Isla's Personal Name List
Pronounced: AY-də (English), A-da (Polish), AH-dah (Finnish)
Short form of ADELAIDE
and other names beginning with the same sound. This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron. She was an assistant to Charles Babbage, the inventor of an early mechanical computer.
Pronounced: A-də-layd (English), a-de-LIE-de (Italian), ə-də-LIED (Portuguese)
From the French form of the Germanic
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and heid
"kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint
Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great. The name became common in Britain in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.
Other Scripts: Адриан (Russian)
Pronounced: AY-dree-ən (English), A-dryan (Polish), A-dree-an (German), u-dryi-AN (Russian)
Form of Hadrianus
). Several saints
and six popes have borne this name, including the only English pope, Adrian IV, and the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI. As an English name, it has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it was not popular until modern times.
Usage: English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Αννα (Greek), Анна (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Church Slavic)
Pronounced: AN-ə (English), AN-na (Italian, Polish, Icelandic), A-na (German, Greek), AHN-nah (Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish), AN-nah (Danish), AWN-naw (Hungarian), AN-nə (Russian, Catalan)
Form of Channah
) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament
. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah
spelling instead of Anna
. The name appears briefly in the New Testament
belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus
as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint
Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary
. In the English-speaking world, this form came into general use in the 18th century, joining Ann
The name was borne by several Russian royals, including an 18th-century empress of Russia. It is also the name of the main character in Leo Tolstoy's novel 'Anna Karenina' (1877), about a married aristocrat who begins an ultimately tragic relationship with Count Vronsky.
. This was the name of a 7th-century saint
, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare
's comedy 'As You Like It' (1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry
(which was derived from St. Audrey
, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
Pronounced: OW-guwst (German), OW-goost (Polish), AW-gəst (English)
German, Polish, Scandinavian and Catalan form of AUGUSTUS
Pronounced: ow-GUWS-ta (German), ow-GOOS-ta (Italian, Polish), ə-GUS-tə (English)
Feminine form of AUGUSTUS
. It was introduced to Britain when king George III, a member of the German House of Hanover, gave this name to his second daughter in the 18th century.
Pronounced: O-GUYS-TEN (French)
Personal note: prefer Augusten
Pronounced: ow-RE-lya (Italian, Polish)
Pronounced: be-a-TREE-che (Italian), BEE-ə-tris (English), BEET-ris (English), BE-ah-trees (Swedish), be-ah-TREES (Swedish)
Italian form of BEATRIX
. Beatrice Portinari (1266-1290) was the woman who was loved by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. She serves as Dante's guide through paradise in his epic poem the 'Divine Comedy' (1321). This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare
's comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599), in which Beatrice and Benedick are fooled into confessing their love for one another.
Pronounced: KA-MEE (French), kə-MEEL (English)
French feminine and masculine form of CAMILLA
. It is also used in the English-speaking world, where it is generally only feminine.
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)
Pronounced: se-SEE-lee-ə (English), se-SEEL-yə (English), che-CHEE-lya (Italian), the-THEE-lya (European Spanish), se-SEE-lya (Latin American Spanish), se-SEEL-yah (Danish, Norwegian)
Latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius
, which was derived from Latin caecus
Cecilia was a semi-legendary 2nd- or 3rd-century martyr who was sentenced to die because she refused to worship the Roman gods. After attempts to suffocate her failed, she was beheaded. She was later regarded as the patron saint of music and musicians.
Due to the popularity of the saint, the name became common in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. The Normans brought it to England, where it was commonly spelled Cecily - the Latinate form Cecilia came into use in the 18th century.
English form of CECILIA
. This was the usual English form during the Middle Ages.
Pronounced: SEEL-yə (English), SEE-lee-ə (English), THE-lya (European Spanish), SE-lya (Latin American Spanish)
Feminine form of the Roman family name CAELIUS
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
Pronounced: KLA-ra (Italian, German, Spanish), KLA-ru (Portuguese), KLER-ə (American English), KLAR-ə (American English), KLAH-rə (British English)
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus
which meant "clear, bright, famous". The name Clarus
was borne by a few early saints
. The feminine form was popularized by the 13th-century Saint Clare of Assisi (called Chiara
in Italian), a friend and follower of Saint Francis, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares. As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages, originally in the form Clare
, though the Latinate spelling Clara
became more popular in the 19th century.
Pronounced: KAHL-in (Scottish, Irish, English), KOL-in (English)
From an Irish surname which was derived from Deasmhumhain meaning "South Munster", originally indicating a person who came from that region in Ireland.
