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]
ABEL m English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name הֶבֶל (Hevel)
or הָבֶל (Havel)
which meant "breath". In the Old Testament he is the second son of Adam
, murdered out of envy by his brother Cain
. In England, this name came into use during the Middle Ages, and it was common during the Puritan era.
ABNER m English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Means "my father is a light" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Abner was a cousin of Saul
and the commander of his army. After he killed Asahel he was himself slain by Asahel's brother Joab
. It has been used as an English Christian given name since the Protestant Reformation. It was popular with the Puritans, who brought it to America in the 17th century.
ABRAHAM m English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
This name may be viewed either as meaning "father of many" in Hebrew or else as a contraction of ABRAM (1)
and הָמוֹן (hamon)
"many, multitude". The biblical patriarch Abraham was originally named Abram but God changed his name (see Genesis 17:5). With his father Terah
, he led his wife Sarah
, his nephew Lot
and their other followers from Ur into Canaan. He is regarded by Jews as being the founder of the Hebrews through his son Isaac
and by Muslims as being the founder of the Arabs through his son Ishmael
ACE (1) m English
From the English word meaning "highest rank". More commonly a nickname, it is occasionally used as a given name.
ADAM m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Hebrew, Arabic, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
This is the Hebrew word for "man". It could be ultimately derived from Hebrew אדם ('adam)
meaning "to be red", referring to the ruddy colour of human skin, or from Akkadian adamu
meaning "to make".... [more]
ADDISON f & m English
From an English surname meaning "son of ADAM
". Its recent popularity as a feminine name stems from its similarity in sound to Madison
ADRIAN m English, Romanian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian
Form of Hadrianus
). Several saints and six popes have borne this name, including the only English pope, Adrian IV, and the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI. As an English name, it has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it was not popular until modern times.
AINSLEY f & m Scottish, English (Modern)
From a surname which was from a place name: either Annesley in Nottinghamshire or Ansley in Warwickshire. The place names themselves derive from Old English anne
"alone, solitary" or ansetl
"hermitage" and leah
AL m English
Short form of ALBERT
and other names beginning with Al
. A notable bearer is American actor Al Pacino (1940-).
ALAN m English, Scottish, Breton, French
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. It was used in Brittany at least as early as the 6th century, and it possibly means either "little rock" or "handsome" in Breton. Alternatively, it may derive from the tribal name of the Alans, an Iranian people who migrated into Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries.... [more]
ALBAN m German, French, Albanian, English (Rare)
From the Roman cognomen Albanus
which meant "from Alba". Alba (from Latin albus
"white") was the name of various places within the Roman Empire, including the city Alba Longa. This name was borne by Saint Alban, the first British martyr (4th century). According to tradition, he sheltered a fugitive priest in his house. When his house was searched, he disguised himself as the priest, was arrested in his stead, and was beheaded. As an English name, Alban
was occasionally used in the Middle Ages and was revived in the 18th century, though it is now uncommon.
ALBERT m English, French, Catalan, German, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Romanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Adalbert
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and beraht
"bright". This name was common among medieval German royalty. The Normans introduced it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Æðelberht
. Though it became rare in England by the 17th century, it was repopularized in the 19th century by the German-born Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.... [more]
ALDOUS m English (Rare)
Probably a diminutive of names beginning with the Old English element eald
"old". It has been in use as an English given name since the Middle Ages, mainly in East Anglia. The British author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was a famous bearer of this name.
ALEX m & f English, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Russian
Short form of ALEXANDER
, and other names beginning with Alex
ALEXANDER m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, King of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ALEXIS m & f German, French, English, Greek, Ancient Greek
From the Greek name Αλεξις (Alexis)
, which meant "helper" or "defender", derived from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, to help". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangeably with the related name Αλεξιος
, borne by five Byzantine emperors. In the English-speaking world it is more commonly used as a feminine name.
