MALACHI m Hebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew מַלְאָכִי (Mal'akhiy)
meaning "my messenger" or "my angel". This is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Malachi, which some claim foretells the coming of Christ. In England the name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
MALCOLM m Scottish, English
From Scottish Máel Coluim
which means "disciple of Saint COLUMBA
". This was the name of four kings of Scotland starting in the 10th century, including Malcolm III, who became king after killing Macbeth, the usurper who had murdered his father. The character Malcolm in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Macbeth' (1606) is based on him. Another famous bearer was Malcolm X (1925-1965), an American civil rights leader.
MALKHAZ m Georgian
Possibly means "beautiful, elegant, youthful" in Georgian.
MANFRED m German, Dutch, Polish
Derived from the Germanic elements magan
"strength" and frid
"peace". This is the name of the main character in Byron's drama 'Manfred' (1817). This name was also borne by Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918), the German pilot in World War I who was known as the Red Baron.
MANLIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin mane
"morning". Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was a Roman consul who saved Rome from the Gauls in the 4th century BC.
MARCIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which was a derivative of the praenomen MARCUS
. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, king of Rome.
MARLOWE m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "remnants of a lake" in Old English.
MARQUIS m African American
From a noble title which was derived from the Old French word marchis
"march, borderland", which originally referred to someone who ruled on the borderlands of a realm.
MARTIAL m History
From the Roman cognomen Martialis
, which was derived from the name of the Roman god MARS
. The name was borne by Marcus Valerius Martialis, now commonly known as Martial, a Roman poet of the 1st century.
MATTHEW m English, Biblical
English form of Ματθαιος (Matthaios)
, which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu)
meaning "gift of YAHWEH
". Matthew, also called Levi
, was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first gospel in the New Testament. He is considered a saint in many Christian traditions. The variant Matthias
also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a separate apostle. The name appears in the Old Testament as Mattithiah
MAURICE m English, French
From the Roman name Mauritius
, a derivative of MAURUS
. Saint Maurice was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Egypt. He and the other Christians in his legion were supposedly massacred on the orders of emperor Maximian for refusing to worship Roman gods. Thus, he is the patron saint of infantry soldiers.... [more]
MAXENCE m French
French form of the Roman name Maxentius
, a derivative of Latin maximus
"greatest". This was the agnomen of an early 4th-century Roman emperor, a rival of Constantine
. It was also borne by a 6th-century saint from Agde in France.
MAXIMUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which was derived from Latin maximus
"greatest". Saint Maximus was a monk and theologian from Constantinople in the 7th century.
MAXWELL m English
From a Scottish surname meaning "Mack's stream", from the name Mack
, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS
, combined with Old English wella
"stream". A famous bearer of the surname was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.
MAYRBEK m Chechen
Derived from Nakh majra
meaning "husband, brave man" combined with the Turkish military title beg
meaning "chieftain, master".
MEINRAD m German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements magan
"mighty, strong" and rad
"counsel". Saint Meinrad was a 9th-century hermit who founded the Benedictine abbey at Einsiedeln in Switzerland.
MELQART m Near Eastern Mythology
From Phoenician mlk
"king" and qrt
"city". This was the name of a Phoenician god worshipped especially in the city of Tyre.
MENAHEM m Biblical, Hebrew
From the Hebrew name מְנַחֵם (Menachem)
meaning "comforter". This was the name of a king of Israel, appearing in the Old Testament. His reign was noted for its brutality.
MERCURY m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Mercurius
, probably derived from Latin mercari
"to trade" or merces
"wages". This was the name of the Roman god of trade, merchants, and travellers, later equated with the Greek god Hermes
. This is also the name of the first planet in the solar system.
MERRITT m English
From an English surname, originally from a place name, which meant "boundary gate" in Old English.
MESHACH m Biblical
Possibly means "who is what Aku is?" in Akkadian, Aku
being the name of the Babylonian god of the moon. In the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament this is the Babylonian name of Mishael, one of the three men cast into a blazing furnace but saved from harm by God.
