INNOCENT m History
From the Late Latin name Innocentius
, which was derived from innocens "innocent"
. This was the name of several early saints. It was also borne by 13 popes including Innocent III, a politically powerful ruler and organizer of the Fourth Crusade.
ION (2) m Greek Mythology
Of unknown etymology, possibly pre-Greek. According to Greek mythology he was a son of Creusa and Xuthus (or alternatively the god Apollo
). He was said to be the ancestor of the Greek tribe of the Ionians.
IORWERTH m Welsh
Means "handsome lord"
from Welsh ior
"lord" and berth
"handsome". This name is used in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, where it belongs to a son of Maredudd. This name is sometimes used as a Welsh form of EDWARD
IQBAL m Arabic
in Arabic. Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) was a poet, philosopher, and scholar from Pakistan.
IRA (1) m Biblical, English, Hebrew
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of King David
's priest. As an English Christian given name, Ira
began to be used after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where remained moderately common into the 20th century.
IRFAN m Arabic
Means "knowledge, awareness, learning"
IRNERIUS m History
Possibly from Wernerius
, a Latinized form of the Germanic name WERNER
. This was the name of a 12th-century Italian scholar and jurist.
IRVING m English, Scottish, Jewish
From a Scottish surname that was in turn derived from a Scottish place name meaning "green water"
. Historically this name has been relatively common among Jews, who have used it as an American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I
such as Isaac
. A famous bearer was the Russian-American songwriter and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose birth name was Israel Beilin.
ISAAC m English, Spanish, Catalan, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq)
meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice"
, derived from צָחַק (tzachaq)
meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham
laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah
would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17
), and later Sarah laughed when overhearing the same prophecy (see Genesis 18:12
). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau
with his wife Rebecca
ISAGANI m Filipino, Tagalog
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a character in the novel El Filibusterismo
(1891) by José Rizal.
ISAIAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Yesha'yahu)
meaning "YAHWEH is salvation"
, from the roots יָשַׁע (yasha')
meaning "to save" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. Isaiah is one of the four major prophets of the Old Testament, supposedly the author of the Book of Isaiah. He was from Jerusalem and probably lived in the 8th century BC, at a time when Assyria threatened the Kingdom of Judah. As an English Christian name, Isaiah
was first used after the Protestant Reformation.
ISAMU m Japanese
From Japanese 勇 (isamu)
meaning "brave" or other kanji having the same pronunciation.
ISHA f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Hinduism
Means "master, lord"
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form ईशा
and the masculine form ईश
(an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva
). It is also the name of one of the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
ISHKUR m Sumerian Mythology
Meaning unknown, of Sumerian origin. This was the name of a Sumerian storm god, later identified by the Akkadians with Adad
ISHMAEL m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִשְׁמָעֵאל (Yishma'el)
meaning "God will hear"
, from the roots שָׁמַע (shama')
meaning "to hear" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Abraham
. He is the traditional ancestor of the Arab people. Also in the Old Testament, it is borne by a man who assassinates Gedaliah
the governor of Judah. The author Herman Melville later used this name for the narrator in his novel Moby-Dick
ISHMERAI m Biblical
Means "he guards"
in Hebrew. This name is mentioned briefly in the Old Testament.
ISHVI m Biblical
Means "he resembles me"
in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Asher
in the Old Testament.
ISLAMBEK m Chechen
Derived from Islam
, the name of the religion (ultimately from Arabic إسلام
), combined with the Turkish military title beg
meaning "chieftain, master".
ISLAY m Scottish
From the name of the island of Islay, which lies off of the west coast of Scotland.
ISLWYN m Welsh
From the name of a mountain in Wales that means "below the grove" from Welsh is
"below" and llwyn
ISRAFIL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Meaning unknown. In Islamic tradition this is the name of the angel who will blow the trumpet that signals the coming of Judgement Day. He is sometimes equated with the angels Raphael
from Judeo-Christian tradition.
ISSACHAR m Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "man of hire"
or "there is reward"
, from Hebrew שָׁכַר (shakhar)
meaning "hire, wage, reward". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob
and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. A justification for the name's meaning is given in Genesis 30:18
ISTVÁN m Hungarian
Hungarian form of STEPHEN
. This was the name of the first king of Hungary. Ruling in the 11th century, he encouraged the spread of Christianity among his subjects and is considered the patron saint of Hungary.
ITALUS m Roman Mythology
Means "of Italy"
in Latin. In Roman legend Italus was the father of Romulus
, the founders of Rome. He supposedly gave his name to the region known as Italia or Italy (in fact the region may have gotten its name from Oscan Víteliú
meaning "land of bulls").
ITHAI m Biblical
From a Hebrew name spelled variously אִתַּי ('Ittai)
or אִיתַי ('Itai)
meaning "with me"
. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of King David
's mighty men.
ITHEL m Welsh
Means "generous lord"
from the Welsh elements udd
"lord, prince" and hael
ITHIEL m Biblical
Possibly means "God is with me"
in Hebrew. This is the name of a minor character in the Old Testament.
ITSUKI m Japanese
From Japanese 樹 (itsuki)
meaning "tree", using the kanji's nanori reading. Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.
IVAN m Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Macedonian, Slovene, English, Italian, Romanian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
Newer form of the old Slavic name Іѡаннъ (Ioannu)
, which was derived from Greek Ioannes
). This was the name of six Russian rulers, including the 15th-century Ivan III the Great and 16th-century Ivan IV the Terrible, the first tsar of Russia. It was also borne by nine emperors of Bulgaria. Other notable bearers include the Russian author Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), who wrote Fathers and Sons
, and the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), who is best known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex.
