ELIZABETH f English, Biblical
From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva')
meaning "my God is an oath"
, derived from the roots אֵל ('el)
referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava')
meaning "oath". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron
, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John
the Baptist.... [more]
ELLA (1) f English
Norman form of the Germanic name Alia
, which was a short form of names containing the Germanic element alja
. It was introduced to England by the Normans and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
ELLE f English (Modern)
Diminutive of ELEANOR
and other names beginning with El
. This name can also be given in reference to the French pronoun elle
ELLEN (1) f English
Medieval English form of HELEN
. This was the usual spelling of the name until the 19th century, when the form Helen
also became common.
ELLERY m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from the medieval masculine name HILARY
ELLIOTT m English
From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of the medieval name ELIAS
ELMA f Dutch, German, English
Short form of WILHELMINE
or names ending in elma
, such as ANSELMA
. It has also been recorded as a combination of ELIZABETH
, as in the case of the 19th-century daughter of the Earl of Elgin, who was named using her mother's first and middle names.
ELMER m English
From a surname that was derived from the Old English name ÆÐELMÆR
. In the United States it is sometimes given in honour of brothers Jonathan (1745-1817) and Ebenezer Elmer (1752-1843), who were active in early American politics.
ELMO m English, German, Italian
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element helm
meaning "helmet, protection"
. It is also a derivative of ERASMUS
, via the old Italian diminutive Ermo
. Saint Elmo, also known as Saint Erasmus, was a 4th-century martyr who is the patron of sailors. Saint Elmo's fire is said to be a sign of his protection.
ELOISE f English
From the Old French name Héloïse
, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis
, composed of the elements heil
meaning "hale, healthy" and wid
meaning "wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios)
meaning "sun" or the name Louise
, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.... [more]
ELROY m English
Altered form of LEROY
, using the Spanish definite article el
as opposed to the French le
ELSDON m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "Elli's valley"
in Old English.
ELTON m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "Ella's town"
in Old English. A famous bearer of this name is British musician Elton John (1947-), born Reginald Dwight, who adopted his stage name in honour of his former bandmate Elton Dean (1945-2006).
ELVIS m English
Meaning unknown. It could possibly be a derivative of ALVIS
. More likely, it is from the rare surname Elvis
, a variant of Elwes
, which is ultimately derived from the given name ELOISE
. The name was brought to public attention by the singer Elvis Presley (1935-1977), whose name came from his father's middle name.... [more]
ELWOOD m English
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "elder tree forest"
in Old English.
ELYSE f English
Diminutive of ELIZABETH
. It was popularized in the early 1980s by a character from the television comedy Family Ties
EMERALD f English (Modern)
From the word for the green precious stone, which is the birthstone of May. The emerald supposedly imparts love to the bearer. The word is ultimately from Greek σμαραγδος (smaragdos)
EMERSON m & f English
From an English surname meaning "son of EMERY"
. The surname was borne by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American writer and philosopher who wrote about transcendentalism.
EMERY m & f English
Norman form of EMMERICH
. The Normans introduced it to England, and though it was never popular, it survived until the end of the Middle Ages. As a modern given name, it is likely inspired by the surname Emery
, which was itself derived from the medieval given name. It can also be given in reference to the hard black substance called emery.
EMIL m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Romanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Icelandic, English
From the Roman family name Aemilius
, which was derived from Latin aemulus
EMILIA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Finnish, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Bulgarian
Feminine form of Aemilius
EMILY f English
English feminine form of Aemilius
). In the English-speaking world it was not common until after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century; the princess Amelia Sophia (1711-1786) was commonly known as Emily
in English, even though Amelia
is an unrelated name.... [more]
EMMA f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
. 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
EMMANUEL m Biblical, French, English
From the Hebrew name עִמָּנוּאֵל ('Immanu'el)
meaning "God is with us"
, from the roots עִם ('im)
meaning "with" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". This was the foretold name of the Messiah in the Old Testament. It has been used in England since the 16th century in the spellings Emmanuel
, though it has not been widespread. The name has been more common in continental Europe, especially in Spain and Portugal (in the spellings Manuel
EMMELINE f English
From an Old French form of the Germanic name Amelina
, originally a diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element amal
. The Normans introduced this name to England.
