KATHERINE f English
From the Greek name Αικατερινη (Aikaterine)
. The etymology is debated: it could derive from the earlier Greek name ‘Εκατερινη (Hekaterine)
, which came from ‘εκατερος (hekateros)
"each of the two"; it could derive from the name of the goddess HECATE
; it could be related to Greek αικια (aikia)
"torture"; or it could be from a Coptic name meaning "my consecration of your name". In the early Christian era it became associated with Greek καθαρος (katharos)
"pure", and the Latin spelling was changed from Katerina
to reflect this.... [more]
KELLY m & f Irish, English
Anglicized form of the Irish given name CEALLACH
or the surname derived from it Ó Ceallaigh
. As a surname, it has been borne by actor and dancer Gene Kelly (1912-1996) and actress and princess Grace Kelly (1929-1982).
KEMAL m Turkish
Turkish form of KAMAL (1)
. This was the second name, acquired in his youth, of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), the founder of modern Turkey.
KENAN m Biblical
Possibly means "possession" in Hebrew. He is a son of Enosh
and a great-grandson of Adam
in the Old Testament.
KENANIAH m Biblical
establishes" in Hebrew. This was the name of two minor Old Testament characters.
KENNETH m Scottish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Anglicized form of both COINNEACH
. This name was borne by the Scottish king Kenneth (Cináed) mac Alpin, who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century. It was popularized outside of Scotland by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for the hero in his novel 'The Talisman' (1825). A famous bearer was the British novelist Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), who wrote 'The Wind in the Willows'.
KEREN-HAPPUCH f Biblical
Means "horn of antimony" in Hebrew. Antimony is a substance that was formerly used as an eye cosmetic (eyeshadow). A hollowed animal horn could have been used to store this material. Keren-Happuch is the name of the third daughter of Job in the Old Testament.
KETIL m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Ketill
meaning "kettle, cauldron" (later also acquiring the meaning "helmet"). In old Scandinavian rituals the ketill
was used to catch the blood of sacrificed animals.
KEVIN m English, Irish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Anglicized form of the Irish name Caoimhín
, derived from the older Irish Cóemgein
, composed of the Old Irish elements cóem
"kind, gentle, handsome" and gein
"birth". Saint Caoimhín established a monastery in Glendalough, Ireland in the 6th century and is the patron saint of Dublin. It became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland in the 20th century.
KEZIAH f Biblical
From the Hebrew name קְצִיעָה (Qetzi'ah)
meaning "cassia, cinnamon", from the name of the spice tree. In the Old Testament she is a daughter of Job.
KHADIJA f Arabic, Malay
Means "premature child" in Arabic. This was the name of the Prophet Muhammad
's first wife and the mother of all of his children. She was a wealthy merchant and a widow when they married in the year 595. Muhammad received his first revelation 15 years after their marriage, and she was the first person to convert to Islam.
KHURSHID m & f Persian, Urdu, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Hvare Khshaeta
meaning "shining sun". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata (or angel) who was associated with the sun.
KIARA f English (Modern)
Variant of CIARA (1)
. This name first became used in 1988 after the singing duo Kiara released their song 'This Time'. It was further popularized by a character in the animated movie 'The Lion King II' (1998).
KLEMENS m German, Danish, Swedish, Polish
German, Danish, Swedish and Polish form of Clemens
). Prince Klemens Metternich was a 19th-century Austrian chancellor who guided the Austrian Empire to victory in the Napoleonic Wars.
KNUT m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
Derived from Old Norse knútr
meaning "knot". Knut was a Danish prince who defeated Æðelræd II, king of England, in the early 11th century and became the ruler of Denmark, Norway and England.
KOLOMAN m German (Rare), Slovak
German and Slovak form of COLMÁN
. Saint Koloman (also called Coloman or Colman) was an Irish monk who was martyred in Stockerau in Austria.
KORBINIAN m German
Derived from Latin corvus
meaning "raven". This was the name of an 8th-century Frankish saint who was sent by Pope Gregory II to evangelize in Bavaria. His real name may have been Hraban
KREŠIMIR m Croatian
From the Slavic elements kresu
"spark, light, rouse" and miru
"peace, world". This was the name of four kings of Croatia.
KRIEMHILD f German (Rare), Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements grim
"mask" and hild
"battle". Kriemhild was a beautiful heroine in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied', where she is the sister of Günther
and the wife of Siegfried
. After her husband is killed by Hagen
with the consent of Günther, Kriemhild tragically exacts her revenge.
KRISHNA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
KRISTINA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, German, Slovene, Czech, Lithuanian, Serbian, Croatian, Faroese, English, Bulgarian
Form of CHRISTINA
, and a Bulgarian variant of HRISTINA
KUMAR m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Nepali
Modern form of KUMARA
KUNEGUNDA f Polish (Rare)
Polish form of KUNIGUNDE
. The 13th-century Saint Kunegunda was the daughter of Bela IV, king of Hungary. She married Boleslaus V of Poland, but after his death refused to assume power and instead became a nun.
KUNIGUNDE f German (Rare)
Derived from the Germanic element kuni
"clan, family" combined with gund
"war". Saint Kunigunde was the wife of Holy Roman Emperor Henry II.
KURT m German, English
German contracted form of CONRAD
. A famous bearer was the American musician Kurt Cobain (1967-1994).