MICAIAH m & f Biblical
Means "who is like YAHWEH
?" in Hebrew. This name occurs in the Old Testament belonging to both males and females.
MICHAEL m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha'el)
meaning "who is like God?". This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Michael is one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament he is named as a protector of Israel. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies in the war against Satan, and is thus considered the patron saint of soldiers in Christianity.... [more]
MIESZKO m Polish
Diminutive of MIECZYSŁAW
. This was the name of two rulers of Poland, including Mieszko I who converted the country to Christianity.
MIKHAIL m Russian, Bulgarian
Russian form of MICHAEL
, and a variant transcription of Bulgarian MIHAIL
. This was the name of two Russian tsars. It was also borne by the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-).
MILBURN m English
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "mill stream" in Old English.
MILFORD m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from various place names all meaning "ford by a mill" in Old English.
MILLARD m English
From an occupational English surname which meant "guardian of the mill" in Old English.
MIODRAG m Serbian, Croatian
Derived from the element mio
, a Serbo-Croatian form of the Slavic element milu
meaning "dear", combined with dragu
MONTANA f & m English (Modern)
From the name of the American state, which is derived from Latin montanus
MORDRED m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From Welsh Medraut
, meaning uncertain. In Arthurian legend Mordred was the illegitimate son (in some versions nephew) of King Arthur
. Mordred first appears briefly (as Medraut
) in the 10th-century 'Annales Cambriae', but he was not portrayed as a traitor until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth. While Arthur is away he seduces his wife Guinevere
and declares himself king. This prompts the battle of Camlann, which leads to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur.
MUKESHA m Hinduism
Means "ruler of Muka" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Shiva
, given to him because he killed Muka, a demon in the form of a wild boar.
MURUGAN m Hinduism, Tamil
Possibly from a Dravidian word meaning "youth". This is the name of a Tamil war god identified with Skanda
MUSTAFA m Arabic, Turkish
Means "the chosen one" in Arabic, an epithet of Muhammad
. This was the name of four Ottoman sultans. Another famous bearer was Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938), also known as Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.
MU'TAMID m Arabic
Means "relying on, leaning on" in Arabic. Al-Mu'tamid was a 9th-century Abbasid caliph. This was also the name of an 11th-century Abbadid ruler of Seville, who was a patron of the arts and a poet.
NAOMHÁN m Irish, Scottish
Means "little saint", derived from Irish naomh
"saint" combined with a diminutive suffix.
NAZARIO m Italian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish form of the Late Latin name Nazarius
, which meant "from Nazareth". Nazareth was the town in Galilee where Jesus
NECHTAN m Irish Mythology, Ancient Celtic
Celtic name of uncertain meaning, possibly meaning "damp" (cognate with NEPTUNE
). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boand, the goddess of the River Boyne. This name was also borne by the 5th-century Saint Nectan of Hartland in Devon, who was supposedly born in Ireland. It was also the name of several kings of the Picts.
NEMANJA m Serbian
Possibly from Slavic ne maniti
"not deceiving". Alternatively it may mean "without possessions", derived from Serbo-Croatian nemati
"have not". This was the name of a 12th-century Serbian king, and the name of the dynasty he began.
NEPTUNE m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Neptunus
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Indo-European root *nebh
"wet, damp, clouds". Neptune was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, approximately equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon
. This is also the name of the eighth planet in the solar system.
NEVILLE m English (British)
From an English surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Norman French. As a given name it is chiefly British and Australian.
NICCOLÒ m Italian
Italian form of NICHOLAS
. A famous bearer was Niccolò Machiavelli, a 16th-century political philosopher from Florence.
NIKETAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικητης (niketes)
meaning "winner, victor". Saint Niketas was a 4th-century bishop of Remesiana in Serbia. He is a patron saint of Romania.
NORBAER m Limburgish
Limburgish form of NORBERT
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Norbert.
