Of all the characteristics that a kid can have, intelligence is pretty high on most parents’ lists. Sure, parents want their kids to be happy, to be kind, to be beautiful. But most parents know that being smart will help a child go far in life.
And while a name that has a history of creating geniuses, or a name that literally translates to “wise” or “intelligent,” may not mean that a child will actually be any of those things, it can’t hurt. Kids need all the help and advantages they can get.
Turning to Nameberry, Baby Center and She Knows, we compiled a list of 30 baby names that will make everyone think “genius”. Some names are completely original, while some are classics. Some names are vintage that are due for a resurgence, while others are trendier and have been seen on the most popular lists for years.
With 30 genius names, this list is sure to spark an idea in mom- and dads-to-be. Scoop a name quick before anyone else and start baby-to-be on the right track.
With a studious background, the name Albert is the perfect choice for any child destined for intellectual greatness. With the likes of Einstein as a namesake, it’s icing on top of the cake that Albert means “noble, bright”.
Of German origin, Albert is a great choice for parents looking for a name that they won’t hear over and over again. The name sits at #474 on Nameberry’s popularity chart, making Albert not too trendy but not too niche.
Those named Albert tend to be very capable in whatever they put their minds to. They are charismatic and make wonderful leaders. People named Albert find great success in their careers as well as their personal lives. With the power of Einstein’s intellect behind it, watch out for any child named Albert. They are bound to do great things.
An interesting name that is unique and imbued with intelligence, Fahima is of Arabic origin. The name means “a woman of great intelligence and knowledge”, making it a clear choice for parents looking to raise the next great genius.
To add to the aforementioned intelligence, girls named Fahima tend to also be mysterious—perfect for a top secret job with NASA or even the CIA. They are also very passionate about new ideas and will go to extremes to follow ideas through. Their love of adventure and travel is fueled by their desire to explore the unknown and the unusual. They walk their own path in life but are more than happy to bring along their closest friends with them. They are drawn to like-minded adventures.
A Persian name meaning “wisdom”, Tallis is a quirky choice for boys that resembles more popular names such as Ellis. Tallis is a great name for eccentric parents who are looking for a name that is a little different with a strong meaning. The powerful name is the perfect choice for any future academics out there.
Those named Tallis like to focus on large issues and how to solve them. Strong leaders with even stronger personalities, people named Tallis are never at a loss for creative ideas. They are also more than capable of implementing their ideas efficiently. While they can sometimes be aggressive, more often than not they can channel that aggression productively into great things.
A timeless name that hasn’t been typically popular for a few decades, Dara is set to be a top pick for girls in the coming years. The name is of Hebrew or Irish origin and means “pearl of wisdom”. The name comes from the extremely wise Dara, a male figure in the Bible. And while it may have started as a masculine name, in this century it has a very feminine feel. Think Tara, Kara, Mara and Sara.
People named Dara value love and have a deep desire to work with others to help the world find peace. Perhaps they will use their intelligence and love of harmony to work for the greater good of humanity. Those named Dara are visionaries who are extremely optimistic and tend to make friends extremely easily.
The Hebrew name James is typically used for boys, but in recent years has made a splash as a girls’ name too. While James is a perfect addition to any unisex baby name list, it is also the #6 most popular name for geniuses. There are 131 renowned geniuses who go by James.
The name re-entered the top 10 in 2016 and now sits at #5 in the United States. And while it hasn’t made it on the list for girls just yet, James is the perfect fit for any future genius, boy or girl. The name is perfect for the creative intellect who enjoys living their lives and building their careers in the spotlight.
Another great choice for a unisex name, Mackenzie comes from Scotland and means “son of Kenneth” or “son of the wise ruler”. And since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, any child with the name Mackenzie is sure to be wise. Mackenzie is a popular choice for girls in the United States, currently sitting at #85 alongside other popular Mac names like Makayla and McKenna. But for boys, the name has fallen from favor since the 1970s.
Because of their deep love for beautiful things, those named Mackenzie are drawn to nature and the outdoors. If you have a future botanist, ecologist or even paleontologist on your hands, Mackenzie could not be a more perfect choice of a name.
The Hebrew name Ethan literally translates to “strong”. And while there are many Ethans in the Old Testament, the most famous namesake comes from the Biblical figure, Ethan of Ezrahite. He was a man who was noted for his exceptional intelligence and wisdom.
