TERRY (1)m & fEnglish
From an English surname which was derived from the medieval name Thierry
, a Norman French form of THEODORIC
TERRY (2)m & fEnglish
Diminutive of TERENCE
. A famous bearer was Terry Fox (1958-1981), a young man with an artificial leg who attempted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He died of the disease before crossing the country.
Diminutive of THERESA
. This is the name of the main character in Thomas Hardy's novel 'Tess of the D'Ubervilles' (1891).
From a nickname which denoted a person who came from the state of Texas. A famous bearer was the American animator Tex Avery (1908-1980), real name Frederick, who was born in Texas.
THADDEUSmEnglish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From Θαδδαιος (Thaddaios)
, the Greek form of the Aramaic name Thaddai
. It is possibly derived from a word meaning "heart", but it may in fact be an Aramaic form of a Greek name such as Θεοδωρος
). In the Gospel of Matthew, Thaddaeus is listed as one of the twelve apostles, though elsewhere in the New Testament his name is omitted and Jude
's appears instead. It is likely that the two names refer to the same person.
From the Scottish and English noble title, which was originally from Old English thegn
From the English word thankful
. This was one of the many virtue names used by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Meaning unknown. It was a rare name when British author Marie Corelli used it for the Norwegian heroine of her novel 'Thelma' (1887). The name became popular around the end of the 19th century after the novel was published. It is sometimes claimed to derive from Greek θελημα (thelema)
meaning "will", though this seems unlikely.
THEOBALDmEnglish (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements theud
"people" and bald
"bold". The Normans brought the name to England, where it joined an existing Old English cognate. The medieval forms Tibald
were commonly Latinized as Theobaldus
. It was rare by the 20th century.
THEODORAfEnglish, Greek, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of THEODORE
. This name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by several empresses including the influential wife of Justinian in the 6th century.
From the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros)
, which meant "gift of god" from Greek θεος (theos)
"god" and δωρον (doron)
"gift". The name Dorothea
is derived from the same roots in reverse order. This was the name of several saints, including Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Greek soldier; Theodore of Tarsus, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury; and Theodore the Studite, a 9th-century Byzantine monk. It was also borne by two popes.... [more]
THERESAfEnglish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Spanish and Portuguese name Teresa
. It was first recorded as Therasia
, being borne by the Spanish wife of Saint Paulinus of Nola in the 4th century. The meaning is uncertain, but it could be derived from Greek θερος (theros)
"summer", from Greek θεριζω (therizo)
"to harvest", or from the name of the Greek island of Therasia (the western island of Santorini).... [more]
THOMASmEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Greek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma')
which meant "twin". In the New Testament this is the name of an apostle. When he heard that Jesus
had risen from the dead he initially doubted the story, until Jesus appeared before him and he examined his wounds himself. According to tradition he was martyred in India. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world.... [more]
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "thorn clearing" in Old English.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "thorn town" in Old English.
Short form of names ending with tia
. It has been suggested that its use since the 1950s is the result of the brand name for the coffee liqueur Tia Maria. In the brand name, Tia
is not a given name; rather, it means "aunt" in Spanish or Portuguese.
Medieval form of THEOPHANIA
. This name was traditionally given to girls born on the Epiphany (January 6), the festival commemorating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus
. The name died out after the Middle Ages, but it was revived by the movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' (1961), the title of which refers to the Tiffany's jewelry store in New York.
From the name of the large striped cat, derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek τιγρις (tigris)
, ultimately of Iranian origin. A famous bearer is American golfer Tiger Woods (1975-).
English form of the Greek name Τιμοθεος (Timotheos)
meaning "honouring God", derived from τιμαω (timao)
"to honour" and θεος (theos)
"god". Saint Timothy was a companion of Paul
on his missionary journeys and was the recipient of two of Paul's epistles that appear in the New Testament. He was of both Jewish and Greek ancestry. According to tradition, he was martyred at Ephesus after protesting the worship of Artemis
. As an English name, Timothy
was not used until after the Protestant Reformation.
Diminutive of LETITIA
. This is now a slang word for the female breast, and the name has subsequently dropped out of common use.