EMMET m English
Variant of EMMETT
. It is used in Ireland in honour of the nationalist and rebel Robert Emmet (1778-1803).
EMMETT m English
From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of the feminine given name EMMA
ENNIS m English
From an Irish surname that was derived from inis
ENOLA f English
Meaning unknown. This name first appeared in the late 19th century. It is the name of the main character in the novel Enola; or, her Fatal Mistake
(1886) by Mary Young Ridenbaugh. The aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was named Enola Gay
after the mother of the pilot, who was herself named for the book character.
EPIPHANY f English (Rare)
From the name of the Christian festival (January 6) that commemorates the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus
. It is also an English word meaning "sudden appearance" or "sudden perception", ultimately deriving from Greek επιφανεια (epiphaneia)
ERIC m English, Swedish, German, Spanish
Means "ever ruler"
, from the Old Norse name Eiríkr
, derived from the elements ei
"ever, always" and ríkr
"ruler, mighty". A notable bearer was Eiríkr inn Rauda (Eric the Red in English), a 10th-century navigator and explorer who discovered Greenland. This was also the name of several early kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.... [more]
ERIK m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, English
Scandinavian form of ERIC
. This was the name of kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. King Erik IX of Sweden (12th century) is the patron saint of that country.
ERIKA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, English, Italian
Feminine form of ERIK
. It also coincides with the word for "heather" in some languages.
ERIN f English, Irish
Anglicized form of EIREANN
. It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century.
ERMA f English
Variant of IRMA
. It began to be used in the English-speaking world in the 19th century, along with Irma
ERNEST m English, French, Catalan, Polish
Derived from Germanic eornost
. It was introduced to England by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century, though it did not become common until the following century. The American author and adventurer Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was a famous bearer of the name. It was also used by Oscar Wilde for a character in his comedy The Importance of Being Earnest
ERROL m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name. It was popularized as a given name by the Australian actor Errol Flynn (1909-1959).
ERSKINE m Scottish, Irish, English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from the name of a Scottish town meaning "projecting height"
in Gaelic. A famous bearer of the name was the Irish novelist and nationalist Erskine Childers (1870-1922).
ESMÉ m & f English (British)
in Old French. It was first recorded in Scotland, being borne by the first Duke of Lennox in the 16th century. It is now more common as a feminine name.
ESMERALDA f Spanish, Portuguese, English, Literature
in Spanish and Portuguese. Victor Hugo used this name in his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame
(1831), in which Esmeralda is the Gypsy girl who is loved by Quasimodo. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since that time.
ESMOND m English (Rare)
Derived from the Old English elements east
"grace" and mund
"protection". This Old English name was rarely used after the Norman Conquest. It was occasionally revived in the 19th century.
ESSENCE f English (Modern)
From the English word essence
, which means either "odour, scent"
or else "fundamental quality"
. Ultimately it derives from Latin esse
ESTELLA f English
Latinate form of ESTELLE
. This was the name of the heroine, Estella Havisham, in Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations
ESTELLE f English, French
From an Old French name meaning "star"
, ultimately derived from Latin stella
. It was rare in the English-speaking world in the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century, perhaps due to the character Estella Havisham in Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations
ESTHER f English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "star"
in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR
. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman
persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai
, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah
ETHAN m English, French, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name אֵיתָן ('Eitan)
meaning "solid, enduring, firm"
. In the Old Testament this name is borne by a few minor characters, including the wise man Ethan the Ezrahite, supposedly the author of Psalm 89.... [more]
ETHEL f English
Short form of names beginning with the Old English element æðel
. It was coined in the 19th century, when many Old English names were revived. It was popularized by the novels The Newcomes
(1855) by William Makepeace Thackeray and The Daisy Chain
(1856) by C. M. Yonge. A famous bearer was American actress and singer Ethel Merman (1908-1984).
