From a place name mentioned briefly in the New Testament. It is probably from Hebrew אָבֵל ('avel)
meaning "meadow, grassy area". It has occasionally been used as a given name in modern times.
ACHAICUSmBiblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Αχαικος (Achaikos)
, which referred to the region in Greece called Αχαια (Achaia)
, situated on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. In the New Testament this is the name of a Corinthian Christian who aids Saint Paul
ACHILLESmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek Αχιλλευς (Achilleus)
which is of unknown meaning, perhaps derived from Greek αχος (achos)
"pain" or else from the name of the Achelous River. This was the name of a warrior in Greek legend, one of the central characters in Homer
's 'Iliad'. The bravest of the Greek heroes in the war against the Trojans, he was eventually killed by an arrow to his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body.... [more]
From the Semitic Adonai
, which means "lord". In Greek myth Adonis was a handsome young shepherd killed while hunting a wild boar. The anemone flower is said to have sprung from his blood. Because he was loved by Aphrodite
allowed him to be restored to life for part of each year. The Greeks borrowed this character from various Semitic traditions, hence the Semitic origins of the name.
Means "not inclined to run away" in Greek. This was the name of a king of Argos in Greek legend.
AEGLEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Αιγλη (Aigle)
which meant "light, radiance, glory". This was the name of several characters in Greek myth, including one of the Heliades and one of the Hesperides.
Roman family name which was possibly derived from the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios)
meaning "sun". This was the family name of the Roman emperor Hadrian.
Means "whirlwind" in Greek. In Greek myth this was the name of an Amazon warrior killed by Herakles
during his quest for Hippolyta's girdle.
Latin form of the Greek name Αινειας (Aineias)
, derived from Greek αινη (aine)
meaning "praise". In Greek legend he was a son of Aphrodite
and was one of the chief heroes who defended Troy from the Greeks. The Roman poet Virgil
continued his story in the 'Aeneid', in which Aeneas travels to Italy and founds the Roman state.
AESOPmAncient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek Αισωπος (Aisopos)
, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a Greek fabulist of the 6th century BC, famous for such tales as 'The Tortoise and the Hare'.
Roman cognomen which was probably derived from Greek αετος (aetos)
"eagle". A famous bearer was the 5th-century Roman general Flavius Aetius, who defeated Attila
the Hun at the Battle of Chalons.
Possibly meaning "very steadfast" in Greek. In Greek mythology he was the brother of Menelaus
. He led the Greek expedition to Troy to recover his brother's wife Helen
. After the Trojan War Agamemnon was killed by his wife Clytemnestra
AGAPIOSmGreek, Ancient Greek
Masculine form of AGAPE
. This was the name of a saint from Caesarea who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
From the Late Latin name Agapitus
which was derived from the Greek name Αγαπητος (Agapetos)
meaning "beloved". The name Agapetus was borne by two popes.
AGATHAfEnglish, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αγαθη (Agathe)
, derived from Greek αγαθος (agathos)
meaning "good". Saint Agatha was a 3rd-century martyr from Sicily who was tortured and killed after spurning the advances of a Roman official. The saint was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). The mystery writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was a famous modern bearer of this name.
Means "bearer of good news", derived from Greek αγαθος (agathos)
"good" and αγγελος (angelos)
"messenger, angel". Saint Agathangelus of Rome was a 4th-century deacon who was martyred during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian.
Means "illustrious, noble" in Greek. This was the mother of Pentheus in Greek myth.
AGLAIAfGreek Mythology, Greek
Means "splendour, beauty" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the three Graces or Χαριτες
(Charites). This name was also borne by a 4th-century saint from Rome.
AGNESfEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Αγνη (Hagne)
, derived from Greek ‘αγνος (hagnos)
meaning "chaste". Saint Agnes was a virgin martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The name became associated with Latin agnus
"lamb", resulting in the saint's frequent depiction with a lamb by her side. Due to her renown, the name became common in Christian Europe, being especially popular in England in the Middle Ages.
Means "quick-moving, nimble" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of the winds.
AJAXmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αιας (Aias)
, perhaps deriving from Greek αιαστης (aiastes)
"mourner" or αια (aia)
"earth, land". In Greek mythology this was the name of two of the heroes who fought for the Greeks in the Trojan War, the son of Telamon and the son of Oileus. When the armour of the slain hero Achilles
was not given to Ajax Telamonian, he became mad with jealousy and killed himself.
AKAKIOSmGreek, Ancient Greek
From a Greek word meaning "innocent, not evil", derived from α (a)
, a negative prefix, combined with κακη (kake)
"evil". This was the name of three early saints, two of whom were martyred.
