Names Categorized "mythology"

This is a list of names in which the categories include mythology.
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ACANTHAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ακανθα (Akantha), which meant "thorn, prickle". In Greek legend she was a nymph loved by Apollo.
ADONISmGreek Mythology
From Phoenician Adonai which means "lord". In Greek myth Adonis was a handsome young shepherd killed while hunting a wild boar. The anemone flower is said to have sprung from his blood. Because he was loved by Aphrodite, Zeus allowed him to be restored to life for part of each year. The Greeks borrowed this character from Semitic traditions, originally Sumerian (see Dumuzi).
AELLAfGreek Mythology
Means "whirlwind" in Greek. In Greek myth this was the name of an Amazon warrior killed by Herakles during his quest for Hippolyta's girdle.
AENEASmRoman Mythology
Latin form of the Greek name Αινειας (Aineias), derived from Greek αινη (aine) meaning "praise". In Greek legend he was a son of Aphrodite and was one of the chief heroes who defended Troy from the Greeks. The Roman poet Virgil continued his story in the 'Aeneid', in which Aeneas travels to Italy and founds the Roman state.
AERON (2)f & mWelsh Mythology
Welsh form of AGRONA. In Welsh mythology Aeron was often portrayed as a masculine deity.
AGAMEMNONmGreek Mythology
Possibly meaning "very steadfast" in Greek. In Greek mythology he was the brother of Menelaus. He led the Greek expedition to Troy to recover his brother's wife Helen. After the Trojan War Agamemnon was killed by his wife Clytemnestra.
AGAUEfGreek Mythology
Means "illustrious, noble" in Greek. This was the mother of Pentheus in Greek myth.
AGRIPPAm & fAncient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from Greek αγριος (agrios) "wild" and ‘ιππος (hippos) "horse" or possibly of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
AILILLmIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "elf" in Irish Gaelic. This name occurs frequently in Irish legend, borne for example by the husband of Queen Medb.
ÁINEfIrish
Means "radiance" in Gaelic. This was the name of the queen of the fairies in Celtic mythology. It is also taken as an Irish form of Anne.
AJAXmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αιας (Aias), perhaps deriving from Greek αιαστης (aiastes) "mourner" or αια (aia) "earth, land". In Greek mythology this was the name of two of the heroes who fought for the Greeks in the Trojan War, the son of Telamon and the son of Oileus. When the armour of the slain hero Achilles was not given to Ajax Telamonian, he became mad with jealousy and killed himself.
ALBA (2)fAncient Roman
Feminine form of ALBUS.
ALBA (3)fAncient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element alf meaning "elf".
ALBERICHmAncient Germanic, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements alf "elf" and ric "power". Alberich was the name of the sorcerer king of the dwarfs in Germanic mythology. He also appears in the 'Nibelungenlied' as a dwarf who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen.
ALCAEUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλκαιος (Alkaios), derived from αλκη (alke) "strength". This was the name of a 7th-century BC lyric poet from the island of Lesbos.
ALCIPPEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Αλκιππη (Alkippe), derived from αλκη (alke) "strength" and ‘ιππος (hippos) "horse". This was the name of a daughter of Ares in Greek myth. Her father killed Halirrhotis, a son of Poseidon, when he attempted to rape her, leading to a murder trial in which Ares was quickly acquitted.
ALCYONEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Αλκυονη (Alkyone), derived from the word αλκυων (alkyon) meaning "kingfisher". In Greek myth this name belonged to a daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck she threw herself into the water, but the gods saved her and turned them both into kingfishers. This is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, the seven stars in the constellation Taurus.
ALECTOfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Αληκτω (Alekto) which was derived from αληκτος (alektos) "unceasing". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ερινυες (Erinyes) in Greek mythology.
ALEXANDRAfEnglish, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera, and an alternate name of Cassandra. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra) upon joining the Russian Church.
ALTHEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αλθαια (Althaia), perhaps related to Greek αλθος (althos) "healing". In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ALUNmWelsh
Welsh form of ALAN. This name appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
ALVARmSwedish, Estonian
From the Old Norse name Alfarr, formed of the elements alfr "elf" and arr "warrior".
ALVISmNorse Mythology
Means "all wise" in Old Norse. In Norse mythology this was the name of a dwarf who was to marry Thor's daughter Thrud. Thor was not pleased with this so he tricked Alvis by asking him questions until the sun rose, at which time the dwarf was turned into stone.
AMALTHEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Αμαλθεια (Amaltheia), derived from μαλθασσω (malthasso) meaning "to soften, to soothe". In Greek myth she was a goat who nursed the infant Zeus.
AMERETATfPersian Mythology
Means "immortality" in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of plants and long life.
AMORm & fRoman Mythology, Late Roman, Spanish, Portuguese
Means "love" in Latin. This was another name for the Roman god Cupid. It also means "love" in Spanish and Portuguese, and the name can be derived directly from this vocabulary word.
ANAHITAfPersian, Persian Mythology
Means "immaculate, undefiled" from Avestan a "not" and ahit "unclean". This was the name of the Persian goddess of fertility and water. She was sometimes identified with Artemis, Aphrodite and Athena.
ANDROMACHEfGreek Mythology
Derived from the Greek elements ανηρ (aner) meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος) and μαχη (mache) meaning "battle". In Greek legend she was the wife of the Trojan hero Hector. After the fall of Troy Neoptolemus killed her son Astyanax and took her as a concubine.
ANDROMEDAfGreek Mythology
Means "to be mindful of a man" from the Greek element ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος) combined with μεδομαι (medomai) "to be mindful of". In Greek mythology Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued from sacrifice by the hero Perseus. A constellation in the northern sky is named for her. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.
ANGHARADfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "more love" in Welsh. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, Angharad Golden-hand is the lover of Peredur.
ANTHEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ανθεια (Antheia), derived from ανθος (anthos) meaning "flower, blossom". This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Hera.
ANTIGONEfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek αντι (anti) "against, compared to, like" and γονη (gone) "birth, offspring". In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave.
ANUBISmEgyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Ανουβις (Anoubis), the Greek form of Egyptian Inpw (reconstructed as Anapa) which possibly meant "royal child". Anubis was the Egyptian god who led the dead to the underworld. He was often depicted as a man with the head of a jackal.
AODHmIrish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áed, which meant "fire". This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh.
