erb816's Personal Name List

AARON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: אַהֲרֹן (Hebrew), Ααρων (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: ER-ən (English), AR-ən (English)
Rating: 82% based on 5 votes
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. He acted as a spokesman for his brother when they appealed to the pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Aaron's rod produced miracles and plagues to intimidate the pharaoh. After the departure from Egypt and arrival at Mount Sinai, God installed Aaron as the first high priest of the Israelites and promised that his descendants would form the priesthood.

As an English name, Aaron has been in use since the Protestant Reformation. This name was borne by the American politician Aaron Burr (1756-1836), notable for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

ABIGAIL
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: אֲבִיגַיִל (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: AB-ə-gayl (English), A-bee-giel (German)
Rating: 73% based on 6 votes
From the Hebrew name אֲבִיגָיִל ('Avigayil) meaning "my father is joy". In the Old Testament this is the name of Nabal's wife. After Nabal's death she became the third wife of King David.

As an English name, Abigail first became common after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans. The biblical Abigil refers to herself as a servant, and beginning in the 17th century the name became a slang term for a servant, especially after the release of the play 'The Scornful Lady' (1616) which featured a character named Abigail. The name went out of fashion at that point, but it was revived in the 20th century.

ALIDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Dutch, German, Hungarian
Pronounced: a-LEE-da (German)
Rating: 66% based on 14 votes
Diminutive of ADELAIDE.

AMALIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Swedish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Other Scripts: Αμαλια (Greek)
Pronounced: ah-MAH-lee-ah (Dutch), a-MA-lya (German)
Rating: 64% based on 29 votes
Latinized form of the Germanic name Amala, a short form of names beginning with the element amal meaning "work".

ANASTASIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Αναστασια (Greek), Анастасия (Russian), Анастасія (Ukrainian, Belarusian), ანასტასია (Georgian)
Pronounced: u-nu-stu-SYEE-yə (Russian), a-nə-STAY-zhə (English), a-nə-STAS-yə (English), a-nas-TA-sya (Spanish), a-nas-TA-zya (Italian), A-NA-STA-SEE-A (Classical Greek)
Rating: 82% based on 22 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.

ANNELIESE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, Dutch
Pronounced: A-nə-lee-zə (German), ahn-nə-LEE-sə (Dutch)
Rating: 74% based on 22 votes
Combination of ANNA and LIESE.

ARTHUR
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Pronounced: AHR-thər (English), AR-TUYR (French), AR-tuwr (German), AHR-tuyr (Dutch)
Rating: 62% based on 93 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).

ATHENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, English
Other Scripts: Αθηνα (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: A-TE-NA (Classical Greek), ə-THEE-nə (English)
Rating: 79% based on 22 votes
Meaning unknown, perhaps derived from Greek αθηρ (ather) "sharp" and αινη (aine) "praise". Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare, the daughter of Zeus and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. She is associated with the olive tree and the owl.

AUDREY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: AW-dree
Rating: 74% based on 14 votes
Medieval diminutive of ÆÐELÞRYÐ. This was the name of a 7th-century saint, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' (1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry (which was derived from St. Audrey, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).

AUTUMN
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: AW-təm
From the name of the season, ultimately from Latin autumnus. This name has been in general use since the 1960s.

BECKETT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English (Modern)
Pronounced: BEK-it
Rating: 47% based on 10 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: 57% based on 80 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.

CALLISTA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: kə-LIS-tə
Rating: 64% based on 36 votes
Variant of CALISTA.

CAMERON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: KAM-rən
Rating: 54% based on 47 votes
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam "crooked" and sròn "nose".

CARLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, English, German, Dutch
Pronounced: KAR-la (Spanish, German), KAHR-lə (English), KAHR-lah (Dutch)
Rating: 38% based on 13 votes
Feminine form of CARLO, CARLOS or CARL.

CAROL (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: KER-əl, KAR-əl
Rating: 33% based on 12 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".

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), kas-SAN-dra (Italian), ka-SAN-dra (German)
Rating: 66% based on 10 votes
From the Greek name Κασσανδρα (Kassandra), derived from possibly κεκασμαι (kekasmai) "to excel, 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.

CECILY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: SES-i-lee
Rating: 67% based on 69 votes
English form of CECILIA. This was the usual English form during the Middle Ages.

CELESTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, English
Pronounced: che-LE-ste (Italian), sə-LEST (English)
Rating: 76% based on 14 votes
Italian feminine and masculine form of CAELESTIS. It is also the English feminine form.

CHLOE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Other Scripts: Χλοη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: KLO-ee (English)
Rating: 51% based on 13 votes
Means "green shoot" in Greek, referring to new plant growth in the spring. 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.

CLARA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, English, Swedish, Danish, Late Roman
Pronounced: KLA-ra (Italian, German, Spanish), KLA-ru (Portuguese), KLER-ə (American English), KLAR-ə (American English), KLAH-rə (British English)
Rating: 86% based on 13 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.

CLARISSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Pronounced: klə-RIS-ə (English)
Rating: 73% based on 4 votes
Latinate form of CLARICE. This was the name of the title character in a 1748 novel by Samuel Richardson. In the novel Clarissa is a virtuous woman who is tragically exploited by her family and her lover.

CLAUDIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Biblical, Ancient Roman
Pronounced: KLAW-dee-ə (English), KLOW-dya (German, Italian, Romanian), KLOW-dee-ah (Dutch), KLOW-dhya (Spanish), KLOW-dee-a (Classical Latin)
Rating: 59% based on 18 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.

COLIN (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Scottish, Irish, English
Pronounced: KAHL-in (Scottish, Irish, English), KOL-in (English)
Rating: 56% based on 11 votes
Anglicized form of CAILEAN or COILEAN.

CONSTANCE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French
Pronounced: KAHN-stənts (English), KAWNS-TAHNS (French)
Rating: 60% based on 92 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-DEE-lee-ə, kawr-DEEL-yə
Rating: 66% based on 25 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.

CRESSIDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Literature
Pronounced: KRES-ə-də (English)
Rating: 68% based on 10 votes
Medieval form of CHRYSEIS. Various medieval tales describe her as a woman of Troy, daughter of Calchus, who leaves her Trojan lover Troilus for the Greek hero Diomedes. Shakespeare's play 'Troilus and Cressida' (1602) was based on these tales.

DAPHNE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, English, Dutch
Other Scripts: Δαφνη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: DAF-nee (English), DAHF-nə (Dutch)
Rating: 61% based on 11 votes
Means "laurel" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.

DARIAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: DER-ee-ən, DAR-ee-ən
Rating: 59% based on 26 votes
Probably an elaborated form of DARREN.

DELILAH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Other Scripts: דְּלִילָה (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: di-LIE-lə (English)
Rating: 88% based on 5 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.

DEREK
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: DER-ik
Rating: 83% based on 4 votes
From the older English name Dederick, which was in origin a Low German form of THEODORIC. It was imported to England from the Low Countries in the 15th century.

DESMOND
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Irish
Pronounced: DEZ-mənd
From an Irish surname which was derived from Deasmhumhain meaning "South Munster", originally indicating a person who came from that region in Ireland.

DIANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Roman Mythology
Other Scripts: Диана (Russian, Bulgarian)
Pronounced: die-AN-ə (English), DYA-na (Spanish, Italian, German, Polish), dee-A-nə (Catalan), dee-AH-nah (Dutch), dee-A-na (Classical Latin)
Rating: 82% based on 9 votes
Probably derived from an old Indo-European root meaning "heavenly, divine", related to dyeus (see ZEUS). Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth, often identified with the Greek goddess Artemis.

As a given name, Diana has been regularly used since the Renaissance. It became more common in the English-speaking world following Sir Walter Scott's novel 'Rob Roy' (1817), which featured a character named Diana Vernon. It also appeared in George Meredith's novel 'Diana of the Crossways' (1885). A notable bearer was Diana Spencer (1961-1997), the Princess of Wales.

DOMINIC
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: DAWM-i-nik
Rating: 73% based on 96 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.

DONOVAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Irish, English
Rating: 53% based on 46 votes
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Donndubháin meaning "descendant of DONNDUBHÁN".

EDMUND
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, German, Polish
Pronounced: ED-mənd (English), ET-muwnt (German), ED-moont (Polish)
Rating: 67% based on 86 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, Greek, German, Medieval Slavic
Other Scripts: Елена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Church Slavic), Ελενα (Greek)
Pronounced: E-le-na (Italian, German), e-LE-na (Spanish), yi-LYE-nə (Russian), i-LYE-nə (Russian)
Cognate of HELEN, and a variant transcription of Russian YELENA.

