Jeana Bradbury's Personal Name List

ADELE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, English, Italian, Finnish

Pronounced: ə-DEL (English), AH-de-le (Finnish)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 45% based on 6 votes

Form of ADÈLE

AGATHA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Αγαθη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: AG-ə-thə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 46% based on 7 votes

Latinized form of the Greek name Αγαθη (Agathe), derived from Greek αγαθος (agathos) meaning "good". Saint Agatha was a 3rd-century martyr from Sicily who was tortured and killed after spurning the advances of a Roman official. The saint was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). The mystery writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was a famous modern bearer of this name.

ALANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ə-LAN-ə

Rating: 50% based on 7 votes

Feminine form of ALAN

ALBERT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Slovene, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic

Other Scripts: Альберт (Russian)

Pronounced: AL-bərt (English), al-BER (French), AHL-bert (German, Polish), AHL-bərt (Dutch)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 63% based on 6 votes

From the Germanic name Adalbert, which was composed of the elements adal "noble" and beraht "bright". This name was common among medieval German royalty. The Normans introduced it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Æðelberht. Though it became rare in England by the 17th century, it was repopularized in the 19th century by the German-born Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.

This name was borne by two 20th-century kings of Belgium. Other famous bearers include the German physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955), creator of the theory of relativity, and Albert Camus (1913-1960), a French-Algerian writer and philosopher.

ALESSANDRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: ahl-e-SAHN-drah

Rating: 36% based on 5 votes

Italian form of ALEXANDRA

ALFRED

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch

Pronounced: AL-frəd (English), al-FRED (French), AHL-fret (German, Polish), AHL-frət (Dutch)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 68% based on 5 votes

Derived from the Old English name Ælfræd, composed of the elements ælf "elf" and ræd "counsel". Alfred the Great was a 9th-century king of Wessex who fought unceasingly against the Danes living in the northeast of England. He was also a scholar, and he translated many Latin books into Old English. His fame helped to ensure the usage of this name even after the Norman conquest, when most Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. It became rare by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th century. A famous bearer was the British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

ALINA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Romanian, German, Italian, Polish

Pronounced: ah-LEE-nah (German, Italian, Polish)

Rating: 50% based on 7 votes

Short form of ADELINA and names that end in alina.

ALLEN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: AL-ən (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 48% based on 5 votes

Variant of ALAN. A famous bearer of this name was Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), an American beat poet. Another is the American film director and actor Woody Allen (1935-), who took the stage name Allen from his real first name.

AMARYLLIS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Literature

Pronounced: am-ə-RIL-is (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 24% based on 5 votes

Derived from Greek αμαρυσσω (amarysso) "to sparkle". This was the name of a heroine in Virgil's epic poem 'Eclogues'. The amaryllis flower is named for her.

AMELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: ə-MEE-lee-ə (English), ə-MEEL-yə (English), ah-ME-lyah (Italian), ah-ME-lee-ah (German)

Rating: 53% based on 6 votes

Variant of AMALIA, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of George II and George III. Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.

AMY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AY-mee

Rating: 56% based on 5 votes

English form of the Old French name Amée meaning "beloved" (modern French aimée), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata. As an English name, it was in use in the Middle Ages (though not common) and was revived in the 19th century.

ANDRÉ

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French, Portuguese

Pronounced: awn-DRAY (French), an-DRE (Portuguese)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 5 votes

French and Portuguese form of Andreas (see ANDREW).

ANGELINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, English, Russian, German, Dutch, Polish, Spanish, Macedonian

Other Scripts: Ангелина (Russian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: ahn-je-LEE-nah (Italian), an-jə-LEEN-ə (English), ahn-GYE-lee-nah (Russian), ahn-gye-LEE-nah (Russian), ahn-gee-LEE-nah (Russian), ahn-ge-LEE-nah (Polish)

Rating: 50% based on 5 votes

Latinate diminutive of ANGELA. A famous bearer is American actress Angelina Jolie (1975-).

ANNABEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: AN-ə-bel (English)

Rating: 40% based on 5 votes

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

ANNELISE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Danish

Rating: 42% based on 5 votes

Danish form of ANNELIESE

ANTONIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Romanian, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: ahn-TO-nyah (Italian, Spanish), an-TON-ee-ə (English), ahn-TO-nee-ah (German, Dutch), ahn-TAWN-yah (Polish)

Rating: 54% based on 5 votes

Feminine form of Antonius (see ANTHONY).

ARIELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: ar-ee-EL-ə, er-ee-EL-ə

Rating: 26% based on 5 votes

Strictly feminine form of ARIEL

ARLENE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ahr-LEEN

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 27% based on 6 votes

Variant of ARLINE

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: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 6 votes

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).

ATHENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Αθηνα (Ancient Greek)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 32% based on 5 votes

Meaning unknown, perhaps derived from Greek αθηρ (ather) "sharp" and αινη (aine) "praise". Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare, the daughter of Zeus and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. She is associated with the olive tree and the owl.

AURORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, German, Romanian, Finnish, Roman Mythology

Pronounced: ow-RO-rah (Spanish), ə-RAWR-ə (English), OW-ro-rah (Finnish)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 48% based on 5 votes

Means "dawn" in Latin. Aurora was the Roman goddess of the morning. It has occasionally been used as a given name since the Renaissance.

BETTINA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German

Pronounced: be-TEE-nah

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 22% based on 5 votes

Diminutive of ELISABETH

BRIGITTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, French

Pronounced: bree-GI-tə (German), bree-ZHEET (French)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 30% based on 5 votes

German and French form of BRIDGET

CAMILLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology

Pronounced: kə-MIL-ə (English), kah-MEEL-lah (Italian, Danish), KAH-meel-lah (Finnish)

Rating: 26% based on 5 votes

Feminine form of CAMILLUS. This was the name of a legendary warrior maiden of the Volsci, as told by Virgil in the 'Aeneid'. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Fanny Burney's novel 'Camilla' (1796).

