Where did the baby name Cabrini come from?

Frances Xavier Cabrini
Frances Xavier Cabrini

The baby name Cabrini popped up on the Social Security Administration’s baby name list for the very first time in 1947:

  • 1949: unlisted
  • 1948: 6 baby girls named Cabrini
  • 1947: 6 baby girls named Cabrini [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted


Because in July of 1946, Frances Xavier Cabrini, a.k.a. Mother Cabrini, had been canonized by Pope Pius XII. This made her the first U.S. citizen to become a saint.

She’s remembered especially for her work with Italian immigrants. In fact, she was proclaimed “Patroness of Immigrants” by the same pope in 1950.

Cabrini had been born in 1850 in Lombardy, which at that time was part of the Austrian Empire. (It’s now in Italy.) She moved to the United States in 1889 and became a naturalized citizen in 1909. She died in Chicago in 1917.

The name Cabrini has appeared on the SSA’s list a dozen times since, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s. The most recent inclusion was in 2009, when it was given to 6 baby girls.

I’m not certain about the etymology of Cabrini, but one source suggests that it’s a variant of the surname Cabrera, which is derived from the Latin word capraria, meaning “pertaining to goats” or “place of goats” (capra is Latin for “goat”).

(The first native-born U.S. citizen to be canonized was Elizabeth Ann Seton.)

One thought on “Where did the baby name Cabrini come from?

  1. Too bad she also lent her name to the infamous housing project in Chicago. Otherwise, Cabrini would be a great name.

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