ALFRED m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch
Derived from the Old English name Ælfræd
, composed of the elements ælf
"elf" and ræd
"counsel". Alfred the Great was a 9th-century king of Wessex who fought unceasingly against the Danes living in northeast England. He was also a scholar, and he translated many Latin books into Old English. His fame helped to ensure the usage of this name even after the Norman conquest, when most Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. It became rare by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th century.... [more]
ALGAR m English (Rare)
Means "elf spear" from Old English ælf
"elf" and gar
"spear". This Old English name was rarely used after the Norman conquest, being absorbed by similar-sounding names and Norman and Scandinavian cognates. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
ALGERNON m English
Originally a Norman French nickname, derived from aux gernons
"having a moustache", which was applied to William de Percy, a companion of William the Conqueror. It was first used a given name in the 15th century (for a descendant of William de Percy).
ALLAN m English, Scottish, Danish
Variant of ALAN
. The American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) got his middle name from the surname of the parents who adopted him.
ALLEN m English, Scottish
Variant of ALAN
. A famous bearer of this name was Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), an American beat poet. Another is the American film director and actor Woody Allen (1935-), who took the stage name Allen from his real first name.
ALOYSIUS m English
Latinized form of Aloys
, an old Occitan form of LOUIS
. This was the name of a 16th-century Italian saint, Aloysius Gonzaga. The name has been in occasional use among Catholics since his time.
ALPHA f & m English
From the name of the first letter in the Greek alphabet, Α
ALTON m English
From an Old English surname which was derived from a place name meaning "town at the source of the river".
ALVA (2) m English
Variant of ALVAH
. A famous bearer of this name was the inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
ALVIN m English
From a medieval form of any of the Old English names ÆLFWINE
. It was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname which was derived from the Old English names.
AMBROSE m English
From the Late Latin name Ambrosius
, which was derived from the Greek name Αμβροσιος (Ambrosios)
meaning "immortal". Saint Ambrose was a 4th-century theologian and bishop of Milan, who is considered a Doctor of the Church. Due to the saint, the name came into general use in Christian Europe, though it was never particularly common in England.
AMOS m English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Means "carried" in Hebrew. Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Amos, which speaks against greed, corruption and oppression of the poor. Written about the 8th century BC, it is among the oldest of the prophetic books. As an English name, Amos
has been used since the Protestant Reformation, and was popular among the Puritans.
AMYAS m English (Rare)
Meaning unknown, perhaps a derivative of AMIS
. Alternatively, it may come from a surname which originally indicated that the bearer was from the city of Amiens in France. Edmund Spenser used this name for a minor character in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
ANDREW m English, Biblical
English form of the Greek name Ανδρεας (Andreas)
, which was derived from ανδρειος (andreios)
"manly, masculine", a derivative of ανηρ (aner)
"man". In the New Testament the apostle Andrew, the first disciple to join Jesus
, is the brother of Simon Peter
. According to tradition, he later preached in the Black Sea region, with some legends saying he was crucified on an X-shaped cross. Andrew
, being a Greek name, was probably only a nickname or a translation of his real Hebrew name, which is not known.... [more]
ANDY m & f English
Diminutive of ANDREW
or sometimes ANDREA (2)
. American pop artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a famous bearer of this name.
ANGEL m & f English, Bulgarian, Macedonian
From the medieval Latin masculine name Angelus
which was derived from the name of the heavenly creature (itself derived from the Greek word αγγελος (angelos)
meaning "messenger"). It has never been very common in the English-speaking world, where it is sometimes used as a feminine name in modern times.
ANSEL m English
From a surname which was derived from the given name ANSELM
. A famous bearer was American photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984).
ANSELM m German, English (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements ans
"god" and helm
"helmet, protection". This name was brought to England in the late 11th century by Saint Anselm, who was born in northern Italy. He was archbishop of Canterbury and a Doctor of the Church.
