reverie's Personal Name List

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: A-DREE-YEN
French feminine form of ADRIAN.

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

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Other Scripts: ‘Αγνη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: AG-nis (English), AK-nəs (German), AHKH-nəs (Dutch), AHNG-nes (Swedish)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Αγνη (Hagne), derived from Greek ‘αγνος (hagnos) meaning "chaste". Saint Agnes was a virgin martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The name became associated with Latin agnus "lamb", resulting in the saint's frequent depiction with a lamb by her side. Due to her renown, the name became common in Christian Europe, being especially popular in England in the Middle Ages.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Arabic, Literature
Other Scripts: عائدة (Arabic)
Pronounced: ah-EE-də (English)
Variant of AYDA. This name was used in Verdi's opera 'Aida' (1871), where it belongs to an Ethiopian princess held captive in Egypt.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: a-les-SAN-dra
Italian form of ALEXANDRA.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch
Pronounced: AL-fred (English), AL-FRED (French), AL-fret (German, Polish), AHL-frət (Dutch)
Derived from the Old English name Ælfræd, composed of the elements ælf "elf" and ræd "counsel". Alfred the Great was a 9th-century king of Wessex who fought unceasingly against the Danes living in northeast England. He was also a scholar, and he translated many Latin books into Old English. His fame helped to ensure the usage of this name even after the Norman conquest, when most Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. It became rare by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th century.

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

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Αναστασια (Greek), Анастасия (Russian), Анастасія (Ukrainian, Belarusian), ანასტასია (Georgian)
Pronounced: u-nu-stu-SYEE-yə (Russian), a-nə-STAY-zhə (English), a-nə-STAS-yə (English), a-nas-TA-sya (Spanish), a-nas-TA-zya (Italian), A-NA-STA-SEE-A (Classical Greek)
Feminine form of ANASTASIUS. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.

Gender: Masculine & Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: AHR-dən
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, which were derived from a Celtic word meaning "high".

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: AWR-ə
From the English word aura (derived from Greek via Latin meaning "breeze") for a distinctive atmosphere or illumination.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Ancient Roman, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, Polish
Pronounced: ow-RE-lee-a (Classical Latin), ow-RE-lya (Italian, Polish)
Feminine form of AURELIUS.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Ancient Roman
Pronounced: ow-RE-lee-oos (Classical Latin), aw-REEL-ee-əs (English)
Roman family name which was derived from Latin aureus "golden, gilded". Marcus Aurelius was a 2nd-century Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, German, Romanian, Finnish, Roman Mythology
Pronounced: ow-RO-ra (Spanish, Classical Latin), ə-RAWR-ə (English), OW-ro-rah (Finnish)
Means "dawn" in Latin. Aurora was the Roman goddess of the morning. It has occasionally been used as a given name since the Renaissance.

Gender: Feminine & Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: BRIN-lee
From an English surname of uncertain origin, probably a variant of Brindley, which is from the name of a village in Cheshire meaning "burnt clearing", from the Old English elements berned "burnt" and leah "woodland clearing". As a feminine given name its use is due to its sound, which blends the element Brin (as in Brynn) with the popular inley suffix sound found in such names as Kinley and Finley.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Pronounced: KARL (German), KAHL (Swedish, Danish), KAHRL (English)
German form of CHARLES. Two noteworthy bearers of the name were the German mathematician Carl Gauss (1777-1855), who made contributions to number theory and algebra as well as physics and astronomy, and the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961), who founded analytical psychology. It was imported to America in the 19th century by German immigrants.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: KAHR-lee
Feminine form of CARL.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
Pronounced: KA-RAW-LEEN (French), KER-ə-lien (English), KER-ə-lin (English), KAR-ə-lien (English), KAR-ə-lin (English), ka-ro-LEE-nə (German)
French feminine form of CAROLUS.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Ancient Roman
Pronounced: KAS-see-oos (Classical Latin), KASH-əs (English), KAS-ee-əs (English)
Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin cassus "empty, vain". This name was borne by several early saints. In modern times, it was the original first name of boxer Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), who was named after his father Cassius Clay, who was himself named after the American abolitionist Cassius Clay (1810-1903).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: KAYT
Variant of KATE. A famous bearer is Australian actress Cate Blanchett (1975-).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: KA-TU-REEN (French), KA-TREEN (French), KATH-ə-rin (English), KATH-rin (English)
French form of KATHERINE, and also a common English variant.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: KLER
French form of CLARA.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: KLA-REES
French form of CLARICE.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Irish, English (Modern)
Pronounced: KAHN-ər (English)
Variant of CONOR.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Pronounced: kawr-NE-lya (German), kor-NE-lya (Italian), kawr-NAY-lee-ah (Dutch), kər-NEE-lee-ə (English), kər-NEEL-yə (English)
Feminine form of CORNELIUS. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Ancient Roman, English, Dutch, German, Biblical
Pronounced: kər-NEE-lee-əs (English), kawr-NAY-lee-us (Dutch), kawr-NE-lyuws (German)
Roman family name which possibly derives from the Latin element cornu "horn". In Acts in the New Testament Cornelius is a centurion who is directed by an angel to seek Peter. After speaking with Peter he converts to Christianity, and he is traditionally deemed the first gentile convert. The name was also borne by a few early saints, including a 3rd-century pope. In England it came into use in the 16th century, partly due to Dutch influence.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: דָּוִד (Hebrew), Давид (Russian, Serbian, Macedonian)
Pronounced: DAY-vid (English), dah-VEED (Hebrew), DA-VEED (French), da-BEEDH (Spanish), DA-vit (German), DAH-vid (Swedish, Norwegian), DAH-vit (Dutch), du-VYEET (Russian)
From the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid), which was probably derived from Hebrew דוד (dwd) meaning "beloved". David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath, a giant Philistine. According to the New Testament, Jesus was descended from him.

