RAABI'A f Arabic
Means "fourth" in Arabic. This name was borne by an 8th-century Sufi mystic from Basra in Iraq.
RABAB f Arabic
From the Arabic word rababah
, a musical instrument. This was the name of the wife of Muhammad
's grandson Husayn
RAHAB f Biblical
Means "spacious" in Hebrew. This was the name of a prostitute of Jericho who aided the Israelites in the Old Testament.
RAINBOW f English (Rare)
From the English word for the arc of multicoloured light that can appear in a misty sky.
RAINE f & m English (Rare)
Possibly based on the French word reine
meaning "queen". A famous bearer is the British socialite Raine Spencer (1929-), the stepmother of Princess Diana. In modern times it can also be used as a variant of RAIN (1)
or a short form of LORRAINE
RAKHI f Indian, Hindi
From a word for a type of ritual wristband, ultimately from Sanskrit रक्षा (raksha)
RALUCA f Romanian
Romanian diminutive of the Greek name Rallou
, of uncertain meaning. It was popularized by the actress Rallou Karatza (1778-1870), a daughter of the Prince of Wallachia Ioannis Karatzas, who was of Greek background.
RAMONA f Spanish, Romanian, English
Feminine form of RAMÓN
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Helen Hunt Jackson's novel 'Ramona' (1884), as well as several subsequent movies based on the book.
RAN f Japanese
From Japanese 蘭 (ran)
meaning "orchid" or other kanji pronounced in the same way.
RANIYA f Arabic
Means "looking at", derived from Arabic رنا (rana)
RATHNAIT f Irish
Derived from Irish rath
"grace, prosperity" combined with a diminutive suffix.
RATREE f Thai
From the name of a variety of jasmine flower, the night jasmine, ultimately from a poetic word meaning "night".
RAVEN f & m English
From the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English hræfn
. The raven is revered by several Native American groups of the west coast. It is also associated with the Norse god Odin
RAVID m & f Hebrew
Means "ornament, necklace" in Hebrew.
RAWIYA f Arabic
Means "storyteller", derived from Arabic روى (rawa)
RAYYAN m & f Arabic
Means "watered, luxuriant" in Arabic. According to Islamic tradition this is the name of one of the gates of paradise.
REAGAN f & m English, Irish
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ríagáin
meaning "descendant of RIAGÁN
". This surname was borne by American president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).
REBECCA f English, Italian, Swedish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name רִבְקָה (Rivqah)
from an unattested root probably meaning "join, tie, snare". This is the name of the wife of Isaac
and the mother of Esau
in the Old Testament. It came into use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular with the Puritans in the 17th century.
REGAN f English
Meaning unknown, probably of Celtic origin. Shakespeare took the name from earlier British legends and used it in his tragedy 'King Lear' (1606) for a treacherous daughter of the king. In the modern era it has appeared in the horror movie 'The Exorcist' (1973) belonging to a girl possessed by the devil. This name can also be used as a variant of REAGAN
REGINA f English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman
Means "queen" in Latin (or Italian). It was in use as a Christian name from early times, and was borne by a 2nd-century saint. In England it was used during the Middle Ages in honour of the Virgin Mary
, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A city in Canada bears this name, in honour of Queen Victoria.
REI f Japanese
From Japanese 鈴 (rei)
meaning "bell", 麗 (rei)
meaning "beautiful, lovely" or 玲 (rei)
meaning "the tinkling of jade". This name can also be formed by other kanji with the same pronunciation.
REIDUN f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hreiðunn
which was derived from the elements hreiðr
"nest, home" and unnr
"to wave, to billow".
REILLY m & f English (Modern)
From an Irish surname which was derived from the given name Raghailleach
, meaning unknown.
REMEDIOS f Spanish
Means "remedies" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
, meaning "Our Lady of the Remedies".
