JUPITERmRoman 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.
KALIf & mHinduism, Bengali, Tamil
Means "the black one" in Sanskrit. The Hindu goddess Kali is the fierce destructive form of the wife of Shiva
. She is usually depicted with black skin and four arms, holding a severed head and brandishing a sword. As a personal name, it is generally masculine in India.
Means "love, desire" in Sanskrit. Kama is the winged Hindu god of love, the son of Lakshmi.
KAMALAf & mHinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Nepali
Means "lotus" or "pale red" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form कमला
and the masculine form कमल
. This is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades, in Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
Means "reddish brown" in Sanskrit, derived from कपि (kapi)
"monkey". In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of a sage who founded Samkhya philosophy and is identified with the god Vishnu
Derived from Sanskrit कर्ण (karna)
meaning "ear". This is the name of the son of the Hindu sun god Surya and the goddess Kunti, who gave birth to him through her ear. He was a great warrior who joined the Kauravas to fight against his half-brothers the Pandavas, eventually becoming the king of Anga.
From Sanskrit कृत्तिका (krittika)
, the name for the constellation of the Pleiades, ultimately from कृत् (krit)
meaning "to cut, to divide". This is another name for the Hindu god Skanda
KAVEHmPersian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means "royal" in Avestan. In Persian mythology Kaveh is a blacksmith who leads a rebellion against the evil ruler Zahhak.
Means "powerful" in Mayan. This is the name of the Maya god of lightning. He was sometimes depicted with one of his legs taking the form of a serpent.
KAY (2)mWelsh 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.
KHURSHIDm & fPersian, Urdu, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Hvare Khshaeta
meaning "shining sun". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata (or angel) who was associated with the sun.
Possibly derived from Greek κοιος (koios)
, also spelled ποιος (poios)
, a questioning word meaning approximately "of what kind?". This was the name of a Titan god of intelligence in Greek mythology.
Possibly derived from either Greek κρειων (kreion)
"lord, master" or κριος (krios)
"ram, male sheep". This was the name of a Titan in Greek mythology.
KRISHNAmHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
Derived from Sanskrit कुमार (kumara)
meaning "boy, son". In Hindu texts this is an epithet of both the fire god Agni
and the war god Skanda
LAIUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Λαιος (Laios)
, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a king of Thebes in Greek mythology, the husband of Jocasta
. Due to a prophecy that he would be killed by his son, Laius left his infant Oedipus
for dead. The boy survived but was ignorant of his true parentage. Years later he unwittingly killed Laius in a quarrel on the road.
Means "having lucky marks" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana' he is the trusted companion of the hero Rama
, accompanying him into exile.
LAKSHMIf & mHinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi
Means "sign, mark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu goddess of prosperity, good luck, and beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu
and her symbol is the lotus flower, with which she is often depicted.
LEANDERmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λεανδρος (Leandros)
, derived from λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" and ανηρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek legend Leander was the lover of Hero. Every night he swam across the Hellespont to meet her, but on one occasion he was drowned when a storm arose. When Hero saw his dead body she threw herself into the waters and perished.
LECHmPolish, Slavic Mythology
From the name of the Slavic tribe the Lendians, called the Lędzianie
in Polish. According to Slavic legend this was the name of the founder of the Polish people. A famous bearer was the Polish president Lech Wałęsa (1943-).
Meaning unknown, possibly related to Finnish lempi
"love". In the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala' this is the name of an arrogant hero. After he was killed his mother fetched his body from the River of Death and restored him to life. He is sometimes identified with the god Ahti
Probably a Welsh form of LUGUS
. In the Mabinogion, Lleu Llaw Gyffes is the son of Arianrhod
. He was raised by his uncle Gwydion
, who helped him overcome the curses that his mother placed upon him.
Means "the sea" in Welsh. This was the name of the Welsh god of the sea. He possibly forms the basis for the legendary King Lear of the Britons.
LÓEGAIREmIrish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder", derived from Irish loagh
"calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed
, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *leug
meaning "to break". In Norse legend Loki was a trickster god associated with magic and fire. Over time he became more and more evil, and he was eventually chained to a rock by the other gods.
Means "bringing light", derived from Latin lux
"light" and ferre
"to bring". In Latin this name originally referred to the morning star, Venus, but later became associated with the chief angel who rebelled against God's rule in heaven (see Isaiah 14:12). In later literature, such as the 'Divine Comedy' (1321) by Dante and 'Paradise Lost' (1667) by John Milton, Lucifer became associated with Satan himself.
