erb816's Personal Name List

ADRIAN

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Адриан (Russian)

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

Rating: 66% based on 50 votes

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

ALINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, Portuguese (Brazilian), English

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

Rating: 44% based on 41 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: 68% based on 21 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: 62% based on 13 votes

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

ANASTASIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Αναστασια (Greek), Анастасия (Russian), Анастасія (Ukrainian, Belarusian)

Pronounced: ah-nah-stah-SEE-yah (Russian), a-nə-STAY-zhə (English), a-nə-STAS-yə (English), ah-nahs-TAH-syah (Spanish), ah-nahs-TAH-zyah (Italian)

Rating: 83% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of ANASTASIUS. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.

ANOUK

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Dutch, French

Rating: 20% based on 2 votes

Dutch and French diminutive of ANNA.

APHRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Various

Rating: 30% based on 32 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: 61% based on 80 votes

The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos "bear" combined with viros "man" or rigos "king". Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius. Arthur is the name of the central character in Arthurian legend, a 6th-century king of the Britons who resisted Saxon invaders. He may or may not have been a real person. He first appears in Welsh poems and chronicles (some possibly as early as the 7th century) but his character was not developed until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth.

The name came into general use in England in the Middle Ages due to the prevalence of Arthurian romances, and it enjoyed a surge of popularity in the 19th century. Famous bearers include German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), mystery author and Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), and science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008).

ATHENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Αθηνα (Ancient Greek)

Rating: 83% based on 7 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.

BENNETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BEN-ət

Rating: 60% based on 67 votes

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

CALLISTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: kə-LIS-tə

Rating: 67% based on 20 votes

Variant of CALISTA.

CAMERON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

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

Rating: 57% based on 33 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: 63% based on 54 votes

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

CLARICE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: klə-REES

Rating: 60% based on 2 votes

Medieval vernacular form of the Late Latin name Claritia, which was a derivative of CLARA.

CLAUDIA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 85% based on 2 votes

Feminine form of CLAUDIUS. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament. As a Christian name it was very rare until the 16th century.

CONSTANCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 60% based on 78 votes

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

CORDELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

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

Rating: 61% based on 11 votes

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

CORINNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Κοριννα (Ancient Greek)

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

Rating: 34% based on 5 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'.

DARIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DER-ee-ən, DAR-ee-ən

Rating: 56% based on 14 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, Spanish), da-VEED (French), DAH-vit (German, Dutch), DAH-vid (Swedish, Norwegian), dah-VEET (Russian)

Rating: 67% based on 64 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), musician David Bowie (1947-2016), 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: 56% based on 30 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: 55% based on 11 votes

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.

DOMINIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHM-ə-nik

Rating: 72% based on 84 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: 56% based on 37 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 36 votes

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

EDMUND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Polish

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

Rating: 66% based on 76 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.

ELLIOTT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-ee-ət

Rating: 68% based on 56 votes

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

ELOISA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: e-lo-EE-zah

Rating: 76% based on 9 votes

Italian form of ELOISE.

ELSPETH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Pronounced: ELS-peth

Rating: 47% based on 3 votes

Scottish form of ELIZABETH.

EMMELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Archaic)

Pronounced: EM-ə-leen, EM-ə-lien

Rating: 73% based on 12 votes

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.

ESMÉE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: es-MAY (Dutch)

Rating: 67% based on 3 votes

Feminine form of ESMÉ.

ESTELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: es-TEL-ə

Rating: 78% based on 5 votes

Latinate form of ESTELLE. This was the name of the heroine, Estella Havisham, in Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations' (1860).

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)

Rating: 54% based on 21 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."

EVERETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EV-ə-rit, EV-rit

Rating: 58% based on 33 votes

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

EVERLY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: EV-ər-lee

Rating: 60% based on 5 votes

Variant of Everley.

FAYE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FAY

Rating: 72% based on 13 votes

Variant of FAY.

FINN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish Mythology, Irish

Rating: 69% based on 68 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.

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-EL (French), GAH-bryel (Spanish), GAHP-ree-el (German), GAHB-ree-el (Finnish), GAY-bree-əl (English), GAHP-ryel (Polish)

Rating: 80% based on 2 votes

From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el) meaning "God is my strong man". 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: 71% based on 60 votes

English form of GENEVIÈVE.

