FLORA f English, German, Italian, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin flos
meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala
FREYA f Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern)
From Old Norse Freyja
meaning "lady". This was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr
and father Njord
, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg
FRIDA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of other feminine names containing the Germanic element frid
meaning "peace". This is also the Scandinavian equivalent, from the Old Norse cognate Fríða
. A famous bearer was Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).
FRIGG f Norse Mythology
Means "beloved" in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri
"to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin
. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya
share a common origin.
GARGI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Bengali
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 7th-century BC Indian philosopher who appears in the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
GILDA f Italian, Portuguese
Originally an Italian short form of names containing the Germanic element gild
meaning "sacrifice, value".
GOHAR f Armenian
Means "jewel" in Armenian, ultimately of Persian origin.
GOMER m & f Biblical
Means "complete" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of both a grandson of Noah
and the unfaithful wife of the prophet Hosea
GRACE f English
From the English word grace
, which ultimately derives from Latin gratia
. This was one of the virtue names created in the 17th century by the Puritans. The actress Grace Kelly (1929-1982) was a famous bearer.
GÜNEL f Azerbaijani
Derived from the Turkic elements gün
"sun" and el
GYPSY f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word Gypsy
for the nomadic people who originated in northern India. The word was originally a corruption of Egyptian
. It is sometimes considered pejorative.
GYTHA f English (Archaic)
, an Old Norse diminutive of GUÐRÍÐR
. It was borne by a Danish noblewoman who married the English lord Godwin of Wessex in the 11th century. The name was used in England for a short time after that, and was revived in the 19th century.
HAFSA f Arabic
Means "gathering" in Arabic. This was the name of the daughter of Umar
, the second caliph, and a wife of Muhammad
HAGAR f Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Possibly means "flight" in Hebrew, though it could also be of unknown Egyptian origin. In the Old Testament she is the concubine of Abraham
and the mother of Ishmael
, the founder of the Arab people. After Abraham's wife Sarah
finally gave birth to a child, she had Hagar and Ishmael expelled into the desert. However, God heard their crying and saved them.
HAJNA f Hungarian
Shortened form of HAJNAL
. The Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty used it in his epic poem 'Zalán Futása' (1825).
HALLE (2) f English (Modern)
In the case of American actress Halle Berry (1966-), it is from the name of a department store in Cleveland where she was born (the store was founded by brothers bearing the German surname Halle, a cognate of HALL
HANAE f Japanese
From Japanese 花 (hana)
or 華 (hana)
, which both mean "flower", combined with 絵 (e)
meaning "picture" or 恵 (e)
meaning "favour, benefit". Other kanji combinations are possible.
HANNA (1) f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, German, Dutch, Icelandic, Hungarian
Cognate of HANNAH
HAVEN f & m English
From the English word for a safe place, derived ultimately from Old English hæfen
HA-YUN f Korean
From Sino-Korean 昰 (ha)
meaning "summer, name" combined with 昀 (yun)
meaning "sunlight". Other hanja character combinations are possible.
HAZEL f English
From the English word hazel
for the tree or the light brown colour, derived ultimately from Old English hæsel
. It was coined as a given name in the 19th century.
HEDDA f Norwegian, Swedish
Diminutive of HEDVIG
. This is the name of the heroine of the play 'Hedda Gabler' (1890) by the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen.
HEIDI f German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English
German diminutive of ADELHEID
. This is the name of the title character in the children's novel 'Heidi' (1880) by Johanna Spyri. The name began to be used in the English-speaking world shortly after the 1937 release of the movie adaptation, which starred Shirley Temple.
HELAH f Biblical
Means "rust" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name is mentioned as one of the wives of Asher.
HELLE (2) f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
HILJA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish hiljaisuus
HOLLY f English
From the English word for the holly tree, ultimately derived from Old English holen
HONEY f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word honey
, ultimately from Old English hunig
. This was originally a nickname for a sweet person.
HOSHI f Japanese
From Japanese 星 (hoshi)
meaning "star" or other kanji with the same pronunciation.
HUANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 煌 (huáng)
meaning "bright, shining, luminous" (which is usually only masculine) or 凰 (huáng)
meaning "phoenix" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
HUSNI m & f Arabic
Derived from Arabic حسن (husn)
meaning "beauty, excellence, goodness".
