Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Faith

Faith is essentially an English vocabulary word that defines the firm belief or trust in a supreme being, namely God. Obviously the word goes beyond just its religious meaning, but it’s from this perspective that the female given name, Faith, originates as a so-called “virtue” name. The English borrowed the word from the Old French “feid” which itself was derived from the Latin “fidēs” meaning “trust, belief, reliance, confidence” (from the root “fidere” meaning “to trust”). Ultimately, the word “faith” and its cognates in other Indo-European languages has been traced to the Proto-Indo-European root *bheidh- meaning "to force; advise, confide, encourage" (Pok. 117) or from *bheudh- meaning “to awaken, be aware” (Pok. 150). The Theological sense of the word did not develop until much later in the 13th century (i.e., the duty of fulfilling one’s trust in God). Faith is basically “trust in God”. Faith’s wide usage as a given name for girls is owed to the 17th century Puritans. They are responsible for popularizing the “virtue names” (i.e., Faith, Hope and Charity). Westerners continue to be “faithful” to this name. It shows up on the Top 100 lists of baby girl names in many English-speaking nations: Northern Ireland, England, Canada, the United States and Scotland.

All About the Baby Name – Faith

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME FAITH

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME FAITH

Faith has claimed a position on America’s Top 1000 list for at least 120 years; however, given the Puritan penchant for using “virtue” names, we suspect Faith has been around since the colonies, no pun intended. The name did plateau in usage from the 1940s to the 80s, but then it started to gain some ground. Faith is experiencing a revival today, having achieved Top 100 status in 1999 (she even got as high as #48 on the charts in 2002). Faith beats out her virtuous sisters, Hope and Charity, in popularity by a long shot. In fact, the only other “virtue” name higher on the charts right now than Faith is Grace. If you like the name Faith but want to be a little more original or creative, there are two other baby girl names on America’s Top 1000 list meaning the same. Imani is the Swahili word for Faith and Vera is Russian for Faith.

Quick Facts

ON FAITH

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

89

PRONUNCIATION:

FAYTH

SIMPLE MEANING:

Believing and trusting in God or some other higher power

Characteristics

OF FAITH

Authoritative

Powerful

Tough

Tenacious

Wealthy

Problem-solver

Achiever

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Faith

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FAITH

Faith is a character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 short story, “Young Goodman Brown” which takes place in 17th century Puritan New England. Faith is highly symbolic, a character whose name was obviously carefully chosen by Hawthorne. As her name suggests, Faith is pure-hearted and angelic. She provides the moral compass of the story and represents the force of good in the world. Once her husband, the Young Goodman Brown, perceives that she has been corrupted, he rushes toward the devilish witches’ gathering exclaiming, “My Faith is gone.” Once he abandons “his faith,” he lives out his life as a suspicious, embittered and unhappy man.

Popular Songs

ON FAITH

The Faith (Addison's Song)
a song by Bobby Billings

Faith in Love
a song by Air Supply

Faith
a song by Air Supply

Famous People

NAMED FAITH

Faith Evans (singer)
Faith Ford (actress)
Faith Hill (country singer)

Children of Famous People

NAMED FAITH

Nicole Kidman;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FAITH

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Faith