ALESIA f English
Possibly a variant of ALICIA
, or maybe from the ancient Gaulish city of Alesia.
ALETA f English
Possibly a variant of ALETHEA
. This was the name of the wife of the title character in the comic strip 'Prince Valiant' which first appeared in 1937.
ALETHEA f English
Derived from Greek αληθεια (aletheia)
meaning "truth". This name was coined in the 16th century.
ALEX m & f English, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Russian
Short form of ALEXANDER
, and other names beginning with Alex
ALEXANDRA f English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera
, and an alternate name of Cassandra
. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix
, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra)
upon joining the Russian Church.
ALEXANDRIA f English
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. Alexander the Great founded several cities by this name (or renamed them) as he extended his empire eastward. The most notable of these is Alexandria in Egypt, founded by Alexander in 331 BC.
ALEXIS m & f German, 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.
ALFHILD f Norwegian, Swedish
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.
ALICE f English, French, Portuguese, Italian
From the Old French name Aalis
, a short form of Adelais
, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was borne by the heroine of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking Glass' (1871).
ALISON f English, French
Norman French diminutive of Aalis
). It was common in England, Scotland and France in the Middle Ages, and was later revived in England in the 20th century via Scotland. Unlike most other English names ending in son
, it is not derived from a surname.
ALIYAH (2) f Hebrew
Means "to ascend" in Hebrew. This is also a Hebrew word referring to immigration to Israel.
ALLEGRA f English (Rare), Italian (Rare)
Means "cheerful, lively" in Italian. It is not a traditional Italian name. It was borne by a short-lived illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron.
ALLI f Finnish
Finnish diminutive of names beginning with Al
. This is also the Finnish word for a type of duck.
ALMA (1) f English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
This name became popular after the Battle of Alma (1854), which took place near the River Alma in Crimea and ended in a victory for Britain and France. However, the name was in rare use before the battle; it was probably inspired by Latin almus
"nourishing". It also coincides with the Spanish word meaning "the soul".
ALMAS f & m Arabic
Means "diamond" in Arabic, ultimately from Persian.
ALMAST f Armenian
Means "diamond" in Armenian, ultimately from Persian.
ALMUDENA f Spanish
Derived from Arabic المدينة (al-mudaynah)
meaning "the citadel". It was in a building by this name that a concealed statue of the Virgin Mary
was discovered during the Reconquista in Madrid. The Virgin of Almudena, that is Mary, is the patron saint of Madrid.
ALODIA f Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Possibly from a Visigothic name derived from the Germanic elements alja
"other, foreign" and aud
"riches, wealth". Saint Alodia was a 9th-century Spanish martyr with her sister Nunilo.
ALPHA f & m English
From the name of the first letter in the Greek alphabet, Α
ALTA f Various
Possibly from Latin altus
or Italian/Spanish alto
ALTHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αλθαια (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek αλθος (althos)
"healing". In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ALUDRA f Astronomy
Derived from Arabic العذرا (al-'adhra)
meaning "the maiden". This is the name of a star in the constellation Canis Major.
ALWILDA f History
Latinized form of ALFHILD
. This was the name of a legendary female Scandinavian pirate, also called Awilda.
ALYSSA f English
Variant of ALICIA
. The spelling has probably been influenced by that of the alyssum flower, the name of which is derived from Greek α (a)
, a negative prefix, combined with λυσσα (lyssa)
"madness, rabies", since it was believed to cure madness.
AMAIA f Basque
Means "the end" in Basque. This is also the name of a mountain and a village in the Basque region of Spain.
AMANDA f English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Late Roman
In part this is a feminine form of AMANDUS
. However, it was not used during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century it was recreated by authors and poets who based it directly on Latin amanda
"lovable, worthy of love". Notably, the playwright Colley Cibber used it for a character in his play 'Love's Last Shift' (1696). It came into regular use during the 19th century.
AMARANTHA f Various
From the name of the amaranth flower, which is derived from Greek αμαραντος (amarantos)
meaning "unfading". Αμαραντος (Amarantos)
was also an Ancient Greek given name.