NORWOOD m English
From a surname which was originally taken from a place name meaning "north wood" in Old English.
NYNNIAW m Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown, presumably of Welsh origin. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a Welsh prince who fought against the invading forces of Julius Caesar. It was also borne by an 8th-century Welsh historian, usually known by the Latinized form Nennius
OBADIAH m Biblical
Means "servant of YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the twelve minor prophets, the author of the Book of Obadiah, which predicts the downfall of the nation of Edom.
OEDIPUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Οιδιπους (Oidipous)
, meaning "swollen foot" from οιδεω (oideo)
"to swell" and πους (pous)
"foot". In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of the Theban king Laius
and his wife Jocasta
. Laius received a prophesy that he would be killed by his son, so he left the newborn to die of exposure. Oedipus was however rescued and raised in the home of the Corinthian king Polybus. After he had grown and learned of the same prophesy, Oedipus left Corinth so that he would not be a danger to Polybus, who he assumed was his father. On the road to Delphi he chanced upon his real father Laius and slew him in a petty disagreement, thus fulfilling the prophecy. He then correctly answered the Sphinx's riddle, winning the now vacant throne of Thebes and marrying the widowed queen Jocasta, his own mother. Years later they learned the truth of their relationship, prompting Jocasta to commit suicide and Oedipus to blind himself.
OKEANOS m Greek Mythology
From the name of the river or body of water thought by the ancient Greeks to surround the Earth. In Greek mythology Okeanos was the Titan who personified this body of water.
OLYMPOS m Ancient Greek
From a Greek personal name which was derived from the place name OLYMPOS
, the name of the mountain home of the Greek gods.
ORLANDO m Italian
Italian form of ROLAND
. A city in Florida bears this name, as does a character in Shakespeare's play 'As You like It' (1599).
ORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ορφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night". In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
ORVILLE m English
This name was invented by the 18th-century writer Fanny Burney, who perhaps intended it to mean "golden city" in French. Orville Wright (1871-1948), together with his brother Wilbur, invented the first successful airplane.
OTHELLO m Literature
Perhaps an Italian diminutive of OTHO
. Shakespeare used this name in his tragedy 'Othello' (1603), where it belongs to a Moor who is manipulated by Iago
into killing his wife Desdemona
OTHNIEL m Biblical
Means "lion of God" or "strength of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is a nephew of Caleb
who becomes the first of the ruling judges of the Israelites.
PADERAU f & m Welsh
Means "beads" or "rosary" in Welsh. This is a modern Welsh name.
PALMIRO m Italian
Means "pilgrim" in Italian. In medieval times it denoted one who had been a pilgrim to Palestine. It is ultimately from the word palma
meaning "palm tree", because of the custom of pilgrims to bring palm fronds home with them. The name is sometimes given to a child born on Palm Sunday.
PANCRAS m English (Archaic)
Medieval English form of PANCRATIUS
. The relics of the 4th-century saint Pancratius were sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, leading to the saint's veneration there.
PANFILO m Italian
Italian form of PAMPHILOS
. The Italian novelist Boccaccio used this name in his work 'The Decameron' (1350).
PANKAJA m Hinduism
Means "born of mud", referring to the lotus flower, derived from Sanskrit पङ्क (panka)
meaning "mud" and ज (ja)
meaning "born". This is another name of the Hindu god Brahma
PATRICK m Irish, English, French, German
From the Latin name Patricius
, which meant "nobleman". This name was adopted in the 5th-century by Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint.... [more]
PAULINO m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of the Roman family name Paulinus
, which was itself derived from Paulus
). Saint Paulinus of Nola was a 5th-century nobleman from Gaul who gave up his wealthy lifestyle and became bishop of Nola. He was also noted for his poetry. Another saint by this name was a 7th-century missionary to England who became the first bishop of York.
PEGASUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πηγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγος (pegos)
"strong" or πηγαιος (pegaios)
"from a water spring". In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
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.
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.