CLARA f Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, English, Swedish, Danish, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus
which meant "clear, bright, famous". The name Clarus
was borne by a few early saints. The feminine form was popularized by the 13th-century Saint Clare of Assisi (called Chiara
in Italian), a friend and follower of Saint Francis, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares. As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages, originally in the form Clare
, though the Latinate spelling Clara
became more popular in the 19th century.
CLARE f English
Medieval English form of CLARA
. This is also the name of an Irish county, which was originally named for the Norman invader Richard de Clare (known as Strongbow), whose surname was derived from the name of an English river.
CLARIBEL f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix bel
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play 'The Tempest' (1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled 'Claribel' (1830).
CLARICE f English
Medieval vernacular form of the Late Latin name Claritia
, which was a derivative of CLARA
CLARINDA f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix inda
. It was first used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
CLARISSA f English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Latinate form of CLARICE
. This was the name of the title character in a 1748 novel by Samuel Richardson. In the novel Clarissa is a virtuous woman who is tragically exploited by her family and her lover.
CLARK m English
From an English surname meaning "cleric" or "scribe", from Old English clerec
which originally meant "priest". A famous bearer of the surname was William Clark (1770-1838), an explorer of the west of North America. It was also borne by the American actor Clark Gable (1901-1960).
CLAUDE m & f French, English
French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS
. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
CLAUDIUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin claudus
meaning "lame, crippled". This was the name of a patrician family prominent in Roman politics. The ancestor of the family was said to have been a 6th-century BC Sabine leader named Attius Clausus, who adopted the name Appius Claudius upon becoming a Roman citizen. The family produced several Roman emperors of the 1st century, including the emperor known simply as Claudius. He was poisoned by his wife Agrippina in order to bring her son Nero (Claudius's stepson) to power. The name was later borne by several early saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Besançon.
CLEMENCE f English
Feminine form of Clementius
). It has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it became rare after the 17th century.
CLEMENCY f English (Rare)
Medieval variant of CLEMENCE
. It can also simply mean "clemency, mercy" from the English word, ultimately from Latin clemens
CLEMENT m English
English form of the Late Latin name Clemens
(or sometimes of its derivative Clementius
) which meant "merciful, gentle". This was the name of 14 popes, including Saint Clement I, the third pope, one of the Apostolic Fathers. Another saint by this name was Clement of Alexandria, a 3rd-century theologian and church father who attempted to reconcile Christian and Platonic philosophies. It has been in general as a given name in Christian Europe (in various spellings) since early times. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, though it was revived in the 19th century.
CLÍMACO m Spanish
Spanish form of Climacus
, derived from Greek κλιμαξ (klimax)
"ladder". The 7th-century monk Saint John Climacus (also known as John of the Ladder) acquired this name because he wrote a book called 'The Ladder of Divine Ascent'.
CLOELIA f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CLOELIUS
. In Roman legend Cloelia was a maiden who was given to an Etruscan invader as a hostage. She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber, at the same time helping some of the other captives to safety.
COLMÁN m Irish
Diminutive of Colm
). This was the name of a large number of Irish saints.
COLOMBINA f Italian
Italian feminine diminutive of COLUMBA
. In traditional Italian pantomimes this is the name of a stock character, the female counterpart of Arlecchino (also called Harlequin). This is also the Italian word for the columbine flower.
COLUM m Irish
Irish form of COLUMBA
. This is also an Old Irish word meaning "dove", derived from Latin columba
COLUMBA m & f Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "dove". The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity. This was the name of several early saints both masculine and feminine, most notably the 6th-century Irish monk Saint Columba (or Colum) who established a monastery on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. He is credited with the conversion of Scotland to Christianity.
COLUMBAN m Irish
Possibly an Irish diminutive of COLUMBA
. Alternatively, it may be derived from Old Irish colum
"dove" and bán
"white". The 7th-century Saint Columban of Leinster was the founder of several monasteries in Europe.
COLUMBANUS m Late Roman
This name can be viewed as a derivative of COLUMBA
or a Latinized form of COLUMBAN
, both derivations being approximately equivalent. This is the name of Saint Columban in Latin sources.
CONCEPCIÓN f Spanish
Means "conception" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
. A city in Chile bears this name.