This name has been used in Britain since the Middle Ages. It has been especially popular in Wales, where it is used in honour of the 5th-century patron saint of Wales (also called Dewi), as well as in Scotland, where it was borne by two kings. Famous bearers include empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873), musician David Bowie (1947-2016), and soccer player David Beckham (1975-). This is also the name of the hero of Charles Dickens' semi-autobiographical novel 'David Copperfield' (1850).

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Indian, Hindi
Other Scripts: देव (Hindi)
Variant transcription of DEV.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: DYAN (French), die-AN (English)
Variant of DIANE.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Russian, French
Other Scripts: Димитрий (Russian)
Pronounced: dyi-MYEE-tryee (Russian), DEE-MEE-TREE (French)
Variant of DMITRIY, using the Church Slavic spelling.

Gender: Feminine & Masculine
Usage: Hebrew, English (Modern)
Other Scripts: עֵדֶן (Hebrew)
Pronounced: EE-dən (English)
Means "place of pleasure" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament the Garden of Eden was the place where the first people, Adam and Eve, lived before they were expelled.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare), Irish (Rare)
Pronounced: ER-ən
From Éireann, the genitive case of Gaelic Éire, meaning "Ireland". It is commonly Anglicized as Erin.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian
Other Scripts: Екатерина (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian)
Pronounced: yi-kə-tyi-RYEE-nə (Russian), i-kə-tyi-RYEE-nə (Russian)
Bulgarian and Macedonian form of KATHERINE, and a variant Russian transcription of YEKATERINA.

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

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

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian)
Pronounced: i-LIE-zə (English), e-LYEE-za (Polish)
Short form of ELIZABETH. It was borne by the character Eliza Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw's play 'Pygmalion' (1913) and the subsequent musical adaptation 'My Fair Lady' (1956).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: i-LIZ-ə-bəth (English)
From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.

Among Christians, this name was originally more common in Eastern Europe. It was borne in the 12th century by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, a daughter of King Andrew II who used her wealth to help the poor. In medieval England it was occasionally used in honour of the saint, though the form Isabel (from Occitan and Spanish) was more common. It has been very popular in England since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century. It has also been borne (in various spellings) by many other European royals, including a ruling empress of Russia in the 18th century. Famous modern bearers include the British queen Elizabeth II (1926-) and actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011).

ELLA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EL-ə
Norman form of the Germanic name Alia, 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).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Modern)
Pronounced: EM-ə-rəld
From the word for the green precious stone, which is the birthstone of May. The emerald supposedly imparts love to the bearer. The word is ultimately from Greek σμαραγδος (smaragdos).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Irish
Pronounced: ER-in (English)
Anglicized form of EIREANN. It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century.

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).

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

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: FRAN-sis
Feminine form of FRANCIS. The distinction between Francis as a masculine name and Frances as a feminine name did not arise until the 17th century. A notable bearer was Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), a social worker and the first American to be canonized.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Catalan
Pronounced: fran-CHES-ka (Italian), frən-SES-kə (Catalan)
Italian and Catalan feminine form of Franciscus (see FRANCIS).

