GENESIS f English (Modern)
Means "birth" in Greek. This is the name of the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible. It tells of the creation of the world, the expulsion of Adam
and the great flood, and the three patriarchs.
GENEVA f English
Possibly a shortened form of GENEVIEVE
. It could also be inspired by the name of the city in Switzerland. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
GENEVIÈVE f French
From the medieval name Genovefa
, which is of uncertain origin. It could be derived from the Germanic elements kuni
"kin, family" and wefa
"wife, woman". Alternatively it could be of Gaulish origin, from the related Celtic element genos
"kin, family" combined with a second element of unknown meaning. This name was borne by Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, who inspired the city to resist the Huns in the 5th century.
GENGHIS m History
From the title Genghis
, meaning "universal ruler", which was adopted by the Mongol Empire founder Temujin
in the late 12th century. Remembered both for his military brilliance and his brutality towards civilians, he went on to conquer huge areas of Asia and Eastern Europe.
GENTIAN m Albanian
From the name of the flowering plant called the gentian, the roots of which are used to create a tonic. It is derived from the name of the Illyrian king GENTIUS
, who supposedly discovered its medicinal properties.
GENTIUS m Albanian
Possibly means "to beget" in Illyrian. This was the name of a 2nd-century BC Illyrian king who went to war with Rome.
GEOFFREY m English, French
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid
"peace", but the first element may be either gawia
"foreign" or gisil
"hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey
was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey
GEORGE m English, Romanian
From the Greek name Γεωργιος (Georgios)
which was derived from the Greek word γεωργος (georgos)
meaning "farmer, earthworker", itself derived from the elements γη (ge)
"earth" and εργον (ergon)
"work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Palestine who was martyred during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.... [more]
GEORGES m French
French form of GEORGE
. This name was borne by the French artists Georges Seurat (1859-1891) and Georges Braque (1882-1963).
GEORGIA f English, Greek
Latinate feminine form of GEORGE
. This is the name of an American state, which was named after the British king George II. A famous bearer was the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986).
GERA m Biblical
Possibly means "a grain" in Hebrew. This was the name of several members of the tribe of Benjamin in the Old Testament.
GERALD m English, German
From a Germanic name meaning "rule of the spear", from the elements ger
"spear" and wald
"rule". The Normans brought this name to Britain. Though it died out in England during the Middle Ages, it remained common in Ireland. It was revived in the English-speaking world in 19th century.
GERARD m English, Dutch, Catalan, Polish
Derived from the Germanic element ger
"spear" combined with hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain. It was initially much more common than the similar name Gerald
, with which it was often confused, but it is now less common.
GERASIMOS m Greek
Derived from Greek γερας (geras)
meaning either "old" or "honour". Saint Gerasimus was a 5th-century hermit.
GEREON m German, Late Roman
Possibly derived from Greek γερων (geron)
meaning "old man, elder". This was the name of a saint martyred in Cologne in the 4th century.
GERMAINE f French
French feminine form of GERMAIN
. Saint Germaine was a 16th-century peasant girl from France.
GERMANUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen which meant "brother" in Latin. This was the name of several early saints.
GERONIMO m History
, a Spanish form of JEROME
. This is the better-known name of the Apache chief Goyathlay (1829-1909). It was given to him by the Mexicans, his enemies.
GERSHOM m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Probably means "exile" in Hebrew, though the Bible explains that it derives from גֵּר שָׁם (ger sham)
meaning "a stranger there" (see Exodus 18:3). This is the name of a son of Moses
in the Old Testament.
GERTRUDE f English, Dutch
Means "spear of strength", derived from the Germanic elements ger
"spear" and thrud
"strength". Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer. It was probably introduced to England by settlers from the Low Countries in the 15th century. Shakespeare used the name in his play 'Hamlet' (1600) for the mother of the title character. A famous bearer was the American writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
GERVASIUS m Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Probably a Latinized form of a Germanic name with a first element deriving from ger
"spear". Saint Gervasius was an early martyr from Milan whose remains were discovered in the 4th century.
GETHSEMANE f Biblical
From Γεθσημανι (Gethsemani)
, the Greek form of an Aramaic place name meaning "oil vat". In the New Testament this is the name of the garden where Jesus
was arrested, located on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
GHASSAN m Arabic
Means "youth" in Arabic. This was the name of an Arabian tribe that existed until the 6th century.
GHISLAIN m French
French form of Gislenus
, a Latinized form of the Germanic name Gislin
, derived from the element gisil
meaning "hostage" or "pledge". This was the name of a 7th-century Belgian saint.
GHULAM m Arabic, Urdu, Pashto
Means "servant, boy" in Arabic. It is often used as the first part of compound names.
GIDEON m Biblical, English, Hebrew
Means "feller" or "hewer" in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings. In the English-speaking world, Gideon
has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans.
