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)

Personal note: 08. Adrian Richard

Rating: 60% based on 2 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.

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)

Personal note: 5. Anastasia Hera

Rating: 80% based on 7 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.

CASSANDRA

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: Κασσανδρα (Ancient Greek)

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

Personal note: a10. Cassandra Lily

Rating: 80% based on 1 vote

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

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

CONSTANCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

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

Personal note: 9. Constance Yvette

Rating: 80% based on 1 vote

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

DOMINIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHM-ə-nik

Personal note: 01. Dominic Edgar

Rating: 61% based on 28 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.

EDMUND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Polish

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

Personal note: 03. Edmund Hugh

Rating: 57% based on 6 votes

From the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and mund "protection". This was the name of two Anglo-Saxon kings of England. It was also borne by two saints, including a 9th-century king of East Anglia who, according to tradition, was shot to death with arrows after refusing to divide his Christian kingdom with an invading pagan Danish leader. This Old English name remained in use after the Norman conquest (even being used by king Henry III for one of his sons), though it became less common after the 15th century.

Famous bearers of the name include the English poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), the German-Czech philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first person to climb Mount Everest.

ELENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Macedonian, Croatian, Slovene, Lithuanian, Russian, German, Medieval Slavic

Other Scripts: Елена (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Church Slavic)

Pronounced: E-le-nah (Italian), e-LE-nah (Spanish), ye-LYE-nah (Russian), ee-LYE-nah (Russian)

Personal note: 3. Elena Caroline

Rating: 60% based on 1 vote

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

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)

Personal note: 4. Iris Genevieve

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

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

JACQUELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

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

Personal note: 7. Jacqueline Adele

Rating: 30% based on 3 votes

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

JULIANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Hungarian, Polish, English

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

Personal note: 1. Julianna Lindsay

Rating: 20% based on 1 vote

Feminine form of Iulianus (see JULIAN).

MALCOLM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: MAL-kəm

Personal note: 04. Malcolm Elliott

Rating: 59% based on 38 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.

NATHANIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

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

Personal note: 0a10. Nathaniel Harris

Rating: 60% based on 1 vote

Variant of NATHANAEL. It has been regularly used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. This has been the most popular spelling, even though the spelling Nathanael is found in most versions of the New Testament. The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), author of 'The Scarlet Letter', was a famous bearer of this name.

NICHOLAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French

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

Personal note: 05. Nicholas Evan

Rating: 70% based on 50 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.

PENELOPE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English

Other Scripts: Πηνελοπη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: pə-NEL-ə-pee (English)

Personal note: 6. Penelope Wren

Rating: 60% based on 4 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.

RHYS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Pronounced: HREES (Welsh), REES (English)

Personal note: 07. Rhys Owen Grey

Rating: 45% based on 2 votes

Means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. Several Welsh rulers have borne this name.

SABRINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German

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

Personal note: 8. Sabrina Charlotte

Rating: 60% based on 3 votes

Latinized form of Habren, the original Welsh name of the River Severn. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the name of a princess who was drowned in the Severn. Supposedly the river was named for her, but it is more likely that her name was actually derived from that of the river, which is of unknown meaning. It was popularized as a given name by Samuel A. Taylor's play 'Sabrina Fair' (1953) and the movie adaptation that followed it the next year.

SPENCER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SPEN-sər

Personal note: 06. Spencer Donovan

Rating: 27% based on 3 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).

VIVIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: VIV-ee-ən (English)

Personal note: 2. Vivian Elise

Rating: 58% based on 4 votes

From the Latin name Vivianus which was derived from Latin vivus "alive". Saint Vivian was a French bishop who provided protection during the Visigoth invasion of the 5th century. It has been occasionally used as an English (masculine) name since the Middle Ages. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name, in which case it is either an Anglicized form of BÉBINN or a variant of VIVIEN (2).

WESLEY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: WES-lee

Personal note: 02. Wesley Merrick

Rating: 45% based on 6 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

Personal note: 09. William Alexander

Rating: 78% based on 5 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).

Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2014.