lady murasaki's Personal Name List

AKIRA
Gender: Masculine & Feminine
Usage: Japanese
Other Scripts: 昭, 明, 亮, 晶, etc. (Japanese Kanji)
Pronounced: A-KYEE-RA
Rating: 51% based on 56 votes
From Japanese (akira) meaning "bright", (akira) meaning "bright" or (akira) meaning "clear". Other kanji with the same pronunciation can also form this name.

ALEXANDER
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Other Scripts: Αλεξανδρος (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: a-lig-ZAN-dər (English), a-le-KSAN-du (German), ah-lək-SAHN-dər (Dutch), AW-lek-sawn-der (Hungarian)
Rating: 72% based on 61 votes
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.

ALIDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Dutch, German, Hungarian
Pronounced: a-LEE-da (German)
Rating: 44% based on 49 votes
Diminutive of ADELAIDE.

ALIZA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: עַלִיזָה (Hebrew)
Pronounced: ah-LEE-zah
Rating: 41% based on 49 votes
Means "joyful" in Hebrew.

ALLEGRA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare), Italian (Rare)
Pronounced: ə-LEG-rə (English), al-LE-gra (Italian)
Rating: 57% based on 57 votes
Means "cheerful, lively" in Italian. It is not a traditional Italian name. It was borne by a short-lived illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron.

AMALIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Pronounced: ah-MAH-lee-ah (Dutch), a-MA-lya (German)
Rating: 62% based on 51 votes
Latinized form of the Germanic name Amala, a short form of names beginning with the element amal meaning "work".

AMEDEO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian
Rating: 46% based on 45 votes
Italian form of AMADEUS. A notable bearer of this name was Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856), an Italian chemist most famous for the constant that now bears his name: Avogadro's Number. Another famous bearer was the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920).

AMIT (2)
Gender: Masculine & Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: עָמִית (Hebrew)
Pronounced: ah-MEET
Rating: 33% based on 45 votes
Means "friend" in Hebrew.

ANGELICA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Romanian, Literature
Pronounced: an-JEL-i-kə (English), an-JE-lee-ka (Italian)
Rating: 42% based on 46 votes
Derived from Latin angelicus meaning "angelic", ultimately related to Greek αγγελος (angelos) "messenger". The poets Boiardo and Ariosto used this name in their 'Orlando' poems (1495 and 1532), where it belongs to Orlando's love interest. It has been used as a given name since the 18th century.

ANNA
Gender: Feminine
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)
Rating: 69% based on 53 votes
Form of Channah (see HANNAH) 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 and Anne.

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.

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: 58% based on 52 votes
Feminine form of Antonius (see ANTHONY).

ARTEMISIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Αρτεμισια (Ancient Greek)
Rating: 56% based on 54 votes
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, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Pronounced: AHR-thər (English), AR-TUYR (French), AR-tuwr (German), AHR-tuyr (Dutch)
Rating: 54% based on 48 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).

ASAF
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: אָסָף (Hebrew)
Rating: 29% based on 44 votes
Hebrew form of ASAPH.

ASHER
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Hebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: אָשֵׁר (Hebrew)
Pronounced: A-shər (English)
Rating: 56% based on 54 votes
Means "happy, blessed" in Hebrew. Asher in the Old Testament is a son of Jacob by Leah's handmaid Zilpah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The meaning of his name is explained in Genesis 30:13.

ATARAH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: עֲטָרָה (Hebrew)
Pronounced: AT-ə-rə (English)
Rating: 41% based on 42 votes
Means "crown" in Hebrew. She was a minor Old Testament character, the wife of Jerahmeel.

AVITAL
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: אֲבִיטָל (Ancient Hebrew)
Rating: 37% based on 43 votes
Hebrew form of ABITAL.

BRUNO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Polish, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: BROO-no (German), BRUY-NO (French), BROO-naw (Polish)
Rating: 33% based on 47 votes
Derived from the Germanic element brun "armour, protection" or brun "brown". Saint Bruno of Cologne was a German monk of the 11th century who founded the Carthusian Order. The surname has belonged Giordano Bruno, a philosopher burned at the stake by the Inquisition.

CLAUDIO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian, Spanish
Pronounced: KLOW-dyo (Italian), KLOW-dhyo (Spanish)
Rating: 44% based on 45 votes
Italian and Spanish form of CLAUDIUS.