Pronounced: DAWR-ee-ən (English), DAW-RYAHN (French)
The name was first used by Oscar Wilde in his novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' (1891), which tells the story of a man whose portrait ages while he stays young. Wilde may have taken it from the name of the ancient Greek tribe the Dorians, or from the surname DORAN
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.
Other Scripts: Ηλιας (Greek)
Pronounced: ə-LEE-əsh (Portuguese), e-LEE-as (German), E-lee-ahs (Finnish), i-LIE-əs (English), ee-LIE-əs (English)
Norman form of the Germanic
, which was a short form of names containing the Germanic element alja
meaning "other". It was introduced to England by the Normans
and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive
of the medieval name ELIAS
Pronounced: EL-sə (English), EL-za (German), EL-sah (Finnish)
From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive
of the feminine given name EMMA
Pronounced: EE-free-im (English), EE-frəm (English), E-free-im (English), E-frəm (English)
From the Hebrew name אֶפְרָיִם ('Efrayim)
which meant "fruitful". In the Old Testament
Ephraim is a son of Joseph
and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Pronounced: EZ-may (English), EZ-mee (English), es-MAY (Dutch)
Means "esteemed" or "loved" in Old French. It was first recorded in Scotland, being borne by the first Duke of Lennox in the 16th century.
Usage: English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Pronounced: ES-tər (English, Dutch), ES-TER (French)
Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR
. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament
tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai
, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah
This name has been used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In America it received a boost in popularity after the birth of Esther Cleveland (1893-1980), the daughter of President Grover Cleveland.
Other Scripts: חַוָּה (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: EEV (English)
From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah)
, which was derived from the Hebrew word חוה (chawah)
"to breathe" or the related word חיה (chayah)
"to live". According to the Old Testament
Book of Genesis, Eve and Adam
were the first humans. God created her from one of Adam's ribs to be his companion. At the urging of a serpent she ate the forbidden fruit and shared some with Adam, causing their expulsion from the Garden of Eden
Despite this potentially negative association, the name was occasionally used by Christians during the Middle Ages. In the English-speaking world both Eve and the Latin form Eva were revived in the 19th century.
Pronounced: EV-ə-rit, EV-rit
From a surname which was derived from the given name EVERARD
Pronounced: EZ-rə (English)
Means "help" in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament
and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation
. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.
From the English word felicity
meaning "happiness", which ultimately derives from Latin felicitas
"good luck". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans
around the 17th century. It can sometimes be used as an English form of the Latin name FELICITAS
. This name was revived in the late 1990s after the appearance of the television series 'Felicity'.
Pronounced: FE-liks (German, Swedish), FAY-liks (Dutch), FEE-liks (English)
From a Roman cognomen
meaning "lucky, successful" in Latin. It was acquired as an agnomen
, or nickname, by the 1st-century BC Roman general Sulla. It also appears in the New Testament
belonging to the governor of Judea who imprisoned Saint Paul
Due to its favourable meaning, this name was popular among early Christians, being borne by many early saints and four popes. It has been used in England since the Middle Ages, though it has been more popular in continental Europe. A notable bearer was the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).
Older Irish form of FIONN
. This is also the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.
From a surname meaning "maker of arrows" in Middle English, ultimately from Old French flechier.
Pronounced: FLAW-rə (English), FLO-ra (German)
Derived from Latin flos
meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala
Usage: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Catalan, English, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Pronounced: GA-BREE-YEL (French), ga-BRYEL (Spanish), GA-bree-el (German, Classical Latin), GAHB-ree-el (Finnish), GAY-bree-əl (English), GAB-ryel (Polish)
From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el)
meaning "God is my strong man", derived from גֶּבֶר (gever)
"strong man, hero" and אֶל ('El)
"God". Gabriel was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition, often appearing as a messenger of God. In the Old Testament
he is sent to interpret the visions of the prophet Daniel
, while in the New Testament
he serves as the announcer of the births of John
. According to Islamic tradition he was the angel who dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad
This name has been used occasionally in England since the 12th century. It was not common in the English-speaking world until the end of the 20th century.
Modern form of the Greek name Γαληνος (Galenos)
, which meant "calm" from Greek γαληνη (galene)
. It was borne by a 2nd-century BC Greco-Roman physician who contributed to anatomy and medicine. In modern times the name is occasionally given in his honour.
Pronounced: JAWR-jə (English)
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).
