EGIL m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Egill
, a diminutive of names that began with the element agi
"awe, terror". This was the name of a semi-legendary Icelandic warrior.
EGON m German
Derived from the Germanic element ag
, which means "edge of a sword".
EHUD m Biblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Means "united" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the biblical judges. He killed Eglon, the king of Moab, and freed the city of Jericho from Moabite rule.
EILEEN f Irish, English
Anglicized form of EIBHLÍN
. It is also sometimes considered an Irish form of HELEN
. It first became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland near the end of the 19th century.
EINAR m Norwegian, Icelandic, Swedish, Danish
From the Old Norse name Einarr
, derived from the elements ein
"one, alone" and arr
"warrior". This name shares the same roots as einherjar
, the word for the slain warriors in Valhalla.
EINDRIDE m Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse name Eindriði
, possibly from the elements ein
"one, alone" and ríða
ELAH f & m Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "oak tree" or "terebinth tree" in Hebrew. This was the name of the fourth king of Israel, as told in the Old Testament. He was murdered by Zimri
, who succeeded him. In modern Hebrew this is typically a feminine name.
ELAINE f English, Arthurian Romance
From an Old French form of HELEN
. It appears in Arthurian legend; in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation 'Le Morte d'Arthur' Elaine was the daughter of Pelleas, the lover of Lancelot
, and the mother of Galahad
. It was not commonly used as an English given name until after the appearance of Tennyson's Arthurian epic 'Idylls of the King' (1859).
ELEANOR f English
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor
. It was first borne by the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor
after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor
"the other AENOR
" in order to distinguish her from her mother.... [more]
ELEN f Welsh
Welsh form of HELEN
. This was the name of a 4th-century Welsh saint. It also appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, belonging to a woman who built the roads in Wales.
ELENA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, German, Medieval Slavic
Cognate of HELEN
, and a variant transcription of Russian YELENA
ELI (1) m English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Means "ascension" in Hebrew. In the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament he is a high priest of the Israelites. He took the young Samuel
into his service and gave him guidance when God spoke to him. Because of the misdeeds of his sons, Eli and his descendants were cursed to die before reaching old age.... [more]
ÉLIANE f French
Probably from Aeliana
, the feminine form of the Roman name Aelianus
, which was derived from the Roman family name AELIUS
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr.
ELIJAH m English, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu)
meaning "my God is YAHWEH
". Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab
of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel
. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al
and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha
. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses
appear next to Jesus
when he is transfigured.... [more]
ELIPHELET m Biblical
Means "God is release" in Hebrew. This is the name of several people in the Old Testament including a son of David
ELISHA m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name אֱלִישַׁע ('Elisha')
, a contracted form of אֱלִישׁוּעַ ('Elishu'a)
meaning "my God is salvation". According to the Old Testament, Elisha was a prophet and miracle worker. He was the attendant of Elijah
and succeeded him after his ascension to heaven.
ELIZABETH f English, Biblical
From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva')
meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron
, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John
the Baptist.... [more]
ELLA (1) f English
Norman form of the Germanic name Alia
, which was a short form of names containing the Germanic element alja
meaning "other". It was introduced to England by the Normans and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
ELLEN (1) f English
Medieval English form of HELEN
. This was the usual spelling of the name until the 17th century, when Helen
became more common.
ELMO m English, German, Italian
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element helm
meaning "helmet, protection". It is also a derivative of ERASMUS
, via the old Italian diminutive Ermo
. Saint Elmo, also known as Saint Erasmus, was a 4th-century martyr who is the patron of sailors. Saint Elmo's fire is said to be a sign of his protection.
ELOF m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Eileifr
, which was derived from the elements ei
"ever, always" and leifr
ELOISE f English
From the Old French name Héloïse
, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis
, composed of the elements heil
"hale, healthy" and wid
"wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios)
"sun" or the name Louise
, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.... [more]
ELOUAN m Breton, French
Possibly from a Breton word meaning "light". This name was borne by an obscure 6th-century saint who is now venerated mainly in Brittany and Cornwall.
