erb816's Personal Name List

ADRIAN

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Адриан (Russian)

Pronounced: AY-dree-ən (English), AHD-ryahn (Polish), AH-dree-ahn (German), ah-dree-AHN (Russian)

Rating: 71% based on 29 votes

Form of Hadrianus (see HADRIAN). Several saints and six popes have borne this name, including the only English pope, Adrian IV, and the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI. As an English name, it has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it was not popular until modern times.

ALINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Portuguese

Pronounced: ay-LEEN (English), ə-LEEN (Portuguese)

Rating: 46% based on 19 votes

Medieval short form of ADELINE. As an English name, in modern times it has sometimes been regarded as a variant of EILEEN.

AMALIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)

Pronounced: ah-MAH-lee-ah (Dutch, German)

Rating: 63% based on 27 votes

Latinized form of the Germanic name Amala, a short form of names beginning with the element amal meaning "work".

AMELINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Ancient Germanic

Old Germanic form of EMMELINE

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: 72% based on 30 votes

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.

ANISA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Arabic

Other Scripts: أنيسة (Arabic)

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of ANIS

ANNELIESE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Dutch

Pronounced: ah-ne-LEE-zə (German), ahn-nə-LEE-sə (Dutch)

Rating: 60% based on 16 votes

Combination of ANNA and LIESE

APHRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Various

Rating: 26% based on 14 votes

Meaning uncertain; possibly a variant of AFRA (1), or possibly a variant of Aphrah, a biblical place name meaning "dust". This name was born by the English writer Aphra Behn (1640-1689).

ARTHUR

Gender: Masculine

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

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

Rating: 63% based on 62 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).

BECKETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: BEK-it

Rating: 48% based on 12 votes

From an English surname which could be derived from various sources, including from Middle English beke meaning "beak" or bekke meaning "stream, brook".

BENNETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BEN-ət

Rating: 58% based on 52 votes

Medieval form of BENEDICT. This was the more common spelling in England until the 18th century. Modern use of the name is probably also influenced by the common surname Bennett, itself a derivative of the medieval name.

BLAIR

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish, English

Rating: 37% based on 11 votes

From a Scottish surname which is derived from Gaelic blár meaning "plain, field, battlefield".

BLYTHE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: BLIEDH

Rating: 55% based on 11 votes

From a surname which meant "cheerful" in Old English.

BRAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: BRAHM

Rating: 44% based on 9 votes

Short form of ABRAHAM. This name was borne by Bram Stoker (1847-1912), the Irish author who wrote 'Dracula'.

BRIELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Rating: 37% based on 12 votes

Short form of GABRIELLA

BROOKE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BRUWK

Rating: 45% based on 12 votes

Variant of BROOK. The name came into use in the 1950s, probably influenced by American socialite Brooke Astor (1902-2007). It was further popularized by actress Brooke Shields (1965-).

CAIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: קָיִן (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: KAYN (English)

Rating: 39% based on 27 votes

Means "acquired" in Hebrew. In Genesis in the Old Testament, Cain is the first son of Adam and Eve. He killed his brother Abel after God accepted Abel's offering instead of his.

CALISTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Portuguese, Spanish

Pronounced: kə-LIS-tə (English), kah-LEE-stah (Spanish)

Rating: 72% based on 11 votes

Feminine form of CALLISTUS. As an English name it might also be a variant of KALLISTO.

CALLISTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: kə-LIS-tə

Rating: 75% based on 4 votes

Variant of CALISTA

CAMERON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: KAM-rən (English), KAM-ə-rən (English)

Rating: 54% based on 17 votes

From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam "crooked" and sròn "nose".

CAROL (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KER-əl, KAR-əl

Rating: 57% based on 6 votes

Short form of CAROLINE. It was formerly a masculine name, derived from CAROLUS. The name can also be given in reference to the English vocabulary word, which means "song" or "hymn".

CECILY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SES-i-lee

Rating: 62% based on 37 votes

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

CIRCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Κιρκη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: SUR-see (English)

Rating: 38% based on 16 votes

Latinized form of Greek Κιρκη (Kirke), which possibly meant "bird". In Greek mythology Circe was a sorceress who changed Odysseus's crew into hogs but was forced by him to change them back.

CLARA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, English, Late Roman

Pronounced: KLAH-rah (Italian, German, Spanish), KLER-ə (English), KLAR-ə (English)

Rating: 80% based on 2 votes

Feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus which meant "clear, bright, famous". The name Clarus was borne by a few early saints. The feminine form was popularized by the 13th-century Saint Clare of Assisi (called Chiara in Italian), a friend and follower of Saint Francis, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares. As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages, originally in the form Clare, though the Latinate spelling Clara became more popular in the 19th century.

CONSTANCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: KAHN-stənts (English), kawn-STAWNS (French)

Rating: 61% based on 65 votes

Medieval form of CONSTANTIA. The Normans introduced this name to England (it was the name of a daughter of William the Conqueror).

CORDELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: kawr-DEL-ee-ə, kawr-DEL-yə

Rating: 65% based on 64 votes

From Cordeilla, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play 'King Lear' (1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia.

CORINNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Κοριννα (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: kə-REEN-ə (English), kə-RIN-ə (English), ko-RI-nah (German)

Rating: 43% based on 23 votes

Latinized form of the Greek name Κοριννα (Korinna), which was derived from κορη (kore) "maiden". This was the name of a Greek lyric poet of the 5th century BC. The Roman poet Ovid used it for the main female character in his book 'Amores'. In the modern era it has been in use since the 17th century, when Robert Herrick used it in his poem 'Corinna's going a-Maying'.

DAMIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Polish, Dutch

Pronounced: DAY-mee-ən (English), DAHM-yahn (Polish)

Rating: 63% based on 23 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 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.

DANE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAYN

Rating: 38% based on 11 votes

From an English surname which was either a variant of the surname DEAN or else an ethnic name referring to a person from Denmark.

DAVID

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 (Jewish), da-VEED (French), DAH-vit (German, Dutch), dah-VEET (Russian)

Rating: 66% based on 47 votes

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) and soccer player David Beckham (1975-). This is also the name of the hero of Charles Dickens' semi-autobiographical novel 'David Copperfield' (1850).

DAWN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAWN

Rating: 85% based on 2 votes

From the English word dawn, ultimately derived from Old English dagung.

DEIRDRE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: DEER-drə (English), DEER-dree (English), DER-dre (Irish)

Rating: 52% based on 17 votes

From the older Gaelic form Derdriu, meaning unknown, possibly derived from a Celtic word meaning "woman". This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise.

It has only been commonly used as a given name since the 20th century, influenced by two plays featuring the character: William Butler Yeats' 'Deirdre' (1907) and J. M. Synge's 'Deirdre of the Sorrows' (1910).

DELILAH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English

Other Scripts: דְּלִילָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: di-LIE-lə (English)

Rating: 47% based on 10 votes

Means "delicate, weak, languishing" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is the lover of Samson, whom she betrays to the Philistines by cutting his hair, which is the source of his power. Despite her character flaws, the name began to be used by the Puritans in the 17th century. It has been used occasionally in the English-speaking world since that time.

DESMOND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Irish

Pronounced: DEZ-mənd

Rating: 57% based on 25 votes

From an Irish surname which was derived from Deasmhumhain meaning "South Munster", originally indicating a person who came from that region in Ireland.

DIMITRI

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Russian, French

Other Scripts: Димитрий (Russian)

Pronounced: dee-MEE-tree (Russian)

Rating: 63% based on 66 votes

Variant of DMITRIY, using the Church Slavic spelling.

DOMINIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHM-ə-nik

Rating: 69% based on 70 votes

From the Late Latin name Dominicus meaning "of the Lord". This name was traditionally given to a child born on Sunday. Several saints have borne this name, including the 13th-century founder of the Dominican order of friars. It was in this saint's honour that the name was first used in England, starting around the 13th century. It is primarily used by Catholics.

DONNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHN-ə

Rating: 46% based on 12 votes

From Italian donna meaning "lady". It is also used as a feminine form of DONALD.

DONOVAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English

Rating: 54% based on 23 votes

From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Donndubháin meaning "descendant of DONNDUBHÁN".

DORIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: DAWR-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 64% based on 21 votes

The name was first used by Oscar Wilde in his novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' (1891), which tells the story of a man whose portrait ages while he stays young. Wilde probably took it from the name of the ancient Greek tribe the Dorians.

EDMUND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Polish

Pronounced: ED-mənd (English), ED-muwnt (German, Polish)

Rating: 66% based on 65 votes

From the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and mund "protection". This was the name of two Anglo-Saxon kings of England. It was also borne by two saints, including a 9th-century king of East Anglia who, according to tradition, was shot to death with arrows after refusing to divide his Christian kingdom with an invading pagan Danish leader. This Old English name remained in use after the Norman conquest (even being used by king Henry III for one of his sons), though it became less common after the 15th century.

Famous bearers of the name include the English poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), the German-Czech philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first person to climb Mount Everest.

ELENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, German, Medieval Slavic

Other Scripts: Елена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Church Slavic)

Pronounced: E-le-nah (Italian), e-LE-nah (Spanish), ye-LYE-nah (Russian), ee-LYE-nah (Russian)

Rating: 70% based on 28 votes

Cognate of HELEN, and a variant transcription of Russian YELENA.

ELISA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, English

Pronounced: e-LEE-zah (German, Italian), E-lee-sah (Finnish)

Rating: 81% based on 11 votes

Short form of ELISABETH

ELLIOTT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-ee-ət

Rating: 68% based on 45 votes

From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of the medieval name ELIAS.

EMMETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-it

Rating: 69% based on 17 votes

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

ENID

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance

Rating: 36% based on 5 votes

Derived from Welsh enaid meaning "soul" or "life". She is the wife of Geraint in Welsh legend and Arthurian romance.

ESMÉE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: es-MAY (Dutch)

Rating: 53% based on 53 votes

Feminine form of ESMÉ

EVANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Scottish

Pronounced: ee-VAN-ah (Irish), e-VAN-ah, ay-VAN-ah (Scottish)

Rating: 57% based on 11 votes

Evanna is either derived from an Irish word meaning "young warrior" or a Scottish word meaning "right handed; strong". Or else it could also be a feminine form of Evan.
A well-known bearer is actress, Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in the 'Harry Potter' films.

EVERETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EV-ə-rit, EV-rit

Rating: 59% based on 23 votes

From a surname which was derived from the given name EVERARD.

FERN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FURN

Rating: 55% based on 8 votes

From the English word for the plant, ultimately from Old English fearn. It has been used as a given name since the late 19th century.

FINN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish Mythology, Irish

Rating: 68% based on 58 votes

Older Irish form of FIONN. This is also the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.

FIONA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: fee-O-nə

Rating: 75% based on 11 votes

Feminine form of FIONN. This name was (first?) used by Scottish poet James Macpherson in his poem 'Fingal' (1762).

FLORENCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: FLAWR-ənts (English), flo-RAWNS (French)

Rating: 71% based on 8 votes

From the Latin name Florentius or the feminine form Florentia, which were derived from florens "prosperous, flourishing". Florentius was borne by many early Christian saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.

The name can also be given in reference to the city in Italy, as in the case of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). She was a nurse in British hospitals during the Crimean War and is usually considered the founder of modern nursing.

FLORIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare), German, Italian, Late Roman

Pronounced: FLOR-ee-ə, FLOR-yə

Rating: 34% based on 9 votes

Feminine form of Florius. A known bearer is Italian-born filmmaker Floria Sigismondi (1965-).

FREDERICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FRED-ə-rik, FRED-rik

Rating: 70% based on 9 votes

English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from frid "peace" and ric "ruler, power". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman Emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.

The Normans brought the name to England in the 11th century but it quickly died out. It was reintroduced by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century. A famous bearer was Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), an American ex-slave who became a leading advocate of abolition.

FREYA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern)

Pronounced: FRAY-ah (Norse Mythology), FRAY-ə (English)

Rating: 66% based on 25 votes

From Old Norse Freyja meaning "lady". This is the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm in Asgard. Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg.

This is not the usual spelling in any of the Scandinavian languages (in Sweden and Denmark it is Freja and in Norway it is Frøja) but it is the common spelling of the goddess's name in English. In the 2000s it became popular in Britain.

GENEVIEVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JEN-ə-veev

Rating: 69% based on 49 votes

English form of GENEVIÈVE

GIDEON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English, Hebrew

Other Scripts: גִּדְעוֹן (Hebrew)

Pronounced: GID-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 72% based on 18 votes

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.

GINEVRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: jee-NEV-rah

Rating: 61% based on 8 votes

Italian form of GUINEVERE. This is also the Italian name for the city of Geneva, Switzerland. It is also sometimes associated with the Italian word ginepro meaning "juniper".

GRAHAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: GRAY-əm, GRAM

Rating: 64% based on 26 votes

From a Scottish surname, originally derived from the English place name Grantham, which probably meant "gravelly homestead" in Old English. The surname was first taken to Scotland in the 12th century by the Norman baron William de Graham. A famous bearer was Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-Canadian-American inventor who devised the telephone.

HARRIS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HAR-is, HER-is

Rating: 48% based on 8 votes

From a surname which was derived from the given name HARRY.

HEATH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HEETH

Rating: 61% based on 10 votes

From an English surname which denoted one who lived on a heath. It was popularized as a given name by the character Heath Barkley from the 1960s television series 'The Big Valley'.

HELGA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Ancient Scandinavian

Pronounced: HEL-gah (German), HEL-gaw (Hungarian)

Rating: 26% based on 5 votes

Feminine form of HELGE

HERA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: ‘Ηρα (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: HER-ə (English)

Rating: 50% based on 21 votes

Uncertain meaning, possibly from either Greek ‘ηρως (heros) "hero, warrior"; ‘ωρα (hora) "period of time"; or ‘αιρεω (haireo) "to be chosen". In Greek mythology Hera was the queen of the gods, the sister and wife of Zeus. She presided over marriage and childbirth.

HOPE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HOP

Rating: 69% based on 8 votes

From the English word hope, ultimately from Old English hopian. This name was first used by the Puritans in the 17th century.