Pronounced: GID-ee-ən (English)
Means "feller" or "hewer" in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament
. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings. In the English-speaking world, Gideon
has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation
, and it was popular among the Puritans
Pronounced: GRAY-dee (English)
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Grádaigh meaning "descendant of Grádaigh". The name Grádaigh means "noble" in Gaelic.
Pronounced: GRAY-əm (English), GRAM (English)
From a Scottish surname, originally derived from the English place name Grantham
, which probably meant "gravelly homestead" in Old English
. The surname was first taken to Scotland in the 12th century by the Norman baron William de Graham. A famous bearer was Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-Canadian-American inventor who devised the telephone.
From the Germanic
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
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).
Pronounced: EE-ən (English)
The name of a princess in the play 'Cymbeline' (1609) by Shakespeare
. He based her on a legendary character named Innogen
, but the name was printed incorrectly and never corrected. The name Innogen
is probably derived from Gaelic inghean
Pronounced: ING-rid (Swedish), ING-ree (Norwegian), ING-grit (German), ING-greet (German)
From the Old Norse
meaning "Ing is beautiful", derived from the name of the Germanic
combined with fríðr
"beautiful". A famous bearer was the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982).
Other Scripts: Ιρις (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: IE-ris (English), EE-ris (German, Dutch), EE-rees (Finnish, Spanish), EE-REES (French)
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.
Pronounced: IE-zək (English)
From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq)
meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice", derived from צָחַק (tzachaq)
meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament
explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham
laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah
would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau
with his wife Rebecca
As an English Christian name, Isaac was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, though it was more common among Jews. It became more widespread after the Protestant Reformation. Famous bearers include the physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and the science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov (1920-1992).
Variant of ISLAY
, typically used as a feminine name.
Pronounced: JAS-pər (English), YAHS-pər (Dutch)
Means "treasurer" in Persian. This name was traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus
. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. The name can also be given in reference to the English word for the gemstone.
Other Scripts: Ιωνας (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: YOO-nas (Swedish), YO-nas (German), JO-nəs (English)
From Ιωνας (Ionas)
, the Greek form of JONAH
. This spelling is used in some English translations of the New Testament
Pronounced: JOOD (English)
Variant of JUDAS
. It is used in many English versions of the New Testament
to denote the second apostle named Judas, in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. He was supposedly the author of the Epistle of Jude. In the English-speaking world, Jude
has occasionally been used as a given name since the time of the Protestant Reformation
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical
Other Scripts: Юлия (Russian), Юлія (Ukrainian)
Pronounced: JOO-lee-ə (English), YOO-lya (German, Polish), YOO-lee-ah (Swedish, Danish, Finnish), KHOO-lya (Spanish), YOO-lyi-yə (Russian), YOO-lee-a (Classical Latin)
Feminine form of the Roman family name JULIUS
. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament
. It was also borne by a few early saints
and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare
used it in his comedy 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594).
It has been common as a given name in the English-speaking world only since the 18th century. A famous modern bearer is American actress Julia Roberts (1967-).
Pronounced: JOO-lee-ən (English), JOOL-yən (English), YOO-lyan (Polish, German)
From the Roman name Iulianus
, which was derived from JULIUS
. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints
, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana
, eventually becoming Gillian
From the name of the month, which was originally derived from the name of the Roman goddess Juno
. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.
Means "love" in Cornish.
Originally a Scottish nickname for a person who was from Norway. In Scotland, Norway was known as the "land of the lochs", or Lochlann.
Pronounced: LAY-lə (English), LEE-lə (English), LIE-lə (English)
Variant of LAYLA
. This spelling was used by Lord Byron for characters in 'The Giaour' (1813) and 'Don Juan' (1819), and it is through him that the name was introduced to the English-speaking world.
Pronounced: LE-o (German, Danish, Finnish), LAY-o (Dutch), LEE-o (English)
Derived from Latin leo
meaning "lion", a cognate
. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint
Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina'. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
Other Scripts: लीला (Hindi)
From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium.
Strictly feminine form of LIOR
Pronounced: loo-EEZ-ə (English), loo-EES-ə (English), loo-EE-za (German)
Latinate feminine form of LOUIS
. A famous bearer was the American novelist Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), the author of 'Little Women'.
Pronounced: LOO-chyan (Romanian), LOO-shən (English)
Romanian and English form of LUCIANUS
. Lucian is the usual name of Lucianus of Samosata in English.
English form of LUCIA
, in use since the Middle Ages.
