RANGI m Maori, Polynesian Mythology
Means "sky" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Rangi or Ranginui was a god of the sky, husband of the earth goddess Papa
. They were locked in a crushing embrace but were eventually separated by their children, the other gods.
RASHN m Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Rashnu
meaning "justice". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata who judged the souls of the dead.
RAVI m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
Means "sun" in Sanskrit. Ravi is a Hindu god of the sun, sometimes equated with Surya
. A famous bearer was the musician Ravi Shankar (1920-2012).
RHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized), Roman Mythology
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ρεια (Rheia)
, meaning unknown, perhaps related to ‘ρεω (rheo)
"to flow" or ερα (era)
"ground". In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus
, and the mother of Zeus
. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia
was the mother of Romulus
, the legendary founders of Rome.
RHIANNON f Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Probably derived from the old Celtic name Rigantona
meaning "great queen". It is speculated that this was the name of an otherwise unattested Celtic goddess of fertility and the moon. The name Rhiannon
appears later in Welsh legend in the Mabinogion, borne by the wife of Pwyll
and the mother of Pryderi
ROSTAM m Persian, Persian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from Avestan raodha
"to grow" and takhma
"strong, brave, valiant". Rostam was a warrior hero in Persian legend. The 11th-century Persian poet Firdausi recorded his tale in the 'Shahnameh'.
RUKMINI f Hinduism
Means "adorned with gold" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of a princess who became the wife of Krishna
SAGA f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Icelandic
Possibly means "seeing one" in Old Norse. This was the name of the Norse goddess of poetry and history, sometimes identified with the goddess Frigg
. This is also a modern Swedish word meaning "story, fairy tale".
SALACIA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin sal
meaning "salt". This was the name of the Roman goddess of salt water.
SAMAEL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Means "severity of God" in Hebrew. This is the name of an archangel in Jewish tradition, described as a destructive angel of death.
SANJAYA m Hinduism
Means "completely victorious, triumphant" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a royal official in the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'.
SARPEDON m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek legend Sarpedon was the son of Zeus
and Laodamia, and the king of the Lycians. He was one of the chief warriors who fought against the Greeks in defense of Troy, but he was killed by Patroclus
. Another Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa
SATI f Hinduism
Means "truthful" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this was the name of a goddess, a wife of Shiva
. After her death she was reborn as the goddess Parvati
SATISHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of Sati" from the name of the Hindu goddess SATI
combined with ईश (isha)
meaning "ruler". This is another name for the Hindu god Shiva
SATURN m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Saturnus
, which is of unknown meaning. In Roman mythology he was the father of Jupiter
and others, and was also the god of agriculture. This is also the name of the ringed sixth planet in the solar system.
SAVITR m Hinduism
Means "rouser, stimulator" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu sun god, sometimes identified with Surya
SAVITRI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "relating to the sun" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hymn dedicated to Savitr, a Hindu sun god, and it is also the name of his daughter. It is borne by several other characters in Hindu epics, including a wife of Brahma
, a wife of Shiva
, and a daughter of Daksha. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' it is borne by King Satyavan's wife, who successfully pleas with Yama, the god of death, to restore her husband to life.
SEDNA f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
SEMELE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phrygian origin. In Greek mythology she was one of the many lovers of Zeus
, being jealous, tricked Semele into asking Zeus to display himself in all his splendour as the god of thunder. When he did, Semele was struck by lightning and died, but not before giving birth to Dionysos
SETH (2) m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
From Σεθ (Seth)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Swtkh
(reconstructed as Sutekh
), which possibly means "pillar" or "dazzle". Seth was the Egyptian god of chaos and the desert, the slayer of Osiris
. Orisis' son Horus
eventually defeats Seth and has him banished to the desert.
SHAHRIVAR m Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Kshathra Vairya
meaning "desirable power". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a god of metal and a protector of the weak. This is also the name of the sixth month of the Iranian calendar.
SHAKTI f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "power" in Sanskrit. In Hinduism a shakti is the female counterpart of a god. The name Shakti is used in particular to refer to the female counterpart of Shiva
, also known as Parvati
among many other names.