TITUSmAncient Roman, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Roman praenomen, or given name, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to Latin titulus
"title of honour". It is more likely of Oscan origin, since it was borne by the legendary Sabine king Titus Tatius.... [more]
TOBIASmBiblical, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Greek form of TOBIAH
. This is the name of the hero of the apocryphal Book of Tobit, which appears in many English versions of the Old Testament. It relates how Tobit
's son Tobias, with the help of the angel Raphael
, is able to drive away a demon who has plagued Sarah, who subsequently becomes his wife. This story was popular in the Middle Ages, and the name came into occasional use in parts of Europe at that time. In England it became common after the Protestant Reformation.
TOBYm & fEnglish
Medieval form of TOBIAS
. It was sometimes used as a feminine name in the 1930s and 40s due to the influence of American actress Toby Wing (1915-2001).
From a surname meaning "fox", derived from Middle English todde
TOM (1)mEnglish, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish
Short form of THOMAS
. Tom Sawyer was the main character in several of Mark Twain's novels, first appearing in 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' (1876). Other famous bearers include American actors Tom Hanks (1956-) and Tom Cruise (1962-).
From the English word for the yellow precious stone, the birthstone of November, ultimately derived from Greek τοπαζος (topazos)
From a nickname which is of unknown meaning, perhaps deriving from the English word top
TRACYf & mEnglish
From an English surname which was taken from a Norman French place name meaning "domain belonging to THRACIUS
". Charles Dickens used it for a male character in his novel 'The Pickwick Papers' (1837). It was later popularized as a feminine name by the main character Tracy Lord in the movie 'The Philadelphia Story' (1940). This name is also sometimes used as a diminutive of THERESA
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "fishtrap ford" in Old English.
From the English surname Travis
(a variant of TRAVERS
). It was used in America in honour of William Travis (1809-1836), the commander of the Texan forces at the Battle of the Alamo.
From a surname which originally denoted someone who lived by the River Trent
in England. Trent
is also a city in Italy, though the etymology is unrelated.
From the name of a New Jersey city established in the 17th century by William Trent. It means "TRENT
From a surname which was derived from a Cornish place name meaning "homestead on the hill".
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "big village" from Welsh tref
"village" and mawr
From the English word Trinity
, given in honour of the Christian belief that God has one essence, but three distinct expressions of being: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It has only been in use as a given name since the 20th century.
TRISTANmWelsh, 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 which 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.
From a surname that originally denoted a person from the city of Troyes in France. This was also the name of the ancient city that was besieged by the Greeks in Homer
From a surname which meant "trusty man" in Middle English. A famous bearer of the surname was American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). It was also borne by American writer Truman Capote (1924-1984).
From an occupational surname derived from Old English tucian
meaning "one who fulls cloth".
Meaning unknown. Perhaps based on the English word twilight
, or maybe from a Cajun pronunciation of French étoile
"star". It came into use as an American given name in the late 19th century.
From a surname meaning "pasture" in Middle English.
From an English surname meaning "tiler of roofs". The surname was borne by American president John Tyler (1790-1862).
From the name of a county in Northern Ireland which is derived from Irish Gaelic Tir Eoghain
meaning "land of EOGHAN
". This name was popularized by American actor Tyrone Power (1914-1958), who was named after his great-grandfather, an Irish actor.
From an English surname which could be derived from a nickname for a quarrelsome person, from Old French tison
meaning "firebrand". Alternatively, it could be a variant of DYSON
. A famous bearer of the surname was boxer Mike Tyson (1966-).
Middle English form of the Old English name Wulfric
meaning "wolf power". When it is used in modern times, it is usually as a variant of ULRICH
ULYSSESmRoman Mythology, English
Latin form of ODYSSEUS
. It was borne by Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War, who went on to become an American president. Irish author James Joyce used it as the title of his book 'Ulysses' (1920), which loosely parallels Homer
's epic the 'Odyssey'.
From the English word unity
, which is ultimately derived from Latin unitas
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "upper town" in Old English. A famous bearer of this name was the American novelist Upton Sinclair (1878-1968).
