Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Grace

Grace is an English vocabulary word with multiple meanings. It’s synonymous with pleasing words such as elegance, dignity, decency and politeness. It also conveys a generosity of spirit or a term used for a short prayer at mealtimes. Most commonly, however, Grace is the word associated with God’s gift to mankind (i.e., freedom from sin). The word Grace has a long and elaborate pre-Christian existence. It is ultimately believed to be derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *gu̯er(ə)- meaning “to praise, congratulate, raise one’s voice” as evidenced by the Sanskrit “grnati” (sings, praises, announces). Most likely from this same PIE root came the Latin “grātus” meaning “pleasing, agreeable” to the Old French “grace” meaning “favor, good will, thanks” (consider the Spanish word for “thank you”, gracias). The English ultimately borrowed the word from the Old French (Latin). The notion of “grace” referring to “God’s mercy” or “God’s favor” emerged in the late 12th century. Grace in the sense of “beauty of form and movement” appeared in the early 14th century as a classical reference to the Gratiæ, three sister goddesses of Greek mythology who were possessors of charm and beauty. As a female given name, Grace has been in circulation throughout Europe since the late medieval period (14th and 15th centuries). Names that stood for “moral qualities” (e.g., Faith, Hope, Charity, Patience, etc.), became a distinct style of naming among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation. Today, Grace is a Top 10 favorite baby girl’s name in Ireland, Northern Ireland and England. It’s also ranked quite high in Scotland, Australia, Canada and the United States.

All About the Baby Name – Grace

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME GRACE

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME GRACE

The name Grace has enjoyed a pretty successful history in America for the past century (and longer). The name’s “favored” status dipped during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but it’s currently back to the heights of its former glory days. Considered a turn-of-the-century classic, the name’s popularity soared starting in the mid-1990s – when this old-fashioned naming trend began to take hold. Still, it’s hard to call a name “trendy” when it hasn’t left the popularity charts for girls in over 100 years! The name has a lovely one-syllable sound to it that is, shall we say, “graceful”? It is also an extremely popular choice as a middle name.

Quick Facts

ON GRACE

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

22

PRONUNCIATION:

GRAYCE

SIMPLE MEANING:

To favor

Characteristics

OF GRACE

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Grace

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME GRACE

"Grace" is a short story in James Joyce's "The Dubliners" which was published in 1914. The story is a framework of fall, conversion, and redemption which reveals the complicated role of religion in Dubliners’ lives. Searching for grace becomes a central theme.

Grace Ingalls was the fifth and last child born to Charles and Caroline Ingalls made famous in the Little House on the Prairie series of books (first published in 1932). Grace grew up to be a farm wife in South Dakota, and she dabbled a little bit in journalism. She took care of her oldest sister Mary (who was blind) upon the death of her parents.

Popular Songs

ON GRACE

Amazing Grace
a gorgeous song that's been recorded by some of the following artists: Destiny's Child, Diana Ross, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, LeAnn Rimes, Rod Stewart, Willie Nelson

But For the Grace Of God
a song by Keith Urban

By His Grace
a song by Van Morrison

Grace
a song by U2

Famous People

NAMED GRACE

Gracie Allen (wife and comic foil to George Burns)
Grace Coolidge (First Lady of the U.S.)
Grace Darling (heroine)
Grace Kelly (actress/princess)
Grace Jones (actress)
Grace Slick (musician)
Gracie Allen (wife and comic foil to George Burns)
Grace Coolidge (First Lady of the U.S.)
Grace Darling (heroine)
Grace Kelly (actress/princess)
Grace Jones (actress)
Grace Slick (musician)
Gracie Allen (wife and comic foil to George Burns)
Grace Coolidge (First Lady of the U.S.)
Grace Darling (heroine)
Grace Kelly (actress/princess)
Grace Jones (actress)
Grace Slick (musician)

Children of Famous People

NAMED GRACE

Lance Armstrong; Freddie Prinze, Jr.; Sarah Michelle Gellar; Mark Whalberg;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME GRACE

Grace Darling was a Victorian heroine when, in 1838, she with her lighthouse keeper father, daringly rescued sailors caught in a storm off the shores of Northeastern England. The youthful 22-year old with her “windswept hair” caught the popular imagination. Her deed was committed to verse by William Wordsworth in his poem “Grace Darling.”

Grace Darling was a Victorian heroine when, in 1838, she with her lighthouse keeper father, daringly rescued sailors caught in a storm off the shores of Northeastern England. The youthful 22-year old with her “windswept hair” caught the popular imagination. Her deed was committed to verse by William Wordsworth in his poem “Grace Darling.”

Grace Darling was a Victorian heroine when, in 1838, she with her lighthouse keeper father, daringly rescued sailors caught in a storm off the shores of Northeastern England. The youthful 22-year old with her “windswept hair” caught the popular imagination. Her deed was committed to verse by William Wordsworth in his poem “Grace Darling.”