ARUNDHATI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
The name of a star (also called Alcor), which was named after a type of climbing plant, possibly meaning "not restrained" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief it is the name of the sage Vasishtha's wife, who is identified with the star.
ARWA f Arabic
Possibly means "mountain goats" in Arabic. This was the name of a 12th-century queen of Yemen.
ARWEN f Literature
Means "noble maiden" in Sindarin. In 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Arwen was the daughter of Elrond
and the lover of Aragorn
ARWYN m Welsh
From the Welsh intensifying prefix ar-
meaning "white, fair".
ARYA m & f Persian, Indian, Hindi, Malayalam
From an old Indo-Iranian root meaning "Aryan, noble". In India, this is a transcription of both the masculine form आर्य
and the feminine form आर्या
. In Iran it is only a masculine name.
ÅSA f Swedish
Short form of Old Norse feminine names beginning with the element áss
ASAPH m Biblical
Means "collector" in Hebrew. This name belongs to several minor characters in the Old Testament.
ASCENSIÓN f Spanish
Means "ascension" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Ascension of Jesus
ASEN m Bulgarian
Meaning unknown, probably of Turkic origin. This was the name of a 12th-century Bulgarian emperor (Ivan Asen I) and several of his successors.
ASGER m Danish
From the Old Norse name Ásgeirr
, derived from the elements áss
meaning "god" and geirr
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.
ASHANTI f & m Various
From the name of an African people who reside in southern Ghana. It possibly means "warlike" in the Twi language.
ASHERAH f Near Eastern Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea". This was the name of an ancient Israelite goddess who was worshipped before the advent of monotheism.
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.
ASHOKA m Sanskrit
Means "without sorrow" in Sanskrit. This name was borne by Ashoka the Great, a 3rd-century BC emperor of India.
ASHTON m & f English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name which meant "ash tree town" in Old English.
ASIF m Arabic
Possibly means "forgiveness" in Arabic.
ASIM m Turkish
Turkish form of ASIM (1)
. This name is spelled with a Turkish dotless i
, as Asım
ASK m Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse askr
"ash tree". In Norse mythology Ask and his wife Embla
were the first humans created by the gods.
ASKLEPIOS m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "cut up" in Greek. Asklepios (Aesculapius to the Romans) was the god of healing and medicine in Greek mythology.
ASLAN m Turkish, Kazakh, Azerbaijani, Chechen, Ingush
From Turkic arslan
meaning "lion". This was a byname or title borne by several medieval Turkic rulers, including the Seljuk sultan Alp Arslan (a byname meaning "brave lion") who drove the Byzantines from Anatolia in the 11th century. The name Aslan
was later used by the author C. S. Lewis for the main protagonist (a lion) in his 'Chronicles of Narnia' series of books, first appearing in 1950.
ASLAUG f Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse elements áss
meaning "god" and laug
possibly meaning "betrothed woman".
ASMAA f Arabic
Means "appellations, names" in Arabic. This was the name of a daughter of Abu Bakr
, the first caliph of the Muslims.
ASPEN f English (Modern)
From the English word for the tree, derived from Old English æspe
. It is also the name of a ski resort in Colorado.
ASRA f Arabic
Means "travel at night" in Arabic. It is related to Isra
ASSE m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element asc
meaning "ash tree" or ans
ASTAROTH m Literature
, the plural form of ASHTORETH
used in the bible to refer to Phoenician idols. This spelling was used in late medieval demonology texts to refer to a type of (masculine) demon.
AŞTÎ f & m Kurdish
Means "peace, tranquility" in Kurdish.
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
ASTRAEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Αστραια (Astraia)
, derived from Greek αστηρ (aster)
meaning "star". Astraea was a Greek goddess of justice and innocence. After wickedness took root in the world she left the earth and became the constellation Virgo.
ASTROPHEL m Literature
Probably intended to mean "star lover", from Greek αστηρ (aster)
"star" and φιλος (philos)
"lover, friend". This name was first used by the 16th-century poet Sir Philip Sidney in his collection of sonnets 'Astrophel and Stella'.
ASUKA f Japanese
From Japanese 明日 (asu)
meaning "tomorrow" and 香 (ka)
meaning "fragrance", or from 飛 (asu)
meaning "to fly" and 鳥 (ka)
meaning "bird". Other kanji combinations can be possible as well.
ASUNCIÓN f Spanish
Means "assumption" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the assumption of the Virgin Mary
ATALANTA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Αταλαντη (Atalante)
meaning "equal in weight", derived from αταλαντος (atalantos)
, a word related to ταλαντον (talanton)
meaning "a scale, a balance". In Greek legend she was a fast-footed maiden who refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a race. She was eventually defeated by Hippomenes, who dropped three golden apples during the race causing her to stop to pick them up.
ATHALIAH f & m Biblical
Means "afflicted of YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both a feminine and masculine name. It was borne by the daughter of Ahab
, who later came to rule Judah as a queen.
