Pronounced: AHR-thər (English), ar-TUYR (French), AHR-toor (German), AHR-tur (Dutch)
Rating: 68% based on 70 votesThe meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos "bear" combined with viros "man" or rigos "king". Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius. Arthur is the name of the central character in Arthurian legend, a 6th-century king of the Britons who resisted Saxon invaders. He may or may not have been a real person. He first appears in Welsh poems and chronicles (some possibly as early as the 7th century) but his character was not developed until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth.
The name came into general use in England in the Middle Ages due to the prevalence of Arthurian romances, and it enjoyed a surge of popularity in the 19th century. Famous bearers include German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), mystery author and Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), and science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008).AUGUST
Pronounced: OW-guwst (German, Polish), AW-gəst (English)
Rating: 62% based on 64 votesGerman, Polish, Scandinavian and Catalan form of AUGUSTUS.CHARLES
Pronounced: CHAHR-əlz (English), CHAHRLZ (English), SHAHRL (French)
Rating: 59% based on 71 votesFrom the Germanic name Karl, which was derived from a Germanic word meaning "man". However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic name element hari meaning "army, warrior".
The popularity of the name in continental Europe was due to the fame of Charles the Great (742-814), commonly known as Charlemagne, a king of the Franks who came to rule over most of Europe. His grandfather Charles Martel had also been a noted leader of the Franks. It was subsequently the name of several Holy Roman Emperors, as well as kings of France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Hungary (in various spellings). After Charlemagne, his name was adopted as a word meaning "king" in many Eastern European languages, for example Czech král, Hungarian király, Russian король (korol), and Turkish kral.
The name did not become common in Britain until the 17th century when it was borne by the Stuart king Charles I. It had been introduced into the Stuart royal family by Mary Queen of Scots, who had been raised in France.
Famous bearers of the name include naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) who revolutionized biology with his theory of evolution, novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) who wrote such works as 'Great Expectations' and 'A Tale of Two Cities', French statesman Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), and American cartoonist Charles Schulz (1922-2000), the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.EDMUND
Pronounced: ED-mənd (English), ED-muwnt (German, Polish)
Rating: 60% based on 62 votesFrom the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and mund "protection". This was the name of two Anglo-Saxon kings of England. It was also borne by two saints, including a 9th-century king of East Anglia who, according to tradition, was shot to death with arrows after refusing to divide his Christian kingdom with an invading pagan Danish leader. This Old English name remained in use after the Norman conquest (even being used by king Henry III for one of his sons), though it became less common after the 15th century.
Famous bearers of the name include the English poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), the German-Czech philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first person to climb Mount Everest.EZRA
Other Scripts: עֶזְרָא (Hebrew)
Pronounced: EZ-rə (English)
Rating: 60% based on 62 votesMeans "help" in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.FELIX
Pronounced: FE-liks (German, Swedish), FAY-liks (Dutch), FEE-liks (English)
Rating: 64% based on 61 votesFrom a Roman cognomen meaning "lucky, successful" in Latin. It was acquired as an agnomen, or nickname, by the 1st-century BC Roman general Sulla. It also appears in the New Testament belonging to the governor of Judea who imprisoned Saint Paul.
Due to its favourable meaning, this name was popular among early Christians, being borne by many early saints and four popes. It has been used in England since the Middle Ages, though it has been more popular in continental Europe. A notable bearer was the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).GEORGEFrom the Greek name Γεωργιος (Georgios) which was derived from the Greek word γεωργος (georgos) meaning "farmer, earthworker", itself derived from the elements γη (ge) "earth" and εργον (ergon) "work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Palestine who was martyred during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.
Initially Saint George was primarily revered by Eastern Christians, but returning crusaders brought stories of him to Western Europe and he became the patron of England, Portugal, Catalonia and Aragon. The name was rarely used in England until the German-born George I came to the British throne in the 18th century. Five subsequent British kings have borne the name.
