ROSTAM m Persian, Persian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from Avestan raodha
"to grow" and takhma
"strong, brave, valiant". Rostam was a warrior hero in Persian legend. The 11th-century Persian poet Firdausi recorded his tale in the 'Shahnameh'.
ROSWELL m English
From a surname which was derived from an Old English place name meaning "horse spring".
ROSWITHA f German
Derived from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and swinth
"strength". This was the name of a 10th-century nun from Saxony who wrote several notable poems.
ROTEM m & f Hebrew
From the name of a desert plant (species Retama raetam), possibly derived from Hebrew רְתֹם (retom)
meaning "to bind".
ROWAN m & f Irish, English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin
meaning "descendant of RUADHÁN
". This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree.
ROWENA f English
Meaning uncertain, possibly a Latinized form of a Germanic name derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wunn
"joy, bliss". According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a daughter of the Saxon chief Hengist. It was popularized by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for a character in his novel 'Ivanhoe' (1819).
ROXANA f English, Spanish, Romanian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latin form of Ρωξανη (Roxane)
, the Greek form of the Persian or Bactrian name روشنک (Roshanak)
which meant "bright" or "dawn". This was the name of Alexander the Great's first wife, a daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes. In the modern era it came into use during the 17th century. In the English-speaking world it was popularized by Daniel Defoe, who used it in his novel 'Roxana' (1724).
ROXELANA f History
From a Turkish nickname meaning "Ruthenian". This referred to the region of Ruthenia, covering Belarus, Ukraine and western Russia. Roxelana (1502-1558), also known by the name Hürrem, was a slave and then concubine of Süleyman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. She eventually became his wife and produced his heir, Selim II.
ROY m Scottish, English, Dutch
Anglicized form of RUADH
. A notable bearer was the Scottish outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy (1671-1734). It is often associated with French roi
ROYAL m English
From the English word royal
, derived (via Old French) from Latin regalis
, a derivative of rex
"king". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century.
ROYCE m English
From a surname which was derived from the medieval given name Royse
, a variant of ROSE
ROYDON m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill", from Old English ryge
"rye" and dun
ROYLE m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "rye hill" from Old English ryge
"rye" and hyll
ROYSTON m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "town of Royse". The given name Royse
was a medieval variant of ROSE
RU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 儒 (rú)
meaning "scholar", 如 (rú)
meaning "like, as, if", or other characters with similar pronunciations.
RUADH m Irish, Scottish
Gaelic byname meaning "red", often a nickname for one with red hair. This was the nickname of the Scottish outlaw Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor (1671-1734), known as Rob Roy in English.
RUAIDHRÍ m Irish
Means "red king" from Irish ruadh
"red" combined with rí
"king". This was the name of the last high king of Ireland, reigning in the 12th century.
RUARC m Irish
Probably an Irish form of HRŒREKR
, introduced by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. Alternatively it may be derived from Irish ruarc
RUBAB f Arabic
From an Arabic word referring to a type of stringed musical instrument. This was the name of the wife of Muhammad
's grandson Husayn
RUBINA f Italian
Derived from Italian rubino
meaning "ruby", ultimately from Latin ruber
RUBY f English
Simply from the name of the precious stone (which ultimately derives from Latin ruber
"red"), which is the birthstone of July. It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
RUDOLF m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Russian, Armenian
From the Germanic name Hrodulf
, which was derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wulf
"wolf". It was borne by three kings of Burgundy, as well as several Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. Anthony Hope used this name for the hero in his popular novel 'The Prisoner of Zenda' (1894).
RUDOLPH m English
English form of RUDOLF
, imported from Germany in the 19th century. Robert L. May used it in 1939 for his Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
RUDYARD m English (Rare)
From a place name meaning "red yard" in Old English. This name was borne by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the author of 'The Jungle Book' and other works, who was named after Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire.
RUE f English
From the name of the bitter medicinal herb, ultimately deriving from Greek ‘ρυτη (rhyte)
. This is also sometimes used as a short form of RUTH (1)
RUFUS m Ancient Roman, English, Biblical
Roman cognomen which meant "red-haired" in Latin. Several early saints had this name, including one mentioned in one of Paul
's epistles in the New Testament. As a nickname it was used by William II Rufus, a king of England, because of his red hair. It came into general use in the English-speaking world after the Protestant Reformation.
RUKMINI f Hinduism
Means "adorned with gold" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of a princess who became the wife of Krishna
RUNAR m Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse elements rún
"secret lore" and arr
"warrior". This name did not exist in Old Norse, but was created in the modern era.
