Contracted form of the older name Veceslav
, from the Slavic elements veche
"more" and slava
"glory". Saint Václav (known as Wenceslas in English) was a 10th-century duke of Bohemia murdered by his brother. He is the patron saint of the Czech Republic. This was also the name of several Bohemian kings.
Meaning unknown. It is used as a Russian form of BADEMUS
, but it may actually be derived from the Slavic name VADIMIR
or else from an Old Norse source.
VAHAGNmArmenian Mythology, Armenian
From Avestan Verethragna
meaning "breaking of defense, victory". In Armenian mythology this was the name of the heroic god of war.
Derived from Finnish väinä
"wide and slow-flowing river". In Finnish mythology Väinämöinen was a wise old magician, the son of the primal goddess Ilmatar
. He is the hero of the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
Derived from Old Persian varka-tanu
meaning "wolf-bodied". This name was borne by several kings of Georgia.
Modern coinage from Germanic wald
meaning "power, rule". It has been in use only since the 20th century.
From the English word meaning "wide river valley".
From the name of cities in Spain and Venezuela, both derived from Latin valentia
meaning "strength, vigour".
VALENTINmFrench, Romanian, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Czech, Russian, Bulgarian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian
Form of Valentinus
(see VALENTINE (1)
From the Roman cognomen Valentinus
which was itself from the name Valens
meaning "strong, vigourous, healthy" in Latin. Saint Valentine was a 3rd-century martyr. His feast day was the same as the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which resulted in the association between Valentine's day and love. As an English name, it has been used occasionally since the 12th century.
Roman family name which was derived from Latin valere
"to be strong". This was the name of several early saints.
Derived from the Germanic elements walha
"foreign" and ric
"power". It has been frequently confused with the name Valère
Means "chooser of the slain", derived from Old Norse valr
"the slain" and kyrja
"chooser". In Norse myth the Valkyries were maidens who led heroes killed in battle to Valhalla.
Means "creeping plant" in Dravidian. In Dravidian mythology the goddess Valli was the wife of Murunga.
From Sino-Vietnamese 文 (văn)
meaning "literature, culture, writing". This is a common middle name for Vietnamese boys.
From an English surname which was derived from Old English fenn
meaning "marsh, fen".
VANESSAfEnglish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch
Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his poem 'Cadenus and Vanessa' (1726). He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther
Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.
Derived from Georgian ვარდი (vardi)
meaning "rose", ultimately from Persian via Armenian.
Roman family name which meant "versatile" in Latin. Varius Rufus was a Roman epic poet of the 1st century BC.
From the Finnish name for a type of berry bush.
Probably from a Sanskrit word meaning "to surround". In Hindu mythology Varuna is a god of water and the celestial ocean surrounding the world. He is one of the chief gods in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
Means "brilliant" or "spring" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu personification of the spring.
VASCOmSpanish, Portuguese, Italian
From the medieval Spanish name Velasco
which possibly meant "crow" in Basque. A famous bearer was the 15th-century Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the first person to sail from Europe around Africa to India.
Possibly means "thread" in Hebrew, but it is most likely of Persian origin. In the Old Testament this is the name of the first wife of King Ahasuerus of Persia before he marries Esther.
From a Welsh surname which was derived from Welsh bychan
Means "air, wind" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu god of the air and wind, one of the five elements.
VEASNAm & fKhmer
Means "opportunity, good fortune, fate" in Khmer.
Possibly a Latinized form of a Germanic or Celtic name, possibly Germanic WIDOGAST
. This was the name of a 6th-century saint who helped to convert the Frankish king Clovis to Christianity.
The name of a star in the constellation Lyra. Its name is from Arabic الواقع (al-Waqi')
meaning "the swooping (eagle)".
Meaning unknown, possibly a derivative of the Germanic element wald
meaning "power, rule".
From the Roman family name Velius
which possibly means "concealed" in Latin.
Probably a variant of WILMA
, the spelling with an e
perhaps due to the influence of SELMA
. This name has been in use since the 19th century.
