AALIYAH f Arabic, English (Modern)
Feminine form of AALI
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by the singer Aaliyah Haughton (1979-2001), who was known simply as Aaliyah.
ABILENE f Biblical
From a place name mentioned briefly in the New Testament. It possibly means "grass" in Hebrew.
ABISHAG f Biblical
Means "my father strays" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is a young woman who tends King David
in his old age.
ADDISON f & m English
From an English surname meaning "son of ADAM
". Its recent popularity as a feminine name stems from its similarity in sound to Madison
AGRIPPA m & f Ancient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from Greek αγριος (agrios)
"wild" and ‘ιππος (hippos)
"horse" or possibly of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
AHINOAM f Biblical
Means "my brother is pleasant" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of wives of both Saul
AINSLEY f & m Scottish, English (Modern)
From a surname which was from a place name: either Annesley in Nottinghamshire or Ansley in Warwickshire. The place names themselves derive from Old English anne
"alone, solitary" or ansetl
"hermitage" and leah
AISLING f Irish
Means "dream" or "vision" in Irish Gaelic. This name was created in the 20th century.
ALANNAH f English (Modern), Irish
Variant of ALANA
. It has been influenced by the affectionate Anglo-Irish word alannah
, from the Irish Gaelic phrase a leanbh
meaning "O child".
ALCYONE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Αλκυονη (Alkyone)
, derived from the word αλκυων (alkyon)
meaning "kingfisher". In Greek myth this name belonged to a daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck she threw herself into the water, but the gods saved her and turned them both into kingfishers. This is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, the seven stars in the constellation Taurus.
ALETHEA f English
Derived from Greek αληθεια (aletheia)
meaning "truth". This name was coined in the 17th century.
ALFHILD f Norwegian, Swedish
From the Old Norse name Alfhildr
which was composed of the elements alfr
"elf" and hildr
"battle". In Norse legend Alfhild was a maiden who disguised herself as a warrior in order to avoid marriage to king Alf. Her life was perhaps based on that of a 9th-century Viking pirate.
ALLEGRA f English (Rare), Italian (Rare)
Means "cheerful, lively" in Italian. It is not a traditional Italian name. It was borne by a short-lived illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron.
ALWILDA f History
Latinized form of ALFHILD
. This was the name of a legendary female Scandinavian pirate, also called Awilda.
AMERICA f English
In the English-speaking world, this name is usually given in reference to the United States of America (see AMERIGO
). It came into use as an American name in the 19th century.
ANNAGÜL f Turkmen
Derived from Turkmen anna
"Friday" and gül
ANTIOPE f Greek Mythology
Derived from the Greek elements αντι (anti)
"against, compared to, like" and οψ (ops)
"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
ANTONIA f Italian, Spanish, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Romanian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Antonius
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
Means "spider" 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.
ARCADIA f Various
Feminine form of ARCADIUS
. This is the name of a region on the Greek Peloponnese, long idealized for its natural beauty.
ARIADNE f Greek Mythology
Means "most holy", composed of the Cretan Greek elements αρι (ari)
"most" and αδνος (adnos)
"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
ASHANTI f & m Various
From the name of an African people who reside in southern Ghana. It possibly means "warlike" in the Twi language.
ASHERAH f Near Eastern Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea". This was the name of an ancient Israelite goddess who was worshipped before the advent of monotheism.
ASTRAEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Αστραια (Astraia)
, derived from Greek αστηρ (aster)
meaning "star". Astraea was a Greek goddess of justice and innocence. After wickedness took root in the world she left the earth and became the constellation Virgo.
ATROPOS f Greek Mythology
Means "inevitable, inflexible" in Greek, derived from the negative prefix α (a)
combined with τροπος (tropos)
"direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
AUREOLE f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "radiant halo", ultimately derived from Latin aureolus
AVELINE f English (Rare)
From the Norman French form of the Germanic name Avelina
, a diminutive of AVILA
. The Normans introduced this name to Britain. After the Middle Ages it became rare as an English name, though it persisted in America until the 19th century.
BARBARA f English, Italian, French, German, Polish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Late Roman
Derived from Greek βαρβαρος (barbaros)
meaning "foreign". According to legend, Saint Barbara was a young woman killed by her father Dioscorus, who was then killed by a bolt of lightning. She is the patron of architects, geologists, stonemasons and artillerymen. Because of her renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was revived in the 19th century.
