FORREST m English
From an English surname meaning "forest", originally belonging to a person who lived near a forest. In America it has sometimes been used in honour of the Confederate Civil War general Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877). This name was borne by the title character in the movie 'Forrest Gump' (1994) about a loveable simpleton. Use of the name increased when the movie was released, but has since faded away.
FORTUNATO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of the Late Latin name Fortunatus
meaning "fortunate, blessed, happy". This was the name of several early saints and martyrs.
FOX m English (Rare)
Either from the English word fox
or the surname Fox
, which originally given as a nickname. The surname was borne by George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Quakers.
FRANCESCO m Italian
Italian form of Franciscus
). Francesco Laurana was an Italian Renaissance sculptor.
FRANCIS m & f English, French
English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus
which meant "Frenchman", ultimately from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, who were named for a type of spear that they used. This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.... [more]
FRANCISCO m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Franciscus
). A notable bearer was Francisco de Goya, a Spanish painter and engraver. The name was also borne by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.
FRANÇOIS m French
French form of Franciscus
). François Villon was a French lyric poet of the 15th century. This was also the name of two kings of France.
FRANK (1) m English, German, Dutch, French
From a Germanic name which referred to a member of the Germanic tribe, the Franks. The Franks settled in the regions now called France and the Netherlands in the 3rd and 4th century. They derived their tribal name from the name of a type of spear that they used. From medieval times, the various forms of this name have been commonly conflated with the various forms of Francis
FRANKLIN m English
From an English surname which was derived from Middle English frankelin
"freeman". A famous bearer of the surname was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher. The name has commonly been given in his honour in the United States. It also received a boost during the term of American president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
FRANZ m German
German form of Franciscus
). This name was borne by the influential author Franz Kafka (1883-1924), writer of 'The Trial' and 'The Castle' among other works. Also, rulers of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire have had this name.
FRASER m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname which is of unknown meaning. A famous bearer of the surname was Simon Fraser (1776-1862), a Canadian explorer.
FREDERICK m English
English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from frid
"peace" and ric
"ruler, power". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman Emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.... [more]
FREDERIK m Danish, Dutch
Danish and Dutch form of FREDERICK
. This was the name of nine kings of Denmark over the past 500 years, alternating each generation with the name Christian.
FREDIANO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman name Frigidianus
, which was derived from Latin frigidus
"cold". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish bishop who made a pilgrimage to Rome and settled as a hermit on Mount Pisano.
FREEMAN m English
From an English surname meaning "free man". It originally denoted a person who was not a serf.
FREYR m Norse Mythology, Icelandic
Means "lord" in Old Norse. This was the name of a Norse god. He may have originally been called Yngvi
, with the name Freyr
being his title. Freyr presided over fertility, sunlight and rain, and was the husband of the frost giantess Gerd
. With his twin sister Freya
and father Njord
he was one of the group of deities called the Vanir.
FRIEDRICH m German
German form of FREDERICK
. This was the name of kings of Germany. The socialist Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) and the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) are two famous bearers of this name.
FRISO m Frisian
Refers to a member of the ethnic group, the Frisians, a Germanic tribe of northwest Europe. Friesland in the Netherlands is named for them.
FRODE m Danish, Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Fróði
, which was derived from fróðr
meaning "learned, wise".
FRODO m Literature
Derived from the Germanic element frod
"wise". This was the name of the hobbit hero in 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, who used Old English to translate some hobbit names (Frodo's real name was Maura
). In the novel Frodo Baggins was the bearer of the One Ring on the quest to destroy it in Mount Doom.
FU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 富 (fù)
meaning "abundant, rich, wealthy", 芙 (fú)
meaning "hibiscus, lotus" or 甫 (fǔ)
meaning "begin, man, father", in addition to other characters with a similar pronunciation. A famous bearer was the 8th-century Tang dynasty poet Du Fu, whose given was 甫
FULGENCIO m Spanish
Spanish form of the Late Latin name Fulgentius
, which meant "shining" from Latin fulgens
. Saint Fulgentius was a 6th-century bishop from Tunisia who was a friend of Saint Augustine.
FULK m English (Archaic)
From the Germanic name Fulco
, a short form of various names beginning with the element fulc
"people". The Normans brought this name to England, though it is now very rare.
FULTON m English
From a surname which was derived from the name of the town of Foulden in Norfolk, itself meaning "bird hill" in Old English.
FULVIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Fulvius
, which was derived from Latin fulvus
FYODOR m Russian
Russian form of THEODORE
. It was borne by three tsars of Russia. Another notable bearer was Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881), the Russian author of such works as 'Crime and Punishment' and 'The Brothers Karamazov'.