ANTHONY m English
English form of the Roman family name Antonius
, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. The most notable member of the Roman family was the general Marcus Antonius (called Mark Antony in English), who for a period in the 1st century BC ruled the Roman Empire jointly with Augustus. When their relationship turned sour, he and his mistress Cleopatra were attacked and forced to commit suicide, as related in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606).... [more]
ANTONY m English
Variant of ANTHONY
. This was formerly the usual English spelling of the name, but during the 17th century the h
began to be added.
ARCHER m English
From an English surname meaning "bowman, archer", of Old French origin.
ARCHIBALD m Scottish, English
Derived from the Germanic elements ercan
"genuine" and bald
"bold". The first element was altered due to the influence of Greek names beginning with the element αρχος (archos)
meaning "master". The Normans brought this name to England. It first became common in Scotland in the Middle Ages.
ARDEN m & f English
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, which were derived from a Celtic word meaning "high".
ARIEL m & f Hebrew, English, French, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Walt Disney film 'The Little Mermaid' (1989).
ARLIE f & m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "eagle wood" in Old English. This name can also be a diminutive of ARLENE
ARLO m English
Meaning uncertain. It was perhaps inspired by the fictional place name Arlo Hill from the poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590) by Edmund Spenser. Spenser probably got Arlo by altering the real Irish place name Aherlow, which is Gaelic meaning "between two highlands".
ARNOLD m English, German, Ancient Germanic
From a Germanic name meaning "eagle power", derived from the elements arn
"eagle" and wald
"power". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Earnweald
. It died out as an English name after the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century.... [more]
ARTHUR m English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos
"bear" combined with viros
"man" or rigos
"king". Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius
. Arthur is the name of the central character in Arthurian legend, a 6th-century king of the Britons who resisted Saxon invaders. He may or may not have been a real person. He first appears in Welsh poems and chronicles (some possibly as early as the 7th century) but his character was not developed until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth.... [more]
ASH m & f English
Short form of ASHLEY
. It can also come directly from the English word denoting either the tree or the residue of fire.
ASHLEY f & m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from place names meaning "ash tree clearing", from a combination of Old English æsc
. Until the 1960s it was more commonly given to boys in the United States, but it is now most often used on girls.
ASHTON m & f English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name which meant "ash tree town" in Old English.
ASTON m & f English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from either a place name meaning "east town" in Old English or from the given name ÆÐELSTAN
AUBREY m & f English
Norman French form of the Germanic name ALBERICH
. As an English masculine name it was common in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the 19th century. Since the mid-1970s it has more frequently been given to girls, due to Bread's 1972 song 'Aubrey' along with its similarity to the established feminine name Audrey
AUDLEY m English
From a surname which was taken from a place name meaning "EALDGYÐ
's clearing" in Old English.
AUGUSTINE (1) m English
From the Roman name Augustinus
, itself derived from the Roman name AUGUSTUS
. Saint Augustine of Hippo was a 5th-century Christian theologian and author from North Africa. For his contributions to Christian philosophy he is known as a Doctor of the Church. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world. It became popular in England in the Middle Ages partly because of a second saint by this name, Augustine of Canterbury, a 6th-century Italian monk sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons.
AUSTIN m English
Medieval contracted form of AUGUSTINE (1)
. Modern use of the name is probably also partly inspired by the common surname Austin
, which is of the same origin. This is also the name of a city in Texas.
BAILEY m & f English
From a surname derived from Middle English baili
meaning "bailiff", originally denoting one who was a bailiff.
BALDRIC m English (Archaic)
Derived from the Germanic elements bald
"bold, brave" and ric
"power, rule". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it was common in the Middle Ages.
BALDWIN m English, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements bald
"bold, brave" and win
"friend". In the Middle Ages this was a popular name in Flanders and among the Normans, who brought it to Britain. It was borne by one of the leaders of the First Crusade, an 11th-century nobleman from Flanders. After the crusaders conquered Jerusalem, he was crowned as the king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
BALFOUR m English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname, originally from various place names, which meant "village pasture" in Gaelic.
