As parents, we want to think that our children will be loved and have many friends. However, this may not always be the case.
By giving them a name that has ties to friendship and friendliness, we are surely setting them down the right path. Many names that are commonly used have these exact meanings such as Winnie and Ruth for girls and Edwin and Alvie for boys.
In this article
Boys Names That Mean Friend or Friendly
Alcuin – An Old French and English name that is thought to derive from the Germanic elements alah ‘sanctuary’ and win ‘friend’. There are variations of the name such as Alcwin and Alawin.
Alvin – A name of English origin and means ‘noble friend’ or ‘friend of the elves.’ This name has a really no-frills sound, even though it has a whimsical meaning. Interesting namesakes include US footballer Alvin Williams and African-American dance legend Alvin Ailey.
Ames – Of Latin origin and means ‘friend.’ This is one of those surname names that hasn’t been used very much yet. But could very well be soon.
Amit – The name is of Hebrew and Sanskrit origin and means ‘friend’ and ‘infinite.’ The name comes from two very diverse cultures and has two positive and upbeat meanings, making it a perfect name choice.
Arvin – A name of German origin and meaning ‘friend of the people.’ The name peaked in popularity in the 1930s but has since been far less used.
Berwin – English origin and means ‘bright friend.’ This name is one step up from Irwin.
Bly – A great boy’s name of English origin and means ‘friendly.’ The surname of journalist Nellie Bly and poet Robert Bly makes this name a simple, upbeat choice.
Boudewijn – Name of Dutch origin and means ‘brave friend.’ This is the Dutch form of Baldwin.
Corwin – Of English origin and means ‘heart’s friend.’ This is a surname name that has been used occasionally in literature but rarely in real life.
Darwin – Of English origin and means ‘dear friend.’ Charles Darwin has been seen by many parents as a worthy hero and so keep Darwin consistently in the Top 1000.
Derwin – Of English origin and means ‘dear friend.’ Derwin is a twist on Darwin and has the same friendly meaning.
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Edwin – A name of English origin and means ‘wealthy friend.’ Edwin has been consistently on the popular names list since statistics have become available. The most famous Edwin in history was a seventh-century martyr called Edwin of Northumbria.
Elden – English origin and means ‘noble friend.’ This very old fashioned name looks like it could be on the way up the popularity list.
Elvin – English origin and means ‘noble friend.’ The name hit its peak in the 1920s which was when jazz musician Elvin Jones was born. But over 100 years later, the name is still being used.
Emilien – A name of French origin meaning ‘friendly.’ This name would make a cool variant of the super-popular Emma or Emily.
Emre – A name of Turkish origin meaning ‘friend.’ As the pronunciation of the name is exactly as it’s spelled, it should be very useable outside Turkey. Some famous men named Emre include Emre Can, a chess grandmaster, and Emre Sahin the director.
Erwin – A name of German origin and means ‘a respected friend.’ This name along with the likes of Bertram and Ernest were hugely popular in the 1920s but is currently in limbo.
Heber – Hebrew origin and means ‘partner’ or ‘togetherness.’ This is a biblical name and he was the ancestor of Abraham. The name is rarely used today but is registered on the US popularity list at the end of the 19th century.
Irving – A boy’s name of Scottish origin meaning ‘green river, sea friend.’ It was a top 100 name during World War 1. Although, I cannot see it increasing in popularity that much you never know.
Irwin – Of English origin that has a meaning ‘boar friend.’
Jeb – A boy’s name of Hebrew origin meaning ‘beloved friend.’ Jeb is a short form from the Old Testament that seems to have some staying power.
Jebediah – A name of Hebrew origin meaning ‘beloved friend.’ This is one of the Old Testament names that’s being stripped of its old man, long white beard image and kicked into the 21st century with the help of its modern and cool sounding nickname Jeb.
Kahlil – Arabic in origin and means ‘friend.’ Kahlil has various spellings and was first brought to America by the poet Kahlil Gibran author of The Prophet.
Leofwine – Anglo-Saxon in origin and means ‘beloved friend.’ This is an ancient name that belonged to several medieval English clergymen, it has various spellings such as Leofwin or Leobwin.
Levin – German in origin meaning ‘dear friend.’ This has been mostly known as a surname in the US but it is a Top 100 Boy name in Germany.
