Keladry's Personal Name List

AGNES
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Other Scripts: ‘Αγνη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: AG-nis (English), AK-nəs (German), AHKH-nəs (Dutch), AHNG-nes (Swedish)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Αγνη (Hagne), derived from Greek ‘αγνος (hagnos) meaning "chaste". Saint Agnes was a virgin martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The name became associated with Latin agnus "lamb", resulting in the saint's frequent depiction with a lamb by her side. Due to her renown, the name became common in Christian Europe, being especially popular in England in the Middle Ages.

ALESSANDRA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: a-les-SAN-dra
Italian form of ALEXANDRA.

ALICE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French, Portuguese, Italian
Pronounced: AL-is (English), A-LEES (French), a-LEE-che (Italian)
Personal note: Mum approves
From the Old French name Aalis, a short form of Adelais, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis (see ADELAIDE). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was borne by the heroine of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking Glass' (1871).

AMÁLIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hungarian, Portuguese, Slovak
Pronounced: AW-ma-lee-aw (Hungarian)
Hungarian, Portuguese and Slovak form of AMALIA.

AMALIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Pronounced: ah-MAH-lee-ah (Dutch), a-MA-lya (German)
Latinized form of the Germanic name Amala, a short form of names beginning with the element amal meaning "work".

ANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, Slovene, Bulgarian, Romanian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Georgian
Other Scripts: Ана (Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian), ანა (Georgian)
Pronounced: A-na (Spanish)
Personal note: Grace approves
Form of ANNA.

ANOUK
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Dutch, French
Personal note: Grace & Mum approve
Dutch and French diminutive of ANNA.

APOLLINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: A-PAW-LEEN
French form of APOLLONIA.

ARABELLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Medieval Scottish name, probably a variant of ANNABEL. It has long been associated with Latin orabilis meaning "invokable".

ARTHUR
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Pronounced: AHR-thər (English), AR-TUYR (French), AR-tuwr (German), AHR-tuyr (Dutch)
Personal note: Grace approves
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).

AUGUST
Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Catalan, English
Pronounced: OW-guwst (German), OW-goost (Polish), AW-gəst (English)
Personal note: Grace approves
German, Polish, Scandinavian and Catalan form of AUGUSTUS.

AURELIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Ancient Roman, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, Polish
Pronounced: ow-RE-lya (Italian, Polish)
Feminine form of AURELIUS.

BEATRICE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, English, Swedish
Pronounced: be-a-TREE-che (Italian), BEE-ə-tris (English), BEET-ris (English), BE-ah-trees (Swedish), be-ah-TREES (Swedish)
Italian form of BEATRIX. Beatrice Portinari (1266-1290) was the woman who was loved by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. She serves as Dante's guide through paradise in his epic poem the 'Divine Comedy' (1321). This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599), in which Beatrice and Benedick are fooled into confessing their love for one another.

BERENICE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Other Scripts: Βερενικη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: bər-NEES (English), ber-ə-NEE-see (English), be-re-NEE-che (Italian)
Latinized form of Βερενικη (Berenike), the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενικη (Pherenike), which meant "bringing victory" from φερω (phero) "to bring" and νικη (nike) "victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty which was originally from Macedon. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament (in most English Bibles it is spelled Bernice) belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II. As an English name, Berenice came into use after the Protestant Reformation.

BIRGITTA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish
Pronounced: bir-YIT-tah (Swedish), bir-GIT-tah (Swedish), BEER-geet-tah (Finnish)
Most likely a Scandinavian form of BRIDGET via the Latinized form Brigitta. Alternatively it could be a feminine derivative of BIRGER. This is the name of the patron saint of Europe, Birgitta of Sweden, the 14th-century founder of the Bridgettine nuns. Her father's name was Birger.

CECILY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: SES-i-lee
English form of CECILIA. This was the usual English form during the Middle Ages.

CLARICE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: klə-REES
Medieval vernacular form of the Late Latin name Claritia, which was a derivative of CLARA.

CLÁUDIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Portuguese
Portuguese feminine form of CLAUDIUS.

CLAUDIUS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Ancient Roman
Pronounced: KLOW-dee-oos (Classical Latin), KLAW-dee-əs (English)
From a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin claudus meaning "lame, crippled". This was the name of a patrician family prominent in Roman politics. The ancestor of the family was said to have been a 6th-century BC Sabine leader named Attius Clausus, who adopted the name Appius Claudius upon becoming a Roman citizen. The family produced several Roman emperors of the 1st century, including the emperor known simply as Claudius. He was poisoned by his wife Agrippina in order to bring her son Nero (Claudius's stepson) to power. The name was later borne by several early saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Besançon.

CLOELIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CLOELIUS. In Roman legend Cloelia was a maiden who was given to an Etruscan invader as a hostage. She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber, at the same time helping some of the other captives to safety.

DELPHINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: DEL-FEEN
French form of DELPHINA.

DEMELZA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (British)
From a Cornish place name meaning "fort of Maeldaf". It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century. It was popularized in the 1970s by a character from the British television series 'Poldark', which was set in Cornwall.

DESPINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek, Macedonian
Other Scripts: Δεσποινα (Greek), Деспина (Macedonian)
Pronounced: DHE-spee-na (Greek)
Modern Greek and Macedonian form of DESPOINA.

ELI (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: עֵלִי (Hebrew), Ηλι (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: EE-lie (English)
Personal note: Grace and Mum approve
Means "ascension" in Hebrew. In the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament he is a high priest of the Israelites. He took the young Samuel into his service and gave him guidance when God spoke to him. Because of the misdeeds of his sons, Eli and his descendants were cursed to die before reaching old age.

Eli has been used as an English Christian given name since the Protestant Reformation. A notable bearer was the American inventor of the cotton gin Eli Whitney (1765-1825).

ELKE (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Dutch, German, Frisian
Pronounced: EL-kə (Dutch, German)
Frisian diminutive of ADELHEID.

ELLIOT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EL-ee-ət
From a surname which was a variant of ELLIOTT.

ELOISE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EL-o-eez, el-o-EEZ
Personal note: Mum approves
From the Old French name Héloïse, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis, composed of the elements heil "hale, healthy" and wid "wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios) "sun" or the name Louise, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.

There was a medieval English form of this name, Helewis, though it died out after the 13th century. In the 19th century it was revived in the English-speaking world in the form Eloise.

ERASMO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of ERASMUS.

ESTELLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: es-TEL-ə
Latinate form of ESTELLE. This was the name of the heroine, Estella Havisham, in Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations' (1860).

EUFÊMIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Portuguese
Portuguese form of EUPHEMIA.

EUGÉNIE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: UU-ZHE-NEE
French form of EUGENIA. This was the name of the wife of Napoleon III.

EVIE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EE-vee, EV-ee
Diminutive of EVE or EVELYN.

FLORA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Italian, Roman Mythology
Pronounced: FLAW-rə (English), FLO-ra (German)
Derived from Latin flos meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala.

FRANCESCA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Catalan
Pronounced: fran-CHES-ka (Italian)
Italian and Catalan feminine form of Franciscus (see FRANCIS).

GEORGE
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Romanian
Pronounced: JAWRJ (English)
Personal note: Grace approves
From 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
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Biblical, English, Hebrew
Other Scripts: גִּדְעוֹן (Hebrew)
Pronounced: GID-ee-ən (English)
Means "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.

HAZEL
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: HAY-zəl
Personal note: Grace approves
From the English word hazel for the tree or the light brown colour, derived ultimately from Old English hæsel. It was coined as a given name in the 19th century.

HENRIETTA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Hungarian, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch
Pronounced: hen-ree-ET-ə (English), HEN-ree-et-taw (Hungarian), HEN-ree-et-tah (Finnish)
Latinate 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.

HESTIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology
Other Scripts: ‘Εστια (Ancient Greek)
Derived from Greek ‘εστια (hestia) "hearth, fireside". In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.

HONORIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Late Roman
Feminine form of HONORIUS.

HUGH
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: HYOO
Personal note: Mum approves
From the Germanic element hug, meaning "heart, mind, spirit". It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh and Ùisdean.

HUGO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Pronounced: OO-go (Spanish), HYOO-go (English), HUY-kho (Dutch), HOO-go (German)
Personal note: Grace and Mum approve
Latinized 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'.

IDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: IED-ə (English), EE-da (German, Italian), EE-dah (Swedish, Danish, Dutch), EE-daw (Hungarian)
Derived from the Germanic element id meaning "work, labour". The Normans brought this name to England, though it eventually died out there in the Middle Ages. It was strongly revived in the 19th century, in part due to the heroine in Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'The Princess' (1847), which was later adapted into the play 'Princess Ida' (1884) by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Though the etymology is unrelated, this is the name of a mountain on the island of Crete where, according to Greek myth, the god Zeus was born.

IMELDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish
Pronounced: ee-MEL-da
Italian and Spanish form of IRMHILD. The Blessed Imelda was a young 14th-century nun from Bologna.

INÊS
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Portuguese
Pronounced: ee-NESH
Portuguese form of AGNES.

INGRID
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
Pronounced: ING-rid (Swedish), ING-ree (Norwegian), ING-grit (German), ING-greet (German)
From the Old Norse name Ingríðr meaning "Ing is beautiful", derived from the name of the Germanic god ING combined with fríðr "beautiful". A famous bearer was the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982).

