Jeana Bradbury's Personal Name List

ADELE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, English, Italian, Finnish
Pronounced: a-DE-lə (German), ə-DEL (English), a-DE-le (Italian), AH-de-le (Finnish)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 56% based on 9 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: 48% based on 10 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: 60% based on 10 votes
Feminine form of ALAN.

ALBERT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, Catalan, German, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Romanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
Other Scripts: Альберт (Russian)
Pronounced: AL-bərt (English), AL-BER (French), əl-BERT (Catalan), AL-bert (German, Polish), AHL-bərt (Dutch), AWL-bert (Hungarian)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 52% based on 9 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: a-les-SAN-dra
Rating: 43% based on 8 votes
Italian form of ALEXANDRA.

ALFRED
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch
Pronounced: AL-fred (English), AL-FRED (French), AL-fret (German, Polish), AHL-frət (Dutch)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 54% based on 8 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 northeast 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.

Famous bearers include the British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), the Swedish inventor and Nobel Prize founder Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), and the American firm director Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980).

ALINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Romanian, German, Italian, Polish
Pronounced: a-LEE-na (German, Italian), a-LYEE-na (Polish)
Rating: 52% based on 10 votes
Short form of ADELINA and names that end in alina.

ALLEN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Scottish
Pronounced: A-lən (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 33% based on 8 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: 16% based on 8 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), a-ME-lya (Italian, Polish), a-ME-lee-a (German)
Rating: 64% based on 9 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: 43% based on 8 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, German, Dutch
Pronounced: AHN-DRE (French), un-DRE (Portuguese), AN-dre (German), ahn-DRE (Dutch)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 26% based on 8 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: an-je-LEE-na (Italian), an-jə-LEEN-ə (English), un-gyi-LYEE-nə (Russian), an-ge-LEE-na (Polish)
Rating: 44% based on 8 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: 39% based on 8 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: 53% based on 8 votes
Danish form of ANNELIESE.

ANTONIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Ancient Roman
Other Scripts: Αντωνια (Greek)
Pronounced: an-TO-nya (Italian, Spanish, German), an-TO-nee-ə (English), ahn-TO-nee-ah (Dutch), an-TAW-nya (Polish)
Rating: 55% based on 8 votes
Feminine form of Antonius (see ANTHONY).

ARIELLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: ar-ee-EL-ə, er-ee-EL-ə
Rating: 50% based on 8 votes
Strictly feminine form of ARIEL.

ARLENE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: ahr-LEEN
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 36% based on 9 votes
Variant of ARLINE.

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: middle name only
Rating: 28% based on 9 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, English
Other Scripts: Αθηνα (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: A-TE-NA (Classical Greek), ə-THEE-nə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 53% based on 8 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-ra (Spanish, Classical Latin), ə-RAWR-ə (English), OW-ro-rah (Finnish)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 65% based on 8 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-na
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 26% based on 8 votes
Diminutive of ELISABETH.

BRIGITTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, French
Pronounced: bree-GI-tə (German), BREE-ZHEET (French)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 28% based on 8 votes
German and French form of BRIDGET.

CAMILLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, German, Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Pronounced: kə-MIL-ə (English), ka-MEEL-la (Italian), kah-MEEL-lah (Danish), KAH-meel-lah (Finnish), ka-MI-la (German)
Rating: 41% based on 8 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: 53% based on 8 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-RAW-LEEN (French), KER-ə-lien (English), KER-ə-lin (English), KAR-ə-lien (English), KAR-ə-lin (English), ka-ro-LEE-nə (German)
Rating: 63% based on 9 votes
French feminine form of CAROLUS.

CELANDINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: SEL-ən-deen
Rating: 41% based on 9 votes
From the name of the flower, which derives from Greek χελιδων (chelidon) "swallow (bird)".

CELIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Spanish
Pronounced: SEEL-yə (English), SEE-lee-ə (English), THE-lya (European Spanish), SE-lya (Latin American Spanish)
Rating: 66% based on 8 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: CHAHRLZ (English), SHARL (French)
Rating: 67% based on 9 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 name element hari meaning "army, warrior".

