Virtue Inspired Baby Names

Thanksgiving Baby Names and More

Turkey Baby
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A virtue name is a baby name that is inspired by a word that is a value. In days past this was limited to names like Faith, Hope, and Charity but today these names have expanded even further. Usually a parent who chooses a virtue name is naming their child with a hope that they will live up to their name and because the family holds that virtue close to their heart. 

While we do not stick to simply using the words these days, many people will use a name that holds the meaning of that virtue or after a famous person who exuded that virtue.

So it may not be obvious when you meet a Theresa, you might think it's a great name, but you may not immediately think of Saint Teresa (formerly Mother Teresa) when you hear that name. Sometimes the time of year a baby is born may also inspire virtue names to be chosen.

Thanksgiving Baby Names

Thanksgiving is a time of year when people start thinking about things for which they are thankful, this often includes some very family centered traditions or values. If you are due near Thanksgiving or your baby is born on that day, you may want to consider names inspired by this holiday. The names that generally come to mind are Biblical or what we call virtue names, as they were the names of many of the Pilgrims. You might prefer to select names of people who came over on the Mayflower or even a name that means thankful.

Here are some names for your Thanksgiving Baby:

Girl Baby Names

  • Virginia - Feminine form of the Roman name Verginius. Also associated with the Latin virgo for virgin. Was the name of the first baby born in the "new World."
  • Sarah - Princess in Hebrew.
  • Constance - Feminine form of the Late Latin name meaning constant.
  • Faith - Originally from the Latin to trust, fidere.
  • Grace - Favor from Latin.
  • Mary - Bitterness from Hebrew.
  • Tendai - Thankful in Shona.
  • Shakira - is a Muslim name for grateful.
  • Amity - is Latin for friendship.
  • Verity - is Latin for truthful or truth.

More baby girl names.

Boy Baby Names

  • Asher - is Hebrew for happiness.
  • Benedict - means blessed in Latin.
  • Henry - Home ruler from German.
  • John - God is gracious from Hebrew.
  • Miles - Masculine in English.
  • William - Helmet from Teutonic.
  • Shakir - Thankful in Arabic.
  • Samoset - First Native American to meet with the pilgrims.
  • Squanto - Second Native American who was a friend of Samoset.
  • Nathan - means a gift from God in Hebrew.

More baby boy names.

Family Values

There is a lot to the term family values. Sometimes a family will sit down and come up with a family mission statement or core beliefs, other families just have a guiding idea of how they want to direct their lives. To reflect this in the names of their children is something people generally do without thinking. Though more and more families are becoming very explicit in their thinking and in their choice of baby names. 

"We wanted a name for our children that would reflect not only our hopes and dreams for what they would become, but also that said something about us as a family," explains one mother.

Her partner agrees, "My family growing up gave us fairly straightforward names that didn't mean anything to them past the fact that they liked the name. We want the name to be something that we like to say and hear, but also something that has some value in it.

So your options are varied:

  • Pick a name that has a single, obvious meaning (Faith)
  • Pick a name that has a meaning that you like or wish to inspire in your child (Nathan)
  • Pick a name that represents a person whom you admire (Theresa)
  • Make up a name that suits your family and reflects the values you want (Justivieve)
  • Combine names with any of these ideas (Sarah Grace)


A Boy Named Humiliation: Some Wacky, Cruel, and Bizarre Puritan Names. Norwood, J. Slate. September 13, 2013. Last accessed October 1, 2016.

History of Virtue Names. Family Education. Last accessed October 1, 2016. 

Thirteen Virtues. Franklin, B. 1726.

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