ATHANARIC m Ancient Germanic
From the Gothic name Athanareiks
, derived from the Germanic element athana
meaning "year" combined with ric
meaning "power, ruler". Athanaric was a 4th-century ruler of the Visigoths.
ATHENA f Greek Mythology, English
Meaning unknown, perhaps derived from Greek αθηρ (ather)
"sharp" and αινη (aine)
"praise". Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare, the daughter of Zeus
and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. She is associated with the olive tree and the owl.
ATHOL m & f Scottish
From the name of a district in Scotland which was derived from Gaelic ath Fodhla
ATIF m Arabic
Means "affection, kindness" in Arabic.
ATLAS m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "enduring" from Greek τλαω (tlao)
meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus
by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
ATON m Egyptian Mythology
Means "solar disk" in Egyptian. Aton was an Egyptian god of the sun, depicted as a solar disk with long rays extending downwards. The worship of Aton was especially extensive during the reign of the pharaoh Akhenaton
, who proclaimed Aton was the only god.
ATROPOS f Greek Mythology
Means "inevitable, inflexible" in Greek, derived from the negative prefix α (a)
combined with τροπος (tropos)
"direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
ATSE m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element adal
ATSUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 温 (atsu)
meaning "warm", 篤 (atsu)
meaning "deep, true, sincere" or 敦 (atsu)
meaning "honest" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
ATTICUS m Literature
From a Roman name meaning "from Attica" in Latin. Attica is the region surrounding Athens in Greece. The author Harper Lee used this name in her novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (1960).
ATTILA m History, Hungarian
Possibly means "little father" from Gothic atta
"father" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 5th-century leader of the Huns, a nomadic people from Central Asia who had expanded into Eastern Europe by the 4th century. Attila
was the name given to him by his Gothic-speaking subjects in Eastern Europe; his real name may have been Avithohol.
ATTILIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Atilius
, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. Marcus Atilius Regulus was a Roman consul and hero of the First Punic War.
ATUM m Egyptian Mythology
Means "completion" in Egyptian. This was the name of an Egyptian creator god. He was first prominently worshipped in Heliopolis during the Old Kingdom.
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.
AUDREY f English
Medieval diminutive of ÆÐELÞRYÐ
. This was the name of a 7th-century saint, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' (1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry
(which was derived from St. Audrey
, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
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.
AUGUSTUS m Ancient Roman, Dutch
Means "great" or "venerable", derived from Latin augere
"to increase". Augustus was the title given to Octavian
, the first Roman emperor. He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar who rose to power through a combination of military skill and political prowess. This was also the name of three kings of Poland.
AULUS m Ancient Roman
Possibly from Latin avulus
"little grandfather", though it could be from the Etruscan name Aule
, which was possibly derived from avils
meaning "years". This was a Roman praenomen, or given name. Folk etymology connects it to Latin aula
AURA f English
From the English word aura
(derived from Greek via Latin meaning "breeze") for a distinctive atmosphere or illumination.
AURANGZEB m History
Means "honouring the throne" in Persian. This was the name of a 17th-century Mughal emperor of India.
AURELIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which was derived from Latin aureus
"golden, gilded". Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.
AUREOLE f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "radiant halo", ultimately derived from Latin aureolus
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.
AUTUMN f English
From the name of the season, ultimately from Latin autumnus
. This name has been in general use since the 1960s.
AVA (1) f English
Variant of EVE
. A famous bearer was the American actress Ava Gardner (1922-1990).
AVA (3) f German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired". This was the name of a 9th-century Frankish saint. It was also borne by a 12th-century poet from Melk, Austria.
AVALON f English (Rare)
From the name of the island paradise to which King Arthur
was brought after his death. The name of this island is perhaps related to Welsh afal
meaning "apple", a fruit which was often linked with paradise.
AVANTI f Indian, Hindi
From the name of an ancient kingdom of central India which had its capital at Ujjain.
AVE f Estonian
Possibly from the name of the prayer Ave Maria
, in which Ave
is Latin meaning "greetings, salutations".
AVELINE f English (Rare)
From the Norman French form of the Germanic name Avelina
, a diminutive of AVILA
. The Normans introduced this name to Britain. After the Middle Ages it became rare as an English name, though it persisted in America until the 19th century.
AVILA f Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired". This name is also given in honour of the 16th-century mystic Saint Teresa of Ávila, Ávila
being the name of the town in Spain where she was born.
AVILIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name of unknown meaning. Saint Avilius was a 1st-century patriarch of Alexandria.
AVIS f English
Probably a Latinized form of the Germanic name Aveza
, which was derived from the element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired". The Normans introduced this name to England and it became moderately common during the Middle Ages, at which time it was associated with Latin avis
AVITUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name which meant "ancestral" in Latin. This was the name of an emperor who briefly reigned over the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. It was also the name of several saints, including a 6th-century bishop of Vienne.