LACHLAN m Scottish, English (Australian)
Originally a Scottish nickname for a person who was from Norway. In Scotland, Norway was known as the "land of the lochs", or Lochlann
LAIMA f Lithuanian, Latvian, Baltic Mythology
Means "luck" in Latvian and Lithuanian. This was the name of the Latvian and Lithuanian goddess of fate, luck, pregnancy and childbirth. She was the sister of the goddesses Dekla and Karta, who were also associated with fate.
LAKSHMI f & m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi
Means "sign, mark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu goddess of prosperity, good luck, and beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu
and her symbol is the lotus flower, with which she is often depicted.
LAMAR m English, African American
From a French and English surname, originally from a place name in Normandy, which was derived from Old French la mare
meaning "the pool".
LAMBAER m Limburgish
Limburgish form of LAMBERT
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Lambert.
LANCE m English
From the Germanic name Lanzo
, originally a short form of names that began with the element land
meaning "land". During the Middle Ages it became associated with Old French lance
"spear, lance". A famous bearer is American cyclist Lance Armstrong (1971-).
LARA (1) f Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian
Russian short form of LARISA
. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by a character from Boris Pasternak's novel 'Doctor Zhivago' (1957) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1965).
LARISA f Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient city of Larisa in Thessaly, which meant "citadel". In Greek legends, the nymph Larisa was either a daughter or mother of Pelasgus, the ancestor of the mythical Pelasgians. This name was later borne by a 4th-century Greek martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Church. The name (of the city, nymph and saint) is commonly Latinized as Larissa
, with a double s
LÁSZLÓ m Hungarian
Hungarian form of VLADISLAV
. Saint László was an 11th-century king of Hungary, looked upon as the embodiment of Christian virtue and bravery.
LAUMA f Latvian, Baltic Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Latvian mythology this is the name of a forest spirit sometimes associated with childbirth and weaving.
LAURA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Laurus
, which meant "laurel". This meaning was favourable, since in ancient Rome the leaves of laurel trees were used to create victors' garlands. The name was borne by the 9th-century Spanish martyr Saint Laura, who was a nun thrown into a vat of molten lead by the Moors. It was also the name of the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.... [more]
LAURENCE (1) m English
From the Roman cognomen Laurentius
, which meant "from Laurentum". Laurentum was a city in ancient Italy, its name probably deriving from Latin laurus
"laurel". Saint Laurence was a 3rd-century deacon and martyr from Rome. According to tradition he was roasted alive on a gridiron because, when ordered to hand over the church's treasures, he presented the sick and poor. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in the Christian world (in various spellings).... [more]
LAVINIA f Roman Mythology, Romanian
Meaning unknown, probably of Etruscan origin. In Roman legend Lavinia was the daughter of King Latinus, the wife of Aeneas
, and the ancestor of the Roman people. According to the legend Aeneas named the town of Lavinium in honour of his wife.
LAWRENCE m English
Variant of LAURENCE (1)
. This spelling of the name is now more common than Laurence
in the English-speaking world, probably because Lawrence
is the usual spelling of the surname. The surname was borne by the author and poet D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), as well as the revolutionary T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935), who was known as Lawrence of Arabia.
LAYLA f Arabic, English
Means "night" in Arabic. This was the name of the object of romantic poems written by the 7th-century poet known as Qays. The story of Qays and Layla became a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.
LEAH f English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name לֵאָה (Le'ah)
which was probably derived from the Hebrew word לְאָה (le'ah)
meaning "weary". Alternatively it might derive from a Chaldean name meaning "mistress" or "ruler" in Akkadian. In the Old Testament Leah is the first wife of Jacob
and the mother of seven of his children. Jacob's other wife was Leah's sister Rachel
. Although this name was used by Jews in the Middle Ages, it was not typical as an English Christian name until after the Protestant Reformation, being common among the Puritans.
LECH m Polish, Slavic Mythology
From the name of the Slavic tribe the Lendians, called the Lędzianie
in Polish. According to Slavic legend this was the name of the founder of the Polish people. A famous bearer was the Polish president Lech Wałęsa (1943-).
LEHI m Biblical, Mormon
From an Old Testament place name meaning "jawbone" in Hebrew. It is also used in the Book of Mormon as the name of a prophet.
LEIA f Biblical Greek, Popular Culture
Form of LEAH
used in the Greek Old Testament. This is the name of a princess in the 'Star Wars' movies by George Lucas, who probably based it on Leah
LEIF m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Leifr
meaning "descendant, heir". Leif Eriksson was a Norse explorer who reached North America in the early 11th century. He was the son of Erik the Red.
LEILA f Arabic, Persian, English, Georgian
Variant of LAYLA
. This spelling was used by Lord Byron for characters in 'The Giaour' (1813) and 'Don Juan' (1819), and it is through him that the name was introduced to the English-speaking world.
LEMUEL m Biblical, Mormon, Biblical Hebrew
Means "belonging to God" in Hebrew. This was the name of a king briefly mentioned in Proverbs in the Old Testament. In the Book of Mormon it is the name of a son of Lehi and Sariah. It is also borne by the hero of Jonathan Swift's novel 'Gulliver's Travels' (1726).
LENNON m Scottish, English (Rare)
Anglicized form of the Irish surname Ó Leannáin
, which means "descendant of Leannán". The name Leannán
means "lover" in Gaelic. This surname was borne by musician John Lennon (1940-1980), a member of the Beatles.
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
meaning "lion", a cognate of LEON
. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina'. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
LEOCADIA f Spanish, Late Roman
Late Latin name which might be derived from the name of the Greek island of Leucadia
or from Greek λευκος (leukos)
meaning "bright, clear, white" (which is also the root of the island's name). Saint Leocadia was a 3rd-century martyr from Spain.