  • Pronunciation: FEHR-Gahs
  • Variations: Feargus, Ferghus
  • Namesakes: Fergus Pyle, an Irish journalist and editor of The Irish Times from 1974 to 1977. Fergus Johnston, an Irish composer, and member of Aosdána.
  • Popularity: Fergus is rare worldwide and mostly used in Ireland, ranking 202nd in 2014.
Traditional, Cute


Garrett is an Irish version of Gerard, made up of “gari,” meaning “spear,” and “hard,” meaning “bravery.” It righteously indicates a man who is “lord of the spear” and a “spear wielder.”

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Spear brave
  • Pronunciation: GEHR-Riht
  • Variations: Garret
  • Namesakes: Garrett Hines, an American bobsledder and silver medalist at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Garrett Lerner, an American producer on the Fox series House.
  • Popularity: Garrett is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 396th in Ireland in 2014.
Formal, Powerful


Gertrude is based on the Old German Gertrud, meaning “spear strength.” Gertrude is most famously Hamlet’s doomed mother in the Shakespeare play of the same name.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Strong spear
  • Pronunciation: GEHR-Truwd
  • Variations: Gertraude, Gertrud
  • Namesakes: Gertrude Stein, an American writer of the novel The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Gertrude Kleinová, a Czech table tennis player and winner of the 1936 World Championship.
  • Popularity: Gertrude is uncommon worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 32nd in Austria in 2014.
Vintage, Feminine


Godric is a combination of the Old English “ric,” meaning “ruler,” and the Old Norse “guðini,” meaning “God.” It has no modern-day namesakes but for the Harry Potter fictional character known as Godric Gryffindor.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: God ruler
  • Pronunciation: GAAD-rihk
  • Variations: Goderic, Godrick
  • Namesakes: Godric the Steward, a 12th-century English steward of the Earl of East Anglia, Ralph de Gael.
  • Popularity: Godric is very rare worldwide and mostly used in England.
Noble, Ancient


Griffin is based on the Welsh “griff,” meaning “strong chief.” It’s a mythological creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. Griffin is associated with the Irish Gaelic Ó Gríobtha, meaning “descendant of Gryphon.”

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Lord, prince
  • Pronunciation: GRIH-Fahn
  • Variations: Griffyn, Gryffin, Gryffyn
  • Namesakes: Griffith Evans, an Australian member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1941 to 1943. Griffith Thomas, an American architect called “the most fashionable architect of his generation” in 1908.
  • Popularity: Griffin is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 232nd for boys in 2021.
Traditional, Noble
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Very little is known about Hansa, making it unique among brave names. It’s considered similar to Hamza, meaning “lion,” “strong,” and “steadfast.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Strong, powerful
  • Pronunciation: HAHN-Zah
  • Variations: Hamsa
  • Popularity: Hanza is rare worldwide and primarily used in Nigeria.
Bold, Unusual


Hardy comes from the Old French “hardi,” meaning “bold” and “courageous.” Its original Frankish roots include “hardjan,” meaning “to make hard,” so it is ready for your little tough guy.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: HAAR-Diy
  • Variations: Harde, Hardey
  • Namesakes: Hardy Nilsson, a Swedish ice hockey player for Skellefteå AIK. Hardy Rafn, a Danish film actor appearing in Father of Four in the City (1956).
  • Popularity: Hardy is rare worldwide, primarily used in Germany, and ranked 430th in Denmark in 2014.
Traditional, Cute


Harvey is taken from the Old German Harivig, made up of “harja,” meaning “host,” and “viga,” meaning “battle.” Harvey experienced the most popularity in the U.S. in the 19th- and early 20th-centuries.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Battle worthy
  • Pronunciation: HAAR-Viy
  • Variations: Harvee, Harvi, Harvie, Harvy
  • Namesakes: Harvey Korman, an American comedian appearing on the sketch comedy series The Carol Burnett Show. Harvey Elliott, an English footballer for Liverpool.
  • Popularity: Harvey is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 589th for boys in 2018.
Masculine, Traditional


Howard is based on the Norman names Huard and Heward and perhaps the Old Norse Havard. It resided among the top 50 U.S. boys’ names from the 1870s to 1950s, peaking at 24th in 1920.

