BO (1) m Swedish, Danish
From the Old Norse byname Búi
which was derived from Old Norse bua
meaning "to live".
BO (2) m & f Chinese
From Chinese 波 (bō)
meaning "wave", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
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.
BOGUSŁAW m Polish
Means "glory of God" from the Slavic elements bogu
"god" and slava
"glory". This name was borne by several dukes of Pomerania, beginning in the 12th century.
BOLAT m Kazakh
From a Turkic word meaning "steel", ultimately from Persian.
BOLESŁAW m Polish
Derived from the Slavic elements bolye
"more, greater" and slava
"glory". This was the name of kings of Poland, starting in the 11th century with the first Polish king Bolesław the Brave.
BOLÍVAR m Spanish (Latin American)
From a surname which was taken from the Basque place name Bolibar
, which was derived from bolu
"mill" and ibar
"riverside". A famous bearer of the surname was Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), a South American revolutionary leader, after whom the country of Bolivia is named.
BONACCORSO m Italian
From a medieval Italian name derived from bono
"good" and accorso
"haste, rush, help".
BONAVENTURA m Italian
Means "good fortune" in Italian. Saint Bonaventura was a 13th-century Franciscan monk who is considered a Doctor of the Church.
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.
BONITA f English
Means "pretty" in Spanish. It has been used as a name in the English-speaking world since the beginning of the 20th century.
BONITUS m Late Roman
Derived from a diminutive of Latin bonus
meaning "good". This was the name of a 7th-century century saint, a bishop of Auvergne.
BONNIE f English
Means "pretty" from the Scottish word bonnie
, which was itself derived from Middle French bon
"good". It has been in use as an American given name since the 19th century, and it became especially popular after the movie 'Gone with the Wind' (1939), in which it was the nickname of Scarlett's daughter.
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.
BOPHA f Khmer
Means "flower" in Khmer, ultimately from Pali.
BOR m Slovene
Short form of names containing bor
, such as BORISLAV
. It is also a South Slavic word meaning "pine tree".
BORA (1) m Turkish
Means "storm, squall" in Turkish, ultimately related to Greek Βορεας (Boreas)
, the name of the god of the north wind.
BORIS m Bulgarian, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Georgian, German, History
From the Turkic name Bogoris
, perhaps meaning "short" or "wolf" or "snow leopard". It was borne by the 9th-century king Boris I of Bulgaria who converted his country to Christianity, as well as two later Bulgarian emperors. The name was popularized in the Slavic world due to the 11th-century Saint Boris, who was a Russian prince martyred with his brother Gleb. His mother may have been Bulgarian. Another famous bearer was the 16th-century Russian emperor Boris Godunov, later the subject of a play of that name by Aleksandr Pushkin.
BOŘIVOJ m Czech
Derived from the Slavic elements borti
"battle" and voji
"soldier". This name was borne by a 9th-century duke of Bohemia.
BOUDICCA f Ancient Celtic
Derived from Brythonic boud
meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide.
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.
BOYKO m Bulgarian
Originally a diminutive of names containing the Slavic element boji
BRAD m English
Short form of BRADLEY
, and other names beginning with Brad
. A famous bearer is American actor Brad Pitt (1963-).
BRÁDACH m Irish
Possibly derived from a Gaelic word meaning "large-chested".
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).
BRAHMA m Hinduism
Means "growth, expansion, creation" in Sanskrit. The Hindu god Brahma is the creator and director of the universe, the balance between the opposing forces of Vishnu
. He is often depicted with four heads and four arms.
BRAM m English, Dutch
Short form of ABRAHAM
. This name was borne by Bram Stoker (1847-1912), the Irish author who wrote 'Dracula'.
BRAN (2) m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "raven" in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
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
BRANDY f English
From the English word brandy
for the alcoholic drink. It is ultimately from Dutch brandewijn
"burnt wine". It has been in use as a given name since the 1960s.
BRANWEN f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven" from Welsh bran
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRAXTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from an Old English place name meaning "Bracca's town".
