JEROBOAM m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יָרָבְעָם (Yarav'am)
meaning "the people contend". According to the Old Testament, this was the name of the leader of the revolt against King Rehoboam
of Israel. The kingdom was split into Judah in the south and Israel in the north, with Jeroboam becoming the first king of the latter.
JEROME m English
From the Greek name ‘Ιερωνυμος (Hieronymos)
meaning "sacred name", derived from ‘ιερος (hieros)
"sacred" and ονομα (onoma)
"name". Saint Jerome was responsible for the creation of the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible, in the 5th century. He is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. The name was used in his honour in the Middle Ages, especially in Italy and France, and has been used in England since the 12th century.
JESCHA f Biblical
Form of ISCAH
found in the medieval Wycliffe Bible. This name was probably the basis for Shakespeare's created name Jessica
JESSE m English, Dutch, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishay)
which possibly means "gift". In the Old Testament Jesse is the father of King David
. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jesse James (1847-1882), an American outlaw who held up banks and stagecoaches. He was eventually shot by a fellow gang member for a reward. Another famous bearer was the American athlete Jesse Owens (1913-1980), whose real name was James Cleveland (or J. C.) Owens.
JESSICA f English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Spanish
This name was first used in this form by Shakespeare in his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596), where it belongs to the daughter of Shylock. Shakespeare probably based it on the biblical name ISCAH
, which would have been spelled Jescha
in his time. It was not commonly used as a given name until the middle of the 20th century. Notable bearers include actresses Jessica Tandy (1909-1994) and Jessica Lange (1949-).
JESUS m Theology, Biblical
English form of Ιησους (Iesous)
, which was the Greek form of the Aramaic name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshu'a)
is itself a contracted form of Yehoshu'a
). Yeshua ben Yoseph, better known as Jesus Christ, was the central figure of the New Testament and the source of the Christian religion. The four gospels state that he was the son of God and the Virgin Mary
who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. He preached for three years before being crucified in Jerusalem.
JEZEBEL f Biblical
From the Hebrew אִיזֶבֶל ('Izevel)
which probably means "where is the prince?", a ritual question spoken in ceremonies honouring Baal
. Alternatively, it may mean "not exalted". In the Old Testament Jezebel is the evil wife of Ahab
, king of Israel. After she was thrown from a window to her death her body was eaten by dogs, fulfilling Elijah
JOAB m Biblical
is father" in Hebrew. According to the Old Testament, he was the commander of King David
's army. In separate incidents he killed both Abner
. When Solomon
came to power he was executed.
JOAN (1) f English
Medieval English form of Johanne
, an Old French form of Iohanna
). This was the usual English feminine form of John
in the Middle Ages, but it was surpassed in popularity by Jane
in the 17th century.... [more]
JOANNA f English, Polish, Biblical
English and Polish form of Latin Iohanna
, which was derived from Greek Ιωαννα (Ioanna)
, the feminine form of Ioannes
). This is the spelling used in the English New Testament, where it belongs to a follower of Jesus
who is regarded as a saint. In the Middle Ages in England it was used as a Latinized form of Joan
(the usual feminine form of John
) and it became common as a given name in the 19th century.
JOASH m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹאָשׁ (Yo'ash)
which possibly meant either "fire of YAHWEH
" or "YAHWEH
has given". In the Old Testament this name was borne by several characters including the father of Gideon
, a king of Judah, and a son of King Ahab
JOB m Biblical, Dutch
From the Hebrew name אִיּוֹב ('Iyyov)
which means "persecuted, hated". In the Book of Job in the Old Testament he is a righteous man who is tested by God, enduring many tragedies and hardships while struggling to remain faithful.
JOCELYN f & m English, French
From a Germanic masculine name, variously written as Gaudelenus
, along with many other spellings. It was derived from the Germanic element Gaut
, which was from the name of the Germanic tribe the Goths, combined with a Latin diminutive suffix. The Normans brought this name to England in the form Goscelin
, and it was common until the 14th century. It was revived in the 20th century primarily as a feminine name, perhaps an adaptation of the surname Jocelyn
(a medieval derivative of the given name). In France this is a masculine name only.
JOEL m English, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹאֵל (Yo'el)
is God". Joel is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Joel, which describes a plague of locusts. In England, it was first used as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation.
JOHANAN m Biblical
Form of Yochanan
) used in the English Old Testament. It was the name of a military leader in the time of the prophet Jeremiah
JOHANN m German
German form of Iohannes
). Famous bearers include German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), German novelist and poet Johann Goethe (1749-1832), and Austrian composers Johann Strauss the Elder (1804-1849) and his son Johann Strauss the Younger (1825-1899).