RUPERT m German, Dutch, English
German variant form of ROBERT
. The military commander Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a nephew of Charles I, introduced this name to England in the 17th century.
RUPINDER m & f Indian (Sikh)
Means "greatest beauty" from Sanskrit रूप (rupa)
meaning "beauty, form" combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA
, used here to mean "greatest".
RUQAYYAH f Arabic
Derived either from Arabic رقى (ruqia)
meaning "rise, ascent" or from رقية (ruqyah)
meaning "spell, charm, incantation". This was the name of one of the daughters of the Prophet Muhammad
. She became a wife of Uthman
, the third caliph of the Muslims.
RUSLAN m Russian, Tatar, Bashkir, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Ossetian, Chechen, Ingush
Form of YERUSLAN
used by Aleksandr Pushkin in his poem 'Ruslan and Ludmila' (1820), which was loosely based on Russian and Tatar folktales of Yeruslan Lazarevich.
RUSSELL m English
From a surname which meant "little red one" in French. A notable bearer of the surname was the agnostic British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who wrote on many subjects including logic, epistemology and mathematics. He was also a political activist for causes such as pacifism and women's rights.
RUSTY m English
From a nickname which was originally given to someone with a rusty, or reddish-brown, hair colour.
RUSUDAN f Georgian
Possibly derived from Persian روز (ruz)
meaning "day". This name was borne by a 13th-century ruling queen of Georgia.
RŪTA f Lithuanian
Means "rue" in Lithuanian, the rue plant being a bitter medicinal herb which is a national symbol of Lithuania. This is also the Lithuanian form of RUTH (1)
RUY m Portuguese, Spanish
Medieval Portuguese and Spanish short form of RODRIGO
. It is another name of the 11th-century Spanish military commander Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, also known as El Cid.
RUZHA f Bulgarian, Macedonian
Means "hollyhock" in Bulgarian and Macedonian (referring to flowering plants from the genera Alcea and Althaea).
RYAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Riain
meaning "descendant of Rían". The given name Rían
probably means "little king" (from Irish rí
"king" combined with a diminutive suffix).
RYDER m English (Modern)
From an English occupational surname derived from Old English ridere
meaning "mounted warrior" or "messenger".
RYKER m English (Modern)
Possibly a variant of the German surname Riker
, a derivative of Low German rike
"rich". It may have been altered by association with the popular name prefix Ry
RYLAN m English (Modern)
Possibly a variant of the English surname Ryland
, which was originally derived from a place name meaning "rye land" in Old English.
RYOU m Japanese
From Japanese 涼 (ryou)
meaning "cool, refreshing", 遼 (ryou)
meaning "distant" or 諒 (ryou)
meaning "reality", as well as other kanji which have the same pronunciation.
RYOUICHI m Japanese
From Japanese 良 (ryou)
meaning "good" or 亮 (ryou)
meaning "clear" combined with 一 (ichi)
meaning "one". Other kanji combinations are possible.
RYOUTA m Japanese
From Japanese 涼 (ryou)
meaning "cool, refreshing", 亮 (ryou)
meaning "clear" or 良 (ryou)
meaning "good" combined with 太 (ta)
meaning "thick, big". This name can also be formed of other kanji combinations.
RYUU m Japanese
From Japanese 竜, 龍 (ryuu)
meaning "dragon", as well as other kanji with the same pronunciation.
RYUUNOSUKE m Japanese
From Japanese 竜, 龍 (ryuu)
meaning "dragon" or 隆 (ryuu)
meaning "noble, prosperous" combined with 之 (no)
, a possessive marker, and 介 (suke)
meaning "forerunner, herald". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
SAANA f Finnish
From the name of a mountain in northern Finland.
SABAS m Spanish, Late Greek
From a Greek name which was derived from Hebrew סַבָא (sava')
meaning "old man". Saints bearing this name include a 4th-century Gothic martyr, a 5th-century Cappadocian hermit, and a 12th-century archbishop of Serbia who is the patron saint of that country.
SABEEN f Urdu
Possibly from Arabic meaning "follower of another religion", a name given to Muhammad
and other Muslims by non-Muslim Arabs.
SABINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Swedish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Sabinus
, a Roman cognomen meaning "Sabine" in Latin. The Sabines were an ancient people who lived in central Italy, their lands eventually taken over by the Romans after several wars. According to legend, the Romans abducted several Sabine women during a raid, and when the men came to rescue them, the women were able to make peace between the two groups. This name was borne by several early saints.
SABLE f English (Modern)
From the English word meaning "black", derived from the name of the black-furred mammal native to Northern Asia, ultimately of Slavic origin.
