brilliantblue's Personal Name List

AARON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: אַהֲרֹן (Ancient Hebrew), Ααρων (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: AR-ən (English), ER-ən (English)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

From the Hebrew name אַהֲרֹן ('Aharon) which is most likely of unknown Egyptian origin. Other theories claim a Hebrew derivation, and suggest meanings such as "high mountain" or "exalted". In the Old Testament this name is borne by the older brother of Moses and the first high priest of the Israelites. He acted as a spokesman for his brother, and carried a miraculous rod. As an English name, Aaron has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

ADAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Hebrew, Arabic, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: Адам (Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Macedonian), אָדָם (Hebrew), آدم (Arabic), ადამ (Georgian), Αδαμ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: A-dəm (English), a-DAWN (French), AH-dahm (German, Polish), AH:-dahm (Dutch), ah-DAHM (Russian, Ukrainian)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

This is the Hebrew word for "man". It could be ultimately derived from Hebrew אדם ('adam) meaning "to be red", referring to the ruddy colour of human skin, or from Akkadian adamu meaning "to make". According to Genesis in the Old Testament Adam was created from the earth by God (there is a word play on Hebrew אֲדָמָה ('adamah) "earth"). He and Eve were supposedly the first humans, living happily in the Garden of Eden until Adam ate a forbidden fruit given to him by Eve.

As an English Christian name, Adam has been common since the Middle Ages, and it received a boost after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Scottish economist Adam Smith (1723-1790).

ADELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: a-də-LEEN (French), AD-ə-lien (English)

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

Diminutive of ADÈLE

AGATHA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Αγαθη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: AG-ə-thə (English)

Rating: 30% based on 2 votes

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

AKIVA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Hebrew

Other Scripts: עֲקִיבָא (Hebrew)

Pronounced: ah-KEE-vah

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Variant transcription of AKIBA

ALICE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Portuguese, Italian

Pronounced: AL-is (English), a-LEES (French), ah-LEE-che (Italian)

Rating: 65% based on 2 votes

From the Old French name Aalis, a short form of Adelais, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis (see ADELAIDE). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was borne by the heroine of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking Glass' (1871).

ANASTASIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Αναστασια (Greek), Анастасия (Russian), Анастасія (Ukrainian, Belarusian)

Pronounced: ah-nah-stah-SEE-yah (Russian), a-nə-STAY-zhə (English), a-nə-STAS-yə (English), ah-nahs-TAH-syah (Spanish), ah-nahs-TAH-zyah (Italian)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

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.

ANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Αννα (Greek), Анна (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Church Slavic)

Pronounced: AN-a (English), AHN-nah (Italian, Dutch, Polish), AH-nah (German, Russian)

Rating: 90% based on 1 vote

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. 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 was also the name of the main character in Leo Tolstoy's novel 'Anna Karenina' (1877), a woman forced to choose between her son and her lover.

ANNE (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, Basque

Pronounced: AHN (French), AN (English), AH-nə (German), AHN-nə (Dutch)

Rating: 90% based on 2 votes

French form of ANNA. In the 13th-century it was imported to England, where it was also commonly spelled Ann. The name was borne by a 17th-century English queen and also by the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (the mother of Queen Elizabeth I), who was eventually beheaded in the Tower of London. This is also the name of the heroine in 'Anne of Green Gables' (1908) by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery.

ARIEL

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: Hebrew, English, French, Biblical, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: אֲרִיאֵל (Hebrew), Αριηλ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: AR-ee-əl (English), ER-ee-əl (English), AY-ree-əl (English)

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Means "lion of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Walt Disney film 'The Little Mermaid' (1989).

ARTHUR

Gender: Masculine

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

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

Rating: 40% based on 2 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).

ASHER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Hebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: אָשֵׁר (Hebrew)

Pronounced: A-shər (English)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

Means "happy" or "blessed" in Hebrew. Asher in the Old Testament is a son of Jacob and Leah's handmaid Zilpah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

AVI

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Hebrew

Other Scripts: אֲבִי (Hebrew)

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

Means "my father" in Hebrew. It is also a diminutive of AVRAHAM or AVIRAM.