JOHN m English, Biblical
English form of Iohannes
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes)
, itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan)
is gracious". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan
in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus
. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod
Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter
(his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
JOLÁNKA f Hungarian (Rare)
Created by the Hungarian writer András Dugonics for the main character in his novel 'Jólánka, Etelkának Leánya' (1803). He may have based it on Hungarian jóleán
meaning "good girl" or possibly on the name YOLANDA
JONAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah)
meaning "dove". This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.... [more]
JONATHAN m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹנָתָן (Yehonatan)
,contracted to יוֹנָתָן (Yonatan)
, meaning "YAHWEH
has given". According to the Old Testament, Jonathan was the eldest son of Saul
. His relationship with his father was strained due to his close friendship with his father's rival David
. Along with Saul he was killed in battle with the Philistines.... [more]
JORAM m Biblical
Contracted form of Yehoram
). This name belongs to several minor characters in the Old Testament, as well as being another name for the kings Jehoram of Israel and Jehoram of Judah.
JORDAN m & f English, Macedonian
From the name of the river which flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The river's name in Hebrew is יַרְדֵן (Yarden)
, and it is derived from יָרַד (yarad)
meaning "descend" or "flow down". In the New Testament John
the Baptist baptizes Jesus
Christ in its waters, and it was adopted as a personal name in Europe after crusaders brought water back from the river to baptize their children. There may have been some influence from the Germanic name JORDANES
, notably borne by a 6th-century Gothic historian.... [more]
JOSEPH m English, French, German, Biblical
, the Latin form of Greek Ιωσηφ (Ioseph)
, which was from the Hebrew name יוֹסֵף (Yosef)
meaning "he will add". In the Old Testament Joseph is the eleventh son of Jacob
and the first with his wife Rachel
. Because he was the favourite of his father, his older brothers sent him to Egypt and told their father that he had died. In Egypt, Joseph became an advisor to the pharaoh, and was eventually reconciled with his brothers when they came to Egypt during a famine. This name also occurs in the New Testament, belonging to Saint Joseph the husband of Mary
, and to Joseph of Arimathea.... [more]
JOSEPHUS m Dutch, History
Latin form of JOSEPH
. This form is used by Dutch Catholics. In English, it is used primarily to refer to the 1st-century Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus.
JOSES m Biblical
From Ιωσης (Ioses)
, a Greek variant of JOSEPH
used in the New Testament to distinguish Joseph the brother of James from the many other characters of that name.
JOSHUA m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu'a)
is salvation". As told in the Old Testament, Joshua was a companion of Moses
. He went up Mount Sinai with Moses when he received the Ten Commandments from God, and later he was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan. After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites and he led the conquest of Canaan. His original name was Hoshea
JOSIAH m Biblical, English
From the Hebrew name יֹאשִׁיָהוּ (Yoshiyahu)
supports". In the Old Testament this is the name of a king of Judah famous for his religious reforms. He was killed fighting the Egyptians at Megiddo in the 7th century BC. In England this name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
JOTHAM m Biblical
is upright" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of both a son of Gideon
and a king of Judah.
JOVITA f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese feminine form of the Roman name Iovita
(masculine), which was derived from the name of the god JOVE
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr, the brother of Faustinus.
JOYCE f & m English
From the medieval masculine name Josse
, which was derived from the earlier Iudocus
, which was a Latinized form of the Breton name Judoc
meaning "lord". The name belonged to a 7th-century Breton saint, and Breton settlers introduced it to England after the Norman conquest. It became rare after the 14th century, but was later revived as a feminine name, perhaps because of similarity to the Middle English word joise
"to rejoice". This given name also formed the basis for a surname, as in the case of the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941).
JOZAFAT m Polish (Rare)
Polish form of JOSAPHAT
. This was the name of a 17th-century Polish saint and martyr who attempted to reconcile the Catholic and Eastern Churches.
JUAN (1) m Spanish, Manx
Spanish and Manx form of Iohannes
). This name is borne by Don Juan, a character from Spanish legend who, after killing his lover's father, is dragged to hell by the father's ghost.
JUANA f Spanish
Spanish form of Iohanna
), making it the feminine form of JUAN (1)
. This name was borne by Juana the Mad, a 16th-century queen of Castile.
JUBAL m Biblical
Means "stream" in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in Genesis in the Old Testament as belonging to the first person to be a musician.
