English Names

English names are used in English-speaking countries. See also about English names.
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MICKmEnglish, Dutch
Short form of MICHAEL.
MICKEYm & fEnglish
Diminutive or feminine form of MICHAEL. This was the name that Walt Disney gave to Ub Iwerks' cartoon character Mickey Mouse, who was originally named Mortimer Mouse. Another famous bearer was the American baseball player Mickey Mantle (1931-1995).
MICKYmEnglish
Diminutive of MICHAEL.
MIKEmEnglish
Short form of MICHAEL.
MIKEYmEnglish
Diminutive of MICHAEL.
MIKHAILAfEnglish (Rare)
Variant of MICHAELA, possibly influenced by the spelling of Mikhail.
MIKKIfEnglish
Strictly feminine variant of MICKEY.
MILBURNmEnglish
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "mill stream" in Old English.
MILDREDfEnglish
From the Old English name Mildþryð meaning "gentle strength", derived from the elements milde "gentle" and þryð "strength". Saint Mildred was a 7th-century abbess, the daughter of the Kentish princess Saint Ermenburga. After the Norman conquest this name became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
MILESmEnglish
From the Germanic name Milo, introduced by the Normans to England in the form Miles. The meaning is not known for certain. It is possibly connected to the Slavic name element milu meaning "gracious". From an early date it was associated with Latin miles "soldier".
MILEYfEnglish (Modern)
In the case of actress and singer Miley Cyrus (1992-), it is a shortened form of the nickname Smiley, given to her by her father because she often smiled. Although it was not at all common before she brought it to public attention, there are some examples of its use before her time, most likely as a diminutive of MILES.
MILFORDmEnglish
From an English surname which was originally derived from various place names all meaning "ford by a mill" in Old English.
MILLARDmEnglish
From an occupational English surname which meant "guardian of the mill" in Old English.
MILLICENTfEnglish
From the Germanic name Amalasuintha, composed of the elements amal "work, labour" and swinth "strong". Amalasuintha was a 6th-century queen of the Ostrogoths. The Normans introduced this name to England in the form Melisent or Melisende. Melisende was a 12th-century queen of Jerusalem, the daughter of Baldwin II.
MILLIEfEnglish
Diminutive of MILDRED, MILLICENT and other names containing the same sound.
MILLYfSwedish, Norwegian, English
Diminutive of EMILIE, MILDRED and other names containing the same sound.
MILOmEnglish, Ancient Germanic
Old Germanic form of MILES, as well as the Latinized form. This form of the name was used in official documents during the Middle Ages, and it has been used independently since the 19th century.
MILTONmEnglish
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "mill town" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was John Milton (1608-1674), the poet who wrote 'Paradise Lost'.
MIMIfEnglish, Italian
Diminutive of MARIA and other names beginning with M.
MINA (1)fEnglish, Dutch, Limburgish
Short form of WILHELMINA and other names ending in mina. This was the name of a character in the novel 'Dracula' (1897) by Bram Stoker.
MINDYfEnglish
Diminutive of MELINDA.
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.
MINNIEfEnglish
Diminutive of WILHELMINA.
MINTAfEnglish
Short form of ARAMINTA.
MIRABELLEfFrench (Rare), English (Rare)
Derived from Latin mirabilis "wonderful". This name was coined during the Middle Ages, though it eventually died out. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
MIRACLEfEnglish (Modern)
From the English word miracle for an extraordinary event, ultimately deriving from Latin miraculum "wonder, marvel".
MIRANDAfEnglish, Dutch
Derived from Latin mirandus meaning "admirable, wonderful". The name was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), about a father and daughter stranded on an island. It did not become a common English given name until the 20th century. This is also the name of one of the moons of Uranus, named after the Shakespearian character.
MIRIAMfHebrew, English, German, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Original Hebrew form of MARY. It is used in the Old Testament, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses and Aaron. She watched over the infant Moses as the pharaoh's daughter drew him from the Nile. The name has long been popular among Jews, and it has been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation.
MISSIEfEnglish
Diminutive of MELISSA.
MISSYfEnglish
Diminutive of MELISSA. This is also a slang term meaning "young woman".
MISTIfEnglish
Variant of MISTY.
MISTYfEnglish
From the English word misty, ultimately derived from Old English. The jazz song 'Misty' (1954) by Erroll Garner may have helped popularize the name.
