AILBHE f & m Irish
Possibly derived from the old Gaelic root albho
meaning "white". In Irish legend this was the name of a female warrior of the Fianna. It was also the name of a 6th-century masculine saint.
AIRI f Japanese
From Japanese 愛 (ai)
meaning "love, affection" combined with 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 梨 (ri)
meaning "pear". Other combinations of kanji characters are possible.
ÁKOS m Hungarian
Possibly of Turkic origin meaning "white falcon". This was the name of a medieval Hungarian clan.
ALPIN m Scottish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ailpein
, possibly derived from a Pictish word meaning "white". This was the name of two kings of Dál Riata and two kings of the Picts in the 8th and 9th centuries.
ARJUNA m Hinduism
Means "white, clear" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hero in Hindu texts, the son of the god Indra
and the princess Kunti.
BAI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 白 (bái)
meaning "white, pure", 百 (bǎi)
meaning "one hundred, many" or 柏 (bǎi)
meaning "cypress tree, cedar" (which is usually only masculine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well. This name was borne in the 8th century by the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, whose given was 白
BARRFHIONN m Irish
Means "fair hair", derived from Gaelic barr
"head" and fionn
BIANCA f Italian, Romanian
Italian cognate of BLANCHE
. Shakespeare used characters named Bianca in 'Taming of the Shrew' (1593) and 'Othello' (1603).
BLANCHE f French, English
From a medieval French nickname meaning "white, fair". This name and its cognates in other languages are ultimately derived from the Germanic word blanc
. An early bearer was the 12th-century Blanca of Navarre, the wife of Sancho III of Castile. Her granddaughter of the same name married Louis VIII of France, with the result that the name became more common in France.
BLODWEN f Welsh
Means "white flowers" from Welsh blodau
"flowers" combined with gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
BRANWEN f Welsh, 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.
CAMELLIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the flowering shrub, which was named for the botanist and missionary Georg Josef Kamel.
CANDIDA f Late Roman, English
Late Latin name derived from candidus
meaning "white". This was the name of several early saints, including a woman supposedly healed by Saint Peter
. As an English name, it came into use after George Bernard Shaw's play 'Candida' (1898).
CAOILFHIONN f Irish
Derived from the Gaelic elements caol
"slender" and fionn
"fair". This was the name of several Irish saints.
CARWYN m Welsh
Means "blessed love" from Welsh caru
"love" and gwyn
"white, fair, blessed".
CELESTINE f & m English
English form of CAELESTINUS
. It is more commonly used as a feminine name, from the French feminine form Célestine
CERIDWEN f Welsh
Possibly from Welsh cyrrid
"bent" or cerdd
"poetry" combined with ven
"woman" or gwen
"white, fair, blessed". According to medieval Welsh legend this was the name of a sorceress or goddess who created a potion that would grant wisdom to her son Morfan. The potion was instead consumed by her servant Gwion Bach, who was subsequently reborn as the renowned bard Taliesin
DAFFODIL f English (Rare)
From the name of the flower, ultimately derived from Dutch de affodil
meaning "the asphodel".
DAISY f English
Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage
meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
DAR f & m Hebrew
Means "mother-of-pearl, nacre" in Hebrew.
EGLANTINE f English (Rare)
From the English word for the flower also known as sweetbrier. It was first used as a given name (in the form Eglentyne
) in Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century story 'The Prioress's Tale'.
EIRWEN f Welsh
Means "white snow" from the Welsh elements eira
"snow" and gwen
ERIKA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovene, Croatian, English, Italian
Feminine form of ERIK
. It also coincides with the word for "heather" in some languages.
FINGAL m Scottish
From Scottish Gaelic Fionnghall
meaning "white stranger", derived from fionn
"white, fair" and gall
"stranger". This was the name of the hero in James Macpherson's epic poem 'Fingal' (1762), which he claimed to have based on early Gaelic legends about Fionn
FINNIAN m Irish
Derived from Old Irish finn
"white". This was the name of several Irish saints.
FINTAN m Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means either "white fire" or "white bull" in Irish. According to legend this was the name of the only Irish person to survive the great flood. This name was also borne by many Irish saints.
FIONN m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Irish fionn
(older Irish finn
) meaning "fair" or "white". Fionn mac Cumhail was a legendary Irish hero who became all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon. He fought against the giant Fomors with his son Oisín
and grandson Oscar
FIONNBHARR m Irish
Means "fair hair", derived from Irish fionn
"white, fair" and barr
"head". Saint Fionnbharr of Cork was a 6th-century bishop who supposedly performed miraculous cures. The Barry Islands off Wales were named for him.
FIONNUALA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "white shoulder" from Irish fionn
"white, fair" and guala
"shoulder". In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir
who were transformed into swans for a period of 900 years.
GARDENIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the tropical flower, which was named for the Scottish naturalist Alexander Garden (1730-1791).
GRETEL f German
Diminutive of GRETE
. This name is well-known as the character in Grimm's fairy tale who is captured, with her brother Hansel, by a witch.
GUINEVERE f Arthurian Romance
From the Norman French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar
, derived from the elements gwen
meaning "fair, white" and sebara
meaning "phantom, magical being". In Arthurian legend she was the beautiful wife of King Arthur
. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, she was seduced by Mordred
before the battle of Camlann, which led to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur. According to the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, she engaged in an adulterous affair with Sir Lancelot
GWEN f Welsh, English
From Welsh gwen
, the feminine form of gwyn
meaning "white, fair, blessed". It can also be a short form of GWENDOLEN
, and other names beginning with Gwen
GWENAËL m French, Breton
Means "blessed and generous" from Breton gwenn
meaning "white, fair, blessed" and hael
meaning "generous". Saint Gwenhael was a 6th-century abbot of Brittany.
