erb816's Personal Name List

ADELE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, English, Italian, Finnish (Rare)
Pronounced: a-DE-lə (German), ə-DEL (English), a-DE-le (Italian), AH-de-le (Finnish)
Form of ADÈLE.

ANNELIESE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: German, Dutch
Pronounced: A-nə-lee-zə (German), ahn-nə-LEE-sə (Dutch)
Rating: 76% based on 29 votes
Combination of ANNA and LIESE.

ATHENA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, English
Other Scripts: Αθηνα (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: A-TE-NA (Classical Greek), ə-THEE-nə (English)
Rating: 78% based on 26 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: 78% based on 19 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).

BENNETT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: BEN-ət
Rating: 58% based on 83 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.

CAMERON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: KAM-rən
Rating: 55% based on 50 votes
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam "crooked" and sròn "nose".

CECILY
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: SES-i-lee
Rating: 67% based on 72 votes
English form of CECILIA. This was the usual English form during the Middle Ages.

CHLOE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Other Scripts: Χλοη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: KLO-ee (English)
Rating: 53% based on 17 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.

CLARISSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Pronounced: klə-RIS-ə (English)
Rating: 74% based on 10 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.

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

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: 61% based on 21 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: 60% based on 15 votes
Anglicized form of CAILEAN or COILEAN.

CORDELIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: kawr-DEE-lee-ə, kawr-DEEL-yə
Rating: 66% based on 27 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: 71% based on 11 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.

DELILAH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Other Scripts: דְּלִילָה (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: di-LIE-lə (English)
Rating: 70% based on 12 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.

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: 80% based on 14 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 99 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 49 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 87 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.

EDWIN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Dutch
Pronounced: ED-win (English), ED-win (Dutch), ED-vin (Dutch)
Rating: 72% based on 5 votes
Means "rich friend" from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and wine "friend". This was the name of a 7th-century Northumbrian king, regarded as a saint. After the Norman conquest the name was not popular, but it was eventually revived in the 19th century. A notable bearer was the astronaut Edwin Aldrin (1930-), also known as Buzz, the second man to walk on the moon.

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: 76% based on 12 votes
Cognate of ELIJAH. This is the form used in the Greek New Testament.

ENID
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Rating: 46% based on 18 votes
Derived from Welsh enaid meaning "soul" or "life". She is the wife of Geraint in Welsh legend and Arthurian romance.

EVERETT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: EV-ə-rit, EV-rit
Rating: 61% based on 45 votes
From a surname which was derived from the given name EVERARD.

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: 81% based on 15 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 69 votes
English form of GENEVIÈVE.

GUSTAVE
Gender: Masculine
Usage: French
Pronounced: GUYS-TAV
French form of GUSTAV. This name was borne by the French artist Gustave Doré (1832-1883).

HARRISON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: HAR-i-sən, HER-i-sən
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.

HUGH
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: HYOO
Rating: 55% based on 13 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.

IMELDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Italian, Spanish
Pronounced: ee-MEL-da
Rating: 53% based on 4 votes
Italian and Spanish form of IRMHILD. The Blessed Imelda was a young 14th-century nun from Bologna.

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: 78% based on 67 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, Spanish, Catalan, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: יִצְחָק (Hebrew)
Pronounced: IE-zək (English)
Rating: 72% based on 51 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).

JACKSON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: JAK-sən
Rating: 53% based on 7 votes
From an English surname meaning "son of JACK". A famous bearer of the surname was American president Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).

JAMES
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)
Rating: 81% based on 86 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.

JANE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: JAYN
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 is also the name of the central character in Charlotte Brontë's novel 'Jane Eyre' (1847), which tells of her sad childhood and her relationship with Edward Rochester.

JOANNA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Polish, Biblical
Pronounced: jo-AN-ə (English), yaw-AN-na (Polish)
Rating: 74% based on 16 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.

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 51 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 50 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: 76% based on 16 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-).

JULIAN
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Polish, German
Pronounced: JOO-lee-ən (English), JOOL-yən (English), YOO-lyan (Polish, German)
Rating: 95% based on 2 votes
From the Roman name Iulianus, which was derived from JULIUS. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana, eventually becoming Gillian).

JULIET
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: joo-lee-ET, JOOL-yət
Rating: 72% based on 90 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: 76% based on 14 votes
Cognate of KATHERINE.

KATHARINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, German
Pronounced: KATH-ə-rin (English), KATH-rin (English), ka-ta-REE-nə (German)
Rating: 71% based on 8 votes
English variant of KATHERINE and German variant of KATHARINA. A famous bearer was American actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).