BARCLAY m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname which was likely derived from the English place name Berkeley
, meaning "birch wood" in Old English.
BARNABAS m German (Rare), English (Rare), Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Greek form of an Aramaic name. In Acts in the New Testament the byname Barnabas was given to a man named Joseph
, a Jew from Cyprus who was a companion of Paul
on his missionary journeys. The original Aramaic form is unattested, but it may be from בּר נביא (bar naviya')
meaning "son of the prophet", though in Acts 4:36 it is claimed that the name means "son of encouragement". As an English name, it came into occasional use after the 12th century.
BARRETT m English
From a surname probably meaning "strife" in Middle English, originally given to a quarrelsome person.
BARTHOLOMEW m English, Biblical
From Βαρθολομαιος (Bartholomaios)
, which was the Greek form of an Aramaic name meaning "son of TALMAI
". In the New Testament Bartholomew
is the byname of an apostle, possibly the same person as the apostle Nathanael
. According to tradition he was a missionary to India before returning westward to Armenia, where he was martyred by flaying. Due to the popularity of this saint the name became common in England during the Middle Ages.
BASIL (1) m English
From the Greek name Βασιλειος (Basileios)
which was derived from βασιλευς (basileus)
meaning "king". Saint Basil the Great was a 4th-century bishop of Caesarea and one of the fathers of the early Christian church. Due to him, the name (in various spellings) has come into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was also borne by two Byzantine emperors.
BAXTER m English
From an occupational surname which meant "(female) baker" in Old English.
BEAU m English
Means "beautiful" in French. It has been occasionally used as an American given name since the late 19th century. It appears in Margaret Mitchell's novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936) as the name of Ashley and Melanie's son.
BECKETT m English (Modern)
From an English surname which could be derived from various sources, including from Middle English beke
meaning "beak" or bekke
meaning "stream, brook".
BENEDICT m English
From the Late Latin name Benedictus
which meant "blessed". Saint Benedict was an Italian monk who founded the Benedictines in the 6th century. After his time the name was common among Christians, being used by 16 popes. In England it did not come into use until the 12th century, at which point it became very popular. This name was also borne by the American general Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), who defected to Britain during the American Revolution.
BENJAMIN m English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Biblical
From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin)
which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand". Benjamin in the Old Testament is the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob
and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named בֶּן־אוֹנִי (Ben-'oniy)
meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel
, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father (see Genesis 35:18).... [more]
BENNETT m English
Medieval form of BENEDICT
. This was the more common spelling in England until the 18th century. Modern use of the name is probably also influenced by the common surname Bennett
, itself a derivative of the medieval name.
BENTLEY m English
From a surname which was from a place name, itself derived from Old English beonet
"bent grass" and leah
"woodland, clearing". Various towns in England bear this name.
BENTON m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name, composed of Old English beonet
"bent grass" and tun
BERNARD m English, French, Dutch, Polish, Croatian, Slovene, Czech, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element bern
"bear" combined with hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Beornheard
. This was the name of several saints, including Saint Bernard of Menthon who built hospices in the Swiss Alps in the 10th century, and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century theologian and Doctor of the Church. Other famous bearers include the Irish playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and the British World War II field marshal Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976).
BERTRAM m English, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright raven", derived from the Germanic element beraht
"bright" combined with hramn
"raven". The Normans introduced this name to England. Shakespeare used it in his play 'All's Well That Ends Well' (1603).
BERTRAND m French, English, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements beraht
meaning "bright" and rand
meaning "rim (of a shield)". From an early date it has been confused with BERTRAM
and the two names have merged to some degree. A famous bearer was English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970).
BEVERLY f & m English
From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English city, itself meaning "beaver stream" in Old English. It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, and it became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's novel 'Beverly of Graustark' (1904).
