Means "little abbot", derived from Irish abb
"abbot" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint, the son of King Cormac of Leinster.
Means "servant of the powerful" from Arabic عبد ال ('abd al)
meaning "servant of the" combined with عزيز ('aziz)
meaning "powerful". This was the name of the first king of modern Saudi Arabia.
Means "servant of the king" from Arabic عبد ال ('abd al)
meaning "servant of the" combined with ملك (malik)
meaning "king". This was the name of the fifth Umayyad caliph, who made Arabic the official language of the empire.
ABIJAHm & fBiblical
Means "my father is YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of several characters, both male and female, including the second king of Judah.
Means "my father is king" in Hebrew. This is the name of several characters in the Old Testament including a king of Gerar who takes Abraham
's wife Sarah
, but is forced by God to give her back.
Means "my father strays" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Abishag is a young woman who tends King David
in his old age.
Means "my father is a gift" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is one of King David
ABSALOMmBiblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name אַבְשָׁלוֹם ('Avshalom)
meaning "my father is peace", derived from אָב ('av)
meaning "father" and שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
meaning "peace". In the Old Testament he is a son of King David
. He avenged his sister Tamar
by arranging the murder of her rapist, their half-brother Amnon
. He later led a revolt against his father. While fleeing on the back of a mule he got his head caught in a tree and was killed by Joab
ADAfEnglish, German, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Finnish
Short form of ADELAIDE
and other names beginning with the same sound. This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron. She was an assistant to Charles Babbage, the inventor of an early mechanical computer.
ADELAIDEfEnglish, Italian, Portuguese
From the French form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and heid
"kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman emperor Otto the Great. The name became common in Britain in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.
Means "ornament" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of King David
's mighty men.
Means "my lord is YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. This is the name of one of King David
's sons in the Old Testament. Though he was the eldest surviving son of David, he was passed over as heir to the throne in favour of Solomon
Means "not inclined to run away" in Greek. This was the name of a king of Argos in Greek legend.
Derived from the Old English elements ælf
"elf" and giefu
"gift". This was the name of the first wife of the English king Æðelræd II.
Roman family name which was possibly derived from the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios)
meaning "sun". This was the family name of the Roman emperor Hadrian.
Means "ash tree" in Old English. This was the nickname of a 5th-century king of Kent, whose birth name was Oeric.
Old English cognate of Adalbert
). This was the name of a Saxon king of England and two kings of Kent, one of whom was a saint. It became unused after the Normans introduced their form of Adalbert
after their invasion.
Old English name composed of the elements æðel
"noble" and flæd
"beauty". Æðelflæd was a 10th-century queen of Mercia.
Derived from the Old English elements æðel
"noble" and stan
"stone". This was the name of an early king of England. The name was rarely used after the Norman conquest.
AGAPIOSmGreek, Ancient Greek
Masculine form of AGAPE
. This was the name of a saint from Caesarea who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
Means "bearer of good news", derived from Greek αγαθος (agathos)
"good" and αγγελος (angelos)
"messenger, angel". Saint Agathangelus of Rome was a 4th-century deacon who was martyred during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian.
Germanic name derived from the elements agil
"edge (of a sword), blade" and wulf
"wolf". This name was borne by a 6th-century king of the Lombards and by an 8th-century bishop of Cologne and saint.
AGNESfEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Αγνη (Hagne)
, derived from Greek ‘αγνος (hagnos)
meaning "chaste". Saint Agnes was a virgin martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The name became associated with Latin agnus
"lamb", resulting in the saint's frequent depiction with a lamb by her side. Due to her renown, the name became common in Christian Europe, being especially popular in England in the Middle Ages.
AGRIPPAm & fAncient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from Greek αγριος (agrios)
"wild" and ‘ιππος (hippos)
"horse" or possibly of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
Feminine derivative of AGRIPPA
. This name was borne by the scheming mother of the Roman emperor Nero, who eventually had her killed. This was also the name of a 3rd-century Roman saint who is venerated in Sicily.
AHABmBiblical, Biblical Latin
Means "uncle", from Hebrew אָח ('ach)
"brother" and אֲב ('av)
"father". This was the name of a king of Israel, the husband of Jezebel
, as told in the Old Testament. He was admonished by Elijah
for his sinful behaviour. This name was later used by Herman Melville in his novel 'Moby-Dick' (1851), where it belongs to a sea captain obsessively hunting for a white whale.
AILILLmIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "elf" in Irish Gaelic. This name occurs frequently in Irish legend, borne for example by the husband of Queen Medb
Means "radiance" in Gaelic. This was the name of the queen of the fairies in Celtic mythology. It is also taken as an Irish form of Anne
AISHAfArabic, Urdu, American
Means "alive" in Arabic. This was the name of Muhammad
's third wife, the daughter of Abu Bakr
. Some time after Muhammad's death she went to war against Ali
, the fourth caliph, but was defeated. This name is used more by Sunni Muslims and less by Shias.... [more]
From the Gothic name Alareiks
which meant "ruler of all", derived from the Germanic element ala
"all" combined with ric
"ruler, power". This was the name of a king of the Visigoths who sacked Rome in the 5th century.
ALBERICHmAncient Germanic, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements alf
"elf" and ric
"power". Alberich was the name of the sorcerer king of the dwarfs in Germanic mythology. He also appears in the 'Nibelungenlied' as a dwarf who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen.
ALBERTmEnglish, French, Catalan, German, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Romanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Adalbert
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and beraht
"bright". This name was common among medieval German royalty. The Normans introduced it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Æðelberht
. Though it became rare in England by the 17th century, it was repopularized in the 19th century by the German-born Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.... [more]
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 14th-century Polish queen, the daughter of a Grand Duke of Lithuania.
ALEXANDERmEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ALEXISm & fGerman, French, English, Greek, Ancient Greek
From the Greek name Αλεξις (Alexis)
, which meant "helper" or "defender", derived from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, to help". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangeably with the related name Αλεξιος
, borne by five Byzantine emperors. In the English-speaking world it is more commonly used as a feminine name.
ALEXIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξιος (Alexios)
, a derivative of Αλεξις
). This was the name of five Byzantine emperors. It was also borne by a 5th-century Syrian saint who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
ALF (1)mSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse alfr
"elf". In Norse legend this was the name of king, the suitor of a reluctant maiden named Alfhild. She avoided marrying him by disguising herself as a warrior, but when they fought she was so impressed by his strength that she changed her mind.
From the Old Norse name Alfhildr
which was composed of the elements alfr
"elf" and hildr
"battle". In Norse legend Alfhild was a maiden who disguised herself as a warrior in order to avoid marriage to King Alf. Her life was perhaps based on that of a 9th-century Viking pirate.
ALFREDmEnglish, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch
Derived from the Old English name Ælfræd
, composed of the elements ælf
"elf" and ræd
"counsel". Alfred the Great was a 9th-century king of Wessex who fought unceasingly against the Danes living in northeast England. He was also a scholar, and he translated many Latin books into Old English. His fame helped to ensure the usage of this name even after the Norman conquest, when most Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. It became rare by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th century.... [more]
Italian variant of AMADEUS
. This was the name of a 19th-century king of Spain (born in Italy).
Germanic name derived from the elements amal
meaning "work, labour" and ric
meaning "power". This was the name of a 6th-century king of the Visigoths, as well as two 12th-century rulers of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Means "trustworthy, reliable" in Hebrew. This was the name of a servant of King Solomon in the Old Testament.
Meaning unknown. In Roman mythology Amulius overthrew his brother Numitor, king of Alba Longa, but was eventually deposed by Numitor's grandsons Romulus
Meaning unknown, perhaps a derivative of AMIS
. Alternatively, it may come from a surname which originally indicated that the bearer was from the city of Amiens in France. Edmund Spenser used this name for a minor character in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
ANASTASIAfGreek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ANASTASIUS
. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.
ANNAfEnglish, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Form of Channah
) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah
spelling instead of Anna
. The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus
as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary
. In the English-speaking world, this form came into general use in the 18th century, joining Ann
ANNE (1)fFrench, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, Basque
French form of ANNA
. In the 13th-century it was imported to England, where it was also commonly spelled Ann
. The name was borne by a 17th-century English queen and also by the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (the mother of Queen Elizabeth I), who was eventually beheaded in the Tower of London. This is also the name of the heroine in 'Anne of Green Gables' (1908) by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery.
Derived from Greek αντι (anti)
"against, compared to, like" and γονη (gone)
"birth, offspring". In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave.
Derived from the Greek elements αντι (anti)
"against, compared to, like" and οψ (ops)
"voice". This was the name of several figures in Greek mythology, including a daughter of Ares
who was one of the queens of the Amazons. She was kidnapped and married by Theseus
Feminine diminutive of ANTOINE
. This name was borne by Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. She was executed by guillotine.
Italian form of the Roman name Antoninus
, which was derived from Antonius
). There were several early saints named Antoninus, including the patron saint of Sorrento. This was also the name of a 2nd-century Roman emperor.
AONGHUSmIrish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly meaning "one strength" derived from Irish óen
"one" and gus
"force, strength, energy". Aonghus (sometimes surnamed Mac Og
meaning "young son") was the Irish god of love and youth. The name was also borne by an 8th-century Pictish king and several Irish kings.
ARAmArmenian, Armenian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Sumerian origin. In Armenian legend this was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him. During the war Ara was slain.
From the Middle Persian form of Artakhshathra
). This was the name of a 3rd-century king of Persia who defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanid Empire. He also established Zoroastrianism as the state religion.
Greek form of an Aramaic name, of unknown meaning. This was the name of four Nabataean kings of Petra in Jordan, including the first king (2nd century BC). King Aretas IV is mentioned briefly in the New Testament.
Means "most holy", composed of the Cretan Greek elements αρι (ari)
"most" and αδνος (adnos)
"holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos
. She fell in love with Theseus
and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus
Meaning uncertain. It was perhaps inspired by the fictional place name Arlo Hill from the poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590) by Edmund Spenser. Spenser probably got Arlo by altering the real Irish place name Aherlow, which is Gaelic meaning "between two highlands".
Means "virile" in Greek. Saint Arsenius was a 5th-century deacon who was tutor to the two sons of the Roman emperor Theodosius. The two sons, Arcadius and Honorius, divided the empire into eastern and western halves upon their father's death.
ARTHURmEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos
"bear" combined with viros
"man" or rigos
"king". Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius
. Arthur is the name of the central character in Arthurian legend, a 6th-century king of the Britons who resisted Saxon invaders. He may or may not have been a real person. He first appears in Welsh poems and chronicles (some possibly as early as the 7th century) but his character was not developed until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth.... [more]
Possibly means "mountain goats" in Arabic. This was the name of a 12th-century queen of Yemen.
Meaning unknown, probably of Turkic origin. This was the name of a 12th-century Bulgarian emperor (Ivan Asen I) and several of his successors.
Means "without sorrow" in Sanskrit. This name was borne by Ashoka the Great, a 3rd-century BC emperor of India.
ATHALIAHf & mBiblical
Possibly means "YAHWEH
is exalted" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both a feminine and masculine name. It was borne by the daughter of Ahab
, who later came to rule Judah as a queen.
AUGUSTUSmAncient Roman, Dutch
Means "great" or "venerable", derived from Latin augere
"to increase". Augustus was the title given to Octavian
, the first Roman emperor. He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar who rose to power through a combination of military skill and political prowess. This was also the name of three kings of Poland.