GLORIA

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: GLAWR-ee-ə (English), glo-REE-ah (Italian), GLAW-ryah (Polish)

Rating: 73% based on 6 votes

Means "glory" in Latin. The name (first?) appeared in E. D. E. N. Southworth's novel 'Gloria' (1891) and subsequently in George Bernard Shaw's play 'You Never Can Tell' (1898). It was popularized in the early 20th century by American actress Gloria Swanson (1899-1983). Another famous bearer is feminist Gloria Steinem (1934-).

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, Spanish)

Rating: 75% based on 51 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: 74% based on 40 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).

JAMES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)

Rating: 80% based on 75 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

Rating: 69% based on 41 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 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.

JESSE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch, Biblical

Other Scripts: יִשַׁי (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JES-ee (English), YES-sə (Dutch)

Rating: 60% based on 9 votes

From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishay) which possibly means "gift". In the Old Testament Jesse is the father of King David. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jesse James (1847-1882), an American outlaw who held up banks and stagecoaches. He was eventually shot by a fellow gang member for a reward. Another famous bearer was the American athlete Jesse Owens (1913-1980), whose real name was James Cleveland (or J. C.) Owens.

JOANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Polish, Biblical

Pronounced: jo-AN-ə (English), yaw-AHN-nah (Polish)

Rating: 85% based on 4 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 (English), YO-nah-tahn (German)

Rating: 68% based on 39 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: 59% based on 37 votes

English, German and Dutch form of JOSÉPHINE.

JULIANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hungarian, Polish, English

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

Rating: 53% based on 33 votes

Feminine form of Iulianus (see JULIAN).

JULIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JOO-lee-et, JOOL-yət

Rating: 72% based on 78 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: 54% based on 54 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, Swedish)

Rating: 64% based on 34 votes

Cognate of KATHERINE.

KERENSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Rating: 59% based on 7 votes

Means "love" in Cornish.

KEVIN

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: KEV-in (English)

Rating: 52% based on 19 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.

LAVINIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Roman Mythology, Romanian

Rating: 63% based on 4 votes

Meaning unknown, probably of Etruscan origin. In Roman legend Lavinia was the daughter of King Latinus, the wife of Aeneas, and the ancestor of the Roman people. According to the legend Aeneas named the town of Lavinium in honour of his wife.

LEILA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Arabic, Persian, English, Georgian

Other Scripts: ليلى (Arabic), لیلا (Persian), ლეილა (Georgian)

Pronounced: LAY-lə (English), LEE-lə (English), LIE-lə (English)

Rating: 70% based on 6 votes

Variant of LAYLA. This spelling was used by Lord Byron for characters in 'The Giaour' (1813) and 'Don Juan' (1819), and it is through him that the name was introduced to the English-speaking world.

LELAND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Rating: 64% based on 8 votes

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

LEO

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: LE-o (German, Finnish), LAY-o (Dutch), LEE-o (English)

Rating: 10% based on 1 vote

Derived from Latin leo meaning "lion", a cognate of LEON. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina'. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.

LEVANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Jewish, Hebrew

Other Scripts: ìáðä, לְבָנָה

Pronounced: le-VAHN-ah, le-vah-NAH (Hebrew)

Rating: 73% based on 4 votes

Modern transcription of the Hebrew name LEBANAH, which is the feminine form of לָבָן laván, "white," now a poetic word for "moon." As a modern name, Levana is given to girls, though Lebanah belonged to a male character in the Old Testament.

LILLIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee-ən

Rating: 76% based on 5 votes

Probably originally a diminutive of ELIZABETH. It may also be considered an elaborated form of LILY, from the Latin word for "lily" lilium. This name has been used in England since the 16th century.

LINDSAY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Scottish

Pronounced: LINDZ-ee

Rating: 50% based on 25 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: 75% based on 12 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)

Rating: 76% based on 10 votes

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: 91% based on 9 votes

French form of MAGDALENE.

MAEVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: MAYV

Rating: 67% based on 73 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 62 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: 68% based on 5 votes

French short form of MARGARET.

