GISBERT m German, Ancient Germanic
From a Germanic name in which the second element is beraht
"bright". The first element is probably a shortened form of gisil
"pledge, hostage" (making it a variant of GILBERT
), though it could be related to Gallo-Celtic gaiso
GISELLE f French, English (Modern)
Derived from the Germanic word gisil
meaning "hostage" or "pledge". This name may have originally been a descriptive nickname for a child given as a pledge to a foreign court. It was borne by a daughter of the French king Charles III who married the Norman leader Rollo in the 10th century. The name was popular in France during the Middle Ages (the more common French form is Gisèle
). Though it became known in the English-speaking world due to Adolphe Adam's ballet 'Giselle' (1841), it was not regularly used until the 20th century.
GIUSEPPE m Italian
Italian form of JOSEPH
. Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a military leader who united Italy in the 19th century.
GLADYS f Welsh, English
From the old Welsh name Gwladus
, possibly derived from gwlad
"country". It has historically been used as a Welsh form of CLAUDIA
. This name became popular outside of Wales after it was used in Ouida's novel 'Puck' (1870).
GLÁUCIO m Portuguese
Portuguese form of the Roman cognomen Glaucia
, which was derived from Latin glaucus
"bluish grey", ultimately from Greek.
GLEB m Russian, Ukrainian
Russian and Ukrainian form of the Old Norse name Guðleifr
, which was derived from the elements guð
"god" and leifr
GLENDA f Welsh, English
A name created in the 20th century from the Welsh elements glân
"pure, clean" and da
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.
GONZALO m Spanish
From the medieval name Gundisalvus
, which was the Latin form of a Germanic name composed of the elements gund
"war" and salv
which is of unknown meaning.
GORMLAITH f Irish, Scottish
Derived from Irish gorm
"blue" or "illustrious" and flaith
"princess, lady". This was the name of a wife of the 11th-century Irish ruler Brian
GOTTFRIED m German
German form of GODFREY
. This name was borne by the 13th-century German poet Gottfried von Strassburg and the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), one of the inventors of calculus.
GOTTSCHALK m German (Archaic)
Derived from the Germanic elements god
"god" and scalc
"servant". Saint Gottschalk was a (perhaps spurious) 11th-century prince of the Wends who was martyred by his brother-in-law.
GRADY m Irish, English
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Grádaigh
meaning "descendant of Grádaigh". The name Grádaigh
means "noble" in Gaelic.
GREGOR m German, Scottish, Slovak, Slovene
German, Scottish, Slovak and Slovene form of GREGORY
. A famous bearer was Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), a Czech monk and scientist who did experiments in genetics.
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]
GRIFFIN m English
Latinized form of GRUFFUDD
. This name can also be inspired by the English word griffin
, a creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, ultimately from Greek γρυψ (gryps)
GRIGORIY m Russian
Russian form of GREGORY
. This name was borne by the Russian mystic Grigoriy Rasputin (1869-1916), more commonly known by only his surname.
GRISELDA f English, Scottish, Spanish, Literature
Possibly derived from the Germanic elements gris
"grey" and hild
"battle". It is not attested as a Germanic name. This was the name of a patient wife in medieval tales by Boccaccio and Chaucer.
GUDRUN f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Guðrún
meaning "god's secret lore", derived from the elements guð
"god" and rún
"secret lore". In Norse legend Gudrun was the wife of Sigurd
. After his death she married Atli, but when he murdered her brothers, she killed her sons by him, fed him their hearts, and then slew him.
GUIDO m Italian, German
Latinized form of WIDO
. This was the name of two 11th-century saints. Other notable bearers include 11th-century music theorist Guido d'Arezzo, 13th-century poet Guido Cavalcanti, and 17th-century painter Guido Reni.
GUIOMAR f & m Portuguese, Spanish, Arthurian Romance
Possibly derived from the Germanic name Wigmar
, which is formed of the elements wig
"war, battle" and meri
"famous". In the medieval 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle he plays a minor role as a cousin of Guinevere, who banishes him after he becomes a lover of Morgan le Fey. In modern Portugal and Spain it is a feminine name.
GUNBORG f Swedish
From the Old Norse name Gunnbjörg
, derived from the elements gunnr
"war" and björg
"help, save, rescue".
GÜNTHER m German, Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic name Gundahar
, derived from the elements gund
"war" and hari
"army, warrior". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century Burgundian king. He appears in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied', which has him wooing the Icelandic queen Brünhild
. He wins her hand in marriage with the help of the hero Siegfried
. He ultimately betrays Siegfried, but Siegfried's widow Kriemhild
(Günther's sister) takes her revenge upon him.
GUNTRAM m German
Means "war raven" from the Germanic elements gund
"war" and hramn
"raven". This was the name of a 6th-century Frankish king.
GUSTAV m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
Possibly means "staff of the Goths", derived from the Old Norse elements Gautr
"Goth" and stafr
"staff". However, the root name Gautstafr
is not well attested in the Old Norse period. Alternatively, it might be derived from the Slavic name GOSTISLAV
. This name has been borne by six kings of Sweden, including the 16th-century Gustav I Vasa.
GUSTAVE m French
French form of GUSTAV
. This name was borne by the French artist Gustave Doré (1832-1883).
GUY m English, French
Norman French form of WIDO
. The Normans introduced it to England, where it was common until the time of Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), a revolutionary who attempted to blow up the British parliament. The name was revived in the 19th century, due in part to characters in the novels 'Guy Mannering' (1815) by Sir Walter Scott and 'The Heir of Redclyffe' (1854) by C. M. Yonge.
GWENAËL m French, Breton
Means "blessed and generous" from Breton gwenn
"white, fair, blessed" and hael
"generous". Saint Gwenhael was a 6th-century abbot of Brittany.
