EGLANTINE f English (Rare)
From the English word for the flower also known as sweetbrier. It is derived via Old French from Vulgar Latin *aquilentum
meaning "prickly". It was early used as a given name (in the form Eglentyne
) in Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century story The Prioress's Tale
EGLĖ f Lithuanian
Means "spruce tree"
in Lithuanian. In a Lithuanian legend Eglė was a young woman who married a sea snake.
EIJA f Finnish
Possibly from the Finnish happy exclamation eijaa
EIKE m & f German
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ag
EILEEN f Irish, English
Anglicized form of EIBHLÍN
. It is also sometimes considered an Irish form of HELEN
. It first became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland near the end of the 19th century.
EILWEN f Welsh
Perhaps means "white brow"
, derived from Welsh ael
"brow" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed". This is a recently-created Welsh name.
EIRWEN f Welsh
Means "white snow"
from the Welsh elements eira
"snow" and gwen
ELAINE f English, 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
ELANOR f Literature
Means "star sun"
in Sindarin. In The Lord of the Rings
(1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien this is Sam's eldest daughter, named after a type of flower.
ELEA f English
Short form of ELEANOR
. This was also the name of an ancient Italian town (modern Velia) that is well known for being the home of the philosopher Parmenides and his student Zeno of Elea, who was famous for his paradoxes.
ELEANOR f English
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]
ELECTRA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ηλεκτρα (Elektra)
, derived from ηλεκτρον (elektron)
. In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon
and the sister of Orestes
. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas
ELEN f Welsh
Welsh form of HELEN
. This was the name of a 4th-century Welsh saint. It also appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, belonging to a woman who built the roads in Wales.
ELENA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek, German, English, Medieval Slavic
Form of HELEN
used in various languages, as well as an alternate transcription of Russian Елена
ELEONORA f Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latvian, Polish, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek
Form of ELEANOR
in several languages.
ELERI f Welsh
Meaning unknown. In Welsh legend she was the daughter of the chieftain Brychan.
ELFLEDA f English (Archaic)
Middle English form of both the Old English names ÆÐELFLÆD
. These names became rare after the Norman Conquest, but Elfleda
was briefly revived in the 19th century.
ELFREDA f English
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.
ÉLIANE f French
Probably from Aeliana
, the feminine form of the Roman name Aelianus
, which was derived from the Roman family name AELIUS
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr.
ELIDI f Various
Meaning unknown, possibly of Greek or Welsh origin. It may have been inspired by the name of the Ηληδα (Ilida)
Valley in western Greece.
ELİF f Turkish
Turkish form of Alif
, the name of the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, ا
. It also means "slender"
, from the Turkish phrase elif gibi
, literally "shaped like elif".
ELINE f Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
Norwegian, Danish and Dutch variant form of HELEN
. This is the name of the title character in the novel Eline Vere
(1889) by the Dutch writer Louis Couperus.
ELIZABETH f English, Biblical
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]
ELLA (1) f English
Norman form of the Germanic name Alia
, which was a short form of names containing the Germanic element alja
. It was introduced to England by the Normans and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
ELLE f English (Modern)
Diminutive of ELEANOR
and other names beginning with El
. This name can also be given in reference to the French pronoun elle
ELLEN (1) f English
Medieval English form of HELEN
. This was the usual spelling of the name until the 17th century, when Helen
became more common.
ELLI (3) f Norse Mythology
Means "old age" in Old Norse. In the Prose Edda this is the name of an old woman (old age personified) who wrestles with and defeats the god Thor
ELMA f Dutch, German, English
Short form of WILHELMINE
or names ending in elma
, such as ANSELMA
. It has also been recorded as a combination of ELIZABETH
, as in the case of the 19th-century daughter of the Earl of Elgin, who was named using her mother's first and middle names.
ELMAS f Turkish
in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
ELMIRA f Literature
Shortened form of EDELMIRA
. It appears in the play Tartuffe
(1664) by the French playwright Molière (often spelled in the French style Elmire
ELOISE f English
From the Old French name Héloïse
, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis
, composed of the elements heil
meaning "hale, healthy" and wid
meaning "wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios)
meaning "sun" or the name Louise
, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.... [more]
ELOWEN f Cornish
Means "elm tree"
in Cornish. This is a recently coined Cornish name.
ELPIS f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
ELUNED f Welsh
Derived from Welsh eilun
meaning "image, idol"
. This was the name of a 5th-century Welsh saint.
ELYSE f English
Diminutive of ELIZABETH
. It was popularized in the early 1980s by a character from the television comedy Family Ties
ELYSIA f Various
, the name of the realm of the dead in Greek and Roman mythology, which means "blissful"
EMA (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 恵 (e)
meaning "favour, benefit" or 江 (e)
meaning "bay, inlet" combined with 麻 (ma)
meaning "flax". Other kanji combinations can also form this name.
