Common Names With Totally Unthinkable Meanings

While names are an integral part of our identities, have you ever stopped to ponder what they mean? No? Don’t worry — you’re probably not alone on that front! Even though it’s been popular in modern times to give babies very unique names, the more common “old-school” selections actually have wilder meanings. And we’ll be running through 20 of them right here.

1. Caesar

Meaning: ‘Hairy’

A name with strong ties to history, you’d think that Caesar, or the alternative spelling Cesar, would have a rather powerful meaning behind it. But that’s not quite the case.

The name stems from the Latin terminology for “long hair” — so yes, Caesar actually means “hairy.” We wonder if Julius ever knew that? Thank goodness the salad didn’t go down that path!

Notable Caesar: Cesar Millan

Now, while the historical figure from ancient Rome is probably the most famous individual to bear the name, he’s not alone. Cesar Millan is one of the more notable examples from modern times.

A dog trainer who made his name via the popular Dog Whisperer TV show, he’s been in the public eye for years. And considering how hairy his animal pals are, Millan’s name is pretty fitting!

2. Portia

Meaning: ‘Pig’

Fans of William Shakespeare’s works are sure to be familiar with the name Portia. After all, that’s the moniker of the female lead in the romantic comedy The Merchant of Venice.

She’s a great character — but the name’s meaning doesn’t reflect her positive aspects. Portia originally comes from Latin, and it was used in the past when referring to “hogs” or “pigs.”

Notable Portia: Portia de Rossi

When it comes to naming notable Portias, Portia de Rossi has to be near the top of the list. On the acting front, she’s probably best known for her hilarious work in the TV classic Arrested Development.

And away from her career on the big and small screen, de Rossi has been married to Ellen DeGeneres since 2008. Unflattering name or not, she’s made quite the life for herself!