ABU m Arabic
Means "father of" in Arabic. This is commonly used as an element in a kunya, which is a type of Arabic nickname. The element is combined with the name of one of the bearer's children (usually the eldest son). In some cases the kunya is figurative, not referring to an actual child, as in the case of the Muslim caliph Abu Bakr
ACE (1) m English
From the English word meaning "highest rank". More commonly a nickname, it is occasionally used as a given name.
AGE (1) m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element agil
meaning "edge (of a sword), blade".
ALA m Arabic
Means "excellence, elevation" in Arabic.
ALE (2) m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element adal
ALF (1) m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse alfr
"elf". In Norse legend this was the name of king, the suitor of a reluctant maiden named Alfhild. She avoided marrying him by disguising herself as a warrior, but when they fought she was so impressed by his strength that she changed her mind.
ALI (1) m Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Pashto, Indonesian, Malay
Means "lofty, sublime" in Arabic. Ali was a cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad
and the fourth caliph to rule the Muslim world. His followers were the original Shia Muslims, who regard him as the first rightful caliph.... [more]
AMI (1) m Biblical
Means "trustworthy, reliable" in Hebrew. This was the name of a servant of King Solomon in the Old Testament.
ANE (2) m Frisian
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element arn
AOI f & m Japanese
From Japanese 葵 (aoi)
meaning "hollyhock, althea" or an adjectival form of 碧 (ao)
meaning "green, blue". Other kanji with the same reading can form this name as well.
ARA m Armenian, Armenian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Sumerian origin. In Armenian legend this was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him. During the war Ara was slain.
ASH m & f English
Short form of ASHLEY
. It can also come directly from the English word denoting either the tree or the residue of fire.
ASK m Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse askr
"ash tree". In Norse mythology Ask and his wife Embla
were the first humans created by the gods.
BAI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 白 (bái)
meaning "white, pure", 百 (bǎi)
meaning "one hundred, many" or 柏 (bǎi)
meaning "cypress tree, cedar" (which is usually only masculine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well. This name was borne in the 8th century by the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, whose given was 白
BAO f & m Chinese
From Chinese 宝 (bǎo)
meaning "treasure, jewel, precious, rare", 褒 (bāo)
meaning "praise, honour" or 苞 (bāo)
meaning "bud" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are possible as well.
BOB m English, Dutch
Short form of ROBERT
. It arose later than Dob
, which were medieval rhyming nicknames of Robert. It was borne by the character Bob Cratchit in Charles Dickens' novel 'A Christmas Carol' (1843). Other famous bearers include American folk musician Bob Dylan (1941-) and Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).
BOR m Slovene
Short form of names containing bor
, such as BORISLAV
. It is also a South Slavic word meaning "pine tree".
BUZ m Biblical
Means "contempt" in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of ABRAHAM
's brother Nahor
in the Old Testament.
CHE m Spanish
From an Argentine expression meaning "hey!". This nickname was acquired by the Argentine revolutionary Ernesto Guevara while he was in Cuba.
CHI (2) m & f Mythology, Western African, Igbo
Means "god, spirtual being" in Igbo, referring to the personal spiritual guardian that each person is believed to have. Christian Igbo people use it as a name for the personal Christian god. This can also be a short form of the many Igbo names that begin with this element.
COY m English
From a surname which meant "quiet, shy, coy" from Middle English coi
DAI m Welsh
Derived from the old Celtic word dei
meaning "to shine". This name is also used as a Welsh diminutive of DAVID
DAN (2) m English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, German, Polish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian
Short form of DANIEL
DAR f & m Hebrew
Means "mother-of-pearl, nacre" in Hebrew.
DAX m English
From an English surname which was derived either from the town of Dax in France or else from the Old English given name Dæcca
(of unknown meaning).
DEE f & m English
Short form of names beginning with D
. It may also be given in reference to the Dee
River in Scotland.
DOR m & f Hebrew
Means "generation" in Hebrew.
DWI m & f Indonesian
Means "two, second" in Indonesian, ultimately from Sanskrit द्वि (dvi)
ELI (1) m English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Means "ascension" in Hebrew. In the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament he is a high priest of the Israelites. He took the young Samuel
into his service and gave him guidance when God spoke to him. Because of the misdeeds of his sons, Eli and his descendants were cursed to die before reaching old age.... [more]
EUN m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 恩 (eun)
meaning "kindness, mercy, charity" or 銀 (eun)
meaning "silver, money", as well as other hanja characters which are pronounced in the same way. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
FEN (1) f & m Chinese
From Chinese 芬 (fēn)
meaning "fragrance, aroma, perfume" (which is usually only feminine) or 奋 (fèn)
meaning "strive, exert" (usually only masculine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
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.
