HELIOS m Greek Mythology
Means "sun" in Greek. This was the name of the young Greek sun god, who rode across the sky each day in a chariot pulled by four horses.
HERO (1) f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". In Greek legend she was the lover of Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont each night to meet her. He was killed on one such occasion when he got caught in a storm while in the water, and when Hero saw his dead body she drowned herself. This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599).
HERON m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". This was the name of a 1st-century Greek inventor (also known as Hero
) from Alexandria.
HERSH m Yiddish
Means "deer" in Yiddish. The deer is particularly associated with the tribe of Naphtali
(see Genesis 49:21).
HILARIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman name which was derived from Latin hilaris
meaning "cheerful". Alternatively, it could be derived from the Greek name ‘Ιλαρος (Hilaros)
also meaning "cheerful" (the Greek word ‘ιλαρος
was the source of the Latin word hilaris
). Saint Hilarius was a 4th-century theologian and bishop of Poitiers. This was also the name of a 5th-century pope.
HINATA f & m Japanese
From Japanese 日向 (hinata)
meaning "sunny place", 陽向 (hinata)
meaning "toward the sun", or a non-standard reading of 向日葵 (himawari)
meaning "sunflower". Other kanji compounds are also possible. Because of the irregular readings, this name is often written ひなた
using the hiragana writing system.
HOSANNA f Biblical
From the Aramaic religious expression הושע נא (Hosha' na')
meaning "deliver us" in Hebrew. In the New Testament this is exclaimed by those around Jesus
when he first enters Jerusalem.
IBOLYA f Hungarian
Means "violet" in Hungarian, ultimately from Latin viola
İLHAN m Turkish
From the Mongolian title il-Khan
meaning "subordinate Khan
", which was first adopted by Genghis Khan's grandson Hulagu, who ruled a kingdom called the Ilkhanate that stretched from modern Iran to eastern Turkey.
INDU f Indian, Hindi
Means "bright drop" in Sanskrit. This is a name for the moon.
INMACULADA f Spanish
Means "immaculate" in Spanish. This name is given to commemorate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
IONE f Greek Mythology, English
From Greek ιον (ion)
meaning "violet flower". This was the name of a sea nymph in Greek mythology. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, though perhaps based on the Greek place name Ionia
, a region on the west coast of Asia Minor.
ISHA f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Hinduism
Means "master, lord" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form ईशा
and the masculine form ईश
(an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva
). It is also the name of one of the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
JADE f English, French
From the name of the precious stone that is often used in carvings. It is derived from Spanish (piedra de la) ijada
meaning "(stone of the) flank", relating to the belief that jade could cure renal colic. As a given name, it came into general use during the 1970s.
JASMINE f English, French
From the English word for the climbing plant with fragrant flowers which is used for making perfumes. It is derived from Persian یاسمن (yasamen)
(which is also a Persian name).
JAWAHIR f Arabic
Means "jewels" in Arabic, ultimately from Persian گوهر (gohar)
JAYA f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit जय (jaya)
meaning "victory". This is a transcription of both the feminine form जया
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
) and the masculine form जय
(borne by several characters in Hindu texts). As a modern personal name, this transcription is both feminine and masculine in southern India, but typically only feminine in the north.
JESSAMINE f English (Rare)
From a variant spelling of the English word jasmine
), used also to refer to flowering plants in the cestrum family.
JOLIE f English
Means "pretty" in French. This name was popularized by American actress Angelina Jolie (1975-), whose surname was originally her middle name. It is not used as a given name in France.
KAĞAN m Turkish
From a Turkish title meaning "king, ruler", ultimately of Mongolian origin. The title is usually translated into English as Khan
KALLIAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek καλλος (kallos)
meaning "beauty". This was the name of an Athenian who fought at Marathon who later became an ambassador to the Persians.
KALLISTO f Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek καλλιστος (kallistos)
meaning "most beautiful", a derivative of καλος (kalos)
"beautiful". In Greek mythology Kallisto was a nymph who was loved by Zeus
. She was changed into a she-bear by Hera
, and subsequently became the Great Bear constellation. This was also an ancient Greek personal name.
KALYANI f Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi
Means "beautiful, lovely, auspicious" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Parvati
KAMA m Hinduism
Means "love, desire" in Sanskrit. Kama is the winged Hindu god of love, the son of Lakshmi.