Other Scripts: Лука (Serbian, Macedonian, Russian), ლუკა (Georgian), Лѹка (Church Slavic)
Pronounced: LOOK (English)
English form of the Greek name Λουκας (Loukas)
which meant "from Lucania", Lucania being a region in southern Italy (of uncertain meaning). Luke was a doctor who travelled in the company of the apostle Paul
. According to tradition, he was the author of the third gospel and Acts in the New Testament
. He was probably of Greek ethnicity. He is considered a saint
by many Christian denominations.
Due to his renown, the name became common in the Christian world (in various spellings). As an English name, Luke has been in use since the 12th century alongside the Latin form Lucas. A famous fictional bearer was the hero Luke Skywalker from the 'Star Wars' movies, beginning in 1977.
Other Scripts: Λυδια (Ancient Greek), Лѷдіа (Church Slavic)
Pronounced: LID-ee-ə (English), LUY-dya (German)
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
Pronounced: LIE-rə (English)
The name of the constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. It is said to be shaped after the lyre of Orpheus.
Pronounced: MAYV (Irish)
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb
meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn
is told in the Irish epic 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley'.
Pronounced: MER-ee-əl, MAR-ee-əl
influenced by MURIEL
. In the case of actress Mariel Hemingway (1961-), the name is from the Cuban town of Mariel.
Pronounced: mə-TIL-də (English), MAH-teel-dah (Finnish)
From the Germanic
meaning "strength in battle", from the elements maht
"might, strength" and hild
Matilda was the wife of the 10th-century German king Henry I the Fowler. The name was common in many branches of European royalty in the Middle Ages. It was brought to England by the Normans
, being borne by the wife of William the Conqueror himself. Another notable royal by this name was a 12th-century daughter of Henry I of England, known as the Empress Matilda because of her first marriage to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. She later invaded England, laying the foundations for the reign of her son Henry II.
The name was popular until the 15th century in England, usually in the vernacular form Maud. Both forms were revived by the 19th century. This name appears in the popular Australian folk song 'Waltzing Matilda', written in 1895.
Pronounced: MIELZ, MIE-əlz
From the Germanic
, introduced by the Normans
to England in the form Miles
. The meaning is not known for certain. It is possibly connected to the Slavic
name element milu
meaning "gracious". From an early date it was associated with Latin miles
Pronounced: MIE-lo (English)
form of MILES
, as well as the Latinized form. This form of the name was used in official documents during the Middle Ages, and it has been used independently since the 19th century.
Pronounced: MIR-ee-əm (English), MI-ryam (German)
Original Hebrew form of MARY
. It is used in the Old Testament
, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses
. She watched over the infant Moses as the pharaoh's daughter drew him from the Nile. The name has long been popular among Jews, and it has been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It also coincides with Greek Μοιρα (Moira)
meaning "fate, destiny", the singular of Μοιραι
, the Greek name for the Fates. They were the three female personifications of destiny in Greek mythology
Pronounced: MYUR-ee-əl (English), MUR-ee-əl (English), MUY-RYEL (French)
Medieval English form of a Celtic name which was probably related to the Irish name MUIRGEL
. The Normans
brought it to England from Brittany. In the modern era it was popularized by a character from Dinah Craik's novel 'John Halifax, Gentleman' (1856).
Pronounced: nay-O-mee (English), nie-O-mee (English)
From the Hebrew name נָעֳמִי (Na'omiy)
meaning "pleasantness". In the Old Testament
this is the name of the mother-in-law of Ruth
. After the death of her husband and sons, she returned to Bethlehem with Ruth. There she declared that her name should be Mara
(see Ruth 1:20).
Though long common as a Jewish name, Naomi was not typically used as an English Christian name until after the Protestant Reformation. A notable bearer is the British model Naomi Campbell (1970-).
Pronounced: NAWR-ə (English), NO-ra (German)
Short form of HONORA
. Henrik Ibsen used it for a character in his play 'A Doll's House' (1879).
From the English word for the type of tree, ultimately derived from Latin oliva.
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak
Other Scripts: Оливер (Serbian, Macedonian)
Pronounced: AWL-ə-vər (English), O-lee-vu (German), O-lee-ver (Finnish)
, a Norman French form of a Germanic
name such as ALFHER
or an Old Norse
name such as Áleifr
). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva
"olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.
In England Oliver was a common medieval name, however it became rare after the 17th century because of the military commander Oliver Cromwell, who ruled the country following the civil war. The name was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to the title character in Charles Dickens' novel 'Oliver Twist' (1838), which was about a poor orphan living on the streets of London.