URSULAfEnglish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Late Roman
Means "little bear", derived from a diminutive form of the Latin word ursa
"she-bear". Saint Ursula was a legendary virgin princess of the 4th century who was martyred by the Huns while returning from a pilgrimage. In England the saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and the name came into general use at that time.
From the English word meaning "wide river valley".
From the Roman cognomen Valentinus
which was itself from the name Valens
meaning "strong, vigourous, healthy" in Latin. Saint Valentine was a 3rd-century martyr. His feast day was the same as the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which resulted in the association between Valentine's day and love. As an English name, it has been used occasionally since the 12th century.
From an English surname which was derived from Old English fenn
meaning "marsh, fen".
VANESSAfEnglish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch
Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his poem 'Cadenus and Vanessa' (1726). He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther
Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.
From a Welsh surname which was derived from Welsh bychan
Meaning unknown, possibly a derivative of the Germanic element wald
meaning "power, rule".
Probably a variant of WILMA
, the spelling with an e
perhaps due to the influence of SELMA
. This name has been in use since the 19th century.
From the English word for the soft fabric. It became used as a given name after the main character in Enid Bagnold's book 'National Velvet' (1935) and the movie (1944) and television (1960) adaptations.
Originally this was probably a Latinized form of GWYNEDD
. It also coincides with the name of the city in Italy, called Venice
in English. This name was borne by the celebrated beauty Venetia Stanley (1600-1633). Benjamin Disraeli used it in his novel entitled 'Venetia' (1837).
VERA (1)fRussian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Georgian
Means "faith" in Russian, though it is sometimes associated with the Latin word verus
"true". It has been in general use in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century.
From a Norman surname which was from a French place name, which was itself derived from a Gaulish word meaning "alder".
From the English word meaning "verity, truth". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Feminine form of VERNON
, sometimes associated with the Latin word vernus
"spring". It has been in use since the 19th century.
From a Norman surname which was from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern
VERONICAfEnglish, Italian, Romanian, Late Roman
Latin alteration of BERENICE
, the spelling influenced by the ecclesiastical Latin phrase vera icon
meaning "true image". This was the name of a legendary saint who wiped Jesus
' face with a towel and then found his image imprinted upon it. Due to popular stories about her, the name was occasionally used in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. It was borne by the 17th-century Italian saint and mystic Veronica Giuliani. As an English name, it was not common until the 19th century, when it was imported from France and Scotland.
VICTORmEnglish, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Dutch, Swedish, Late Roman
Roman name meaning "victor, conqueror" in Latin. It was common among early Christians, and was borne by several early saints and three popes. It was rare as an English name during the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), who authored 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "vine hall" in Middle English.
VINCENTmEnglish, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Slovak
From the Roman name Vincentius
, which was from Latin vincere
"to conquer". This name was popular among early Christians, and it was borne by many saints. As an English name, Vincent
has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until the 19th century. Famous bearers include the French priest Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).
From the English word violet
for the purple flower, ultimately derived from Latin viola
. It was common in Scotland from the 16th century, and it came into general use as an English given name during the 19th century.
From the Roman family name Vergilius
which is of unknown meaning. This name was borne by the 1st-century BC Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro, commonly called Virgil, who was the writer of the 'Aeneid'. Due to him, Virgil
has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
VIRGINIAfEnglish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Romanian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of the Roman family name Verginius
which is of unknown meaning, but long associated with Latin virgo
"maid, virgin". According to a legend, it was the name of a Roman woman killed by her father so as to save her from the clutches of a crooked official.... [more]
VIVIANm & fEnglish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Latin name Vivianus
which was derived from Latin vivus
"alive". Saint Vivian was a French bishop who provided protection during the Visigoth invasion of the 5th century. It has been occasionally used as an English (masculine) name since the Middle Ages. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name, in which case it is either an Anglicized form of BÉBINN
or a variant of VIVIEN (2)
WALDOmEnglish, German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names containing the element wald
meaning "rule". In the Middle Ages this name became the basis for a surname. Its present use in the English-speaking world is usually in honour of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American poet and author who wrote on transcendentalism. He was (probably) named after the 12th-century Christian radical Peter Waldo, who was from Lyons in France. Though Waldo and his followers, called the Waldensians, were declared heretics at the time, they were later admired by Protestants.