CONSTANZA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish
Pronounced: kon-STAN-tha (European Spanish), kon-STAN-sa (Latin American Spanish)
Rating: 45% based on 42 votes
Spanish form of CONSTANTIA.

DALIA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish (Latin American), American (Hispanic)
Rating: 53% based on 48 votes
Spanish form of DAHLIA. The Dahlia is the national flower of Mexico.

DAMIAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Polish, Dutch
Pronounced: DAY-mee-ən (English), DA-myan (Polish)
Rating: 58% based on 47 votes
From the Greek name Δαμιανος (Damianos) which was derived from Greek δαμαζω (damazo) "to tame". Saint Damian was martyred with his twin brother Cosmo in Syria early in the 4th century. They are the patron saints of physicians. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in Christian Europe. Another saint by this name was Peter Damian, an 11th-century cardinal and theologian from Italy.

DAVIDE
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: DA-vee-de
Rating: 42% based on 45 votes
Italian form of DAVID.

DELIA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Greek Mythology
Other Scripts: Δηλια (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: DEE-lee-ə (English), DEL-ya (Italian, Spanish)
Rating: 51% based on 42 votes
Means "of Delos" in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis, given because she and her twin brother Apollo were born on the island of Delos. The name appeared in several poems of the 16th and 17th centuries, and it has occasionally been used as a given name since that time.

DONATO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Pronounced: do-NA-to (Italian, Spanish)
Rating: 43% based on 37 votes
From the Late Latin name Donatus meaning "given". Several early saints had this name. The name was also borne by two Renaissance masters: the sculptor Donato di Niccolo di Bette Bardi (also known as Donatello), and the architect Donato Bramante.

ELENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek, German, Medieval Slavic
Other Scripts: Елена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Church Slavic), Ελενα (Greek)
Pronounced: E-le-na (Italian, German), e-LE-na (Spanish), yi-LYE-nə (Russian), i-LYE-nə (Russian)
Rating: 65% based on 40 votes
Cognate of HELEN, and a variant transcription of Russian YELENA.

ELEONORA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek
Other Scripts: Елеонора (Bulgarian, Ukrainian), Элеонора (Russian), Ελεονωρα (Greek)
Pronounced: e-le-o-NAW-ra (Italian), e-le-o-NO-ra (German), e-le-aw-NAW-ra (Polish)
Rating: 71% based on 43 votes
Cognate of ELEANOR.

ELSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Icelandic, Finnish, Italian
Pronounced: EL-sə (English), EL-za (German), EL-sah (Finnish)
Rating: 57% based on 23 votes
Short form of ELISABETH.

EMANUEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Romanian, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Czech, Slovak, Croatian
Pronounced: e-MA-nwel (German), E-ma-noo-el (Slovak)
Rating: 56% based on 39 votes
Form of EMMANUEL.

EMILIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Finnish, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Pronounced: e-MEE-lya (Italian, Spanish), E-mee-lee-ah (Finnish), e-MYEE-lya (Polish), e-MEE-lee-ah (Swedish)
Rating: 63% based on 41 votes
Feminine form of Aemilius (see EMIL).

EVA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Slovene, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Georgian, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: Ευα (Greek), Ева (Bulgarian, Russian, Church Slavic), ევა (Georgian)
Pronounced: E-ba (Spanish), E-va (Italian, Czech, Slovak, Icelandic), EE-və (English), E-fa (German), AY-vah (Dutch), E-vah (Danish), YE-və (Russian), E-wa (Classical Latin)
Rating: 70% based on 26 votes
Latinate form of EVE. This form is used in the Latin translation of the New Testament, while Hava is used in the Latin Old Testament. It is also a variant transcription of Russian YEVA. This name appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852) belonging to the character Little Eva, whose real name is in fact Evangeline.

FIAMMETTA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: fyam-MET-ta
Rating: 49% based on 46 votes
Derived from Italian fiamma "fire" combined with a diminutive suffix.

GIANCARLO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: jan-KAR-lo
Rating: 40% based on 37 votes
Combination of GIANNI and CARLO.

GIOVANNI
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: jo-VAN-nee
Rating: 52% based on 39 votes
Italian form of Iohannes (see JOHN). The Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516) and the painter and sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) were two famous bearers of this name.

