ITZIAR f Basque, Spanish
From the name of a Basque village which contains an important shrine to the Virgin Mary
, possibly meaning "old stone".
IZARO f Basque
Meaning unknown, from the name of a small island off the Spanish coast in the Bay of Biscay.
JENNIFER f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish
From a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar
). This name has only been common outside of Cornwall since the beginning of the 20th century, after it was featured in George Bernard Shaw's play 'The Doctor's Dilemma' (1906).
JESSICA f English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Spanish
This name was first used in this form by Shakespeare in his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596), where it belongs to the daughter of Shylock. Shakespeare probably based it on the biblical name ISCAH
, which would have been spelled Jescha
in his time. It was not commonly used as a given name until the middle of the 20th century. Notable bearers include actresses Jessica Tandy (1909-1994) and Jessica Lange (1949-).
JOVITA f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese feminine form of the Roman name Iovita
(masculine), which was derived from the name of the god JOVE
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr, the brother of Faustinus.
JUANA f Spanish
Spanish form of Iohanna
), making it the feminine form of JUAN (1)
. This name was borne by Juana the Mad, a 16th-century queen of Castile.
JUDITH f English, Jewish, French, German, Spanish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדִית (Yehudit)
meaning "woman from Judea", Judea being an ancient region in Israel. In the Old Testament Judith is one of the Hittite wives of Esau
. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith. She killed Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep.... [more]
JULIA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical
Feminine form of the Roman family name JULIUS
. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was also borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare used it in his comedy 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594).... [more]
JULIANA f Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Iulianus
). This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr from Nicomedia, and also of the Blessed Juliana of Norwich, also called Julian, a 14th-century mystic and author. The name was also borne by a 20th-century queen of the Netherlands. In England, this form has been in use since the 18th century, alongside the older form Gillian
JULIE f French, Danish, Norwegian, Czech, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese
French, Danish, Norwegian and Czech form of JULIA
. It has spread to many other regions as well. It has been common in the English-speaking world since the early 20th century.
LARA (1) f Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian
Russian short form of LARISA
. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by a character from Boris Pasternak's novel 'Doctor Zhivago' (1957) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1965).
LAURA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Laurus
, which meant "laurel". This meaning was favourable, since in ancient Rome the leaves of laurel trees were used to create victors' garlands. The name was borne by the 9th-century Spanish martyr Saint Laura, who was a nun thrown into a vat of molten lead by the Moors. It was also the name of the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.... [more]
LEOCADIA f Spanish, Late Roman
Late Latin name which might be derived from the name of the Greek island of Leucadia
or from Greek λευκος (leukos)
meaning "bright, clear, white" (which is also the root of the island's name). Saint Leocadia was a 3rd-century martyr from Spain.
LEONOR f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of ELEANOR
. It was brought to Spain in the 12th-century by Eleanor of England, who married king Alfonso VIII of Castile.
LORETO f & m Italian, Spanish
From the name of a town in Italy, originally called Lauretum
in Latin, meaning "laurel grove". Supposedly in the 13th century the house of the Virgin Mary
was miraculously carried by angels from Nazareth to the town.
LOURDES f Spanish
From the name of a French town. It became a popular center of pilgrimage after a young girl from the town had visions of the Virgin Mary
in a nearby grotto.
LUZ f Spanish
Means "light" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de la Luz
, meaning "Our Lady of Light".
MACARENA f Spanish
From the name of a barrio (district) in Seville, which got its name from a temple which may have been named for a person Macarius
). The Virgin of Macarena, that is Mary
, is widely venerated in Seville.
MAGDALENA f Polish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Occitan, Slovene, Czech, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, English
Latinate form of MAGDALENE
MARIA f & m Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Latin form of Greek Μαρια
, from Hebrew מִרְיָם
is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary
). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria
is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.... [more]
MARINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian, Georgian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of MARINUS
MARTA f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Polish, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Swedish, Icelandic, Latvian, Georgian
Cognate of MARTHA
MARTINA f German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovene, Hungarian, English, Swedish, Dutch, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Martinus
). Saint Martina was a 3rd-century martyr who is one of the patron saints of Rome.
MERCEDES f Spanish
Means "mercies" (that is, the plural of mercy), from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary
, María de las Mercedes
, meaning "Mary of Mercies". It is ultimately from the Latin word merces
meaning "wages, reward", which in Vulgar Latin acquired the meaning "favour, pity".