CARA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KAHR-ə, KER-ə

Rating: 54% based on 5 votes

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.

CAROLINE

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: ka-ro-LEEN (French), KER-ə-lien (English), KER-ə-lin (English), KAR-ə-lien (English), KAR-ə-lin (English)

Rating: 63% based on 6 votes

French feminine form of CAROLUS

CELANDINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: SEL-ən-deen

Rating: 33% based on 6 votes

From the name of the flower, which derives from Greek χελιδων (chelidon) "a swallow".

CELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Spanish, Italian

Pronounced: SEEL-yə (English), SEE-lee-ə (English), THE-lyah (Spanish), SE-lyah (Latin American Spanish), CHE-lyah (Italian)

Rating: 56% based on 5 votes

Feminine form of the Roman family name CAELIUS. Shakespeare used it in his play 'As You Like It' (1599), which introduced the name to the English-speaking public at large. It is sometimes used as a short form of CECILIA.

CHARLES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: CHAHR-əlz (English), CHAHRLZ (English), SHAHRL (French)

Rating: 67% based on 6 votes

From 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 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. It was subsequently borne by several Holy Roman Emperors, as well as kings of France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Hungary. The name did not become common in Britain until the 17th century when it was carried 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.

CHARLOTTE

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: shar-LOT (French), SHAHR-lət (English), shahr-LAW-tə (German), shahr-LAWT-tə (Dutch)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 54% based on 5 votes

French feminine diminutive of CHARLES. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. A notable bearer was Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Bronte sisters and the author of 'Jane Eyre' and 'Villette'.

CLOVIS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Germanic (Latinized), French

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

Rating: 27% based on 6 votes

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.

COLIN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, Irish, English

Pronounced: KAHL-in (Scottish, Irish, English), KOL-in (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 54% based on 7 votes

Anglicized form of CAILEAN or COILEAN

CORDELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: kawr-DEL-ee-ə, kawr-DEL-yə

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 44% based on 5 votes

From Cordeilla, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play 'King Lear' (1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia.

CORINNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: ko-REEN (French), kə-REEN (English), kə-RIN (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 42% based on 6 votes

French form of CORINNA. The French-Swiss author Madame de Staël used it for her novel 'Corinne' (1807).

CYNTHIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Κυνθια (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: SIN-thee-ə (English)

Rating: 25% based on 6 votes

Latinized form of Greek Κυνθια (Kynthia) which means "woman from Kynthos". This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century.

DANIELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: dan-YEL-ə

Rating: 38% based on 5 votes

Feminine form of DANIEL

DAPHNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English, Dutch

Other Scripts: Δαφνη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: DAF-nee (English), DAHF-nə (Dutch)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 50% based on 5 votes

Means "laurel" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.

DAVID

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: דָּוִד (Hebrew), Давид (Russian, Serbian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: DAY-vid (English), dah-VEED (Jewish), da-VEED (French), DAH-vit (German, Dutch), dah-VEET (Russian)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 83% based on 6 votes

From the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid), which was probably derived from Hebrew דוד (dwd) meaning "beloved". David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath, a giant Philistine. According to the New Testament, Jesus was descended from him.

This name has been used in Britain since the Middle Ages. It has been especially popular in Wales, where it is used in honour of the 5th-century patron saint of Wales (also called Dewi), as well as in Scotland, where it was borne by two kings. Famous bearers include empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873) and soccer player David Beckham (1975-). This is also the name of the hero of Charles Dickens' semi-autobiographical novel 'David Copperfield' (1850).

DEAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DEEN

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 60% based on 6 votes

From a surname, see DEAN (1) and DEAN (2). The actor James Dean (1931-1955) was a famous bearer of the surname.

DELILAH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English

Other Scripts: דְּלִילָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: di-LIE-lə (English)

Rating: 44% based on 5 votes

Means "delicate, weak, languishing" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is the lover of Samson, whom she betrays to the Philistines by cutting his hair, which is the source of his power. Despite her character flaws, the name began to be used by the Puritans in the 17th century. It has been used occasionally in the English-speaking world since that time.

DELPHINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: del-FEEN

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 6 votes

French form of DELPHINA

DIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, German, Dutch, Romanian, Russian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Roman Mythology

Other Scripts: Диана (Russian, Bulgarian)

Pronounced: die-AN-ə (English), dee-AH-nah (Italian, German, Dutch)

Rating: 48% based on 5 votes

Probably derived from an old Indo-European root meaning "heavenly, divine", related to dyeus (see ZEUS). Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth, often identified with the Greek goddess Artemis.

As a given name, Diana has been regularly used since the Renaissance. It became more common in the English-speaking world following Sir Walter Scott's novel 'Rob Roy' (1817), which featured a character named Diana Vernon. It also appeared in George Meredith's novel 'Diana of the Crossways' (1885). A notable bearer was Diana Spencer (1961-1997), the Princess of Wales.

DOROTHEA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, English, Late Greek

Other Scripts: Δωροθεα (Ancient Greek)

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

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 50% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of the Late Greek name Δωροθεος (Dorotheos), which meant "gift of God" from Greek δωρον (doron) "gift" and θεος (theos) "god". Dorothea was the name of two early saints, notably the 4th-century martyr Dorothea of Caesarea. It was also borne by the 14th-century Saint Dorothea of Montau, who was the patron saint of Prussia.

EDGAR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: ED-gər (English), ed-GAHR (French)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 52% based on 5 votes

Derived from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and gar "spear". This was the name of a 10th-century English king, Edgar the Peaceful. The name did not survive long after the Norman conquest, but it was revived in the 18th century, in part due to a character by this name in Sir Walter Scott's novel 'The Bride of Lammermoor' (1819). Famous bearers include author and poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), French impressionist painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917), and author Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950).