Livingston – A name of English origin and means ‘dear friend’s place.’ Matthew McConaughey and his wife chose the old English surname for their third child and raised its status to a modern possibility.
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Mykelti – Native American origin meaning ‘silent friend.’ This name was brought into the spotlight by actor Mykelti Williamson, who was given the name by his half-Blackfoot Indian grandfather.
Nadim – Arabic in origin and means ‘friend.’ The meaning has also been defined as a drinking companion.
Norvin – English in origin meaning ‘northern friend.’
Oswin – English origin meaning ‘God’s friend.’ A name that is almost obsolete in this day and age but could offer an alternative to Owen for the parent looking for a unique name.
Rafiq – Arabic in origin and means ‘friend, companion, gentle, and kind.’ A variation which many children may relate to is the wise guru Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion King.
Reuel – A name with Hebrew origin and means ‘friend of God.’ This name belonged to Moses’ father-in-law and was the second middle name of J.R.R Tolkien.
Sadik – Swahili origin meaning ‘friend.’ It’s often found in all three forms Sadik, Sadiki, and Sadiq.
Sahir – Arabic in origin meaning ‘friend.’
Samir – Arabic in origin and means ‘a friend to talk within the evening.’ A lovely name for a baby boy that could always be shortened to Sam.
Theophilus – Greek origin meaning ‘friend of God.’ A New Testament relic that could be shortened to Theo. At the beginning of Luk’s gospel, he dedicates his words to Theophilus.
Tomoya – Japanese in origin and means ‘friend of.’
Winslow – English in origin and means ‘friend’s hill’ or ‘burial mound.’ For most people, the name still brings about images of a Victorian boy in a sailor suit, making Win a more preferable modern choice.
Winthrop – A name of English origin and means ‘a friend’s village.’
Winton – English origin meaning ‘friend’s farm.’
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Girl Names That Mean Friend or Friendly
Alvina – This is the female variation of Alvin and is of English origin. It means an ‘elf-friend.’
Amica – This name has Latin origins and means ‘a female friend.’ But it’s also an Italian word for girlfriend and has not been used as a name in Italy.
Amity – A name of Latin origin and means ‘friendship.’ Amity is a name full of virtue and is more rhythmic and feminine than the single syllable Hope, Faith, and Grace.
Amy – A beautiful girl’s name of French Latin origin meaning ‘beloved.’ Amy was second only to Jennifer for the whole decade of the 1970s. Though its popularity has dropped, it’s still a cute, short, and sweet name for a baby girl.
Anissa – Of Arabic origin and means ‘friendly.’ This pretty and delicate cousin of Anna is often heard in Scotland and is currently very popular in France.
Cara – A name of Latin origin meaning ‘dear, friend, and face.’ This is an Italian endearment that enjoyed great popularity from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Damica – A girl’s name of French origin meaning ‘open-spirited and friendly.’
Edwina – This is the feminine version of Edwin and means ‘a wealthy friend.’ The name is seen as old fashioned and is still trying to join names such as Matilda and Josephine on the vintage list.
Elvina – A girl’s name of English origin meaning ‘elf friend.’
Faunia – The Latin feminine variation of Faunus and means ‘to befriend.’ Faunia is most often heard as Fauna who was a Roman goddess of fertility, women, and healing.
Herophile – An unusual name for a little girl. It has Greek origins and means ‘friend of the heroes.’ In Greek mythology, Herophile was Aphrodite and Poseidon’s daughter and a sibyl who predicted the fall of Troy.
Ludivine – A name of French origin meaning ‘friend of the people.’ This rare name was made a little more mainstream by French soccer player Ludivine Diguelman, golfer Ludivine Krautz and actress Ludivine Sagnier.
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Nita – The name of Hindi origin and means ‘friendly, to plant and bear.’ A short and slender name that has multiple meanings providing lots of variation.
Philophrosyne – A name that is Greek in origin and means ‘friendly minded.’ In Greek mythology, she was the spirit of welcome, friendliness, and kindness.
Raya – A name of Hebrew origin and means ‘friend.’ An unusual alternative to Maya.
Reuelle – Hebrew in origin and means ‘friend of God.’
