GAËL m French, Breton
Meaning uncertain. It possibly derives from the ethno-linguistic term Gael
, which refers to speakers of Gaelic languages. Alternatively it may be a variant of GWENAËL
GAETANO m Italian
Italian form of the Latin name Caietanus
, which meant "from Caieta". Caieta (now called Gaeta) was a town in ancient Italy, its name deriving either from Kaiadas
, the name a Greek location where prisoners were executed, or else from Caieta
, the name of the nurse of Aeneas. Saint Gaetano was a 16th-century Italian priest who founded the Theatines.
GAGE m English (Modern)
From an English surname of Old French origin meaning either "measure", originally denoting one who was an assayer, or "pledge", referring to a moneylender. It was popularized as a given name by a character from the book 'Pet Sematary' (1983) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1989).
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαια (gaia)
, a parallel form of γη (ge)
meaning "earth". In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GAIANA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Γαιανη (Gaiane)
, a derivative of GAIA
. This was the name of a (perhaps fictional) martyr who was killed in Armenia during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian in the late 3rd century.
GAIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman praenomen, or given name, of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from Latin gaudere
"to rejoice", though it may be of unknown Etruscan origin. This was a very common Roman praenomen, the most famous bearers being Gaius Julius Caesar, the great leader of the Roman Republic, and his adopted son Gaius Octavius (later known as Augustus), the first Roman emperor. This name also appears in the New Testament belonging to a bishop of Ephesus who is regarded as a saint.
GALADRIEL f Literature
Means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland" in Sindarin. Galadriel was a Noldorin elf princess renowned for her beauty and wisdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. The elements are galad
"radiant" and riel
"garlanded maiden". Alatáriel
is the Quenya form of her name.
GALAHAD m Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legend Sir Galahad was the son of Lancelot
. He was the most pure of the Knights of the Round Table, and he was the only one to succeed in finding the Holy Grail. He first appears in the medieval French 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle.
GALE (2) m English
From an English surname which was derived from Middle English gaile
GALEN m English
Modern form of the Greek name Γαληνος (Galenos)
, which meant "calm" from Greek γαληνη (galene)
. It was borne by a 2nd-century BC Greco-Roman physician who contributed to anatomy and medicine. In modern times the name is occasionally given in his honour.
GALLUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which meant "rooster" in Latin. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint, a companion of Saint Columbanus, who later became a hermit in Switzerland.
GAMALIEL m Biblical
Means "benefit of God" in Hebrew. In Acts in the New Testament he is a teacher of Saint Paul
GANDALF m Norse Mythology, Literature
Means "wand elf" in Old Norse, from the elements gandr
"wand, staff, cane" and álfr
"elf". This name belongs to a dwarf in the 'Völuspá', a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript which forms part of the Poetic Edda. The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels 'The Hobbit' (1937) and 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954).
GANESHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of hordes" from Sanskrit गण (gana)
meaning "horde, multitude" and ईश (isha)
meaning "lord, ruler". This is the name of the Hindu god of wisdom and good luck, the son of Shiva
. He is often depicted as a stout man with the head of an elephant.
GANG m Chinese
From Chinese 刚 (gāng)
meaning "hard, rigid, strong", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
GARBHÁN m Irish
Means "little rough one" from Irish garbh
"rough" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint.
GARDENIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the tropical flower, which was named for the Scottish naturalist Alexander Garden (1730-1791).
GARETH m Welsh, English (British), Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. It first appears in this form in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation of Arthurian legends 'Le Morte d'Arthur', in which Gareth was a Knight of the Round Table, the brother of Sir Gawain
. Malory based the name on Gahariet
, which was the name of a similar Arthurian character in French sources. It may ultimately have a Welsh origin, possibly related to gwaredd
GARFIELD m English
From a surname meaning "triangle field" in Old English. A famous bearer was American president James A. Garfield (1831-1881). It is now associated with the cat in Jim Davis's cartoon strip 'Garfield'.
