AARON m English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name אַהֲרֹן ('Aharon)
which is most likely of unknown Egyptian origin. Other theories claim a Hebrew derivation, and suggest meanings such as "high mountain" or "exalted". In the Old Testament this name is borne by the older brother of Moses
. He acted as a spokesman for his brother when they appealed to the pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Aaron's rod produced miracles and plagues to intimidate the pharaoh. After the departure from Egypt and arrival at Mount Sinai, God installed Aaron as the first high priest of the Israelites and promised that his descendants would form the priesthood.... [more]
AHMOSE m Ancient Egyptian (Anglicized)
From Egyptian Iah-ms
meaning "born of Iah", derived from the name of the Egyptian god IAH
combined with mesu
"be born". This was the name of the first pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He defeated the Hyksos and drove them from Egypt.
ALADDIN m Literature
Anglicized form of ALA AL-DIN
. This is the name of a mischievous boy in one of the tales of 'The 1001 Nights'. He is trapped in a cave by a magician but escapes with the help of a genie.
ALPIN m Scottish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ailpein
, possibly derived from a Pictish word meaning "white". This was the name of two kings of Dál Riata and two kings of the Picts in the 8th and 9th centuries.
AMON m Egyptian Mythology (Anglicized)
From Αμμων (Ammon)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Ymn
(reconstructed as Yamanu
) which meant "the hidden one". In early Egyptian mythology he was a god of the air, creativity and fertility, who was particularly revered in Thebes. Later, during the Middle Kingdom, his attributes were combined with those of the god Ra
and he was worshipped as the supreme solar deity Amon-Ra
ARISTOTLE m Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name Αριστοτελης (Aristoteles)
which meant "the best purpose", derived from αριστος (aristos)
"best" and τελος (telos)
"purpose, aim". This was the name of a Greek philosopher of the 4th century BC who made lasting contributions to Western thought, including the fields of logic, metaphysics, ethics and biology.
BRENDAN m Irish, English
, the Latinized form of the Irish name Bréanainn
which was derived from a Welsh word meaning "prince". Saint Brendan was a 6th-century Irish abbot who, according to legend, crossed the Atlantic and reached North America with 17 other monks.
CARROLL m Irish
Anglicized form of CEARBHALL
. A famous bearer of the surname was Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the author of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.
CASSIAN m Ancient Roman (Anglicized)
From the Roman family name Cassianus
, which was derived from CASSIUS
. This was the name of several saints, including a 3rd-century martyr from Tangier who is the patron saint of stenographers and a 5th-century mystic who founded a monastery in Marseille.
CONOR m Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Conchobhar
, derived from Old Irish con
"hound, dog, wolf" and cobar
"desiring". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish kings. It was also borne by the legendary Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre
CONSTANTINE m History
From the Latin name Constantinus
, a derivative of CONSTANS
. Constantine the Great (272-337) was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (modern Istanbul).
CUPID m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Cupido
meaning "desire". This was the name of the Roman god of love, the son of Venus
. He was portrayed as a winged, blindfolded boy, armed with a bow and arrows which caused the victim to fall in love. His Greek equivalent was Eros
DARA (1) m Irish
From the Irish Mac Dara
which means "oak tree". This was the name of a 6th-century saint from Connemara. It is also used as an Anglicized form of DÁIRE
DOMITIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Domitianus
, itself derived from the family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman emperor, Titus Flavius Domitianus.
DONALD m Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Domhnall
which means "ruler of the world", composed of the old Celtic elements dumno
"world" and val
"rule". This was the name of two 9th-century kings of the Scots and Picts. It has traditionally been very popular in Scotland, and during the 20th century it became common in the rest of the English-speaking world. This is the name of one of Walt Disney's most popular cartoon characters, Donald Duck. It was also borne by Australian cricket player Donald Bradman (1908-2001).
DOUGAL m Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Dubhghall
, which meant "dark stranger" from dubh
"dark" and gall
DUNCAN m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Donnchadh
, derived from Gaelic donn
"brown" and cath
"battle". This was the name of two kings of Scotland, including the one who was featured in Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' (1606).
FINN (1) m Irish Mythology, Irish
Older Irish form of FIONN
. This is also the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.
FLAVIAN m History
From the Roman family name Flavianus
, which was derived from FLAVIUS
. This was the name of several early saints including a 5th-century patriarch of Constantinople who was beaten to death.
GORDIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Gordianus
which meant "from Gordium", Gordium being the capital of Phrygia in Asia Minor. This is the name by which three Roman emperors are known.
GRATIAN m History
From the Roman name Gratianus
, which meant "grace" from Latin gratus
. Saint Gratian was the first bishop of Tours (4th century). This was also the name of a Roman emperor.
HADRIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Hadrianus
, which meant "from Hadria" in Latin. Hadria was the name of two Roman settlements. The first (modern Adria) is in northern Italy and was an important Etruscan port town. The second (modern Atri) is in central Italy and was named after the northern town. The Adriatic Sea is also named after the northern town.... [more]
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'.