BEVIS m English (Rare)
From an English surname which is possibly derived from the name of the French town Beauvais
BIFF m English (Rare)
From a nickname which was based on the English word biff
, which means "punch, hit, strike".
BILL m English
Short form of WILLIAM
. This spelling was first used in the 19th century. The change in the initial consonant may have been influenced by an earlier Irish pronunciation of the name. Famous bearers include basketball player Bill Russell (1934-), comedian Bill Cosby (1937-), American president Bill Clinton (1946-), and Microsoft founder Bill Gates (1955-).
BILLY m English
Diminutive of BILL
. A notable bearer was the American outlaw Billy the Kid (1859-1881), whose real name was William H. Bonney.
BISHOP m English
Either from the English occupational surname, or else directly from the English word. It is ultimately derived from Greek επισκοπος (episkopos)
BLAINE m English
From a Scottish surname which was derived from the given name Bláán
, which meant "yellow" in Gaelic. Saint Bláán was a 6th-century missionary to the Picts.
BLAIR m & f Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname which is derived from Gaelic blár
meaning "plain, field, battlefield".
BLAKE m English
From a surname which was derived from Old English blæc
"black" or blac
"pale". A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).
BOB m English, Dutch
Short form of ROBERT
. It arose later than Dob
, which were medieval rhyming nicknames of Robert. It was borne by the character Bob Cratchit in Charles Dickens' novel 'A Christmas Carol' (1843). Other famous bearers include American folk musician Bob Dylan (1941-) and Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).
BOBBY m English
Diminutive of BOB
. Hockey greats Bobby Hull (1939-) and Bobby Orr (1948-) have borne this name.
BONIFACE m French, English (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Bonifatius
, which meant "good fate" from bonum
"good" and fatum
"fate". This was the name of nine popes and also several saints, including an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon missionary to Germany (originally named Winfrid) who is now regarded as the patron saint of that country. It came into use in England during the Middle Ages, but became rare after the Protestant Reformation.
BOOKER m English
From an English occupational surname meaning "maker of books". A famous bearer was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), an African-American leader.
BOYCE m English
From a surname which was derived from Old French bois
BOYD m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname which was possibly derived from the name of the island of Bute.
BRAD m English
Short form of BRADLEY
, and other names beginning with Brad
. A famous bearer is American actor Brad Pitt (1963-).
BRADFORD m English
From a surname which originally came from a place name that meant "broad ford" in Old English.
BRADLEY m English
From a surname which originally came from a place name meaning "broad clearing" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the World War II American general Omar Bradley (1893-1981).
BRAM m English, Dutch
Short form of ABRAHAM
. This name was borne by Bram Stoker (1847-1912), the Irish author who wrote 'Dracula'.
BRANDON m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "hill covered with broom" in Old English. It is sometimes also used as a variant of BRENDAN
BRAXTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from an Old English place name meaning "Bracca's town".
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.
BRENNAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname derived from Ó Braonáin
meaning "descendant of Braonán". Braonán
is a byname meaning "rain, moisture, drop" (with a diminutive suffix).
BRENT m English
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, perhaps derived from a Celtic word meaning "hill".
BRENTON m English
From a surname which was derived from an English place name which meant "Bryni's town". Bryni
was Old English name meaning "fire".
BRETT m & f English
From a Middle English surname meaning "a Breton", referring to an inhabitant of Brittany. A famous bearer is the American football quarterback Brett Favre (1969-).
BRIAN m Irish, English, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble". It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
BRICE m French, English
From the name Bricius
, which was probably a Latinized form of a Gaulish name meaning "speckled". This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a disciple of Saint Martin of Tours.
BRIDGER m English (Modern)
From an English surname which originally indicated a person who lived near or worked on a bridge.
BRIGHAM m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from place names meaning "bridge settlement" in Old English.