Means "honouring the throne" in Persian. This was the name of a 17th-century Mughal emperor of India.
Roman family name which was derived from Latin aureus
"golden, gilded". Marcus Aurelius was a 2nd-century Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.
From the name of the island paradise to which King Arthur
was brought after his death. The name of this island is perhaps related to Welsh afal
meaning "apple", a fruit which was often linked with paradise.
From a Roman family name which meant "ancestral" in Latin. This was the name of an emperor who briefly reigned over the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. It was also the name of several saints, including a 6th-century bishop of Vienne.
has helped" in Hebrew, derived from עָזַר ('azar)
meaning "help" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. This is the name of many Old Testament characters including of one of the three men the Babylonian king ordered cast into a fiery furnace. His Babylonian name was Abednego
BABYLASmLate Greek, French (Rare)
Derived from the name of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon. Saint Babylas was a 3rd-century patriarch of Antioch who was martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius.
BAHRAMmPersian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Verethragna
meaning "victory over resistance". This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with victory and war. This name was borne by several Sassanid emperors. It is also the Persian name for the planet Mars.
Roman cognomen which meant "stammerer" in Latin. This was a family name of the mother of Emperor Augustus, Atia Balba Caesonia.
BALDWINmEnglish, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements bald
"bold, brave" and win
"friend". In the Middle Ages this was a popular name in Flanders and among the Normans, who brought it to Britain. It was borne by one of the leaders of the First Crusade, an 11th-century nobleman from Flanders. After the crusaders conquered Jerusalem, he was crowned as the king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Meaning unknown. In Christian legends Barlaam (recorded as Greek Βαρλααμ
) was a 3rd-century hermit who converted Josaphat, the son of an Indian king, to Christianity. The story is based on that of the Buddha. This name was also borne by two saints.
From the Greek name Βασιλειος (Basileios)
which was derived from βασιλευς (basileus)
meaning "king". Saint Basil the Great was a 4th-century bishop of Caesarea and one of the fathers of the early Christian church. Due to him, the name (in various spellings) has come into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was also borne by two Byzantine emperors.
Means "daughter of the oath" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a woman married to Uriah
the Hittite. King David
seduced her and made her pregnant, so he arranged to have her husband killed in battle and then married her. She was the mother of Solomon
BEATRIXfGerman, Hungarian, Dutch, English, Late Roman
Probably from Viatrix
, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator
which meant "voyager, traveller". It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus
"blessed, happy". Viatrix or Beatrix was a 4th-century saint who was strangled to death during the persecutions of Diocletian.... [more]
BEDIVEREmWelsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Bedwyr
, which is of unknown meaning. In Arthurian legends Bedivere was one of the original companions of King Arthur
. He first appears in early Welsh tales, and his story was later expanded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. He is the one who throws the sword Excalibur into the lake at the request of the dying Arthur.
Spanish form of Bethlehem
, the name of the town in Judah where King David
were born. The town's name is from Hebrew בֵּית־לֶחֶם (Beit-lechem)
meaning "house of bread".
Combination of belle
"beautiful" and the name PHOEBE
. This name was first used by Edmund Spenser in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
BELSHAZZARmBabylonian (Anglicized), Biblical
From בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר (Belshatzzar)
, the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Bel-sharra-usur
protect the king". This was the name of the son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Babylonian Empire before it was conquered by the Persians in the 6th century BC. In the Old Testament Book of Daniel Belshazzar is the last king of Babylon who sees the mystical handwriting on the wall, which is interpreted by Daniel to portend the end of the empire.
Possibly means "bee wolf" (in effect equal to "bear") from Old English beo
"bee" and wulf
"wolf". Alternatively, the first element may be beadu
"battle". This is the name of the main character in the anonymous 8th-century epic poem 'Beowulf'. Set in Denmark, the poem tells how he slays the monster Grendel and its mother at the request of King Hroðgar
. After this Beowulf becomes the king of the Geats. The conclusion of the poem tells how Beawulf, in his old age, slays a dragon but is himself mortally wounded in the act.
Germanic name derived from the elements bern
"bear" and ger
"spear". This was the name of two medieval kings of Italy and a Holy Roman emperor.
BERENICEfEnglish, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Βερενικη (Berenike)
, the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενικη (Pherenike)
, which meant "bringing victory" from φερω (phero)
"to bring" and νικη (nike)
"victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty which was originally from Macedon. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament (in most English Bibles it is spelled Bernice
) belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II. As an English name, Berenice
came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
Means "being maintained" in Sanskrit. This is one of the names of Agni
, the Hindu god of fire, and is also the name of the brother of Rama
in the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana'. It was also borne by a legendary king, the son of Dushyanta
. The official name of the country of India, Bharat, derives from him.
From Welsh blaidd
"wolf" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an 11th-century king of Gwynedd and Powys.
Derived from the Slavic elements bolye
"more, greater" and slava
"glory". This was the name of kings of Poland, starting in the 11th century with the first Polish king Bolesław the Brave.
BORISmBulgarian, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Georgian, German
From the Turkic name Bogoris
, perhaps meaning "short" or "wolf" or "snow leopard". It was borne by the 9th-century King Boris I of Bulgaria who converted his country to Christianity, as well as two later Bulgarian emperors. The name was popularized in the Slavic world due to the 11th-century Saint Boris, who was a Russian prince martyred with his brother Gleb. His mother may have been Bulgarian. Another famous bearer was the 16th-century Russian emperor Boris Godunov, later the subject of a play of that name by Aleksandr Pushkin.
BOUDICCAfAncient Celtic (Latinized)
Derived from Brythonic boud
meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide. Her name is first recorded in Roman histories, as Boudicca
by Tacitus and Βουδουικα (Boudouika)
by Cassius Dio.