A name that perfectly mixes everything we love about classic names with benefits of the more current, trendy names, Ethan currently sits at #10 on the most popular names for boys. Those named Ethan are immediately gifted with the ability to be both fun and serious, cheerful and strong. Boys named Ethan tend to be outgoing and have a positive outlook on the world. They are extremely energetic, so be ready to enlist them in everything from basketball and soccer, to painting and music lessons.
Originally seen as a surname, Quinn is now on the rise as both a boys and girls name. The name is #79 on the most popular girl's name list and #330 on the most popular boy's name list. Quinn means “descendant of Conn, chief leader, intelligence" or “counselor and intelligent man”. Could there be a better choice for a smart little boy or girl?
People with the name Quinn tend to channel their intelligence into creative endeavors. Whether they become a famous playwright, a world-renowned singer or an in-demand public speaker, Quinns are destined to use their inventive intelligence to make their mark on the world. They also have a tendency to surround themselves with beauty. At home and their work, Quinns make a point to keep beautiful things in their worlds at all time.
A name of Irish origin, Shannon means “old and wise”. While you might not be drawn to the “old”, the “wise” should be enough to make Shannon a top choice for your little girl. The name peaked in popularity in 1976 and while it isn’t as popular as it once was in the 1970s, it’s still a strong name in the United States.
Those named Shannon tend to be practical. They are extremely good at managing their time and money, which makes them exceptionally suited to positions of leadership. Because they are practical by nature, people named Shannon come off as cautious and conservative. In reality, they are taking time to understand things on a much deeper level.
An international name that has flair and oomph, Mika has roots in both in Scandinavia and Japan. The name is now extremely popular in Germany and the Netherlands and has a very fun, smart meaning. If you’re looking for an outdoorsy name that also exudes brilliance, Mika is a perfect choice. The name means “intelligent raccoon”.
It’s a great nickname for Michaela, Micaela, or Mikella. But also, Mika stands on its own as a strong name.
Quiet and introspective, those named Mika tend to spend a lot of their time in their own minds. They are extremely thoughtful and enjoy analyzing the people and the world around them. Mikas are destined for great things and who doesn’t love a built-in theme for their baby’s nursery. Raccoons anyone?
If Charles wasn’t already a contender, add it to the list! From Charles Darwin and Charles Thomas Bolton, there are 200 well-known geniuses named Charles. This name is the #4 most popular name for geniuses. It is also the #51 most popular name for boys in the United States. And who doesn’t love Charlie as an adorable nickname?
The name originated from France and Germany and it means “free man”. It’s a classic name that sat in the top ten until the 1960s. Its reappearance on the list can be partially attributed to the wave of celebrities naming their sons Charles.
People named Charles tend to be drawn to the creative arts, whether it is in their spare time or their careers.
A popular girls name in the United States, Abigail means “my father is joyful”. It is also another Old Testament name—Abigail was David’s wife and was known for her wisdom and “prophetic powers”. The name fell out of usage in the early 19th century but since it’s now sitting at #8 on the popularity charts it’s fair to say Abigail is back.
The name is a classic and that’s part of the reason people love it. But that doesn’t have to be a deal breaker as Abigail can be modernized with the short and fun nickname, Abby. People with the name Abigail tend to be sweet but exceptionally smart. They are wonderful in a pinch, as their creativity and intelligence make them excellent problem solvers.
Steeped in wisdom, Solomon is an Old Testament name. Solomon was the king of Israel and was known for his intelligence and wit. And while the name is as ancient as they come, Solomon is beginning to become more widely used once again. It now sits at #369 on the top name list in the United States.
The name is Hebrew in origin and means “peace”. Peace and wisdom—could there be two better characteristics to gift to your son?
People with the name Solomon are very organized and they work to build their lives around a foundation of order and service. They value truth and justice above all else and dedicate their lives to upholding those values.
A Gaelic baby girls name that means “clever”, Cassidy is an especially fun name. Peaking in the 1990s, Cassidy’s popularity has taken a dive in recent years. When Kathie Lee Gifford named her daughter Cassidy in 1993, the name quickly became a top choice for girls in the States. According to Baby Center, the name currently sits at #288 in the United States.
Those named Cassidy have the tendency to be very successful in whatever they choose to pursue in life. They are very focused which helps them move through both their personal and professional lives with grace. But don’t think their practicality takes away from their sassy side. People named Cassidy have a fun, adventurous side that can’t be ignored.
If you are planning on raising a genius, the first step is to name them John. With 352 geniuses already named John, this is the most popular boy's name for geniuses. From philosopher John Locke to writer John Milton, the name has a rich history of intellectuals.