ETTA f English
Short form of HENRIETTA
and other names that end with etta
. A famous bearer was the American singer Etta James (1938-2012), who took her stage name from her real given name Jamesetta.
EUGENE m English
English form of Eugenius
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ευγενιος (Eugenios)
, which was derived from the Greek word ευγενης (eugenes)
meaning "well born"
. It is composed of the elements ευ (eu)
meaning "good" and γενης (genes)
meaning "born". This was the name of several saints and four popes.... [more]
EUNICE f Biblical, English, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Ευνικη (Eunike)
meaning "good victory"
, derived from ευ (eu)
meaning "good" and νικη (nike)
meaning "victory". The New Testament mentions her as the mother of Timothy
. As an English name, it was first used after the Protestant Reformation.
EUSTACE m English
English form of EUSTACHIUS
, two names of Greek origin that have been conflated in the post-classical period. Saint Eustace, whose is known under both spellings, was a 2nd-century Roman general who became a Christian after seeing a vision of a cross between the antlers of a stag he was hunting. He was burned to death for refusing to worship the Roman gods and is now regarded as the patron saint of hunters. Due to him, this name was common in England during the Middle Ages, though it is presently rare.
EVA f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Slovene, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Georgian, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin
Form of EVE
used in various languages. This form is used in the Latin translation of the New Testament, while Hava
is used in the Latin Old Testament. The name appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin
(1852) belonging to the character Little Eva, whose real name is in fact Evangeline.... [more]
EVANGELINE f English
Means "good news"
from Greek ευ (eu)
meaning "good" and αγγελμα (angelma)
meaning "news, message". It was (first?) used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic poem Evangeline
(1847). It also appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin
(1852) as the full name of the character Eva.
EVE f English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah)
, which was derived from the Hebrew word חָוָה (chawah)
meaning "to breathe"
or the related word חָיָה (chayah)
meaning "to live"
. According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis, Eve and Adam
were the first humans. God created her from one of Adam's ribs to be his companion. At the urging of a serpent she ate the forbidden fruit and shared some with Adam, causing their expulsion from the Garden of Eden
EVELYN f & m English, German
From an English surname that was derived from the given name AVELINE
. In the 17th century when it was first used as a given name it was more common for boys, but it is now regarded as mainly feminine due to association with the related name Evelina
EVERARD m English (Rare)
Means "brave boar"
, derived from the Germanic elements ebur
"wild boar" and hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans introduced it to England, where it joined the Old English cognate Eoforheard
. It has only been rarely used since the Middle Ages. Modern use of the name may be inspired by the surname Everard
, itself derived from the medieval name.
EWART m English
From an English and Scottish surname that was either based on a Norman form of EDWARD
, or else derived from a place name of unknown meaning.
EZEKIEL m Biblical, English
From the Hebrew name יְחֶזְקֵאל (Yechezqel)
meaning "God will strengthen"
, from the roots חָזַק (chazaq)
meaning "to strengthen" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". Ezekiel is a major prophet of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Ezekiel. He lived in Jerusalem until the Babylonian conquest and captivity of Israel, at which time he was taken to Babylon. The Book of Ezekiel describes his vivid symbolic visions that predict the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. As an English given name, Ezekiel
has been used since the Protestant Reformation.
EZRA m Biblical, English, Hebrew
in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.