Gender: Masculine
Usage: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Catalan, English, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: גַּבְרִיאֵל (Ancient Hebrew), Γαβριηλ (Ancient 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 to Zechariah and Jesus to Mary. 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.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: GRAYS
From the English word grace, which ultimately derives from Latin gratia. This was one of the virtue names created in the 17th century by the Puritans. The actress Grace Kelly (1929-1982) was a famous bearer.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian
Pronounced: ee-za-BEL-la (Italian), ee-za-BE-la (German), iz-ə-BEL-ə (English)
Latinate form of ISABEL. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English, German, Dutch
Pronounced: EE-ZA-BEL (French), IZ-ə-bel (English), ee-za-BE-lə (German), ee-sah-BEL-lə (Dutch)
French form of ISABEL.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
Other Scripts: Ιασων (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: JAY-sən (English), ZHA-ZAWN (French)
From the Greek name Ιασων (Iason), which was derived from Greek ιασθαι (iasthai) "to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.

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

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: JON, jo-AN
Variant of JOAN (1).

Gender: Masculine
Usage: German
Pronounced: YO-han
German form of Iohannes (see JOHN). Famous bearers include German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), German novelist and poet Johann Goethe (1749-1832), and Austrian composers Johann Strauss the Elder (1804-1849) and his son Johann Strauss the Younger (1825-1899).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, English, Late Roman
Pronounced: yo-HA-na (German), yo-HAHN-nah (Danish, Dutch), YO-hahn-nah (Finnish)
Latinate form of Ioanna (see JOANNA).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: joo-lee-ET, JOOL-yət
Anglicized form of JULIETTE or GIULIETTA. This spelling was first used by Shakespeare for the lover of Romeo in his play 'Romeo and Juliet' (1596).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: ZHUY-LYET
French diminutive of JULIE.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Croatian
Pronounced: KAYT (English)
Diminutive of KATHERINE, often used independently. It has been used in England since the Middle Ages. This was the name of the woman who Petruchio marries and tries to tame in Shakespeare's comedy 'Taming of the Shrew' (1593). A famous bearer is the British actress Kate Winslet (1975-).

Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: LAN-dən
From a surname which was derived from an Old English place name meaning "long hill" (effectively meaning "ridge"). Use of the name may have been inspired in part by the actor Michael Landon (1936-1991).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: LAWR-əl
From the name of the laurel tree, ultimately from Latin laurus.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: LAWR-əl
Variant of LAUREL.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: Λαζαρος (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: LAZ-ər-əs (English)
Latinized form of Λαζαρος (Lazaros), a Greek form of ELEAZAR used in the New Testament. Lazarus was a man from Bethany, the brother of Mary and Martha, who was restored to life by Jesus.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Hebrew, English, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: לֵוִי (Hebrew)
Pronounced: LEE-vie (English), LE:-vee (Dutch)
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.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: LIL-ee
From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish
Pronounced: LOR-dhes (Spanish), LOORD (French), LOORDZ (English)
From the name of a French town. It became a popular center of pilgrimage after a young girl from the town had visions of the Virgin Mary in a nearby grotto.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French
Pronounced: MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English), MAD-LEEN (French)
English form of MAGDALENE. This is the name of the heroine in a series of children's books by Ludwig Bemelmans, first published 1939.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology
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'.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Polish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Occitan, Slovene, Czech, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, English
Other Scripts: Магдалена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian)
Pronounced: mag-da-LE-na (Polish), mak-da-LE-na (German), mag-da-LAY-na (English)
Latinate form of MAGDALENE.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Μαγδαληνη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: mak-da-LE-nə (German), MAG-də-leen (English)
From a title which meant "of Magdala". Mary Magdalene, a character in the New Testament, was named thus because she was from Magdala - a village on the Sea of Galilee whose name meant "tower" in Hebrew. She was cleaned of evil spirits by Jesus and then remained with him during his ministry, witnessing the crucifixion and the resurrection. She was a popular saint in the Middle Ages, and the name became common then. In England it is traditionally rendered Madeline, while Magdalene or Magdalen is the learned form.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: MAHR-go
Variant of MARGOT.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: MER-ee (English), MAR-ee (English)
Usual English form of Maria, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριαμ (Mariam) and Μαρια (Maria) - the spellings are interchangeable - which were from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam), a name borne by the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved" or mr "love".

This is the name of several New Testament characters, most importantly Mary the mother of Jesus. According to the gospels, Jesus was conceived in her by the Holy Spirit while she remained a virgin. This name was also borne by Mary Magdalene, a woman cured of demons by Jesus. She became one of his followers and later witnessed his crucifixion and resurrection.