BRISCOE m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "birch wood" in Old Norse.
BRISTOL m English (Rare)
From the name of the city in southwest England which means "the site of the bridge".
BRITTON m English
Derived from a Middle English surname meaning "a Briton" (a Celt of England) or "a Breton" (an inhabitant of Brittany).
BROCK m English
From a surname which was derived from Old English brocc
BRODY m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It probably means "ditch, mire" in Gaelic.
BRONTE m & f English (Rare)
From a surname, an Anglicized form of Irish Ó Proinntigh
meaning "descendant of Proinnteach". The given name Proinnteach
meant "bestower" in Gaelic. The Brontë sisters - Charlotte, Emily, and Anne - were 19th-century English novelists. Their father changed the spelling of the family surname from Brunty
, possibly to make it coincide with Greek βροντη
BROOK m & f English
From an English surname which denoted one who lived near a brook.
BRUCE m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, of Norman origin, which probably originally referred to the town of Brix in France. The surname was borne by Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. It has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. A notable bearer is the American musician Bruce Springsteen (1949-).
BRYN m & f Welsh, English
Means "hill, mound" in Welsh. It is now used as a feminine name as well.
BUCK m English
From an English nickname meaning simply "buck, male deer", ultimately from Old English bucc
BUDDY m English
From the English word meaning "friend". It probably originated as a nursery form of the word brother
BURKE m English
From an English surname which was derived from Old English burg
BURTON m English
From a surname which was originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "fortified town". A famous bearer of the surname was Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890), an explorer of Africa and Asia.
BUSTER m English
Originally a nickname denoting a person who broke things, from the word bust
. A famous bearer was the silent movie star Buster Keaton (1895-1966).
BYRON m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "place of the cow sheds" in Old English. This was the surname of the romantic poet Lord Byron (1788-1824), the writer of 'Don Juan' and many other works.
BYSSHE m English (Rare)
From an English surname, a variant of the surname Bush
, which originally indicated a person who lived near a bush. This was the middle name of the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822).
CADE m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a nickname meaning "round" in Old English.
CADEN m English (Modern)
Sometimes explained as a derivative of the Irish surname Caden
, which is a reduced form of the Gaelic surname Mac Cadáin
meaning "son of Cadán". In actuality, its popularity in America beginning in the 1990s is due to its sound - it shares its fashionable aden
suffix sound with other popular names like Hayden
CALEB m English, Biblical
Most likely related to Hebrew כֶּלֶב (kelev)
meaning "dog". An alternate theory connects it to Hebrew כָּל (kal)
"whole, all of" and לֵב (lev)
"heart". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the twelve spies sent by Moses
into Canaan. Of the Israelites who left Egypt with Moses, Caleb and Joshua
were the only ones who lived to see the Promised Land.... [more]
CALVIN m English
Derived from the French surname Cauvin
, which was derived from chauve
"bald". The surname was borne by Jean Cauvin (1509-1564), a theologian from France who was one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname was Latinized as Calvinus
(based on Latin calvus
"bald") and he is known as John Calvin in English. It has been used as a given name in his honour since the 19th century.
CAMDEN m English (Modern)
From a surname which was from a place name perhaps meaning "enclosed valley" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English historian William Camden (1551-1623).
CAMERON m & f English
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and sròn
CAMILLE f & m French, English
French feminine and masculine form of CAMILLA
. It is also used in the English-speaking world, where it is generally only feminine.
CAMPBELL m English
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked mouth" from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and béul
CARL m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
German form of CHARLES
. Two noteworthy bearers of the name were the German mathematician Carl Gauss (1777-1855), who made contributions to number theory and algebra as well as physics and astronomy, and the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961), who founded analytical psychology. It was imported to America in the 19th century by German immigrants.
CARLISLE m English
From a surname which was derived from the name of a city in northern England. The city was originally called by the Romans Luguvalium
meaning "stronghold of LUGUS
". Later the Brythonic element ker
"fort" was appended to the name of the city.
