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User-Submitted Photos of Barbara
Popularity Over Time: How Many Girls Have Been Named Barbara
This chart illustrates how many Girls were named Barbara in the U.S. since 1880.
A few facts about the girl's name Barbara:
Records indicate that 1,431,558 girls in the United States have been named Barbara since 1880.
The greatest number of people were given this name in 1947, when 48,740 people in the U.S. were given the name Barbara. Those people are now 68 years old.
So ... how do we know this stuff? Baby Names Hub identifies trends by analyzing vast amounts of data made available by the U.S. government and other public sources. This data, including social security statistics, provides detailed information on baby name popularity and trends in the United States.
Comments about the name Barbara
Based on the comments submitted below
47 Positive Comments
"Barbara, or Barbra, is a strong and classy name with numerous nicknames to soften or endear it with affection." Jul. 13, 2015:
"The name Barbara is rich with strength and distinguished through natural exoticism; this classic name is due for a comeback!" Jun. 21, 2015:
"My name is Barbara Ann, and I love my name. I was the fourth daughter and my parents ran out of girl names. My oldest sister, who was 12, asked her class at school to suggest some names which were put on the blackboard and voted on. The teacher let this happen. The name "Barbara Ann" won the vote. My sister came home and told my mother and father about the name and class vote. They liked the name and I got it. I have always liked my name. It is sophisticated and classy. I don't mind the nick names that go with it. But, people always call me Barbara... all three syllables. I am 81 years old, and I have lots of friends with the name Barbara. I am sorry that so few people name their girls Barbara now." May. 29, 2015:
"I named my daughter Barbara Josephine she is 8. She loves her name and is BJ for short. Barbara will grow with her. No-one has the same name as her in class and she can be an individual." Apr. 9, 2015:
"I'm a 25 year old Barbara. And I truthfully love my name. The only time it ever bothered me was when I was in middle school. That was when Barbie Girl by Aqua came out. I was teased in school, but it kind of became my theme song. I would sing it whenever the other kids teased me! Barbara comes from the Greek word Barbarian. The Greeks used this word to describe foreigners because they didn't approve of people doing things differently than they did, very xenophobic. I've always done things a little differently and so the origin of my name has always made me happy. I was named after my great aunt who died before I was born, but I'm sure she was an amazing woman (she was a Barbara after all!). I get a kick out of people telling me I don't look like a Barbara. I'm younger than most Barbara's, plus I'm working on my tattoo and piercing collection! I've never used any of the nicknames, but it's never bothered me to hear them. My husband calls me Barb sometimes, but other than that most people call me by the full name. It is a name you have to own, and I do not think that's a bad thing. My name is something original, just like me!!" Jan. 18, 2015:
"I've gone through ups and downs with my name, Barbara Lynne. I never thought too much about it when I was young. Even though it was a popular name when I was born (1944 - probably from Barbara Stanwyck), I didn't really know any other Barbaras growing up. I like the "r" sound and the reputation of letters. When I was in the my twenties, I started writing it in a angular fashion, because I didn't like that all of the letters had a round shape.
Now, I think of the joy it gave me over the years to hear my mom's voice on the phone when she knew it was me: She would say my name with surprise and happiness. She is 93 now and has Alzheimers, but she still remembers my name. When I come to visit, I will ask "do you know who this is Mom?" and she will say Barbara - nothing could make me happier. I will treasure the memory and the knowing that she chose the name for me.
And I think it is cool that it means "strange", because I am an outlier and that St. Barbara is the patron saint of thunderstorms. I recently heard she also watches out for fisherman - that is awesome since I live in a fishing community.
