A full understanding of Arabella name meaning will help you easily decide whether it can fit your next newborn.
Fortunately, Arabella doesn’t come from a single root with only one interpretation. That makes it a flexible candidate for your baby’s name, as any of its various meanings is likely to appeal to you and your partner.
If you arrive here, I bet that Arabella, with its appearance or sound, managed to make an impression. So, let’s see if its history and interpretations can do the same or not!
Basic Information About Arabella
The table below summarizes Arabbela’s meanings, history, popularity, and other basic facts. You might want to take a quick look before heading to the details:
|Meaning||Prayerful, yielding to prayer, those that pray, beautiful, little Arabic woman, beautiful Arabic woman.|
|Gender||Mainly used as a girl’s name throughout history|
|Popularity||According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), Arabella’s usage has just risen recently.|
It appeared on the popularity chart as a girl’s name at the 796th spot in 2005.
Overall, the name witnessed a steady rise in popularity. Its 2021’s ranking is 195th.
|Variations||Arabelle, Arbela, Orabella, Bella, Orabilis, Aribella, etc.|
|Nicknames||Abby, Ara, Ari, Aria, Arie, Aree, Ayrie, Bel, Bella, Belle, Ella, Elle, Ellie, etc.|
|Similar Names||Amabel, Annabelle, Araminta, Aria, Ariella, Izabella, Rebecca, Sabella, etc.|
|Sibling Names||For Boys: Alastair, Alexander, Evander, Hugo, Sterling, etc. |
For Girls: Addison, Ava, Clarissa, Danica, Evelyn, Gabriella, Natalia, etc.
|Middle Names||Ada, Agnes, Emily, Louise, Melanie, etc.|
Arabella: The Origin, History & Meanings
Arabella carries many meanings, depending on the language you trace it through.
The most common root is perhaps Latin. The name is believed to derive from the word “Orabilis”, which translates to “prayerful”. Looser interpretations, including “yielding to prayer” and “those that pray”, are also widely accepted in English.
Another school of thought says Arabella is a Scottish form of the English female “Amabel”. Derived from the late Latin word “Amabilis”, “Amabel” means “lovable” and “amiable”. It came to Britain through France.
Earliest records of Arabella’s use date back to the 12th century. It was the given name of Arabella de Leuchars, granddaughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland. She was born sometime in the 1130s.
Later, there was also Arabella de Quency (born 1186), Saer de Quincy, 1st Earl of Winchester’s daughter.
Thanks to the cluster “-bella”, this feminine name can also be interpreted as “beautiful”. This is a common meaning of the name in North America.
Another less-known root of “Arabella” is Spanish. It is thought to arise from the Spanish “árabe”, which represents “little Arab woman” or “beautiful Arab woman”.
Finally, there are accounts of the name’s appearance in Greek even earlier. In this case, “Arabella” or “Arbela”, is the ancient name of modern-day Irbid – a northern Jordanian city (1).
Is It For Males Or Females?
Like Isabella, Gabriella, Daniella that ends with a suffix meaning “beautiful”, Arabella is prominent as a girl’s name. The name hasn’t appeared as a male title on the SSA’s list in any year starting from 1900.
Arabella On The Popularity Chart
The name Arabella was often chosen for American female births in the 1880s. However, the name shrunk in popularity until it appeared in the SSA’s chart at the #796 spot in 2005. From then, it saw a steady resurgence to peak at 158th place two years later (its highest spot to date).
In recent years, the name has slightly declined in use. Nevertheless, it’s still in the top 200 most common girl’s names (except for the year 2020). According to the updated data from the SSA, Arabella ranked 195th in 2021 (2).
Different Spelling Variants For Arabella
Any name will develop spelling alternatives from the same or different languages. Arabella is no exception, as there are a few versions stemming from the name with time.
