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Virtue is considered a morally admirable quality that is valued as a foundation of an honorable life. In other words, it is the ability of a person to confirm one’s conduct to moral and ethical principles, righteousness, and rectitude. Vice is the opposite of virtue that equates to sin or low moral standards. Parents choose to bestow virtue names to their babies that they aspire to embody those ethics or ethical codes of conduct.
Aristotle thought that virtue was crucial for a well-lived life. Virtue names were closely associated with the Puritans, who were the members of a religious reform movement rising within the Church of England in the late 16th century. However, the Greeks and Romans would also use such names to protect their children from negative influences and imbibe desirable traits, such as strength or wisdom. Many of these early names eventually shaped the Indo-European name pool. The Teutonic suffix-mund, which meant “peace” or “protector,” were variations of this theme of virtue. By 1590, these names were replaced by saints and martyrs, as dictated by the Catholic Church, and later by the biblical names. However, as these names were too expressive of the Catholic Church for the Puritans, they began to choose names with phrases from Scripture or pious admonitions. Eventually, they adopted words that reflected abstract virtues as names. After the Puritans fled to escape religious persecution in England, they carried the virtue names to America.
The tradition gradually spread in the US with virtue baby names figuring in the Social Security Administration’s top 100 baby name list. In case you’re fretting about selecting a suitable virtue name for your baby, this curated list of names for both girls and boys can come to your rescue. Read on to find the best virtue names for boys and girls with meanings emphasizing prized values that would positively impact their lives.
20 Famous Virtue Baby Boy Names With Meanings
Although virtue boy names are not as popular as girls, they distinctly stand out in the crowd. Here is a compilation of the most suitable virtue names for boys that will make them epitomize these desirable concepts.
This Hebrew name comes from the Old Testament and means ‘The exalted one’ or “strong” or “mountain of strength.” While it is spelled Aharon in Hebrew, its Greek variation doesn’t have the “h.” The name means “messenger” in Arabic.
Derived from Old French chevalerie, Chivalry means “knighthood, social, religious, and moral code of medieval feudalism.” It comes from the Medieval Latin word caballerias (“horseman, knight”), from caballus (“horse”).
A variant of Dear, Dare is primarily a male name of American origin that means ‘Challenge’ or ‘To Take a Risk.’
This name of Old German origin means “serious” or “battle to the death.”
In its Scandinavian origin, Ever means “wild as a boar” and means “beyond” in its Hebrew origin.
This Hebrew name means ‘God is my strength.’ It was popularized in the Old Testament Bible due to its association with the Biblical archangel Gabriel.
Although the Hero in Greek myth was a woman, this name is apt for a boy. It means ‘demi-god.’
This name of Welsh and Arabic origin means “fiery leader; prophet.” He was an ancient prophet mentioned in the Quran.
This Latin name refers to a ‘just,’ ‘upright,’ and ‘righteous’ person. A form of the Biblical name Justus from the New Testament.
Leon is a name derived from Greek, meaning “lion.” It was a commonly used name in the Jewish community of the Middle Ages. It means ‘lion-hearted’ in German and ‘fierce one from Naples’ in Italian.
This nickname for a high-spirited person comes from Old French and Middle English gallant, meaning ‘bold’ or ‘dashing.’ It refers to someone who is nobly chivalrous and often self-sacrificing.
This name of English origin means ‘fortunate,’ bringing luck to someone’s life.
A variation of Merritt, Merit comes from the Latin merere meaning ‘to earn’ or ‘deserve.’ It also refers to “the quality of being worthy.” Merit is also an Egyptian name that means “beloved.”
This Latin name means ‘aristocratic”.
This Latin name means ‘peaceful.’ Paz is the unisex Spanish version of the name.
This name of English origin means ‘of the king.’
This Latin name refers to an herb with fragrant properties, which means ‘wise and knowing.’
Tobin is a form of the Hebrew biblical name Tobiah, meaning “the goodness of God.”
This French name means ‘Truth”.
This Latin name means ‘bravery’ or ‘boldness.’
20 Adorable Virtue Baby Girl Names With Meanings
Virtue girl names have managed to stay afloat in popular consciousness through generations. Here are some of the best virtue names for girls that may influence your little angel’s personality in the right direction.
This name of Latin origin means “friendship” and “harmony.”
This Spanish name means ‘beautiful.
This English name means ‘perfect joy.’ It’s sweet and modern; this name is quite uplifting.
From the Old French ‘charite’ based on the Latin ‘cantos,’ Charity means ‘Benevolent goodwill and love”. It is held up in the New Testament (I Corinthians 13).
This English version of Latin Constantia means ‘steadfastness”. Connie, Constancia, and Constanze are variations of the name.
Destiny was the mythological Greek god of fate. It comes from the Latin word “destinare,” meaning “to determine.”
Considered one of the Christian virtues, Faith was popular among the Puritans in the 16th century. In Greek and Latin, it means ‘Confidence,’ ‘trust,’ or ‘belief.’
Derived from the Latin word Felicitas, this name of Latin origin means ‘good fortune’ and ‘happy.’ This goddess Felicitas shares some characteristics with the Ancient goddess Fortuna.
Derived from the Latin ‘gratia,’ Grace in Bible means ‘God’s favor.’ In Greek mythology, it means ‘charm,’ ‘goodness,’ and ‘generosity.’
Derived from the Middle English hope or Old English word hopian, it refers to a positive expectation or the theological virtue of hope. The word hope in the New Testament comes from the Greek word Elpis, meaning ‘expectation,’ or ‘trust.’
This English name means ‘perfect unity’ or ‘concord,’ referring to musical notes or scores.
This name of English origin means ‘affection.’
This name of Latin origin means ‘virgin’ or merciful.’
This name is a Medieval form of the Latin Prudentia, meaning ‘good judgment.’
Derived from the Latin serenus, this name means ‘Tranquillity, peaceful disposition.’
This classic Greek name means “wisdom.” It was popularized by St. Sophia, celebrated by the Greek Orthodox Church and European royalty during the Middle Ages.
This name of Latin origin means “highly valued possession.”
This girl’s name of Latin origin means “triad.” It refers to the Holy Trinity in the Christian faith – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Embraced by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, this name of English origin means ‘oneness.’
Zoey has a Greek origin and means ‘life’. Zoë, Zooey, and Zoie are its common variants. The name was popularized in the Byzantine Empire by a ruling empress of the 11th century.
Names are an integral part of our identity, and they carry deep personal, historical, cultural, and familial connections. The naming ceremony is a formal occasion to bestow a name on a newborn child, which celebrates a symbolic contract between the individual and society. Virtue names are classic, spiritual, and unique in their ways and may be tough to live up to in practical life. Nevertheless, with celebrities catching up on the virtue name trend, some are climbing up the popularity charts and are worthy of consideration for new-age parents.