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100 Names That Mean Sad

Updated
These sad names are so beautiful they’ll make you shed a (happy) tear.

Sadness is a common emotion experienced in times of darkness, misfortune, and grief. Giving your children sad names could help you cope with life’s challenges. Choosing depressing names could also be symbolic, demonstrating how your children have mended your broken heart.

Whatever your reasons for choosing names with sad meanings, this article has you covered with options from across the globe. We hope finding the perfect name for your little one brings joy to your heart.


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100 Gloomy Names That Mean Sad

Read on to discover 100 names with sad meanings for your little heartbreaker.

Abaddon

In the New Testament, Abaddon is an angel of the abyss. Abaddon is also the name of a bottomless pit in the Hebrew Bible, said to be the resting place of the dead. This spooky, biblical name is filled with hidden darkness.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Ruin, destruction
  • Pronunciation: ah-BAD-ahn
Religious, Dark, Strong

Abiba

In Moroccan culture, Abiba is often chosen for the firstborn girl after her grandmother’s death. Your little Abiba could bring joy after a time of sadness and grief.

  • Origin: Moroccan
  • Meaning: First child born after the grandmother has died
  • Pronunciation: ah-BY-bah
  • Variations: Abeaba, Abeabah, Abeeba, Abeebah, Abeiba, Abeibah, Abibah, Abieba, Abiebah, Abyba, Abybah
Sad, Beautiful, Unique

Acheron

Acheron hails from Greek mythology, associated with a branch of the river Styx, which dead souls must cross to get into the underworld. It’s either derived from the Greek “áchea rhéōn” (the steam of woe) or “achos” (pain). This unique title may appeal to lovers of the mythical and strange.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Steam of woe, pain
  • Pronunciation: AK-U-RAWN, ash-U-rawn
  • Variations: Akheron
Mythical, Sad, Ancient

Achilles

Achilles is a famous hero from Greek legend, said to have been dipped in the river Styx by his mother to make him immortal. In Homer’s Iliad, Achilles fought bravely against the Trojans until he was killed by an arrow striking his only vulnerable spot – his heel. Your little Achilles can put a happier spin on this unlucky name.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Pain
  • Pronunciation: ah-KIL-eez
  • Variations: Achilleus
  • Namesakes: Achilles Gasser, a German physician and astrologer.
  • Popularity: Achilles’ highest U.S. rating was 855th in 2018.
Mythical, Badass, Ancient

Adalia

Although Adalia sounds like a pretty, feminine name, it was initially chosen for males. In the Bible, Adalia is a son of Haman – a chief minister of the Amalekites, who had maliciously attacked Israel. For his father’s crimes, Adalia and his nine brothers were killed. This unique religious name could appeal to Christians or Jews (despite its association with death).

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: One that draws poverty or death
  • Pronunciation: ah-DAW-LEE-ah
Religious, Old-fashioned, Elegant

Aino

Aino is a tragic choice among our names that mean sad, associated with a mythical heroine who drowns herself after discovering she must marry the old man Väinämöinen. Aino is very popular among Finnish girls, ranked in the top 10 since 2004. We think Aino could succeed outside of Finland, too (despite its depressing backstory).

  • Origin: Finnish
  • Meaning: The only one
  • Pronunciation: EYE-no
  • Variations: Aina
  • Namesakes: Aino Ackté, a Finnish soprano and international star.
  • Popularity: Aino ranked 5th in Finland in 2021.
Sad, Unique, Cool

Ainsley

Ainsley was originally a place name derived from the Old English “anne” (alone, solitary) combined with “leah” (woodland, clearing). While being alone in nature will feel lonely for some, for others, it is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Perhaps your Ainsley will find joy in solidarity.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Alone in the clearing
  • Pronunciation: AYNZ-lee
  • Variations: Ansley, Ainslee, Ainslie
  • Namesakes: Ainsley Harriott, an English chef known for his BBC cooking game shows Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook and Ready Steady Cook.
  • Popularity: Ainsley ranked 363rd in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Strong

Ajax

Ajax is derived from the Greek “aiastes” (mourner) or “aia” (earth, land). In Greek mythology, Ajax was a hero who fought in the Trojan war. When Ajax did not receive the hero Achilles’ armor after his death, he was heartbroken and killed himself out of jealousy. This cool name is tinged with death and despair.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Mourner
  • Pronunciation: AY-jaks
  • Variations: Aias
Mythical, Badass

Amos

Amos is a powerful Hebrew name, derived from “‘amas” (load, burden). Amos was a minor prophet in the Old Testament who spoke out against corruption and oppressing the poor. While carrying a burden can be a great sadness, it can also give great purpose. Perhaps your little Amos’ burdens will give his life greater meaning.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Burden
  • Pronunciation: AY-mahs
  • Namesakes: Amos Otis, an American former professional baseball player who played center fielder from 1967 to 1984.
  • Popularity: Amos ranked 603rd in the U.S. in 2021.
Old-fashioned, Religious, Stylish

Amraphel

Amraphel is derived from the Hebrew “amár” (to say) combined with “aphél” (dark, obscure). It’s thought to mean “one who speaks of dark things” or “he whose words are dark.” By speaking of the darkness in the world, your little Amraphel could help create a brighter future.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: One that speaks of dark things
  • Pronunciation: AM-rah-fel
Unique
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Angustias

Angustias comes from the Spanish word for “anguishes,” referencing severe mental or physical pain or suffering. Nuestra Señora de las Angustias, or “Our Lady of Anguishes,” is another name for the Virgin Mary. Hopefully, sweet Angustias experiences fewer torments than her name suggests.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Anguishes
  • Pronunciation: an-GOOS-tyas
  • Popularity: Angustias left Spain’s top 500 in the 1960s.
Religious, Elegant

