Mythology Names

These names occur in mythology and religion.
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KORËfGreek Mythology
Variant transcription of KORE.
KREIOSmGreek 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.
KRIEMHILDfGerman (Rare), 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.
KRISHNAmHinduism, 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.
KUKULKANmMayan Mythology
Means "feathered serpent" in Mayan. This is the name of snake god in Maya legend, roughly equivalent to Quetzalcoatl in Aztec mythology.
KUMARAmHinduism
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.
KUMARIfHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Telugu
Feminine form of KUMARA. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' Kumari is the wife of the warrior Bhima. This is also another name of the Hindu goddess Durga.
KUNTIfHinduism
Means "spear" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of the mother of the Pandavas.
KYLLIKKIfFinnish, Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish kyllä "abundance" or kyllin "enough". This is the name of a character in the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
LACHESISfGreek 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.
LAIMAfLithuanian, Latvian, Baltic Mythology
From Latvian laime and Lithuanian laima which mean "luck, fate". 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.
LAIUSmGreek 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.
LAKSHMANAmHinduism
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.
LAKSHMIf & mHinduism, 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.
LALITAfHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "playful, charming, desirable" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of one of the playmates of the young Krishna. It is also another name of the goddess Parvati.
LAMIA (2)fGreek 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. Hera, being jealous, kills Lamia's children, causing her to go mad and transform into a monster that hunts the children of others.
LARISAfRussian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient city of Larisa in Thessaly, which meant "citadel". In Greek legends, the nymph Larisa was either a daughter or mother of Pelasgus, the ancestor of the mythical Pelasgians. This name was later borne by a 4th-century Greek martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Church. The name (of the city, nymph and saint) is commonly Latinized as Larissa, with a double s.
LARISSAfEnglish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Variant of LARISA. It has been commonly used as an English given name only since the 20th century. In 1991 this name was given to one of the moons of Neptune, in honour of the mythological character.
LARUNDAfRoman Mythology
Possibly connected to Greek λαλεω (laleo) "to talk, to chatter", or the Latin term Lares referring to minor guardian gods. In Roman mythology Larunda or Lara was a water nymph who was overly talkative. She revealed to Juno that her husband Jupiter was having an affair with Juturna, so Jupiter had Larunda's tongue removed. By the god Mercury she had two children, who were Lares.
LAUMAfLatvian, Baltic Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Latvian mythology this is the name of a forest spirit sometimes associated with childbirth and weaving.
LAVERNAfRoman Mythology
Meaning unknown. Laverna was the Roman goddess of thieves and thievery.
LAVINIAfRoman Mythology, Romanian
Meaning unknown, probably of Etruscan origin. In Roman legend Lavinia was the daughter of King Latinus, the wife of Aeneas, and the ancestor of the Roman people. According to the legend Aeneas named the town of Lavinium in honour of his wife.
LEANDERmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λεανδρος (Leandros), derived from λεων (leon) meaning "lion" and ανηρ (aner) meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος). In Greek legend Leander was the lover of Hero. Every night he swam across the Hellespont to meet her, but on one occasion he was drowned when a storm arose. When Hero saw his dead body she threw herself into the waters and perished.
LECHmPolish, Slavic Mythology
From the name of the Slavic tribe the Lendians, called the Lędzianie in Polish. According to Slavic legend this was the name of the founder of the Polish people. A famous bearer was the Polish president Lech Wałęsa (1943-).
LEDAfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek myth she was the mother of Castor, Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra by the god Zeus, who came upon her in the form of a swan.
LEMMINKÄINENmFinnish Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly related to Finnish lempi "love". In the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala' this is the name of an arrogant hero. After he was killed his mother fetched his body from the River of Death and restored him to life. He is sometimes identified with the god Ahti.
LERmIrish Mythology
Irish cognate of LLYR. Ler was an Irish god of the sea, the father of Manannan mac Lir.
LETOfGreek Mythology
Possibly from Lycian lada meaning "wife". Other theories connect it to Greek ληθω (letho) meaning "hidden, forgotten". In Greek mythology she was the mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus.
LIBERmRoman Mythology
Derived from Latin liber meaning "free". This was the name of a Roman fertility god, often identified with Dionysus.
LIBITINAfRoman Mythology
Meaning unknown. Libitina was the Roman goddess of funerals, corpses and death.
LIGEIAfGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λιγυς (ligys) meaning "clear-voiced, shrill, whistling". This was the name of one of the Sirens in Greek legend. It was also used by Edgar Allan Poe in his story 'Ligeia' (1838).
LILITHfSemitic Mythology, Judeo-Christian Legend
Derived from Akkadian lilitu meaning "of the night". This was the name of a demon in ancient Assyrian myths. In Jewish tradition she was Adam's first wife, sent out of Eden and replaced by Eve because she would not submit to him. The offspring of Adam (or Samael) and Lilith were the evil spirits of the world.
LINUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized), German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "flax". In Greek legend he was the son of the god Apollo, who accidentally killed him in a contest. Another son of Apollo by this name was the music teacher of Herakles. The name was also borne by the second pope, serving after Saint Peter in the 1st century. In modern times this was the name of a character in Charles Schulz's comic strip 'Peanuts'.
LIRmIrish Mythology (Anglicized)
Variant of LER based on the genitive case of the name.
LLEUmWelsh Mythology
Probably a Welsh form of LUGUS. In the Mabinogion, Lleu Llaw Gyffes is the son of Arianrhod. He was raised by his uncle Gwydion, who helped him overcome the curses that his mother placed upon him.
LLEWmWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Variant of LLEU. It can also be a short form of LLEWELYN. It coincides with the Welsh word llew meaning "lion".
LLYRmWelsh Mythology
Means "the sea" in Welsh. This was the name of the Welsh god of the sea. He possibly forms the basis for the legendary King Lear of the Britons.
LÓEGAIREmIrish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder", derived from Irish loagh "calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
LOKEmNorse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Modern Scandinavian form of LOKI.
LOKImNorse Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *leug meaning "to break". In Norse legend Loki was a trickster god associated with magic and fire. Over time he became more and more evil, and he was eventually chained to a rock by the other gods.
LORELEIfGermanic Mythology
From a Germanic name meaning "luring rock". This is the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. Legends say that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures fishermen to their death with her song.
LOUHIfFinnish Mythology
Variant of LOVIATAR. In Finnish mythology Louhi was another name of the death goddess Loviatar. She appears in the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala' as a witch ruling the northern area known as Pohjola. She is the primary antagonist to the hero Väinämöinen.
LOVIATARfFinnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Finnish mythology Loviatar, also known as Louhi, was a goddess of death and plague.
mIrish Mythology
Modern Irish form of LUGH.
LUCIFERmJudeo-Christian Legend
Means "bringing light", derived from Latin lux "light" and ferre "to bring". In Latin this name originally referred to the morning star, Venus, but later became associated with the chief angel who rebelled against God's rule in heaven (see Isaiah 14:12). In later literature, such as the 'Divine Comedy' (1321) by Dante and 'Paradise Lost' (1667) by John Milton, Lucifer became associated with Satan himself.
LUCINAfRoman Mythology
Derived from Latin lucus meaning "grove", but later associated with lux "light". This was the name of a Roman goddess of childbirth.
LUCRETIAfAncient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius, possibly from Latin lucrum "profit, wealth". In Roman legend Lucretia was a maiden who was raped by the son of the king of Rome. This caused a great uproar among the Roman citizens, and the monarchy was overthrown. This name was also borne by a saint and martyr from Spain.
LUGmIrish Mythology
Old Irish form of LUGH.
LUGAIDmIrish Mythology
Old Irish form of LUGHAIDH.
LUGALBANDAmSumerian Mythology
From Sumerian lugal "king" and banda "young, wild, fierce". This was the name of a legendary king of Uruk who was said to be the father of Gilgamesh in Sumerian mythology.
LUGHmIrish Mythology
Probably an Irish form of LUGUS. In Irish mythology Lugh was a divine hero who led the Tuatha De Danann against the Fomorians who were led by his grandfather Balor. Lugh killed Balor by shooting a stone into his giant eye.
LUGHAIDHmIrish, Irish Mythology
Derived from the name of the Irish god LUGH. This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including the king Lughaidh mac Con.
LUGUSmCeltic Mythology
Probably from early Celtic meaning "light", ultimately from the Indo-European root *leuk "light, brightness". This was the name of a Celtic (Gaulish) god of commerce and craftsmanship, who was equated by the Romans with Mercury. He probably forms the basis for the characters and names of Lugh (Irish) and Lleu (Welsh).
LUNAfRoman Mythology, Italian, Spanish, English
Means "the moon" in Latin. Luna was the Roman goddess of the moon, frequently depicted driving a white chariot through the sky.
LUNEDfWelsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Variant of ELUNED. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is a servant of the Lady of the Fountain who rescues the knight Owain.
LYCURGUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λυκουργος (Lykourgos), derived from λυκος (lykos) "wolf" (genitive λυκου) and εργον (ergon) "work, deed". In Greek legend this was the name of a king who was driven mad by the gods because of his impiety. This was also the name of a Spartan legislator of the 9th century BC.
LYCUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λυκος (Lykos) meaning "wolf". This name was borne by several characters in Greek mythology including a legendary ruler of Thebes.
LYSSA (2)fGreek Mythology
Means "rage, fury, anger" in Greek. In Greek mythology Lyssa is a goddess associated with uncontrolled rage.
MABONmWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Derived from Welsh mab meaning "son". This was the name of an old Celtic god.
MADHAVAmSanskrit, Hinduism
Means "vernal, of the springtime" in Sanskrit. This is an epithet of several Hindu gods. It was also the name of a 14th-century Hindu scholar.
MADHAVIfHinduism, Indian, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi
Feminine form of MADHAVA. This is another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
MAEVEfIrish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn is told in the Irish epic 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley'.
MAGNImAncient Scandinavian, Norse Mythology
Derived from the Old Norse element magn meaning "mighty, strong". In Norse mythology this name is borne by a son of Thor and the giant Járnsaxa.
MAHESHAmHinduism
Means "great lord" from Sanskrit महा (maha) meaning "great" and ईश (isha) meaning "lord, ruler". This is another name of the Hindu god Shiva.
MAIA (1)fGreek Mythology, Roman Mythology, Portuguese, Georgian
Meaning unknown. In Greek and Roman mythology she was the eldest of the Pleiades, the group of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, who were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Her son by Zeus was Hermes.
MAIA (2)fRoman Mythology
Means "great" in Latin. This was the name of a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan. The month of May is named for her.
MANI (1)mHinduism, Tamil, Indian, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada
Means "jewel" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this name is borne by a serpent and an attendant of Skanda.
MANOJAmHinduism
Means "born of the mind", from Sanskrit मनस् (manas) meaning "mind, intellect, spirit" and (ja) meaning "born". This is another name of the Hindu god Kama.
