APHRODITE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty, identified with the Roman goddess Venus
. She was the wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of Eros
, and she was often associated with the myrtle tree and doves. The Greeks connected her name with ἀφρός (aphros)
, resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea. Many of her characteristics are based on the goddess known as Ashtoreth
to the Phoenicians and Ishtar
to the Mesopotamian Semitic peoples, and on the Sumerian goddess Inanna
ASHERAH f Semitic 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.
BO (2) m & f Chinese
From Chinese 波 (bō)
meaning "wave", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
CHAO m & f Chinese
From Chinese 超 (chāo)
meaning "surpass, leap over" (which is usually only masculine), 潮 (cháo)
meaning "tide, flow, damp", or other characters that are pronounced similarly.
CORAL f English, Spanish
From the English and Spanish word coral
for the underwater skeletal deposits that can form reefs. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κοράλλιον (korallion)
DERYA f & m Turkish
Means "sea, ocean"
in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
DORIS f English, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the Greek name Δωρίς (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 (1924-2019).
ERASMUS m Late Greek (Latinized)
Derived from Greek ἐράσμιος (erasmios)
. Saint Erasmus, also known as Saint Elmo, was a 4th-century martyr who is the patron saint of sailors. Erasmus was also the name of a Dutch scholar of the Renaissance period.
GYATSO m Tibetan
From Tibetan རྒྱ་མཚོ (rgya-mtsho)
. This is one of the given names of the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (1935-).
HADRIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Hadrianus
, which meant "from Hadria"
in Latin. Hadria was the name of two Roman settlements. The first (modern Adria) is in northern Italy and was an important Etruscan port town. The second (modern Atri) is in central Italy and was named after the northern town. The Adriatic Sea is also named after the northern town.... [more]
JONAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah)
. This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.... [more]
KAIMANA m & f Hawaiian
From Hawaiian kai
"ocean, sea" and mana
"power". It is also Hawaiian meaning "diamond", derived from the English word diamond
KAITO m Japanese
From Japanese 海 (kai)
meaning "sea, ocean" combined with 斗 (to)
, which refers to a Chinese constellation, or 翔 (to)
meaning "soar, fly". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
KENT m English
From a surname that was originally derived from Kent
, the name of a county in England, which may be derived from a Brythonic word meaning "coastal district".
KLYTIË f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλυτός (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.
KYLE m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic caol
meaning "narrows, channel, strait"
LLYR m Welsh Mythology
Means "the sea"
in Welsh. This was the name of the Welsh god of the sea. He possibly forms the basis for the legendary King Lear of the Britons.
MANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 愛 (mana)
meaning "love, affection" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" or 海 (mi)
meaning "sea, ocean". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MAR f Spanish, Catalan
in Spanish and Catalan. It is from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María del Mar
MARAĴA f Esperanto
Means "made of the sea"
in Esperanto, a derivative of maro
"sea", ultimately from Latin mare
MARIS f English (Rare)
Means "of the sea"
, taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary
, Stella Maris
, meaning "star of the sea".
MARY f English, Biblical
Usual English form of Maria
, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριάμ (Mariam)
and Μαρία (Maria)
- the spellings are interchangeable - which were from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam)
, a name borne by the sister of Moses
in the Old Testament. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness"
, and "wished for child"
. However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved"
or mr "love"
MERAUD f Cornish
Meaning unknown, perhaps based on Cornish mor "sea"
MERLIN m Arthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin
(meaning "sea fortress"
) used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus
in order to prevent associations with French merde
MERRILL m English
From an English surname that was derived either from the given name MURIEL
or from place names meaning "pleasant hill".
MERYL f English
Variant of MURIEL
, influenced by the spelling of the name CHERYL
. A famous bearer is American actress Meryl Streep (1949-), whose real name is Mary Louise Streep.
MOANA f & m Maori, Hawaiian, Tahitian
Means "ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea"
in Maori and Hawaiian (as well as in other Polynesian languages).
MORGAN (1) m & f Welsh, English, French
From the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant
, which was possibly derived from Welsh mor
"sea" and cant
"circle". Since the 1980s in America Morgan
has been more common for girls than boys, perhaps due to stories of Morgan
le Fay or the fame of actress Morgan Fairchild (1950-).
MORGAN (2) f Arthurian Romance
Modern form of Morgen
, which was used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century for the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, who was unnamed in earlier stories. Geoffrey probably did not derive it from the Welsh masculine name Morgan
, which would have been spelled Morcant
in his time. He may have based it on the Irish name MUIRGEN
MUIR m Scottish
From a surname that was originally taken from a Scottish place name meaning "moor, fen"
. It also means "sea"
in Scottish Gaelic.
MUIRGEL f Irish
Means "bright sea"
, derived from Gaelic muir
"sea" and geal
MUIRGEN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "born of the sea"
in Irish. In Irish legend this was the name of a woman (originally named Líban
) who was transformed into a mermaid. After 300 years she was brought to shore, baptized, and transformed back into a woman.
MURIEL f English, French, Irish
Medieval English form of a Celtic name that was probably related to the Irish name MUIRGEL
. The Normans brought it to England from Brittany. In the modern era it was popularized by a character from Dinah Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman
NANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 七 (nana)
meaning "seven" and 海 (mi)
meaning "sea". It can also come from 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens" duplicated and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
NEPTUNE m Roman 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.
NEREUS m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρός (neros)
. 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.
NJORD m Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njǫrðr
, which was possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ner
meaning "strong, vigorous"
. Njord was the Norse god of the sea, sailing, fishing and fertility. With his children Freyr
he was a member of the Vanir.
OCEAN m & f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word ocean
for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ὠκεανός (Okeanos)
, the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.
OKEANOS m Greek Mythology
From the name of the river or body of water thought by the ancient Greeks to surround the Earth. In Greek mythology Okeanos was the Titan who personified this body of water.
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.
PELAGIA f Ancient Greek, Greek, Polish
Feminine form of PELAGIUS
. This was the name of a few early saints, including a young 4th-century martyr who threw herself from a rooftop in Antioch rather than lose her virginity.
PONTIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman family name. The family had Samnite roots so the name probably originated from the Oscan language, likely meaning "fifth"
(a cognate of Latin Quintus
). Alternatively, it could be derived from the name of the ancient province of Pontus
in Asia Minor, itself probably from Greek πόντος (pontos)
. A notable bearer of this name was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who appears in the New Testament.
POSEIDON m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πόσις (posis)
meaning "husband, lord" and δᾶ (da)
meaning "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.
ROSEMARY f English
Combination of ROSE
. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus
meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
SALACIA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin sal
. This was the name of the Roman goddess of salt water.
SEDNA f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
SHELL f English
Short form of MICHELLE
. It can also be simply from the English word shell
(ultimately from Old English sciell
TETHYS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek τήθη (tethe)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan associated with the sea. She was the wife of Oceanus.
TIAMAT f Semitic Mythology
From Akkadian tâmtu
. 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.
UNDINE f Literature
Derived from Latin unda
. The word undine
was created by the medieval author Paracelsus, who used it for female water spirits.
VARUNA m Hinduism
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 Rigveda.
YAM m Semitic Mythology
in Ugaritic. Yam was the Ugaritic god of the sea, also associated with chaos, storms and destruction. He was a son of the chief god El
YANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 洋 (yáng)
meaning "ocean" or 阳 (yáng)
meaning "light, sun, male" (which is typically only masculine), as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.