KERENSA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Rating: 64% based on 18 votes
Means "love" in Cornish.

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: 68% based on 10 votes
Russian short form of LARISA. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by a character from Boris Pasternak's novel 'Doctor Zhivago' (1957) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1965).

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: 58% based on 13 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.

LILIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian
Other Scripts: Лилия (Russian), Лілія (Ukrainian)
Pronounced: LYEE-lyi-yə (Russian)
Rating: 76% based on 9 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 36 votes
From an English and Scottish surname which was originally derived from the name of the region Lindsey, which means "LINCOLN island" in Old English. As a given name it was typically masculine until the 1960s (in Britain) and 1970s (in America) when it became popular for girls, probably due to its similarity to Linda and because of American actress Lindsay Wagner (1949-).

LINNÉA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Swedish
Pronounced: lin-NE-ah
Rating: 74% based on 24 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.

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 21 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 6 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: 81% based on 21 votes
French form of MAGDALENE.

MAEVE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology
Pronounced: MAYV (Irish)
Rating: 66% based on 83 votes
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn is told in the Irish epic 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley'.

MALCOLM
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Scottish, English
Pronounced: MAL-kəm
Rating: 63% based on 71 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: 66% based on 16 votes
French short form of MARGARET.

MEREDITH
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Welsh, English
Pronounced: MER-ə-dith (English)
From the Welsh name Maredudd or Meredydd, possibly meaning "great lord" or "sea lord". Since the mid-1920s it has been used more often for girls than for boys in English-speaking countries, though it is still a masculine name in Wales. A famous bearer of this name as surname was the English novelist and poet George Meredith (1828-1909).

MERRICK
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: MER-ik
From a surname which was originally derived from the Welsh given name MEURIG.

MINERVA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Roman Mythology, English
Pronounced: mi-NUR-və (English)
Rating: 76% based on 16 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: 63% based on 51 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.

NATHANIEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Other Scripts: נְתַנְאֵל (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: nə-THAN-yəl (English)
Rating: 77% based on 69 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 83 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.

ODETTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French
Pronounced: AW-DET
Rating: 65% based on 15 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.

OTTO
Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: AW-to (German), AH-to (English), OT-to (Finnish)
Rating: 40% based on 1 vote
Later German form of Audo or Odo, originally a short form of various names beginning with the Germanic element aud meaning "wealth, fortune". This was the name of four kings of Germany, starting in the 10th century with Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor, who was known as Otto the Great. This name was also borne by a 19th-century king of Greece who was originally from Bavaria. Another notable bearer was the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).

OWEN (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Welsh, English
Pronounced: O-in (English)
Rating: 66% based on 59 votes
Modern form of OWAIN.

PENELOPE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, English
Other Scripts: Πηνελοπη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: pi-NEL-ə-pee (English)
Rating: 62% based on 85 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.

PERCIVAL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Arthurian Romance, English
Pronounced: PUR-si-vəl (English)
Created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem 'Perceval, the Story of the Grail'. In the poem Perceval was one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table who was given a glimpse of the Holy Grail. The character (and probably the name) of Perceval was based on that of the Welsh hero PEREDUR. The spelling was perhaps altered under the influence of Old French percer val "to pierce the valley".

PHILIP
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical
Pronounced: FIL-ip (English), FEE-lip (Dutch)
Rating: 68% 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: 59% based on 13 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: 53% based on 15 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).

PHYLLIDA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: FIL-i-də
Rating: 54% based on 10 votes
From Φυλλιδος (Phyllidos), the genitive form of PHYLLIS. This form was used in 17th-century pastoral poetry.

PIERCE
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: PEERS
From a surname which was derived from the given name PIERS.

RHYS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Welsh
Pronounced: HREES (Welsh), REES (English)
Rating: 70% based on 40 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: 58% based on 80 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-).

ROSE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, French
Pronounced: ROZ
Originally a Norman form of a Germanic name, which was composed of the elements hrod "fame" and heid "kind, sort, type". The Normans introduced it to England in the forms Roese and Rohese. From an early date it was associated with the word for the fragrant flower rose (derived from Latin rosa). When the name was revived in the 19th century, it was probably with the flower in mind.

SABRINA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, German, French
Pronounced: sə-BREEN-ə (English), sa-BREE-na (Italian), za-BREE-na (German), SA-BREE-NA (French)
Rating: 64% based on 48 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.

SCHEHERAZADE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Literature
Pronounced: shə-HER-ə-zahd (English)
Rating: 47% based on 23 votes
Anglicized form of SHAHRAZAD.

SEFTON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: SEF-tən
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "town in the rushes" in Old English.