MITCHmEnglish
Short form of MITCHELL.
MITCHELLmEnglish
From a surname, itself derived from the given name MICHAEL or in some cases from Middle English michel meaning "big, large".
MOf & mEnglish
Short form of MAUREEN, MAURICE, MORRIS, and other names beginning with a similar sound.
MODESTYfEnglish (Rare)
From the English word modesty, ultimately from Latin modestus "moderate", a derivative of modus "measure".
MOE (1)mEnglish
Short form of MAURICE or MORRIS, or sometimes of other names beginning with a similar sound.
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.
MOLLIEfEnglish
Variant of MOLLY.
MOLLYfEnglish
Diminutive of MARY. It developed from Malle and Molle, other medieval diminutives. James Joyce used this name in his novel 'Ulysses' (1920), where it belongs to Molly Bloom, the wife of the main character.
MONA (1)fIrish, English
Anglicized form of MUADHNAIT. It is also associated with Greek monos "one" and Leonardo da Vinci's painting the 'Mona Lisa' (in which case it is a contraction of Italian ma donna meaning "my lady").
MONDAYfEnglish (Rare)
From the English word for the day of the week, which was derived from Old English mona "moon" and dæg "day". This was formerly given to girls born on Monday.
MONICAfEnglish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Late Roman
Meaning unknown, most likely of North African or Phoenician origin. In the 4th century this name was borne by the North African saint Monica of Hippo, the mother of Saint Augustine, whom she converted to Christianity. Since the Middle Ages it has been associated with Latin moneo "advisor" and Greek monos "one". As an English name, Monica has been in general use since the 18th century.
MONIQUEfFrench, English, Dutch
French form of MONICA.
MONROEmScottish, English
From a Scottish surname meaning "from the mouth of the Roe". The Roe is a river in Ireland. Two famous bearers of the surname were American president James Monroe (1758-1831) and American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962).
MONTAGUEmEnglish (Rare)
From a surname meaning "pointed mountain" in French.
MONTANAf & mEnglish (Modern)
From the name of the American state, which is derived from Latin montanus "mountainous".
MONTEmEnglish
Either a diminutive of MONTGOMERY or from the Spanish or Italian vocabulary word meaning "mountain".
MONTGOMERYmEnglish
From an English surname meaning "GUMARICH's mountain" in Norman French. A notable bearer of this surname was Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), a British army commander during World War II.
MONTYmEnglish
Variant of MONTE.
MOREENfIrish, English
Anglicized form of MÓIRÍN. It is sometimes used as a variant of MAUREEN.
MORGAN (1)m & fWelsh, 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-).
MORIAHfEnglish (Modern)
From Hebrew מֹרִיָה (Moriyah) possibly meaning "seen by YAHWEH". This is a place name in the Old Testament, both the land where Abraham is to sacrifice Isaac and the mountain upon which Solomon builds the temple. They may be the same place. Since the 1980s it has occasionally been used as a feminine given name in America.
MORLEYmEnglish (Rare)
From a surname which was originally from an Old English place name meaning "marsh clearing".
MORRISmEnglish, Medieval English
Usual medieval form of MAURICE.
MORTmEnglish
Short form of MORTON or MORTIMER.
MORTIMERmEnglish
From an English surname which was derived from a place name meaning "still water" in Old French.
MORTONmEnglish
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "moor town" in Old English.
MORTYmEnglish
Diminutive of MORTON or MORTIMER.
MOSESmEnglish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name מֹשֶׁה (Mosheh) which is most likely derived from Egyptian mes meaning "son", but could also possibly mean "deliver" in Hebrew. The meaning suggested in the Old Testament of "drew out" from Hebrew משה (mashah) is probably an invented etymology (see Exodus 2:10). The biblical Moses was drawn out of the Nile by the pharaoh's daughter and adopted into the royal family, at a time when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. With his brother Aaron he demanded the pharaoh release the Israelites, which was only done after God sent ten plagues upon Egypt. Moses led the people across the Red Sea and to Mount Sinai, where he received the Ten Commandments from God. After 40 years of wandering in the desert the people reached Canaan, the Promised Land, but Moses died just before entering it.... [more]
MURIELfEnglish, French, Irish
Medieval English form of a Celtic name which 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' (1856).