BRAN (2)mWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "raven" in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
BRANWENfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven" from Welsh bran
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRENNUSmAncient Celtic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince" or "raven". Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
BRIANmEnglish, Irish, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble". It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
Feminine form of BRIAN
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in 'The Faerie Queene' (1590). The name was not commonly used until the 1970s, when it rapidly became popular in the United States.
From a Scottish surname, of Norman origin, which probably originally referred to the town of Brix in France. The surname was borne by Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. It has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. A notable bearer is the American musician Bruce Springsteen (1949-).
BRÜNHILDfGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun
"armour, protection" and hild
"battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr
(from the elements bryn
). In Norse legend Brynhildr
was the queen of the Valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd
. In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther
. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
Means "battle king" from Welsh cad
"battle" and teyrn
"king, monarch". Cadeyrn (also known as Catigern) was a 5th-century king of Powys in Wales, the son of Vortigern.
CADMUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Καδμος (Kadmos)
, of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor. He was sent by his father to rescue his sister Europa
, who had been abducted by Zeus
, although he did not succeed in retrieving her. According to legend, Cadmus founded the city of Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece.
From a Roman cognomen which possibly meant "hairy", from Latin caesaries
"hair". Julius Caesar and his adopted son Julius Caesar Octavianus (commonly known as Augustus) were both rulers of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Caesar
was used as a title by the emperors that came after them.
Means "little boot" in Latin. This was a nickname for the Roman emperor Gaius Caesar Germanicus given to him in his youth by his father's soldiers.
CANDACEfEnglish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the hereditary title of the queens of Ethiopia, as mentioned in Acts in the New Testament. It is apparently derived from Cushitic kdke
meaning "queen mother". In some versions of the Bible it is spelled Kandake
, reflecting the Greek spelling Κανδακη
. It was used as a given name by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation. It was popularized in the 20th century by a character in the movie 'Meet the Stewarts' (1942).
Welsh form of CARATACOS
. This is the name of several figures in Welsh history and legend, including a 6th-century king of Gwent and a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian romance.
Used by author C. S. Lewis for a character in his 'Chronicles of Narnia' series, first appearing in 1950. Prince Caspian first appears in the fourth book, where he is the rightful king of Narnia driven into exile by his evil uncle Miraz. Lewis probably based the name on the Caspian Sea, which was named for the city of Qazvin, which was itself named for the ancient Cas tribe.
Old Irish byname meaning "armoured head" or "misshapen head". This was the name of an Irish king, the father of Brian
CEPHEUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κηφευς (Kepheus)
, which is of unknown meaning. In Greek legend he was a king of Ethiopia, the husband of Cassiopeia. After he died he was made into a constellation and placed in the sky.
Elaborated form of CHARIS
. Edmund Spencer used it in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
From Old French Charles le Magne
the Great". This is the name by which the Frankish king Charles the Great (742-814) is commonly known.
From the Germanic name Karl
, which was derived from a Germanic word meaning "man". However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic name element hari
meaning "army, warrior".... [more]
CHRISTIANmEnglish, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the medieval Latin name Christianus
meaning "a Christian" (see CHRISTOS
). In England it has been in use since the Middle Ages, during which time it was used by both males and females, but it did not become common until the 17th century. In Denmark the name has been borne by ten kings since the 15th century. A famous bearer was Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), the Danish author of such fairy tales as 'The Ugly Duckling' and 'The Emperor's New Clothes'.
CHRISTINAfEnglish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Greek
, the Latin feminine form of CHRISTIAN
. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, saint who was tormented by her pagan father. It was also borne by a 17th-century Swedish queen and patron the arts who gave up her crown in order to become a Roman Catholic.
Means "born of fire" in Gaelic. This was the name of the first king of the Scots and Picts (9th century). It is often Anglicized as Kenneth
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix bel
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play 'The Tempest' (1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled 'Claribel' (1830).
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix inda
. It was first used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
From a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin claudus
meaning "lame, crippled". This was the name of a patrician family prominent in Roman politics. The ancestor of the family was said to have been a 6th-century BC Sabine leader named Attius Clausus, who adopted the name Appius Claudius upon becoming a Roman citizen. The family produced several Roman emperors of the 1st century, including the emperor known simply as Claudius. He was poisoned by his wife Agrippina in order to bring her son Nero (Claudius's stepson) to power. The name was later borne by several early saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Besançon.
CLEOPATRAfAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπατρα (Kleopatra)
which meant "glory of the father", derived from κλεος (kleos)
"glory" combined with πατηρ (pater)
"father" (genitive πατρος
), This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606) is based on her.
CLOTILDEfFrench, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
French form of the Germanic name Chlotichilda
which was composed of the elements hlud
"fame" and hild
"battle". Saint Clotilde was the wife of the Frankish king Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity.
CONORmIrish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Conchobhar
, derived from Old Irish con
"hound, dog, wolf" and cobar
"desiring". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish kings. It was also borne by the legendary Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre
Late Latin name meaning "constant, steadfast". This was the name of a 4th-century Roman emperor, a son of Constantine
From the Latin name Constantinus
, a derivative of CONSTANS
. Constantine the Great (272-337) was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (modern Istanbul).
, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play 'King Lear' (1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia
Diminutive of CORA
. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
Possibly derived from Irish Gaelic corb
"raven" or "wheel" and mac
"son". This was the name of a 3rd-century king of Ireland.
Latin name which was a derivative of the name CRESCENS
. Saint Crescentius was a child martyred in Rome during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
CUAUHTÉMOCmNative American, Nahuatl
Means "falling eagle" in Nahuatl. This was the name of the last Aztec emperor, ruling until he was captured and executed by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in the year 1525.
