SALMA f Arabic
Means "safe", derived from Arabic سلم (salima)
"to be safe".
SALOME f English, German, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From an Aramaic name which was related to the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
meaning "peace". According to the historian Josephus this was the name of the daughter of Herodias
(the consort of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee). In the New Testament, though a specific name is not given, it was a daughter of Herodias who danced for Herod and was rewarded with the head of John
the Baptist, and thus Salome and the dancer have traditionally been equated.... [more]
SAMANTHA f English, Italian, Dutch
Perhaps intended to be a feminine form of SAMUEL
, using the name suffix antha
(possibly inspired by Greek ανθος (anthos)
"flower"). It originated in America in the 18th century but was fairly uncommon until 1964, when it was popularized by the main character on the television show 'Bewitched'.
SAMARA f English (Modern)
Possibly derived from the biblical place name Samaria
, which means "watch mountain" in Hebrew.
SANDRA f Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian
Short form of ALESSANDRA
. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by author George Meredith, who used it for the heroine in his novel 'Emilia in England' (1864) and the reissued version 'Sandra Belloni' (1887). A famous bearer is American actress Sandra Bullock (1964-).
SANELA f Croatian
Apparently derived from Latin sana
SANG m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 常 (sang)
meaning "common, frequent, regular" or other characters which are pronounced similarly.
SANGO f Popular Culture
Means "coral" in Japanese. This name is used in the Japanese comic book and television show 'InuYasha'.
SAPPHIRA f Biblical
From the Greek name Σαπφειρη (Sappheire)
, which was from Greek σαπφειρος (sappheiros)
meaning "sapphire" or "lapis lazuli" (ultimately derived from the Hebrew word סַפִּיר (sappir)
). Sapphira is a character in Acts in the New Testament who is killed by God for lying.
SARA f Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, German, Dutch, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, English, Arabic, Persian, Bosnian
Form of SARAH
SARAH f English, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "lady, princess, noblewoman" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of Abraham
's wife, considered the matriarch of the Jewish people. She was barren until she unexpectedly became the pregnant with Isaac
at the age of 90. Her name was originally Sarai
, but God changed it at the same time Abraham's name was changed (see Genesis 17:15).... [more]
SARIAH f Mormon
Possibly from an alternate reading of Hebrew שׂריה
). In the Book of Mormon this is the name of Lehi's wife.
SARIKA f Indian, Hindi, Marathi
From a Sanskrit word referring to a type of thrush (species Turdus salica) or myna bird (species Gracula religiosa).
ŠÁRKA f Czech
Meaning unknown. In Czech legend Šárka was a maiden who joined other women in declaring war upon men. She tricked the men by having herself tied to a tree, and, after they came to her rescue, offering them mead laced with a sleeping potion. After the men fell asleep the other women slew them.
SASKIA f Dutch, German
From the Germanic element Sahs
"Saxon". The Saxons were a Germanic tribe, their name ultimately deriving from the Germanic word sahs
SATCHEL m & f English (Rare)
From a surname derived from Old English sacc
meaning "sack, bag", referring to a person who was a bag maker.
SATI f Hinduism
Means "truthful" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this was the name of a goddess, a wife of Shiva
. After her death she was reborn as the goddess Parvati
SATOMI f Japanese
From Japanese 里 (sato)
meaning "village" or 聡 (sato)
meaning "intelligent, clever, bright" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are possible.
SAVANNAH f English
From the English word for the large grassy plain, ultimately deriving from the Taino (Native American) word zabana
. It came into use as a given name in America in the 19th century. It was revived in the 1980s by the movie 'Savannah Smiles' (1982).
SAVITRI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "relating to the sun" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hymn dedicated to Savitr, a Hindu sun god, and it is also the name of his daughter. It is borne by several other characters in Hindu epics, including a wife of Brahma
, a wife of Shiva
, and a daughter of Daksha. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' it is borne by King Satyavan's wife, who successfully pleas with Yama, the god of death, to restore her husband to life.
