First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Barb

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Barb mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Barb

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Barb
  1. Beard, or that which resembles it, or grows in the place of it."The barbel, so called by reason of his barbs, or wattles in his mouth." [Walton.]
  2. A muffler, worn by nuns and mourners.(Obs)
  3. pl.Paps, or little projections, of the mucous membrane, which mark the opening of the submaxillary glands under the tongue in horses and cattle. The name is mostly applied when the barbs are inflamed and swollen. Alt. spell.: barbel barble
  4. The point that stands backward in an arrow, fishhook, etc., to prevent it from being easily extracted. Hence: Anything which stands out with a sharp point obliquely or crosswise to something else."Having two barbsor points." [Ascham.]
  5. A bit for a horse.(Obs)
  6. [Zoöl] One of the side branches of a feather, which collectively constitute the vane. See Feather.
  7. [Zoöl] A southern name for the kingfishes of the eastern and southeastern coasts of the United States; -- also improperly called whiting.
  8. [Bot] A hair or bristle ending in a double hook.

Etymology: F. barbe, fr. L. barba beard. See Beard (n.)

verb Barb
  1. To shave or dress the beard of.(Obs)
  2. To clip; to mow.(Obs)
  3. To furnish with barbs, or with that which will hold or hurt like barbs, as an arrow, fishhook, spear, etc."But rattling storm of arrows barbed with fire." [Milton.]
noun Barb
  1. The Barbary horse, a superior breed introduced from Barbary into Spain by the Moors.
  2. [Zoöl] A blackish or dun variety of the pigeon, originally brought from Barbary.

Etymology: F. barbe, fr. Barbarie

noun Barb
Armor for a horse. Same as 2d Bard (n.), 1.

Etymology: Corrupted fr. bard

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. One of the parallel filaments projecting from the main shaft of a feather
  2. A subsidiary point facing opposite from the main point that makes an arrowhead or spear hard to remove
  3. The pointed part of barbed wire
  4. An aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect
  5. Provide with barbs ("barbed wire")
  1. A diminutive of the female given name Barbara.
  2. A surname​.
  3. (slang) A fan of the American singer Nicki Minaj, especially a female one.

Notable Persons Named Barb

Barb Wire is a comics character.


Barb was born on August 30th, 1979 in Edwardsville, Illinois.


Barb Jungr is a cabaret, jazz, blues, and soul music musician. Barb was born Barb Jungr on May 9th, 1954 in Rochdale.


Barb was born on April 10th, 1961 in Edmonton. She died on May 18th, 2003.


Barb Higgins is a journalist. Her career lasted from 1989 to 2010. Barb was born on September 21st, 1962 in Edmonton.


Barb Morrison is a singer-songwriter, musician, producer, film score composer, and composer. She has been prominent since 1984. Barb was given the name Barbara Jean Morrison on May 22nd, 1967 in Schenectady, New York, US. Barb is also known as Buzz Morrison and 'Super Buddha'.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Barb

Alphons was born on April 15th, 1901. He left this life on November 13th, 1979.


Heinrich was born on January 1st, 1826. He left this life on June 2nd, 1883.


How popular is the baby name Barb in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1938 6 6 0
1941 9 9 0
1942 16 16 0
1943 16 16 0
1944 17 17 0
1945 17 17 0
1946 31 31 0
1947 36 36 0
1948 30 30 0
1949 29 29 0
1950 17 17 0
1951 8 8 0
1952 12 12 0
1953 22 22 0
1954 28 28 0
1955 51 51 0
1956 128 128 0
1957 290 290 0
1958 441 441 0
1959 463 463 0
1960 493 493 0
1961 453 453 0
1962 350 350 0
1963 267 267 0
1964 225 225 0
1965 149 149 0
1966 78 78 0
1967 65 65 0
1968 32 32 0
1969 28 28 0
1970 25 25 0
1971 12 12 0
1972 9 9 0

Where is the name Barb popular?

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Popularity of Barb as a first name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Barb as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Ohio, Michigan, or Minnesota.

Popularity of Barb as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Barb as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Virginia, West Virginia, or Kansas.

Common last names for Barb

  • Willia

Common first names for Barb

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Barb U.S.
  White 89.23% 64.26%
  African American 5.38% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.98% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.44% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.52% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.45% 16.26%

Of Last Name Barb

People with the last name Barb are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Barb

  • How Popular is the name Barb? Barb is the 4,461st most popular name of all time. As a last name Barb was the 15,827th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Barb have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 3,853 babies born with the first name Barb in the United States. That's more than enough people named Barb to occupy the territory of Falkland Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 3,000 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Barb? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1938 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
  • When was Barb first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Barb is Thursday, August 29th, 1889.
  • What year had the most people named Barb born? The highest recorded use of the first name Barb was in 1960 with a total of 493 babies.
  • Random Barb Factoid: According to the 1962 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Barb is not a popular baby girl's name in Indiana. Imagine that, only 16 babies in Indiana have the same name as you in 1962.
  • Weird things about the name Barb: Your name in reverse order is Brab. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Barb. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Barb? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,839 people with the last name Barb.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Barb? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Barb as their last name since less than 1 person in 161k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Barbs Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Barb

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Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.