Probably an Irish form of LUGUS
. In Irish mythology Lugh was a divine hero who led the Tuatha De Danann against the Fomorians who were led by his grandfather Balor. Lugh killed Balor by shooting a stone into his giant eye.
LUGHAIDHmIrish, Irish Mythology
Derived from the name of the Irish god LUGH
. This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including the king Lughaidh mac Con.
Probably from early Celtic meaning "light", ultimately from the Indo-European root *leuk
"light, brightness". This was the name of a Celtic (Gaulish) god of commerce and craftsmanship, who was equated by the Romans with Mercury
. He probably forms the basis for the characters and names of Lugh
(Irish) and Lleu
Means "vernal, of the springtime" in Sanskrit. This is an epithet of several Hindu gods. It was also the name of a 14th-century Hindu scholar.
Means "born of the mind", from Sanskrit मनस् (manas)
meaning "mind, intellect, spirit" and ज (ja)
meaning "born". This is another name of the Hindu god Kama
MANU (1)mHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Kannada
Means "thinking, wise" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is a title of Svayambhuva, the progenitor of the human race, as well as several of his descendants.
MARDUKmNear Eastern Mythology
Possibly from Sumerian amar-Utu
meaning "calf of UTU
". In Babylonian mythology he was the chief god, presiding over heaven, light, sky, battle, and fertility. After killing the dragon Tiamat
, who was an old enemy of the gods, he created the world and sky from the pieces of her body.
Possibly related to Latin mas
"male" (genitive maris
). In Roman mythology Mars was the god of war, often equated with the Greek god Ares
. This is also the name of the fourth planet in the solar system.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Possibly from a Cretan word or title meaning "king". This was the name of a king of Crete in Greek mythology. He was the son of Zeus
. Because Minos had refused to sacrifice a certain bull to Poseidon
, the god had caused his wife Pasiphaë to mate with the bull, which produced the half-bull creature called the Minotaur. Minos had Daedalus
construct the Labyrinth to house the beast, but it was eventually slain by Theseus
Derived from an Indo-Iranian root *mitra
meaning "oath, alliance, friend". In Persian mythology he was a god of light and friendship, the son of the supreme god Ahura Mazda
. Worship of him eventually spread outside of Persia, where it was known as Mithraism.
MITRA (1)m & fHinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "friend" in Sanskrit, a cognate of MITHRA
. This is a transcription of both the feminine form मित्रा
and the masculine form मित्र
, which is the name of a Hindu god of friendship and contracts who appears in the Rigveda.
MOHANAm & fHinduism
Means "bewitching, infatuating, charming" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form मोहन
(an epithet of the Hindu gods Shiva
) and the feminine form मोहना
MORDREDmWelsh 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.
Derived from Greek μορφη (morphe)
meaning "shape", referring to the shapes seen in dreams. In Greek mythology Morpheus was the god of dreams.
MOTmNear Eastern Mythology
Means "death" in Ugaritic. This was the name of the Ugaritic god of death and the lord of the netherworld. He was a son of the supreme god El
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.
Possibly from a Dravidian word meaning "youth". This is the name of a Tamil war god identified with Skanda
NABUmNear Eastern Mythology
Possibly from a Semitic root meaning "to announce". This was the name of an Assyrian and Babylonian god of wisdom, letters and writing.
NAGENDRAmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lord of snakes" from Sanskrit नाग (naga)
meaning "snake" (also "elephant") combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA
, used here to mean "lord". This is another name for Vasuki, the king of snakes, in Hindu mythology.
Derived from Avestan nairyo
"male" and sangha
"word". Nairyosangha was a Zoroastrian Yazata (or angel) who served as a messenger for Ahura Mazda.
Means "stem" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a king of the Nishadha people in the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'.
NANABOZHOmNew World Mythology
Means "my rabbit" in Ojibwe. In Anishinaabe mythology Nanabozho (also called Wenabozho
) is the name of a trickster spirit.
NANDAmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Tamil
Means "joy" in Sanskrit. In Hindu texts this is a name of both Vishnu
and the foster-father of Krishna
, as well as various other characters. In Buddhist texts this is the name of a god and a disciple of Buddha. Nanda was also the name of a 4th-century BC king who founded a dynasty in Magadha in India.
