Baby Names Inspired by World-Changing Women

As this week marks a loss of two amazing women, I'm reminded just how much the world is altered by those who blaze their own trails. Check out these names inspired by just a small sampling of the amazing and inspirational women who have changed the world in large and small ways. 

holding newborn
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Rosa – Rosa Parks, civil rights activist.

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired,” wrote Parks in her autobiography, “but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”


Malala – Malala Yousafzai, advocate for education and equal rights for women and girls.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” ― Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban


Valentina – Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space.

“A bird cannot fly with one wing only. Human space flight cannot develop any further without the active participation of women.”


Nora – Nora Ephron, writer/producer/director.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”


Eleanor – Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and activist.

“One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes …  and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”


Lucille – Lucille Ball, actress/comedian, studio executive.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”


Jane – Jane Austen, novelist.

“Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands.”


Audrey – Audrey Hepburn, actress and humanitarian.

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”


Abigail – Abigail Van Buren, advice columnist.

“The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good, and how he treats people who can't fight back.”


Virginia – Virginia Apgar, obstetrical anesthesiologist and creator of the Apgar score.

“Nobody, but nobody, is going to stop breathing on me!”

sleeping infant
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Juliette – Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.

“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”


Dolores – Dolores Huerta, labor leader and civil rights activist.

“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”


Louisa – Louisa May Alcott, novelist and poet.

“I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.”


Josephine – Josephine Baker, performer and activist.

“All my life, I have maintained that the people of the world can learn to live together in peace if they are not brought up in prejudice.”


Grace – Grace Hopper, computer scientist and inventor.

“We're flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We've tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.”


Maya – Maya Angelou, writer/poet/activist.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Dolly – Dolly Parton, singer/songwriter and philanthropist.

“You'll never do a whole lot unless you're brave enough to try.”


Betty – Betty White, actress, activist, and Rose Nylund forever.

“Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.” —From her book, If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)


Lori – Lori Robinson, the highest ranking woman in U.S. military history.


Ada – Ada Lovelace, mathematician and first computer programmer.

“A new, a vast, and a powerful language is developed for the future use of analysis, in which to wield its truths so that these may become of more speedy and accurate practical application for the purposes of mankind than the means hitherto in our possession have rendered possible.”

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Baby Names Inspired by World-Changing Women

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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