From the Hebrew name רֵחַבְעָם (Rechav'am)
meaning "he enlarges the people". In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Solomon
. He succeeded his father as king of Israel, but his subjects eventually revolted because of high taxes. This resulted in the division of the kingdom into Israel and Judah, with Rehoboam ruling Judah.
From the Old Norse name Hreiðarr
which was derived from the elements hreiðr
"nest, home" and arr
REILLYm & fEnglish (Modern)
From an Irish surname which was derived from the given name Raghailleach
, meaning unknown.
Limburgish form of RAYMOND
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Raymond.
From a Germanic name which was composed of the elements ragin
"advice" and brand
"sword". This name belonged to the 17th-century Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn.
French form of the Latin name Remigius
, which was derived from Latin remigis
"oarsman". Saint Rémy was a 5th-century bishop who converted and baptized Clovis, king of the Franks.
RENm & fJapanese
From Japanese 蓮 (ren)
meaning "lotus", 恋 (ren)
meaning "love", or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
French form of REYNARD
. Because of the medieval character Reynard the Fox, renard
became a French word meaning "fox".
French form of REYNOLD
. This name was used in medieval French literature for the hero Renaud de Montauban, a young man who flees with his three brothers from the court of Charlemagne
after killing the king's nephew. Charlemagne pardons the brothers on the condition that they enter the Crusades.
Means "of Rhaetia". Rhaetia is a region in eastern Switzerland that got its name from the Rhaeti, a Celtic tribe who originally inhabited the area.
REUBENmBiblical, Hebrew, English
Means "behold, a son" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is the eldest son of Jacob
and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Reuben was cursed by his father because he slept with Jacob's concubine Bilhah
. It has been used as a Christian name in Britain since the Protestant Reformation.
REUELmBiblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "friend of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is another name for Jethro
. The fantasy author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a famous bearer.
Possibly of Persian origin meaning "wealthy, successful".
From Latin rex
"king". It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.
REYESf & mSpanish
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.
From the Germanic name Raginhard
, composed of the elements ragin
"advice" and hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans brought it to England in the form Reinard
, though it never became very common there. In medieval fables the name was borne by the sly hero Reynard the Fox (with the result that renard
has become a French word meaning "fox").
From the Germanic name Raginald
, composed of the elements ragin
"advice" and wald
"rule". The Normans (who used forms like Reinald
) brought the name to Britain, where it reinforced rare Old English and Norse cognates already in existence. It was common during the Middle Ages, but became more rare after the 15th century.
From a surname, an Anglicized form of the Dutch de Raedt
, derived from raet
"advice, counsel". Margaret Mitchell used this name for the character Rhett Butler in her novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936).
Derived from the Welsh elements rhod
"wheel" and rhi
"king". This name was borne by a 9th-century Welsh king.
Means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. Several Welsh rulers have borne this name.
Means "meadows, gardens", from the plural of Arabic روضة (rawdah)
Possibly derived from ríodhgach
RICHARDmEnglish, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave power", derived from the Germanic elements ric
"power, rule" and hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it has been very common there since that time. It was borne by three kings of England including Richard I the Lionheart, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade in the 12th century.... [more]
Means "satisfaction, contentment" in Arabic. This name was borne by Ali Musi al-Ridha, a 9th-century Shia imam.
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "reed clearing" or "cleared wood" in Old English.
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "ridge farm" in Old Norse.
Derived from Arabic الرجل (al-Rijl)
meaning "foot". This is the name of the star that forms the left foot of the constellation Orion.
From Japanese 陸 (riku)
meaning "land" or different kanji which are pronounced the same way.
From Japanese 陸 (riku)
meaning "land" combined with 斗 (to)
, which refers to a Chinese constellation, or 人 (to)
meaning "person", as well as other combinations of kanji which have the same pronunciations.
RILEYm & fEnglish
From a surname which comes from two distinct sources. As an Irish surname it is a variant of REILLY
. As an English surname it is derived from a place name meaning "rye clearing" in Old English.
RINf & mJapanese
From Japanese 凛 (rin)
meaning "dignified, severe, cold" or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
Means "river" in Spanish or Portuguese. A city in Brazil bears this name. Its full name is Rio de Janeiro, which means "river of January", so named because the first explorers came to the harbour in January and mistakenly thought it was a river mouth.
