erb816's Personal Name List

ADAM

Gender: Masculine

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

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

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

Rating: 67% based on 3 votes

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

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

ADELE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, English, Italian, Finnish

Pronounced: ə-DEL (English), AH-de-le (Finnish)

Rating: 67% based on 3 votes

Form of ADÈLE

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: 69% based on 17 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.

AELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Αελλα (Ancient Greek)

Rating: 56% based on 5 votes

Means "whirlwind" in Greek. In Greek myth this was the name of an Amazon warrior killed by Herakles during his quest for Hippolyta's girdle.

ALEXANDER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Αλεξανδρος (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: al-əg-ZAN-dər (English), ah-lek-SAHN-der (German), ah-lək-SAHN-dər (Dutch)

Rating: 66% based on 5 votes

Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros), which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo) "to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, King of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.

The name has been used by kings of Scotland, Poland and Yugoslavia, emperors of Russia, and eight popes. Other notable bearers include English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744), American statesman Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), Scottish-Canadian explorer Sir Alexander MacKenzie (1764-1820), Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), and Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-Canadian-American inventor of the telephone.

ALINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Portuguese

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

Rating: 60% based on 6 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: Dutch, German, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)

Pronounced: ah-MAH-lee-ah (Dutch, German), AH-mah-lee-ah (Finnish)

Rating: 65% based on 13 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, 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: 75% based on 19 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: ah-ne-LEE-zə (German), ahn-nə-LEE-sə (Dutch)

Rating: 60% based on 3 votes

Combination of ANNA and LIESE

APHRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Various

Rating: 27% based on 3 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 50 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).

ASA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: אָסָא (Hebrew)

Pronounced: AY-sə (English)

Rating: 65% based on 6 votes

Means "doctor" in Hebrew. This name was borne by a king of Judah in the Old Testament.

ASHER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Hebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: אָשֵׁר (Hebrew)

Pronounced: A-shər (English)

Rating: 72% based on 5 votes

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

BENNETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BEN-ət

Rating: 57% based on 42 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.

BRIELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Rating: 43% based on 3 votes

Short form of GABRIELLA

CAIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: קָיִן (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: KAYN (English)

Rating: 41% based on 17 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.

CAMERON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

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

Rating: 64% based on 5 votes

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

CAROLINE

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: ka-ro-LEEN (French), KER-ə-lien (English), KER-ə-lin (English), KAR-ə-lien (English), KAR-ə-lin (English)

Rating: 71% based on 30 votes

French feminine form of CAROLUS

CASSANDRA

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: Κασσανδρα (Ancient Greek)

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

Rating: 68% based on 17 votes

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

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

CECILY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SES-i-lee

Rating: 62% based on 24 votes

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

CERES

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Roman Mythology

Rating: 48% based on 4 votes

Derived from the Indo-European root *ker meaning "to grow". In Roman mythology Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, equivalent to the Greek goddess Demeter.

CHARLOTTE

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 67% based on 18 votes

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

CHLOE

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: Χλοη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: KLO-ee (English)

Rating: 54% based on 26 votes

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

CIRCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Κιρκη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: SUR-see (English)

Rating: 55% based on 4 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.

CLARISSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese

Pronounced: klə-RIS-ə (English)

Rating: 50% based on 3 votes

Latinate form of CLARICE

CLAUDIA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 65% based on 4 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.

CONSTANCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 61% based on 58 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 56 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: 45% based on 13 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: 57% based on 9 votes

From the Greek name Δαμιανος (Damianos) which was derived from Greek δαμαω (damao) "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.

DARIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Polish, Romanian, English, Croatian, Late Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Δαρεια (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: DAHR-yah (Italian, Polish, Romanian), DAHR-ee-ə (English), DER-ee-ə (English), DAR-ee-ə (English)

Rating: 49% based on 12 votes

Feminine form of DARIUS. Saint Daria was a 3rd-century Greek woman who was martyred with her husband Chrysanthus under the Roman emperor Numerian. It has never been a particularly common English given name.

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: 62% based on 36 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).

DEIRDRE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Irish, Irish Mythology

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

Rating: 60% based on 5 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).

