GERSHOM m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Probably means "exile" in Hebrew, though the Bible explains that it derives from גֵּר שָׁם (ger sham)
meaning "a stranger there" (see Exodus 18:3). This is the name of a son of Moses
in the Old Testament.
GERTRUDE f English, Dutch
Means "spear of strength", derived from the Germanic elements ger
"spear" and thrud
"strength". Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer. It was probably introduced to England by settlers from the Low Countries in the 15th century. Shakespeare used the name in his play 'Hamlet' (1600) for the mother of the title character. A famous bearer was the American writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
GERVASIUS m Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Probably a Latinized form of a Germanic name with a first element deriving from ger
"spear". Saint Gervasius was an early martyr from Milan whose remains were discovered in the 4th century.
GETHSEMANE f Biblical
From Γεθσημανι (Gethsemani)
, the Greek form of an Aramaic place name meaning "oil vat". In the New Testament this is the name of the garden where Jesus
was arrested, located on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
GHASSAN m Arabic
Means "youth" in Arabic. This was the name of an Arabian tribe that existed until the 6th century.
GHISLAIN m French
French form of Gislenus
, a Latinized form of the Germanic name Gislin
, derived from the element gisil
meaning "hostage" or "pledge". This was the name of a 7th-century Belgian saint.
GHULAM m Arabic, Urdu, Pashto
Means "servant, boy" in Arabic. It is often used as the first part of compound names.
GIDEON m Biblical, English, Hebrew
Means "feller" or "hewer" in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings. In the English-speaking world, Gideon
has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans.
GILBERT m English, French, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright pledge", derived from the Germanic elements gisil
"pledge, hostage" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it was common during the Middle Ages. It was borne by a 12th-century British saint, the founder of the religious order known as the Gilbertines.
GILCHRIST m Scottish
Derived from the Gaelic phrase giolla Chríost
meaning "servant of Christ".
GILDA f Italian, Portuguese
Originally an Italian short form of names containing the Germanic element gild
meaning "sacrifice, value".
GILEAD m Biblical
From an Old Testament place name meaning "monument of testimony" in Hebrew. This was a mountainous region east of the Jordan River. Besides being a place name, it is also borne by people in the Bible.
GILES m English
From the Late Latin name Aegidius
, which is derived from Greek αιγιδιον (aigidion)
meaning "young goat". Saint Giles was an 8th-century miracle worker who came to southern France from Greece. He is regarded as the patron saint of the crippled. In Old French the name Aegidius
and then Gilles
, at which point it was imported to England.
GILGAMESH m Near Eastern Mythology
Possibly means "the ancestor is a young man" in Sumerian. This was the name of a Sumerian hero, later appearing in the Akkadian poem the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'. Gigamesh, with his friend Enkidu, battled the giant Humbaba and stopped the rampage of the Bull of Heaven, besides other adventures. Gilgamesh was probably based on a real person: a king of Erech who ruled around the 27th century BC.
GILLESPIE m Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gille Easbaig
or Irish Giolla Easpuig
both meaning "servant of the bishop".
GILLIAN f English
Medieval English feminine form of JULIAN
. This spelling has been in use since the 13th century, though it was not declared a distinct name from Julian
until the 17th century.
GILROY m Irish, Scottish
From an Irish surname, either Mac Giolla Ruaidh
, which means "son of the red-haired servant", or Mac Giolla Rí
, which means "son of the king's servant".
GINEVRA f Italian
Italian form of GUINEVERE
. This is also the Italian name for the city of Geneva, Switzerland. It is also sometimes associated with the Italian word ginepro
GINGER f English
From the English word ginger
for the spice or the reddish-brown colour. It can also be a diminutive of VIRGINIA
, as in the case of actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), by whom the name was popularized.
GINO m Italian
Italian short form of names ending in gino
GIOACHINO m Italian
Italian form of JOACHIM
. A famous bearer was the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868).
GIOCONDA f Italian
From the Late Latin name Iucunda
which meant "pleasant, delightful, happy". Leonardo da Vinci's painting the 'Mona Lisa' is also known as 'La Gioconda' because its subject is Lisa del Giocondo.