  • Origin: German, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Heart-brave
  • Pronunciation: HHAOW-ehrd
  • Variations: Howerd, Howyrd
  • Namesakes: Howard Stern, an American radio host of The Howard Stern Show from 1986 to 2005. Howard Zinn, an American historian known for the book A People’s History of the United States (1980).
  • Popularity: Howard is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 968th for boys in 2018.
Traditional, Vintage


Imala also means “disciplinarian” and “white.” It’s used primarily in India and Sri Lanka, where it’s still quite rare today.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Strong-minded
  • Pronunciation: IY-Maa-laa
  • Variations: Imalah, Immala
  • Popularity: Imala is rare worldwide and mostly used in India.
Unique, Powerful


Little is known about Imre other than its possible origin with the German Emeric, meaning “home-ruler.” It’s a Hungarian name also used in Estonia that’s considered quite common.

  • Origin: Hungarian, German
  • Meaning: Innocent
  • Pronunciation: IYM-Reh
  • Variations: Imray, Imrey
  • Namesakes: Imre Hollai, the Hungarian President of the UN General Assembly from 1982 to 1983. Imre Taveter, an Estonian sailor who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Imre is rare worldwide and mainly used in Hungary, ranking 39th in 2014.
Unique, Uncommon


Isa is also an Arabic name for boys meaning Jesus, as it appears in the Quran. It’s quite common in Turkey as well and is one of the easiest names meaning strong to spell.

  • Origin: German, Arabic
  • Meaning: Strong-willed
  • Pronunciation: IY-Saa
  • Variations: Issa
  • Namesakes: Isa Gambar, the Azerbaijani President from May 18 to June 17, 1992. İsa Kaykun, a Turkish footballer for SV Waldhof Mannheim.
  • Popularity: Isa ranked 933rd worldwide and is primarily used in Nigeria, where it ranked 40th in 2014.
Pretty, Common


Karma’s power as a name and a concept comes with it symbolizing “spiritual force.” Buddhists and Hindus consider it the inevitable effect of our actions, the highest level of all things brave.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Destiny, fate
  • Pronunciation: KAAR-Maa
  • Variations: Karmah, Kharma
  • Namesakes: Karma Rigzin, the Bhutanese founder of the Woman and Child Protection Division. Karma, a Bhutanese recurve archer who competed at the 2015 World Archery Championships.
  • Popularity: Karma is rare worldwide, primarily used in India, and ranked 1,309th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Modern, Unique


Kenzo has many Japanese meanings, including “wise” and “three.” It uses “ken,” meaning “wise,” and “zo,” meaning “three,” and sounds like it fits into the modern world.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Strong and healthy
  • Pronunciation: KEHN-Zow
  • Variations: Kenzou
  • Namesakes: Kenzo Seki, a Japanese handball player who competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Kenzō Masaoka, a Japanese anime creator who helped found Toei Animation.
  • Popularity: Kenzo is rare worldwide and mainly used in Japan, ranking 289th in 2014.
Traditional, Cute


Keren means “ray” and “beam,” plus “strength” and “power.” It derives from the Hebrew Kerenhappuch, one of Job’s daughters in the Bible, representing a “ray of light.”

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Glorious dignity
  • Pronunciation: KEH-rehn
  • Variations: Karen
  • Namesakes: Keren Mor, an Israeli actress appearing in Abba Ganuv (1987). Keren Woodward, an English singer and founding member of the girl group Bananarama.
  • Popularity: Keren is rare worldwide and primarily used in Uganda, where it ranked 627th in 2014.
Traditional, Feminine
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Loewy is a more antiquated German form of the Jewish surname Levy. It appears as Löwy, a variant of Löwe, meaning “lion” in Switzerland, and is a nickname for a “brave person.”

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LOH-iy
  • Popularity: Loewy is extremely rare worldwide, with 19 known occurrences in 2014, mostly in the U.S.
Powerful, Rare


Mahogany is the term for “dark red wood,” famous for its durable strength. It’s become popular among African-American girls and is also based on the African Yoruba “oganwo,” a similar type of tree.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Rich, strong
  • Pronunciation: Maa-HAH-gaa-Niy
  • Variations: Mahoganey, Mahogney
  • Popularity: Mahogany is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Cool, Rare


Malin is also based on the Irish Malainn, meaning “brae-face” or “hillbrow.” It’s a better-known Swedish diminutive for Magdalene that’s common all over Sweden today.

