IEVA f Lithuanian, Latvian
Lithuanian and Latvian form of EVE
. This is also the Lithuanian and Latvian word for a type of cherry tree (species Prunus padus).
IGNATIUS m Late Roman
From the Roman family name Egnatius
, meaning unknown, of Etruscan origin. The spelling was later altered to resemble Latin ignis
"fire". This was the name of several saints, including the third bishop of Antioch who was thrown to wild beasts by emperor Trajan, and by Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Jesuits, whose real birth name was in fact Íñigo.
IGOR m Russian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian
Russian form of Yngvarr
). The Varangians brought it to Russia in the 10th century. It was borne by two Grand Princes of Kiev. Famous bearers include Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), a Russian composer whose most famous work is 'The Rite of Spring', and Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972), the Russian-American designer of the first successful helicopter.
IGRAINE f Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown, from Igerna
, the Latinized form of Welsh Eigyr
. In Arthurian legend she is the mother of King Arthur
by Uther Pendragon and the mother of Morgan
le Fay by Gorlois. The Welsh form Eigyr
was rendered into Latin as Igerna
by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth.
IKE m English
Diminutive of ISAAC
. This was the nickname of the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), based on the initial sound of his surname.
ILDEFONSO m Spanish
Spanish form of the Visigothic name Hildefons
, which meant "battle ready", derived from the Germanic elements hild
"battle" and funs
"ready". This was the name of a 7th-century saint, an archbishop of Toledo.
ILEANA f Romanian, Spanish, Italian
Possibly a Romanian variant of ELENA
. In Romanian folklore this is the name of a princess kidnapped by monsters and rescued by a heroic knight.
İLHAN m Turkish
From the Mongolian title il-Khan
meaning "subordinate Khan
", which was first adopted by Genghis Khan's grandson Hulagu, who ruled a kingdom called the Ilkhanate that stretched from modern Iran to eastern Turkey.
İLKAY f & m Turkish
Means "new moon" in Turkish, derived from ilk
"first" and ay
İLKER m Turkish
Means "first man" in Turkish, derived from ilk
"first" and er
ILLTYD m Welsh
Means "multitude of land" from Welsh il
"multitude" and tud
"land, people". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh saint who founded the abbey of Llanilltud in Glamorgan.
ILMARINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish ilma
"air". Ilmarinen is an immortal smith in Finnish mythology, the creator of the sky and the magic mill known as the Sampo. He is one of the main characters in the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
IL-SEONG m Korean
From Sino-Korean 日 (il)
meaning "sun, day" and 成 (seong)
meaning "completed, finished, succeeded". Other hanja character combinations are possible. A notable bearer was Kim Il-sung (1912-1994), the first leader of North Korea.
IMAD m Arabic
Means "support" or "pillar" in Arabic.
IME (2) m & f Frisian
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ermen
IMHOTEP m Ancient Egyptian
Means "he comes in peace" in Egyptian. This was the name of the architect, priest, physician and chief minister to the pharaoh Djoser. Imhotep apparently designed the step pyramid at Saqqara, near Memphis.
IMOGEN f English (British)
The name of a princess in the play 'Cymbeline' (1609) by Shakespeare. He based her on a legendary character named Innogen
, but the name was printed incorrectly and never corrected. The name Innogen
is probably derived from Gaelic inghean
IMRE m Hungarian
Hungarian form of EMMERICH
. This was the name of an 11th-century Hungarian saint, the son of Saint Istvan. He is also known as Emeric.
INANNA f Near Eastern Mythology
Possibly derived from Sumerian (n)in-an-na
"lady of the heavens". Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of the earth, love, fertility and war. She descended into the underworld where the ruler of that place, her sister Ereshkigal, had her killed. The god Enki
interceded, and Inanna was allowed to leave the underworld as long as her husband Dumuzi took her place.
INDIA f English
From the name of the country, which is itself derived from the name of the Indus River. The river's name is ultimately from Sanskrit सिन्धु (Sindhu)
meaning "body of trembling water, river".
INDIANA f & m English
From the name of the American state, which means "land of the Indians". This is the name of the hero in the 'Indiana Jones' series of movies, starring Harrison Ford.
INDIGO f & m English (Rare)
From the English word indigo
for the purplish-blue dye or the colour. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ινδικον (Indikon)
"Indic, from India".
INDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "possessing drops of rain" from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu)
meaning "a drop" and र (ra)
meaning "acquiring, possessing". Indra is the name of the ancient Hindu warrior god of the sky and rain. He is the chief god in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
INDRAJIT m Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Hindi
Means "conqueror of Indra" from the name of the god INDRA
combined with Sanskrit जिति (jiti)
meaning "victory, conquering". In Hindu legend this is another name of Meghanada, the son of Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka. He was given this name by Brahma
after he defeated Indra
INDU f Indian, Hindi
Means "bright drop" in Sanskrit. This is a name for the moon.
INDY m Popular Culture
Diminutive of INDIANA
. This is the nickname of the hero of the 'Indiana Jones' movies, starring Harrison Ford.
ING m Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic *Ingwaz
, possibly meaning "ancestor". This was the name of an obscure old Germanic fertility god who was considered the ancestor of the tribe the Ingaevones. It is possible he was an earlier incarnation of the god Freyr
INGE f & m Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Dutch
Short form of Scandinavian and German names beginning with the element ing
, which refers to the Germanic god ING
. In Sweden and Norway this is primarily a masculine name, elsewhere it is usually feminine.
INGEMAR m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Ingimárr
, derived from the name of the Germanic god ING
combined with mærr
INGMAR m Swedish
Variant of INGEMAR
. This name was borne by the Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007).
INGRID f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Ingríðr
meaning "Ing is beautiful", derived from the name of the Germanic god ING
combined with fríðr
"beautiful". A famous bearer was the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982).
ÍÑIGO m Spanish
Medieval Spanish form of ENEKO
. This was the birth name of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who changed it in honour of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. As such, this name is sometimes regarded as a form of IGNATIUS
INIGO m English (Rare)
English form of ÍÑIGO
. It became well-known in Britain due to the 17th-century English architect Inigo Jones. He was named after his father, a Catholic who was named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
INMACULADA f Spanish
Means "immaculate" in Spanish. This name is given to commemorate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
INNA f Russian, Ukrainian
Meaning unknown. This was the name of an early Scythian saint and martyr, a male, supposedly a disiciple of Saint Andrew
INNOCENT m History
From the Late Latin name Innocentius
which was derived from innocens
"innocent". This was the name of several early saints. It was also borne by 13 popes including Innocent III, a politically powerful ruler and organizer of the Fourth Crusade.
IO f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus
, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from Hera
. A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.
IOLANTHE f Various
Probably a variant of YOLANDA
influenced by the Greek words ιολη (iole)
"violet" and ανθος (anthos)
"flower". This name was (first?) used by Gilbert and Sullivan in their comic opera 'Iolanthe' (1882).
ION (2) m Greek Mythology
Of unknown etymology, possibly pre-Greek. According to Greek mythology he was a son of Creusa and Xuthus (or alternatively the god Apollo
). He was said to be the ancestor of the Greek tribe of the Ionians.
IONA (1) f English, Scottish
From the name of the island off Scotland where Saint Columba founded a monastery. The name of the island is Old Norse in origin, and apparently derives simply from ey
IONE f Greek Mythology, English
From Greek ιον (ion)
meaning "violet flower". This was the name of a sea nymph in Greek mythology. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, though perhaps based on the Greek place name Ionia
, a region on the west coast of Asia Minor.
IORWERTH m Welsh
Means "handsome lord" from Welsh ior
"lord" and berth
"handsome". This name is used in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, where it belongs to a son of Maredudd. This name is sometimes used as a Welsh form of EDWARD
IPHIGENEIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ιφιος (iphios)
"strong, stout" and γενης (genes)
"born". In Greek myth Iphigenia was the daughter of king Agamemnon
. When her father offended Artemis
it was divined that the only way to appease the goddess was to sacrifice Iphigenia. Just as Agamemnon was about to sacrifice his daughter she was magically transported to the city of Taurus.... [more]
IQBAL m Arabic
Means "fortunate" in Arabic. Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) was a poet, philosopher, and scholar from Pakistan.
IRA (1) m Biblical, English, Hebrew
Means "watchful" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of King David
's priest. As an English Christian given name, Ira
began to be used after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where remained moderately common into the 20th century.
IRACEMA f Native American, Tupi
Means "honey lips" in Tupi. This is the name of an 1865 novel by José de Alencar, about the relationship between a Tupi woman and a Portuguese man during the early colonial period. Alencar may have constructed the name so that it would be an anagram of America