ISKANDAR
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Arabic, Indonesian, Malay
Other Scripts: إسكندر (Arabic)
Arabic, Indonesian and Malay form of ALEXANDER.

ISLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Scottish
Pronounced: IE-lə
Personal note: Grace approves
Variant of ISLAY, typically used as a feminine name.

ISRA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Arabic
Other Scripts: إسراء (Arabic)
Means "nocturnal journey", derived from Arabic سرى (sara) "to travel at night".

JACQUES
Gender: Masculine
Usage: French
Pronounced: ZHAHK
Personal note: Grace and Mum approve
French form of JACOB (or JAMES).

JOSEPHINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Dutch
Pronounced: JO-sə-feen (English), yo-ze-FEE-nə (German)
English, German and Dutch form of JOSÉPHINE.

KSENIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Polish
Pronounced: KSE-nya
Polish form of XENIA.

LETTICE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Archaic)
Medieval form of LETITIA.

LILY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: LIL-ee
Personal note: Mum approves
From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium.

LUCA (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian, Romanian, German
Pronounced: LOO-ka (Italian, German)
Personal note: Grace approves
Italian and Romanian form of LUKE. This name was borne by Luca della Robbia, a Renaissance sculptor from Florence.

LUCIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Slovak, Ancient Roman
Pronounced: loo-CHEE-a (Italian), loo-TSEE-a (German), LOO-tsya (German), LOO-shə (English), loo-SEE-ə (English), LOO-chya (Romanian), LOO-kee-a (Classical Latin)
Feminine form of LUCIUS. Saint Lucia was a 4th-century martyr from Syracuse. She was said to have had her eyes gouged out, and thus she is the patron saint of the blind. She was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). It has been used in the England since the 12th century, usually in the spellings Lucy or Luce.

LUCY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: LOO-see
English form of LUCIA, in use since the Middle Ages.

MAFALDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Portuguese
Pronounced: ma-FAL-da (Italian), mə-FAL-də (Portuguese)
Italian and Portuguese form of MATILDA.

MAUD
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Dutch
Pronounced: MAWD (English)
Usual medieval form of MATILDA. Though it became rare after the 14th century, it was revived and once more grew popular in the 19th century, perhaps due to Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'Maud' (1855).

MIGUEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Spanish, Portuguese
Pronounced: mee-GHEL (Spanish), mee-GEL (Portuguese)
Spanish and Portuguese form of MICHAEL. A notable bearer of this name was Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616), the Spanish novelist and poet who wrote 'Don Quixote'.

MILO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: MIE-lo (English)
Old Germanic form of MILES, as well as the Latinized form. This form of the name was used in official documents during the Middle Ages, and it has been used independently since the 19th century.

MIREILLE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: MEE-RAY
From the Occitan name Mirèio, which was first used by the poet Frédéric Mistral for the main character in his poem 'Mirèio' (1859). He probably derived it from the Occitan word mirar meaning "to admire".

MONA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Irish, English
Pronounced: MO-nə (English)
Anglicized form of MUADHNAIT. It is also associated with Greek monos "one" and Leonardo da Vinci's painting the 'Mona Lisa' (in which case it is a contraction of Italian ma donna meaning "my lady").

OLIVER
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak
Other Scripts: Оливер (Serbian, Macedonian)
Pronounced: AWL-ə-vər (English), O-lee-vu (German), O-lee-ver (Finnish)
Personal note: Grace and Mum approve
From Olivier, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as ALFHER or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr (see OLAF). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva "olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.

In England Oliver was a common medieval name, however it became rare after the 17th century because of the military commander Oliver Cromwell, who ruled the country following the civil war. The name was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to the title character in Charles Dickens' novel 'Oliver Twist' (1838), which was about a poor orphan living on the streets of London.

OPHELIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Literature
Pronounced: o-FEEL-yə (English)
Derived from Greek οφελος (ophelos) meaning "help". This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem 'Arcadia'. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play 'Hamlet' (1600), in which it belongs to Hamlet's lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. In spite of this, the name has been used since the 19th century.

PALOMA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish
Pronounced: pa-LO-ma
Means "dove, pigeon" in Spanish.

PENELOPE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, English
Other Scripts: Πηνελοπη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: pi-NEL-ə-pee (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.

PERCY
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: PUR-see
Personal note: Grace approves
From an English surname which was derived from the name of a Norman town Perci, which was itself perhaps derived from a Gaulish given name which was Latinized as Persius. The surname was borne by a noble English family, and it first used as a given name in their honour. A famous bearer was Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), an English romantic poet whose works include 'Adonais' and 'Ozymandias'. This name can also be used as a short form of PERCIVAL.