SAYAKA f Japanese
From Japanese 沙 (sa)
meaning "sand" or 紗 (sa)
meaning "thread, silk" with 也 (ya)
meaning "also" or 耶 (ya)
, an interjection, combined with 香 (ka)
meaning "fragrance" or 加 (ka)
meaning "increase". This name can also be composed of other kanji combinations. It is often written さやか
using the hiragana writing system.
SAYURI f Japanese
From Japanese 小 (sa)
meaning "small" and 百合 (yuri)
meaning "lily". This name can also be composed of other kanji combinations.
SCARLET f English (Modern)
Either a variant of SCARLETT
or else from the English word for the red colour. The word is derived (via Old French and medieval Latin) from Persian سقرلاط (saghrilat)
, the name of a type of cloth.
SCARLETT f English
From a surname which denoted a person who sold or made clothes made of scarlet (a kind of cloth, ultimately derived from Persian سقرلاط (saghrilat)
). Margaret Mitchell used this name for Scarlett O'Hara, the main character in her novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936). Scarlett's name came from her grandmother's maiden name.
SCHOLASTICA f Late Roman
From a Late Latin name which was derived from scholasticus
meaning "rhetorician, orator". Saint Scholastica was a 6th-century Benedictine abbess, the sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia.
SCOUT f English (Rare)
From the English word scout
meaning "one who gathers information covertly", which is derived from Old French escouter
"to listen". Harper Lee used this name in her novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (1960).
SEDNA f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
SEETHA f Tamil
Tamil form of SITA
. The name of the mythological figures is சீதை
, while சீதா
is the spelling used for people.
SEIJA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish seijas
meaning "tranquil, serene".
SELA f Biblical
Means "rock" in Hebrew. This was the name of a city, the capital of Edom, in the Old Testament.
SELAH f Biblical
From a Hebrew musical term which occurs many times in the Old Testament Psalms. It was probably meant to indicate a musical pause.
SELBY m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "willow farm" in Old Norse.
SEMELE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phrygian origin. In Greek mythology she was one of the many lovers of Zeus
, being jealous, tricked Semele into asking Zeus to display himself in all his splendour as the god of thunder. When he did, Semele was struck by lightning and died, but not before giving birth to Dionysos
SENGA f Scottish
Sometimes explained as an anagram of AGNES
, but more likely derived from Gaelic seang
SEO-HYEON f Korean
From Sino-Korean 瑞 (seo)
meaning "felicitous omen, auspicious" combined with 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able". Other combinations of hanja characters can form this name as well.
SEONG m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 成 (seong)
meaning "completed, finished, succeeded", as well as other hanja characters with the same pronunciation. Although it does appear as a single-character name, it is more often used in combination with another character.
SEONG-HYEON m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 成 (seong)
meaning "completed, finished, succeeded" combined with 鉉 (hyeon)
, which refers to a device used to lift a tripod cauldron. Other hanja character combinations are possible.
SEONG-MIN m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 成 (seong)
meaning "completed, finished, succeeded" or 性 (seong)
meaning "nature, character, sex" combined with 敏 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp" or 旻 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp". Many other hanja character combinations are possible.
SEO-YEON f Korean
From Sino-Korean 瑞 (seo)
meaning "felicitous omen, auspicious" and 姢 (yeon)
meaning "beautiful, graceful", besides other hanja character combinations.
SEO-YUN f Korean
From Sino-Korean 瑞 (seo)
meaning "felicitous omen, auspicious" and 潤 (yun)
meaning "soft, sleek", as well as other hanja character combinations.
SEPTEMBER f & m English (Rare)
From the name of the ninth month (though it means "seventh month" in Latin, since it was originally the seventh month of the Roman year), which is sometimes used as a given name for someone born in September.
SEQUOIA f & m English (Rare)
From the name of huge trees that grow in California. The tree got its name from the Cherokee scholar Sequoya (also known as George Guess), the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.
SERAPHINA f English (Rare), German (Rare), Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Seraphinus
, derived from the biblical word seraphim
which was Hebrew in origin and meant "fiery ones". The seraphim were an order of angels, described by Isaiah in the Bible as having six wings each. This was the name of a 13th-century Italian saint who made clothes for the poor. As an English name, it has never been common.