Other famous bearers include two kings of Greece, the composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), the first president of the United States, George Washington (1732-1797), and the Pacific explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798). This was also the pen name of authors George Eliot (1819-1880) and George Orwell (1903-1950), real names Mary Anne Evans and Eric Arthur Blair respectively.GIDEON
Other Scripts: גִּדְעוֹן (Hebrew)
Pronounced: GID-ee-ən (English)
Rating: 60% based on 61 votesMeans "feller" or "hewer" in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings. In the English-speaking world, Gideon has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans.GILES
Pronounced: JIELZ, JIE-əlz
Rating: 40% based on 63 votesFrom the Late Latin name Aegidius, which is derived from Greek αιγιδιον (aigidion) meaning "young goat". Saint Giles was an 8th-century miracle worker who came to southern France from Greece. He is regarded as the patron saint of the crippled. In Old French the name Aegidius became Gidie and then Gilles, at which point it was imported to England.HENRY
Rating: 76% based on 62 votesFrom the Germanic name Heimirich which meant "home ruler", composed of the elements heim "home" and ric "power, ruler". It was later commonly spelled Heinrich, with the spelling altered due to the influence of other Germanic names like Haganrich, in which the first element is hagan "enclosure".
Heinrich was popular among continental royalty, being the name of seven German kings, starting with the 10th-century Henry I the Fowler, and four French kings. In France it was rendered Henri from the Latin form Henricus.
The Normans introduced the French form to England, and it was subsequently used by eight kings, ending with the infamous Henry VIII in the 16th century. During the Middle Ages it was generally rendered as Harry or Herry in English pronunciation. Notable bearers include arctic naval explorer Henry Hudson (1570-1611), British novelist Henry James (1843-1916), and American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford (1863-1947).HUGO
Pronounced: OO-go (Spanish), HYOO-go (English), HUY-kho (Dutch), HOO-go (German)
Rating: 66% based on 65 votesLatinized form of HUGH. As a surname it has belonged to the French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the writer of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.JAMES
Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)
Rating: 79% based on 66 votesEnglish form of the Late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (see JACOB). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus.
Since the 13th century this name has been used in England, though it became more common in Scotland where it was borne by several kings. In the 17th century the Scottish king James VI inherited the English throne, becoming the first ruler of all Britain, and the name grew much more popular. Famous bearers include the English explorer Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the Scottish inventor James Watt (1736-1819), and the Irish novelist and poet James Joyce (1882-1941). This name has also been borne by six American presidents. A notable fictional bearer is the British spy James Bond, created by author Ian Fleming.JOSIAH
Other Scripts: יֹאשִׁיָהוּ (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: jo-SIE-ə (English)
Rating: 47% based on 59 votesFrom the Hebrew name יֹאשִׁיָהוּ (Yoshiyahu) meaning "YAHWEH supports". In the Old Testament this is the name of a king of Judah famous for his religious reforms. He was killed fighting the Egyptians at Megiddo in the 7th century BC. In England this name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.JULIAN
Pronounced: JOO-lee-ən (English), JOOL-yən (English), YUWL-yahn (Polish), YOO-lee-ahn (German)
Rating: 60% based on 63 votesFrom the Roman name Iulianus, which was derived from JULIUS. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana, eventually becoming Gillian).LUCAS
Pronounced: LOO-kəs (English), LUY-kahs (Dutch), luy-KAH (French), LOO-kəsh (Portuguese), LOO-kahs (Spanish)
Rating: 67% based on 59 votesLatin form of Loukas (see LUKE).MORGAN (1)
Pronounced: MAWR-gən (English)
Rating: 62% based on 64 votesFrom the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant, which was possibly derived from Welsh mor "sea" and cant "circle". Since the 1980s in America Morgan has been more common for girls than boys, perhaps due to stories of Morgan le Fay or the fame of actress Morgan Fairchild (1950-).NICHOLAS
Pronounced: NIK-ə-ləs (English), nee-ko-LAH (French)
Rating: 66% based on 64 votesFrom the Greek name Νικολαος (Nikolaos) which meant "victory of the people" from Greek νικη (nike) "victory" and λαος (laos) "people". Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Anatolia who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. He is the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, as well as Greece and Russia. He formed the basis for the figure known as Santa Claus (created in the 19th century from Dutch Sinterklaas), the bringer of Christmas presents.