John has always been an extremely popular name and still sits at #44. Interestingly, the name reached its peak in 1880 when 38,787 per million babies were named John. While today, even though it is #44, only 3,052 per million babies were named John.
The name is of Hebrew origin and means “God is gracious”. The classic name has always been a favorite and many parents choose the name because of familial connections.
The Latin word for "of the mind, intellect", Minerva is the name of the Roman goddess of wisdom and inventions. And if that’s not enough, Minerva was also the goddess of the arts and martial strength. Smart and strong, the name is a perfect combination.
The name hasn’t appeared on any usage lists in the United States since 1973 but is still a favorite with users of Nameberry. It currently sits at #417. It’s a perfect choice for parents looking for a name with a classic, vintage feel. Minerva is an incredibly strong name with an undercurrent of romanticism. Giving your daughter the name Minerva is a perfect start to raising a strong, educated woman who excels at everything she does.
While some sources say that Graham is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “warlike child”, other sources list it as a Scottish name meaning “a boy for the gray house”. A little digging tells us that being gray, or of the gray house, is a sign of great intelligence.
The name has been growing in popularity since the 1970s and hit its all-time high last year. Graham now sits at #179 on Nameberry’s most popular name list for boys. Graham has a very trendy sound to it and it has been growing in popularity year over year.
People named Graham tend to be Jack-of-all-trades. They like to get involved with many different things and they are often great at everything they set their minds to.
Sophia is one of the most popular names for baby girls in the United States. From 2011 to 2013, Sophia was the number 1 girls’ name in the US. It currently sits at #5 and in 2017 was in the #4 position.
The name is of Greek origins and means “wisdom”. The name has become extremely popular with many different kinds of parents because of its broadspread appeal. It has the intellectual meaning, as well as a delicate femininity. It’s a classic name that also has a wonderful Latin flair to it.
The only thing that might make some parents shy away from the name may be its extreme popularity. If you have your heart set on Sophia but want something a bit different, why not try the alternate spelling of Sofia?
A mythical, Norse baby name, Alvis means “all wise”. The name comes from a dwarf found in Norse mythology. Alviss fell in love with Thor’s daughter and the two were set to be married. Thor had other ideas. He was unhappy with the match so he forced Alviss to prove his worth through a test of his wisdom. Sadly, the tests lasted until dawn, when Alviss turned to stone in the sunlight.
Alvis is a great choice for parents who love mythology and are looking for a name that is a bit off the beaten track. Those named Alvis make wonderful, trustworthy friends and excellent leaders. They are kind souls who are generous, compassionate and extremely smart. And as Alviss the dwarf proves, they are deeply romantic and fall in love very easily.
Mary is a Hebrew name meaning “bitter”. But this beautiful name doesn’t live up to its meaning. With 140 famous geniuses throughout history, Mary is the most popular name for female geniuses.
Another Biblical name, this time from the New Testament, Mary spent most of the mid-twentieth century as the #1 name for girls. The name is still extremely popular at #127, due to parents who use the name for religious or family reasons. There are a lot of other great derivatives is you are looking for a more modern spin on Mary. Why not try Marie, Marnie, Molly or Maura?
Much like Mary Queen of Scots, those with the name Mary tend to be creative leaders who love to focus on the bigger picture and are great at delegating.
A modern variation on the more well known Connor, Conroy is an Irish name that means “wise”. It’s not a particularly popular name, making it a great choice to ensure that your child is the only Conroy in their class. And with the strong meaning, your son will be sure to stand out in the classroom.
People with the name Conroy live to be creative and express themselves. They turn to acting, writing, painting or other arts to channel their creativity. Conroys choose to be surrounded by culture, including the culture that they create themselves. Their creative vibes help show the world just how passionate and open-minded they are.
If a name that is unique and powerful appeals to you, Conroy is worth a second look.
A name based on a virtue, Prudence means “cautious and intelligent”. Unlike its sister names, Hope and Faith, Prudence has yet to make a comeback on the popularity lists. Yet it is still gaining favor each and every year. The name peaked in popularity in the 1880s but has had moments of popularity in the 1940s and the 1970s.
While the name may seem old-fashioned, the incredibly sweet nickname Pru (or Prue) is endearing. Those named Prudence are steadfast and true in everything they do. As the name suggests, they are cautious in the decisions they make and the paths they choose to take in life. But that doesn’t stop them from enjoying life. People named Prudence are also always willing to have fun and be a little bit goofy.
Another name that ranks high for geniuses past and present, there are 128 geniuses that go by the name George. It is the #9 most common name for male geniuses. The name is of Greek origin and means “farmer”. It is the #142 most popular name in the United States.