MANU (1)mHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Kannada
Means "thinking, wise" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is a title of Svayambhuva, the progenitor of the human race, as well as several of his descendants.
MARAMAfPolynesian Mythology
Means "moon" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology she was the goddess of the moon and death.
MARDUKmSemitic Mythology
Probably from Sumerian amar-Utuk meaning "calf of Utu", derived from amar combined with the name of the sun god UTU. This was the name of the chief Babylonian god, presiding over heaven, light, sky, battle, and fertility. After killing the dragon Tiamat, who was an old enemy of the gods, he created the world and sky from the pieces of her body.
MARI (3)fMythology
Possibly from Basque emari "donation" or amari "mother". This was the name of a goddess of the weather and fertility in Basque mythology.
MARSmRoman Mythology
Possibly related to Latin mas "male" (genitive maris). In Roman mythology Mars was the god of war, often equated with the Greek god Ares. This is also the name of the fourth planet in the solar system.
MATHmWelsh Mythology
Possibly from Celtic matu meaning "bear". According to the Mabinogion, Math ap Mathonwy was a king of Gwynedd and a magician. He was the uncle of the hero Gwydion.
MAUIm & fHawaiian, Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Hawaiian mythology Māui was a trickster who created the Hawaiian Islands by having his brothers fish them out of the sea. He was also responsible for binding the sun and slowing its movement.
MAYA (1)fHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "illusion" in Sanskrit. In Buddhist tradition this is the name of the mother of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha). This is also another name of the Hindu goddess Durga.
MEDBfIrish Mythology
Original Irish form of MAEVE.
MEDEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized), Georgian
From Greek Μηδεια (Medeia), possibly derived from μηδομαι (medomai) "to think, to plan". In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis (modern Georgia) who helped Jason gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed.
MEDUSAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Μεδουσα (Medousa), which was derived from μεδω (medo) meaning "to protect, to rule over". In Greek myth this was the name of one of the three Gorgons, ugly women who had snakes for hair. She was so hideous that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone, so the hero Perseus had to look using the reflection in his shield in order to slay her.
MEGAERAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Μεγαιρα (Megaira) which was derived from μεγαιρω (megairo) "to grudge". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ερινυες (Erinyes) in Greek mythology. The name is used as a word in several European languages to denote a shrewish, ill-tempered woman (for example, French mégère and Italian megera).
MEHRmPersian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of MITHRA.
MELAINAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek μελαινα (melaina) meaning "black, dark". This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology.
MELANTHIOSmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μελας (melas) "black, dark" and ανθος (anthos) "flower". In Homer's epic the 'Odyssey' this is the name of an insolent goatherd killed by Odysseus.
MELCHIORmDutch, Judeo-Christian Legend
Possibly from the Hebrew roots מֶלֶכְ (melekh) meaning "king" and אוֹר ('or) meaning "light". This was a name 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. According to medieval tradition he was a king of Persia.
MELETEfGreek Mythology
Means "practice, exercise" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of meditation.
MELIAfGreek Mythology
Means "ash tree" in Greek, a derivative of μελι (meli) "honey". This was the name of a nymph in Greek myth, the daughter of the Greek god Okeanos.
MELISSAfEnglish, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "bee" in Greek. This was the name of a nymph that cared for young Zeus in Greek mythology. It is also the name of the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina in Ludovico Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso' (1516). As an English given name, Melissa has been used since the 18th century.
MELPOMENEfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek μελπω (melpo) meaning "to sing, to celebrate with song". This was the name of one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, the muse of tragedy.
MELQARTmSemitic Mythology
From Phoenician mlk "king" and qrt "city". This was the name of a Phoenician god worshipped especially in the city of Tyre.
MELUSINEfMythology
Meaning unknown. In European folklore Melusine was a water fairy who turned into a serpent from the waist down every Saturday. She made her husband, Raymond of Poitou, promise that he would never see her on that day, and when he broke his word she left him forever.
MENELAUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Μενελαος (Menelaos), derived either from μενω (meno) meaning "to stay, to wait" or μενος (menos) meaning "mind, strength, force" combined with λαος (laos) meaning "the people". In Greek legend he was a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen. When his wife was taken by Paris, the Greeks besieged the city of Troy in an effort to get her back. After the war Menelaus and Helen settled down to a happy life.
MENTORmGreek Mythology
Possibly related to Greek μενος (menos) meaning "mind, strength, force". In Greek legend Mentor was the son of Alkimos. When Odysseus left to fight in the Trojan War he entrusted Mentor with the care of his palace and the guardianship of his son Telemachos. When the goddess Athena visited Telemachos she took the guise of Mentor.
MERCURYmRoman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Mercurius, probably derived from Latin mercari "to trade" or merces "wages". This was the name of the Roman god of trade, merchants, and travellers, later equated with the Greek god Hermes. This is also the name of the first planet in the solar system.
METISfGreek Mythology
Means "wisdom, skill, cunning" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a Titan. Because it was prophesized that her children would be wiser than Zeus, he swallowed her after he had impregnated her. However, their daughter Athena eventually burst from his head fully grown.
MEZTLIm & fAztec and Toltec Mythology, Native American, Nahuatl
Means "moon" in Nahuatl. This was the name of the Aztec god (or goddess) of the moon.
MICTLANTECUHTLImAztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "lord of Mictlan" in Nahuatl. In Aztec mythology he was the skeletal ruler of Mictlan, the realm of the dead, with his wife Mictecacihuatl.
MIDASmGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek myth Midas was a king of Phrygia in Asia Minor. He was granted a wish by the god Dionysos - that everything he touch be turned to gold.
MIELIKKIfFinnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish mieli "mind, mood". This was the name of a Finnish goddess of forests and hunting. By some accounts she is the wife of the god Tapio.
MILDAfLithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the Lithuanian goddess of love.
MINA (2)fHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil
Means "fish" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the daughter of the Hindu goddess Ushas as well as the daughter of the god Kubera.
MINAKSHIfHinduism, Indian, Hindi
From Sanskrit मीन (mina) meaning "fish" and अक्षि (akshi) meaning "eye". This is another name of the Hindu goddess Parvati.
MINERVAfRoman Mythology, English
Possibly derived from Latin mens meaning "intellect", but more likely of Etruscan origin. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, approximately equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since after the Renaissance.
MINOSmGreek Mythology
Possibly from a Cretan word or title meaning "king". This was the name of a king of Crete in Greek mythology. He was the son of Zeus and Europa. Because Minos had refused to sacrifice a certain bull to Poseidon, the god had caused his wife Pasiphaë to mate with the bull, which produced the half-bull creature called the Minotaur. Minos had Daedalus construct the Labyrinth to house the beast, but it was eventually slain by Theseus.
MITHRAmPersian Mythology
Derived from an Indo-Iranian root *mitra meaning "oath, alliance, friend". In Persian mythology he was a god of light and friendship, the son of the supreme god Ahura Mazda. Worship of him eventually spread outside of Persia, where it was known as Mithraism.
MITRA (1)m & fHinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "friend" in Sanskrit, a cognate of MITHRA. This is a transcription of both the feminine form मित्रा and the masculine form मित्र, which is the name of a Hindu god of friendship and contracts who appears in the Rigveda.
MNEMEfGreek Mythology
Means "memory" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of memory.
MNEMOSYNEfGreek Mythology
Means "remembrance" in Greek. In Greek mythology Mnemosyne was a Titan goddess of memory. She was the mother by Zeus of the nine Muses.
MOHANAm & fHinduism
Means "bewitching, infatuating, charming" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form मोहन (an epithet of the Hindu gods Shiva, Krishna and Kama) and the feminine form मोहना.
MOHINIfHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "infatuating" in Sanskrit. This was the name adopted by the Hindu god Vishnu when he took the form of a woman.
MOKOSHfSlavic Mythology
Derived from Slavic mok meaning "wet, moist". Mokosh was a Slavic goddess of weaving, women, water and fertility. She was often depicted as a woman with a large head and long arms.
MORANAfSlavic Mythology, Croatian
From a Slavic root meaning "death, plague". In Slavic mythology this was the name of the goddess of winter and death.
MORDADfPersian Mythology
Modern Persian form of AMORDAD. This is the name of the fifth month in the Iranian calendar.
MORDREDmWelsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From Welsh Medraut, possibly from Latin moderatus meaning "controlled, moderated". In Arthurian legend Mordred was the illegitimate son (in some versions nephew) of King Arthur. Mordred first appears briefly (as Medraut) in the 10th-century 'Annales Cambriae', but he was not portrayed as a traitor until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth. While Arthur is away he seduces his wife Guinevere and declares himself king. This prompts the battle of Camlann, which leads to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur.
MORPHEUSmGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek μορφη (morphe) meaning "shape", referring to the shapes seen in dreams. In Greek mythology Morpheus was the god of dreams.
MORRIGANfIrish Mythology
Derived from Irish Mór Ríoghain meaning "great queen". In Irish myth she was a goddess of war and death who often took the form of a crow.
MOTmSemitic Mythology
Means "death" in Ugaritic. This was the name of the Ugaritic god of death and the lord of the netherworld. He was a son of the supreme god El.
MUIRENNfIrish, Irish Mythology
Either derived from Gaelic muir "sea" and fionn "fair, white", or else a variant of MUIRNE.
MUIRGENfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "born of the sea" in Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a woman (originally named Líban) who was transformed into a mermaid. After 300 years she was brought to shore, baptized, and transformed back into a woman.
MUIRNEfIrish Mythology
Means "festive" in Irish Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of the mother of Fionn mac Cumhail.
MUKESHAmHinduism
Means "ruler of Muka" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Shiva, given to him because he killed Muka, a demon in the form of a wild boar.
MURALImHinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi
Means "flute" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna, given to him because he played the flute.
MURUGANmHinduism, Tamil
Possibly from a Dravidian word meaning "youth". This is the name of a Tamil war god identified with Skanda.
MYLES (2)mGreek Mythology
Probably from Greek μυλη (myle) meaning "mill". This was the name of a king of Laconia in Greek mythology.
MYRDDINmWelsh Mythology
Original Welsh form of MERLIN.
NABUmSemitic Mythology
Possibly from a Semitic root meaning "to announce". This was the name of an Assyrian and Babylonian god of wisdom, letters and writing.
NAENIAfRoman Mythology
Means "incantation, dirge" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of funerals.
NAGENDRAmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lord of snakes" from Sanskrit नाग (naga) meaning "snake" (also "elephant") combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA, used here to mean "lord". This is another name for Vasuki, the king of snakes, in Hindu mythology.
NAIRYOSANGHAmPersian Mythology
Derived from Avestan nairyo "male" and sangha "word". Nairyosangha was a Zoroastrian Yazata (or angel) who served as a messenger for Ahura Mazda.
NALAmHinduism
Means "stem" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a king of the Nishadha people in the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'.
