The baby name True makes for short virtue name with a cool, modern sound. What’s not to love?

Thanks to Aurelia for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.


Some virtue names feel narrow. Patience isn’t always the most desirable approach. Valor might feel a little bit aggressive.

But then there are the virtues that seem more expansive. Honor is a universal good. And True, in any of its forms, likewise seems unambiguously positive. Look it up in a thesaurus, and the words that come up are faithful, trustworthy, constant, honest, steady.

In Old English, the word was triewe or treowe Similar words appear in other languages. Interestingly, our word tree shares some of the same origins.

Dozens of appealing phrases and ideas include the word true. We’ve been falling in treowlufu – true love – since Old English was the language of the day. The phrase “true north” was first used in the sixteenth century. “True blue” dates to the eighteenth, and dreams have “come true” since the nineteenth century.


The element Tru appears in plenty of surnames, like Truitt and Truman. The Tru- doesn’t always come from the virtue. Still, the sound is unmistakable, and plenty of parents have probably been drawn to the names for the positive association.

As a given name, True has long seen some sparing use for girls and boys, at least since the nineteenth century, and might be older still. Puritans used names like Truth and Verity in the New World.

All forms of the name are enjoying some use today:

  • True – 224 boys and 203 girls received the name in 2023. That’s a big jump from ten years ago. True ranks #980 for boys.
  • Tru – Without the E, 403 boys and 267 girls were named Tru in 2023, putting the name at #673 and #966, respectively. It’s the most popular form of the name right now. Short-lived television series Tru Calling gave the name an initial boost from 2003 to 2005.
  • Truth – In 2023, this name was given to 129 boys. An additional 49 girls called Truth were born that same year.
  • Truly – 44 girls received the name in 2023. Reality television’s Sister Wives added the spelling Truely to the mix, too.
  • Truett – With 380 boys named Truett in 2023 alone, this name now ranks #695 in the US.
  • Truman – Presidential Truman comes from trow – a Middle English word meaning faithful, forerunner of our word true. 113 boys were named Truman in 2023.

There’s also Gertrude, a vintage name that remains little used today, and nickname Trudy or Trudie, which seem rich with potential in our age of Sadie and Hattie.

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Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson welcomed daughter True in April 2018. The reality star chose a name that feels right at home among the current generation: Rob’s Dream, Kim’s Saint and North, and Kourtney’s Reign.

Kardashian matriach Kris revealed a twist: not only is this an appealing word name that fits their family’s signature style, it’s an actual family name. Kris’ grandfather was born True Otis Houghton, and her dad was Robert True. That makes Miss Thompson the third generation to answer to the virtue name.


Not only is the baby name True name virtuous, it’s also versatile. It feels like a possible first name, especially given our affection for single-syllable names for boys and girls.

Or it could be a great, bold middle name choice, again for either gender.

If you’re looking for a modern virtue name that feels bold and restrained, serious and playful, all at the same time, True could be the name for you.

What do you think of the baby name True?

This post was originally published on May 7, 2015. It was revised substantially and re-published on April 16, 2018 and June 3, 2024.


versatile virtue name

It’s a little bit old school, but True mostly feels like a modern word name. Virtuous and idealistic, but also unisex and cool.


#980 for boys; unranked for girls as of 2023


rising in use


Word name from the Old English treowe, suggesting someone faithful and honorable.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Abby, did you read Kris Jenner’s comments on Khloe’s name choice? Her father and grandfather have True in their names, so it’s a family name too! Now I like it even more!

    1. YES! Isn’t that amazing – updating the post to reflect that … and now this is officially my favorite Kardashian name ever …

  2. Dr Dre has a daughter named Truly. Which I prefer for a girl.
    Also, there is a kids show on I think Netflix, called True (about a girl named True)…

    I always liked true more for a boy personally, and thought it would make a great virtue middle name… but now that a kardashian used it for a girl I’m guessing it will lean more feminine?… we’ll see 🙂

  3. When I hear this name, the lyrics “Love me tender; love me true…” come to mind.

    Since the king of rock and roll was the original voice behind the words, it’s easy to imagine him singing to his sweetheart, “Love me tender; love me, True…” almost as a plea to a girl named True.

    It’d be neat to name a little lady Verity but have her nickname be True.

    I like this one.

  4. I can’t believe I actually really like a Kardashian name! And it’s a rare name that I think works equally well for either gender.

  5. My dad grew up with a Truly. Her parents were adventurous namers, she also had a sister named Tuesday and a sister named Velvet. I like both Truly and Tuesday, but not Velvet.

    The poster who knows a Trueheart — wow! I love it! Especially in the middle slot.

    1. I also know a Truax, which I don’t know where it derives from, but it’s very unique!

  6. I named my son True. I got many different reactions when I first decided upon the name, but I dismissed all the negative, small brained opinions and stuck with this beautiful name. He is going to be 12 this year, and I am so proud of him for being True. So perfectly True.

  7. I know of a little girl named Trueheart who goes by True. It’s a family name (I think Trueheart was the surname of a grandparent). It’s a really adventurous name! I wouldn’t be bold enough to use it but I really like it. Truett, not so much.

  8. I like it especially as a middle. I am not sure I would use it in first position, but I wouldn’t be bothered if someone else did.