Gratefully, Barbara Lynne
P.S. My best friend will often say in her amusing way, Hi Barbie -- I am still a feminist, but I love it! I embrace dichotomies." Dec. 11, 2014:
"I'm a Barbara and I love my name. I'm 28 and think it's strong and beautiful and wise...like me :) It's a name as old as time and it flows like the wind Baaarbaaaraa! And it gets even better in languages like spanish or russian, Barrrrbarra and Varvaara. I don't think there is a better name than mine. I've always been proud to be a Barbara. It makes me feel special. Of course, if you're insecure this would not be a good name for you. You have to be able to fully own a beautiful name like Barbara." May. 24, 2014:
"I am a 55 year old Barbara Jean - I go by Barb mostly because it's easy and in my opinion, the best of the nicknames. Nobody ever ever ever calls me Babs because they know they'll get a knuckle sandwich - I HATE that nickname!" Mar. 27, 2014:
"My name is Barbara Ann and I am 43. I have never met another Barbara the same age as I am. The nick names growing up were annoying but as you get older its just a name not who you are." Jul. 12, 2013:
"My name is Barbara and of course I'm in my 50s. Right up untill the priest was about to pour the water on my head I was to be Moira, my father relented and I was Barbara. Like it or lump it it's who I am, the name puts us fairly and squarely in our 50s born in the 50s. It's hard to judge your own name. Today I don't mind it. It's a good solid name,not flimsy or shallow,like so many more popular names can be." Jan. 2, 2012:
"I am 64 and my name is Barbara Ann and I have always loved it. I do not, however, like nick names. My mother had planned on naming me Linda Marie which my father hated. When my mother was in recovery the nurse who asked him to fill out the birth certificate had a name tag that said Barbara Ann and my father liked it so here I am. I don't think my Mom was happy but I am." Nov. 18, 2011:
"My name is Barbara Marie and up until I was about 15 I hated my name...mostly because my mother always called me "Barbie" for as long as I could remember.I am 21 now and I have grown to love it...not all the nicknames that come with it(barb,babs,barbie,Bee,etc.),but the name itself.It may be old fashioned but will never go out of style,Most of all I love it because it's also my grandmothers name!It's simple yet sophisticated." Jan. 29, 2011:
"My name is Barbara Nakibuuka and am so glad to such a good name. I embrace it and trhere is no any dayu that i have ever cursed myself to be called BARBARA" Dec. 26, 2010:
"I was born in '59 with the name "Barbara Anne." I'm reasonably happy with it. It's like fighting the tide to stop people from calling me "Barb." While think it fits my prickly personality, it's difficult to hear and easily confused with other names.
I'm from the US, but I love the way Spanish-speaking Americans pronounce "Bahhhhhr barrrr ah."" Sep. 19, 2010:
"I'm barbara got my name from my grandma am the only one who has this name in middle school but i love my name" Aug. 26, 2010:
"I'm a British Barbara Anne and as a child I didn't like my name and wanted to be called something else - anything else! Then one day I came home from school after another day of name-calling and tearfully ask my mum, 'Why did you call me Barbara?' My mum asked me what I'd like to be called and I said, 'Kelly or Sally' and my mum asked me, 'how many Kelly's are in your class?' and I think it was 5, then my mum asked and how many Sally's are in your class and that was about 3 and then my mum asked me 'and how many Barbara's?' And funnily enough I was the only one. After that I didn't mind my name so much and as my mum told me when I grew up I'd be pleased to have the name Barbara and she was right. I've grown into it as I've got older but I began loving it in my late teens, as yes people always expect an old lady and I love the reactions when young, pretty (if I do say so myself!) and out going turns up! I think whatever name you're given embrace it whole-heartedly and make it work. Barbara's rule at every age!" Feb. 23, 2010:
"I'm Barbara Anne and ALL my relatives still call me and introduce me as Barbie which is ultra-embarrassing since I'm not 10 anymore. When I'm called Barbie in public, I cringe. So, I had the idea to turn Barbara Anne to Brianne and at my new job people all called me that. Within a month, I was desparate to be called Barbara again! It's a good name!" Feb. 3, 2010:
"I have always liked my name. There were other names my parents considered and I am very pleased they decided on Barbara!" Jan. 9, 2010:
"My name is Barbara and I am 23 years old. I don't feel it is an old name at all! It is classic and that's why I love it so much.
I can't stand trendy names that just sound foolish...
Barbara is a respecful name and if you want to make it sound softer...there are a lot of cute nicknames. :)" Dec. 27, 2009:
"Love Barbara. Glad its not Shirley or some other "lame tag". Cutsie nicknames of Barbara are fun when you are younger. It's a classy name and beautiful. Not trendy or ditsy sounding." Dec. 1, 2009:
"My name is Barbara and I live in Portugal.
