DRUPADA m Hinduism
Means "wooden pillar" or "firm footed" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of a king of Panchala, the father of Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna.
DUSHYANTA m Hinduism
Possibly means "destroyer of evil" in Sanskrit. In Hindu legend this is the name of a king who is the husband of Shakuntala
and the father of Bharata
EA (1) m Near Eastern Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps from Sumerian meaning "house of water". This was the Akkadian and Babylonian name of the Sumerian water god Enki
ECHO f Greek Mythology
Means "echo" from the word for the repeating reflected sound, which derives from Greek ηχη (eche)
"sound". In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera
, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus
, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
ÉIBHEAR m Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown. According to Irish legend this name belonged to two of the sons of Míl, Éibhear Dunn and Éibhear Finn, the first of the Gaels to conquer Ireland.
EL m Near Eastern Mythology
From a Semitic word meaning "god", perhaps originally derived from a root meaning "power". This was the name of the chief Semitic god, the father of the gods and mankind. In some cases it was used as a title and applied to other gods of the pantheon. It was used by the Hebrews to refer to Yahweh
ELECTRA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ηλεκτρα (Elektra)
, derived from ηλεκτρον (elektron)
meaning "amber". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon
and the sister of Orestes
. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas
ELPIS f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "hope" in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
EMER f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Gaelic eimh
"swift". In Irish legend she was the wife of Cúchulainn
. She was said to possess the six gifts of womanhood: beauty, voice, speech, needlework, wisdom and chastity.
ENDYMION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ενδυειν (endyein)
meaning "to dive into, to enter". In Greek mythology he was an Aeolian mortal loved by the moon goddess Selene
, who asked Zeus
to grant him eternal life. Zeus complied by putting him into an eternal sleep in a cave on Mount Latmos.
ENKI m Near Eastern Mythology
Derived from Sumerian en-ki
"lord of the earth" (though maybe originally from en-kur
"lord of the underworld"). Enki, called Ea
by the Babylonians, was the Sumerian god of water and wisdom and the keeper of the Me, the divine laws.
ENLIL m Near Eastern Mythology
Derived from Sumerian en-lil
"lord of the wind". Enlil was the Sumerian god of the wind and storms, the son of An and Ki.
EOGHAN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "born from the yew tree" in Irish, though it is possibly derived from EUGENE
. It was borne by several legendary or semi-legendary Irish figures, including a son of Niall
of the Nine Hostages.
EOS f Greek Mythology
Means "dawn" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn.
EPIMETHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek επιμηθεια (epimetheia)
meaning "hindsight, hindthought". In Greek mythology he was a Titan, the brother of the god of forethought Prometheus.
EPONA f Celtic Mythology
Derived from Gaulish epos
meaning "horse". This was the name of the Celtic goddess of horses.
ERATO f Greek Mythology
Means "lovely" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of lyric poetry.
ERESHKIGAL f Near Eastern Mythology
Means "lady of the great earth" in Sumerian. In Sumerian and Babylonian mythology she was the violent goddess of death and the underworld.
ERIS f Greek Mythology
Means "strife" in Greek. In Greek mythology Eris was the goddess of discord. She was the sister and companion of Ares
ÉRIU f Irish Mythology
From the name of an Irish goddess, who according to legend gave her name to Ireland (which is called Éire
in Irish). In reality, the goddess probably got her name from that of the island, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
EROS m Greek Mythology
Means "love" in Greek. In Greek mythology he was a young god, the son of Aphrodite
, who was armed with arrows that caused the victim to fall in love.
ÉTAÍN f Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét
"jealousy". In Irish mythology she was a sun and horse goddess who was the lover of Midir.
EUDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "good gift" in Greek, from the elements ευ (eu)
"good" and δωρον (doron)
"gift". This was the name of a nymph, one of the Hyades, in Greek mythology.
EUROPA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ευρωπη (Europe)
, which meant "wide face" from ευρυς (eurys)
"wide" and ωψ (ops)
"face, eye". In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus
in the guise of a bull. She became the first queen of Crete, and later fathered Minos
by Zeus. The continent of Europe is named for her. This is also the name of a moon of Jupiter.