  • Origin: English, Irish
  • Meaning: Little strong warrior
  • Pronunciation: Maa-Lihyn
  • Variations: Mallin, Malyn
  • Namesakes: Malin Crépin, a Swedish actress appearing in A Case for Annika Bengtzon. Malin Larsson, a Swedish member of the Riksdag since 2018.
  • Popularity: Malin is rare worldwide and primarily used in Sweden, ranking 35th in 2014.
Pretty, Unique


Marcella is based on one of the first names that mean powerful, from the Roman Marcellus. It’s the equivalent to Mark and means “young warrior” when inspired by Mars, the Roman god of war.

  • Origin: Latin, Italian
  • Meaning: War-like
  • Pronunciation: Maar-SEHL-ah
  • Variations: Marcelle
  • Namesakes: Marcella Michelangeli, an Italian actress in the TV movie Panagulis Vive. Marcella Hazan, an Italian food writer of the 1997 cookbook Marcella Cucina.
  • Popularity: Marcella is rare worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 212th in Italy.
Powerful, Ancient


Matilda is the English spelling of the Old German Mahthildis, meaning “battle mighty.” It’s made up of “mahti,” meaning “might,” and “hildi,” meaning “strife.” All the warring aside, Matilda is an adorable choice for baby girls who wish to read Roald Dahl’s novel, Matilda.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Mighty in battle
  • Pronunciation: Mah-TIHL-dah
  • Variations: Mathilda, Mathilde
  • Namesakes: Mathilda Mélusine Ruspoli, the French-Italian daughter of Alessandro Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveterii. Matilda Ramsay, an English TV presenter of the BBC show Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch.
  • Popularity: Matilda is rare worldwide, mainly used in Ghana, and ranked 466th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Vintage


Maude is a more sophisticated form of Matilda and appears in Welsh as Mawd. Some associate Maude with Madeleine, meaning “woman from Magdala.” Maude was most popular in the late 19th-century when it ranked in the top 25 U.S. girl’s names.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Battle mighty
  • Pronunciation: MAOD
  • Variations: Maud
  • Namesakes: Maude Gillette Phillips, an American author of the Popular Manual of English Literature. Maude Andrews Ohl, an American journalist and the first woman reporter for The Atlanta Constitution.
  • Popularity: Maude is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Powerful, Vintage


Maynard means “hard strength” and is based on the English and French Mainard. It’s one of many names meaning courage with Germanic connections, this time with Maganhard, meaning all things “brave” and hardy.”

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: MEY-Nerd
  • Variations: Maynerd
  • Namesakes: Maynard James Keenan, an American musician, and singer of the rock band Tool. Maynard G. Webb, an American chairman of the board of directors at Yahoo.
  • Popularity: Maynard is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it’s slightly uncommon.
Formal, Masculine


Meiko means “powerful” for boys when derived from the Old German “megin,” meaning “strength.” It’s best known as a Japanese girl’s name meaning “sprout” or “child.”

  • Origin: Japanese, German
  • Meaning: Strong
  • Pronunciation: MEIY-Kow
  • Variations: Mei
  • Namesakes: Meiko Satomura, a Japanese wrestler and the NXT UK Women’s Champion. Meiko Kaji, a Japanese actress appearing in the film Stray Cat Rock.
  • Popularity: Meiko is rare worldwide and mainly used in Japan.
Cute, Uncommon


Melisandre first referred to “labor strength” and “determination.” It fell into obscurity but was revived as the old-fashioned Millicent during the early 20th-century. Melisandre of Asshai appears in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Animal strength
  • Pronunciation: MEH-liy-Saend
  • Variations: Melisant
  • Popularity: Melisandre is extremely rare worldwide, with 27 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in Brazil and the U.S.
Feminine, Rare


Merrick began as an English and Welsh surname encompassing “fame,” “power,” and “rule.” In Scotland, The Merrick (known as the Gaelic A’ Mhearag) is located in a mountain range called The Awful Hand.

