BRETT m & f English
From a Middle English surname meaning "a Breton", referring to an inhabitant of Brittany. A famous bearer is the American football quarterback Brett Favre (1969-).
BRIALLEN f Welsh
Derived from Welsh briallu
meaning "primrose". This is a modern Welsh name.
BRIAN m Irish, English, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble". It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
BRIANA f English
Feminine form of BRIAN
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in 'The Faerie Queene' (1590). The name was not commonly used until the 1970s, when it rapidly became popular in the United States.
BRICE m French, English
From the name Bricius
, which was probably a Latinized form of a Gaulish name meaning "speckled". This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a disciple of Saint Martin of Tours.
BRIDGER m English (Modern)
From an English surname which originally indicated a person who lived near or worked on a bridge.
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
which means "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRIELLE f English (Modern)
Short form of GABRIELLE
. This is also the name of towns in the Netherlands and New Jersey, though their names derive from a different source.
BRÍGH f Irish
Derived from Irish brígh
meaning "power, high".
BRIGHAM m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from place names meaning "bridge settlement" in Old English.
BRIJESHA m Hinduism
Means "ruler of Brij" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, Brij being a region associated with him.
BRISCOE m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "birch wood" in Old Norse.
BRISEIS f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from Βρισευς (Briseus)
, a Greek name of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology Briseis (real name Hippodameia) was the daughter of Briseus. She was captured during the Trojan War by Achilles
. After Agamemnon
took her away from him, Achilles refused to fight in the war.
BRISTOL m English (Rare)
From the name of the city in southwest England which means "the site of the bridge".
BRITANNIA f English (Rare)
From the Latin name of the island of Britain, in occasional use as an English given name since the 18th century. This is also the name of the Roman female personification of Britain pictured on some British coins.
BRITTANY f English
From the name of the region in the northwest of France, called in French Bretagne
. It was named for the Britons who settled there after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the invasions of the Anglo-Saxons. As a given name, it first came into common use in America in the 1970s.
BRITTON m English
Derived from a Middle English surname meaning "a Briton" (a Celt of England) or "a Breton" (an inhabitant of Brittany).
BROCK m English
From a surname which was derived from Old English brocc
BRODY m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It probably means "ditch, mire" in Gaelic.
BROGAN m & f Irish
Derived from Gaelic bróg
"shoe" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of several Irish saints, including Saint Patrick
BRÓNACH f Irish
Derived from Irish Gaelic brón
meaning "sorrow". Saint Brónach was a 6th-century mystic from Ireland.
BRONISŁAW m Polish
Derived from the Slavic elements borna
"protection" and slava
"glory". A famous Polish anthropologist, Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942), has borne this name.
BRONTE m & f English (Rare)
From a surname, an Anglicized form of Irish Ó Proinntigh
meaning "descendant of Proinnteach". The given name Proinnteach
meant "bestower" in Gaelic. The Brontë sisters - Charlotte, Emily, and Anne - were 19th-century English novelists. Their father changed the spelling of the family surname from Brunty
, possibly to make it coincide with Greek βροντη
BRONTES m Greek Mythology
Means "thunderer" in Greek. In Greek mythology (according to Hesiod), this was the name of one of the three Cyclopes, who were the sons of Uranus
BRONWEN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements bron
"breast" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
BROOK m & f English
From an English surname which denoted one who lived near a brook.
BROOKE f English
Variant of BROOK
. The name came into use in the 1950s, probably influenced by American socialite Brooke Astor (1902-2007). It was further popularized by actress Brooke Shields (1965-).
BROOKLYN f English (Modern)
From the name of the borough of New York City, originally derived from Dutch Breukelen
meaning "broken land". It can also be viewed as a combination of BROOK
and the popular name suffix lyn
BRUCE m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, of Norman origin, which probably originally referred to the town of Brix in France. The surname was borne by Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. It has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. A notable bearer is the American musician Bruce Springsteen (1949-).
BRÜNHILD f German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun
"armour, protection" and hild
"battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr
(from the elements bryn
). In Norse legend Brynhildr
was the queen of the Valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd
. In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther
. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
BRUTUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "heavy" in Latin. Famous bearers include Lucius Junius Brutus, the traditional founder of the Roman Republic, and Marcus Junius Brutus, the statesman who conspired to assassinated Julius Caesar.
BRYN m & f Welsh, English
Means "hill, mound" in Welsh. It is now used as a feminine name as well.
BRYNHILDR f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse cognate of BRÜNHILD
. In the Norse legend the 'Volsungasaga' Brynhildr was rescued by the hero Sigurd
in the guise of Gunnar
. Brynhildr and Gunnar were married, but when Sigurd's wife Gudrun
let slip that it was in fact Sigurd who had rescued her, Brynhildr plotted against him. She accused Sigurd of taking her virginity, spurring Gunnar to arrange Sigurd's murder.
BRYNMOR m Welsh
From a Welsh place name meaning "great hill".