EURYDICE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ευρυδικη (Eurydike)
which meant "wide justice", derived from ευρυς (eurys)
"wide" and δικη (dike)
"justice". In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out.
EUTERPE f Greek Mythology
Means "delight" in Greek, ultimately from ευ (eu)
"good" and τερπω (terpo)
"to satisfy, to cheer". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of music and joy. She was said to have invented the double flute.
EVADNE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ευαδνη (Euadne)
, which is of unknown meaning, though the first element is derived from Greek ευ (eu)
"good". In Greek legend Evadne was the wife of Capaneus. After Capaneus was killed by a lightning bolt sent from Zeus
she committed suicide by throwing herself onto his burning body.
FAUNA f Roman Mythology
Feminine form of FAUNUS
. Fauna was a Roman goddess of fertility, women and healing, a daughter and companion of Faunus.
FAUNUS m Roman Mythology
Possibly means "to befriend" from Latin. Faunus was a Roman god of fertility, forests, and agriculture.
FEARGHAS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "man of vigour", derived from the Gaelic elements fear
"man" and gus
"vigour". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including the Ulster hero Fearghas mac Róich.
FELICITAS f German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Latin name which meant "good luck, fortune". In Roman mythology the goddess Felicitas was the personification of good luck. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint, a slave martyred with her master Perpetua in Carthage.
FEREYDOUN m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "the third" in Persian. In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of a virtuous king who ruled for 500 years.
FIACHRA m Irish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Gaelic fiach
meaning "raven". In Irish legend Fiachra was one of the four children of Lir
transformed into swans for a period of 900 years. This is also the name of the patron saint of gardeners, a 7th-century Irish abbot who settled in France.
FINN (1) m Irish Mythology, Irish
Older Irish form of FIONN
. This is also the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.
FINTAN m Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means either "white fire" or "white bull" in Irish. According to legend this was the name of the only Irish person to survive the great flood. This name was also borne by many Irish saints.
FIONN m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Irish fionn
(older Irish finn
) meaning "fair" or "white". Fionn mac Cumhail was a legendary Irish hero who became all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon. He fought against the giant Fomors with his son Oisín
and grandson Oscar
FIONNUALA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "white shoulder" from Irish fionn
"white, fair" and guala
"shoulder". In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir
who were transformed into swans for a period of 900 years.
FLORA f English, German, Italian, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin flos
meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala
FREYA f Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern)
From Old Norse Freyja
meaning "lady". 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
FREYR m Norse Mythology, Icelandic
Means "lord" in Old Norse. This was the name of a Norse god. He may have originally been called Yngvi
, with the name Freyr
being his title. Freyr presided over fertility, sunlight and rain, and was the husband of the frost giantess Gerd
. With his twin sister Freya
and father Njord
he was one of the group of deities called the Vanir.
FRIGG f Norse Mythology
Means "beloved" in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri
"to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin
. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya
share a common origin.
GABIJA f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Probably from Lithuanian gaubti
meaning "to cover". In Lithuanian mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire and the home.
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαια (gaia)
, a parallel form of γη (ge)
meaning "earth". In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GANDALF m Norse Mythology, Literature
Means "wand elf" in Old Norse, from the elements gandr
"wand, staff, cane" and álfr
"elf". This name belongs to a dwarf in the 'Völuspá', a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript which forms part of the Poetic Edda. The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels 'The Hobbit' (1937) and 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954).
GANESHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of hordes" from Sanskrit गण (gana)
meaning "horde, multitude" and ईश (isha)
meaning "lord, ruler". This is the name of the Hindu god of wisdom and good luck, the son of Shiva
. He is often depicted as a stout man with the head of an elephant.
GARGI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Bengali
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 7th-century BC Indian philosopher who appears in the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
GAYATRI f Hinduism, Indian, Marathi, Hindi
From Sanskrit गायत्र (gayatra)
which refers to a type of song or hymn with a particular meter. It is also the name of a Hindu goddess who is a personification of this song.