GILBERT m English, French, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright pledge", derived from the Germanic elements gisil
"pledge, hostage" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it was common during the Middle Ages. It was borne by a 12th-century British saint, the founder of the religious order known as the Gilbertines.
GILCHRIST m Scottish
Derived from the Gaelic phrase giolla Chríost
meaning "servant of Christ".
GILDA f Italian, Portuguese
Originally an Italian short form of names containing the Germanic element gild
meaning "sacrifice, value".
GILEAD m Biblical
From an Old Testament place name meaning "monument of testimony" in Hebrew. This was a mountainous region east of the Jordan River. Besides being a place name, it is also borne by people in the Bible.
GILES m English
From the Late Latin name Aegidius
, which is derived from Greek αιγιδιον (aigidion)
meaning "young goat". Saint Giles was an 8th-century miracle worker who came to southern France from Greece. He is regarded as the patron saint of the crippled. In Old French the name Aegidius
and then Gilles
, at which point it was imported to England.
GILGAMESH m Near Eastern Mythology
Possibly means "the ancestor is a young man" in Sumerian. This was the name of a Sumerian hero, later appearing in the Akkadian poem the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'. Gigamesh, with his friend Enkidu, battled the giant Humbaba and stopped the rampage of the Bull of Heaven, besides other adventures. Gilgamesh was probably based on a real person: a king of Erech who ruled around the 27th century BC.
GILLESPIE m Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gille Easbaig
or Irish Giolla Easpuig
both meaning "servant of the bishop".
GILLIAN f English
Medieval English feminine form of JULIAN
. This spelling has been in use since the 13th century, though it was not declared a distinct name from Julian
until the 17th century.
GILROY m Irish, Scottish
From an Irish surname, either Mac Giolla Ruaidh
, which means "son of the red-haired servant", or Mac Giolla Rí
, which means "son of the king's servant".
GINEVRA f Italian
Italian form of GUINEVERE
. This is also the Italian name for the city of Geneva, Switzerland. It is also sometimes associated with the Italian word ginepro
GINGER f English
From the English word ginger
for the spice or the reddish-brown colour. It can also be a diminutive of VIRGINIA
, as in the case of actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), by whom the name was popularized.
GINO m Italian
Italian short form of names ending in gino
GIOACHINO m Italian
Italian form of JOACHIM
. A famous bearer was the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868).
GIOCONDA f Italian
From the Late Latin name Iucunda
which meant "pleasant, delightful, happy". Leonardo da Vinci's painting the 'Mona Lisa' is also known as 'La Gioconda' because its subject is Lisa del Giocondo.
GIOTTO m Italian
Possibly from Ambrogiotto
, a diminutive of AMBROGIO
. This name was borne by Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), an Italian painter and architect.
GIOVANNI m Italian
Italian form of Iohannes
). The Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516) and the painter and sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) were two famous bearers of this name.
GIRISHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of the mountain" in Sanskrit. This is a name of the Hindu god Shiva
, given because of his abode in the Himalayan Mountains.
GISBERT m German, Ancient Germanic
From a Germanic name in which the second element is beraht
"bright". The first element is probably a shortened form of gisil
"pledge, hostage" (making it a variant of GILBERT
), though it could be related to Gallo-Celtic gaiso
GISELLE f French, English (Modern)
Derived from the Germanic word gisil
meaning "hostage" or "pledge". This name may have originally been a descriptive nickname for a child given as a pledge to a foreign court. It was borne by a daughter of the French king Charles III who married the Norman leader Rollo in the 10th century. The name was popular in France during the Middle Ages (the more common French form is Gisèle
). Though it became known in the English-speaking world due to Adolphe Adam's ballet 'Giselle' (1841), it was not regularly used until the 20th century.
GITA f Indian, Hindi
Means "song" in Sanskrit. The word appears in the name of the 'Bhagavad Gita', a sacred text of Hinduism (meaning "divine song").
GIUSEPPE m Italian
Italian form of JOSEPH
. Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a military leader who united Italy in the 19th century.
GLADYS f Welsh, English
From the old Welsh name Gwladus
, possibly derived from gwlad
"country". It has historically been used as a Welsh form of CLAUDIA
. This name became popular outside of Wales after it was used in Ouida's novel 'Puck' (1870).
GLÆDWINE m Anglo-Saxon
Old English name derived from the elements glæd
"bright" and wine
"friend". This name was not actually recorded in the Old English era, though it is attested starting in the 11th century.
GLANVILLE m English (Rare)
From an English surname which was taken from a Norman place name which possibly meant "domain of (a person named) Gland" in Old French.
GLÁUCIO m Portuguese
Portuguese form of the Roman cognomen Glaucia
, which was derived from Latin glaucus
"bluish grey", ultimately from Greek.