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]
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.
BOBBY m English
Diminutive of BOB
. Hockey greats Bobby Hull (1939-) and Bobby Orr (1948-) have borne this name.
BRODY m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It probably means "ditch, mire" in Gaelic.
BRYONY f English (Rare)
From the name of a type of Eurasian vine, formerly used as medicine. It ultimately derives from Greek βρυω (bryo)
CODY m English, Irish
From the Gaelic surname Ó Cuidighthigh
, which means "descendant of CUIDIGHTHEACH
". A famous bearer of the surname was the American frontiersman and showman Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917).
COLBY m English
From a surname, originally from various English place names, derived from the Old Norse nickname Koli
(meaning "coal, dark") and býr
CONWAY m English
From a surname which was derived from the name of the River Conwy, which possibly means "holy water" in Welsh.
COREY m English
From a surname which was derived from the Old Norse given name Kóri
, of unknown meaning. This name became popular in the 1960s due to the character Corey Baker on the television series 'Julia'.
COURTNEY f & m English
From an aristocratic English surname which was derived either from the French place name Courtenay
(originally a derivative of the personal name Curtenus
, itself derived from Latin curtus
"short") or else from a Norman nickname meaning "short nose". As a feminine name in America, it first became popular during the 1970s.
COY m English
From a surname which meant "quiet, shy, coy" from Middle English coi
DIGGORY m English (Rare)
Probably an Anglicized form of Degaré
. Sir Degaré was the subject of a medieval poem set in Brittany. The name may mean "lost one" from French égaré
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
DOROTHY f English
Usual English form of DOROTHEA
. It has been in use since the 16th century. The author L. Frank Baum used it for the central character in his fantasy novel 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' (1900).
EBONY f English
From the English word ebony
for the black wood which comes from the ebony tree. It is ultimately from the Egyptian word hbnj
. In America this name is most often used by black parents.
ELROY m English
Altered form of LEROY
, using the Spanish definite article el
as opposed to the French le
FITZROY m English (Rare)
From an English surname meaning "son of the king" in Old French, originally given to illegitimate sons of monarchs.
GEOFFREY m English, French
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid
"peace", but the first element may be either gawia
"foreign" or gisil
"hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey
was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey
GILROY m Irish, Scottish
From an Irish surname, either Mac Giolla Ruaidh
, which means "son of the red-haired servant", or Mac Giolla Rí
, which means "son of the king's servant".
GODFREY m English
From the Germanic name Godafrid
, which meant "peace of god" from the Germanic elements god
"god" and frid
"peace". The Normans brought this name to England, where it became common during the Middle Ages. A notable bearer was Godfrey of Bouillon, an 11th-century leader of the First Crusade and the first ruler of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
GORONWY m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, he was the lover of Blodeuwedd
. He attempted to murder her husband Lleu
Llaw Gyffes but was himself killed.
GOYATHLAY m Native American, Apache
Means "one who yawns" in Apache. This was the real name of the Apache chief Geronimo, who fought against Mexican and American expansion into his territory.
GREGORY m English
English form of Latin Gregorius
, which was from the Late Greek name Γρηγοριος (Gregorios)
, derived from γρηγορος (gregoros)
meaning "watchful, alert". This name was popular among early Christians, being borne by a number of important saints including Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus (3rd century), Saint Gregory the Illuminator (4th century), Saint Gregory of Nyssa (4th century), Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (4th century), and Saint Gregory of Tours (6th century). It was also borne by the 6th-century pope Saint Gregory I the Great, a reformer and Doctor of the Church, as well as 15 subsequent popes.... [more]
HOLLY f English
From the English word for the holly tree, ultimately derived from Old English holen
HONEY f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word honey
, ultimately from Old English hunig
. This was originally a nickname for a sweet person.
IVORY m & f African American
From the English word for the hard, creamy-white substance which comes from elephant tusks and was formerly used to produce piano keys.
JODY f & m English
Probably either a variant of JUDY
or a diminutive of JOSEPH
. It was popularized by the young hero in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' novel 'The Yearling' (1938) and the subsequent film adaptation (1946).
JOHNNY m English
Diminutive of JOHN
. A famous bearer is American actor Johnny Depp (1963-).
JOY f English
Simply from the English word joy
, ultimately derived from Norman French joie
, Latin gaudia
. It has been regularly used as a given name since the late 19th century.
