SAGAfNorse 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".
Armenian form of ISAAC
. This was the name of a 5th-century patriarch of the Armenian Church.
Means "virtuous" in Arabic. According to the Qur'an this was the name of an early Arabian prophet.
SALOMEfEnglish, 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]
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).
SAMANTHAfEnglish, 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'.
SAMOmSlovene, 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.
SAMSONmBiblical, English, French, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name שִׁםְשׁוֹן (Shimshon)
meaning "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]
SAMUELmEnglish, 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
Possibly a Spanish and Portuguese 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.
SANDRAfItalian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, 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-).
SANJAYmIndian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Nepali
Modern form of SANJAYA
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.
SARAfGreek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, German, French, Dutch, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, English, Arabic, Persian, Bosnian
Form of SARAH
SARAHfEnglish, 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]
SARDARmPersian, Urdu, Pashto
From a title meaning "chief, leader", derived from Persian sar
"head, authority" and dar
Possibly from an alternate reading of Hebrew שׂריה
). In the Book of Mormon this is the name of Lehi's wife.
From the Germanic element Sahs
"Saxon". The Saxons were a Germanic tribe, their name ultimately deriving from the Germanic word sahs
SATANmTheology, 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
SAULmBiblical, 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
Russian form of the Latin name Sabellius
meaning "a Sabine". The Sabines were an ancient people who lived in central Italy.
SAVITRIfHinduism, 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.
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.
Possibly an Irish form of SECUNDINUS
. This was the name of a 5th-century Irish saint, also known as Secundinus.
SEBASTIANmGerman, 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]
Tamil form of SITA
. The name of the mythological figures is சீதை
, while சீதா
is the spelling used for people.
Turkish form of SALIM
. This was the name of three Ottoman sultans, including the father of Süleyman the Magnificent.
SERAPHINAfEnglish (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.
SERENAfEnglish, 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).
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.
Means "witness" in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الشاهد (al-Shahid)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
SHAHRAZADfPersian (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.
SHAKTIf & mHinduism, 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.
SHAKUNTALAfHinduism, 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.
Anglicized form of SEÁN
. It came into general use in America after the release of the western movie 'Shane' (1953).
Means "I have asked of God" in Hebrew. This was the name of the father of Zerubbabel in the Old Testament.
Anglicized form of SÌNE
. This name was popularized outside of Scotland in the 1980s by the singer Sheena Easton (1959-).
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
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)mHinduism, 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.
From Greek Σιβυλλα (Sibylla)
, meaning "prophetess, sibyl". In Greek and Roman legend the sibyls were ten female prophets who practiced at different holy sites in the ancient world. In later Christian theology, the sibyls were thought to have divine knowledge and were revered in much the same way as the Old Testament prophets. Because of this, the name came into general use in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. The Normans brought it to England, where it was spelled both Sibyl
. It became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was revived in the 19th century, perhaps helped by Benjamin Disraeli's novel 'Sybil' (1845).
SIDONIAfLate Roman, Georgian
Feminine form of SIDONIUS
. This is the name of a legendary saint from Georgia. She and her father Abiathar were supposedly converted by Saint Nino
from Judaism to Christianity.
Feminine form of SIDONIUS
. This name was in use in the Middle Ages, when it became associated with the word sindon
(of Greek origin) meaning "linen", a reference to the Shroud of Turin.
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu
"victory" and beraht
"bright". This was the name of several Frankish kings, including the 7th-century Sigebert III of Austrasia who is regarded as a saint.
SIEGFRIEDmGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu
"victory" and frid
"peace". Siegfried was a hero from Germanic legend, chief character in the 'Nibelungenlied'. He secretly helped the Burgundian king Günther
overcome the challenges set out by the Icelandic queen Brünhild
so that Günther might win her hand. In exchange, Günther consented to the marriage of Siegfried and his sister Kriemhild
. Years later, after a dispute between Brünhild and Kriemhild, Siegfried was murdered by Hagen
with Günther's consent. He was stabbed in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. His adventures were largely based on those of the Norse hero Sigurd
. The story was later adapted by Richard Wagner to form part of his opera 'The Ring of the Nibelung' (1876).
Frisian short form of names beginning with the Germanic element sigu
SIGISMUNDmGerman (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Form of SIGMUND
in which the first element is sigis
, an older form of sigu
. Saint Sigismund was a 6th-century king of the Burgundians. This was also the name of kings of Poland and a ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
SIGMUNDmGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu
"victory" and mund
"protector" (or in the case of the Scandinavian cognate, from the Old Norse elements sigr
"victory" and mundr
"protector"). In Norse mythology this was the name of the hero Sigurd
's father, the bearer of the powerful sword Gram. A notable bearer was the Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the creator of the revolutionary theory of psychoanalysis.
SIGURDmNorwegian, Danish, Swedish, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse name Sigurðr
, which was derived from the elements sigr
"victory" and varðr
"guardian". Sigurd was the hero of the Norse legend the 'Volsungasaga', which tells how his foster-father Regin sent him to recover a hoard of gold guarded by the dragon Fafnir. After slaying the dragon Sigurd tasted some of its blood, enabling him to understand the language of birds, who told him that Regin was planning to betray him. In a later adventure, Sigurd disguised himself as Gunnar
(his wife Gudrun
's brother) and rescued the maiden Brynhildr
from a ring of fire, with the result that Gunnar and Brynhildr were married. When the truth eventually came out, Brynhildr took revenge upon Sigurd. The stories of the German hero Siegfried
were in part based on him.
Frisian diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element sigu
which means "victory".
SILVESTERmDutch, English, Slovene, Slovak, German, Late Roman
From a Roman name meaning "of the forest" from Latin silva
"wood, forest". This was the name of three popes, including Saint Silvester I who supposedly baptized the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine
the Great. As an English name, Silvester
) has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it became less common after the Protestant Reformation.