From the Old English elements os
"god" and wine
"friend". Saint Oswin was a 7th-century king of Northumbria. After the Norman conquest this name was used less, and it died out after the 14th century. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
OWAINmWelsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Probably a Welsh form of EUGENE
, though it might be derived from Welsh eoghunn
meaning "youth". This was the name of several figures from Welsh history and mythology. In Arthurian legend Owain (also called Yvain
in French sources) was one of the Knights of the Round Table, the son of King Urien and husband of the Lady of the Fountain. His character was based on that of Owain ap Urien, a 6th-century Welsh prince who fought against the Angles. This name was also borne by Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century leader of Welsh resistance against English rule.
Spanish form of Paulus
). Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a famous bearer of this name.
From an English surname which was derived from the French place name Pacy
, itself derived from Gaulish given name of unknown meaning.
PADMAf & mHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lotus" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा
and the masculine form पद्म
. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma
arose from the navel of the god Vishnu
. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi
and the hero Rama
Means "distinguished" in Hebrew. This was the name of a son of Reuben in the Old Testament.
Italian form of Paulus
). Paolo Uccello and Paolo Veronese were both Italian Renaissance painters.
PARIS (1)mGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen
and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the 'Iliad', he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles
. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.
From a Welsh surname which was derived from ap Harry
meaning "son of HARRY
Frankish name of unknown meaning. It possibly means "awe-inspiring" from Frankish bib-
"to tremble". This was the name of three majordomos of Austrasia including Pépin III the Short, who became the first Carolingian king of the Franks. He was the father of Charlemagne
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
Means "breach, burst forth" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the twin brother of Zerah
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.
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.
PETERmEnglish, 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]
Italian form of PETER
. Piero della Francesca was an Italian Renaissance painter.
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.
PLATOmAncient 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'.
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.
From a Welsh surname which was derived from ap Rhys
meaning "son of RHYS
Italian form of the Late Latin name Primus
, which meant "first". This was the name of three early saints, each of whom were martyred.
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh mythology, Pwyll is a king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon
Russian form of PETER
. A famous bearer was the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893).
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.
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.
From Chinese 强 (qiáng)
meaning "strong, powerful, energetic", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
QUINNm & fIrish, English
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cuinn
meaning "descendant of CONN
Possibly derived from Arabic قصي (qasi)
meaning "distant". This was the name of an ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad
who was in charge of a temple in Mecca.
Derived from the Czech word rád
"happy, glad". The Czech author Julius Zeyer probably created it for a character in his play 'Radúz and Mahulena' (1898).
RAGHUmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam
Means "swift" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a heroic king in Hindu epics, the great-grandfather of Rama
. It is also mentioned as the name of a son of Buddha in Buddhist texts.
Means "kind, compassionate" in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الرحيم (al-Rahim)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
Means "merciful" in Turkish, ultimatey from Arabic.
RAHULmIndian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Possibly means "able, efficient" in Sanskrit. This was the name of a son of Gautama Buddha.
RAINEf & mEnglish (Rare)
Possibly based on the French word reine
meaning "queen". A famous bearer is the British socialite Raine Spencer (1929-), the stepmother of Princess Diana. In modern times it can also be used as a variant of RAIN (1)
or a short form of LORRAINE
Means "respect" in Arabic. This is the name of the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.
RALPHmEnglish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
Contracted form of the Old Norse name RÁÐÚLFR
(or its Norman form Radulf
). Scandinavian settlers introduced it to England before the Norman conquest, though afterwards it was bolstered by Norman influence. In the Middle Ages it was usually spelled Ralf
, but by the 17th century it was most commonly Rafe
, reflecting the normal pronunciation. The Ralph
spelling appeared in the 18th century. A famous bearer of the name was Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American poet and author who wrote on transcendentalism.
RANGImMaori, Polynesian Mythology
Means "sky" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Rangi or Ranginui was a god of the sky, husband of the earth goddess Papa
. They were locked in a crushing embrace but were eventually separated by their children, the other gods.
Modern Persian form of Avestan Rashnu
meaning "justice". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata who judged the souls of the dead.
RAVENf & mEnglish
From the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English hræfn
. The raven is revered by several Native American groups of the west coast. It is also associated with the Norse god Odin
Meaning unknown, possibly of Arabic origin.
From a surname meaning "ruler" in Occitan. This name is often given in honour of Saint Jean-François Régis, a 17th-century French Jesuit priest.
Limburgish form of RAYMOND
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Raymond.
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".
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 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).
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 "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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
Means "little seal", derived from Irish rón
"seal" combined with a diminutive suffix.
Frisian short form of Germanic names beginning with the element hraban
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.
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 derived from a place name meaning "rye hill" from Old English ryge
"rye" and hyll
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.
Probably an Irish form of HRŒREKR
, introduced by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. Alternatively it may be derived from Irish ruarc
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.
From a nickname which was originally given to someone with a rusty, or reddish-brown, hair colour.
From an English occupational surname derived from Old English ridere
meaning "mounted warrior" or "messenger".
Possibly a variant of the German surname Riker
, a derivative of Low German rike
"rich". It may have been altered by association with the popular name prefix Ry
Possibly a variant of the English surname Ryland
, which was originally derived from a place name meaning "rye land" in Old English.
SABASmSpanish, Late Greek
From a Greek name which was derived from Hebrew סַבָא (sava')
meaning "old man". Saints bearing this name include a 4th-century Gothic martyr, a 5th-century Cappadocian hermit, and a 12th-century archbishop of Serbia who is the patron saint of that country.
Armenian form of ISAAC
. This was the name of a 5th-century patriarch of the Armenian Church.
Means "solid rock" in Arabic. This name appears in the poems of the 7th-century poetess Al-Khansa.
Means "virtuous" in Arabic. According to the Qur'an this was the name of an early Arabian prophet.
Means "safe, sound, intact", derived from Arabic سلم (salima)
meaning "to be safe".
Means "saint" in Italian, ultimately from Latin sanctus
SATANmTheology, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Derived from Hebrew שָׂטָן (satan)
meaning "adversary". This is the Hebrew name of the enemy of the Judeo-Christian god. In the New Testament he is also known by the title Devil
From a surname which was derived from the name of the Germanic tribe the Saxons, ultimately deriving from the Germanic word sahs
meaning "knife". This name can also be given in direct reference to the tribe.
From an English and Scottish surname which referred to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic. It is derived from Latin Scoti
meaning "Gaelic speaker", with the ultimate origin uncertain.
SELBYm & fEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "willow farm" in Old Norse.
Turkish form of SALIM
. This was the name of three Ottoman sultans, including the father of Süleyman the Magnificent.