ANAT (1) f Semitic Mythology
Possibly derived from a Semitic root meaning "water spring"
. Anat was a goddess of fertility, hunting and war worshipped by the Semitic peoples of the Levant. She was the sister and consort of the god Hadad
ANATOLIA f Late Roman
Feminine form of ANATOLIUS
. This was the name of a 3rd-century Italian saint and martyr. This is also a place name (from the same Greek origin) referring to the large peninsula that makes up the majority of Turkey.
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)
meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος
) combined with μεδομαι (medomai)
meaning "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)
. 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.
ANGELA f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Slovak, Russian, Macedonian, Late Roman
Feminine form of Angelus
). As an English name, it came into use in the 18th century.
ANGELICA f English, Italian, Romanian, Literature
Derived from Latin angelicus
, ultimately related to Greek αγγελος (angelos)
meaning "messenger". The poets Boiardo and Ariosto used this name in their Orlando
poems (1495 and 1532), where it belongs to Orlando's love interest. It has been used as a given name since the 18th century.
ANGERONA f Roman Mythology
Possibly from Latin angor "strangulation, torment"
or angustus "narrow, constricted"
. Angerona was the Roman goddess of the winter solstice, death, and silence.
ANH m & f Vietnamese
This name is frequently combined with a middle name to create a compound name; the meaning of Anh
changes depending on the Sino-Vietnamese characters underlying the compound. It is often from Sino-Vietnamese 英 (anh)
meaning "flower, petal, brave, hero", though in compounds it often takes on the meaning "intelligent, bright".
ANI (2) f Armenian
From the name of an old Armenian city, of unknown meaning. Now in eastern Turkey, in the 10th and 11th centuries it was the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia, though it was later abandoned and is now only ruins.
ANIMA (1) f Indian, Hindi
from Sanskrit अणिमन (animan)
. In yoga texts, this is the name of the ability to make oneself infinitely small so to be invisible.
ANIMA (2) f English (Rare)
Means "soul, spirit"
in Latin. In Jungian psychology the anima is an individual's true inner self, or soul.
ANISSA f English
Combination of ANNA
and the popular name suffix issa
. This name was first brought to public attention by the child actress Anissa Jones (1958-1976).
ANITA (1) f Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, Slovene, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Latvian
Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian and Slovene diminutive of ANA
ANN f English, Manx
English and Manx form of ANNE (1)
. In the English-speaking world, both this spelling and Anne
have been used since the Middle Ages, though Ann
became much more popular during the 19th century.
ANNA f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Form of Channah
) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah
spelling instead of Anna
. The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus
as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary
. In the English-speaking world, this form came into general use in the 18th century, joining Ann
ANNAGÜL f Turkmen
Derived from Turkmen anna
"Friday" and gül
ANNE (1) f French, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, Basque
French form of ANNA
. In the 13th-century it was imported to England, where it was also commonly spelled Ann
. The name was borne by a 17th-century English queen and also by the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (the mother of Queen Elizabeth I), who was eventually beheaded in the Tower of London. This is also the name of the heroine in Anne of Green Gables
(1908) by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery.
ANNUNZIATA f Italian
in Italian, referring to the event in the New Testament in which the angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary
of the imminent birth of Jesus
ANONA f English
Meaning unknown. It was possibly inspired by an American song by this name written by Vivian Grey in 1903 and recorded by musician Vess Ossman. The lyrics tell of a Native American woman named Anona from Arizona.
ANSA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish ansio "virtue"
or ansa "trap"
ANTIGONE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek αντι (anti)
meaning "against, compared to, like" and γονη (gone)
meaning "birth, offspring". In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave.
ANTIOPE f Greek Mythology
Derived from the Greek elements αντι (anti)
meaning "against, compared to, like" and οψ (ops)
meaning "voice". This was the name of several figures in Greek mythology, including a daughter of Ares
who was one of the queens of the Amazons. She was kidnapped and married by Theseus
ANTOINETTE f French
Feminine diminutive of ANTOINE
. This name was borne by Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. She was executed by guillotine.
ANTONIA f Italian, Spanish, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian, Greek, Croatian, Bulgarian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Antonius
ANUSH f Armenian
in Armenian. This was the name of an 1890 novel by the Armenia writer Hovhannes Tumanyan. It was adapted into an opera in 1912 by Armen Tigranian.
AOI f & m Japanese
From Japanese 葵 (aoi)
meaning "hollyhock, althea" or an adjectival form of 碧 (ao)
meaning "green, blue". Other kanji with the same reading can form this name as well.