MURPHYm & fIrish, English
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Murchadha meaning "descendant of MURCHADH".
MURRAYmScottish, English
From a surname, which is either Scottish or Irish in origin (see MURRAY (1) and MURRAY (2)).
MYRAfEnglish
Created by the 17th-century poet Fulke Greville. He possibly based it on Latin myrra meaning "myrrh" (a fragrant resin obtained from a tree). Otherwise, he may have simply rearranged the letters from the name MARY. Although unrelated etymologically, this is also the name of an ancient city of Anatolia.
MYRONmEnglish, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μυρον (myron) meaning "sweet oil, perfume". Myron was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek sculptor. Saints bearing this name include a 3rd-century bishop of Crete and a 4th-century martyr from Cyzicus who was killed by a mob. These saints are more widely revered in the Eastern Church, and the name has generally been more common among Eastern Christians. As an English name, it has been used since the 19th century.
MYRTIEfEnglish
Diminutive of MYRTLE.
MYRTLEfEnglish
Simply from the English word myrtle for the evergreen shrub, ultimately from Greek μυρτος (myrtos). It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
NADIA (1)fFrench, Italian, English, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian
Variant of NADYA (1) used in the Western world, as well as a variant transcription of the Slavic name. It began to be used in France in the 19th century. The name received a boost in popularity from the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci (1961-).
NADINEfFrench, German, English
French elaborated form of NADIA (1).
NANfEnglish
Originally a diminutive of ANN. It may have originated with the affectionate phrase mine Ann, which was later reinterpreted as my Nan. It is now also used as a short form of NANCY.
NANCEfEnglish
Short form of NANCY.
NANCYfEnglish
Previously a medieval diminutive of ANNIS, though since the 18th century it has been a diminutive of ANN. It is now usually regarded as an independent name. During the 20th century it became very popular in the United States. A city in the Lorraine region of France bears this name, though it derives from a different source.
NANETTEfEnglish
Diminutive of ANNE (1).
NANNIEfEnglish
Diminutive of ANNE (1).
NANNYfEnglish
Diminutive of ANNE (1).
NAOMI (1)fEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name נָעֳמִי (Na'omi) meaning "pleasantness". In the Old Testament this is the name of the mother-in-law of Ruth. After the death of her husband and sons, she returned to Bethlehem with Ruth. There she declared that her name should be Mara (see Ruth 1:20).... [more]
NAPIERmEnglish (Rare)
From an English and Scots surname which meant "linen keeper" in Middle English, from Old French nappe "table cloth".
NAPOLEONmHistory, English
From the old Italian name Napoleone, used most notably by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who was born on Corsica. The etymology is uncertain, but it is possibly derived from the Germanic Nibelungen meaning "sons of mist", a name used in Germanic mythology to refer to the keepers of a hoard of treasure (often identified with the Burgundians). Alternatively, it could be connected to the name of the Italian city of Napoli (Naples).
NARELLEfEnglish (Australian)
Meaning unknown. It was borne by the wife of Umbarra, who was a 19th-century leader of the Yuin, an Aboriginal people.
NASHmEnglish (Modern)
From a surname which was derived from the Middle English phrase atten ash "at the ash tree". A famous bearer of the surname was the mathematician John Nash (1928-2015). The name was popularized in the 1990s by the television series 'Nash Bridges'.
NATm & fEnglish
Short form of NATHAN, NATHANIEL, NATALIE, or other names beginning with Nat.
NATALIEfEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian
From the Late Latin name Natalia, which meant "Christmas Day" from Latin natale domini. This was the name of the wife of the 4th-century martyr Saint Adrian of Nicomedia. She is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church, and the name has traditionally been more common among Eastern Christians than those in the West. It was popularized in America by actress Natalie Wood (1938-1981), who was born to Russian immigrants.
NATASHAfRussian, English
Russian diminutive of NATALYA. This is the name of a character in Leo Tolstoy's novel 'War and Peace' (1865). It has been used in the English-speaking world only since the 20th century.
NATEmEnglish
Short form of NATHAN or NATHANIEL.