Means "hound of Culann" in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. Irish legend tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defense of Ulster against the army of Queen Medb
Possibly means "hound of Belenus" from the old Celtic element koun
"hound" combined with the name of the god BELENUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century king of southeast Britain.
Means "royal fortress" from Old English cyne
"royal" and burg
"fortress". Saint Cyneburga, a daughter of a king of Mercia, was the founder of an abbey at Gloucester in the 7th century.
CYPRIANmPolish, English (Rare)
From the Roman family name Cyprianus
which meant "from Cyprus" in Latin. Saint Cyprian was a 3rd-century bishop of Carthage and a martyr under the emperor Valerian.
DAEDALUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαιδαλος (Daidalos)
which was derived from δαιδαλλω (daidallo)
meaning "to work cunningly". In Greek myth Daedalus was an Athenian inventor who was banished to Crete. There he designed the Labyrinth for King Minos
, but he and his son Icarus
were eventually imprisoned inside it because he had aided Theseus
in his quest against the Minotaur. Daelalus and Icarus escaped using wings fashioned from wax, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.
Created by author George R. R. Martin for a character in his series 'A Song of Ice and Fire', first published 1996, and the television adaption 'Game of Thrones' (2011-). An explanation for the meaning of her name is not provided, though it is presumably intended to be of Valyrian origin. In the series Daenerys Targaryen is a queen of the Dothraki and a claimant to the throne of Westeros.
DAMOCLESmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Δαμοκλης (Damokles)
, which was derived from δαμος (damos)
"the people", a Doric Greek variant of δημος (demos)
, and κλεος (kleos)
"glory". In Greek legend Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius the Elder, the king of Syracuse. Damocles expressed envy of the king's station so Dionysius offered to switch roles with him for a day. To illustrate to Damocles the peril of a man in his position he suspended a sword over the throne.
DAMONmGreek Mythology, English
Derived from Greek δαμαζω (damazo)
meaning "to tame". According to Greek legend, Damon and Pythias were friends who lived on Syracuse in the 4th century BC. When Pythias was sentenced to death, he was allowed to temporarily go free on the condition that Damon take his place in prison. Pythias returned just before Damon was to be executed in his place, and the king was so impressed with their loyalty to one another that he pardoned Pythias. As an English given name, it has only been regularly used since the 20th century.
From Δαναοι (Danaoi)
, a word used by Homer
to designate the Greeks. In Greek mythology Danaë was the daughter of the Argive king Acrisius. It had been prophesized to her father that he would one day be killed by Danaë's son, so he attempted to keep his daughter childless. However, Zeus
came to her in the form of a shower of gold, and she became the mother of Perseus
. Eventually the prophecy was fulfilled and Perseus killed Acrisius, albeit accidentally.
DANIELmEnglish, Hebrew, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Armenian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel)
meaning "God is my judge", from the roots דִּין (din)
meaning "to judge" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". Daniel was a Hebrew prophet whose story is told in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. He lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon, where he served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king's dreams. The book also presents Daniel's four visions of the end of the world.... [more]
Means "powerful, brave" in Dacian. This was the name adopted by Diurpaneus, a 1st-century king of Dacia. For many years he successfully resisted Roman expansion into his territory but was finally defeated by the forces of Emperor Trajan in 106.
DEIRDREfEnglish, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the older Gaelic form Derdriu
, meaning unknown, possibly derived from Old Irish der
meaning "daughter". This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar
, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise
Derived from Latin desiderium
"longing, desire". It was the name of several early saints. It was also borne in the 8th century by the last king of the Lombard Kingdom.
Meaning unknown, possibly "virgin" in Phoenician. Dido, also called Elissa
, was the queen of Carthage in Virgil
's 'Aeneid'. She burned herself to death after Aeneas left her.
From the Germanic name Theudelinda
, derived from the elements theud
"people" and lind
"soft, tender, flexible". Theudelinda was a 6th-century queen of the Lombards.
From the Roman cognomen Diocletianus
, a derivative of DIOKLES
. This was the name of a Roman emperor of the 3rd and 4th centuries. He is remembered for persecuting Christians, but he also reformed and stabilized the crumbling Empire.
From the Roman cognomen Domitianus
, itself derived from the family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman emperor, Titus Flavius Domitianus.
DOMITILLAfItalian, Ancient Roman
Feminine diminutive of the Roman family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of the wife of the Roman emperor Vespasian and the mother of emperors Titus and Domitian.
Means "daughter of DRUPADA
" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of the daughter of King Drupada. She married all of the Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu.
Means "wooden pillar" or "firm footed" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of a king of Panchala, the father of Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna.
Pictish name probably derived from Celtic drest
meaning "riot" or "tumult". This name was borne by several kings of the Picts, including their last king Drust X, who ruled in the 9th century.
Portuguese form of EDWARD
. This name was borne by a 15th-century king of Portugal, who was named after his maternal ancestor Edward III of England.
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and beorht
"bright". This was the name of an 8th-century king of Northumbria and three kings of Kent.
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and wig
"war". This was the name of a Saxon king of England in the 10th century. The name fell out of use after the Norman conquest.
From the Old English name Æbbe
, meaning unknown, perhaps a contracted form of a longer name. Saint Ebba was a 7th-century daughter of King Æthelfrith of Bernicia and the founder of monasteries in Scotland. Another saint named Ebba was a 9th-century abbess and martyr who mutilated her own face so that she would not be raped by the invading Danes.
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and gar
"spear". This was the name of a 10th-century English king, Edgar the Peaceful. The name did not survive long after the Norman conquest, but it was revived in the 18th century, in part due to a character by this name in Sir Walter Scott's novel 'The Bride of Lammermoor' (1819), which tells of the tragic love between Edgar Ravenswood and Lucy Ashton. Famous bearers include author and poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), French impressionist painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917), and author Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950).