AODHÁNmIrish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán, a diminutive of Áed (see AODH). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AOIDEfGreek Mythology
Means "song" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
ARAWNmWelsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
ARCADIAfVarious
Feminine form of ARCADIUS. This is the name of a region on the Greek Peloponnese, long idealized for its natural beauty.
ARESmGreek Mythology
Perhaps from either Greek αρη (are) "bane, ruin" or αρσην (arsen) "male". The name first appears as a-re in Mycenaean Greek writing. Ares was the blood-thirsty god of war in Greek mythology, a son of Zeus and Hera.
ARIADNEfGreek Mythology
Means "most holy", composed of the Cretan Greek elements αρι (ari) "most" and αδνος (adnos) "holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos. She fell in love with Theseus and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus.
ARIANRHODfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel" or "round wheel" in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan and Lleu Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ARONmPolish, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic
Polish, Croatian and Scandinavian form of AARON.
ARTEMISfGreek Mythology, Greek
Meaning unknown, possibly related either to Greek αρτεμης (artemes) "safe" or αρταμος (artamos) "a butcher". Artemis was the Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, the twin of Apollo and the daughter of Zeus and Leto. She was known as Diana to the Romans.
ARTHURmEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos "bear" combined with viros "man" or rigos "king". Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius. Arthur is the name of the central character in Arthurian legend, a 6th-century king of the Britons who resisted Saxon invaders. He may or may not have been a real person. He first appears in Welsh poems and chronicles (some possibly as early as the 7th century) but his character was not developed until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth.... [more]
ASHERAHfSemitic Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea". This was the name of a Semitic mother goddess. She was worshipped by the Israelites before the advent of monotheism.
ASHTADfPersian Mythology
Means "justice" in Persian. This was the name of a Yazata (or angel) in Zoroastrianism.
ASKmNorse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse askr "ash tree". In Norse mythology Ask and his wife Embla were the first humans created by the gods.
ATALANTAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Αταλαντη (Atalante) meaning "equal in weight", derived from αταλαντος (atalantos), a word related to ταλαντον (talanton) meaning "a scale, a balance". In Greek legend she was a fast-footed maiden who refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a race. She was eventually defeated by Hippomenes, who dropped three golden apples during the race causing her to stop to pick them up.
ATHENAfGreek Mythology, English
Meaning unknown. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. It is likely that her name is derived from that of the city, not vice versa. The earliest mention of her seems to be a 15th-century BC Mycenaean Greek inscription from Knossos on Crete.... [more]
ATLASmGreek Mythology
Possibly means "enduring" from Greek τλαω (tlao) meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
ATROPOSfGreek Mythology
Means "inevitable, inflexible" in Greek, derived from the negative prefix α (a) combined with τροπος (tropos) "direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι (Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
AURORAfItalian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, German, Romanian, Finnish, Roman Mythology
Means "dawn" in Latin. Aurora was the Roman goddess of the morning. It has occasionally been used as a given name since the Renaissance.
BACCHUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Βακχος (Bakchos), derived from ιαχο (iacho) meaning "to shout". This was another name of the Greek god Dionysos, and it was also the name that the Romans commonly used for him.
BAHRAMmPersian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Verethragna meaning "victory over resistance". This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with victory and war. This name was borne by several Sassanid emperors. It is also the Persian name for the planet Mars.
BALDERmNorse Mythology
Means "prince" from Old Norse. In Norse mythology Balder was the son of Odin and Frigg. Because of the disturbing dreams he had when he was young, his mother extracted an oath from every thing in the world that it would not harm him. However the evil fire god Loki learned that she had overlooked mistletoe. Being jealous, he tricked the blind god Hoder into throwing a branch of mistletoe at Balder, which killed him.
BASTfEgyptian Mythology
Possibly means "fire, heat" or "ointment jar" in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology Bast was a goddess of cats, fertility and the sun who was considered a protector of Lower Egypt. She was often depicted with the head of a lioness or a house cat. As her role in the Egyptian pantheon diminished, she was called Bastet.
BASTETfEgyptian Mythology
Variant of BAST. This form of the name, a diminutive, was given to her after the similar goddess Sekhmet (protector of Upper Egypt) became more important.
BATRAZmOssetian, Caucasian Mythology
Possibly from Turkic bagatur meaning "hero, warrior, brave". This is the name of the leader of the superhuman Narts in Caucasian mythology.
BÉBINNfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair lady" in Irish Gaelic. This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including a goddess of childbirth.
BILEmIrish Mythology
Possibly an Irish form of BELENUS, though it may derive from an Irish word meaning "hero". In Irish mythology this was the name of one of the Milesians who was drowned while invading Ireland.
BLODEUWEDDfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "face of flowers" in Welsh. In a story in the Mabinogion, she is created out of flowers by Gwydion to be the wife of his nephew Lleu Llaw Gyffes. She is eventually changed into an owl for her infidelity.
BRAN (2)mWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "raven" in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
BRANWENfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven" from Welsh bran "raven" and gwen "fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRIDGETfIrish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid which means "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRYCEmEnglish
Variant of BRICE.
BRYNHILDRfNorse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse cognate of BRÜNHILD. In the Norse legend the 'Volsungasaga' Brynhildr was rescued by the hero Sigurd in the guise of Gunnar. Brynhildr and Gunnar were married, but when Sigurd's wife Gudrun let slip that it was in fact Sigurd who had rescued her, Brynhildr plotted against him. She accused Sigurd of taking her virginity, spurring Gunnar to arrange Sigurd's murder.
CADWGANmWelsh
Means "glory in battle" from Welsh cad "battle" and gwogawn "glory, honour". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, this name is briefly mentioned as the son of Iddon.
CAMILLAfEnglish, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, German, Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of CAMILLUS. This was the name of a legendary warrior maiden of the Volsci, as told by Virgil in the 'Aeneid'. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Fanny Burney's novel 'Camilla' (1796).
CARINA (1)fEnglish, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from cara meaning "dear, beloved". This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr. It is also the name of a constellation in the southern sky, though in this case it means "keel" in Latin, referring to a part of Jason's ship the Argo.
CASSANDRAfEnglish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κασσανδρα (Kassandra), derived from possibly κεκασμαι (kekasmai) "to excel, to shine" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). In Greek myth Cassandra was a Trojan princess, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. She was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but when she spurned his advances he cursed her so nobody would believe her prophecies.... [more]
CASTORmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Καστωρ (Kastor), possibly related to κεκασμαι (kekasmai) meaning "to excel, to shine" (pluperfect κεκαστο). In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus and the twin brother of Pollux. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
CERBERUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κερβερος (Kerberos), which possibly meant "spotted". In Greek myth this was the name of the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades.
