BELSHAZZAR m Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical
From בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר (Belshatzzar)
, the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Bel-sarra-usur
protect the king". This was the name of the son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Babylonian Empire before it was conquered by the Persians in the 6th century BC. In the Old Testament Book of Daniel Belshazzar is the last king of Babylon who sees the mystical handwriting on the wall, which is interpreted by Daniel to portend the end of the empire.
BERARD m Ancient Germanic
Variant of BERNARD
using the related root bera
"bear" as the first element. This was the name of a 13th-century saint who was martyred in Morocco.
BERENGAR m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements bern
"bear" and ger
"spear". This was the name of two medieval kings of Italy and a Holy Roman Emperor.
BERENICE f English, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Βερενικη (Berenike)
, the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενικη (Pherenike)
, which meant "bringing victory" from φερω (phero)
"to bring" and νικη (nike)
"victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty which was originally from Macedon. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament (in most English Bibles it is spelled Bernice
) belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II. As an English name, Berenice
came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
BERNARD m English, French, Dutch, Polish, Croatian, Slovene, Czech, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element bern
"bear" combined with hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Beornheard
. This was the name of several saints, including Saint Bernard of Menthon who built hospices in the Swiss Alps in the 10th century, and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century theologian and Doctor of the Church. Other famous bearers include the Irish playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and the British World War II field marshal Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976).
BERTHA f German, English, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element beraht
meaning "bright, famous". It was borne by the mother of Charlemagne
in the 8th century, and it was popularized in England by the Normans. It died out as an English name after the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 19th century. The name also appears in southern Germanic legends (often spelled Perchta
) belonging to a goddess of animals and weaving.
BERTRAM m English, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright raven", derived from the Germanic element beraht
"bright" combined with hramn
"raven". The Normans introduced this name to England. Shakespeare used it in his play 'All's Well That Ends Well' (1603).
BERTRAND m French, English, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements beraht
meaning "bright" and rand
meaning "rim (of a shield)". From an early date it has been confused with BERTRAM
and the two names have merged to some degree. A famous bearer was English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970).
BOUDICCA f Ancient Celtic
Derived from Brythonic boud
meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide.
BRENNUS m Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince" or "raven". Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
BRIAN m Irish, English, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble". It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
BRUTUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "heavy" in Latin. Famous bearers include Lucius Junius Brutus, the traditional founder of the Roman Republic, and Marcus Junius Brutus, the statesman who conspired to assassinated Julius Caesar.
BRYNHILDR f Norse 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.
BURKHARD m German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements burg
meaning "protection" and hard
"brave, hardy". Saint Burkhard was a bishop who founded several monasteries in Germany in the 8th century.
CADEYRN m Ancient Celtic
Means "battle king" from Welsh cad
"battle" and teyrn
"king, monarch". Cadeyrn (also known as Catigern) was a 5th-century king of Powys in Wales, the son of Vortigern.
CAESAR m Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen which possibly meant "hairy", from Latin caesaries
"hair". Julius Caesar and his adopted son Julius Caesar Octavianus (commonly known as Augustus) were both rulers of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Caesar
was used as a title by the emperors that came after them.
CAMILLUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen, which is probably of Etruscan origin and unknown meaning. It is probably not related to Latin camillus
"a youth employed in religious services". This name was borne by the 16th-century Italian monk Saint Camillus de Lellis.
CARATACOS m Ancient Celtic
Derived from the Celtic element car
meaning "love". This was the name of a 1st-century British chieftain who rebelled against Roman rule.
CASSIAN m Ancient Roman (Anglicized)
From the Roman family name Cassianus
, which was derived from CASSIUS
. This was the name of several saints, including a 3rd-century martyr from Tangier who is the patron saint of stenographers and a 5th-century mystic who founded a monastery in Marseille.
CASSIUS m Ancient Roman, English
Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin cassus
"empty, vain". This name was borne by several early saints. In modern times, it was the original first name of boxer Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), who was named after his father Cassius Clay, who was himself named after the American abolitionist Cassius Clay (1810-1903).
CATO (1) m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "wise" in Latin. This name was bestowed upon Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato), a 2nd-century BC Roman statesman, author and censor, and was subsequently inherited by his descendants, including his great-grandson Cato the Younger (Marcus Porcius Cato Uticencis), a politician and philosopher who opposed Julius Caesar.
CELSUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which meant "tall" in Latin. This was the name of a 2nd-century philosopher who wrote against Christianity. It was also borne by an early saint martyred with Nazarius in Milan.