EDMUND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Polish

Pronounced: ED-mənd (English), ED-muwnt (German, Polish)

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

From 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.

EDWARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Polish

Pronounced: ED-wərd (English), ED-vahrt (Polish)

Rating: 53% based on 4 votes

Means "rich guard", derived from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and weard "guard". Saint Edward the Confessor was the king of England shortly before the Norman conquest. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity this name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century king Henry III named his son and successor after the saint, and seven subsequent kings of England were also named Edward. This is one of the few Old English names to be used throughout Europe (in various spellings).

EDWIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: ED-win (English), ED-win (Dutch), ED-vin (Dutch)

Rating: 48% based on 4 votes

Means "rich friend" from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and wine "friend". This was the name of a 7th-century Northumbrian king, regarded as a saint. After the Norman conquest the name was not popular, but it was eventually revived in the 19th century. A notable bearer was the astronaut Edwin Aldrin (1930-), also known as Buzz, the second man to walk on the moon.

EDWINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ed-WEEN-ə, ed-WIN-ə

Rating: 45% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of EDWIN

ELDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 40% based on 4 votes

Italian form of HILDA

ELDON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-dən

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 18% based on 4 votes

From a surname which was from a place name meaning "Ella's hill" in Old English.

ELEANOR

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-ə-nawr

Rating: 58% based on 5 votes

From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor. It was first borne by the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor "the other AENOR" in order to distinguish her from her mother.

The popularity of the name Eleanor in England during the Middle Ages was due to the fame of Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as two queens of the following century: Eleanor of Provence, the wife of Henry III, and Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward I. More recently, it was borne by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the wife of American president Franklin Roosevelt.

ELIANA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hebrew

Other Scripts: אֶלִיעַנָה (Hebrew)

Rating: 45% based on 4 votes

Means "my God has answered" in Hebrew.

ELIJAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Hebrew, Biblical

Other Scripts: אֱלִיָּהוּ (Hebrew)

Pronounced: i-LIE-jə (English), i-LIE-zhə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 68% based on 4 votes

From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu) meaning "my God is YAHWEH". Elijah was a Hebrew prophet of the 9th century BC, during the reign of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. The two Books of Kings in the Old Testament tell of his exploits, which culminate with him being carried to heaven in a chariot of fire.

Because Elijah was a popular figure in medieval tales, and because his name was borne by a few early saints (who are usually known by the Latin form Elias), the name came into general use during the Middle Ages. In medieval England it was usually spelled Elis. It died out there by the 16th century, but it was revived by the Puritans in the form Elijah after the Protestant Reformation.

ELIZABETH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: i-LIZ-ə-bəth (English)

Rating: 64% based on 5 votes

From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.

Among Christians, this name was originally more common in Eastern Europe. It was borne in the 12th century by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, a daughter of King Andrew II who used her wealth to help the poor. In medieval England it was occasionally used in honour of the saint, though the form Isabel (from Occitan and Spanish) was more common. It has been very popular in England since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century. Famous modern bearers include the British queen Elizabeth II (1926-) and actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011).

ELSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Italian

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

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 5 votes

Short form of ELISABETH

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)

Rating: 60% based on 5 votes

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).

ÉOWYN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Literature

Pronounced: AY-ə-win (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

Means "horse joy" in Old English. This name was invented by J. R. R. Tolkien who used Old English to represent the Rohirric language. In his novel 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) Eowyn is the niece of King Theoden of Rohan. She slays the Lord of the Nazgul in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

ERIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Swedish

Pronounced: ER-ik (English)

Rating: 50% based on 5 votes

From the Old Norse name Eiríkr, derived from the elements ei "ever, always" and ríkr "ruler". A notable bearer was Eiríkr inn Rauda (Eric the Red in English), a 10th-century navigator and explorer who discovered Greenland. This was also the name of several early kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

This common Norse name was first brought to England by Danish settlers during the Anglo-Saxon period. It was not popular in England in the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century, in part due to the children's novel 'Eric, or Little by Little' (1858) by Frederic William Farrar.

ERNEST

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Slovene, Polish

Pronounced: UR-nəst (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 48% based on 4 votes

Derived from Germanic eornost meaning "serious". It was introduced to England by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century, though it did not become common until the following century. The American author and adventurer Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was a famous bearer of the name. It was also used by Oscar Wilde for a character in his comedy 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (1895).

ESMÉE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: es-MAY (Dutch)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 48% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of ESMÉ

ESTELLE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: es-TEL

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 45% based on 4 votes

From an Old French name which was derived from Latin stella, meaning "star". It was rare in the English-speaking world in the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century, perhaps due to the character Estella Havisham in Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations' (1860).

ETHAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Jewish, French, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: אֵיתָן (Hebrew)

Pronounced: EE-thən (English)

Rating: 60% based on 5 votes

Means "solid, enduring" in Hebrew. This is the name of a wise man in the Old Testament. After the Protestant Reformation it was occasionally used as a given name in the English-speaking world, and it became somewhat common in America due to the fame of the revolutionary Ethan Allen (1738-1789). It only became popular towards the end of the 20th century. This was the name of the main character in Edith Wharton's novel 'Ethan Frome' (1911).

EVANGELINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, English

Pronounced: ə-VAN-jə-lee-nə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 52% based on 6 votes

Latinate form of EVANGELINE

EVELINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Swedish

Pronounced: e-ve-LEE-nah (Italian)

Rating: 46% based on 5 votes

Latinate form of AVELINE. It was revived by the author Fanny Burney for the heroine of her first novel 'Evelina' (1778). It is often regarded as a variant of the related name Evelyn.