Antigone

Antigone is derived from the Greek “anti” (against, compared to) combined with “gone” (birth, offspring). In Greek myths, Antigone was a tragic heroine who buried her dead brother, Polynices, against King Creon of Thebes’s wishes. As punishment, she was sealed alive in a cave. Antigone could be a beautiful and original choice if you can get past its depressing origins.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Against birth
  • Pronunciation: AN-TEE-GO-NEH, an-TIG-ah-nee
Beautiful, Mythical, Unique

Ares

Ares is an up-and-comer, first making the U.S. charts in 2013. In ancient Greece, Ares was the god of war, associated with courage, bloodlust, and destruction. This mighty name is well-suited for a future leader – as long as he can keep his hot temper in check.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Ruin
  • Pronunciation: EHR-eez
  • Variations: Aris
  • Popularity: Ares ranked 513th in the U.S. in 2021.
Strong, Badass, Mythical

Ashika

Ashika is a happy option on our list of names that mean despair, as a feminine form of Ashoka (without sorrow). It may also be a variation of Ashiq (lover) or Asika (dagger, sharp). Your sweet Ashika’s joyful soul could help heal broken hearts.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Without sorrow
  • Pronunciation: ah-SHEE-kah
Beautiful, Elegant

Ashoka

Ashoka is a graceful Sanskrit name, born by the third emperor of the Maurya Empire, spanning from present-day Afghanistan to Bangladesh. Ashoka is happier than the depressing names on our list, meaning “without sadness” or “without despair.” Hopefully, your little Ashoka will live a joyful life, free from heartbreak, depression, and regret.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Without sorrow
  • Pronunciation: uh-SHOW-kuh
  • Variations: Ashok
  • Namesakes: Ashoka the Great, the third emperor of the Maurya Empire of India during the 3rd-century BCE.
Strong, Ancient, Unique

Asiya

Asiya is a beautiful option among our depressing names, derived from the Arabic “asy” (distressed, grieved). In Islam, Asiya was Pharaoh’s wife, who cared for the infant Moses. The pharaoh killed Asiya after he discovered she converted to monotheism. Choosing this sad title for your daughter could be a great way to honor the religious martyr.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Distressed, grieved
  • Pronunciation: A-see-yah
  • Variations: Assia
Sad, Cute, Religious

Azmaveth

Azmaveth is derived from the Hebrew “azaz” (to be strong) combined with “mut” (to kill). In the Bible, Azmaveth, one of David’s mighty men, fought alongside him to accomplish heroic feats. Although death is inevitable, your little Azmaveth could live a courageous life without regrets.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Death is strong
  • Pronunciation: AZ-mah-veth
  • Variations: Az’maveth
Dark, Religious

​​Azubah

Azubah is a rare biblical name meaning “forsaken,” “deserted,” or “desolation.” In the Old Testament, this was the mother of King Jehoshaphat – the fourth king of Judah. This sad name may appeal if you want something religious and unexpected.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Forsaken
  • Pronunciation: ah-ZYOO-bah
Religious, Old-fashioned, Unique

Bakar

Bakar is a Basque name – a Southwestern European ethnic group in parts of France and Spain. It’s derived from the Basque “bakarrik” (alone). Your little Bakar won’t have to feel lonely with you to support him.

  • Origin: Basque
  • Meaning: Alone
  • Pronunciation: ba-KAR
  • Namesakes: Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr, better known as Bakar, is a British singer known for his experimental indie rock style.
Sad, Cute, Unique

Benoni

Benoni is a sorrowful Hebrew name rarely used in modern times. In the Old Testament, this was Jacob’s birth name before his father changed it. The nickname, Ben, makes this old-timey pick more approachable.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Son of my sorrow
  • Pronunciation: ben-OH-nee
  • Variations: Benony, Bennoni
Religious, Sad, Cool
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Bethany

Bethany was the name of a biblical town, possibly meaning “house of figs” or “house of affliction.” An affliction is something that causes pain or suffering. Perhaps your daughter, Bethany, will end your afflictions by bringing newfound happiness into your life.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: House of affliction
  • Pronunciation: BETH-ah-nee
  • Variations: Bethanie, Bethney
  • Namesakes: Bethany McLean, an American journalist and editor for Vanity Fair magazine.
  • Popularity: Bethany ranked 645th in the U.S. in 2021.
Beautiful, Cute

Boutoku

Boutoku is an unpleasant option on our list of sad names, meaning “cursed soul,” “blasphemy,” “profanity,” or “sacrilege” in Japanese. This is often used as a name for evil and destructive characters in Japanese manga and fan fiction. It may be best to leave this chaotic name in the storybooks.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Cursed soul
  • Pronunciation: BOW-tah-koo
Dark, Complex, Unique

Brennan

Brennan hails from Ireland, originally an Anglicized form of the Irish Gaelic surname O Braonáin (teardrop, sorrow). It’s often given as a unique alternative for Brandon or Brendan. Hopefully, your sweet son, Brennan, won’t have to shed any tears.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Teardrop
  • Pronunciation: BREHN-ahn
  • Namesakes: Brennan Boesch, an American former professional baseball outfielder who debuted in 2010 with the Detroit Tigers.
  • Popularity: Brennan ranked 871st in the U.S. in 2021.
Strong, Cool

