Virtue Baby Names: The Ultimate List of ListsThanksgiving means Pilgrims, and that makes us consider virtue baby names.

Some are right at home on Plymouth Rock, the kind of names the early colonists chose to set themselves apart. Others are modern innovations, the product of the 1960s counterculture, or twenty-first century families’ search for meaning.

Some might feel tough to live up to. Imagine a toddler named Patience! Others straddle the line between virtuous and bold. Bravery qualifies as a virtue, but it’s a very different vibe than Mercy or Modesty.

I’ve rounded them all up here, choices that might appeal for a baby due around Thanksgiving – or really, any time of year.

Virtue Baby Names: Straight Outta Plymouth

No, everyone on the Mayflower wasn’t named Flee-Fornication Constancy Browne. Mostly they were called John. And lots of other bog standard English names. But religious dissenters did embrace some fabulous names, from the downright unwearable to those worthy of consideration today.

Virtue Baby Names: Over the Years

Of course, plenty of names were chosen for their positive meaning ages before Martin Luther nailed his theses to the Wittenberg doors. And many have been in use over the years, quietly.

Virtue Baby Names: Modern Favorites

Language changes. Our ideas about what makes a good life change, too. And so no surprise that, while some of the throswback names remain in use, others fade, and still more are added to the list of possible options.

Virtue Baby Names: The Boldest

And recently, I’ve been wondering if all of those bold, even braggadocious boy names are really part of this trend, too.

Virtue Baby Names: So Many!

I’ve written about a bunch of virtue baby names over the years, including:

What are your favorite virtue baby names? Do you like ’em old school, twenty-first century, or somewhere in between?

Originally published on November 22, 2018, this post was revised and re-published on November 11, 2019.

Find Your Virtue Name


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. Virtue names that I like are: Comfort, Constance, Faithful(I’ve met a little girl named this, once.), Felicity, Halcyon, Hope, Prosper, Remember.

  2. I found three generations of women named Experience on my family tree. One was a midwife who traveled up to 60 miles on horseback to deliver babies in New England. She was a Quaker, not a Puritan. I have no idea what she was called in daily life — Exie? But it strikes me as a rather profound name, rich in meaning. My ancestor accumulated life experiences, all right.

    Other names I found: Deliverance, Wait (called Waitie), Mourning, and the usual Hope and Charity.

    1. Andrea, what amazing finds in your family tree! And oh, how fascinating to imagine what Experience’s life must have been like …

  3. What a Thanksgiving treat, Abby! This has been incredibly fun to read and revisit on a day when there’s time to sit.

  4. My more outre favorites are Makepeace (m) and Remembrance (f). I love the nickname possibilities for Remembrance: Mem, Emmy, Reba, Memma, Ancy, etc.