Possibly from Celtic matu
meaning "bear". According to the Mabinogion, Math ap Mathonwy was a king of Gwynedd and a magician. He was the uncle of the hero Gwydion
MATIJAm & fSlovene, Croatian, Serbian
Slovene, Croatian and Serbian form of MATTHIAS
, used to refer to the apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. It is occasionally used as a feminine name.
Means "gift of YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. This was the original name of Zedekiah, a king of Judah, in the Old Testament.
English form of Ματθαιος (Matthaios)
, which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu)
meaning "gift of YAHWEH
", from the roots מַתָּן (mattan)
meaning "gift" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. 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
Form of Mattityahu
) used in the English Old Testament, where it belongs to a few minor characters.
MAUIm & fHawaiian, Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Hawaiian mythology Māui was a trickster who created the Hawaiian Islands by having his brothers fish them out of the sea. He was also responsible for binding the sun and slowing its movement.
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]
Latin name which meant "dark skinned". This was the name of numerous early saints, most notably a follower of Saint Benedict.
Derived from the English word maverick
meaning "independent". The word itself is derived from the surname of a 19th-century Texas rancher who did not brand his calves.
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.
MAXIMILIANmGerman, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Roman name Maximilianus
, which was derived from MAXIMUS
. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint and martyr. In the 15th century the Holy Roman emperor Frederick III gave this name to his son and eventual heir. In this case it was a blend of the names of the Roman generals Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (see EMILIANO
), who Frederick admired. It was subsequently borne by a second Holy Roman emperor, two kings of Bavaria, and a short-lived Habsburg emperor of Mexico.
Roman family name which was derived from Latin maximus
"greatest". Saint Maximus was a monk and theologian from Constantinople in the 7th century.
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.
Derived from Nakh майра (mayra)
meaning "husband, brave man" combined with the Turkish military title beg
meaning "chieftain, master".
MEADEm & fEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which indicated one who lived on a meadow (from Middle English mede
) or one who sold or made mead (an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey; from Old English meodu
Means "love" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Medad is one of the elders who prophesizes in the camp of the Israelites after the flight from Egypt.
MEGAf & mIndonesian
Means "cloud" in Indonesian, ultimately from Sanskrit मेघ (megha)
MEHMEDmOttoman Turkish, Bosnian
Older form of MEHMET
, as well as the Bosnian form. This was the name of six sultans of the Ottoman Empire, including Mehmed II the conqueror of Constantinople.
From مهر (Mehr)
, the Persian word for MITHRA
, combined with Persian آب (ab)
"water". This is the name of a character in the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh'.
MEINRADmGerman, 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.
MELCHIORmDutch, Judeo-Christian Legend
Derived from Semitic roots meaning "king city". This was a name traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element mathal
MELQARTmNear Eastern Mythology
From Phoenician mlk
"king" and qrt
"city". This was the name of a Phoenician god worshipped especially in the city of Tyre.
From a Scottish surname which was originally from a Norman French place name meaning "bad town". A famous bearer of the surname was the American author Herman Melville (1819-1891), who wrote several novels including 'Moby-Dick'.
From the Hebrew name םְנַחֵם (Menachem)
meaning "comforter". This was the name of a king of Israel, appearing in the Old Testament. His reign was noted for its brutality.
MENELAUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Μενελαος (Menelaos)
, derived either from μενω (meno)
meaning "to stay, to wait" or μενος (menos)
meaning "mind, strength, force" combined with λαος (laos)
meaning "the people". In Greek legend he was a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen
. When his wife was taken by Paris
, the Greeks besieged the city of Troy in an effort to get her back. After the war Menelaus and Helen settled down to a happy life.
Meaning unknown. Menes was an Egyptian king who united Upper and Lower Egypt around 3000 BC. He is also known as Narmer; Menes was probably his funeral name.
Possibly related to Greek μενος (menos)
meaning "mind, strength, force". In Greek legend Mentor was the son of Alkimos. When Odysseus
left to fight in the Trojan War he entrusted Mentor with the care of his palace and the guardianship of his son Telemachos. When the goddess Athena
visited Telemachos she took the guise of Mentor.
Means "bitter" in Hebrew. This is the name of the youngest son of Levi
in the Old Testament.