CHARISfAncient Greek, English (Rare)
Feminine form of CHARES. It came into use as an English given name in the 17th century.
CHARONmGreek Mythology
Possibly means "fierce brightness" in Greek. In Greek mythology Charon was the operator of the ferry that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
CHI (2)m & fMythology, Western African, Igbo
Means "god, spirtual being" in Igbo, referring to the personal spiritual guardian that each person is believed to have. Christian Igbo people use it as a name for the personal Christian god. This can also be a short form of the many Igbo names that begin with this element.
CHRYSEISfGreek Mythology
Patronymic derived from CHRYSES. In Greek legend she was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. After she was taken prisoner by the Greeks besieging Troy, Apollo sent a plague into their camp, forcing the Greeks to release her.
CHRYSESmGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek χρυσεος (chryseos) meaning "golden". In Greek mythology Chryses was the father of Chryseis, a woman captured by Agamemnon during the Trojan War.
CIANmIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "ancient" in Gaelic. This was the name of the mythical ancestor of the Cianachta in Irish legend. Cian was also the name of a son-in-law of Brian Boru.
CILLAfSwedish, Dutch
Diminutive of CECILIA.
CIRCEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κιρκη (Kirke), which possibly meant "bird". In Greek mythology Circe was a sorceress who changed Odysseus's crew into hogs but was forced by him to change them back.
CLEOPATRAfAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπατρα (Kleopatra) which meant "glory of the father", derived from κλεος (kleos) "glory" combined with πατηρ (pater) "father" (genitive πατρος), This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606) is based on her.
CONCORDIAfRoman Mythology
Means "harmony" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of harmony and peace.
CUPIDmRoman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Cupido meaning "desire". This was the name of the Roman god of love, the son of Venus and Mars. He was portrayed as a winged, blindfolded boy, armed with a bow and arrows which caused the victim to fall in love. His Greek equivalent was Eros.
CYBELEfNear Eastern Mythology (Hellenized)
Meaning unknown, possibly from Phrygian roots meaning either "stone" or "hair". This was the name of the Phrygian mother goddess associated with fertility and nature. She was later worshipped by the Greeks and Romans.
DAEDALUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαιδαλος (Daidalos) which was derived from δαιδαλλω (daidallo) meaning "to work cunningly". In Greek myth Daedalus was an Athenian inventor who was banished to Crete. There he designed the Labyrinth for King Minos, but he and his son Icarus were eventually imprisoned inside it because he had aided Theseus in his quest against the Minotaur. Daelalus and Icarus escaped using wings fashioned from wax, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.
DAPHNEfGreek Mythology, English, Dutch
Means "laurel" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.
DEIMOSmGreek Mythology
Means "terror" in Greek. This was one of the sons of the Greek god Ares. Also, a moon of Mars bears this name.
DIARMAIDmIrish, Irish Mythology
Perhaps means "without envy" in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of a warrior who became the lover of Gráinne. It was also the name of several ancient Irish kings.
DINOmItalian, Croatian
Short form of names ending in dino or tino.
DIWATAfFilipino, Tagalog
Means "goddess" in Tagalog.
DORISfEnglish, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the ancient Greek name Δωρις (Doris) which meant "Dorian woman". The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-).
DWYNmCeltic Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the Celtic god of love.
DYLANmWelsh, English, Welsh Mythology
From the Welsh elements dy meaning "great" and llanw meaning "tide, flow". In Welsh mythology Dylan was a god or hero associated with the sea. He was the son of Arianrhod and was accidentally slain by his uncle Govannon.... [more]
ECHOfGreek Mythology
Means "echo" from the word for the repeating reflected sound, which derives from Greek ηχη (eche) "sound". In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
EIRfNorse Mythology, Icelandic, Norwegian
Means "mercy" in Old Norse. This was the name of a Norse goddess of healing and medicine.
ELmSemitic Mythology
From a Semitic root meaning "god". This was a title applied to several Semitic gods. The Canaanites used it as the name of their chief deity, the father of the gods and mankind. The Hebrews used it to refer to Yahweh.
ELECTRAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ηλεκτρα (Elektra), derived from ηλεκτρον (elektron) meaning "amber". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra and the sister of Orestes. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione.
ELYSIAfVarious
From Elysium, the name of the realm of the dead in Greek and Roman mythology, which means "blissful".
EMBLAfNorse Mythology, Icelandic, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Meaning uncertain, perhaps related to Old Norse almr "elm". In Norse mythology Embla and her husband Ask were the first humans. They were created by three of the gods from two trees.
ENDYMIONmGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ενδυειν (endyein) meaning "to dive into, to enter". In Greek mythology he was an Aeolian mortal loved by the moon goddess Selene, who asked Zeus to grant him eternal life. Zeus complied by putting him into an eternal sleep in a cave on Mount Latmos.
ENYOfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. She was a blood-thirsty Greek war goddess and a companion of Ares.
EOSfGreek Mythology
Means "dawn" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn.
EPONAfCeltic Mythology
Derived from Gaulish epos meaning "horse". This was the name of the Celtic goddess of horses.
ERESHKIGALfSumerian Mythology
Means "lady of the great earth", from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (ereš) meaning "lady, queen" combined with 𒆠 (ki) meaning "earth" and 𒃲 (gal) meaning "great, big". In Sumerian mythology she was the goddess of death and the underworld.
ERISfGreek Mythology
Means "strife" in Greek. In Greek mythology Eris was the goddess of discord. She was the sister and companion of Ares.
ERNA (2)fNorse Mythology, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Means "brisk, vigourous, hale" in Old Norse. This was the name of the wife of Jarl in Norse legend.
ÉTAÍNfIrish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét "jealousy". In Irish mythology she was a sun and horse goddess who was the lover of Midir.
EUDORAfGreek Mythology
Means "good gift" in Greek, from the elements ευ (eu) "good" and δωρον (doron) "gift". This was the name of a nymph, one of the Hyades, in Greek mythology.
EUPHROSYNEfGreek Mythology
Means "mirth, merriment" in Greek. She was one of the three Graces or Χαριτες (Charites) in Greek mythology.
EUROPAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ευρωπη (Europe), which meant "wide face" from ευρυς (eurys) "wide" and ωψ (ops) "face, eye". In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus in the guise of a bull. She became the first queen of Crete, and later fathered Minos by Zeus. The continent of Europe is named for her. This is also the name of a moon of Jupiter.
EURYDICEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ευρυδικη (Eurydike) which meant "wide justice", derived from ευρυς (eurys) "wide" and δικη (dike) "justice". In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out.
EUTERPEfGreek Mythology
Means "delight" in Greek, ultimately from ευ (eu) "good" and τερπω (terpo) "to satisfy, to cheer". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of music and joy. She was said to have invented the double flute.
EVANDER (1)mGreek Mythology (Latinized), Roman Mythology
Variant of Evandrus, the Latin form of the Greek name Ευανδρος (Euandros), derived from Greek ευ (eu) meaning "good" and ανηρ (aner) meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος). In Roman mythology Evander was an Arcadian hero of the Trojan War who founded the city of Pallantium near the spot where Rome was later built.
FAUNAfRoman Mythology
Feminine form of FAUNUS. Fauna was a Roman goddess of fertility, women and healing, a daughter and companion of Faunus.
FLORAfEnglish, German, Italian, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin flos meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala.
FREYAfNorse Mythology, English (British, Modern), German
From Old Norse Freyja meaning "lady". This was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr and father Njord, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg.... [more]
FRIGGfNorse Mythology
Means "beloved" in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri "to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya share a common origin.
GAIAfGreek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαια (gaia), a parallel form of γη (ge) meaning "earth". In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GANDALFmNorse Mythology, Literature
Means "wand elf" in Old Norse, from the elements gandr "wand, staff, cane" and álfr "elf". This name belongs to a dwarf in the 'Völuspá', a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript which forms part of the Poetic Edda. The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels 'The Hobbit' (1937) and 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954).
GERD (2)fSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse garðr meaning "enclosure". In Norse myth Gerd was a fertility goddess, a frost giantess who was the wife of Freyr.
GUNNARmSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse name Gunnarr which was derived from the elements gunnr "war" and arr "warrior" (making it a cognate of GÜNTHER). In Norse legend Gunnar was the husband of Brynhildr. He had his brother-in-law Sigurd murdered based on his wife's false accusations that Sigurd had taken her virginity.
GWENDOLENfWelsh
Means "white ring", derived from the Welsh elements gwen meaning "white, fair, blessed" and dolen meaning "ring, loop". This was the name of a mythical queen of the Britons who defeated her husband in battle, as told by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
HAGEN (1)mGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic element hagan meaning "enclosure". In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' he is the half-brother of Günther. He killed the hero Siegfried by luring him onto a hunting expedition and then stabbing him with a javelin in his one vulnerable spot.
HARMONmEnglish
From a surname which was derived from the given name HERMAN.
HECUBAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκαβη (Hekabe), which is of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology this is the name of the wife of Priam of Troy.
HELENfEnglish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek Mythology (Anglicized)
English form of the Greek ‘Ελενη (Helene), probably from Greek ‘ελενη (helene) "torch" or "corposant", or possibly related to σεληνη (selene) "moon". In Greek mythology Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose kidnapping by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War. The name was also borne by the 4th-century Saint Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, who supposedly found the True Cross during a trip to Jerusalem.... [more]
HELLE (2)fGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
HERAKLESmGreek Mythology
Means "glory of Hera" from the name of the goddess HERA combined with Greek κλεος (kleos) "glory". This was the name of a hero in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene. After being driven insane by Hera and killing his own children, Herakles completed twelve labours in order to atone for his crime and become immortal.
HERMESmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Probably from Greek ‘ερμα (herma) meaning "cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker". Hermes was a Greek god associated with speed and good luck, who served as a messenger to Zeus and the other gods. He was also the patron of travellers, writers, athletes, merchants, thieves and orators.... [more]
HERMIONEfGreek Mythology
Derived from the name of the Greek messenger god HERMES. In Greek myth Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. This is also the name of the wife of Leontes in Shakespeare's play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610). It is now closely associated with the character Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.
HERO (1)fGreek 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).
HESTIAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘εστια (hestia) "hearth, fireside". In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HORATIUSmAncient Roman
Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin hora "hour, time, season", though the name may actually be of Etruscan origin. A famous bearer was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, a Roman lyric poet of the 1st century BC who is better known as Horace in the English-speaking world.
HULDA (1)fIcelandic, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse hulda meaning "hiding, secrecy". This was the name of a sorceress in Norse mythology. As a modern name, it can also derive from archaic Swedish huld meaning "sweet, lovable".
HYACINTHUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Υακινθος (Hyakinthos), which was derived from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek legend Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by Apollo, who caused a lily to arise from his blood. The name was also borne by several early saints, notably a 3rd-century martyr who was killed with his brother Protus.
IAHmEgyptian Mythology
Means "moon" in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology this was the name of a god of the moon, later identified with Thoth.
IARAfNative American, Tupi
From Tupi y "water" and îara "lady, mistress". In Brazilian legend this is the name of a beautiful river nymph who would lure men into the water. She may have been based upon earlier Tupi legends.
ICARUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ικαρος (Ikaros), of unknown meaning. In Greek myth Icarus was the son of Daedalus, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth by Minos. They escaped from the maze using wings devised from wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death.
ILMARINENmFinnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish ilma "air". Ilmarinen is an immortal smith in Finnish mythology, the creator of the sky and the magic mill known as the Sampo. He is one of the main characters in the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
ILMATARfFinnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish ilma "air". In Finnish mythology Ilmatar was a semi-androgynous goddess of the heavens. She was the mother of Ilmarinen, Väinämöinen and Lemminkäinen.
INANNAfSumerian Mythology
Possibly derived from Sumerian nin-an-a(k) meaning "lady of the heavens", from 𒊩𒌆 (nin) meaning "lady" and the genitive form of 𒀭 (an) meaning "heaven, sky". Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and war. She descended into the underworld where the ruler of that place, her sister Ereshkigal, had her killed. The god Enki interceded, and Inanna was allowed to leave the underworld as long as her husband Dumuzi took her place.... [more]
INDIRAfHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil
Means "beauty" in Sanskrit. This is another name of Lakshmi, the wife of the Hindu god Vishnu. A notable bearer was India's first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi (1917-1984).
IOfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from Hera. A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.
IORWERTHmWelsh
Means "handsome lord" from Welsh ior "lord" and berth "handsome". This name is used in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, where it belongs to a son of Maredudd. This name is sometimes used as a Welsh form of EDWARD.