NAOISEmIrish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, presumably of Gaelic origin. In Irish legend he was the young man who eloped with Deirdre
, the beloved of Conchobhar
the king of Ulster. Conchobhar eventually succeeded in having Naoise murdered, which caused Deirdre to die of grief.
NECHTANmIrish 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.
NEPTUNEmRoman 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.
NEREUSmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros)
meaning "water". In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NESTORmGreek Mythology, Russian
Means "homecoming" in Greek. In Homer
's 'Iliad' this was the name of the king of Pylos, famous for his great wisdom and longevity, who acted as a counselor to the Greek allies.
NIKEPHOROSm & fAncient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "carrying victory" from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and φερω (phero)
"to carry, to bear". This name was borne by several Byzantine emperors, including the 10th-century Nikephoros II Phokas. Besides being a masculine personal name, it was also a title borne by the goddess Athena
NJORDmNorse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njörðr
, which was possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ner
meaning "strong, vigourous". Njord was the Norse god of the sea, sailing, fishing and fertility. With his children Freyr
he was a member of the Vanir.
Possibly means "protector" in Celtic. In Irish myth he was an Irish god and a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was killed in battle against the Fomorii.
ODINmNorse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn
, which was derived from óðr
"inspiration, rage, frenzy". It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz
. The name appears as Woden
in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan
in continental Europe. However Odin is most known from Norse mythology, as the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.
Perhaps derived from Greek οδυσσομαι (odyssomai)
"to hate". In Greek legend Odysseus was one of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. In the 'Odyssey' Homer
relates Odysseus's misadventures on his way back to his kingdom and his wife Penelope
OEDIPUSmGreek 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.
OISÍNmIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "little deer", derived from Irish os
"deer" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend Oisín was a warrior hero and a poet, the son of Fionn
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.
Meaning unknown, but possibly related to Greek ‘οριον (horion)
"boundary, limit". Alternatively it may be derived from Akkadian Uru-anna
meaning "light of the heavens". This is the name of a constellation, which gets its name from a legendary Greek hunter killed by a scorpion sent by Gaia
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.
ORVARmSwedish, Norse Mythology
Means "arrow" in Old Norse. Orvar Odd is a legendary Norse hero who is the subject of a 13th-century Icelandic saga.
OSCARmEnglish, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Gaelic os
"deer" and cara
"friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR
or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR
, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín
and the grandson of the hero Fionn
mac Cumhail.... [more]
OSIRISmEgyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of the Egyptian Asar
which is of unknown meaning. In Egyptian mythology Osiris was the god of the dead and the judge of the underworld. He was slain by his brother Seth
, but revived by his wife Isis
OWAINmWelsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Probably a Welsh form of EUGENE
, though it might be derived from Welsh eoghunn
meaning "youth". This was the name of several figures from Welsh history and mythology. In Arthurian legend Owain (also called Yvain
in French sources) was one of the Knights of the Round Table, the son of King Urien and husband of the Lady of the Fountain. His character was based on that of Owain ap Urien, a 6th-century Welsh prince who fought against the Angles. This name was also borne by Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century leader of Welsh resistance against English rule.
PADMAf & mHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lotus" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा
and the masculine form पद्म
. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma
arose from the navel of the god Vishnu
. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi
and the hero Rama
PALLAS (2)mGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek παλλω (pallo)
"to brandish". In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see Pallas
Derived from a Greek word meaning "shepherd". In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
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
PARIS (1)mGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen
and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the 'Iliad', he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles
. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.
PEGASUSmGreek 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.
PEREDURmWelsh 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.
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.
Means "thunder" in Slavic. In Slavic mythology Perun was the god of lightning, sometimes worshipped as the primary god. The oak was his sacred tree.
Means "fear, panic" in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares
in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
PHRIXUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φριξος (Phrixos)
which meant "thrilling, causing shivers", derived from φριξ (phrix)
"ripple, shiver". In Greek myth Phrixus was the son of Athamus and Nephele. He was to be sacrificed to Zeus
, but he escaped with his sister Helle on the back of the ram with the Golden Fleece.
Derived from Sanskrit पीत (pita)
meaning "yellow" and अम्बर (ambara)
meaning "garment". This is another name of the Hindu gods Vishnu
, given to them because yellow clothing is traditionally worn at religious events.
Possibly derived from Greek ποσις (posis)
"husband, lord" and δα (da)
"earth". In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus
. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
Means "light maker", derived from Sanskrit प्रभा (prabha)
meaning "light" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is a name given to the sun in Hindu texts. It was also borne by a medieval Hindu scholar.