NANABOZHOmNew World Mythology
Means "my rabbit" in Ojibwe. In Anishinaabe mythology Nanabozho (also called Wenabozho) is the name of a trickster spirit.
NANAYAfSumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly related to INANNA. This was the name of a goddess worshipped by the Sumerians and Akkadians. She was later conflated with the goddesses Anahita and Aphrodite.
NANDAmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Tamil
Means "joy" in Sanskrit. In Hindu texts this is a name of both Vishnu and the foster-father of Krishna, as well as various other characters. In Buddhist texts this is the name of a god and a disciple of Buddha. Nanda was also the name of a 4th-century BC king who founded a dynasty in Magadha in India.
NANNA (1)fDanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Norse Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Norse nanþ meaning "daring, brave". In Norse legend she was a goddess who died of grief when her husband Balder was killed.
NANNA (2)mSumerian Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the Sumerian god of the moon. He was the son of Enlil and the husband of Ningal.
NAOISEmIrish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, presumably of Gaelic origin. In Irish legend he was the young man who eloped with Deirdre, the beloved of Conchobhar the king of Ulster. Conchobhar eventually succeeded in having Naoise murdered, which caused Deirdre to die of grief.
NARAYANAmHinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil
Means "path of man" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of the god of creation, later synonymous with the god Brahma, and even later with Vishnu.
NARCISSUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Late Roman, Biblical
Latinized form of Greek Ναρκισσος (Narkissos), possibly derived from ναρκη (narke) meaning "sleep, numbness". Narkissos was a beautiful youth in Greek mythology who stared at his own reflection for so long that he eventually died and was turned into the narcissus flower.... [more]
NAUSICAAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ναυσικαα (Nausikaa) meaning "burner of ships". In Homer's epic the 'Odyssey' this is the name of a daughter of Alcinous who helps Odysseus on his journey home.
NEASfIrish Mythology
Old Irish form of NEASA.
NEASAfIrish, Irish Mythology
Meaning uncertain. In Irish legend she was the mother of Conchobhar, king of Ulster. According to some versions of the legend she was originally named Assa meaning "gentle", but was renamed Ni-assa "not gentle" after she sought to avenge the murders of her foster fathers.
NECHTANmIrish Mythology, Ancient Celtic
Celtic name of uncertain meaning, possibly meaning "damp" (cognate with NEPTUNE). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boand, the goddess of the River Boyne. This name was also borne by the 5th-century Saint Nectan of Hartland in Devon, who was supposedly born in Ireland. It was also the name of several kings of the Picts.
NEITHfEgyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Nit, possibly meaning "water". This was the name of an early Egyptian goddess of weaving, hunting and war. Her character may have some correspondences with the goddesses Tanith, Anat or Athena.
NEMESISfGreek Mythology
Means "distribution of what is due, righteous anger" in Greek. In Greek mythology Nemesis was personification of vengeance and justice.
NEOPTOLEMUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Νεοπτολεμος (Neoptolemos) meaning "new war", derived from νεος (neos) "new" and πολεμος (polemos) "war". In Greek legend this was the name of the son of Achilles, brought into the Trojan War because it was prophesied the Greeks could not win it unless he was present. After the war he was slain by Orestes fighting over Hermione.
NEPHELEfGreek Mythology
From Greek νεφος (nephos) meaning "cloud". In Greek legend Nephele was created from a cloud by Zeus, who shaped the cloud to look like Hera in order to trick Ixion, a mortal who desired her. Nephele was the mother of the centaurs by Ixion, and was also the mother of Phrixus and Helle by Athamus.
NEPHTHYSfEgyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Nebt-Het meaning "lady of the house", derived from Egyptian nbt "lady" and hwt "house". This was the name of an Egyptian goddess associated with the air, death and mourning. She was wife of the desert god Seth.
NEPTUNEmRoman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Neptunus, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Indo-European root *nebh "wet, damp, clouds". Neptune was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, approximately equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon. This is also the name of the eighth planet in the solar system.
NEREUSmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros) meaning "water". In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NERTHUSfGermanic Mythology
Latinized form of Nerþuz, the Germanic (feminine) equivalent of Njörðr (see NJORD). Nerthus was a Germanic goddess of fertility as described by the Roman historian Tacitus in the 1st century.
NESS (1)fIrish Mythology
Anglicized form of NEAS.
NESSA (3)fIrish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of NEASA.
NESTORmGreek Mythology, Russian
Means "homecoming" in Greek. In Homer's 'Iliad' this was the name of the king of Pylos, famous for his great wisdom and longevity, who acted as a counselor to the Greek allies.
NIAMHfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "bright" in Irish. She was the daughter of the sea god in Irish legends. She fell in love with the poet Oisín, son of Fionn.
NIKEfGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Means "victory" in Greek. Nike was the Greek goddess of victory.
NIKEPHOROSm & fAncient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "carrying victory" from Greek νικη (nike) "victory" and φερω (phero) "to carry, to bear". This name was borne by several Byzantine emperors, including the 10th-century Nikephoros II Phokas. Besides being a masculine personal name, it was also a title borne by the goddess Athena.
NINGALfSumerian Mythology
Means "great lady", from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin) meaning "lady" and 𒃲 (gal) meaning "big, great". This was the name of a goddess of reeds in Sumerian mythology. She was the daughter of Enki and the wife of Nanna.
NINHURSAGfSumerian Mythology
Means "lady of the mountain", from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin) meaning "lady" and 𒉺𒂅 (hursaĝ) meaning "mountain". This was the name of the Sumerian mother and fertility goddess, the primary consort of Enki.