ELVIS m English
Meaning unknown. It could possibly be a derivative of ALVIS
. More likely, it is from the rare surname Elvis
, which is ultimately derived from the given name ELOISE
. The name was brought to public attention by the singer Elvis Presley (1935-1977), whose name came from his father's middle name.
EMERY m & f English
Norman form of EMMERICH
. The Normans introduced it to England, and though it was never popular, it survived until the end of the Middle Ages. As a modern given name, it is likely inspired by the surname Emery
, which was itself derived from the medieval given name. It can also be given in reference to the hard black substance called emery.
EMIDIO m Italian
From the Late Latin name Emygdius
, which was possibly a Latinized form of a Gaulish name (of unknown meaning). Saint Emygdius was a 3rd-century bishop and martyr, the patron saint against earthquakes.
EMIL m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Romanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Icelandic, English
From the Roman family name Aemilius
, which was derived from Latin aemulus
ÉMILE m French
French form of Aemilius
). This name was borne by French author Emile Zola (1840-1902).
EMILIANO m Spanish, Italian
Spanish and Italian form of the Roman cognomen Aemilianus
, which was itself derived from the family name Aemilius
EMILY f English
English feminine form of Aemilius
). In the English-speaking world it was not common until after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century; the princess Amelia Sophia (1711-1786) was commonly known as Emily
in English, even though Amelia
is an unrelated name.... [more]
EMLYN m Welsh
Probably from the name of an ancient region in Wales, its name meaning "around the valley". It has also been suggested that this name is a Welsh form of Aemilianus
EMMA f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
meaning "whole" or "universal". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of king Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of king Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma
EMMANUEL m Biblical, French, English
From the Hebrew name עִמָּנוּאֵל ('Immanu'el)
meaning "God is with us". This was the foretold name of the Messiah in the Old Testament. It has been used in England since the 16th century in the spellings Emmanuel
, though it has not been widespread. The name has been more common in continental Europe, especially in Spain and Portugal (in the spellings Manuel
EMMELINE f English (Archaic)
From an Old French form of the Germanic name Amelina
, originally a diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element amal
meaning "work". The Normans introduced this name to England.
EMMERICH m German, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, in which the second element is ric
meaning "power". The first element may be ermen
"whole, universal" (making it a relative of Ermenrich
"work, labour" (making it a relative of Amalric
) or heim
"home" (making it a relative of Henry
). It is likely that several forms merged into a single name.
EMRYS m Welsh
Welsh form of AMBROSE
. Emrys Wledig (or Ambrosius Aurelianus) was a Romano-British military leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century. Tales of his life were used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth to create the character of Merlin, who he called Merlinus Ambrosius or Myrddin Emrys.
ENGEL m German (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Originally this was a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element Angil
, the name of a Germanic tribe (known in English as the Angles). Since the Middle Ages it has been firmly associated with the German word engel
ENGELBERT m German, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name composed of the elements Angil
, the name of a Germanic tribe known in English as the Angles, and beraht
"bright". Saint Engelbert was a 13th-century archbishop of Cologne murdered by assassins.
ENGUERRAND m Medieval French
Medieval French form of the Germanic name Engilram
, which was composed of the elements Angil
, the name of a Germanic tribe known in English as the Angles, and hramn
"raven". This was the name of several French nobles from Picardy.
ENNIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Ennius
which is of unknown meaning. Quintus Ennius was an early Roman poet.
ENRICO m Italian
Italian form of HENRY
. Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) was an Italian physicist who did work on the development of the nuclear bomb.
ENZO m Italian, French
The meaning of this name is uncertain. In some cases it seems to be an old Italian form of HEINZ
, though in other cases it could be a variant of the Germanic name ANZO
. In modern times it is also used as a short form of names ending in enzo
, such as VINCENZO
EOGHAN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "born from the yew tree" in Irish, though it is possibly derived from EUGENE
. It was borne by several legendary or semi-legendary Irish figures, including a son of Niall
of the Nine Hostages.
EPHRATH f Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Means "fruitful place" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name was borne by one of the wives of Caleb. Also in the Bible, it is the name of the place where Rachel was buried.