I'm 17 years old and I'm really happy with my name!! :D
People used to call me barbie when I was younger and now some friends call me Bı" Nov. 20, 2009:
"Thats my name!I now what it means ti means protector of fire." Nov. 10, 2009:
"When I had my daughter (she just turned 50) I went through the bible and found the name Babette which is French for Barbara. I love both! Most of her friends call her Babette but family call her "Babby"" Oct. 19, 2009:
"I am a Barbara Jean and I'm 55 years old. I was called Barbie or Bobbie Jean when I was little, Barb while I was in high school and Barbara after that. I like my name and don't think it sounds old-fashioned. I work at a large law firm and think that "Barbara" sounds professional and pretty at the same time. I used to hate "Babs" until some of my dearest friends started calling me that to tease me - now I enjoy being called "Babs" as a term of endearment." Oct. 13, 2009:
"My name is Barbara Lois, and I am named after both of my grandmothers. I used to dislike it because it's such an "old" name (I'm 18), but with time it has grown on me. I love the fact that it is so unique and has so many nickname opportunities. A majority of my friends call me Bee, though I went by Barbie until I turned 8 or so." Aug. 27, 2009:
"im about to name my first daughter barbara...i love that nobody has that name and i think it sounds sexy and respectful at the same time..." May. 12, 2009:
"I love my name. I am in my mid forties...but it does bother me that some people think "old" when they hear the name. It is especially beautiful sounding when pronounced by people of spanish or italin descent because the three syllables are pronounced..with a softly rolled "r"..I think it's a strong yet feminine name." Apr. 8, 2009:
"Hello! Other baby name places list the meaning of "Barbara" as "exotic" - not just "foreign" or "strange."
I love my name; the legend of Saint Barbara is pretty amazing: she died defending her faith; she was brilliant and brave; she was forced to live in a tower & defiantly had workmen add 3 windows to represent the Trinity thus publicly declaring her faith, which is why she was killed ... Her story is the origin of the Rapunzel legend -- she secretly lowered her long hair down to lift up baskets of books to read and learn from; reading was then forbidden for women. She was killed because she became a Christian -- even though she'd been walled away by her dad to prevent this -- and refused to renounce her faith. Her dad was struck by lightning after he had her beheaded -- OK, maybe that part of the story isn't so nice... but still, she was someone I'd like to be like!
Another thing I like about this name is that you can vary it. I was "Barbie" when I was little; I shifted to what felt to me like fun, strong "Barb" when I needed to be claim my not-little-girlness as a teen, stayed "Barb" as an adventurous young woman and then a confident attorney. In my 40s now, I feel my "full flowering" as a woman in the name "Barbara" -- it sounds gentle but interesting (just say it ~barbara~), exotic, very "with-it" (no "Barbara" I've ever met is silly, boring or inconsequential).
I *really* hope everyone agrees that the accurate view of "Barbara" is "exotic" -- who wants a "strange" or "foreign" baby? But one who grows into an "exotic" woman? ... Wow!!!" Jan. 13, 2009:
"I'm a 35-year-old Barbara and I love my name. When I was growing up, I wanted something more trendy, but now I am SO glad I am not a Jenny, Kimberly, or Lindsay. I like how pretty and classic Barbara is. It's also a respectable name to have at the top of a resume. I also like that I am the only Barbara that I know." Jul. 16, 2008:
"I'm Barbara. I was born on my grandfather's birthday. Just don't cacll me Babs." May. 14, 2008:
"I LOVE my name, Barbara Jean! I, too, wish it would become popular again. I agree with others who don't like Barb-how about BABS! My brother calls me that, cause he knows it irritates me!" May. 7, 2008:
"I am a Barbara Anne. The fact that I was born in the Dominican Republic makes "stranger" relevant as I am very Northern Eupoean in my phenotype. I am of a blood type that is not found much in either the D.R. or Northern Europe but in India. I am exotic in my approach to life and nomadic in my tastes. I am wild and free and nobody's gofer girl or slave. I find the Sanish pronunciation the most preferable sound of the name and the West Texas version the least preferable. I love West Texas just the same as I love nature everywhere." May. 6, 2008:
"I was named after my grandfather so I am Barbara Carol. I was Barbie growing up, but I think Barbara is much more appropriate for a 34 year old" May. 2, 2008:
"My name is Barbara Jean and I like it. I hate Barb because i think people are to lazy to say your full name. I would never consider changing my name because my precious Mom,who is now deceased, named me." Apr. 16, 2008:
"I love my name. I am 36 and I don't hear it very often. In school I was the only one that had that name. I always feel like an original when I hear it. It does bother me people don't seem to know how to spell it. I go by Barb. I just hate when people call me barbie or babs." Mar. 22, 2008:
"My name is Barbara and has been since I was born. There is nothing to complain about except the various nicknames that come along with it and the fact that Barbra Strisand spelled her name wrong and makes it hard for the rest of us:). If I can convince people to call me my whole name and spell it rightI am happy with it, but I do know that it often makes people think that I am older than my 31 years." Sep. 1, 2007:
"My name is Barbara Ann, but I go by Barbie. I was actually named for my two Aunts, but it came out to be just like the song. My maiden name was Rudolph, so the teasing and songs about me were relentless as a kid. But, I love my name, but only Barbie. I refuse to answer to Barb. I hate it! Barbara or Babs is fine though." May. 12, 2007:
"That is my moms name and i like it but i no shen loves it and she would never wish to have a diferent name" Apr. 4, 2007:
"My name is Barbara.
