ADA f English, German, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Finnish
Short form of ADELAIDE
and other names beginning with the same sound. This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron. She was an assistant to Charles Babbage, the inventor of an early mechanical computer.
ADEODATUS m Late Roman
Latin name meaning "given by God". This was the name of a son of Saint Augustine and two popes (who are also known by the related name Deusdedit
ADRIAN m English, Romanian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian
Form of Hadrianus
). Several saints and six popes have borne this name, including the only English pope, Adrian IV, and the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI. As an English name, it has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it was not popular until modern times.
ADRIANUS m Dutch
Official Dutch form of ADRIAN
, used on birth certificates but not commonly in daily life.
AELIUS m Ancient Roman
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.
AETIUS m Ancient Roman
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.
AFRA (1) f Late Roman
Originally used by the Romans as a nickname for a woman from Africa. This was the name of two early saints.
ÁFRICA f Spanish
Spanish form of AFRICA (1)
. It is usually taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de África
, the patron saint of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa.
AFRICA (1) f African American (Rare)
From the name of the continent, which is of Latin origin, possibly from the Afri people who lived near Carthage in North Africa. This rare name is used most often by African-American parents.
AFRICANUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen derived from the place name AFRICA
, which in Roman times referred only to North Africa. This was the agnomen of the 3rd-century BC Roman general Scipio Africanus, who was honoured with it after his victory over Carthage in the Second Punic War. His descendants used it as a cognomen.
AGRIPPA m & f Ancient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from Greek αγριος (agrios)
"wild" and ‘ιππος (hippos)
"horse" or possibly of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
AGRIPPINA f Ancient Roman
Feminine derivative of AGRIPPA
. This name was borne by the scheming mother of the Roman emperor Nero, who eventually had her killed. This was also the name of a 3rd-century Roman saint who is venerated in Sicily.
AHENOBARBUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen meaning "bronze beard" in Latin. This name was borne by a series of consuls of the late Roman Republic.
AIMÉ m French
From Old French Amé
, the masculine form of Amée
ALBA (1) f Italian, Spanish, Catalan
This name is derived from two distinct names, ALBA (2)
and ALBA (3)
, with distinct origins, Latin and Germanic. Over time these names have become confused with one another. To further complicate the matter, alba
means "dawn" in Italian, Spanish and Catalan. This may be the main inspiration behind its use in Italy and Spain.
ALBAN m German, French, Albanian, English (Rare)
From the Roman cognomen Albanus
which meant "from Alba". Alba (from Latin albus
"white") was the name of various places within the Roman Empire, including the city Alba Longa. This name was borne by Saint Alban, the first British martyr (4th century). According to tradition, he sheltered a fugitive priest in his house. When his house was searched, he disguised himself as the priest, was arrested in his stead, and was beheaded. As an English name, Alban
was occasionally used in the Middle Ages and was revived in the 18th century, though it is now uncommon.
ALBINUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen which was a derivative of ALBUS
. Saint Albinus (also called Aubin) was a 6th-century bishop of Angers in Brittany.
ALMA (1) f English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
This name became popular after the Battle of Alma (1854), which took place near the River Alma in Crimea and ended in a victory for Britain and France. However, the name was in rare use before the battle; it was probably inspired by Latin almus
"nourishing". It also coincides with the Spanish word meaning "the soul".
AMABILIS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "lovable". Saint Amabilis was a 5th-century priest in Riom, central France.
AMADEO m Italian
Italian variant of AMADEUS
. This was the name of a 19th-century king of Spain (born in Italy).
AMADEUS m Late Roman
Means "love of God", derived from Latin amare
"to love" and Deus
"God". A famous bearer was the Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), who was actually born Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart but preferred the Latin translation of his Greek middle name. This name was also assumed as a middle name by the German novelist E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), who took it in honour of Mozart.
AMANDA f English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Late Roman
In part this is a feminine form of AMANDUS
. However, it was not used during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century it was recreated by authors and poets who based it directly on Latin amanda
"lovable, worthy of love". Notably, the playwright Colley Cibber used it for a character in his play 'Love's Last Shift' (1696). It came into regular use during the 19th century.
AMANDUS m Late Roman
Derived from Latin amanda
meaning "lovable, worthy of love". Saint Amandus was a 5th-century bishop of Bordeaux. It was also borne by a 7th-century French saint who evangelized in Flanders.
AMANTIUS m Late Roman
Means "loving" in Latin. This was the name of several early saints. It has sometimes been confused with the name Amandus
AMATOR m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "lover (of God)". Saint Amator was a 5th-century bishop of Auxerre.
AMATUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "beloved". The 7th-century Saint Amatus was the first abbot of Remiremont Abbey.
AMBER f English, Dutch
From the English word amber
that denotes either the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin, or the orange-yellow colour. The word ultimately derives from Arabic عنبر ('anbar)
. It began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, but it only became popular after the release of Kathleen Winsor's novel 'Forever Amber' (1944).
AMEDEO m Italian
Italian form of AMADEUS
. A notable bearer of this name was Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856), an Italian chemist most famous for the constant that now bears his name: Avogadro's Number. Another famous bearer was the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920).
AMERICA f English
In the English-speaking world, this name is usually given in reference to the United States of America (see AMERIGO
). It came into use as an American name in the 19th century.
AMULIUS m Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Roman mythology Amulius overthrew his brother Numitor, king of Alba Longa, but was eventually deposed by Numitor's grandsons Romulus
AMY f English
English form of the Old French name Amée
meaning "beloved" (modern French aimée
), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata
. As an English name, it was in use in the Middle Ages (though not common) and was revived in the 19th century.