GIOTTO m Italian
Possibly from Ambrogiotto
, a diminutive of AMBROGIO
. This name was borne by Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), an Italian painter and architect.
GIOVANNI m Italian
Italian form of Iohannes
). The Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516) and the painter and sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) were two famous bearers of this name.
GIRISHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of the mountain" in Sanskrit. This is a name of the Hindu god Shiva
, given because of his abode in the Himalayan Mountains.
GISBERT m German, Ancient Germanic
From a Germanic name in which the second element is beraht
"bright". The first element is probably a shortened form of gisil
"pledge, hostage" (making it a variant of GILBERT
), though it could be related to Gallo-Celtic gaiso
GISELLE f French, English (Modern)
Derived from the Germanic word gisil
meaning "hostage" or "pledge". This name may have originally been a descriptive nickname for a child given as a pledge to a foreign court. It was borne by a daughter of the French king Charles III who married the Norman leader Rollo in the 10th century. The name was popular in France during the Middle Ages (the more common French form is Gisèle
). Though it became known in the English-speaking world due to Adolphe Adam's ballet 'Giselle' (1841), it was not regularly used until the 20th century.
GITA f Indian, Hindi
Means "song" in Sanskrit. The word appears in the name of the 'Bhagavad Gita', a sacred text of Hinduism (meaning "divine song").
GIUSEPPE m Italian
Italian form of JOSEPH
. Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a military leader who united Italy in the 19th century.
GLADYS f Welsh, English
From the old Welsh name Gwladus
, possibly derived from gwlad
"country". It has historically been used as a Welsh form of CLAUDIA
. This name became popular outside of Wales after it was used in Ouida's novel 'Puck' (1870).
GLÆDWINE m Anglo-Saxon
Old English name derived from the elements glæd
"bright" and wine
"friend". This name was not actually recorded in the Old English era, though it is attested starting in the 11th century.
GLANVILLE m English (Rare)
From an English surname which was taken from a Norman place name which possibly meant "domain of (a person named) Gland" in Old French.
GLÁUCIO m Portuguese
Portuguese form of the Roman cognomen Glaucia
, which was derived from Latin glaucus
"bluish grey", ultimately from Greek.
GLAW m & f Welsh
Means "rain" in Welsh. This is a modern Welsh name.
GLEB m Russian, Ukrainian
Russian and Ukrainian form of the Old Norse name Guðleifr
, which was derived from the elements guð
"god" and leifr
GLENDA f Welsh, English
A name created in the 20th century from the Welsh elements glân
"pure, clean" and da
GLENN m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname which was derived from Gaelic gleann
"valley". A famous bearer of the surname is American astronaut John Glenn (1921-).
GLENYS f Welsh
Elaboration of the Welsh word glân
meaning "pure, clean, holy". This name was created in the late 19th century.
GLOOSCAP m New World Mythology
Derived from an Eastern Algonquian phrase meaning "man from nothing". Glooscap (or Gluskabe) was a hero involved in the creation myths of the Wabanaki people of eastern North America.
GLORIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish
Means "glory" in Latin. The name (first?) appeared in E. D. E. N. Southworth's novel 'Gloria' (1891) and subsequently in George Bernard Shaw's play 'You Never Can Tell' (1898). It was popularized in the early 20th century by American actress Gloria Swanson (1899-1983). Another famous bearer is feminist Gloria Steinem (1934-).
GLORIANA f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Latin gloria
meaning "glory". In Edmund Spenser's poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590) this was the name of the title character, a representation of Queen Elizabeth I.
GLYNDWR m Welsh
From a Welsh surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "valley water". This name is often given in honour of Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century Welsh patriot who led a revolt against England.
GLYNIS f Welsh
Either a variant of GLENYS
or an elaboration of the Welsh word glyn
GNAEUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, which is of unknown Etruscan meaning, though it may be related to Latin naevus
"birthmark". A famous bearer was Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey the Great, a Roman general of the 1st century BC.
GOBÁN m Irish
Either means "little smith" from Irish gobha
"smith" combined with a diminutive suffix, or else derived from the name of the Irish god GOIBNIU
(which is also a derivative of gobha
GOBNAIT f Irish
Feminine form of GOBÁN
. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish abbess, the patron saint of Ballyvourney.
