REBECCA f English, Italian, Swedish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name רִבְקָה (Rivqah)
from an unattested root probably meaning "join, tie, snare". This is the name of the wife of Isaac
and the mother of Esau
in the Old Testament. It came into use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular with the Puritans in the 17th century.
REGAN f English
Meaning unknown, probably of Celtic origin. Shakespeare took the name from earlier British legends and used it in his tragedy 'King Lear' (1606) for a treacherous daughter of the king. In the modern era it has appeared in the horror movie 'The Exorcist' (1973) belonging to a girl possessed by the devil. This name can also be used as a variant of REAGAN
REGINA f English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman
Means "queen" in Latin (or Italian). It was in use as a Christian name from early times, and was borne by a 2nd-century saint. In England it was used during the Middle Ages in honour of the Virgin Mary
, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A city in Canada bears this name, in honour of Queen Victoria.
REI f Japanese
From Japanese 鈴 (rei)
meaning "bell", 麗 (rei)
meaning "beautiful, lovely" or 玲 (rei)
meaning "the tinkling of jade". This name can also be formed by other kanji with the same pronunciation.
REIDUN f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hreiðunn
which was derived from the elements hreiðr
"nest, home" and unnr
"to wave, to billow".
REILLY m & f English (Modern)
From an Irish surname which was derived from the given name Raghailleach
, meaning unknown.
REMEDIOS f Spanish
Means "remedies" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
, meaning "Our Lady of the Remedies".
REN m & f Japanese
From Japanese 蓮 (ren)
meaning "lotus", 恋 (ren)
meaning "love", or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
REUT f Hebrew
Means "friend" in Hebrew, making it a variant of the Biblical name Ruth
REYES f & m Spanish
Means "kings" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, La Virgen de los Reyes
, meaning "The Virgin of the Kings". According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to King Ferdinand III of Castile and told him his armies would defeat those of the Moors in Seville.
RHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized), Roman Mythology
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ρεια (Rheia)
, meaning unknown, perhaps related to ‘ρεω (rheo)
"to flow" or ερα (era)
"ground". In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus
, and the mother of Zeus
. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia
was the mother of Romulus
, the legendary founders of Rome.
RHIAN f Welsh
Derived from Welsh rhiain
RHIANNON f Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Probably derived from the old Celtic name Rigantona
meaning "great queen". It is speculated that this was the name of an otherwise unattested Celtic goddess of fertility and the moon. The name Rhiannon
appears later in Welsh legend in the Mabinogion, borne by the wife of Pwyll
and the mother of Pryderi
RHODA f Biblical, English
Derived from Greek ‘ροδον (rhodon)
meaning "rose". In the New Testament this name was borne by a maid in the house of Mary the mother of John Mark. As an English given name, Rhoda
came into use in the 17th century.
RHONA f Scottish
Possibly derived from the name of the Hebridean island Rona
, which means "rough island" in Gaelic.
RHONDA f English
Probably intended to mean "good spear" from Welsh rhon
"spear" and da
"good", but possibly influenced by the name of the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, which means "noisy". It has been in use only since the 20th century. Its use may have been partially inspired by Margaret Mackworth, Viscountess Rhondda (1883-1956), a British feminist.
RHONWEN f Welsh
Means either "fair spear" or "fair hair" in Welsh. The first element is either rhon
"spear" or rhawn
"(coarse) hair", and the second element is gwen
"fair, white, blessed".
RICHMAL f English (Rare)
Meaning uncertain, possibly a combination of RICHARD
. This name has been used since at least the late 18th century, mainly confined to the town of Bury in Lancashire.
RIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 理 (ri)
meaning "reason, logic" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
RILEY m & f English
From a surname which comes from two distinct sources. As an Irish surname it is a variant of REILLY
. As an English surname it is derived from a place name meaning "rye clearing" in Old English.
RILLA f English
Meaning unknown, perhaps a short form of names ending in rilla
RIM f Arabic
Means "white antelope" in Arabic.
RIN f & m Japanese
From Japanese 凛 (rin)
meaning "dignified, severe, cold" or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
RINA (4) f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 里 (ri)
meaning "village" combined with 奈 (na)
, a phonetic character, or 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens". Other kanji combinations are possible.
RIO (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 里 (ri)
meaning "village" combined with 央 (o)
meaning "center", 緒 (o)
meaning "thread" or 桜 (o)
meaning "cherry blossom". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
ROBIN m & f English, Dutch, Swedish
Medieval diminutive of ROBERT
. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.
ROCHELLE f English
From the name of the French city La Rochelle
, meaning "little rock". It first became commonly used as a given name in America in the 1930s, probably due to the fame of actress Rochelle Hudson (1914-1972) and because of the similarity to the name Rachel
ROCÍO f Spanish
Means "dew" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary María del Rocío
meaning "Mary of the Dew".
ROHAN (2) f Literature
From the novel 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, where it is a place name meaning "horse country" in Sindarin.
ROMA (2) f Various
From the name of the Italian city, commonly called Rome
RONG f & m Chinese
From Chinese 荣 (róng)
meaning "glory, honour, flourish, prosper", 融 (róng)
meaning "fuse, harmonize" or 容 (róng)
meaning "appearance, form" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
RONJA f Swedish
Invented by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren, who based it on the middle portion of Juronjaure
, the name of a lake in Sweden. Lindgren used it in her book 'Ronia the Robber's Daughter' (Ronia
is the English translation).