BRECHT m Dutch
Short form of names containing brecht
, often derived from the Germanic element beraht
BRENDA f English
Possibly a feminine form of the Old Norse name Brandr
, meaning "sword", which was brought to Britain in the Middle Ages. This name is sometimes used as a feminine form of BRENDAN
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).
BRENNUS m Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince" or "raven". Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
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-).
BRIALLEN f Welsh
Derived from Welsh briallu
meaning "primrose". This is a modern Welsh name.
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.
BRIANA f English
Feminine form of BRIAN
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in 'The Faerie Queene' (1590). The name was not commonly used until the 1970s, when it rapidly became popular in the United States.
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.
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
which means "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRIELLE f English (Modern)
Short form of GABRIELLE
. This is also the name of towns in the Netherlands and New Jersey, though their names derive from a different source.
BRÍGH f Irish
Derived from Irish brígh
meaning "power, high".
BRIGHAM m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from place names meaning "bridge settlement" in Old English.
BRIJESHA m Hinduism
Means "ruler of Brij" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, Brij being a region associated with him.
BRISCOE m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "birch wood" in Old Norse.
BRISEIS f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from Βρισευς (Briseus)
, a Greek name of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology Briseis (real name Hippodameia) was the daughter of Briseus. She was captured during the Trojan War by Achilles
. After Agamemnon
took her away from him, Achilles refused to fight in the war.
BRISTOL m English (Rare)
From the name of the city in southwest England which means "the site of the bridge".
BRITANNIA f English (Rare)
From the Latin name of the island of Britain, in occasional use as an English given name since the 18th century. This is also the name of the Roman female personification of Britain pictured on some British coins.
BRITTANY f English
From the name of the region in the northwest of France, called in French Bretagne
. It was named for the Britons who settled there after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the invasions of the Anglo-Saxons. As a given name, it first came into common use in America in the 1970s.
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.
BROGAN m & f Irish
Derived from Gaelic bróg
"shoe" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of several Irish saints, including Saint Patrick
BRÓNACH f Irish
Derived from Irish Gaelic brón
meaning "sorrow". Saint Brónach was a 6th-century mystic from Ireland.
BRONISŁAW m Polish
Derived from the Slavic elements borna
"protection" and slava
"glory". A famous Polish anthropologist, Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942), has borne this name.
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
BRONTES m Greek Mythology
Means "thunderer" in Greek. In Greek mythology (according to Hesiod), this was the name of one of the three Cyclopes, who were the sons of Uranus
BRONWEN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements bron
"breast" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
BROOK m & f English
From an English surname which denoted one who lived near a brook.
BROOKE f English
Variant of BROOK
. The name came into use in the 1950s, probably influenced by American socialite Brooke Astor (1902-2007). It was further popularized by actress Brooke Shields (1965-).
BROOKLYN f English (Modern)
From the name of the borough of New York City, originally derived from Dutch Breukelen
meaning "broken land". It can also be viewed as a combination of BROOK
and the popular name suffix lyn
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-).
BRÜNHILD f German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun
"armour, protection" and hild
"battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr
(from the elements bryn
). In Norse legend Brynhildr
was the queen of the Valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd
. In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther
. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
BRUTUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "heavy" in Latin. Famous bearers include Lucius Junius Brutus, the traditional founder of the Roman Republic, and Marcus Junius Brutus, the statesman who conspired to assassinated Julius Caesar.
BRYN m & f Welsh, English
Means "hill, mound" in Welsh. It is now used as a feminine name as well.
BRYNHILDR f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse cognate of BRÜNHILD
. In the Norse legend the 'Volsungasaga' Brynhildr was rescued by the hero Sigurd
in the guise of Gunnar
. Brynhildr and Gunnar were married, but when Sigurd's wife Gudrun
let slip that it was in fact Sigurd who had rescued her, Brynhildr plotted against him. She accused Sigurd of taking her virginity, spurring Gunnar to arrange Sigurd's murder.