IMLAC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Literature

Pronounced: IM-lahk

Rating: 20% based on 8 votes

Perhaps based on the Scottish surname Imlach, derived from the Old Gaelic imeallach or imleach, meaning "marginal land" or "marshy shore-land." Imlac is the poet friend of the titular character in Samuel Johnson's "Rasselas," who joins his friend on his voyage out of their homeland in the pursuit of happiness.

IRIS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, French, Spanish

Other Scripts: Ιρις (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: IE-ris (English), EE-ris (German, Dutch), EE-rees (Finnish)

Rating: 73% based on 37 votes

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

ISAAC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: יִצְחָק (Hebrew)

Pronounced: IE-zək (English)

Rating: 75% based on 31 votes

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).

ISABEAU

Gender: Feminine

Usage: History, French, Dutch, Afrikaans

Pronounced: EE-zah-bo, IZ-ə-bo

Rating: 43% based on 10 votes

Old French variant of Isabel. A famous bearer of this name was Isabeau of Bavaria (1385-1422, Isabeau de Bavière), wife of the French King Charles VI.

ISIDORE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Georgian, Jewish

Other Scripts: ისიდორე (Georgian)

Pronounced: IZ-i-dawr (English), ee-zee-DOR (French)

Rating: 29% based on 10 votes

From the Greek name Ισιδωρος (Isidoros) which meant "gift of Isis", derived from the name of the Egyptian goddess ISIS combined with Greek δωρον (doron) "gift". Saint Isidore of Seville was a 6th-century archbishop, historian and theologian.

Though it has never been popular in the English-speaking world among Christians, it has historically been a common name for Jews, who have used it as an Americanized form of names such as Isaac, Israel and Isaiah.

ISOBEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Rating: 50% based on 11 votes

Scottish form of ISABEL

JACQUETTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British)

Rating: 34% based on 20 votes

Feminine diminutive of JACQUES

JADE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: JAYD (English)

Rating: 56% based on 10 votes

From the name of the precious stone that is often used in carvings. It is derived from Spanish (piedra de la) ijada meaning "(stone of the) flank", relating to the belief that jade could cure renal colic. As a given name, it came into general use during the 1970s.

JAMES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)

Rating: 78% based on 64 votes

English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (see JACOB). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus.

Since the 13th century this form of the name has been used in England, though it became more common in Scotland where it was borne by several kings. In the 17th century the Scottish king James VI inherited the English throne, becoming the first ruler of all Britain, and the name grew much more popular. Famous bearers include the explorer Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the inventor James Watt (1736-1819), and the novelist and poet James Joyce (1882-1941). This name has also been borne by six American presidents. A notable fictional bearer is the British spy James Bond, created by author Ian Fleming.

JANE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JAYN

Rating: 67% based on 29 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).

JOHANNA

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: yo-HAH-nah (German), yo-HAHN-nah (Danish, Dutch), YO-hahn-nah (Finnish)

Rating: 82% based on 6 votes

Latinate form of Ioanna (see JOANNA).

JONAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: יוֹנָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JO-nə (English)

Rating: 65% based on 19 votes

From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah) meaning "dove". This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. He emerged from the fish alive three days later. His story was popular in the Middle Ages, but the name did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation.

JONATHAN

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: יוֹנָתָן (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JAHN-ə-thən (English), YO-nah-tahn (German)

Rating: 69% based on 28 votes

From the Hebrew name יְהוֹנָתָן (Yehonatan) (contracted to יוֹנָתָן (Yonatan)) meaning "YAHWEH has given". According to the Old Testament, Jonathan was the eldest son of Saul and a friend of David. He was killed in battle with the Philistines. As an English name, Jonathan did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was the Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), who wrote 'Gulliver's Travels' and other works.

JOSEPHINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch

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

Rating: 61% based on 27 votes

English, German and Dutch 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, Danish, Finnish), HOO-lyah (Spanish), YUWL-yah (Polish), YOO:-lee-ah (Ancient Roman)

Rating: 70% based on 56 votes

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-).

JULIANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hungarian, Polish, English

Pronounced: yuw-lee-AHN-nah (Polish), joo-lee-AHN-ə (English)

Rating: 54% based on 23 votes

Feminine form of Iulianus (see JULIAN).

JULIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JOO-lee-et, JOOL-yət

Rating: 72% based on 63 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).

JUNIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical, Ancient Roman

Rating: 55% based on 8 votes

Feminine form of JUNIUS. This was the name of an early Christian mentioned in the New Testament (there is some debate about whether the name belongs to a man or a woman).

JUSTINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Dutch, German

Pronounced: zhuy-STEEN (French), jus-TEEN (English)

Rating: 53% based on 42 votes

French feminine form of Iustinus (see JUSTIN). This is the name of the heroine in the novel 'Justine' (1791) by the Marquis de Sade.

KATARINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene

Other Scripts: Катарина (Serbian)

Pronounced: kah-tah-REE-nah (German)

Rating: 69% based on 23 votes

Cognate of KATHERINE

KEVIN

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: KEV-in (English)

Rating: 60% based on 8 votes

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

LARA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian

Other Scripts: Лара (Russian)

Pronounced: LAHR-ə (English), LAH-rah (German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)

Rating: 61% based on 10 votes

Russian short form of LARISA. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by a character from Boris Pasternak's novel 'Doctor Zhivago' (1957) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1965).

LEE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LEE

Rating: 68% based on 5 votes

From a surname which was derived from Old English leah meaning "clearing". The surname belonged to Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. In his honour, it has been commonly used as a given name in the American South.

LEIGH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LEE

Rating: 50% based on 5 votes

From a surname which was a variant of LEE.

LILLIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee-ən

Rating: 72% based on 43 votes

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.

LINDSAY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: LINDZ-ee

Rating: 43% based on 11 votes

From an English and Scottish surname which was originally derived from the name of the region Lindsey, which means "LINCOLN island" in Old English. As a given name it was typically masculine until the 1960s (in Britain) and 1970s (in America) when it became popular for girls, probably due to its similarity to Linda and because of American actress Lindsay Wagner (1949-).

LINNÉA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish

Pronounced: lin-NE-ah

Rating: 59% based on 29 votes

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.

LOLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, English

Pronounced: LO-lah (Spanish), LO-lə (English)

Rating: 46% based on 5 votes

Diminutive of DOLORES

LUCIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Slovak, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: loo-CHEE-ah (Italian), LOO-tsee-ah (German), LOO-shə (English), loo-SEE-ə (English)

Rating: 51% based on 9 votes

Feminine form of LUCIUS. Saint Lucia was a 4th-century martyr from Syracuse. She was said to have had her eyes gouged out, and thus is the patron saint of the blind. She was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). It has been used in the England since the 12th century, usually in the spellings Lucy or Luce.

MAEVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: MAYV

Rating: 67% based on 63 votes

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'.

MALCOLM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: MAL-kəm

Rating: 63% based on 55 votes

From Scottish Máel Coluim which means "disciple of Saint COLUMBA". This was the name of four kings of Scotland starting in the 10th century, including Malcolm III, who became king after killing Macbeth, the usurper who had murdered his father. The character Malcolm in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Macbeth' (1606) is based on him. Another famous bearer was Malcolm X (1925-1965), an American civil rights leader.

MARGUERITE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: mar-gə-REET, mar-GREET

Rating: 75% based on 13 votes

French form of MARGARET. This is also a French word meaning "daisy flower" (species Leucanthemum vulgare).

MARIAN (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MER-ee-ən, MAR-ee-ən

Rating: 66% based on 10 votes

Variant of MARION (1). This name was borne in legend by Maid Marian, Robin Hood's love. It is sometimes considered a combination of MARY and ANN.

MATTHIAS

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Ματθιας (Greek)

Pronounced: mah-TEE-ahs (German), mə-THIE-əs (English)

Rating: 78% based on 12 votes

Variant of Matthaios (see MATTHEW) which appears in the New Testament as the name of the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot. This was also the name of kings of Hungary, including Matthias I who made important reforms to the kingdom in the 15th century.

MAUDE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAWD

Rating: 39% based on 23 votes

Variant of MAUD

MERLETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare), French

Pronounced: mur-LET (English)

Rating: 25% based on 8 votes

Diminutive of MERLE

MERRICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: MER-ik

Rating: 51% based on 22 votes

From a surname which was originally derived from the Welsh given name MEURIG.

MILES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MIELZ, MIE-əlz

Rating: 69% based on 7 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 milu meaning "gracious". From an early date it was associated with Latin miles "soldier".

MIRANDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)

Rating: 61% based on 30 votes

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

MIRIAM

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: מִרְיָם (Hebrew)

Pronounced: MIR-ee-əm (English)

Rating: 71% based on 8 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.

MORGANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: mawr-GAN-ə

Rating: 57% based on 39 votes

Feminine form of MORGAN (1)

MORWENNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Cornish, Welsh

Rating: 55% based on 57 votes

Means "maiden" in Cornish (related to the Welsh word morwyn). This was the name of a 6th-century Cornish saint.

NADINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, German, English

Pronounced: na-DEEN (French), nah-DEE-nə (German), nə-DEEN (English)

Rating: 44% based on 12 votes

French elaborated form of NADIA (1)

NAOMI (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Hebrew, Biblical

Other Scripts: נָעֳמִי (Hebrew)

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

Rating: 78% based on 14 votes

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 long common as a Jewish name, Naomi was not typically used as an English Christian name until after the Protestant Reformation.

NATHANIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

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

Rating: 72% based on 48 votes

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.

NICHOLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 75% based on 60 votes

From the Greek name Νικολαος (Nikolaos) which meant "victory of the people" from Greek νικη (nike) "victory" and λαος (laos) "people". Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Anatolia who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. He is the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, as well as Greece and Russia. He formed the basis for the figure known as Santa Claus (created in the 19th century from Dutch Sinterklaas), the bringer of Christmas presents.

Due to the renown of the saint, this name has been widely used in the Christian world. It has been common in England since the 12th century, though it became a bit less popular after the Protestant Reformation. The name has been borne by five popes and two czars of Russia.

NOAH (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: נוֹחַ (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: NO-ə (English)

Rating: 76% based on 16 votes

Derived from the Hebrew name נוֹחַ (Noach) meaning "rest, comfort". According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the great Flood. After the Flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. As an English Christian name, Noah has been used since the Protestant Reformation, being common among the Puritans.

OTTO

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: AW-to (German), AH-to (English), OT-to (Finnish)

Rating: 57% based on 9 votes

Later German form of Audo or Odo, originally a short form of various names beginning with the Germanic element aud meaning "wealth, fortune". This was the name of four kings of Germany, starting in the 10th century with Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor, who was known as Otto the Great. This name was also borne by a 19th-century king of Greece who was originally from Bavaria. Another notable bearer was the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).

OWEN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: O-ən (English)

Rating: 68% based on 43 votes

Modern form of OWAIN

OZIAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Οζιας (Ancient Greek)

Rating: 32% based on 9 votes

Form of UZZIAH used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament.

PEARL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PURL

Rating: 48% based on 8 votes

From the English word pearl for the concretions formed in the shells of some mollusks, ultimately from Late Latin perla. Like other gemstone names, it has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. The pearl is the birthstone for June, and it supposedly imparts health and wealth.

PENELOPE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English

Other Scripts: Πηνελοπη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: pə-NEL-ə-pee (English)

Rating: 63% based on 63 votes

Possibly derived from Greek πηνελοψ (penelops), a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πηνη (pene) "threads, weft" and ωψ (ops) "face, eye". In Homer's epic the 'Odyssey' this is the name of the wife of Odysseus, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy. It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century.

PERSEPHONE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Περσεφονη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: pər-SEF-ə-nee (English)

Rating: 50% based on 9 votes

Meaning unknown, probably of Pre-Greek origin, but perhaps related to Greek περθω (pertho) "to destroy" and φονη (phone) "murder". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades, but was eventually allowed to return to the surface for part of the year. The result of her comings and goings is the changing of the seasons.

PHILIPPA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British), German

Pronounced: FIL-i-pə (English), fi-LIP-ə (English)

Rating: 75% based on 11 votes

Latinate feminine form of PHILIP

PRENTICE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: PREN-tis

Rating: 23% based on 9 votes

From a surname derived from Middle English aprentis "apprentice" (ultimately from Latin apprehendere "to understand, grasp"), originally given as a nickname to one who was learning a craft or trade.

REBECCA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Swedish, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: רִבְקָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: rə-BEK-ə (English), re-BEK-kah (Italian)

Rating: 69% based on 41 votes

From the Hebrew name רִבְקָה (Rivqah), possibly meaning "a snare" in Hebrew, or perhaps derived from an Aramaic name. This is the name of the wife of Isaac and the mother of Esau and Jacob in the Old Testament. It came into use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular with the Puritans in the 17th century.

REINETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: Rin-et or Ren-et

Rating: 21% based on 8 votes

From a French nickname meaning "little queen". In the case of the 18th-century royal mistress Madame de Pompadour, the nickname was used by friends and relatives in reference to her power and influence over King Louis XV of France.

Perhaps it is sometimes used as a diminutive of Reine.

RENARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French (Rare), Polish (Rare)

Pronounced: rə-NAR (French), RE-nahrt (Polish)

Rating: 31% based on 20 votes

French and Polish form of REYNARD. Because of the medieval character Reynard the Fox, renard became a French word meaning "fox".

RHETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: RET

Rating: 55% based on 24 votes

From a surname, an Anglicized form of the Dutch de Raedt, derived from raet "advice, counsel". Margaret Mitchell used this name for the character Rhett Butler in her novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936).

RHIANNON

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology

Pronounced: hri-AN-ahn (Welsh), ree-AN-ən (English), REE-ən-ən (English)

Rating: 63% based on 23 votes

Probably derived from the old Celtic name Rigantona meaning "great queen". It is speculated that this was the name of an otherwise unattested Celtic goddess of fertility and the moon. The name Rhiannon appears later in Welsh legend in the Mabinogion, borne by the wife of Pwyll and the mother of Pryderi.

As an English name, it became popular due to the Fleetwood Mac song 'Rhiannon' (1976).

