GABIJA f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Probably from Lithuanian gaubti
meaning "to cover". In Lithuanian mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire and the home.
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαια (gaia)
, a parallel form of γη (ge)
meaning "earth". In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GAIANA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Γαιανη (Gaiane)
, a derivative of GAIA
. This was the name of a (perhaps fictional) martyr who was killed in Armenia during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian in the late 3rd century.
GALADRIEL f Literature
Means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland" in Sindarin. Galadriel was a Noldorin elf princess renowned for her beauty and wisdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. The elements are galad
"radiant" and riel
"garlanded maiden". Alatáriel
is the Quenya form of her name.
GARDENIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the tropical flower, which was named for the Scottish naturalist Alexander Garden (1730-1791).
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.
GARNET (1) f English
From the English word garnet
for the precious stone, the birthstone of January. The word is derived from Middle English gernet
meaning "dark red".
GARNET (2) m & f English
From an English surname which either referred to a person who made hinges (Old French carne
) or was derived from the Norman name GUARIN
GAY f English
From the English word gay
meaning "gay, happy". By the mid-20th century the word had acquired the additional meaning of "homosexual", and the name has subsequently dropped out of use.
GAYATRI f Hinduism, Indian, Marathi, Hindi
From Sanskrit गायत्र (gayatra)
which refers to a type of song or hymn with a particular meter. It is also the name of a Hindu goddess who is a personification of this song.
GENESIS f English (Modern)
Means "birth, origin" in Greek. This is the name of the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible. It tells of the creation of the world, the expulsion of Adam
and the great flood, and the three patriarchs.
GENEVA f English
Possibly a shortened form of GENEVIEVE
. It could also be inspired by the name of the city in Switzerland. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
GENEVIÈVE f French
From the medieval name Genovefa
, which is of uncertain origin. It could be derived from the Germanic elements kuni
"kin, family" and wefa
"wife, woman". Alternatively it could be of Gaulish origin, from the related Celtic element genos
"kin, family" combined with a second element of unknown meaning. This name was borne by Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, who inspired the city to resist the Huns in the 5th century.
GEORGIA f English, Greek
Latinate feminine form of GEORGE
. This is the name of an American state, which was named after the British king George II. A famous bearer was the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986).
GERMAINE f French
French feminine form of GERMAIN
. Saint Germaine was a 16th-century peasant girl from France.
GERTRUDE f English, Dutch
Means "spear of strength", derived from the Germanic elements ger
"spear" and thrud
"strength". Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer. It was probably introduced to England by settlers from the Low Countries in the 15th century. Shakespeare used the name in his play 'Hamlet' (1600) for the mother of the title character. A famous bearer was the American writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
GETHSEMANE f Biblical
From Γεθσημανι (Gethsemani)
, the Greek form of an Aramaic place name meaning "oil vat". In the New Testament this is the name of the garden where Jesus
was arrested, located on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
GILDA f Italian, Portuguese
Originally an Italian short form of names containing the Germanic element gild
meaning "sacrifice, value".
GILLIAN f English
Medieval English feminine form of JULIAN
. This spelling has been in use since the 13th century, though it was not declared a distinct name from Julian
until the 17th century.
GINEVRA f Italian
Italian form of GUINEVERE
. This is also the Italian name for the city of Geneva, Switzerland. It is also sometimes associated with the Italian word ginepro
GINGER f English
From the English word ginger
for the spice or the reddish-brown colour. It can also be a diminutive of VIRGINIA
, as in the case of actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), by whom the name was popularized.
GIOCONDA f Italian
From the Late Latin name Iucunda
which meant "pleasant, delightful, happy". Leonardo da Vinci's painting the 'Mona Lisa' is also known as 'La Gioconda' because its subject is Lisa del Giocondo.
GISELLE f French, English (Modern)
Derived from the Germanic word gisil
meaning "hostage, pledge". This name may have originally been a descriptive nickname for a child given as a pledge to a foreign court. It was borne by a daughter of the French king Charles III who married the Norman leader Rollo in the 10th century. The name was popular in France during the Middle Ages (the more common French form is Gisèle
). Though it became known in the English-speaking world due to Adolphe Adam's ballet 'Giselle' (1841), it was not regularly used until the 20th century.
GITA f Indian, Hindi
Means "song" in Sanskrit. The word appears in the name of the 'Bhagavad Gita', a sacred text of Hinduism (meaning "divine song").
GLADYS f Welsh, English
From the old Welsh name Gwladus
, possibly derived from gwlad
"country". It has historically been used as a Welsh form of CLAUDIA
. This name became popular outside of Wales after it was used in Ouida's novel 'Puck' (1870).