From Irish rí
"king" combined with a diminutive suffix.
From a surname which originally came from a place name that meant "strip clearing" in Old English.
RIVERm & fEnglish (Modern)
From the English word that denotes a flowing body of water. The word is ultimately derived (via Old French) from Latin ripa
Modern form of the Old Norse name Hróðvaldr
, composed of the elements hróðr
"fame" and valdr
"ruler". This name was borne by the children's author Roald Dahl (1916-1990).
ROBERTmEnglish, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Romanian, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Hrodebert
meaning "bright fame", derived from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hreodbeorht
. It has been a very common English name since that time.... [more]
ROBERTOmItalian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of ROBERT
. Saint Roberto Bellarmine was a 16th-century cardinal who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. Another famous bearer was Roberto de Nobili, a Jesuit missionary to India in the 17th century.
ROBINm & fEnglish, Dutch, Swedish
Medieval diminutive of ROBERT
. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.
ROCCOmItalian, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the element hrok
meaning "rest". This was the name of a 14th-century French saint who nursed victims of the plague but eventually contracted the disease himself. He is the patron saint of the sick.
Diminutive of ROCCO
or other names beginning with a similar sound, or else a nickname referring to a tough person. This is the name of a boxer played by Sylvester Stallone in the movie 'Rocky' (1976) and its five sequels.
RODERICKmEnglish, Scottish, Welsh
Means "famous power" from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and ric
"power". This name was in use among the Visigoths; it was borne by their last king (also known as Rodrigo), who died fighting the Muslim invaders of Spain in the 8th century. It also had cognates in Old Norse and West Germanic, and Scandinavian settlers and Normans introduced it to England, though it died out after the Middle Ages. It was revived in the English-speaking world by Sir Walter Scott's poem 'The Vision of Don Roderick' (1811).
From a surname, originally derived from a place name, which meant "Hroda's island" in Old English (where Hroda
is a Germanic given name meaning "fame"). It was first used as a given name in honour of the British admiral Lord Rodney (1719-1792).
Spanish form of the Late Latin name Rogelius
, which was possibly derived from the name Rogatus
, which was itself derived from Latin rogatus
ROGERmEnglish, French, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch
Means "famous spear" from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and ger
"spear". The Normans brought this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hroðgar
(the name of the Danish king in the Anglo-Saxon epic 'Beowulf'). It was a common name in England during the Middle Ages. By the 18th century it was rare, but it was revived in following years. The name was borne by the Norman lords Roger I, who conquered Sicily in the 11th century, and his son Roger II, who ruled Sicily as a king.
From Japanese 六 (roku)
meaning "six" and 郎 (rou)
meaning "son". This name was traditionally given to the sixth son. Other combinations of kanji characters can be possible.
ROLANDmEnglish, French, German, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian, Medieval French
From the Germanic elements hrod
meaning "fame" and landa
meaning "land", though some theories hold that the second element was originally nand
meaning "brave". Roland was a semi-legendary French hero whose story is told in the medieval epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which he is a nephew of Charlemagne
killed in battle with the Saracens. The Normans introduced this name to England.
ROLFmGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
From the Germanic name Hrolf
(or its Old Norse cognate Hrólfr
), a contracted form of Hrodulf
). The Normans introduced this name to England but it soon became rare. In the modern era it has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world as a German import.
Latinized form of Roul
, the Old French form of ROLF
. Rollo (or Rolf) the Ganger was an exiled Viking who, in the 10th century, became the first Duke of Normandy. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
Italian form of the Late Latin name Romaeus
meaning "a pilgrim to Rome". Romeo is best known as the lover of Juliet
in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet' (1596).
Scottish form of RAGNVALDR
, a name introduced to Scotland by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. It became popular outside Scotland during the 20th century. A famous bearer was American actor and president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).
Portuguese form of RONALD
. A notable bearer is the retired Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (1976-), who is commonly known only by his first name.
Means "little seal", derived from Irish rón
"seal" combined with a diminutive suffix.
