Name Element

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A name element is an etymological piece of an individual name. Some names contain multiple elements, such as dithematic given names which contain two elements.

An example of a name element is bert, which appears in several Germanic names like Albert, Robert and Bertram, and means "bright".

Following is a list of common name elements in names of various origins.

Elements in Germanic Names

alf "elf, supernatural being" from Old English ælf, Old Norse alfr
(Alfred, Algar, Alvin)

al, adal, el "noble" from Old German adal, Old English æðel, Old Norse aðal
(Albert, Adelaide, Elmer)

as "god" from Old Norse áss (related to Old English os)
(Ásdís, Asbjörn)

bert "bright, famous" from Old German beraht, Old English beorht
(Albert, Herbert, Hubert, Bertram, Bertha)

dis "goddess" from Old Norse dís
(Vigdís, Valdís)

ed, od, ot "prosperity, fortunate" from Old English ead, Old German od, ot
(Edward, Edwin, Edgar, Edmund, Odo, Odovacar)

eg, ek "edge of a sword" from Old German ek, Old English ecg
(Egbert, Eckhard)

frid, fred, frit "peace" from Old German frid, Old Norse friðr
(Frederick, Wilfred, Fritjof)

frid, rid "beautiful" from Old Norse fríðr
(Ingrid, Sigrid, Astrid)

gar, ger "spear" from Old German ger, Old English gar, Old Norse geirr
(Edgar, Gerard, Gerald, Gertrude)

hard "hardy, brave" from Old German hard
(Richard, Gerard)

her "army" or "warrior" from Old German heri, Old English here, Old Norse herr, arr
(Herbert, Herman, Harold)

hug, hu "heart, mind, spirit" from Old German hug
(Hugh, Hubert)

hild "battle" from Old German hild, Old Norse hildr
(Brunhilde, Hilda, Matilda, Borghild)

mond, mund "protector" from Old English mund
(Edmund, Esmond, Raymond, Osmond)

os "a god, divine" from Old English os (related to Old Norse áss)
(Osbert, Osmond, Oswald)

rad, red "counsel" or "wise" from Old English ræd, Old Norse rad
(Alfred, Conrad)

ric, rich "power" or "ruler" from Old German ric, Old Norse rikr
(Richard, Eric, Henry)

rod, rud "fame" from Old German hrod, Old English hreod
(Robert, Roderick, Rudolf)

run "secret" from Old Norse rún
(Gudrun, Sigrun)

sig "victory" from Old German sige, Old Norse sigr
(Sigmund, Sigurd)

stein, sten "stone" from Old Norse steinn
(Halstein, Torsten)

thor, tor "Thor" from Old Norse Þór
(Tordis, Thorborg)

wald, vald, hold "rule, power" from Old German wald, Old English weald, Old Norse valdr
(Arnold, Walter, Oswald)

ward "guard" from Old English weard
(Edward, Howard)

win "friend" from Old English wine
(Edwin, Alvin)

Elements in Semitic Names

bar "son" (Aramaic)
(Bartholomew, Barnabas)

ben "son" (Hebrew)
(Benjamin, Reuben)

dan "judge"
(Dan, Daniel)

el "God"
(Michael, Gabriel, Joel, Elijah)

-iah, -jah "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" (often translated as "the Lord") from Hebrew yah
(Jeremiah, Elijah, Isaiah)

jo- "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" from Hebrew yah
(John, Joel, Joseph)

Elements in Greek Names

andr-, -ander "man" from Greek aner, andros
(Andrew, Alexander, Leander)

apollo refers to the Greek god Apollo
(Apollodoros, Apollinaris)

arist "best" from Greek aristos
(Aristides, Aristotle)

cleo-, -kles, -cles "glory" from Greek kleos
(Cleopatra, Herakles, Sophocles)

crates, krates "rule, power" from Greek kratos
(Isocrates, Socrates)

demo "the people" from Greek demos
(Demostrate, Nicodemus)

dio "of Zeus" from Greek Dios, genitive of Greek Zeus
(Diogenes, Diomedes, Diodotus)

doro "gift" from Greek doron
(Dorothea, Theodore, Pandora, Isidore)

eu "good"
(Eugene, Euphemia, Eudora)

hera refers to the Greek goddess Hera
(Herakles, Heracleitus)

hippo "horse" from Greek hippos
(Hippolytos, Hippocrates, Philip)

laos "people"
(Hermolaos, Nicholas)

mache, machos "battle" from Greek mache
(Aristomache, Nikomachos)

niko, nico "victory" from Greek nike
(Nicholas, Berenice, Nikostratos)

ope "voice" from Greek ops
(Kalliope, Antiope)

strate, stratos "army" from Greek stratos
(Kallistrate, Nikostratos)

theo, -thy "god" from Greek theos
(Timothy, Dorothea, Theodore)

xeno "strange" from Greek xenos
(Xenophon, Xenocrates)

