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.
SIBYL f English
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).
SIDONY f English (Archaic)
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.
SIEGBERT m German
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.
SIEGFRIED m German, 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).
SIET m Frisian
Frisian short form of names beginning with the Germanic element sigu
SIGISMUND m German (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.
SIGMUND m German, 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.
SIGURD m Norwegian, 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.
SIKKE m Frisian
Frisian diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element sigu
which means "victory".
SILVESTER m Dutch, 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.
SILVIA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, English, German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of SILVIUS
Silvia was the mother of Romulus
, the founders of Rome. This was also the name of a 6th-century saint, the mother of the pope Gregory the Great. It has been a common name in Italy since the Middle Ages. It was introduced to England by Shakespeare, who used it for a character in his play 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594). It is now more commonly spelled Sylvia
in the English-speaking world.
SIMEON m Biblical, Bulgarian, Serbian
From Συμεων (Symeon)
, the Old Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Shim'on
(see SIMON (1)
). In the Old Testament this is the name of the second son of Jacob
and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. In the New Testament the Greek rendering Σιμων (Simon)
is more common, though Συμεων
occurs belonging to a man who blessed the newborn Jesus
. He is recognized as a saint in most Christian traditions.... [more]
SIMÓN m Spanish
Spanish form of SIMON (1)
. This name was borne by the South American revolutionary Simón Bolívar (1783-1830).
SIMON (1) m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Macedonian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From Σιμων (Simon)
, the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim'on)
which meant "he has heard". This name is spelled Simeon
, based on Greek Συμεων
, in many translations of the Old Testament, where it is borne by the second son of Jacob
. The New Testament spelling may show influence from the otherwise unrelated Greek name SIMON (2)
SIMON (2) m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek σιμος (simos)
meaning "flat-nosed". In Greek mythology this was the name of one of the Telchines, demigods who were the original inhabitants of Rhodes.
SITA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "furrow" in Sanskrit. Sita is the name of the Hindu goddess of the harvest in the 'Rigveda'. This is also the name of the wife of Rama
(and an avatar of Lakshmi
) in the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana'. In this story Sita is rescued by her husband from the demon king Ravana.
SIXTEN m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Sigsteinn
, which was derived from the elements sigr
"victory" and steinn
SIXTUS m Late Roman
Latin form of the Greek name Ξυστος (Xystos)
meaning "scraped, polished". This name was borne by five popes. The first pope by this name was the sixth to serve after Saint Peter, so there is a possibility that this name is in fact derived from Latin sextus
SJRA m Limburgish
Limburgish form of GERARD
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Gérard.
SŁAWOMIR m Polish
Derived from the Slavic element slava
meaning "glory" combined with meru
meaning "great, famous" or miru
meaning "peace, world".
SNORRI m Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Derived from Old Norse snerra
"attack, onslaught". This name was borne by Snorri Sturluson, a 13th-century Icelandic historian and poet, the author of the Prose Edda.
SOBIESŁAW m Polish (Rare)
Derived from Slavic elements, possibly sebe
meaning "for oneself", combined with slava
"glory". This name (in the Czech form Soběslav
) was borne by two 12th-century dukes of Bohemia.
SOFIA f Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Slovak, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian
Form of SOPHIA
SOLANGE f French
French form of the Late Latin name Sollemnia
, which was derived from Latin sollemnis
"religious". This was the name of a French shepherdess who became a saint after she was killed by her master.
SOLOMON m Biblical, English, Jewish
From the Hebrew name שְׁלֹמֹה (Shelomoh)
which was derived from Hebrew שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
"peace". As told in the Old Testament, Solomon was a king of Israel, the son of David
. He was renowned for his wisdom and wealth. Towards the end of his reign he angered God by turning to idolatry. Supposedly, he was the author of the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.... [more]
SOLVEIG f Norwegian, Swedish
From an Old Norse name which was derived from the elements sól
"sun" and veig
"strength". This is the name of the heroine in Henrik Ibsen's play 'Peer Gynt' (1876).
SONDRA f English
Variant of SAUNDRA
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by a character in Theodore Dreiser's novel 'An American Tragedy' (1925) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1931).
SONJA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian
Form of SONYA
SONYA f Russian, English
Russian diminutive of SOPHIA
. This is the name of a character in Leo Tolstoy's novel 'War and Peace' (1869, English translation 1886).
SOPHIA f English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek
Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia
"Holy Wisdom", which is the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.... [more]
SORAYA f Persian, Spanish, French
Persian form of THURAYYA
. It became popular in some parts of Europe because of the fame of Princess Soraya, wife of the last Shah of Iran, who became a European socialite.
SØREN m Danish, Norwegian
Danish form of SEVERINUS
. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a Danish philosopher who is regarded as a precursor of existentialism.
STEFANUS m Dutch
Official Dutch form of STEPHEN
, used on birth certificates but not commonly in daily life.
STEPHEN m English, Biblical
From the Greek name Στεφανος (Stephanos)
meaning "crown", more precisely "that which surrounds". Saint Stephen was a deacon who was stoned to death, as told in Acts in the New Testament. He is regarded as the first Christian martyr. Due to him, the name became common in the Christian world. It was popularized in England by the Normans.... [more]