MERCURYmRoman 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.
MEREDITHm & fWelsh, English
From the Welsh name Maredudd
, possibly meaning "great lord" or "sea lord". Since the mid-1920s it has been used more often for girls than for boys in English-speaking countries, though it is still a masculine name in Wales. A famous bearer of this name as surname was the English novelist and poet George Meredith (1828-1909).
From a surname meaning "happy weather" in Middle English, originally belonging to a cheery person. A notable bearer of the name was Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), who, with William Clark, explored the west of North America.
MERLEf & mEnglish
Variant of MERRILL
. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle
meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula
MERLINmArthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin
(meaning "sea fortress") used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus
in order to prevent associations with French merde
MERLYNm & fEnglish
Variant of MERLIN
, sometimes used as a feminine form. It has perhaps been influenced by the Welsh word merlyn
From an English surname, originally from a place name, which meant "boundary gate" in Old English.
The name of a hobbit in J. R. R. Tolkien's novel 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954). His full given name was Meriadoc
, a semi-translation into English of his true hobbit name Kalimac
meaning "jolly, merry".
Means "manly, brave" in Turkish, from Persian مرد (mard)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "town on a lake" in Old English.
From the Welsh name Merfyn
, which possibly meant "marrow famous". This was the name of a 9th-century Welsh king, Merfyn Frych.
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.
MESSIAHmTheology, English (Modern)
From the English word meaning "saviour", ultimately from Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (mashiyach)
meaning "anointed". The word appears in the Old Testement referring to a future king of the Jewish people. In the New Testament it is translated as Christ
and is used as a title of Jesus
METHODIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Μεθοδιος (Methodios)
, derived from Greek μεθοδος (methodos)
meaning "pursuit" or "method", ultimately from μετα (meta)
"with" and ‘οδος (hodos)
"road". Saint Methodius was a Greek missionary to the Slavs who developed the Cyrillic alphabet (with his brother Cyril) in order to translate the Bible into Slavic.
Means "man of the dart" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is the father of Lamech
and the grandfather of Noah
. He lived to age 969, making him the longest-lived person in the Bible.
Variant transcription of MEIR
. It also coincides with a German surname meaning "mayor, leader".
Contracted form of MICAIAH
. Micah is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. He authored the Book of Micah, which alternates between prophesies of doom and prophesies of restoration. It was occasionally used as an English given name by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation, but it did not become common until the end of the 20th century.
MICAIAHm & fBiblical
Means "who is like YAHWEH
?" in Hebrew. This name occurs in the Old Testament belonging to both males and females.
MICHAELmEnglish, 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 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]
MICHELmFrench, German, Dutch
French form of MICHAEL
. Michel de Notredame, also known as Nostradamus, was the 16th-century French astrologer who made predictions about future world events. This is also the German diminutive form of MICHAEL
From Italian, meaning "MICHAEL
angel", referring to the archangel Michael. The Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti, from Florence, was the man who created such great works of art as the statue of David
and the mural on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This name was also borne by the Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio.
MICKEYm & fEnglish
Diminutive or feminine form of MICHAEL
. This was the name that Walt Disney gave to Ub Iwerks' cartoon character Mickey Mouse, who was originally named Mortimer Mouse. Another famous bearer was the American baseball player Mickey Mantle (1931-1995).
Meaning unknown. In Greek myth Midas was a king of Phrygia in Asia Minor. He was granted a wish by the god Dionysos
- that everything he touch be turned to gold.
Latvian name derived from the Baltic elements mier
"peace" and vald
Diminutive of MIECZYSŁAW
. This was the name of two rulers of Poland, including Mieszko I who converted the country to Christianity.
Spanish and Portuguese form of MICHAEL
. A notable bearer of this name was Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616), the Spanish novelist and poet who wrote 'Don Quixote'.
Romanian form of MICHAEL
. Mihai the Brave was a prince of Wallachia who united Romania in the early 17th century.
Welsh name of the archangel Michael, formed from a contraction of MICHAEL
Russian form of MICHAEL
, and a variant transcription of Bulgarian MIHAIL
. This was the name of two Russian tsars. Other notable bearers include the poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841) and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-).