AYELET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hebrew

Other Scripts: אַיֶלֶת (Hebrew)

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Means "gazelle, hind". It is taken from the Hebrew phrase אַיֶלֶת הַשַׁחַר ('ayelet hashachar), literally "gazelle of dawn", which is a name of the morning star.

BENJAMIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Biblical

Other Scripts: בִּנְיָמִין (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: BEN-jə-min (English), ben-zha-MEN (French), BEN-yah-meen (German)

Rating: 65% based on 2 votes

From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin) which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand". Benjamin in the Old Testament is the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named בֶּן־אוֹנִי (Ben-'oniy) meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father.

As an English name, Benjamin came into general use after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher.

BRIDGET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, English, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: BRIJ-ət (English)

Rating: 65% based on 2 votes

Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid which means "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.

CALVIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KAL-vin

Rating: 70% based on 1 vote

Derived from the French surname Chauvin, which was derived from chauve "bald". The surname was borne by Jean Chauvin (1509-1564), a theologian from France who was one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname was Latinized as Calvinus (based on Latin calvus "bald") and he is known as John Calvin in English. It has been used as a given name in his honour since the 19th century.

CASSANDRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Κασσανδρα (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: kə-SAN-drə (English), kə-SAHN-drə (English), kahs-SAHN-drah (Italian)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

From the Greek Κασσανδρα (Kassandra), which possibly meant "shining upon man", derived from κεκασμαι (kekasmai) "to shine" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). In Greek myth Cassandra was a Trojan princess, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. She was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but when she spurned his advances he cursed her so nobody would believe her prophecies.

In the Middle Ages this name was common in England due to the popularity of medieval tales about the Trojan War. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.

CECILIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, German

Pronounced: sə-SEE-lee-ə (English), sə-SEEL-yə (English), che-CHEE-lyah (Italian), the-THEE-lyah (Spanish), se-SEE-lyah (Latin American Spanish)

Rating: 30% based on 1 vote

Latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius, which was derived from Latin caecus "blind". Saint Cecilia was a semi-legendary 2nd- or 3rd-century martyr who was sentenced to die because she refused to worship the Roman gods. After attempts to suffocate her failed, she was beheaded. She was later regarded as the patron saint of music and musicians.

Due to the popularity of the saint, the name became common in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. The Normans brought it to England, where it was commonly spelled Cecily - the Latinate form Cecilia came into use in the 18th century.

CECILY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SES-i-lee

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

English form of CECILIA. This was the usual English form during the Middle Ages.

CHARLOTTE

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: shar-LOT (French), SHAHR-lət (English), shahr-LAW-tə (German), shahr-LAWT-tə (Dutch)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

French feminine diminutive of CHARLES. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. A notable bearer was Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Bronte sisters and the author of 'Jane Eyre' and 'Villette'.

CHAYA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hebrew

Other Scripts: חַיָה (Hebrew)

Rating: 0% based on 1 vote

Feminine form of CHAYYIM

CHLOE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Χλοη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: KLO-ee (English)

Rating: 65% based on 2 votes

Means "green shoot" in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Demeter. The name is also mentioned by Paul in one of his epistles in the New Testament. As an English name, Chloe has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

CLAUDIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Biblical, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: KLAW-dee-ə (English), KLOW-dee-ah (German, Dutch), KLOW-dyah (Italian, Spanish)

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

Feminine form of CLAUDIUS. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament. As a Christian name it was very rare until the 16th century.

CLEMENTINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: klə-mawn-TEEN

Rating: 35% based on 2 votes

French feminine form of CLEMENT

CORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German

Pronounced: KAWR-ə (English)

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

Created by James Fenimore Cooper for his novel 'The Last of the Mohicans' (1826). He may have based it on KORË or CORINNA.

CORNELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: kər-NEE-lee-ə (English), kər-NEEL-yə (English), kor-NE-lyah (Italian), kawr-NE-lee-ah (German), kawr-NAY-lee-ah (Dutch)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

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.

DOROTHEA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, English, Late Greek

Other Scripts: Δωροθεα (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: do-ro-TE-ah (German), dawr-ə-THEE-ə (English)

Rating: 50% based on 2 votes

Feminine form of the Late Greek name Δωροθεος (Dorotheos), which meant "gift of God" from Greek δωρον (doron) "gift" and θεος (theos) "god". Dorothea was the name of two early saints, notably the 4th-century martyr Dorothea of Caesarea. It was also borne by the 14th-century Saint Dorothea of Montau, who was the patron saint of Prussia.

ELIJAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Hebrew, Biblical

Other Scripts: אֱלִיָּהוּ (Hebrew)

Pronounced: i-LIE-jə (English), i-LIE-zhə (English)

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu) meaning "my God is YAHWEH". Elijah was a Hebrew prophet of the 9th century BC, during the reign of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. The two Books of Kings in the Old Testament tell of his exploits, which culminate with him being carried to heaven in a chariot of fire.

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.

ELIZA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Polish

Pronounced: i-LIE-zə (English), e-LEE-zah (Polish)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

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).

ELIZABETH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: i-LIZ-ə-bəth (English)

Rating: 65% based on 2 votes

From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.

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

ELOISE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-o-eez, el-o-EEZ

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

From the Old French name Héloïse, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis, composed of the elements heil "hale, healthy" and wid "wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios) "sun" or the name Louise, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.

There was a medieval English form of this name, Helewis, though it died out after the 13th century. In the 19th century it was revived in the English-speaking world in the form Eloise.

ELSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Italian

Pronounced: EL-sə (English), EL-sah (German)

Rating: 60% based on 1 vote

Short form of ELISABETH

ELSPETH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Pronounced: EL-speth

Rating: 50% based on 2 votes

Scottish form of ELIZABETH

EMMA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: EM-ə (English), E-mah (German)

Rating: 30% based on 1 vote

Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen meaning "whole" or "universal". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of king Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of king Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma.

After the Norman conquest this name became common in England. It was revived in the 18th century, perhaps in part due to Matthew Prior's poem 'Henry and Emma' (1709). It was also used by Jane Austen for the central character, the matchmaker Emma Woodhouse, in her novel 'Emma' (1816).

EVAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: EV-ən (English)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

Anglicized form of Iefan, a Welsh form of JOHN.

EZRA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English, Hebrew

Other Scripts: עֶזְרָא (Hebrew)

Pronounced: EZ-rə (English)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

Means "help" in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.

GENEVIEVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JEN-ə-veev

Rating: 60% based on 1 vote

English form of GENEVIÈVE

GEORGIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek

Other Scripts: Γεωργια (Greek)

Pronounced: JOR-jə (English)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

Latinate feminine form of GEORGE. This is the name of an American state, which was named after the British king George II. A famous bearer was the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986).

GIDEON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English, Hebrew

Other Scripts: גִּדְעוֹן (Hebrew)

Pronounced: GID-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 70% based on 1 vote

Means "feller" or "hewer" in Hebrew. Gideon was a hero of the Old Testament who led the Israelites against the Midianites. In the English-speaking world, Gideon has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans.

GORDON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: GAWR-dən

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

From a Scottish surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "spacious fort". It was originally used in honour of Charles George Gordon (1833-1885), a British general who died defending the city of Khartoum in Sudan.

GWENDOLEN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh

Pronounced: GWEN-də-lin (English)

Rating: 90% based on 1 vote

Means "white ring", derived from the Welsh elements gwen "white, fair, blessed" and dolen "ring". This was the name of a mythical queen of the Britons who defeated her husband in battle, as told by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

HARRIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HER-ee-ət, HAR-ee-ət

English form of HENRIETTE, and thus a feminine form of HARRY. It was first used in the 17th century, becoming very common in the English-speaking world by the 18th century. A famous bearer was Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the American author who wrote 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'.

HAZEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HAY-zəl

Rating: 40% based on 1 vote

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.

HELENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: ‘Ελενη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: he-LE-nah (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish), hay-LAY-nah (Dutch)

Latinate form of HELEN

HENRY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HEN-ree

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

From the Germanic name Heimirich which meant "home ruler", composed of the elements heim "home" and ric "power, ruler". It was later commonly spelled Heinrich, with the spelling altered due to the influence of other Germanic names like Haganrich, in which the first element is hagan "enclosure".

Heinrich was popular among continental royalty, being the name of seven German kings, starting with the 10th-century Henry I the Fowler, and four French kings. In France it was rendered Henri from the Latin form Henricus.

The Normans introduced this name to England, and it was subsequently used by eight kings, ending with the infamous Henry VIII in the 16th century. During the Middle Ages it was generally rendered as Harry or Herry in English pronunciation. Notable bearers include arctic naval explorer Henry Hudson (1570-1611), British novelist Henry James (1843-1916), and American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford (1863-1947).

HUGH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HYOO

Rating: 15% based on 2 votes

From the Germanic element hug, meaning "heart, mind, spirit". It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh and Ùisdean.

IAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: EE-ən (English)

Modern Scottish form of JOHN

INGRID

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German

Pronounced: ING-rid (Swedish), ING-ree (Norwegian), ING-grit (German)

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

From the Old Norse name Ingríðr meaning "Ing is beautiful", derived from the name of the Germanic god ING combined with fríðr "beautiful". A famous bearer was the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982).

ISAAC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: יִצְחָק (Hebrew)

Pronounced: IE-zək (English)

Rating: 40% based on 1 vote

From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq) which meant "he laughs". Isaac in the Old Testament is the son of Abraham and the father of Esau and Jacob. As recounted in Genesis, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment.

As an English Christian name, Isaac was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, though it was more common among Jews. It became more widespread after the Protestant Reformation. Famous bearers include the physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and the science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov (1920-1992).

ISABEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German

Pronounced: ee-sah-BEL (Spanish), IZ-ə-bel (English), ee-za-BEL (French), ee-zah-BEL (German)

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

Medieval Occitan form of ELIZABETH. It spread throughout Spain, Portugal and France, becoming common among the royalty by the 12th century. It grew popular in England in the 13th century after Isabella of Angoulême married the English king John, and it was subsequently bolstered when Isabella of France married Edward II the following century.

This is the usual form of the name Elizabeth in Spain and Portugal, though elsewhere it is considered a parallel name, such as in France where it is used alongside Élisabeth. The name was borne by two Spanish ruling queens, including Isabel of Castile, who sponsored the explorations of Christopher Columbus.

ISADORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Rating: 0% based on 1 vote

Variant of ISIDORA. A famous bearer was the American dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1927).

IVY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: IE-vee

Rating: 90% based on 1 vote

From the English word for the climbing plant that has small yellow flowers. It is ultimately derived from Old English ifig.

JANE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JAYN

Rating: 90% based on 2 votes

Medieval English form of Jehanne, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes (see JOHN). This became the most common feminine form of John in the 17th century, surpassing Joan. Famous bearers include the uncrowned English queen Lady Jane Grey (1536-1554), who ruled for only 9 days, the British novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817), who wrote 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Pride and Prejudice', and the British primatologist Jane Goodall (1934-). This was also the name of the central character in Charlotte Bronte's novel 'Jane Eyre' (1847).