ROSALBA f Italian
Italian name meaning "white rose", derived from Latin rosa
"rose" and alba
"white". A famous bearer was the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757).
ROSALIE f French, German, Dutch, English
French, German and Dutch form of ROSALIA
. In the English-speaking this name received a boost after the release of the movie 'Rosalie' (1938), which was based on an earlier musical.
ROSALIND f English
Derived from the Germanic elements hros
"horse" and linde
"soft, tender". The Normans introduced this name to England, though it was not common. During the Middle Ages its spelling was influenced by the Latin phrase rosa linda
"beautiful rose". The name was popularized by Edmund Spencer, who used it in his poetry, and by William Shakespeare, who used it for the heroine in his comedy 'As You Like It' (1599).
ROSALINE f English
Medieval variant of ROSALIND
. This is the name of characters in Shakespeare's 'Love's Labour's Lost' (1594) and 'Romeo and Juliet' (1596).
ROSAMUND f English (Rare)
Derived from the Germanic elements hros
"horse" and mund
"protection". The Normans introduced this name to England. It was subsequently influenced by the Latin phrase rosa munda
"pure rose". This was the name of the mistress of Henry II, the king of England in the 12th century. She was possibly murdered by his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
ROSARIO f & m Spanish, Italian
Means "rosary", and is taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora del Rosario
meaning "Our Lady of the Rosary". This name is feminine in Spanish and masculine in Italian.
ROSE f English, French
Originally a Norman form of a Germanic name, which was composed of the elements hrod
"fame" and heid
"kind, sort, type". The Normans introduced it to England in the forms Roese
. From an early date it was associated with the word for the fragrant flower rose
(derived from Latin rosa
). When the name was revived in the 19th century, it was probably with the flower in mind.
ROSEMARY f English
Combination of ROSE
. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus
meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
ROSHANARA f Persian (Archaic)
Possibly means "light of the assembly" in Persian. This was the name of a daughter of the 17th-century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
ROSINA f Italian
Italian diminutive of ROSA (1)
. This is the name of a character in Rossini's opera 'The Barber of Seville' (1816).
ROSWITHA f German
Derived from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and swinth
"strength". This was the name of a 10th-century nun from Saxony who wrote several notable poems.
ROTEM m & f Hebrew
From the name of a desert plant (species Retama raetam), possibly derived from Hebrew רְתֹם (retom)
meaning "to bind".
ROWAN m & f Irish, English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin
meaning "descendant of RUADHÁN
". This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree.
ROWENA f English
Meaning uncertain, possibly a Latinized form of a Germanic name derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wunn
"joy, bliss". According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a daughter of the Saxon chief Hengist. It was popularized by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for a character in his novel 'Ivanhoe' (1819).
ROXANA f English, Spanish, Romanian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latin form of Ρωξανη (Roxane)
, the Greek form of the Persian or Bactrian name روشنک (Roshanak)
which meant "bright" or "dawn". This was the name of Alexander the Great's first wife, a daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes. In the modern era it came into use during the 17th century. In the English-speaking world it was popularized by Daniel Defoe, who used it in his novel 'Roxana' (1724).
ROXELANA f History
From a Turkish nickname meaning "Ruthenian". This referred to the region of Ruthenia, covering Belarus, Ukraine and western Russia. Roxelana (1502-1558), also known by the name Hürrem, was a slave and then concubine of Süleyman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. She eventually became his wife and produced his heir, Selim II.
RU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 儒 (rú)
meaning "scholar", 如 (rú)
meaning "like, as, if", or other characters with similar pronunciations.
RUBAB f Arabic
From an Arabic word referring to a type of stringed musical instrument. This was the name of the wife of Muhammad
's grandson Husayn
RUBINA f Italian
Derived from Italian rubino
meaning "ruby", ultimately from Latin ruber
RUBY f English
Simply from the name of the precious stone (which ultimately derives from Latin ruber
"red"), which is the birthstone of July. It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
RUE f English
From the name of the bitter medicinal herb, ultimately deriving from Greek ‘ρυτη (rhyte)
. This is also sometimes used as a short form of RUTH (1)
RUKMINI f Hinduism
Means "adorned with gold" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of a princess who became the wife of Krishna
RUPINDER m & f Indian (Sikh)
Means "greatest beauty" from Sanskrit रूप (rupa)
meaning "beauty, form" combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA
, used here to mean "greatest".
RUQAYYAH f Arabic
Derived either from Arabic رقى (ruqia)
meaning "rise, ascent" or from رقية (ruqyah)
meaning "spell, charm, incantation". This was the name of one of the daughters of the Prophet Muhammad
. She became a wife of Uthman
, the third caliph of the Muslims.
RUSUDAN f Georgian
Possibly derived from Persian روز (ruz)
meaning "day". This name was borne by a 13th-century ruling queen of Georgia.
RŪTA f Lithuanian
Means "rue" in Lithuanian, the rue plant being a bitter medicinal herb which is a national symbol of Lithuania. This is also the Lithuanian form of RUTH (1)