BRYONY f English (Rare)
From the name of a type of Eurasian vine, formerly used as medicine. It ultimately derives from Greek βρυω (bryo)
BUCK m English
From an English nickname meaning simply "buck, male deer", ultimately from Old English bucc
BUDDHA m History
Means "enlightened" in Sanskrit. This is a title applied to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, as well as to a handful of other enlightened individuals.
BUDDY m English
From the English word meaning "friend". It probably originated as a nursery form of the word brother
BUFFY f English
Diminutive of ELIZABETH
, from a child's pronunciation of the final syllable. It is now associated with the main character from the television series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (1997-2003).
BURAK m Turkish
From Arabic براق (Buraq)
, the name of the legendary creature that, according to Islamic tradition, transported the Prophet Muhammad
. Its name is derived from Arabic برق (barq)
BURGUNDY f English (Rare)
This name can refer either to the region in France, the wine (which derives from the name of the region), or the colour (which derives from the name of the wine).
BURKE m English
From an English surname which was derived from Old English burg
BURKHARD m German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements burg
meaning "protection" and hard
"brave, hardy". Saint Burkhard was a bishop who founded several monasteries in Germany in the 8th century.
BURTON m English
From a surname which was originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "fortified town". A famous bearer of the surname was Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890), an explorer of Africa and Asia.
BUSTER m English
Originally a nickname denoting a person who broke things, from the word bust
. A famous bearer was the silent movie star Buster Keaton (1895-1966).
BUZ m Biblical
Means "contempt" in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of ABRAHAM
's brother Nahor
in the Old Testament.
BYELOBOG m Slavic Mythology
Means "the white god" from Slavic byelo
"white" and bogu
"god". This was the name of the Slavic god of the sun, happiness and fortune.
BYEONG-HO m Korean
From Sino-Korean 炳 (byeong)
meaning "bright, luminous, glorious" combined with 浩 (ho)
meaning "great, numerous, vast" or 昊 (ho)
meaning "summer, sky, heaven". Other hanja character combinations are possible.
BYRON m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "place of the cow sheds" in Old English. This was the surname of the romantic poet Lord Byron (1788-1824), the writer of 'Don Juan' and many other works.
BYSSHE m English (Rare)
From an English surname, a variant of the surname Bush
, which originally indicated a person who lived near a bush. This was the middle name of the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822).
CADE m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a nickname meaning "round" in Old English.
CADELL m Welsh
From Welsh cad
"battle" and a diminutive suffix.
CADEN m English (Modern)
Sometimes explained as a derivative of the Irish surname Caden
, which is a reduced form of the Gaelic surname Mac Cadáin
meaning "son of Cadán". In actuality, its popularity in America beginning in the 1990s is due to its sound - it shares its fashionable aden
suffix sound with other popular names like Hayden
CADENCE f English (Modern)
From an English word meaning "rhythm, flow". It has been in use only since the 20th century.
CADEYRN m Ancient Celtic
Means "battle king" from Welsh cad
"battle" and teyrn
"king, monarch". Cadeyrn (also known as Catigern) was a 5th-century king of Powys in Wales, the son of Vortigern.
CADFAEL m Welsh
Means "battle prince" from Welsh cad
"battle" and mael
CADFAN m Welsh
Means "battle peak" from Welsh cad
"battle" and ban
"peak". Saint Cadfan, from Brittany, was a 6th-century missionary to Wales.
CADMUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Καδμος (Kadmos)
, of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor. He was sent by his father to rescue his sister Europa
, who had been abducted by Zeus
, although he did not succeed in retrieving her. According to legend, Cadmus founded the city of Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece.
CADOC m Welsh
Derived from Welsh cad
"battle". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh saint who was martyred by the Saxons.
CADWALADER m Welsh
Means "leader of the battle" from Welsh cad
"battle" and gwaladr
"leader". This was the name of a Welsh saint of the 7th century.
CADWGAN m Welsh
Means "glory in battle" from Welsh cad
"battle" and gwogawn
"glory, honour". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, this name is briefly mentioned as the son of Iddon.
CAEDMON m History
Meaning unknown, though the first element is likely connected to Brythonic caed
meaning "battle". Saint Caedmon was a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon poet who supposedly received his poetic inspiration from a dream. Our only knowledge of him is through the historian Bede.
CÁEL m Irish Mythology
From Gaelic caol
"slender". In Irish legend Cáel was a warrior of the Fianna and the lover of Créd.
CAERWYN m Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements caer
"fortress" and gwyn
CAESAR m Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen which possibly meant "hairy", from Latin caesaries
"hair". Julius Caesar and his adopted son Julius Caesar Octavianus (commonly known as Augustus) were both rulers of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Caesar
was used as a title by the emperors that came after them.