From an English surname which referred to the medieval occupational of a walker, also known as a fuller. Walkers would tread on wet, unprocessed wool in order to clean and thicken it. The word ultimately derives from Old English wealcan
From a Scottish and English surname which originally meant "Welsh" or "foreigner" in Norman French. It was first used as given name in honour of Sir William Wallace, a Scottish hero who led the fight against English invasion in the 13th century.
WALLISm & fEnglish (Rare)
From a surname which was a variant of WALLACE
. Wallis Simpson (1895-1986) was the divorced woman whom Edward VIII married, which forced him to abdicate the British throne.
WALTERmEnglish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Italian, Ancient Germanic
From a Germanic name meaning "ruler of the army", composed of the elements wald
"rule" and hari
"army". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Wealdhere
. A famous bearer of the name was Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), a Scottish novelist who wrote 'Ivanhoe' and other notable works.
From a surname which was originally taken from various Old English place names meaning "stream town", "wood town", or "wall town".
WANDAfPolish, English, German, French
Possibly from a Germanic name meaning "a Wend", referring to the Slavic people who inhabited eastern Germany. In Polish legends this was the name of the daughter of King Krak, the legendary founder of Krakow. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by the author Ouida, who used it for the heroine in her novel 'Wanda' (1883).
From an occupational surname for a watchman, derived from Old English weard
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "watch hill" in Old English.
From an English surname which was derived either from Norman French warrene
meaning "animal enclosure", or else from the town of La Varenne in Normandy. This name was borne by the American president Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).
From a surname which was derived from the name of a town in England, itself from Old English wer
"weir, dam" and wíc
From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English town, itself meaning "settlement belonging to WASSA
's people". The given name is usually given in honour of George Washington (1732-1799), commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and the first president of the United States.
Variant of WAYLAND
. This name was popularized by country music singer Waylon Jennings (1937-2002), who was originally named Wayland.
From an occupational surname meaning "wagon maker", derived from Old English wægn
"wagon". Use of it as a given name can be partly attributed to the popularity of the actor John Wayne (1907-1979). Another famous bearer is Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky (1961-), generally considered the greatest player in the history of the sport.
From an occupational surname meaning "weaver", derived from Old English webba
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "hill near a spring" in Old 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.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "west meadow" in Old English. It has been sometimes given in honour of John Wesley (1703-1791), the founder of Methodism.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "west town" in Old English.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "white field" in Old English.
WHITNEYf & mEnglish
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).
From an English surname which was originally derived from the nickname Wildbor
meaning "wild boar" in Middle English. This name was borne by Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), one half of the Wright brothers, who together invented the first successful airplane. Wright was named after the Methodist minister Wilbur Fisk (1792-1839).
From a surname which was probably originally derived from an unknown place name. The second element corresponds with Old English burne
Meaning unknown, perhaps from a German surname, or perhaps from the English word wild
. It has been in use since the 19th century.
From a surname which was derived either from a place name meaning "temple clearing" in Old English or from a nickname meaning "wily, tricky" in Middle English.
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "willow ford" in Old English.
Means "desiring peace" from Old English wil
"will, desire" and friþ
"peace". Saint Wilfrid was a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon bishop. The name was rarely used after the Norman conquest, but it was revived in the 19th century.
From an English surname which was originally derived from a diminutive of the given name WILLIAM
Short form of WILLIAM
or other names beginning with Will
. A famous bearer is American actor Will Smith (1968-), whose full name is Willard.
From an English surname which was derived from the Germanic given name WILLIHARD
(or the Old English cognate Wilheard
From the Germanic name Willahelm
, which was composed of the elements wil
"will, desire" and helm
"helmet, protection". Saint William of Gellone was an 8th-century cousin of Charlemagne
who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England in the 11th century. It was later borne by three other English kings, as well as rulers of Scotland, Sicily (of Norman origin), the Netherlands and Prussia.... [more]
WILLIEm & fEnglish
Masculine or feminine diminutive of WILLIAM
. A notable bearer is the retired American baseball player Willie Mays (1931-).