  • Origin: English, Welsh
  • Meaning: Famous ruler
  • Pronunciation: MEH-Rihk
  • Variations: Merick, Merrik, Merryk
  • Namesakes: Merrick Bremner, a South African golfer who competed at the 2019 U.S. Open. Merrick Garland, the 86th U.S. Attorney General since 2021.
  • Popularity: Merrick is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 961st for boys in 2019.
Formal, Powerful
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Mildred is based on the Old English Mildđryđ, composed of “mild,” meaning “mild,” and “þryð,” meaning “power.” Mildred ranked in the top 10 U.S. girls’ names between 1903 and 1926.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Gentle strength
  • Pronunciation: MIHL-Drehd
  • Variations: Mildrid
  • Namesakes: Mildred D. Brown, an African-American journalist who founded the Omaha Star newspaper. Mildred Fox, an Irish politician and a Teachta Dála from 1995 to 2007.
  • Popularity: Mildred is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Vintage, Uncommon


Montgomery is better known as a French surname based on Saint-Germain-de-Montgommery in Normandy, France. It also means “mountain belonging to the ruler” in French and “huntsman” in Latin.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Manpower
  • Pronunciation: Mahnt-GAHM-riy
  • Variations: Montgomary, Montgomerey
  • Namesakes: Montgomery Clift, an American actor, and a four-time Academy Award nominee. Montgomery Wilson, a Canadian figure skater, and the 1932 Olympic bronze medallist.
  • Popularity: Montgomery is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Formal, Uncommon


Nerio takes its inspiration from the Roman goddesses of war, who is also the wife of Mars. It also simply means “war” under the influence of this ancient and powerful warlike couple.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Strength, valor
  • Pronunciation: NEH-riy-Ow
  • Variations: Nereo
  • Namesakes: Nerio II Acciaioli, the Duke of Athens from 1435 to 1439 and 1441 to 1451. Nerio Rodríguez, a Dominican baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Popularity: Nerio is rare worldwide and mostly used in Venezuela, where it ranked 291st in 2014.
Ancient, Bold


Osiris is a Latin spelling of the ancient Egyptian “jrt,” meaning “seeing eye,” or “wsr,” meaning “mighty one.” Either way, it’s the coolest example among names that mean brave for the god of the Underworld and husband to Isis.

  • Origin: Egyptian, Latin
  • Meaning: Mighty, powerful
  • Pronunciation: Ow-SAEY-Rihs
  • Popularity: Osiris is rare worldwide, mainly used in Columbia, and ranked 388th in the Dominican Republic in 2014.
Noble, Ancient


Oz means “strength” and “heroism” in Hebrew and is a pet form of other names like Ozni and Ozias. When it looks like Öz, it becomes a Turkish name meaning “pure” and “genuine.”

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Strength, courage
  • Pronunciation: AAZ
  • Variations: Ozz, Ozzie
  • Namesakes: Oz Ifrah, an Israeli footballer for Maccabi Sh’aarayim. Oz Blayzer, an Israeli basketball player for Hapoel Jerusalem.
  • Popularity: Oz is rare worldwide and primarily used in Israel, ranking 455th in 2014.
Cool, Unique


Philomena dates back to the Greek Philomenēs, meaning “lover of strength.” It’s made up of “phelein,” meaning “to love,” and “menos,” meaning “strength.” Philomena ranked in the top 1,000 U.S. girl’s names until 1940, peaking at 355th in 1915.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Courageous lover
  • Pronunciation: Fihl-ah-MIYN-ah
  • Variations: Philomeena, Phiomeana
  • Namesakes: Philomena Begley, a Northern Irish country music singer and the first woman inducted into the ICMA Hall Of Fame in 2020. Philomena Mensah, a Canadian sprinter and bronze medalist at the 1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
  • Popularity: Philomena is rare worldwide, mostly used in Nigeria, and ranked 130th in Ireland in 2014.
Formal, Pretty


Pillar means “tall and strong” as a “pillar of strength.” It stems from the Catholic faith as the Virgin Mary’s title “María del Pilar,” meaning “Mary of the Pillar.”