BEATRIX f German, Hungarian, Dutch, English (Rare), Late Roman
Probably from Viatrix
, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator
which meant "voyager, traveller". It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus
"blessed". Viatrix or Beatrix was a 4th-century saint who was strangled to death during the persecutions of Diocletian.... [more]
BELINDA f English
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. The first element could be related Italian bella
"beautiful". The second element could be related to Germanic lind
"serpent, dragon" or linde
"soft, tender". This name first arose in the 17th century, and was subsequently used by Alexander Pope in his poem 'The Rape of the Lock' (1712).
BELLONA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin bellare
meaning "to fight". This was the name of the Roman goddess of war, a companion of Mars
BETHANY f English, Biblical
From the name of a biblical town, possibly derived from Hebrew בֵּית־תְּאֵנָה (beit-te'enah)
meaning "house of figs". In the New Testament the town of Bethany was the home of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. It has been in use as a rare given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, used primarily by Catholics in honour of Mary of Bethany. In America it became moderately common after the 1950s.
BEVERLY f & m English
From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English city, itself meaning "beaver stream" in Old English. It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, and it became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's novel 'Beverly of Graustark' (1904).
BITHIAH f Biblical
Means "daughter of YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Pharaoh. She is traditionally equated with the pharaoh's daughter who drew Moses
from the Nile.
BLANCHE f French, English
From a medieval French nickname meaning "white, fair". This name and its cognates in other languages are ultimately derived from the Germanic word blanc
. An early bearer was the 12th-century Blanca of Navarre, the wife of Sancho III of Castile. Her granddaughter of the same name married Louis VIII of France, with the result that the name became more common in France.
BLODWEN f Welsh
Means "white flowers" from Welsh blodau
"flowers" combined with gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
BLONDIE f English (Rare)
From a nickname for a person with blond hair. This is the name of the title character in a comic strip by Chic Young.
BLOSSOM f English
From the English word blossom
, ultimately from Old English blóstm
. It came into use as a rare given name in the 19th century.
BRANWEN f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven" from Welsh bran
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
which means "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRIELLE f English (Modern)
Short form of GABRIELLE
. This is also the name of towns in the Netherlands and New Jersey, though their names derive from a different source.
BRISEIS f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from Βρισευς (Briseus)
, a Greek name of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology Briseis (real name Hippodameia) was the daughter of Briseus. She was captured during the Trojan War by Achilles
. After Agamemnon
took her away from him, Achilles refused to fight in the war.
BRÓNACH f Irish
Derived from Irish Gaelic brón
meaning "sorrow". Saint Brónach was a 6th-century mystic from Ireland.
BRONWEN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements bron
"breast" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
CADENCE f English (Modern)
From an English word meaning "rhythm, flow". It has been in use only since the 20th century.
CALYPSO f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Καλυψω (Kalypso)
which probably meant "she that conceals", derived from καλυπτω (kalypto)
"to cover, to conceal". In Greek myth this was the name of the nymph who fell in love with Odysseus
after he was shipwrecked on her island of Ogygia. When he refused to stay with her she detained him for seven years until Zeus
ordered her to release him.
CAMBRIA f Various
Latin form of the Welsh Cymru
, the Welsh name for the country of Wales, derived from cymry
meaning "the people". It is occasionally used as a given name in modern times.
CAMERON m & f Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and sròn
CAMILLE f & m French, English
French feminine and masculine form of CAMILLA
. It is also used in the English-speaking world, where it is generally only feminine.
CANDACE f English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the hereditary title of the queens of Ethiopia, as mentioned in Acts in the New Testament. It is apparently derived from Cushitic kdke
meaning "queen mother". In some versions of the Bible it is spelled Kandake
, reflecting the Greek spelling Κανδακη
. It was used as a given name by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation. It was popularized in the 20th century by a character in the movie 'Meet the Stewarts' (1942).
CANDIDA f Late Roman, English
Late Latin name derived from candidus
meaning "white". This was the name of several early saints, including a woman supposedly healed by Saint Peter
. As an English name, it came into use after George Bernard Shaw's play 'Candida' (1898).
CAPRICE f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "impulse", ultimately (via French) from Italian capriccio
CARAMIA f Various
From the Italian phrase cara mia
meaning "my beloved".