Derived from Greek προμηθεια (prometheia)
meaning "foresight, forethought". In Greek myth he was the Titan who gave the knowledge of fire to mankind. For doing this he was punished by Zeus
, who had him chained to a rock and caused an eagle to feast daily on his liver, which regenerated itself each night. Herakles
eventually freed him.
PRYDERImWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "care" in Welsh. According to Welsh legend this was the name of the son of Pwyll
. A central character in the Mabinogion, he succeeds his father as king of Dyfed, but is ultimately killed in single combat with Gwydion
Possibly means "opener" in Egyptian. Ptah was an Egyptian god associated with creation and the arts.
PUCKm & fAnglo-Saxon Mythology, Dutch
Meaning unknown, from Old English puca
. It could ultimately be of either Germanic or Celtic origin. In English legend this was the name of a mischievous spirit, also known as Robin Goodfellow. He appears in Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1600).
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh mythology, Pwyll is a king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon
From the Greek place name Πυθω (Pytho)
, an older name of the city of Delphi, which was probably derived from Greek πυθω (pytho)
meaning "to rot". This was an epithet of Apollo
QUETZALCOATLmAztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "feathered snake" in Nahuatl, derived from quetzalli
"feather" and coatl
"snake". In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was the god of the sky, wind, and knowledge, also associated with the morning star. According to one legend he created the humans of this age using the bones of humans from the previous age and adding his own blood.
QUIRINUSmRoman Mythology, Late Roman
Possibly derived from the Sabine word quiris
meaning "spear". Quirinus was a Sabine and Roman god who was later identified with Mars
. The name was also borne by several early saints.
Possibly means "sun" in Egyptian. Ra was an important Egyptian sun god originally worshipped in Heliopolis in Lower Egypt. He was usually depicted as a man with the head of a falcon crowned with a solar disc. In later times his attributes were often merged with those of other deities, such as Amon
RAGHUmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam
Means "swift" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a heroic king in Hindu epics, the great-grandfather of Rama
. It is also mentioned as the name of a son of Buddha in Buddhist texts.
RAIJINmFar Eastern Mythology
From Japanese 雷 (rai)
meaning "thunder" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the god of thunder and storms in the mythology of Japan.
RAMA (1)mHinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam
Means "pleasing, beautiful" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He is the hero of the 'Ramayana', a Hindu epic, which tells of the abduction of his wife Sita
by the demon king Ravana, and his efforts to recapture her.
RANGImMaori, Polynesian Mythology
Means "sky" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Rangi or Ranginui was a god of the sky, husband of the earth goddess Papa
. They were locked in a crushing embrace but were eventually separated by their children, the other gods.
Modern Persian form of Avestan Rashnu
meaning "justice". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata who judged the souls of the dead.
RAVImHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
Means "sun" in Sanskrit. Ravi is a Hindu god of the sun, sometimes equated with Surya
. A famous bearer was the musician Ravi Shankar (1920-2012).
ROSTAMmPersian, Persian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from Avestan raodha
"to grow" and takhma
"strong, brave, valiant". Rostam was a warrior hero in Persian legend. The 11th-century Persian poet Firdausi recorded his tale in the 'Shahnameh'.
Means "severity of God" in Hebrew. This is the name of an archangel in Jewish tradition, described as a destructive angel of death.
Means "completely victorious, triumphant" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a royal official in the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'.
Meaning unknown. In Greek legend Sarpedon was the son of Zeus
and Laodamia, and the king of the Lycians. He was one of the chief warriors who fought against the Greeks in defense of Troy, but he was killed by Patroclus
. Another Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa
Means "lord of Sati" from the name of the Hindu goddess SATI
combined with ईश (isha)
meaning "ruler". This is another name for the Hindu god Shiva
SATURNmRoman 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.
Means "rouser, stimulator" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu sun god, sometimes identified with Surya
SETH (2)mEgyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
From Σεθ (Seth)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Swtkh
(reconstructed as Sutekh
), which possibly means "pillar" or "dazzle". Seth was the Egyptian god of chaos and the desert, the slayer of Osiris
. Osiris's son Horus
eventually defeats Seth and has him banished to the desert.
Modern Persian form of Avestan Kshathra Vairya
meaning "desirable power". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a god of metal and a protector of the weak. This is also the name of the sixth month of the Iranian calendar.