EDITHfEnglish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
From the Old English name Eadgyð
, derived from the elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and gyð
"war". It was popular among Anglo-Saxon royalty, being borne for example by Saint Eadgyeth;, the daughter of King Edgar the Peaceful. The name remained common after the Norman conquest. It became rare after the 15th century, but was revived in the 19th century.
EDMUNDmEnglish, German, Polish
From the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and mund
"protection". This was the name of two Anglo-Saxon kings of England. It was also borne by two saints, including a 9th-century king of East Anglia who, according to tradition, was shot to death with arrows after refusing to divide his Christian kingdom with an invading pagan Danish leader. This Old English name remained in use after the Norman conquest (even being used by King Henry III for one of his sons), though it became less common after the 15th century.... [more]
Means "rich guard", derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and weard
"guard". This was the name of several Anglo-Saxon kings, the last being Saint Edward the Confessor shortly before the Norman conquest in the 11th century. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity his name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century Plantagenet king Henry III named his son and successor after the saint, and seven subsequent kings of England were also named Edward.... [more]
Means "rich friend" from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and wine
"friend". This was the name of a 7th-century Northumbrian king, regarded as a saint. After the Norman conquest the name was not popular, but it was eventually revived in the 19th century. A notable bearer was the astronaut Edwin Aldrin (1930-), also known as Buzz, the second man to walk on the moon.
EHUDmBiblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Meaning unknown, possibly related to Hebrew אֶחָד ('echad)
meaning "one". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the biblical judges. He killed Eglon, the king of Moab, and freed the city of Jericho from Moabite rule.
Probably from the Latin name Ennianus
, a derivative of Ennius
). It is also a modern Welsh word meaning "anvil". This was the name of a 5th-century Welsh king who is considered a saint in some Christian traditions.
ELAHf & mHebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "oak tree" or "terebinth tree" in Hebrew. This was the name of the fourth king of Israel, as told in the Old Testament. He was murdered by Zimri
, who succeeded him. In modern Hebrew this is typically a feminine name.
ELAINEfEnglish, Arthurian Romance
From an Old French form of HELEN
. It appears in Arthurian legend; in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation 'Le Morte d'Arthur' Elaine was the daughter of Pelleas, the lover of Lancelot
, and the mother of Galahad
. It was not commonly used as an English given name until after the appearance of Tennyson's Arthurian epic 'Idylls of the King' (1859).
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor
. Among the name's earliest bearers was the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor
after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor
"the other AENOR
" in order to distinguish her from her mother. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.... [more]
Middle English form of the Old English name Ælfþryð
meaning "elf strength", derived from the element ælf
"elf" combined with þryð
was common amongst Anglo-Saxon nobility, being borne for example by the mother of King Æðelræd the Unready. This name was rare after the Norman conquest, but it was revived in the 19th century.
ELIJAHmEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu)
meaning "my God is YAHWEH
", derived from the elements אֵל ('el)
and יָה (yah)
, both referring to the Hebrew God. Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab
of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel
. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al
and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha
. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses
appear next to Jesus
when he is transfigured.... [more]
From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva')
meaning "my God is an oath", derived from the roots אֵל ('el)
referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava')
meaning "oath". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron
, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John
the Baptist.... [more]
From Hebrew אֶלְנָתָן ('Elnatan)
meaning "God has given". In the Old Testament this is the name of both a grandfather of King Jehoiachin and a son of Akbor.
EMMAfEnglish, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
meaning "whole" or "universal". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of King Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of King Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma
Possibly derived from Basque ene
"my" and ko
, a diminutive suffix. This was the name of the first king of Pamplona or Navarre (9th century), whose name is usually rendered as Íñigo
Means "horse joy" in Old English. This name was invented by J. R. R. Tolkien who used Old English to represent the Rohirric language. In his novel 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) Eowyn is the niece of King Theoden of Rohan. She slays the Lord of the Nazgul in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
Means "appearing, manifesting" in Greek. This was an epithet of two 2nd-century BC Hellenistic rulers: the Seleucid king Antiochus IV and the Ptolemaic king Ptolemy V.
Means "lady of the great earth", from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (ereš)
meaning "lady, queen" combined with 𒆠 (ki)
meaning "earth" and 𒃲 (gal)
meaning "great, big". In Sumerian mythology she was the goddess of death and the underworld.
ERIKmSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, English
Scandinavian form of ERIC
. This was the name of kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. King Erik IX of Sweden (12th century) is the patron saint of that country.
From the Germanic elements ermen
"whole, universal" and ric
"power". Ermenrich (also often called Ermanaric) was a 4th-century Gothic king.
ESTHERfEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR
. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman
persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai
, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah
Old French form of Audo
). This was the name of an 8th-century French saint. It was also borne by a 9th-century French king.
EUROPAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ευρωπη (Europe)
, which meant "wide face" from ευρυς (eurys)
"wide" and ωψ (ops)
"face, eye". In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus
in the guise of a bull. She became the first queen of Crete, and later fathered Minos
by Zeus. The continent of Europe is named for her. This is also the name of a moon of Jupiter.
Derived from the Germanic elements fara
"journey" and mund
"protection". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century king of the Franks.
Means "person who can tell right from wrong" in Arabic. This was the name of the last king of Egypt (1920-1965).
Means "man of valour", derived from the Gaelic elements fear
"man" and gal
"valour". This was the name of an 8th-century king of Ireland.
FEREYDOUNmPersian, Persian Mythology
Means "the third" in Persian. In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of a virtuous king who ruled for 500 years.
Derived from Gaelic fiach
meaning "raven". This was the name of a king in Irish legend.
From an English surname meaning "son of the king" in Old French, originally given to illegitimate sons of monarchs.
Means "king of princes" from Gaelic flaith
"prince" and rí
FLANNm & fIrish
Means "red" in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of a 9th-century king of Tara in Ireland.