Due to the Virgin Mary this name has been very popular in the Christian world, though at certain times in some cultures it has been considered too holy for everyday use. In England it has been used since the 12th century, and it has been among the most common feminine names since the 16th century. The Latinized form Maria is also used in English as well as in several other languages.

This name has been borne by two queens of England, as well as a Queen of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots. Another notable bearer was Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the author of 'Frankenstein'. A famous fictional character by this name is Mary Poppins from the children's books by P. L. Travers, first published in 1934.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French, Irish
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).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: no-EL
English form of NOËLLE.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronounced: o-LIV-ee-ə (English), o-LEE-vya (Italian, German), o-LEE-bya (Spanish), O-lee-vee-ah (Finnish)
This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER or OLIVA, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.

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

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Hebrew, French, German, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: רָחֵל (Hebrew), Ραχηλ (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: RAY-chəl (English), RA-SHEL (French), RA-khəl (German), RAH-khəl (Dutch)
From the Hebrew name רָחֵל (Rachel) meaning "ewe". In the Old Testament this is the name of the favourite wife of Jacob and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She was the younger sister of Jacob's first wife Leah.

The name was common among Jews in the Middle Ages, but it was not generally used as a Christian name in the English-speaking world until after the Protestant Reformation. A notable bearer was the American conservationist Rachel Carson (1907-1964).

Gender: Feminine & Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: RAY-vən
From the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English hræfn. The raven is revered by several Native American groups of the west coast. It is also associated with the Norse god Odin.

Gender: Masculine & Feminine
Usage: English, Dutch, Swedish
Pronounced: RAHB-in (American English), RAWB-in (British English)
Medieval diminutive of ROBERT. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: RAHB-in (American English), RAWB-in (British English)
Feminine variant of ROBIN.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Slovene, Croatian, German
Other Scripts: Роман (Russian, Ukrainian)
Pronounced: ru-MAN (Russian), RAW-man (Polish)
From the Late Latin name Romanus which meant "Roman".

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Scottish, English
Pronounced: RAHN-əld (English)
Scottish form of RAGNVALDR, a name introduced to Scotland by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. It became popular outside Scotland during the 20th century. A famous bearer was American actor and president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Modern)
Pronounced: SKAHR-lit
Either a variant of SCARLETT or else from the English word for the red colour. The word is derived (via Old French and medieval Latin) from Persian سقرلاط (saghrilat), the name of a type of cloth.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: SKAHR-lit
From a surname which denoted a person who sold or made clothes made of scarlet (a kind of cloth, ultimately derived from Persian سقرلاط (saghrilat)). Margaret Mitchell used this name for Scarlett O'Hara, the main character in her novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936). Scarlett's name came from her grandmother's maiden name.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Scottish
Pronounced: SKAHT (American English), SKAWT (British English)
From an English and Scottish surname which referred to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic. It is derived from Latin Scoti meaning "Gaelic speaker", with the ultimate origin uncertain.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Slovak, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian
Other Scripts: Σοφια (Greek), София (Russian, Bulgarian), Софія (Ukrainian)
Pronounced: zo-FEE-a (German), so-FEE-a (Italian), soo-FEE-ə (Portuguese), saw-FEE-a (Greek), SO-fee-ah (Finnish)
Form of SOPHIA.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Σοφια (Greek)
Pronounced: so-FEE-ə (English), sə-FIE-ə (British English), zo-FEE-a (German)
Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which is the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.

This name was common among continental European royalty during the Middle Ages, and it was popularized in Britain by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century. It was the name of characters in the novels 'Tom Jones' (1749) by Henry Fielding and 'The Vicar of Wakefield' (1766) by Oliver Goldsmith. A famous bearer is the Italian actress Sophia Loren (1934-).

Gender: Masculine
Usage: Greek
Other Scripts: Σταυρος (Greek)
Means "cross" in Greek, referring to the cross of the crucifixion.

Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: TIM-ə-thee (English)
English form of the Greek name Τιμοθεος (Timotheos) meaning "honouring God", derived from τιμαω (timao) "to honour" and θεος (theos) "god". Saint Timothy was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys and was the recipient of two of Paul's epistles that appear in the New Testament. He was of both Jewish and Greek ancestry. According to tradition, he was martyred at Ephesus after protesting the worship of Artemis. As an English name, Timothy was not used until after the Protestant Reformation.

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Roman Mythology
Pronounced: WES-ta (Classical Latin), VES-tə (English)
Probably a Roman cognate of HESTIA. Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth. A continuous fire, tended by the Vestal Virgins, was burned in the Temple of Vesta in Rome.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.