JESSE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch, Biblical

Other Scripts: יִשַׁי (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JES-ee (English), YES-sə (Dutch)

Rating: 60% based on 1 vote

From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishay) which possibly means "gift". Jesse is the father of King David in the Old Testament. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer of this name was Jesse James (1847-1882), an American outlaw who held up banks and stagecoaches. He was eventually shot by a fellow gang member for a reward. Another famous bearer was the American athlete Jesse Owens (1913-1980), whose real name was James Cleveland (or J. C.) Owens.

JOEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Swedish, Finnish, Biblical

Other Scripts: יוֹאֵל (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JOL (English), JO-əl (English)

Rating: 40% based on 2 votes

From the Hebrew name יוֹאֵל (Yo'el) meaning "YAHWEH is God". Joel is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Joel. In England, it was first used as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation.

JOHN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAHN (English)

Rating: 65% based on 2 votes

English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious". This name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who was considered the forerunner of Jesus Christ. The second is the apostle John, who is also traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth Gospel and Revelation.

This name was initially more common among Eastern Christians in the Byzantine Empire, but it flourished in Western Europe after the First Crusade. In England it became extremely popular: during the later Middle Ages it was given to approximately a fifth of all English boys.

The name (in various spellings) has been borne by 21 popes and eight Byzantine emperors, as well as rulers of England, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Russia and Hungary. It was also borne by the poet John Milton (1608-1674), philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), American founding father and president John Adams (1735-1826), and poet John Keats (1795-1821). Famous bearers of the 20th century include author John Steinbeck (1902-1968), assassinated American president John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), and musician John Lennon (1940-1980).

JOSEPHINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German

Pronounced: JO-sə-feen (English), yo-ze-FEE-nə (German)

Rating: 20% based on 2 votes

English and German form of JOSÉPHINE

JULIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Ancient Roman, Biblical

Pronounced: JOO-lee-ə (English), YOO-lee-ah (German), HOO-lyah (Spanish), YUWL-yah (Polish), YOO:-lee-ah (Ancient Roman)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

Feminine form of JULIUS. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Shakespeare used the name in his comedy 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594). It has been common as a given name in the English-speaking world only since the 18th century. A famous bearer is American actress Julia Roberts (1967-).

JULIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JOO-lee-et, JOOL-yət

Rating: 65% based on 2 votes

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).

JULIETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: zhoo-lee-ET

Rating: 40% based on 1 vote

French diminutive of JULIE

LILLIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee-ən

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

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.

LINNÉA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish

Pronounced: lin-NE-ah

Rating: 70% based on 1 vote

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.

LOUISA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch

Pronounced: loo-EEZ-ə (English), loo-EES-ə (English)

Rating: 30% based on 1 vote

Latinate feminine form of LOUIS

LUCINDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Portuguese, Literature

Pronounced: loo-SIN-də (English)

Rating: 45% based on 2 votes

An elaboration of LUCIA created by Cervantes for his novel 'Don Quixote' (1605). It was subsequently used by Molière in his play 'The Doctor in Spite of Himself' (1666).

LUCY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LOO-see

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

English form of LUCIA, in use since the Middle Ages.

MADELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English), ma-də-LEEN (French), 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.

MALACHI

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Hebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: מַלְאָכִי (Hebrew)

Pronounced: MAL-ə-kie (English)

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

From the Hebrew name מַלְאָכִי (Mal'akhiy) meaning "my messenger" or "my angel". This is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Malachi, which some claim foretells the coming of Christ. In England the name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.

MARGARET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAHR-grit, MAHR-gə-rit

Rating: 85% based on 2 votes

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-).

MATILDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Finnish, Slovak

Pronounced: mə-TIL-də (English)

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

From the Germanic name Mahthildis meaning "strength in battle", from the elements maht "might, strength" and hild "battle". Saint Matilda was the wife of the 10th-century German king Henry I the Fowler. The name was brought to England by the Normans, being borne by the wife of William the Conqueror himself. It was popular until the 15th century in England, usually in the vernacular form Maud. Both forms were revived by the 19th century. This name appears in the popular Australian folk song 'Waltzing Matilda', written in 1895.

