PETRONILLA f Italian, Late Roman
From a Latin name, a diminutive of Petronia
, the feminine form of PETRONIUS
. This was the name of an obscure 1st-century Roman saint, later believed to be a daughter of Saint Peter
PETULA f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown, created in the 20th century. The name is borne by the British singer Petula Clark (1932-), whose name was invented by her father.
PETUNIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the flower, derived ultimately from a Tupi (South American) word.
PEYTON m & f English
From an English surname, originally a place name meaning "PÆGA
's town". A famous bearer was Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), the first president of the Continental Congress. It is also borne by American football quarterback Peyton Manning (1976-).
PHILADELPHIA f English (Rare)
From the name of a city in Asia Minor mentioned in Revelation in the New Testament. The name of the city meant "brotherly love" from Greek φιλεω (phileo)
"to love" and αδελφος (adelphos)
"brother". It is also the name of a city in the United States.
PHILOMEL f Literature
From an English word meaning "nightingale" (ultimately from PHILOMELA
). It has been used frequently in poetry to denote the bird.
PHILOMELA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek φιλος (philos)
"lover, friend" and μηλον (melon)
"fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μελος (melos)
"song". In Greek myth Philomela was the sister-in-law of Tereus, who raped her and cut out her tongue. Prokne avenged her sister by killing her son by Tereus, after which Tereus attempted to kill Philomela. However, the gods intervened and transformed her into a nightingale.
PHILOMENA f English, German, Late Greek
From Greek φιλος (philos)
"friend, lover" and μενος (menos)
"mind, purpose, strength, courage". This was the name of an obscure early saint and martyr. The name came to public attention in the 19th century after a tomb seemingly marked with the name Filumena
was found in Rome, supposedly belonging to another martyr named Philomena. This may have in fact been a representation of the Greek word φιλομηνη (philomene)
PHOEBE f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβη (Phoibe)
, which meant "bright, pure" from Greek φοιβος (phoibos)
. In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis
. The name appears in Paul
's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).
PHOENIX m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird which appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοινιξ (phoinix)
meaning "dark red".
PHOTINE f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek φως (phos)
meaning "light" (genitive φωτος (photos)
). This is the name traditionally given to the Samaritan woman Jesus
met at the well (see John 4:7). She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Church.
PHÚC m & f Vietnamese
From Sino-Vietnamese 福 (phúc)
meaning "happiness, good fortune, blessing".
PHƯỢNG f Vietnamese
From Sino-Vietnamese 鳳 (phượng)
meaning "phoenix". This refers to the mythological creature known as the Chinese phoenix or the Fenghuang.
PHYLLIS f Greek Mythology, English, German
Means "foliage" in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia
PIEDAD f Spanish
Means "mercy, piety" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin pietas
PIETY f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "piety, devoutness". This was a rare virtue name used by the Puritans in the 17th century.
PIHLA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish pihlaja
meaning "rowan tree".
PILAR f Spanish
Means "pillar" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María del Pilar
, meaning "Mary of the Pillar". According to legend, when Saint James
the Greater was in Saragossa in Spain, the Virgin Mary appeared on a pillar.
PING m & f Chinese
From Chinese 平 (píng)
meaning "level, even, peaceful". Other characters can also form this name.
PIP m & f English
Diminutive of PHILIP
. This was the name of the main character in 'Great Expectations' (1860) by Charles Dickens.
PIPER f English (Modern)
From a surname which was originally given to a person who played on a pipe (a flute). It was popularized as a given name by a character from the television series 'Charmed', which debuted in 1998.
PISTIS f Greek Mythology
Means "trust, faith" in Greek. In Greek mythology Pistis was the personification of trust.
POLLY f English
Medieval variant of MOLLY
. The reason for the change in the initial consonant is unknown.
POLLYANNA f Literature
Combination of POLLY
. This was the name of the main character in Eleanor H. Porter's novel 'Pollyanna' (1913).
POMONA f Roman Mythology
From Latin pomus
"fruit tree". This was the name of the Roman goddess of fruit trees.
POOJA f Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
Variant transcription of PUJA
PORSCHE f English (Modern)
From the name of the German car company, which was founded by Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951). His surname is derived from the given name BORIS
PORTIA f English
Variant of Porcia
, the feminine form of the Roman family name PORCIUS
, used by William Shakespeare for the heroine of his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596). In the play Portia is a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to defend Antonio
in court. It is also the name of a moon of Uranus, after the Shakespearian character.
POSY f English
Diminutive of JOSEPHINE
. It can also be inspired by the English word posy
for a bunch of flowers.
PRAISE f English (Rare)
From the English word praise
, which is ultimately derived (via Old French) from Late Latin preciare
, a derivative of Latin pretium
PRANVERA f Albanian
Derived from Albanian pranverë
meaning "spring", itself from pranë
"nearby, close" and verë
PRECIOUS f English (Modern)
From the English word precious
, ultimately derived from Latin pretiosus
, a derivative of Latin pretium
PRESLEY f & m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "priest clearing" (Old English preost
). This surname was borne by musician Elvis Presley (1935-1977).
