HERNANDO m Spanish
Medieval Spanish form of FERDINAND
. A famous bearer of this name was Hernando Cortés (1485-1547), a Spanish conquistador.
HEROD m Biblical
From the Greek name ‘Ηρωιδης (Heroides)
, which probably means "song of the hero" from ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior" combined with ωιδη (oide)
"song, ode". This was the name of several rulers of Judea during the period when it was part of the Roman Empire. This includes two who appear in the New Testament: Herod the Great, the king who ordered the slaughter of the children, and his son Herod Antipas, who had John
the Baptist beheaded.
HERODIAS f Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of HEROD
. This was the name of a member of the Herodian ruling family of Judea, a sister of Herod Agrippa and the wife of Herod Antipas. She appears in the Old Testament, where she contrives to have her husband Antipas imprison and execute John the Baptist.
HERTHA f German
Form of NERTHUS
. The spelling change from N
resulted from a misreading of Tacitus's text.
HESTER f English, Biblical Latin
Latin form of ESTHER
. Like Esther
, it has been used in England since the Protestant Reformation. Nathaniel Hawthorne used it for the heroine of his novel 'The Scarlet Letter' (1850), Hester Prynne.
HEZEKIAH m Biblical
From the Hebrew name חִזְקִיָהוּ (Chizqiyahu)
, which means "YAHWEH
strengthens". This name was borne by a powerful king of Judah who reigned in the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Also in the Old Testament, this was the name of an ancestor of the prophet Zephaniah
HIDDE m Frisian
Frisian short form of names containing the Germanic element hild
HILARY f & m English
Medieval English form of HILARIUS
. During the Middle Ages it was primarily a masculine name. It was revived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century as a predominantly feminine name. In America, this name and the variant Hillary
seemed to drop in popularity after Hillary Clinton (1947-) became the first lady.
HILLARY f English
Variant of HILARY
. A famous bearer of the surname was Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first man to climb Mount Everest.
HILTRAUD f German
Means "strength in battle", derived from the Germanic elements hild
"battle" and thrud
HIRAM m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Probably of Phoenician origin, though it could be from Hebrew meaning "exalted brother". This was the name of a king of Tyre in the Old Testament. As an English given name, Hiram
came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where it gained some currency.
HOEBAER m Limburgish
Limburgish form of HUBERT
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Hubert.
HOMER m English, Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name ‘Ομηρος (Homeros)
, derived from ‘ομηρος (homeros)
meaning "hostage, pledge". Homer was the Greek epic poet who wrote the 'Iliad', about the Trojan War, and the 'Odyssey', about Odysseus
's journey home after the war. There is some debate about when he lived, or if he was even a real person, though most scholars place him in the 8th century BC. In the modern era, Homer
has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world (chiefly in America) since the 18th century. This name is borne by the cartoon father on the television series 'The Simpsons'.
HONORINE f French
French form of Honorina
, a feminine form of the Roman name Honorinus
, a derivative of HONORIUS
. Saint Honorina was a 4th-century martyr from the Normandy region in France.
HONOUR f English (Rare)
From the English word honour
, which is of Latin origin. This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century. It can also be viewed as a form of HONORIA
, which are ultimately derived from the same source.
HORACE m English, French
English and French form of HORATIUS
, and the name by which the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus is commonly known those languages. In the modern era it has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, in honour of the poet.
HORATIO m English
Variant of HORATIUS
. It was borne by the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), famous for his defeat of Napoleon's forces in the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he was himself killed. Since his time the name has been occasionally used in his honour.
HOSEA m Biblical
Variant transcription of Hoshe'a
). Hosea is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Hosea. Written in the northern kingdom, it draws parallels between his relationship with his unfaithful wife and the relationship between God and his people.
HOSHEA m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name הוֹשֵׁעַ (Hoshe'a)
meaning "salvation". In the Old Testament at Numbers 13:16, Moses
gives the spy Hoshea the new name Yehoshu'a
), which has a related origin. This name was also borne by an 8th-century BC king of Israel, who was the last ruler of that state before it was conquered by Assyria.
HUBERT m English, German, Dutch, French, Polish, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright heart", derived from the Germanic elements hug
"heart, mind" and beraht
"bright". Saint Hubert was an 8th-century bishop of Maastricht who is considered the patron saint of hunters. The Normans brought the name to England, where it replaced an Old English cognate Hygebeorht
. It died out during the Middle Ages but was revived in the 19th century.
HUGH m English
From the Germanic element hug
, meaning "heart, mind, spirit". It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh
HUGO m Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of HUGH
. As a surname it has belonged to the French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the writer of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.
HULDAH f Biblical
Means "weasel, mole" in Hebrew. This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to a prophetess.
HUMBERT m German, French, English (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Means "bright warrior", derived from the Germanic elements hun
"warrior, bear cub" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, though it has always been uncommon there. It was borne by two kings of Italy (called Umberto in Italian), who ruled in the 19th and 20th centuries.
