HAYLEY f English (Modern)
From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English town (meaning "hay clearing" from Old English heg
"hay" and leah
"clearing"). It was popularized by the British child actress Hayley Mills (1946-), though the name did not become common until over a decade after she first became famous.
HA-YUN f Korean
From Sino-Korean 昰 (ha)
meaning "summer, name" combined with 昀 (yun)
meaning "sunlight". Other hanja character combinations are possible.
HAYWOOD m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "fenced wood" in Old English.
HAZAEL m Biblical
Means "God sees" in Hebrew. This was the name of a king of Aram in the Old Testament.
HAZEL f English
From the English word hazel
for the tree or the light brown colour, derived ultimately from Old English hæsel
. It was coined as a given name in the 19th century.
HE f & m Chinese
From Chinese 河 (hé)
meaning "river, stream", 和 (hé)
meaning "harmony, peace", or 荷 (hé)
meaning "lotus, water lily" (which is usually only feminine). Other characters can form this name as well. A famous bearer was the 15th-century explorer Zheng He.
HEARD m Anglo-Saxon
Short form of various Old English names containing the element heard
meaning "brave, hardy".
HEATH m English
From an English surname which denoted one who lived on a heath. It was popularized as a given name by the character Heath Barkley from the 1960s television series 'The Big Valley'.
HEATHER f English
From the English word heather
for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky areas. It is derived from Middle English hather
. It was first used as a given name in the late 19th century, though it did not become popular until the last half of the 20th century.
HEBE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηβη (hebe)
meaning "youth". In Greek mythology Hebe was the daughter of Zeus
. She was a goddess of youth who acted as the cupbearer to the gods.
HEBER (2) m Biblical
Means "enclave" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name is borne by a great-grandson of Jacob
and also by the husband of Jael
HECATE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek ‘Εκατη (Hekate)
, possibly derived from ‘εκας (hekas)
meaning "far off". In Greek mythology Hecate was a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons and the underworld.
HECTOR m English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκτωρ (Hektor)
, which was derived from ‘εκτωρ (hektor)
"holding fast", ultimately from εχω (echo)
meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles
' friend Patroclus
in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends belonging to King Arthur
's foster father.... [more]
HEDDA f Norwegian, Swedish
Diminutive of HEDVIG
. This is the name of the heroine of the play 'Hedda Gabler' (1890) by the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen.
HEDDWYN m Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements hedd
"peace" and gwyn
"white, fair, blessed".
HEDLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "heather clearing" in Old English.
HEDWIG f German
From the Germanic name Hadewig
, derived from the Germanic elements hadu
"battle, combat" and wig
"war". This was the name of a 13th-century German saint, the wife of the Polish duke Henry the Bearded. It was subsequently borne by a 14th-century Polish queen (usually known by her Polish name Jadwiga
) who is now also regarded as a saint.
HEIDI f German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English
German diminutive of ADELHEID
. This is the name of the title character in the children's novel 'Heidi' (1880) by Johanna Spyri. The name began to be used in the English-speaking world shortly after the 1937 release of the movie adaptation, which starred Shirley Temple.
HEIDRUN f Norse Mythology, German
Derived from Old Norse heiðr
meaning "bright, clear" and rún
meaning "secret". In Norse mythology this was the name of a goat that would eat the leaves from the tree of life and produce mead in her udder.
HEIRANI f Tahitian
From Tahitian hei
"crown, garland" and rani
HEL f Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology this was the name of the daughter of Loki. She got her name from the underworld, also called Hel, where she ruled, which meant "to conceal, to cover" in Old Norse (related to the English word hell
HELAH f Biblical
Means "rust" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name is mentioned as one of the wives of Asher.
HÉLDER m Portuguese
Meaning uncertain. It was borne by the Brazilian archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara (1909-1999) who was noted for his charity. It could be from the name of the Dutch town of Den Helder (possibly meaning "hell's door" in Dutch). Alternatively, it might be derived from the Germanic given name HULDERIC
HELEDD f Welsh
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a semi-legendary 7th-century Welsh princess.
HELENA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinate form of HELEN
HELI (1) m Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latin form of ELI (1)
used in the Old and New Testament. This form of the name is used in most English versions of the New Testament to refer to the father of Joseph
(husband of Mary
) in the genealogy in the Gospel of Luke.
HELIOS m Greek Mythology
Means "sun" in Greek. This was the name of the young Greek sun god, who rode across the sky each day in a chariot pulled by four horses.
HELLE (2) f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
HEMERA f Greek Mythology
Means "day" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified the daytime. According to Hesiod she was the daughter of Nyx
, the personification of the night.
HEMMING m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Perhaps derived from Old Norse hamr
"shape", and possibly originally a nickname for a person believed to be a shape changer.
HENG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 恒 (héng)
meaning "constant, persistent", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
HENGIST m Ancient Germanic
Of Germanic origin, meaning "stallion". Hengist and his brother Horsa were the leaders of the first Germanic settlers in Britain. Hengist established a kingdom in Kent in the 5th century.