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
GUL m & f Urdu, Pashto
Means "flower, rose" in Urdu and Pashto, ultimately from Persian.
GUO m & f Chinese
From Chinese 国 (guó)
meaning "country" or other Chinese characters pronounced in a similar way.
GUY m English, French
Norman French form of WIDO
. The Normans introduced it to England, where it was common until the time of Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), a revolutionary who attempted to blow up the British parliament. The name was revived in the 19th century, due in part to characters in the novels 'Guy Mannering' (1815) by Sir Walter Scott and 'The Heir of Redclyffe' (1854) by C. M. Yonge.
HAI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 海 (hǎi)
meaning "sea, ocean" or other characters which are pronounced similarly.
HAM m Biblical
Means "hot, warm" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Ham is one of Noah
's three sons, along with Shem
. He was the ancestor of the Egyptians and Canaanites.
HUA f & m Chinese
From Chinese 华 (huá)
meaning "splendid, illustrious, Chinese" or 花 (huā)
meaning "flower, blossom" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
HUI f & m Chinese
From Chinese 慧 (huì)
meaning "intelligent, wise" (which is usually only feminine), 辉 (huī)
meaning "brightness", besides other characters which are pronounced similarly.
HYE m Korean
From Sino-Korean 慧 (hye)
meaning "bright, intelligent" or other characters which are pronounced in the same way. Although it does appear rarely as a single-character name, it is more often used in combination with another character. A notable bearer was a 6th-century king of Baekje.
IAH m Egyptian Mythology
Means "moon" in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology this was the name of a god of the moon, later identified with Thoth
IKE m English
Diminutive of ISAAC
. This was the nickname of the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), based on the initial sound of his surname.
IME (2) m & f Frisian
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ermen
ING m Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic *Ingwaz
, possibly meaning "ancestor". This was the name of an obscure old Germanic fertility god who was considered the ancestor of the tribe the Ingaevones. It is possible he was an earlier incarnation of the god Freyr
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.
IRA (1) m Biblical, English, Hebrew
Means "watchful" 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.
IVO (1) m German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element iv
meaning "yew". 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
JAM m Persian Mythology
Persian form of Avestan Yima
meaning "twin" (related to Sanskrit Yama
). This was the name of a mythological king, more commonly called Jamshid
JAY (1) m English
Short form of names beginning with the sound J
, such as JAMES
. It was originally used in America in honour of founding father John Jay (1749-1825), whose surname was derived from the jaybird.
JEB m English
Sometimes a diminutive of JACOB
. This name may have also resulted from a nickname of James Ewell Brown Stuart (1833-1864), a Confederate general in the American Civil War, which was formed from the initial letters of his three given names.
JIA m & f Chinese
From Chinese 佳 (jiā)
meaning "good, auspicious, beautiful", 家 (jiā)
meaning "home, family", or other characters which are pronounced similarly.
JIE m & f Chinese
From Chinese 杰 (jié)
meaning "heroic, outstanding" or other characters which are pronounced similarly.
JIN m & f Chinese
From Chinese 金 (jīn)
meaning "gold, metal, money", 锦 (jǐn)
meaning "tapestry, brocade, embroidered" or 津 (jīn)
meaning "ferry". Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
JI-U f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 芝 (ji)
meaning "sesame" or 志 (ji)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" combined with 雨 (u)
meaning "rain" or 宇 (u)
meaning "house, eaves, universe". Other combinations of hanja characters can form this name as well.
JOB m Biblical, Dutch
From the Hebrew name אִיּוֹב ('Iyyov)
which means "persecuted, hated". In the Book of Job in the Old Testament he is a righteous man who is tested by God, enduring many tragedies and hardships while struggling to remain faithful.
JOE m English
Short form of JOSEPH
. Five famous sports figures who have had this name are boxers Joe Louis (1914-1981) and Joe Frazier (1944-), baseball player Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999), and football quarterbacks Joe Namath (1943-) and Joe Montana (1956-).
JUN m & f Chinese, Korean
From Chinese 君 (jūn)
meaning "king, ruler", 俊 (jùn)
meaning "talented, handsome" (which is usually only masculine) or 军 (jūn)
meaning "army" (also usually only masculine). This is also a single-character Korean name, often from the hanja 俊
meaning "talented, handsome". This name can be formed by other characters besides those shown here.
KAY (2) m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Cai
, possibly a form of the Roman name GAIUS
. Sir Kay was one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He first appears in Welsh tales as a brave companion of Arthur. In later medieval tales, notably those by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, he is portrayed as an unrefined boor.