GABRIEL m French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Catalan, English, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el)
meaning "God is my strong man", derived from גֶּבֶר (gever)
"strong man, hero" and אֶל ('El)
"God". Gabriel was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition, often appearing as a messenger of God. In the Old Testament he is sent to interpret the visions of the prophet Daniel
, while in the New Testament he serves as the announcer of the births of John
. According to Islamic tradition he was the angel who dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad
GAD m Biblical
Means "fortune, luck" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Gad is the first son of Jacob
's slave-girl Zilpah
, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. His name is explained in Genesis 30:11. Another Gad in the Old Testament is a prophet of King David
GAËL m French, Breton
Meaning uncertain. It possibly derives from the ethno-linguistic term Gael
, which refers to speakers of Gaelic languages. Alternatively it may be a variant of GWENAËL
GAETANO m Italian
Italian form of the Latin name Caietanus
, which meant "from Caieta". Caieta (now called Gaeta) was a town in ancient Italy, its name deriving either from Kaiadas
, the name a Greek location where prisoners were executed, or else from Caieta
, the name of the nurse of Aeneas. Saint Gaetano was a 16th-century Italian priest who founded the Theatines.
GAGE m English (Modern)
From an English surname of Old French origin meaning either "measure", originally denoting one who was an assayer, or "pledge", referring to a moneylender. It was popularized as a given name by a character from the book 'Pet Sematary' (1983) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1989).
GAIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman praenomen, or given name, of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from Latin gaudere
"to rejoice", though it may be of unknown Etruscan origin. This was a very common Roman praenomen, the most famous bearers being Gaius Julius Caesar, the great leader of the Roman Republic, and his adopted son Gaius Octavius (later known as Augustus), the first Roman emperor. This name also appears in the New Testament belonging to a bishop of Ephesus who is regarded as a saint.
GALAHAD m Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legend Sir Galahad was the son of Lancelot
. He was the most pure of the Knights of the Round Table, and he was the only one to succeed in finding the Holy Grail. He first appears in the medieval French 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle.
GALE (2) m English
From an English surname which was derived from Middle English gaile
GALEN m English
Modern form of the Greek name Γαληνος (Galenos)
, which meant "calm" from Greek γαληνη (galene)
. It was borne by a 2nd-century BC Greco-Roman physician who contributed to anatomy and medicine. In modern times the name is occasionally given in his honour.
GALLUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which meant "rooster" in Latin. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint, a companion of Saint Columbanus, who later became a hermit in Switzerland.
GAMALIEL m Biblical
Means "benefit of God" in Hebrew. In Acts in the New Testament he is a teacher of Saint Paul
GANDALF m Norse Mythology, Literature
Means "wand elf" in Old Norse, from the elements gandr
"wand, staff, cane" and álfr
"elf". This name belongs to a dwarf in the 'Völuspá', a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript which forms part of the Poetic Edda. The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels 'The Hobbit' (1937) and 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954).
GANESHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of hordes" from Sanskrit गण (gana)
meaning "horde, multitude" and ईश (isha)
meaning "lord, ruler". This is the name of the Hindu god of wisdom and good luck, the son of Shiva
. He is often depicted as a stout man with the head of an elephant.
GANG m Chinese
From Chinese 刚 (gāng)
meaning "hard, rigid, strong", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
GARBHÁN m Irish
Means "little rough one" from Irish garbh
"rough" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint.
GARETH m Welsh, English (British), Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. It first appears in this form in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation of Arthurian legends 'Le Morte d'Arthur', in which Gareth was a Knight of the Round Table, the brother of Sir Gawain
. Malory based the name on Gahariet
, which was the name of a similar Arthurian character in French sources. It may ultimately have a Welsh origin, possibly related to gwaredd
GARFIELD m English
From a surname meaning "triangle field" in Old English. A famous bearer was American president James A. Garfield (1831-1881). It is now associated with the cat in Jim Davis's cartoon strip 'Garfield'.
GARLAND m English
From a surname meaning "triangle land" from Old English gara
. The surname originally belonged to a person who owned a triangle-shaped piece of land.
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
GARRETT m English
From an English surname which was derived from the given name GERALD
. A famous bearer of the surname was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
GARRICK m English
From a surname which was originally derived from Occitan garric
meaning "oak tree grove".
GARSEA m Medieval Spanish
Meaning unknown, possibly related to the Basque word hartz
meaning "bear". This was the name of several medieval kings of Navarre and Leon.
GARTH m English
From a surname meaning "garden" in Old Norse, originally denoting one who lived near or worked in a garden.