NINLILfSumerian Mythology
Derived from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin) meaning "lady" and possibly 𒆤 (lil) meaning "wind". This was the name of a Sumerian goddess, the consort of Enlil.
NINSUNfSumerian Mythology
From Sumerian nin-sumun-a(k) meaning "lady of the wild cow", derived from 𒊩𒌆 (nin) meaning "lady" and the genitive form of 𒄢 (sumun) meaning "wild cow". In Sumerian mythology Ninsun was the divine mother of Gilgamesh.
NINURTAmSumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology
Derived from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin) meaning "lord" and 𒅁 (urta) meaning "ear of barley". In Sumerian and Akkadian mythology Ninurta was a god of agriculture, hunting and healing, later associated with war. He was also called Ningirsu, though they may have originally been separate deities.
NIOBEfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto, Leto's children Apollo and Artemis killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus.
NJÁLLmNorse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Old Norse form of Niall (see NEIL). This is the name of the hero of a 13th century Icelandic saga, based on the life of a 10th-century Icelandic chieftain.
NJORDmNorse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njörðr, which was possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ner meaning "strong, vigourous". Njord was the Norse god of the sea, sailing, fishing and fertility. With his children Freyr and Freya he was a member of the Vanir.
NJÖRÐRmNorse Mythology
Old Norse form of NJORD.
NOKOMISfNew World Mythology
Means "my grandmother" in Ojibwe. In Anishinaabe mythology this is the name of Nanabozho's grandmother. It was used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the grandmother of Hiawatha in his poem 'The Song of Hiawatha' (1855).
NONA (1)fRoman Mythology
Derived from Latin nonus meaning "ninth", referring to the nine months of pregnancy. This was the name of a Roman goddess of pregnancy. She was also one of the three Fates (or Parcae).
NUADAmIrish Mythology
Possibly means "protector" in Celtic. In Irish myth he was an Irish god and a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was killed in battle against the Fomorii.
NUDDmWelsh Mythology
Welsh cognate of NUADA.
NUHA (2)fSemitic Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess of the sun, identified with Shams.
NUMITORmRoman Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Roman mythology Numitor was the king of Alba Longa and the father of Rhea Silvia. He was overthrown by his brother Amulius, but reinstated by his grandsons Romulus and Remus.
NYXfGreek Mythology
Means "night" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
NYYRIKKImFinnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a Finnish god of the hunt, the son of Tapio.
ODENmNorse Mythology
Swedish form of ODIN.
ODINmNorse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn, which was derived from óðr "inspiration, rage, frenzy". It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz. The name appears as Woden in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan, Wuotan or Wodan in continental Europe. However Odin is most known from Norse mythology, as the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.
ODYSSEUSmGreek Mythology
Perhaps derived from Greek οδυσσομαι (odyssomai) "to hate". In Greek legend Odysseus was one of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. In the 'Odyssey' Homer relates Odysseus's misadventures on his way back to his kingdom and his wife Penelope.
OEDIPUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Οιδιπους (Oidipous), meaning "swollen foot" from οιδεω (oideo) "to swell" and πους (pous) "foot". In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of the Theban king Laius and his wife Jocasta. Laius received a prophesy that he would be killed by his son, so he left the newborn to die of exposure. Oedipus was however rescued and raised in the home of the Corinthian king Polybus. After he had grown and learned of the same prophesy, Oedipus left Corinth so that he would not be a danger to Polybus, who he assumed was his father. On the road to Delphi he chanced upon his real father Laius and slew him in a petty disagreement, thus fulfilling the prophecy. He then correctly answered the Sphinx's riddle, winning the now vacant throne of Thebes and marrying the widowed Queen Jocasta, his own mother. Years later they learned the truth of their relationship, prompting Jocasta to commit suicide and Oedipus to blind himself.
OENONEfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Οινωνε (Oinone), derived from οινος (oinos) meaning "wine". In Greek mythology Oenone was a mountain nymph who was married to Paris before he went after Helen.
OISÍNmIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "little deer", derived from Irish os "deer" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend Oisín was a warrior hero and a poet, the son of Fionn mac Cumhail.
OKEANOSmGreek Mythology
From the name of the river or body of water thought by the ancient Greeks to surround the Earth. In Greek mythology Okeanos was the Titan who personified this body of water.
ONUPHRIUSmEgyptian Mythology (Latinized), Late Roman
Latinized form of Greek Οννωφρις (Onnophris), derived from Egyptian Unn-nfr meaning "he who is good, he who is happy". This was an epithet of the god Osiris. It was later used by an Egyptian saint and hermit from the 4th or 5th century.
ORESTESmGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ορεστιας (orestias) meaning "of the mountains". In Greek myth he was the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. He killed his mother and her lover Aegisthus after they killed his father.
ORIONmGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown, but possibly related to Greek ‘οριον (horion) meaning "boundary, limit". Alternatively it may be derived from Akkadian Uru-anna meaning "light of the heavens". This is the name of a constellation, which gets its name from a legendary Greek hunter who was killed by a scorpion sent by the earth goddess Gaia.
ORMAZDmPersian Mythology
Modern Persian form of AHURA MAZDA.
ORPHEUSmGreek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ορφνη (orphne) meaning "the darkness of night". In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
ǪRVARmNorse Mythology
Old Norse form of ORVAR.
ORVARmSwedish, Norse Mythology
Means "arrow" in Old Norse. Orvar Odd is a legendary Norse hero who is the subject of a 13th-century Icelandic saga.
