RUADH m Irish, Scottish
Gaelic byname meaning "red", often a nickname for one with red hair. This was the nickname of the Scottish outlaw Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor (1671-1734), known as Rob Roy in English.
RUARC m Irish
Probably an Irish form of HRŒREKR
, introduced by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. Alternatively it may be derived from Irish ruarc
RUDOLF m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Russian, Armenian
From the Germanic name Hrodulf
, which was derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wulf
"wolf". It was borne by three kings of Burgundy, as well as several Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. Anthony Hope used this name for the hero in his popular novel 'The Prisoner of Zenda' (1894).
RUDOLPH m English
English form of RUDOLF
, imported from Germany in the 19th century. Robert L. May used it in 1939 for his Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
RUFUS m Ancient Roman, English, Biblical
Roman cognomen which meant "red-haired" in Latin. Several early saints had this name, including one mentioned in one of Paul
's epistles in the New Testament. As a nickname it was used by William II Rufus, a king of England, because of his red hair. It came into general use in the English-speaking world after the Protestant Reformation.
RUPERT m German, Dutch, English, Polish
German variant form of ROBERT
. The military commander Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a nephew of Charles I, introduced this name to England in the 17th century.
RUSLAN m Russian, Tatar, Bashkir, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Ossetian, Chechen, Ingush
Form of YERUSLAN
used by Aleksandr Pushkin in his poem 'Ruslan and Ludmila' (1820), which was loosely based on Russian and Tatar folktales of Yeruslan Lazarevich.
RŪTA f Lithuanian
Means "rue" in Lithuanian, the rue plant being a bitter medicinal herb which is a national symbol of Lithuania. This is also the Lithuanian form of RUTH (1)
SABAS m Spanish, Late Greek
From a Greek name which was derived from Hebrew סַבָא (sava')
meaning "old man". Saints bearing this name include a 4th-century Gothic martyr, a 5th-century Cappadocian hermit, and a 12th-century archbishop of Serbia who is the patron saint of that country.
SABINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Sabinus
, a Roman cognomen meaning "Sabine" in Latin. The Sabines were an ancient people who lived in central Italy, their lands eventually taken over by the Romans after several wars. According to legend, the Romans abducted several Sabine women during a raid, and when the men came to rescue them, the women were able to make peace between the two groups. This name was borne by several early saints.
SABRINA f English, Italian, German
Latinized form of Habren
, the original Welsh name of the River Severn. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the name of a princess who was drowned in the Severn. Supposedly the river was named for her, but it is more likely that her name was actually derived from that of the river, which is of unknown meaning. She appears as a water nymph in John Milton's masque 'Comus' (1634). It was popularized as a given name by Samuel A. Taylor's play 'Sabrina Fair' (1953) and the movie adaptation that followed it the next year.
SAGA f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Icelandic
Possibly means "seeing one" in Old Norse. This was the name of the Norse goddess of poetry and history, sometimes identified with the goddess Frigg
. This is also a modern Swedish word meaning "story, fairy tale".
SAHAK m Armenian
Armenian form of ISAAC
. This was the name of a 5th-century patriarch of the Armenian Church.
SALOME f English, German, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From an Aramaic name which was related to the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
meaning "peace". According to the historian Josephus this was the name of the daughter of Herodias
(the consort of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee). In the New Testament, though a specific name is not given, it was a daughter of Herodias who danced for Herod and was rewarded with the head of John
the Baptist, and thus Salome and the dancer have traditionally been equated.... [more]
SALVADOR m Spanish
Spanish form of the Late Latin name Salvator
, which meant "saviour". A famous bearer of this name was the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (1904-1989).
SAMANTHA f English, Italian, Dutch
Perhaps intended to be a feminine form of SAMUEL
, using the name suffix antha
(possibly inspired by Greek ανθος (anthos)
"flower"). It originated in America in the 18th century but was fairly uncommon until 1964, when it was popularized by the main character on the television show 'Bewitched'.
SAMO m Slovene, Medieval Slavic
Meaning uncertain. This was the name of a 7th-century ruler of the Slavs, who established a kingdom including parts of modern Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. He was possibly of Frankish origin.