GWENDA f Welsh, English
Derived from the Welsh elements gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed" and da
meaning "good". This name was created in the 20th century.
GWENDOLEN f Welsh
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.
GWENLLIAN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed" and llian
meaning "flaxen". This name was popular among medieval Welsh royalty. It was borne by the 14th-century daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.
GWYNEIRA f Welsh
Means "white snow" from the Welsh element gwyn
meaning "white, fair, blessed" combined with eira
HADLEY f & m English
From an English surname which was derived from a place name meaning "heather field" in Old English.
HAUKEA f Hawaiian
Means "white snow" from Hawaiian hau
"snow" and kea
HEATHER f English
From the English word heather
for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky areas. It is derived from Middle English hather
. It was first used as a given name in the late 19th century, though it did not become popular until the last half of the 20th century.
HEDLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "heather clearing" in Old English.
HYEON-JU f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able" and 珠 (ju)
meaning "jewel, pearl". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
IRIT f Hebrew
Means "asphodel" in Hebrew (an asphodel is a type of flower).
IVORY m & f African American
From the English word for the hard, creamy-white substance which comes from elephant tusks and was formerly used to produce piano keys.
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).
JESSAMINE f English (Rare)
From a variant spelling of the English word jasmine
), used also to refer to flowering plants in the cestrum family.
JONAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah)
meaning "dove". 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]
LABAN m Biblical
Derived from Hebrew לָבָן (lavan)
meaning "white". In the Old Testament this is the name of the father of Rachel and Leah.
LEIMOMI f Hawaiian
Means "pearl lei" or "pearl child" from Hawaiian lei
"flowers, lei, child" and momi
LILAC f English (Rare)
From the name of the shrub with purple or white flowers. It is derived via Arabic from Persian.
MADARA f Latvian
From the Latvian name for a type of flowering plant, known as cleavers or bedstraw in English.
MARGARET f English
Derived from Latin Margarita
, which was from Greek μαργαριτης (margarites)
meaning "pearl", probably ultimately a borrowing from Sanskrit मञ्यरी (manyari)
. Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.... [more]
MARGAUX f French
Variant of MARGOT
influenced by the name of the wine-producing French town. It was borne by Margaux Hemingway (1954-1996), granddaughter of author Ernest Hemingway, who had it changed from Margot
MARGHERITA f Italian
Italian form of MARGARET
. This is also the Italian word for the daisy flower (species Leucanthemum vulgare).
MARGRIET f Dutch
Dutch form of MARGARET
. This is also the Dutch word for the daisy flower (species Leucanthemum vulgare).
MARGUERITE f French
French form of MARGARET
. This is also the French word for the daisy flower (species Leucanthemum vulgare).
MARJORIE f English
Medieval variant of MARGERY
, influenced by the name of the herb marjoram
. After the Middle Ages this name was rare, but it was revived at the end of the 19th century.
MARYAM f Arabic, Persian
Arabic and Persian form of Miryam
). In Iran it is also the name of a flower, the tuberose, which is named after the Virgin Mary.
MAY f English
Derived from the name of the month of May, which derives from Maia
, the name of a Roman goddess. May is also another name of the hawthorn flower. It is also used as a diminutive of MARY
MEGAN f Welsh, English
Welsh diminutive of MARGARET
. In the English-speaking world outside of Wales it has only been regularly used since the middle of the 20th century.
MÜGE f Turkish
Means "lily of the valley" in Turkish (species Convallaria majalis).
NARCISSE m & f French
French masculine and feminine form of NARCISSUS
. This is also the French word for the narcissus flower.
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".
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.
PEGGY f English
Medieval variant of Meggy
, a diminutive of MARGARET
. The reason for the change in the initial consonant is unknown.
RHONWEN f Welsh
Means either "fair spear" or "fair hair" in Welsh. The first element is either rhon
"spear" or rhawn
"(coarse) hair", and the second element is gwen
"fair, white, blessed".
RIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 理 (ri)
meaning "reason, logic" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
RINA (4) f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 里 (ri)
meaning "village" combined with 奈 (na)
, a phonetic character, or 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens". Other kanji combinations are possible.
RIO (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 莉 (ri)
meaning "white jasmine" or 里 (ri)
meaning "village" combined with 央 (o)
meaning "center", 緒 (o)
meaning "thread" or 桜 (o)
meaning "cherry blossom". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
ROSALBA f Italian
Italian name meaning "white rose", derived from Latin rosa
"rose" and alba
"white". A famous bearer was the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757).
SADAF f Arabic
Means "seashell, mother-of-pearl" in Arabic.
SMILTĖ f Lithuanian
Means "sandwort" in Lithuanian, referring to flowering plants from the genus Arenaria
TSUBAKI f Japanese
From Japanese 椿 (tsubaki)
meaning "camellia flower", as well as other combinations of kanji which are pronounced the same way.
WENDY f English
In the case of the character from J. M. Barrie's play 'Peter Pan' (1904), it was created from the nickname fwendy
"friend", given to the author by a young friend. However, the name was used prior to the play (rarely), in which case it could be related to the Welsh name GWENDOLEN
and other names beginning with the element gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed". The name only became common after Barrie's play ran.
WHITAKER m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "white field" in Old English.
WHITNEY f & m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "white island" in Old English. Its popular use as a feminine name was initiated by actress Whitney Blake (1925-2002) in the 1960s, and further boosted in the 1980s by singer Whitney Houston (1963-2012).
ZAL m Persian Mythology
Means "albino" in Persian. In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of a white-haired warrior.