Elements in Celtic Names

cad "battle" from Welsh cad
(Cadfan, Cadoc, Cadfael)

caol "slender" from Gaelic caol
(Caoilfhionn, Caolán)

don, dun "brown" from Gaelic donn
(Donovan, Duncan)

fin, fion "fair, white" from Gaelic fionn
(Fionn, Fingal, Caoilfhionn)

gwen, gwyn, wen, wyn "blessed, white" from Welsh gwen, gwyn
(Gwenllian, Gwendolen, Gwenda, Rhonwen)

mal, mael "disciple" from Gaelic mael
(Maeleachlainn, Malcolm)

Elements in Slavic Names

bog, boh "god"
(Bogdan, Bogumil)

bor "battle"
(Borislav, Czcibor)

gost "guest, foreigner" from Russian gost, Polish gosc
(Milogost, Dobrogost)

jar, jaro "fierce, strong" from Old Slavic jary
(Jaromír, Jaroslaw)

mil "kindness, grace"
(Dobromil, Radomil)

mir, mierz either "peace" from Slavic mir or "great" from Old Slavic mer
(Casimir, Radzimierz)

rad "happy"
(Radomil, Radoslaw)

slav, slaw "fame, glory" from Russian slava, Polish slawa
(Miroslav, Jaroslaw)

vlad, wolod "rule"
(Vladimir, Vladislav)

woj "fighter, soldier"
(Wojciech)

Elements in Indian Names

bal "strength"
(Baldev)

-endra, -indra refers to the Hindu god Indra
(Narendra, Jaswinder)

-ish, -esh "lord, ruler" from Sanskrit isa
(Harish, Rajnish)

man "mind"
(Mandeep, Maninder)

-pal "protector"
(Gopal, Inderpal)

raj "king"
(Rajendra, Rajesh)

Miscellaneous Name Elements

-a Latinate feminine
(Julia, Michaela)

-ag Scottish feminine diminutive
(Beileag, Morag, Seonag)

-ek Polish masculine diminutive
(Wlodek, Jarek)

-ello, -ella Italian diminutive
(Antonella, Marcello, Rosella)

-etta Italian feminine diminutive
(Antonietta, Giulietta, Simonetta)

-ette French feminine diminutive
(Paulette, Juliette)

-illa Latin feminine diminutive
(Lucilla, Priscilla, Domitilla)

-in, -an Irish diminutive
(Kevin, Aidan, Máirín, Ryan)

-in French form of the Latin suffix -inus meaning "belonging to"
(Augustin, Célestin, Valentin)

-ina Latinate feminine diminutive (feminine form of -inus)
(Severina, Valentina)

-ine French feminine form of the Latin suffix -inus
(Pauline, Angeline)

-ino Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of the Latin suffix -inus
(Victorino, Celestino)

-ito, -ita Spanish diminutive
(Anita, Carlito, Juanita, Pepito)

-je, -tje Dutch and Limburgish diminutive
(Liesje, Maartje, Antje)

-jo Esperanto diminutive
(Miĉjo, Paĉjo)

-ka, -ko Eastern European diminutive
(Marika, Branka, Ivanka, Zvonko)

-ke Frisian, Dutch and Limburgish diminutive
(Maike, Sikke)

-lee, -ley "clearing" or "grove" from Old English leah, Middle English leye. This is often found as the final element in first names that derive from surnames.
(Bradley, Stanley, Shirley)

-ne Basque feminine
(Eskarne, Goizane, Nekane)

-sha Russian diminutive
(Masha, Misha, Natasha, Sasha)

-ska Hungarian diminutive
(Irmuska, Juliska, Mártuska)

-ya Russian diminutive
(Sonya, Tanya, Vasya)