The name has ties to royalty, most recently the one and only Prince George, as well as ties to sainthood—Saint George is the patron saint of England. The name is a solid choice for parents of baby boys.
People with the name George have an inner peace and solitude that they channel into attempting to try to understand the world around them. They have a desire to learn everything there is to learn.
There are 56 geniuses named Anne, making it the fourth most popular name for genius women. The French variation on the English Ann, Anne means “full of grace”. While the name is still seen as extremely common, it only ranked as the #900 most popular name in 2018.
Anne does not only have a legacy of greatness, it is also beautiful in its meaning. Grace is a wonderful characteristic most people would love to pass onto their daughters. The name is classic and stunningly simple which still makes it a favorite for many parents.
If you are looking for an alternative to Anne that is more hip and current, take a look at Hannah, the Hebrew variation, or Anna, the extremely popular variation brought back to popularity by Disney’s Frozen.
Cato is a boys name of Latin origin with an omniscient meaning. The name means “all-knowing”, and while it isn’t popular by today’s standards, the name would be perfect for anyone looking to give their son a powerful moniker. And with the return of names ending in “O”, Cato is set to make waves in the United States soon.
A Roman statesman, Marcus Portius, was given the name Cato the Elder as a tribute to his practical wisdom and his political savvy. Much like the ancient Roman statesmen that were named Cato, people with the name tend to be introspective and wise, of course.
Most recently, the name Cato appeared in The Hunger Games. So any Peeta or Gale fans that are looking for a more niche name, Cato is the perfect fit.
A Welsh name that means “white-browed person”, Gwendolen is a name conjures elves and other mythological creatures. Because white brows are the sign of blessings and intelligence, Gwendolen is a wonderful name to represent the genius in your life.
While Gwendolen was a favorite in ancient times, the name hasn’t been seen as often in recent years. Instead, the short form Gwen took its place but as is the fashion of recent years, the diminutive has started to take a backseat to the original. In 2013, Gwendolen was at #18,184 on the most popular name list in the United States.
The ethereal name is perfect for a compassionate, loving, romantic girl. If you like Gwendolen, but don’t love it, Gwyneth, Gwendoline and Guinevere are all excellent options that have a similar sound and cadence to Gwendolen.
Whether you turn to the French meaning of the name, “strong counselor”, or the German meaning or the name, “wise army”, Rainier is a name that mixes intellect with power. The name has royal roots in Europe and in the United States, it is known mostly as the name of the famous mountain in Washington state.
In the United States, the name has never been an extremely popular choice, but it has always been on the radar of at least a few parents. Rainier has a great lilt to it and makes for a wonderfully unique choice for young boys.
If you’re naming your son after the mountain or a wise and powerful army, Rainier is a great name that has yet to make its mark in the United States.
Meaning “wisdom”, Sonia has roots in Greece and is also the Russian and Scandinavian variation of Sophia. While Sophia is still more on trend than Sonia in the United States, the name was brought over by early European settlers. It peaked in popularity in the United States in the mid-1960s to early 1970s but has since fallen out of favor.
People named Sonia tend to be very introspective but also very outgoing. These personality traits may seem at odds with each other, but for Sonias, it is the perfect balance of their social needs with their personal needs. The name is a wonderful alternative to the more popular Sophia and imbues the person with the gifts of intelligence.
A classic baby name meaning “wise protector”, Raymond originated in Germany. The name was most popular in the United States in the 1920s but still makes it into the top 500 most popular baby names in the United States. It currently sits at #374 on Baby Center’s US census list and #284 on Nameberry’s popularity list.
The name may first come across as a bit old-fashioned and maybe even a little geeky, but with the added bonus of the fun nickname, Ray, the name is ready for a resurgence. And the geek-chic nature of Raymond makes it even more perfect for a budding genius. Meaning both strong and intelligent, the name Raymond is great for parents looking for something to suit their strong yet silent baby boy.
The only herb name to make the list, Sage is a unisex name of Latin origin. It means “wise” and makes a wonderful name for a boy or girl. The Greeks and Romans believed that burning sage leaves would release a smoke that imparted wisdom. According to Nameberry, Sage is currently ranked as the #354 most popular name for girls and the #546 most popular name for boys in the United States.
The name brings to mind not only a fragrant spice but also someone who is thoughtful, intelligent and extremely wise. If you are a fan of the name Sage, you can also consider other short girls names that evoke nature such as Willow, Hazel, Jade and Ivy.