OSCARmEnglish, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Gaelic os "deer" and cara "friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhail.... [more]
OSIRISmEgyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of the Egyptian Asar which is of unknown meaning. In Egyptian mythology Osiris was the god of the dead and the judge of the underworld. He was slain by his brother Seth, but revived by his wife Isis.
ÓÐINNmNorse Mythology, Icelandic
Old Norse and Icelandic form of ODIN.
OURANIAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ουρανιος (ouranios) meaning "heavenly". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of astronomy and astrology, one of the nine Muses.
OURANOSmGreek Mythology
Original Greek form of URANUS.
OWAINmWelsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Probably a Welsh form of EUGENE, though it might be derived from Welsh eoghunn meaning "youth". This was the name of several figures from Welsh history and mythology. In Arthurian legend Owain (also called Yvain in French sources) was one of the Knights of the Round Table, the son of King Urien and husband of the Lady of the Fountain. His character was based on that of Owain ap Urien, a 6th-century Welsh prince who fought against the Angles. This name was also borne by Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century leader of Welsh resistance against English rule.
PADMAf & mHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lotus" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा and the masculine form पद्म. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma arose from the navel of the god Vishnu. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi and the hero Rama.
PADMAVATIfHinduism
Means "resembling lotuses", derived from the Sanskrit word पद्म (padma) meaning "lotus" combined with वती (vati) meaning "resemblance". This is the name of the foster-mother of the god Hindu Skanda.
PALLAS (1)fGreek Mythology
Probably derived from a Greek word meaning "maiden". In Greek mythology this was the name of a friend of the goddess Athena. Athena accidentally killed her, and subsequently took the name Pallas in honour of her friend.
PALLAS (2)mGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek παλλω (pallo) "to brandish". In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see Pallas).
PANmGreek Mythology
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector". In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
PANDORAfGreek Mythology
Means "all gifts", derived from a combination of Greek παν (pan) "all" and δωρον (doron) "gift". In Greek mythology Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus gave her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills that mankind now knows, and told her not to open it. Unfortunately her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, unleashing the evil spirits into the world.
PANKAJAmHinduism
Means "born of mud", referring to the lotus flower, derived from Sanskrit पङ्क (panka) meaning "mud" and (ja) meaning "born". This is another name of the Hindu god Brahma.
PAPAfPolynesian Mythology
Means "earth" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Papa or Papatuanuku was the goddess of the earth and the mother of many of the other gods. She and her husband Rangi, the god of the sky, were locked in a tight embrace. Their children decided to separate them, a feat of strength accomplished by the god Tane.
PARIS (1)mGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Luwian or Hittite origin. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the 'Iliad', he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.
PARTHAmHinduism, Bengali, Indian, Assamese
Means "son of PRITHA" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is another name for the Pandavas, who were sons of Pritha (another name of Kunti) and Pandu.
PARTHALÁNmIrish Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from BARTHOLOMEW. In Irish legend he was the first man on Ireland after the biblical flood.
PARTHENIAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek παρθενος (parthenos) meaning "maiden, virgin". This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Athena.
PARTHENOPEfGreek Mythology
Means "maiden's voice", derived from Greek παρθενος (parthenos) "maiden, virgin" and οψ (ops) "voice". In Greek legend this is the name of one of the Sirens who enticed Odysseus.
PARVATIfHinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "of the mountains" in Sanskrit. Parvati is a Hindu goddess of love and power, the wife of Shiva and the mother of Ganesha.
PATROCLUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Πατροκλος (Patroklos) which meant "glory of the father", derived from πατηρ (pater) "father" (genitive πατρος) and κλεος (kleos) "glory". In Greek legend he was one of the heroes who fought against the Trojans. His death at the hands of Hector drew his friend Achilles back into the war.
PAXfRoman Mythology
Means "peace" in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the goddess of peace.
PEGASUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πηγασος (Pegasos), possibly either from πηγος (pegos) "strong" or πηγαιος (pegaios) "from a water spring". In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
PEKKOmFinnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Finnish god of fields and crops.
PELEfPolynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and fire who is said to live in Kilauea.
PENELOPEfGreek Mythology, English
Possibly derived from Greek πηνελοψ (penelops), a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πηνη (pene) "threads, weft" and ωψ (ops) "face, eye". In Homer's epic the 'Odyssey' this is the name of the wife of Odysseus, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy. It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century.
PEREDURmWelsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Possibly means "hard spears" in Welsh. This was the name of several figures from Welsh mythology. It was later used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Arthurian tales. The character of Percival was probably based on him.
PERSEPHONEfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Pre-Greek origin, but perhaps related to Greek περθω (pertho) "to destroy" and φονη (phone) "murder". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades, but was eventually allowed to return to the surface for part of the year. The result of her comings and goings is the changing of the seasons. With her mother she was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at the city of Eleusis near Athens.
PERSEUSmGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek περθω (pertho) meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero who was said to have founded the ancient city of Mycenae. He was the son of Zeus and Danaë. Mother and child were exiled by Danaë's father Acrisius, and Perseus was raised on the island of Seriphos. The king of the island compelled Perseus to kill the Gorgon Medusa, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone. After obtaining winged sandals and other tools from the gods, he succeeded in his task by looking at Medusa in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. On his return he defeated a sea monster in order to save Andromeda, who became his wife.
PERUNmSlavic Mythology
Means "thunder" in Slavic. In Slavic mythology Perun was the god of lightning, sometimes worshipped as the primary god. The oak was his sacred tree.
PHAEDRAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φαιδρα (Phaidra), derived from φαιδρος (phaidros) meaning "bright". Phaedra was the daughter of Minos and the wife of Theseus in Greek mythology. Aphrodite caused her to fall in love with her stepson Hippolytos, and after she was rejected by him she killed herself.
PHAENNAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek φαεινος (phaeinos) "shining". According to some Greek myths this was the name of one of the three Graces or Χαριτες (Charites).
PHANUELmBiblical, Judeo-Christian Legend
Form of PENUEL used in the New Testament, where it is borne by the father of Anna the prophetess. It also appears in the apocryphal Book of Enoch belonging to an angel.
PHILANDERmEnglish (Archaic), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Φιλανδρος (Philandros) meaning "friend of man" from Greek φιλος (philos) "friend" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). It was the name of a son of Apollo with the nymph Acalle. In the 18th century this was coined as a word meaning "to womanize", and the name subsequently dropped out of use.
PHILOMELAfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek φιλος (philos) "lover, friend" and μηλον (melon) "fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μελος (melos) "song". In Greek myth Philomela was the sister-in-law of Tereus, who raped her and cut out her tongue. Prokne avenged her sister by killing her son by Tereus, after which Tereus attempted to kill Philomela. However, the gods intervened and transformed her into a nightingale.
PHOBOSmGreek Mythology
Means "fear, panic" in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
PHOEBEfEnglish, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβη (Phoibe), which meant "bright, pure" from Greek φοιβος (phoibos). In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis. The name appears in Paul's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).
PHOEBUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβος (Phoibos), which meant "bright, pure". This was an epithet of the Greek god Apollo.
PHRIXUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φριξος (Phrixos) which meant "thrilling, causing shivers", derived from φριξ (phrix) "ripple, shiver". In Greek myth Phrixus was the son of Athamus and Nephele. He was to be sacrificed to Zeus, but he escaped with his sister Helle on the back of the ram with the Golden Fleece.
PHYLLISfGreek Mythology, English, German
Means "foliage" in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia.
PISTISfGreek Mythology
Means "trust, faith" in Greek. In Greek mythology Pistis was the personification of trust.
PITAMBARAmHinduism
Derived from Sanskrit पीत (pita) meaning "yellow" and अम्बर (ambara) meaning "garment". This is another name of the Hindu gods Vishnu or Krishna, given to them because yellow clothing is traditionally worn at religious events.
PLOUTONmGreek Mythology
Original Greek form of PLUTO.
PLUTOmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Roman Mythology
Latinized form of Greek Πλουτων (Plouton), derived from πλουτος (ploutos) meaning "wealth". This was an alternate name of Hades, the god of the underworld. This is also the name of a dwarf planet (formerly designated the ninth planet) in the solar system.
POLLUXmRoman Mythology
Roman form of Greek Πολυδευκης (Polydeukes) meaning "very sweet", from Greek πολυς (polys) "much" and δευκης (deukes) "sweet". In mythology he was the twin brother of Castor and a son of Zeus. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
POLYMNIAfGreek Mythology
Means "abounding in song", derived from Greek πολυς (polys) "much" and ‘υμνος (hymnos) "song, hymn". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of dance and sacred songs, one of the nine Muses.
POLYXENAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Πολυξενη (Polyxene) which was from the word πολυξενος (polyxenos) meaning "entertaining many guests, very hospitable", itself derived from πολυς (polys) "many" and ξενος (xenos) "foreigner, guest". In Greek legend she was a daughter of Priam and Hecuba, beloved by Achilles. After the Trojan War, Achilles' son Neoptolemus sacrificed her.
POLYXENEfGreek Mythology
Ancient Greek form of POLYXENA.
POMONAfRoman Mythology
From Latin pomus "fruit tree". This was the name of the Roman goddess of fruit trees.
POSEIDONmGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek ποσις (posis) "husband, lord" and δα (da) "earth". The name first appears in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions as po-se-da-o. In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
PRABHAKARAmHinduism
Means "light maker", derived from Sanskrit प्रभा (prabha) meaning "light" and कर (kara) meaning "maker". This is a name given to the sun in Hindu texts. It was also borne by a medieval Hindu scholar.
PRABHUmHinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada
Means "mighty, powerful, master" in Sanskrit. This is an epithet of both the Hindu gods Surya and Agni.
PRAMODAmHinduism
Means "joy" in Sanskrit. This is the name of an attendant of the Hindu god Skanda.
PRAXISfGreek Mythology
Means "practical" in Greek. This was another name for the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
PRIAMmGreek Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Greek Πριαμος (Priamos), possibly meaning "redeemed". In Greek legend Priam was the king of Troy during the Trojan War and the father of many children including Hector and Paris.
PRIAPUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a Greek god of fertility, gardens, and the phallus.
PRITHAfHinduism, Bengali
Means "the palm of the hand" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the legendary Hindu figure Kunti.
PRIYAfHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali
Means "beloved" in Sanskrit. In Hindu legend this is the name of a daughter of King Daksha.
PROMETHEUSmGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek προμηθεια (prometheia) meaning "foresight, forethought". In Greek myth he was the Titan who gave the knowledge of fire to mankind. For doing this he was punished by Zeus, who had him chained to a rock and caused an eagle to feast daily on his liver, which regenerated itself each night. Herakles eventually freed him.
PROSERPINAfRoman Mythology
Means "to emerge" in Latin. She was the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Persephone.
PROTEUSmGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek πρωτος (protos) meaning "first". In Greek mythology this was the name of a prophetic god of the sea.
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