CLARIBEL f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix bel
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play 'The Tempest' (1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled 'Claribel' (1830).
CLARICE f English
Medieval vernacular form of the Late Latin name Claritia
, which was a derivative of CLARA
CLARINDA f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix inda
. It was first used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
CLARISSA f English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Latinate form of CLARICE
. This was the name of the title character in a 1748 novel by Samuel Richardson. In the novel Clarissa is a virtuous woman who is tragically exploited by her family and her lover.
CLARITY f English (Rare)
Simply means "clarity, lucidity" from the English word, ultimately from Latin clarus
CLAUDE m & f French, English
French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS
. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
CLEMATIS f English (Rare)
From the English word for a type of flowering vine, ultimately derived from Greek κλημα (klema)
CLEMENCE f English
Feminine form of Clementius
). It has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it became rare after the 17th century.
CLEMENCY f English (Rare)
Medieval variant of CLEMENCE
. It can also simply mean "clemency, mercy" from the English word, ultimately from Latin clemens
CLEOPATRA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπατρα (Kleopatra)
which meant "glory of the father", derived from κλεος (kleos)
"glory" combined with πατηρ (pater)
"father" (genitive πατρος
), This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606) is based on her.
CLÍODHNA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "shapely" in Irish Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a beautiful goddess. She fell in love with a mortal named Ciabhan and left the Land of Promise with him, but when she arrived on the other shore she was swept to sea by a great wave.
CLODAGH f Irish
From the name of a river in Tipperary, Ireland.
CLOELIA f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CLOELIUS
. In Roman legend Cloelia was a maiden who was given to an Etruscan invader as a hostage. She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber, at the same time helping some of the other captives to safety.
CLOTILDE f French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
French form of the Germanic name Chlotichilda
which was composed of the elements hlud
"fame" and hild
"battle". Saint Clotilde was the wife of the Frankish king Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity.
CLOVER f English (Rare)
From the English word for the wild flower, ultimately deriving from Old English clafre
COCO f Various
Diminutive of names beginning with Co
, influenced by the word cocoa
. However, this was not the case for French fashion designer Coco Chanel (real name Gabrielle), whose nickname came from the name of a song she performed while working as a cabaret singer.
COLETTE f French
Short form of NICOLETTE
. Saint Colette was a 15th-century French nun who gave her money to the poor. This was also the pen name of the French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954).
COLLEEN f English
Derived from the Irish word cailín
meaning "girl". It is not commonly used in Ireland itself, but has been used in America since the early 20th century.
COLOMBINA f Italian
Italian feminine diminutive of COLUMBA
. In traditional Italian pantomimes this is the name of a stock character, the female counterpart of Arlecchino (also called Harlequin). This is also the Italian word for the columbine flower.
COLUMBA m & f Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "dove". The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity. This was the name of several early saints both masculine and feminine, most notably the 6th-century Irish monk Saint Columba (or Colum) who established a monastery on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. He is credited with the conversion of Scotland to Christianity.
COMFORT f English (Rare)
From the English word comfort
, ultimately from Latin confortare
"to strengthen greatly", a derivative of fortis
"strong". It was used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation.
CONCEPCIÓN f Spanish
Means "conception" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
. A city in Chile bears this name.
CONDOLEEZZA f Various
In the case of American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice it is derived from the Italian musical term con dolcezza
meaning "with sweetness".
CONSOLATA f Italian
Means "consoled" in Italian. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María Consolata
CONSUELO f Spanish
Means "consolation" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora del Consuelo
, meaning "Our Lady of Consolation".
CORA f English, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of KORE
. It was not used as a given name in the English-speaking world until after it was employed by James Fenimore Cooper for a character in his novel 'The Last of the Mohicans' (1826). In some cases it may be a short form of CORDULA
or other names beginning with a similar sound.
CORAL f English, Spanish
From the English and Spanish word coral
for the underwater skeletal deposits which can form reefs. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κοραλλιον (korallion)
CORDELIA f English
, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play 'King Lear' (1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia
CORDULA f German
Late Latin name meaning "heart" from Latin cor
. Saint Cordula was one of the 4th-century companions of Saint Ursula.
CORETTA f English
Diminutive of CORA
. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
CORIANDER f English (Rare)
From the name of the spice, also called cilantro, which may ultimately be of Phoenician origin (via Latin and Greek).
