earthnut's Personal Name List

ALEXANDER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Αλεξανδρος (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: al-əg-ZAN-dər (English), ah-lek-SAHN-der (German), ah-lək-SAHN-dər (Dutch)

Personal note: honoring (D)

Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros), which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo) "to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, King of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.

The name has been used by kings of Scotland, Poland and Yugoslavia, emperors of Russia, and eight popes. Other notable bearers include English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744), American statesman Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), Scottish-Canadian explorer Sir Alexander MacKenzie (1764-1820), Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), and Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-Canadian-American inventor of the telephone.

ALEXANDRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, English, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Spanish, Russian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Αλεξανδρα (Greek), Александра (Russian)

Pronounced: ah-lek-SAHN-drah (German, Romanian), ah-lək-SAHN-drah (Dutch), al-əg-ZAN-drə (English), ə-lə-SHAN-drə (Portuguese), ə-lə-SHAN-drə (Brazilian Portuguese)

Personal note: honoring (D)

Feminine form of ALEXANDER. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera, and an alternate name of Cassandra. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra) upon joining the Russian Church.

ANDRE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, African American

Pronounced: awn-DRAY

English form of ANDRÉ

ANTHONY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AN-thə-nee, AN-tə-nee

Personal note: honoring (C2)

English form of the Roman family name Antonius, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. The most notable member of the Roman family was the general Marcus Antonius (called Mark Antony in English), who for a period in the 1st century BC ruled the Roman Empire jointly with Augustus. When their relationship turned sour, he and his mistress Cleopatra were attacked and forced to commit suicide, as related in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606).

The name became regularly used in the Christian world due to the fame of Saint Anthony the Great, a 4th-century Egyptian hermit who founded Christian monasticism. Its popularity was reinforced in the Middle Ages by the 13th-century Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Portugal. It has been commonly (but incorrectly) associated with Greek ανθος (anthos) "flower", which resulted in the addition of the h to this spelling in the 17th century.

APOLLONIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Απολλωνια (Ancient Greek)

Feminine form of APOLLONIOS. This was the name of an early saint and martyr.

ARDEN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AHR-dən

From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, which were derived from a Celtic word meaning "high".

ARLO

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Meaning uncertain. It was perhaps inspired by the fictional place name Arlo Hill from the poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590) by Edmund Spenser. Spenser probably got Arlo by altering the real Irish place name Aherlow, which is Gaelic meaning "between two highlands".

ARTEMISIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Αρτεμισια (Ancient Greek)

Feminine form of ARTEMISIOS. This was the name of the 4th-century BC builder of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the world. She built it in memory of her husband, the Carian prince Mausolus.

ARTHUR

Gender: Masculine

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

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

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).

ASTRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: AS-trə

Personal note: or Aster

Means "star", ultimately from Greek αστηρ (aster). This name has only been (rarely) used since the 20th century.

ATHENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Αθηνα (Ancient Greek)

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.

AUGUST

Gender: Masculine

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

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

German, Polish, Scandinavian and Catalan form of AUGUSTUS

AUGUSTINE (1)

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AW-gəs-teen, ə-GUS-tin

From the Roman name Augustinus, itself derived from the Roman name AUGUSTUS. Saint Augustine of Hippo was a 5th-century Christian theologian and author from North Africa. For his contributions to Christian philosophy he is known as a Doctor of the Church. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world. It became popular in England in the Middle Ages partly because of a second saint by this name, Augustine of Canterbury, a 6th-century Italian monk sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons.

CATRINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Scottish

Personal note: prefer Citrina

Variant of CATRIONA

CEDAR

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: SEE-dər

From the English word for the coniferous tree, derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κεδρος (kedros).

CELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Spanish, Italian

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

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.

CICELY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SIS-ə-lee

Medieval variant of CECILY

DOUGLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: DUG-ləs

Anglicized form of the Scottish surname Dubhghlas, meaning "dark river" from Gaelic dubh "dark" and glais "water, river". Douglas was originally a river name, which then became a Scottish clan name (belonging to a powerful line of Scottish earls). It has been used as a given name since the 16th century.

DRACO

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Δρακων (Ancient Greek)

From the Greek name Δρακων (Drakon) which meant "dragon, serpent". This was the name of a 7th-century BC Athenian legislator. This is also the name of a constellation in the northern sky.

EMMETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-it

From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of the feminine given name EMMA.

ESTELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: es-TEL-ə

Latinate form of ESTELLE. This was the name of the heroine, Estella Havisham, in Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations' (1860).

EVANDER (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized), Roman Mythology

Other Scripts: Ευανδρος (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: ee-VAN-dər (English), ə-VAN-dər (English)

Variant of Evandrus, Latin form of the Greek name Ευανδρος (Euandros) which meant "good man", derived from Greek ευ "good" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). In Roman mythology Evander was an Arcadian hero of the Trojan War who founded the city of Pallantium near the spot where Rome was later built.

EVELYN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German

Pronounced: EV-ə-lin (English), EV-lin (English)

From an English surname which was derived from the given name AVELINE. In the 17th century when it was first used as a given name it was more common for boys, but it is now regarded as mainly feminine due to association with the related name Evelina.

FELICITY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: fi-LIS-i-tee

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 (1). This name was revived in the late 1990s after the appearance of the television series 'Felicity'.

FELIX

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Romanian, Ancient Roman, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Pronounced: FE-liks (German), 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).

GRETA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish, German, English

Pronounced: GRE-tah (German), GRET-ə (English)

Personal note: honoring (D1)

Short form of MARGARETA. A famous bearer of this name was Swedish actress Greta Garbo (1905-1990).

HAZEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HAY-zəl

From the English word hazel for the tree or the light brown colour, derived ultimately from Old English hæsel. It was coined as a given name in the 19th century.

HELEN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek Mythology (Anglicized)

Other Scripts: ‘Ελενη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: HEL-ən (English)

Personal note: honoring (D1)

English form of the Greek ‘Ελενη (Helene), probably from Greek ‘ελενη (helene) "torch" or "corposant", or possibly related to σεληνη (selene) "moon". In Greek mythology Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose kidnapping by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War. The name was also borne by the 4th-century Saint Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, who supposedly found the True Cross during a trip to Jerusalem.

The name was originally used among early Christians in honour of the saint, as opposed to the classical character. In England it was commonly spelled Ellen during the Middle Ages, and the spelling Helen was not regularly used until after the Renaissance. A famous bearer was Helen Keller (1880-1968), an American author and lecturer who was both blind and deaf.

HERON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: ‘Ηρων (Ancient Greek)

Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros) meaning "hero". This was the name of a 1st-century Greek inventor (also known as Hero) from Alexandria.

HONORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, English

Personal note: prefer Honesty

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

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)

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

JASPER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch, Judeo-Christian Legend

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.

JUSTICE

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JUS-tis

From an occupational surname which meant "judge, officer of justice" in Old French. This name can also be given in direct reference to the English word justice.

KEVIN

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: KEV-in (English)

Anglicized form of the Irish name Caoimhín, derived from the older Irish Cóemgein, composed of the Old Irish elements cóem "kind, gentle, handsome" and gein "birth". Saint Caoimhín established a monastery in Glendalough, Ireland in the 6th century and is the patron saint of Dublin. It became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland in the 20th century.

LARKIN

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: Medieval English

Pronounced: LAHR-kin

Personal note: honoring (D1)

Medieval diminutive of LAURENCE (1)

LAWRENCE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LAWR-ənts

Personal note: honoring (D1), or Laurence

Variant of LAURENCE (1). This spelling of the name is now more common than Laurence in the English-speaking world, probably because Lawrence is the usual spelling of the surname. The surname was borne by the author and poet D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), as well as the revolutionary T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935), who was known as Lawrence of Arabia.

LEO

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: LE-o (German, Finnish), LAY-o (Dutch), LEE-o (English)

Derived from Latin leo "lion", a cognate of LEON. 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.

LEONA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German

Pronounced: lee-O-nə (English), LE-o-nah (German)

Feminine form of LEON

LIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, English

Short form of ELIANA (1), JULIANA, LILIANA, and other names that end in liana. This is also the word for a type of vine that grows in jungles.

LILLIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee-ən

Probably originally a diminutive of ELIZABETH. It may also be considered an elaborated form of LILY, from the Latin word for "lily" lilium. This name has been used in England since the 16th century.

LINDEN

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIN-dən

Personal note: or Lyndon

From a German surname which was derived from linde meaning "lime tree".