CONSTANS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "constant, steadfast". This was the name of a 4th-century Roman emperor, a son of Constantine
CONSTANTINE m History
From the Latin name Constantinus
, a derivative of CONSTANS
. Constantine the Great (272-337) was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (modern Istanbul).
CONSUS m Roman Mythology
Possibly derived from Latin conserere
meaning "to sow, to plant". Consus was a Roman god of the harvest and grain.
CORA f English, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of KORE
. It was not used as a given name in the English-speaking world until after it was employed by James Fenimore Cooper for a character in his novel 'The Last of the Mohicans' (1826). In some cases it may be a short form of CORDULA
or other names beginning with a similar sound.
CORAL f English, Spanish
From the English and Spanish word coral
for the underwater skeletal deposits which can form reefs. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κοραλλιον (korallion)
CORNELIA f German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CORNELIUS
. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.
CORNELIUS m Ancient Roman, English, Dutch, German, Biblical
Roman family name which possibly derives from the Latin element cornu
"horn". In Acts in the New Testament Cornelius is a centurion who is directed by an angel to seek Peter
. After speaking with Peter he converts to Christianity, and he is traditionally deemed the first gentile convert. The name was also borne by a few early saints, including a 3rd-century pope. In England it came into use in the 16th century, partly due to Dutch influence.
CORONA f Late Roman, Italian, Spanish
Means "crown" in Latin, as well as Italian and Spanish. This was the name of a 2nd-century saint who was martyred with her companion Victor.
CRESCENTIUS m Late Roman
Latin name which was a derivative of the name CRESCENS
. Saint Crescentius was a child martyred in Rome during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
CRISPIN m English (Rare)
From the Roman cognomen Crispinus
which was derived from the name CRISPUS
. Saint Crispin was a 3rd-century Roman who was martyred with his twin brother Crispinian in Gaul. They are the patrons of shoemakers. They were popular saints in England during the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since that time.
CRUZ f & m Spanish, Portuguese
Means "cross" in Spanish or Portuguese, referring to the cross of the crucifixion.
CUPID m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Cupido
meaning "desire". This was the name of the Roman god of love, the son of Venus
. He was portrayed as a winged, blindfolded boy, armed with a bow and arrows which caused the victim to fall in love. His Greek equivalent was Eros
CUSTODIO m Spanish
Means "guardian" in Spanish, from Latin custodia
CYPRIAN m Polish, English (Rare)
From the Roman family name Cyprianus
which meant "from Cyprus" in Latin. Saint Cyprian was a 3rd-century bishop of Carthage and a martyr under the emperor Valerian.
DANTE m Italian
Medieval short form of DURANTE
. The most notable bearer of this name was Dante Alighieri, the 13th-century Italian poet who wrote the 'Divine Comedy'.
DEANNA f English
Either a variant of DIANA
or a feminine form of DEAN
. This name was popularized by the Canadian actress and singer Deanna Durbin (1921-), whose birth name was Edna. Her stage name was a rearrangement of the letters of her real name.
DEFOREST m English
From a French surname meaning "from the forest". It was originally given in honour of American author John Deforest (1826-1906).
DELPHINA f Late Roman
Feminine form of the Latin name Delphinus
, which meant "of Delphi". Delphi was a city in ancient Greece, the name of which is possibly related to Greek δελφυς (delphys)
"womb". The Blessed Delphina was a 14th-century Provençal nun.
DENA f English
Possibly a short form of names ending with dena
. It has also been used as a variant of DEANNA
DESIDERATUS m Late Roman
Derived from Latin desideratum
meaning "desired". This was the name of a 6th-century French saint.
DESIDERIUS m Late Roman
Derived from Latin desiderium
"longing, desire". It was the name of several early saints. It was also borne in the 8th century by the last king of the Lombard Kingdom.
DESIREE f English
English form of DÉSIRÉE
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by the movie 'Désirée' (1954).
DEUSDEDIT m Late Roman
Latin name meaning "God has given". This was the name of two popes (who are also known by the related name Adeodatus
DEVON m & f English
Variant of DEVIN
. It may also be partly inspired by the name of the county of Devon in England, which got its name from the Dumnonii, a Celtic tribe.
