FLORA f English, German, Italian, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin flos
meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala
FLORENCE f & m English, French
From the Latin name Florentius
or the feminine form Florentia
, which were derived from florens
"prosperous, flourishing". Florentius
was borne by many early Christian saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.... [more]
FLOWER f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word flower
for the blossoming plant. It is derived (via Old French) from Latin flos
FORTUNE f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word fortune
, ultimately from Latin fortuna
, a derivative of fors
FRANCE f French
From the name of the country, sometimes considered a feminine form of FRANK (1)
or short form of FRANÇOISE
, both of which are ultimately related to the name of the country.
FRANCES f English
Feminine form of FRANCIS
. The distinction between Francis
as a masculine name and Frances
as a feminine name did not arise until the 17th century. A notable bearer was Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), a social worker and the first American to be canonized.
FRANCIS m & f English, French
English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus
which meant "Frenchman", ultimately from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, who were named for a type of spear that they used. This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.... [more]
FRAUKE f German
Means "little lady", derived from German frau
combined with a diminutive suffix.
FREYA f Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern)
From Old Norse Freyja
meaning "lady". This was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr
and father Njord
, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg
FRIDA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of other feminine names containing the Germanic element frid
meaning "peace". This is also the Scandinavian equivalent, from the Old Norse cognate Fríða
. A famous bearer was Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).
FRIDESWIDE f History
Modern form of the Old English name Friðuswiþ
, formed of the elements friþ
"peace" and swiþ
"strong". Saint Frideswide was an 8th-century English princess who became a nun. She is credited with establishing Christ Church in Oxford.
FRIEDE f German
Short form of names containing the element fried
, derived from the Germanic element frid
FRIGG f Norse Mythology
Means "beloved" in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri
"to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin
. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya
share a common origin.
FU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 富 (fù)
meaning "abundant, rich, wealthy", 芙 (fú)
meaning "hibiscus, lotus" or 甫 (fǔ)
meaning "begin, man, father", in addition to other characters with a similar pronunciation. A famous bearer was the 8th-century Tang dynasty poet Du Fu, whose given was 甫
GABIJA f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Probably from Lithuanian gaubti
meaning "to cover". In Lithuanian mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire and the home.
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαια (gaia)
, a parallel form of γη (ge)
meaning "earth". In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GAIANA f Ancient 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.
GALADRIEL f Literature
Means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland" in Sindarin. Galadriel was a Noldorin elf princess renowned for her beauty and wisdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. The elements are galad
"radiant" and riel
"garlanded maiden". Alatáriel
is the Quenya form of her name.
GARDENIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the tropical flower, which was named for the Scottish naturalist Alexander Garden (1730-1791).
GARGI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Bengali
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 7th-century BC Indian philosopher who appears in the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
GARNET (1) f English
From the English word garnet
for the precious stone, the birthstone of January. The word is derived from Middle English gernet
meaning "dark red".
GARNET (2) m & f English
From an English surname which either referred to a person who made hinges (Old French carne
) or was derived from the Norman name GUARIN
GAY f English
From the English word gay
meaning "gay, happy". By the mid-20th century the word had acquired the additional meaning of "homosexual", and the name has subsequently dropped out of use.
GAYATRI f Hinduism, Indian, Marathi, Hindi
From Sanskrit गायत्र (gayatra)
which refers to a type of song or hymn with a particular meter. It is also the name of a Hindu goddess who is a personification of this song.
GENESIS f English (Modern)
Means "birth" in Greek. This is the name of the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible. It tells of the creation of the world, the expulsion of Adam
and the great flood, and the three patriarchs.
GENEVA f English
Possibly a shortened form of GENEVIEVE
. It could also be inspired by the name of the city in Switzerland. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
GENEVIÈVE f French
From the medieval name Genovefa
, which is of uncertain origin. It could be derived from the Germanic elements kuni
"kin, family" and wefa
"wife, woman". Alternatively it could be of Gaulish origin, from the related Celtic element genos
"kin, family" combined with a second element of unknown meaning. This name was borne by Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, who inspired the city to resist the Huns in the 5th century.
GEORGIA f English, Greek
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).
GERMAINE f French
French feminine form of GERMAIN
. Saint Germaine was a 16th-century peasant girl from France.
GERTRUDE f English, Dutch
Means "spear of strength", derived from the Germanic elements ger
"spear" and thrud
"strength". Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer. It was probably introduced to England by settlers from the Low Countries in the 15th century. Shakespeare used the name in his play 'Hamlet' (1600) for the mother of the title character. A famous bearer was the American writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
GETHSEMANE f Biblical
From Γεθσημανι (Gethsemani)
, the Greek form of an Aramaic place name meaning "oil vat". In the New Testament this is the name of the garden where Jesus
was arrested, located on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
GILDA f Italian, Portuguese
Originally an Italian short form of names containing the Germanic element gild
meaning "sacrifice, value".
GILLIAN f English
Medieval English feminine form of JULIAN
. This spelling has been in use since the 13th century, though it was not declared a distinct name from Julian
until the 17th century.
GINEVRA f Italian
Italian form of GUINEVERE
. This is also the Italian name for the city of Geneva, Switzerland. It is also sometimes associated with the Italian word ginepro
GINGER f English
From the English word ginger
for the spice or the reddish-brown colour. It can also be a diminutive of VIRGINIA
, as in the case of actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), by whom the name was popularized.
GIOCONDA f Italian
From the Late Latin name Iucunda
which meant "pleasant, delightful, happy". Leonardo da Vinci's painting the 'Mona Lisa' is also known as 'La Gioconda' because its subject is Lisa del Giocondo.
GISELLE f French, English (Modern)
Derived from the Germanic word gisil
meaning "hostage" or "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.
GITA f Indian, Hindi
Means "song" in Sanskrit. The word appears in the name of the 'Bhagavad Gita', a sacred text of Hinduism (meaning "divine song").
GLADYS f Welsh, English
From the old Welsh name Gwladus
, possibly derived from gwlad
"country". It has historically been used as a Welsh form of CLAUDIA
. This name became popular outside of Wales after it was used in Ouida's novel 'Puck' (1870).
GLAW m & f Welsh
Means "rain" in Welsh. This is a modern Welsh name.
GLENDA f Welsh, English
A name created in the 20th century from the Welsh elements glân
"pure, clean" and da
GLENYS f Welsh
Elaboration of the Welsh word glân
meaning "pure, clean, holy". This name was created in the late 19th century.
GLORIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish
Means "glory" in Latin. The name (first?) appeared in E. D. E. N. Southworth's novel 'Gloria' (1891) and subsequently in George Bernard Shaw's play 'You Never Can Tell' (1898). It was popularized in the early 20th century by American actress Gloria Swanson (1899-1983). Another famous bearer is feminist Gloria Steinem (1934-).
GLORIANA f English (Rare)
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.
GLYNIS f Welsh
Either a variant of GLENYS
or an elaboration of the Welsh word glyn
GOBNAIT f Irish
Feminine form of GOBÁN
. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish abbess, the patron saint of Ballyvourney.