  • Origin: Spanish, Latin
  • Meaning: Pillar
  • Pronunciation: Piy-LAAR
  • Variations: Pilarre, Pyllar
  • Namesakes: Pilar Medina, the first Spanish winner of the 1977 Miss International title. Pilar Rubio, a Spanish TV host of Operación Triunfo.
  • Popularity: Pilar is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in Spain, where it ranked 49th in 2014.
Noble, Unique


Qadir means “capable” and “competent” when derived from the Arabic “qādir,” meaning “powerful.” Al-Qādir is an Islamic phrase in connection with Allah, meaning “the all-powerful,” while “al-Qadīr” means “the capable.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Powerful
  • Pronunciation: KAA-Dihr
  • Variations: Qaadir
  • Popularity: Qadir is rare worldwide, primarily used in Pakistan, and ranked 92nd in Somaliland in 2014.
Ancient, Traditional


Ragnar is composed of the Old Norse “ragin,” meaning “counsel,” and “hari,” meaning “army.” It also means “judgment” and is most famous today for Ragnar Lothbrok on the TV series Vikings.

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Warrior
  • Pronunciation: RAAG-Naar
  • Variations: Ragnor
  • Namesakes: Ragnar Sigurðsson, an Icelandic footballer for the Iceland national team. Ragnar Edenman, the Swedish Minister of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs between 1957 and 1967.
  • Popularity: Ragnar is rare worldwide, mostly used in Norway, and ranked 33rd in Iceland in 2014.
Ancient, Masculine


Rainey is the Anglo variation of the Gaelic Ó’Ráighne, from the Old Norse Rǫgnvaldr. It also means “God” and divine power” for the little queen in your life.

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Queen
  • Pronunciation: REY-Niy
  • Variations: Rainie, Rainy, Raney
  • Namesakes: Rainey Haynes, an American musician who sang the theme song to the TV series Dancing to the Hits. Rainey Bennett, an American artist with work at the Museum of Modern Art.
  • Popularity: Rainey is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Cute, Unusual
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Ranai means “protector” and “warrior” in Sanskrit. Ranai Kota, meaning “Ranai City,” is the capital of an archipelago in the Riau Islands in Indonesia.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Courageous man
  • Pronunciation: RAH-ney
  • Popularity: Ranai is very rare worldwide and primarily used in India.
Masculine, Uncommon


Richmond means “rich hill” in English and is associated with the Old French “riche,” meaning “mighty,” and “munt,” meaning “mountain.” Richmond is the capital city of the U.S. state of Virginia

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Powerful protector
  • Pronunciation: RICH-Mahnd
  • Variations: Richmon, Richmonde, Richmound
  • Namesakes: Richmond C. Beatty, an American writer awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1940.
  • Popularity: Richmond is rare worldwide and mostly used in Ghana.
Noble, Formal


Rostam has Persian origins meaning “tall,” “strongly built,” and “brave.” In Persian mythology, the hero Rostam’s mother is Rūdāba, meaning “she of the river water.”

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: River strong
  • Pronunciation: RAAS-Taam
  • Variations: Rustam, Roustam
  • Namesakes: Rostam Azizi, a Tanzanian businessman and the first Tanzanian billionaire in 2013. Rostam Bagdasarian (known as David Seville), the American creator of the cartoon band Alvin and the Chipmunks.
  • Popularity: Rostam is rare worldwide and mainly used in Iran, ranking 475th in 2014.
Unusual, Bold


Shakti is the female equivalent of the god Shiva in Hinduism. She represents female cosmic energy, along with “effort,” “strength,” and “capability.”

  • Origin: Indian, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Power
  • Pronunciation: SHAHK-Tiy
  • Variations: Shaktey, Shaktie
  • Namesakes: Shakti Samanta, an Indian filmmaker known for Anand Ashram (1977). Shakti Bahadur Basnet, the Nepalese Minister of Forest and Environment from 2018 to 2020.
  • Popularity: Shakti is rare worldwide and primarily used in India.
Bold, Cool


Solveig is composed of the Old Norse “sól,” meaning “sun,” and “veig,” meaning “strength.” It means “daughter of the sun” and is the main character in Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt.

