LYSSA (2)fGreek Mythology
Means "rage, fury, anger" in Greek. In Greek mythology Lyssa is a goddess associated with uncontrolled rage.
Medieval feminine form of AMABILIS
. This spelling and Amabel
were common during the Middle Ages, though they became rare after the 15th century. It was revived in the 19th century after the publication of C. M. Yonge's novel 'The Heir of Redclyffe' (1854), which featured a character named Mabel (as well as one named Amabel).
Means "youth" in Welsh. This was the name of an obscure 6th-century Welsh saint. She was one of the daughters of Saint Brychan.
Means "welcome" in Tahitian. It gained popularity in France during the 1980s.
MAEVEfIrish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb
meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn
is told in the Irish epic 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley'.
MAGDAfGerman, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Croatian, Romanian, Portuguese, Greek
Short form of MAGDALENA
From the name of a type of vine that grows in Hawaii and is used in making leis.
Means "garland of flowers" in Thai.
Means "deer" in Armenian, referring to the Caspian Red Deer.
MARIAf & mItalian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Latin form of Greek Μαρια
, from Hebrew מִרְיָם
is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary
). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria
is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.... [more]
MARIEf & mFrench, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
French and Czech form of MARIA
. A notable bearer of this name was Marie Antoinette, a queen of France who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. Another was Marie Curie (1867-1934), a physicist and chemist who studied radioactivity with her husband Pierre.... [more]
Means "of the sea", taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary
, Stella Maris
, meaning "star of the sea".
MARTAfSpanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Polish, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Russian, Swedish, Icelandic, Latvian, Georgian
Cognate of MARTHA
From the Arabic name of a fragrant plant. Al-Marwa is one of the names of a sacred hill near Mecca.
MAURA (2)fIrish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It has also been associated with Gaelic mór
meaning "great". This was the name of an obscure 5th-century Irish or Scottish martyr.
From the name of the type of bird, also called the song thrush, ultimately derived from Old French. It was first used as a given name by the British author Marie Corelli, who used it for a character in her novel 'The Sorrows of Satan' (1895).
MEADEm & fEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which indicated one who lived on a meadow (from Middle English mede
) or one who sold or made mead (an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey; from Old English meodu
MEDEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized), Georgian
From Greek Μηδεια (Medeia)
, possibly derived from μηδομαι (medomai)
"to think, to plan". In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis (modern Georgia) who helped Jason
gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed.
Welsh diminutive of MARGARET
. In the English-speaking world outside of Wales it has only been regularly used since the middle of the 20th century.
From the surname of the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba (1861-1931). This was a stage name that she got from the name of the city Melbourne, where she was born.
Means "ash tree" in Greek, a derivative of μελι (meli)
"honey". This was the name of a nymph in Greek myth, the daughter of the Greek god Okeanos.
Means "abundant" in Hebrew. This is the name of a daughter of Saul in the Old Testament.
From the English word mercy
, ultimately from Latin merces
"wages, reward", a derivative of merx
"goods, wares". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Possibly from the name of an ancient Finnish tribe.
MERLEf & mEnglish
Variant of MERRILL
. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle
meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula
From the English word merry
, ultimately from Old English myrge
. This name appears in Charles Dickens' novel 'Martin Chuzzlewit' (1844), where it is a diminutive of MERCY
From the name of a Finnish village (now a part of the municipality of Hattula).
Variant of MURIEL
, influenced by the spelling of the name CHERYL
. A famous bearer is American actress Meryl Streep (1949-), whose real name is Mary Louise Streep.
In the case of actress and singer Miley Cyrus (1992-), it is a shortened form of the nickname Smiley
, given to her by her father because she often smiled. Although it was not at all common before she brought it to public attention, there are some examples of its use before her time, most likely as a diminutive of MILES
From Sino-Korean 敏 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp" combined with 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" or 知 (ji)
meaning "know, perceive, comprehend". Other hanja combinations are possible.
MIN-SUm & fKorean
From Sino-Korean 民 (min)
meaning "people, citizens" or 旼 (min)
meaning "gentle, affable" combined with 秀 (su)
meaning "luxuriant, beautiful, elegant, outstanding" or 洙 (su)
, which refers to a river in China. Other hanja combinations are possible.
From the English word misty
, ultimately derived from Old English. The jazz song 'Misty' (1954) by Erroll Garner may have helped popularize the name.
From Sino-Korean 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" and 淑 (suk)
meaning "good, pure, virtuous, charming", as well as other combinations of hanja characters with the same pronunciations.