GARGI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Bengali
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 7th-century BC Indian philosopher who appears in the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
GARLAND m English
From a surname meaning "triangle land" from Old English gara
. The surname originally belonged to a person who owned a triangle-shaped piece of land.
GARNET (1) f English
From the English word garnet
for the precious stone, the birthstone of January. The word is derived from Middle English gernet
meaning "dark red".
GARNET (2) m & f English
From an English surname which either referred to a person who made hinges (Old French carne
) or was derived from the Norman name GUARIN
GARRETT m English
From an English surname which was derived from the given name GERALD
. A famous bearer of the surname was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
GARRICK m English
From a surname which was originally derived from Occitan garric
meaning "oak tree grove".
GARSEA m Medieval Spanish
Meaning unknown, possibly related to the Basque word hartz
meaning "bear". This was the name of several medieval kings of Navarre and Leon.
GARTH m English
From a surname meaning "garden" in Old Norse, originally denoting one who lived near or worked in a garden.
GARY m English
From an English surname which was derived from a Norman given name, which was itself originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ger
meaning "spear". This name was popularized in the late 1920s the American actor Gary Cooper (1901-1961), who took his stage name from the city of Gary in Indiana where his agent was born.
GASTON m French
Possibly from a Germanic name derived from the element gast
meaning "stranger, guest". This is the usual French name for Saint Vedastus
, called Vaast
in Flemish, and alternatively the name may be connected to it. The name was also borne by several counts of Foix-Béarn, beginning in the 13th century.
GAUBERT m French
French form of the Germanic name Waldobert
, composed of the elements wald
"rule" and beraht
"bright". This was the name of a 7th-century French saint.
GAUTAMA m Sanskrit
In the case of Siddhartha Gautama, a patronymic form of GOTAMA
. Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was a 6th-century BC nobleman who left his family in order to lead a life of meditation and poverty.
GAVIN m English, Scottish
Medieval form of GAWAIN
. Though it died out in England, it was reintroduced from Scotland in the 20th century.
GAVINO m Italian
From the Late Latin name Gabinus
, which possibly referred to the ancient city of Gabii in central Italy. Saint Gavino was martyred in Sardinia in the 3rd century.
GAWAIN m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain, from the Latin form Walganus
used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth. This was the name of a nephew of King Arthur
and one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He can be identified with the earlier Welsh hero Gwalchmei, and it is likely that the name derives from GWALCHMEI
. Alternatively it may have a different Celtic or even a Germanic origin. Gawain was a popular hero in medieval stories such as the 14th-century romantic poem 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.
GAY f English
From the English word gay
meaning "gay, happy". By the mid-20th century the word had acquired the additional meaning of "homosexual", and the name has subsequently dropped out of use.
GAYATRI f Hinduism, Indian, Marathi, Hindi
From Sanskrit गायत्र (gayatra)
which refers to a type of song or hymn with a particular meter. It is also the name of a Hindu goddess who is a personification of this song.
GAYLORD m English
From an English surname which was derived from Old French gaillard
"high-spirited, boistrous". This name was rarely used after the mid-20th century, when the word gay
acquired the slang meaning "homosexual".
GEDALIAH m Biblical
is great" in Hebrew. This was the name of several characters in the Old Testament, including the governor of Judah appointed by Nebuchadnezzar.
GELLÉRT m Hungarian
Hungarian form of GERARD
. Saint Gellért was an 11th-century missionary to Hungary who was martyred by being thrown into the Danube.
GEMARIAH m Biblical
has accomplished" in Hebrew. This was the name of a friend of Jeremiah in the Old Testament.
GEMINI m Roman Mythology
Means "twins" in Latin. This is the name of the third sign of the zodiac. The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor
, are named for the mythological twin sons of Leda
GENESIS f English (Modern)
Means "birth, origin" 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
meaning "spear" and wald
meaning "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
meaning "spear" combined with hard
meaning "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.
GERBEN m Dutch
Derived from the Germanic elements ger
meaning "spear" and bern
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 leader 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.