rainbow_Maya's Personal Name List

ADA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Finnish

Pronounced: AY-də (English), AH-dah (Polish, Finnish)

Short form of ADELAIDE and other names beginning with the same sound. This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron. She was an assistant to Charles Babbage, the inventor of an early mechanical computer.

ALVA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish, Norwegian

Feminine form of ALF (1)

AMABEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Medieval feminine form of AMABILIS

AMAYA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Basque, Spanish

Variant of AMAIA

ANNABEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: AN-ə-bel (English)

Variant of AMABEL influenced by the name ANNA. This name appears to have arisen in Scotland in the Middle Ages.

ANNIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AN-ee

Diminutive of ANNE (1)

ANOUK

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Dutch, French

Dutch and French diminutive of ANNA

ÁRPÁD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Hungarian

Pronounced: AHR-pahd

Means "seed" in Hungarian. This is the name of a Hungarian national hero, a 9th-century prince who led the Magyars into Hungary.

ARTEMIS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Αρτεμις (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: AHR-tə-mis (English)

Personal note: nn Arte

Meaning unknown, possibly related either to Greek αρτεμης (artemes) "safe" or αρταμος (artamos) "a butcher". Artemis was the Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, the twin of Apollo and the daughter of Zeus and Leto. She was known as Diana to the Romans.

ARTHUR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance

Pronounced: AHR-thər (English), ar-TUYR (French), AHR-toor (German), AHR-tur (Dutch)

Personal note: nn Arty

The 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).

ARWEN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Literature

Means "noble maiden" in Sindarin. In 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Arwen was the daughter of Elrond and the lover of Aragorn.

ASTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: AHS-tah (Swedish, Norwegian)

Short form of ASTRID

AUGUST

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Catalan, English

Pronounced: OW-guwst (German, Polish), AW-gəst (English)

German, Polish, Scandinavian and Catalan form of AUGUSTUS

BARNABY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Archaic)

Pronounced: BAHR-nə-bee

Medieval English form of BARNABAS

BEATRIX

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Late Roman

Pronounced: BEE-ə-triks (English), BE-ah-triks (German), BAY-ah-triks (Dutch)

Personal note: nns Bea, Trix

Probably from Viatrix, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator which meant "voyager, traveller". It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus "blessed". Viatrix or Beatrix was a 4th-century saint who was strangled to death during the persecutions of Diocletian. In England it became rare after the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the British author and illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), the creator of Peter Rabbit.

BENJAMIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Biblical

Other Scripts: בִּנְיָמִין (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: BEN-jə-min (English), ben-zha-MEN (French), BEN-yah-meen (German)

From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin) which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand". Benjamin in the Old Testament is the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named בֶּן־אוֹנִי (Ben-'oniy) meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father.

As an English name, Benjamin came into general use after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher.

BERNARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Polish, Croatian, Slovene, Czech, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: bər-NAHRD (English), BUR-nərd (English), ber-NAHR (French), BER-nahrt (Polish, Croatian)

Derived from the Germanic element bern "bear" combined with hard "brave, hardy". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Beornheard. This was the name of several saints, including Saint Bernard of Menthon who built hospices in the Swiss Alps in the 10th century, and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century theologian and Doctor of the Church. Another famous bearer was George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), an Irish playwright and essayist.

CARA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KAHR-ə, KER-ə

Personal note: also Kara

From an Italian word meaning "beloved". It has been used as a given name since the 19th century, though it did not become popular until after the 1950s.

CARLOTTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: kahr-LOT-tah

Personal note: nn Carla

Italian form of CHARLOTTE

CARYS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh

Personal note: also Cerys

Derived from Welsh caru meaning "love". This is a relatively modern Welsh name, in common use only since the middle of the 20th century.

CATRIONA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Scottish

Pronounced: ka-TREE-na, ka-TREE-o-na

Gaelic form of KATHERINE

CLARIBEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KLER-ə-bel, KLAR-ə-bel

Combination of CLARA and the popular name suffix bel. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (in the form Claribell) and by Shakespeare in his play 'The Tempest' (1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled 'Claribel' (1830).