EMAN f Arabic (Egyptian)
Alternate transcription of Arabic إيمان
). This corresponds more closely with the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation of the name.
EMEL f Turkish
in Turkish, ultimately of Arabic origin, making this name a relative of Amal
EMER f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Irish eimh
. In Irish legend she was the wife of Cúchulainn
. She was said to possess the six gifts of womanhood: beauty, voice, speech, needlework, wisdom and chastity.
EMERALD f English (Modern)
From the word for the green precious stone, which is the birthstone of May. The emerald supposedly imparts love to the bearer. The word is ultimately from Greek σμαραγδος (smaragdos)
EMERSON m & f English
From an English surname meaning "son of EMERY"
. The surname was borne by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American writer and philosopher who wrote about transcendentalism.
EMERY m & f English
Norman form of EMMERICH
. The Normans introduced it to England, and though it was never popular, it survived until the end of the Middle Ages. As a modern given name, it is likely inspired by the surname Emery
, which was itself derived from the medieval given name. It can also be given in reference to the hard black substance called emery.
EMESE f Hungarian
Possibly derived from Finno-Ugric eme
. In Hungarian legend this was the name of the grandmother of Árpád, founder of the Hungarian state.
EMI f Japanese
From Japanese 恵 (e)
meaning "favour, benefit" or 絵 (e)
meaning "picture, painting" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are possible.
EMILIA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Finnish, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Bulgarian
Feminine form of Aemilius
EMILY f English
English feminine form of Aemilius
). In the English-speaking world it was not common until after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century; the princess Amelia Sophia (1711-1786) was commonly known as Emily
in English, even though Amelia
is an unrelated name.... [more]
EMMA f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
. 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
EMMELINE f English
From an Old French form of the Germanic name Amelina
, originally a diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element amal
. The Normans introduced this name to England.
ENCARNACIÓN f Spanish
in Spanish. This is given in reference to the Incarnation of Jesus
in the womb of the Virgin Mary
ENHEDUANNA f Akkadian
From Sumerian En-hedu-anna
, derived from 𒂗 (en)
meaning "lady, high priestess" combined with 𒃶𒌌 (hedu)
meaning "ornament" and the god's name AN (2)
. This was the Sumerian title of a 23rd-century BC priestess and poet, identified as a daughter of Sargon
of Akkad. Presumably she had an Akkadian birth name, but it is unrecorded. She is regarded as one of the earliest known poets.
ENIKŐ f Hungarian
Created by the Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty in the 19th century. He based it on the name of the legendary mother of the Hungarian people, Enéh
, which may mean "cow" or "deer".
ENOLA f English
Meaning unknown. This name first appeared in the late 19th century. It is the name of the main character in the novel Enola; or, her Fatal Mistake
(1886) by Mary Young Ridenbaugh. The aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was named Enola Gay
after the mother of the pilot, who was herself named for the book character.
ENORA f Breton, French
Breton form of HONORIA
, or directly from Breton enor
"honour" (a word of Latin origin). This was the name of a 6th-century saint, the wife of Saint Efflamm.
EOFORHILD f Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements eofor
"boar" and hild
"battle". This name was rarely used after the Norman Conquest.
EOS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn.
ÉOWYN f Literature
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.
EPHRATH f Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Means "fruitful place"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name was borne by one of the wives of Caleb. Also in the Bible, it is the name of the place where Rachel was buried.
EPIPHANY f English (Rare)
From the name of the Christian festival (January 6) that commemorates the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus
. It is also an English word meaning "sudden appearance" or "sudden perception", ultimately deriving from Greek επιφανεια (epiphaneia)
EPONA f Celtic Mythology
Derived from Gaulish epos
. This was the name of the Celtic goddess of horses.
EPONINE f Literature
Meaning unknown. Victor Hugo used this name in his novel Les Misérables
(1862) for a daughter of the Thénardiers. Her mother got her name from a romance novel.
ERA f Albanian
Derived from Albanian erë
ERATO f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of lyric poetry.
ERESHKIGAL f Sumerian Mythology
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.
ERIKA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, English, Italian
Feminine form of ERIK
. It also coincides with the word for "heather" in some languages.
ERIN f English, Irish
Anglicized form of EIREANN
. It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century.
ERIS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Eris was the goddess of discord. She was the sister and companion of Ares
ÉRIU f Irish Mythology
From the name of an Irish goddess, who according to legend gave her name to Ireland (which is called Éire
in Irish). In reality, the goddess probably got her name from that of the island, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
ERMA f English
Variant of IRMA
. It began to be used in the English-speaking world in the 19th century, along with Irma