GEMINI m Roman Mythology
Means "twins" in Latin. This is the name of the third sign of the zodiac. The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor
, are named for the mythological twin sons of Leda
GILGAMESH m Near Eastern Mythology
Possibly means "the ancestor is a young man" in Sumerian. This was the name of a Sumerian hero, later appearing in the Akkadian poem the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'. Gigamesh, with his friend Enkidu, battled the giant Humbaba and stopped the rampage of the Bull of Heaven, besides other adventures. Gilgamesh was probably based on a real person: a king of Erech who ruled around the 27th century BC.
GIRISHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of the mountain" in Sanskrit. This is a name of the Hindu god Shiva
, given because of his abode in the Himalayan Mountains.
GLOOSCAP m New World Mythology
Derived from an Eastern Algonquian phrase meaning "man from nothing". Glooscap (or Gluskabe) was a hero involved in the creation myths of the Wabanaki people of eastern North America.
GOIBNIU m Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish gobha
meaning "smith". This was the name of the Irish smith god, a provider of weapons for the Tuatha De Danann. He was also skilled at brewing beer.
GOPALA m Hinduism
Means "cow protector" from Sanskrit गो (go)
meaning "cow" and पाल (pala)
meaning "guard, protector". This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
. This name was also borne by the 8th-century founder of the Pala Empire in Bengal.
GOPINATHA m Hinduism
Means "leader of the gopis" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, acquired because of his association with the gopis, who are cow-herding girls.
GORONWY m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, he was the lover of Blodeuwedd
. He attempted to murder her husband Lleu
Llaw Gyffes but was himself killed.
GOTAMA m Hinduism
Means "the best ox" from Sanskrit गो (go)
meaning "ox, cow" and तम (tama)
meaning "best". In Hindu texts this is the name of one of the Saptarshis, or seven sages. This name was also born by an early Indian philosopher who wrote the Nyaya Sutras.
GOVAD m Persian Mythology
Means "wind" in Persian. This was the name of a Yazata (or angel) associated with the wind in Zoroastrianism.
GRÁINNE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Gaelic grán
meaning "grain". This was the name of an ancient Irish grain goddess. The name also belonged to the fiancée of Fionn
mac Cumhail and the lover of Diarmaid
in later Irish legend, and it is often associated with gráidh
GRID f Norse Mythology
Means "peace" in Old Norse. In Norse myth she was a frost giantess, the mother of Víðarr by Odin
. She also aided Thor
in his fight against the giant Geirrod.
GUDRUN f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Guðrún
meaning "god's secret lore", derived from the elements guð
"god" and rún
"secret lore". In Norse legend Gudrun was the wife of Sigurd
. After his death she married Atli, but when he murdered her brothers, she killed her sons by him, fed him their hearts, and then slew him.
GÜNTHER m German, Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic name Gundahar
, derived from the elements gund
"war" and hari
"army, warrior". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century Burgundian king. He appears in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied', which has him wooing the Icelandic queen Brünhild
. He wins her hand in marriage with the help of the hero Siegfried
. He ultimately betrays Siegfried, but Siegfried's widow Kriemhild
(Günther's sister) takes her revenge upon him.
GWALCHMEI m Welsh Mythology
Derived from Welsh gwalch
"hawk", possibly combined with mei
"May (the month)". This is the name of a character in Welsh legend. He is probably the antecedent of Gawain
from Arthurian romance.
GWYDION m Welsh Mythology
Means "born of trees" in Welsh. In the Mabinogion, Gwydion was the nephew of Math
, and like him a powerful magician. He was the uncle of Lleu
Llaw Gyffes, for whom he fashioned a wife, Blodeuwedd
, out of flowers.
HAGEN (1) m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic element hagan
meaning "enclosure". In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' he is the half-brother of Günther
. He killed the hero Siegfried
by luring him onto a hunting expedition and then stabbing him with a javelin in his one vulnerable spot.
HARI m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali
Means "brown, yellow, tawny" in Sanskrit, and by extension "monkey, horse, lion". This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
, and sometimes of Krishna
. It is also borne by the son of the Garuda, the bird-like mount of Vishnu.
HATHOR f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Het-Heru
which means "the house of Horus", derived from Egyptian hwt
"house" combined with Hr
the god HORUS
. In Egyptian mythology she was the goddess of love, often depicted with the head of a cow.