FAITH f English
Simply from the English word faith
, ultimately from Latin fidere
"to trust". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
FALLON f English (Modern)
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Fallamhain
meaning "descendant of Fallamhan"
. The given name Fallamhan
meant "leader". It was popularized in the 1980s by a character on the soap opera Dynasty
FANCY f English (Rare)
From the English word fancy
, which means either "like, love, inclination"
. It is derived from Middle English fantasie
, which comes (via Norman French and Latin) from Greek φαινω (phaino)
meaning "to show, to appear".
FARLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "fern clearing"
in Old English. A notable bearer of this name was Canadian author Farley Mowat (1921-2014).
FARON m English
From a French surname that was derived from the Germanic given name Faro
FARRAN m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from Old French ferrant
meaning "iron grey"
FAWN f English
From the English word fawn
for a young deer.
FAY f English
Derived from Middle English faie
, ultimately (via Old French) from Latin fata
meaning "the Fates". It appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Arthurian legends in the name of Morgan le Fay. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century. In some cases it may be used as a short form of FAITH
FELICITY f English
From the English word felicity
, which ultimately derives from Latin felicitas
"good luck". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans around the 17th century. It can sometimes be used as an English form of the Latin name FELICITAS
. This name was revived in the late 1990s after the appearance of the television series Felicity
FELIX m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Romanian, Ancient Roman, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From a Roman cognomen meaning "lucky, successful"
in Latin. It was acquired as an agnomen, or nickname, by the 1st-century BC Roman general Sulla. It also appears in the New Testament belonging to the governor of Judea who imprisoned Saint Paul
FENTON m English
From a surname that was originally taken from a place name meaning "marsh town"
in Old English.
FERDINAND m German, French, Dutch, English, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Ancient Germanic
, the old Spanish form of a Germanic name composed of the elements fardi
"journey" and nand
"daring, brave". The Visigoths brought the name to the Iberian Peninsula, where it entered into the royal families of Spain and Portugal. From there it became common among the Habsburg royal family of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, starting with the Spanish-born Ferdinand I in the 16th century. A notable bearer was Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), called Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese, who was the leader of the first expedition to sail around the earth.
FERN f English
From the English word for the plant, ultimately from Old English fearn
. It has been used as a given name since the late 19th century.
FINNEGAN m Irish, English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Fionnagáin
meaning "descendant of Fionnagán"
. The name Fionnagán
is a diminutive of FIONN
. This was the name of a character in James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake
(1939), the title of which was based on a 19th-century Irish ballad called Finnegan's Wake
FIONA f Scottish, English
Feminine form of FIONN
. This name was (first?) used by the Scottish poet James Macpherson in his poem Fingal
(1762), in which it is spelled as Fióna
FITZ m English (Rare)
Short form of various given names that are derived from surnames beginning with Norman French fitz
meaning "son of"
(for example FITZROY
FITZROY m English (Rare)
From an English surname meaning "son of the king"
in Old French, originally given to illegitimate sons of monarchs.
FLANAGAN m English (Rare)
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Flannagáin
meaning "descendant of Flannagán"
. The given name Flannagán
is derived from Irish flann
"red" and a diminutive suffix.
FLANNERY f & m English (Rare)
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Flannghaile
meaning "descendant of Flannghal"
. The given name Flannghal
means "red valour". A famous bearer was American author Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964).
FLETCHER m English
From a surname meaning "maker of arrows"
in Middle English, ultimately from Old French flechier
FLINT m English
From the English vocabulary word, from Old English flint
FLORENCE f & m English, French
From the Latin name Florentius
or the feminine form Florentia
, which were derived from florens "prosperous, flourishing"
was borne by many early Christian saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.... [more]
FLOWER f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word flower
for the blossoming plant. It is derived (via Old French) from Latin flos
FLYNN m English
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Floinn
meaning "descendant of FLANN"
FORD m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "ford"
in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the American industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1947).
FORREST m English
From an English surname meaning "forest"
, originally belonging to a person who lived near a forest. In America it has sometimes been used in honour of the Confederate Civil War general Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877). This name was borne by the title character in the movie Forrest Gump
(1994) about a loveable simpleton. Use of the name increased when the movie was released, but has since faded away.
