Barbara is a female given name used in numerous languages. It is the feminine form of the Greek word barbaros (Greek: βαρβαρος) meaning "foreign". In Spanish, Portuguese and Italian it means barbarian or barbaric. In Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox tradition, Saint Barbara was martyred by her father, who was then punished with death by lightning. As such, St. Barbara is a protectress against fire and lightning. Other saints of this name include Barbara Avrillot (Barbe Aurillot, known as Marie of the Incarnation) and Barbara Koob (Marianne Cope).
Today, Barbara remains among the top 100 most popular names for female babies born in Chile, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. It is among the top 10 names given to baby girls born in both the Czech Republic and Georgia in 2009. Its popularity in the United States has declined from third place, in the 1930s, to 757th place, in 2008. In 2009 it rose back to 656th place.