D.Scott's Personal Name List

ADAM

Gender: Masculine

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

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

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

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

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

ADÈLE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: a-DEL

French form of ADELA

AIDAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, Scottish, English (Modern)

Pronounced: AY-dən

Anglicized form of AODHÁN. In the latter part of the 20th century it became popular in America due to its sound, since it uses the same fashionable aden suffix sound found in such names as Braden and Hayden.

AILEEN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish, Irish, English

Pronounced: ie-LEEN, ay-LEEN

Variant of EILEEN

AINSLEY

Gender: Feminine & Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English (Modern)

Pronounced: AYNZ-lee

From a surname which was from a place name: either Annesley in Nottinghamshire or Ansley in Warwickshire. The place names themselves mean either "Anne's field" or "hermitage field" from Old English ansetl "hermitage" and leah "field".

ALEXANDER

Gender: Masculine

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

Other Scripts: Αλεξανδρος (Ancient Greek)

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

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

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

ALICE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Portuguese, Italian

Pronounced: AL-is (English), a-LEES (French), ah-LEE-che (Italian)

From the Old French name Aalis, a short form of Adelais, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis (see ADELAIDE). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was borne by the heroine of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking Glass' (1871).

ALISON

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: AL-i-sən (English), a-lee-SAWN (French)

Norman French diminutive of Aalis (see ALICE). It was common in England and France in the Middle Ages, and was later revived in the 20th century.

ALIVIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: ə-LIV-ee-ə

Variant of OLIVIA

ALMA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Spanish, Italian

Pronounced: AL-mə (English)

This name became popular after the Battle of Alma (1854), which took place near the River Alma in Crimea and ended in a victory for Britain and France. However, the name was in rare use before the battle; it was probably inspired by Latin almus "nourishing". It also coincides with the Spanish word meaning "the soul".

ALVIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AL-vin

From a medieval form of any of the Old English names ÆLFWINE, ÆÐELWINE or EALDWINE. It was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname which was derived from the Old English names.

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)

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.

ANGELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: awn-zhə-LEEN

French diminutive of ANGELA

ANNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Αννα (Greek), Анна (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Church Slavic)

Pronounced: AN-a (English), AHN-nah (Italian, Dutch, Polish), AH-nah (German, Russian)

Form of Channah (see HANNAH) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah spelling. The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary. In the English-speaking world, this form came into general use in the 18th century, joining Ann and Anne.

The name was borne by several Russian royals, including an 18th-century empress of Russia. It was also the name of the main character in Leo Tolstoy's novel 'Anna Karenina' (1877), a woman forced to choose between her son and her lover.

ANNABEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: AN-ə-bel (English)

Variant of AMABEL influenced by the name ANNA. This name appears to have arisen in Scotland in the Middle Ages.

ANNE (1)

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: AHN (French), AN (English), AH-nə (German), AHN-nə (Dutch)

French form of ANNA. In the 13th-century it was imported to England, where it was also commonly spelled Ann. The name was borne by a 17th-century English queen and also by the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (the mother of Queen Elizabeth I), who was eventually beheaded in the Tower of London. This is also the name of the heroine in 'Anne of Green Gables' (1908) by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery.

ANNELIESE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Dutch

Pronounced: ah-ne-LEE-zə (German), ahn-nə-LEE-sə (Dutch)

Combination of ANNA and LIESE

ANNETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: a-NET (French), ə-NET (English)

French diminutive of ANNE (1). It has also been widely used in the English-speaking world, and it became popular in America in the late 1950s due to the fame of actress Annette Funicello (1942-).

ANTHONY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AN-thə-nee, AN-tə-nee

English form of the Roman family name Antonius, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. The most notable member of the Roman family was the general Marcus Antonius (called Mark Antony in English), who for a period in the 1st century BC ruled the Roman Empire jointly with Augustus. When their relationship turned sour, he and his mistress Cleopatra were attacked and forced to commit suicide, as related in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606).

The name became regularly used in the Christian world due to the fame of Saint Anthony the Great, a 4th-century Egyptian hermit who founded Christian monasticism. Its popularity was reinforced in the Middle Ages by the 13th-century Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Portugal. It has been commonly (but incorrectly) associated with Greek ανθος (anthos) "flower", which resulted in the addition of the h to this spelling in the 17th century.

ARIEL

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: Hebrew, English, French, Biblical, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: אֲרִיאֵל (Hebrew), Αριηλ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: AR-ee-əl (English), ER-ee-əl (English), AY-ree-əl (English)

Means "lion of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Walt Disney film 'The Little Mermaid' (1989).