CAROL (1) f & m English
Short form of CAROLINE
. It was formerly a masculine name, derived from CAROLUS
. The name can also be given in reference to the English vocabulary word, which means "song" or "hymn".
CARSON m & f Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname of uncertain meaning. A famous bearer of the surname was the American scout Kit Carson (1809-1868).
CARTER m English
From an English surname which meant "one who uses a cart".
CASEY m & f English, Irish
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cathasaigh
meaning "descendant of CATHASACH
". This name can be given in honour of Casey Jones (1863-1900), a train engineer who sacrificed his life to save his passengers. In his case, Casey
was a nickname acquired because he was raised in the town of Cayce, Kentucky.
CASH m English
From an English occupational surname for a box maker, derived from Norman French casse
meaning "case". A famous bearer of the surname was American musician Johnny Cash (1932-2003).
CASIMIR m English, French
English form of the Polish name Kazimierz
, derived from the Slavic element kaziti
"to destroy" combined with miru
"peace, world". Four kings of Poland have borne this name, including Casimir III the Great, who greatly strengthened the Polish state in the 14th century. It was also borne Saint Casimir, a 15th-century Polish prince and a patron saint of Poland and Lithuania. The name was imported into Western Europe via Germany, where it was borne by some royalty.
CAVAN m English
Either from the name of the Irish county, which is derived from Irish cabhán
"hollow", or else from the Irish surname CAVAN
CECIL m English
From the Roman name Caecilius
). This was the name of a 3rd-century saint, a companion of Saint Cyprian. Though it was in use during the Middle Ages in England, it did not become common until the 19th century when it was given in honour of the noble Cecil family, who had been prominent since the 16th century. Their surname was derived from the Welsh given name Seisyll
, which was derived from the Roman name Sextilius
, a derivative of SEXTUS
CEDAR f & m English (Rare)
From the English word for the coniferous tree, derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κεδρος (kedros)
CEDRIC m English
Invented by Sir Walter Scott for a character in his novel 'Ivanhoe' (1819). Apparently he based it on the actual name Cerdic
, the name of the semi-legendary founder of the kingdom of Wessex in the 6th century. The meaning of Cerdic
is uncertain, but it does not appear to be Old English in origin. It could be connected to the Brythonic name CARATACOS
. The name was also used by Frances Hodgson Burnett for the main character in her novel 'Little Lord Fauntleroy' (1886).
CELESTINE f & m English
English form of CAELESTINUS
. It is more commonly used as a feminine name, from the French feminine form Célestine
CHAD m English
From the Old English name Ceadda
which is of unknown meaning, possibly based on Welsh cad
"battle". This was the name of a 7th-century English saint. Borne primarily by Catholics, it was a rare name until the 1960s when it started to become more common amongst the general population. This is also the name of a country in Africa, though it originates from a different source.
CHADWICK m English
From a surname which was derived from the name of towns in England, meaning "settlement belonging to CHAD
" in Old English.
CHANCE m English
Originally a diminutive of CHAUNCEY
. It is now usually given in reference to the English word chance
meaning "luck, fortune" (ultimately derived from Latin cadens
CHANDLER m English
From an occupational surname which meant "candle seller" in Middle English, ultimately from Old French.
CHARLES m English, French
From the Germanic name Karl
, which was derived from a Germanic word meaning "man". However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic name element hari
meaning "army, warrior".... [more]
CHARLIE m & f English
Diminutive or feminine form of CHARLES
. A famous bearer is Charlie Brown, the main character in the comic strip 'Peanuts' by Charles Schulz.
CHARLTON m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "settlement of free men" in Old English.
CHASE m English
From a surname meaning "chase, hunt" in Middle English, originally a nickname for a huntsman.
CHAUNCEY m English
From a Norman surname of unknown meaning. It was used as a given name in American in honour of Harvard president Charles Chauncey (1592-1672).
