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Ruby Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Ruby Overview

  • Meaning: Ruby has Latin origins but comes from the Latin words “ruber” and “rubinous,” both meaning “red precious stone.”
  • Gender: You can name a boy or a girl Ruby, but most people use it as a girl’s name.
  • Origin: Ruby first became popular in the late Victorian era (late nineteenth century)
  • Pronunciation: You pronounce the name Ruby as “RU-bee.”
  • Popularity: The name Ruby was trendy in the US during the 1920s but gradually declined throughout the 20th century until a slight revival in the 2010s.
  • Nicknames: Bea, Bee, Roo, Ru, Rube, Rubes, Rue.
  • Variations: Rubee, Rubella, Rubey, Rubi, Rubie, Rubina.
  • Namesakes: Ruby Bridges, the African American activist who helped integrate schools in America.

What Does Ruby Mean?

The name Ruby means “precious red stone” and has Latin origins from the words “ruber,” rubrum,” and “rubinous,” both meaning “red.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Ruby?

Ruby did not come into the popular consciousness as a given name until the late Victorian era when giving girls jewel names was trendy (1).

Speaking of jewels, Ruby is also the birthstone for July.

How Popular is the Name Ruby?

As mentioned, the name Ruby was popular in the late nineteenth century but hit a spike in popularity in 1920s America. Over 8000 babies were named Ruby between 1919 and 1922.

The name’s popularity gently declined until the mid-2010s, and it has steadily grown since, with almost 4,000 babies named Ruby between 2014 and now (2).

How Do I Pronounce Ruby?

You pronounce the name Ruby as “RU-bee,” with particular emphasis on the first syllable.

Is Ruby a Boy or Girl Name?

In most cases, Ruby is a girl’s name, but you can give it to a boy. In fact, it was in the top 1,000 names for boys between 1900 and 1940.

Ruby might also be a nickname for Reuben, a typically male name.

Variations of Ruby

Maybe you are close to naming your child Ruby, but perhaps you need something with a little extra. Some of these Ruby variations might be worth looking into, like:

  • Rubee (English)
  • Rubella (Latin)
  • Rubey (English)
  • Rubi (Spanish)
  • Rubie (English)
  • Rubina (Italian)

Nicknames for Ruby

Ruby is a short and simple name, but it still deserves to have a fun, sassy, and cute nickname to match the person.

  • Bea
  • Bee
  • Roo
  • Ru
  • Rube
  • Rubes
  • Rue

Similar Names to Ruby

One cannot deny the simple beauty of the name Ruby, but maybe you are thinking of another name along the same lines as Ruby. Some of those might include:

Middle Names for Ruby

A name like Ruby deserves a middle name that further shows what kind of Ruby the person is. Possible middle names for Ruby include:

Sibling Names for Ruby

A gemstone name like Ruby might go great with other gemstone names. While that is a fun pattern to follow, as you will see below, there are other sibling names to pick from.

For a sister:

For a brother:

Famous People Named Ruby

With such starlet potential, you can bet there are a few famous people named Ruby. You might know some of the following Rubys from pop culture, like:

  • Ruby Bridges: The first Black student to attend an all-white elementary school, paving the way for school integration across America.
  • Ruby Dandridge: An American actress known for both her radio and acting work.
  • Ruby Laffoon: The 43rd Governor of Kentucky.
  • Ruby Murray: Northern Irish singer.
  • Ruby Serkis: English actress.

Ruby in Popular Culture

Whether you think of a devious demon, an anthropomorphic rabbit, or a teenage troll, you probably know a Ruby or two from movies or TV.

  • Ruby: The main character in the Nick Jr. animated series Max & Ruby.
  • Ruby: A character from the Cartoon Network animated TV series Steven Universe.
  • Ruby: A demon from the American fantasy-horror television series Supernatural.
  • Ruby: A character from the American animated series Trollz.
  • Ruby Nash Garnett: The lead singer of the American music group Ruby & the Romantics.
  • Ruby Goldstein: Also known as “Ruby Jewel of the Ghetto.” American welterweight boxer and referee.
  • Ruby Lucas: The modern-day equivalent of Red Riding Hood on the American fantasy TV show Once Upon a Time.
  • Ruby Moon: A character from the Cardcaptor Sakura manga and anime.
  • Ruby Rose: The main character in the anime web series RWBY.
  • Ruby Roundhouse: One of four main characters in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level.

Ruby FAQs

To this point, we have talked a lot about the name Ruby, but there is always something new to learn about your favorite names.

What Is the Personality of the Name Ruby?

The name “Ruby” often makes people think of sassy, bubbly, romantic, optimistic, and outgoing individuals. It could describe someone beautiful or cute, but it almost always describes someone with a lot of spirit. As a gemstone-themed name, it points to the person having inner beauty.

What Does Ruby Mean Spiritually?

As a jewel-themed name, Ruby has a lot of spiritual power. It could bring extra creativity, energy, and compassion to your life, and you may be exceptionally loyal to those you care about.

Most of all, being a Ruby means you are a protector. You have a lot of spiritual wisdom and great strength against psychic attacks. You can attribute this to the fact that ruby is the third hardest known gemstone, and people have mined it for centuries for its tremendous beauty and royal significance.

What Does Ruby Mean in Hebrew?

The gem ruby has the Hebrew meaning of “Obem,” derived from the Latin word “rebrum,” as discussed above.

Jewish people associate the Ruby stone with the red stone worn on the Hoshen breastplate, which the high priest of the ancient Israelites wore as a ceremonial garment.

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