- Arabelle, Arbela, Orabella, Bella, Orabilis (Latin)
- Aribella (English)
Nicknames & Similar Names To Consider
Multiple-syllable names like Arabella have a certain substance to them. If you love such a long name, you’re also in for various spunky nicknames. There are various ways to shorten and slightly alter “Arabella” so you can get a pet name to call your sweeties at home:
Widen your options by selecting some other names resembling “Arabella”. Here are some nice suggestions to consider:
|Grace, beautiful, loving, lovable||Hebrew, French|
|Araminta||/aram-inta/||Lion, defender, prayer, and protection||English|
|Aria||/ahr-ee-uh/||Melody, song, lioness, noble||Italian, Greek, Persian|
|Lion of God||Hebrew|
|Devoted to God, God’s promise||Polish, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish|
|To tie, to bind||Hebrew|
|Sabella||/sabel-la/||Consecrated to God, God’s promise||Hebrew|
Top Sibling Name Ideas To Match Arabella
It shouldn’t be challenging to nail the perfect names of a child after Arabella. Check out these options to see what catches your interest in terms of naming Arabella’s brothers or sisters.
Build the first bond between Arabella and her brother with matching sibling names. These inspiring monikers either carry strength or good virtues that a man should yearn for:
Alastair: Formed by the Greek “alexein” for “to defend” and “aner” for “man”, Alastair ultimately means “man’s defender”. This is a mighty name meant for those capable of great things.
Alexander: Alexander is a name with international fame. This is hugely thanks to Alexander the Great, a 4th-century BCE king of Macedonia in Greece. He is one of the greatest military commanders in history.
Greek in origin, Alexander means “defender of men”, which exudes strength and honor, too.
Evander: This masculine name is a fresh choice on the SSA’s chart, landing at the #767 spot in 2021.
Evander is a Greek/Scottish name that bears empowering meanings of “bow warrior”, “strong man”, and “good man”. With those favorable definitions, the name should have made it to the popularity chart way earlier.
Hugo: If you’re drawn by names that mean wisdom, “Hugo” should be on your list. This Germanic male name particularly means “mind” and “intellect”. Plus, you have heard of the luxury fashion house Hugo Boss, haven’t you?
Sterling: This English name means “little star” or “of the highest quality”. Whether you love astronomy or wish all the best virtues of a man for your kid, this twinkling moniker is the way to go.
You will want Arabella and the next daughter’s name to fit well together. These complementary choices will do so perfectly while still being unique on their own.
Addison: This British name refers to the “son of Adam”. It was borne by several army generals and officers around the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Interestingly, what was originally a masculine name (with the affix “son of”) has become a favorite girl’s name. Addison was the 45th most popular female name in the US, per 2021’s SSA data.
Ava: This feminine name has been trending in America these days. It has been constantly in the top 5 or higher since 2006. Its root is somewhat obscure, though. Some believe Ava comes from the Germanic word “aval”, meaning “guarantee”.
Meanwhile, the Latin “avis”, denoting “birdlike”, is also supposed to be the name’s origin. Other possible meanings include “lively” or “life” in Hebrew and “sound” or “voice” in Persian.
Clarissa: This elegant name is a noteworthy choice if you’re seeking something underused. Originating in Italian, Portuguese, and Latin, Clarissa first began as the name of a Roman Catholic nun. In modern times, the name is preferably interpreted as “bright”, “clear”, or “famous”.
Danica: Of Slavic origin, this delicate name magically means “the morning star” or “first star of the morning”. In Slavic mythology, Danica opens the gate to let the Sun out every morning.
Evelyn: Like Arabella, Evelyn also has mixed origins. It’s got blissful meanings of “desired” and “wished for” from the French name “Aveline”. Also, as a diminutive of “Eve”, which comes from the Hebrew “hawah”, it means “alive” or “living one”.
Gabriella: “God is my strength” and “devoted to God” are the meanings behind this name. This name will remind your kid to turn to faith during those trying times in her life. Gabriella is an Italian variant of the Hebrew name “Gabriel”.
