ALTE (2) m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element ald
ALTER m Yiddish
Means "old" in Yiddish. This name was traditionally given to a sickly newborn by Jewish parents in order to confuse the Angel of Death, in the hopes that he would go looking for somebody younger or somebody else.
ALTHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αλθαια (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek αλθος (althos)
"healing". In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ALTON m English
From an Old English surname which was derived from a place name meaning "town at the source of the river".
ALUDRA f Astronomy
Derived from Arabic العذرا (al-'adhra)
meaning "the maiden". This is the name of a star in the constellation Canis Major.
ALUN m Welsh
Welsh form of ALAN
. This name appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
ALVA (2) m English
Variant of ALVAH
. A famous bearer of this name was the inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
ALVAH m Biblical
Means "his highness" in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in the Old Testament as belonging to a descendant of Esau.
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.
ALVIS m Norse Mythology
Means "all wise" in Old Norse. In Norse mythology this was the name of a dwarf who was to marry Thor
's daughter Thrud. Thor was not pleased with this so he tricked Alvis by asking him questions until the sun rose, at which time the dwarf was turned into stone.
ALWILDA f History
Latinized form of ALFHILD
. This was the name of a legendary female Scandinavian pirate, also called Awilda.
ALWYN m Welsh
From the name of the River Alwen in Wales.
ALYSSA f English
Variant of ALICIA
. The spelling has probably been influenced by that of the alyssum flower, the name of which is derived from Greek α (a)
, a negative prefix, combined with λυσσα (lyssa)
"madness, rabies", since it was believed to cure madness.
AMABILIS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "lovable". Saint Amabilis was a 5th-century priest in Riom, central France.
AMADEO m Italian
Italian variant of AMADEUS
. This was the name of a 19th-century king of Spain (born in Italy).
AMADEUS m Late Roman
Means "love of God", derived from Latin amare
"to love" and Deus
"God". A famous bearer was the Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), who was actually born Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart but preferred the Latin translation of his Greek middle name. This name was also assumed as a middle name by the German novelist E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), who took it in honour of Mozart.
AMAIA f Basque
Means "the end" in Basque. This is also the name of a mountain and a village in the Basque region of Spain.
AMAL (2) m Biblical
Means "work" in Hebrew. This was the name of an Asherite in the Old Testament.
AMALRIC m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements amal
meaning "work, labour" and ric
meaning "power". This was the name of a 6th-century king of the Visigoths, as well as two 12th-century rulers of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
AMANDA f English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Late Roman
In part this is a feminine form of AMANDUS
. However, it was not used during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century it was recreated by authors and poets who based it directly on Latin amanda
"lovable, worthy of love". Notably, the playwright Colley Cibber used it for a character in his play 'Love's Last Shift' (1696). It came into regular use during the 19th century.
AMANDUS m Late Roman
Derived from Latin amanda
meaning "lovable, worthy of love". Saint Amandus was a 5th-century bishop of Bordeaux. It was also borne by a 7th-century French saint who evangelized in Flanders.
AMANTIUS m Late Roman
Means "loving" in Latin. This was the name of several early saints. It has sometimes been confused with the name Amandus
AMARANTHA f Various
From the name of the amaranth flower, which is derived from Greek αμαραντος (amarantos)
meaning "unfading". Αμαραντος (Amarantos)
was also an Ancient Greek given name.
AMARIAH m Biblical
has said" in Hebrew. This was the name of several Old Testament characters.
AMARYLLIS f Literature
Derived from Greek αμαρυσσω (amarysso)
"to sparkle". This was the name of a heroine in Virgil
's epic poem 'Eclogues'. The amaryllis flower is named for her.
AMATERASU f Far Eastern Mythology
Means "shining over heaven", from Japanese 天 (ama)
meaning "heaven, sky" and 照 (terasu)
meaning "shine". This was the name of the Japanese sun goddess, the ruler of the heavens. At one time the Japanese royal family claimed descent from her.
AMATOR m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "lover (of God)". Saint Amator was a 5th-century bishop of Auxerre.
AMATUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "beloved". The 7th-century Saint Amatus was the first abbot of Remiremont Abbey.
AMBER f English, Dutch
From the English word amber
that denotes either the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin, or the orange-yellow colour. The word ultimately derives from Arabic عنبر ('anbar)
. It began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, but it only became popular after the release of Kathleen Winsor's novel 'Forever Amber' (1944).
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.
AMEDEO m Italian
Italian form of AMADEUS
. A notable bearer of this name was Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856), an Italian chemist most famous for the constant that now bears his name: Avogadro's Number. Another famous bearer was the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920).
AMELIA f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Variant of AMALIA
, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA
, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of George II and George III. Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.
AMENEMHET m Ancient Egyptian
is foremost" in Egyptian. This was the name of four Egyptian pharaohs, including the founder of the 12th dynasty.
AMENHOTEP m Ancient Egyptian
From the Egyptian Ymnhtp
meaning "peace of Amon", derived from the name of the Egyptian god AMON
combined with htp
"peace, satisfaction". This was the name of four pharaohs of the New Kingdom, including Amenhotep III, known as the Magnificent, who ruled over Egypt during a time of great prosperity.