MITRA (1)m & fHinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "friend" in Sanskrit, a cognate of MITHRA
. This is a transcription of both the feminine form मित्रा
and the masculine form मित्र
, which is the name of a Hindu god of friendship and contracts who appears in the Rigveda.
Means "memory" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of memory.
MOANAf & mMaori, Hawaiian, Tahitian
Means "ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea" in Maori and Hawaiian (as well as in other Polynesian languages).
Means "lies" in Tupí. This name appears in the poem 'Caramuru' (1781) by the Brazilian poet Santa Rita Durão.
MOIRAfIrish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It also coincides with Greek Μοιρα (Moira)
meaning "fate, destiny", the singular of Μοιραι
, the Greek name for the Fates. They were the three female personifications of destiny in Greek mythology.
Diminutive of MARY
. It developed from Malle
, other medieval diminutives. James Joyce used this name in his novel 'Ulysses' (1920), where it belongs to Molly Bloom, the wife of the main character.
MONETf & mVarious
From a French surname which was derived from either HAMON
. This was the surname of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
Modern Latvian name, possibly from Latin mons
MUMBIfEastern African, Kikuyu
Means "she who shapes" in Kikuyu. In Kikuyu mythology Mumbi was the wife of Gikuyu and the mother of his nine daughters.
Modern Persian form of ANAHITA
. This is also the Persian name for the planet Venus.
Meaning uncertain, possibly derived from Greek Ναιαδ (Naiad)
, a type of water nymph in Greek mythology.
Feminine form of NAIL
. This was the name of the wife of Uthman
, the third caliph of the Muslims. She tried in vain to prevent a mob from murdering her husband, and had several fingers cut off in the process.
Previously a medieval diminutive of ANNIS
, though since the 18th century it has been a diminutive of ANN
. It is now usually regarded as an independent name. During the 20th century it became very popular in the United States. A city in the Lorraine region of France bears this name, though it derives from a different source.
From Japanese 直 (nao)
meaning "straight" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child", as well as other kanji combinations.
NAOMI (1)fEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name נָעֳמִי (Na'omi)
meaning "pleasantness". In the Old Testament this is the name of the mother-in-law of Ruth
. After the death of her husband and sons, she returned to Bethlehem with Ruth. There she declared that her name should be Mara
(see Ruth 1:20).... [more]
NAOMI (2)f & mJapanese
From Japanese 直 (nao)
meaning "straight" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" (usually feminine) or 己 (mi)
meaning "self" (usually masculine). Other kanji combinations can also form this name.
Turkish form of NAZLI
. This name is spelled with a Turkish dotless i
, as Nazlı
NEASAfIrish, Irish Mythology
Meaning uncertain. In Irish legend she was the mother of Conchobhar
, king of Ulster. According to some versions of the legend she was originally named Assa
meaning "gentle", but was renamed Ni-assa
"not gentle" after she sought to avenge the murders of her foster fathers.
Perhaps an elaboration of Welsh ner
"lord", with the intended meaning of "lady".
Maori name which is derived from the name of a type of tree, also called the mousehole tree. This name was borne by New Zealand crime writer Dame Ngaio Marsh (1895-1982).
Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legends this is the name of a sorceress, also known as the Lady of the Lake, Vivien, or Niniane. Various versions of the tales have Merlin
falling in love with her and becoming imprisoned by her magic. She first appears in the medieval French 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle.
Reversal of the name Lenin
. Lenin was the founder of the former Soviet state. This name was created by Communist parents who were eager to reject traditional names.
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto
, Leto's children Apollo
killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus
NITYAf & mIndian, Hindi
Means "always, eternal" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form नित्या
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
) and the masculine form नित्य
NJERIfEastern African, Kikuyu
Means "travelling one" in Kikuyu. Njeri (or Wanjeri) is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi
in the Kikuyu origin legend.
NORMAfEnglish, Italian, Literature
Created by Felice Romani for the main character in the opera 'Norma' (1831). He may have based it on Latin norma
"rule". This name is also frequently used as a feminine form of NORMAN
From the name of the ancient region and kingdom in Africa, south of Egypt. It possibly derives from the Egyptian word nbw
Means "bright moon" in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic نور (nur)
meaning "light" and Turkic ay
From a Catalan title of the Virgin Mary
, Nostra Senyora de Núria
, meaning "Our Lady of Nuria". Nuria is a sanctuary in Spain in which there is a shrine containing a famous statue of Mary.
Means "buttercup flower" in Hebrew (genus Ranunculus).
From the name of a type of African antelope, ultimately derived from the Bantu word nyálà
NYDIAfEnglish (Rare), Spanish, Literature
Used by British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton for a blind flower-seller in his novel 'The Last Days of Pompeii' (1834). He perhaps based it on Latin nidus