NATHANmEnglish, French, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name נָתָן (Natan) meaning "he gave". In the Old Testament this is the name of a prophet during the reign of King David. He chastised David for his adultery with Bathsheba and for the death of Uriah the Hittite. Later he championed Solomon as David's successor. This was also the name of a son of David and Bathsheba.... [more]
NATHANIELmEnglish, Biblical
Variant of NATHANAEL. It has been regularly used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. This has been the most popular spelling, even though the spelling Nathanael is found in most versions of the New Testament. The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), author of 'The Scarlet Letter', was a famous bearer of this name.
NEALmEnglish
Variant of NEIL.
NEDmEnglish
Diminutive of EDWARD or EDMUND. It has been used since the 14th century, and may have had root in the medieval affectionate phrase mine Ed, which was later reinterpreted as my Ned.
NEELYmEnglish
From a Scottish surname, an Anglicized form of Mac an Fhilidh meaning "son of the poet" in Gaelic.
NEILmIrish, Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Niall, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning "champion" or "cloud". This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.... [more]
NELDAfEnglish
Possibly an elaboration of NELL using the popular name suffix da.
NELLfEnglish
Medieval diminutive of names beginning with El, such as ELEANOR, ELLEN (1) or HELEN. It may have arisen from the medieval affectionate phrase mine El, which was later reinterpreted as my Nel.
NELLEfEnglish
Variant of NELL.
NELLIEfEnglish
Diminutive of NELL.
NELLYfEnglish
Diminutive of NELL.
NELSONmEnglish
From an English surname meaning "son of NEIL". It was originally given in honour of the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). His most famous battle was the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he destroyed a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was himself killed. Another notable bearer was the South African statesman Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla; as a child he was given the English name Nelson by a teacher.
NENAfEnglish
Variant of NINA (1).
NESS (2)fEnglish
Short form of VANESSA.
NESSA (1)fEnglish
Short form of VANESSA and other names ending in nessa.
NETTA (1)fEnglish
Short form of names ending in netta.
NETTIEfEnglish
Diminutive of names ending in nette, such as ANNETTE or JEANETTE.
NEVAfEnglish
Short form of GENEVA.
NEVADAfEnglish
From the name of the American state, which means "snow-capped" in Spanish.
NEVAEHfEnglish (Modern)
The word heaven spelled backwards. It became popular after the musician Sonny Sandoval from the rock group P.O.D. gave it to his daughter in 2000.
NEVILLEmEnglish (British)
From an English surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Norman French. As a given name it is chiefly British and Australian.
NEWTmEnglish
Short form of NEWTON.
NEWTONmEnglish
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English physicist Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
NIA (3)fEnglish, Georgian
Short form of ANTONIA, SIDONIA and other names ending in nia.
NICmEnglish
Short form of NICHOLAS, or sometimes DOMINIC.
NICHOLASmEnglish
From the Greek name Νικολαος (Nikolaos) which meant "victory of the people" from Greek νικη (nike) "victory" and λαος (laos) "people". Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Anatolia who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. He is the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, as well as Greece and Russia. He formed the basis for the figure known as Santa Claus (created in the 19th century from Dutch Sinterklaas), the bringer of Christmas presents.... [more]
NICKmEnglish, Dutch
Short form of NICHOLAS.
NICKYm & fEnglish
Diminutive of NICHOLAS or NICOLE.
NICOLA (2)fGerman, Czech, English
Latinate feminine form of NICHOLAS. In the English-speaking world this name is more common outside of America, where Nicole is more usual.
NICOLEfFrench, English, Dutch, German
French feminine form of NICHOLAS, commonly used in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is American-Australian actress Nicole Kidman (1967-).
NIGELmEnglish
From Nigellus, a medieval Latinized form of NEIL. It was commonly associated with Latin niger "black". It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to Sir Walter Scott's novel 'The Fortunes of Nigel' (1822).
NIGELLAfEnglish (Rare)
Feminine form of NIGEL.
NIKI (2)fEnglish
Diminutive of NICOLE.
NIKKIfEnglish
Diminutive of NICOLE.
NIKOLEfBasque, English
Basque form of NICOLE, as well as an English variant.
NILESmEnglish
From a surname which was derived from the given name NEIL.
NINA (1)fRussian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian
Short form of names that end in nina, such as ANTONINA or GIANNINA. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also nearly coincides with the Spanish word niña meaning "little girl".
NITA (1)fEnglish
Short form of ANITA (1) and other names ending in nita.
