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.
IRELAND f English (Modern)
From the name of the European island country, derived from Irish Gaelic Éire
, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
İREM f Turkish
Turkish form of Arabic إرَم (Iram)
, the name of a beautiful city mentioned in the 89th chapter (surah al-Fajr) of the Qur'an.
IRENE f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene)
, derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι
(Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.... [more]
IRFAN m Arabic
Means "knowledge, awareness, learning" in Arabic.
IRIA f Portuguese, Galician
Possibly a Portuguese and Galician form of IRENE
. This was the name of a 7th-century saint (also known as Irene) from Tomar in Portugal. This is also the name of an ancient town in Galicia (now a district of Padrón).
IRIT f Hebrew
Means "asphodel" in Hebrew (an asphodel is a type of flower).
IRMA f German, English, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Lithuanian, Hungarian (Rare), Ancient Germanic
German short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ermen
, which meant "whole, universal". It is thus related to EMMA
. It began to be regularly used in the English-speaking world in the 19th century.
IRVING m English, Scottish, Jewish
From a Scottish surname which was in turn derived from a Scottish place name meaning "green water". Historically this name has been relatively common among Jews, who have used it as an American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I
such as Isaac
. A famous bearer was the Russian-American songwriter and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose birth name was Israel Beilin.
ISAAC m English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq)
meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice", derived from צָחַק (tzachaq)
meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham
laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah
would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau
with his wife Rebecca
ISABEL f Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German
Medieval Occitan form of ELIZABETH
. It spread throughout Spain, Portugal and France, becoming common among the royalty by the 12th century. It grew popular in England in the 13th century after Isabella of Angoulême married the English king John, and it was subsequently bolstered when Isabella of France married Edward II the following century.... [more]
ISABELLA f Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian
Latinate form of ISABEL
. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel
ISAIAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Yesha'yahu)
is salvation". Isaiah is one of the four major prophets of the Old Testament, supposedly the author of the Book of Isaiah. He was from Jerusalem and probably lived in the 8th century BC, at a time when Assyria threatened the Kingdom of Judah. As an English Christian name, Isaiah
was first used after the Protestant Reformation.
ISAMU m Japanese
From Japanese 勇 (isamu)
meaning "brave" or other kanji having the same pronunciation.
ISCAH f Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִסְכָּה (Yiskah)
which meant "to behold". In the Old Testament this is the name of Abraham
's niece, mentioned only briefly. This is the basis of the English name Jessica
ISHA f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Hinduism
Means "master, lord" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form ईशा
and the masculine form ईश
(an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva
). It is also the name of one of the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
ISHMAEL m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִשְׁמָעֵאל (Yishma'el)
meaning "God will hear". In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Abraham
. He is the traditional ancestor of the Arab people. Also in the Old Testament, it is borne by a man who assassinates Gedaliah
the governor of Judah. The author Herman Melville later used this name for the narrator in his novel 'Moby-Dick' (1851).
ISHTAR f Near Eastern Mythology
Meaning unknown. Ishtar was the Babylonian and Assyrian mother goddess who presided over love, war and fertility. She was called Ashtoreth
by the Phoenicians, and she was also identified with the Sumerian goddess Inanna
ISHVI m Biblical
Means "he resembles me" in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Asher
in the Old Testament.
ISIS f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Ist
(reconstructed as Iset
), which possibly meant "the throne". In Egyptian mythology Isis was the goddess of the sky and nature, the wife of Osiris
and the mother of Horus
. She was originally depicted wearing a throne-shaped headdress, but in later times she was conflated with the goddess Hathor
and depicted having the horns of a cow on her head. She was also worshipped by people outside of Egypt, such as the Greeks and Romans.
ISLAMBEK m Chechen
Derived from Islam
, the name of the religion (ultimately from Arabic إسلام
), combined with the Turkish military title beg
meaning "chieftain, master".
ISLAY m Scottish
From the name of the island of Islay, which lies off of the west coast of Scotland.
ISLWYN m Welsh
From the name of a mountain in Wales which means "below the grove" from Welsh is
"below" and llwyn
ISMENE f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek ισμη (isme)
"knowledge". This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
ISOLDE f English (Rare), German, Arthurian Romance
The origins of this name are uncertain, though some Celtic roots have been suggested. It is possible that the name is ultimately Germanic, perhaps from a hypothetic name like Ishild
, composed of the elements is
"ice, iron" and hild
ISRA f Arabic
Means "nocturnal journey", derived from Arabic سرى (sara)
"to travel at night".
ISRAEL m Jewish, English, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name יִשְׂרָאֵל (Yisra'el)
meaning "God contended". In the Old Testament Israel (who was formerly named Jacob
; see Genesis 32:28) wrestles with an angel. The ancient and modern states of Israel took their names from him.
ISRAFIL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Meaning unknown. In Islamic tradition this is the name of the angel who will blow the trumpet that signals the coming of Judgement Day. He is sometimes equated with the angels Raphael
from Judeo-Christian tradition.
ISSACHAR m Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "man of hire" or "there is reward", from Hebrew שָׁכַר (shakhar)
"hire, wage, reward". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob
and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. A justification for the name's meaning is given in Genesis 30:18.