HAURVATAT f Persian Mythology
Means "health, perfection, wholeness" in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of health and water.
HEBE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηβη (hebe)
meaning "youth". In Greek mythology she was the daughter of Zeus
. She was a goddess of youth who acted as the cupbearer to the gods.
HECATE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek ‘Εκατη (Hekate)
, possibly derived from ‘εκας (hekas)
meaning "far off". In Greek mythology Hecate was a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons and the underworld.
HECTOR m English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκτωρ (Hektor)
, which was derived from ‘εκτωρ (hektor)
"holding fast", ultimately from εχω (echo)
meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles
' friend Patroclus
in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends belonging to King Arthur
's foster father.... [more]
HEIDRUN f Norse Mythology, German
Derived from Old Norse heiðr
meaning "bright, clear" and rún
meaning "secret". In Norse mythology this was the name of a goat that would eat the leaves from the tree of life and produce mead in her udder.
HEL f Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology this was the name of the daughter of Loki. She got her name from the underworld, also called Hel, where she ruled, which meant "to conceal, to cover" in Old Norse (related to the English word hell
HELENA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinate form of HELEN
HELIOS m Greek Mythology
Means "sun" in Greek. This was the name of the young Greek sun god, who rode across the sky each day in a chariot pulled by four horses.
HELLE (2) f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
HEMERA f Greek Mythology
Means "day" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified the daytime. According to Hesiod she was the daughter of Nyx
, the personification of the night.
HEPHAESTUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ηφαιστος (Hephaistos)
, meaning unknown. It probably shares its origin with the Minoan city of Φαιστος (Phaistos)
, which is of Pre-Greek origin. In Greek mythology Hephaestus was the god of fire and forging, the husband of the unfaithful Aphrodite
. It was said that when he was born Hera
, his mother, was so displeased with his physical deformities that she hurled him off the top of Mount Olympus.
HERA f Greek Mythology
Uncertain meaning, possibly from either Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior"; ‘ωρα (hora)
"period of time"; or ‘αιρεω (haireo)
"to be chosen". In Greek mythology Hera was the queen of the gods, the sister and wife of Zeus
. She presided over marriage and childbirth.
HERAKLES m Greek Mythology
Means "glory of Hera" from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with Greek κλεος (kleos)
"glory". This was the name of a hero in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus
and the mortal woman Alcmene
. After being driven insane by Hera
and killing his own children, Herakles completed twelve labours in order to atone for his crime and become immortal.
HERMES m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Probably from Greek ‘ερμα (herma)
meaning "cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker". Hermes was a Greek god associated with speed and good luck, who served as a messenger to Zeus
and the other gods. He was also the patron of travellers, writers, athletes, merchants, thieves and orators.... [more]
HERMIONE f Greek Mythology
Derived from the name of the Greek messenger god HERMES
. In Greek myth Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. This is also the name of the wife of Leontes in Shakespeare's play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610). It is now closely associated with the character Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.
HERO (1) f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". In Greek legend she was the lover of Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont each night to meet her. He was killed on one such occasion when he got caught in a storm while in the water, and when Hero saw his dead body she drowned herself. This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599).
HERSILIA f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Roman legend this was the name of a Sabine woman who became the wife of Romulus.
HESTIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘εστια (hestia)
"hearth, fireside". In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HORUS m Egyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of ‘Ωρος (Horos)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Hrw
(reconstructed as Heru
) possibly meaning "falcon" or "high". In Egyptian mythology Horus was the god of light, often depicted as a man with the head of a falcon. The son Osiris
, he avenged his father's murder by killing Seth
HUITZILOPOCHTLI m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "southern hummingbird" or "left-handed hummingbird" in Nahuatl. In Aztec mythology he was the god of the sun and war. He was a patron deity of the city of Tenochtitlan (at the site of modern Mexico City).
HYACINTHUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Υακινθος (Hyakinthos)
, which was derived from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek legend Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by Apollo
, who caused a lily to arise from his blood. The name was also borne by several early saints, notably a 3rd-century martyr who was killed with his brother Protus.
