Zimger's Personal Name List

ALDEN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AWL-dən

From a surname which was derived from the Old English given name EALDWINE.

ASA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: אָסָא (Hebrew)

Pronounced: AY-sə (English)

Rating: 37% based on 23 votes

Possibly means "healer" in Hebrew. This name was borne by the third king of Judah, as told in the Old Testament.

BLAKE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BLAYK

From a surname which was derived from Old English blæc "black" or blac "pale". A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).

BRAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: BRAHM

Short form of ABRAHAM. This name was borne by Bram Stoker (1847-1912), the Irish author who wrote 'Dracula'.

DASHIELL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

In the case of American author Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), it is an Anglicized form of his mother's surname De Chiel, which is of unknown meaning.

DYLAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology

Pronounced: DUL-an (Welsh), DIL-ən (English)

Rating: 48% based on 23 votes

From the Welsh elements dy "great" and llanw "tide, flow". In Welsh mythology Dylan was a god or hero associated with the sea. He was the son of Arianrhod and was accidentally slain by his uncle Govannon.

Famous bearers include the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) and the American musician Bob Dylan (1941-), real name Robert Zimmerman, who took his stage surname from the poet's given name. Due to those two bearers, use of the name has spread outside of Wales in the last half of the 20th century. It received a further boost in popularity in the 1990s due to a character on the television series 'Beverly Hills 90210'.

JACOB

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Jewish, Biblical

Other Scripts: יַעֲקֹב (Hebrew)

Pronounced: JAY-kəb (English), YAH-kawp (Dutch)

From the Latin Iacobus, which was from the Greek Ιακωβος (Iakobos), which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov). In the Old Testament Jacob (later called Israel) is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau's heel, and his name is explained as meaning "holder of the heel" or "supplanter", because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son (see Genesis 27:36). Other theories claim that it is in fact derived from a hypothetical name like יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya'aqov'el) meaning "may God protect".

The English names Jacob and James derive from the same source, with James coming from Latin Iacomus, a later variant of Iacobus. Unlike English, many languages do not have separate spellings for the two names.

In England, Jacob was mainly regarded as a Jewish name during the Middle Ages, though the variant James was used among Christians. Jacob came into general use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), the German linguist and writer who was, with his brother Wilhelm, the author of 'Grimm's Fairy Tales'.

JAMES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)

English 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.

JEORDIE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JAWR-dee

Variant of GEORDIE

JONAS (2)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Biblical

Other Scripts: Ιωνας (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: YO-nahs (German), JO-nəs (English)

Rating: 56% based on 23 votes

From Ιωνας (Ionas), the Greek form of JONAH. This spelling is used in some English translations of the New Testament.

KAI (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Frisian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch

Pronounced: KIE (German, Swedish, Finnish)

Rating: 37% based on 20 votes

Meaning uncertain, possibly a Frisian diminutive of GERHARD, NICOLAAS, CORNELIS or GAIUS.

MICHAEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: מִיכָאֵל (Ancient Hebrew), Μιχαηλ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: MIE-kəl (English), MI-khah-el (German), MEE-kah-el (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)

Rating: 55% based on 19 votes

From the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha'el) meaning "who is like God?". This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Michael is one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament he is named as a protector of Israel. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies in the war against Satan, and is thus considered the patron saint of soldiers in Christianity.

The popularity of the saint led to the name being used by nine Byzantine emperors, including Michael VIII Palaeologus who restored the empire in the 13th century. It has been common in Western Europe since the Middle Ages, and in England since the 12th century. It has been borne (in various spellings) by rulers of Russia (spelled Михаил), Romania (Mihai), Poland (Michał), and Portugal (Miguel). Other bearers of this name include the British chemist/physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867), musician Michael Jackson (1958-2009), and basketball player Michael Jordan (1963-).

ORSON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AWR-sən

From an English surname which was originally a nickname meaning "bear cub", from a diminutive of Norman French ors "bear", ultimately from Latin ursus. American actor and director Orson Welles (1915-1985) was a famous bearer of this name.

PAUL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Biblical

Pronounced: PAWL (English), POL (French), POWL (German)

From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.

Due to the renown of Saint Paul the name became common among early Christians. It was borne by a number of other early saints and six popes. In England it was relatively rare during the Middle Ages, but became more frequent beginning in the 17th century. A notable bearer was the American Revolutionary War figure Paul Revere (1735-1818), who warned of the advance of the British army. Famous bearers in the art world include the French impressionists Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) and Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), and the Swiss expressionist Paul Klee (1879-1940). It is borne by British musician Paul McCartney (1942-). This is also the name of the legendary American lumberjack Paul Bunyan.

SETH (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: שֵׁת (Ancient Hebrew), Σηθ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: SETH (English)

Means "placed" or "appointed" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is the third named son of Adam and Eve. In England this name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.

TOBIAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Τωβιας (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: to-BEE-ahs (German), tə-BIE-əs (English)

Rating: 54% based on 37 votes

Greek form of TOBIAH. This is the name of the hero of the apocryphal Book of Tobit, which appears in many English versions of the Old Testament. It relates how Tobit's son Tobias, with the help of the angel Raphael, is able to drive away a demon who has plagued Sarah, who subsequently becomes his wife. This story was popular in the Middle Ages, and the name came into occasional use in parts of Europe at that time. In England it became common after the Protestant Reformation.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.