BEULAHfBiblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Means "married" in Hebrew. The name is used in the Old Testament to refer to the land of Israel (Isaiah 62:4). As an English given name, Beulah
has been used since the Protestant Reformation.
From a Welsh surname which was derived from ap Evan
meaning "son of EVAN
BEVERLYf & mEnglish
From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English city, itself meaning "beaver stream" in Old English. It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, and it became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's novel 'Beverly of Graustark' (1904).
From an English surname which is possibly derived from the name of the French town Beauvais
Means "being maintained" in Sanskrit. This is one of the names of Agni
, the Hindu god of fire, and is also the name of the brother of Rama
in the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana'. It was also borne by a legendary king, the son of Dushyanta
. The official name of the country of India, Bharat, derives from him.
Means "shining", derived from a combination of Sanskrit भास (bhasa)
meaning "light" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is another name of the sun and the Hindu god Shiva
. It was additionally borne by a 12th-century Indian astronomer, also known as Bhaskaracharya.
Means "terrible, formidable" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of the second son of Pandu, and thus one of the five Pandavas. He was known for his terrific strength and skill as a warrior.
Means "earth, soil" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu earth goddess. She is the wife of Varaha, an avatar of Vishnu.
Italian cognate of BLANCHE
. Shakespeare used characters named Bianca in 'Taming of the Shrew' (1593) and 'Othello' (1603).
Possibly from Georgian ბიძა (bidza)
meaning "uncle". This was the name of a 17th-century Georgian saint and martyr.
From a nickname which was based on the English word biff
, which means "punch, hit, strike".
This was the name of the hero of 'The Hobbit' (1937) by J. R. R. Tolkien. His real hobbit name was Bilba
, which is of unknown meaning, but this was altered by Tolkien in order to use the more masculine o
ending. In the novel Bilbo Baggins was recruited by the wizard Gandalf
to join the quest to retake Mount Erebor from the dragon Smaug.
Possibly an Irish form of BELENUS
, though it may derive from an Irish word meaning "hero". In Irish mythology this was the name of one of the Milesians who was drowned while invading Ireland.
Short form of WILLIAM
. This spelling was first used in the 19th century. The change in the initial consonant may have been influenced by an earlier Irish pronunciation of the name. Famous bearers include basketball player Bill Russell (1934-), comedian Bill Cosby (1937-), American president Bill Clinton (1946-), and Microsoft founder Bill Gates (1955-).
Diminutive of BILL
. A notable bearer was the American outlaw Billy the Kid (1859-1881), whose real name was William H. Bonney.
BIRGITTAfSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish
Most likely a Scandinavian form of BRIDGET
via the Latinized form Brigitta
. Alternatively it could be a feminine derivative of BIRGER
. This is the name of the patron saint of Europe, Birgitta of Sweden, the 14th-century founder of the Bridgettine nuns. Her father's name was Birger.
Possibly from Lithuanian birti
meaning "to scatter, to pour out" combined with a diminutive suffix. This name was borne by the mother of the 15th-century Grand Duke Vytautas
Either from the English occupational surname, or else directly from the English word. It is ultimately derived from Greek επισκοπος (episkopos)
Means "daughter of YAHWEH
" in Hebrew, from the roots בַּת (bat)
meaning "daughter" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Pharaoh. She is traditionally equated with the pharaoh's daughter who drew Moses
from the Nile.
From a Scottish surname which was derived from the given name Bláán
, which meant "yellow" in Gaelic. Saint Bláán was a 6th-century missionary to the Picts.
BLAIRm & fScottish, English
From a Scottish surname which is derived from Gaelic blár
meaning "plain, field, battlefield".
From the Roman name Blasius
which meant "lisping" from Latin blaesus
. A famous bearer was the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).
From a surname which was derived from Old English blæc
"black" or blac
"pale". A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).
From a medieval French nickname meaning "white, fair". This name and its cognates in other languages are ultimately derived from the Germanic word blanc
. An early bearer was the 12th-century Blanca of Navarre, the wife of Sancho III of Castile. Her granddaughter of the same name married Louis VIII of France, with the result that the name became more common in France.
French form of the Roman name Blandina
, which was the feminine form of Blandinus
, which was itself a derivative of the cognomen BLANDUS
. Saint Blandina was a 2nd-century slave from Lyons who was martyred by being thrown to wild beasts.
BLÁTHNATfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "little flower" from the Irish word blath
"flower" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend she was a maiden abducted and married by Cú Roí. She was rescued by Cúchulainn
, who killed her husband, but she was in turn murdered by one of Cú Roí's loyal servants.