ÇAĞATAY m Turkish
From the Mongolian name Chagatai
(of unknown meaning), which was borne by the second son of Genghis
CAIAPHAS m Biblical
Meaning unknown, probably of Aramaic origin. In the New Testament this is the name of the Jewish high priest who condemns Jesus
CAIN m Biblical, Biblical Latin
Means "acquired" in Hebrew. In Genesis in the Old Testament Cain is the first son of Adam
. He killed his brother Abel
after God accepted Abel's offering of meat instead of his offering of plant-based foods. After this Cain was banished to be a wanderer.
CALEB m English, Biblical
Most likely related to Hebrew כֶּלֶב (kelev)
meaning "dog". An alternate theory connects it to Hebrew כָּל (kal)
"whole, all of" and לֵב (lev)
"heart". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the twelve spies sent by Moses
into Canaan. Of the Israelites who left Egypt with Moses, Caleb and Joshua
were the only ones who lived to see the Promised Land.... [more]
CALIGULA m History
Means "little boot" in Latin. This was a nickname for the Roman emperor Gaius Caesar Germanicus given to him in his youth by his father's soldiers.
CALIXTUS m Late Roman
Variant of CALLISTUS
, the spelling perhaps influenced by Latin calix
"wine cup". This was the name of three popes (also known as Callistus).
CALLA f English
From the name of a type of lily. Use of the name may also be inspired by Greek καλλος (kallos)
CALLISTUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name which was derived from the Greek name Καλλιστος (Kallistos)
"most beautiful". This was the name of three popes (also known as Callixtus), including the 3rd-century Callistus I who is regarded as a saint.
CALLIXTUS m Late Roman
Variant of CALLISTUS
, the spelling perhaps influenced by Latin calix
"wine cup". This was the name of three popes (also known as Callistus).
CALOGERO m Italian
From the Late Latin name Calogerus
which meant "beautiful elder" from Greek καλος (kalos)
"beautiful" and γερων (geron)
"old man, elder". This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a hermit of Sicily.
CALVIN m English
Derived from the French surname Cauvin
, which was derived from chauve
"bald". The surname was borne by Jean Cauvin (1509-1564), a theologian from France who was one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname was Latinized as Calvinus
(based on Latin calvus
"bald") and he is known as John Calvin in English. It has been used as a given name in his honour since the 19th century.
CALYPSO f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Καλυψω (Kalypso)
which probably meant "she that conceals", derived from καλυπτω (kalypto)
"to cover, to conceal". In Greek myth this was the name of the nymph who fell in love with Odysseus
after he was shipwrecked on her island of Ogygia. When he refused to stay with her she detained him for seven years until Zeus
ordered her to release him.
CAMBRIA f Various
Latin form of the Welsh Cymru
, the Welsh name for the country of Wales, derived from cymry
meaning "the people". It is occasionally used as a given name in modern times.
CAMBYSES m History
From Καμβυσης (Kambyses)
, the Greek form of the Old Persian name Kambujiya
, which is of unknown meaning. Two Persian kings bore this name, including Cambyses II who conquered Egypt.
CAMDEN m English (Modern)
From a surname which was from a place name perhaps meaning "enclosed valley" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English historian William Camden (1551-1623).
CAMELLIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the flowering shrub, which was named for the botanist and missionary Georg Josef Kamel.
CAMERON m & f English
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and sròn
CAMILLE f & m French, English
French feminine and masculine form of CAMILLA
. It is also used in the English-speaking world, where it is generally only feminine.
CAMILLUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen, which is probably of Etruscan origin and unknown meaning. It is probably not related to Latin camillus
"a youth employed in religious services". This name was borne by the 16th-century Italian monk Saint Camillus de Lellis.
CAMPBELL m English
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked mouth" from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and béul
CANAAN m Biblical
Meaning unknown. In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Ham
. He is said to be the ancestor of the Canaanite people.
CANDACE f English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the hereditary title of the queens of Ethiopia, as mentioned in Acts in the New Testament. It is apparently derived from Cushitic kdke
meaning "queen mother". In some versions of the Bible it is spelled Kandake
, reflecting the Greek spelling Κανδακη
. It was used as a given name by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation. It was popularized in the 20th century by a character in the movie 'Meet the Stewarts' (1942).
CANDELARIA f Spanish
Means "Candlemas" in Spanish, ultimately derived from Spanish candela
"candle". This name is given in honour of the church festival of Candlemas, which commemorates the presentation of Christ in the temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary
CANDIDA f Late Roman, English
Late Latin name derived from candidus
meaning "white". This was the name of several early saints, including a woman supposedly healed by Saint Peter
. As an English name, it came into use after George Bernard Shaw's play 'Candida' (1898).
CANSU f Turkish
From Turkish can
meaning "soul, life" and su
CAOILFHIONN f Irish
Derived from the Gaelic elements caol
"slender" and fionn
"fair". This was the name of several Irish saints.
CAOLÁN m Irish
From Gaelic caol
"slender" combined with the diminutive suffix án
CAPRICE f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "impulse", ultimately (via French) from Italian capriccio