NOAH (1)mEnglish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name נֹחַ (Noach) meaning "rest, repose", derived from the root נוּחַ (nuach). According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the great Flood. After the Flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. He was the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.... [more]
NOBLEmEnglish
From an English surname meaning "noble, notable". The name can also be given in direct reference to the English word noble.
NOELmEnglish
English form of NOËL.
NOELENEfEnglish (Rare)
Feminine diminutive of NOEL.
NOELLEfEnglish
English form of NOËLLE.
NOLAfEnglish, Irish
Diminutive of MAGNOLIA, FINOLA or other names containing a similar sound.
NOLANmIrish, English
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Nualláin meaning "descendant of NUALLÁN". The baseball player Nolan Ryan (1947-) is a famous bearer of this name.
NOLENEfEnglish (Rare)
Elaborated form of NOLA.
NONA (2)fEnglish, Ancient Roman (Rare)
Feminine form of NONUS. It was also used in 19th-century England, derived directly from Latin nonus "ninth" and traditionally given to the ninth-born child.
NONIEfEnglish
Diminutive of IONE or NORA.
NORAfIrish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Italian
Short form of HONORA or ELEANOR. Henrik Ibsen used it for a character in his play 'A Doll's House' (1879).
NORAHfIrish, English
Variant of NORA.
NORBERTmGerman, English, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Polish, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements nord "north" and beraht "bright". This was the name of an 11th-century German saint who made many reforms within the church.
NOREENfIrish, English
Diminutive of NORA.
NORENEfIrish, English
Diminutive of NORA.
NORMmEnglish
Short form of NORMAN.
NORMAfEnglish, 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.
NORMANmEnglish, Ancient Germanic
From an old Germanic byname meaning "northman", referring to a Viking. The Normans were Vikings who settled on the coast of France, in the region that became known as Normandy. In England the name Norman or Normant was used before the Norman conquest, first as a nickname for Scandinavian settlers and later as a given name. After the Conquest it became more common, but died out around the 14th century. It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to a character by this name in C. M. Yonge's novel 'The Daisy Chain' (1856).
NORMANDmEnglish
From a surname which was derived from the same source as the name NORMAN.
NORMINAfEnglish (Rare)
Elaborated form of NORMA.
NORRISmEnglish
From an English surname, either NORRIS (1) or NORRIS (2).
NORTONmEnglish
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "north town" in Old English.
NORWOODmEnglish
From a surname which was originally taken from a place name meaning "north wood" in Old English.
NOVAfEnglish
Derived from Latin novus meaning "new". It was first used as a name in the 19th century.
NOWELLmEnglish (Rare)
From the surname Nowell (a variant of NOEL).
NYDIAfEnglish (Rare), Spanish, Literature
Used by British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton for a blind flower-seller in his novel 'The Last Days of Pompeii' (1834). He perhaps based it on Latin nidus "nest".
NYREEfEnglish (New Zealand)
Anglicized form of NGAIRE. It was borne by New Zealand actress Nyree Dawn Porter (1936-2001).
OCEANm & fEnglish (Rare)
Simply from the English word ocean for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ωκεανος (Okeanos), the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.
OCTAVIAfEnglish, Spanish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of OCTAVIUS. Octavia was the wife of Mark Antony and the sister of the Roman emperor Augustus. In 19th-century England it was sometimes given to the eighth-born child.
ODELLm & fEnglish
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "woad hill" in Old English. A woad is a herb used for dyeing.
ODETTAfEnglish (Rare)
Latinate form of ODETTE.
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.
OGDENmEnglish
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "oak valley" in Old English. A famous bearer was the humourous American poet Ogden Nash (1902-1971).
OLImEnglish
Short form of OLIVER.
OLIVEfEnglish, French
From the English and French word for the type of tree, ultimately derived from Latin oliva.
OLIVERmEnglish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak
From Olivier, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as ALFHER or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr (see OLAF). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva "olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.... [more]
OLIVIAfEnglish, Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER or OLIVA, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.... [more]
OLLIEm & fEnglish
Diminutive of OLIVER, OLIVIA or OLIVE.
OMAR (1)mArabic, English, Spanish
Variant transcription of UMAR. This is the usual English spelling of the 12th-century poet Umar Khayyam's name. In his honour it has sometimes been used in the English-speaking world, notably for the American general Omar Bradley (1893-1981).