CLOVIS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Ancient Germanic (Latinized), French

Pronounced: KLO-vis (English), klo-VEES (French)

Shortened form of Clodovicus, a Latinized form of Chlodovech (see LUDWIG). Clovis was a Frankish king who united France under his rule in the 5th century.

CORIANDER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: KAWR-ee-an-dər

From the name of the spice, also called cilantro, which may ultimately be of Phoenician origin.

COSIMA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Italian feminine form of COSIMO

DRYSTAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Welsh form of TRISTAN

DYLAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology

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

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'.

ELBA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: EL-bah

Possibly a Spanish variant form of ALBA (3)

ELSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Italian

Pronounced: EL-sə (English), EL-sah (German, Finnish)

Short form of ELISABETH

EMINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Bosnian

Bosnian form of AMINAH (2)

EMMA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: EM-ə (English), EM-mah (Finnish), E-mah (German)

Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen meaning "whole" or "universal". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of king Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of king Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma.

After the Norman conquest this name became common in England. It was revived in the 18th century, perhaps in part due to Matthew Prior's poem 'Henry and Emma' (1709). It was also used by Jane Austen for the central character, the matchmaker Emma Woodhouse, in her novel 'Emma' (1816).

ENA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish

Anglicized form of EITHNE

FINLAY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, Scottish, English

Personal note: nn Finn

Anglicized form of FIONNLAGH

FINTAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: FIN-tan (Irish)

Personal note: nn Finn

Possibly means either "white fire" or "white bull" in Irish. According to legend this was the name of the only Irish person to survive the great flood. This name was also borne by many Irish saints.

FIONA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: fee-O-nə

Feminine form of FIONN. This name was (first?) used by Scottish poet James Macpherson in his poem 'Fingal' (1762).

FLOSSIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FLAWS-ee

Personal note: nn for Floss

Diminutive of FLORENCE

FLYNN

Gender: Feminine & Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: FLIN

From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Floinn meaning "descendent of FLANN".

FRANCIS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: FRANT-səs (English)

English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus which meant "Frenchman". This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.

Due to the renown of the saint, this name became widespread in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. However, it was not regularly used in Britain until the 16th century. Famous bearers include Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552), a missionary to East Asia, the philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon (1561-1626), and the explorer and admiral Sir Francis Drake (1540-1595). In the English-speaking world this name is occasionally used for girls.

FREDERICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FRED-ə-rik, FRED-rik

English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from frid "peace" and ric "ruler, power". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman Emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.

The Normans brought the name to England in the 11th century but it quickly died out. It was reintroduced by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century. A famous bearer was Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), an American ex-slave who became a leading advocate of abolition.

FRIEDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, English

Pronounced: FREE-dah (German), FREE-də (English)

Variant of FRIDA

GAIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, Italian

Other Scripts: Γαια (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: GAY-ə (English), GIE-ə (English), GAH-yah (Italian)

From the Greek word γαια (gaia), a parallel form of γη (ge) meaning "earth". In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.

GILEAD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical

Other Scripts: גִּלְעָד (Ancient Hebrew)

From an Old Testament place name meaning "monument of testimony" in Hebrew. This was a mountainous region east of the Jordan River. Besides being a place name, it is also borne by people in the Bible.

GRÁINNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: GRAWN-ya

Personal note: Grania, Gronia?

Possibly derived from Gaelic grán meaning "grain". This was the name of an ancient Irish grain goddess. The name also belonged to the fiancée of Fionn mac Cumhail and the lover of Diarmaid in later Irish legend, and it is often associated with gráidh "love".

HANNA (2)

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: HAH-nah (German), HAN-nah (Danish), HAHN-nah (Finnish)

Short form of JOHANNA

HARRIS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HAR-is, HER-is

From a surname which was derived from the given name HARRY.

HENRIETTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: hen-ree-ET-ə (English)

Personal note: nn Etta

English form of HENRIETTE. It was introduced to England by Henriette Marie, the wife of the 17th-century English king Charles I. The name Henriette was also Anglicized as Harriet, a form which was initially more popular.

HERB

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HURB

Short form of HERBERT

HETTIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HET-ee

Personal note: also Hetty, Hattie & Hatty, nn for ???