Bronagh

Bronagh is the Anglicized form of Brónach – a classic Irish name from “brón” (sorrow). It’s associated with Saint Bronagh, a 6th-century mystic who rang a bell to warn sailors of rising storms and dangerous waters. Perhaps your little Bronagh will also be a protector who helps prevent tragedies by keeping others out of harm’s way.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Sorrow
  • Pronunciation: BRO-nah
  • Variations: Brónach
  • Namesakes: Bronagh Gallagher, an Irish singer and actress from Northern Ireland who starred as Bernie in The Commitments (1991).
  • Popularity: Bronagh left Northern Ireland’s top 100 in 2004.
Unique, Beautiful

Brone

Brone is a unique variation of Brónach, with few known bearers. This sorrowful title could be perfect for a girl of Irish heritage. Its pronunciation could be a challenge stateside.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Sorrow
  • Pronunciation: BRO-nah
Elegant, Cool, Unique

Buster

Buster is an old-timey nickname for someone who breaks things, derived from the English words “bust” and “burst.” The name is often associated with silent film comedian, Buster Keaton, known for his deadpan expression earning him the title “The Great Stone Face.” While breaking things can be sad, sometimes things must be broken to be rebuilt even better. Perhaps your little Buster will make something extraordinary from the broken pieces.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bust, breaker of things
  • Pronunciation: BUS-tahr
  • Namesakes: Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton, an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker best known for his silent film work.
  • Popularity: Buster left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1957.
Strong, Old-fashioned

Casimir

Casimir is the English version of the Polish Kazimierz, from “kaziti” (to destroy) and “miru” (peace, world). Several kings of Poland were named Casimir, giving it a sophisticated, royal feel. Your new Casimir’s laughs and cries could “destroy the peace,” bringing a bit of welcome chaos.

  • Origin: English, Slavic
  • Meaning: Destroyer of peace
  • Pronunciation: KAZ-i-meer
  • Variations: Kazimir, Casimiro
  • Namesakes: Casimir Pulaski, a Polish soldier and military commander known as the “father of the American cavalry.”
  • Popularity: Casimir left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1938.
Elegant, Dark, Old-fashioned

Claudia

Claudia is a feminine form of Claudius. It’s been popular in the U.S. since the late 1800s, despite its unfortunate meaning. Even tragic circumstances won’t prevent your little Claudia from achieving success.

  • Origin: Roman, English
  • Meaning: Lame, crippled
  • Pronunciation: KLAW-dee-ah
  • Variations: Klaudia
  • Namesakes: Claudia Maria Schiffer, a German model and actress who has appeared on over 1,000 magazine covers.
  • Popularity: Claudia left the U.S. top 1,000 in 2018.
Beautiful, Cute, Common

Claudius

Claudius is a sophisticated option on our list of depressing names associated with several early emperors of Rome. The most famous was emperor Claudius, an able and just leader, despite suffering from deafness and a limp from an early age. Your little Claudius’s weaknesses could turn out to be his greatest strengths.

  • Origin: Roman
  • Meaning: Lame, crippled
  • Pronunciation: KLAW-dee-ahs
  • Namesakes: Claudius, the fourth Roman emperor who expanded Rome into Britain and parts of Africa and the Middle East.
  • Popularity: Claudius received its highest U.S. rating of 768th in 1893.
Elegant, Old-fashioned, Ancient

Dariga

Dariga is an expression of sadness in Kazakh, meaning “pity!” or “alas!” Traditionally, it was chosen by parents who wanted a boy but had a girl instead. Your little Dariga will be loved and appreciated – no matter her sex.

  • Origin: Kazakh
  • Meaning: Pity, regret
  • Pronunciation: DAR-ee-jah
  • Namesakes: Dariga Nazarbayeva, a Kazakh businesswoman and daughter of the first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Unique, Cool
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Davor

Davor is an old Slavic name associated with the ancient god of war. It may have derived from an old exclamation expressing happiness or sorrow. Life has many ups and downs. Your little Davor will be prepared for the good times and the bad.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Expressing joy or sorrow
  • Pronunciation: DAH-vor
  • Namesakes: Davor Šuker, a Croatian soccer administrator and former striker.
Badass, Mythical

Deimos

Deimos was the god of dread and terror in Greek mythology. He assisted his father, Ares, the god of war, by causing chaos and disorder in various armies. This spooky title may appeal to mythology lovers.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Terror
  • Pronunciation: DEH-MOS, DIE-mahs
Mythical, Ancient, Badass

Deirdre

Deidre is a mythical choice on our list of sad names, derived from the Old Irish Derdriu (daughter). In Irish legend, this was the name of a tragic heroine who dies from a broken heart after her lover, Naoise, is killed. Hopefully, your little Deirdre won’t be as unlucky as her mythical forebear.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Daughter
  • Pronunciation: DIR-drah
  • Variations: Deidra, Deidre, Deitra
  • Namesakes: Deirdre McCloskey, a distinguished professor of economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Popularity: Deirdre left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1990.
Sad, Beautiful, Old-fashioned

Delilah

Delilah is an elegant name made popular by the Puritans in the 17th-century. In the Bible, Delilah is Samson’s lover, who betrays him by cutting off his magical hair – the source of his inhuman strength. Your little Delilah could give others strength instead of taking it away.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Delicate, weak
  • Pronunciation: di-LIE-lah
  • Variations: Dalila
  • Namesakes: Delilah Cotto is a Puerto Rican-American actress, dancer, and model featured in the films Girl 6 and Personals.
  • Popularity: Delilah ranked 58th in the U.S. in 2021.
Religious, Stylish, Common