CORINNA f English, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Κοριννα (Korinna)
, which was derived from κορη (kore)
"maiden". This was the name of a Greek lyric poet of the 5th century BC. The Roman poet Ovid
used it for the main female character in his book 'Amores'. In the modern era it has been in use since the 17th century, when Robert Herrick used it in his poem 'Corinna's going a-Maying'.
CORNELIA f German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CORNELIUS
. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.
CORONA f Late Roman, Italian, Spanish
Means "crown" in Latin, as well as Italian and Spanish. This was the name of a 2nd-century saint who was martyred with her companion Victor.
COSETTE f French, Literature
From French chosette
meaning "little thing". This is the nickname of the illegitimate daughter of Fantine in Victor Hugo's novel 'Les Misérables' (1862). Her real name is Euphrasie
, though it is seldom used. In the novel young Cosette is the ward of the cruel Thénardiers until she is retrieved by Jean Valjean.
COURTNEY f & m English
From an aristocratic English surname which was derived either from the French place name Courtenay
(originally a derivative of the personal name Curtenus
, itself derived from Latin curtus
"short") or else from a Norman nickname meaning "short nose". As a feminine name in America, it first became popular during the 1970s.
CRESSIDA f Literature
Medieval form of CHRYSEIS
. Various medieval tales describe her as a woman of Troy, daughter of Calchus, who leaves her Trojan lover Troilus for the Greek hero Diomedes. Shakespeare's play 'Troilus and Cressida' (1602) was based on these tales.
CRUZ f & m Spanish, Portuguese
Means "cross" in Spanish or Portuguese, referring to the cross of the crucifixion.
CRYSTAL f English
From the English word crystal
for the clear, colourless glass, sometimes cut into the shape of a gemstone. The English word derives ultimately from Greek κρυσταλλος (krystallos)
meaning "ice". It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
CSENGE f Hungarian
Possibly derived from Hungarian cseng
meaning "to ring, to clang".
CSILLA f Hungarian
Derived from Hungarian csillag
meaning "star". This name was created by the Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty in the 19th century.
CVETKA f Slovene
Derived from Slovene cvet
meaning "blossom, flower".
CYBELE f Near Eastern Mythology (Hellenized)
Meaning unknown, possibly from Phrygian roots meaning either "stone" or "hair". This was the name of the Phrygian mother goddess associated with fertility and nature. She was later worshipped by the Greeks and Romans.
CYBILL f English (Rare)
Variant of SIBYL
. This name was borne by actress Cybill Shepherd (1950-), who was named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill.
CYNEBURG f Anglo-Saxon
Means "royal fortress" from Old English cyne
"royal" and burg
"fortress". Saint Cyneburga, a daughter of a king of Mercia, was the founder of an abbey at Gloucester in the 7th century.
CYNTHIA f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθια (Kynthia)
which means "woman from Kynthos". This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis
, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo
were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century.
CYRA f History
Meaning unknown. Saint Cyra was a 5th-century Syrian hermit who was martyred with her companion Marana.
DA m & f Chinese
From Chinese 达 (dá)
meaning "achieve, arrive at, intelligent" (which is usually only masculine), 大 (dà)
meaning "big, great, vast, high", or other characters with a similar pronunciation.
DACIANA f Romanian
Derived from Dacia
, the old Roman name for the region which is now Romania and Moldova.
DAFFODIL f English (Rare)
From the name of the flower, ultimately derived from Dutch de affodil
meaning "the asphodel".
DAGRUN f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Dagrún
, which was derived from the Old Norse elements dagr
"day" and rún
DÁIRÍNE f Irish
Derived from Irish Gaelic dáire
meaning "fruitful, fertile".
DAISY f English
Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage
meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
DAIVA f Lithuanian
Created by the Lithuanian writer Vydūnas, who possibly derived it from a Sanskrit word meaning "destiny".
DAKOTA m & f English (Modern)
Means "allies, friends" in the Dakota language. This is the name of a Native American people of the northern Mississippi valley.
DALE m & f English
From an English surname which originally belonged to a person who lived near a dale or valley.
DALIA (2) f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Means "fate, luck" in Lithuanian. This was the name of the Lithuanian goddess of weaving, fate and childbirth, often associated with Laima.
DAMAYANTI f Hinduism
Means "subduing" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of a beautiful princess, the wife of Nala.
DAMHNAIT f Irish
Means "fawn" from Gaelic damh
"stag, ox" combined with a diminutive suffix.