DESMOND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Irish

Pronounced: DEZ-mənd

Rating: 49% based on 16 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: 66% based on 58 votes

Variant of DMITRIY, using the Church Slavic spelling.

DOMINIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHM-ə-nik

Rating: 71% based on 60 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: 45% based on 12 votes

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

DORIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: DAWR-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 74% based on 9 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: 69% based on 57 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, Bulgarian, Romanian, Macedonian, Croatian, Slovene, 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 19 votes

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

ELISE

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: e-LEE-zə (German), e-LEE-se (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish), i-LEES (English), i-LEEZ (English)

Rating: 47% based on 11 votes

Short form of ELIZABETH

ELLIOTT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-ee-ət

Rating: 63% based on 36 votes

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

EMMA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 71% based on 17 votes

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

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

EMMALINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-ə-leen

Rating: 52% based on 10 votes

Variant of EMMELINE

EMMETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-it

Rating: 51% based on 7 votes

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

ESMÉE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: es-MAY (Dutch)

Rating: 53% based on 44 votes

Feminine form of ESMÉ

EVALINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Rating: 50% based on 4 votes

Variant of EVELYN

EVANGELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ə-VAN-jə-leen

Rating: 62% based on 13 votes

Means "good news" from Greek ευ "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: 49% based on 15 votes

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

EZRA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English, Hebrew

Other Scripts: עֶזְרָא (Hebrew)

Pronounced: EZ-rə (English)

Rating: 70% based on 7 votes

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

FELICITY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: fi-LIS-i-tee

Rating: 37% based on 3 votes

From the English word felicity meaning "happiness", which ultimately derives from Latin felicitas "good luck". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans around the 17th century. It can sometimes be used as an English form of the Latin name FELICITAS (1). This name was revived in the late 1990s after the appearance of the television series 'Felicity'.

FIDELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish (Rare)

Rating: 33% based on 3 votes

Feminine form of FIDEL

FINN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish Mythology, Irish

Rating: 69% based on 51 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.

FOX

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: FAHKS

Rating: 57% based on 3 votes

Either from the English word fox or the surname Fox, which originally given as a nickname. The surname was borne by George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Quakers.

FRANCES

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FRANT-səs

Rating: 49% based on 15 votes

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

FREYA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern)

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

Rating: 66% based on 15 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 41 votes

English form of GENEVIÈVE

GIDEON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English, Hebrew

Other Scripts: גִּדְעוֹן (Hebrew)

Pronounced: GID-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 78% based on 9 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.

GRAHAM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: GRAY-əm, GRAM

Rating: 51% based on 17 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.

GREYSON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: GRAY-sən

Rating: 63% based on 3 votes

Variant of GRAYSON

HARRISON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HAR-i-sən, HER-i-sən

Rating: 60% based on 5 votes

From an English surname which meant "son of HARRY". This was the surname of two American presidents, William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) and his grandson Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901). The actor Harrison Ford (1942-), who starred in such movies as 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones', is a famous bearer.

HENRY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HEN-ree

Rating: 68% based on 46 votes

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

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

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

HERA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: ‘Ηρα (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: HER-ə (English)

Rating: 48% based on 13 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.

IMOGEN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British)

Pronounced: IM-ə-jən

Rating: 56% based on 12 votes

The name of a princess in the play 'Cymbeline' (1609) by Shakespeare. He based her on a legendary character named Innogen, but the name was printed incorrectly and never corrected. The name Innogen is probably derived from Gaelic inghean meaning "maiden".

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: 72% based on 27 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 English 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: 71% based on 23 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).

JACKSON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JAK-sən

Rating: 50% based on 5 votes

From an English surname meaning "son of JACK". A famous bearer of the surname was American president Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).

JACQUELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: zha-kə-LEEN (French), zhak-LEEN (French), JAK-ə-leen (English), JAK-ə-lin (English)

Rating: 59% based on 15 votes

French feminine form of JACQUES, also commonly used in the English-speaking world.

JACQUETTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British)

Rating: 33% based on 12 votes

Feminine diminutive of JACQUES

JAMES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)

Rating: 76% based on 55 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: 55% based on 18 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).

JONAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: יוֹנָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JO-nə (English)

Rating: 72% based on 10 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: 62% based on 21 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.

JORDANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, Macedonian, English (Rare)

Other Scripts: Јордана (Macedonian)

Pronounced: hor-DAH-nah (Spanish), jawr-DAN-ə (English)

Rating: 43% based on 3 votes

Feminine form of JORDAN

JOSEPHINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch

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

Rating: 58% based on 17 votes

English, German and Dutch form of JOSÉPHINE

JUDE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JOOD (English)

Rating: 66% based on 48 votes

Variant of JUDAS. It is used in many English versions of the New Testament to denote the second apostle named Judas, in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. He was supposedly the author of the Epistle of Jude. In the English-speaking world, Jude has occasionally been used as a given name since the time of the Protestant Reformation.

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: 68% based on 47 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: 59% based on 13 votes

Feminine form of Iulianus (see JULIAN).

JULIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JOO-lee-et, JOOL-yət

Rating: 71% based on 53 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).

JUSTINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Dutch, German

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

Rating: 48% based on 33 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: 75% based on 11 votes

Cognate of KATHERINE

KNOX

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: NAHKS

Rating: 30% based on 11 votes

From a Scottish surname which was derived from Old English cnocc "round hill".

LILLIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee-ən

Rating: 72% based on 35 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.

LINNÉA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Swedish

Pronounced: lin-NE-ah

Rating: 58% based on 21 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.

MAEVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: MAYV

Rating: 68% based on 53 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: 61% based on 48 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.

MARINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian, Georgian, Ancient Roman

Other Scripts: Μαρινα (Greek), Марина (Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian), მარინა (Georgian)

Pronounced: mah-REE-nah (Italian, Spanish, German, Russian)

Rating: 54% based on 16 votes

Feminine form of MARINUS

MAUDE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAWD

Rating: 33% based on 16 votes

Variant of MAUD

MAXWELL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAKS-wel

Rating: 39% based on 10 votes

From a Scottish surname meaning "Mack's stream", from the name Mack, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS, combined with Old English wella "stream". A famous bearer of the surname was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.

MAYA (3)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hebrew

Other Scripts: מַיָּה (Hebrew)

Rating: 69% based on 16 votes

Derived from Hebrew מַיִם (mayim) "water".

MERRICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: MER-ik

Rating: 51% based on 14 votes

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

MICHELLE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Dutch

Pronounced: mee-SHEL (French), mi-SHEL (English)

Rating: 47% based on 3 votes

French feminine form of MICHEL. It has been common in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century.

MIRANDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)

Rating: 61% based on 22 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.

MORGANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: mawr-GAN-ə

Rating: 62% based on 30 votes

Feminine form of MORGAN (1)

MORWENNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Cornish, Welsh

Rating: 56% based on 50 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

Pronounced: na-DEEN

Rating: 27% based on 3 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: 73% based on 4 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: 70% based on 40 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.

NAYELI

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Native American, Zapotec

Rating: 47% based on 7 votes

Means "I love you" in the Zapotec language.

NICHOLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 76% based on 51 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: 65% based on 6 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.

OLIVIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: ə-LIV-ee-ə (English), o-LEE-vee-ah (German), O-lee-vee-ah (Finnish)

Rating: 63% based on 46 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'.

OSCAR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: AHS-kər (English)

Rating: 43% based on 4 votes

Possibly means "deer lover", derived from Gaelic os "deer" and cara "lover". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhail.

This name was popularized in continental Europe by the works of the 18th-century Scottish poet James Macpherson. Napoleon was an admirer of Macpherson, and he suggested Oscar as the second middle name of his godson, who eventually became king of Sweden as Oscar I. Another notable bearer was the Irish writer and humourist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

OWEN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: O-ən (English)

Rating: 66% based on 36 votes

Modern form of OWAIN

PENELOPE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English

Other Scripts: Πηνελοπη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: pə-NEL-ə-pee (English)

Rating: 64% based on 53 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.