AMERETAT f Persian Mythology
Means "immortality" in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of plants and long life.
AMERICA f English
In the English-speaking world, this name is usually given in reference to the United States of America (see AMERIGO
). It came into use as an American name in the 19th century.
AMERIGO m Italian
Medieval Italian form of EMMERICH
. Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) was the Italian explorer who gave the continent of America its name (from Americus
, the Latin form of his name).
AMETHYST f English (Rare)
From the name of the purple semi-precious stone, which is derived from the Greek negative prefix α (a)
and μεθυστος (methystos)
meaning "intoxicated, drunk", as it was believed to be a remedy against drunkenness.
AMI (1) m Biblical
Means "trustworthy, reliable" in Hebrew. This was the name of a servant of King Solomon in the Old Testament.
AMI (3) f Japanese
From Japanese 亜 (a)
meaning "second, Asia" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are possible.
AMICE f Medieval English
Medieval name derived from Latin amicus
meaning "friend". This was a popular name in the Middle Ages, though it has since become uncommon.
AMIN m Arabic, Persian, Urdu
Derived from Arabic امين (amin)
meaning "truthful". This was the name of the sixth Abbasid caliph.
AMINTA m Literature
Form of AMYNTAS
used by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso for his play 'Aminta' (1573). In the play Aminta is a shepherd who falls in love with a nymph.
AMIRAN m Georgian, Literature
Variant of AMIRANI
. This is the name of the central character in the medieval Georgian romance 'Amiran-Darejaniani' by Moses of Khoni. The author was inspired by the mythical Amirani and the stories surrounding him, and loosely based his tale on them.
AMIRANI m Georgian Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Proto-Kartvelian origin. This is the name of a hero from Georgian mythology whose story is similar to that of Prometheus
from Greek mythology.
AMIT (1) m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Punjabi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Nepali
Means "immeasurable, infinite" in Sanskrit.
AMITABH m Indian, Hindi
Means "immeasurable splendour" in Sanskrit. A famous bearer is Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan (1942-).
AMITTAI m Biblical
Means "my truth" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the father of the prophet Jonah.
AMITY f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "friendship", ultimately deriving from Latin amicitia
AMMIEL m Biblical
Means "God is my kinsman" in Hebrew. This is the name of one of the spies sent out by Moses
in the Old Testament.
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
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.
AMPELIO m Italian
Italian form of Ampelius
, the Latin form of the Greek name Αμπελιος (Ampelios)
, which was derived from αμπελος (ampelos)
meaning "vine". Saint Ampelius was a 7th-century bishop of Milan.
AMPORN f Thai
Derived from Thai อํา (am)
"hidden, concealed" and พร (phon)
AMRIT m Indian, Hindi
Means "immortal" from Sanskrit अ (a)
meaning "not" and मृत (mrta)
meaning "dead". In Hindu texts it refers to a drink which gives immortality.
AMULIUS m Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Roman mythology Amulius overthrew his brother Numitor, king of Alba Longa, but was eventually deposed by Numitor's grandsons Romulus
AMUND m Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse name Agmundr
, from the element ag
"edge of a sword" or agi
"awe, terror" combined with mundr
AMY f English
English form of the Old French name Amée
meaning "beloved" (modern French aimée
), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata
. As an English name, it was in use in the Middle Ages (though not common) and was revived in the 19th century.
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).
AN (1) m & f Chinese, Vietnamese
From Chinese 安 (ān)
meaning "peace, quiet" or other characters with a similar pronunciation. As a Vietnamese name, it is derived from Sino-Vietnamese 安
meaning "safe, secure".
ANAH f & m Biblical
Means "answer" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name belongs to one female character and two male characters.
ANAKIN m Popular Culture
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a character (also known as Darth Vader) in the 'Star Wars' movie saga, created by George Lucas. Lucas may have based it on the surname of his friend and fellow director Ken Annakin.
ANAN (2) m Biblical
Means "cloud" in Hebrew. This name is mentioned very briefly in the Old Testament.
ANANI m Biblical
Means "my cloud" in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in the Old Testament as belonging to a descendant of King David
ANARA f Kazakh, Kyrgyz
Means "pomegranate" in Kazakh and Kyrgyz, ultimately from Persian.
ANARGYROS m Greek
From the Greek term αναργυρος (anargyros)
meaning "poor, incorruptible", derived from Greek α (a)
, a negative prefix, combined with αργυρος (argyros)
"silver". This term referred to saints who did not accept payment for their services.
ANAS m Arabic
Means "friendliness" in Arabic. This was the name of one of the Prophet Muhammad
ANASTASIA f Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ANASTASIUS
. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.
ANASTASIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αναστασιος (Anastasios)
which meant "resurrection" from Greek αναστασις (anastasis)
(composed of the elements ανα (ana)
"up" and στασις (stasis)
"standing"). This was the name of numerous early saints and martyrs, including a 7th-century monk and writer from Alexandria who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
ANAT (1) f Near Eastern Mythology
Possibly derived from a Semitic root meaning "water spring". Anat was a goddess of fertility, hunting and war worshipped in many regions of the ancient near east. She was the sister and consort of the god Hadad