KARIM m Arabic, Persian
Means "generous, noble" in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الكريم (al-Karim)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
KARTIKEYA m Hinduism
From Sanskrit कृत्तिका (krittika)
, the name for the constellation of the Pleiades, ultimately from कृत् (krit)
meaning "to cut, to divide". This is another name for the Hindu god Skanda
KAUR f Indian (Sikh)
Means "princess", ultimately from Sanskrit कुमारी (kumari)
meaning "girl". This surname was assigned to all female Sikhs in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh. It is now used as a surname or a middle name by most female Sikhs. The male equivalent is Singh
KHAN m Urdu, Pashto
From a title meaning "king, ruler". Its origin is Mongolian, though the word has been transmitted into many other languages.
KLEIO f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλεος (kleos)
meaning "glory". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of history and heroic poetry, one of the nine Muses. She was said to have introduced the alphabet to Greece.
KLEITOS m Ancient Greek
Means "splendid, famous" in Greek. This was the name of one of the generals of Alexander the Great.
KLYTIË f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλυτος (klytos)
meaning "famous, noble". In Greek myth Klytië was an ocean nymph who loved the sun god Helios. Her love was not returned, and she pined away staring at him until she was transformed into a heliotrope flower, whose head moves to follow the sun.
KORALIA f Greek, Late Greek
Derived from Ancient Greek κοραλλιον (korallion)
meaning "coral" (in Modern Greek κοραλλι
). This was the name of an obscure 4th-century saint and martyr from Thrace.
KORE f Greek Mythology
Means "maiden" in Greek. This was another name for the Greek goddess Persephone.
KVETA f Czech
Derived from Czech kvet
meaning "flower, blossom".
LAL m Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "boy" in Hindi, derived from Sanskrit लल (lala)
meaning "playing, caressing".
LALA f Bulgarian
From a South Slavic word meaning "tulip". It is derived via Turkish from Persian لاله (laleh)
LALE f Turkish
Means "tulip" in Turkish, of Persian origin.
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.
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.
LEON m English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
meaning "lion". During the Christian era this Greek name was merged with the Latin cognate Leo
, with the result that the two forms are used somewhat interchangeably across European languages. In England during the Middle Ages this was a common name among Jews. A famous bearer was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Communist revolutionary.
LEONTIOS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
meaning "lion". This was the name of various early saints and martyrs. It was also borne by a 7th-century Byzantine emperor.
LEV (1) m Russian
Means "lion" in Russian, functioning as a vernacular form of Leo
. This was the real Russian name of both author Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) and revolutionary Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).
LILAC f English (Rare)
From the name of the shrub with purple or white flowers. It is derived via Arabic from Persian.
LILY f English
From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium
LINNÉA f Swedish
From the name of a flower, also known as the twinflower. The Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus named it after himself, it being his favourite flower.
MADONNA f English
From a title of the Virgin Mary
meaning "my lady" in Italian. A famous bearer of the name is American singer Madonna Ciccone (1958-), known simply as Madonna.
MAI (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 舞 (mai)
meaning "dance" or 麻衣 (mai)
meaning "linen robe". It can also come from 真 (ma)
meaning "real, genuine" combined with 愛 (ai)
meaning "love, affection". Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.
MELIA f Greek Mythology
Means "ash tree" in Greek, a derivative of μελι (meli)
"honey". This was the name of a nymph in Greek myth, the daughter of the Greek god Okeanos.
MELINA f English, Greek
Elaboration of Mel
, either from names such as MELISSA
or from Greek μελι (meli)
meaning "honey". A famous bearer was Greek-American actress Melina Mercouri (1920-1994), who was born Maria Amalia Mercouris.
MELISSA f English, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "bee" in Greek. This was the name of a nymph that cared for young Zeus
in Greek mythology. It is also the name of the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina in Ludovico Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso' (1516). As an English given name, Melissa
has been used since the 18th century.
MELODY f English
From the English word melody
, which is derived (via Old French and Late Latin) from Greek μελος (melos)
"song" combined with αειδω (aeido)
MERCEDES f Spanish
Means "mercies" (that is, the plural of mercy), from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary
, María de las Mercedes
, meaning "Mary of Mercies". It is ultimately from the Latin word merces
meaning "wages, reward", which in Vulgar Latin acquired the meaning "favour, pity".
MIKU f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" combined with 空 (ku)
meaning "sky" or 久 (ku)
meaning "long time". It can also come from a nanori reading of 未来 (mirai)
meaning "future". Other kanji combinations are possible as well.
MIRABELLE f French (Rare), English (Rare)
Derived from Latin mirabilis
"wonderful". This name was coined during the Middle Ages, though it eventually died out. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
MIRANDA f English, Dutch
Derived from Latin mirandus
meaning "admirable, wonderful". The name was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), about a father and daughter stranded on an island. It did not become a common English given name until the 20th century. This is also the name of one of the moons of Uranus, named after the Shakespearian character.