AMARYLLIS f Literature
Derived from Greek αμαρυσσω (amarysso)
"to sparkle". This was the name of a heroine in Virgil
's epic poem 'Eclogues'. The amaryllis flower is named for her.
AMATERASU f Far Eastern Mythology
Means "shining over heaven", from Japanese 天 (ama)
meaning "heaven, sky" and 照 (terasu)
meaning "shine". This was the name of the Japanese sun goddess, the ruler of the heavens. At one time the Japanese royal family claimed descent from her.
AMBER f English, Dutch
From the English word amber
that denotes either the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin, or the orange-yellow colour. The word ultimately derives from Arabic عنبر ('anbar)
. It began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, but it only became popular after the release of Kathleen Winsor's novel 'Forever Amber' (1944).
AMELIA f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Variant of AMALIA
, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA
, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of George II and George III. Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.
AMERETAT f Persian Mythology
Means "immortality" in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of plants and long life.
AMERICA f English
In the English-speaking world, this name is usually given in reference to the United States of America (see AMERIGO
). It came into use as an American name in the 19th century.
AMETHYST f English (Rare)
From the name of the purple semi-precious stone, which is derived from the Greek negative prefix α (a)
and μεθυστος (methystos)
meaning "intoxicated, drunk", as it was believed to be a remedy against drunkenness.
AMI (3) f Japanese
From Japanese 亜 (a)
meaning "second, Asia" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are possible.
AMICE f Medieval English
Medieval name derived from Latin amicus
meaning "friend". This was a popular name in the Middle Ages, though it has since become uncommon.
AMISTA f Chamorro
Means "loyalty" in Chamorro, derived from Spanish amistad
AMITY f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "friendship", ultimately deriving from Latin amicitia
AMPORN f Thai
Derived from Thai อํา (am)
"hidden, concealed" and พร (phon)
AMY f English
English form of the Old French name Amée
meaning "beloved" (modern French aimée
), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata
. As an English name, it was in use in the Middle Ages (though not common) and was revived in the 19th century.
AN (1) m & f Chinese, Vietnamese
From Chinese 安 (ān)
meaning "peace, quiet" or other characters with a similar pronunciation. As a Vietnamese name, it is derived from Sino-Vietnamese 安
meaning "safe, secure".
ANAH f & m Biblical
Means "answer" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name belongs to one female character and two male characters.
ANARA f Kazakh, Kyrgyz
Means "pomegranate" in Kazakh and Kyrgyz, ultimately from Persian.
ANASTASIA f Greek, 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.
ANAT (1) f Near Eastern Mythology
Possibly derived from a Semitic root meaning "water spring". Anat was a goddess of fertility, hunting and war worshipped in many regions of the ancient near east. She was the sister and consort of the god Hadad
ANDRASTE f Celtic Mythology
Possibly means "invincible" in Celtic. This was the name of a Briton goddess of victory who was invoked by Boudicca
before her revolt.
ANDREA (2) f English, German, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Dutch, Croatian, Serbian
Feminine form of ANDREW
. As an English name, it has been used since the 17th century, though it was not common until the 20th century.
ANDROMEDA f Greek Mythology
Means "to be mindful of a man" from the Greek element ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
) combined with μεδομαι (medomai)
"to be mindful of". In Greek mythology Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued from sacrifice by the hero Perseus
. A constellation in the northern sky is named for her. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.
ANDY m & f English
Diminutive of ANDREW
or sometimes ANDREA (2)
. American pop artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a famous bearer of this name.
ANFISA f Russian
Russian form of the Greek name Ανθουσα (Anthousa)
, which was derived from Greek ανθος (anthos)
"flower". This was the name of a 9th-century Byzantine saint.
ANGEL m & f English, Bulgarian, Macedonian
From the medieval Latin masculine name Angelus
which was derived from the name of the heavenly creature (itself derived from the Greek word αγγελος (angelos)
meaning "messenger"). It has never been very common in the English-speaking world, where it is sometimes used as a feminine name in modern times.