ÍRISfPortuguese, Icelandic
Portuguese and Icelandic form of IRIS.
ISMENEfGreek Mythology
Possibly from Greek ισμη (isme) "knowledge". This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
IÐUNNfNorse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Probably derived from Old Norse "again" and unna "to love". In Norse mythology Iðunn was the goddess of spring and immortality whose responsibility it was to guard the gods' apples of youth.
IZANAGImFar Eastern Mythology
Means "male who invites" in Japanese. In Japanese mythology the god Izanagi was the husband of Izanami. When she died he unsuccessfully journeyed to the underworld to retrieve her. In the purifying rites that followed his return the gods of the sun, moon and wind were created.
IZANAMIfFar Eastern Mythology
Means "female who invites" in Japanese. In Japanese mythology she was a creator goddess, the wife of Izanagi. She died giving birth to Kagututi, the god of fire.
JANUSmRoman Mythology
Means "archway" in Latin. Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings, often depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions. The month of January is named for him.
JARLmNorwegian, Swedish, Danish, Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Means "chieftain, nobleman, earl" in Old Norse. In Norse legend Jarl was the son of the god Ríg and the founder of the race of warriors.
JOCASTAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ιοκαστη (Iokaste), which is of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology she was the mother Oedipus by the Theban king Laius. In a case of tragic mistaken identity, she married her own son.
JUNEfEnglish
From the name of the month, which was originally derived from the name of the Roman goddess Juno. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.
KALEV (1)mEstonian
Estonian form of KALEVA. This was the name of a hero in Estonian mythology.
KALEVAmFinnish
From the name of the mythological ancestor of the Finns, which is of unknown meaning. The name of the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala' means "the land of Kalevi".
KALIf & mHinduism, Bengali, Tamil
Means "the black one" in Sanskrit. The Hindu goddess Kali is the fierce destructive form of the wife of Shiva. She is usually depicted with black skin and four arms, holding a severed head and brandishing a sword. As a personal name, it is generally masculine in India.
KALLIOPEfGreek Mythology
Means "beautiful voice" from Greek καλλος (kallos) meaning "beauty" and οψ (ops) meaning "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.
KAVEHmPersian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means "royal" in Avestan. In Persian mythology Kaveh is a blacksmith who leads a rebellion against the evil ruler Zahhak.
KLEIOfGreek 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.
KLOTHOfGreek Mythology
Means "spinner" in Greek. In Greek mythology Klotho was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι (Moirai). She was responsible for spinning the thread of life.
KLYTIËfGreek 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.
KRISHNAmHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
LACHESISfGreek Mythology
Means "apportioner" in Greek. She was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι (Moirai) in Greek mythology. She was responsible for deciding how long each person had to live.
LAIMAfLithuanian, Latvian, Baltic Mythology
From Latvian laime and Lithuanian laima which mean "luck, fate". This was the name of the Latvian and Lithuanian goddess of fate, luck, pregnancy and childbirth. She was the sister of the goddesses Dekla and Karta, who were also associated with fate.
LAMIA (2)fGreek Mythology
Possibly from Greek λαιμος (laimos) "throat". In Greek mythology this is the name of a queen of Libya who was a mistress of Zeus. Hera, being jealous, kills Lamia's children, causing her to go mad and transform into a monster that hunts the children of others.
LARISAfRussian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient city of Larisa in Thessaly, which meant "citadel". In Greek legends, the nymph Larisa was either a daughter or mother of Pelasgus, the ancestor of the mythical Pelasgians. This name was later borne by a 4th-century Greek martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Church. The name (of the city, nymph and saint) is commonly Latinized as Larissa, with a double s.
LAVERNEf & mEnglish
From a surname which was derived from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern meaning "alder". It is sometimes associated with the Roman goddess Laverna or the Latin word vernus "of spring".
LAVINIAfRoman Mythology, Romanian
Meaning unknown, probably of Etruscan origin. In Roman legend Lavinia was the daughter of King Latinus, the wife of Aeneas, and the ancestor of the Roman people. According to the legend Aeneas named the town of Lavinium in honour of his wife.
LEDAfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek myth she was the mother of Castor, Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra by the god Zeus, who came upon her in the form of a swan.
LEONmEnglish, 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.
LIBERmRoman Mythology
Derived from Latin liber meaning "free". This was the name of a Roman fertility god, often identified with Dionysus.
LIBITINAfRoman Mythology
Meaning unknown. Libitina was the Roman goddess of funerals, corpses and death.
LIGEIAfGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λιγυς (ligys) meaning "clear-voiced, shrill, whistling". This was the name of one of the Sirens in Greek legend. It was also used by Edgar Allan Poe in his story 'Ligeia' (1838).
LÓEGAIREmIrish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder", derived from Irish loagh "calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
LUCASmEnglish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Biblical Latin
Latin form of Loukas (see LUKE).
LUCINAfRoman Mythology
Derived from Latin lucus meaning "grove", but later associated with lux "light". This was the name of a Roman goddess of childbirth.
LUCRETIAfAncient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius, possibly from Latin lucrum "profit, wealth". In Roman legend Lucretia was a maiden who was raped by the son of the king of Rome. This caused a great uproar among the Roman citizens, and the monarchy was overthrown. This name was also borne by a saint and martyr from Spain.
LUGHmIrish Mythology
Probably an Irish form of LUGUS. In Irish mythology Lugh was a divine hero who led the Tuatha De Danann against the Fomorians who were led by his grandfather Balor. Lugh killed Balor by shooting a stone into his giant eye.
LUNEDfWelsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Variant of ELUNED. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is a servant of the Lady of the Fountain who rescues the knight Owain.
MAIA (1)fGreek Mythology, Roman Mythology, Portuguese, Georgian
Meaning unknown. In Greek and Roman mythology she was the eldest of the Pleiades, the group of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, who were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Her son by Zeus was Hermes.
MANAIAf & mMaori
From the name of a stylized design common in Maori carvings. It represents a mythological creature with the head of a bird and the body of a human.
MARCIUSmAncient Roman
Roman family name which was a derivative of the praenomen MARCUS. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, king of Rome.
MARDUKmSemitic Mythology
Probably from Sumerian amar-Utuk meaning "calf of Utu", derived from amar combined with the name of the sun god UTU. This was the name of the chief Babylonian god, presiding over heaven, light, sky, battle, and fertility. After killing the dragon Tiamat, who was an old enemy of the gods, he created the world and sky from the pieces of her body.