Roman family name which meant "golden" or "yellow-haired" from Latin flavus
"yellow, golden". Flavius was the family name of the 1st-century Roman emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. It was used as a personal name by several later emperors, notably by Constantine
English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from frid
"peace" and ric
"ruler, power". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.... [more]
Means "fortune, luck" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Gad is the first son of Jacob
's slave-girl Zilpah
, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. His name is explained in Genesis 30:11. Another Gad in the Old Testament is a prophet of King David
GAIANAfAncient 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.
GAIUSmAncient 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.
GAWAINmWelsh, 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'.
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.
Possibly means "to beget" in Illyrian. This was the name of a 2nd-century BC Illyrian king who went to war with Rome.
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]
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).
, possibly derived from a diminutive form of the Hungarian noble title gyevü
, itself from Turkic jabgu
. This was the name of a 10th-century leader of the Hungarians, the father of the first king István
GILGAMESHmSumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology
Possibly means "the ancestor is a hero", from Sumerian 𒉋𒂵 (bilga)
meaning "ancestor" and 𒈩 (mes)
meaning "hero, young man". This was the name of a Sumerian hero, later appearing in the Akkadian poem the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'. Gilgamesh, 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 Uruk who ruled around the 27th century BC.
GISELLEfFrench, English (Modern)
Derived from the Germanic word gisil
meaning "hostage, 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.
GLORIAfEnglish, Spanish, Italian, German
Means "glory", from the Portuguese and Spanish titles of the Virgin Mary Maria da Glória
and María de Gloria
. Maria da Glória (1819-1853) was the daughter of the Brazilian emperor Pedro I, eventually becoming queen of Portugal as Maria II.... [more]
Elaborated form of Latin gloria
meaning "glory". In Edmund Spenser's poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590) this was the name of the title character, a representation of Queen Elizabeth I.
Means "friend of god", derived from Old English god
combined with wine
"friend". This was the name of the powerful 11th-century Earl of Wessex, the father of King Harold II of England.
From the Roman cognomen Gordianus
which meant "from Gordium", Gordium being the capital of Phrygia in Asia Minor. This is the name by which three Roman emperors are known.
From the Roman name Gratianus
, which meant "grace" from Latin gratus
. Saint Gratian was the first bishop of Tours (4th century). This was also the name of a Roman emperor.
From the Norman French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar
, derived from the elements gwen
meaning "fair, white" and sebara
meaning "phantom, magical being". In Arthurian legend she was the beautiful wife of King Arthur
. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, she was seduced by Mordred
before the battle of Camlann, which led to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur. According to the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, she engaged in an adulterous affair with Sir Lancelot
Means "having a body like a rose" in Persian. This was the name of a daughter of the Mughal emperor Babur.
Means "rose faced" in Persian. This was the name of a wife of the Mughal emperor Babur.
GÜNTHERmGerman, Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic name Gundahar
, derived from the elements gund
"war" and hari
"army, warrior". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century Burgundian king. He appears in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied', which has him wooing the Icelandic queen Brünhild
. He wins her hand in marriage with the help of the hero Siegfried
. He ultimately betrays Siegfried, but Siegfried's widow Kriemhild
(Günther's sister) takes her revenge upon him.
Means "war raven" from the Germanic elements gund
"war" and hramn
"raven". This was the name of a 6th-century Frankish king.
Means "white ring", derived from the Welsh elements gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed" and dolen
meaning "ring, loop". This was the name of a mythical queen of the Britons who defeated her husband in battle, as told by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Means "supreme king" from Welsh gor
meaning "over" and teyrn
meaning "king, monarch". It is possible that this is not a name, but a title. Gwrtheyrn (also known as Vortigern) was a 5th-century king of the Britons. It was he who invited Horsa and Hengist to Britain, which eventually led to the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England.
Perhaps a variant of GWYNETH
. Sir Walter Scott used this name for the daughter of King Arthur
in his work 'The Bridal of Triermain' (1813).
From the Roman cognomen Hadrianus
, which meant "from Hadria" in Latin. Hadria was the name of two Roman settlements. The first (modern Adria) is in northern Italy and was an important Etruscan port town. The second (modern Atri) is in central Italy and was named after the northern town. The Adriatic Sea is also named after the northern town.... [more]
HAMANmBiblical, Biblical Hebrew
Meaning uncertain, of Persian origin. In the Book of Esther in the Old Testament Haman, called the Agagite, is an adviser to the Persian king. He plots to have all the Jews in the realm executed, but is foiled by Queen Esther
Means "God sees" in Hebrew. This is the name of a king of Aram in the Old Testament.
HECTORmEnglish, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκτωρ (Hektor)
, which was derived from ‘εκτωρ (hektor)
"holding fast", ultimately from εχω (echo)
meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles
' friend Patroclus
in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends belonging to King Arthur
's foster father.... [more]
From the Germanic name Hadewig
, derived from the Germanic elements hadu
"battle, combat" and wig
"war". This was the name of a 13th-century German saint, the wife of the Polish duke Henry the Bearded. It was subsequently borne by a 14th-century Polish queen (usually known by her Polish name Jadwiga
) who is now also regarded as a saint.
Uncertain meaning, possibly from either Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior"; ‘ωρα (hora)
"period of time"; or ‘αιρεω (haireo)
"to be chosen". In Greek mythology Hera was the queen of the gods, the sister and wife of Zeus
. She presided over marriage and childbirth.
HERACLIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek personal name ‘Ηρακλειος (Herakleios)
which was derived from the name of the Greek hero HERAKLES
. This was the name of a 7th-century Byzantine emperor, known for his victories over the Sassanid Persian Empire. This name was also borne by two early saints.