CHARES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek χαρις (charis)
meaning "grace, kindness". This was the name of a 4th-century BC Athenian general. It was also borne by the sculptor who crafted the Colossus of Rhodes.
CHARMION f Ancient Greek
Greek name derived from χαρμα (charma)
meaning "delight". This was the name of one of Cleopatra's servants, as recorded by Plutarch.
CICERO m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen which meant "chickpea" from Latin cicer
. Marcus Tullius Cicero (known simply as Cicero) was a statesman, orator and author of the 1st century BC.
CLAUDIUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin claudus
meaning "lame, crippled". This was the name of a patrician family prominent in Roman politics. The ancestor of the family was said to have been a 6th-century BC Sabine leader named Attius Clausus, who adopted the name Appius Claudius upon becoming a Roman citizen. The family produced several Roman emperors of the 1st century, including the emperor known simply as Claudius. He was poisoned by his wife Agrippina in order to bring her son Nero (Claudius's stepson) to power. The name was later borne by several early saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Besançon.
CLEOPATRA f Ancient 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.
CLOELIA f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CLOELIUS
. In Roman legend Cloelia was a maiden who was given to an Etruscan invader as a hostage. She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber, at the same time helping some of the other captives to safety.
COLA m Anglo-Saxon
Old English byname meaning "charcoal", originally given to a person with dark features.
CONRAD m English, German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements kuoni
"brave" and rad
"counsel". This was the name of a 10th-century saint and bishop of Konstanz, in southern Germany. It was also borne by several medieval German kings and dukes. In England it was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, but has only been common since the 19th century when it was reintroduced from Germany.
CORINNA f English, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Κοριννα (Korinna)
, which was derived from κορη (kore)
"maiden". This was the name of a Greek lyric poet of the 5th century BC. The Roman poet Ovid
used it for the main female character in his book 'Amores'. In the modern era it has been in use since the 17th century, when Robert Herrick used it in his poem 'Corinna's going a-Maying'.
CORNELIA f German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CORNELIUS
. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.
CORNELIUS m Ancient Roman, English, Dutch, German, Biblical
Roman family name which possibly derives from the Latin element cornu
"horn". In Acts in the New Testament Cornelius is a centurion who is directed by an angel to seek Peter
. After speaking with Peter he converts to Christianity, and he is traditionally deemed the first gentile convert. The name was also borne by a few early saints, including a 3rd-century pope. In England it came into use in the 16th century, partly due to Dutch influence.
COSMAS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κοσμας (Kosmas)
, which was derived from κοσμος (kosmos)
meaning "order, decency". Saint Cosmas was martyred with his twin brother Damian in the 4th century. They are the patron saints of physicians.
CUNOBELINUS m Ancient Celtic
Possibly means "hound of Belenus" from the old Celtic element koun
"hound" combined with the name of the god BELENUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century king of southeast Britain.
CYNEBURG f Anglo-Saxon
Means "royal fortress" from Old English cyne
"royal" and burg
"fortress". Saint Cyneburga, a daughter of a king of Mercia, was the founder of an abbey at Gloucester in the 7th century.
CYNWRIG m Ancient Celtic
Derived from Welsh cyn
meaning "chief" and gwr
meaning "hero, man", plus the suffix -ig
indicating "has the quality of".
CYRUS m English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From Κυρος (Kyros)
, the Greek form of the Persian name Kūrush
, which may mean "far sighted" or "young". The name is sometimes associated with Greek κυριος (kyrios)
"lord". It was borne by several kings of Persia, including Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon. He is famous in the Old Testament for freeing the captive Jews and allowing them to return to Israel. As an English name, it first came into use among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.
DEMETRIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Δημητριος (Demetrios)
, which was derived from the name of the Greek goddess DEMETER (1)
. Kings of Macedon and the Seleucid kingdom have had this name. This was also the name of several early saints including a Saint Demetrius who was martyred in the 4th century.
DEMOSTHENES m Ancient Greek
Means "vigour of the people" from Greek δημος (demos)
"the people" and σθενος (sthenos)
"vigour, strength". This was the name of both an Athenian general of the 5th century and an Athenian orator of the 4th century.
DION m Ancient Greek, English
Short form of DIONYSIOS
and other Greek names beginning with the Greek element Διος (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
". This was the name of a 4th-century BC tyrant of Syracuse. It has been used as an American given name since the middle of the 20th century.
