ESMÉ m & f English, Dutch
Means "esteemed" or "loved" in Old French. It was first recorded in Scotland, being borne by the first Duke of Lennox in the 16th century.
ESMERALDA f Spanish, Portuguese, English, Literature
Means "emerald" in Spanish and Portuguese. Victor Hugo used this name in his novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1831), in which Esmeralda is the Gypsy girl who is loved by Quasimodo. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since that time.
ESPERANZA f Spanish
Spanish form of the Late Latin name Sperantia
which was derived from sperare
ESSENCE f English (Modern)
From the English word essence
which means either "odour, scent" or else "fundamental quality". Ultimately it derives from Latin esse
ESTEE f Jewish
Diminutive of ESTHER
. A famous bearer was the American businesswoman Estée Lauder (1908-2004), founder of the cosmetics company that bears her name. Her birth name was Josephine Esther Mentzer. Apparently she added the accent to her name Estee
in order to make it appear French.
ESTELLA f English
Latinate form of ESTELLE
. This was the name of the heroine, Estella Havisham, in Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations' (1860).
ESTELLE f English, French
From an Old French name which was derived from Latin stella
, meaning "star". It was rare in the English-speaking world in the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century, perhaps due to the character Estella Havisham in Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations' (1860).
ESTHER f English, 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
ÉTAÍN f Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét
"jealousy". In Irish mythology she was a sun and horse goddess who was the lover of Midir.
ETERI f Georgian
Means "ether, air" in Georgian. This name features in the Georgian opera 'Abesalom and Eteri' (1918).
ETHEL f English
Short form of names beginning with the Old English element æðel
meaning "noble". It was coined in the 19th century, when many Old English names were revived. It was popularized by the novels 'The Newcomes' (1855) by William Makepeace Thackeray and 'The Daisy Chain' (1856) by C. M. Yonge. A famous bearer was American actress and singer Ethel Merman (1908-1984).
ETHELINDA f English (Archaic)
Middle English form of the Old English name Æðelind
, derived from the elements æðel
"noble" and lindi
"snake". The name was very rare after the Norman conquest, but it was revived in the early 19th century.
ETSUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 悦 (etsu)
meaning "joy, pleased" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child", as well as other kanji combinations.
ETTA f English
Short form of HENRIETTA
and other names that end with etta
. A famous bearer was the American singer Etta James (1938-2012), who took her stage name from her real given name Jamesetta.
EUA f Biblical Greek
Form of Chawwah
) used in the Greek translation of Old Testament. Chawwah
is also translated as Zoe
in the Greek Old Testament.
EUDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "good gift" in Greek, from the elements ευ (eu)
"good" and δωρον (doron)
"gift". This was the name of a nymph, one of the Hyades, in Greek mythology.
EUN m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 恩 (eun)
meaning "kindness, mercy, charity" or 銀 (eun)
meaning "silver, money", as well as other hanja characters which are pronounced in the same way. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
EUN-JEONG f Korean
From Sino-Korean 恩 (eun)
meaning "kindness, mercy, charity" or 慇 (eun)
meaning "careful, anxious, attentive" combined with 廷 (jeong)
meaning "court" or 婷 (jeong)
meaning "pretty, graceful". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
EUN-JI f Korean
From Sino-Korean 恩 (eun)
meaning "kindness, mercy, charity" combined with 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" or 地 (ji)
meaning "earth, soil, ground". Other hanja character combinations are possible.
EUN-YEONG f Korean
From Sino-Korean 恩 (eun)
meaning "kindness, mercy, charity" and 英 (yeong)
meaning "flower, petal, brave, hero". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
EUROPA f Greek 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.
EURWEN f Welsh
Derived from Welsh aur
"gold" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
EURYDICE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ευρυδικη (Eurydike)
which meant "wide justice", derived from ευρυς (eurys)
"wide" and δικη (dike)
"justice". In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out.
EUTERPE f Greek Mythology
Means "delight" in Greek, ultimately from ευ (eu)
"good" and τερπω (terpo)
"to satisfy, to cheer". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of music and joy. She was said to have invented the double flute.
EVA f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Slovene, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Georgian, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin
Latinate form of EVE
. This form is used in the Latin translation of the New Testament, while Hava
is used in the Latin Old Testament. It is also a variant transcription of Russian YEVA
. This name appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852) belonging to the character Little Eva, whose real name is in fact Evangeline.
EVADNE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ευαδνη (Euadne)
, which is of unknown meaning, though the first element is derived from Greek ευ (eu)
"good". In Greek legend Evadne was the wife of Capaneus. After Capaneus was killed by a lightning bolt sent from Zeus
she committed suicide by throwing herself onto his burning body.
EVANGELINE f English
Means "good news" from Greek ευ (eu)
"good" and αγγελμα (angelma)
"news, message". It was (first?) used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic poem 'Evangeline' (1847). It also appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852) as the full name of the character Eva.