FIONA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: fee-O-nə

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

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

FLORENCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: FLAWR-ənts (English), flo-RAWNS (French)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

From the Latin name Florentius or the feminine form Florentia, which were derived from florens "prosperous, flourishing". Florentius was borne by many early Christian saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.

The name can also be given in reference to the city in Italy, as in the case of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). She was a nurse in British hospitals during the Crimean War and is usually considered the founder of modern nursing.

FREDERICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FRED-ə-rik, FRED-rik

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 78% based on 4 votes

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.

FREYA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern)

Pronounced: FRAY-ah (Norse Mythology), FRAY-ə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 52% based on 5 votes

From Old Norse Freyja meaning "lady". This is the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm in Asgard. Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg.

This is not the usual spelling in any of the Scandinavian languages (in Sweden and Denmark it is Freja and in Norway it is Frøja) but it is the common spelling of the goddess's name in English. In the 2000s it became popular in Britain.

GABRIELA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, German, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Bulgarian

Other Scripts: Габриела (Bulgarian)

Pronounced: gahp-RYE-lah (Polish), gah-BRYE-lah (Spanish), gahp-ree-E-lah (German)

Rating: 30% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of GABRIEL

GABRIELLE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: ga-bree-EL

Rating: 33% based on 4 votes

French feminine form of GABRIEL. This was the real name of French fashion designer Coco Chanel (1883-1971).

GAIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, Italian

Other Scripts: Γαια (Ancient Greek)

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

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 10% based on 4 votes

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.

GAIUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical

Pronounced: GIE-uws (Ancient Roman), GIE-əs (English)

Rating: 13% based on 4 votes

Roman praenomen, or given name, which is of Etruscan origin, meaning unknown. This was a common Roman name, the most famous bearers being Gaius Julius Caesar, the great leader of the Roman Republic, and his adopted son Gaius Octavius (later known as Augustus), the first Roman emperor. This name also appears in the New Testament belonging to a bishop of Ephesus who is regarded as a saint.

GARNET (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: GAHR-nət

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 30% based on 4 votes

From the English word garnet for the precious stone, the birthstone of January. The word is derived from Middle English gernet meaning "dark red".

GEORGE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Romanian

Pronounced: JORJ (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 65% based on 4 votes

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.

GEORGETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: zhor-ZHET

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 4 votes

French feminine form of GEORGE

GEORGIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek

Other Scripts: Γεωργια (Greek)

Pronounced: JOR-jə (English)

Rating: 53% based on 4 votes

Latinate feminine form of GEORGE. This is the name of an American state, which was named after the British king George II. A famous bearer was the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986).

GEORGIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: jor-JYAH-nə, jor-JAY-nə

Rating: 48% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of GEORGE. This form of the name has been in use since the 18th century.

GISELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: jee-ZEL-lah

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 20% based on 4 votes

Italian form of GISELLE

GRACIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: GRAY-see

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 50% based on 4 votes

Diminutive of GRACE

GRANT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: GRANT

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 56% based on 5 votes

From an English and Scottish surname which was derived from Norman French grand meaning "great, large". A famous bearer of the surname was Ulysses Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War who later served as president. In America the name has often been given in his honour.

GREGORY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: GREG-ə-ree

Rating: 85% based on 4 votes

English form of Latin Gregorius, which was from the Late Greek name Γρηγοριος (Gregorios), derived from γρηγορος (gregoros) meaning "watchful, alert". This name was popular among early Christians, being borne by a number of important saints including Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus (3rd century), Saint Gregory of Nyssa (4th century), Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (4th century), and Saint Gregory of Tours (6th century). It was also borne by the 6th-century pope Saint Gregory I the Great, a reformer and Doctor of the Church, as well as 15 subsequent popes.

Due to the renown of the saints by this name, Gregory (in various spellings) has remained common in the Christian world through the Middle Ages and to the present day. It was not used in England, however, until after the Norman conquest. A famous bearer from the modern era was American actor Gregory Peck (1916-2003).

HELENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: ‘Ελενη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: he-LE-nah (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish), hay-LAY-nah (Dutch), HE-le-nah (Finnish)

Rating: 50% based on 4 votes

Latinate form of HELEN

HENRY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HEN-ree

Rating: 78% based on 5 votes

From 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 this name 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).

HERMIONE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: ‘Ερμιονη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: hər-MIE-ə-nee (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 22% based on 5 votes

Derived from the name of the Greek messenger god HERMES. In Greek myth Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. This is also the name of the wife of Leontes in Shakespeare's play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610). It is now closely associated with the character Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.

HONORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, English

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 34% based on 5 votes

Variant of HONORIA. It was brought to England and Ireland by the Normans.

IAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: EE-ən (English)

Rating: 68% based on 5 votes

Scottish form of JOHN

INDIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: IN-dee-ə

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

From the name of the country, which is itself derived from the name of the Indus River. The river's name is ultimately from Sanskrit सिन्धु (Sindhu) meaning "body of trembling water, river".

INDIGO

Gender: Feminine & Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: IN-di-go

Rating: 10% based on 4 votes

From the English word indigo for the purplish-blue dye or the colour. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ινδικον (Indikon) "Indic, from India".

INÉS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: ee-NES

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 23% based on 4 votes

Spanish form of AGNES

IRENE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Ειρηνη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: ie-REEN (English), ie-REE-nee (English), ee-RE-ne (Italian), EE-re-ne (Finnish), ee-RE-nu (German)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 58% based on 4 votes

From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene), derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι (Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.

This name has traditionally been more popular among Eastern Christians. In the English-speaking world it was not regularly used until the 19th century.

IRIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Portuguese, Galician

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

Possibly a Portuguese and Galician form of IRENE. This was the name of a 7th-century saint (also known as Irene) from Tomar in Portugal.