Desdemona

In Shakespeare’s play Othello, Desdemona is the beautiful daughter of a Venetian senator who marries the military man, Othello, against her father’s wishes. Desdemona is ultimately murdered, saturating this name with feelings of darkness and regret. Despite this, Desdemona is strikingly beautiful, especially with the nickname Mona.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Ill-fated
  • Pronunciation: dehz-dah-MO-nah
Beautiful, Elegant, Unique

Devlin

Devlin is derived from the Irish Gaelic “dobhail” (unlucky). Even if your son Devlin isn’t blessed with the luck of the Irish, his strength and perseverance could carry him through.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Unlucky
  • Pronunciation: DEV-lin
  • Variations: Develin, Doibhlin, Devlen
Cute, Unique

Diggory

Diggory is an Anglicized form of the French Degaré. In the medieval poem, Sir Degaré, Degaré is the son of a fairy king who is abandoned in the woods as a baby. After several trials and tribulations, he is reunited with his family and marries the love of his life. Even if your little Diggory gets lost, he will always have his family to help him find his way again.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Lost one
  • Pronunciation: DIG-ah-ree
Strong, Old-fashioned

Dikeledi

Dikeledi is a Tswana name – one of the official languages of Southern Africa. It means “drops” or “tears.” While tears can be shed because of sadness or grief, they can also spring from joy and happiness. Your little Dikeledi could bring about the latter.

  • Origin: Tswana
  • Meaning: Tears
  • Pronunciation: dee-KE-le-dee
Unique, Sad, Complex

Dolion

Dolion is derived from the Greek “dolios” (crafty, deceitful, treacherous). In Greek mythology, Dolion was the son of the nymph Melia and rustic-god Seilenos, who founded the Doliones tribe of western Bithynia.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Treacherous, deceitful
  • Pronunciation: DOH-lee-on
Mythical, Badass, Ancient

Dolly

Dolly is a diminutive of Dorothy, most popular in the U.S. in the early 1900s. Today, this youthful title is linked to country music star Dolly Parton. Dolly’s cheerful sound makes up for its depressing meaning.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Sorrows
  • Pronunciation: DAHL-ee
  • Variations: Dollie
  • Namesakes: Dolly Parton, an American singer-songwriter, actress, and philanthropist known for her career in country music.
  • Popularity: Dolly left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1971.
Cute, Old-fashioned
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Dolores

Dolores comes from the Spanish title for the Virgin Mary, María de los Dolores (Mary of Sorrows). This religious title became trendy in the 1920s, giving it a vintage feel. Dolores is beautiful and wholesome. It could be an excellent option for a kind girl who will take your sorrows away.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Sorrows
  • Pronunciation: do-LO-rehs, dah-LAWR-is
  • Variations: Delora, Delores, Deloris
  • Namesakes: Dolores O’Riordan, an Irish singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist for the rock band the Cranberries.
  • Popularity: Dolores left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1989.
Sad, Old-fashioned

Drystan

Drystan is a unique Welsh form of Tristan, rarely used outside of Wales. This strong title is perfect for a boy who won’t let negative emotions, like sadness, hatred, or grief, get in the way of living a happy and fulfilling life. The cool nickname, Drys, adds to its appeal.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Sad
  • Pronunciation: DRIS-tan
  • Variations: Trystan
Cool, Badass, Unique

Dubiwe

Dubiwe is an unusual option on our list of names that mean despair, primarily used by the Ngoni people of Southern Africa. While being “left alone” may be sad for some, it can spark introspection and creativity for others. Perhaps your little Dubiwe will find inspiration during her lonely moments.

  • Origin: Ngoni
  • Meaning: Left alone
  • Pronunciation: dub-EE-way
Sad, Cute, Unique

Eilif

Eilif is a modern form of the Norse name Æilífr, derived from “aina” (alone) combined with “leifr” (heir). Your little Eilif could be the sole inheritor of your love, time, and riches. Not so lonely, after all!

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Alone heir
  • Pronunciation: AI-leaf
  • Variations: Eiliv, Ejlif, Elífur, Eileiv, Eilev, Ellef, Ellev
  • Namesakes: Eilif Emanuel Peterssen, a Norwegian painter known for his landscapes and portraits.
Ancient, Unique

Ekundayo

Ekundayo is a Yoruba name – a Western African ethnic group inhabiting parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. This insightful title recognizes that tears can spring from bad things, like sadness and heartbreak, or good things, like joy and amazement. Hopefully, your little Ekundayo will only shed tears of joy.

  • Origin: Yoruba
  • Meaning: Tears become joy
  • Pronunciation: EH-koon-die-oh
  • Namesakes: Ekundayo Shittu, an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University.
Cute, Unique, Complex

Ephai

Ephai is derived from the Hebrew root “up” (bird-like) or the noun “ye’ap” (weariness, faintness, gloominess). In the Bible, Ephai was a man from Netophah whose sons were left behind in captivity and killed by Ishmael, a son of Abraham. Although the biblical Ephai had a tragic, sorrowful life, your little one could rise above life’s challenges – like a bird.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Gloominess
  • Pronunciation: EE-fye, o-FAH-ee
Religious, Cool

Erendis

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s series, Unfinished Tales, Erendis, also known as the Mariner’s wife, was the estranged wife of Aldarion, King of Númenor. Aldarion was constantly away on sea voyages, which made Erendis so unhappy she eventually left home, taking their daughter. Erendis is uniquely beautiful, appealing to parents who enjoy literary names.

  • Origin: Literature
  • Meaning: Lonely bride
  • Pronunciation: AIR-en-dis
Beautiful, Cool, Unique

Eru

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, The Silmarillion, Eru is a supreme deity who created the world. This powerful title has a sad meaning. But, it could still be appealing – especially for Tolkien fans.