Diminutive of HENRIETTA or HESTER

IANTO

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Diminutive of IFAN

ILA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: इला (Hindi)

Means "earth" or "speech" in Sanskrit.

JOHANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, English, Late Roman

Pronounced: yo-HAH-nah (German), yo-HAHN-nah (Danish, Dutch), YO-hahn-nah (Finnish)

Latinate form of Ioanna (see JOANNA).

JÓNA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Icelandic

Icelandic feminine form of JOHN

JOVAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Serbian, Macedonian

Other Scripts: Јован (Serbian, Macedonian)

Serbian and Macedonian form of JOHN

JULIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Polish, German

Pronounced: JOO-lee-ən (English), JOOL-yən (English), YUWL-yahn (Polish), YOO-lee-ahn (German)

Personal note: nn Juls

From 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).

JUNIPER

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: JOON-ə-pər

Personal note: nn Joon

From the English word for the type of tree, derived ultimately from Latin iuniperus.

KESTER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish

Personal note: nn Kez

Scottish form of CHRISTOPHER

LANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Russian, Croatian, Serbian

Other Scripts: Лана (Russian, Serbian)

Pronounced: LAH-nə (English)

Short form of ALANA (English) or SVETLANA (Russian). In the English-speaking world, it was popularized by actress Lana Turner (1921-1995).

LARKIN

Gender: Feminine & Masculine

Usage: Medieval English

Pronounced: LAHR-kin

Personal note: nn Lark

Medieval diminutive of LAURENCE (1)

LEONIDAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Greek, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Λεωνιδας (Greek)

From Greek λεων (leon) "lion". Leonidas was a Spartan king of the 5th century BC who sacrificed his life defending the pass of Thermopylae from the Persians. This was also the name of a 3rd-century saint and martyr, the father of Origen, from Alexandria.

LILEAS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Personal note: also Lilias and Lillias

Scottish form of LILLIAN

LILITH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Near Eastern Mythology, Judeo-Christian Legend

Pronounced: LIL-ith (English)

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.

LILJA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Icelandic, Finnish

Pronounced: LIL-yah (Icelandic), LEEL-yah (Finnish)

Personal note: nn for Lileas and Lilith

Icelandic and Finnish cognate of LILY

LINNÉA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish

Pronounced: lin-NE-ah

From the name of a flower, also known as the twinflower. The Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus named it after himself, it being his favourite flower.

LINUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized), German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Other Scripts: Λινος (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: LIE-nəs (English), LEE-nuws (German)

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 it was the name of a character in Charles Schulz's comic strip 'Peanuts'.

LUDWIG

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German

Pronounced: LOOT-vikh, LOOT-vik

From the Germanic name Chlodovech, which was composed of the elements hlud "famous" and wig "war, battle". This was the name of three Merovingian kings of the Franks (though their names are usually spelled in the Latinized form Clovis) as well as several Carolingian kings and Holy Roman Emperors (names often spelled in the French form Louis). Other famous bearers include the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), who contributed to logic and the philosophy of language.

MABEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAY-bəl

Medieval feminine form of AMABILIS. This spelling and Amabel were common during the Middle Ages, though they became rare after the 15th century. It was revived in the 19th century after the publication of C. M. Yonge's novel 'The Heir of Redclyffe' (1854), which featured a character named Mabel (as well as one named Amabel).

MAISIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Pronounced: MAY-zee

Personal note: nn for ???

Diminutive of MAIREAD

MATHILDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: mə-TIL-də (English, Swedish)

Personal note: also Matilda, nns Tilly and Tilda

Variant of MATILDA

MERLIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Arthurian Romance, English

Pronounced: MUR-lin (English)

Form of the Welsh name Myrddin (meaning "sea fortress") used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus over Merdinus in order to prevent associations with French merde "excrement".

Geoffrey based parts of Merlin's character on Myrddin Wyllt, a semi-legendary madman and prophet who lived in the Caledonian Forest. Other parts of his life were based on that of the historical 5th-century Romano-British military leader Ambrosius Aurelianus. In Geoffrey's version of the tales and later embellishments Merlin is a wizard and counselor for King Arthur.

MIDGE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: MIJ

Personal note: nn for ???

Variant of MADGE

MILLIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MIL-ee

Personal note: also Milly, nn for ???