IRIS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, French, Spanish

Other Scripts: Ιρις (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: IE-ris (English), EE-ris (German, Dutch), EE-rees (Finnish)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

Means "rainbow" in Greek. Iris was the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow. This name can also be given in reference to the English word (which derives from the same Greek source) for the name of the iris flower or the coloured part of the eye.

ISABELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian

Pronounced: ee-zah-BEL-lah (Italian), iz-ə-BEL-ə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 18% based on 4 votes

Latinate form of ISABEL. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel).

ISLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Pronounced: IE-lə

Rating: 33% based on 4 votes

Variant of ISLAY, typically used as a feminine name.

IVY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: IE-vee

Rating: 44% based on 5 votes

From the English word for the climbing plant that has small yellow flowers. It is ultimately derived from Old English ifig.

JACQUELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: zha-kə-LEEN (French), zhak-LEEN (French), JAK-ə-leen (English), JAK-ə-lin (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 4 votes

French feminine form of JACQUES, also commonly used in the English-speaking world.

JANE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JAYN

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 66% based on 5 votes

Medieval English form of Jehanne, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes (see JOHN). This became the most common feminine form of John in the 17th century, surpassing Joan. Famous bearers include the uncrowned English queen Lady Jane Grey (1536-1554), who ruled for only 9 days, the British novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817), who wrote 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Pride and Prejudice', and the British primatologist Jane Goodall (1934-). This was also the name of the central character in Charlotte Bronte's novel 'Jane Eyre' (1847).

JASON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical

Other Scripts: Ιασων (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: JAY-sən (English)

Rating: 45% based on 4 votes

From the Greek name Ιασων (Iason), which was derived from Greek ιασθαι (iasthai) "to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.

This name also appears in the New Testament, belonging to man who sheltered Paul and Silas. In his case, it may represent a Hellenized form of a Hebrew name. It was not used in England until after the Protestant Reformation.

JEAN (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: JEEN

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 68% based on 4 votes

Medieval English variant of Jehanne (see JANE). It was common in England and Scotland during the Middle Ages, but eventually became rare in England. It was reintroduced to the English-speaking world from Scotland in the 19th century.

JEREMIAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: יִרְמְיָהוּ (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: jer-ə-MIE-ə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

From the Hebrew name יִרְמְיָהוּ (Yirmiyahu) which meant "YAHWEH has uplifted". This is the name of one of the major prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Jeremiah and (supposedly) the Book of Lamentations. He lived to see the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in the 6th century BC. In England, though the vernacular form Jeremy had been occasionally used since the 13th century, the form Jeremiah was not common until after the Protestant Reformation.

JILLIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JIL-ee-ən

Rating: 40% based on 4 votes

Variant of GILLIAN

JOHN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAHN (English)

Rating: 86% based on 5 votes

English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious". This name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who was considered the forerunner of Jesus Christ. The second is the apostle John, who is also traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth Gospel and Revelation.

This name was initially more common among Eastern Christians in the Byzantine Empire, but it flourished in Western Europe after the First Crusade. In England it became extremely popular: during the later Middle Ages it was given to approximately a fifth of all English boys.

The name (in various spellings) has been borne by 21 popes and eight Byzantine emperors, as well as rulers of England, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Russia and Hungary. It was also borne by the poet John Milton (1608-1674), philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), American founding father and president John Adams (1735-1826), and poet John Keats (1795-1821). Famous bearers of the 20th century include author John Steinbeck (1902-1968), assassinated American president John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), and musician John Lennon (1940-1980).

JOSHUA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JAH-shə-wə (English), JAW-shwə (English)

Rating: 60% based on 4 votes

From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu'a) meaning "YAHWEH is salvation". Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan by Moses, as told in the Old Testament. After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites. As an English name, Joshua has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

The name Jesus comes from a Greek translation of the Aramaic short form יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshu'a), which was the real name of Jesus.

JUDITH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Jewish, French, German, Spanish, Biblical

Other Scripts: יְהוּדִית (Hebrew)

Pronounced: JOO-dith (English), zhoo-DEET (French), YOO-dit (German)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

From the Hebrew name יְהוּדִית (Yehudit) meaning "woman from Judea", Judea being an ancient region in Israel. In the Old Testament, Judith is one of the wives of Esau. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith who kills Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep. As an English name, though there are a handful of early examples during the Middle Ages, it did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation.

JULIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: yuy-lee-AH-nah (Dutch), yoo-lee-AH-nah (German), joo-lee-AHN-ə (English)

Rating: 42% based on 5 votes

Feminine form of Iulianus (see JULIAN). This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr from Nicomedia, and also of the Blessed Juliana of Norwich, also called Julian, a 14th-century mystic and author. The name was also borne by a 20th-century queen of the Netherlands. In England, this form has been in use since the 18th century, alongside the older form Gillian.

KATHARINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German

Pronounced: KATH-ə-rin (English), KATH-rin (English), kah-tah-REE-nə (German)

Rating: 38% based on 5 votes

English variant of KATHERINE and German variant of KATHARINA. A famous bearer was American actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).

KATHLEEN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: kath-LEEN

Rating: 26% based on 5 votes

Anglicized form of CAITLÍN

KATRINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Dutch

Pronounced: kə-TREE-nə (English), kaht-REE-nah (Dutch)

Rating: 18% based on 4 votes

Variant of CATRIONA. It is also a German, Swedish and Dutch contracted form of KATHERINE.

KEIRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Rating: 25% based on 4 votes

Variant of KIRA (2). This spelling was popularized by British actress Keira Knightley (1985-).

KEITH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: KEETH

Rating: 45% based on 4 votes

From a Scottish surname which was originally derived from a place name, itself probably derived from the Brythonic element cet meaning "wood". This was the surname of a long line of Scottish nobles. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.

