Hello everyone! Today I'm excited to share with you 20 wonderful names that mean "gift". Every baby is a gift, so this is one of my favorite meanings for a name to have. Names that mean gift are especially appropriate for gift-giving times of the year. These 10 handsome names for boys and 10 lovely names for girls range from beloved classics in the American culture to some from other cultures that you won't find often here. I hope you find something you like for your precious gift!
Bohdan is a variation of the name Bogdan, a name that's used in many eastern European cultures. Both are rarely seen in English-speaking cultures. Bohdan comes from Slavic elements meaning "gift of God" or "given of God". I really think this name has a lot of potential in the U.S. right now because of the rising popularity of names like Bohdi, Bodie, Bowie, Brody, Bo, etc. Bohdan is a refreshing take on that trend that will fit right in!
The suave Italian name Donatello is a form of the name Donato, meaning "gift" or "to give". It can also be interpreted "gift of God", but it's possible that the "of God" is more implied. This name might seem overshadowed by a major icon of history (Renaissance sculptor Donatello) and the crime-fighting turtle named after him, but I still think that Donatello is a very handsome name with a lot of potential. It would make a great way to honor a Don in the family.
At #563, Dorian is more popular than I imagined but it's still not common at all. We first see Dorian used as a name in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Grey. It's suspected that he took it from an ancient Greek tribe called the Dorians. Dorian means "from Doris" and Doris in turn means "gift". If you're looking for a name that's uncommon but not too difficult, Dorian would make a good choice.
Hananiah is a very handsome name and one of my favorites! It might get confused with the popular girls name Hannah, but even so I believe it is usuable for boys, especially with the nickname cool vintage nickname Hank. I think it's funny that Hananiah is not really used often for boys (or at all) these days when it was one of the most popular male names in the Bible. Hannah, which is extremely popular girls, is only used once in the Bible. One of the more famous Hananiahs in the Bible was Hananiah the friend of Daniel, better known by his Babylonian name Shadrach. John is a related to this name, as is Johanan. The meaning for these names is often given as "God is gracious", which is certainly a correct translation, however, the meanings grace, favor, and gift are so interconnected that they could also mean, "God has given" , "favored by God", or "gift of God." As cited by to abarim-publications.com, my go-to source for all Biblical names, the verb that Hananiah and related names come from "depicts a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to one who has a need" (in the words of HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).
Jesse is that biblical father of the famous King David and his name comes from an older Hebrew name meaning "gift". Jesse was at #178 in 2015, which is also more popular than I thought it would be. I really love Jesse's rugged vintage feel.
Jonathan has been wildly popular for decades and was at #48 in 2015. It means "gift of God" in Hebrew. If a name's popularity doesn't put you off, Jonathan is a very handsome name. Nathan, a name in it's own right and also a shorter form of Jonathan and Nathaniel, means "gift" as well.
Matthew is another biblical classic name meaning "gift of God." It's the name of the first book of the New Testament and the name of the apostle who wrote it. Matthew was a top 10 name from 1972 until 2007 and it was #15 in 2015. If you're looking for a fresher take on Matthew, you might consider Matthias, another version of Matthew that is also used in the Bible but has always been much less popular. Matthias entered the top 1000 in 2003 and was #555 in 2015.
Nathaniel is my favorite biblical name that means "gift of God". The spelling found in the book of John is Nathanael but the Nathaniel spelling is much more common. In 2015, Nathaniel was #97 and Nathanael was #580. Nate and Nathan are common short forms, even though Nathan on it's own is the name of more than one biblical character. Nathan means "gift" and when you add 'iel' to the end or "Jo" to the beginning it means "gift of God."
Theodore is such a handsome Greek classic that's gotten some well-deserved attention lately. After falling out of favor for a time, Theodore made it to #99 in 2015. The nickname Teddy is nothing short of adorable for a little boy, while Ted and Theo are distinguished choices that are very wearable on an adult. Theodore really has everything going for it and I expect it to continue to rise.