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "willow town" in Old English.
From an English surname meaning "son of WILLIAM
". The surname was borne by Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), the American president during World War I.
Short form of WILTON
. This name was borne by basketball player Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999).
From a surname which was derived from the names of several English towns. The town names mean variously "willow town", "well town" or "town on the River Wylye" in Old English. The river name is itself of Celtic origin, possibly meaning "tricky".
WINDSORm & fEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "riverbank with a windlass" in Old English (a windlass is a lifting apparatus). This has been the surname of the royal family of the United Kingdom since 1917.
Means "friend of peace" from the Old English elements wine
"friend" and friþ
"peace". This was the birth name of the 8th-century missionary Saint Boniface. It became rare after the Norman conquest, though it was revived in the 19th century.
Diminutive of WINIFRED
. Winnie-the-Pooh, a stuffed bear in the children's books by A. A. Milne, was named after a real bear named Winnipeg
who lived at the London Zoo.
From a surname which was derived from an Old English place name meaning "hill belonging to WINE
". A famous bearer of this name was American painter Winslow Homer (1836-1910).
From a surname derived from an English place name, which was in turn derived from the Old English given name WYNNSTAN
. A famous bearer was Winston Churchill (1874-1965), the British prime minister during World War II. This name was also borne by the fictional Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell's 1949 novel '1984'.
From a surname which was originally taken from town names meaning either "WINE
's village" or "WIGMUND
's village" in Old English.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "enclosure belonging to WINE
" in Old English.
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "row of houses by a wood" in Old English. This name was popularized by American president Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924).
Either a diminutive of WOODROW
, or else from a nickname derived from the English word wood
. A famous bearer is film director Woody Allen (1935-).
From the English word for the small songbird. It is ultimately derived from Old English wrenna
From an occupational surname meaning "craftsman", ultimately from Old English wyrhta
. Famous bearers of the surname were the Wright brothers (Wilbur 1867-1912 and Orville 1871-1948), the inventors of the first successful airplane, and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), an American architect.
From an English surname which was derived from the medieval given name WYOT
. Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) was an American lawman and gunfighter involved in the famous shootout at the OK Corral.
From the Old English name Wigstan
, composed of the elements wig
"battle" and stan
"stone". This was the name of a 9th-century Anglo-Saxon saint. It became rare after the Norman conquest, and in modern times it is chiefly known as the first name of the British poet W. H. Auden (1907-1973).
XANDERmDutch, English (Modern)
Short form of ALEXANDER
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by a character on the television series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (1997-2003).
XAVIERmEnglish, French, Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish (Archaic)
Derived from the Basque place name Etxeberria
meaning "the new house". This was the surname of the Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552) who was borne in a village of this name. He was a missionary to India, Japan, China, and other areas in East Asia, and he is the patron saint of the Orient and missionaries. His surname has since been adopted as a given name in his honour, chiefly among Catholics.
From a surname, which was an Americanized form of the Dutch surname Jansen
meaning "JAN (1)
From the medieval French name Yolande
, which was probably a form of the name Violante
, which was itself a derivative of Latin viola
"violet". Alternatively it could be of Germanic origin.... [more]
From a surname, which was derived from York, the name of a city in northern England. The city name was originally Eburacon
, Latinized as Eboracum
, meaning "yew" in Brythonic, but it was altered by association with Old English Eoforwic
, meaning "pig farm".
Variant of ZECHARIAH
. This spelling is used in the King James Version of the Old Testament to refer to one of the kings of Israel (called Zechariah in other versions).
Usual English form of ZACHARIAS
, used in some English versions of the New Testament. This form has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation. It was borne by American military commander and president Zachary Taylor (1784-1850).
From an English surname of unknown meaning. It was introduced as a given name by American author Zane Grey (1872-1939). Zane was in fact his middle name - it had been his mother's maiden name.
ZARA (1)fEnglish (Modern)
English form of ZAÏRE
. In England it came to public attention when Princess Anne gave it to her daughter in 1981. Use of the name may also be influenced by the trendy Spanish clothing retailer Zara.