special names

Prepare To Swoon Over These Sweet, Unique Baby Names That Mean Love

These names will make you love love.

Originally Published: 
A swaddled baby snuggles with a felt heart.
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Many, many factors go into choosing a baby name. Can you find a first and middle name that complement each other? Are there any less-than-adorable nicknames your little one could get saddled with? And, perhaps most importantly, what does the name mean? The possibilities quite honestly seem endless, making an already colossal decision feel that much more overwhelming. Here’s a baby-naming hack for you, though: love. When in doubt, just focus your search on baby names that mean love. Because if you really think of one word or one feeling that sums up the entirety of the parenting experience, that’d be it.

Throughout history, love has served as a force capable of changing souls, minds, even wars. And once that baby comes, you’ll need something equally as immutable to fall back on during good times and bad. It goes without saying you’ll be like a human heart-eyes emoji when your cutie takes their first steps or says their first word, especially if that first word is “Mama.” But when the sh*t hits the fan — perhaps even literally, because… babies — it’s nice to have a reminder that love can overcome nearly anything.

If names that mean love sound like the right choice for your baby but you don’t know where to start, take heart; the following list highlights some of the best. Prepare to feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Best Baby Names That Mean Love

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1. Aiko

In addition to sounding adorable, this Japanese name has an adorable meaning, too: “little loved one.” Yep, that fits! Although primarily a female name, it also works as a gender-neutral name.

2. Carys

Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas chose this sweet name meaning “love” for their daughter in 2003. Common in Wales, where Zeta-Jones is from, it’s pronounced “cah-riss.”

3. Connelly

Do you prefer last names as first names? How about gender-neutral names? If your answer to yes is both, you’re going to adore the name Connelly. Irish in origin, this name meaning “love, friendship” is an excellent pick if you want something more unique than Connor or Colin.

4. Corwin

Move over, Corbin — Corwin is coming in hot. Traditionally a surname, this charmer has started popping up as a first name in literature. Its popularity is understandable when you consider the meaning: “heart’s friend.”

5. Dariel

Although some sources believe Dariel is a modern made-up name, it could also be a variation of the French name Darrell, meaning “dear one, beloved.” So, you get to choose which way you look at it! Bonus: It’s gender-neutral.

6. Dewey

Some names just sort of instantly make you smile, and Dewey is one of them. An anglicized variation of the Welsh Dewi, this charming name means “beloved.” Of course, there are many famous Deweys to draw on for inspiration: naval hero Admiral George Dewey, the Lemony Snicket character Dewey Denouement, the namesake of the Dewey Decimal System, and Detective Dewey from the Scream franchise.

7. Dua

Singer Dua Lipa has made it all the more likely this name will land on popular name charts over the next few years. Deservedly so! Its short, sweet, and boasts a lovely meaning (“love, prayer”).

8. Esmé

From the Old French verb esmer, Esmé means “to esteem” or “to love.” Or you could take a page out of Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling’s playbook by naming your daughter Esmeralda (which means “emerald”) and calling her Esmé for short.

9. Kalila

Meaning “darling or beloved” in Arabic, Kalila works really well for parents who dig the sound of trendy names like Lila but want something that will stand out.

10. Lennon

Irish in origin, this name means “lover.” But its popularity points to two major musical influences: Beatles icon John Lennon and Canadian singer-slash-actor Lennon Stella.

11. Lev

So, you found out you’re having a Leo baby, huh? Consider this clever alternative instead of going with the obvious choice (Leo, natch). In Hebrew, it means “heart,” conjuring up feelings of love and sentimentality. But in Russian, it means “lion,” giving it a fierce edge.

12. Liba

This name means “love” in Yiddish and is a variant of the West African name Luba, which means the same. It’s a double-love kind of name! Pronounced “lee-bah,” it’s also an interesting choice that you probably won’t hear all over the playground.

13. Love

Well, why not, right? You can get a much more love-filled name than this one. Plus, if you happen to watch the Netflix series You, you know one of the main characters of the series goes by this moniker.

14. Lovella

OK, so this name doesn’t technically mean “love.” But it sounds like love… and it means “wolf,” which is the coolest.

15. Mabel

If modern vintage names are your thing, you can’t go wrong with Mabel. Meaning “lovable,” it’s on the rise in Hollywood thanks to celebrity parents like Nenah Cherry and Dermot Mulroney.

16. Milena

Did you know that Mila isn’t the full first name of actor Mila Kunis? Instead, Mila is short for Milena — a Czech name meaning “love, warmth, and grace.” The longer version of the name is shared by Milena Govitch of Law & Order fame.

17. Nayeli

Feel free to fall head over heels for this name of Zapotec origin! It literally means “I love you.”

18. Obi

You don’t have to be a Star Wars nerd to love this name… but let’s be honest, Star Wars fans will go nuts for it. However, it has other merits (outside of the galaxy far, far away). For starters, one-syllable names are effortlessly cool. And this African name means “heart,” which is enough to make anyone’s flutter.

19. Priya

Priya — or Pria, as it’s sometimes spelled — is a traditionally female name meaning “dear, beloved.” And while it has historically been more common in countries like India and Thailand, it seems to be catching on in the U.S.

20. Rhys

Fans of The Tudors will recognize this name immediately, given the show’s main character was played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the series (or actor), the fact that this name means “ardor” makes it universally appealing.

21. Suki

Meaning “beloved” in Japanese, Suki sounds sweet and sassy at the same time. It also lends well to being a nickname for a longer name, like Susanna.

More Baby Names that Mean Love



This short Gaelic name is pronounced ON-ya. Aine means radiance and is the name of an Irish goddess of love, summer, and wealth. She was beloved by human men who were known to call her sweetheart of the "Sídhe" or "faery-lover."

23. Ahuvati

Ahuvati is a Hebrew name that means my love or my beloved. It's a beautiful gender-neutral name as well.

24. Amato

This strong Spanish name comes from the Latin word "amatus." It means beloved or dear one. Not only is your child guaranteed to be the only Amato in their class, but it also comes with a sweet double meaning.

25. Amias

This name may sound Biblical but it actually doesn’t have any religion roots. This name comes of Latin origin and means loved.

26. Cordelia

Not only is Cordelia the favorite daughter in Shakespeare's King Lear, but it's such a sweet and classic moniker. This name has Latin and Celtic origin and means heart or daughter of the sea. Even Anne from Anne of the Green Gables had major name envy. She said, "I would love to be called Cordelia. It's such a perfectly elegant name." Same Anne, same.

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