11 Jewish Baby Names Inspired By Barbie – Kveller
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11 Jewish Baby Names Inspired By Barbie

These names will make you feel like you're living in a Barbie world.


Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Was Barbie Jewish? The answer is, it’s complicated.

The doll was certainly created to match a certain specific, Western ideal of beauty — and an unrealistic one at that. Yet, Barbie was inspired by a little Jewish girl, the daughter of inventor Ruth Handler, who was Jewish. Handler may or may not be featured in the new Greta Gerwig “Barbie” movie, which is about to be one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters.

In anticipation of this very exciting movie, which Gerwig said she wants to “feel like Shabbat,” and by its whimsical spirit, we’ve collected a bunch of Jewish baby names inspired by the iconic doll.

Ruth — The name of the biblical heroine of the book of Ruth and of Barbie’s Jewish inventor, Ruth Handler, and of course, the name of many incredible, powerful Jewish women.

Barbara / Barbie — Barbie is named after creator Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara! Barbara is not literally a Jewish name, but it is the name of some pretty amazing Jewish women, including Barbra Streisand, Barbara Walters and anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff.

Miriam/Midge — The Midge doll was introduced as one of Barbie’s best friends in 1963 — and while her full name is Margaret, not Miriam, we’ve come to associate Midge way more with the name of the Jewish biblical heroine of the Exodus story, thanks to marvelous Mrs. Maisel herself.

Alan — Alan was the name of Midge’s husband, way back in the day, before she was rebranded as an independent lady. It’s also the name of every Jewish uncle we know.

Rebecca / Becky — Rebecca was one of the biblical matriarchs, and Becky was the first ever Barbie in a wheelchair. The doll was introduced in 1997, and offered some welcomed, though imperfect disability representation, with some reporting that her wheelchair didn’t fit through the door of Barbie some Barbie Dreamhouses.

Vered — Vered means rose in Hebrew, but also fairly close to the Hebrew word for pink — varod, which as we know, will forever be the color of Barbie.

Dalia — It’s the name of a beautiful flower, and Israeli kibbutz, and many, many Israeli women. Dahlia is the name of a character from the “Barbie: Fairytopia” movie, and also, it also naturally lends itself to the nickname “doll.”

Iris — A pretty common name among Jewish ladies of a certain age — like fashion icon Iris Apfel, who, in 2018, was made into a Barbie doll by Mattel. 

Shani — Shani was a Black barbie doll introduced in the 1990s, to create more representational line of Black dolls, consulting child psychologists and other experts. Shani is a biblical word, and in Hebrew it means a dark and regal shade of red.

Lea/Leah — Leah is Jacob’s wife, and in the Barbie universe, she was one of the first Asian American barbie dolls.

Goldie — A sweet Jewish baby name that’s making a comeback. Goldie almost rhymes with Barbie, and I’d argue that if there was an actual Jewish Barbie doll, that should be her name.





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