Depending on who you talk to, naming a baby is either the best or the
worst. I thought it was the bee's knees, but I understand how the pressure of naming another human being can be overwhelming. There's literally a world of names out there, and finding one that both you and your partner like (and friends and relatives and strangers who think they have a vote) can be challenging. But if you just know you're about to birth a genius baby, focusing on baby names for wisdom should help you narrow down your search significantly.
My sincerest wish for my kids, other than being happy, is that
they be smart. Intelligence comes in many different forms, too. I don't need them to be brilliantly gifted in quantum physics or anything (though it'd be kind of cool because, as a non-math person, that's just witchcraft to me), but I want them to be intelligent and logical. I want them to be able to see through bad arguments and be able to make their own good ones. And if they're sharply witty to boot? Well, I'm just saying I don't really know any funny people who aren't smart, so I'm guessing their odds are good.
When it came to naming my own children, I actually didn't go with any names that mean "intelligent." But if you, like me, hope your child is a seeker of wisdom, or just know, deep in your pregnant bones, that your baby is going to come out as wise as a 97-year-old grandmother, here are a few names you'll want to choose from:
In addition to being a beautiful name, Athena will be familiar to anyone who went through a ninth grade world literature course (or a prolonged geek or Greek phase) as the Greek goddess of wisdom. According to
GreekMythology.com, she is also the goddess of war, as well as spinning and weaving. What can we say? She's extremely well-rounded, apparently. Like, "I think I'll go weave a rug... and then maybe start a war with Sparta. Feeling bellicose, might delete later." Sage
Sage: more than just a delicious seasoning or a ritual plant appropriated from Indigenous people! It also means "wise through reflection and experience," according to
MerriamWebster.com. As a noun, it means "one (such as a profound philosopher) distinguished for wisdom." Sophia
Sophia, which means "wisdom," is the most popular name in the world, according to reporting by
. Though Greek in origin, Sophia works well (and has found its way into) many languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, and Italian, just to name a few. The Independent Alexandria
Ptolemy, successor to Alexander the Great in Egypt, built the Great Library of Alexandria as a repository for all knowledge in the world. It was a site so incredible that, according to reporting from
, "The library cultivated some of the best minds of the age whose discoveries and inventions changed the course of the world," including Homer, Plato, Socrates, and Hypatia. Through years of bureaucratic decline and conquering armies, the Library was gradually destroyed, but its legacy lives on. If you have an Echo Dot in your home, Alexa will tell you that she is named for Library of Alexandria. The Daily Beast Dara
Though more commonly used as a girl's name, the figure Dara
in the Tanakh (also known as the Hebrew Bible and also also known as the Old Testament) is a man noted for his great wisdom. In fact, the name itself means "pearl of wisdom," according to Nameberry.com. Odysseus/Ulysses
Odysseus and Ulysses are Greek and Roman versions of the same name, and is of unknown origin. It may come from the Greek word "
odyssomai" meaning "to hate," according to BehindTheName.com.
The wisdom connection comes from the fact that Odysseus is an Ancient hero. Athena's favorite warrior, he was the bright guy who came up with the idea of the Trojan Horse in Homer's
The Iliad and was so cool he got his own sequel in They Odyssey (which turned out to be more popular than the original), where he (somehow) travels the Mediterranean for 20 years getting back home from Troy to Ithaca, surviving a slew of witches and monsters through his sharp wits. Hakim
Hakim is an Arabic name meaning "learned." According to
Ancestry.com, it can also serve as a last name, which indicates a profession, such as a judge, governor, or scholar. Akilah
Akilah is a name of Arabic origin that means "intelligent and logical," according to
Nameberry.com. If you're looking for a unique name in the United States, this one might be a great bet for you. Akilah has never been in the Top 1,000 names in the Unite States, according to data from the Office of Social Security. To put that in perspective, "Khaleesi," a name inspired by Game of Thrones, has become increasingly popular since 2014, and is currently the 549th most popular girl name in the country. Quinn
Quinn is a unisex Irish name derived from the O'Cuinn, according to
BabyNameWizard.com. It means wise counsel or intelligent. Cassidy
Cassidy is one of those names that means several things that don't seem to have anything to do with one another. For example, it can mean "clever" or "curly-haired," per
Parents.com, and is of Irish origin. Originally used as a male name, it is more commonly given to girls but is still considered unisex. Aldo
Aldo is an Italian boy name of Old German origin meaning "old and wise," according to
TheBump.com. This is a perfect name for a little guy who you can tell is an old soul before he's out of diapers.
On a personal note, I'll add that this was my high school boyfriend's middle name and that did not end well but I still think the name is pretty cool, which I think speaks to the strength of this pick!
Kendry is a Malagasy name meaning "wise man," per
Nameberry.com. If you're a Yankee fan, it can also be a slight nod to first baseman Kendrys Morales. Saraswati
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of learning, wisdom, and the arts. She's got it all going on and, as such, is an excellent namesake for your burgeoning genius. Per
Goddess-Guide.com, Saraswati is the goddess to go to before starting school. In India, many families take part in a ritual known as Akshara abhyaasam to do just that. Veda
Veda is a Hindi name of that comes from the Sanskrit word meaning "sacred knowledge," according to
BabyCenter.com. In Hinduism, the Vedas are the earliest sacred writings of hymns, prayers, and liturgy. Solomon
The King of Israel whose name is synonymous with wisdom, the story of
Solomon the Wise is told in the Second Book of Kings and the First Book of Chronicles. He is said to have made alliances with neighboring kingdoms through many marriages , and was a firm hand in Israel's trade and military endeavors. He is also said to have built the Temple in Jerusalem. Though the Temple was destroyed (and then rebuilt and then destroyed again), the site remains and important pilgrimage center in Judaism. Zeki
Zeki is a Turkish boy's name meaning "clever" or "intelligent," according to
MomJunction.com. One famous Zeki is Zeki Müren, a classical Turkish singer, songwriter, composer, actor, and poet who was declared a State Artist by Turkey in 1991. Aakil MuslimNames.com tells us that Aakil means "intelligent" and is of Hindi origin. Scheherazade
Scheherazade is a heroine of
, who managed to stay alive by regaling her would-be murderer, a sultan, with fascinating stories night after night. After 1,001 tales, he decides not to kill her. Which... ummm... thanks? A Thousand and One Nights
Scheherazade is a name that means "world-freer," according to
Nameberry.com, which is cool in and of itself, but couple it with the fact that it's an homage to a brilliant woman and it's even cooler.