ANGEL m & f English, Bulgarian, Macedonian
From the medieval Latin masculine name Angelus
which was derived from the name of the heavenly creature (itself derived from the Greek word αγγελος (angelos)
meaning "messenger"). It has never been very common in the English-speaking world, where it is sometimes used as a feminine name in modern times.
ANGELA f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Slovak, Russian, Macedonian, Late Roman
Feminine form of Angelus
). As an English name, it came into use in the 18th century.
ANGELICA f English, Italian, Romanian, Literature
Derived from Latin angelicus
meaning "angelic", ultimately related to Greek αγγελος (angelos)
"messenger". The poets Boiardo and Ariosto used this name in their 'Orlando' poems (1495 and 1532), where it belongs to Orlando's love interest. It has been used as a given name since the 18th century.
ANGERONA f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Etruscan origin. Angerona was the Roman goddess of the winter solstice, death, and silence.
ANNUNZIATA f Italian
Means "announced" in Italian, referring to the event in the New Testament in which the angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary
of the imminent birth of Jesus
ANTHONY m English
English form of the Roman family name Antonius
, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. The most notable member of the Roman family was the general Marcus Antonius (called Mark Antony in English), who for a period in the 1st century BC ruled the Roman Empire jointly with Augustus. When their relationship turned sour, he and his mistress Cleopatra were attacked and forced to commit suicide, as related in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606).... [more]
ANTOINETTE f French
Feminine diminutive of ANTOINE
. This name was borne by Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. She was executed by guillotine.
ANTON m German, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Dutch, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Slovene, Macedonian, Croatian, Romanian, Estonian, Finnish
Form of Antonius
ANTONIA f Italian, Spanish, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Antonius
ANTONÍN m Czech
Czech form of Antoninus
). A famous bearer was the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904).
ANTONIN m French
French form of Antoninus
). This name was borne by the French playwright Antonin Artaud (1896-1948).
ANTONINO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman name Antoninus
, which was derived from Antonius
). There were several early saints named Antoninus, including the patron saint of Sorrento. This was also the name of a 2nd-century Roman emperor.
ANTONIO m Spanish, Italian, Croatian
Spanish and Italian form of Antonius
). A famous bearer was the Italian Renaissance painter Antonio Pisanello (c. 1395-1455). It is also the name of the main character in 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596) by William Shakespeare.
ANTONY m English
Variant of ANTHONY
. This was formerly the usual English spelling of the name, but during the 17th century the h
began to be added.
APHRA f Various
Meaning uncertain; possibly a variant of AFRA (1)
, or possibly a variant of Aphrah
, a biblical place name meaning "dust". This name was born by the English writer Aphra Behn (1640-1689).
APPIUS m Ancient Roman
This was a Roman praenomen, or given name, used predominantly by the Claudia family. Its etymology is unknown. A famous bearer of this name was Appius Claudius Caecus, a Roman statesman of the 3rd century BC. He was responsible for the Aqua Appia (the first Roman aqueduct) and the Appian Way (a road between Rome and Capua), both of which were named for him.
APRIL f English
From the name of the month, probably originally derived from Latin aperire
"to open", referring to the opening of flowers. It has only been commonly used as a given name since the 1940s.
ARABELLA f English
Medieval Scottish name, probably a variant of ANNABEL
. It has long been associated with Latin orabilis
ARACELI f Spanish
Means "altar of the sky" from Latin ara
"altar" and coeli
"sky". This is an epithet of the Virgin Mary
in her role as the patron saint of Lucena, Spain.
ARIES m Roman Mythology
Means "ram" in Latin. This is the name of a constellation and the first sign of the zodiac. Some Roman legends state that the ram in the constellation was the one who supplied the Golden Fleece sought by Jason
ASUNCIÓN f Spanish
Means "assumption" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the assumption of the Virgin Mary
ATTILIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Atilius
, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. Marcus Atilius Regulus was a Roman consul and hero of the First Punic War.
AUGUSTINE (1) m English
From the Roman name Augustinus
, itself derived from the Roman name AUGUSTUS
. Saint Augustine of Hippo was a 5th-century Christian theologian and author from North Africa. For his contributions to Christian philosophy he is known as a Doctor of the Church. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world. It became popular in England in the Middle Ages partly because of a second saint by this name, Augustine of Canterbury, a 6th-century Italian monk sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons.
AUGUSTUS m Ancient Roman, Dutch
Means "great" or "venerable", derived from Latin augere
"to increase". Augustus was the title given to Octavian
, the first Roman emperor. He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar who rose to power through a combination of military skill and political prowess. This was also the name of three kings of Poland.
AULUS m Ancient Roman
Possibly from Latin avulus
"little grandfather", though it could be from the Etruscan name Aule
, which was possibly derived from avils
meaning "years". This was a Roman praenomen, or given name. Folk etymology connects it to Latin aula
AURELIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which was derived from Latin aureus
"golden, gilded". Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.
AUSTIN m English
Medieval contracted form of AUGUSTINE (1)
. Modern use of the name is probably also partly inspired by the common surname Austin
, which is of the same origin. This is also the name of a city in Texas.
AVILIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name of unknown meaning. Saint Avilius was a 1st-century patriarch of Alexandria.
AVITUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name which meant "ancestral" in Latin. This was the name of an emperor who briefly reigned over the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. It was also the name of several saints, including a 6th-century bishop of Vienne.
BAILEY m & f English
From a surname derived from Middle English baili
meaning "bailiff", originally denoting one who was a bailiff.