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

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Barren mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Barren

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective Bar"ren
  1. Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; -- said of women and female animals."She was barren of children." [Bp. Hall.]
  2. Not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; sterile." Barrenmountain tracts." [Macaulay.]
  3. Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty."Brilliant but barren reveries." [Prescott.]"Some schemes will appear barren of hints and matter." [Swift.]
  4. Mentally dull; stupid.

Etymology: OE. barein, OF. brehaing, fem. brehaigne baraigne, F. bréhaigne; of uncertain origin; cf. Arm. brékhañ markhañ, sterile; LL. brana a sterile mare, principally in Aquitanian and Spanish documents; Bisc. barau baru, fasting

noun Bar"ren
  1. A tract of barren land.
  2. pl.Elevated lands or plains on which grow small trees, but not timber; as, pine barrens; oak barrens . They are not necessarily sterile, and are often fertile.(Amer)
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. An uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation ("the barrens of central Africa")
  2. Completely wanting or lacking ("writing barren of insight")
  3. Not bearing offspring ("a barren woman")
  4. Providing no shelter or sustenance ("barren lands")

From Middle English barein, barain, from Old French baraigne, baraing (“sterile; barren”), of obscure origin; probably from a Germanic language, perhaps Frankish *bar (“bare; barren”), from Proto-Germanic *bazaz (“bare”). More at bare.

  1. An area of low fertility and habitation, a desolate place.
    The pine are a site lonely enough to suit any hermit.

barren was also found in the following language(s): Basque, Spanish, and Swedish

Where is the name Barren popular?

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Popularity of Barren as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Barren as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Alabama, New York, or Pennsylvania.

Common first names for Barren

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Barren U.S.
  White 52.42% 64.26%
  African American 37.38% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.34% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 7.93% 16.26%

Of Last Name Barren

People with the last name Barren are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Barren

  • How Popular is the name Barren? Barren is the 46,990th most popular name of all time. As a last name Barren was the 25,459th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Barren have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 51 babies born with the first name Barren in the United States.
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Barren? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1960 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Barren first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Barren is Wednesday, May 10th, 1882.
  • What year had the most people named Barren born? The highest recorded use of the first name Barren was in 1963 with a total of 8 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Barren: Your name in reverse order is Nerrab. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Ranbre. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Barren? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 971 people with the last name Barren.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Barren? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Barren as their last name since less than 1 person in 303k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

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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.