SHAKTIf & mHinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "power" in Sanskrit. In Hinduism a shakti is the female counterpart of a god. The name Shakti is used in particular to refer to the female counterpart of Shiva
, also known as Parvati
among many other names.
From the Sanskrit name of the planet Saturn. This is the name of a celestial Hindu god.
Derived from the Sanskrit elements शम् (sham)
meaning "auspicious, lucky" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is another name of the Hindu god Shiva
. This was also the name of a 9th-century Indian religious philosopher also known as Shankaracharya.
SHIVA (1)mHinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Derived from Sanskrit शिव (shiva)
meaning "benign, kind, auspicious". Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and restoration, the husband of the mother goddess Parvati
. His aspect is usually terrifying, but it can also be gentle.
Means "husband of Shri" from the name of the Hindu goddess SHRI
combined with Sanskrit पति (pati)
meaning "husband, lord". This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
SHYAMAm & fHinduism, Indian, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit श्याम (shyama)
meaning "dark, black, blue". This is a transcription of the masculine form श्याम
, which is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, as well as the feminine form श्यामा
, one of the many names of the wife of the god Shiva
. It is also the name of a Jain goddess.
SIAVASHmPersian, Persian Mythology
Means "possessing black stallions" in Avestan. This is the name of a prince in the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh'.
SIEGFRIEDmGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu
"victory" and frid
"peace". Siegfried was a hero from Germanic legend, chief character in the 'Nibelungenlied'. He secretly helped the Burgundian king Günther
overcome the challenges set out by the Icelandic queen Brünhild
so that Günther might win her hand. In exchange, Günther consented to the marriage of Siegfried and his sister Kriemhild
. Years later, after a dispute between Brünhild and Kriemhild, Siegfried was murdered by Hagen
with Günther's consent. He was stabbed in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. His adventures were largely based on those of the Norse hero Sigurd
. The story was later adapted by Richard Wagner to form part of his opera 'The Ring of the Nibelung' (1876).
SIGURDmNorwegian, Danish, Swedish, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse name Sigurðr
, which was derived from the elements sigr
"victory" and varðr
"guardian". Sigurd was the hero of the Norse legend the 'Volsungasaga', which tells how his foster-father Regin sent him to recover a hoard of gold guarded by the dragon Fafnir. After slaying the dragon Sigurd tasted some of its blood, enabling him to understand the language of birds, who told him that Regin was planning to betray him. In a later adventure, Sigurd disguised himself as Gunnar
(his wife Gudrun
's brother) and rescued the maiden Brynhildr
from a ring of fire, with the result that Gunnar and Brynhildr were married. When the truth eventually came out, Brynhildr took revenge upon Sigurd. The stories of the German hero Siegfried
were in part based on him.
SILVIUSmLate Roman, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin silva
"wood, forest". This was the family name of several of the legendary kings of Alba Longa. It was also the name of an early saint martyred in Alexandria.
SIMON (2)mAncient Greek, Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek σιμος (simos)
meaning "flat-nosed". In Greek mythology this was the name of one of the Telchines, demigods who were the original inhabitants of Rhodes.
Means "hopping, spurting, spilling" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of the god of war, also known as Kartikeya
. He is worshipped especially by the Tamils in southern India.
SOHRABmPersian, Persian Mythology
Probably from Middle Persian swhr
"red" and ab
"water". In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of the son of the hero Rostam
. He was tragically slain in battle by his father, who was unaware he was fighting his own son.
SOROUSHmPersian Mythology, Persian
Modern Persian form of Avestan Sraosha
meaning "obedience". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata (or angel), later equated with the angel Gabriel
Derived from Turkic suslä
"menacing". This is the name of a trickster god in Caucasian mythology. He is the hero of the Nart sagas.
Possibly means "flowing god" in Slavic. Stribog was the Slavic god of the wind, cold, ice and frost.
Means "before the morning", derived from Latin sub
"under, before" and mane
"morning". Summanus was the Roman god of the night sky and night lightning, a nocturnal counterpart to Jupiter
Derived from Sanskrit सुन्दर (sundara)
meaning "beautiful". This is the name of several minor characters in Hindu texts, and is also another name of the Hindu god Krishna
Derived from Slavic svar
"bright, clear". This was the name of the Slavic god of the sky and sun. He was originally the supreme god in Slavic mythology.