DIANA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Roman Mythology
Probably derived from an old Indo-European root meaning "heavenly, divine", related to dyeus
). Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth, often identified with the Greek goddess Artemis
DIDO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly "virgin" in Phoenician. Dido, also called Elissa
, was the queen of Carthage in Virgil
's 'Aeneid'. She burned herself to death after Aeneas left her.
DIEGO m Spanish
Possibly a shortened form of SANTIAGO
. In medieval records Diego
was Latinized as Didacus
, and it has been suggested that it in fact derives from Greek διδαχη (didache)
"teaching". Saint Didacus (or Diego) was a 15th-century Franciscan brother based in Alcalá, Spain. Other famous bearers of this name include Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona (1960-).
DIOGO m Portuguese
Portuguese form of DIEGO
. This name was borne by the 15th-century Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão.
DOLLY f English
Diminutive of DOROTHY
were used from the 16th century, and the common English word doll
(for the plaything) is derived from them. In modern times this name is also sometimes used as a diminutive of DOLORES
DOLORES f Spanish, English
Means "sorrows", taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary María de los Dolores
, meaning "Mary of Sorrows". It has been used in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, becoming especially popular in America during the 1920s and 30s.
DOMENICO m Italian
Italian form of DOMINIC
. Domenico Veneziano was a Renaissance painter who lived in Florence.
DOMINIC m English
From the Late Latin name Dominicus
meaning "of the Lord". This name was traditionally given to a child born on Sunday. Several saints have borne this name, including the 13th-century founder of the Dominican order of friars. It was in this saint's honour that the name was first used in England, starting around the 13th century. It is primarily used by Catholics.
DOMITIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Domitianus
, itself derived from the family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman emperor, Titus Flavius Domitianus.
DOMITILLA f Italian, Ancient Roman
Feminine diminutive of the Roman family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of the wife of the Roman emperor Vespasian and the mother of emperors Titus and Domitian.
DOMITIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which was probably derived from Latin domitus
meaning "having been tamed".
DONATELLO m Italian
Diminutive of DONATO
. The Renaissance sculptor Donato di Niccolo di Bette Bardi was better known as Donatello.
DONATO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
From the Late Latin name Donatus
meaning "given". Several early saints had this name. The name was also borne by two Renaissance masters: the sculptor Donato di Niccolo di Bette Bardi (also known as Donatello), and the architect Donato Bramante.
DRUSUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name, also sometimes used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Claudia family. Apparently the name was first assumed by a Roman warrior who killed a Gallic chieftain named Drausus in single combat. Drausus
possibly derives from a Celtic element meaning "strong".
DUILIO m Italian, Spanish
From the Roman name Duilius
, which is possibly derived from Latin duellum
"war". This was the name of a Roman consul who defeated the Carthaginians in a naval battle.
DUKE m English
From the noble title duke
, which was originally derived from Latin dux
DULCIBELLA f English (Archaic)
From Latin dulcis
"sweet" and bella
"beautiful". The usual medieval spelling of this name was Dowsabel
, and the Latinized form Dulcibella
was revived in the 18th century.
DULCIE f English
From Latin dulcis
meaning "sweet". It was used in the Middle Ages in the spellings Dowse
, and was recoined in the 19th century.
DURANTE m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin name Durans
which meant "enduring".
EFISIO m Italian
From the Latin byname Ephesius
, which originally belonged to a person who was from the city of Ephesus in Ionia. This was the name of a saint martyred on Sardinia in the 4th century.
EINION m Welsh
Probably from the Latin name Ennianus
, a derivative of Ennius
). It is also a modern Welsh word meaning "anvil". This was the name of a 5th-century Welsh king who is considered a saint in some Christian traditions.
ÉLIANE f French
Probably from Aeliana
, the feminine form of the Roman name Aelianus
, which was derived from the Roman family name AELIUS
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr.
ELIGIUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from Latin eligere
"to choose". The 7th-century Saint Eligius is the patron saint of metalworkers.
ELLERY m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from the medieval masculine name HILARY
EMERALD f English (Modern)
From the word for the green precious stone, which is the birthstone of May. The emerald supposedly imparts love to the bearer. The word is ultimately from Greek σμαραγδος (smaragdos)