MARISfEnglish (Rare)
Means "of the sea", taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary, Stella Maris, meaning "star of the sea".
MARSmRoman Mythology
Possibly related to Latin mas "male" (genitive maris). In Roman mythology Mars was the god of war, often equated with the Greek god Ares. This is also the name of the fourth planet in the solar system.
MATHmWelsh Mythology
Possibly from Celtic matu meaning "bear". According to the Mabinogion, Math ap Mathonwy was a king of Gwynedd and a magician. He was the uncle of the hero Gwydion.
MEDEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized), Georgian
From Greek Μηδεια (Medeia), possibly derived from μηδομαι (medomai) "to think, to plan". In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis (modern Georgia) who helped Jason gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed.
MEDUSAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Μεδουσα (Medousa), which was derived from μεδω (medo) meaning "to protect, to rule over". In Greek myth this was the name of one of the three Gorgons, ugly women who had snakes for hair. She was so hideous that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone, so the hero Perseus had to look using the reflection in his shield in order to slay her.
MEGAERAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Μεγαιρα (Megaira) which was derived from μεγαιρω (megairo) "to grudge". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ερινυες (Erinyes) in Greek mythology. The name is used as a word in several European languages to denote a shrewish, ill-tempered woman (for example, French mégère and Italian megera).
MELAINAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek μελαινα (melaina) meaning "black, dark". This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology.
MELANTHIOSmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μελας (melas) "black, dark" and ανθος (anthos) "flower". In Homer's epic the 'Odyssey' this is the name of an insolent goatherd killed by Odysseus.
MELETEfGreek Mythology
Means "practice, exercise" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of meditation.
MELISSAfEnglish, 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.
MELPOMENEfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek μελπω (melpo) meaning "to sing, to celebrate with song". This was the name of one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, the muse of tragedy.
MENELAUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Μενελαος (Menelaos), derived either from μενω (meno) meaning "to stay, to wait" or μενος (menos) meaning "mind, strength, force" combined with λαος (laos) meaning "the people". In Greek legend he was a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen. When his wife was taken by Paris, the Greeks besieged the city of Troy in an effort to get her back. After the war Menelaus and Helen settled down to a happy life.
METAfGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
German and Scandinavian short form of MARGARET.
MEZTLIm & fAztec and Toltec Mythology, Native American, Nahuatl
Means "moon" in Nahuatl. This was the name of the Aztec god (or goddess) of the moon.
MILDAfLithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the Lithuanian goddess of love.
MINm & fChinese, Korean
From (mǐn) meaning "quick, clever, sharp", (mín) meaning "people, citizens", or other Chinese/Sino-Korean characters which are pronounced similarly.
MINERVAfRoman Mythology, English
Possibly derived from Latin mens meaning "intellect", but more likely of Etruscan origin. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, approximately equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since after the Renaissance.
MINOSmGreek Mythology
Possibly from a Cretan word or title meaning "king". This was the name of a king of Crete in Greek mythology. He was the son of Zeus and Europa. Because Minos had refused to sacrifice a certain bull to Poseidon, the god had caused his wife Pasiphaë to mate with the bull, which produced the half-bull creature called the Minotaur. Minos had Daedalus construct the Labyrinth to house the beast, but it was eventually slain by Theseus.
MITHRAmPersian Mythology
Derived from an Indo-Iranian root *mitra meaning "oath, alliance, friend". In Persian mythology he was a god of light and friendship, the son of the supreme god Ahura Mazda. Worship of him eventually spread outside of Persia, where it was known as Mithraism.
MOIRAfIrish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE. It also coincides with Greek Μοιρα (Moira) meaning "fate, destiny", the singular of Μοιραι, the Greek name for the Fates. They were the three female personifications of destiny in Greek mythology.
MORANAfSlavic Mythology, Croatian
From a Slavic root meaning "death, plague". In Slavic mythology this was the name of the goddess of winter and death.
MORRIGANfIrish Mythology
Derived from Irish Mór Ríoghain meaning "great queen". In Irish myth she was a goddess of war and death who often took the form of a crow.
MYLES (2)mGreek Mythology
Probably from Greek μυλη (myle) meaning "mill". This was the name of a king of Laconia in Greek mythology.
NAGENDRAmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lord of snakes" from Sanskrit नाग (naga) meaning "snake" (also "elephant") combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA, used here to mean "lord". This is another name for Vasuki, the king of snakes, in Hindu mythology.
NEASAfIrish, Irish Mythology
Meaning uncertain. In Irish legend she was the mother of Conchobhar, king of Ulster. According to some versions of the legend she was originally named Assa meaning "gentle", but was renamed Ni-assa "not gentle" after she sought to avenge the murders of her foster fathers.
NEITHfEgyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Nit, possibly meaning "water". This was the name of an early Egyptian goddess of weaving, hunting and war. Her character may have some correspondences with the goddesses Tanith, Anat or Athena.
NEOPTOLEMUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Νεοπτολεμος (Neoptolemos) meaning "new war", derived from νεος (neos) "new" and πολεμος (polemos) "war". In Greek legend this was the name of the son of Achilles, brought into the Trojan War because it was prophesied the Greeks could not win it unless he was present. After the war he was slain by Orestes fighting over Hermione.
NEPHELEfGreek Mythology
From Greek νεφος (nephos) meaning "cloud". In Greek legend Nephele was created from a cloud by Zeus, who shaped the cloud to look like Hera in order to trick Ixion, a mortal who desired her. Nephele was the mother of the centaurs by Ixion, and was also the mother of Phrixus and Helle by Athamus.
NEPTUNEmRoman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Neptunus, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Indo-European root *nebh "wet, damp, clouds". Neptune was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, approximately equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon. This is also the name of the eighth planet in the solar system.
NEREUSmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros) meaning "water". In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NIAMHfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "bright" in Irish. She was the daughter of the sea god in Irish legends. She fell in love with the poet Oisín, son of Fionn.
NINLILfSumerian Mythology
Derived from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin) meaning "lady" and possibly 𒆤 (lil) meaning "wind". This was the name of a Sumerian goddess, the consort of Enlil.
NIOBEfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto, Leto's children Apollo and Artemis killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus.
NONA (1)fRoman Mythology
Derived from Latin nonus meaning "ninth", referring to the nine months of pregnancy. This was the name of a Roman goddess of pregnancy. She was also one of the three Fates (or Parcae).