INNOCENT m History
From the Late Latin name Innocentius
which was derived from innocens
"innocent". This was the name of several early saints. It was also borne by 13 popes including Innocent III, a politically powerful ruler and organizer of the Fourth Crusade.
ISAAC m English, Spanish, Catalan, 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
ISRAEL m Jewish, English, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name יִשְׂרָאֵל (Yisra'el)
meaning "God contended". In the Old Testament Israel (who was formerly named Jacob
; see Genesis 32:28) wrestles with an angel. The ancient and modern states of Israel took their names from him.
IVOR m Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English (British)
From the Old Norse name Ívarr
, which was derived from the elements yr
"yew, bow" and arr
"warrior". During the Middle Ages it was brought to Britain by Scandinavian settlers and invaders, and it was adopted in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
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]
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]
JUPITER m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From Latin Iuppiter
, which was ultimately derived from the Indo-European *Dyeu-pater
, composed of the elements Dyeus
) and pater
"father". Jupiter was the supreme god in Roman mythology. He presided over the heavens and light, and was responsible for the protection and laws of the Roman state. This is also the name of the fifth and largest planet in the solar system.
JUSTINIAN m History
From the Latin name Iustinianus
, which was derived from Iustinus
). This was the name of a 6th-century Byzantine emperor who attempted to restore the borders of the Roman Empire.
JUVENAL m History, Portuguese
From the Roman cognomen Iuvenalis
which meant "youthful" in Latin. Juvenal was a Roman satirist of the 1st century.
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.
KELLY m & f Irish, English
Anglicized form of the Irish given name CEALLACH
or the surname derived from it Ó Ceallaigh
. As a surname, it has been borne by actor and dancer Gene Kelly (1912-1996) and actress and princess Grace Kelly (1929-1982).
KENNETH m Scottish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Anglicized form of both COINNEACH
. This name was borne by the Scottish king Kenneth (Cináed) mac Alpin, who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century. It was popularized outside of Scotland by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for the hero in his novel 'The Talisman' (1825). A famous bearer was the British novelist Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), who wrote 'The Wind in the Willows'.
KEVIN m English, Irish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Anglicized form of the Irish name Caoimhín
, derived from the older Irish Cóemgein
, composed of the Old Irish elements cóem
"kind, gentle, handsome" and gein
"birth". Saint Caoimhín established a monastery in Glendalough, Ireland in the 6th century and is the patron saint of Dublin. It became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland in the 20th century.
LUCAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Lucanus
, which was derived from the name of the city of Luca in Tuscany (modern Lucca). Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, commonly called Lucan, was a 1st-century Roman poet.
MACBETH m History
Anglicized form of the Gaelic given name Mac Beatha
meaning "son of life", implying holiness. This was the name of an 11th-century Scottish king. Shakespeare based his play 'Macbeth' loosely on this king's life.
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.
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.
MEREDITH m & f Welsh, 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).
MORDRED m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From Welsh Medraut
, possibly from Latin moderatus
meaning "controlled, moderated". 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.
MOSES m English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name מֹשֶׁה (Mosheh)
which is most likely derived from Egyptian mes
meaning "son", but could also possibly mean "deliver" in Hebrew. The meaning suggested in the Old Testament of "drew out" from Hebrew משה (mashah)
is probably an invented etymology (see Exodus 2:10). The biblical Moses was drawn out of the Nile by the pharaoh's daughter and adopted into the royal family, at a time when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. With his brother Aaron
he demanded the pharaoh release the Israelites, which was only done after God sent ten plagues upon Egypt. Moses led the people across the Red Sea and to Mount Sinai, where he received the Ten Commandments from God. After 40 years of wandering in the desert the people reached Canaan, the Promised Land, but Moses died just before entering it.... [more]
NEBUCHADNEZZAR m Ancient Near Eastern (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Akkadian name Nabu-kudurri-usur
preserve my firstborn son". This name was borne by a 12th-century BC king of the Babylonian Empire. It was also borne by a 6th-century BC king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. He captured Jerusalem, and ultimately destroyed the city's temple and deported many of its citizens, as told in the Old Testament.
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.
OCTAVIAN m History, Romanian
From the Roman name Octavianus
, which was derived from the name OCTAVIUS
. After Gaius Octavius (later Roman emperor Augustus
) was adopted by Julius Caesar he took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
ORIGEN m History
From the Greek name Ωριγενης (Origenes)
, which was possibly derived from the name of the Egyptian god HORUS
combined with γενης (genes)
"born". Origen was a 3rd-century theologian from Alexandria. Long after his death some of his writings were declared heretical, hence he is not regarded as a saint.
OVID m History
From the Roman family name Ovidius
, which was possibly derived from Latin ovis
"a sheep". Alternatively, it could have a Sabellic origin. Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, was a 1st-century BC Roman poet who often wrote on the subjects of love and mythology. He was sent into exile by emperor Augustus for no apparent reason.
PLINY m History
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.
POMPEY m History
Modern form of the Roman family name Pompeius
, which was probably derived from a Sabellic word meaning "five". A notable bearer was the 1st-century BC Roman general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey the Great.