Due to the renown of the saint, this name has been widely used in the Christian world. It has been common in England since the 12th century, though it became a bit less popular after the Protestant Reformation. The name has been borne by five popes and two czars of Russia.QUENTIN
Pronounced: kawn-TEN (French), KWEN-tin (English)
Rating: 54% based on 63 votesFrench form of the Roman name QUINTINUS. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint, a missionary who was martyred in Gaul. The Normans introduced this name to England. In America it was brought to public attention by president Theodore Roosevelt's son Quentin Roosevelt (1897-1918), who was killed in World War I.ROBERT
Other Scripts: Роберт (Russian)
Pronounced: RAH-bərt (English), ro-BER (French), RO-bert (German), RO-bərt (Dutch), RAW-bert (Polish), RO-byert (Russian), RO-beert (Russian)
Rating: 59% based on 64 votesFrom the Germanic name Hrodebert meaning "bright fame", derived from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and beraht "bright". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hreodbeorht. It has been a very common English name since that time.
The name has been borne by two early kings of France, two Dukes of Normandy, and three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce who restored the independence of Scotland from England in the 14th century. The author Robert Browning (1812-1889) and poets Robert Burns (1759-1796) and Robert Frost (1874-1963) are famous literary bearers of this name. Other bearers include Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), the commander of the Confederate army during the American Civil War, and American actors Robert Redford (1936-), Robert De Niro (1943-) and Robert Downey Jr. (1965-).RORYAnglicized form of RUAIDHRÍ.SAMUEL
Other Scripts: שְׁמוּאֵל (Hebrew)
Pronounced: SAM-yoo-əl (English), SAM-yəl (English), sah-MWEL (Spanish), SAH-moo-el (Swedish, Finnish)
Rating: 64% based on 57 votesFrom the Hebrew name שְׁמוּאֵל (Shemu'el) which could mean either "name of God" or "God has heard". As told in the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament, Samuel was the last of the ruling judges. He led the Israelites during a period of domination by the Philistines, who were ultimately defeated in battle at Mizpah. Later he anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel, and even later anointed his successor David.
As a Christian name, Samuel came into common use after the Protestant Reformation. Famous bearers include American inventor Samuel Morse (1791-1872), Irish writer Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), and American author Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain.SIDNEY
Rating: 41% based on 57 votesFrom the English surname SIDNEY. It was first used as a given name in honour of executed politician Algernon Sidney (1622-1683). Another notable bearer of the surname was the poet and statesman Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586).THEODORE
Rating: 73% based on 60 votesFrom the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros), which meant "gift of god" from Greek θεος (theos) "god" and δωρον (doron) "gift". This was the name of several saints, including Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Greek soldier; Theodore of Tarsus, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury; and Theodore the Studite, a 9th-century Byzantine monk. It was also borne by two popes.
This was a common name in classical Greece, and, due to both the saints who carried it and the favourable meaning, it came into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was however rare in Britain before the 19th century. Famous bearers include three tsars of Russia (in the Russian form Fyodor) and American president Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).THOMAS
Other Scripts: Θωμας (Greek)
Pronounced: TAHM-əs (English), TOM-əs (English), to-MAH (French), TO-mahs (German, Dutch), tho-MAHS (Greek)
Rating: 72% based on 64 votesGreek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma') which meant "twin". In the New Testament this is the name of an apostle. When he heard that Jesus had risen from the dead he initially doubted the story, until Jesus appeared before him and he examined his wounds himself. According to tradition he was martyred in India. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world.
In England the name was introduced by the Normans and became very popular due to Saint Thomas Becket, a 12th-century archbishop of Canterbury and martyr. Another notable saint by this name was the 13th-century Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas, who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. Other famous bearers include philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), American president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), novelist Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), and inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931).WINSTON
Rating: 41% based on 60 votesFrom a surname derived from an English place name, which was in turn derived from the Old English given name Wynnstan meaning "joy stone". A famous bearer was Winston Churchill (1874-1965), the British prime minister during World War II. This name was also borne by the fictional Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell's 1949 novel '1984'.