DANA (2) m & f English
From a surname which originally belonged to a person who was Danish. It was originally given in honour of American lawyer Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882), the author of 'Two Years Before the Mast'.
DANAË f Greek Mythology
From Δαναοι (Danaoi)
, a word used by Homer
to designate the Greeks. In Greek mythology Danaë was the daughter of the Argive king Acrisius. It had been prophesized to her father that he would one day be killed by Danaë's son, so he attempted to keep his daughter childless. However, Zeus
came to her in the form of a shower of gold, and she became the mother of Perseus
. Eventually the prophecy was fulfilled and Perseus killed Acrisius, albeit accidentally.
DANIELLE f French, English
French feminine form of DANIEL
. It has been commonly used in the English-speaking world only since the 20th century.
DANUTĖ f Lithuanian
Meaning uncertain. It could be a feminine form of DANIEL
or a form of DONATA
. It is found in Lithuania from the 14th century.
DAPHNE f Greek Mythology, English, Dutch
Means "laurel" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo
. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.
DAR f & m Hebrew
Means "mother-of-pearl, nacre" in Hebrew.
DARA (2) f & m Khmer
Means "star" in Khmer, ultimately from Sanskrit.
DARBY m & f English
From an English surname, which was derived from the name of the town of Derby
, meaning "deer town" in Old Norse.
DARCY f & m English
From an English surname which was derived from Norman French d'Arcy
, originally denoting one who came from Arcy in France. This was the surname of a character in Jane Austen's novel 'Pride and Prejudice' (1813).
DARLENE f English
From the English word darling
combined with the popular name suffix lene
. This name has been in use since the beginning of the 20th century.
DAWN f English
From the English word dawn
, ultimately derived from Old English dagung
DEANNA f English
Either a variant of DIANA
or a feminine form of DEAN
. This name was popularized by the Canadian actress and singer Deanna Durbin (1921-), whose birth name was Edna. Her stage name was a rearrangement of the letters of her real name.
DEARBHÁIL f Irish
Means "daughter of Fál", derived from Gaelic der
"daughter" and Fál
, a legendary name for Ireland.
DEBORAH f English, Hebrew, Biblical
Means "bee" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak
, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca.... [more]
DEE f & m English
Short form of names beginning with D
. It may also be given in reference to the Dee
River in Scotland.
DEIRBHILE f Irish
Means "daughter of a poet" from Gaelic der
"daughter" and file
"poet". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
DEIRDRE f English, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the older Gaelic form Derdriu
, meaning unknown, possibly derived from a Celtic word meaning "woman". This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar
, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise
DEJA f Various
Means "already" from the French phrase deja vu
meaning "already seen".
DELARA f Persian
Means "adorning the heart", from Persian دل (del)
meaning "heart" and آرا (ara)
meaning "decorate, adorn".
DELIA (1) f English, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Greek Mythology
Means "of Delos" in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis
, given because she and her twin brother Apollo
were born on the island of Delos. The name appeared in several poems of the 16th and 17th centuries, and it has occasionally been used as a given name since that time.
DELICIA f English (Rare)
Either from Latin deliciae
"delight, pleasure" or a variant of the English word delicious
. It has only been used since the 20th century (rarely).
DELILAH f Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Means "delicate, weak, languishing" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is the lover of Samson
, whom she betrays to the Philistines by cutting his hair, which is the source of his power. Despite her character flaws, the name began to be used by the Puritans in the 17th century. It has been used occasionally in the English-speaking world since that time.
DELL m & f English
From an English surname which originally denoted a person who lived in a dell or valley.
DELPHIA f English
Possibly from the name of the Greek city of Delphi, the site of an oracle of Apollo
, which is possibly related to Greek δελφυς (delphys)
"womb". It was used in the play 'The Prophetess' (1647), in which it belongs to the title prophetess.
DELPHINA f Late Roman
Feminine form of the Latin name Delphinus
, which meant "of Delphi". Delphi was a city in ancient Greece, the name of which is possibly related to Greek δελφυς (delphys)
"womb". The Blessed Delphina was a 14th-century Provençal nun.
DELTA f English
From the name of the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, Δ
. It is also the name for an island formed at the mouth of a river.
DELYTH f Welsh
From an elaboration of the Welsh element del
DEMELZA f English (British)
From a Cornish place name meaning "fort of Maeldaf". It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century. It was popularized in the 1970s by a character from the British television series 'Poldark', which was set in Cornwall.