SETH (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: שֵׁת (Ancient Hebrew), Σηθ (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: SETH (English)
Rating: 59% based on 15 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.

SILAS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Σιλας (Greek)
Pronounced: SIE-ləs (English)
Rating: 76% based on 30 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).

SIMON (1)
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Macedonian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Симон (Macedonian), სიმონ (Georgian), Σιμων (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: SIE-mən (English), SEE-MAWN (French), ZEE-mawn (German), SEE-mawn (Dutch), SHEE-mon (Hungarian)
Rating: 69% based on 8 votes
From Σιμων (Simon), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim'on) which meant "he has heard". This name is spelled Simeon, based on Greek Συμεων, in many translations of the Old Testament, where it is borne by the second son of Jacob. The New Testament spelling may show influence from the otherwise unrelated Greek name SIMON (2).

In the New Testament Simon is the name of several characters, including the man who carried the cross for Jesus. Most importantly however it was borne by the leading apostle Simon, also known as Peter (a name given to him by Jesus).

Because of the apostle, this name has been common in the Christian world. In England it was popular during the Middle Ages, though it became rarer after the Protestant Reformation.

SIMONE (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: SEE-MAWN (French), sə-MON (English)
Rating: 69% based on 8 votes
French feminine form of SIMON (1). A famous bearer was Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), a French feminist and philosopher.

SOLOMON
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Biblical, English, Jewish
Other Scripts: שְׁלֹמֹה (Hebrew)
Pronounced: SAHL-ə-mən (American English), SAWL-ə-mən (British English)
From the Hebrew name שְׁלֹמֹה (Shelomoh) which was derived from Hebrew שָׁלוֹם (shalom) "peace". As told in the Old Testament, Solomon was a king of Israel, the son of David and Bathsheba. He was renowned for his wisdom and wealth. Towards the end of his reign he angered God by turning to idolatry. Supposedly, he was the author of the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.

This name has never been overly common in the Christian world, and it is considered typically Jewish. It was however borne by an 11th-century Hungarian king.

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 86 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).

TRENT
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: TRENT
Rating: 53% based on 6 votes
From a surname which originally denoted someone who lived by the River Trent in England. Trent is also a city in Italy, though the etymology is unrelated.

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 73 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.

VERONICA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Romanian, Late Roman
Pronounced: və-RAHN-i-kə (American English), və-RAWN-i-kə (British English)
Rating: 80% based on 22 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: 52% based on 11 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 68 votes
French form of VIVIANA.

WESLEY
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: WES-lee, WEZ-lee
Rating: 60% based on 75 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.

XANTHE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Ξανθη (Ancient Greek)
Rating: 55% based on 10 votes
Derived from Greek ξανθος (xanthos) meaning "yellow" or "fair hair". This was the name of a few minor figures in Greek mythology.

XENIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Greek, Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Ξενια (Greek)
Means "hospitality" in Greek, a derivative of ξενος (xenos) "foreigner, guest". This was the name of a 5th-century saint who is venerated in the Eastern Church.

YGRAINE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Arthurian Romance
Rating: 70% based on 3 votes
Variant of Igraine. This name was used in the BBC television series 'Merlin' (2008-2012).

YVETTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English
Pronounced: EE-VET (French), i-VET (English)
Rating: 52% based on 71 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: 54% based on 13 votes
French feminine form of YVON. It has been regularly used in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century.

ZINNIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: ZIN-ee-ə
Rating: 70% based on 13 votes
From the name of the flower, which was itself named for the German botanist Johann Zinn.

ZOE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Italian, Ancient Greek
Other Scripts: Ζωη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: ZO-ee (English), DZO-e (Italian)
Rating: 82% based on 15 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).

ARIENNE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Rare)
Personal note: pronounced ahr-ee-EN
Rating: 68% based on 9 votes
Variant of ARIANE.

AMYAS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English (Rare)
Personal note: pronounced AM-ee-əs
Rating: 66% based on 5 votes
Meaning unknown, perhaps a derivative of AMIS. Alternatively, it may come from a surname which originally indicated that the bearer was from the city of Amiens in France. Edmund Spenser used this name for a minor character in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).

DEIRDRE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Irish, Irish Mythology
Pronounced: DIR-drə (English), DIR-dree (English), DYER-dryə (Irish)
Personal note: pronounced DEER-drə
Rating: 53% based on 43 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 ee-VAN-ə
Rating: 57% based on 33 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."

ISAIAS
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Biblical
Personal note: pronounced ie-ZAY-as
Rating: 58% based on 6 votes
Late Latin form of ISAIAH used in some versions of the Bible.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.