Thijs is a short form of Matthijs, the Dutch form of Matthias. Pronunciation will be an issue with this name. It rhymes with "nice". A spelling that is used sometimes in Belgium (and possibly some other places) is Thys, which happens to be my last name! I've also seen an English phonetic spelling Tyce, which gets the pronunciation across, but not nearly as visually appealing. There are a handful of Dutch athletes named Thijs and news anchor Matt Lauer and his Dutch ex-wife Annette Roque have a son named Thijs. This name could be challenging in America, but if you're looking for an uncommon name meaning gift that's unlikely to take off, Thijs is a great choice! It also makes a nice Matthew alternative and a good way to honor a Matthew or Matthias.
Biblical boys names ending in "-iah" are very much on-trend right now, as are names containing the letter z, making Zebediah a prime candidate to catch on. It's still under-the-radar at the moment, so you can jump on it before it's discovered by the masses. Zebedee is a more familiar version of this name, being the father of the apostles James and John. Zebulun, one of the sons of Jacob, is a similar name that may also translate to gift. All three could use the nickname Zeb and show potential to be used in modern times.
Donatella is a grand Italian name in the style of Isabella that I think shows real promise in the modern American naming culture. The ever-popular Ella and Ellie could be nicknames for Donatella. Donatella is not so weighed down with the Ninja Turtles reference, giving it much more of a chance to move forward.
Dasha is a charming Russian name that has a disputed meaning but one of the possible meanings is "God's gift". Dasha has a lot of spunk and would a very fun name choice! It's also cute alternative to Sasha!
Dorothea is a lovely, distinguished name with an old-fashioned feel. It seems to be a name-lover's name, one that's discussed a lot in baby naming communities (yes, those exist, and welcome) but is rarely seen in real life. It means "gift of God" and comes from the same Greek roots as Theodore and Theodora, just reversed. Dorothea has not yet reentered the U.S. top 1000, but I think it has some potential. Surprisingly, shorter form Dorothy made it all the way to #714 in 2015. Both Dorothea and Dorothy have the potential nicknames Dora, Dory, or Doro. Thea makes the most sense with Dorothea but could also be used for Dorothy too.
Eleadora is a charming, almost musical name that is extremely rare. If you're looking for something unique, but easy to say and spell, Eleadora would make a lovely choice. Eleadora means "gift of the sun". Nicknames Ellie, Ella, and Elle are readily accessible, as are Dora, Dory, and Lea if that's more your style.
Johannah is one of my favorite biblical names (though the version used in scripture is Joanna). It's a feminine form of John, which is usually translated "God is gracious". However, the word grace and the word gift or given are so intertwined that it can be also translate to, "gift of God" (see the explanation of Hananiah above). The nickname Jo is so sweet and you can also get Anna, Hannah, Annie or Hannie from Johannah.
Mattea is an absolutely gorgeous feminine form of Matthew that really needs to be used more! I just love it! It's not even in the top 1000! If you like the nickname Mattie on a girl, this is a great way to get to it, but the nickname Tea (TAY-uh) is just stunning! I love Mattea's bold yet feminine sound.
Sunniva is an intriguing name of Scandinavian origins that means "sun gift". This could be a very cute way to get the nickname Sunny! It's not in the U.S. top 1000.
Like its male counterpart, Theodora means "gift of God". Theodora is Dorothea with the syllables switched, but it has been somewhat less popular historically, That surprised me because I happen to like Theodora better than Dorothea. Of course, the short version Dorothy has been more popular than either of them (and is currently in the top 1000) and male version Theodore is currently in the top 100 and has always been in the top 400. If you want a name that means gift that's both rare and familiar, Theodora is definitely worth taking a look at. It comes with a host of wonderful nicknames, from the chic and feminine Thea to the clunky but cool Dora, Dory and Doro. You can also get the more boyish nicknames like Ted and Teddy. I would love to see this name back in the top 1000 soon!
Well friends, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed these 21 wonderful names that mean gift! My favorites are Nathanael, Theodore and Hananiah for boys and Mattea, Johannah, and Theodora for girls. In fact, if I ever had triplet boys, I'd want to call them Nathanael, Theodore and Hananiah, nicknamed Nate, Theo, and Hank. If I had twin boys, it would likely be two of those names. Johannah and Mattea (Jo and Tea) or Johannah and Theodora (Jo and Thea) are also cute twin names.
Let me know your favorites in the comments!
God bless you and thanks for reading!