KEN (2) m Japanese
From Japanese 健 (ken)
meaning "healthy, strong" or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
KIM (1) f & m English
At the present it is usually considered a short form of KIMBERLY
, but it in fact predates it as a given name. The author Rudyard Kipling used it for the title hero of his novel 'Kim' (1901), though in this case it was short for KIMBALL
. In her novel 'Show Boat' (1926) Edna Ferber used it for a female character who was born on the Mississippi River and was named from the initials of the states Kentucky, Illinois and Mississippi. The name was popularized in America by the actresses Kim Hunter (1922-2002) and Kim Novak (1933-), both of whom assumed it as a stage name.
KIP m English
From a nickname, probably from the English word kipper
meaning "male salmon".
KUN f & m Chinese
From Chinese 坤 (kūn)
meaning "earth, female", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
LAL m Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "boy" in Hindi, derived from Sanskrit लल (lala)
meaning "playing, caressing".
LAN f & m Chinese, Vietnamese
From Chinese 兰 (lán)
meaning "orchid, elegant" (which is usually only feminine) or 岚 (lán)
meaning "mountain mist". Other Chinese characters can form this name as well. As a Vietnamese name, it is derived from Sino-Vietnamese 蘭
LEE m & f English
From a surname which was derived from Old English leah
meaning "clearing". The surname belonged to Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. In his honour, it has been commonly used as a given name in the American South.
LEI (2) m & f Chinese
From Chinese 磊 (lěi)
meaning "pile of stones" (which is typically masculine) or 蕾 (lěi)
meaning "bud" (typically feminine). Other characters can also form this name.
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
meaning "lion", a cognate of LEON
. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina'. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
LEV (1) m Russian
Means "lion" in Russian, functioning as a vernacular form of Leo
. This was the real Russian name of both author Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) and revolutionary Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).
LIN m & f Chinese
From Chinese 林 (lín)
meaning "forest" or 琳 (lín)
meaning "fine jade, gem". Other characters can also form this name.
LON m English
Short form of ALONZO
and other names containing the same sound. Famous bearers were American actors Lon Chaney Sr. (1883-1930) and Lon Chaney Jr. (1906-1973). The elder's birth name was Leonidas.
LOT (1) m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "covering, veil" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a nephew of Abraham
. Before Sodom was destroyed by God, he was directed to flee the city without looking back. However, his wife looked back on the destruction and was turned into a pillar of salt.
LOT (2) m Arthurian Romance
From the name of the region of Lothian in southern Scotland, of unknown meaning. A king of Lothian by this name appears in early Latin and Welsh texts (as Leudonus
respectively). He was inserted into Arthurian legend by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, who makes him the father of Gawain
LOU f & m English, French
Short form of LOUISE
. Famous bearers include the baseball player Lou Gehrig (1903-1941) and the musician Lou Reed (1942-2013).
LUX f & m Various
Derived from Latin lux
MAJ m Slovene
Either a masculine form of MAJA (1)
, or else from the Slovene name for the month of May.
MIN m & f Chinese, Korean
From 敏 (mǐn)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp", 民 (mín)
meaning "people, citizens", or other Chinese/Sino-Korean characters which are pronounced similarly.
MOT m Near Eastern Mythology
Means "death" in Ugaritic. This was the name of the Ugaritic god of death and the lord of the netherworld. He was a son of the supreme god El
NED m English
Diminutive of EDWARD
. It has been used since the 14th century, and may have had root in the medieval affectionate phrase mine Ed
, which was later reinterpreted as my Ned
NIV m Hebrew
Means either "speech, expression" or "fang, tusk" in Hebrew.
ORA (1) f & m English
Perhaps based on Latin oro
"to pray". It was first used in America in the 19th century.
OVE m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Probably a modern form of the Old Danish name Aghi
, originally a short form of names that contain the Old Norse element ag
"edge of a sword" or agi
PAN m Greek Mythology
Derived from a Greek word meaning "shepherd". In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
PAT m & f English
Short form of PATRICK
. A famous bearer of this name was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
PAU m Catalan, Occitan
Catalan and Occitan form of PAUL
. It also coincides with the Catalan word for "peace".
PIP m English
Diminutive of PHILIP
. This was the name of the main character in 'Great Expectations' (1860) by Charles Dickens.
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
RAJ m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "empire, royalty", from Sanskrit राज्य (rajya)
RAM (1) m Biblical
Means "exalted" in Hebrew. This was a son of Hezron in the Old Testament.
RAY m English
Short form of RAYMOND
, often used as an independent name. It coincides with an English word meaning "beam of light". Science-fiction author Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) and musician Ray Charles (1930-2004) are two notable bearers of the name.