  • Origin: Literature
  • Meaning: He that is all alone
  • Pronunciation: e-ROO
Cute

Fogarty

Fogarty is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Ó Fógartaigh, from “fógartha” (banished, outlawed). While being “banished” or removed from a situation can cause suffering, it can also lead to discovering new, exciting paths. Your Fogarty could understand that when one door closes, a better one opens.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Banished
  • Pronunciation: foe-GAR-tee
Old-fashioned, Unique

Gorgon

Gorgon is derived from the ancient Greek “gorgos” (dreadful, terrible, terrifying). In Greek mythology, Gorgons were female creatures with hair made from living snakes who could turn others into stone. Your little Gorgon could be cursed or blessed with toughness and grit (depending on how you look at it).

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Dreadful, terrible
  • Pronunciation: GOR-gahn
Mythical, Badass, Dark
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Gwandoya

Gwandoya is a Luganda name – a Bantu language used primarily in Uganda. Although being “met with misery” may sound hopeless and gloomy, sometimes bad experiences can make us better people. Your Gwandoya could have the power to turn negative situations into positive ones.

  • Origin: Luganda
  • Meaning: Met with misery
  • Pronunciation: GWAN-doy-ah
Beautiful, Complex, Sad

Hadeon

In the comic series, Fables, Hadeon is the evil fairy that cursed Briar Rose (AKA Sleeping Beauty) with sleep after she pricked her finger. Briar eventually defeats Hadeon, turning her into a car that can travel to any world. Hadeon is a badass name for a girl who doesn’t play by the rules.

  • Origin: Literature
  • Meaning: Destroyer
  • Pronunciation: HAD-ee-on
Badass, Cool, Dark

Hitori

Hitori sounds cute, happy, and youthful, despite its sad meaning of “alone” or “solitary.” The nickname, Tori, increases its cuteness. Your little Hitori could find joy in solitude.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Alone
  • Pronunciation: HI-TOR-EE
Cute, Elegant

Hok’ee

Hok’ee is a unique option among our names that mean sadness, from the Navajo – a Native American tribe from the southwestern United States. It means either “lost” or “abandoned.” Being abandoned by those you love is one of the saddest feelings in the world. Loving your little Hok’ee with all your heart could shield him from this painful experience.

  • Origin: Navajo
  • Meaning: Abandoned
  • Pronunciation: HO-key
Unique, Complex

Honja

Honja is derived from the Korean word “honja” (alone). This word name is very rare, appealing to parents who want something original. Your little Honja will never be cursed with loneliness as long as they have you by their side.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Alone
  • Pronunciation: HAHN-JAH
Unique, Sad

Hunapo

Hunapo is a spooky Maori name – the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand. Its meaning of “hidden darkness” could be ideal for a thoughtful boy who is more profound than he appears.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Hidden darkness
  • Pronunciation: who-NAP-oh
Unique, Dark, Cool

Hyacinth

Hyacinth is an English form of the Greek “Hyakinthos,” from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek mythology, Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by the god Apollo, and a Hyacinth flower sprung from his blood. Today, this flower is associated with mourning, symbolizing deep sorrow and sincerity.

  • Origin: Greek, English
  • Meaning: Hyacinth flower
  • Pronunciation: HIE-ah-sinth
Unique, Cool, Sad

Jabez

In the Old Testament, Jabez was an ancestor of the Kings of Judah. His mother chose his name (he who makes sorrowful) because he had a difficult birth. He is famous for giving the Prayer of Jabez, an impactful prayer glorifying God. Jabez could be a great choice for religious families who want something more original than Adam or Jacob.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: He who makes sorrowful
  • Pronunciation: JAY-behz
  • Namesakes: Jabez Fitch, an American politician who served as the 14th lieutenant governor of Ohio.
  • Popularity: Jabez left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1880.
Religious, Sad, Cool

Job

Job is derived from the Hebrew “’Iyyov” (persecuted, hated). In the Old Testament, God tested Job, but he remained faithful despite enduring many misfortunate tragedies. Your sweet Job could also remain positive, no matter what challenges are thrown his way.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Persecuted, hated
  • Pronunciation: JOHB
  • Popularity: Job’s highest U.S. rating was 841st in 1891.
Religious

Kanashii

Kanashii is a Japanese word meaning “sad,” “sorrowful,” or “grievous.” It is rarely used as a given name but is occasionally a title for songs and bands. This unusual title may appeal to grieving parents who are going through a difficult time. Your sweet Kanashii’s kind heart could remedy your broken soul.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Sorrowful
  • Pronunciation: KAN-ash-ee
Sad, Unique, Complex
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Leah

Leah is derived from the Hebrew “le’ah” (weary). In the Old Testament, Leah was the lesser-preferred wife of Jacob, who favored her sister, Rachel. But Leah still loved Jacob and wanted to have his baby. She was unable to get pregnant until God blessed her. Leah could be fitting for a girl who was challenging to conceive.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Weary
  • Pronunciation: LEH-ah
  • Variations: Lea
  • Namesakes: Leah Marie Remini, an American actress who starred as Carrie Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens.
  • Popularity: Leah ranked 46th in the U.S. in 2021.
Common, Cute, Stylish

Libitina

Libitina is an ancient name associated with the Roman goddess of funerals, corpses, and death. It could be a sweet choice for a girl born after a death in the family. It may also appeal to mythology lovers.