SHAKUNTALA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit शकुन्त (shakunta)
meaning "bird". This is the name of a character in Hindu legend, her story adapted by Kalidasa for the 5th-century play 'Abhijnanashakuntalam'. It tells how Shakuntala, who was raised in the forest by birds, meets and marries the king Dushyanta
. After a curse is laid upon them Dushyanta loses his memory and they are separated, but eventually the curse is broken after the king sees the signet ring he gave her.
SHANI (2) m Hinduism
From the Sanskrit name of the planet Saturn. This is the name of a celestial Hindu god.
SHANKARA m Hinduism
Derived from the Sanskrit elements शम् (sham)
meaning "auspicious, lucky" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is another name of the Hindu god Shiva
. This was also the name of a 9th-century Indian religious philosopher also known as Shankaracharya.
SHIVA (1) m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Derived from Sanskrit शिव (shiva)
meaning "benign, kind, auspicious". Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and restoration, the husband of the mother goddess Parvati
. His aspect is usually terrifying, but it can also be gentle.
SHRI f Hinduism
Means "diffusing light, radiance, beauty" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
. This word is also commonly used as a title of respect in India.
SHRIPATI m Hinduism
Means "husband of Shri" from the name of the Hindu goddess SHRI
combined with Sanskrit पति (pati)
meaning "husband, lord". This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
SHYAMA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit श्याम (shyama)
meaning "dark, black, blue". This is a transcription of the masculine form श्याम
, which is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, as well as the feminine form श्यामा
, one of the many names of the wife of the god Shiva
. It is also the name of a Jain goddess.
SIAVASH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "possessing black stallions" in Avestan. This is the name of a prince in the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh'.
SIEGFRIED m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu
"victory" and frid
"peace". Siegfried was a hero from Germanic legend, chief character in the 'Nibelungenlied'. He secretly helped the Burgundian king Günther
overcome the challenges set out by the Icelandic queen Brünhild
so that Günther might win her hand. In exchange, Günther consented to the marriage of Siegfried and his sister Kriemhild
. Years later, after a dispute between Brünhild and Kriemhild, Siegfried was murdered by Hagen
with Günther's consent. He was stabbed in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. His adventures were largely based on those of the Norse hero Sigurd
. The story was later adapted by Richard Wagner to form part of his opera 'The Ring of the Nibelung' (1876).
SIGURD m Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse name Sigurðr
, which was derived from the elements sigr
"victory" and varðr
"guardian". Sigurd was the hero of the Norse legend the 'Volsungasaga', which tells how his foster-father Regin sent him to recover a hoard of gold guarded by the dragon Fafnir. After slaying the dragon Sigurd tasted some of its blood, enabling him to understand the language of birds, who told him that Regin was planning to betray him. In a later adventure, Sigurd disguised himself as Gunnar
(his wife Gudrun
's brother) and rescued the maiden Brynhildr
from a ring of fire, with the result that Gunnar and Brynhildr were married. When the truth eventually came out, Brynhildr took revenge upon Sigurd. The stories of the German hero Siegfried
were in part based on him.
SILVIA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, English, German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of SILVIUS
Silvia was the mother of Romulus
, the founders of Rome. This was also the name of a 6th-century saint, the mother of the pope Gregory the Great. It has been a common name in Italy since the Middle Ages. It was introduced to England by Shakespeare, who used it for a character in his play 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594). It is now more commonly spelled Sylvia
in the English-speaking world.
SILVIUS m Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin silva
"wood, forest". This was the family name of several of the legendary kings of Alba Longa. It was also the name of an early saint martyred in Alexandria.
SIMON (2) m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek σιμος (simos)
meaning "flat-nosed". In Greek mythology this was the name of one of the Telchines, demigods who were the original inhabitants of Rhodes.
SIONANN f Irish Mythology
The name of an Irish goddess, a granddaughter of Lir
, who was the personification of the River Shannon. Her name is derived from the name of the river (see SHANNON
SITA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "furrow" in Sanskrit. Sita is the name of the Hindu goddess of the harvest in the 'Rigveda'. This is also the name of the wife of Rama
(and an avatar of Lakshmi
) in the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana'. In this story Sita is rescued by her husband from the demon king Ravana.