ARTHUR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance

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

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).

ASHER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Hebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew

Other Scripts: אָשֵׁר (Hebrew)

Pronounced: A-shər (English)

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

AVA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AY-və

Variant of EVE. A famous bearer was the American actress Ava Gardner (1922-1990).

BELINDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: bə-LIN-də

The meaning of this name is not known for certain. The first element could be related Italian bella "beautiful". The second element could be related to Germanic lind "serpent, dragon" or linde "soft, tender". This name first arose in the 17th century, and was subsequently used by Alexander Pope in his poem 'The Rape of the Lock' (1712).

BENJAMIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Dutch, Biblical

Other Scripts: בִּנְיָמִין (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: BEN-jə-min (English), ben-zha-MEN (French), BEN-yah-meen (German)

From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin) which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand". Benjamin in the Old Testament is the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named בֶּן־אוֹנִי (Ben-'oniy) meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father.

As an English name, Benjamin came into general use after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher.

BETHANY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: BETH-ə-nee (English)

From the name of a biblical town, possibly derived from Hebrew בֵּית־תְּאֵנָה (beit-te'enah) meaning "house of figs". In the New Testament the town of Bethany was the home of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. It has been in use as a rare given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, used primarily by Catholics in honour of Mary of Bethany. In America it became moderately common after the 1950s.

CAELAN

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Anglicized form of CAOLÁN or CAOILFHIONN

CALEB

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: כָּלֵב (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: KAY-ləb (English)

Most likely related to Hebrew כֶּלֶב (kelev) meaning "dog". An alternate theory connects it to Hebrew כָּל (kal) "whole, all of" and לֵב (lev) "heart". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the twelve spies sent by Moses into Israel. Of the Israelites who left Egypt with Moses, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who lived to see the Promised Land.

As an English name, Caleb came into use after the Protestant Reformation. It was common among the Puritans, who introduced it to America in the 17th century.

CALLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KAL-ə

From the name of a type of lily. Use of the name may also be inspired by Greek καλλος (kallos) meaning "beauty".

CALVIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KAL-vin

Derived from the French surname Chauvin, which was derived from chauve "bald". The surname was borne by Jean Chauvin (1509-1564), a theologian from France who was one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname was Latinized as Calvinus (based on Latin calvus "bald") and he is known as John Calvin in English. It has been used as a given name in his honour since the 19th century.

CARLISLE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KAHR-liel

From a surname which was derived from the name of a city in northern England. The city was originally called by the Romans Luguvalium meaning "stronghold of LUGUS". Later the Brythonic element ker "fort" was appended to the name of the city.

CAROLINE

Gender: Feminine

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

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

French feminine form of CAROLUS

CHANCE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: CHANTS

Originally a diminutive of CHAUNCEY. It is now usually given in reference to the English word chance meaning "luck, fortune" (ultimately derived from Latin cadens "falling").

CHARLENE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: shahr-LEEN, chahr-LEEN

Feminine diminutive of CHARLES

CHARLOTTE

Gender: Feminine

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

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

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

CHO

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Japanese

Other Scripts: (Japanese)

Variant transcription of CHOU

CLAUDE

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: French, English

Pronounced: KLOD (French), KLAWD (English)

French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).

CLYDE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KLIED

From the name of the River Clyde in Scotland, which is of unknown origin. It became a common given name in America in the middle of the 19th century, perhaps in honour of Sir Colin Campbell (1792-1863) who was given the title Baron Clyde in 1858.

DARWIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHR-win

From a surname which was derived from the Old English given name Deorwine which meant "dear friend". The surname was borne by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the man who first proposed the theory of natural selection and subsequently revolutionized biology.

DEMETRIUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Greek (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Δημητριος (Ancient Greek)

Latinized form of the Greek name Δημητριος (Demetrios), which was derived from the name of the Greek goddess DEMETER (1). Kings of Macedon and the Seleucid kingdom have had this name. This was also the name of several early saints including a Saint Demetrius who was martyred in the 4th century.

DEV

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: देव (Hindi)

Derived from Sanskrit देव (deva) meaning "god".

DIMITRI

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Russian, French

Other Scripts: Димитрий (Russian)

Pronounced: dee-MEE-tree (Russian)

Variant of DMITRIY, using the Church Slavic spelling.

EDWARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Polish

Pronounced: ED-wərd (English), ED-vahrt (Polish)

Means "rich guard", derived from the Old English elements ead "rich, blessed" and weard "guard". Saint Edward the Confessor was the king of England shortly before the Norman conquest. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity this name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century king Henry III named his son and successor after the saint, and seven subsequent kings of England were also named Edward. This is one of the few Old English names to be used throughout Europe (in various spellings).