  • Origin: Roman
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: lib-ee-TEEN-ah
Dark, Ancient, Mythical

Lola

Lola is a Spanish short form of Dolores, ranked highly in over ten countries. This Instagram-worthy name sounds cute and youthful, despite its depressing meaning. Your little Lola’s bright soul could rid you of your misery.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Sorrows
  • Pronunciation: LO-lah
  • Namesakes: Lola Montez, an Irish-born dancer, actress, and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
  • Popularity: Lola ranked 260th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute

Lolita

Lolita is a depressing title associated with the main character in Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel. In the novel, Lolita is pursued by a predator named Humbert, who takes her away from her family. Lolita lives a sad and lonely life, ultimately dying during childbirth.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Sorrows
  • Pronunciation: lo-LEE-tah
  • Namesakes: Lolita Davidovich, a Canadian actress best known for her role as Blaze Starr in the 1989 film Blaze.
  • Popularity: Lolita left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1973.
Sad, Cute

Mahzun

Mahzun comes from the Turkish word for “sad.” This word name is rare, with few bearers inside or outside Turkey. Mahzun is one of the most distinctive names that mean sadness on our list, appealing to parents looking for something unique.

  • Origin: Turkish
  • Meaning: Sad
  • Pronunciation: mah-ZOON
Unique

Malalai

Malalai is a distinctive choice on our list of sad names, meaning “sad” or “grieved” in Pashto. This was the name of a Pashtun woman who was partially responsible for the Afghan victory at the Battle of Maiwand after encouraging Afghan forces to fight. Perhaps your little Malalai will be as brave as her forebearer.

  • Origin: Pashto
  • Meaning: Grieved
  • Pronunciation: ma-lah-LIE
  • Namesakes: Malalai of Maiwand, a Pashtun woman from Afghanistan who rallied Pashtun fighters during the Battle of Maiwand against British forces.
Beautiful, Unique

Mallory

Mallory was originally a surname from a Norman French word meaning “unfortunate” or “unlucky.” It became popular as a given name in the 1980s due to a character named Mallory Keaton in the American sitcom Family Ties. Even if your Mallory is unlucky, her grit and determination could help her succeed.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Unfortunate
  • Pronunciation: MAL-ah-ree
  • Namesakes: Mallory Lewis, an American writer and ventriloquist known for her puppet Lamb Chop.
  • Popularity: Mallory ranked 546th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Modern

Malvolia

Malvolia is the female form of Malvolio – the Italian word for “ill will,” used by Shakespeare for a character in his play, Twelfth Night. Malvolia sounds elegant – perfect for a future socialite. Your little Malvolia’s strength and poise could prevent “ill will” from overcoming her.

  • Origin: English, Italian
  • Meaning: Ill will
  • Pronunciation: mal-VO-lee-ah
Unique

Mara

Mara is a beautiful variation of Mary, used across the U.S. and several European countries. In the Old Testament, Naomi chooses to call herself Mara after the death of her husband and sons. Mara could be well-suited for a girl born after an unforeseen tragedy.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Sea of bitterness
  • Pronunciation: MAHR-ah
  • Namesakes: Mara Santangelo, a retired Italian tennis player and a Grand Slam doubles champion.
  • Popularity: Mara ranked 540th in the U.S. in 2021.
Beautiful, Elegant, Common

Maria

Maria is a classic variation of Mary, popular in over 30 countries. Like Mary, it has several possible meanings, including “bitter,” “sea of bitterness,” or “beloved.” Your sweet Maria will be anything but bitter with such a timeless name. The only “sad” thing about Maria is its commonness, which will make coming up with original Instagram handles and usernames a challenge.

  • Origin: Spanish, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Sea of bitterness
  • Pronunciation: ma-REE-ah
  • Variations: Marie
  • Namesakes: Maria Theresa, the archduchess of Austria and queen of Hungary and Bohemia from 1740 to 1780.
  • Popularity: Maria ranked 106th in the U.S. in 2021.
Common, Old-fashioned, Strong
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Mary

Mary is a religious name associated with the mother of Jesus, making it a popular choice throughout the Christian world. Although Mary suffered, she remained faithful to God, worshiping him with her entire heart and soul. Mary could be an excellent name for a girl who perseveres even when misfortune strikes.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Sea of bitterness
  • Pronunciation: MEHR-ee
  • Namesakes: Mary I, also called Mary Tudor, was the first queen to rule England in her own right from 1553 to 1558.
  • Popularity: Mary ranked 133rd in the U.S. in 2021.
Old-fashioned, Beautiful, Common

Masozi

Masozi is a sad Tumbuka name – a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania. Hopefully, your Masozi’s tears will stem from happiness instead of sorrow or grief.

  • Origin: Tumbuka
  • Meaning: Tears
  • Pronunciation: mah-SO-zee
Unique, Sad

Megaera

In Greek mythology, Megaera was one of the Furies – female vengeance deities who cursed men that broke their oaths. Later, Megaera was a term in several European languages for an ill-tempered woman. This obscure title can be made more modern with the nickname Meg.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: To grudge
  • Pronunciation: muh-GEH-ruh
  • Variations: Megaira
Mythical, Complex, Unique

Melanie

Lovely and melodic, Melanie has been a top choice in the U.S. since the early 1940s. It’s derived from the Greek “melaina” (black, dark). Melanie’s joyful sound will help your daughter find the light, even in the darkest times.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Dark
  • Pronunciation: MEHL-ah-nee
  • Variations: Malani, Melany, Mellony
  • Namesakes: Melanie Klein, an Austrian-British author, and psychoanalyst known for her work in child analysis.
  • Popularity: Melanie ranked 129th in the U.S. in 2021.
Stylish, Cute, Common

Miriam

Miriam is a traditional Hebrew form of Mary, born by the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. This religious title may appeal to parents of the Christian faith. Miriam’s strength will help her find happiness, even when surrounded by bitterness and hatred.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Sea of bitterness
  • Pronunciation: MIR-ee-ahm
  • Variations: Mirjam
  • Namesakes: Miriam Makeba, a South African singer, songwriter, and civil rights activist.
  • Popularity: Miriam ranked 261st in the U.S. in 2021.
Old-fashioned, Elegant

Moacir

Moacir is an unusual option among our names with sad meanings, derived from the Tupi “moasy” (regret, repentance). The Tupi language is now extinct, initially spoken by the Aboriginal Tupi people of Brazil. Choosing this archaic title could warn your son not to do anything he’ll regret.