ONEIDAfEnglish
From the name of a Native American tribe, perhaps meaning "standing rock".
OPALfEnglish
From the English word opal for the iridescent gemstone, the birthstone of October. The word ultimately derives from Sanskrit उपल (upala) meaning "jewel".
OPALINEfEnglish (Rare)
Elaborated form of OPAL.
OPHELIAfEnglish, Literature
Derived from Greek οφελος (ophelos) meaning "help". This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem 'Arcadia'. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play 'Hamlet' (1600), in which it belongs to Hamlet's lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. In spite of this, the name has been used since the 19th century.
ORA (1)f & mEnglish
Perhaps based on Latin oro "to pray". It was first used in America in the 19th century.
ORALmEnglish
Meaning uncertain. This name was borne by the influential American evangelist Oral Roberts (1918-2009), who was apparently named by his cousin.
ORALEEfEnglish (Rare)
Possibly a variant of AURÉLIE.
ORALIEfEnglish (Rare)
Possibly a variant of AURÉLIE.
ORINDAfEnglish (Rare)
Probably an elaboration of Spanish oro "gold". This was the pseudonym of the English poet Katherine Philips (1631-1664).
ORMONDmEnglish (Rare)
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Ruaidh meaning "descendant of RUADH".
ORPHAfBiblical, English
Variant of ORPAH used in some translations of the Bible.
ORRELLmEnglish (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "ore hill" in Old English.
ORSONmEnglish
From an English surname which was originally a nickname meaning "bear cub", from a diminutive of Norman French ors "bear", ultimately from Latin ursus. American actor and director Orson Welles (1915-1985) was a famous bearer of this name.
ORVALmEnglish
Variant of ORVILLE.
ORVILLEmEnglish
This name was invented by the 18th-century writer Fanny Burney, who perhaps intended it to mean "golden city" in French. Orville Wright (1871-1948), together with his brother Wilbur, invented the first successful airplane.
OSBERTmEnglish (Rare)
Derived from the Old English elements os "god" and beorht "bright". After the Norman conquest, this Old English name was merged with its Norman cognate. It was rare in the Middle Ages, and eventually died out. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
OSBORNmEnglish
Derived from the Old English elements os "god" and beorn "bear". During the Anglo-Saxon period there was also a Norse cognate Ásbjörn used in England, and after the Norman conquest the Norman cognate Osbern was introduced. It was occasionally revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
OSBORNEmEnglish
From a surname which was a variant of OSBORN.
OSBOURNEmEnglish (Rare)
From a surname which was a variant of OSBORN.
OSCARmEnglish, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Gaelic os "deer" and cara "friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhail.... [more]
OSMONDmEnglish (Rare)
From the Old English elements os "god" and mund "protection". During the Anglo-Saxon period a Norse cognate Ásmundr was also used in England, and another version was imported by the Normans. Saint Osmund was an 11th-century Norman nobleman who became an English bishop. Though it eventually became rare, it was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
OSWALDmEnglish, German, Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements os "god" and weald "power, ruler". Saint Oswald was a king of Northumbria who introduced Christianity to northeast England in the 7th century before being killed in battle. There was also an Old Norse cognate Ásvaldr in use in England, being borne by the 10th-century Saint Oswald of Worcester, who was of Danish ancestry. Though the name had died out by the end of the Middle Ages, it was revived in the 19th century.
OSWINmEnglish (Rare)
From the Old English elements os "god" and wine "friend". Saint Oswin was a 7th-century king of Northumbria. After the Norman conquest this name was used less, and it died out after the 14th century. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
OTISmEnglish
From an English surname which was derived from the medieval given name Ode, a cognate of OTTO. In America it has been used in honour of the revolutionary James Otis (1725-1783).
OTTOmGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Later German form of Audo or Odo, originally a short form of various names beginning with the Germanic element aud meaning "wealth, fortune". This was the name of four kings of Germany, starting in the 10th century with Otto I, the first Holy Roman emperor, who was known as Otto the Great. This name was also borne by a 19th-century king of Greece who was originally from Bavaria. Another notable bearer was the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).
OTTOLINEfEnglish (Rare)
Diminutive of OTTILIE. A famous bearer was the British socialite Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938).
OWEN (1)mWelsh, English
Modern form of OWAIN.
OZ (1)mEnglish
Short form of OSWALD, OSBORN, and other names beginning with a similar sound.