MARGUERITE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: mar-gə-REET, mar-GREET

Rating: 74% based on 22 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: 65% based on 18 votes

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

MARIE

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: ma-REE (French), mah-REE (German)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

French and Czech form of MARIA. A notable bearer of this name was Marie Antoinette, a queen of France who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. Another was Marie Curie (1867-1934), a physicist and chemist who studied radioactivity with her husband Pierre.

MAUDE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAWD

Rating: 41% based on 33 votes

Variant of MAUD.

MAYA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAY-ə, MIE-ə

Rating: 48% based on 9 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.

MERCEDES

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: mer-THE-dhes (Spanish), mer-SE-dhes (Latin American Spanish)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

Means "mercies" (that is, the plural of mercy), from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary, María de las Mercedes, meaning "Mary of Mercies". It is ultimately from the Latin word merces meaning "wages, reward", which in Vulgar Latin acquired the meaning "favour, pity".

MINERVA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Roman Mythology, English

Pronounced: mi-NUR-və (English)

Rating: 72% based on 5 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: 61% based on 41 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.

MIRIAM

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: מִרְיָם (Hebrew)

Pronounced: MIR-ee-əm (English)

Rating: 64% based on 18 votes

Original Hebrew form of MARY. It is used in the Old Testament, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses and Aaron. She watched over the infant Moses as the pharaoh's daughter drew him from the Nile. The name 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: 59% based on 47 votes

Feminine form of MORGAN (1).

MORWENNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Cornish, Welsh

Rating: 54% based on 65 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: 46% based on 20 votes

French elaborated form of NADIA (1).

NAMIRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Arabic

Rating: 75% based on 4 votes

Feminine form of Namir.

NATHANIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

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

Rating: 76% based on 57 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.

NEVENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian

Other Scripts: Невена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

Derived from South Slavic neven meaning "marigold".

NEVRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Turkish

Rating: 68% based on 4 votes

Turkish form of NAWRA.

NICHOLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 75% based on 70 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: 74% based on 23 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. He was the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

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

ODESSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Various

Rating: 78% based on 4 votes

From the name of a Ukrainian city that sits on the north coast of the Black Sea. This name can also be used as a feminine form of ODYSSEUS.

OLIVIA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 65% based on 14 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: 68% based on 49 votes

Modern form of OWAIN.

PEARL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PURL

Rating: 52% based on 16 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 74 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.

PHAEDRA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Φαιδρα (Ancient Greek)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

From the Greek Φαιδρα (Phaidra), derived from φαιδρος (phaidros) meaning "bright". Phaedra was the daughter of Minos and the wife of Theseus in Greek mythology. Aphrodite caused her to fall in love with her stepson Hippolytos, and after she was rejected by him she killed herself.

PHOEBE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: Φοιβη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: FEE-bee (English)

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

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).

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 50 votes

From the Hebrew name רִבְקָה (Rivqah) from an unattested root probably meaning "join, tie, snare". 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.

RHIANNON

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology

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

Rating: 75% based on 10 votes

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

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

RHYS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Pronounced: HREES (Welsh), REES (English)

Rating: 71% based on 28 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-SHAHR (French), RIKH-ahrt (German)

Rating: 58% based on 69 votes

Means "brave power", derived from the Germanic elements ric "power, rule" and hard "brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it has been very common there since that time. It was borne by three kings of England including Richard I the Lionheart, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade in the 12th century.

Famous bearers include two German opera composers, Richard Wagner (1813-1883) and Richard Strauss (1864-1949), as well as British explorer Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890), American physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988) and American musician Little Richard (1932-).

RÓNÁN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish

Pronounced: RON-awn

Rating: 30% based on 2 votes

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

ROSALIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, German, Dutch, English

Pronounced: ro-za-LEE (French), RO-zə-lee (English)

Rating: 87% based on 3 votes

French, German and Dutch form of ROSALIA. In the English-speaking this name received a boost after the release of the movie 'Rosalie' (1938), which was based on an earlier musical.

ROSS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: RAWS (English)

Rating: 54% based on 57 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.

ROWENNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh (Rare), English (Rare), Cornish (Rare), Dutch (Rare)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

Variant of Rowena.