SKANDA m Hinduism
Means "hopping, spurting, spilling" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of the god of war, also known as Kartikeya
. He is worshipped especially by the Tamils in southern India.
SKAÐI f Norse Mythology
Means "damage, harm" in Old Norse. In Norse mythology she was a mountain giantess associated with the winter and skiing, the wife of Njord
and later Odin
SKULD f Norse Mythology
Means "future" in Old Norse. She was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was also one of the Valkyries.
SOHRAB m Persian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means either "illustrious, shining" or "red water" in Persian. In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of the son of the hero Rostam
SOROUSH m Persian Mythology, Persian
Modern Persian form of Avestan Sraosha
meaning "obedience". In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata (or angel), later equated with the angel Gabriel
SOSRUKO m Caucasian Mythology
Derived from Turkic suslä
"menacing". This is the name of a trickster god in Caucasian mythology. He is the hero of the Nart sagas.
STRIBOG m Slavic Mythology
Possibly means "flowing god" in Slavic. Stribog was the Slavic god of the wind, cold, ice and frost.
SUMATI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "wise, good mind", derived from Sanskrit सु (su)
meaning "good" and मति (mati)
meaning "mind, thought". In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of King Sagara's second wife, who bore him sixty thousand children.
SUMMANUS m Roman Mythology
Means "before the morning", derived from Latin sub
"under, before" and mane
"morning". Summanus was the Roman god of the night sky and night lightning, a nocturnal counterpart to Jupiter
SUNDARA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit सुन्दर (sundara)
meaning "beautiful". This is the name of several minor characters in Hindu texts, and is also another name of the Hindu god Krishna
SUNITA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali
Means "well conducted, wise", derived from the Sanskrit prefix सु (su)
meaning "good" combined with नीत (nita)
meaning "conducted, led". In Hindu legend this is the name of the daughter of King Anga of Bengal.
SVAROG m Slavic Mythology
Derived from Slavic svar
"bright, clear". This was the name of the Slavic god of the sky and sun. He was originally the supreme god in Slavic mythology.
SVETOVID m Slavic Mythology
Derived from the Slavic elements svetu
"blessed, holy" and vidu
"sight, view". This was the name of a four-headed Slavic god of war and light.
TAHMURAS m Persian Mythology
Persian form of Avestan Takhma Urupi
meaning "strong body". Takhma Urupi is a hero from the Avesta who later appears in the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh'.
TANE m Maori, Polynesian Mythology
Means "man" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Tane was the god of forests and light. He was the son of the sky god Rangi
and the earth goddess Papa
, who were locked in an embrace and finally separated by their son. He created the tui bird and, by some accounts, man.
TANGAROA m Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Polynesian mythology he was the god of the sea, the son of Rangi
. He separated his parents' embrace, creating the earth and the sky.
TANITH f Near Eastern Mythology
Derived from Semitic roots meaning "serpent lady". This was the name of the Phoenician goddess of love, fertility, the moon and the stars.
TARA (2) f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "star" in Sanskrit. Tara is the name of a Hindu astral goddess, the wife of Brhaspati. She was abducted by Soma, a god of the moon, leading to a great war that was only ended when Brahma
intervened and released her. This is also the name of a Buddhist deity (a female Buddha).
TARANIS m Celtic Mythology
Derived from Celtic taran
meaning "thunder", cognate with Þórr
). This was the name of the Gaulish thunder god, who was often identified with the Roman god Jupiter
TATIUS m Roman Mythology, Ancient Roman
Roman family name of unknown meaning, possibly of Sabine origin. According to Roman legend, Titus Tatius was an 8th-century BC king of the Sabines who came to jointly rule over the Romans and Sabines with the Roman king Romulus.
TELLERVO f Finnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. Tellervo was a Finnish forest goddess. She is variously described as either the wife or daughter of Tapio.
TETHYS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek τηθη (tethe)
meaning "grandmother". In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan associated with the sea. She was the wife of Oceanus.
TEZCATLIPOCA m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "smoking mirror" in Nahuatl. In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was one of the chief gods, associated with the night sky, winds, war, and the north. Like his rival Quetzalcoatl
, he was a creator god.