SAMSON m Biblical, English, French, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name שִׁמְשׁוֹן (Shimshon)
which meant "sun". Samson was an Old Testament hero granted exceptional strength by God. His mistress Delilah
betrayed him and cut his hair, stripping him of his power. Thus he was captured by the Philistines, blinded, and brought to their temple. However, in a final act of strength, he pulled down the pillars of the temple upon himself and his captors.... [more]
SAMUEL m English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Jewish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name שְׁמוּאֵל (Shemu'el)
which could mean either "name of God" or "God has heard". As told in the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament, Samuel was the last of the ruling judges. He led the Israelites during a period of domination by the Philistines, who were ultimately defeated in battle at Mizpah. Later he anointed Saul
to be the first king of Israel, and even later anointed his successor David
SANCHO m Spanish
Possibly a Spanish form of the Late Latin name Sanctius
, which was derived from the word sanctus
meaning "saintly, holy". Alternatively, Sancho
may be derived from an older Iberian name. This was the name of a 9th-century saint who was martyred by the Moors at Cordoba. It was also borne by several Spanish and Portuguese kings. Miguel de Cervantes used it in his novel 'Don Quixote' (1605), where it belongs to the squire of Don Quixote.
SANDRA f Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian
Short form of ALESSANDRA
. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by author George Meredith, who used it for the heroine in his novel 'Emilia in England' (1864) and the reissued version 'Sandra Belloni' (1887). A famous bearer is American actress Sandra Bullock (1964-).
SANJAY m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Nepali
Modern form of SANJAYA
SAPPHIRA f Biblical
From the Greek name Σαπφειρη (Sappheire)
, which was from Greek σαπφειρος (sappheiros)
meaning "sapphire" or "lapis lazuli" (ultimately derived from the Hebrew word סַפִּיר (sappir)
). Sapphira is a character in Acts in the New Testament who is killed by God for lying.
SARA f Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, German, Dutch, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, English, Arabic, Persian, Bosnian
Form of SARAH
SARAH f English, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "lady, princess, noblewoman" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of Abraham
's wife, considered the matriarch of the Jewish people. She was barren until she unexpectedly became the pregnant with Isaac
at the age of 90. Her name was originally Sarai
, but God changed it at the same time Abraham's name was changed (see Genesis 17:15).... [more]
SARDAR m Persian, Urdu, Pashto
From a title meaning "chief, leader", derived from Persian sar
"head, authority" and dar
SARIAH f Mormon
Possibly from an alternate reading of Hebrew שׂריה
). In the Book of Mormon this is the name of Lehi's wife.
SASKIA f Dutch, German
From the Germanic element Sahs
"Saxon". The Saxons were a Germanic tribe, their name ultimately deriving from the Germanic word sahs
SATAN m Theology, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Derived from Hebrew שָׂטָן (satan)
meaning "adversary". This is the Hebrew name of the enemy of the Judeo-Christian god. In the New Testament he is also known by the title Devil
SAUL m Biblical, Jewish, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name שָׁאוּל (Sha'ul)
which meant "asked for, prayed for". This was the name of the first king of Israel, as told in the Old Testament. Before the end of his reign he lost favour with God, and after a defeat by the Philistines he was succeeded by David
as king. In the New Testament, Saul was the original Hebrew name of the apostle Paul
SAVELIY m Russian
Russian form of the Latin name Sabellius
meaning "a Sabine". The Sabines were an ancient people who lived in central Italy.
SAVITRI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "relating to the sun" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hymn dedicated to Savitr, a Hindu sun god, and it is also the name of his daughter. It is borne by several other characters in Hindu epics, including a wife of Brahma
, a wife of Shiva
, and a daughter of Daksha. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' it is borne by King Satyavan's wife, who successfully pleas with Yama, the god of death, to restore her husband to life.
SCEVOLA m Italian
Italian form of the Roman cognomen Scaevola
, which was derived from Latin scaevus
"left-handed". The first bearer of this name was Gaius Mucius Scaevola, who acquired it, according to legend, after he thrust his right hand into a blazing fire in order to intimidate the Etruscan king Porsenna, who was blockading the city of Rome.
