PERCIVAL m Arthurian Romance, English
Created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem 'Perceval, the Story of the Grail'. In the poem Perceval was one of King Arthur
's Knights of the Round Table who was given a glimpse of the Holy Grail. The character (and probably the name) of Perceval was based on that of the Welsh hero PEREDUR
. The spelling was perhaps altered under the influence of Old French percer val
"to pierce the valley".
PERCY m English
From an English surname which was derived from the name of a Norman town Perci
, which was itself perhaps derived from a Gaulish given name which was Latinized as Persius
. The surname was borne by a noble English family, and it first used as a given name in their honour. A famous bearer was Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), an English romantic poet whose works include 'Adonais' and 'Ozymandias'. This name can also be used as a short form of PERCIVAL
PEREDUR m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Possibly means "hard spears" in Welsh. This was the name of several figures from Welsh mythology. It was later used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Arthurian tales. The character of Percival
was probably based on him.
PEREGRINE m English (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Peregrinus
, which meant "traveller". This was the name of several early saints.
PEREZ m Biblical
Means "breach, burst forth" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the twin brother of Zerah
PËRPARIM m Albanian
Derived from Albanian përparim
meaning "progress, advancement".
PERRY m English
From a surname which is either English or Welsh in origin. It can be derived from Middle English perrie
meaning "pear tree", or else from Welsh ap Herry
, meaning "son of HERRY
". A famous bearer of the surname was Matthew Perry (1794-1858), the American naval officer who opened Japan to the West.
PERSEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek περθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero who was said to have founded the ancient city of Mycenae. He was the son of Zeus
. Mother and child were exiled by Danaë's father Acrisius, and Perseus was raised on the island of Seriphos. The king of the island compelled Perseus to kill the Gorgon Medusa
, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone. After obtaining winged sandals and other tools from the gods, he succeeded in his task by looking at Medusa in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. On his return he defeated a sea monster in order to save Andromeda
, who became his wife.
PERUN m Slavic Mythology
Means "thunder" in Slavic. In Slavic mythology Perun was the god of lightning, sometimes worshipped as the primary god. The oak was his sacred tree.
PETER m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical
Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros)
meaning "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas
, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon
(compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.... [more]
PEYTON m & f English
From an English surname, originally a place name meaning "PÆGA
's town". A famous bearer was Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), the first president of the Continental Congress. It is also borne by American football quarterback Peyton Manning (1976-).
PHAEDRUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φαιδρος (Phaidros)
, which meant "bright". This was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek philosopher, and also of a 1st-century Roman fabulist who was originally a slave from Thrace.
PHIL m English
Short form of PHILIP
and various other names beginning with Phil
, often a Greek element meaning "friend, dear, beloved".
PHILIBERT m French
Early variant of FILIBERT
altered by association with Greek φιλος (philos)
"friend, lover". This was the name of a 7th-century Frankish saint. Another famous bearer was Philibert de l'Orme (1510-1570), a French Renaissance architect.
PHILIP m English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical
From the Greek name Φιλιππος (Philippos)
which means "friend of horses", composed of the elements φιλος (philos)
"friend, lover" and ‘ιππος (hippos)
"horse". This was the name of five kings of Macedon, including Philip II the father of Alexander the Great. The name appears in the New Testament belonging to two people who are regarded as saints. First, one of the twelve apostles, and second, an early figure in the Christian church known as Philip the Deacon.... [more]
PHINEHAS m Biblical
Probably means "Nubian" from the Egyptian name Panhsj
, though some believe it means "serpent's mouth" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Phinehas is a grandson of Aaron
who kills an Israelite because he is intimate with a Midianite woman, thus stopping a plague sent by God. Also in the Bible this is the son of Eli
, killed in battle with the Philistines.
PHIRUN m Khmer
Means "rain" in Khmer, from the name of a rain god in the mythologies of southeast Asia. The god's name is possibly derived from VARUNA
PHOBOS m Greek Mythology
Means "fear, panic" in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares
in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
PHOCAS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φωκας (Phokas)
, which meant "a seal" from Greek φωκη (phoke)
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr from Asia Minor. Sentenced to death for being a Christian, he is said to have given his killers lodging and then dug his own grave before he was executed.
PHOENIX m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird which appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοινιξ (phoinix)
meaning "dark red".
PHRIXUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φριξος (Phrixos)
which meant "thrilling, causing shivers", derived from φριξ (phrix)
"ripple, shiver". In Greek myth Phrixus was the son of Athamus and Nephele. He was to be sacrificed to Zeus
, but he escaped with his sister Helle on the back of the ram with the Golden Fleece.
PHÚC m & f Vietnamese
From Sino-Vietnamese 福 (phúc)
meaning "happiness, good fortune, blessing".
