HARRY m English
Medieval English form of HENRY
. In modern times it is used as a diminutive of both Henry
. A famous bearer was American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). It is also the name of the boy wizard in J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series of books, first released in 1997.
HASAN m Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Indonesian
Means "handsome", derived from Arabic حسن (hasuna)
"to be beautiful, to be good". Hasan was the son of Ali
and the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad
. He was poisoned by one of his wives and is regarded as a martyr by Shia Muslims. This was also the name of two kings of Morocco. It is sometimes transcribed as Hassan
, though this is a distinct name in Arabic.
HASIM m Arabic
Means "decisive" in Arabic, derived from حسم (hasama)
meaning "to sever, to finish, to decide".
HAVEN f & m English
From the English word for a safe place, derived ultimately from Old English hæfen
HAYDN m English (British)
From a German surname meaning "heathen". It is used in honour of the Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809).
HEARD m Anglo-Saxon
Short form of various Old English names containing the element heard
meaning "brave, hardy".
HEATH m English
From an English surname which denoted one who lived on a heath. It was popularized as a given name by the character Heath Barkley from the 1960s television series 'The Big Valley'.
HEBER (2) m Biblical
Means "enclave" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name is borne by a great-grandson of Jacob
and also by the husband of Jael
HENRY m English
From the Germanic name Heimirich
which meant "home ruler", composed of the elements heim
"home" and ric
"power, ruler". It was later commonly spelled Heinrich
, with the spelling altered due to the influence of other Germanic names like Haganrich
, in which the first element is hagan
HEROD m Biblical
From the Greek name ‘Ηρωιδης (Heroides)
, which probably means "song of the hero" from ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior" combined with ωιδη (oide)
"song, ode". This was the name of several rulers of Judea during the period when it was part of the Roman Empire. This includes two who appear in the New Testament: Herod the Great, the king who ordered the slaughter of the children, and his son Herod Antipas, who had John
the Baptist beheaded.
HERON m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". This was the name of a 1st-century Greek inventor (also known as Hero
) from Alexandria.
HERSH m Yiddish
Means "deer" in Yiddish. The deer is particularly associated with the tribe of Naphtali
(see Genesis 49:21).
HIDDE m Frisian
Frisian short form of names containing the Germanic element hild
HIRAH m Biblical
Means "splendour" in Hebrew. This was the name of the father-in-law of Judah in the Old Testament.
HIRAM m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Probably of Phoenician origin, though it could be from Hebrew meaning "exalted brother". This was the name of a king of Tyre in the Old Testament. As an English given name, Hiram
came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where it gained some currency.
HOMER m English, Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name ‘Ομηρος (Homeros)
, derived from ‘ομηρος (homeros)
meaning "hostage, pledge". Homer was the Greek epic poet who wrote the 'Iliad', about the Trojan War, and the 'Odyssey', about Odysseus
's journey home after the war. There is some debate about when he lived, or if he was even a real person, though most scholars place him in the 8th century BC. In the modern era, Homer
has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world (chiefly in America) since the 18th century. This name is borne by the cartoon father on the television series 'The Simpsons'.
HOREA m Romanian
From Romanian horă
, a type of circle dance. This was the nickname of Vasile Ursu Nicola (1731-1785), a leader of a peasant rebellion in Romania. He was eventually captured, tortured and executed.
HORSA m Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic element hros
meaning "horse". Horsa and his brother Hengist were the leaders of the first Germanic settlers to arrive in Britain.
HORST m German
Means "wood, thicket" in German. Alternatively, it may derive from the Germanic element hros
HORUS m Egyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of ‘Ωρος (Horos)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Hrw
(reconstructed as Heru
) possibly meaning "falcon" or "high". In Egyptian mythology Horus was the god of light, often depicted as a man with the head of a falcon. The son Osiris
, he avenged his father's murder by killing Seth
HOSEA m Biblical
Variant transcription of Hoshe'a
). Hosea is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Hosea. Written in the northern kingdom, it draws parallels between his relationship with his unfaithful wife and the relationship between God and his people.
HUANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 煌 (huáng)
meaning "bright, shining, luminous" (which is usually only masculine) or 凰 (huáng)
meaning "phoenix" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
HUNOR m Hungarian
Derived from the ethnic term Hun
, which refers to the nomadic people from Central Asia who expanded into Europe in the 4th century. The word Hun
is from Latin Hunnus
, which is possibly of Turkic origin.
HUSAM m Arabic
Means "sword" in Arabic, a derivative of the verb حسم (hasama)
meaning "to sever, to finish, to decide".
HUSNI m & f Arabic
Derived from Arabic حسن (husn)
meaning "beauty, excellence, goodness".
HYEON m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able" or other characters which are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
HYRUM m English (Rare)
Variant of HIRAM
. This name was borne by Hyrum Smith (1800-1844), an early leader within the Mormon church.
HYWEL m Welsh
Means "eminent" in Welsh. This was the name of a 10th-century king of Wales.
IDRIS (1) m Arabic
Possibly means "interpreter" in Arabic. In the Qur'an this is the name of an ancient prophet. He is traditionally equated with the Hebrew prophet Enoch
IDRIS (2) m Welsh
Means "ardent lord" from Welsh udd
"lord, prince" combined with ris
"ardent, enthusiastic, impulsive".
IDWAL m Welsh
Means "lord of the wall", derived from Welsh udd
"lord, prince" combined with gwal
İLHAN m Turkish
From the Mongolian title il-Khan
meaning "subordinate Khan
", which was first adopted by Genghis Khan's grandson Hulagu, who ruled a kingdom called the Ilkhanate that stretched from modern Iran to eastern Turkey.
İLKAY f & m Turkish
Means "new moon" in Turkish, derived from ilk
"first" and ay
INDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "possessing drops of rain" from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu)
meaning "a drop" and र (ra)
meaning "acquiring, possessing". Indra is the name of the ancient Hindu warrior god of the sky and rain. He is the chief god in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
ÍÑIGO m Spanish
Medieval Spanish form of ENEKO
. This was the birth name of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who changed it in honour of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. As such, this name is sometimes regarded as a form of IGNATIUS
INIGO m English (Rare)
English form of ÍÑIGO
. It became well-known in Britain due to the 17th-century English architect Inigo Jones. He was named after his father, a Catholic who was named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
IQBAL m Arabic
Means "fortunate" in Arabic. Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) was a poet, philosopher, and scholar from Pakistan.
IRFAN m Arabic
Means "knowledge, awareness, learning" in Arabic.
ISAAC m English, 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). 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
ISAMU m Japanese
From Japanese 勇 (isamu)
meaning "brave" or other kanji having the same pronunciation.
ISHVI m Biblical
Means "he resembles me" in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Asher
in the Old Testament.
ISLAY m Scottish
From the name of the island of Islay, which lies off of the west coast of Scotland.
ITHAI m Biblical
From a Hebrew name spelled variously אִתַּי ('Ittay)
or אִיתַי ('Itay)
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
IVORY m & f African American
From the English word for the hard, creamy-white substance which comes from elephant tusks and was formerly used to produce piano keys.
JAALA m Biblical
Means "wild goat" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a servant of Solomon.
JABEZ m Biblical
Means "sorrow" in Hebrew. This is the name of a character in the Old Testament who is blessed by God.
JABIN m Biblical
Means "perceptive" in Hebrew. This name was borne by two kings of Hazor in the Old Testament.
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" or "supplanter", 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".... [more]
JADEN m & f English (Modern)
An invented name, using the popular aden
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.
JAFAR m Arabic
Means "stream" 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
Means "world" 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.
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
JAMAL m Arabic
Means "beauty" in Arabic. Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was a political activist who promoted pan-Islamism in the 19th century.
JAMES m English, Biblical
English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus
which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos)
, the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov
). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John
's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus
JAMIE m & f Scottish, English
Originally a Lowland Scots diminutive of JAMES
. Since the late 19th century it has also been used as a feminine form.
JAMIN m Biblical
Means "right hand" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Simeon.
JANUS m Roman Mythology
Means "archway" in Latin. Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings, often depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions. The month of January is named for him.
JARAH m Biblical
Means "honeycomb" and "honeysuckle" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a descendant of Saul.