HYEON m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able" or other characters which are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
IDOYA f Spanish
From the Spanish place name Idoia
, possibly meaning "pond" in Basque, an important place of worship of the Virgin Mary
IDRIL f Literature
Means "sparkle brilliance" in Sindarin. In the 'Silmarillion' (1977) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Idril was the daughter of Turgon, the king of Gondolin. She escaped the destruction of that place with her husband Tuor
and sailed with him into the west.
İLKAY f & m Turkish
Means "new moon" in Turkish, derived from ilk
"first" and ay
INDIA f English
From the name of the country, which is itself derived from the name of the Indus River. The river's name is ultimately from Sanskrit सिन्धु (Sindhu)
meaning "body of trembling water, river".
IRENE f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene)
, derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι
(Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.... [more]
ISCAH f Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִסְכָּה (Yiskah)
which meant "to behold". In the Old Testament this is the name of Abraham
's niece, mentioned only briefly. This is the basis of the English name Jessica
IVORY m & f African American
From the English word for the hard, creamy-white substance which comes from elephant tusks and was formerly used to produce piano keys.
IZARO f Basque
Meaning unknown, from the name of a small island off the Spanish coast in the Bay of Biscay.
IZUMI f Japanese
From Japanese 泉 (izumi)
meaning "fountain, spring". This name can also be constructed from other combinations of kanji.
JADEN m & f English (Modern)
An invented name, using the popular aden
suffix sound found in such names as Braden
. This name first became common in American in the 1990s when similar-sounding names were increasing in popularity. It is sometimes considered a variant of JADON
JAIME (2) f English
Variant of JAMIE
. The character Jaime Sommers from the television series 'The Bionic Woman' (1976-1978) helped to popularize the name. It can sometimes be given in reference to the French phrase j'aime
meaning "I love", though it is pronounced differently.
JAMIE m & f Scottish, English
Originally a Lowland Scots diminutive of JAMES
. Since the late 19th century it has also been used as a feminine form.
JENNA f English, Finnish
Variant of JENNY
. Use of the name was popularized in the 1980s by the character Jenna Wade on the television series 'Dallas'.
JEONG f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 靜 (jeong)
meaning "quiet, still, gentle" or 貞 (jeong)
meaning "virtuous, chaste, loyal", as well as other characters which are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
JEWEL f & m English
In part from the English word jewel
, a precious stone, derived from Old French jouel
, which was possibly related to jeu
"game". It is also in part from the surname Jewel
(a derivative of the Breton name JUDICAËL
), which was sometimes used in honour of the 16th-century bishop of Salisbury John Jewel. It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
JIANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 江 (jiāng)
meaning "river, Yangtze", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
JI-EUN f Korean
From Sino-Korean 枝 (ji)
meaning "branch, limb", 知 (ji)
meaning "know, perceive, comprehend" or 志 (ji)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" combined with 恩 (eun)
meaning "kindness, mercy, charity". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
JI-HYE f Korean
From a Sino-Korean compound meaning "wisdom", formed of the hanja characters 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" and 慧 (hye)
meaning "bright, intelligent". This name can also be formed from other character combinations.
JI-MIN f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 志 (ji)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" or 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" combined with 旼 (min)
meaning "gentle, affable", 敏 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp" or 珉 (min)
meaning "jade, stone resembling jade". Other hanja character combinations are possible.
JINAN m & f Arabic
Means "garden" or "paradise" in Arabic.
JOLIE f English, Various
Means "pretty" in French. This name was popularized by American actress Angelina Jolie (1975-), whose surname was originally her middle name. It is not used as a given name in France.
JOYCE f & m English
From the medieval masculine name Josse
, which was derived from the earlier Iudocus
, which was a Latinized form of the Breton name Judoc
meaning "lord". The name belonged to a 7th-century Breton saint, and Breton settlers introduced it to England after the Norman conquest. It became rare after the 14th century, but was later revived as a feminine name, perhaps because of similarity to the Middle English word joise
"to rejoice". This given name also formed the basis for a surname, as in the case of the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941).
JUANA f Spanish
Spanish form of Iohanna
), making it the feminine form of JUAN (1)
. This name was borne by Juana the Mad, a 16th-century queen of Castile.
JUDDA f Ancient Germanic
Probably derived from the name of the Germanic tribe the Jutes, who originated in Denmark and later invaded and settled in England. The name of the tribe, recorded in Latin as Iutae
and Old English as Eotas
, is of uncertain origin.