RHYS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Pronounced: HREES (Welsh), REES (English)

Rating: 68% based on 21 votes

Means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. Several Welsh rulers have borne this name.

RICHARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Czech, Dutch, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: RICH-ərd (English), ree-SHAHR (French), RIKH-ahrt (German)

Rating: 59% based on 60 votes

Means "brave power", derived from the Germanic elements ric "power, rule" and hard "brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it has been very common there since that time. It was borne by three kings of England including Richard I the Lionheart, leader of the Third Crusade in the 12th century. Famous bearers include two German opera composers, Richard Wagner (1813-1883) and Richard Strauss (1864-1949), as well as British explorer Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890) and American musician Little Richard (1932-).

ROGER

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: RAH-jər (English), ro-ZHE (French)

Rating: 45% based on 22 votes

Means "famous spear" from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and ger "spear". The Normans brought this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hroðgar (the name of the Danish king in the Anglo-Saxon epic 'Beowulf'). It was a common name in England during the Middle Ages. By the 18th century it was rare, but it was revived in following years. The name was borne by the Norman lords Roger I, who conquered Sicily in the 11th century, and his son Roger II, who ruled Sicily as a king.

ROMILLY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: ROM-i-lee

Rating: 48% based on 9 votes

The name of several communes in France, which ultimately derive their name from the personal name Romilius. It first came to English-speaking countries as a surname, after which it began to be used as a male first name. Nowadays, the name Romilly is predominantly used on women. A notable bearer of the surname is Jacqueline de Romilly, a French classical historian and intellectual.

RÓNÁN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish

Pronounced: RON-awn

Rating: 63% based on 38 votes

Means "little seal", derived from Irish rón "seal" combined with a diminutive suffix.

ROSCOE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: RAHS-ko

Rating: 39% based on 9 votes

From an English surname, originally derived from a place name, which meant "doe wood" in Old Norse.

ROSS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: RAWS (English)

Rating: 50% based on 47 votes

From a Scottish and English surname which originally indicated a person from a place called Ross (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland), derived from Gaelic ros meaning "promontory, headland". A famous bearer of the surname was Sir James Clark Ross (1800-1862), an Antarctic explorer.

ROWAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English (Modern)

Pronounced: RO-ən (English)

Rating: 64% based on 58 votes

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

RUBY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROO-bee

Rating: 67% based on 39 votes

Simply from the name of the precious stone (which ultimately derives from Latin ruber "red"), which is the birthstone of July. It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.

RUNE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Norwegian, Danish, Swedish

Pronounced: ROO-ne

Rating: 34% based on 9 votes

Derived from Old Norse rún meaning "secret lore".

RYLAND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (American)

Rating: 46% based on 10 votes

From the traditionally English surname meaning "rye land". From the Old English ryġe and land.

SABRINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German

Pronounced: sə-BREEN-ə (English), sah-BREE-nah (Italian), zahp-REE-nah (German)

Rating: 61% based on 27 votes

Latinized form of Habren, the original Welsh name of the River Severn. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the name of a princess who was drowned in the Severn. Supposedly the river was named for her, but it is more likely that her name was actually derived from that of the river, which is of unknown meaning. It was popularized as a given name by Samuel A. Taylor's play 'Sabrina Fair' (1953) and the movie adaptation that followed it the next year.

SCARLETT

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SKAHR-lət

Rating: 67% based on 32 votes

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.

SCHEHERAZADE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Literature

Rating: 31% based on 13 votes

Anglicized form of SHAHRAZAD

SEAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: SHAWN

Rating: 57% based on 37 votes

Anglicized form of SEÁN

SEBASTIAN

Gender: Masculine

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

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

Rating: 59% based on 14 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). Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred by arrows after it was discovered he was a Christian. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in medieval Europe, especially in Spain and France. It was also borne by a 16th-century king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.

SERENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Late Roman

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

Rating: 61% based on 43 votes

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

SHERIDAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SHER-i-dən

Rating: 54% based on 14 votes

From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Sirideáin meaning "descendant of Sirideán". The name Sirideán means "searcher" in Gaelic.

SILAS

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Σιλας (Greek)

Pronounced: SIE-ləs (English)

Rating: 79% based on 9 votes

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

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

SILVANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: seel-VAH-nah

Rating: 33% based on 3 votes

Italian feminine form of SILVANUS

SKYLAR

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: SKIE-lər

Rating: 37% based on 6 votes

Variant of SKYLER

SOFIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Slovak, Romanian

Other Scripts: Σοφια (Greek)

Pronounced: zo-FEE-ah (German), so-FEE-ah (Italian), soo-FEE-ə (Portuguese), SO-fee-ah (Finnish)

Rating: 66% based on 10 votes

Form of SOPHIA

SORSHA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Popular Culture

Pronounced: SOR-shə

Rating: 44% based on 26 votes

The name of a character in Ron Howard's movie "Willow" (1988). In it, she is a princess, the daughter of the evil Queen Bavmorda. She ends up betraying her mother to serve the cause of good. George Lucas, who wrote the story for the movie, may have based Sorsha's name on a combination of the Gaelic names SORCHA and SAOIRSE.