GLAW m & f Welsh
Means "rain" in Welsh. This is a modern Welsh name.
GLENDA f Welsh, English
A name created in the 20th century from the Welsh elements glân
"pure, clean" and da
GLENYS f Welsh
Elaboration of the Welsh word glân
meaning "pure, clean, holy". This name was created in the late 19th century.
GLORIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German
Means "glory" in Latin. The name (first?) appeared in E. D. E. N. Southworth's novel 'Gloria' (1891) and subsequently in George Bernard Shaw's play 'You Never Can Tell' (1898). It was popularized in the early 20th century by American actress Gloria Swanson (1899-1983). Another famous bearer is feminist Gloria Steinem (1934-).
GLORIANA f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Latin gloria
meaning "glory". In Edmund Spenser's poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590) this was the name of the title character, a representation of Queen Elizabeth I.
GLYNIS f Welsh
Either a variant of GLENYS
or an elaboration of the Welsh word glyn
GOBNAIT f Irish
Feminine form of GOBÁN
. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish abbess, the patron saint of Ballyvourney.
GODIVA f Anglo-Saxon (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Old English name Godgifu
meaning "gift of god", from the elements god
"gift". Lady Godiva was an 11th-century English noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry to protest the high taxes imposed by her husband upon the townspeople.
GOHAR f Armenian
Means "jewel" in Armenian, ultimately of Persian origin.
GOIZEDER f Basque
Derived from Basque goiz
"morning" and eder
GOLDIE (1) f English
From a nickname for a person with blond hair, from the English word gold
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
GORETTI f Various
From the surname of Maria Goretti, a 20th-century Italian saint who forgave her murderer on her deathbed. Her surname was derived from the given name GREGORIO
GORMLAITH f Irish, Scottish
Derived from Irish gorm
"blue" or "illustrious" and flaith
"princess, lady". This was the name of a wife of the 11th-century Irish ruler Brian
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.
GRÁINNE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Gaelic grán
meaning "grain". This was the name of an ancient Irish grain goddess. The name also belonged to the fiancée of Fionn
mac Cumhail and the lover of Diarmaid
in later Irish legend, and it is often associated with gráidh
GRAY m & f English
From an English surname meaning "grey", originally given to a person who had grey hair or clothing.
GRAŻYNA f Polish
Means "beautiful" in Lithuanian. This name was created by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz for his poem 'Grażyna' (1823).
GRETEL f German
Diminutive of GRETE
. This name is well-known as the character in Grimm's fairy tale who is captured, with her brother Hansel, by a witch.
GRID f Norse Mythology
Means "peace" in Old Norse. In Norse myth she was a frost giantess, the mother of Víðarr by Odin
. She also aided Thor
in his fight against the giant Geirrod.
GRISELDA f English, Scottish, Spanish, Literature
Possibly derived from the Germanic elements gris
"grey" and hild
"battle". It is not attested as a Germanic name. This was the name of a patient wife in medieval tales by Boccaccio and Chaucer.
GUADALUPE f & m Spanish
From a Spanish title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
, meaning "Our Lady of Guadalupe". Guadalupe is a Spanish place name, the site of a famous convent, which means "river of the wolf" in Arabic. In the 16th century Our Lady of Guadalupe supposedly appeared in a vision to a native Mexican man, and she is now regarded as a patron saint of the Americas.
GUANTING m & f Chinese
From Chinese 冠 (guān)
meaning "cap, crown, headgear" combined with 廷 (tíng)
meaning "court". This name can also be formed from other character combinations.
GUANYU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 冠 (guān)
meaning "cap, crown, headgear" combined with 宇 (yǔ)
meaning "house, eaves, universe". Other character combinations are possible.
GUDRUN f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Guðrún
meaning "god's secret lore", derived from the elements guð
"god" and rún
"secret lore". In Norse legend Gudrun was the wife of Sigurd
. After his death she married Atli, but when he murdered her brothers, she killed her sons by him, fed him their hearts, and then slew him.
GUINEVERE f Arthurian Romance
From the Norman French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar
, derived from the elements gwen
meaning "fair, white" and sebara
meaning "phantom, magical being". In Arthurian legend she was the beautiful wife of King Arthur
. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, she was seduced by Mordred
before the battle of Camlann, which led to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur. According to the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, she engaged in an adulterous affair with Sir Lancelot
GUIOMAR f & m Portuguese, Spanish, Arthurian Romance
Possibly derived from the Germanic name Wigmar
, which is formed of the elements wig
"war, battle" and meri
"famous". In the medieval 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle he plays a minor role as a cousin of Guinevere, who banishes him after he becomes a lover of Morgan le Fey. In modern Portugal and Spain it is a feminine name.