ANIMA (1) f Indian, Hindi
Means "minuteness" 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
English 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.
ANNE (2) m & f Frisian
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element arn
ANNUNZIATA f Italian
Means "announced" 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 a 1903 song by this name recorded by American musician Vess Ossman.
ANSA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish ansio
"virtue" or ansa
ANTIGONE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek αντι (anti)
"against, compared to, like" and γονη (gone)
"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)
"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
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, Polish, Romanian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Antonius
ANUSH f Armenian
Means "sweet" 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 sheen" in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of the mother of Saint Enda. It was also borne by Irish royalty.
AOIDE f Greek Mythology
Means "song" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
AOIFE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "beauty" from the Gaelic 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, equal to 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)
"foam", resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea.
APPHIA f Biblical
Greek form of a Hebrew name which 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
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.
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 a river (also called the Aras) which flows through Armenia.
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".
ARETHA f English
Possibly derived from Greek αρετη (arete)
meaning "virtue". This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
ARIA f English
Means "song" or "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)
"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
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, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God" in Hebrew. 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' (1989).
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.
ARLIE f & m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "eagle wood" in Old English. This name can also be a diminutive of ARLENE
ARLINE f English
Meaning unknown, possibly invented by Michael William Balfe for the main character in his opera 'The Bohemian Girl' (1843).
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.
ARTEMISIA f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ARTEMISIOS
. This was the name of the 4th-century BC builder of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the world. She built it in memory of her husband, the Carian prince Mausolus.
ARUNDHATI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
The name of a star (also called Alcor), which was named after a type of climbing plant, possibly meaning "not restrained" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief it is the name of the sage Vasishtha's wife, who is identified with the star.
ARWA f Arabic
Possibly means "mountain goats" in Arabic. This was the name of a 12th-century queen of Yemen.
ARWEN f Literature
Means "noble maiden" in Sindarin. In 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Arwen was the daughter of Elrond
and the lover of Aragorn
ARYA m & f Persian, Indian, Hindi, Malayalam
From an old Indo-Iranian root meaning "Aryan, noble". In India, this is a transcription of both the masculine form आर्य
and the feminine form आर्या
. In Iran it is only a masculine name.
ÅSA f Swedish
Short form of Old Norse feminine names beginning with the element áss
ASCENSIÓN f Spanish
Means "ascension" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Ascension of Jesus
ASH m & f English
Short form of ASHLEY
. It can also come directly from the English word denoting either the tree or the residue of fire.
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.
ASHLEY f & m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from place names meaning "ash tree clearing", from a combination of Old English æsc
. Until the 1960s it was more commonly given to boys in the United States, but it is now most often used on girls.
ASHTON m & f English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name which meant "ash tree town" in Old English.
ASLAUG f Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse elements áss
meaning "god" and laug
possibly meaning "betrothed woman".
ASMAA f Arabic
Means "appellations, names" in Arabic. This was the name of a daughter of Abu Bakr
, the first caliph of the Muslims.
ASPEN f English (Modern)
From the English word for the tree, derived from Old English æspe
. It is also the name of a ski resort in Colorado.
ASRA f Arabic
Means "travel at night" in Arabic. It is related to Isra
AŞTÎ f & m Kurdish
Means "peace, tranquility" in Kurdish.
ASTON m & f English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from either a place name meaning "east town" in Old English or from the given name ÆÐELSTAN
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.
ASUKA f Japanese
From Japanese 明日 (asu)
meaning "tomorrow" and 香 (ka)
meaning "fragrance", or from 飛 (asu)
meaning "to fly" and 鳥 (ka)
meaning "bird". Other kanji combinations can be possible as well.
ASUNCIÓN f Spanish
Means "assumption" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the assumption of the Virgin Mary
ATALANTA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Αταλαντη (Atalante)
meaning "equal in weight", derived from αταλαντος (atalantos)
, a word related to ταλαντον (talanton)
meaning "a scale, a balance". In Greek legend she was a fast-footed maiden who refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a race. She was eventually defeated by Hippomenes, who dropped three golden apples during the race causing her to stop to pick them up.
ATHALIAH f & m Biblical
Means "afflicted of YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both a feminine and masculine name. It was borne by the daughter of Ahab
, who later came to rule Judah as a queen.
ATHENA f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps derived from Greek αθηρ (ather)
"sharp" and αινη (aine)
"praise". Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare, the daughter of Zeus
and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. She is associated with the olive tree and the owl.
ATHOL m & f Scottish
From the name of a district in Scotland which was derived from Gaelic ath Fodhla
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.
ATSUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 温 (atsu)
meaning "warm", 篤 (atsu)
meaning "deep, true, sincere" or 敦 (atsu)
meaning "honest" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
AUBREY m & f English
Norman French form of the Germanic name ALBERICH
. As an English masculine name it was common in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the 19th century. Since the mid-1970s it has more frequently been given to girls, due to Bread's 1972 song 'Aubrey' along with its similarity to the established feminine name Audrey