SERENA f English, Italian, Late Roman
From a Late Latin name which was derived from Latin serenus
meaning "clear, tranquil, serene". This name was borne by an obscure early saint. Edmund Spenser also used it in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
SERENITY f English (Modern)
From the English word meaning "serenity, tranquility", ultimately from Latin serenus
meaning "clear, calm".
SETSUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 節 (setsu)
meaning "section, period, verse, melody" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations can also be possible.
SEUNG m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 昇 (seung)
meaning "rise, ascent", 勝 (seung)
meaning "victory, excel" or 承 (seung)
meaning "inherit", as well as other characters which are pronounced similarly.
SEVAN f & m Armenian
From the name of the largest lake in Armenia, which may be from the Urartian word suinia
simply meaning "lake".
SHAHRAZAD f Persian (Rare), Arabic
Means "free city" from the Persian elements شهر (shahr)
"city" and آزاد (azad)
"free". This is the name of the fictional storyteller in 'The 1001 Nights'. She tells a story to her husband the king every night for 1001 nights in order to delay her execution.
SHAKTI f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "power" in Sanskrit. In Hinduism a shakti is the female counterpart of a god. The name Shakti is used in particular to refer to the female counterpart of Shiva
, also known as Parvati
among many other names.
SHAKUNTALA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit शकुन्त (shakunta)
meaning "bird". This is the name of a character in Hindu legend, her story adapted by Kalidasa for the 5th-century play 'Abhijnanashakuntalam'. It tells how Shakuntala, who was raised in the forest by birds, meets and marries the king Dushyanta
. After a curse is laid upon them Dushyanta loses his memory and they are separated, but eventually the curse is broken after the king sees the signet ring he gave her.
SHANIA f English (Modern)
In the case of singer Shania Twain (1965-), who chose it as her stage name, she has claimed it was based on an Ojibwa phrase meaning "on my way". This appears to be untrue.
SHANNON f & m English
From the name of the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland, called Abha na tSionainn
in Irish. It is associated with the goddess Sionann
and is sometimes said to be named for her. However it is more likely the goddess was named after the river, which may be related to Old Irish sen
"old, ancient". As a given name, it first became common in America after the 1940s.
SHARON f English
From an Old Testament place name, in Hebrew שָׁרוֹן (Sharon)
, which means "plain", referring to the fertile plain near the coast of Israel. This is also the name of a type of flowering shrub, the rose of Sharon. It has been in use as a given name since the 1920s, possibly inspired by the heroine in the serial novel 'The Skyrocket' (1925) by Adela Rogers St. Johns.
SHAWNEE f English (Modern)
Means "southern people" in the Algonquin language. The Shawnee were an Algonquin tribe who originally lived in the Ohio valley.
SHEENA f Scottish, English
Anglicized form of SÌNE
. This name was popularized outside of Scotland in the 1980s by the singer Sheena Easton (1959-).
SHEKINAH f Various
From the Hebrew word שׁכִינה (shekhinah)
which means "God's manifested glory" or "God's presence". This word does not appear in the Bible, but later Jewish scholars used it to refer to the dwelling place of God, especially the Temple in Jerusalem.
SHELBY m & f English
From a surname, which was possibly a variant of SELBY
. Though previously in use as a rare masculine name, it was popularized as a feminine name by the main character in the movie 'The Woman in Red' (1935). It was later reinforced by the movie 'Steel Magnolias' (1989) in which Julia Roberts played a character by this name.
SHELL f English
Short form of MICHELLE
. It can also be simply from the English word shell
(ultimately from Old English sciell
SHELLEY f & m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "clearing on a bank" in Old English. Two famous bearers of the surname were Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), a romantic poet whose works include 'Adonais' and 'Ozymandias', and Mary Shelley (1797-1851), his wife, the author of the horror story 'Frankenstein'. As a feminine given name, it came into general use after the 1940s.