THANATOS m Greek Mythology
Means "death" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of death who resided with Hades in the underworld.
THEIA f Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek θεα (thea)
meaning "goddess". In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan goddess of sight, glittering and glory. She was the wife of Hyperion and the mother of the sun god Helios, the moon goddess Selene, and the dawn goddess Eos.
THEMIS f Greek Mythology
Means "law of nature, divine law, that which is laid down" in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan who presided over custom and natural law. She was often depicted blindfolded and holding a pair of scales. By Zeus
she was the mother of many deities, including the three Μοιραι
(Moirai) and the three ‘Ωραι
THESEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek τιθημι (tithemi)
meaning "to set, to place". Theseus was a heroic king of Athens in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aethra, either by Aegeus or by the god Poseidon
. According to legend, every seven years the Cretan king Minos
demanded that Athens supply Crete with seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-bull creature that was the son of Minos's wife Pasiphaë. Theseus volunteered to go in place of one of these youths in order to slay the Minotaur in the Labyrinth where it lived. He succeeded with the help of Minos's daughter Ariadne
, who provided him with a sword and a roll of string so he could find his way out of the maze.
THOR m Norse Mythology, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
From the Old Norse Þórr
meaning "thunder", ultimately from the early Germanic *Þunraz
. Thor was the Norse god of strength, thunder, war and storms, the son of Odin
. He was armed with a hammer called Mjolnir, and wore an enchanted belt that doubled his strength.
THOTH m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Djhwty
(reconstructed as Djehuti
), which is of uncertain meaning. In Egyptian mythology Thoth was the god of the moon, science, magic, speech and writing. He was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis.
TIAMAT f Near Eastern Mythology
From Akkadian tâmtu
meaning "sea". In Babylonian myth Tiamat was the personification of the sea, appearing in the form of a huge dragon. By Apsu she gave birth to the first of the gods. Later, the god Marduk
(her great-grandson) defeated her, cut her in half, and used the pieces of her body to make the earth and the sky.
TISIPHONE f Greek Mythology
Means "avenging murder" in Greek, derived from τισις (tisis)
"vengeance" and φονη (phone)
"murder". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ερινυες (Erinyes)
in Greek mythology. She killed Cithaeron with the bite of one of the snakes on her head.
TUULIKKI f Finnish, Finnish Mythology
Means "little wind" in Finnish, derived from tuuli
"wind". This was the name of a Finnish forest goddess, the daughter of Tapio.
TYCHE f Greek Mythology
Means "fortune, chance" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of fortune, luck and fate.
TYR m Norse Mythology
Norse form of the name of the Germanic god Tiwaz
, related to Indo-European dyeus
). In Norse mythology Tyr was the god of war and justice, the son of the god Odin
. He carried a spear in his left hand, since his right hand was bitten off by the wolf Fenrir. At the time of the end of the world, the Ragnarok, Tyr will slay and be slain by the giant hound Garm.
ULYSSES m Roman Mythology, English
Latin form of ODYSSEUS
. It was borne by Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War, who went on to become an American president. Irish author James Joyce used it as the title of his book 'Ulysses' (1920), which loosely parallels Homer
's epic the 'Odyssey'.
UMA f Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi
Means "flax" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu goddess Parvati
. In Hindu texts it is said to derive from the Sanskrit exclamation उ मा (u ma)
meaning "O (child), do not (practice austerities)!" which was addressed to Parvati by her mother.
URANUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ουρανος (Ouranos)
, the name of the husband of Gaia
and the father of the Titans in Greek mythology. His name is derived from ουρανος (ouranos)
meaning "the heavens". This is also the name of the seventh planet in the solar system.
URD f Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse Urðr
meaning "fate". In Norse mythology Urd was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny. She was responsible for the past.
USHAS f Hinduism
Means "dawn" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu goddess of the dawn, considered the daughter of heaven.
UTHER m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Uthyr
, derived from Welsh uthr
"terrible". In Arthurian legend Uther was the father of King Arthur
. He appears in some early Welsh texts, but is chiefly known from the 12th-century chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
UTTARA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Marathi
Means "north" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form उत्तर
(also written Uttar
) and the feminine form उत्तरा
(also written Uttarā
), both of which occur in the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' belonging to the son and daughter of King Virata.