FORTUNE f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word fortune
, ultimately from Latin fortuna
, a derivative of fors
FOX m English (Modern)
Either from the English word fox
or the surname Fox
, which originally given as a nickname. The surname was borne by George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Quakers.
FRANCES f English
Feminine form of FRANCIS
. The distinction between Francis
as a masculine name and Frances
as a feminine name did not arise until the 17th century. A notable bearer was Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), a social worker and the first American to be canonized.
FRANCIS m & f English, French
English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus
, ultimately from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, who were named for a type of spear that they used. This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.... [more]
FRANK (1) m English, German, Dutch, French
From a Germanic name that referred to a member of the Germanic tribe, the Franks. The Franks settled in the regions now called France and the Netherlands in the 3rd and 4th century. They possibly derived their tribal name from the name of a type of spear that they used. From medieval times, the various forms of this name have been commonly conflated with the various forms of Francis
FRANKLIN m English
From an English surname that was derived from Middle English frankelin "freeman"
. A famous bearer of the surname was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher. The name has commonly been given in his honour in the United States. It also received a boost during the term of American president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
FRASER m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that is of unknown meaning. A famous bearer of the surname was Simon Fraser (1776-1862), a Canadian explorer.
FREDERICK m English
English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler"
, derived from frid
"peace" and ric
"ruler, mighty". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.... [more]
FREEMAN m English
From an English surname meaning "free man"
. It originally denoted a person who was not a serf.
FREYA f Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern), German
From Old Norse Freyja
. This was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr
and father Njord
, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg
FULK m English (Archaic)
From the Germanic name Fulco
, a short form of various names beginning with the element fulc "people"
. The Normans brought this name to England, though it is now very rare.
FULTON m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of the town of Foulden in Norfolk, itself meaning "bird hill"
in Old English.
GABRIEL m French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Catalan, English, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el)
meaning "God is my strong man"
, derived from גֶּבֶר (gever)
meaning "strong man, hero" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". Gabriel is an archangel in Hebrew tradition, often appearing as a messenger of God. In the Old Testament he is sent to interpret the visions of the prophet Daniel
, while in the New Testament he serves as the announcer of the births of John
. According to Islamic tradition he was the angel who dictated the Quran to Muhammad
GAEL f English (Modern)
Variant of GAIL
, also coinciding with the ethno-linguistic term Gael
, which refers to speakers of Gaelic languages.
GAGE m English (Modern)
From an English surname of Old French origin meaning either "measure", originally denoting one who was an assayer, or "pledge", referring to a moneylender. It was popularized as a given name by a character from the book Pet Sematary
(1983) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1989).
GALE (2) m English
From an English surname that was derived from Middle English gaile "jovial"
GALEN m English
Modern form of the Greek name Γαληνος (Galenos)
, which meant "calm"
from Greek γαληνη (galene)
. It was borne by a 2nd-century BC Greco-Roman physician who contributed to anatomy and medicine. In modern times the name is occasionally given in his honour.
GARDENIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the tropical flower, which was named for the Scottish naturalist Alexander Garden (1730-1791).
GARETH m Welsh, English (British), Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. It first appears in this form in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation of Arthurian legends Le Morte d'Arthur
, in which Gareth was a Knight of the Round Table, the brother of Sir Gawain
. Malory based the name on Gahariet
, which was the name of a similar Arthurian character in French sources. It may ultimately have a Welsh origin, possibly related to gwaredd
GARFIELD m English
From a surname meaning "triangle field"
in Old English. A famous bearer was American president James A. Garfield (1831-1881). It is now associated with the cat in Jim Davis's cartoon strip Garfield
GARLAND m English
From a surname meaning "triangle land"
from Old English gara
. The surname originally belonged to a person who owned a triangle-shaped piece of land.