ELIAS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Greek, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Ηλιας (Greek)
Pronounced: ə-LEE-əsh (Portuguese), e-LEE-as (German), E-lee-ahs (Finnish), i-LIE-əs (English), ee-LIE-əs (English)
Rating: 84% based on 5 votes
Cognate of ELIJAH. This is the form used in the Greek New Testament.

ELIZABETH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: i-LIZ-ə-bəth (English)
Rating: 97% based on 3 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. It has also been borne (in various spellings) by many other European royals, including a ruling empress of Russia in the 18th century. Famous modern bearers include the British queen Elizabeth II (1926-) and actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011).

ELLIOTT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EL-ee-ət
Rating: 68% based on 67 votes
From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of the medieval name ELIAS.

ELOISE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EL-o-eez, el-o-EEZ
Rating: 69% based on 7 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.

ELSPETH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Scottish
Pronounced: ELS-peth
Rating: 32% based on 10 votes
Scottish form of ELIZABETH.

EMMANUELLE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: E-MA-NWEL
Rating: 52% based on 5 votes
French feminine form of EMMANUEL.

EMMELISE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Rating: 100% based on 1 vote
Variant of Emmalise, or else a combination of Emme and Lise.

EVANGELINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: ə-VAN-jə-leen
Rating: 85% based on 10 votes
Means "good news" from Greek ευ (eu) "good" and αγγελμα (angelma) "news, message". It was (first?) used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic poem 'Evangeline' (1847). It also appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852) as the full name of the character Eva.

EVERETT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EV-ə-rit, EV-rit
Rating: 59% based on 42 votes
From a surname which was derived from the given name EVERARD.

FAYE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: FAY
Rating: 67% based on 27 votes
Variant of FAY.

FINN (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Irish Mythology, Irish
Rating: 67% based on 80 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.

FREYA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern), German
Pronounced: FRAY-ə (English), FRE-ya (German)
Rating: 61% based on 15 votes
From Old Norse Freyja meaning "lady". This was 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 of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr and father Njord, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). 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.

GABRIEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Catalan, English, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: גַּבְרִיאֵל (Ancient Hebrew), Γαβριηλ (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: GA-BREE-YEL (French), ga-BRYEL (Spanish), GA-bree-el (German, Classical Latin), GAHB-ree-el (Finnish), GAY-bree-əl (English), GAB-ryel (Polish)
Rating: 80% based on 12 votes
From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el) meaning "God is my strong man", derived from גֶּבֶר (gever) "strong man, hero" and אֶל ('El) "God". Gabriel was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition, often appearing as a messenger of God. In the Old Testament he is sent to interpret the visions of the prophet Daniel, while in the New Testament he serves as the announcer of the births of John to Zechariah and Jesus to Mary. According to Islamic tradition he was the angel who dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad.

This name has been used occasionally in England since the 12th century. It was not common in the English-speaking world until the end of the 20th century.

GENEVIEVE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: JEN-ə-veev
Rating: 72% based on 67 votes
English form of GENEVIÈVE.

GEOFFREY
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French
Pronounced: JEF-ree (English), ZHAW-FRE (French)
Rating: 39% based on 8 votes
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid "peace", but the first element may be either gawia "territory", walha "foreign" or gisil "hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey.

The Normans introduced this name to England where it became common among the nobility. Famous medieval literary bearers include the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth and the 14th-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, writer of 'The Canterbury Tales'. By the end of the Middle Ages it had become uncommon, but it was revived in the 20th century, often in the spelling Jeffrey.

GUINEVERE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Arthurian Romance
Pronounced: GWIN-ə-vir (English)
Rating: 73% based on 9 votes
From the Norman French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar, derived from the elements gwen meaning "fair, white" and sebara meaning "phantom, magical being". In Arthurian legend she was the beautiful wife of King Arthur. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, she was seduced by Mordred before the battle of Camlann, which led to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur. According to the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, she engaged in an adulterous affair with Sir Lancelot.

The Cornish form of this name, Jennifer, has become popular in the English-speaking world.

GWENDOLINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Welsh, English (British), French
Pronounced: GWEN-də-lien (English), GWEN-də-leen (English), GWEN-DAW-LEEN (French)
Rating: 100% based on 1 vote
Variant of GWENDOLEN.

HEATHER
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: HE-dhər
Rating: 30% based on 8 votes
From the English word heather for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky areas. It is derived from Middle English hather. It was first used as a given name in the late 19th century, though it did not become popular until the last half of the 20th century.

HEIDI
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English
Pronounced: HIE-dee (German, English), HAY-dee (Finnish)
Rating: 42% based on 5 votes
German diminutive of ADELHEID. This is the name of the title character in the children's novel 'Heidi' (1880) by Johanna Spyri. The name began to be used in the English-speaking world shortly after the 1937 release of the movie adaptation, which starred Shirley Temple.

HERA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology
Other Scripts: ‘Ηρα (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: HE-RA (Classical Greek), HER-ə (English)
Rating: 73% based on 8 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.

HUGH
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: HYOO
Rating: 48% based on 9 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.

IRIS
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, French, Spanish, Greek
Other Scripts: Ιρις (Greek)
Pronounced: IE-ris (English), EE-ris (German, Dutch), EE-rees (Finnish, Spanish), EE-REES (French)
Rating: 77% based on 63 votes
Means "rainbow" in Greek. Iris was the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, also serving as a messenger to the gods. This name can also be given in reference to the word (which derives from the same Greek source) for 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: 71% based on 47 votes
From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq) meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice", derived from צָחַק (tzachaq) meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau and Jacob with his wife Rebecca.

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).

JADE
Gender: Feminine & Masculine
Usage: English, French
Pronounced: JAYD (English), ZHAD (French)
Rating: 90% based on 3 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. It was initially unisex, though it is now mostly feminine.

JAMES
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)
Rating: 81% based on 83 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 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 English explorer Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the Scottish inventor James Watt (1736-1819), and the Irish 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.

JASPER
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Dutch, Judeo-Christian Legend
Pronounced: JAS-pər (English), YAHS-pər (Dutch)
Rating: 86% based on 7 votes
Means "treasurer" in Persian. This name was traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. The name can also be given in reference to the English word for the gemstone.

JOANNA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Polish, Biblical
Pronounced: jo-AN-ə (English), yaw-AN-na (Polish)
Rating: 77% based on 13 votes
English and Polish form of Latin Iohanna, which was derived from Greek Ιωαννα (Ioanna), the feminine form of Ioannes (see JOHN). This is the spelling used in the English New Testament, where it belongs to a follower of Jesus who is regarded as a saint. In the Middle Ages in England it was used as a Latinized form of Joan (the usual feminine form of John) and it became common as a given name in the 19th century.

JONAH
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Other Scripts: יוֹנָה (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: JO-nə (English)
Rating: 57% based on 34 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. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.

Jonah's story was popular in the Middle Ages, and the Hellenized form Jonas was occasionally used in England. The form Jonah 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 (American English), JAWN-ə-thən (British English), YO-na-tan (German), ZHAW-NA-TAHN (French)
Rating: 70% based on 48 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. His relationship with his father was strained due to his close friendship with his father's rival David. Along with Saul 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: 63% based on 47 votes
English, German and Dutch form of JOSÉPHINE.

JULIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical
Other Scripts: Юлия (Russian), Юлія (Ukrainian)
Pronounced: JOO-lee-ə (English), YOO-lya (German, Polish), YOO-lee-ah (Swedish, Danish, Finnish), KHOO-lya (Spanish), YOO-lyi-yə (Russian), YOO-lee-a (Classical Latin)
Rating: 79% based on 12 votes
Feminine form of the Roman family name JULIUS. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was also borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare used it 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 modern bearer is American actress Julia Roberts (1967-).

JULIET
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: joo-lee-ET, JOOL-yət
Rating: 73% based on 87 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).

KATARINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene
Other Scripts: Катарина (Serbian)
Pronounced: kah-tah-REE-nah (Swedish), ka-ta-REE-na (German)
Rating: 81% based on 10 votes
Cognate of KATHERINE.

KATHARINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German
Pronounced: KATH-ə-rin (English), KATH-rin (English), ka-ta-REE-nə (German)
Rating: 87% based on 3 votes
English variant of KATHERINE and German variant of KATHARINA. A famous bearer was American actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).