Diminutive of MILDRED, MILLICENT and other names containing the same sound.

MINNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Finnish

Pronounced: MI-nah (German), MEEN-nah (Finnish)

German short form of WILHELMINA and a Finnish short form of VILHELMIINA.

MORGAINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Arthurian Romance

Variant of MORGAN (2), from a French form.

MUNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Arabic

Other Scripts: منى (Arabic)

Means "wishes, desires", from the plural of Arabic منية (munyah).

NEHA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: नेहा (Hindi)

Means "loving" in Sanskrit.

NIMROD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical

Other Scripts: נִמְרֹד (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: NIM-rahd (English)

Meaning unknown, possibly of Akkadian origin or possibly meaning "rebel" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Nimrod is a renowned hunter, the great-grandson of Noah. He was the founder of Babylon.

Due to the biblical character, this name was adopted as an English-language vocabulary word meaning "hunter". In American English it acquired a further meaning of "fool", after the oafish cartoon character Elmer Fudd (a hunter) was called such by Bugs Bunny.

NIMUE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Arthurian Romance

Pronounced: NIM-oo-ay

Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legends this is the name of a sorceress, also known as the Lady of the Lake, Vivien, or Niniane. Various versions of the tales have Merlin falling in love with her and becoming imprisoned by her magic. She first appears in the medieval French 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle.

NINIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish, Irish, Ancient Celtic

Meaning unknown. It appears in a Latinized form Niniavus, which could be from the Welsh name NYNNIAW. This was the name of a 5th-century British saint who was apparently responsible for many miracles and cures. He is known as the Apostle to the Picts.

OTIS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: O-tis

From an English surname which was derived from the medieval given name Ode, a cognate of OTTO. In America it has been used in honour of the revolutionary James Otis (1725-1783).

OVID

Gender: Masculine

Usage: History

Pronounced: AH-vid (English)

From the Roman family name Ovidius, which was possibly derived from Latin ovis "a sheep". Alternatively, it could have a Sabellic origin. Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, was a 1st-century BC Roman poet who often wrote on the subjects of love and mythology. He was sent into exile by emperor Augustus for no apparent reason.

PAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Παν (Ancient Greek)

Derived from a Greek word meaning "shepherd". In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.

PENINNAH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical

Other Scripts: פְּנִנָּה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: pi-NIN-ə (English), pee-NIN-ə (English)

Personal note: nn Ninna

Means "precious stone" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the wives of Elkanah.

PERDITA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Literature

Derived from Latin perditus meaning "lost". Shakespeare created this name for the daughter of Hermione in his play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610).

PHILIPP

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German

Pronounced: FEE-lip

Personal note: nn Pip

German form of PHILIP

PHILIPPA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British), German

Pronounced: FIL-i-pə (English), fi-LIP-ə (English)

Personal note: nn Pippa

Latinate feminine form of PHILIP

PHINEAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical

Pronounced: FIN-ee-əs (English)

Variant of PHINEHAS used in some versions of the Bible.

PHOEBE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: Φοιβη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: FEE-bee (English)

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).

PHYLLIS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English, German

Other Scripts: Φυλλις (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: FIL-is (English)

Personal note: nn Phil

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.

PIP

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PIP

Personal note: meaning "Kern", meaning "Ena"

Diminutive of PHILIP. This was the name of the main character in 'Great Expectations' (1860) by Charles Dickens.

PIPPIN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Germanic

Personal note: nn Pip

Old Germanic form of PÉPIN

QUENTIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: kawn-TEN (French), KWEN-tin (English)

French 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.

QUIRIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German

Pronounced: KVEE-reen

German form of QUIRINUS

RANI (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: राणी (Hindi)

Means "queen" in Sanskrit.

RASMUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Danish, Swedish, Norwegian

Pronounced: RAHS-moos

Scandinavian form of ERASMUS

ROBERTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish

Pronounced: rə-BUR-tə (English), ro-BER-tah (Italian, Spanish)

Feminine form of ROBERT

RONJA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish

Pronounced: RON-yah

Invented by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren, who based it on the middle portion of Juronjaure, the name of a lake in Sweden. Lindgren used it in her book 'Ronia the Robber's Daughter' (Ronia is the English translation).