Spanish and Portuguese form of a Visigothic name which meant "complete sacrifice" from the Germanic elements ermen
"whole, entire" and gild
"sacrifice, value". It was borne by a 6th-century saint, the son of Liuvigild the Visigothic king of Hispania.
From the Greek name ‘Ηρωιδης (Heroides)
, which probably means "song of the hero" from ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior" combined with ωιδη (oide)
"song, ode". This was the name of several rulers of Judea during the period when it was part of the Roman Empire. This includes two who appear in the New Testament: Herod the Great, the king who ordered the slaughter of the children, and his son Herod Antipas, who had John
the Baptist beheaded.
From the Hebrew name חִזְקִיָהוּ (Chizqiyahu)
, which means "YAHWEH
strengthens", from the roots חָזַק (chazaq)
meaning "to strength" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. This name was borne by a powerful king of Judah who reigned in the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Also in the Old Testament, this was the name of an ancestor of the prophet Zephaniah
HIRAMmBiblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Probably of Phoenician origin, though it could be from Hebrew meaning "exalted brother". This was the name of a king of Tyre in the Old Testament. As an English given name, Hiram
came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where it gained some currency.
Late Latin name which meant "honour". This was the name of an emperor of the Western Roman Empire. It was also borne by a few early saints and four popes.
HOSHEAmBiblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name הוֹשֵׁעַ (Hoshe'a)
meaning "salvation", from the root יָשַׁע (yasha')
. In the Old Testament at Numbers 13:16, Moses
gives the spy Hoshea the new name Yehoshu'a
), which has a related origin. This name was also borne by an 8th-century BC king of Israel, who was the last ruler of that state before it was conquered by Assyria.
Old Norse name, derived from the element hróðr
"fame" combined with either geirr
"spear" (making it a relation of HRÓÐGEIRR
"warrior" or varr
"vigilant, cautious". This is the name of a legendary Danish king, the same one who is featured in the Anglo-Saxon poem 'Beowulf' with the name Hroðgar
Old English cognate of Hrodger
). The name became unused after the Normans introduced Hrodger
after their invasion. In the Old English poem 'Beowulf' this is the name of the Danish king.
From the Germanic element hug
, meaning "heart, mind, spirit". It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh
Diminutive of HASAN
. Husayn ibn Ali (also commonly transliterated Hussein
) was the son of Ali
and the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad
. His older brother was named Hasan
. The massacre of Husayn and his family was a major event in the split between Shia and Sunni Muslims, which continues to this day. In more recent times this was the name of a king of Jordan (1935-1999).
From Sino-Korean 慧 (hye)
meaning "bright, intelligent" or other characters which are pronounced in the same way. Although it does appear rarely as a single-character name, it is more often used in combination with another character. A notable bearer was a 6th-century king of Baekje.
Means "eminent" in Welsh. This was the name of a 10th-century king of Wales.
Means "sparkle brilliance" in Sindarin. In the 'Silmarillion' (1977) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Idril was the daughter of Turgon, the king of Gondolin. She escaped the destruction of that place with her husband Tuor
and sailed with him into the west.
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.
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.
INDRAJITmHinduism, 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
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]
IRA (1)mBiblical, 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.
IRENEfEnglish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, 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]
ISABELfSpanish, 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]
ISABELLAfItalian, 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
ISOLDEfEnglish (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
Hungarian form of STEPHEN
. This was the name of the first king of Hungary. Ruling in the 11th century, he encouraged the spread of Christianity among his subjects and is considered the patron saint of Hungary.
From a Hebrew name spelled variously אִתַּי ('Ittai)
or אִיתַי ('Itai)
meaning "with me". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of King David
's mighty men.
IVANmRussian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Macedonian, Slovene, English, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
Newer form of the old Slavic name Іѡаннъ (Ioannu)
, which was derived from Greek Ioannes
). This was the name of six Russian rulers, including the 15th-century Ivan III the Great and 16th-century Ivan IV the Terrible, the first tsar of Russia. It was also borne by nine emperors of Bulgaria. Other notable bearers include the Russian author Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), who wrote 'Fathers and Sons', and the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), who is best known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex.
Perhaps derived from an old Bulgar name meaning "wolf". This was the name of a 13th-century emperor of Bulgaria. It is possible that this spelling was the result of a 15th-century misreading of his real name Vulo
from historical documents.
Polish form of HEDWIG
. This was the name of a 14th-century ruling queen of Poland who has recently been canonized as a saint.
Means "world" in Persian. This name was borne by Shah Jahan, a 17th-century Mughal emperor who is best known as the builder of the Taj Mahal.
Means "world conqueror" in Persian. This was the name of a 17th-century Mughal emperor.
Persian form of Avestan Yima
meaning "twin" (related to Sanskrit Yama
). This was the name of a mythological king, more commonly called Jamshid
English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus
which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos)
, the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov
). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John
's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus
JAMSHIDmPersian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Yima Kshaeta
, which meant "shining JAM
". This was the name of a mythological king of Persia. He is known as either Jamshid
, where Jamshid
is a combination of his original name and an honourific.
Medieval English form of Jehanne
, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes
). This became the most common feminine form of John
in the 17th century, surpassing Joan
Roman cognomen meaning "January" in Latin. The name of the month derives from the name of the Roman god Janus
. Saint Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, was a bishop who was beheaded during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
JASONmEnglish, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Greek name Ιασων (Iason)
, which was derived from Greek ιασθαι (iasthai)
"to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson
as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea
, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.... [more]
Means "beloved" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the wife of King Amon of Judah and the mother of Josiah
Means "God will live" in Hebrew. This is the name of several people in the Old Testament, including one of King David
's lute players.
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹאָשׁ (Yeho'ash)
, an extended form of יוֹאָשׁ
). According to the Old Testament, this was the name of a king of Israel. He probably reigned in the 8th century BC.