IVAYLO m Bulgarian
Perhaps derived from an old Bulgar name meaning "wolf"
. This was the name of a 13th-century emperor of Bulgaria. It is possible that this spelling was the result of a 15th-century misreading of his real name Vulo
from historical documents.
IVES m History
English form of YVES
, used to refer to Saint Ives (also called Ivo) of Huntingdonshire, a semi-legendary English bishop.
IVO (1) m German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element iv
. Alternative theories suggest that it may in fact be derived from a cognate Celtic element. This was the name of several saints (who are also commonly known as Saint Yves
IVOR m Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English (British)
From the Old Norse name Ívarr
, which was derived from the elements yr
"yew, bow" and arr
"warrior". During the Middle Ages it was brought to Britain by Scandinavian settlers and invaders, and it was adopted in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
IVORY m & f African American
From the English word for the hard, creamy-white substance that comes from elephant tusks and was formerly used to produce piano keys.
IZANAGI m Japanese Mythology
Means "male who invites"
in Japanese. In Japanese mythology the god Izanagi was the husband of Izanami
. When she died he unsuccessfully journeyed to the underworld to retrieve her. In the purifying rites that followed his return the gods of the sun, moon and wind were created.
IZTOK m Slovene
Derived from a South Slavic word meaning "east"
IZZ AL-DIN m Arabic
Means "glory of religion"
, derived from Arabic عزّ ('izz)
meaning "glory, power" and دين (din)
meaning "religion". In the 13th century Izz al-Din Aybak became the first Mamluk ruler of Egypt. The Mamluks were a warrior caste who were originally slaves.
JAALA m Biblical
Means "wild goat"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a servant of Solomon.
JAASAU m Biblical
Means "they will do"
in Hebrew. This was the name of a descendant of Bani in the Old Testament.
JABBAR m Arabic
in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الجبّار (al-Jabbar)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
JABEZ m Biblical
in Hebrew. This is the name of a character in the Old Testament who is blessed by God.
JABIN m Biblical
in Hebrew. This name was borne by two kings of Hazor in the Old Testament.
JABR m Arabic
Means "consolation, assistance"
JACENTY m Polish (Rare)
Polish form of HYACINTHUS
. Saint Jacenty was a 13th-century Dominican monk from Krakow who was said to have taken missionary journeys throughout northern Europe and Asia.
JACHIN m Biblical
Means "he establishes"
in Hebrew. This was the name of a son of Simeon
in the Old Testament. It was also the name of one of the two pillars that stood outside Solomon's Temple, Boaz
being the other.
JACK m English
Derived from Jackin
), a medieval diminutive of JOHN
. It is often regarded as an independent name. During the Middle Ages it was very common, and it became a slang word meaning "man". It was frequently used in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as Jack and the Beanstalk
, Little Jack Horner
, and Jack Sprat
JACKIE m & f English
Diminutive of JACK
. A notable bearer was baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
JACKSON m English
From an English surname meaning "son of JACK"
. A famous bearer of the surname was American president Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).
JACOB m English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Jewish, Biblical
From the Latin Iacobus
, which was from the Greek Ιακωβος (Iakobos)
, which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov)
. In the Old Testament Jacob (later called Israel
) is the son of Isaac
and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau
's heel, and his name is explained as meaning "holder of the heel"
, because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son (see Genesis 27:36
). Other theories claim that it is in fact derived from a hypothetical name like יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya'aqov'el)
meaning "may God protect"
JAD m Arabic
in Arabic. This name is most common in Lebanon.
JADA (2) m Biblical
Means "he knows"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Jada is a son of Onam.
JADE f & m English, French
From the name of the precious stone that is often used in carvings. It is derived from Spanish (piedra de la) ijada
meaning "(stone of the) flank", relating to the belief that jade could cure renal colic. As a given name, it came into general use during the 1970s. It was initially unisex, though it is now mostly feminine.
JADEN m & f English (Modern)
An invented name, using the popular den
suffix sound found in such names as Braden
. This name first became common in American in the 1990s when similar-sounding names were increasing in popularity. It is sometimes considered a variant of JADON
JADON m Biblical
Possibly means either "thankful"
or "he will judge"
in Hebrew. This name is borne by a minor character in the Old Testament.
JAE (1) m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 才 (jae)
meaning "talent, ability" or 財 (jae)
meaning "wealth, riches", as well as other hanja characters with the same pronunciation. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
JAE-SEONG m Korean
From Sino-Korean 在 (jae)
meaning "located at, exist" or 宰 (jae)
meaning "kill, rule" combined with 成 (seong)
meaning "completed, finished, succeeded" or 誠 (seong)
meaning "sincere, honest, true". Other hanja combinations are possible.
JAFAR m Arabic, Persian
in Arabic. Jafar ibn Abi Talib was a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad
who was killed fighting against Byzantium in the 7th century. Another notable bearer was Jafar al-Sadiq, the sixth Shia imam.
JAHAN m Persian
in Persian. This name was borne by Shah Jahan, a 17th-century Mughal emperor who is best known as the builder of the Taj Mahal.
JAHANGIR m Persian, Urdu
Means "world conqueror"
in Persian. This was the name of a 17th-century Mughal emperor.
JAHLEEL m Biblical
Means "God waits"
in Hebrew. This name is mentioned briefly in the Old Testament.
JAIRUS m Biblical
From Ιαιρος (Iairos)
, the Greek form of JAIR
used in the New Testament, where it belongs to the father of a young girl brought back to life by Jesus
JALEN m African American (Modern)
An invented name. In America it was popularized in the 1990s by basketball player Jalen Rose (1973-), whose name was a combination of those of his father James
and maternal uncle Leonard