HUMPHREY m English
Means "peaceful warrior" from the Germanic elements hun
"warrior, bear cub" and frid
"peace". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hunfrith
, and it was regularly used through the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the American actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), who starred in 'The Maltese Falcon' and 'Casablanca'.
IAGO m Welsh, Galician, Portuguese
Welsh and Galician form of JACOB
. This was the name of two early Welsh kings of Gwynedd. It is also the name of the villain in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Othello' (1603).
IDA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element id
meaning "work, labour". The Normans brought this name to England, though it eventually died out there in the Middle Ages. It was strongly revived in the 19th century, in part due to the heroine in Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'The Princess' (1847), which was later adapted into the play 'Princess Ida' (1884) by Gilbert and Sullivan.... [more]
IDONEA f English (Archaic)
Medieval English name, probably a Latinized form of IÐUNN
. The spelling may have been influenced by Latin idonea
"suitable". It was common in England from the 12th century.
IEVA f Lithuanian, Latvian
Lithuanian and Latvian form of EVE
. This is also the Lithuanian and Latvian word for a type of cherry tree (species Prunus padus).
IGOR m Russian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian
Russian form of Yngvarr
). The Varangians brought it to Russia in the 10th century. It was borne by two Grand Princes of Kiev. Famous bearers include Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), a Russian composer whose most famous work is 'The Rite of Spring', and Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972), the Russian-American designer of the first successful helicopter.
ILDEFONSO m Spanish
Spanish form of the Visigothic name Hildefons
, which meant "battle ready", derived from the Germanic elements hild
"battle" and funs
"ready". This was the name of a 7th-century saint, an archbishop of Toledo.
ILEANA f Romanian, Spanish, Italian
Possibly a Romanian variant of ELENA
. In Romanian folklore this is the name of a princess kidnapped by monsters and rescued by a heroic knight.
IME (2) m & f Frisian
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ermen
IMRE m Hungarian
Hungarian form of EMMERICH
. This was the name of an 11th-century Hungarian saint, the son of Saint Istvan. He is also known as Emeric.
INDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "possessing drops of rain" from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu)
meaning "a drop" and र (ra)
meaning "acquiring, possessing". Indra is the name of the ancient Hindu warrior god of the sky and rain. He is the chief god in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
INDRAJIT m Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Hindi
Means "conqueror of Indra" from the name of the god INDRA
combined with Sanskrit जिति (jiti)
meaning "victory, conquering". In Hindu legend this is another name of Meghanada, the son of Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka. He was given this name by Brahma
after he defeated Indra
INGE f & m Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Dutch
Short form of Scandinavian and German names beginning with the element ing
, which refers to the Germanic god ING
. In Sweden and Norway this is primarily a masculine name, elsewhere it is usually feminine.
INGEMAR m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Ingimárr
, derived from the name of the Germanic god ING
combined with mærr
INGMAR m Swedish
Variant of INGEMAR
. This name was borne by the Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007).
INGRID f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Ingríðr
meaning "Ing is beautiful", derived from the name of the Germanic god ING
combined with fríðr
"beautiful". A famous bearer was the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982).
ÍÑIGO m Spanish
Medieval Spanish form of ENEKO
. This was the birth name of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who changed it in honour of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. As such, this name is sometimes regarded as a form of IGNATIUS
INIGO m English (Rare)
English form of ÍÑIGO
. It became well-known in Britain due to the 17th-century English architect Inigo Jones. He was named after his father, a Catholic who was named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
INNA f Russian, Ukrainian
Meaning unknown. This was the name of an early Scythian saint and martyr, a male, supposedly a disiciple of Saint Andrew
IOLANTHE f Various
Probably a variant of YOLANDA
influenced by the Greek words ιολη (iole)
"violet" and ανθος (anthos)
"flower". This name was (first?) used by Gilbert and Sullivan in their comic opera 'Iolanthe' (1882).
IONA (1) f English, Scottish
From the name of the island off Scotland where Saint Columba founded a monastery. The name of the island is Old Norse in origin, and apparently derives simply from ey
IONE f Greek Mythology, English
From Greek ιον (ion)
meaning "violet flower". This was the name of a sea nymph in Greek mythology. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, though perhaps based on the Greek place name Ionia
, a region on the west coast of Asia Minor.
IRA (1) m Biblical, English, Hebrew
Means "watchful" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of King David
's priest. As an English Christian given name, Ira
began to be used after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where remained moderately common into the 20th century.
IRENE f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene)
, derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι
(Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.... [more]
IRIA f Portuguese, Galician
Possibly a Portuguese and Galician form of IRENE
. This was the name of a 7th-century saint (also known as Irene) from Tomar in Portugal. This is also the name of an ancient town in Galicia (now a district of Padrón).