NYXfGreek Mythology
Means "night" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
ODINmNorse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn, which was derived from óðr "inspiration, rage, frenzy". It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz. The name appears as Woden in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan, Wuotan or Wodan in continental Europe. However Odin is most known from Norse mythology, as the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.
OENONEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Οινωνε (Oinone), derived from οινος (oinos) meaning "wine". In Greek mythology Oenone was a mountain nymph who was married to Paris before he went after Helen.
OLYMPIODOROSmAncient Greek
From OLYMPOS, the name of the mountain home of the Greek gods, combined with Greek δωρον (doron) "gift".
ORESTESmGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ορεστιας (orestias) meaning "of the mountains". In Greek myth he was the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. He killed his mother and her lover Aegisthus after they killed his father.
ORPHEUSmGreek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ορφνη (orphne) meaning "the darkness of night". In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
OURANIAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ουρανιος (ouranios) meaning "heavenly". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of astronomy and astrology, one of the nine Muses.
PALLAS (1)fGreek Mythology
Probably derived from a Greek word meaning "maiden". In Greek mythology this was the name of a friend of the goddess Athena. Athena accidentally killed her, and subsequently took the name Pallas in honour of her friend.
PALLAS (2)mGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek παλλω (pallo) "to brandish". In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see Pallas).
PANmGreek Mythology
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector". In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
PANDORAfGreek Mythology
Means "all gifts", derived from a combination of Greek παν (pan) "all" and δωρον (doron) "gift". In Greek mythology Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus gave her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills that mankind now knows, and told her not to open it. Unfortunately her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, unleashing the evil spirits into the world.
PAPAfPolynesian Mythology
Means "earth" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Papa or Papatuanuku was the goddess of the earth and the mother of many of the other gods. She and her husband Rangi, the god of the sky, were locked in a tight embrace. Their children decided to separate them, a feat of strength accomplished by the god Tane.
PARTHENIAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek παρθενος (parthenos) meaning "maiden, virgin". This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Athena.
PARTHENOPEfGreek Mythology
Means "maiden's voice", derived from Greek παρθενος (parthenos) "maiden, virgin" and οψ (ops) "voice". In Greek legend this is the name of one of the Sirens who enticed Odysseus.
PAXfRoman Mythology
Means "peace" in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the goddess of peace.
PEREDURmWelsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Possibly means "hard spears" in Welsh. This was the name of several figures from Welsh mythology. It was later used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Arthurian tales. The character of Percival was probably based on him.
PERSEPHONEfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Pre-Greek origin, but perhaps related to Greek περθω (pertho) "to destroy" and φονη (phone) "murder". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades, but was eventually allowed to return to the surface for part of the year. The result of her comings and goings is the changing of the seasons. With her mother she was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at the city of Eleusis near Athens.
PHAEDRAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φαιδρα (Phaidra), derived from φαιδρος (phaidros) meaning "bright". Phaedra was the daughter of Minos and the wife of Theseus in Greek mythology. Aphrodite caused her to fall in love with her stepson Hippolytos, and after she was rejected by him she killed herself.
PHILOMELAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek φιλος (philos) "lover, friend" and μηλον (melon) "fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μελος (melos) "song". In Greek myth Philomela was the sister-in-law of Tereus, who raped her and cut out her tongue. Prokne avenged her sister by killing her son by Tereus, after which Tereus attempted to kill Philomela. However, the gods intervened and transformed her into a nightingale.
PHIRUNmKhmer
Means "rain" in Khmer, from the name of a rain god in the mythologies of southeast Asia. The god's name is possibly derived from VARUNA.
PHOBOSmGreek Mythology
Means "fear, panic" in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
PHOEBEfEnglish, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβη (Phoibe), which meant "bright, pure" from Greek φοιβος (phoibos). In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis. The name appears in Paul's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).
PHOENIXm & fEnglish (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird which appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοινιξ (phoinix) meaning "dark red".
PHYLLISfGreek Mythology, English, German
Means "foliage" in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia.
POLLUXmRoman Mythology
Roman form of Greek Πολυδευκης (Polydeukes) meaning "very sweet", from Greek πολυς (polys) "much" and δευκης (deukes) "sweet". In mythology he was the twin brother of Castor and a son of Zeus. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
POLYMNIAfGreek Mythology
Means "abounding in song", derived from Greek πολυς (polys) "much" and ‘υμνος (hymnos) "song, hymn". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of dance and sacred songs, one of the nine Muses.
POLYXENAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Πολυξενη (Polyxene) which was from the word πολυξενος (polyxenos) meaning "entertaining many guests, very hospitable", itself derived from πολυς (polys) "many" and ξενος (xenos) "foreigner, guest". In Greek legend she was a daughter of Priam and Hecuba, beloved by Achilles. After the Trojan War, Achilles' son Neoptolemus sacrificed her.
POSEIDONmGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek ποσις (posis) "husband, lord" and δα (da) "earth". The name first appears in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions as po-se-da-o. In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
PROSERPINAfRoman Mythology
Means "to emerge" in Latin. She was the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Persephone.
PSYCHEfGreek Mythology
Means "the soul", derived from Greek ψυχω (psycho) "to breathe". The Greeks thought that the breath was the soul. In Greek mythology Psyche was a beautiful maiden who was beloved by Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology). She is the subject of Keats's poem 'Ode to Psyche' (1819).
PTAHmEgyptian Mythology
Possibly means "opener" in Egyptian. Ptah was an Egyptian god associated with creation and the arts.
PTOLEMYmHistory
From the Greek name Πτολεμαιος (Ptolemaios), derived from Greek πολεμηιος (polemeios) meaning "aggressive, warlike". Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendants of Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer.
PUBLIUSmAncient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "public" in Latin. This was among the more common of the Roman praenomina, being borne by (among others) the emperor Hadrian and the poet Virgil.
QUETZALCOATLmAztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "feathered snake" in Nahuatl, derived from quetzalli "feather" and coatl "snake". In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was the god of the sky, wind, and knowledge, also associated with the morning star. According to one legend he created the humans of this age using the bones of humans from the previous age and adding his own blood.
RADHAf & mHinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi
Means "success" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the favourite consort of the Hindu god Krishna.
RAGHUmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam
Means "swift" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a heroic king in Hindu epics, the great-grandfather of Rama. It is also mentioned as the name of a son of Buddha in Buddhist texts.