MAX

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: MAHKS (German), MAKS (English)

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

Short form of MAXIMILIAN (or sometimes of MAXWELL in English).

MAXINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: mak-SEEN

Rating: 40% based on 1 vote

Feminine form of MAX. It has been commonly used only since the beginning of the 20th century.

MEITAL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hebrew

Other Scripts: מֵיטַל (Hebrew)

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Means "dew drop" in Hebrew.

MERAV

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: מֵרַב (Hebrew)

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Hebrew form of MERAB (1)

MILES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MIELZ, MIE-əlz

Rating: 10% based on 2 votes

From the Germanic name Milo, introduced by the Normans to England in the form Miles. The meaning is not known for certain. It is possibly connected to the Slavic name element mil meaning "gracious". From an early date it was associated with Latin miles "soldier".

MILLIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MIL-ee

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

Diminutive of MILDRED, MILLICENT and other names containing the same sound.

MIRIAM

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hebrew, English, German, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: מִרְיָם (Hebrew)

Pronounced: MIR-ee-əm (English)

Rating: 40% based on 2 votes

Original Hebrew form of MARY. It is used in the Old Testament, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses and Aaron. It has long been popular among Jews, and it has been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation.

NADIA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Italian

Pronounced: NAD-yə (English), NAHD-yə (English)

Variant of NADYA (1) used in the Western world. It began to be used in France in the 19th century. The name received a boost in popularity due to the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci (1961-).

NAOMI (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Hebrew, Biblical

Other Scripts: נָעֳמִי (Hebrew)

Pronounced: nay-O-mee (English), nie-O-mee (English)

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

From the Hebrew name נָעֳמִי (Na'omiy) meaning "pleasantness". In the Old Testament this is the name of the mother-in-law of Ruth. After the death of her husband, Naomi took the name Mara (see Ruth 1:20). Though previously common as a Jewish name, Naomi was not typically used as an English Christian name until after the Protestant Reformation.

NATHAN

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: נָתָן (Ancient Hebrew), Ναθαν (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: NAY-thən (English), na-TAWN (French)

Rating: 40% based on 1 vote

Means "he gave" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of both a prophet and a son of King David. It has been used as a Christian given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation.

NATHANIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: nə-THAN-ee-əl (English), nə-THAN-yəl (English)

Rating: 30% based on 1 vote

Variant of NATHANAEL. It has been regularly used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. This has been the most popular spelling, even though the spelling Nathanael is found in most versions of the New Testament. The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), author of 'The Scarlet Letter', was a famous bearer of this name.

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)

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

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.

OPHELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Literature

Pronounced: o-FEEL-yə (English)

Rating: 70% based on 1 vote

Derived from Greek οφελος (ophelos) meaning "help". This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem 'Arcadia'. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play 'Hamlet' (1600), in which it belongs to Hamlet's lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. In spite of this, the name has been used since the 19th century.

OWEN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: O-ən (English)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

Modern form of OWAIN

PHILIP

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical

Pronounced: FIL-ip (English), FEE-lip (Dutch)

Rating: 45% based on 2 votes

From the Greek name Φιλιππος (Philippos) which means "friend of horses", composed of the elements φιλος (philos) "friend, lover" and ‘ιππος (hippos) "horse". This was the name of five kings of Macedon, including Philip II the father of Alexander the Great. The name appears in the New Testament belonging to two people who are regarded as saints. First, one of the twelve apostles, and second, an early figure in the Christian church known as Philip the Deacon.

This name was initially more common among Eastern Christians, though it came to the West by the Middle Ages. It was borne by six kings of France and five kings of Spain. It was regularly used in England during the Middle Ages, although the Spanish king Philip II, who attempted an invasion of England, helped make it less common by the 17th-century. It was revived in the English-speaking world in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the Elizabethan courtier and poet Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586).