GARY m English
From an English surname which was derived from a Norman given name, which was itself originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ger
meaning "spear". This name was popularized in the late 1920s the American actor Gary Cooper (1901-1961), who took his stage name from the city of Gary in Indiana where his agent was born.
GASTON m French
Possibly from a Germanic name derived from the element gast
meaning "stranger, guest". This is the usual French name for Saint Vedastus
, called Vaast
in Flemish, and alternatively the name may be connected to it. The name was also borne by several counts of Foix-Béarn, beginning in the 13th century.
GAUBERT m French
French form of the Germanic name Waldobert
, composed of the elements wald
"rule" and beraht
"bright". This was the name of a 7th-century French saint.
GAUTAMA m Sanskrit
In the case of Siddhartha Gautama, a patronymic form of GOTAMA
. Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was a 6th-century BC nobleman who left his family in order to lead a life of meditation and poverty.
GAVIN m English, Scottish
Medieval form of GAWAIN
. Though it died out in England, it was reintroduced from Scotland in the 20th century.
GAVINO m Italian
From the Late Latin name Gabinus
, which possibly referred to the ancient city of Gabii in central Italy. Saint Gavino was martyred in Sardinia in the 3rd century.
GAWAIN m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain, from the Latin form Walganus
used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth. This was the name of a nephew of King Arthur
and one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He can be identified with the earlier Welsh hero Gwalchmei, and it is likely that the name derives from GWALCHMEI
. Alternatively it may have a different Celtic or even a Germanic origin. Gawain was a popular hero in medieval stories such as the 14th-century romantic poem 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.
GAYLORD m English
From an English surname which was derived from Old French gaillard
"high-spirited, boistrous". This name was rarely used after the mid-20th century, when the word gay
acquired the slang meaning "homosexual".
GEDALIAH m Biblical
is great" in Hebrew. This was the name of several characters in the Old Testament, including the governor of Judah appointed by Nebuchadnezzar.
GELLÉRT m Hungarian
Hungarian form of GERARD
. Saint Gellért was an 11th-century missionary to Hungary who was martyred by being thrown into the Danube.
GEMARIAH m Biblical
has accomplished" in Hebrew. This was the name of a friend of Jeremiah in the Old Testament.
GEMINI m Roman Mythology
Means "twins" in Latin. This is the name of the third sign of the zodiac. The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor
, are named for the mythological twin sons of Leda
GENGHIS m History
From the title Genghis
, meaning "universal ruler", which was adopted by the Mongol Empire founder Temujin
in the late 12th century. Remembered both for his military brilliance and his brutality towards civilians, he went on to conquer huge areas of Asia and Eastern Europe.
GENTIAN m Albanian
From the name of the flowering plant called the gentian, the roots of which are used to create a tonic. It is derived from the name of the Illyrian king GENTIUS
, who supposedly discovered its medicinal properties.
GENTIUS m Albanian
Possibly means "to beget" in Illyrian. This was the name of a 2nd-century BC Illyrian king who went to war with Rome.
GEOFFREY m English, French
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid
"peace", but the first element may be either gawia
"foreign" or gisil
"hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey
was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey
GEORGE m English, Romanian
From the Greek name Γεωργιος (Georgios)
which was derived from the Greek word γεωργος (georgos)
meaning "farmer, earthworker", itself derived from the elements γη (ge)
"earth" and εργον (ergon)
"work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Palestine who was martyred during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.... [more]
GEORGES m French
French form of GEORGE
. This name was borne by the French artists Georges Seurat (1859-1891) and Georges Braque (1882-1963).
GERA m Biblical
Possibly means "a grain" in Hebrew. This was the name of several members of the tribe of Benjamin in the Old Testament.
GERALD m English, German
From a Germanic name meaning "rule of the spear", from the elements ger
meaning "spear" and wald
meaning "rule". The Normans brought this name to Britain. Though it died out in England during the Middle Ages, it remained common in Ireland. It was revived in the English-speaking world in 19th century.
GERARD m English, Dutch, Catalan, Polish
Derived from the Germanic element ger
meaning "spear" combined with hard
meaning "brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain. It was initially much more common than the similar name Gerald
, with which it was often confused, but it is now less common.
GERASIMOS m Greek
Derived from Greek γερας (geras)
meaning either "old" or "honour". Saint Gerasimus was a 5th-century hermit.
GERBEN m Dutch
Derived from the Germanic elements ger
meaning "spear" and bern
GEREON m German, Late Roman
Possibly derived from Greek γερων (geron)
meaning "old man, elder". This was the name of a saint martyred in Cologne in the 4th century.