From the English word for the soft fabric. It became used as a given name after the main character in Enid Bagnold's book 'National Velvet' (1935) and the movie (1944) and television (1960) adaptations.
Derived from Sanskrit वेन (vena)
meaning "yearning". This is the name of an evil king in Hindu mythology.
Originally this was probably a Latinized form of GWYNEDD
. It also coincides with the name of the city in Italy, called Venice
in English. This name was borne by the celebrated beauty Venetia Stanley (1600-1633). Benjamin Disraeli used it in his novel entitled 'Venetia' (1837).
Means "love, sexual desire" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of love and sex. Her character was assimilated with that of the Greek goddess Aphrodite
. As the mother of Aeneas
she was considered an ancestor of the Roman people. The second planet from the sun is named after her.
VERA (1)fRussian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Georgian
Means "faith" in Russian, though it is sometimes associated with the Latin word verus
"true". It has been in general use in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century.
Means "king over warriors" from Gaulish ver
"on, over" combined with cingeto
"marching men, warriors" and rix
"king". This name was borne by a chieftain of the Gaulish tribe the Arverni. He led the resistance against Julius Caesar's attempts to conquer Gaul, but he was eventually defeated, brought to Rome, and executed.
From Old Norse Verðandi
meaning "becoming, happening". Verdandi was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was responsible for the present.
From a Norman surname which was from a French place name, which was itself derived from a Gaulish word meaning "alder".
VEREMUNDmAncient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Germanic name, probably Waramunt
, derived from war
"vigilant, cautious" and mund
"protection". This was the name of a 5th-century king of Galicia (from the Germanic tribe of the Suebi). It was later the name of kings of Asturias and León, though their names are usually spelled in the Spanish form Bermudo
VERENAfGerman, Late Roman
Possibly related to Latin verus
"true". This might also be a Coptic form of the Ptolemaic name BERENICE
. Saint Verena was a 3rd-century Egyptian-born nurse who went with the Theban Legion to Switzerland. After the legion was massacred she settled near Zurich.
From the Latin name Verissimus
which meant "very true". Saint Verissimus was a Portuguese martyr executed during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
From the English word meaning "verity, truth". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Feminine form of VERNON
, sometimes associated with the Latin word vernus
"spring". It has been in use since the 19th century.
From a Norman surname which was from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern
From the name of the city in Italy, which is itself of unknown meaning.
VERONICAfEnglish, Italian, Romanian, Late Roman
Latin alteration of BERENICE
, the spelling influenced by the ecclesiastical Latin phrase vera icon
meaning "true image". This was the name of a legendary saint who wiped Jesus
' face with a towel and then found his image imprinted upon it. Due to popular stories about her, the name was occasionally used in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. It was borne by the 17th-century Italian saint and mystic Veronica Giuliani. As an English name, it was not common until the 19th century, when it was imported from France and Scotland.
VERONIKAfRussian, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, German, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Lithuanian, Latvian
Cognate of VERONICA
Means "little girl" from Norwegian vesle
"little" and møy
"girl". This name was created by Norwegian writer Arne Garborg for the main character in his poem 'Haugtussa' (1895).
VESNAfCroatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian
Means "messenger" in Slavic. This was the name of a Slavic spirit associated with the springtime. In many Slavic languages this is now the poetic word for "spring". It has been used as a given name only since the 20th century.
From the Roman cognomen Vespasianus
, derived either from Latin vesper
meaning "west" or "evening" or vespa
meaning "wasp". This was the name of a 1st-century Roman emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the founder of the Flavian dynasty.
Probably a Roman cognate of HESTIA
. Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth. A continuous fire, tended by the Vestal Virgins, was burned in the Temple of Vesta in Rome.
Means "abundant, large, vast" in Khmer.
VICTORmEnglish, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Dutch, Swedish, Late Roman
Roman name meaning "victor, conqueror" in Latin. It was common among early Christians, and was borne by several early saints and three popes. It was rare as an English name during the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), who authored 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.