MIRUNA f Romanian
Possibly derived from the Slavic word mir
MITRA (1) m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "friend" in Sanskrit, a cognate of MITHRA
. This is a transcription of both the feminine form मित्रा
and the masculine form मित्र
, which is the name of a Hindu god of friendship and contracts who appears in the Rigveda.
MOANA f & m Maori, Hawaiian
Means "ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea" in Maori and Hawaiian (as well as in other Polynesian languages).
MYRON m English, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μυρον (myron)
meaning "sweet oil, perfume". Myron was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek sculptor. Saints bearing this name include a 3rd-century bishop of Crete and a 4th-century martyr from Cyzicus who was killed by a mob. These saints are more widely revered in the Eastern Church, and the name has generally been more common among Eastern Christians. As an English name, it has been used since the 19th century.
MYRTLE f English
Simply from the English word myrtle
for the evergreen shrub, ultimately from Greek μυρτος (myrtos)
. It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
NANDA m Hinduism, Indian, Kannada, Tamil
Means "joy" in Sanskrit. In Hindu texts this is a name of both Vishnu
and the foster-father of Krishna
, as well as various other characters. In Buddhist texts this is the name of a god and a disciple of Buddha. Nanda was also the name of a 4th-century BC king who founded a dynasty in Magadha in India.
NENAD m Serbian, Croatian
Means "unexpected" in Serbian and Croatian. In the Serbian folk song 'Predrag and Nenad' this is the name of Predrag
NEREIDA f Spanish
Derived from Greek Νηρειδες (Nereides)
meaning "nymphs, sea sprites", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NERISSA f Literature
Created by Shakespeare for a character in his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596). He possibly took it from Greek Νηρεις (Nereis)
meaning "nymph, sea sprite", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NIEVES f Spanish
Means "snows" in Spanish, derived from the title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
meaning "Our Lady of the Snows".
NIKETAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικητης (niketes)
meaning "winner, victor". Saint Niketas was a 4th-century bishop of Remesiana in Serbia. He is a patron saint of Romania.
NIKIAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικη (nike)
meaning "victory". This was the name of an Athenian general who fought in the Peloponnesian war.
NITYA f & m Indian, Hindi
Means "always, eternal" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form नित्या
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
) and the masculine form नित्य
OM m Indian, Hindi, Marathi
From the Sanskrit ओम् (om)
, considered to be a sacred syllable because it represents the range of sounds that can be made by the human voice.
PADMA f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lotus" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा
and the masculine form पद्म
. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma
arose from the navel of the god Vishnu
. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi
and the hero Rama
PALMIRO m Italian
Means "pilgrim" in Italian. In medieval times it denoted one who had been a pilgrim to Palestine. It is ultimately from the word palma
meaning "palm tree", because of the custom of pilgrims to bring palm fronds home with them. The name is sometimes given to a child born on Palm Sunday.
PAX f Roman Mythology
Means "peace" in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the goddess of peace.
PAZ (1) f Spanish
Means "peace" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de la Paz
, meaning "Our Lady of Peace".
PEARL f English
From the English word pearl
for the concretions formed in the shells of some mollusks, ultimately from Late Latin perla
. Like other gemstone names, it has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. The pearl is the birthstone for June, and it supposedly imparts health and wealth.
PERSEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek περθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero who was said to have founded the ancient city of Mycenae. He was the son of Zeus
. Mother and child were exiled by Danaë's father Acrisius, and Perseus was raised on the island of Seriphos. The king of the island compelled Perseus to kill the Gorgon Medusa
, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone. After obtaining winged sandals and other tools from the gods, he succeeded in his task by looking at Medusa in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. On his return he defeated a sea monster in order to save Andromeda
, who became his wife.
PHILOMEL f Literature
From an English word meaning "nightingale" (ultimately from PHILOMELA
). It has been used frequently in poetry to denote the bird.
PHOTINE f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek φως (phos)
meaning "light" (genitive φωτος (photos)
). This is the name traditionally given to the Samaritan woman Jesus
met at the well (see John 4:7). She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Church.
PRAKASH m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Odia, Nepali
Derived from Sanskrit प्रकाश (prakasha)
meaning "light, bright, shining".
PRASAD m Indian, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Odia, Bengali, Nepali
Means "brightness, clearness, graciousness, offering" in Sanskrit. This is a word referring to an offering of food made to a deity.