The popularity of the name in continental Europe was due to the fame of Charles the Great (742-814), commonly known as Charlemagne, a king of the Franks who came to rule over most of Europe. His grandfather Charles Martel had also been a noted leader of the Franks. It was subsequently the name of several Holy Roman Emperors, as well as kings of France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Hungary (in various spellings). After Charlemagne, his name was adopted as a word meaning "king" in many Eastern European languages, for example Czech král, Hungarian király, Russian король (korol), and Turkish kral.

The name did not become common in Britain until the 17th century when it was borne by the Stuart king Charles I. It had been introduced into the Stuart royal family by Mary Queen of Scots, who had been raised in France.

Famous bearers of the name include naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) who revolutionized biology with his theory of evolution, novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) who wrote such works as 'Great Expectations' and 'A Tale of Two Cities', French statesman Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), and American cartoonist Charles Schulz (1922-2000), the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.

CHARLOTTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
Pronounced: SHAR-LAWT (French), SHAHR-lət (English), shar-LAW-tə (German), shah-LOT (Swedish), shahr-LAWT-tə (Dutch)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 70% based on 8 votes
French feminine diminutive of CHARLES. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. A notable bearer was Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Brontë sisters and the author of 'Jane Eyre' and 'Villette'.

CLOVIS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Ancient Germanic (Latinized), French
Pronounced: KLO-vis (English), KLAW-VEES (French)
Rating: 27% based on 9 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: 45% based on 10 votes
Anglicized form of CAILEAN or COILEAN.

CORDELIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: kawr-DEE-lee-ə, kawr-DEEL-yə
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 53% based on 8 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: KAW-REEN (French), kə-REEN (English), kə-RIN (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 33% based on 9 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: 33% based on 9 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: 33% based on 8 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: 41% based on 8 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 (Hebrew), DA-VEED (French), da-BEEDH (Spanish), DA-vit (German), DAH-vid (Swedish, Norwegian), DAH-vit (Dutch), du-VYEET (Russian)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 70% based on 9 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), musician David Bowie (1947-2016), 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: 53% based on 9 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: 55% based on 8 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: 42% based on 9 votes
French form of DELPHINA.

DIANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Roman Mythology
Other Scripts: Диана (Russian, Bulgarian)
Pronounced: die-AN-ə (English), DYA-na (Spanish, Italian, German, Polish), dee-A-nə (Catalan), dee-AH-nah (Dutch), dee-A-na (Classical Latin)
Rating: 55% based on 8 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-a (German), dawr-ə-THEE-ə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 50% based on 7 votes
Feminine form of the Late Greek name Δωροθεος (Dorotheos), which meant "gift of God" from Greek δωρον (doron) "gift" and θεος (theos) "god". The name Theodore is composed of the same elements in reverse order. 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-GAR (French)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 34% based on 8 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), which tells of the tragic love between Edgar Ravenswood and Lucy Ashton. 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), ET-muwnt (German), ED-moont (Polish)
Rating: 46% based on 7 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-vart (Polish)
Rating: 53% based on 7 votes
Means "rich guard", derived from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and weard "guard". This was the name of several Anglo-Saxon kings, the last being Saint Edward the Confessor shortly before the Norman conquest in the 11th century. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity his name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century Plantagenet 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). A famous bearer was the British composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934). It was also used by author Charlotte Brontë for the character Edward Rochester, the main love interest of the title character in her novel 'Jane Eyre' (1947).

EDWIN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Dutch
Pronounced: ED-win (English), ED-win (Dutch), ED-vin (Dutch)
Rating: 36% based on 7 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: 39% based on 7 votes
Feminine form of EDWIN.

ELDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 47% based on 7 votes
Italian form of HILDA.

ELDON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EL-dən
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 26% based on 7 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: 74% based on 8 votes
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor. Among the name's earliest bearers was 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. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.

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: 59% based on 7 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: 76% based on 7 votes
From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu) meaning "my God is YAHWEH". Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses appear next to Jesus when he is transfigured.