GWENDA f Welsh, English
Derived from the Welsh elements gwen
"white, fair, blessed" and da
"good". This name was created in the 20th century.
GYTHA f English (Archaic)
, an Old Norse diminutive of GUÐRÍÐR
. It was borne by a Danish noblewoman who married the English lord Godwin of Wessex in the 11th century. The name was used in England for a short time after that, and was revived in the 19th century.
GYULA m Hungarian
From a Hungarian royal title, which was probably of Turkic origin. This name is also used as a Hungarian form of JULIUS
HABAKKUK m Biblical
From the Hebrew name חֲבַקּוּק (Chavaqquq)
meaning "embrace". In the Old Testament this is one of the twelve minor prophets, the author of the Book of Habakkuk.
HAGAR f Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Possibly means "flight" in Hebrew, though it could also be of unknown Egyptian origin. In the Old Testament she is the concubine of Abraham
and the mother of Ishmael
, the founder of the Arab people. After Abraham's wife Sarah
finally gave birth to a child, she had Hagar and Ishmael expelled into the desert. However, God heard their crying and saved them.
HAGEN (1) m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic element hagan
meaning "enclosure". In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' he is the half-brother of Günther
. He killed the hero Siegfried
by luring him onto a hunting expedition and then stabbing him with a javelin in his one vulnerable spot.
HAGGITH f Biblical
Means "festive" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of King David
HÅKON m Norwegian
Modern Norwegian form of the Old Norse name Hákon
, which meant "high son" from há
"high" and konr
"son, descendant". This was the name of seven kings of Norway.
HALDOR m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hallþórr
, which meant "Thor's rock" from hallr
"rock" combined with the name of the Norse god Þórr
HALFDAN m Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Hálfdan
, composed of the elements hálfr
"half" and Danr
"Dane", originally a nickname for a person who was half Danish.
HALLE (1) m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Halli
, a diminutive of names containing the element hallr
HALVARD m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hallvarðr
, which meant "rock guardian" from hallr
"rock" combined with varðr
HAMLET m Literature, Armenian
Anglicized form of the Danish name Amleth
. Shakespeare used this name for the Prince of Denmark in his play 'Hamlet' (1600), which he based upon earlier Danish tales.
HANNA (1) f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, German, Dutch, Icelandic, Hungarian
Cognate of HANNAH
HARI m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali
Means "brown, yellow, tawny" in Sanskrit, and by extension "monkey, horse, lion". This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
, and sometimes of Krishna
. It is also borne by the son of the Garuda, the bird-like mount of Vishnu.
HARRIET f English
English form of HENRIETTE
, and thus a feminine form of HARRY
. It was first used in the 17th century, becoming very common in the English-speaking world by the 18th century. A famous bearer was Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the American author who wrote 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'.
HARRY m English
Medieval English form of HENRY
. In modern times it is used as a diminutive of both Henry
. A famous bearer was American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). It is also the name of the boy wizard in J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series of books, first released in 1997.
HARSHA m Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Sanskrit
Means "happiness" in Sanskrit. This was the name of a 7th-century emperor of northern India. He was also noted as an author.
HARTMANN m German
Means "brave man", derived from the Germanic element hard
"brave, hardy" combined with man
HARVEY m English
From the Breton given name Haerviu
, which meant "battle worthy", from haer
"battle" and viu
"worthy". This was the name of a 6th-century Breton hermit who is the patron saint of the blind. Settlers from Brittany introduced it to England after the Norman conquest. During the later Middle Ages it became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
HASAN m Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Indonesian
Means "handsome", derived from Arabic حسن (hasuna)
"to be beautiful, to be good". Hasan was the son of Ali
and the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad
. He was poisoned by one of his wives and is regarded as a martyr by Shia Muslims. This was also the name of two kings of Morocco. It is sometimes transcribed as Hassan
, though this is a distinct name in Arabic.
HASSAN m Arabic, Persian, Urdu
Means "beautifier, improver" in Arabic. Hassan ibn Thabit was a 7th-century poet who was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad
. This name is sometimes transcribed as Hasan
, though the two names are spelled distinctly in Arabic.
HAYDÉE f Spanish, French (Rare)
Spanish and French form of HAIDEE
, from Byron's 'Don Juan' (1819). It was later used by Alexander Dumas for a character in 'The Count of Monte Cristo' (1844).
HECTOR m English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκτωρ (Hektor)
, which was derived from ‘εκτωρ (hektor)
"holding fast", ultimately from εχω (echo)
meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles
' friend Patroclus
in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends belonging to King Arthur
's foster father.... [more]
HEDWIG f German
From the Germanic name Hadewig
, derived from the Germanic elements hadu
"battle, combat" and wig
"war". This was the name of a 13th-century German saint, the wife of the Polish duke Henry the Bearded. It was subsequently borne by a 14th-century Polish queen (usually known by her Polish name Jadwiga
) who is now also regarded as a saint.
HEIDI f German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English
German diminutive of ADELHEID
. This is the name of the title character in the children's novel 'Heidi' (1880) by Johanna Spyri. The name began to be used in the English-speaking world shortly after the 1937 release of the movie adaptation, which starred Shirley Temple.
HEIDRUN f Norse Mythology, German
Derived from Old Norse heiðr
meaning "bright, clear" and rún
meaning "secret". In Norse mythology this was the name of a goat that would eat the leaves from the tree of life and produce mead in her udder.
HÉLDER m Portuguese
Meaning uncertain. It was borne by the Brazilian archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara (1909-1999) who was noted for his charity. It could be from the name of the Dutch town of Den Helder (possibly meaning "hell's door" in Dutch). Alternatively, it might be derived from the Germanic given name HULDERIC
HELENA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinate form of HELEN