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Strong house
  • Pronunciation: SAAL-Veyhg
  • Variations: Solveige, Solvig
  • Namesakes: Solveig Dommartin, a French actress known for Wings of Desire (1987). Solveig Egman-Andersson, a Swedish artistic gymnast who competed at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Solveig is rare worldwide and mostly used in Norway, where it ranked 35th in 2014.
Ancient, Powerful


Takeo is one of the lesser-known names meaning brave used in Japan. It was an antiquated word in the Inca dynasty meaning “not yours,” but “strong as bamboo” is just as tough.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Strong as bamboo
  • Pronunciation: Taa-KEY-ow
  • Variations: Takeyo, Takio
  • Namesakes: Takeo Sugawara, a Japanese hammer thrower who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Takeo Arishima, a Japanese novelist known for A Certain Woman (1919).
  • Popularity: Takeo is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in Japan, ranking 76th in 2014.
Cute, Traditional


Tetsu is ideal among names meaning strong for girls as “strong as iron.” As a boy’s name, it also means “philosophy” and “wisdom” and is short for Tetsudōfan.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Iron
  • Pronunciation: TEHT-suw
  • Namesakes: Tetsu Nagasawa, a Japanese assistant manager of J1 League club Kyoto Sanga. Tetsu Yano, a Japanese writer who helped found Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan.
  • Popularity: Tetsu is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Japan, where it’s slightly uncommon.
Unique, Powerful


Trudy also means ” universal strength, ” as a diminutive for the German Gertrude. When Trudy is based on Ermintrude, it means “wholly beloved.”

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Spear of strength
  • Pronunciation: TRUW-Diy
  • Variations: Trudi, Trudie
  • Namesakes: Trudy McIntosh, an Australian artistic gymnast and gold medalist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Trudy Hellier, an Australian actress appearing on the program Frontline.
  • Popularity: Trudy is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Informal, Cute


Tybalt means “from bold people” in Old English and is associated with the French “Thibault,” a form of Theobald. Tybalt is best recognized as Juliet’s cousin in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Brave people
  • Pronunciation: TIH-bowlt
  • Variations: Tibalt
  • Popularity: Tybalt is extremely rare worldwide, with 66 known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Israel
Cool, Unique


Ulric may be one of the fiercest names that mean powerful, symbolizing the “power of the wolf.” It comes from the Old English Wulfric, made up of “wulf,” meaning “wolf,” and “ric,” meaning “rule.”

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Wolf rule
  • Pronunciation: OHWL-Rihk
  • Variations: Ullric, Ulrick, Ulrik
  • Namesakes: Ulric Browne, a British actor known for the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Ulric Nisbet, a British writer of Thoughts on the Purpose of Art (1934).
  • Popularity: Ulric is very rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 467th in Barbados in 2014.
Powerful, Strong
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Uzi originated with the Hebrew Uzzî, a biblical boy’s name meaning “my strength.” It’s a traditional yet unique Jewish nickname for Uzza, Uzzia, and Uziel.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Power, strength
  • Pronunciation: UW-Ziy
  • Variations: Uzzi
  • Namesakes: Uzi Landau, an Israeli member of the Knesset between 1984 and 2006. Jian Zihao (known as Uzi), a Chinese League of Legends player for Bilibili Gaming.
  • Popularity: Uzi is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Israel, ranking 590th in 2014.
Cute, Unusual


Valencia symbolizes “bravery” and is the name of the third-largest Spanish city. It’s inspired by the Latin Valentia, meaning “valor,” and goes all the way back to the Roman Valentinus.

  • Origin: Spanish, Latin
  • Meaning: Strong, healthy
  • Pronunciation: Vaa-LEHN-siy-Ah
  • Variations: Valenciah, Valensia, Valyncia
  • Popularity: Valencia is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 401st in Haiti in 2014.
Feminine, Unique


Valerie originated with the Latin Valeria, the female version of Valerius, meaning “brave” and “fierce.” It was one of the top 1,000 U.S. girls’ names from 1900 and peaked at 60th in 1959.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Strong
  • Pronunciation: VAA-leh-Riy
  • Variations: Valeri, Valleri
  • Namesakes: Valerie Solanas, an American feminist who attempted to murder Andy Warhol in 1968. Valerie Bertinelli, an American actress known for the sitcom One Day at a Time (1975 to 1984).
  • Popularity: Valerie ranked 713th worldwide, is primarily used in France, and ranked 153rd for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Traditional, Popular


Warrick was first a surname meant for a “leader who defends.” It stems from the medieval Warwick and is used today for the Warrick Brown character on the TV series, CSI.