Natalia: This multiple-syllable name can be of Greek, Slavic, or Latin origin. It translates to “birthday (of the Lord)” in all these languages. This moniker is best suited for those arriving on Christmas day.
Middle Names That Go Gracefully With Arabella
Congratulations if you have decided to go for Arabella! Let the section below do the other heavy lifting for you with recommended middle names to go with this feminine name:
Ada: Ada exudes both old-world and modern charms. It means “noble” or “of nobility” when traced to the Germanic root. This girl’s name is also a Hebrew moniker, alternatively spelled “Adah” עָדָה, and means “adornment”.
Agnes: This Greek-rooted name is a derivative of Greek Ἁγνή, or Hagnḗ, referring to “pure” and “holy”. This heavenly baby girl’s name is a great choice for your innocent newborn. Agnes is also borne by a highly revered saint by Christians – Agnes of Rome, also known as the patron saint of girls (3).
Emily: Emily was once the number 1st choice from 1996 to 2007 and ranked 21st in 2021. It is a Latin name with enduring popularity in America. With meanings pointing to virtues like “persuasive”, “hardworking”, or “rival”, it’s easy to understand why!
Louise: Louise might strike you with its soft sound and sleekness. Yet, its definitions will interest parents wanting to nurture a strong and courageous soul. As a feminine version of the French “Louis”, this female name means “renowned warrior”.
Melanie: As a Greek name that means “black” or “dark”, Melanie was first imported to England by the Normans.
Fans of literature might’ve heard about Melanie Hamilton – a character in Gone with the Wind, published in 1936. She was the one who encouraged the wider use of the name in America back then.
Well-Known People Named Arabella
Parents might turn to notable figures for inspiration when naming a baby. If you choose Arabella, there’s no lack of empowering stories and successful individuals to tell your kid about!
Arabella Burton Buckley (1840-1929): English science educator and author.
Arabella Churchill (1648-1730): mistress of King James II of England.
Arabella Fermor (1696–1737): Best known for her starring role in Alexander Pope’s epic poem The Rape of the Lock.
Arabella Field (born 1965): American actress and filmmaker.
Arabella Goddard (1836-1922): English pianist.
Arabella Mansfield (1846-1911): (born Belle Aurelia Babb): first woman lawyer in the US in 1869.
Arabella Morton (born 2000): Australian actress.
Arabella Steinbacher (born 1981): born Arabella Miho Steinbacher, German classical violinist.
Arabella Weir (born 1957): Scottish comedian, actress, and writer.
Arabella Yarrington “Belle” Huntington (1851-1924): American philanthropist, married to two American railway tycoons from the Huntington family (at different times), once the richest woman in America.
Arabella In Pop Culture For Even More Inspiration!
Given the considerable popularity of Arabella in England, you will find it appears in many British fictional works. Anyway, they can also be another reason that makes the name a noteworthy choice:
Arabella: A heroine in an opera by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Arabella Allen: A fictional character in the novel “The Pickwick Papers” by Charles Dickens.
Arabella Donn: The main character in Jude the Obscure – a novel by Thomas Hardy.
Arabella Harlowe: A fictional character in the novel Clarissa by English writer Samuel Richardson.
Arabella Hunt: A fictional character in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding.
Arabella Wilmot: A character in Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith.
If you still have questions about the name Arabella, check out the section below. I’ve addressed some common concerns about this name:
Is “Arabella” What You’re Looking For?
Many factors of a name make it special, and if Arabella scores high overall, you can go for it. Pretty meanings like “lovable” and “amiable” perfectly suit your little angel.
Meanwhile, spiritual definitions like “prayerful” and “yielding to prayer” will remind your kid of the place of solace when faced with uncertainties.
If you love Arabella, you can share your thoughts about the name with me. Anyway, your click of the share button will give me the motivation to write more articles like this!
- en.wikipedia.org. 2022. Irbid
- ssa.gov. 2022. The Popularity Of A Name
- britannica.com. 2022. St. Agnes, Roman saint