SPENCER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SPEN-sər

Rating: 57% based on 46 votes

From a surname which meant "dispenser of provisions" in Middle English. A famous bearer was American actor Spencer Tracy (1900-1967). It was also the surname of Princess Diana (1961-1997).

STEPHEN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: STEEV-ən (English), STEF-ən (English)

Rating: 57% based on 61 votes

From the Greek name Στεφανος (Stephanos) meaning "crown". Saint Stephen was a deacon who was stoned to death, as told in Acts in the New Testament, and he is regarded as the first Christian martyr. Due to him, the name became common in the Christian world. It was popularized in England by the Normans.

This was the name of kings of England, Serbia, and Poland, as well as ten popes. It was also borne by the first Christian king of Hungary (10th century), who is regarded as the patron saint of that country. More recent bearers include British physicist Stephen Hawking (1942-) and the American author Stephen King (1947-).

TERRENCE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: TER-ənts

Rating: 65% based on 13 votes

Variant of TERENCE

TESS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: TES

Rating: 58% based on 19 votes

Diminutive of THERESA. This is the name of the main character in Thomas Hardy's novel 'Tess of the D'Ubervilles' (1891).

THEODORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Θεοδωρα (Greek)

Pronounced: thee-ə-DAWR-ə (English)

Rating: 35% based on 2 votes

Feminine form of THEODORE. This name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by several empresses including the influential wife of Justinian in the 6th century.

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: 75% based on 61 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).

ULYSSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: yoo-LIS-ə

Rating: 45% based on 13 votes

Feminine form of ULYSSES

URSULA

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: UR-sə-lə (English), UR-syə-lə (English), OOR-soo-lah (Finnish)

Rating: 45% based on 53 votes

Means "little bear", derived from a diminutive form of the Latin word ursa "she-bear". Saint Ursula was a legendary virgin princess of the 4th century who was martyred by the Huns while returning from a pilgrimage. In England the saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and the name came into general use at that time.

VANESSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch

Pronounced: və-NES-ə (English)

Rating: 69% based on 24 votes

Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his poem 'Cadenus and Vanessa' (1726). He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.

VAUGHN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: VAWN

Rating: 42% based on 20 votes

From a Welsh surname which was derived from Welsh bychan meaning "little".

VIRGINIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Romanian, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: vər-JIN-yə (English), veer-JEE-nyah (Italian), beer-KHEE-nyah (Spanish)

Rating: 20% based on 2 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).

VIVIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: VIV-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 66% based on 23 votes

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).

VIVIENNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Rating: 66% based on 48 votes

French form of VIVIANA

WESLEY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WES-lee

Rating: 62% based on 56 votes

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.

WILBUR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WIL-bər

Rating: 52% based on 9 votes

From an English surname which was originally derived from the nickname Wildbor meaning "wild boar" in Middle English. This name was borne by Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), one half of the Wright brothers, who together invented the first successful airplane. Wright was named after the Methodist minister Wilbur Fisk (1792-1839).

WILLIAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WIL-ee-əm, WIL-yəm

Rating: 76% based on 27 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).

WILLOW

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: WIL-o

Rating: 59% based on 9 votes

From the name of the tree, which is ultimately derived from Old English welig.

WINIFRED

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: WIN-i-frid

Rating: 52% based on 6 votes

Anglicized form of GWENFREWI, the spelling altered by association with WINFRED. It became used in England in the 16th century.

WREN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: REN

Rating: 58% based on 62 votes

From the English word for the small songbird. It is ultimately derived from Old English wrenna.

YORICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Literature, English, Dutch

Pronounced: YAWR-ik (English), YAW-rik (Dutch), YO-rik (Dutch)

Rating: 29% based on 7 votes

Altered form of JØRG. Shakespeare used this name for a deceased court jester in his play 'Hamlet' (1600).

YVETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: ee-VET (French), i-VET (English)

Rating: 49% based on 51 votes

French feminine form of YVES

ZINNIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: ZIN-ee-ə

Rating: 49% based on 7 votes

From the name of the flower, which was itself named for the German botanist Johann Zinn.

ZOE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, Italian, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Ζωη (Greek)

Pronounced: ZO-ee (English), DZO-e (Italian)

Rating: 65% based on 22 votes

Means "life" in Greek. From early times it was adopted by Hellenized Jews as a translation of EVE. It was borne by two early Christian saints, one martyred under emperor Hadrian, the other martyred under Diocletian. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by a ruling empress of the 11th century. As an English name, Zoe has only been in use since the 19th century. It has generally been more common among Eastern Christians (in various spellings).
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2016.