JUDAH m Biblical
From the Hebrew יְהוּדָה (Yehudah)
which meant "praised". In the Old Testament Judah is the fourth of the twelve sons of Jacob
, and the ancestor of the tribe of Judah. An explanation for his name is given in Genesis 29:35. His tribe eventually formed the Kingdom of Judah in the south of Israel. King David
were among the descendants of him and his wife Tamar
. This name was also borne by Judah Maccabee, the Jewish priest who revolted against Seleucid rule in the 2nd century BC, as told in the Books of Maccabees.... [more]
JUDAS m Biblical
From Ιουδας (Ioudas)
, the Greek form of JUDAH
. This is the name of several characters in the New Testament including the infamous Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus
to the Jewish authorities in exchange for money.
JUDE (1) m English, Biblical
Variant of JUDAS
. It is used in many English versions of the New Testament to denote the second apostle named Judas, in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. He was supposedly the author of the Epistle of Jude. In the English-speaking world, Jude
has occasionally been used as a given name since the time of the Protestant Reformation.
JUDICAËL m French, Breton
French form of the Old Breton name Iudicael
, derived from the elements iud
"lord, prince" and cael
"generous". This was the name of a 7th-century Breton king, also regarded as a saint.
JUDITH f English, Jewish, French, German, Spanish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדִית (Yehudit)
meaning "woman from Judea", Judea being an ancient region in Israel. In the Old Testament Judith is one of the Hittite wives of Esau
. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith. She killed Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep.... [more]
JULES (1) m French
French form of JULIUS
. A notable bearer of this name was the French novelist Jules Verne (1828-1905), author of 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' and other works of science fiction.
JULIA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical
Feminine form of the Roman family name JULIUS
. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was also borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare used it in his comedy 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594).... [more]
JULIAN m English, Polish, German
From the Roman name Iulianus
, which was derived from JULIUS
. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana
, eventually becoming Gillian
JULIANA f Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Iulianus
). This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr from Nicomedia, and also of the Blessed Juliana of Norwich, also called Julian, a 14th-century mystic and author. The name was also borne by a 20th-century queen of the Netherlands. In England, this form has been in use since the 18th century, alongside the older form Gillian
JULIE f French, Danish, Norwegian, Czech, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese
French, Danish, Norwegian and Czech form of JULIA
. It has spread to many other regions as well. It has been common in the English-speaking world since the early 20th century.
JULIUS m Ancient Roman, English, German
From a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Greek ιουλος (ioulos)
meaning "downy-bearded". Alternatively, it could be related to the name of the Roman god JUPITER
. This was a prominent patrician family of Rome, who claimed descent from the mythological Julus, son of Aeneas
. Its most notable member was Gaius Julius Caesar, who gained renown as a military leader for his clever conquest of Gaul. After a civil war he became the dictator of the Roman Republic, but was eventually stabbed to death in the senate.... [more]
JUNIA f Biblical, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of JUNIUS
. This was the name of an early Christian mentioned in the New Testament (there is some debate about whether the name belongs to a man or a woman).
JUSTIN m English, French, Slovene
From the Latin name Iustinus
, which was derived from JUSTUS
. This was the name of several early saints including Justin Martyr, a Christian philosopher of the 2nd century who was beheaded in Rome. It was also borne by two Byzantine emperors. As an English name, it has occasionally been used since the late Middle Ages, though it did not become common until the 20th century. Famous modern bearers include pop stars Justin Timberlake (1981-) and Justin Bieber (1994-).
JUTTA f German
Probably a medieval Low German form of JUDITH
. It might also derive from a Germanic name such as JUDDA
JUVENAL m History, Portuguese
From the Roman cognomen Iuvenalis
which meant "youthful" in Latin. Juvenal was a Roman satirist of the 1st century.
KAISER m Various
German form of the Roman title Caesar
). It is not used as a given name in Germany itself.
KALYANI f Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi
Means "beautiful, lovely, auspicious" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Parvati
KAMAL (2) m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Modern masculine form of KAMALA
KAMALA f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Nepali
Means "lotus" or "pale red" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form कमला
and the masculine form कमल
. This is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades, in Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
KARL m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
German and Scandinavian form of CHARLES
. This was the name of seven emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and an emperor of Austria, as well as kings of Sweden and Norway. Other famous bearers include Karl Marx (1818-1883), the German philosopher and revolutionary who laid the foundations for communism, and Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), a German existentialist philosopher.