  • Origin: Tupi
  • Meaning: Regret
  • Pronunciation: moo-AH-seer
  • Variations: Moacyr
  • Namesakes: Moacir Barbosa do Nascimento, a Brazilian professional footballer considered one of the world’s best goalkeepers in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Popularity: Moacir left Brazil’s top 1,000 in 2000.
Unique, Elegant

Molly

Molly is a medieval variation of Mary, popular in the U.S. since the late 1800s. Molly radiates warmth and friendliness, despite its “bitter” meaning. Molly’s positive spirit could be a ray of sunshine in a broken world.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Sea of bitterness
  • Pronunciation: MAHL-ee
  • Variations: Mollie
  • Namesakes: Molly Ringwald, an American actress known for her roles in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink.
  • Popularity: Molly ranked 186th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Sad, Common

Moros

Moros is derived from the Greek “Μόρος” (doom, fate). In Greek mythology, Moros is a destructive being who drives mortals to meet their horrible fates. Your Moros could cause happiness instead of discord, helping others find their dreams (instead of their gruesome ends).

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Doom, fate
  • Pronunciation: MAW-raws
  • Variations: Morus
Ancient, Badass

Namida

Namida is a lovely option on our list of sad names, from the Japanese word for “tears” or “teardrop.” The name is common in songs, anime, and manga but less so in real life. You’re bound to cry tears of joy when you see your little Namida for the first time!

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Tears
  • Pronunciation: NA-MI-DA
Elegant, Unique

Naphtali

In the Bible, Naphtali was the son of Jacob and Bilhah – the handmaiden of Rachel, his favorite wife. Some biblical interpreters believe he was named Naphtali because of the struggle between Rachel and Leah – Jacob’s two wives. Naphtali could be a fitting name for a boy born during a difficult time.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: My struggle, my strife
  • Pronunciation: NAF-tah-lie
  • Variations: Naftali
Sad, Unique, Religious
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Nekane

Nekane is the Basque equivalent of Dolores. This unusual title is original and interesting. It could be an excellent replacement for old-timey Dolores.

  • Origin: Basque
  • Meaning: Sorrows
  • Pronunciation: neh-KA-neh
  • Popularity: Nekane left Spain’s top 500 in 2010.
Strong, Unique, Sad

Niobe

In Greek mythology, Niobe was the daughter of King Tantalus. One day, Niobe boasted she was better than the goddess Leto. In retaliation, Leto’s children – Apollo and Artemis – kill Niobe’s children, causing her to die from grief. Niobe is a sad name for someone who recently suffered a devastating loss.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: NEE-O-BEH, NIE-o-bee
  • Variations: Níobe, Niobé
Mythical, Ancient, Cool

Odin

Odin is derived from the Old Nose Óðinn, from “óðr” (inspiration, rage, frenzy). In Norse mythology, Odin was the topmost god, who ruled over war, the dead, runes, and magic. The Norse believed that during Ragnarök – the final battle – Odin would die fighting the giant wolf, Fenrir. Odin is powerful but not invincible, reminding us that no one is safe from death.

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Rage
  • Pronunciation: OH-din
  • Variations: Oden
  • Popularity: Odin ranked 327th in the U.S. in 2021.
Mythical, Badass

Odysseus

Odysseus is derived from the Greek “odyssomai” (to hate). In Homer’s Iliad, Odysseus is a hero who fought in the Trojan war and experienced several misfortunate events when trying to return to his kingdom and wife, Penelope. Odysseus eventually made his way home after being lost for ten years. Your little Odysseus could also find his way in life (even if it takes him a while).

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: To hate
  • Pronunciation: o-DIS-ee-uhs
  • Variations: Ulysses
Mythical, Strong, Unique

Ophelia

Ophelia is an attractive option among our depressing names, derived from the Greek “opheleia” (help, advantage). In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Ophelia is the lover of Hamlet, who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. Despite this negative association, Ophelia is popular, ranked in the U.S. top 1,000 since 2015.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Help, advantage
  • Pronunciation: o-FEEL-ee-ah
  • Variations: Ofelia
  • Namesakes: Ophelia Dahl, a British-American social justice and health care advocate who co-founded Partners In Health.
  • Popularity: Ophelia ranked 321st in the U.S. in 2021.
Beautiful, Sad, Old-fashioned

Payekha

Payekha is a Tumbuka name – a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania. This unusual title is rare. It could appeal to parents looking for sad names that aren’t overdone.