IGNAZIO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian
Rating: 41% based on 38 votes
Italian form of IGNATIUS.

JESSICA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Spanish
Pronounced: JES-i-kə (English), ZHE-SEE-KA (French), YE-see-ka (German)
Rating: 49% based on 43 votes
This name was first used in this form by Shakespeare in his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596), where it belongs to the daughter of Shylock. Shakespeare probably based it on the biblical name ISCAH, which would have been spelled Jescha in his time. It was not commonly used as a given name until the middle of the 20th century. Notable bearers include actresses Jessica Tandy (1909-1994) and Jessica Lange (1949-).

JULIAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Polish, German
Pronounced: JOO-lee-ən (English), JOOL-yən (English), YOO-lyan (Polish, German)
Rating: 61% based on 41 votes
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).

JUNE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: JOON
Rating: 57% based on 42 votes
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.

KEZIAH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical
Other Scripts: קְצִיעָה (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: kə-ZIE-ə (English)
Rating: 45% based on 37 votes
From the Hebrew name קְצִיעָה (Qetzi'ah) meaning "cassia, cinnamon", from the name of the spice tree. In the Old Testament she is a daughter of Job.

LAYLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Arabic, English
Other Scripts: ليلى (Arabic)
Pronounced: LAY-lə (English)
Rating: 49% based on 40 votes
Means "night" in Arabic. This was the name of the object of romantic poems written by the 7th-century poet known as Qays. The story of Qays and Layla became a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.

LEONARDO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, History
Pronounced: le-o-NAR-do (Italian), le-o-NAR-dho (Spanish), lee-ə-NAHR-do (English)
Rating: 54% based on 39 votes
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of LEONARD. A notable bearer was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), an Italian artist and scientist of the Renaissance. He is also known as the inventor of several contraptions, including flying machines, as well as the painter of the 'Mona Lisa'. Another famous bearer was Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th-century Italian mathematician. A more recent bearer is American actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-).

LEVI
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Hebrew, English, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: לֵוִי (Hebrew)
Pronounced: LEE-vie (English), LE:-vee (Dutch)
Rating: 54% based on 43 votes
Possibly means "joined, attached" in Hebrew. As told in the Old Testament, Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites, known as the Levites. This was the tribe that formed the priestly class of the Israelites. The brothers Moses and Aaron were members. In the New Testament this is another name for the apostle Matthew. As an English Christian name, Levi came into use after the Protestant Reformation.

LIORA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: לִיאוֹרָה (Hebrew)
Rating: 55% based on 40 votes
Strictly feminine form of LIOR.

LUISA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Italian
Pronounced: LWEE-sa (Spanish), LWEE-za (Italian)
Rating: 52% based on 41 votes
Feminine form of LUIS.

MAIA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology, Portuguese, Georgian
Other Scripts: Μαια (Ancient Greek), მაია (Georgian)
Pronounced: MIE-A (Classical Greek), MAY-ə (English), MIE-ə (English)
Rating: 58% based on 38 votes
Meaning unknown. In Greek and Roman mythology she was the eldest of the Pleiades, the group of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, who were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Her son by Zeus was Hermes.

MALKA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: מַלְכָּה (Hebrew)
Rating: 36% based on 36 votes
Means "queen" in Hebrew.

MARIA
Gender: Feminine & Masculine
Usage: Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Other Scripts: Μαρια (Greek), Мария (Russian, Bulgarian), Марія (Ukrainian), Маріа (Church Slavic)
Pronounced: ma-REE-a (Italian, German, Dutch, Greek), mu-REE-u (European Portuguese), ma-REE-u (Brazilian Portuguese), mə-REE-ə (Catalan, English), mah-REE-ah (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish), MAR-ya (Polish), MAH-ree-ah (Finnish), mu-RYEE-yə (Russian), mu-RYEE-yu (Ukrainian)
Rating: 53% based on 40 votes
Latin form of Greek Μαρια, from Hebrew מִרְיָם (see MARY). Maria is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.

This was the name of two ruling queens of Portugal. It was also borne by the Habsburg queen Maria Theresa (1717-1780), whose inheritance of the domains of her father, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, began the War of the Austrian Succession.