AOIBHEANN f Irish
Means "beautiful, pleasant, radiant"
in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of the mother of Saint Enda. It was also borne by Irish royalty.
AOIDE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
AOIFE f Irish, Irish Mythology
from the Irish word aoibh
. In Irish legend Aoife was a warrior princess. In war against her sister Scathach, she was defeated in single combat by the hero Cúchulainn
. Eventually she was reconciled with her sister and became the lover of Cúchulainn. This name is sometimes used as a Gaelic form of EVE
APHRA f Various
Meaning uncertain; possibly a variant of AFRA (1)
, or possibly a variant of Aphrah
, a biblical place name meaning "dust". This name was born by the English writer Aphra Behn (1640-1689).
APHRODITE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty, identified with the Roman goddess Venus
. She was the wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of Eros
, and she was often associated with the myrtle tree and doves. The Greeks connected her name with αφρος (aphros)
, resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea. Many of her characteristics are based on the goddess known as Ashtoreth
to the Phoenicians and Ishtar
to the Mesopotamian Semitic peoples, and on the Sumerian goddess Inanna
APPHIA f Biblical
Greek form of a Hebrew name that possibly meant "increasing"
. This is a name mentioned in Paul
's epistle to Philemon
in the New Testament.
APRIL f English
From the name of the month, probably originally derived from Latin aperire
"to open", referring to the opening of flowers. It has only been commonly used as a given name since the 1940s.
ARABELLA f English
Medieval Scottish name, probably a variant of ANNABEL
. It has long been associated with Latin orabilis
ARACELI f Spanish
Means "altar of the sky"
from Latin ara
"altar" and coeli
"sky". This is an epithet of the Virgin Mary
in her role as the patron saint of Lucena, Spain.
ARACHNE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek myth Arachne was a mortal woman who defeated Athena
in a weaving contest. After this Arachne hanged herself, but Athena brought her back to life in the form of a spider.
ARAMINTA f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown. This name was (first?) used by William Congreve in his comedy The Old Bachelor
(1693) and later by Sir John Vanbrugh in his comedy The Confederacy
(1705). This was the real name of abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), who was born Araminta Ross.
ARAN (1) f & m Irish
From the name of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.
ARANTZAZU f Basque
From the name of a place near the Spanish town of Oñati where there is a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary
. Its name is derived from Basque arantza
ARAX f Armenian
From the name of an Armenian river, also called the Aras.
ARCADIA f Various
Feminine form of ARCADIUS
. This is the name of a region on the Greek Peloponnese, long idealized for its natural beauty.
ARDEN m & f English
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, which were derived from a Celtic word meaning "high"
ARETE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Arete was the personification of virtue and excellence.
ARETHA f English
Possibly derived from Greek αρετη (arete)
. This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
ARETHUSA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Αρεθουσα (Arethousa)
meaning "quick water"
, which is possibly derived from αρδω (ardo)
meaning "water" and θοος (thoos)
meaning "quick, nimble". This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who was transformed into a fountain.
ARIA (1) f English (Modern)
Means "song, melody"
in Italian (literally means "air"). An aria is an elaborate vocal solo, the type usually performed in operas. As an English name, it has only been in use since the 20th century. It is not common in Italy.
ARIADNE f Greek Mythology
Means "most holy"
, composed of the Cretan Greek elements αρι (ari)
meaning "most" and αδνος (adnos)
meaning "holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos
. She fell in love with Theseus
and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus
ARIANRHOD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel"
or "round wheel"
in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan
Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ARIEL m & f Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God"
in Hebrew, from אֲרִי ('ari)
meaning "lion" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play The Tempest
(1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Walt Disney film The Little Mermaid
ARISTA f Astronomy
Means "ear of corn"
in Latin. This is the name of a star, also known as Spica, in the constellation Virgo.
ARJA f Finnish
Variant of IRJA
. The Finnish poet Eino Leino used it in his poem Arja and Selinä
(1916), though belonging to a male character.
ARLINE f English
Meaning unknown, possibly invented by Michael William Balfe for the main character in his opera The Bohemian Girl
ARMIDA f Italian, Spanish
Probably created by the 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso for his epic poem Jerusalem Delivered
(1580). In the poem Armida is a beautiful enchantress who bewitches many of the crusaders.
ARMIDE f Literature
French form of ARMIDA
. This is the name of operas by Jean-Baptiste Lully (in 1686) and Christoph Willibald Gluck (in 1777), both of which were based on Jerusalem Delivered
by Torquato Tasso.