  • Origin: Tumbuka
  • Meaning: He/she is alone
  • Pronunciation: PAY-eck-ha
Complex, Unique

Pejman

Pejman is a Persian name meaning “sad,” “dejected,” or “remorseful.” Despite Pejman’s depressing meaning, it’s relatively common in Iran, with several famous musicians and actors bearing the name. Your little Pejman could defy his name to live without sadness or regret.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Sad
  • Pronunciation: pezh-MAWN
  • Variations: Pezhman
  • Namesakes: Pejman Bazeghi, an Iranian actor and model who rose to fame in 2004 from his role in Duel.
Badass, Cool

Persephone

Persephone’s exact meaning is unknown, possibly derived from the Greek “pertho” (to destroy) combined with “phonos” (murder). In Greek mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of farming and agriculture. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades but was allowed to return for part of the year. Whenever Persephone returned to the surface, her mother would change the weather, resulting in the changing of the seasons.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Destroy murder
  • Pronunciation: PEHR-SEH-PO-NEH, pahr-SEHF-ah-nee
  • Variations: Persefoni
  • Popularity: Persephone ranked 775th in the U.S. in 2021.
Mythical

Phobos

In Greek mythology, Phobos personified fear and panic. He helped his father, Ares (the god of war), cause panic during wars. Phobos is a chaotic name for a future hell-raiser.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Fear, panic
  • Pronunciation: PO-BOS, FO-baws
Mythical, Dark, Ancient

Reia

Reia is a gorgeous Japanese name, from “rei” (lonely, solitary) and “a” (second, calm, peaceful). Being lonely makes some people sad. But, for others, loneliness allows for peace and reflection. Your little Reia could always find happiness, even when alone.

  • Origin: Japanese, Portuguese, Greek
  • Meaning: Lonely calm, solitary peace, to flow
  • Pronunciation: RE-AH
  • Variations: Rhea
Unique, Stylish, Beautiful
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Rento

Rento is derived from the Japanese “ren” (lonely, solitary, lotus) combined with “to” (person, vast, wide). Your sweet Rento will never be a “lonely person” with his loving parents by his side.

Cute, Unique

Roimata

Roimata is a Maori name – a language and indigenous people group of mainland New Zealand. It means “sadness,” “grief,” or “teardrop,” all indicators of sorrow and suffering. Your little Roimata could fight through the hard times to find eternal happiness.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Teardrop
  • Pronunciation: ROW-mah-tah
  • Namesakes: Roimata Fox, a Maori actress known for her recurring role on the television show Find Me a Māori Bride.
Elegant, Unique

Rue

Rue is a medicinal herb with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also an English word, meaning to “bitterly regret” something that has happened. Like the herb, your Rue could be a powerful healer, able to mend all ailments – including a broken heart.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bitter regret
  • Pronunciation: ROO
  • Namesakes: Rue McClanahan, an American actress, and comedian best known for her roles as Vivian Harmon on Maude and Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls.
Cute, Stylish, Sad

Solavita

Solavita is derived from the Italian “sola” (alone, by oneself) combined with “vita” (life). This strong name is perfect for an independent girl who isn’t afraid to tackle life’s challenges alone.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Living life alone
  • Pronunciation: SOLE-ah-vee-tah
Elegant, Strong, Old-fashioned

Soledad

Soledad means “solitude” or “loneliness” in Spanish. The name derives from María de Soledad, or “Mary of Solitude,” a title for the Virgin Mary. Soledad could be an appealing option for religious families.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Solitude
  • Pronunciation: so-leh-DHADH
  • Namesakes: Soledad O’Brien, an American broadcast journalist and executive producer who hosts Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.
  • Popularity: Soledad left Spain’s top 500 in 2000.
Beautiful, Cool

Tamasvi

Tamasvi is an exotic Marathi name – an Indo-European language primarily spoken in Maharashtra, India. It has several possible meanings, including “one who has darkness inside,” “fiery,” and “blind.” A mighty name for a girl whose darkness is overcome by her bright soul.

  • Origin: Marathi
  • Meaning: One who has darkness inside
  • Pronunciation: TAM-as-vee
Complex, Unique

Threnody

Threnody is derived from the Greek “threnos” (lament, wail, dirge) combined with “oide” (ode). In English, this word references a “song of lamentation” – a passionate expression of grief and sorrow. Threnody may be a good choice for a baby born while mourning the death of a loved one.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Song of lamentation
  • Pronunciation: THREN-ah-dee
Strong, Unique

Tristan

Tristan is a variation of the Celtic Drustan, first used in France in the 12th-century. It was likely inspired by the Old French “triste” (sad). In old tales, Tristan was a knight sent to Ireland to retrieve princess Iseult to be his uncle’s bride. After taking a potion, the two accidentally fall in love and have to go on the run. Tristian is an attractive choice for fans of tragic romance.

  • Origin: Celtic, French
  • Meaning: Sad
  • Pronunciation: TRIS-tahn
  • Variations: Tristen, Tristin, Triston, Trysten
  • Namesakes: Tristan Thompson is a Canadian-American professional basketball player who won the 2016 NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • Popularity: Tristan ranked 208th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Cute, Common

Tristana

Tristana is a feminine form of Tristan, used by Benito Pérez Galdós’ for the main character in his novel Tristana (1892). In the book, Tristana is a beautiful orphan taken captive by her ward, Don Lope. Eventually, she seeks her freedom and begins a relationship with a painter named Horatio. This sad name may appeal to book lovers.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Sad
  • Pronunciation: TRIS-tahn-ah
Unique, Beautiful

Tristesse

Tristesse is derived from the French word “tristesse” (sadness, melancholy). This is one of the most elegant names that mean sadness on our list, appealing to parents looking for something unique and sophisticated.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Sadness, melancholy
  • Pronunciation: TREE-tes
Modern, Unique
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About the Author

Chelsea Nelthropp

Chelsea Nelthropp previously worked with special needs children before transitioning to her current passion, freelance writing. She's written on a plethora of topics and enjoys the diversity of her work. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys hiking, creating artwork, reading about true crime, and spending time with her husband and their adorable French Bulldog, Stella.
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