ADELAIDE f English, Italian, Portuguese
Means "noble type"
, from the French form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and heid
"kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman emperor Otto the Great. In Britain the parallel form Alice
, derived via Old French, has historically been more common, though this form did gain some currency in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.
AIDA f Arabic, Literature
Variant of AYDA
. This name was used in Verdi's opera Aida
(1871), where it belongs to an Ethiopian princess held captive in Egypt.
ANUSH f Armenian
in Armenian. This was the name of an 1890 novel by the Armenia writer Hovhannes Tumanyan. It was adapted into an opera in 1912 by Armen Tigranian.
ARLINE f English
Meaning unknown, possibly invented by Michael William Balfe for the main character in his opera The Bohemian Girl
BRADAMANTE f Literature
Used by Matteo Maria Boiardo for a female knight in his epic poem Orlando Innamorato
(1483). He possibly intended it to derive from Italian brado
"wild, untamed, natural" and amante
"loving" or perhaps Latin amantis
"lover, sweetheart, mistress", referring to her love for the Saracen Ruggiero
. Bradamante also appears in Ludovico Ariosto's poem Orlando Furioso
(1532) and Handel's opera Alcina
CORALINE f Literature, French
Created by the French composer Adolphe Adam for one of the main characters in his opera Le toréador
(1849). He probably based it on the name CORALIE
. It was also used by the author Neil Gaiman for the young heroine in his novel Coraline
(2002). Gaiman has stated that in this case the name began as a typo of Caroline
ETERI f Georgian
Means "ether, air"
in Georgian. This name features in the Georgian opera Abesalom and Eteri
IOLANTHE f Various
Probably a variant of YOLANDA
influenced by the Greek words ἰόλη (iole)
meaning "violet" and ἄνθος (anthos)
meaning "flower". This name was (first?) used by Gilbert and Sullivan in their comic opera Iolanthe
ISOLDE f English (Rare), German, Arthurian Romance
The origins of this name are uncertain, though some Celtic roots have been suggested. It is possible that the name is ultimately Germanic, perhaps from a hypothetic name like Ishild
, composed of the elements is
"ice, iron" and hild
LUDOVIC m French
Medieval Latinized form of LUDWIG
. This was the name of an 1833 opera by the French composer Fromental Halévy.
MÉLISANDE f French
French form of MILLICENT
used by Maurice Maeterlinck in his play Pelléas et Mélisande
(1893). The play was later adapted by Claude Debussy into an opera (1902).
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
NORMA f English, Italian, Literature
Created by Felice Romani for the main character in the opera Norma
(1831). He may have based it on Latin norma
"rule". This name is also frequently used as a feminine form of NORMAN
ROMEO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin Romaeus
or Late Greek Ρωμαῖος (Romaios)
, which meant "from ROME"
. In medieval Italian this meant "a pilgrim to Rome"
. Romeo is best known as the lover of Juliet
in Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet
TRISTAN m Welsh, English, French, Arthurian Romance
Old French form of the Pictish name Drustan
, a diminutive of DRUST
. The spelling was altered by association with Latin tristis
"sad". Tristan is a character in medieval French tales, probably inspired by older Celtic legends, and ultimately merged into Arthurian legend. According to the story Tristan was sent to Ireland in order to fetch Isolde
, who was to be the bride of King Mark of Cornwall. On the way back, Tristan and Isolde accidentally drink a potion that makes them fall in love. Their tragic story was very popular in the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since that time.