What does the baby name Hannibal mean? Learn about what Hannibal means, its history & origin, popularity in our random name database, pronunciation, similar names, nicknames & spelling variations.

Hannibal - Name Meaning, Origin & Popularity

Spelling of Hannibal
H-A-N-N-I-B-A-L, is a 8-letter male given name.
Pronunciation of Hannibal
HAN ih bal
Meaning of Hannibal
One who baal has favored, the grace of the god ba'al.
Origin of Hannibal
The name 'Hannibal' finds its roots in ancient Carthage, a powerful city-state located in present-day Tunisia. It is believed to have originated from the Phoenician language, a Semitic language spoken by the Phoenician people who were renowned traders and seafarers in the Mediterranean region. In Phoenician, 'Hannibal' translates to 'grace of Ba'al' or 'favor of Ba'al'. Ba'al was a prominent deity worshipped by the Phoenicians, associated with fertility, storms, and the sky.
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Similar Names, Nicknames, & Spelling Variations of Hannibal
Popularity of Hannibal
Throughout history, the popularity of the name 'Hannibal' has fluctuated, with notable spikes during certain periods. In ancient Carthage, the name was undoubtedly popular, with many parents choosing it as a way to honor the great general. However, after the fall of Carthage and the decline of the Phoenician civilization, the name gradually faded into obscurity.

In more recent times, the name 'Hannibal' experienced a resurgence in popularity during the 19th century. This can be attributed to the fascination with classical history and the revival of interest in ancient civilizations. However, it never achieved widespread popularity and remained a relatively uncommon name.
Hannibal currently has 16 likes, and is in the top 7% of liked boy's names. The name Ebenezer is slightly more popular than Hannibal.

Earliest Known Use of Hannibal

The earliest known use of the name 'Hannibal' can be traced back to the ancient Carthaginian general, 'Hannibal' Barca. Born in 247 BC, 'Hannibal' Barca is best known for his audacious military campaign against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War. His strategic brilliance and use of elephants in battle have made him a legendary figure in military history. The name 'Hannibal' became synonymous with courage, cunning, and resilience.

Etymology of Hannibal

As mentioned earlier, the name 'Hannibal' is derived from the Phoenician language. Phoenician, a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew and Arabic, has its own unique linguistic characteristics. The name itself is composed of two elements 'han' meaning 'grace' or 'favor', and 'ba'al' referring to the deity Ba'al. Together, they form a name that conveys a sense of divine favor or grace.

Cultural Significance of Hannibal

The name 'Hannibal' holds great cultural significance due to its association with the legendary Carthaginian general. In ancient Carthage, the name represented bravery, military prowess, and a deep connection to the gods. 'Hannibal' Barca's extraordinary achievements in battle and his unwavering determination have inspired countless generations.