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: 70% based on 8 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. It has also been borne (in various spellings) by many other European royals, including a ruling empress of Russia in the 18th century. Famous modern bearers include the British queen Elizabeth II (1926-) and actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011).

ELSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Icelandic, Finnish, Italian
Pronounced: EL-sə (English), EL-za (German), EL-sah (Finnish)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 49% based on 8 votes
Short form of ELISABETH.

EMMA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: EM-ə (English), E-MA (French), EM-mah (Finnish), E-ma (German)
Rating: 59% based on 8 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: 40% based on 7 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, German, Spanish
Pronounced: ER-ik (English), E-rik (German)
Rating: 48% based on 8 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), ER-NEST (French), ER-nest (Polish)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 34% based on 7 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: EZ-may (English), EZ-mee (English), es-MAY (Dutch)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 51% based on 7 votes
Feminine form of ESMÉ.

ESTELLE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French
Pronounced: es-TEL (English), ES-TEL (French)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 50% based on 7 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, French, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: אֵיתָן (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: EE-thən (English), E-TAN (French)
Rating: 61% based on 8 votes
From the Hebrew name אֵיתָן ('Eitan) meaning "solid, enduring, firm". In the Old Testament this name is borne by a few minor characters, including the wise man Ethan the Ezrahite, supposedly the author of Psalm 89.

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. It is the name of the main character in Edith Wharton's novel 'Ethan Frome' (1911), about a man in love with his wife's cousin.

EVANGELINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, English
Pronounced: ə-VAN-jə-lee-nə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 58% based on 9 votes
Latinate form of EVANGELINE.

EVELINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Swedish
Pronounced: e-ve-LEE-na (Italian), e-ve-LEE-nah (Swedish)
Rating: 50% based on 8 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 or an elaboration of EVE.

FIONA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Scottish, English
Pronounced: fee-O-nə
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 53% based on 7 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-əns (English), FLAW-RAHNS (French)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 61% based on 7 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: 70% based on 7 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), German
Pronounced: FRAY-ə (English), FRE-ya (German)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 43% based on 8 votes
From Old Norse Freyja meaning "lady". This was 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 of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr and father Njord, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). 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: gab-RYE-la (Polish), ga-BRYE-la (Spanish), ga-bree-E-la (German)
Rating: 47% based on 7 votes
Feminine form of GABRIEL.

GABRIELLE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: GA-BREE-YEL (French), ga-bree-EL (English)
Rating: 44% based on 7 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: GIE-A (Classical Greek), GIE-ə (English), GAY-ə (English), GA-ya (Italian)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 33% based on 7 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: GA-ee-oos (Classical Latin), GIE-əs (English)
Rating: 16% based on 7 votes
Roman praenomen, or given name, of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from Latin gaudere "to rejoice", though it may be of unknown Etruscan origin. This was a very common Roman praenomen, 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: 41% based on 7 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: JAWRJ (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 50% based on 7 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: ZHAWR-ZHET
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 44% based on 7 votes
French feminine form of GEORGE.

GEORGIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Greek
Other Scripts: Γεωργια (Greek)
Pronounced: JAWR-jə (English)
Rating: 57% based on 6 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, Romanian
Pronounced: jor-JYAH-nə (English), jor-JAY-nə (English)
Rating: 46% based on 7 votes
Feminine form of GEORGE. This form of the name has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century.

GISELLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: jee-ZEL-la
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 30% based on 7 votes
Italian form of GISELLE.

GRACIE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: GRAY-see
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 66% based on 7 votes
Diminutive of GRACE.

GRANT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Scottish
Pronounced: GRANT (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 49% based on 8 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: 54% based on 7 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 the Illuminator (4th 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 has been used in England since the 12th century. A famous bearer from the modern era was American actor Gregory Peck (1916-2003).

HELENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Other Scripts: ‘Ελενη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: HE-le-na (German), he-LE-nah (Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish), khe-LE-na (Polish), HE-le-nah (Finnish), HEL-ə-nə (English)
Rating: 66% based on 7 votes
Latinate form of HELEN.