RUBY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROO-bee

Rating: 67% based on 47 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: 42% based on 17 votes

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

SABRINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German

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

Rating: 61% based on 35 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: 55% based on 43 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: 65% based on 25 votes

From the Latin name Sebastianus which meant "from Sebaste". Sebaste was the name a town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek σεβαστος (sebastos) "venerable" (a translation of Latin Augustus, the title of the Roman emperors). According to Christian tradition, Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian. After he was discovered to be a Christian, he was tied to a stake and shot with arrows. This however did not kill him. Saint Irene of Rome healed him and he returned to personally admonish Diocletian, whereupon the emperor had him beaten to death.

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

SÉRAPHINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: se-ra-FEEN

Personal note: Seraphine

Rating: 90% based on 6 votes

French form of SERAPHINA.

SERENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Late Roman

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

Rating: 62% based on 52 votes

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

SETH (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: שֵׁת (Ancient Hebrew), Σηθ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: SETH (English)

Rating: 35% based on 2 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.

SHANE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: SHAYN

Rating: 60% based on 4 votes

Anglicized form of SEÁN. It came into general use in America after the release of the western movie 'Shane' (1953).

SHERIDAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SHER-i-dən

Rating: 51% based on 23 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 17 votes

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

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

SPENCER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SPEN-sər

Rating: 56% based on 53 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: 58% based on 71 votes

From the Greek name Στεφανος (Stephanos) meaning "crown", more precisely "that which surrounds". Saint Stephen was a deacon who was stoned to death, as told in Acts in the New Testament. 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-).

TESSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: TES-ə

Rating: 78% based on 13 votes

Diminutive of THERESA.

THERESA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: tə-REE-sə (English), tə-RAY-zə (English), te-RE-zah (German)

Rating: 70% based on 5 votes

From the Spanish and Portuguese name Teresa. It was first recorded as Therasia, being borne by the Spanish wife of Saint Paulinus of Nola in the 4th century. The meaning is uncertain, but it could be derived from Greek θερος (theros) "summer", from Greek θεριζω (therizo) "to harvest", or from the name of the Greek island of Therasia (the western island of Santorini).

The name was mainly confined to Spain and Portugal during the Middle Ages. After the 16th century it was spread to other parts of the Christian world, due to the fame of the Spanish nun and reformer Saint Teresa of Ávila. Another famous bearer was the Austrian Habsburg queen Maria Theresa (1717-1780), who inherited the domains of her father, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, beginning the War of the Austrian Succession.

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 74 votes

Greek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma') which meant "twin". In the New Testament this is the name of an apostle. When he heard that Jesus had risen from the dead he initially doubted the story, until Jesus appeared before him and he examined his wounds himself. According to tradition he was martyred in India. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world.

In England the name was introduced by the Normans and became very popular due to Saint Thomas Becket, a 12th-century archbishop of Canterbury and martyr. Another notable saint by this name was the 13th-century Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas, who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. Other famous bearers include philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), American president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), novelist Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), and inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931).

URSULA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 44% based on 60 votes

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

VANESSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch

Pronounced: və-NES-ə (English)

Rating: 67% based on 32 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: 46% based on 28 votes

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

VERONICA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Romanian, Late Roman

Pronounced: və-RAHN-i-kə (English)

Rating: 77% based on 9 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.

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)

Personal note: pronounced vie-OH-lah

Rating: 74% based on 10 votes

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: 83% based on 18 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: 66% based on 56 votes

French form of VIVIANA.

WESLEY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WES-lee

Rating: 60% based on 66 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: 80% based on 39 votes

From the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection". Saint William of Gellone was an 8th-century cousin of Charlemagne who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England in the 11th century. It was later borne by three other English kings, as well as rulers of Scotland, Sicily (of Norman origin), the Netherlands and Prussia.

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

WILLOW

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: WIL-o

Rating: 93% based on 8 votes

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

WINIFRED

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: WIN-i-frid

Rating: 50% based on 13 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 74 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: 50% based on 60 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: 100% based on 1 vote

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).

ZOFIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Polish

Pronounced: ZAW-fyah

Rating: 50% based on 2 votes

Polish form of SOPHIA.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2016.