LINNÉA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish

Pronounced: lin-NE-ah

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

LORENZO

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Italian, Spanish

Pronounced: lo-REN-tso (Italian), lo-REN-tho (Spanish), lo-REN-so (Latin American Spanish)

Personal note: honoring (D1)

Italian and Spanish form of Laurentius (see LAURENCE (1)). Lorenzo de' Medici, known as the Magnificent, was a ruler of Florence during the Renaissance. He was also a great patron of the arts who employed Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and other famous artists.

LYRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Astronomy

Pronounced: LIE-rə (English), LEE-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.

LYSANDER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Λυσανδρος (Ancient Greek)

From the Greek name Λυσανδρος (Lysandros) which meant "a release of a man" from Greek λυσις (lysis) "a release" and ανδρος (andros) "of a man". This was the name of a Spartan general and naval commander.

MAIA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Roman Mythology

Pronounced: MAY-ə (English), MIE-ə (English)

Means "great" in Latin. This was the name of a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan. The month of May is named for her.

MALINA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Bulgarian, Serbian, Polish (Rare)

Other Scripts: Малина (Bulgarian, Serbian)

Pronounced: mah-LEE-nah (Polish)

Means "raspberry" in several Slavic languages.

MARGARET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAHR-grit, MAHR-gə-rit

Personal note: honoring (D1)

Derived from Latin Margarita, which was from Greek μαργαριτης (margarites) meaning "pearl", probably ultimately a borrowing from Sanskrit मञ्यरी (manyari). Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.

Other saints by this name include a queen of Scotland and a princess of Hungary. It was also borne by Queen Margaret I of Denmark, who united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in the 14th century. Famous literary bearers include American writer Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949), the author of 'Gone with the Wind', and Canadian writer Margaret Atwood (1939-).

MAY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAY

Personal note: honoring (C2)

Derived from the name of the month of May, which derives from Maia, the name of a Roman goddess. May is also another name of the hawthorn flower. It is also used as a diminutive of MARY, MARGARET or MABEL.

MELISSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Μελισσα (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: mə-LIS-ə (English)

Means "bee" in Greek. This was the name of a nymph that cared for young Zeus in Greek mythology. It is also the name of the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina in Ludovico Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso' (1516). As an English given name, Melissa has been used since the 18th century.

MIRA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Polish

Other Scripts: Мира (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian)

Short form of names containing the Slavic element miru meaning "peace" or "world".

MIRABELLE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French (Rare), English (Rare)

Personal note: or Mirabel

Derived from Latin mirabilis "wonderful". This name was coined during the Middle Ages, though it eventually died out. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.

MIRANDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)

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

NICHOLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

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

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.

OCEAN

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: O-shən

Simply from the English word ocean for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ωκεανος (Okeanos), the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.

OGDEN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AWG-dən

Personal note: prefer Oakley

From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "oak valley" in Old English. A famous bearer was the humourous poet Ogden Nash (1902-1971).

OLIVER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak

Other Scripts: Оливер (Serbian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: AHL-ə-vər (English), AW-lee-ver (German), O-lee-ver (Finnish)

From Olivier, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as ALFHER or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr (see OLAF). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva "olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.

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

OPAL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: O-pəl

From the English word opal for the iridescent gemstone, the birthstone of October. The word ultimately derives from Sanskrit उपल (upala) meaning "jewel".

PETER

Gender: Masculine

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

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

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.

RAVENNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Either an elaboration of RAVEN, or else from the name of the city of Ravenna in Italy.

ROBERT

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Роберт (Russian)

Pronounced: RAH-bərt (English), ro-BER (French), RO-bert (German), RO-bərt (Dutch), RAW-bert (Polish), RO-byert (Russian), RO-beert (Russian)

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-).

ROWAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English (Modern)

Pronounced: RO-ən (English)

From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin meaning "descendent of RUADHÁN". This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree.

RUBY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROO-bee

Personal note: honoring (C2)

Simply means "ruby" 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.

SALOMEA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Polish

Pronounced: sah-law-ME-ah

Polish form of SALOME

SEBASTIAN

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: ze-BAHS-tee-ahn (German), sə-BAS-chən (English), se-BAHS-tyahn (Polish), SE-bahs-tee-ahn (Finnish)

From the Latin name Sebastianus which meant "from Sebaste". Sebaste was the name a town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek σεβαστος (sebastos) "venerable" (a translation of Latin Augustus, the title of the Roman emperors). Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred by arrows after it was discovered he was a Christian. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in medieval Europe, especially in Spain and France. It was also borne by a 16th-century king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.

SELENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Russian, Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Селена (Russian), Σεληνη (Ancient Greek)

Personal note: honoring (D1)

Latinized form of SELENE. This name was borne by popular Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla (1971-1995), who was known simply as Selena.

SERENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Late Roman

Pronounced: sə-REEN-ə (English), se-RE-nah (Italian)

From a Late Latin name which was derived from Latin serenus meaning "clear, tranquil, serene". This name was borne by an obscure early saint. Edmund Spenser also used it in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).

SILAS

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Σιλας (Greek)

Pronounced: SIE-ləs (English)

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

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

SILVANUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Roman Mythology, Ancient Roman, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Pronounced: sil-VAY-nəs (English)

Personal note: prefer Sylvan

Roman name derived from Latin silva "wood, forest". Silvanus was the Roman god of forests. This name appears in the New Testament belonging to one of Saint Paul's companions, also called Silas.

SKYLER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: SKIE-lər

Variant of SCHUYLER. The spelling was modified due to association with the name Tyler and the English word sky.

SOLANGE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: so-LAWNZH

Personal note: prefer Solana

French form of the Late Latin name Sollemnia, which was derived from Latin sollemnis "religious". This was the name of a French shepherdess who became a saint after she was killed by her master.

SOLOMON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English, Jewish

Other Scripts: שְׁלֹמֹה (Hebrew)

Pronounced: SAHL-ə-mən (English)

From the Hebrew name שְׁלֹמֹה (Shelomoh) which was derived from Hebrew שָׁלוֹם (shalom) "peace". Solomon was a king of Israel, the son of David, renowned for his wisdom. Supposedly, he wrote the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament. This name has never been overly common in the Christian world, and it is considered typically Jewish.

SOPHIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Σοφια (Greek)

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

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

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

SOPHRONIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Literature, Late Greek

Other Scripts: Σωφρονια (Ancient Greek)

Personal note: prefer Saphrona

Feminine form of SOPHRONIUS. Torquato Tasso used it in his epic poem 'Jerusalem Delivered' (1580), in which it is borne by the lover of Olindo.

STELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian

Pronounced: STEL-ə (English)

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

STELLAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Swedish

Meaning unknown, perhaps related to Old Norse stilling "calm", or perhaps of German origin.

STERLING

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: STUR-ling

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

SYLVESTER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: sil-VES-tər

Medieval variant of SILVESTER. This is currently the usual English spelling of the name. The actor Sylvester Stallone (1946-) is a famous bearer.

SYLVIA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

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

THEODORE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: THEE-ə-dawr

From the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros), which meant "gift of god" from Greek θεος (theos) "god" and δωρον (doron) "gift". This was the name of several saints, including Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Greek soldier; Theodore of Tarsus, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury; and Theodore the Studite, a 9th-century Byzantine monk. It was also borne by two popes.

This was a common name in classical Greece, and, due to both the saints who carried it and the favourable meaning, it came into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was however rare in Britain before the 19th century. Famous bearers include three tsars of Russia (in the Russian form Fyodor) and American president Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).

VERA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Russian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Portuguese

Other Scripts: Вера (Russian, Serbian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: VYE-rah (Russian), VEER-ə (English), VER-ə (English)

Means "faith" in Russian, though it is sometimes associated with the Latin word verus "true". It has been in general use in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century.

VERENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Late Roman

Pronounced: ve-RE-nah (German)

Possibly related to Latin verus "true". This might also be a Coptic form of the Ptolemaic name BERENICE. Saint Verena was a 3rd-century Egyptian-born nurse who went with the Theban Legion to Switzerland. After the legion was massacred she settled near Zurich.

VERITY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Archaic)

Pronounced: VER-i-tee

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

VICTOR

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: VIK-tər (English), veek-TOR (French)

Roman name meaning "victor, conqueror" in Latin. It was common among early Christians, and was borne by several early saints and three popes. It was rare as an English name during the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), who authored 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.

VIDA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Slovene

Slovene feminine form of WIDO or VITUS

WILLOW

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: WIL-o

From the name of the tree, which is ultimately derived from Old English welig.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2014.