Rowena – Welsh origin and means ‘white spear’ or ‘famous friend.’ The name appeared in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe which featured a heroine called Rowena of Hargottstanstede. It was also the name of Rowena Ravenclaw, founder of one of the Hogwarts houses in Harry Potter.
Ruta – This is the Polish variation of Ruth and has Hebrew origins meaning ‘compassionate friend.’ The Polish form of Ruth has been lost outside of Poland.
Ruth – Hebrew origin meaning ‘compassionate friend.’ It was the third most popular name in the 1890s and remained in the top 10 through the 1920s. The biblical Ruth was the loyal and devoted daughter-in-law of Naomi.
Ruthie – A diminutive of Ruth, Hebrew in origin and means ‘compassionate friend.’ The name is a softer alternative to Ruth although most parents still prefer to put Ruth on the birth certificate.
Safiyya – Arabic in origin and means ‘confidante, best friend.’ The name is pronounced as sah-FEE-yah. It might cause western ears to hear it as Sophia.
Sameria – A variation of Samira and means ‘companion in evening conversation.’ This more elaborate version of the name is not heard as often as Samira or Samara.
Winfrey – A variation of Winfrith, English in origin, and means ‘peaceful friend.’ The name works as a modern update to Whitney but still has the added bonus of being associated with one of the most influential women of our time.
Winnie – A diminutive of Winifred, English in origin and means ‘holy peacemaking, gentle friend.’ Winnie has been used as a first name in the US through the early 1950s and has a number of varied namesakes. There is the Pooh, of course, Winnie Mandela former wife of South African President Nelson and it was also a nickname for Winston Churchill.
Winola – A name of German origin and means ‘charming friend.’ The name does have a Native American vibe to it via its similarity to Winona.
Yadira – Hebrew in origin and means ‘friend.’ The name is consistently popular in the Latino community.
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Unisex Names That Mean Friend or Friendly
Alden – Of English origin and means ‘old, wise friend.’ The name has recently made famous by actor Alden Ehrenreich who’s the new Han Solo. This gives this once old fashioned name a new lease of life.
Alvie – English origin and means ‘elf-friend, noble friend, and friend of the elves.’
Alvy – This is a unisex name of English and Irish origin and means ‘noble friend, noble, or bright.’
Auden – The name is of English origin and means ‘old friend.’ This softly sounding surname name is associated with W.H. Auden and is starting to enjoy a quiet rise to popularity.
Baldwin – Of German origin and means ‘brave friend.’ Thanks to pioneering African-American author James Baldwin and the Baldwin brothers, particularly Alec the name is rising in popularity.
Bellamy – From English, Irish, and French origin and means ‘fine friend.’ This is another surname name with real upbeat meaning. It is a great unisex name that works well for either gender.
Connelly – This name is of Irish origin and means ‘love’ and ‘friendship.’ Connelly is a rare example of a surname name that works for both sexes.
Dakota – The name of Sioux origin and means ‘friendly one.’ This is one of the first and most popular unisex names. It is also a place name and the name of a Native American people in northern Mississippi.
Edin – A name of Manx origin and means ‘rich friend.’ Edin is a variant of the name Edwin from the Isle of Man. It can get confused as a misspelling of Eden in the US but it is pronounced differently.
Lakota – Native American and Sioux origins and means ‘friend to us.’ Lakota is one of the branches of the Great Sioux Nation. It has a strong, authentic feel to it.
Nakotah – Sioux origin meaning ‘friend to all.’ This name is one of the three tribes in the Great Sioux Nation. It could provide an interesting alternative to Dakota.
Nefertari – A name of Ancient Egyptian origin and means ‘beautiful companion.’ Nefertari Meritmut was the first and favorite wife of Pharoah Ramesses II. She was very well educated and undertook diplomatic work on behalf of her husband.
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Rei – Hebrew name that means ‘companion.’ An unusual biblical name. Rei was one of David’s loyal supporters. This name has also been used as a female name but has a different meaning and origin. It’s Japanese in origin and means ‘bell or beautiful.’
The Final Thought
To give your little one a name with such a positive meaning can surely only mean that you’re setting them on a path of happiness. There are amazing names out there that are both unique and yet still have this positive meaning behind them.
The names originate from all over the world giving them a truly inclusive feeling. Have fun choosing the perfect name for your little one.