HENRIQUE m Portuguese
Portuguese form of HENRY
. This was the name of a 15th-century Portuguese naval explorer (known as Henry the Navigator in English).
HENRY m English
From the Germanic name Heimirich
which meant "home ruler", composed of the elements heim
"home" and ric
"power, ruler". It was later commonly spelled Heinrich
, with the spelling altered due to the influence of other Germanic names like Haganrich
, in which the first element is hagan
HEPHAESTUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ηφαιστος (Hephaistos)
, meaning unknown. It probably shares its origin with the Minoan city of Φαιστος (Phaistos)
, which is of Pre-Greek origin. In Greek mythology Hephaestus was the god of fire and forging, the husband of the unfaithful Aphrodite
. It was said that when he was born Hera
, his mother, was so displeased with his physical deformities that she hurled him off the top of Mount Olympus.
HERA f Greek Mythology
Uncertain meaning, possibly from either Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior"; ‘ωρα (hora)
"period of time"; or ‘αιρεω (haireo)
"to be chosen". In Greek mythology Hera was the queen of the gods, the sister and wife of Zeus
. She presided over marriage and childbirth.
HERACLIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek personal name ‘Ηρακλειος (Herakleios)
which was derived from the name of the Greek hero HERAKLES
. This was the name of a 7th-century Byzantine emperor, known for his victories over the Sassanid Persian Empire. This name was also borne by two early saints.
HERAIS f Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek personal name which was probably derived from the name of the Greek goddess HERA
HERAKLES m Greek Mythology
Means "glory of Hera" from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with Greek κλεος (kleos)
"glory". This was the name of a hero in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus
and the mortal woman Alcmene
. After being driven insane by Hera
and killing his own children, Herakles completed twelve labours in order to atone for his crime and become immortal.
HERBERT m English, German, French, Slovene, Polish
Derived from the Germanic elements hari
"army" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it replaced an Old English cognate Herebeorht
. In the course of the Middle Ages it became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
HEREWARD m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements here
"army" and weard
"guard". This was the name of an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon leader who rebelled against Norman rule.
HERLEVA f Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, possibly a derivative of hari
"honour", or erla
"noble" (or their Old Norse cognates). This was the name of the mother of William the Conqueror, who, according to tradition, was a commoner.
HERMAGORAS m Ancient Greek
From the name of the messenger god HERMES
combined with Greek αγορα (agora)
meaning "assembly, marketplace". Saint Hermagoras (3rd century) was the first bishop of Aquileia in Italy.
HERMAN m English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Ancient Germanic
Means "army man", derived from the Germanic elements hari
"army" and man
"man". It was introduced to England by the Normans, died out, and was revived in the English-speaking world in the 19th century. It was borne by a 18th-century Russian missionary to Alaska who is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church. Another famous bearer was Herman Melville (1819-1891), the author of 'Moby-Dick'.
HERMENEGILDO m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of a Visigothic name which meant "complete sacrifice" from the Germanic elements ermen
"whole, entire" and gild
"sacrifice, value". It was borne by a 6th-century saint, the son of Liuvigild the Visigothic king of Hispania.
HERMES m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Probably from Greek ‘ερμα (herma)
meaning "cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker". Hermes was a Greek god associated with speed and good luck, who served as a messenger to Zeus
and the other gods. He was also the patron of travellers, writers, athletes, merchants, thieves and orators.... [more]
HERMIA f Literature
Feminine form of HERMES
. Shakespeare used this name in his comedy 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1595).
HERMINIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman name which was possibly of unknown Etruscan origin, but could also be derived from the name of the god HERMES
. In Roman legend this was the name of a companion of Aeneas.
HERMIONE f Greek Mythology
Derived from the name of the Greek messenger god HERMES
. In Greek myth Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. This is also the name of the wife of Leontes in Shakespeare's play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610). It is now closely associated with the character Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.
HERNANDO m Spanish
Medieval Spanish form of FERDINAND
. A famous bearer of this name was Hernando Cortés (1485-1547), a Spanish conquistador.
HERO (1) f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". In Greek legend she was the lover of Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont each night to meet her. He was killed on one such occasion when he got caught in a storm while in the water, and when Hero saw his dead body she drowned herself. This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599).
HEROD m Biblical
From the Greek name ‘Ηρωιδης (Heroides)
, which probably means "song of the hero" from ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior" combined with ωιδη (oide)
"song, ode". This was the name of several rulers of Judea during the period when it was part of the Roman Empire. This includes two who appear in the New Testament: Herod the Great, the king who ordered the slaughter of the children, and his son Herod Antipas, who had John
the Baptist beheaded.
HERODIAS f Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Feminine form of HEROD
. This was the name of a member of the Herodian ruling family of Judea, a sister of Herod Agrippa and the wife of Herod Antipas. She appears in the New Testament, where she contrives to have her husband Antipas imprison and execute John the Baptist.
HERODOTUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Ηροδοτος (Herodotos)
, derived from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with δοτος (dotos)
meaning "given, granted". Herodotus was a Greek historian of the 5th century BC who wrote about Persian and the Persian Wars. He is known as the Father of History.
HERON m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". This was the name of a 1st-century Greek inventor (also known as Hero
) from Alexandria.
HERSH m Yiddish
Means "deer" in Yiddish. The deer is particularly associated with the tribe of Naphtali
(see Genesis 49:21).
HERSHEL m Yiddish, American
Yiddish diminutive of HERSH
. As a non-Jewish American name (somewhat common around the end of the 19th century), it was likely inspired by the German surname HERSCHEL
, borne for instance by the British astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822).
HERSILIA f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Roman legend this was the name of a Sabine woman who became the wife of Romulus.
HERTHA f German
Form of NERTHUS
. The spelling change from N
resulted from a misreading of Tacitus's text.
HESPEROS m Ancient Greek
Means "evening" in Greek. This was the name of the personification of the Evening Star (the planet Venus) in Greek mythology.
HESTER f English, Biblical Latin
Latin form of ESTHER
. Like Esther
, it has been used in England since the Protestant Reformation. Nathaniel Hawthorne used it for the heroine of his novel 'The Scarlet Letter' (1850), Hester Prynne.
HESTIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘εστια (hestia)
"hearth, fireside". In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HEZEKIAH m Biblical
From the Hebrew name חִזְקִיָהוּ (Chizqiyahu)
, which means "YAHWEH
strengthens". This name was borne by a powerful king of Judah who reigned in the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Also in the Old Testament, this was the name of an ancestor of the prophet Zephaniah
HIAWATHA m History, Native American, Iroquois
From the Iroquoian name Haio-went-ha
meaning "he who combs". This was the name of a Mohawk or Onondaga leader who founded the Iroquois Confederacy, possibly in the 15th century. He was later the subject of a fictionalized 1855 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
HIDDE m Frisian
Frisian short form of names containing the Germanic element hild
HIDEAKI m Japanese
From Japanese 英 (hide)
meaning "excellent, fine" and 明 (aki)
meaning "bright", as well as other combinations of kanji.
HIDEKI m Japanese
From Japanese 秀 (hide)
meaning "excellent, outstanding" or 英 (hide)
meaning "excellent, fine" combined with 樹 (ki)
meaning "tree". Other kanji combinations can also form this name.
HIDEYOSHI m Japanese
From Japanese 秀 (hide)
meaning "excellent, outstanding" combined with 良 (yoshi)
meaning "good, virtuous, respectable" or 吉 (yoshi)
meaning "good luck". Other kanji combinations are possible. Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Hideyoshi 秀吉
being his given name) was a 16th-century daimyo who unified Japan and attempted to conquer Korea. He also banned the ownership of weapons by the peasantry, and banished Christian missionaries.
HIKARI f & m Japanese
From Japanese 光 (hikari)
meaning "light". Other kanji can also form this name. It is often written with the hiragana writing system.
HIKARU m & f Japanese
From Japanese 光 (hikaru)
meaning "light" or 輝 (hikaru)
meaning "brightness". Other kanji can also form this name.
HILARIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman name which was derived from Latin hilaris
meaning "cheerful". Alternatively, it could be derived from the Greek name ‘Ιλαρος (Hilaros)
also meaning "cheerful" (the Greek word ‘ιλαρος
was the source of the Latin word hilaris
). Saint Hilarius was a 4th-century theologian and bishop of Poitiers. This was also the name of a 5th-century pope.
HILARY f & m English
Medieval English form of HILARIUS
. During the Middle Ages it was primarily a masculine name. It was revived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century as a predominantly feminine name. In America, this name and the variant Hillary
seemed to drop in popularity after Hillary Clinton (1947-) became the first lady.
HILDRED f & m English
Possibly from the Old English masculine name Hildræd
, which was composed of the elements hild
"battle" and ræd
"counsel". This name was revived in the late 19th century, probably because of its similarity to the popular names Hilda
HILJA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish hiljaisuus
HILLARY f English
Variant of HILARY
. A famous bearer of the surname was Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first man to climb Mount Everest.
HILTRUD f German
Means "strength in battle", derived from the Germanic elements hild
"battle" and thrud
HINA f Japanese
From Japanese 陽 (hi)
meaning "light, sun, male" or 日 (hi)
meaning "sun, day" combined with 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens". Other kanji combinations are possible.
HINATA f & m Japanese
From Japanese 日向 (hinata)
meaning "sunny place", 陽向 (hinata)
meaning "toward the sun", or a non-standard reading of 向日葵 (himawari)
meaning "sunflower". Other kanji compounds are also possible. Because of the irregular readings, this name is often written using the hiragana writing system.
HIND f Arabic
Possibly means "group of camels" in Arabic. Hind bint Abi Umayyah, also known as Umm Salama, was one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad
. This is also the Arabic name for the country of India.