LEROY m English
From the French nickname le roi
meaning "the king". It has been common as an English given name since the 19th century.
MALLORY f English (Modern)
From an English surname which meant "unfortunate" in Norman French. It first became common in the 1980s due to the television comedy 'Family Ties', which featured a character by this name.
MELODY f English
From the English word melody
, which is derived (via Old French and Late Latin) from Greek μελος (melos)
"song" combined with αειδω (aeido)
MODESTY f English (Rare)
From the English word modesty
, ultimately from Latin modestus
"moderate", a derivative of modus
MOLLY f English
Diminutive of MARY
. It developed from Malle
, other medieval diminutives. James Joyce used this name in his novel 'Ulysses' (1920), where it belongs to Molly Bloom, the wife of the main character.
MONDAY f English (Rare)
From the English word for the day of the week, which was derived from Old English mona
"moon" and dæg
"day". This was formerly given to girls born on Monday.
MONTGOMERY m English
From an English surname meaning "GUMARICH
's mountain" in Norman French. A notable bearer of this surname was Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), a British army commander during World War II.
MORLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally from an Old English place name meaning "marsh clearing".
PEONY f English (Rare)
From the English word for the type of flower. It was originally believed to have healing qualities, so it was named after the Greek medical god Pæon
POLLY f English
Medieval variant of MOLLY
. The reason for the change in the initial consonant is unknown.
POMPEY m History
Modern form of the Roman family name Pompeius
, which was probably derived from a Sabellic word meaning "five". A notable bearer was the 1st-century BC Roman general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey the Great.
POSY f English
Diminutive of JOSEPHINE
. It can also be inspired by the English word posy
for a bunch of flowers.
PTOLEMY m History
From the Greek name Πτολεμαιος (Ptolemaios)
, derived from Greek πολεμηιος (polemeios)
meaning "aggressive, warlike". Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendants of Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer.
ROCKY m English
Diminutive of ROCCO
or other names beginning with a similar sound, or else a nickname referring to a tough person. This is the name of a boxer played by Sylvester Stallone in the movie 'Rocky' (1976) and its five sequels.
RODNEY m English
From a surname, originally derived from a place name, which meant "Hroda's island" in Old English (where Hroda
is a Germanic given name meaning "fame"). It was first used as a given name in honour of the British admiral Lord Rodney (1719-1792).
ROSEMARY f English
Combination of ROSE
. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus
meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
ROY m Scottish, English, Dutch
Anglicized form of RUADH
. A notable bearer was the Scottish outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy (1671-1734). It is often associated with French roi
SIDONY f English (Archaic)
Feminine form of SIDONIUS
. This name was in use in the Middle Ages, when it became associated with the word sindon
(of Greek origin) meaning "linen", a reference to the Shroud of Turin.
SONNY m English
From a nickname which is commonly used to denote a young boy, derived from the English word son
THORLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "thorn clearing" in Old English.
TIMOTHY m English, Biblical
English form of the Greek name Τιμοθεος (Timotheos)
meaning "honouring God", derived from τιμαω (timao)
"to honour" and θεος (theos)
"god". Saint Timothy was a companion of Paul
on his missionary journeys and was the recipient of two of Paul's epistles that appear in the New Testament. He was of both Jewish and Greek ancestry. According to tradition, he was martyred at Ephesus after protesting the worship of Artemis
. As an English name, Timothy
was not used until after the Protestant Reformation.
TOBY m & f English
Medieval form of TOBIAS
. It was sometimes used as a feminine name in the 1930s and 40s due to the influence of American actress Toby Wing (1915-2001).
TOPSY f English (Rare)
From a nickname which is of unknown meaning, perhaps deriving from the English word top
TORGNY m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Þórgnýr
meaning "Thor's noise" from the name of the Norse god Þórr
) combined with gnýr
"noise, grumble, murmur".
TORNY f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Þórný
which was derived from the name of the Norse god Þórr
) combined with ný
TROY m English
From a surname that originally denoted a person from the city of Troyes in France. This was also the name of the ancient city that was besieged by the Greeks in Homer
VESLEMØY f Norwegian
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).
WILLOUGHBY m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "willow town" in Old English.
WOODY m English
Either a diminutive of WOODROW
, or else from a nickname derived from the English word wood
. A famous bearer is film director Woody Allen (1935-).