GARNET (1) f English
From the English word garnet
for the precious stone, the birthstone of January. The word is derived from Middle English gernet
meaning "dark red".
GARNET (2) m & f English
From an English surname that either referred to a person who made hinges (Old French carne
) or was derived from the Norman name GUARIN
GARRETT m English
From an English surname that was derived from the given name GERALD
. A famous bearer of the surname was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
GARRICK m English
From a surname that was originally derived from Occitan garric
meaning "oak tree grove"
GARTH m English
From a surname meaning "garden"
in Old Norse, originally denoting one who lived near or worked in a garden.
GARY m English
From an English surname that was derived from a Norman given name, which was itself originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ger
. This name was popularized in the late 1920s the American actor Gary Cooper (1901-1961), who took his stage name from the city of Gary in Indiana where his agent was born.
GAVIN m English, Scottish
Medieval form of GAWAIN
. Though it died out in England, it was reintroduced from Scotland in the 20th century.
GAY f English
From the English word gay
meaning "gay, happy"
. By the mid-20th century the word had acquired the additional meaning of "homosexual", and the name has subsequently dropped out of use.
GAYLORD m English
From an English surname that was derived from Old French gaillard "high-spirited, boisterous"
. This name was rarely used after the mid-20th century, when the word gay
acquired the slang meaning "homosexual".
GENESIS f English (Modern)
Means "birth, origin"
in Greek. This is the name of the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible. It tells of the creation of the world, the expulsion of Adam
and the great flood, and the three patriarchs.
GENEVA f English
Possibly a shortened form of GENEVIEVE
. It could also be inspired by the name of the city in Switzerland. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
GEOFFREY m English, French
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid
"peace", but the first element may be either gawia
"foreign" or gisil
"hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey
was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey
GEORGE m English, Romanian
From the Greek name Γεωργιος (Georgios)
, which was derived from the Greek word γεωργος (georgos)
meaning "farmer, earthworker"
, itself derived from the elements γη (ge)
meaning "earth" and εργον (ergon)
meaning "work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Palestine who was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.... [more]
GEORGIA f English, Greek
Latinate feminine form of GEORGE
. This is the name of an American state, which was named after the British king George II. A famous bearer was the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986).
GERALD m English, German
From a Germanic name meaning "rule of the spear"
, from the elements ger
meaning "spear" and wald
meaning "rule". The Normans brought this name to Britain. Though it died out in England during the Middle Ages, it remained common in Ireland. It was revived in the English-speaking world in 19th century.
GERALDINE f English
Feminine form of GERALD
. This name was created by the poet Henry Howard for use in a 1537 sonnet praising Lady Elizabeth FitzGerald, whom he terms The Geraldine
GERARD m English, Dutch, Catalan, Polish
Derived from the Germanic element ger
meaning "spear" combined with hard
meaning "brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain. It was initially much more common than the similar name Gerald
, with which it was often confused, but it is now less common.
GERTRUDE f English, Dutch
Means "spear of strength"
, derived from the Germanic elements ger
"spear" and thrud
"strength". Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer. It was probably introduced to England by settlers from the Low Countries in the 15th century. Shakespeare used the name in his play Hamlet
(1600) for the mother of the title character. A famous bearer was the American writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
GIDEON m Biblical, English, Hebrew
Means "feller, hewer"
in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings. In the English-speaking world, Gideon
has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans.
GILBERT m English, French, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright pledge"
, derived from the Germanic elements gisil
"pledge, hostage" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it was common during the Middle Ages. It was borne by a 12th-century British saint, the founder of the religious order known as the Gilbertines.
GILES m English
From the Late Latin name Aegidius
, which is derived from Greek αιγιδιον (aigidion)
meaning "young goat"
. Saint Giles was an 8th-century miracle worker who came to southern France from Greece. He is regarded as the patron saint of the crippled. In Old French the name Aegidius
and then Gilles
, at which point it was imported to England.