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Warrior king
  • Pronunciation: WAOR-ihk
  • Variations: Warric, Warick
  • Namesakes: Warrick Couch, an Australian astronomer and the founding director of Astronomy Australia Limited. Warrick Holdman, an American football player for the Chicago Bears.
  • Popularity: Warrick is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Australia, ranking 1,058th in 2014.
Noble, Masculine


Willard derives from the Old English Wilheard, French Willard, and German Willihard. It’s also associated with the Old English Withelard, meaning “resolutely brave.”

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Strong desire
  • Pronunciation: WIHL-ahrd
  • Variations: Wilhard
  • Namesakes: Willard Scott, an American weather presenter on NBC’s Today Show. Willard Wheatley, the Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands from 1971 to 1979.
  • Popularity: Willard is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 303rd in Zimbabwe in 2014.
Vintage, Unique


Wolfric is made up of the Old English “wulf,” meaning “wolf,” and “ric,” meaning “power.” It’s thought to be connected to Ulric and the Norse Rikiwulf. If you’re looking for the coolest of brave names, the awesome Wulfric may be your best bet.

  • Origin: German, Norse
  • Meaning: Wolf chief
  • Pronunciation: WUHL-frik
  • Namesakes: Wulfric Spot, an 11th-century English nobleman and patron of the Burton Abbey.
  • Popularity: Wulfric is extremely rare worldwide, with only eight known occurrences in 2014, primarily in England.
Masculine, Ancient


Yiğit is one of many names meaning courage given to “a person of exceptional bravery and strength,” aka a “hero.” Though it has Greek origins, Yiğit is most common in Turkey, where it ranked 673rd.

  • Origin: Turkish, Greek
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: YIH-Jhiht
  • Namesakes: Yiğit Aslan, a Turkish swimmer, and bronze medalist at the 2019 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival. Yiğit Bulut, the Turkish senior advisor to President Erdoğan since 2013.
  • Popularity: Yiğit is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Unusual, Rare


Zale means “surge of the sea” in Greek” and is meant for those danger-loving boys who are “fond of strife.” It’s an unrelated surname appearing as Żale in Polish for a familial place name.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Sea-strength
  • Pronunciation: ZEYL
  • Variations: Zaele, Zaile
  • Namesakes: Zale Dalen, a Canadian director known for the 1980 film The Hounds of Notre Dame.
  • Popularity: Zale is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Iran.
Cool, Unique


Zeke is a boyish nickname for the biblical Hebrew Ezekiel – inspired by a prominent Old Testament prophet. Zeke is also a modern-day character on the TV series Sons of Anarchy.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God strengthens
  • Pronunciation: ZIYK
  • Variations: Zeak, Zeek
  • Namesakes: Zeke Moore, an American football player for the Houston Oilers. Zeke Steggall, an Australian snowboarder who competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
  • Popularity: Zeke is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 619th for boys in 2021.
Ancient, Informal


Zenobia also refers to the “life of Zeus.” It became famous with the ancient Persian Queen Zenobia, the ruler of Palmyra. Zenobia means “father’s ornament” in Arabic, yet it carries the weight of the gods for your baby girl.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Force of Zeus
  • Pronunciation: Zeh-NOW-biy-Ah
  • Variations: Zenobea, Zenobiah
  • Namesakes: Zenobia of Armenia, the Queen of Armenia from 51 to 53 and 54 to 55 AD. Zenobia Kloppers, a Namibian actress appearing in the film Fiela se Kind (2019).
  • Popularity: Zenobia is rare worldwide, mostly used in Peru, and ranked 429th in Bolivia in 2014.
Ancient, Noble
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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.