Pronounced: o-LIV-ee-ə (English), o-LEE-vya (Italian, German), o-LEE-bya (Spanish), O-lee-vee-ah (Finnish)
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 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'.
Pronounced: AHS-kər (English), AWS-KAR (French)
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Gaelic os
"deer" and cara
"friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English
or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR
, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín
and the grandson of the hero Fionn
This name was popularized in continental Europe by the works of the 18th-century Scottish poet James Macpherson. Napoleon was an admirer of Macpherson, and he suggested Oscar as the second middle name of his godson, who eventually became king of Sweden as Oscar I. Another notable bearer was the Irish writer and humourist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).
From the English word pearl for the concretions formed in the shells of some mollusks, ultimately from Late Latin perla. Like other gemstone names, it has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. The pearl is the birthstone for June, and it supposedly imparts health and wealth.
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Caoinlean meaning "descendant of Caoinlean". The name Caoinlean means "slender" in Gaelic.
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cuinn
meaning "descendant of CONN
From an English surname which comes from multiple sources, including Old English read
meaning "red" (originally a nickname given to a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion) and Old English ried
meaning "clearing" (given to a person who lived in a clearing in the woods).
Pronounced: HREES (Welsh), REES (English)
Means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. Several Welsh rulers have borne this name.
Means "little seal", derived from Irish rón
"seal" combined with a diminutive
Pronounced: RAW-ZA-LEE (French), ro-za-LEE (German), RO-zə-lee (English)
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.
Pronounced: ro-ZAN-na (Italian), ro-ZAN-ə (English)
Originally a Norman form of a Germanic
name, which was composed of the elements hrod
"fame" and heid
"kind, sort, type". The Normans
introduced it to England in the forms Roese
. From an early date it was associated with the word for the fragrant flower rose
(derived from Latin rosa
). When the name was revived in the 19th century, it was probably with the flower in mind.
Combination of ROSE
. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus
meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
Pronounced: RO-ən (English)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin
meaning "descendant of RUADHÁN
". This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree.
Simply from the name of the precious stone (which ultimately derives from Latin ruber "red"), which is the birthstone of July. It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Jewish, Biblical
Pronounced: SAM-yoo-əl (English), SAM-yəl (English), SA-MWEL (French), ZA-mwel (German), sa-MWEL (Spanish), sa-MOO-el (Polish), SAH-moo-el (Swedish, Finnish)
From the Hebrew name שְׁמוּאֵל (Shemu'el)
which could mean either "name of God" or "God has heard". As told in the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament
, Samuel was the last of the ruling judges. He led the Israelites during a period of domination by the Philistines, who were ultimately defeated in battle at Mizpah. Later he anointed Saul
to be the first king of Israel, and even later anointed his successor David
As a Christian name, Samuel came into common use after the Protestant Reformation. Famous bearers include American inventor Samuel Morse (1791-1872), Irish writer Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), and American author Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain.
Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Macedonian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Pronounced: SIE-mən (English), SEE-MAWN (French), ZEE-mawn (German), SEE-mawn (Dutch), SHEE-mon (Hungarian)
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.
Pronounced: SAHL-ə-mən (American English), SAWL-ə-mən (British English)
From the Hebrew name שְׁלֹמֹה (Shelomoh)
which was derived from Hebrew שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
"peace". As told in the Old Testament
, Solomon was a king of Israel, the son of David
. He was renowned for his wisdom and wealth. Towards the end of his reign he angered God by turning to idolatry. Supposedly, he was the author of the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.
This name has never been overly common in the Christian world, and it is considered typically Jewish. It was however borne by an 11th-century Hungarian king.
Meaning unknown, perhaps related to Old Norse stilling
"calm", or perhaps of German origin.
Pronounced: STOO-ərt (English), STYOO-ərt (English)
From an occupational surname originally belonging to a person who was a steward. It is ultimately derived from Old English stig
"house" and weard
"guard". As a given name, it arose in 19th-century Scotland in honour of the Stuart royal family, which produced several kings and queens of Scotland and Britain between the 14th and 18th centuries.
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).
Pronounced: VIE-lit, VIE-ə-lit
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.
From the English word for the small songbird. It is ultimately derived from Old English wrenna
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.
English form of ZAÏRE
. In England it came to public attention when Princess Anne gave it to her daughter in 1981. Use of the name may also be influenced by the trendy Spanish clothing retailer Zara.