GOCHA m Georgian
Meaning unknown, possibly from a Georgian dialectal word meaning "old man".
GODEHARD m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements god
"god" and hard
"hardy, brave". This was the name of an 11th-century saint who was a bishop of Hildesheim.
GODFREY m English
From the Germanic name Godafrid
, which meant "peace of god" from the Germanic elements god
"god" and frid
"peace". The Normans brought this name to England, where it became common during the Middle Ages. A notable bearer was Godfrey of Bouillon, an 11th-century leader of the First Crusade and the first ruler of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
GODIVA f Anglo-Saxon (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Old English name Godgifu
meaning "gift of god", from the elements god
"gift". Lady Godiva was an 11th-century English noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry to protest the high taxes imposed by her husband upon the townspeople.
GODRIC m Anglo-Saxon
Means "power of god", derived from Old English god
combined with ric
"power, rule". This name died out a few centuries after the Norman conquest.
GODWINE m Anglo-Saxon
Means "friend of god", derived from Old English god
combined with wine
"friend". This was the name of the powerful 11th-century Earl of Wessex, the father of King Harold II of England.
GOHAR f Armenian
Means "jewel" in Armenian, ultimately of Persian origin.
GOIBNIU m Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish gobha
meaning "smith". This was the name of the Irish smith god, a provider of weapons for the Tuatha De Danann. He was also skilled at brewing beer.
GOIZEDER f Basque
Derived from Basque goiz
"morning" and eder
GÖKHAN m Turkish
From Turkish gök
"sky" and han
, which is from the title khan
GOLDIE (1) f English
From a nickname for a person with blond hair, from the English word gold
GOLIATH m Biblical
Possibly means "uncovered" in Hebrew. This is the name of the giant Philistine who is slain by David
in the Old Testament.
GOMER m & f Biblical
Means "complete" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of both a grandson of Noah
and the unfaithful wife of the prophet Hosea
GONZALO m Spanish
From the medieval name Gundisalvus
, which was the Latin form of a Germanic name composed of the elements gund
"war" and salv
which is of unknown meaning.
GOPALA m Hinduism
Means "cow protector" from Sanskrit गो (go)
meaning "cow" and पाल (pala)
meaning "guard, protector". This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
. This name was also borne by the 8th-century founder of the Pala Empire in Bengal.
GOPINATHA m Hinduism
Means "leader of the gopis" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, acquired because of his association with the gopis, who are cow-herding girls.
GORAN m Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian
Means "mountain man", derived from South Slavic gora
"mountain". It was popularized by the Croatian poet Ivan Goran Kovačić (1913-1943), who got his middle name because of the mountain town where he was born.
GORDAN m Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian
Derived from South Slavic gord
meaning "dignified". This name and the feminine form Gordana were popularized by the publication of Croatian author Marija Jurić Zagorka's novel 'Gordana' (1935).
GORDIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Gordianus
which meant "from Gordium", Gordium being the capital of Phrygia in Asia Minor. This is the name by which three Roman emperors are known.
GORDIE m English
Diminutive of GORDON
. A famous bearer was Canadian hockey star Gordie Howe (1928-2016).
GORDON m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "spacious fort". It was originally used in honour of Charles George Gordon (1833-1885), a British general who died defending the city of Khartoum in Sudan.
GORE m English (Rare)
From an English surname meaning "triangular" (from Old English gara
), originally referring to someone who lived on a triangular piece of land. A famous bearer is American writer Gore Vidal (1925-).
GORETTI f Various
From the surname of Maria Goretti, a 20th-century Italian saint who forgave her murderer on her deathbed. Her surname was derived from the given name GREGORIO
GORMLAITH f Irish, Scottish
Derived from Irish gorm
"blue" or "illustrious" and flaith
"princess, lady". This was the name of a wife of the 11th-century Irish ruler Brian
GORONWY m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, he was the lover of Blodeuwedd
. He attempted to murder her husband Lleu
Llaw Gyffes but was himself killed.
GOROU m Japanese
From Japanese 五 (go)
meaning "five" and 郎 (rou)
meaning "son". This was traditionally a name for the fifth son. Different combinations of kanji are also possible.