HYPERION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘υπερ (hyper)
"over". In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan who presided over the sun and light. By Theia he was the father of the sun god Helios, the moon goddess Selene, and the dawn goddess Eos.
IAH m Egyptian Mythology
Means "moon" in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology this was the name of a god of the moon, later identified with Thoth
ICARUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ικαρος (Ikaros)
, of unknown meaning. In Greek myth Icarus was the son of Daedalus
, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth by Minos
. They escaped from the maze using wings devised from wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death.
ILMARINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish ilma
"air". Ilmarinen is an immortal smith in Finnish mythology, the creator of the sky and the magic mill known as the Sampo. He is one of the main characters in the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
INANNA f Near Eastern Mythology
Possibly derived from Sumerian (n)in-an-na
"lady of the heavens". Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of the earth, love, fertility and war. She descended into the underworld where the ruler of that place, her sister Ereshkigal, had her killed. The god Enki
interceded, and Inanna was allowed to leave the underworld as long as her husband Dumuzi took her place.
INDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "possessing drops of rain" from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu)
meaning "a drop" and र (ra)
meaning "acquiring, possessing". Indra is the name of the ancient Hindu warrior god of the sky and rain. He is the chief god in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
INDRAJIT m Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Hindi
Means "conqueror of Indra" from the name of the god INDRA
combined with Sanskrit जिति (jiti)
meaning "victory, conquering". In Hindu legend this is another name of Meghanada, the son of Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka. He was given this name by Brahma
after he defeated Indra
ING m Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic *Ingwaz
, possibly meaning "ancestor". This was the name of an obscure old Germanic fertility god who was considered the ancestor of the tribe the Ingaevones. It is possible he was an earlier incarnation of the god Freyr
IO f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus
, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from Hera
. A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.
ION (2) m Greek Mythology
From the name of the Greek tribe the Ionians, of unknown etymology. In Greek mythology he was the son of Creusa and Apollo.
IONE f Greek Mythology, English
From Greek ιον (ion)
meaning "violet flower". This was the name of a sea nymph in Greek mythology. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, though perhaps based on the Greek place name Ionia
, a region on the west coast of Asia Minor.
IPHIGENEIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ιφιος (iphios)
"strong, stout" and γενης (genes)
"born". In Greek myth Iphigenia was the daughter of king Agamemnon
. When her father offended Artemis
it was divined that the only way to appease the goddess was to sacrifice Iphigenia. Just as Agamemnon was about to sacrifice his daughter she was magically transported to the city of Taurus.... [more]
IRENE f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene)
, derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι
(Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.... [more]
ISHA f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Hinduism
Means "master, lord" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form ईशा
and the masculine form ईश
(an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva
). It is also the name of one of the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
ISHTAR f Near Eastern Mythology
Meaning unknown. Ishtar was the Babylonian and Assyrian mother goddess who presided over love, war and fertility. She was called Ashtoreth
by the Phoenicians, and she was also identified with the Sumerian goddess Inanna
ISIS f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Ist
(reconstructed as Iset
), which possibly meant "the throne". In Egyptian mythology Isis was the goddess of the sky and nature, the wife of Osiris
and the mother of Horus
. She was originally depicted wearing a throne-shaped headdress, but in later times she was conflated with the goddess Hathor
and depicted having the horns of a cow on her head. She was also worshipped by people outside of Egypt, such as the Greeks and Romans.
ISMENE f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek ισμη (isme)
"knowledge". This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
ISRAFIL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Meaning unknown. In Islamic tradition this is the name of the angel who will blow the trumpet that signals the coming of Judgement Day. He is sometimes equated with the angels Raphael
from Judeo-Christian tradition.
ITALUS m Roman Mythology
Means "of Italy" in Latin. In Roman legend Italus was the father of Romulus
, the founders of Rome. He supposedly gave his name to the region known as Italia or Italy (in fact the region may have gotten its name from Oscan Víteliú
meaning "land of bulls").
IÐUNN f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Probably derived from Old Norse ið
"again" and unna
"to love". In Norse mythology Iðunn was the goddess of spring and immortality whose responsibility it was to guard the gods' apples of youth.