PEREGRINE
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: PER-ə-grin, PER-ə-green
From the Late Latin name Peregrinus, which meant "traveller". This was the name of several early saints.

PHILOMENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Late Greek
Other Scripts: Φιλομενα (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: fil-ə-MEEN-ə (English)
From Greek φιλος (philos) "friend, lover" and μενος (menos) "mind, purpose, strength, courage". This was the name of an obscure early saint and martyr. The name came to public attention in the 19th century after a tomb seemingly marked with the name Filumena was found in Rome, supposedly belonging to another martyr named Philomena. This may have in fact been a representation of the Greek word φιλομηνη (philomene) meaning "loved".

PTOLEMY
Gender: Masculine
Usage: History
Other Scripts: Πτολεμαιος (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: TAHL-ə-mee (English)
From the Greek name Πτολεμαιος (Ptolemaios), derived from Greek πολεμηιος (polemeios) meaning "aggressive, warlike". Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendants of Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer.

RAFAEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, German, Hungarian, Slovene, Macedonian
Other Scripts: Рафаел (Macedonian)
Pronounced: ra-fa-EL (Spanish), RA-fa-el (German)
Form of RAPHAEL.

ROMANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Late Roman
Pronounced: ro-MA-na (Italian)
Feminine form of Romanus (see ROMAN).

ROSAMUND
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: ROZ-ə-mund
Derived from the Germanic elements hros "horse" and mund "protection". The Normans introduced this name to England. It was subsequently influenced by the Latin phrase rosa munda "pure rose". This was the name of the mistress of Henry II, the king of England in the 12th century. She was possibly murdered by his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

SABINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, German, Danish
Pronounced: SA-BEEN (French), za-BEE-nə (German)
French, German and Danish form of SABINA.

SALOME
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: სალომე (Georgian), Σαλωμη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: sə-LO-mee (English), SAH-lə-may (English)
From an Aramaic name which was related to the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם (shalom) meaning "peace". According to the historian Josephus this was the name of the daughter of Herodias (the consort of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee). In the New Testament, though a specific name is not given, it was a daughter of Herodias who danced for Herod and was rewarded with the head of John the Baptist, and thus Salome and the dancer have traditionally been equated.

As a Christian given name, Salome has been in occasional use since the Protestant Reformation. This was due to a second person of this name in the New Testament: one of the women who witnessed the crucifixion and later discovered that Jesus' tomb was empty. It is used in Georgia due to the 4th-century Salome of Ujarma, who is considered a saint in the Georgian Church.

SASKIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Dutch, German
Pronounced: SAHS-kee-a: (Dutch), ZAS-kya (German)
Personal note: Grace approves
From the Germanic element Sahs "Saxon". The Saxons were a Germanic tribe, their name ultimately deriving from the Germanic word sahs meaning "knife".

SERAPHINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare), German (Rare), Late Roman
Pronounced: ze-ra-FEE-na (German)
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Seraphinus, derived from the biblical word seraphim which was Hebrew in origin and meant "fiery ones". The seraphim were an order of angels, described by Isaiah in the Bible as having six wings each. This was the name of a 13th-century Italian saint who made clothes for the poor. As an English name, it has never been common.

SÉVÉRINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French (Rare)
Variant of SÉVERINE.

SVETLANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Russian, Slovak, Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian
Other Scripts: Светлана (Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian)
Pronounced: svyit-LA-nə (Russian)
Derived from Slavic svet meaning "light, world". It was popularized by the poem 'Svetlana' (1813) by the Russian poet Vasily Zhukovsky. It is sometimes used as a translation of Photine.

SYBELLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: si-BEL-ə
Variant of SIBYLLA.

THEA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English
Pronounced: TE-a (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". The name Dorothea is derived from the same roots in reverse order. 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).

TIBERIUS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Ancient Roman
Pronounced: tee-BE-ree-oos (Classical Latin), tie-BER-ee-əs (English)
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "of the Tiber" in Latin. The Tiber is the river that runs through Rome. Tiberius was the second Roman emperor, the stepson of emperor Augustus.

VIOLET
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: VIE-lit, VIE-ə-lit
Personal note: Mum approves
From the English word violet for the purple flower, ultimately derived from Latin viola. It was common in Scotland from the 16th century, and it came into general use as an English given name during the 19th century.

WILLOW
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Modern)
Pronounced: WIL-o
From the name of the tree, which is ultimately derived from Old English welig.

YOLANDE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: YAW-LAHND
French form of YOLANDA. A notable bearer of the 15th century was Yolande of Aragon, who acted as regent for the French king Charles VII, her son-in-law. She was a supporter of Joan of Arc.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.