Possibly from a Turkic root meaning "wise". According to other theories the name was of Gothic origin, or was a Gothicized form of a Hunnic name. This was the name of the brother of Attila.
From Welsh blaidd
"wolf" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an 11th-century king of Gwynedd and Powys.
BLODEUWEDDfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "face of flowers" in Welsh. In a story in the Mabinogion, she is created out of flowers by Gwydion
to be the wife of his nephew Lleu
Llaw Gyffes. She is eventually changed into an owl for her infidelity.
Means "white flowers" from Welsh blodau
"flowers" combined with gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
From a nickname for a person with blond hair. This is the name of the title character in a comic strip by Chic Young.
From the English word blossom
, ultimately from Old English blóstm
. It came into use as a rare given name in the 19th century.
BO (1)mSwedish, Danish
From the Old Norse byname Búi
which was derived from Old Norse bua
meaning "to live".
BO (2)m & fChinese
From Chinese 波 (bō)
meaning "wave", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
Short form of ROBERT
. It arose later than Dob
, which were medieval rhyming nicknames of Robert. It was borne by the character Bob Cratchit in Charles Dickens' novel 'A Christmas Carol' (1843). Other famous bearers include American folk musician Bob Dylan (1941-) and Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).
Diminutive of BOB
. Hockey greats Bobby Hull (1939-) and Bobby Orr (1948-) have borne this name.
Means "buttercup" in Hungarian, derived from the archaic word boglár
Means "glory of God" from the Slavic elements bogu
"god" and slava
"glory". This name was borne by several dukes of Pomerania, beginning in the 12th century.
From a Turkic word meaning "steel", ultimately from Persian.
Derived from the Slavic elements bolye
"more, greater" and slava
"glory". This was the name of kings of Poland, starting in the 11th century with the first Polish king Bolesław the Brave.
BOLÍVARmSpanish (Latin American)
From a surname which was taken from the Basque place name Bolibar
, which was derived from bolu
"mill" and ibar
"riverside". A famous bearer of the surname was Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), a South American revolutionary leader, after whom the country of Bolivia is named.
Means "good fortune" in Italian. Saint Bonaventura was a 13th-century Franciscan monk who is considered a Doctor of the Church.
BONIFACEmFrench, English (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Bonifatius
, which meant "good fate" from bonum
"good" and fatum
"fate". This was the name of nine popes and also several saints, including an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon missionary to Germany (originally named Winfrid) who is now regarded as the patron saint of that country. It came into use in England during the Middle Ages, but became rare after the Protestant Reformation.
Means "pretty" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin bonus
"good". It has been used as a name in the English-speaking world since the beginning of the 20th century.
Derived from a diminutive of Latin bonus
meaning "good". This was the name of a 7th-century century saint, a bishop of Auvergne.
Means "pretty" from the Scottish word bonnie
, which was itself derived from Middle French bon
"good". It has been in use as an American given name since the 19th century, and it became especially popular after the movie 'Gone with the Wind' (1939), in which it was the nickname of Scarlett's daughter.
From an English occupational surname meaning "maker of books". A famous bearer was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), an African-American leader.
Means "flower" in Khmer, ultimately from Pali.
Short form of names containing bor
, such as BORISLAV
. It is also a South Slavic word meaning "pine tree".
Means "storm, squall" in Turkish, ultimately related to Greek Βορεας (Boreas)
, the name of the god of the north wind.
BORISmBulgarian, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Georgian, German
From the Turkic name Bogoris
, perhaps meaning "short" or "wolf" or "snow leopard". It was borne by the 9th-century King Boris I of Bulgaria who converted his country to Christianity, as well as two later Bulgarian emperors. The name was popularized in the Slavic world due to the 11th-century Saint Boris, who was a Russian prince martyred with his brother Gleb. His mother may have been Bulgarian. Another famous bearer was the 16th-century Russian emperor Boris Godunov, later the subject of a play of that name by Aleksandr Pushkin.
Derived from the Slavic elements borti
"battle" and voji
"soldier". This name was borne by a 9th-century duke of Bohemia.
Derived from Brythonic boud
meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide.
From a surname which was derived from Old French bois
From a Scottish surname which was possibly derived from the name of the island of Bute.
Originally a diminutive of names containing the Slavic element boji
Short form of BRADLEY
, and other names beginning with Brad
. A famous bearer is American actor Brad Pitt (1963-).
Possibly derived from a Gaelic word meaning "large-chested".
From a surname which originally came from a place name that meant "broad ford" in Old English.
From a surname which originally came from a place name meaning "broad clearing" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the World War II American general Omar Bradley (1893-1981).