Short form of ALBERT
and other names beginning with Al
. A notable bearer is American actor Al Pacino (1940-).
ALCIBIADESmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλκιβιαδης (Alkibiades)
, derived from αλκη (alke)
"strength" and βια (bia)
"force" with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. This was the name of a notable Greek statesman and general during the Peloponnesian War. He changed allegiance from Athens to Sparta and back again during the course of the war.
ALCYONEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Αλκυονη (Alkyone)
, derived from the word αλκυων (alkyon)
meaning "kingfisher". In Greek myth this name belonged to a daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck she threw herself into the water, but the gods saved her and turned them both into kingfishers. This is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, the seven stars in the constellation Taurus.
Italian form of ALEXANDER
. A famous bearer was Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), the Italian physicist who invented the battery.
Possibly a variant of ALETHEA
. This was the name of the wife of the title character in the comic strip 'Prince Valiant' which first appeared in 1937.
Derived from Greek αληθεια (aletheia)
meaning "truth". This name was coined in the 16th century.
ALEXm & fEnglish, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Russian
Short form of ALEXANDER
, and other names beginning with Alex
ALEXANDERmEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ALEXANDRAfEnglish, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera
, and an alternate name of Cassandra
. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix
, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra)
upon joining the Russian Church.
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. Alexander the Great founded several cities by this name (or renamed them) as he extended his empire eastward. The most notable of these is Alexandria in Egypt, founded by Alexander in 331 BC.
ALEXISm & fGerman, French, English, Greek, Ancient Greek
From the Greek name Αλεξις (Alexis)
, which meant "helper" or "defender", derived from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, to help". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangeably with the related name Αλεξιος
, borne by five Byzantine emperors. In the English-speaking world it is more commonly used as a feminine name.
ALEXIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξιος (Alexios)
, a derivative of Αλεξις
). This was the name of five Byzantine emperors. It was also borne by a 5th-century Syrian saint who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
ALTHEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αλθαια (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek αλθος (althos)
"healing". In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
From the name of the amaranth flower, which is derived from Greek αμαραντος (amarantos)
meaning "unfading". Αμαραντος (Amarantos)
was also an Ancient Greek given name.
From the Late Latin name Ambrosius
, which was derived from the Greek name Αμβροσιος (Ambrosios)
meaning "immortal". Saint Ambrose was a 4th-century theologian and bishop of Milan, who is considered a Doctor of the Church. Due to the saint, the name came into general use in Christian Europe, though it was never particularly common in England.
From the name of the purple semi-precious stone, which is derived from the Greek negative prefix α (a)
and μεθυστος (methystos)
meaning "intoxicated, drunk", as it was believed to be a remedy against drunkenness.
Form of AMYNTAS
used by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso for his play 'Aminta' (1573). In the play Aminta is a shepherd who falls in love with a nymph.
Italian form of Ampelius
, the Latin form of the Greek name Αμπελιος (Ampelios)
, which was derived from αμπελος (ampelos)
meaning "vine". Saint Ampelius was a 7th-century bishop of Milan.
From the Greek term αναργυρος (anargyros)
meaning "poor, incorruptible", derived from Greek α (a)
, a negative prefix, combined with αργυρος (argyros)
"silver". This term referred to saints who did not accept payment for their services.
ANASTASIAfGreek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ANASTASIUS
. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.
ANASTASIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αναστασιος (Anastasios)
which meant "resurrection" from Greek αναστασις (anastasis)
(composed of the elements ανα (ana)
"up" and στασις (stasis)
"standing"). This was the name of numerous early saints and martyrs, including a 7th-century monk and writer from Alexandria who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
Italian form of Andreas
). A notable bearer of this name was Andrea Verrocchio, a Renaissance sculptor who taught Leonardo da Vinci and Perugino.
ANDREA (2)fEnglish, German, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Dutch, Croatian, Serbian
Feminine form of ANDREW
. As an English name, it has been used since the 17th century, though it was not common until the 20th century.
ANDREASmGerman, Greek, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Welsh, Ancient Greek, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Ancient Greek and Latin form of ANDREW
. It is also the form used in modern Greek, German and Welsh.
English form of the Greek name Ανδρεας (Andreas)
, which was derived from ανδρειος (andreios)
"manly, masculine", a derivative of ανηρ (aner)
"man". In the New Testament the apostle Andrew, the first disciple to join Jesus
, is the brother of Simon Peter
. According to tradition, he later preached in the Black Sea region, with some legends saying he was crucified on an X-shaped cross. Andrew
, being a Greek name, was probably only a nickname or a translation of his real Hebrew name, which is not known.... [more]