RAMONA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Romanian, English

Pronounced: rah-MO-nah (Spanish), rə-MON-ə (English)

Rating: 70% based on 1 vote

Feminine form of RAMÓN. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Helen Hunt Jackson's novel 'Ramona' (1884), as well as several subsequent movies based on the book.

REUBEN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, Hebrew, English

Other Scripts: רְאוּבֵן (Hebrew)

Pronounced: ROO-bən (English)

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Means "behold, a son" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is the eldest son of Jacob and Leah and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. It has been used as a Christian name in Britain since the Protestant Reformation.

ROXANNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: rahk-SAN (English), rok-SAHN (French)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

Variant of ROXANE

SADIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SAY-dee

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Diminutive of SARAH

SAMUEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Biblical

Other Scripts: שְׁמוּאֵל (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: SAM-yoo-əl (English), SAM-yəl (English)

Rating: 50% based on 1 vote

From the Hebrew name שְׁמוּאֵל (Shemu'el) which could mean either "name of God" or "God has heard". Samuel was the last of the ruling judges in the Old Testament. He anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel, and later anointed David.

As a Christian name, Samuel came into common use after the Protestant Reformation. Famous bearers include American inventor Samuel Morse (1791-1872), Irish writer Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), and American author Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain.

SILVIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, English, German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology

Pronounced: SEEL-vyah (Italian), SEEL-byah (Spanish)

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

Feminine form of SILVIUS. Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. This was also the name of a 6th-century saint, the mother of the pope Gregory the Great. It has been a common name in Italy since the Middle Ages. It was introduced to England by Shakespeare, who used it for a character in his play 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594).

SOPHIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, German, Dutch

Pronounced: so-FEE (French), SO-fee (English), ZO-fee (German)

Rating: 70% based on 1 vote

French form of SOPHIA

THOMAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Θωμας (Greek)

Pronounced: TAHM-əs (English), TOM-əs (English), to-MAH (French), TO-mahs (German, Dutch), tho-MAHS (Greek)

Rating: 100% based on 2 votes

Greek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma') which meant "twin". In the New Testament this is the name of the apostle who initially doubts the resurrected Jesus. According to tradition he was martyred in India. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world.

In England the name was introduced by the Normans and became very popular due to Saint Thomas Becket, a 12th-century archbishop of Canterbury and martyr. Another notable saint by this name was the 13th-century Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas, who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. Other famous bearers include philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), American president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), novelist Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), and inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931).

VIOLET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: VIE-lət, VIE-ə-lət

Rating: 80% based on 1 vote

From the English word violet for the purple flower, ultimately derived from Latin viola. It was common in Scotland from the 16th century, and it came into general use as an English given name during the 19th century.

VIVIAN

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: VIV-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 90% based on 1 vote

From the Latin name Vivianus which was derived from Latin vivus "alive". Saint Vivian was a French bishop who provided protection during the Visigoth invasion of the 5th century. It has been occasionally used as an English (masculine) name since the Middle Ages. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name, in which case it is either an Anglicized form of BÉBINN or a variant of VIVIEN (2).

WESLEY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WES-lee

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "west meadow" in Old English. It has been sometimes given in honour of John Wesley (1703-1791), the founder of Methodism.

WILLIAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WIL-ee-əm, WIL-yəm

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

From the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection". Saint William of Gellone was an 8th-century cousin of Charlemagne who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England. It was later borne by three other English kings, as well as rulers of Scotland, Sicily (of Norman origin), the Netherlands and Prussia.

Other famous bearers include William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish hero, and William Tell, a legendary 14th-century Swiss hero. In the literary world it was borne by dramatist William Shakespeare (1564-1616), poet William Blake (1757-1827), poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850), dramatist William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), author William Faulkner (1897-1962), and author William S. Burroughs (1914-1997).

WINIFRED

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: WIN-i-frid

Rating: 30% based on 1 vote

Anglicized form of GWENFREWI, the spelling altered by association with WINFRED. It became used in England in the 16th century.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2014.