Origin of the name BARBARA.
Etymology of the
Meaning of the baby name BARBARA.
A feminine form of Greek Barbaros
(q.v.), and later English form of Anglo-Saxon Barbary,
of the same origin, meaning "stranger." Usage: America,
England, Germany, Greece, Illyria, Italy.
Of the four great virgin saints
(Agnes, Barbara, Katharine, and Margaret), revered with almost
passionate affection in the Roman Catholic Church, each has been made
the representative of an idea. Barbara was said to be a
maiden of Heliopolis, whose Christianity was revealed by her insisting
that a bath-chamber should be built with three windows instead of two,
in honour of the chief mystery of the Creed. Her cruel father
beheaded her with his own hands, and was immediately destroyed by
thunder and lightning. Here, of course, was symbolized the
consecration of architecture and the fine arts to express religious
ideas, and St. Barbara became the patroness of architects, and thence of
engineers, and the protectress from thunder and its mimic,
artillery. The powder room in a French ship became known as la
saint Barbe. (History of Christian Names, Yonge, 1884)