KENNETH
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Scottish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronounced: KEN-əth (English)
Rating: 65% based on 10 votes
Anglicized form of both COINNEACH and CINÁED. This name was borne by the Scottish king Kenneth (Cináed) mac Alpin, who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century. It was popularized outside of Scotland by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for the hero in his novel 'The Talisman' (1825). A famous bearer was the British novelist Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), who wrote 'The Wind in the Willows'.

KERENSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Rating: 65% based on 15 votes
Means "love" in Cornish.

KEVIN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Irish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronounced: KEV-in (English), KE-VEEN (French), KE-vin (German)
Rating: 37% based on 3 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.

KIERAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Irish, English
Pronounced: KEER-ən (English), KEER-awn (English)
Rating: 55% based on 2 votes
Anglicized form of CIARÁN.

KIRA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Russian
Other Scripts: Кира (Russian)
Pronounced: KYEE-rə
Rating: 58% based on 4 votes
Russian feminine form of CYRUS.

LARA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian
Other Scripts: Лара (Russian)
Pronounced: LAHR-ə (English), LA-ra (German, Italian, Spanish), LA-RA (French), LAH-rah (Portuguese)
Rating: 88% based on 4 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).

LAURA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Late Roman
Pronounced: LAWR-ə (English), LOW-ra (Spanish, Italian, Polish, German), LOW-rah (Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch), LAW-oo-raw (Hungarian)
Rating: 56% based on 9 votes
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Laurus, which meant "laurel". This meaning was favourable, since in ancient Rome the leaves of laurel trees were used to create victors' garlands. The name was borne by the 9th-century Spanish martyr Saint Laura, who was a nun thrown into a vat of molten lead by the Moors. It was also the name of the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.

As an English name, Laura has been used since the 13th century. Famous bearers include Laura Secord (1775-1868), a Canadian heroine during the War of 1812, and Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), an American author who wrote the 'Little House on the Prairie' series of novels.

LELAND
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Rating: 56% based on 16 votes
From a surname, originally from an English place name, which meant "fallow land" in Old English. A famous bearer was the politician, businessman and Stanford University founder Leland Stanford (1824-1893).

LILIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian
Other Scripts: Лилия (Russian), Лілія (Ukrainian)
Pronounced: LYEE-lyi-yə (Russian)
Rating: 97% based on 3 votes
Spanish and Italian form of LILY, as well as a Russian and Ukrainian variant transcription of LILIYA.

LINDSAY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Scottish
Pronounced: LIN-zee (English)
Rating: 48% based on 33 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-).

LIONEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: LYAW-NEL (French), LIE-nəl (English)
Rating: 48% based on 4 votes
French diminutive of LÉON. A notable bearer is Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi (1987-).

LORELEI
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Germanic Mythology
Pronounced: LAWR-ə-lie (English)
Rating: 100% based on 4 votes
From a Germanic name meaning "luring rock". This is the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. Legends say that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures fishermen to their death with her song.

LYDIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Λυδια (Ancient Greek), Лѷдіа (Church Slavic)
Pronounced: LID-ee-ə (English), LUY-dya (German)
Rating: 76% based on 19 votes
Means "from Lydia" in Greek. Lydia was a region on the west coast of Asia Minor, said to be named for the legendary king LYDOS. In the New Testament this is the name of a woman converted to Christianity by Saint Paul. In the modern era the name has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

LYLE
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: LIE-əl, LIEL
Rating: 43% based on 3 votes
From an English surname which was derived from Norman French l'isle "island".

MADELEINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English, Swedish
Pronounced: MAD-LEN (French), MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English), mahd-e-LEN (Swedish)
Rating: 85% based on 19 votes
French form of MAGDALENE.

MAEVE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology
Pronounced: MAYV (Irish)
Rating: 66% based on 81 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'.

MAGDALA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Latin American), American (Hispanic), Biblical Hebrew, Literature
Pronounced: MAHG-dah-lah (Spanish (Latin American)), MAG-də-lə (American (Hispanic))
Rating: 64% based on 14 votes
From the biblical, historic village on the Sea of Galilee, whose name meant "tower" in Hebrew. It is where Mary Magdalene was from.

It is the name of a central character in the Agatha Christie mystery novel "Peril at End House," which features detective Hercule Poirot.