MERITXELL f Catalan
From the name of a village in Andorra where there is a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary
. The name of the village may derive from Latin meridies
MILAGROS f Spanish
Means "miracles" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de los Milagros
, which means "Our Lady of Miracles".
MONTSERRAT f Catalan
From the name of a mountain near Barcelona, the site of a monastery founded in the 10th century. The mountain gets its name from Latin mons serratus
meaning "jagged mountain".
NAGORE f Basque
From the name of a Basque village where there is a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary
NAIARA f Basque
From the Basque name of the Spanish city of Nájera, which is Arabic in origin. In the 12th century there was a reported apparition of the Virgin Mary
in a nearby cave.
NATALIA f Polish, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, English, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Greek, Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, Late Roman
Latinate form of Natalia
NÉLIDA f Literature, Spanish
Created by French author Marie d'Agoult for her semi-autobiographical novel 'Nélida' (1846), written under the name Daniel Stern. It was probably an anagram of her pen name DANIEL
NEREIDA f Spanish
Derived from Greek Νηρειδες (Nereides)
meaning "nymphs, sea sprites", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NIEVES f Spanish
Means "snows" in Spanish, derived from the title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
meaning "Our Lady of the Snows".
NÚRIA f Catalan, Portuguese
From a Catalan title of the Virgin Mary
, Nostra Senyora de Núria
, meaning "Our Lady of Nuria". Nuria is a sanctuary in Spain in which there is a shrine containing a famous statue of Mary.
NYDIA f English (Rare), Spanish, Literature
Used by British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton for a blind flower-seller in his novel 'The Last Days of Pompeii' (1834). He perhaps based it on Latin nidus
OBDULIA f Spanish
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a saint from Toledo, Spain. The details of her life are unknown.
OCTAVIA f English, Spanish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of OCTAVIUS
. Octavia was the wife of Mark Antony and the sister of Roman emperor Augustus. In 19th-century England it was sometimes given to the eighth-born child.
OLGA f Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Latvian, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovene, Serbian, Bulgarian, Greek
Russian form of HELGA
. The Varangians brought it from Scandinavia to Russia. The 10th-century Saint Olga was the wife of Igor I, Grand Prince of Kievan Rus (a state based around the city of Kiev). Following his death she ruled as regent for her son for 18 years. After she was baptized in Constantinople she attempted to convert her subjects to Christianity.
OLIVIA f English, Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER
, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva
meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.... [more]
ORIANA f Italian, Spanish
Possibly derived from Latin aurum
"gold" or from its derivatives, Spanish oro
or French or
. In medieval legend Oriana was the daughter of a king of England who married the knight Amadis.
PACÍFICA f Spanish
Spanish feminine form of the Late Latin name Pacificus
PATRICIA f English, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Feminine form of Patricius
). In medieval England this spelling appears in Latin documents, but this form was probably not used as the actual name until the 18th century, in Scotland.
PAULA f German, English, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Croatian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Paulus
). This was the name of a 4th-century Roman saint who was a companion of Saint Jerome.
PAZ (1) f Spanish
Means "peace" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de la Paz
, meaning "Our Lady of Peace".
PERPETUA f Spanish, Late Roman
Derived from Latin perpetuus
meaning "continuous". This was the name of a 3rd-century saint martyred with another woman named Felicity.
PIEDAD f Spanish
Means "mercy, piety" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin pietas
PILAR f Spanish
Means "pillar" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María del Pilar
, meaning "Mary of the Pillar". According to legend, when Saint James
the Greater was in Saragossa in Spain, the Virgin Mary appeared on a pillar.
QUERALT f Catalan
From the name of a Spanish sanctuary (in Catalonia) which is devoted to the Virgin Mary
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.
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.
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".
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.
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".
ROSARIO f & m Spanish, Italian
Means "rosary", and is taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora del Rosario
meaning "Our Lady of the Rosary". This name is feminine in Spanish and masculine in Italian.
ROXANA f English, Spanish, Romanian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latin form of Ρωξανη (Roxane)
, the Greek form of the Persian or Bactrian name روشنک (Roshanak)
which meant "bright" or "dawn". This was the name of Alexander the Great's first wife, a daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes. In the modern era it came into use during the 17th century. In the English-speaking world it was popularized by Daniel Defoe, who used it in his novel 'Roxana' (1724).
SABINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Swedish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Sabinus
, a Roman cognomen meaning "Sabine" in Latin. The Sabines were an ancient people who lived in central Italy, their lands eventually taken over by the Romans after several wars. According to legend, the Romans abducted several Sabine women during a raid, and when the men came to rescue them, the women were able to make peace between the two groups. This name was borne by several early saints.
SANDRA f Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian
Short form of ALESSANDRA
. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by author George Meredith, who used it for the heroine in his novel 'Emilia in England' (1864) and the reissued version 'Sandra Belloni' (1887). A famous bearer is American actress Sandra Bullock (1964-).
SARA f Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, German, French, Dutch, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, English, Arabic, Persian, Bosnian
Form of SARAH
SILVIA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, English, German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of SILVIUS
Silvia was the mother of Romulus
, the founders of Rome. This was also the name of a 6th-century saint, the mother of the pope Gregory the Great. It has been a common name in Italy since the Middle Ages. It was introduced to England by Shakespeare, who used it for a character in his play 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594). It is now more commonly spelled Sylvia
in the English-speaking world.
SOCORRO f Spanish
Means "succour, help, relief" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary María del Socorro
meaning "Mary of Perpetual Succour".
SOFIA f Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Slovak, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian
Form of SOPHIA
SOLEDAD f Spanish
Means "solitude" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María de Soledad
, meaning "Mary of Solitude".
SORAYA f Persian, Spanish, French
Persian form of THURAYYA
. It became popular in some parts of Europe because of the fame of Princess Soraya, wife of the last Shah of Iran, who became a European socialite.
TAMARA f Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Hungarian, English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian
Russian form of TAMAR
. Russian performers such as Tamara Karsavina (1885-1978), Tamara Drasin (1905-1943), Tamara Geva (1907-1997) and Tamara Toumanova (1919-1996) introduced it to the English-speaking world. It was also borne by the Polish cubist painter Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980).
TATIANA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Greek, Georgian, English, Russian, Bulgarian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of the Roman name Tatianus
, a derivative of the Roman name TATIUS
. This was the name of a 3rd-century saint who was martyred in Rome under the emperor Alexander Severus. She was especially venerated in Orthodox Christianity, and the name has been common in Russia (as Татьяна
) and Eastern Europe. It was not regularly used in the English-speaking world until the 1980s.
TERESA f Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Finnish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Cognate of THERESA
. Saint Teresa of Ávila was a 16th-century Spanish nun who reformed the Carmelite monasteries and wrote several spiritual books. It was also borne by the beatified Albanian missionary Mother Teresa (1910-1997), who worked with the poor in Calcutta. She adopted the name in honour of the French saint Thérèse de Lisieux, who is the patron of missionaries.
TRINIDAD f & m Spanish
Means "trinity" in Spanish, referring to the Holy Trinity. An island in the West Indies bears this name.
UDANE f Basque
Derived from Basque uda
UXUE f Basque
From the Basque name of the Spanish town of Ujué where there is a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary
. Its name is derived from Basque usoa
VERA (1) f Russian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian
Means "faith" in Russian, though it is sometimes associated with the Latin word verus
"true". It has been in general use in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century.
VIRGINIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Romanian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of the Roman family name Verginius
which is of unknown meaning, but long associated with Latin virgo
"maid, virgin". According to a legend, it was the name of a Roman woman killed by her father so as to save her from the clutches of a crooked official.... [more]
VISITACIÓN f Spanish
Means "visitation" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the visit of the Virgin Mary
to her cousin Elizabeth.
YADIRA f Spanish (Latin American), American (Hispanic)
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from an Arabic name. It has been used in Mexico since at least the 1940s, perhaps inspired by the Colombian actress Yadira Jiménez (1928-?), who performed in Mexican films beginning in 1946.
YESENIA f Spanish (Latin American)
, the genus name of a type of tree found in South America. This name was first used by Yolanda Vargas in the Telenovela 'Yesenia' (1970).
YOLANDA f Spanish, English
From the medieval French name Yolande
, which was probably a form of the name Violante
, which was itself a derivative of Latin viola
"violet". Alternatively it could be of Germanic origin.... [more]
ZORAIDA f Spanish
Perhaps means "enchanting" or "dawn" in Arabic. This was the name of a minor 12th-century Spanish saint, a convert from Islam. The name was used by Cervantes for a character in his novel 'Don Quixote' (1606), in which Zoraida is a beautiful Moorish woman of Algiers who converts to Christianity and elopes with a Spanish officer.