VAHAGN m Armenian Mythology, Armenian
From Avestan Verethragna
meaning "breaking of defense, victory". In Armenian mythology this was the name of the heroic god of war.
VÄINÄMÖINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish väinä
"wide and slow-flowing river". In Finnish mythology Väinämöinen was a wise old magician, the son of the primal goddess Ilmatar
. He is the hero of the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
VALLI f Hinduism
Means "creeping plant" in Dravidian. In Dravidian mythology the goddess Valli was the wife of Murunga.
VARUNA m Hinduism
Probably from a Sanskrit word meaning "to surround". In Hindu mythology Varuna is a god of water and the celestial ocean surrounding the world. He is one of the chief gods in the Hindu text the Rigveda.
VASANTA m Hinduism
Means "brilliant" or "spring" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu personification of the spring.
VAYU m Hinduism
Means "air, wind" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu god of the air and wind, one of the five elements.
VENA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit वेन (vena)
meaning "yearning". This is the name of an evil king in Hindu mythology.
VENUS f Roman Mythology
Means "love, sexual desire" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of love and sex. Her character was assimilated with that of the Greek goddess Aphrodite
. As the mother of Aeneas
she was considered an ancestor of the Roman people. The second planet from the sun is named after her.
VERDANDI f Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse Verðandi
meaning "becoming, happening". Verdandi was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was responsible for the present.
VESTA f Roman Mythology
Probably a Roman cognate of HESTIA
. Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth. A continuous fire, tended by the Vestal Virgins, was burned in the Temple of Vesta in Rome.
VIKRAMA m Hinduism
Means "stride, pace" or "valour" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
. This was also the name of a semi-legendary 1st-century BC king (full name Vikramaditya) of Ujjain in India.
VIRAJA m Hinduism
Means "ruling, sovereign" in Sanskrit. This is the name of an offspring of Brahma
in Hindu belief.
VOLOS m Slavic Mythology
Derived from Slavic volu
meaning "ox". Volos was the Slavic god of cattle, also associated with the earth, wealth, the underworld, and poetry.
VULCAN m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Vulcanus
, possibly related to fulgere
"to flash", but more likely of pre-Latin origin. In Roman mythology Vulcan was the god of fire. He was later equated with the Greek god Hephaestus
WIELAND m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements wela
possibly meaning "skill" and land
meaning "land". In Germanic mythology Wieland (called Völundr in Old Norse) was an unequaled smith and craftsman.
YAM m Near Eastern Mythology
Means "sea" in Ugaritic. Yam was the Ugaritic god of the sea, also associated with chaos, storms and destruction. He was a son of the chief god El
YAMA (1) m Hinduism
Means "twin" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu god of death. He is also regarded as the first mortal being, or in other words, the first person to die. This name is related to Persian Jam
YAMI f Hinduism
Means "twin, pair" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of the first woman, the twin sister of the first man Yama
YERUSLAN m Folklore
From Tatar Uruslan
, which was possibly from Turkic arslan
meaning "lion". Yeruslan Lazarevich is the name of a hero in Russian and Tatar folktales. These tales were based on (or at least influenced by) Persian tales of their hero Rostam
YNGVI m Norse Mythology
Possibly an Old Norse cognate of ING
. This was an alternate name of the god Freyr
, who as Yngvi-Freyr was regarded as the ancestor of the Swedish royal family.
ZAL m Persian Mythology
Means "albino" in Persian. In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of a white-haired warrior.
ZEUS m Greek Mythology
The name of a Greek god, related to the old Indo-European god *Dyeus
whose name probably meant "shine" or "sky". In Greek mythology he was the highest of the gods. After he and his siblings defeated the Titans, Zeus ruled over the earth and humankind from atop Mount Olympus. He had control over the weather and his weapon was a thunderbolt.
ŽIVA f Slavic Mythology, Slovene
Means "living, alive" in Slavic. This was the name of a Slavic goddess associated with life, fertility and spring.