JARED m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יָרֶד (Yared)
or יֶרֶד (Yered)
meaning "descent". This is the name of a close descendant of Adam
in the Old Testament. It has been used as an English name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popularized in the 1960s by the character Jarrod Barkley on the television series 'The Big Valley'.
JASON m English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Greek name Ιασων (Iason)
, which was derived from Greek ιασθαι (iasthai)
"to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson
as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea
, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.... [more]
JAVAN m Biblical
Means "Greece" in Hebrew, possibly related to ION (2)
. In the Old Testament this is the name of a grandson of Noah
and the ancestor of the Greek peoples.
JELLE m Frisian, Dutch
Originally a Frisian short form of Germanic names beginning with the element gild
"sacrifice, value". It can also be a Dutch diminutive of WILLEM
JEONG f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 靜 (jeong)
meaning "quiet, still, gentle" or 貞 (jeong)
meaning "virtuous, chaste, loyal", as well as other characters which are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
JESSE m English, Dutch, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishay)
which possibly means "gift". In the Old Testament Jesse is the father of King David
. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jesse James (1847-1882), an American outlaw who held up banks and stagecoaches. He was eventually shot by a fellow gang member for a reward. Another famous bearer was the American athlete Jesse Owens (1913-1980), whose real name was James Cleveland (or J. C.) Owens.
JESUS m Theology, Biblical
English form of Ιησους (Iesous)
, which was the Greek form of the Aramaic name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshu'a)
is itself a contracted form of Yehoshu'a
). Yeshua ben Yoseph, better known as Jesus Christ, was the central figure of the New Testament and the source of the Christian religion. The four gospels state that he was the son of God and the Virgin Mary
who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. He preached for three years before being crucified in Jerusalem.
JEWEL f & m English
In part from the English word jewel
, a precious stone, derived from Old French jouel
, which was possibly related to jeu
"game". It is also in part from the surname Jewel
(a derivative of the Breton name JUDICAËL
), which was sometimes used in honour of the 16th-century bishop of Salisbury John Jewel. It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
JIANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 江 (jiāng)
meaning "river, Yangtze", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
JI-HUN m Korean
From Sino-Korean 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" or 志 (ji)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" combined with 勛 (hun)
meaning "meritorious deed, rank". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
JI-MIN f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 志 (ji)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" or 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" combined with 旼 (min)
meaning "gentle, affable", 敏 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp" or 珉 (min)
meaning "jade, stone resembling jade". Other hanja character combinations are possible.
JIMMU m Far Eastern Mythology
Means "divine warrior", from Japanese 神 (jin)
meaning "god" and 武 (mu)
meaning "military, martial". In Japanese legend this was the name of the founder of Japan and the first emperor, supposedly ruling in the 7th century BC.
JINAN m & f Arabic
Means "garden" or "paradise" in Arabic.
JIROU m Japanese
From Japanese 二 (ji)
meaning "two" and 郎 (rou)
meaning "son". This was traditionally a name given to the second son. Other combinations of kanji characters can also be possible.
JOASH m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹאָשׁ (Yo'ash)
which possibly meant either "fire of YAHWEH
" or "YAHWEH
has given". In the Old Testament this name was borne by several characters including the father of Gideon
, a king of Judah, and a son of King Ahab
JONAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah)
meaning "dove". This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.... [more]
JORAM m Biblical
Contracted form of Yehoram
). This name belongs to several minor characters in the Old Testament, as well as being another name for the kings Jehoram of Israel and Jehoram of Judah.
JOSES m Biblical
From Ιωσης (Ioses)
, a Greek variant of JOSEPH
used in the New Testament to distinguish Joseph the brother of James from the many other characters of that name.
JOYCE f & m English
From the medieval masculine name Josse
, which was derived from the earlier Iudocus
, which was a Latinized form of the Breton name Judoc
meaning "lord". The name belonged to a 7th-century Breton saint, and Breton settlers introduced it to England after the Norman conquest. It became rare after the 14th century, but was later revived as a feminine name, perhaps because of similarity to the Middle English word joise
"to rejoice". This given name also formed the basis for a surname, as in the case of the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941).