MEITAL
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: מֵיטַל (Hebrew)
Rating: 37% based on 37 votes
Means "dew drop" in Hebrew.

MÉLISANDE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Rating: 57% based on 41 votes
French form of MILLICENT used by Maurice Maeterlinck in his play 'Pelléas et Mélisande' (1893). The play was later adapted by Claude Debussy into an opera (1902).

MICHELE (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: mee-KE-le
Rating: 40% based on 37 votes
Italian form of MICHAEL.

MIRIAM
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew, English, German, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: מִרְיָם (Hebrew)
Pronounced: MIR-ee-əm (English), MI-ryam (German)
Rating: 63% based on 43 votes
Original Hebrew form of MARY. It is used in the Old Testament, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses and Aaron. 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.

NICCOLÒ
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: neek-ko-LO
Rating: 49% based on 37 votes
Italian form of NICHOLAS. A famous bearer was Niccolò Machiavelli, a 16th-century political philosopher from Florence.

PALOMA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish
Pronounced: pa-LO-ma
Rating: 52% based on 43 votes
Means "dove, pigeon" in Spanish.

PERDITA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Literature
Rating: 38% based on 41 votes
Derived from Latin perditus meaning "lost". Shakespeare created this name for the daughter of Hermione in his play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610).

RAPHAEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: רָפָאֵל, רְפָאֵל (Ancient Hebrew), Ραφαηλ (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: RA-fa-el (German), ra-fie-EL (English), ra-fee-EL (English)
Rating: 66% based on 43 votes
From the Hebrew name רָפָאֵל (Rafa'el) which meant "God has healed". In Hebrew tradition Raphael was the name of one of the seven archangels. He appears in the Book of Tobit, in which he disguises himself as a man named Azarias and accompanies Tobias on his journey to Media, aiding him along the way. In the end he cures Tobias's father Tobit of his blindness. He is not mentioned in the New Testament, though tradition identifies him with the angel troubling the water in John 5:4.

This name has never been common in the English-speaking world, though it has been well-used elsewhere in Europe. A famous bearer was the 16th-century Renaissance master Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520), usually known simply as Raphael.

RENATA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish, Czech, Croatian, Slovene, Late Roman
Pronounced: re-NA-ta (Italian, Spanish, German, Polish)
Rating: 57% based on 41 votes
Feminine form of RENATUS.

RIVKA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: רִיבְקָה (Hebrew)
Rating: 52% based on 39 votes
Hebrew form of REBECCA.

ROSALIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Late Roman
Pronounced: ro-za-LEE-a (Italian)
Rating: 60% based on 40 votes
Late Latin name derived from rosa "rose". This was the name of a 12th-century Sicilian saint.

ROWENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: ro-EE-nə
Rating: 57% based on 42 votes
Meaning uncertain, possibly a Latinized form of a Germanic name derived from the elements hrod "fame" and wunn "joy, bliss". According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a daughter of the Saxon chief Hengist. It was popularized by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for a character in his novel 'Ivanhoe' (1819).

SAFFRON
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: SAF-rən
Rating: 48% based on 42 votes
From the English word which refers either to a spice, the crocus flower from which it is harvested, or the yellow-orange colour of the spice. It is derived via Old French from Arabic زعفران (za'faran), itself probably from Persian meaning "gold leaves".

SAKURA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Japanese
Other Scripts: 桜, 咲良, etc. (Japanese Kanji)
Pronounced: SA-KOO-RA
Rating: 44% based on 40 votes
From Japanese (sakura) meaning "cherry blossom", though it is often written さくら using the hiragana writing system. It can also come from (saku) meaning "blossom" and (ra) meaning "good, virtuous, respectable" as well as other kanji combinations.

SAPPHIRA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical
Other Scripts: Σαπφειρη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: sə-FIE-rə (English)
Rating: 54% based on 40 votes
From the Greek name Σαπφειρη (Sappheire), which was from Greek σαπφειρος (sappheiros) meaning "sapphire" or "lapis lazuli" (ultimately derived from the Hebrew word סַפִּיר (sappir)). Sapphira is a character in Acts in the New Testament who is killed by God for lying.

SEBASTIAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Finnish, Romanian
Pronounced: ze-BAS-tyan (German), sə-BAS-chən (English), se-BAS-tyan (Polish), SE-bahs-tee-ahn (Finnish)
Rating: 69% based on 47 votes
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). According to Christian tradition, Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian. After he was discovered to be a Christian, he was tied to a stake and shot with arrows. This however did not kill him. Saint Irene of Rome healed him and he returned to personally admonish Diocletian, whereupon the emperor had him beaten to death.

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.

SHIFRA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: שִׁפְרָה (Hebrew)
Rating: 39% based on 36 votes
Hebrew form of SHIPHRAH.

SHULAMIT
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: שׁוּלַמִּית (Hebrew)
Rating: 33% based on 37 votes
Variant transcription of SHULAMMITE.

SIMEON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Biblical, Bulgarian, Serbian
Other Scripts: שִׁמְעוֹן (Ancient Hebrew), Симеон (Bulgarian, Serbian)
Pronounced: SIM-ee-ən (English)
Rating: 51% based on 40 votes
From Συμεων (Symeon), the Old Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Shim'on (see SIMON (1)). In the Old Testament this is the name of the second son of Jacob and Leah and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. In the New Testament the Greek rendering Σιμων (Simon) is more common, though Συμεων occurs belonging to a man who blessed the newborn Jesus. He is recognized as a saint in most Christian traditions.

This name was also borne by a powerful 10th-century ruler of Bulgaria who expanded the empire to its greatest extent.

SOLEDAD
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish
Pronounced: so-le-DHADH
Rating: 43% based on 40 votes
Means "solitude" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary, María de Soledad, meaning "Mary of Solitude".

STELLA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Dutch, German
Pronounced: STEL-ə (English)
Rating: 64% based on 46 votes
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 a nickname of a lover of Jonathan Swift, real name Esther Johnson (1681-1728), though 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.

TAL
Gender: Masculine & Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: טַל (Hebrew)
Rating: 42% based on 38 votes
Derived from Hebrew טַל (tal) meaning "dew".

VERA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Russian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian
Other Scripts: Вера (Russian, Serbian, Macedonian)
Pronounced: VYE-rə (Russian), VEER-ə (English), VER-ə (English), VE-ra (German), VE-rah (Swedish), VE-raw (Hungarian)
Rating: 57% based on 26 votes
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.

VERITY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: VER-i-tee
Rating: 49% based on 41 votes
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, Dutch, Swedish, Late Roman
Pronounced: VIK-tər (English), VEEK-TAWR (French)
Rating: 49% based on 42 votes
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'.

VIRGINIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Romanian, Ancient Roman
Pronounced: vər-JIN-yə (English), veer-JEE-nya (Italian), beer-KHEE-nya (Spanish)
Rating: 50% based on 44 votes
Feminine form of the Roman family name Verginius or Virginius which is of unknown meaning, but long associated with Latin virgo "maid, virgin". According to a legend, it was the name of a Roman woman killed by her father so as to save her from the clutches of a crooked official.

This was the name of the first English baby born in the New World: Virginia Dare in 1587 on Roanoke Island. Perhaps because of this, the name has generally been more popular in America than elsewhere in the English-speaking world, though in both Britain and America it was not often used until the 19th century. The baby was named after the Colony of Virginia, which was itself named for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. A more recent bearer was the English novelist Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).

YARDENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: יַרְדֵנָה (Hebrew)
Rating: 34% based on 37 votes
Hebrew feminine form of JORDAN.

YEHUDIT
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: יְהוּדִית (Hebrew)
Rating: 34% based on 39 votes
Hebrew form of JUDITH.

ZELPHA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Ζελφα (Ancient Greek)
Rating: 28% based on 38 votes
Form of ZILPAH used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament.

ZIPPORAH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical, Hebrew
Other Scripts: צִפּוֹרָה (Hebrew)
Pronounced: zi-PAWR-ə (English), ZIP-ər-ə (English)
Rating: 43% based on 44 votes
From the Hebrew name צִפּוֹרָה (Tzipporah), derived from צִפּוֹר (tzippor) meaning "bird". In the Old Testament this is the name of the Midianite wife of Moses. She was the daughter of the priest Jethro.

ZOHAR
Gender: Masculine & Feminine
Usage: Hebrew
Other Scripts: זֹהַר (Hebrew)
Rating: 34% based on 38 votes
Means "light, brilliance" in Hebrew.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.