PTOLEMY m History
From the Greek name Πτολεμαιος (Ptolemaios)
, derived from Greek πολεμηιος (polemeios)
meaning "aggressive, warlike". Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendants of Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer.
QUINTILIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Quintilianus
, which was itself derived from the Roman name QUINTILLUS
. A notable bearer was the 1st-century rhetorician Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, simply known as Quintilian in English.
RODERICK m English, Scottish, Welsh
Means "famous power" from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and ric
"power". This name was in use among the Visigoths; it was borne by their last king (also known as Rodrigo), who died fighting the Muslim invaders of Spain in the 8th century. It also had cognates in Old Norse and West Germanic, and Scandinavian settlers and Normans introduced it to England, though it died out after the Middle Ages. It was revived in the English-speaking world by Sir Walter Scott's poem 'The Vision of Don Roderick' (1811).
ROY m Scottish, English, Dutch
Anglicized form of RUADH
. A notable bearer was the Scottish outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy (1671-1734). It is often associated with French roi
SAMUEL m English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Jewish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name שְׁמוּאֵל (Shemu'el)
which could mean either "name of God" or "God has heard". As told in the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament, Samuel was the last of the ruling judges. He led the Israelites during a period of domination by the Philistines, who were ultimately defeated in battle at Mizpah. Later he anointed Saul
to be the first king of Israel, and even later anointed his successor David
SARGON m History
From the Akkadian name Sharru-kinu
meaning "true king". This was the name (or title) of the first emperor of Akkad (23rd century BC). It was also borne by the 7th-century BC Assyrian king Sargon II, who named himself after the first Sargon.
SATURN m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Saturnus
, which is of unknown meaning. In Roman mythology he was the father of Jupiter
and others, and was also the god of agriculture. This is also the name of the ringed sixth planet in the solar system.
SAUL m Biblical, Jewish, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name שָׁאוּל (Sha'ul)
which meant "asked for, prayed for". This was the name of the first king of Israel, as told in the Old Testament. Before the end of his reign he lost favour with God, and after a defeat by the Philistines he was succeeded by David
as king. In the New Testament, Saul was the original Hebrew name of the apostle Paul
SHANE m Irish, English
Anglicized form of SEÁN
. It came into general use in America after the release of the western movie 'Shane' (1953).
SOLOMON m Biblical, English, Jewish
From the Hebrew name שְׁלֹמֹה (Shelomoh)
which was derived from Hebrew שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
"peace". As told in the Old Testament, Solomon was a king of Israel, the son of David
. He was renowned for his wisdom and wealth. Towards the end of his reign he angered God by turning to idolatry. Supposedly, he was the author of the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.... [more]
SOMERLED m Scottish
Anglicized form of the Old Norse name Somarliðr
meaning "summer traveller". This was the name of a 12th-century Scottish warlord who created a kingdom on the Scottish islands.
TARQUIN m History
From the Roman name Tarquinius
which is of unknown meaning, possibly Etruscan in origin. This was the name of two early kings of Rome.
TAVISH m Scottish
Anglicized form of Thàmhais
, vocative case of TÀMHAS
. Alternatively it could be taken from the Scottish surname MacTavish
, Anglicized form of Mac Tàmhais
, meaning "son of Thomas".
THEODORIC m History
From a Germanic name meaning "ruler of the people", derived from the elements theud
"people" and ric
"power, ruler". It was notably borne by Theodoric the Great, a 6th-century king of the Ostrogoths who eventually became the ruler of Italy. By Theodoric's time the Ostrogoths were partially Romanized and his name was regularly recorded as Theodoricus
. The Gothic original may have been Þiudreiks
THUTMOSE m Ancient Egyptian (Anglicized)
From Τουθμωσις (Touthmosis)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Djhwty-ms
meaning "born of Thoth", itself composed of the name of the Egyptian god THOTH
combined with mesu
"be born". Thutmose was the name of four Egyptian pharaohs of the New Kingdom, including Thutmose III who conquered Syria and Nubia.
TRAJAN m History, Macedonian
From the Roman cognomen Traianus
, which is of unknown meaning. The Roman emperor Trajan (full name Marcus Ulpius Traianus) is considered among the most capable men to have led the empire. His military accomplishments include victories over Dacia and Parthia.
TULLY m History
Form of Tullius
) used to refer to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero.
UTHER m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Uthyr
, derived from Welsh uthr
"terrible". In Arthurian legend Uther was the father of King Arthur
. He appears in some early Welsh texts, but is chiefly known from the 12th-century chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
VESPASIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Vespasianus
, derived either from Latin vesper
meaning "west" or "evening" or vespa
meaning "wasp". This was the name of a 1st-century Roman emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the founder of the Flavian dynasty.
VULCAN m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Vulcanus
, possibly related to fulgere
"to flash", but more likely of pre-Latin origin. In Roman mythology Vulcan was the god of fire. He was later equated with the Greek god Hephaestus
ZION m Jewish, Biblical
From the name of a citadel which was in the center of Jerusalem. Zion is also used to refer to a Jewish homeland and to heaven.