It’s never easy naming your baby. You created them out of thin air and (probably) a moment full of love. How do you represent that with a name? Do you name them after one of their parents or grandparents? Or maybe after your favorite fantasy hero? Maybe you’ll use a name that you’ve loved since you were 13. Perhaps, though, you’re still struggling to find the perfect name for your perfect babe. In a world that often feels dark and cruel (especially since the pandemic started, amirite), a name that means hope might just be the thing you need to shine. After all, it takes at least a little bit of hope and optimism to decide to procreate right now. But to quote Desmond Tutu, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”
And, really, isn’t that what bringing a baby into the world is all about — believing in a brighter future? Whether you choose a Biblical name, an old lady name, the name of an activist who inspires hope, or something altogether different, the choice is entirely yours to make when deciding what to call your little font of promise. Don’t screw it up. (Kidding! … Kind of.)
Girl Names That Mean Hope
Irish in origin, Aisling means “a hopeful dream” and sounds simply sweet.
This name means “life” and “hope” and has Arabic origins. The “sh” sound is always popular, but this spin makes it a little more unique.
You’ve no doubt heard this name a million times, but did you know it has a nature-y, plant-like meaning? Chloe is Greek and literally means “a hopeful, young green shoot.” Hoping to see your little bud grow up tall and strong? Chloe might be the perfect name.
This Latin name is both big and beautiful. It also utilizes the often overlooked letter Z. The name simply means “hope,” but you could tie it back to Grammy-winning performer Esperanza Spalding.
This romantic name is of Greek origin and means "bearer of good news." Although it is not a direct definition of the word hope, being a messenger of good tidings is basically the definition of hope fulfilled. It's also the name of a star in the Princess and the Frog and nothing inspires hope like a shining star.
Your little girl will definitely be the only one in her class with this summery and fairy-like name. Although it's a famous moniker in Christian culture, it comes from has Native American origin. It means "flower of hope."
This name rolls beautifully off the tongue and has eastern European and Russian roots. It is a pretty three-syllable name that is just as beautiful as hope which is its definition.
Looking for a more worldly name for your future explorer? Try Nadine. C’est Francais! And it means “hope,” too.
Many cultures use the name Nina. While a variation of the name in Spanish means “baby,” the Arabic meaning makes it perfect for this list: “the hope of love.” *Swoon!*
You’ve heard of Cassandra and Alessandra, but what about Nassandra? Hailing from the continent of Africa, Nassandra means “hope.”
Paloma is a Latin name that means “dove.” Unsure of the connection? Since Biblical times, people have interpreted the dove as a sign of/to hope.
If you have a Japanese background, try Saki. The name means “blossom” and “hope.” It’s got a short and direct feeling, not unlike the more widely used Sookie.
In the language of flowers, violets represent faith. And according to the Bible, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see.” It’s a roundabout way to get that hopeful meaning, but it’s pretty, trendy, and a worthy contender.
If you stew on this name enough, you should be able to take a stab at the meaning and know it’s connected to “life.” Sure enough, this Latin name means “the hope of life.”
What a fun, simple name for your little girl! This Latin moniker means “a little hope” and will likely be the only name like it on any class roster.
Boy Names That Mean Hope
Here’s that popular “sh” sound again. This time, the offering is a Sanskrit name. Asha can mean anything from “desire” to “wish.” And, yes, it also means “hope.”
Callahan is a wildly popular last name, especially in Ireland. But what about using it as a first name? Coming from Irish origins, Callahan means both “hopeful” and “bright-headed.”
With a name like Dylan, you’re able to fly all kinds of flags. First, it’s of Celtic origins, so naming your kiddo Dylan might be yet another chance for you to remind people that you’re Irish. Second, it’s also the stage name of famed Folk singer Bob Dylan. And, of course, Dylan means “ray of hope.”
Jesse fits in nicely with that rugged, rough cowboy name trend, doesn’t it? It’s actually of Hebrew origin and means “a gift of hope.”
Jonah is the male, Hebrew version of Paloma… sort of. It means “dove,” and, as mentioned above, the dove is a long-time symbol of hope.
This name is so damn cute! Of Japanese origins, Kibou simply means “hope.” Easy, peasy. Perfect for your baby.
It’s hard to see the name Kit and not think of some famous Kits. There’s the American Girl, the pitcher from A League Of The Own, and even the oh-so-scrumptious Game of Thrones actor Kit Harrington. However, the name itself is Greek and means both “carrier of Christ” and, of course, “hope.”
This name is like the cool version of the name Matthew (no offense to the Matthews out there). This Hebrew name means "the hope of the Lord."
Omid seems like the ideal name for both a baby and an old man, which clearly makes it a name for any human. Hopefully, you see the same luster others find in this Persian name.
Not enough people use the letter “z.” This name, however, capitalizes on the Z sound right in the middle of the name. While the African name Raza sounds strong and powerful, its meaning of “hope” is a bit softer.
Pop quiz: What do you know about Sampson? Aside from his magnificent hair, did you realize that Sampson is a Hebrew name that means “the hope of the sun”?
Deene is a smooth first name your baby boy (or girl) will be proud to have as their moniker. It also has French roots if you're looking for a name with a certain je ne sais quoi.
Amal is the perfect name for your little boy or girl. It comes from Arabic and Hebrew origins, but in Arabic means hope. The name Amal can also be found in the Books of Chronicles in the Hebrew bible.
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