PRIMROSE f English (Rare)
From the English word for the flower, ultimately deriving from Latin prima rosa
PRIMULA f English (Rare)
From the name of a genus of several species of flowers, including the primrose. It is derived from the Latin word primulus
meaning "very first".
PRISCILLA f English, Italian, French, Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman name, a diminutive of PRISCA
. In Acts in the New Testament Paul
lived with Priscilla (also known as Prisca) and her husband Aquila
in Corinth for a while. It has been used as an English given name since the Protestant Reformation, being popular with the Puritans. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used it in his poem 'The Courtship of Miles Standish' (1858).
PRUDENCE f & m English, French
Medieval English form of Prudentia
, the feminine form of PRUDENTIUS
. In France it is both the feminine form and a rare masculine form. In England it was used during the Middle Ages and was revived in the 17th century by the Puritans, in part from the English word prudence
, ultimately of the same source.
PRUNELLA f English (Rare)
From the English word for the type of flower, also called self-heal, ultimately a derivative of the Latin word pruna
PSYCHE f Greek Mythology
Means "the soul", derived from Greek ψυχω (psycho)
"to breathe". The Greeks thought that the breath was the soul. In Greek mythology Psyche was a beautiful maiden who was beloved by Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology). She is the subject of Keats's poem 'Ode to Psyche' (1819).
PUALANI f Hawaiian
Means "heavenly flower" or "royal offsring" from Hawaiian pua
"flower, offsring" and lani
"heaven, sky, royal, majesty".
PUANANI f Hawaiian
Means "beautiful flower" or "beautiful offsring" from Hawaiian pua
"flower, offsring" and nani
PUCK m & f Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Dutch
Meaning unknown, from Old English puca
. It could ultimately be of either Germanic or Celtic origin. In English legend this was the name of a mischievous spirit, also known as Robin Goodfellow. He appears in Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1600).
PUJA f Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
Means "honour, worship" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu ritual of reverence.
PURDIE m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname which was derived from the Norman French expression pur die
"by God". It was perhaps originally a nickname for a person who used the oath frequently.
PUTERI f Malay
Means "daughter, princess" in Malay, ultimately from Sanskrit पुत्री (putri)
PUTU m & f Indonesian, Balinese
Means "grandchild" in Balinese. Traditionally, this name is given to the first-born child.
QING f & m Chinese
From Chinese 青 (qīng)
meaning "blue, green, young", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
QIU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 秋 (qiū)
meaning "autumn", 丘 (qiū)
meaning "hill, mound", or other characters with a similar pronunciation. The given name of the philosopher Confucius
QUEEN f English
From an old nickname which was derived from the English word, ultimately from Old English cwen
meaning "woman, wife".
QUERALT f Catalan
From the name of a Spanish sanctuary (in Catalonia) which is devoted to the Virgin Mary
QUINN m & f Irish, English
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cuinn
meaning "descendant of CONN
RAABI'A f Arabic
Means "fourth" in Arabic. This name was borne by an 8th-century Sufi mystic from Basra in Iraq.
RAHAB f Biblical
Means "spacious" in Hebrew. This was the name of a prostitute of Jericho who aided the Israelites in the Old Testament.
RAINBOW f English (Rare)
From the English word for the arc of multicoloured light that can appear in a misty sky.
RAINE f & m English (Rare)
Possibly based on the French word reine
meaning "queen". A famous bearer is the British socialite Raine Spencer (1929-), the stepmother of Princess Diana. In modern times it can also be used as a variant of RAIN (1)
or a short form of LORRAINE
RAISA (1) f Russian
Possibly from the Greek name HERAIS
. This was the name of a saint and martyr killed in Alexandria during the early 4th-century persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
RAKHI f Indian, Hindi
From a word for a type of ritual wristband, ultimately from Sanskrit रक्षा (raksha)
RALUCA f Romanian
Romanian diminutive of the Greek name Rallou
, of uncertain meaning. It was popularized by the actress Rallou Karatza (1778-1870), a daughter of the Prince of Wallachia Ioannis Karatzas, who was of Greek background.
RAMONA f Spanish, Romanian, English
Feminine form of RAMÓN
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Helen Hunt Jackson's novel 'Ramona' (1884), as well as several subsequent movies based on the book.
RAN f Japanese
From Japanese 蘭 (ran)
meaning "orchid" or other kanji pronounced in the same way.
RANIYA f Arabic
Means "looking at", derived from Arabic رنا (rana)
RATHNAIT f Irish
Derived from Irish rath
"grace, prosperity" combined with a diminutive suffix.
RATREE f Thai
From the name of a variety of jasmine flower, the night jasmine, ultimately from a poetic word meaning "night".
RAVEN f & m English
From the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English hræfn
. The raven is revered by several Native American groups of the west coast. It is also associated with the Norse god Odin
RAVID m & f Hebrew
Means "ornament, necklace" in Hebrew.
RAWIYA f Arabic
Means "storyteller", derived from Arabic روى (rawa)
RAYYAN m & f Arabic
Means "watered, luxuriant" in Arabic. According to Islamic tradition this is the name of one of the gates of paradise.
REAGAN f & m English, Irish
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ríagáin
meaning "descendant of RIAGÁN
". This surname was borne by American president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).