RONGf & mChinese
From Chinese 荣 (róng)
meaning "glory, honour, flourish, prosper", 融 (róng)
meaning "fuse, harmonize" or 容 (róng)
meaning "appearance, form" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
Frisian short form of Germanic names beginning with the element hraban
From a Dutch surname meaning "rose field". This name is often given in honour of American presidents Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) or Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
From the older Irish name Ríoghbhardán
, which meant "little poet king" from Irish Gaelic ríogh
"king" combined with bard
"poet" and a diminutive suffix.
ROSARIOf & mSpanish, 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.
From an English surname, originally derived from a place name, which meant "doe wood" in Old Norse.
Spanish form of a Visigothic name composed of the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and sinths
"path". This was the name of a 10th-century Galician saint, also known as Rudesind.
From a Scottish and English surname which originally indicated a person from a place called Ross
(such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland), derived from Gaelic ros
meaning "promontory, headland". A famous bearer of the surname was Sir James Clark Ross (1800-1862), an Antarctic explorer.
ROSTAMmPersian, Persian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from Avestan raodha
"to grow" and takhma
"strong, brave, valiant". Rostam was a warrior hero in Persian legend. The 11th-century Persian poet Firdausi recorded his tale in the 'Shahnameh'.
From a surname which was derived from an Old English place name meaning "horse spring".
ROTEMm & fHebrew
From the name of a desert plant (species Retama raetam), possibly derived from Hebrew רְתֹם (retom)
meaning "to bind".
ROWANm & fIrish, English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin
meaning "descendant of RUADHÁN
". This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree.
ROYmScottish, English, Dutch
Anglicized form of RUADH
. A notable bearer was the Scottish outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy (1671-1734). It is often associated with French roi
From the English word royal
, derived (via Old French) from Latin regalis
, a derivative of rex
"king". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century.
From a surname which was derived from the medieval given name Royse
, a variant of ROSE
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill", from Old English ryge
"rye" and dun
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "rye hill" from Old English ryge
"rye" and hyll
From a surname which was originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "town of Royse". The given name Royse
was a medieval variant of ROSE
RUm & fChinese
From Chinese 儒 (rú)
meaning "scholar", 如 (rú)
meaning "like, as, if", or other characters with similar pronunciations.
Gaelic byname meaning "red", often a nickname for one with red hair. This was the nickname of the Scottish outlaw Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor (1671-1734), known as Rob Roy in English.
Means "red king" from Irish ruadh
"red" combined with rí
"king". This was the name of the last high king of Ireland, reigning in the 12th century.
Probably an Irish form of HRŒREKR
, introduced by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. Alternatively it may be derived from Irish ruarc
RUDOLFmGerman, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Russian, Armenian
From the Germanic name Hrodulf
, which was derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wulf
"wolf". It was borne by three kings of Burgundy, as well as several Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. Anthony Hope used this name for the hero in his popular novel 'The Prisoner of Zenda' (1894).
English form of RUDOLF
, imported from Germany in the 19th century. Robert L. May used it in 1939 for his Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
From a place name meaning "red yard" in Old English. This name was borne by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the author of 'The Jungle Book' and other works, who was named after Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire.
RUFUSmAncient Roman, English, Biblical
Roman cognomen which meant "red-haired" in Latin. Several early saints had this name, including one mentioned in one of Paul
's epistles in the New Testament. As a nickname it was used by William II Rufus, a king of England, because of his red hair. It came into general use in the English-speaking world after the Protestant Reformation.
Derived from the Old Norse elements rún
"secret lore" and arr
"warrior". This name did not exist in Old Norse, but was created in the modern era.
RUPERTmGerman, Dutch, English
German variant form of ROBERT
. The military commander Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a nephew of Charles I, introduced this name to England in the 17th century.
RUPINDERm & fIndian (Sikh)
Means "greatest beauty" from Sanskrit रूप (rupa)
meaning "beauty, form" combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA
, used here to mean "greatest".
RUSLANmRussian, Tatar, Bashkir, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Ossetian, Chechen, Ingush, Avar
Form of YERUSLAN
used by Aleksandr Pushkin in his poem 'Ruslan and Ludmila' (1820), which was loosely based on Russian and Tatar folktales of Yeruslan Lazarevich.
From a surname which meant "little red one" in French. A notable bearer of the surname was the agnostic British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who wrote on many subjects including logic, epistemology and mathematics. He was also a political activist for causes such as pacifism and women's rights.
From a nickname which was originally given to someone with a rusty, or reddish-brown, hair colour.