SEACHNALL m Irish
Possibly an Irish form of SECUNDINUS
. This was the name of a 5th-century Irish saint, also known as Secundinus.
SEBASTIAN m German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Finnish, Romanian
From the Latin name Sebastianus
which meant "from Sebaste". Sebaste was the name a town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek σεβαστος (sebastos)
"venerable" (a translation of Latin Augustus
, the title of the Roman emperors). According to Christian tradition, Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian. After he was discovered to be a Christian, he was tied to a stake and shot with arrows. This however did not kill him. Saint Irene of Rome healed him and he returned to personally admonish Diocletian, whereupon the emperor had him beaten to death.... [more]
SEETHA f Tamil
Tamil form of SITA
. The name of the mythological figures is சீதை
, while சீதா
is the spelling used for people.
SELİM m Turkish
Turkish form of SALIM
. This was the name of three Ottoman sultans, including the father of Süleyman the Magnificent.
SERAPHINA f English (Rare), German (Rare), Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Seraphinus
, derived from the biblical word seraphim
which was Hebrew in origin and meant "fiery ones". The seraphim were an order of angels, described by Isaiah in the Bible as having six wings each. This was the name of a 13th-century Italian saint who made clothes for the poor. As an English name, it has never been common.
SERENA f English, Italian, Late Roman
From a Late Latin name which was derived from Latin serenus
meaning "clear, tranquil, serene". This name was borne by an obscure early saint. Edmund Spenser also used it in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
SERVAAS m Dutch
Dutch form of the Late Latin name Servatius
, derived from servatus
"saved, redeemed". This was the name of a 4th-century saint who helped spread Christianity to the Low Countries.
SETTIMIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Septimius
, which was derived from SEPTIMUS
. Septimius Severus was an early 3rd-century Roman emperor. This was also the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr.
SHAHID m Arabic, Urdu
Means "witness" in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الشاهد (al-Shahid)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
SHAHRAZAD f Persian (Rare), Arabic
Means "free city" from the Persian elements شهر (shahr)
"city" and آزاد (azad)
"free". This is the name of the fictional storyteller in 'The 1001 Nights'. She tells a story to her husband the king every night for 1001 nights in order to delay her execution.
SHAKTI f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "power" in Sanskrit. In Hinduism a shakti is the female counterpart of a god. The name Shakti is used in particular to refer to the female counterpart of Shiva
, also known as Parvati
among many other names.
SHAKUNTALA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit शकुन्त (shakunta)
meaning "bird". This is the name of a character in Hindu legend, her story adapted by Kalidasa for the 5th-century play 'Abhijnanashakuntalam'. It tells how Shakuntala, who was raised in the forest by birds, meets and marries the king Dushyanta
. After a curse is laid upon them Dushyanta loses his memory and they are separated, but eventually the curse is broken after the king sees the signet ring he gave her.
SHANE m Irish, English
Anglicized form of SEÁN
. It came into general use in America after the release of the western movie 'Shane' (1953).
SHEALTIEL m Biblical
Means "I have asked of God" in Hebrew. This was the name of the father of Zerubbabel in the Old Testament.
SHEENA f Scottish, English
Anglicized form of SÌNE
. This name was popularized outside of Scotland in the 1980s by the singer Sheena Easton (1959-).
SHEMAIAH m Biblical
Means "heard by YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. This name is borne by many characters in the Old Testament including a prophet in the reign of Rehoboam
SHIPHRAH f Biblical
Means "beautiful" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the midwives who disobeys the Pharaoh's order to kill any Hebrew boys they deliver.
SHIVA (1) m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Derived from Sanskrit शिव (shiva)
meaning "benign, kind, auspicious". Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and restoration, the husband of the mother goddess Parvati
. His aspect is usually terrifying, but it can also be gentle.
SHYAMA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit श्याम (shyama)
meaning "dark, black, blue". This is a transcription of the masculine form श्याम
, which is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, as well as the feminine form श्यामा
, one of the many names of the wife of the god Shiva
. It is also the name of a Jain goddess.