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: 62% based on 30 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.

RENARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French (Rare), Polish (Rare)

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

Rating: 43% based on 13 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: 54% based on 17 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: 65% based on 15 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: 65% based on 13 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: 57% based on 52 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, German, Swedish

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

Rating: 42% based on 13 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.

RÓNÁN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish

Pronounced: RON-awn

Rating: 67% based on 30 votes

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

ROSS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: RAWS (English)

Rating: 49% based on 39 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: 65% based on 50 votes

From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin meaning "descendent 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 31 votes

Simply means "ruby" 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.

RYLAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: RIE-lən

Rating: 58% based on 5 votes

Possibly a variant of the English surname Ryland, which was originally derived from a place name meaning "rye land" in Old English.

SABRINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German

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

Rating: 61% based on 20 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: 69% based on 21 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: 7% based on 3 votes

Anglicized form of SHAHRAZAD

SCOTT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: SKAHT

Rating: 46% based on 28 votes

From an English and Scottish surname which referred to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic. It is derived from Latin Scoti meaning "Gaelic speaker", with the ultimate origin uncertain.

SEAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: SHAWN

Rating: 54% based on 28 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: 73% based on 3 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: 59% based on 36 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: 34% based on 5 votes

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

SILVANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: seel-VAH-nah

Rating: 50% based on 4 votes

Italian feminine form of SILVANUS

SONIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian

Pronounced: SON-yə (English), SAWN-yə (English), SO-nyah (Italian)

Rating: 47% based on 14 votes

Variant of SONYA

SORSHA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Popular Culture

Pronounced: SOR-shə

Rating: 50% based on 19 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: 52% based on 37 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: 53% based on 52 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-).

SYLVAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SIL-vən

Rating: 60% based on 3 votes

English form of [Sylvain]. Famous bearer includes English footballer Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

TERRENCE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: TER-ənts

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

Variant of TERENCE

TESS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: TES

Rating: 48% based on 9 votes

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

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: 72% based on 52 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).

TRISTAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English, French, Celtic Mythology

Pronounced: TRIS-tən (English), trees-TAWN (French)

Rating: 88% based on 5 votes

Old French form of the Pictish name Drustan, a diminutive of DRUST. The spelling was altered by association with Latin tristis "sad". In Celtic legend Tristan was sent to Ireland in order to fetch Isolde, who was to be the bride of King Mark of Cornwall. Instead, Tristan and Isolde end up falling in love. Their tragic story was very popular in the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since that time.

ULYSSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: yoo-LIS-ə

Rating: 40% based on 3 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: 48% based on 47 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: 63% based on 16 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: 50% based on 13 votes

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

VIVIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: VIV-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 65% based on 16 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: 69% based on 40 votes

French form of VIVIANA

WESLEY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WES-lee

Rating: 62% based on 49 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-ee-əm, WIL-yəm

Rating: 69% based on 17 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).

WINNIFRED

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: WIN-i-frid

Rating: 36% based on 27 votes

Variant of WINIFRED

WREN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: REN

Rating: 59% based on 56 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: 48% based on 14 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.

XAVIER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish (Archaic)

Pronounced: ZAY-vee-ər (English), ZAY-vyər (English), ig-ZAY-vee-ər (English), za-VYAY (French), sha-VYER (Portuguese)

Rating: 56% based on 52 votes

Derived from the Basque place name Etxaberri meaning "the new house". This was the surname of the Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552). He was a missionary to India, Japan, China, and other areas in East Asia, and he is the patron saint of the Orient and missionaries. His surname has since been adopted as a given name in his honour, chiefly among Catholics.

YVETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

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

Rating: 49% based on 46 votes

French feminine form of YVES

ZANE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ZAYN

Rating: 72% based on 5 votes

From an English surname of unknown meaning. It was introduced as a given name by American author Zane Grey (1872-1939). Zane was in fact his middle name - it had been his mother's maiden name.

ZOE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, Italian, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Ζωη (Greek)

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

Rating: 64% based on 14 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 1996-2014.