RANGImMaori, Polynesian Mythology
Means "sky" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Rangi or Ranginui was a god of the sky, husband of the earth goddess Papa. They were locked in a crushing embrace but were eventually separated by their children, the other gods.
RHEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized), Roman Mythology
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ρεια (Rheia), meaning unknown, perhaps related to ‘ρεω (rheo) "to flow" or ερα (era) "ground". In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus, and the mother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter and Hestia. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
RHIANNONfWelsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Probably derived from the old Celtic name Rigantona meaning "great queen". It is speculated that this was the name of an otherwise unattested Celtic goddess of fertility and the moon. The name Rhiannon appears later in Welsh legend in the Mabinogion, borne by the wife of Pwyll and the mother of Pryderi.... [more]
RÍOGHNACHfIrish Mythology
Derived from Irish ríoghan meaning "queen". In Irish legend this was a wife of the Irish king Niall.
ROMULUSmRoman Mythology
Means "of Rome" in Latin. In Roman legend Romulus and Remus were the founders of the city of Rome.
SADBfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "sweet, goodly" in Irish Gaelic. In Irish mythology Sadb was the mother of Oisín.
SIEGLINDEfGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu "victory" and lind "soft, tender, flexible". Sieglinde was the mother of Siegfried in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied'.
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.
SIGRÚNfAncient Scandinavian, Norse Mythology, Icelandic
Derived from the Old Norse elements sigr "victory" and rún "secret". This was the name of a Valkyrie in Norse legend.
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.
SILVANUSmRoman Mythology, Ancient Roman, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Roman name derived from Latin silva "wood, forest". Silvanus was the Roman god of forests. This name appears in the New Testament belonging to one of Saint Paul's companions, also called Silas.
SILVIAfItalian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, English, German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of SILVIUS. Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, 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.
SILVIUSmLate Roman, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin silva "wood, forest". This was the family name of several of the legendary kings of Alba Longa. It was also the name of an early saint martyred in Alexandria.
SIMON (2)mAncient 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.
SINmSemitic Mythology
From earlier Akkadian Su'en, of unknown meaning. This was the name of the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian god of the moon. He was closely identified with the Sumerian god Nanna.
SKAÐIfNorse Mythology
Means "damage, harm" in Old Norse. In Norse mythology she was a mountain giantess associated with the winter and skiing, the wife of Njord and later Odin.
SKULDfNorse Mythology
Means "future" in Old Norse. She was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was also one of the Valkyries.
SOPHIAfEnglish, 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]
SOSRUKOmCaucasian Mythology
Derived from Turkic suslä "menacing". This is the name of a trickster god in Caucasian mythology. He is the hero of the Nart sagas.
SWANHILDfGerman (Rare)
Derived from the Germanic elements swan "swan" and hild "battle".
TANEmMaori, Polynesian Mythology
Means "man" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Tane was the god of forests and light. He was the son of the sky god Rangi and the earth goddess Papa, who were locked in an embrace and finally separated by their son. He created the tui bird and, by some accounts, man.
TERPSICHOREfGreek Mythology
Means "enjoying the dance" from Greek τερψις (terpsis) "delight" and χορος (choros) "dance". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of dance and dramatic chorus, one of the nine Muses.
THALIAfGreek Mythology (Latinized), Greek
From the Greek name Θαλεια (Thaleia), derived from θαλλω (thallo) meaning "to blossom". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, presiding over comedy and pastoral poetry. This was also the name of one of the three Graces or Χαριτες (Charites).
THERONmAncient Greek
Derived from Greek θηραω (therao) meaning "to hunt".
THESEUSmGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek τιθημι (tithemi) meaning "to set, to place". Theseus was a heroic king of Athens in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aethra, either by Aegeus or by the god Poseidon. According to legend, every seven years the Cretan king Minos demanded that Athens supply Crete with seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-bull creature that was the son of Minos's wife Pasiphaë. Theseus volunteered to go in place of one of these youths in order to slay the Minotaur in the Labyrinth where it lived. He succeeded with the help of Minos's daughter Ariadne, who provided him with a sword and a roll of string so he could find his way out of the maze.
ÞÓRAfAncient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Either a feminine form of Þórr (see THOR) or else a short form of the various Old Norse names beginning with the element Þór. In Norse myth Thora was the wife of the Danish king Ragnar Lodbrok.
TIAMATfSemitic Mythology
From Akkadian tâmtu meaning "sea". In Babylonian myth Tiamat was the personification of the sea, appearing in the form of a huge dragon. By Apsu she gave birth to the first of the gods. Later, the god Marduk (her great-grandson) defeated her, cut her in half, and used the pieces of her body to make the earth and the sky.
TYRmNorse Mythology
Norse form of the name of the Germanic god Tiwaz, related to Indo-European dyeus (see ZEUS). In Norse mythology Tyr was the god of war and justice, the son of the god Odin. He carried a spear in his left hand, since his right hand was bitten off by the wolf Fenrir. At the time of the end of the world, the Ragnarok, Tyr will slay and be slain by the giant hound Garm.
VALERIUSmAncient Roman
Roman family name which was derived from Latin valere "to be strong". This was the name of several early saints.
VALLIfHinduism
Means "creeping plant" in Dravidian. In Dravidian mythology the goddess Valli was the wife of Murunga.
VARUNAmHinduism
Probably from a Sanskrit word meaning "to surround". In Hindu mythology Varuna is a god of water and the celestial ocean surrounding the world. He is one of the chief gods in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
VENUSfRoman Mythology
Means "love, sexual desire" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of love and sex. Her character was assimilated with that of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. As the mother of Aeneas she was considered an ancestor of the Roman people. The second planet from the sun is named after her.
VERDANDIfNorse Mythology
From Old Norse Verðandi meaning "becoming, happening". Verdandi was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was responsible for the present.
VESNAfCroatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian
Means "messenger" in Slavic. This was the name of a Slavic spirit associated with the springtime. In many Slavic languages this is now the poetic word for "spring". It has been used as a given name only since the 20th century.
VIDARmSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse Víðarr, which is possibly derived from víðr "wide" and arr "warrior". In Norse mythology Víðarr was the son of Odin and Grid. At the time of the end of the world, the Ragnarok, he will avenge his father's death.
VULCANmRoman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Vulcanus, possibly related to fulgere "to flash", but more likely of pre-Latin origin. In Roman mythology Vulcan was the god of fire. He was later equated with the Greek god Hephaestus.