MAIA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology, Portuguese, Georgian
Other Scripts: Μαια (Ancient Greek), მაია (Georgian)
Pronounced: MIE-A (Classical Greek), MAY-ə (English), MIE-ə (English)
Rating: 58% based on 4 votes
Meaning unknown. In Greek and Roman mythology she was the eldest of the Pleiades, the group of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, who were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Her son by Zeus was Hermes.

MALCOLM
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Scottish, English
Pronounced: MAL-kəm
Rating: 63% based on 69 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.

MARGOT
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: MAR-GO
Rating: 62% based on 13 votes
French short form of MARGARET.

MARGUERITE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: MAR-GU-REET
Rating: 74% based on 30 votes
French form of MARGARET. This is also the French word for the daisy flower (species Leucanthemum vulgare).

MARIAN (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: MER-ee-ən, MAR-ee-ən
Rating: 62% based on 27 votes
Variant of MARION (1). This name was borne in English legend by Maid Marian, Robin Hood's love. It is sometimes considered a combination of MARY and ANN.

MAUD
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Dutch
Pronounced: MAWD (English)
Rating: 53% based on 8 votes
Usual medieval form of MATILDA. Though it became rare after the 14th century, it was revived and once more grew popular in the 19th century, perhaps due to Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'Maud' (1855).

MINERVA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Roman Mythology, English
Pronounced: mi-NUR-və (English)
Rating: 74% based on 13 votes
Possibly derived from Latin mens meaning "intellect", but more likely of Etruscan origin. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, approximately equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since after the Renaissance.

MIRANDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Dutch
Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)
Rating: 62% based on 49 votes
Derived from Latin mirandus meaning "admirable, wonderful". The name was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), about a father and daughter stranded on an island. 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, named after the Shakespearian character.

MORGANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: mawr-GAN-ə
Rating: 59% based on 54 votes
Feminine form of MORGAN (1).

MORWENNA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Cornish, Welsh
Rating: 56% based on 72 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), na-DEE-nə (German), nə-DEEN (English)
Rating: 53% based on 28 votes
French elaborated form of NADIA (1).

NATHANIEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Other Scripts: נְתַנְאֵל (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: nə-THAN-yəl (English)
Rating: 77% based on 66 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
Pronounced: NIK-ə-ləs, NIK-ləs
Rating: 76% based on 80 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.

NILES
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: NIELZ
Rating: 42% based on 10 votes
From a surname which was derived from the given name NEIL.

NOAH (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Other Scripts: נֹחַ, נוֹחַ (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: NO-ə (English)
Rating: 68% based on 32 votes
Derived from the Hebrew name נֹחַ (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. He was the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

As an English Christian name, Noah has been used since the Protestant Reformation, being common among the Puritans. A famous bearer was the American lexicographer Noah Webster (1758-1843).

ODETTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: AW-DET
Rating: 71% based on 11 votes
French diminutive of ODA or ODILIA. This is the name of a princess who has been transformed into a swan in the ballet 'Swan Lake' (1877) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

OLIVIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronounced: o-LIV-ee-ə (English), o-LEE-vya (Italian, German), o-LEE-bya (Spanish), O-lee-vee-ah (Finnish)
Rating: 56% based on 5 votes
This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER or OLIVA, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.

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

ORIANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish
Pronounced: o-RYA-na
Possibly derived from Latin aurum "gold" or from its derivatives, Spanish oro or French or. In medieval legend Oriana was the daughter of a king of England who married the knight Amadis.

OWEN (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Welsh, English
Pronounced: O-in (English)
Rating: 65% based on 57 votes
Modern form of OWAIN.

PEARL
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: PURL
Rating: 61% based on 29 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: pi-NEL-ə-pee (English)
Rating: 62% based on 83 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.

PHILIP
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical
Pronounced: FIL-ip (English), FEE-lip (Dutch)
Rating: 40% based on 4 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. Famous bearers include the Elizabethan courtier and poet Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) and the American science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick (1928-1982).

PHILIPPA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (British), German
Pronounced: FI-li-pə (English)
Rating: 56% based on 9 votes
Latinate feminine form of PHILIP.

PHOEBE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: Φοιβη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: FEE-bee (English)
Rating: 48% based on 12 votes
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβη (Phoibe), which meant "bright, pure" from Greek φοιβος (phoibos). In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis. The name appears in Paul's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).