SABRINA f English, Italian, German
Latinized form of Habren
, the original Welsh name of the River Severn. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the name of a princess who was drowned in the Severn. Supposedly the river was named for her, but it is more likely that her name was actually derived from that of the river, which is of unknown meaning. She appears as a water nymph in John Milton's masque 'Comus' (1634). It was popularized as a given name by Samuel A. Taylor's play 'Sabrina Fair' (1953) and the movie adaptation that followed it the next year.
SABUROU m Japanese
From Japanese 三 (sabu)
meaning "three" and 郎 (rou)
meaning "son". This was traditionally a name for the third son. Other kanji combinations are possible as well.
SACAGAWEA f Native American
Probably from Hidatsa tsakáka wía
meaning "bird woman". Alternatively it could originate from the Shoshone language and mean "boat puller". This name was borne by a Native American woman who guided the explorers Lewis and Clark. She was of Shoshone ancestry but had been abducted in her youth and raised by a Hidatsa tribe.
SACHEVERELL m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a Norman place name. It was occasionally given in honour of preacher Henry Sacheverell (1674-1724).
SACHIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 幸 (sachi)
meaning "happiness, good luck" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
SA'D m Arabic
Means "fortune, good luck" in Arabic. This was the name of a successful military commander for the Muslims during the early years of Islam.
SADAF f Arabic
Means "seashell, mother-of-pearl" in Arabic.
SAFFRON f English (Rare)
From the English word which refers either to a spice, the crocus flower from which it is harvested, or the yellow-orange colour of the spice. It is derived via Old French from Arabic زعفران (za'faran)
, itself probably from Persian meaning "gold leaves".
SAGA f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Icelandic
Possibly means "seeing one" in Old Norse. This was the name of the Norse goddess of poetry and history, sometimes identified with the goddess Frigg
. This is also a modern Swedish word meaning "story, fairy tale".
SAGE f & m English (Modern)
From the English word sage
, which denotes either a type of spice or else a wise person.
SAHAK m Armenian
Armenian form of ISAAC
. This was the name of a 5th-century patriarch of the Armenian Church.
SA'ID m Arabic
Means "happy, lucky" in Arabic. This was the name of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad
SAIRA f Urdu
Possibly means "traveller" in Arabic.
SAJJAD m Arabic
Means "kneeling in prayer, prostration" in Arabic.
SAKHR m Arabic
Means "solid rock" in Arabic. This name appears in the poems of the 7th-century poetess Al-Khansa.
SAKI f Japanese
From Japanese 咲 (sa)
meaning "blossom" and 希 (ki)
meaning "hope", besides other combinations of kanji characters.
SAKIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 咲 (saki)
meaning "blossom" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child", as well as other combinations of kanji characters.
SAKURA f Japanese
From Japanese 桜 (sakura)
meaning "cherry blossom", though it is often written さくら
using the hiragana writing system. It can also come from 咲 (saku)
meaning "blossom" and 良 (ra)
meaning "good, virtuous, respectable" as well as other kanji combinations.
SAKURAKO f Japanese
From Japanese 桜 (sakura)
meaning "cherry blossom" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
SALACIA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin sal
meaning "salt". This was the name of the Roman goddess of salt water.
SALAH AL-DIN m Arabic
Means "righteousness of religion" from Arabic صلاح (salah)
"righteousness" combined with دين (din)
"religion, faith". A famous bearer of this name was the sultan Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub, known in the western world as Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt in the 12th century. He recaptured Jerusalem from the crusaders and repelled the invaders of the Third Crusade. Salah al-Din was an honourific; his birth name was Yusuf.
SALAMBEK m Chechen
Derived from Arabic سَلآم (salaam)
"peace" combined with the Turkish military title beg
meaning "chieftain, master".
SALIH m Arabic
Means "virtuous" in Arabic. According to the Qur'an this was the name of an early Arabian prophet.
SALIM m Arabic
Means "safe, sound, intact", derived from Arabic سلم (salima)
"to be safe".
SALMA f Arabic
Means "safe", derived from Arabic سلم (salima)
"to be safe".
SALMAN m Arabic
Means "safe", derived from Arabic سلم (salima)
"to be safe".
SALOME f English, German, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From an Aramaic name which was related to the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
meaning "peace". According to the historian Josephus this was the name of the daughter of Herodias
(the consort of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee). In the New Testament, though a specific name is not given, it was a daughter of Herodias who danced for Herod and was rewarded with the head of John
the Baptist, and thus Salome and the dancer have traditionally been equated.... [more]
SALVADOR m Spanish
Spanish form of the Late Latin name Salvator
, which meant "saviour". A famous bearer of this name was the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (1904-1989).