PIER m Italian, Dutch
Italian and Dutch variant form of PETER
. In Italian, this form is often used in combination with another name.
PIERO m Italian
Italian form of PETER
. Piero della Francesca was an Italian Renaissance painter.
PIERRE m French, Swedish
French form of PETER
. This name was borne by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), a French impressionist painter, and by Pierre Curie (1859-1906), a physicist who discovered radioactivity with his wife Marie.
PIETER m Dutch
Dutch form of PETER
. This name was borne by the 16th-century Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
PIETRO m Italian
Italian form of PETER
. Pietro was the given name of the Renaissance painter known as Perugino.
PING m & f Chinese
From Chinese 平 (píng)
meaning "level, even, peaceful". Other characters can also form this name.
PIP m & f English
Diminutive of PHILIP
. This was the name of the main character in 'Great Expectations' (1860) by Charles Dickens.
PIPPIN (2) m Literature
The name of a hobbit in 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien. His full given name was Peregrin
, a semi-translation into English of his true hobbit name Razanur
PIRAN m Cornish
Possibly derived from CIARÁN
. This was the name of a 5th-century Irish monk who founded a monastery in Cornwall. He is the patron saint of Cornwall.
PITAMBARA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit पीत (pita)
meaning "yellow" and अम्बर (ambara)
meaning "garment". This is another name of the Hindu gods Vishnu
, given to them because yellow clothing is traditionally worn at religious events.
PIUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "pious, dutiful". This was the name of twelve popes.
PLACIDO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin name Placidus
which meant "quiet, calm".
PLATO m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Πλατων (Platon)
which was derived from Greek πλατυς (platys)
meaning "broad-shouldered". Plato was one of the most important of the Greek philosophers. He was a pupil of Socrates
and a teacher of Aristotle
. He constructed the theory of Forms and wrote several works, including the 'Republic'.
PLINY m History
From the Roman family name Plinius
, which is of unknown meaning. Two 1st-century Romans are known by this name: Gaius Plinius Secundus (called Pliny the Elder), a scientist and historian who died during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius; and Caius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (called Pliny the Younger), an author and statesman.
POMARE m & f Tahitian
From Tahitian po
"night" and mare
"cough". This name was borne by four kings and a queen of Tahiti. The first king adopted the name after his child died of a cough in the night.
POMPEY m History
Modern form of the Roman family name Pompeius
, which was probably derived from a Sabellic word meaning "five". A notable bearer was the 1st-century BC Roman general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey the Great.
POMPILIU m Romanian
Romanian form of the Roman name Pompilius
which is of unknown meaning, possibly a derivative of Pompeius
). Numa Pompilius was the legendary second king of Rome (after Romulus).
PONTIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman family name. The family had Samnite roots so the name probably originated from the Oscan language, likely meaning "fifth" (a cognate of Latin Quintus
). Alternatively, it could be derived from the name of the ancient province of Pontus
in Asia Minor, itself probably from Greek ποντος (pontos)
"sea". A notable bearer of this name was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who appears in the New Testament.
PORCIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name meaning "pig", derived from Latin porcus
. Famous members of the family include the Roman statesmen Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato) and his great-grandson Cato the Younger (Marcus Porcius Cato Uticencis).
PORFIRIO m Italian, Spanish
Derived from the Greek name Πορφυριος (Porphyrios)
, which was derived from the word πορφυρα (porphyra)
meaning "purple dye". This was the name of several early saints.
PORTER m English
From an occupational English surname meaning "doorkeeper", ultimately from Old French porte
"door", from Latin porta
POSEIDON m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek ποσις (posis)
"husband, lord" and δα (da)
"earth". In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus
. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
PRABHAKARA m Hinduism
Means "light maker", derived from Sanskrit प्रभा (prabha)
meaning "light" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is a name given to the sun in Hindu texts. It was also borne by a medieval Hindu scholar.
PRAKASH m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Odia, Nepali
Derived from Sanskrit प्रकाश (prakasha)
meaning "light, bright, shining".
PRASAD m Indian, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Odia, Bengali, Nepali
Means "brightness, clearness, graciousness, offering" in Sanskrit. This is a word referring to an offering of food made to a deity.
PREBEN m Danish, Norwegian
Modern Danish form of the name Pridbjørn
, which was a medieval Scandinavian form of the Slavic (Wendish) name Pridbor
, which was derived from Slavic prid
"first" and borti
"battle". It was imported into Danish via the medieval Putbus family, who were Slavic nobles from Rügen in Pomerania.
PŘEMYSL m Czech
From an old Slavic name which meant "trick, stratagem", from pre
"over" and mysli
"thought, idea". This was the name of the founder of the Přemyslid dynasty, which ruled Bohemia from the 9th to the 14th century.
