Hope is such a powerful—if simple—word. It’s a source of optimism during times of uncertainty, yet it also takes courage and strength to feel hope when you’re vulnerable. There are so many reasons to feel hopeful during the journey of parenthood—when you’re trying to conceive, when you finally get that positive pregnancy test, when you tell your family the good news, and when your precious little one enters the world.

It’s no wonder parents have relied on names that mean hope when coming up with the perfect names for their babies. There’s a reason why names that mean hope, faith, and grace (and even Hope, Faith and Grace, literally) have always been on baby name lists for ages.

If you’re seeking a name that inspires hope within, there are a variety of baby names that perfectly align with that feeling of optimism. Try any one of these names on for size and see how inspired you feel!

Related: 100+ unique baby names

Baby girl names that mean hope, light and life

  • Aileen – What could be more hopeful than a name that means “bright, shining light?”
  • Ashlyn – This Irish name means “dream.”
  • Ayla – This Turkish name means “halo of light around the moon.”
  • Aurora – The “dawn” of a new day is always something to hope for, which is what this name means.
  • Ciara – “First ray of sun” is the perfect meaning for this beautiful name.
  • Charise – This name of Greek origin means “grace.”
  • Chloe – It means “blooming” or even “fertility” in Greek, which is always a source of hope.
  • Claire – This name means “new life.”
  • Daisy – This name comes from an Old English word meaning “day’s eye.”
  • Dawn – Is there anything more inspiring of hope than the beginning of a brand new day or phase of life?
  • Dream – You can’t have a dream without hope.
  • Elena – This Greek name worthy of a goddess means “bright shining light.”
  • Ellie – Similar to Elena, it means “bright shining one.”
  • Faith – You need faith to hold onto hope, right?
  • Helen – Greek for “bright light,” this name could launch a thousand ships.
  • Hope – Well, of course, we had to add this one—that goes without saying!
  • Iris – This gorgeous flower also means “rainbow” in Greek, perfect for something to hope for after a storm.
  • Lucia – The feminine version of Lucius, meaning “light.”
  • Nadia – The name is French in origin, and it means “hope.”
  • Nadine – Another play on the name “Nadia.”
  • Soleil – This beautiful name literally translates to “sun.”
  • Sorcha – Irish for “lighthouse,” a guiding light.
  • Stella – If you like to wish upon a star, this is the perfect name for you to choose.

Related: Popular boy names & their meanings

Baby boy names that mean hope, light and life

  • Aaron – This name exudes strength, and for good reason: it means “exalted.”
  • Andrew – This Biblical name means “resurrection.”
  • Asher – A unique pick that means “a gift of hope.”
  • Callahan – This Irish name means “bright-headed.”
  • Emmanuel – This name means “God is with us.”
  • Faro – Like Sorcha, this name means “lighthouse” or “guiding light.”
  • Javier – This name has Spanish origins, and it means “bright.”
  • Jesse – How perfect is this name? It means “a gift of hope.” Perfect for your new baby!
  • Lucius – Both Lucius and Lucia are Roman names that mean “light.”
  • Matthan – This unique choice means “hope of the Lord.”
  • Meyer – Another first name and surname, which means “bringer of light.”
  • Neo – Like the start of another day, Neo means “new.”
  • Robert – A classic, popular choice that means “bright fame.”
  • Saul – This name is lovely for a new baby, as it means “prayed for.”
  • Toivo – A Finnish name that means “hope.”
  • Truman – This English name means “faithful one.”
  • Von – This name of Norse origins translates to “hope.”
  • Zeke – The diminutive version of Ezekiel, which means “God strengthens.”

Related: 31 popular girl names & their meanings

A version of this story was published April 9, 2020. It has been updated.