I was born in 1994.
I love my name.
It is a strong name." Mar. 2, 2007:
"People often call me "Barb" (which I hate). I must prefer the sound of "Barbi" (without the "e" at the end). I like my name; always have." Jan. 22, 2007:
"I was born in 1954. My dad named me Barbara. I do not like the nicknames for Barbara. It uncommon to hear the name Barbara today. It is a pretty name. Due for a comeback." Nov. 8, 2006:
"I named my daughter Barbara, who was born in 2004. She was named after my mother. The name was very popular in her generation and put the biggest smile on her face when she found out my daughter's name. Unusual for this decade, but still beautiful!" Apr. 22, 2006:
"i luv it i am called barbie because i look like a barbie" Mar. 20, 2006:
"My name is Barbara. I'm 38, and all the other Barbaras I know are older, grandmotherly. I do love my name, but it's often misspelled BARBRA (as in Streisand)." Jan. 27, 2006:
"My girlfriend's name is Barbara. I call her Barbie and my friends butcher her name by saying "Barbra." My parents told me that Barbara is a biblical name meaning "miracles."" Dec. 1, 2005:
"I love my name -- prefer to be called Barb, but Barbara and Barbi are all optonis too -- never been referred to as Babs and that's okay with me." Nov. 24, 2005:
"I was born in 1973, so it's a little awkward to have a name that was so popular in the previous generation, but I've never met someone my age with it. It's a good name, though, I like it. It has about a million nicknames!" Aug. 17, 2005:
12 Negative Comments
"My name is Barbara and I have hated it my entire life. To me, it sounds like the name of an old, unattractive women. I was born in the 50s and it was popular back then, but it has fallen into oblivion and the name dates you. The nicknames are equally horrible." Mar. 20, 2015:
"I'm 61 and called Barbara. I've always hated the name and I always will" Mar. 17, 2015:
"I've always hated my name, Barbara Marie. I've NEVER seen anyone, especially as young as I am, with the name Barbara, and all the nicknames are horrible, Babs, Barbie, Bobby, and there is absolutely no names for for Marie. People commonly misspell it as "Barbra" and it's strange to be in a class with a bunch of "Jonothan"s and "Emma"s." Nov. 6, 2012:
"not too crazy about my name being Barbara, but HATE to be called Barb with all my soul. Correcting people on it is awkward and I have trouble doing it. Hearing "Barb", like nails on a chalkboard" Jun. 2, 2012:
"Barbara always makes me think of an old witch with a bump on her nose. Sorry guys." Jul. 16, 2011:
"My name is Barbara Jean Francis, and I'm 15 -.- I'm one of only 3 people I've ever met named Barbara. It's so annoying. I get called Barbie (mostly by guys), Barb or Babs (mostly by teachers trying to be cool) but my favorite is Bee, by my best friends and family(: My name is SO old fashioned, and yes there are lots of nicknames for it but its way to long and fat and old for our generations. When I have kids I'm going with Erin, Kayden and Landon(:" Jan. 18, 2011:
"my name is barbara and im a guy and my teacher makes fun of me all the time it hurts not physically but mentally :(" May. 13, 2010:
"My granny's name is Barbara (she's Polish) but we pronounce the second 'A'...Not like people in other countries. I don't like that name because it sounds fat, old and ugly and I seriously hate it (not because of my granny!) I just think that I woldn't like to be called Barbara as a teenage girl." Dec. 19, 2009:
"Im called Barbara which i hate! as a result of my hatred for the name ive acquired an array of nicknames..babs babsy barb,babins, bob. I Like the meaning of the name, but the name itself is granny-ish and growing up with sheep noises (BAAARRBAAARRA...lol)following me wherever i went, made me want to curse my parents for their ill-tasted choice! Down with this ugly name , dont subject your baby to the burden of barbara! Nobody under 50 can pull it off anywho!! DOOONT DOOO IT!" Oct. 25, 2009:
"hate it. sounds heavy, harsh, old. no good nicknames, either -- at least in English. and changing one's name is weird. I know two people (not barbaras) who have done that, but i still can't get used to their "new" name. I wish so much that i loved my name." Jul. 9, 2009:
"I absolutely hate this name! I have to live with it the rest of my life. So many people spell it wrong. I mean, how hard is it to remember 2-B's, 3-A's, and 2-R's? It's so lame!" Jul. 21, 2007:
"My name is Barbara Dolly so people often call me Barbie Doll. I hate it." Jun. 27, 2007:
54 Neutral Comments
"My name is Barbara Jean, I like my name even when I was little. I was named after my Mom's 2 best friends from school. Barbara went by Bobbie, and that's what my parents planned on calling me. But I was more a Barbara then a Bobbie. I hate Barbie and Babs. I don't mind Barb as long as the person knows me. If l introduce myself as Barbara why would you think you could call me Barb?" Jun. 28, 2015:
"My name is Barbara Ann, I don't usually reveal my middle name if I can help it, and I used to hate my name, especially when I was a teenager. I used to be embarrassed about it and hate people asking my name, or shouting over to me because everyone would look! I don't mind it so much now, and usually get called Barb or Barbs and occasionally Barbie, or just B." May. 27, 2015:
"I'm 12 and my dad was born in Poland so he calls me Basia pronounced bashia and it has this soft tone to it if you say it with a polish accent, not with the American "a" like in Apple. And I don't have any people in my school that are called this, and all my friends have names like Samantha and Isabella so it's kinda awkward. But I hate ALL the nicknames for this name, except Basia which I don't share with anyone because it's kinda weird but I love it!!! ☺️" Feb. 1, 2015:
"My name is Barbara Ann. I didn't think anyone named their daughters Barbara anymore.
A barb is a sharp pointy thing on a fence. never was really crazy about the name since the doll came out and oh yea, the beach boys song." Dec. 3, 2014:
"I am a 66 year old Barbara Janet. I like the nicknames better than being called Barbara. It always seemed too long. Always hated the fact that there were always so many of us. In school, I always had at least 3 Barbara's in my class. At work there were 4 of us." Oct. 3, 2014:
"I like my name. Born in 1951, pretty much one of the peak years of Barbara; and my middle name is Ann. I was Babs to some as a little girl, but now people take the liberty of calling me Barb. I prefer Barbara. I've also met Polish Basias (Bashas) and have heard of the Slavic Varvarra. I think -- except for Barb and Barbie -- that all variations are fine. I love Babette!" Sep. 27, 2014:
"My name is Barbara Lynn... I like it... I notice most "Ann" or "Marie" or "Jean" middle name" Aug. 3, 2014:
"My name is Barbara Ann, I think it's unique ,sexy, mysterious and I really enjoy having this name:)" Sep. 2, 2013:
"My name is Barbara Anne and, of course, I am in my 50s. I still hope to have a granddaughter named Barbara someday, but I doubt it will ever happen. No one names their child Barbara anymore." Jun. 5, 2013:
"My name is Barbara, I am 57 years old and HATE being calld Barb. Why do people take the liberty of changing your name without asking you, I try not to do that to other people." May. 15, 2013:
"My name is Barbara Ann and I had the pleasure of being named after The Beach Boys song of the same name (thanks Dad). I don't mind Barb or Bas or Barbie, but I used to hate it when my Mom used to call me by my full name cause it meant I was prolly in trouble." Apr. 21, 2013:
"My name is Barbara Ann and I am 43 years young. I go by Barbie, but most people ( especially women) will call me Barb. I absolutely detest that name. I have corrected people before and it makes me feel weird. I can't figure out why they don't feel weird after they address me when they know I call myself Barbie. I know they're not stupid just jealous. Barbie represents beauty and if I was fat and ugly then they probably would call me Barbie. Just saying." Apr. 18, 2013:
"I am a 63 year old Barbara and also HATE to be called Barb but insisting on the formal pronounciation doesn't feel right to me either. My family called me Babs or Babsie and an old friend calls me Babbie and I love that. Barbara does have a patrician sound and am glad I am not Bunny or Brandy!" Mar. 18, 2013:
"I'm also Barbara my parents african female aged 12 my parents call me Barbz. My grandparents call me Barbie and my friends call me Beee .Can the nicknames get worse" Apr. 2, 2012:
"My name is Barbara Anne and I'm 40 years old. I almost never meet any Barbara's my age, but I meet those 60+ all the time. I was called Barbie until I reached high school and then was called Barb. I hate being called Barb, think barbed wire, but as mentioned before, it's very hard to fight it. I've been called Barbara since I turned 18, but most people mispronounce it. I pronounce it with all 3 syllables and most Minnesotans don't get it. I found this site because a close friend is trying to figure out a nickname to call me and he doesn't like Babs. I never heard of Bobbie as a nick name for Barbara before, but I think I like it!" Mar. 21, 2012:
"vc e mesmo aminha idolo barbie ou e so uma imitacao dela por que eu ja vi ela numa entrevista prsualmente" Jul. 11, 2011:
"My name is Barbora,too.It's Slovak & Czech variant.In central Europe is popular name but very old.I like this name but I don't like when they call me Barbie or Babs and when I wear pink clothes...only..."Barbie".But in America, I don't know.We have old names how: John,Susan,Katherine.What do u mean?" May. 3, 2011:
"My name is Barbara and I'm a 'young' 52. My middle name is Jane and I think my parents wanted to call me Barbara Jane but it didn't stick. My Dad called me Babs when I was young and then someone at work started calling me that, but I don't like it. I was called Barb through high school and some of my old friends and family still call me Barb. I went through awful anxiety over the last few years disliking my name and wanted to adopt my middle name Jane as I just wanted a name that you couldn't shorten. However, after reading these stories, I'm beginning to just accept it's my name. Only thing is I am now a chef and thought Chef Jane sounded better than Chef Barbara. I know my friends would hate it if i changed my name and I would also feel strange. Seems like I will keep it after all." Feb. 24, 2011:
"i get called 'bee' by everyone except my mum, barbara, or babs, seems such a fat name to me, bee is sassy, and seems cool, people love it, i love it" Jan. 16, 2011:
"Hi, my name is Barbara Montinard and i'm 19 years old lives in Boston,MA. I love my name so much eventually when people calls me Barbie like a doll or a little baby girl.Sincerly my name always makes me feel younger every day. For me it is the best name ever for any girl.Since i was born until now my mom calls me ( ma poupee) it's a French word meaning barbie as(doll). I am so very proud of my name and I will always do.......... Thanks........" Oct. 26, 2010:
"When I was a little girl I demanded to be called Winnie because I hated my name so much. And because I loved the Wonder Years t.v. show. Just saying." Jun. 14, 2010:
"I was the only Barbara I knew 'til I was in university (UK). I was named afer my great grandmother. The name always seemed 'fat' and I was thin. I didn't lke it. Now I am glad it is a truly international name and think I should have thought of that when naming my own children who have names that are difficult to translate. My oldest friends call me Barbara or Babs (a few only, but with fondness) not Barb. I was once Bobbie in West Virginia, which was different and not bad. BTW the Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock changed her name *to* Barbara." May. 30, 2010:
"I am Barbara Ann, and 75 years old. I have always liked my name, but I do find it very annoying when people who have only just met me call me Barb! After all, my name IS Barbara and I really do want to be called by my correct name!" May. 17, 2010:
"I'm Barbara, and I get called Barbie because Barbara sounds too harsh. I've always thought it sounds like an old woman's name, but I am the only Barbara in my middle school, so the name is unique."