PRESLEY f & m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "priest clearing" (Old English preost
). This surname was borne by musician Elvis Presley (1935-1977).
PRESTON m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "priest town" (Old English preost
PRICE m Welsh
From a Welsh surname which was derived from ap Rhys
meaning "son of RHYS
PRIMITIVUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name which meant "first formed". Saint Primitivus was a 3rd-century Spanish martyr.
PRIMO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin name Primus
, which meant "first". This was the name of three early saints, each of whom were martyred.
PRINCE m English
From the English word prince
, a royal title, which comes ultimately from Latin princeps
. This name was borne by the American musician Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016), who is known simply as Prince.
PROCHORUS m Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Προχορος (Prochoros)
which meant "leader of the dance". Saint Prochorus was one of the original seven deacons, as told in Acts in the New Testament.
PROKOPIOS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek προκοπη (prokope)
"progress, advance". Saint Prokopios was an early Christian martyr who was beheaded in Palestine during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
PROMETHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek προμηθεια (prometheia)
meaning "foresight, forethought". In Greek myth he was the Titan who gave the knowledge of fire to mankind. For doing this he was punished by Zeus
, who had him chained to a rock and caused an eagle to feast daily on his liver, which regenerated itself each night. Herakles
eventually freed him.
PROSPER m French, English
From the Latin name Prosperus
, which meant "fortunate, successful". This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a supporter of Saint Augustine. It has never been common as an English name, though the Puritans used it, partly because it is identical to the English word prosper
PROSPERO m Italian
Italian form of PROSPER
. This was the name of the shipwrecked magician in 'The Tempest' (1611) by Shakespeare.
PRUDENCE f & m English, French
Medieval English form of Prudentia
, the feminine form of PRUDENTIUS
. In France it is both the feminine form and a rare masculine form. In England it was used during the Middle Ages and was revived in the 17th century by the Puritans, in part from the English word prudence
, ultimately of the same source.
PRUDENTIUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from prudens
"prudence, good judgement". This was the name of a 9th-century bishop of Troyes. He is considered a local saint there.
PRYDERI m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "care" in Welsh. According to Welsh legend this was the name of the son of Pwyll
. A central character in the Mabinogion, he succeeds his father as king of Dyfed, but is ultimately killed in single combat with Gwydion
PTAH m Egyptian Mythology
Possibly means "opener" in Egyptian. Ptah was an Egyptian god associated with creation and the arts.
PTOLEMY m History
From the Greek name Πτολεμαιος (Ptolemaios)
, derived from Greek πολεμηιος (polemeios)
meaning "aggressive, warlike". Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendants of Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer.
PUBLIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "public" in Latin. This was among the more common of the Roman praenomina, being borne by (among others) the emperor Hadrian and the poet Virgil.
PUCK m & f Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Dutch
Meaning unknown, from Old English puca
. It could ultimately be of either Germanic or Celtic origin. In English legend this was the name of a mischievous spirit, also known as Robin Goodfellow. He appears in Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1600).
PURDIE m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname which was derived from the Norman French expression pur die
"by God". It was perhaps originally a nickname for a person who used the oath frequently.
PUTU m & f Indonesian, Balinese
Means "grandchild" in Balinese. Traditionally, this name is given to the first-born child.
PWYLL m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh mythology, Pwyll is a king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon
PYOTR m Russian
Russian form of PETER
. A famous bearer was the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893).
PYTHAGORAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from PYTHIOS
, a name of Apollo
, combined with Greek αγορα (agora)
meaning "assembly, marketplace". This was the name of a 6th-century BC Greek philosopher and mathematician from Samos. He was the founder of a school of philosophy whose members believed that numbers described the universe.
PYTHIOS m Greek Mythology
From the Greek place name Πυθω (Pytho)
, an older name of the city of Delphi, which was probably derived from Greek πυθω (pytho)
meaning "to rot". This was an epithet of Apollo
QADIR m Arabic
Means "capable, powerful" in Arabic. This transcription represents two different ways of spelling the name in Arabic. In Islamic tradition القادر (al-Qadir)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
QASIM m Arabic, Urdu
Means "one who divides goods among his people", derived from Arabic قسم (qasama)
"to share" or "to divide". This was the name of a son of Muhammad
who died while young.
QIANG m Chinese
From Chinese 强 (qiáng)
meaning "strong, powerful, energetic", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
QING f & m Chinese
From Chinese 青 (qīng)
meaning "blue, green, young", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
QIU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 秋 (qiū)
meaning "autumn", 丘 (qiū)
meaning "hill, mound", or other characters with a similar pronunciation. The given name of the philosopher Confucius