REN m & f Japanese
From Japanese 蓮 (ren)
meaning "lotus", 恋 (ren)
meaning "love", or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
REUT f Hebrew
Means "friend" in Hebrew, making it a variant of the Biblical name Ruth
REYES f & m Spanish
Means "kings" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, La Virgen de los Reyes
, meaning "The Virgin of the Kings". According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to King Ferdinand III of Castile and told him his armies would defeat those of the Moors in Seville.
RHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized), Roman Mythology
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ρεια (Rheia)
, meaning unknown, perhaps related to ‘ρεω (rheo)
"to flow" or ερα (era)
"ground". In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus
, and the mother of Zeus
. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia
was the mother of Romulus
, the legendary founders of Rome.
RHIAN f Welsh
Derived from Welsh rhiain
RHIANNON f Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Probably derived from the old Celtic name Rigantona
meaning "great queen". It is speculated that this was the name of an otherwise unattested Celtic goddess of fertility and the moon. The name Rhiannon
appears later in Welsh legend in the Mabinogion, borne by the wife of Pwyll
and the mother of Pryderi
RHODA f Biblical, English
Derived from Greek ‘ροδον (rhodon)
meaning "rose". In the New Testament this name was borne by a maid in the house of Mary the mother of John Mark. As an English given name, Rhoda
came into use in the 17th century.
RHONA f Scottish
Possibly derived from the name of the Hebridean island Rona
, which means "rough island" in Gaelic.
RHONDA f English
Probably intended to mean "good spear" from Welsh rhon
"spear" and da
"good", but possibly influenced by the name of the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, which means "noisy". It has been in use only since the 20th century. Its use may have been partially inspired by Margaret Mackworth, Viscountess Rhondda (1883-1956), a British feminist.
RHONWEN f Welsh
Means either "fair spear" or "fair hair" in Welsh. The first element is either rhon
"spear" or rhawn
"(coarse) hair", and the second element is gwen
"fair, white, blessed".
RICHMAL f English (Rare)
Meaning uncertain, possibly a combination of RICHARD
. This name has been used since at least the late 18th century, mainly confined to the town of Bury in Lancashire.
RIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 理 (ri)
meaning "reason, logic" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
RILEY m & f English
From a surname which comes from two distinct sources. As an Irish surname it is a variant of REILLY
. As an English surname it is derived from a place name meaning "rye clearing" in Old English.
RILLA f English
Meaning unknown, perhaps a short form of names ending in rilla
RIM f Arabic
Means "white antelope" in Arabic.
RIN f & m Japanese
From Japanese 凛 (rin)
meaning "dignified, severe, cold" or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
RINA (4) f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 里 (ri)
meaning "village" combined with 奈 (na)
, a phonetic character, or 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens". Other kanji combinations are possible.
RIO (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 里 (ri)
meaning "village" combined with 央 (o)
meaning "center", 緒 (o)
meaning "thread" or 桜 (o)
meaning "cherry blossom". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
ROBIN m & f English, Dutch, Swedish
Medieval diminutive of ROBERT
. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.
ROCHELLE f English
From the name of the French city La Rochelle
, meaning "little rock". It first became commonly used as a given name in America in the 1930s, probably due to the fame of actress Rochelle Hudson (1914-1972) and because of the similarity to the name Rachel
ROCÍO f Spanish
Means "dew" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary María del Rocío
meaning "Mary of the Dew".
ROHAN (2) f Literature
From the novel 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, where it is a place name meaning "horse country" in Sindarin.
ROMA (2) f Various
From the name of the Italian city, commonly called Rome
RONG f & m Chinese
From Chinese 荣 (róng)
meaning "glory, honour, flourish, prosper", 融 (róng)
meaning "fuse, harmonize" or 容 (róng)
meaning "appearance, form" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
RONJA f Swedish
Invented by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren, who based it on the middle portion of Juronjaure
, the name of a lake in Sweden. Lindgren used it in her book 'Ronia the Robber's Daughter' (Ronia
is the English translation).
ROSALBA f Italian
Italian name meaning "white rose", derived from Latin rosa
"rose" and alba
"white". A famous bearer was the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757).