IXCHEL f Mayan Mythology
Means "rainbow lady" in Mayan. She was the Mayan goddess of the earth, the moon, and medicine. She was often depicted with a snake in her hair and crossbones embroidered on her skirt.
IZANAGI m Far Eastern Mythology
Means "male who invites" in Japanese. In Japanese mythology the god Izanagi was the husband of Izanami
. When she died he unsuccessfully journeyed to the underworld to retrieve her. In the purifying rites that followed his return the gods of the sun, moon and wind were created.
IZANAMI f Far Eastern Mythology
Means "female who invites" in Japanese. In Japanese mythology she was a creator goddess, the wife of Izanagi
. She died giving birth to Kagututi, the god of fire.
JAM m Persian Mythology
Persian form of Avestan Yima
, possibly meaning either "twin" or "river". This was the name of a mythological king, more commonly called Jamshid
JAMSHID m Persian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Yima Kshaeta
, which meant "shining JAM
". This was the name of a mythological king of Persia. He is known as either Jamshid
, where Jamshid
is a combination of his original name and an honourific.
JANUS m Roman Mythology
Means "archway" in Latin. Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings, often depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions. The month of January is named for him.
JASON m English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Greek name Ιασων (Iason)
, which was derived from Greek ιασθαι (iasthai)
"to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson
as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea
, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.... [more]
JASPER m English, Dutch, Judeo-Christian Legend
Means "treasurer" in Persian. This name was traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus
. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. The name can also be given in reference to the English word for the gemstone.
JAYA f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit जय (jaya)
meaning "victory". This is a transcription of both the feminine form जया
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
) and the masculine form जय
(borne by several characters in Hindu texts). As a modern personal name, this transcription is both feminine and masculine in southern India, but typically only feminine in the north.
JIMMU m Far Eastern Mythology
Means "divine warrior", from Japanese 神 (jin)
meaning "god" and 武 (mu)
meaning "military, martial". In Japanese legend this was the name of the founder of Japan and the first emperor, supposedly ruling in the 7th century BC.
JOUKAHAINEN m Finnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala' this is the name of a youth who challenges Väinämöinen
to a chanting (or spellcasting) duel. Joukahainen loses, and must promise his sister Aino
JUNO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly related to an Indo-European root meaning "youth", or possibly of Etruscan origin. In Roman mythology Juno was the wife of Jupiter
and the queen of the heavens. She was the protectress of marriage and women, and was also the goddess of finance.
JUPITER m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From Latin Iuppiter
, which was ultimately derived from the Indo-European *Dyeu-pater
, composed of the elements Dyeus
) and pater
"father". Jupiter was the supreme god in Roman mythology. He presided over the heavens and light, and was responsible for the protection and laws of the Roman state. This is also the name of the fifth and largest planet in the solar system.
KALI f & m Hinduism, Bengali, Tamil
Means "the black one" in Sanskrit. The Hindu goddess Kali is the fierce destructive form of the wife of Shiva
. She is usually depicted with black skin and four arms, holding a severed head and brandishing a sword. As a personal name, it is generally masculine in India.
KALLISTO f Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek καλλιστος (kallistos)
meaning "most beautiful", a derivative of καλος (kalos)
"beautiful". In Greek mythology Kallisto was a nymph who was loved by Zeus
. She was changed into a she-bear by Hera
, and subsequently became the Great Bear constellation. This was also an ancient Greek personal name.
KALYANI f Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi
Means "beautiful, lovely, auspicious" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Parvati
KAMA m Hinduism
Means "love, desire" in Sanskrit. Kama is the winged Hindu god of love, the son of Lakshmi.
KAMALA f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Nepali
Means "lotus" or "pale red" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form कमला
and the masculine form कमल
. This is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades, in Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
KAPILA m Hinduism
Means "reddish brown" in Sanskrit, derived from कपि (kapi)
"monkey". In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of a sage who founded Samkhya philosophy and is identified with the god Vishnu
KARNA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit कर्ण (karna)
meaning "ear". This is the name of the son of the Hindu sun god Surya and the goddess Kunti, who gave birth to him through her ear. He was a great warrior who joined the Kauravas to fight against his half-brothers the Pandavas, eventually becoming the king of Anga.