EPIFANIO m Spanish, Italian
From the Latin name Epiphanius
, which was from the Greek name Επιφανιος (Epiphanios)
, itself derived from the Greek word επιφανεια (epiphaneia)
meaning "appearance, manifestation". This name was borne by a few early saints. It is associated with the event known in English as the Epiphany (Spanish Epifanía
, Italian Epifania
, Latin Epiphania
), the coming of the three Magi to visit the infant Jesus
ERAN m Biblical
Means "watchful, vigilant" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is a grandson of Ephraim.
ERASTUS m Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Εραστος (Erastos)
meaning "beloved". This was the name of an assistant of Paul
mentioned in Acts and two epistles in the New Testament.
ERDMANN m German
Variant of HARTMANN
. It can also be interpreted as meaning "earth man" from German Erde
"earth", and thus was sometimes used as a translation of Adam
EREKLE m Georgian
Georgian form of Herakleios
). This name was borne by two Georgian kings of the Bagrationi dynasty.
ERIC m English, Swedish, German, Spanish
From the Old Norse name Eiríkr
, derived from the elements ei
"ever, always" and ríkr
"ruler". A notable bearer was Eiríkr inn Rauda (Eric the Red in English), a 10th-century navigator and explorer who discovered Greenland. This was also the name of several early kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.... [more]
ERICH m German
German form of ERIC
. The German novelist Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) was the author of 'All Quiet on the Western Front'.
ERIK m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, English
Scandinavian form of ERIC
. This was the name of kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. King Erik IX of Sweden (12th century) is the patron saint of that country.
ERIKA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovene, Croatian, English, Italian
Feminine form of ERIK
. It also coincides with the word for "heather" in some languages.
ERIN f English, Irish
Anglicized form of EIREANN
. It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century.
ERLAND m Swedish, Danish
From the Old Norse byname Erlendr
, which was derived from örlendr
ERLING m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Means "descendant of the jarl", a derivative of the Old Norse word jarl
meaning "chieftain, nobleman, earl".
ERMA f English
Variant of IRMA
. It began to be used in the English-speaking world in the 19th century, along with Irma
ERMETE m Italian
Derived from Hermetis
, the Latin genitive form of HERMES
, the name of the Greek messenger god.
ERNEST m English, French, Slovene, Polish
Derived from Germanic eornost
meaning "serious". It was introduced to England by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century, though it did not become common until the following century. The American author and adventurer Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was a famous bearer of the name. It was also used by Oscar Wilde for a character in his comedy 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (1895).
ERSKINE m Scottish, Irish, English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from the name of a Scottish town meaning "projecting height" in Gaelic. A famous bearer of the name was the Irish novelist and nationalist Erskine Childers (1870-1922).
ERWIN m German, Dutch, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic name Hariwini
, composed of the elements hari
"army" and win
"friend". It may have merged somewhat with the Germanic name EBURWIN
. A notable bearer was Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961), an Austrian physicist who made contributions to quantum theory.
ERZSÉBET f Hungarian
Hungarian form of ELIZABETH
. This is the native name of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. It was also borne by the infamous Erzsébet Báthory, a 16th-century countess and murderer.
ESAU m Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name עֵשָׂו ('Esaw)
which possibly meant "hairy". In the Old Testament Esau is the elder of the twin sons of Isaac
. Once when he was very hungry he sold his birthright to his twin Jacob
for a bowl of stew. Later Jacob disguised himself as Esau and received the elder son's blessing from the blind Isaac. Esau was the ancestor of the Edomites.
ESMÉ m & f English, Dutch
Means "esteemed" or "loved" in Old French. It was first recorded in Scotland, being borne by the first Duke of Lennox in the 16th century.
ESMERALDA f Spanish, Portuguese, English, Literature
Means "emerald" in Spanish and Portuguese. Victor Hugo used this name in his novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1831), in which Esmeralda is the Gypsy girl who is loved by Quasimodo. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since that time.
ESPERANZA f Spanish
Spanish form of the Late Latin name Sperantia
which was derived from sperare
ESTELLE f English, French
From an Old French name which was derived from Latin stella
, meaning "star". It was rare in the English-speaking world in the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century, perhaps due to the character Estella Havisham in Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations' (1860).
ESTHER f English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR
. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai
, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah