erb816's Personal Name List

ADELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

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

Personal note: AD-uh-lien

Diminutive 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: 71% based on 34 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.

ALDEN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AWL-dən

Rating: 54% based on 5 votes

From a surname which was derived from the Old English given name EALDWINE.

ALINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, Portuguese (Brazilian), English

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

Rating: 42% based on 25 votes

Medieval short form of ADELINE. As an English name, in modern times it has sometimes been regarded as a variant of EILEEN. This was the name of a popular 1965 song by the French singer Christophe.

ALISTAIR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish

Rating: 64% based on 7 votes

Anglicized form of ALASDAIR.

AMALIA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 57% based on 7 votes

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

APHRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Various

Rating: 27% based on 19 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, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance

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

Rating: 62% based on 66 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).

AUDREY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AWD-ree

Rating: 73% based on 7 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).

BECKETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: BEK-it

Rating: 48% based on 16 votes

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

BENNETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BEN-ət

Rating: 57% based on 57 votes

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

BLAIR

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish, English

Rating: 35% based on 2 votes

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

BRIAR

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: BRIE-ər

Rating: 54% based on 5 votes

From the English word for the thorny plant.

CALLISTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: kə-LIS-tə

Rating: 64% based on 8 votes

Variant of CALISTA.

CAMERON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

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

Rating: 56% based on 21 votes

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

CAROL (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KER-əl, KAR-əl

Rating: 44% based on 10 votes

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

CECILY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SES-i-lee

Rating: 59% based on 41 votes

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

CLARA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 63% based on 6 votes

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

CONSTANCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 60% based on 67 votes

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

CORINNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Κοριννα (Ancient Greek)

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

Rating: 43% based on 26 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)

From the Greek name Δαμιανος (Damianos) which was derived from Greek δαμαζω (damazo) "to tame". Saint Damian was martyred with his twin brother Cosmo in Syria early in the 4th century. They are the patron saints of physicians. Due his renown, the name came into general use in Christian Europe. Another saint by this name was Peter Damian, an 11th-century cardinal and theologian from Italy.

DANE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAYN

Rating: 41% based on 14 votes

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

DAPHNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English, Dutch

Other Scripts: Δαφνη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: DAF-nee (English), DAHF-nə (Dutch)

Means "laurel" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.

DARIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DER-ee-ən, DAR-ee-ən

Rating: 56% based on 5 votes

Probably an elaborated form of DARREN.

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: 67% based on 51 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: 55% based on 20 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).

DELIA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Δηλια (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: DEEL-ee-ə (English), DEEL-yə (English), DEL-yah (Italian, Spanish)

Personal note: pronounced DEE-lee-ah

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

Means "of Delos" in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis, given because she and her twin brother Apollo were born on the island of Delos. The name appeared in several poems of the 16th and 17th centuries, and it has occasionally been used as a given name since that time.

DESMOND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Irish

Pronounced: DEZ-mənd

Rating: 54% based on 28 votes

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

DIANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: die-AN-ə

Rating: 55% based on 2 votes

Variant of DIANA.

DIMITRI

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Russian, French

Other Scripts: Димитрий (Russian)

Pronounced: dee-MEE-tree (Russian)

Rating: 63% based on 70 votes

Variant of DMITRIY, using the Church Slavic spelling.

DOMINIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHM-ə-nik

Rating: 70% based on 73 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 27 votes

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

DORIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: DAWR-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 64% based on 24 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: 65% based on 68 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.

ELAINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Arthurian Romance

Pronounced: i-LAYN (English)

Rating: 68% based on 6 votes

From an Old French form of HELEN. It appears in Arthurian legend; in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation 'Le Morte d'Arthur' Elaine was the daughter of Pelleas, the lover of Lancelot, and the mother of Galahad. It was not commonly used as an English given name until after the appearance of Tennyson's Arthurian epic 'Idylls of the King' (1859).

ELISA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 81% based on 15 votes

Short form of ELISABETH.

ELLIOTT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-ee-ət

Rating: 67% based on 47 votes

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

EMMELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Archaic)

Pronounced: EM-ə-leen, EM-ə-lien

From an Old French form of the Germanic name Amelina, originally a diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element amal meaning "work". The Normans introduced this name to England.

EMMETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-it

Rating: 67% based on 19 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: 52% based on 56 votes

Feminine form of ESMÉ.

EVANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: ee-VAN-ah (Irish)

Rating: 52% based on 13 votes

EVERETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EV-ə-rit, EV-rit

Rating: 57% based on 26 votes

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

FAYE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FAY

Rating: 70% based on 2 votes

Variant of FAY.

FERN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FURN

Rating: 49% based on 12 votes

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

FINN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish Mythology, Irish

Rating: 69% based on 61 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.

FLORENCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 75% based on 11 votes

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

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

FREDERICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FRED-ə-rik, FRED-rik

Rating: 65% based on 13 votes

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

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

FREYA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern)

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

Rating: 65% based on 28 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: 68% based on 52 votes

English form of GENEVIÈVE.

GIDEON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English, Hebrew

Other Scripts: גִּדְעוֹן (Hebrew)

Pronounced: GID-ee-ən (English)

Rating: 69% based on 20 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: 61% based on 28 votes

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

HARRIS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HAR-is, HER-is

Rating: 42% based on 10 votes

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

HERA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: ‘Ηρα (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: HER-ə (English)

Rating: 47% based on 23 votes

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

HOPE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HOP

Rating: 70% based on 10 votes

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

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 40 votes

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

ISAAC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: יִצְחָק (Hebrew)

Pronounced: IE-zək (English)

Rating: 75% based on 33 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 Issac 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.

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).

ISAIAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Jewish, Biblical

Other Scripts: יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Hebrew)

Pronounced: ie-ZAY-ə (English), ie-ZIE-ə (English)

Rating: 57% based on 3 votes

From the Hebrew name יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Yesha'yahu) meaning "YAHWEH is salvation". Isaiah is a major prophet of the Old Testament, supposedly the author of the Book of Isaiah. He was from Jerusalem and probably lived in the 8th century BC. As an English Christian name, Isaiah was first used after the Protestant Reformation.

JAMES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)

Rating: 78% based on 66 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: 66% based on 32 votes

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

JOHANNA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 79% based on 8 votes

Latinate form of Ioanna (see JOANNA).

JONAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: יוֹנָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JO-nə (English)

Rating: 66% based on 21 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: 66% based on 30 votes

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

JOSEPHINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch

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

Rating: 63% based on 29 votes

English, German and Dutch form of JOSÉPHINE.

JOSIAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English

Other Scripts: יֹאשִׁיָהוּ (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: jo-SIE-ə (English)

Means "YAHWEH supports" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a king of Judah famous for his religious reforms. He was killed fighting the Egyptians at Megiddo. In England this name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.

JOYCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JOIS

Rating: 35% based on 4 votes

From the medieval masculine name Josse, which was derived from the earlier Iudocus, which was a Latinized form of the Breton name Judoc meaning "lord". The name belonged to a 7th-century Breton saint, and Breton settlers introduced it to England after the Norman conquest. It became rare after the 14th century, but was later revived as a feminine name, perhaps because of similarity to the Middle English word joise "to rejoice". This given name also formed the basis for a surname, as in the case of the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941).

JULIANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hungarian, Polish, English

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

Rating: 54% based on 25 votes

Feminine form of Iulianus (see JULIAN).

JULIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JOO-lee-et, JOOL-yət

Rating: 72% based on 66 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: 53% based on 44 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: 70% based on 25 votes

Cognate of KATHERINE.

KEVIN

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: KEV-in (English)

Rating: 55% based on 10 votes

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

LARA (1)

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: Лара (Russian)

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

Rating: 70% based on 4 votes

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

LAURA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Late Roman

Pronounced: LAWR-ə (English), LOW-rah (Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch), LAW-oo-raw (Hungarian)

Rating: 83% based on 3 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. A famous bearer was Laura Secord (1775-1868), a Canadian heroine during the War of 1812.

LELAND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Rating: 90% based on 1 vote

From a surname, originally from an English place name, which meant "fallow land" in Old English. A famous bearer was the politician, businessman and Stanford University founder Leland Stanford (1824-1893).

LINDSAY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: LINDZ-ee

Rating: 43% based on 13 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: 80% based on 4 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, Finnish, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Λυδια (Ancient Greek), Лѷдіа (Church Slavic)

Pronounced: LID-ee-ə (English), LUY-dee-ah (German, Finnish)

Means "from Lydia" in Greek. Lydia was a region on the west coast of Asia Minor. 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.

MADELEINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, Swedish

Pronounced: ma-də-LEN (French), mad-LEN (French), MAD-ə-lin (English), MAD-ə-lien (English)

Rating: 80% based on 2 votes

French form of MAGDALENE.

MAEVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: MAYV

Rating: 66% based on 65 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: 65% based on 57 votes

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

MARGUERITE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: mar-gə-REET, mar-GREET

Rating: 78% based on 15 votes

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

MARIAN (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MER-ee-ən, MAR-ee-ən

Rating: 63% based on 12 votes

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

MATTHIAS

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Ματθιας (Greek)

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

Rating: 71% based on 16 votes

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

MAUDE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAWD

Rating: 37% based on 25 votes

Variant of MAUD.

MAYA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAY-ə, MIE-ə

Rating: 70% based on 4 votes

Variant of MAIA (1). This name can also be given in reference to the Maya peoples, a Native American culture who built a great civilization in southern Mexico and Latin America.

MILES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MIELZ, MIE-əlz

Rating: 58% based on 9 votes

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

MIRANDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)

Rating: 58% based on 32 votes

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

MIRIAM

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: מִרְיָם (Hebrew)

Pronounced: MIR-ee-əm (English)

Rating: 63% based on 10 votes

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

MORGANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: mawr-GAN-ə

Rating: 55% based on 41 votes

Feminine form of MORGAN (1).

MORWENNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Cornish, Welsh

Rating: 53% based on 59 votes

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

NADINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, German, English

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

Rating: 41% based on 14 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: 80% based on 16 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: 74% based on 51 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.

NERIDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indigenous Australian

Possibly means "water lily" in an Australian Aboriginal language.

NICHOLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 74% based on 64 votes

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

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

NOAH (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: נוֹחַ (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: NO-ə (English)

Rating: 76% based on 19 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: 85% based on 2 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'.

OWEN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: O-ən (English)

Rating: 69% based on 45 votes

Modern form of OWAIN.

PAIGE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PAYJ

Rating: 53% based on 4 votes

From an English surname meaning "servant, page" in Middle English. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion) meaning "little boy".

PEARL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PURL

Rating: 41% based on 11 votes

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

PENELOPE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English

Other Scripts: Πηνελοπη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: pə-NEL-ə-pee (English)

Rating: 64% based on 67 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.

PHILIPPA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British), German

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

Rating: 66% based on 14 votes

Latinate feminine form of PHILIP.

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: 66% based on 43 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.

REED

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: REED

From an English surname which comes from multiple sources, including Old English read meaning "red" (originally a nickname given to a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion) and Old English ried meaning "clearing" (given to a person who lived in a clearing in the woods).

RHIANNON

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology

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

Rating: 60% based on 2 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).

RHODA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical, English

Pronounced: RO-də (English)

Derived from Greek ‘ροδον (rhodon) meaning "rose". In the New Testament this name was borne by a maid in the house of Mary the mother of John Mark. As an English given name, Rhoda came into use in the 17th century.

RHYS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Pronounced: HREES (Welsh), REES (English)

Rating: 69% based on 23 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 62 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-).

ROBERT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Romanian, Ancient Germanic

Other Scripts: Роберт (Russian)

Pronounced: RAH-bərt (English), ro-BER (French), RO-bert (German), RO-bərt (Dutch), RAW-bert (Polish), RO-byert (Russian), RO-beert (Russian)

Rating: 33% based on 4 votes

From the Germanic name Hrodebert meaning "bright fame", derived from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and beraht "bright". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hreodbeorht. It has been a very common English name since that time.

The name has been borne by two early kings of France, two Dukes of Normandy, and three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce who restored the independence of Scotland from England in the 14th century. The author Robert Browning (1812-1889) and poets Robert Burns (1759-1796) and Robert Frost (1874-1963) are famous literary bearers of this name. Other bearers include Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), the commander of the Confederate army during the American Civil War, and American actors Robert Redford (1936-), Robert De Niro (1943-) and Robert Downey Jr. (1965-).

ROGER

Gender: Masculine

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

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

Rating: 42% based on 24 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.

ROSS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: RAWS (English)

Rating: 50% based on 49 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 60 votes

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

RUBY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROO-bee

Rating: 66% based on 41 votes

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

RYLAND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (American)

Rating: 40% based on 12 votes

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

SABRINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German

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

Rating: 60% based on 29 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.

SEAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: SHAWN

Rating: 56% based on 39 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: 64% based on 17 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: 62% based on 45 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: 48% based on 16 votes

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

SILAS

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Σιλας (Greek)

Pronounced: SIE-ləs (English)

Rating: 79% based on 11 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).

SIMONE (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: see-MON (French)

French feminine form of SIMON. A famous bearer was Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), a French feminist and philosopher.

SPENCER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SPEN-sər

Rating: 57% based on 49 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: 56% based on 63 votes

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

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

TERRENCE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: TER-ənts

Rating: 58% based on 15 votes

Variant of TERENCE.

TESS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: TES

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

TESSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: TES-ə

Rating: 70% based on 5 votes

Diminutive of THERESA.

THOMAS

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Θωμας (Greek)

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

Rating: 74% based on 66 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).

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: 44% based on 55 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.

VALENTINE (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: va-lawn-TEEN

French feminine form of Valentinus (see VALENTINE (1)).

VANESSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch

Pronounced: və-NES-ə (English)

Rating: 70% based on 27 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: 39% based on 22 votes

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

VELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: VE-lyah

Personal note: pronounced VEHL-ee-ah

Rating: 20% based on 3 votes

From the Roman family name Velius which possibly means "concealed" in Latin.

VIOLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: vie-O-lə (English), vee-O-lə (English), VIE-ə-lə (English), VYO-lah (Italian)

Means "violet" in Latin. This was the name of the heroine in Shakespeare's play 'Twelfth Night' (1602).

VIOLET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: VIE-lət, VIE-ə-lət

Rating: 69% based on 7 votes

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

VIVIENNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Rating: 65% based on 50 votes

French form of VIVIANA.

WESLEY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WES-lee

Rating: 62% based on 59 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: 78% based on 30 votes

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

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

WINIFRED

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: WIN-i-frid

Rating: 50% based on 9 votes

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

WREN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: REN

Rating: 57% based on 65 votes

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

YVETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

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

Rating: 49% based on 55 votes

French feminine form of YVES.

ZOE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, Italian, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Ζωη (Greek)

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

Rating: 66% based on 25 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).
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