Baby is bound to be brilliant! The brain at the beginning of life is absorbent like a sponge and interprets the world without fear or inhibition. But, of course, you’ll need to teach baby valuable lessons about how to stay safe while remaining curious. By choosing a baby girl, boy, or gender-neutral name meaning “intelligent” or “wise,” you can highlight the complexity and importance of that vital lesson in life.
Explore Smart Baby Girl and Boy Names That Mean “Intelligent” or “Wise”
Where did the word “smart” come from?
Smart, as it’s known today, actually has a multi-faceted meaning. Whether it’s in your company dress code—hello, smart business cas’—or you’ve known some wicked smart people, smart is a term well-ingrained in society. Originally, the word came from the Old English variant smeart and the Middle English smerten, which meant variations of “causing pain.” This definition still applies; however, its more common use refers to the power of the brain. But it took some time for being called “smart” to be a good thing. From around 1300 to the mid-1600s, the word smart referred to a specific impertinence. From then, the word was somewhat claimed as a badge of honor by the particularly witty, and the rest is history.
Where did the word “wise” come from?
Like so many English words, there is a thoroughly European history attached to it. In Old English, Old Saxon, and Old Frisian, the word “wise” was wis, in Norse wiss, in Dutch wijs, and in German, weise. With each iteration of the word, there seemed to grow a new connotation; being wise meant anything from being learned in the ways of the world to discreet to cunning. These connotations traveled through time and have ultimately lasted, creating a word that has more of a holistic essence than one specific meaning.
Finding the perfect baby name can be hard!
Have fun narrowing down your favorites list with this quick game.