HENRY
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: HEN-ree
Rating: 73% based on 8 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 the French form to England, and it was subsequently used by eight kings, ending with the infamous Henry VIII in the 16th century. During the Middle Ages it was generally rendered as Harry or Herry in English pronunciation. Notable bearers include arctic naval explorer Henry Hudson (1570-1611), British novelist Henry James (1843-1916), and American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford (1863-1947).

HERMIONE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology
Other Scripts: ‘Ερμιονη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: HER-MEE-O-NE (Classical Greek), hər-MIE-ə-nee (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 46% based on 8 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: 53% based on 8 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 8 votes
Scottish form of JOHN.

INDIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: IN-dee-ə
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 41% based on 7 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: 21% based on 7 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: 30% based on 7 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-nə (German)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 47% based on 7 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: 47% based on 7 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. This is also the name of an ancient town in Galicia (now a district of Padrón).

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, Spanish), EE-REES (French)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 36% based on 7 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 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-za-BEL-la (Italian), ee-za-BE-la (German), iz-ə-BEL-ə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 44% based on 7 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: 61% based on 7 votes
Variant of ISLAY, typically used as a feminine name.

IVY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: IE-vee
Rating: 59% based on 8 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: ZHAK-LEEN (French), JAK-ə-leen (English), JAK-ə-lin (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 24% based on 7 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 8 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 is also the name of the central character in Charlotte Brontë's novel 'Jane Eyre' (1847), which tells of her sad childhood and her relationship with Edward Rochester.

JASON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
Other Scripts: Ιασων (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: JAY-sən (English), ZHA-ZAWN (French)
Rating: 40% based on 7 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 Aeson 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: 43% based on 7 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-i-MIE-ə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 39% based on 7 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 the Book of Lamentations (supposedly). 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: 27% based on 7 votes
Variant of GILLIAN.

JOHN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: JAHN (American English), JAWN (British English)
Rating: 66% based on 8 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". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan or Jehohanan in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter and James (his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.

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: JAW-shoo-ə (English)
Rating: 57% based on 6 votes
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu'a) meaning "YAHWEH is salvation". As told in the Old Testament, Joshua was a companion of Moses. He went up Mount Sinai with Moses when he received the Ten Commandments from God, and later he was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan. After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites and he led the conquest of Canaan. His original name was Hoshea.

The name Jesus comes from a Greek translation of the Aramaic short form יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshu'a), which was the real name of Jesus. As an English name, Joshua has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

JUDITH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Jewish, French, German, Spanish, Biblical
Other Scripts: יְהוּדִית (Hebrew)
Pronounced: JOO-dəth (English), ZHUY-DEET (French), YOO-dit (German)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 40% based on 6 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 Hittite wives of Esau. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith. She killed Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep.

As an English name it did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation, despite a handful of early examples during the Middle Ages. It was however used earlier on the European continent, being borne by several European royals, such as the 9th-century Judith of Bavaria.

JULIANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman
Pronounced: yuy-lee-AH-nah (Dutch), yoo-LYA-na (German), joo-lee-AHN-ə (English), khoo-LYA-na (Spanish)
Rating: 50% based on 7 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), ka-ta-REE-nə (German)
Rating: 56% based on 7 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: 33% based on 7 votes
Anglicized form of CAITLÍN.

KATRINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Dutch
Pronounced: kə-TREE-nə (English), kaht-REE-nah (Dutch)
Rating: 28% based on 6 votes
Variant of CATRIONA. It is also a German, Swedish and Dutch contracted form of KATHERINE.

KEIRA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Modern)
Rating: 32% based on 6 votes
Variant of KIRA (2). This spelling was popularized by British actress Keira Knightley (1985-).

KEITH
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Scottish
Pronounced: KEETH (English)
Rating: 45% based on 6 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-əth (English)
Rating: 33% based on 6 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: 65% based on 6 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: 68% based on 8 votes
Italian short form of ELEANOR.

LILIANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, English
Pronounced: lee-LYA-na (Italian, Polish), lil-ee-AN-ə (English)
Rating: 66% based on 7 votes
Latinate form of LILLIAN.

LILY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: LIL-ee
Rating: 83% based on 7 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, Hindi
Other Scripts: लीना (Hindi)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 37% based on 6 votes
Means "absorbed, united" in Sanskrit.

LOUISE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, German
Pronounced: LWEEZ (French), loo-EEZ (English), loo-EE-se (Danish), loo-EE-zə (German)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 60% based on 6 votes
French feminine form of LOUIS.

LYDIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Λυδια (Ancient Greek), Лѷдіа (Church Slavic)
Pronounced: LID-ee-ə (English), LUY-dya (German)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 70% based on 6 votes
Means "from Lydia" in Greek. Lydia was a region on the west coast of Asia Minor, said to be named for the legendary king LYDOS. 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: 38% based on 6 votes
Feminine form of Lysandros (see LYSANDER).

LYSETTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 27% based on 7 votes
Variant of LISETTE.

MACKENZIE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: mə-KEN-zee
Rating: 40% based on 7 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: MAD-LEN (French), MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English), mahd-e-LEN (Swedish)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 55% based on 8 votes
French form of MAGDALENE.

MADELINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French
Pronounced: MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English), MAD-LEEN (French)
Rating: 41% based on 7 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: 57% based on 7 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: 37% based on 6 votes
Occitan form of MAGDALENE.

MAGDALENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Polish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Occitan, Slovene, Czech, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, English
Other Scripts: Магдалена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian)
Pronounced: mag-da-LE-na (Polish), mak-da-LE-na (German), mag-da-LAY-na (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 50% based on 6 votes
Latinate form of MAGDALENE.

MALCOLM
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Scottish, English
Pronounced: MAL-kəm
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 43% based on 6 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
Pronounced: MAR-SU-LEEN
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 40% based on 7 votes
French feminine form of MARCELLINUS.

MARCUS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronounced: MAR-koos (Classical Latin), MAHR-kəs (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 32% based on 6 votes
Roman praenomen, or given name, which was probably derived from the name of the Roman god MARS. This was among the most popular of the Roman praenomina. Famous bearers include 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: Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Czech, Ancient Roman
Pronounced: mə-RYA-nə (Portuguese), ma-RYA-na (Spanish)
Rating: 30% based on 6 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), MA-ri-ye (Czech), ma-REE (German), mə-REE (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 83% based on 6 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: 20% based on 6 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-tin (English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish), MAR-TEN (French), MAR-teen (German, Slovak), MAWR-teen (Hungarian), mar-TIN (Bulgarian), MAHR-teen (Finnish)
Rating: 37% based on 6 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: 18% based on 6 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, Greek
Other Scripts: Μελινα (Greek)
Rating: 41% based on 7 votes
Elaboration of Mel, either from names such as MELISSA or from Greek μελι (meli) 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: 33% based on 6 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-kha-E-la (German), mi-KAY-lə (English)
Rating: 23% based on 6 votes
Feminine form of MICHAEL.

MIRANDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Dutch
Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 27% based on 6 votes
Derived from Latin mirandus meaning "admirable, wonderful". The name was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), about a father and daughter stranded on an island. 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, named after the Shakespearian character.

MONET
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Various
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 18% based on 6 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: 37% based on 6 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), MAWR-GAN (French)
Rating: 28% based on 6 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, Italian, English, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian
Other Scripts: Надя (Russian, Bulgarian), Надія (Ukrainian)
Pronounced: NA-DYA (French), NAD-yə (English), NAHD-yə (English), NA-dyə (Russian)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 44% based on 7 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 from the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci (1961-).

NATALIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Polish, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, English, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Greek, Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, Late Roman
Other Scripts: Ναταλια (Greek), ნატალია (Georgian), Наталия (Russian), Наталія (Ukrainian)
Pronounced: na-TA-lya (Polish, Italian, Spanish)
Rating: 63% based on 8 votes
Latinate form of Natalia (see NATALIE).