DIONYSIOS m Greek, Ancient Greek
Greek personal name derived from the name of the Greek god DIONYSOS
. Famous bearers include two early tyrants of Syracuse and a 1st-century BC Greek rhetorician.
DOMITILLA f Italian, Ancient Roman
Feminine diminutive of the Roman family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of the wife of the Roman emperor Vespasian and the mother of emperors Titus and Domitian.
DOMITIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which was probably derived from Latin domitus
meaning "having been tamed".
DONNDUBHÁN m Ancient Irish
Composed of the Gaelic element donn
"brown" combined with dubh
"dark" and a diminutive suffix.
DORIS f English, 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-).
DRACO m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Δρακων (Drakon)
which meant "dragon, serpent". This was the name of a 7th-century BC Athenian legislator. This is also the name of a constellation in the northern sky.
DRUST m Ancient Celtic
Pictish name probably derived from Celtic drest
meaning "riot" or "tumult". This name was borne by several kings of the Picts, including their last king Drust X, who ruled in the 9th century.
DRUSUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name, also sometimes used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Claudia family. Apparently the name was first assumed by a Roman warrior who killed a Gallic chieftain named Drausus in single combat. Drausus
possibly derives from a Celtic element meaning "strong".
DUBHSHLÁINE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" and either slán
"defiance" or Sláine
, the Gaelic name of the River Slaney.
DUBHTHACH m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" in combination with a second element of unknown meaning.
DUNSTAN m English (Rare), Anglo-Saxon
From the Old English elements dun
"dark" and stan
"stone". This name was borne by a 10th-century saint, the archbishop of Canterbury. It was occasionally used in the Middle Ages, though it died out after the 16th century. It was revived by the Tractarian movement in the 19th century.
EADBERHT m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and beorht
"bright". This was the name of an 8th-century king of Northumbria and three kings of Kent.
EADWIG m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and wig
"war". This was the name of a Saxon king of England in the 10th century. The name fell out of use after the Norman conquest.
EADWULF m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and wulf
"wolf". This name fell out of use after the Norman conquest.
EALDRÆD m Anglo-Saxon
From the Old English elements eald
"old" and ræd
"counsel". This name was rarely used after the Norman conquest.
EDDA (2) f Icelandic, Ancient Scandinavian
Possibly from Old Norse meaning "great-grandmother". This was the name of two literary works by the 13th-century Icelandic author Snorri Sturluson: the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda. This is also the name of a character in the Poetic Edda, though it is unclear if her name is connected to the name of the collection.
ELISEDD m Ancient Celtic
Derived from Welsh elus
meaning "kind". This was the name of two kings of Powys in Wales.
ELPIS f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "hope" in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
EMMA f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
meaning "whole" or "universal". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of king Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of king Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma
EMMERICH m German, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, in which the second element is ric
meaning "power". The first element may be ermen
"whole, universal" (making it a relative of Ermenrich
"work, labour" (making it a relative of Amalric
) or heim
"home" (making it a relative of Henry
). It is likely that several forms merged into a single name.
ENGEL m German (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Originally this was a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element Angil
, the name of a Germanic tribe (known in English as the Angles). Since the Middle Ages it has been firmly associated with the German word engel
ENGELBERT m German, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name composed of the elements Angil
, the name of a Germanic tribe known in English as the Angles, and beraht
"bright". Saint Engelbert was a 13th-century archbishop of Cologne murdered by assassins.
EOFORHILD f Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements eofor
"boar" and hild
"battle". This name was rarely used after the Norman conquest.
EOFORWINE m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements eofor
"boar" and wine
"friend". This name was rarely used after the Norman conquest.
EPIKTETOS m Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek name meaning "newly acquired". This was the name of a 1st-century Greek stoic philosopher.
EPIPHANES m Ancient Greek
Means "appearing, manifesting" in Greek. This was an epithet of two 2nd-century BC Hellenistic rulers: the Seleucid king Antiochus IV and the Ptolemaic king Ptolemy V.
ERMENRICH m Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic elements ermen
"whole, universal" and ric
"power". Ermenrich (also often called Ermanaric) was a 4th-century Gothic king.
ERWIN m German, Dutch, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic name Hariwini
, composed of the elements hari
"army" and win
"friend". It may have merged somewhat with the Germanic name EBURWIN
. A notable bearer was Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961), an Austrian physicist who made contributions to quantum theory.
EURIPIDES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek Ευριπος (Euripos)
, referring to the strait between Euboea and Boeotia, combined with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. This was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek tragic poet.