OZZIEmEnglish
Diminutive of OSWALD, OSBORN, and other names beginning with a similar sound.
OZZYmEnglish
Variant of OZZIE.
PACEmEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which was derived from the Middle English word pace meaning "peace".
PACEYmEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which was derived from the French place name Pacy, itself derived from Gaulish given name of unknown meaning.
PADENmEnglish (Rare)
An invented name, using the popular aden suffix sound found in such names as Braden, Hayden and Aidan. It is sometimes considered a derivative of the surname PADDON.
PAGEmEnglish
From a surname which was a variant of PAIGE.
PAGETfEnglish (Rare)
From a surname which meant "little page" (see PAIGE).
PAIGEfEnglish
From an English surname meaning "servant, page" in Middle English. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion) meaning "little boy".
PAISLEYfEnglish (Modern)
From a Scottish surname, originally from the name of a town, which may ultimately be derived from Latin basilica "church". This is also a word (derived from the name of that same town) for a type of pattern commonly found on fabrics.
PALMERmEnglish
From an English surname meaning "pilgrim". It is ultimately from Latin palma "palm tree", since pilgrims to the Holy Land often brought back palm fronds as proof of their journey.
PAMfEnglish
Short form of PAMELA.
PAMELAfEnglish
This name was invented in the late 16th century by the poet Sir Philip Sidney for use in his poem 'Arcadia'. He possibly intended it to mean "all sweetness" from Greek παν (pan) "all" and μελι (meli) "honey". It was later employed by author Samuel Richardson for the heroine in his novel 'Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded' (1740), after which time it became used as a given name. It did not become popular until the 20th century.
PAMELIAfEnglish
Elaborated form of PAMELA.
PANCRASmEnglish (Archaic)
Medieval English form of PANCRATIUS. The relics of the 4th-century saint Pancratius were sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, leading to the saint's veneration there.
PANSYfEnglish
From the English word for a type of flower, ultimately deriving from Old French pensee "thought".
PARKERm & fEnglish
From an English occupational surname which meant "keeper of the park".
PARNELfEnglish (Archaic)
Contracted form of PETRONEL. In the later Middle Ages it became a slang term for a promiscuous woman, and the name subsequently fell out of use.
PARRISm & fEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which originally denoted a person who came from the French city of Paris (see PARIS (2)).
PATm & fEnglish
Short form of PATRICK or PATRICIA. A famous bearer of this name was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
PATIENCEfEnglish
From the English word patience, ultimately from Latin patientia, a derivative of pati "to suffer". This was one of the virtue names coined by the Puritans in the 17th century.
PATRICIAfEnglish, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Feminine form of Patricius (see PATRICK). In medieval England this spelling appears in Latin documents, but this form was probably not used as the actual name until the 18th century, in Scotland.
PATRICKmIrish, English, French, German
From the Latin name Patricius, which meant "nobleman". This name was adopted in the 5th-century by Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint.... [more]
PATSYf & mEnglish, Irish
Variant of PATTY, also used as a diminutive of PATRICK.
PATTIfEnglish
Variant of PATTY.
PATTIEfEnglish
Variant of PATTY.
PATTONmEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of PATRICK. A notable bearer of the surname was the American World War II general George S. Patton (1885-1945), who played an important part in the allied offensive in France.
PATTYfEnglish
Originally a variant of Matty, a 17th-century diminutive of MARTHA. It is now commonly used as a diminutive of PATRICIA.
PAULmEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.... [more]
PAULAfGerman, English, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Croatian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Paulus (see PAUL). This was the name of a 4th-century Roman saint who was a companion of Saint Jerome.
PAULETTAfEnglish
Latinate feminine diminutive of PAUL.
PAULIEmEnglish
Diminutive of PAUL.
PAULINEfFrench, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
French feminine form of Paulinus (see PAULINO).
PAXTONmEnglish (Modern)
From a surname which was derived from an English place name meaning "Pœcc's town". Pœcc is an Old English name of unknown meaning.
PEACEfEnglish (Rare)
From the English word peace, ultimately derived from Latin pax.
PEARLfEnglish
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.
PEARLEfEnglish
Variant of PEARL.
PEARLIEfEnglish
Diminutive of PEARL.
PEGfEnglish
Short form of PEGGY.