NICHOLAS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: NIK-ə-ləs, NIK-ləs
Rating: 71% based on 7 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, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian
Other Scripts: Нина (Russian, Serbian)
Pronounced: NYEE-nə (Russian), NEE-na (Italian, German), NEE-nə (English), NEE-NA (French), NEE-nah (Finnish), NYEE-na (Polish)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 29% based on 7 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: o-LIV-ee-ə (English), o-LEE-vya (Italian, German), o-LEE-bya (Spanish), O-lee-vee-ah (Finnish)
Rating: 50% based on 7 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 6 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-tu (German), PAY-tər (Dutch), PE-tər (Danish, Slovene), PE-ter (Slovak)
Rating: 67% based on 7 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: German, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish, English
Pronounced: PE-tra (German), PET-rah (Finnish), PET-rə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 53% based on 6 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: FI-li-pə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 42% based on 6 votes
Latinate feminine form of PHILIP.

RACHAEL
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: RAY-chəl
Rating: 15% based on 6 votes
Variant of RACHEL, the spelling probably influenced by that of Michael.

REINA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish
Rating: 40% based on 6 votes
Means "queen" in Spanish.

REX
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: REKS
Rating: 11% based on 7 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: 45% based on 6 votes
Means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. Several Welsh rulers have borne this name.

ROBERT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Romanian, Ancient Germanic
Other Scripts: Роберт (Russian)
Pronounced: RAHB-ərt (American English), RAWB-ət (British English), RAW-BER (French), RO-bert (German, Czech), RO-bərt (Dutch), RAW-bert (Polish), RO-byirt (Russian)
Rating: 43% based on 6 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, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch
Pronounced: RAWJ-ər (English), RAW-ZHE (French), RO-gu (German)
Rating: 48% based on 6 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, Dutch, English
Pronounced: RAW-ZA-LEE (French), ro-za-LEE (German), RO-zə-lee (English)
Rating: 64% based on 7 votes
French, German and Dutch 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: 47% based on 6 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: 47% based on 6 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. She was a Moabite woman who accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem after Ruth's husband died. There she met and married Boaz. She was an 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: 43% based on 6 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: 38% based on 6 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: 32% based on 6 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: 26% based on 7 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: 42% based on 6 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 (1)
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), SHEE-mon (Hungarian)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 35% based on 6 votes
From Σιμων (Simon), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim'on) which meant "he has heard". This name is spelled Simeon, based on Greek Συμεων, in many translations of the Old Testament, where it is borne by the second son of Jacob. The New Testament spelling may show influence from the otherwise unrelated Greek name SIMON (2).

In the New Testament Simon is the name of several characters, including the man who carried the cross for Jesus. Most importantly however it was borne by the leading apostle Simon, also known as Peter (a name given to him by Jesus).

Because of the apostle, 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), sə-FIE-ə (British English), zo-FEE-a (German)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 44% based on 7 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 during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which is 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. A famous bearer is the Italian actress Sophia Loren (1934-).

SUSAN
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: SOO-zən
Rating: 36% based on 7 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: 24% based on 7 votes
Variant of SILVIA. This has been the most common English spelling since the 19th century.

TERESA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Finnish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Pronounced: te-RE-sa (Spanish, Polish), te-RE-za (Italian, German), TE-re-sah (Finnish), tə-REE-sə (English), tə-REE-zə (English)
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 37% based on 7 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: 50% based on 6 votes
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).

VANESSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch
Pronounced: və-NES-ə (English), va-NE-sa (German)
Rating: 58% based on 6 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
Pronounced: VER-i-tee
Personal note: middle name only
Rating: 33% based on 7 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-SAHN (French)
Rating: 72% based on 6 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-lit, VIE-ə-lit
Rating: 73% based on 6 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: 41% based on 7 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-VYA-na (Italian)
Rating: 33% based on 7 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-yəm
Rating: 80% based on 8 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 in the 11th century. 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 1996-2017.