KENNETH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: KEN-ith (Scottish, English)

Rating: 25% based on 4 votes

Anglicized form of both COINNEACH and CINÁED. This name was borne by the Scottish king Kenneth (Cináed) mac Alpin, who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century. It was popularized outside of Scotland by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for the hero in his novel 'The Talisman' (1825). A famous bearer was the British novelist Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), who wrote 'The Wind in the Willows'.

LANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Russian, Croatian, Serbian

Other Scripts: Лана (Russian, Serbian)

Pronounced: LAH-nə (English)

Rating: 48% based on 4 votes

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

LEONORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 57% based on 6 votes

Italian short form of ELEANOR

LILIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, English

Pronounced: lee-LYAH-nah (Italian, Polish), lil-ee-AN-ə (English)

Rating: 62% based on 5 votes

Latinate form of LILLIAN

LILY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee

Rating: 76% based on 5 votes

From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium.

LINA (3)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: लीना (Hindi)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 30% based on 4 votes

Means "absorbed, united" in Sanskrit.

LOUISE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Danish, Swedish, Dutch

Pronounced: loo-EEZ (French, English), loo-EE-se (Danish)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 68% based on 4 votes

French feminine form of LOUIS

LYDIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Finnish, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Λυδια (Ancient Greek), Лѷдіа (Church Slavic)

Pronounced: LID-ee-ə (English), LUY-dee-ah (German, Finnish)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

Means "from Lydia" in Greek. Lydia was a region on the west coast of Asia Minor. In the New Testament this is the name of a woman converted to Christianity by Saint Paul. In the modern era the name has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

LYSANDRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Λυσανδρα (Ancient Greek)

Rating: 33% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of Lysandros (see LYSANDER).

LYSETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 18% based on 5 votes

Variant of LISETTE

MACKENZIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: mə-KEN-zee

Rating: 32% based on 5 votes

From the Gaelic surname Mac Coinnich, which means "son of COINNEACH". A famous bearer of the surname was William Lyon MacKenzie (1795-1861), a Canadian journalist and political rebel. As a feminine given name, it was popularized by the American actress Mackenzie Phillips (1959-).

MADELEINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Swedish

Pronounced: ma-də-LEN (French), mad-LEN (French), MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 43% based on 6 votes

French form of MAGDALENE

MADELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English), ma-də-LEEN (French), mad-LEEN (French)

Rating: 24% based on 5 votes

English form of MAGDALENE. This is the name of the heroine in a series of children's books by Ludwig Bemelmans, first published 1939.

MAE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAY

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 52% based on 5 votes

Variant of MAY. A famous bearer was American actress Mae West (1893-1980), whose birth name was Mary.

MAGALI

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, Occitan

Pronounced: ma-ga-LEE (French)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 30% based on 4 votes

Occitan form of MAGDALENE

MAGDALENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Polish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, Occitan, Slovene, Czech, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, Finnish, English

Other Scripts: Магдалена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian)

Pronounced: mahg-dah-LE-nah (Polish), mahk-dah-LE-nah (German), MAHG-dah-le-nah (Finnish), mag-da-LAY-na (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 50% based on 4 votes

Latinate form of MAGDALENE

MALCOLM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: MAL-kəm

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 58% based on 4 votes

From Scottish Máel Coluim which means "disciple of Saint COLUMBA". This was the name of four kings of Scotland starting in the 10th century, including Malcolm III, who became king after killing Macbeth, the usurper who had murdered his father. The character Malcolm in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Macbeth' (1606) is based on him. Another famous bearer was Malcolm X (1925-1965), an American civil rights leader.

MARCELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 36% based on 5 votes

French feminine form of MARCELLINUS

MARCUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: MAR-kuws (Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin), MAHR-kəs (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 25% based on 4 votes

Roman praenomen, or given name, which was probably derived from the name of the Roman god MARS. Famous Roman bearers of this name were Marcus Tullius Cicero (known simply as Cicero), a 1st-century BC statesman and orator, Marcus Antonius (known as Mark Antony), a 1st-century BC politician, and Marcus Aurelius, a notable 2nd-century emperor. This was also the name of a pope of the 4th century. This spelling has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world, though the traditional English form Mark has been more common.

MARIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: mah-RYAH-nah (Spanish)

Rating: 20% based on 4 votes

Roman feminine form of MARIANUS. After the classical era it was frequently interpreted as a combination of MARIA and ANA. In Portuguese it is further used as a form of MARIAMNE.

MARIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: ma-REE (French), mah-REE (German)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 75% based on 4 votes

French and Czech form of MARIA. A notable bearer of this name was Marie Antoinette, a queen of France who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. Another was Marie Curie (1867-1934), a physicist and chemist who studied radioactivity with her husband Pierre.

MARISSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: mə-RIS-ə

Rating: 25% based on 4 votes

Variant of MARISA

MARTIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Finnish

Other Scripts: Мартин (Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: MAHR-tən (English), mar-TEN (French), MAHR-teen (German, Finnish), MAHR-tin (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish), MAWR-teen (Hungarian), mahr-TIN (Bulgarian)

Rating: 50% based on 4 votes

From the Roman name Martinus, which was derived from Martis, the genitive case of the name of the Roman god MARS. Saint Martin of Tours was a 4th-century bishop who is the patron saint of France. According to legend, he came across a cold beggar in the middle of winter so he ripped his cloak in two and gave half of it to the beggar. He was a favourite saint during the Middle Ages, and his name has become common throughout the Christian world.

An influential bearer of the name was Martin Luther (1483-1546), the theologian who began the Protestant Reformation. The name was also borne by five popes (two of them more commonly known as Marinus). Other more recent bearers include the German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929-1968), and the American filmmaker Martin Scorsese (1942-).

MEGAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: MEG-ən (English)

Rating: 23% based on 4 votes

Welsh diminutive of MARGARET. In the English-speaking world outside of Wales it has only been regularly used since the middle of the 20th century.

MELINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Greek

Rating: 24% based on 5 votes

Elaboration of Mel (either from names such as MELISSA or from Greek μελι meaning "honey"). A famous bearer was Greek-American actress Melina Mercouri (1920-1994), who was born Maria Amalia Mercouris.

MEREDITH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: MER-ə-dith (English)

Rating: 25% based on 4 votes

From the Welsh name Maredudd or Meredydd, possibly meaning "great lord" or "sea lord". Since the mid-1920s it has been used more often for girls than for boys in English-speaking countries, though it is still a masculine name in Wales. A famous bearer of this name as surname was the English novelist and poet George Meredith (1828-1909).

MICHAELA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Swedish, English, Czech, Slovak

Pronounced: mi-khah-E-lah (German), mi-KAY-lə (English)

Rating: 30% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of MICHAEL

MIRANDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 15% based on 4 votes

Derived from Latin mirandus meaning "admirable, wonderful". The name was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play 'The Tempest' (1611). It did not become a common English given name until the 20th century. This is also the name of one of the moons of Uranus.

MONET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Various

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 13% based on 4 votes

From a French surname which was derived from either HAMON or EDMOND. This was the surname of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).

MONICA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Late Roman

Pronounced: MAHN-i-kə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 30% based on 4 votes

Meaning unknown, most likely of North African or Phoenician origin. In the 4th century this name was borne by the North African saint Monica of Hippo, the mother of Saint Augustine, whom she converted to Christianity. Since the Middle Ages it has been associated with Latin moneo "advisor" and Greek monos "one". As an English name, Monica has been in general use since the 18th century.

MORGAN (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English, French

Pronounced: MAWR-gən (English)

Rating: 38% based on 4 votes

From 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-).

NADIA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian

Pronounced: NAD-yə (English), NAHD-yə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 42% based on 5 votes

Variant of NADYA (1) used in the Western world, as well as a variant transcription of the Slavic name. It began to be used in France in the 19th century. The name received a boost in popularity due to the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci (1961-).

NATALIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Polish, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Georgian, Late Roman

Other Scripts: ნატალია (Georgian)

Pronounced: nah-TAH-lyah (Polish, Italian, Spanish)

Rating: 58% based on 6 votes

Latinate form of Natalia (see NATALIE).

NICHOLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: NIK-ə-ləs (English), nee-ko-LAH (French)

Rating: 70% based on 5 votes

From 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.

NINA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian

Other Scripts: Нина (Russian, Serbian)

Pronounced: NEE-nah (Russian, Italian, German, Polish), NEE-nə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 5 votes

Short form of names that end in nina, such as ANTONINA or GIANNINA. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also coincides with the Spanish word niña meaning "little girl".

OLIVIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: ə-LIV-ee-ə (English), o-LEE-vee-ah (German), O-lee-vee-ah (Finnish)

Rating: 46% based on 5 votes

This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER or OLIVA, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.

The name has been used in the English-speaking world since the 18th century, though it did not become overly popular until the last half of the 20th century. Its rise in popularity in America was precipitated by a character on the 1970s television series 'The Waltons'.

PAIGE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PAYJ

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 38% based on 4 votes

From an English surname meaning "servant, page" in Middle English. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion) meaning "little boy".

PETER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical

Pronounced: PEE-tər (English), PE-ter (German, Slovak), PAY-tər (Dutch)

Rating: 74% based on 5 votes

Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.

Due to the renown of the apostle, this name became common throughout the Christian world (in various spellings). In England the Normans introduced it in the Old French form Piers, which was gradually replaced by the spelling Peter starting in the 15th century.

Besides the apostle, other saints by this name include the 11th-century reformer Saint Peter Damian and the 13th-century preacher Saint Peter Martyr. It was also borne by rulers of Aragon, Portugal, and Russia, including the Russian tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725), who defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War. Famous fictional bearers include Peter Rabbit from Beatrix Potter's children's books, and Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up in J. M. Barrie's 1904 play.

PETRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Hungarian, English

Other Scripts: Πετρα (Greek), Петра (Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: PET-rah (Finnish), PET-rə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of PETER. This was also the name of an ancient city in the region that is now Jordan.

PHILIPPA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British), German

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

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

Latinate feminine form of PHILIP

RACHAEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: RAY-chəl

Rating: 18% based on 4 votes

Variant of RACHEL, the spelling probably influenced by that of Michael.

REINA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Rating: 15% based on 4 votes

Means "queen" in Spanish.

REX

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: REKS

Rating: 12% based on 5 votes

From Latin rex "king". It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.

RHYS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Pronounced: HREES (Welsh), REES (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 63% based on 4 votes

Means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. Several Welsh rulers have borne this name.

ROBERT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Romanian, Ancient Germanic

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: 63% based on 4 votes

From 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-).

ROGER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Swedish

Pronounced: RAH-jər (English), ro-ZHE (French)

Rating: 68% based on 4 votes

Means "famous spear" from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and ger "spear". The Normans brought this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hroðgar (the name of the Danish king in the Anglo-Saxon epic 'Beowulf'). It was a common name in England during the Middle Ages. By the 18th century it was rare, but it was revived in following years. The name was borne by the Norman lords Roger I, who conquered Sicily in the 11th century, and his son Roger II, who ruled Sicily as a king.

ROSALIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, German, English

Pronounced: ro-za-LEE (French), RO-zə-lee (English)

Rating: 50% based on 5 votes

French and German form of ROSALIA. In the English-speaking this name received a boost after the release of the movie 'Rosalie' (1938), which was based on an earlier musical.

ROSALINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: RAWZ-ə-lien, ROZ-ə-leen

Rating: 45% based on 4 votes

Medieval variant of ROSALIND. This is the name of characters in Shakespeare's 'Love's Labour's Lost' (1594) and 'Romeo and Juliet' (1596).

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)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 65% based on 4 votes

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.

SEVERUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Roman

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 40% based on 4 votes

Roman family name meaning "stern" in Latin. This name was borne by several early saints.

SHANE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: SHAYN

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 53% based on 4 votes

Anglicized form of SEÁN. It came into general use in America after the release of the western movie 'Shane' (1953).

SHARON

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SHER-ən, SHAR-ən

Rating: 43% based on 4 votes

From an Old Testament place name, in Hebrew שָׁרוֹן (Sharon), which means "plain", referring to the fertile plain near the coast of Israel. This is also the name of a type of flowering shrub, the rose of Sharon. It has been in use as a given name since the 1920s, possibly inspired by the heroine in the serial novel 'The Skyrocket' (1925) by Adela Rogers St. Johns.

SHELBY

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SHEL-bee

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 32% based on 5 votes

From a surname, which was possibly a variant of SELBY. Though previously in use as a rare masculine name, it was popularized as a feminine name by the main character in the movie 'The Woman in Red' (1935). It was later reinforced by the movie 'Steel Magnolias' (1989) in which Julia Roberts played a character by this name.

SIENNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: see-EN-ə

Rating: 13% based on 4 votes

From the English word meaning "orange-red". It is ultimately from the name of the city of Siena in Italy, because of the colour of the clay there.

SIMON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Macedonian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Симон (Macedonian), სიმონ (Georgian), Σιμων (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: SIE-mən (English), see-MAWN (French), ZEE-mawn (German), SEE-mawn (Dutch)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 48% based on 4 votes

From Σιμων (Simon), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim'on) which meant "he has heard". This was the name of several biblical characters, including the man who carried the cross for Jesus. However, the most important person of this name in the New Testament was the apostle Simon, also known as Peter (a name given to him by Jesus). Because of him, this name has been common in the Christian world. In England it was popular during the Middle Ages, though it became rarer after the Protestant Reformation.

SOPHIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Σοφια (Greek)

Pronounced: so-FEE-ə (English), so-FIE-ə (British English), zo-FEE-ah (German)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 56% based on 5 votes

Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which was the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.

This name was common among continental European royalty during the Middle Ages, and it was popularized in Britain by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century. It was the name of characters in the novels 'Tom Jones' (1749) by Henry Fielding and 'The Vicar of Wakefield' (1766) by Oliver Goldsmith.

SUSAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SOO-zən

Rating: 46% based on 5 votes

English variant of SUSANNA. This has been most common spelling since the 18th century. A notable bearer was the American feminist Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906).

SYLVIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German

Pronounced: SIL-vee-ə (English), SUYL-vee-ah (Finnish)

Rating: 14% based on 5 votes

Variant of SILVIA. This has been the most common English spelling since the 19th century.

TERESA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Finnish, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English

Pronounced: te-RE-sah (Spanish, Polish), te-RE-zah (Italian, German), TE-re-sah (Finnish), tə-REE-sə (English), tə-REE-zə (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 32% based on 5 votes

Cognate of THERESA. Saint Teresa of Ávila was a 16th-century Spanish nun who reformed the Carmelite monasteries and wrote several spiritual books. It was also borne by the beatified Albanian missionary Mother Teresa (1910-1997), who worked with the poor in Calcutta. She adopted the name in honour of the French saint Thérèse de Lisieux, who is the patron of missionaries.

THEODORE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: THEE-ə-dawr

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 58% based on 4 votes

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).

VANESSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch

Pronounced: və-NES-ə (English)

Rating: 38% based on 4 votes

Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his poem 'Cadenus and Vanessa' (1726). He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.

VERITY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Archaic)

Pronounced: VER-i-tee

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 26% based on 5 votes

From the English word meaning "verity, truth". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.

VINCENT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Slovak

Pronounced: VIN-sənt (English), ven-SAWN (French)

Rating: 70% based on 4 votes

From the Roman name Vincentius, which was from Latin vincere "to conquer". This name was popular among early Christians, and it was borne by many saints. As an English name, Vincent has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until the 19th century. Famous bearers include the French priest Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).

VIOLET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: VIE-lət, VIE-ə-lət

Rating: 60% based on 4 votes

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.

VIVIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: VIV-ee-ən (English)

Personal note: middle name only

Rating: 54% based on 5 votes

From the Latin name Vivianus which was derived from Latin vivus "alive". Saint Vivian was a French bishop who provided protection during the Visigoth invasion of the 5th century. It has been occasionally used as an English (masculine) name since the Middle Ages. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name, in which case it is either an Anglicized form of BÉBINN or a variant of VIVIEN (2).

VIVIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Late Roman

Pronounced: vee-vee-AH-nah (Italian)

Rating: 36% based on 5 votes

Feminine form of Vivianus (see VIVIAN). Saint Viviana (also known as Bibiana) was a Roman saint and martyr of the 4th century.

WILLIAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WIL-ee-əm, WIL-yəm

Rating: 73% based on 6 votes

From the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection". Saint William of Gellone was an 8th-century cousin of Charlemagne who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England. It was later borne by three other English kings, as well as rulers of Scotland, Sicily (of Norman origin), the Netherlands and Prussia.

Other famous bearers include William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish hero, and William Tell, a legendary 14th-century Swiss hero. In the literary world it was borne by dramatist William Shakespeare (1564-1616), poet William Blake (1757-1827), poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850), dramatist William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), author William Faulkner (1897-1962), and author William S. Burroughs (1914-1997).

Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2014.