RAQUEL
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, English
Pronounced: ra-KEL (Spanish)
Rating: 63% based on 7 votes
Spanish and Portuguese form of RACHEL.

RHIANNON
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Pronounced: ree-AN-awn (Welsh), ree-AN-ən (English), REE-ən-ən (English)
Rating: 79% based on 20 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: 69% based on 37 votes
Means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. Several Welsh rulers have borne this name.

RICHARD
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: RICH-ərd (English), REE-SHAR (French), REE-khart (German)
Rating: 57% based on 78 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, one of the leaders 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), American physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988) and American musician Little Richard (1932-).

RÓNÁN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Irish
Pronounced: RON-awn
Rating: 49% based on 11 votes
Means "little seal", derived from Irish rón "seal" combined with a diminutive suffix.

ROSALIE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, German, Dutch, English
Pronounced: RAW-ZA-LEE (French), ro-za-LEE (German), RO-zə-lee (English)
Rating: 84% based on 15 votes
French, German and Dutch form of ROSALIA. In the English-speaking this name received a boost after the release of the movie 'Rosalie' (1938), which was based on an earlier musical.

ROSS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Scottish, English
Pronounced: RAWS (English)
Rating: 54% based on 65 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: 55% based on 4 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: 68% based on 57 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.

SABINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, German, Danish
Pronounced: SA-BEEN (French), za-BEE-nə (German)
Rating: 74% based on 10 votes
French, German and Danish form of SABINA.

SABRINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, German
Pronounced: sə-BREEN-ə (English), sa-BREE-na (Italian), za-BREE-na (German)
Rating: 66% based on 45 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. She appears as a water nymph in John Milton's masque 'Comus' (1634). 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.

SAFFRON
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: SAF-rən
Rating: 100% based on 3 votes
From the English word which refers either to a spice, the crocus flower from which it is harvested, or the yellow-orange colour of the spice. It is derived via Old French from Arabic زعفران (za'faran), itself probably from Persian meaning "gold leaves".

SEAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Irish, English
Pronounced: SHAWN (English)
Rating: 58% based on 51 votes
Anglicized form of SEÁN.

SEBASTIAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Finnish, Romanian
Pronounced: ze-BAS-tyan (German), sə-BAS-chən (English), se-BAS-tyan (Polish), SE-bahs-tee-ahn (Finnish)
Rating: 67% based on 35 votes
From the Latin name Sebastianus which meant "from Sebaste". Sebaste was the name a town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek σεβαστος (sebastos) "venerable" (a translation of Latin Augustus, the title of the Roman emperors). According to Christian tradition, Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian. After he was discovered to be a Christian, he was tied to a stake and shot with arrows. This however did not kill him. Saint Irene of Rome healed him and he returned to personally admonish Diocletian, whereupon the emperor had him beaten to death.

Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in medieval Europe, especially in Spain and France. It was also borne by a 16th-century king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.

SERENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Late Roman
Pronounced: sə-REEN-ə (English), se-RE-na (Italian)
Rating: 63% based on 59 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).

SETH (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: שֵׁת (Ancient Hebrew), Σηθ (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: SETH (English)
Rating: 64% based on 12 votes
Means "placed" or "appointed" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is the third named son of Adam and Eve. In England this name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.

SHERIDAN
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: SHER-i-dən
Rating: 53% based on 32 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: 78% based on 27 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).

SPENCER
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: SPEN-sər
Rating: 55% based on 62 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).

STEFFAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Welsh
Rating: 71% based on 8 votes
Welsh form of STEPHEN.

TESSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: TES-ə
Rating: 72% based on 25 votes
Diminutive of THERESA.

THOMAS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Θωμας (Greek)
Pronounced: TAHM-əs (American English), TAWM-əs (British English), TAW-MA (French), TO-mas (German), TO-mahs (Dutch), tho-MAHS (Greek)
Rating: 73% based on 84 votes
Greek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma') which meant "twin". In the New Testament this is the name of an apostle. When he heard that Jesus had risen from the dead he initially doubted the story, until Jesus appeared before him and he examined his wounds himself. 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).

URSULA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Late Roman
Pronounced: UR-sə-lə (English), UR-syə-lə (English), UWR-zoo-la (German), OOR-soo-lah (Finnish)
Rating: 44% based on 70 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.

VAUGHN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Welsh, English
Pronounced: VAWN
Rating: 48% based on 36 votes
From a Welsh surname which was derived from Welsh bychan meaning "little".

VERONICA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Romanian, Late Roman
Pronounced: və-RAHN-i-kə (American English), və-RAWN-i-kə (British English)
Rating: 79% based on 19 votes
Latin alteration of BERENICE, the spelling influenced by the ecclesiastical Latin phrase vera icon meaning "true image". This was the name of a legendary saint who wiped Jesus' face with a towel and then found his image imprinted upon it. Due to popular stories about her, the name was occasionally used in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. It was borne by the 17th-century Italian saint and mystic Veronica Giuliani. As an English name, it was not common until the 19th century, when it was imported from France and Scotland.

VIVIAN
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronounced: VIV-ee-ən (English)
Rating: 42% based on 6 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
Pronounced: VEE-VYEN
Rating: 65% based on 65 votes
French form of VIVIANA.

WESLEY
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: WES-lee, WEZ-lee
Rating: 60% based on 73 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.

WILLIAM
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: WIL-yəm
Rating: 82% based on 47 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 in the 11th century. 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: 84% based on 18 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: 56% based on 23 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 84 votes
From the English word for the small songbird. It is ultimately derived from Old English wrenna.

WYATT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: WIE-ət
Rating: 49% based on 11 votes
From an English surname which was derived from the medieval given name WYOT. Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) was an American lawman and gunfighter involved in the famous shootout at the OK Corral.

YVETTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: EE-VET (French), i-VET (English)
Rating: 51% based on 68 votes
French feminine form of YVES.

YVONNE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronounced: EE-VAWN (French), i-VAWN (English), ee-VAWN (German)
Rating: 41% based on 9 votes
French feminine form of YVON. It has been regularly used in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century.

ZOE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Ζωη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: ZO-ee (English), DZO-e (Italian)
Rating: 81% based on 11 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).

ALINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, Portuguese (Brazilian), English
Pronounced: A-LEEN (French), ə-LEEN (Portuguese), ay-LEEN (English)
Personal note: pronounced ay-LEEN
Rating: 45% based on 55 votes
Medieval short form of ADELINE. As an English name, in modern times it has sometimes been regarded as a variant of EILEEN. This was the name of a popular 1965 song by the French singer Christophe.

DEIRDRE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Irish, Irish Mythology
Pronounced: DIR-drə (English), DIR-dree (English), DYER-dryə (Irish)
Personal note: pronounced DEER-drə
Rating: 52% based on 41 votes
From the older Gaelic form Derdriu, meaning unknown, possibly derived from Old Irish der meaning "daughter". 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).

EVANNA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Welsh, Irish, Scottish, English
Pronounced: eh-VAN-ə (Welsh), ee-VAN-ah (Irish, Scottish), ee-VAN-ah, eh-VAN-ə (English)
Personal note: pronounced eh-VAN-ə
Rating: 56% based on 31 votes
Feminine form of EVAN. Alternatively, it could be derived from an Irish word meaning "young warrior" or a Scottish word meaning "right handed; strong."

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-na (German)
Personal note: pronounced kə-RI-nə
Rating: 43% based on 18 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'.

ROWENNA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Welsh (Rare), English (Rare), Cornish (Rare), Dutch (Rare)
Personal note: pronounced roh-WEH-nə
Rating: 74% based on 10 votes
Variant of Rowena.

SILVANA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian
Pronounced: seel-VA-na
Personal note: pronounced sil-VAN-ə
Rating: 66% based on 8 votes
Italian feminine form of SILVANUS.

VIOLA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Hungarian, Czech
Pronounced: vie-O-lə (English), vi-O-lə (English), VIE-ə-lə (English), VYAW-la (Italian), VYO-la (German), VEE-o-law (Hungarian)
Personal note: pronounced vie-OH-lah
Rating: 77% based on 21 votes
Means "violet" in Latin. This was the name of the heroine in Shakespeare's play 'Twelfth Night' (1602).

SÉRAPHINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: SE-RA-FEEN
Personal note: Seraphine
Rating: 88% based on 14 votes
French form of SERAPHINA.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.