RUNE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Norwegian, Danish, Swedish

Pronounced: ROO-ne

Derived from Old Norse rún meaning "secret lore".

RUTH (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: רוּת (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: ROOTH (English), ROOT (German)

From a Hebrew name which was derived from the Hebrew word רְעוּת (re'ut) meaning "friend". This is the name of the central character in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament, a Moabite woman who was the ancestor of King David. As a Christian name, Ruth has been in use since the Protestant Reformation. It became very popular in America following the birth of "Baby" Ruth Cleveland (1891-1904), the daughter of President Grover Cleveland.

SAGE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: SAYJ

From the English word sage, which denotes either a type of spice or else a wise person.

SA'IDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Arabic

Other Scripts: سعيدة (Arabic)

Feminine form of SA'ID

SCHEHERAZADE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Literature

Anglicized form of SHAHRAZAD

SELWYN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: SEL-win

From a surname which was originally derived from an Old English given name, which was formed of the elements sele "manor" and wine "friend".

SHASHI

Gender: Feminine & Masculine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: शशि, शशी (Hindi)

Traditional name for the moon, it literally means "having a hare" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form शशि and the feminine form शशी.

SILAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Σιλας (Greek)

Pronounced: SIE-ləs (English)

Probably a short form of SILVANUS. This is the name of a companion of Saint Paul in the New Testament. Paul refers to him as Silvanus in his epistles, though it is possible that Silas was in fact a Greek form of the Hebrew name SAUL (via Aramaic).

As an English name it was not used until after the Protestant Reformation. It was utilized by George Eliot for the title character in her novel 'Silas Marner' (1861).

STELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian

Pronounced: STEL-ə (English)

Means "star" in Latin. This name was created by the 16th-century poet Sir Philip Sidney for the subject of his collection of sonnets 'Astrophel and Stella'. It was not commonly used as a given name until the 19th century. It appears in Tennessee Williams' play 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1947), belonging to the sister of Blanche DuBois and the wife of Stanley Kowalski.

STERLING

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: STUR-ling

From a Scottish surname which was derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning. The name can also be given in reference to the English word sterling meaning "excellent". In this case, the word derives from sterling silver, which was so named because of the emblem that some Norman coins bore, from Old English meaning "little star".

STINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Scandinavian short form of CHRISTINA and other names ending in stina.

SULLIVAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SUL-i-vən

From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Súilleabháin meaning "descendent of Súilleabhán". The name Súilleabhán means "little dark eye" in Irish.

TALIESIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, Arthurian Romance

Pronounced: tal-ee-ES-in (Welsh)

Personal note: nn Tali

Means "shining brow", derived from Welsh tal "brow" and iesin "shining". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh poet and bard. In later Welsh legends he is portrayed as a wizard and prophet, or as a companion of King Arthur.

TANITH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: 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)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian, Hinduism

Other Scripts: तारा (Hindi, Sanskrit)

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).

TATUM

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: TA-təm

From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "Tata's homestead" in Old English.

THEA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English

Pronounced: TE-ah (German), THEE-ə (English)

Short form of DOROTHEA or THEODORA

THEODORE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: THEE-ə-dawr

From 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).

TRISTAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English, French, Celtic Mythology

Pronounced: TRIS-tən (English), trees-TAWN (French)

Old French form of the Pictish name Drustan, a diminutive of DRUST. The spelling was altered by association with Latin tristis "sad". In Celtic legend Tristan was sent to Ireland in order to fetch Isolde, who was to be the bride of King Mark of Cornwall. Instead, Tristan and Isolde end up falling in love. Their tragic story was very popular in the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since that time.

WILLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WIL-ə

Feminine form of WILLIAM

ZACHARIAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Ζαχαριας (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: zak-ə-RIE-əs (English)

Greek form of ZECHARIAH. This form of the name is used in most English versions of the New Testament to refer to the father of John the Baptist. It was also borne by an 8th-century pope (called Zachary in English).

ZACHARY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ZAK-ə-ree

Personal note: nn Zack

Usual English form of ZACHARIAS. This form has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation. It was borne by American military commander and president Zachary Taylor (1784-1850).
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2014.