CHEROKEE f & m English (Rare)
Probably derived from the Creek word tciloki
meaning "people of a different speech". This is the name of a Native American people who live in the east of North America.
CHESLEY m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "camp meadow" in Old English.
CHESTER m English
From a surname which originally belonged to a person who came from Chester, an old Roman settlement in Britain. The name of the settlement came from Latin castrum
CHEYENNE f & m English
Derived from the Dakota word shahiyena
meaning "red speakers". This is the name of a Native American people of the Great Plains. The name was supposedly given to the Cheyenne by the Dakota because their language was unrelated to their own. As a given name, it has been in use since the 1950s.
CHIP m English
Diminutive of CHARLES
. It can also be from a nickname given in reference to the phrase a chip off the old block
, used of a son who is similar to his father.
CHRISTIAN m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the medieval Latin name Christianus
meaning "a Christian" (see CHRISTOS
). In England it has been in use since the Middle Ages, during which time it was used by both males and females, but it did not become common until the 17th century. In Denmark the name has been borne by ten kings since the 15th century. A famous bearer was Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), the Danish author of such fairy tales as 'The Ugly Duckling' and 'The Emperor's New Clothes'.
CHRISTOPHER m English
From the Late Greek name Χριστοφορος (Christophoros)
meaning "bearing CHRIST
", derived from Χριστος (Christos)
combined with φερω (phero)
"to bear, to carry". Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name, expressing that they carried Christ in their hearts. In the Middle Ages, literal interpretations of the name's etymology led to legends about a Saint Christopher who carried the young Jesus
across a river. He has come to be regarded as the patron saint of travellers.... [more]
CHUCK m English
Diminutive of CHARLES
. It originated in America in the early 20th century. Two famous bearers of this name were pilot Chuck Yeager (1923-), the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound, and the musician Chuck Berry (1926-), one of the pioneers of rock music.
CLANCY m Irish, English (Rare)
From the Irish surname Mac Fhlannchaidh
which means "son of Flannchadh". The Gaelic name Flannchadh means "red warrior".
CLARENCE m English
From the Latin title Clarensis
which belonged to members of the British royal family. The title ultimately derives from the name of the town of Clare in Suffolk. As a given name it has been in use since the 19th century.
CLARK m English
From an English surname meaning "cleric" or "scribe", from Old English clerec
which originally meant "priest". A famous bearer of the surname was William Clark (1770-1838), an explorer of the west of North America. It was also borne by the American actor Clark Gable (1901-1960).
CLAUDE m & f French, English
French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS
. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
CLAY m English
From an English surname that originally referred to a person who lived near or worked with clay. This name can also be a short form of CLAYTON
CLAYTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from various English place names, all meaning "clay settlement" in Old English.
CLEMENT m English
English form of the Late Latin name Clemens
(or sometimes of its derivative Clementius
) which meant "merciful, gentle". This was the name of 14 popes, including Saint Clement I, the third pope, one of the Apostolic Fathers. Another saint by this name was Clement of Alexandria, a 3rd-century theologian and church father who attempted to reconcile Christian and Platonic philosophies. It has been in general as a given name in Christian Europe (in various spellings) since early times. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, though it was revived in the 19th century.
CLETUS m English
Short form of ANACLETUS
. This name is sometimes used to refer to the third pope, Saint Anacletus. It can also function an an Anglicized form of KLEITOS
CLEVELAND m English
From a surname which was derived from an Old English place name meaning "hilly land". This was the surname of American president Grover Cleveland (1837-1908). It is also the name of an American city, which was founded by surveyor Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806).
CLIFFORD m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "ford by a cliff" in Old English.
CLIFTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "settlement by a cliff" in Old English.
CLINT m English
Short form of CLINTON
. A notable bearer is American actor Clint Eastwood (1930-), who became famous early in his career for his western movies.