Derived from the Slavic elements svetu
"blessed, holy" and vidu
"sight, view". This was the name of a four-headed Slavic god of war and light.
Persian form of Avestan Takhma Urupi
meaning "strong body". Takhma Urupi is a hero from the Avesta who later appears in the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh'.
TANEmMaori, Polynesian Mythology
Means "man" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Tane was the god of forests and light. He was the son of the sky god Rangi
and the earth goddess Papa
, who were locked in an embrace and finally separated by their son. He created the tui bird and, by some accounts, man.
Meaning unknown. In Polynesian mythology he was the god of the sea, the son of Rangi
. He separated his parents' embrace, creating the earth and the sky.
Derived from Celtic taran
meaning "thunder", cognate with Þórr
). This was the name of the Gaulish thunder god, who was often identified with the Roman god Jupiter
TATIUSmRoman Mythology, Ancient Roman
Roman family name of unknown meaning, possibly of Sabine origin. According to Roman legend, Titus Tatius was an 8th-century BC king of the Sabines who came to jointly rule over the Romans and Sabines with the Roman king Romulus.
TEZCATLIPOCAmAztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "smoking mirror" in Nahuatl. In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was one of the chief gods, associated with the night sky, winds, war, and the north. Like his rival Quetzalcoatl
, he was a creator god.
Means "death" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of death who resided with Hades in the underworld.
Possibly derived from Greek τιθημι (tithemi)
meaning "to set, to place". Theseus was a heroic king of Athens in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aethra, either by Aegeus or by the god Poseidon
. According to legend, every seven years the Cretan king Minos
demanded that Athens supply Crete with seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-bull creature that was the son of Minos's wife Pasiphaë. Theseus volunteered to go in place of one of these youths in order to slay the Minotaur in the Labyrinth where it lived. He succeeded with the help of Minos's daughter Ariadne
, who provided him with a sword and a roll of string so he could find his way out of the maze.
THORmNorse Mythology, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
From the Old Norse Þórr
meaning "thunder", ultimately from the early Germanic *Þunraz
. Thor was the Norse god of strength, thunder, war and storms, the son of Odin
. He was armed with a hammer called Mjolnir, and wore an enchanted belt that doubled his strength.
THOTHmEgyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Djhwty
(reconstructed as Djehuti
), which is of uncertain meaning. In Egyptian mythology Thoth was the god of the moon, science, magic, speech and writing. He was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis.
Meaning unknown. According to Virgil
's 'Aeneid', Turnus was a king of the Rutuli. He led the Latins in war against the Trojans led by Aeneas
. At the end of the book he is killed by Aeneas in a duel.
Norse form of the name of the Germanic god Tiwaz
, related to Indo-European dyeus
). In Norse mythology Tyr was the god of war and justice, the son of the god Odin
. He carried a spear in his left hand, since his right hand was bitten off by the wolf Fenrir. At the time of the end of the world, the Ragnarok, Tyr will slay and be slain by the giant hound Garm.
ULYSSESmRoman Mythology, English
Latin form of ODYSSEUS
. It was borne by Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War, who went on to become an American president. Irish author James Joyce used it as the title of his book 'Ulysses' (1920), which loosely parallels Homer
's epic the 'Odyssey'.
URANUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ουρανος (Ouranos)
, the name of the husband of Gaia
and the father of the Titans in Greek mythology. His name is derived from ουρανος (ouranos)
meaning "the heavens". This is also the name of the seventh planet in the solar system.
UTHERmWelsh 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.
UTTARAm & fHinduism, Indian, Marathi
Means "north" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form उत्तर
(also written Uttar
) and the feminine form उत्तरा
(also written Uttarā
), both of which occur in the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' belonging to the son and daughter of King Virata.
VAHAGNmArmenian Mythology, Armenian
From Avestan Verethragna
meaning "breaking of defense, victory". In Armenian mythology this was the name of the heroic god of war.
Derived from Finnish väinä
"wide and slow-flowing river". In Finnish mythology Väinämöinen was a wise old magician, the son of the primal goddess Ilmatar
. He is the hero of the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
Probably from a Sanskrit word meaning "to surround". In Hindu mythology Varuna is a god of water and the celestial ocean surrounding the world. He is one of the chief gods in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
Means "brilliant" or "spring" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu personification of the spring.
Means "air, wind" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu god of the air and wind, one of the five elements.
Derived from Sanskrit वेन (vena)
meaning "yearning". This is the name of an evil king in Hindu mythology.