KARTIKEYA m Hinduism
From Sanskrit कृत्तिका (krittika)
, the name for the constellation of the Pleiades, ultimately from कृत् (krit)
meaning "to cut, to divide". This is another name for the Hindu god Skanda
KAUSALYA f Hinduism
Means "of the Kosala people" in Sanskrit. Kosala was an ancient Indian kingdom that was at its most powerful in the 6th century BC. In Hindu legend Kausalya is the name of the mother of the hero Rama
KAVEH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means "royal" in Avestan. In Persian mythology Kaveh is a blacksmith who leads a rebellion against the evil ruler Zahhak.
KAY (2) m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Cai
, possibly a form of the Roman name GAIUS
. Sir Kay was one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He first appears in Welsh tales as a brave companion of Arthur. In later medieval tales, notably those by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, he is portrayed as an unrefined boor.
KHURSHID m & f Persian, Urdu, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Hvare Khshaeta
meaning "shining sun". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata (or angel) who was associated with the sun.
KLEIO f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλεος (kleos)
meaning "glory". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of history and heroic poetry, one of the nine Muses. She was said to have introduced the alphabet to Greece.
KLOTHO f Greek Mythology
Means "spinner" in Greek. In Greek mythology Klotho was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai). She was responsible for spinning the thread of life.
KLYTIË f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλυτος (klytos)
meaning "famous, noble". In Greek myth Klytië was an ocean nymph who loved the sun god Helios. Her love was not returned, and she pined away staring at him until she was transformed into a heliotrope flower, whose head moves to follow the sun.
KOIOS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek κοιος (koios)
, also spelled ποιος (poios)
, a questioning word meaning approximately "of what kind?". This was the name of a Titan god of intelligence in Greek mythology.
KORE f Greek Mythology
Means "maiden" in Greek. This was another name for the Greek goddess Persephone.
KREIOS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from either Greek κρειων (kreion)
"lord, master" or κριος (krios)
"ram, male sheep". This was the name of a Titan in Greek mythology.
KRIEMHILD f German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements grim
"mask" and hild
"battle". Kriemhild was a beautiful heroine in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied', where she is the sister of Günther
and the wife of Siegfried
. After her husband is killed by Hagen
with the consent of Günther, Kriemhild tragically exacts her revenge.
KRISHNA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
KUMARA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit कुमार (kumara)
meaning "boy, son". In Hindu texts this is an epithet of both the fire god Agni
and the war god Skanda
KUNTI f Hinduism
Means "spear" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of the mother of the Pandavas.
KYLLIKKI f Finnish, Finnish Mythology
Possibly derived from an old Finnish word meaning "woman". This is the name of a character in the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
LACHESIS f Greek Mythology
Means "apportioner" in Greek. She was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. She was responsible for deciding how long each person had to live.
LAIMA f Lithuanian, Latvian, Baltic Mythology
Means "luck" in Latvian and Lithuanian. This was the name of the Latvian and Lithuanian goddess of fate, luck, pregnancy and childbirth. She was the sister of the goddesses Dekla and Karta, who were also associated with fate.
LAIUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Λαιος (Laios)
, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a king of Thebes in Greek mythology, the husband of Jocasta
. Due to a prophecy that he would be killed by his son, Laius left his infant Oedipus
for dead. The boy survived but was ignorant of his true parentage. Years later he unwittingly killed Laius in a quarrel on the road.
LAKSHMANA m Hinduism
Means "having lucky marks" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana' he is the trusted companion of the hero Rama
, accompanying him into exile.
LAKSHMI f & m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi
Means "sign, mark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu goddess of prosperity, good luck, and beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu
and her symbol is the lotus flower, with which she is often depicted.
LAMIA (2) f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek λαιμος (laimos)
"throat". In Greek mythology this is the name of a queen of Libya who was a mistress of Zeus
, being jealous, kills Lamia's children, causing her to go mad and transform into a monster that hunts the children of others.