EVE f English, French, Biblical
From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah)
, which was derived from the Hebrew word חוה (chawah)
"to breathe" or the related word חיה (chayah)
"to live". According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis, Eve and Adam
were the first humans. God created her from one of Adam's ribs to be his companion. At the urging of a serpent she ate the forbidden fruit and shared some with Adam, causing their expulsion from the Garden of Eden
EVELINA f English, Italian, Swedish
Latinate form of AVELINE
. It was revived by the author Fanny Burney for the heroine of her first novel 'Evelina' (1778). It is often regarded as a variant of the related name EVELYN
or an elaboration of EVE
EVELYN f & m English, German
From an English surname which was derived from the given name AVELINE
. In the 17th century when it was first used as a given name it was more common for boys, but it is now regarded as mainly feminine due to association with the related name Evelina
FAITH f English
Simply from the English word faith
, ultimately from Latin fidere
"to trust". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
FALLON f English (Modern)
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Fallamhain
meaning "descendant of Fallamhan". The given name Fallamhan
meant "leader". It was popularized in the 1980s by a character on the soap opera 'Dynasty'.
FANCY f English (Rare)
From the English word fancy
which means either "like, love, inclination" or "ornamental". It is derived from Middle English fantasie
, which comes (via Norman French and Latin) from Greek φαινω (phaino)
"to show, to appear".
FANG f & m Chinese
From Chinese 芳 (fāng)
meaning "fragrant, virtuous, beautiful" or other characters with a similar pronunciation.
FANNY f English, French, Spanish
Diminutive of FRANCES
. In the English-speaking world this has been a vulgar slang word since the late 19th century, and the name has subsequently dropped out of common use.
FANTINE f Literature
This name was used by Victor Hugo for the mother of Cosette in his novel 'Les Misérables' (1862). The name was given to her by a passerby who found the young orphan on the street. Hugo may have intended it to be a derivative of the French word enfant
FÁTIMA f Portuguese, Spanish
From the name of a town in Portugal, which is derived from the Arabic feminine name FATIMAH
, apparently after a Moorish princess who converted to Christianity during the Reconquista. The town became an important Christian pilgrimage center after 1917 when three local children reported witnessing repeated apparitions of the Virgin Mary
FAUNA f Roman Mythology
Feminine form of FAUNUS
. Fauna was a Roman goddess of fertility, women and healing, a daughter and companion of Faunus.
FAWN f English
From the English word fawn
for a young deer.
FAY f English
Derived from Middle English faie
meaning "fairy". It appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Arthurian legends in the name of Morgan le Fay. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century. In some cases it may be used as a short form of FAITH
FAYRUZ f Arabic
Means "turquoise (the gemstone)" in Arabic, ultimately of Persian origin.
FELICITAS f German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Latin name which meant "good luck, fortune". In Roman mythology the goddess Felicitas was the personification of good luck. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint, a slave martyred with her master Perpetua in Carthage.
FELICITY f English
From the English word felicity
meaning "happiness", which ultimately derives from Latin felicitas
"good luck". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans around the 17th century. It can sometimes be used as an English form of the Latin name FELICITAS
. This name was revived in the late 1990s after the appearance of the television series 'Felicity'.
FEMKE f Dutch, Frisian
Diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element frid
"peace". It also coincides with a Frisian word meaning "little girl".
FEN (1) f & m Chinese
From Chinese 芬 (fēn)
meaning "fragrance, aroma, perfume" (which is usually only feminine) or 奋 (fèn)
meaning "strive, exert" (usually only masculine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
FERN f English
From the English word for the plant, ultimately from Old English fearn
. It has been used as a given name since the late 19th century.
FIAMMETTA f Italian
Derived from Italian fiamma
"fire" combined with a diminutive suffix.
FINA f Italian
Short form of SERAFINA
. Saint Fina, also known as Saint Serafina, was a 13th-century girl from the town of San Gimignano in Italy.
FÍONA f Irish
Derived from Irish fion
FIONA f Scottish, English
Feminine form of FIONN
. This name was (first?) used by Scottish poet James Macpherson in his poem 'Fingal' (1762).
FIONNUALA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "white shoulder" from Irish fionn
"white, fair" and guala
"shoulder". In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir
who were transformed into swans for a period of 900 years.
FIORELLA f Italian
From Italian fiore
"flower" combined with a diminutive suffix.
FIRENZE f Various
From the name of an Italian city, commonly called Florence
FIRUZEH f Persian
Means "turquoise (the gemstone)" in Persian. Alternatively, it may be a feminine form of FIRUZ
FLANN m & f Irish
Means "red" in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of a 9th-century king of Tara in Ireland.
FLANNERY f & m English (Rare)
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Flannghaile
meaning "descendant of Flannghal". The given name Flannghal
means "red valour". A famous bearer was American author Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964).
FLEUR f French, Dutch, English (Rare)
Means "flower" in French. This was the name of a character in John Galsworthy's novels 'The Forsyte Saga' (1922).