PEGGIEfEnglish
Variant of PEGGY.
PEGGYfEnglish
Medieval variant of Meggy, a diminutive of MARGARET. The reason for the change in the initial consonant is unknown.
PENfEnglish
Short form of PENELOPE.
PENELOPEfGreek Mythology, English
Possibly derived from Greek πηνελοψ (penelops), a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πηνη (pene) "threads, weft" and ωψ (ops) "face, eye". In Homer's epic the 'Odyssey' this is the name of the wife of Odysseus, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy. It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century.
PENNYfEnglish
Diminutive of PENELOPE.
PEONYfEnglish (Rare)
From the English word for the type of flower. It was originally believed to have healing qualities, so it was named after the Greek medical god Pæon.
PERCEmEnglish
Short form of PERCY.
PERCIVALmArthurian Romance, English
Created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem 'Perceval, the Story of the Grail'. In the poem Perceval was one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table who was given a glimpse of the Holy Grail. The character (and probably the name) of Perceval was based on that of the Welsh hero PEREDUR. The spelling was perhaps altered under the influence of Old French percer val "to pierce the valley".
PERCYmEnglish
From an English surname which was derived from the name of a Norman town Perci, which was itself perhaps derived from a Gaulish given name which was Latinized as Persius. The surname was borne by a noble English family, and it first used as a given name in their honour. A famous bearer was Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), an English romantic poet whose works include 'Adonais' and 'Ozymandias'. This name can also be used as a short form of PERCIVAL.
PEREGRINEmEnglish (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Peregrinus, which meant "traveller". This was the name of several early saints.
PERMELIAfEnglish (Archaic)
Meaning unknown, possibly an early American alteration of PAMELA.
PERRYmEnglish
From a surname which is either English or Welsh in origin. It can be derived from Middle English perrie meaning "pear tree", or else from Welsh ap Herry, meaning "son of HERRY". A famous bearer of the surname was Matthew Perry (1794-1858), the American naval officer who opened Japan to the West.
PETEmEnglish
Short form of PETER.
PETERmEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical
Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.... [more]
PETRAfGerman, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish, English
Feminine form of PETER. This was also the name of an ancient city in the region that is now Jordan.
PETRONELfEnglish (Archaic)
Medieval English form of PETRONILLA.
PETULAfEnglish (Rare)
Meaning unknown, created in the 20th century. The name is borne by the British singer Petula Clark (1932-), whose name was invented by her father.
PETUNIAfEnglish (Rare)
From the name of the flower, derived ultimately from a Tupi (South American) word.
PEYTONm & fEnglish
From an English surname, originally a place name meaning "PÆGA's town". A famous bearer was Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), the first president of the Continental Congress. It is also borne by American football quarterback Peyton Manning (1976-).
PHEBEfEnglish, Biblical
Variant of PHOEBE used in some translations of the New Testament.
PHEOBEfEnglish
Variant of PHOEBE.
PHILmEnglish
Short form of PHILIP and various other names beginning with Phil, often a Greek element meaning "friend, dear, beloved".
PHILADELPHIAfEnglish (Rare)
From the name of a city in Asia Minor mentioned in Revelation in the New Testament. The name of the city meant "brotherly love" from Greek φιλεω (phileo) "to love" and αδελφος (adelphos) "brother". It is also the name of a city in the United States.
PHILANDERmEnglish (Archaic), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Φιλανδρος (Philandros) meaning "friend of man" from Greek φιλος (philos) "friend" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). It was the name of a son of Apollo with the nymph Acalle. In the 18th century this was coined as a word meaning "to womanize", and the name subsequently dropped out of use.
PHILIPmEnglish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical
From the Greek name Φιλιππος (Philippos) which means "friend of horses", composed of the elements φιλος (philos) "friend, lover" and ‘ιππος (hippos) "horse". This was the name of five kings of Macedon, including Philip II the father of Alexander the Great. The name appears in the New Testament belonging to two people who are regarded as saints. First, one of the twelve apostles, and second, an early figure in the Christian church known as Philip the Deacon.... [more]
PHILIPAfEnglish (Rare)
Feminine form of PHILIP.
PHILIPPAfEnglish (British), German
Latinate feminine form of PHILIP.
PHILLIPmEnglish
Variant of PHILIP, inspired by the usual spelling of the surname.
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