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.
ABIJAH m & f Biblical
Means "my father is YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of several characters, both male and female, including the second king of Judah.
ABISHAG f Biblical
Means "my father strays" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Abishag is a young woman who tends King David
in his old age.
ABITAL f Biblical
Means "my father is the night dew" in Hebrew. She is the fifth wife of David
in the Old Testament.
ADELA f English, Spanish, Romanian, Polish, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element adal
meaning "noble". Saint Adela was a 7th-century Frankish princess who founded a monastery at Pfazel in France. This name was also borne by a daughter of William the Conqueror.
ADELAIDE f English, Italian, Portuguese
From the French form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and heid
"kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great. The name became common in Britain in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.
ADITI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada
Means "boundless, entire" or "freedom, security" in Sanskrit. This is the name of an ancient Hindu goddess of the sky and fertility. According to the Vedas she is the mother of the gods.
AGATHA f English, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αγαθη (Agathe)
, derived from Greek αγαθος (agathos)
meaning "good". Saint Agatha was a 3rd-century martyr from Sicily who was tortured and killed after spurning the advances of a Roman official. The saint was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). The mystery writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was a famous modern bearer of this name.
AGNES f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Αγνη (Hagne)
, derived from Greek ‘αγνος (hagnos)
meaning "chaste". Saint Agnes was a virgin martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The name became associated with Latin agnus
"lamb", resulting in the saint's frequent depiction with a lamb by her side. Due to her renown, the name became common in Christian Europe, being especially popular in England in the Middle Ages.
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
AISHA f Arabic, Urdu, American
Means "alive" in Arabic. This was the name of Muhammad
's third wife, the daughter of Abu Bakr
. Some time after Muhammad's death she went to war against Ali
, the fourth caliph, but was defeated. This name is used more by Sunni Muslims and less by Shias.... [more]
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".
ALBA (1) f Italian, Spanish, Catalan
This name is derived from two distinct names, ALBA (2)
and ALBA (3)
, with distinct origins, Latin and Germanic. Over time these names have become confused with one another. To further complicate the matter, alba
means "dawn" in Italian, Spanish and Catalan. This may be the main inspiration behind its use in Italy and Spain.
ALDONA f Lithuanian, Polish
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 14th-century Polish queen, the daughter of a Grand Duke of Lithuania.
ALEXANDRA f English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera
, and an alternate name of Cassandra
. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix
, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra)
upon joining the Russian Church.
ALEXIS m & f German, French, English, Greek, Ancient Greek
From the Greek name Αλεξις (Alexis)
, which meant "helper" or "defender", derived from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, to help". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangeably with the related name Αλεξιος
, borne by five Byzantine emperors. In the English-speaking world it is more commonly used as a feminine name.
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.
ALICE f English, French, Portuguese, Italian
From the Old French name Aalis
, a short form of Adelais
, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was borne by the heroine of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking Glass' (1871).
ALISON f English, French
Norman French diminutive of Aalis
). It was common in England, Scotland and France in the Middle Ages, and was later revived in England in the 20th century via Scotland. Unlike most other English names ending in son
, it is not derived from a surname.
ALLEGRA f Italian, English (Rare)
Means "cheerful, lively" in Italian. It was borne by a short-lived illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron (1817-1822).
AMANDA f English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Late Roman
In part this is a feminine form of AMANDUS
. However, it was not used during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century it was recreated by authors and poets who based it directly on Latin amanda
meaning "lovable, worthy of love". Notably, the playwright Colley Cibber used it for a character in his play 'Love's Last Shift' (1696). It came into regular use during the 19th century.
AMELIA f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Variant of AMALIA
, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA
, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of George II and George III. Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.
AMY f English
English form of the Old French name Amée
meaning "beloved" (modern French aimée
), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata
. As an English name, it was in use in the Middle Ages (though not common) and was revived in the 19th century.
ANASTASIA f Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ANASTASIUS
. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.
ANFISA f Russian
Russian form of the Greek name Ανθουσα (Anthousa)
, which was derived from Greek ανθος (anthos)
"flower". This was the name of a 9th-century Byzantine saint.
ANGEL m & f English, Bulgarian, Macedonian
From the medieval Latin masculine name Angelus
which was derived from the name of the heavenly creature (itself derived from the Greek word αγγελος (angelos)
meaning "messenger"). It has never been very common in the English-speaking world, where it is sometimes used as a feminine name in modern times.
ANGELA f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Slovak, Russian, Macedonian, Late Roman
Feminine form of Angelus
). As an English name, it came into use in the 18th century.
ANGELICA f English, Italian, Romanian, Literature
Derived from Latin angelicus
meaning "angelic", ultimately related to Greek αγγελος (angelos)
"messenger". The poets Boiardo and Ariosto used this name in their 'Orlando' poems (1495 and 1532), where it belongs to Orlando's love interest. It has been used as a given name since the 18th century.
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
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
ANTONIA f Italian, Spanish, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Croatian, Bulgarian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Antonius
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).
ARCADIA f Various
Feminine form of ARCADIUS
. This is the name of a region on the Greek Peloponnese, long idealized for its natural beauty.
ARIEL m & f Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, 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).
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.
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.
ÅSA f Swedish
Short form of Old Norse feminine names beginning with the element áss
ASLAUG f Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse elements áss
meaning "god" and laug
possibly meaning "betrothed woman".
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, English
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.
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
AVA (3) f German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired". This was the name of a 9th-century Frankish saint. It was also borne by a 12th-century poet from Melk, Austria.
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.
AVIS f English
Probably a Latinized form of the Germanic name Aveza
, which was derived from the element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired". The Normans introduced this name to England and it became moderately common during the Middle Ages, at which time it was associated with Latin avis