FAE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FAY

Variant of FAY

GEORGE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Romanian

Pronounced: JORJ (English)

From the Greek name Γεωργιος (Georgios) which was derived from the Greek word γεωργος (georgos) meaning "farmer, earthworker", itself derived from the elements γη (ge) "earth" and εργον (ergon) "work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Palestine who was martyred during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.

Initially Saint George was primarily revered by Eastern Christians, but returning crusaders brought stories of him to Western Europe and he became the patron of England, Portugal, Catalonia and Aragon. The name was rarely used in England until the German-born George I came to the British throne in the 18th century. Five subsequent British kings have borne the name.

Other famous bearers include two kings of Greece, the composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), the first president of the United States, George Washington (1732-1797), and the Pacific explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798). This was also the pen name of authors George Eliot (1819-1880) and George Orwell (1903-1950), real names Mary Anne Evans and Eric Arthur Blair respectively.

HARU

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: Japanese

Other Scripts: 陽, 春, 晴 (Japanese)

From Japanese "sun, sunlight", "spring" or "clear up".

HENRY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HEN-ree

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

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

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

JANE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JAYN

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

KARL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: KAHRL (German, English)

German and Scandinavian form of CHARLES. This was the name of seven emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and an emperor of Austria, as well as kings of Sweden and Norway. Other famous bearers include Karl Marx (1818-1883), the German philosopher and revolutionary who laid the foundations for communism, and Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), a German existentialist philosopher.

KATJA

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: KAHT-yah (German, Dutch)

German, Scandinavian, Dutch and Slovene form of KATYA

KRISHNA

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Indian, Hinduism

Other Scripts: कृष्ण (Hindi, Sanskrit)

Pronounced: KRISH-na

Means "black, dark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity.

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, Polish, German, Dutch)

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.

LILA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: लीला (Hindi)

Means "play, amusement" in Sanskrit.

LINA (3)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: लीना (Hindi)

Means "absorbed, united" in Sanskrit.

LUCY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LOO-see

English form of LUCIA, in use since the Middle Ages.

MAËL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French, Breton

French form of Breton Mael, which was derived from a Celtic word meaning "chief" or "prince". Saint Mael was a 5th-century Breton hermit who lived in Wales.

MARJE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAHRJ

Diminutive of MARJORIE

MARY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: MER-ee (English), MAR-ee (English)

Usual English form of Maria, which was the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριαμ (Mariam) and Μαρια (Maria) - the spellings are interchangeable - which were from the Hebrew name מִרְיָם (Miryam). The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved" or mr "love".

This is the name of several New Testament characters, most importantly Mary the virgin mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. Due to the Virgin Mary this name has been very popular in the Christian world, though at certain times in some cultures it has been considered too holy for everyday use. In England it has been used since the 12th century, and it has been among the most common feminine names since the 16th century. The Latinized form Maria is also used in English as well as in several other languages.

This name has been borne by two queens of England, as well as a Queen of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots. Another notable bearer was Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the author of 'Frankenstein'. A famous fictional character by this name was Mary Poppins, from the children's books by P. L. Travers.

MIROSLAV

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Czech, Slovak, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Medieval Slavic

Other Scripts: Мирослав (Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Church Slavic)

Pronounced: mee-rah-SLAHF (Russian)

Means "peace and glory", derived from the Slavic elements mir "peace" and slav "glory". This was the name of a 10th-century king of Croatia, who presided over a civil war.

NATHANIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

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

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.

NEELA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Indian

Other Scripts: नीला (Hindi)

Variant transcription of NILA

NINA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian

Other Scripts: Нина (Russian, Serbian)

Pronounced: NEE-nah (Russian, Italian, German, Polish), NEE-nə (English)

Short form of names that end in nina, such as ANTONINA or GIANNINA. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also coincides with the Spanish word niña meaning "little girl".

OLIVIA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

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'.

OPHELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Literature

Pronounced: o-FEEL-yə (English)

Derived from Greek οφελος (ophelos) meaning "help". This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem 'Arcadia'. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play 'Hamlet' (1600), in which it belongs to Hamlet's lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. In spite of this, the name has been used since the 19th century.

PATRICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English, French, German

Pronounced: PAT-rik (English), pat-REEK (French), PAHT-rik (German)

From the Latin name Patricius, which meant "nobleman". This name was adopted in the 5th-century by Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint.

In England and elsewhere in Europe during the Middle Ages this name was used in honour of the saint. However, it was not generally given in Ireland before the 17th century because it was considered too sacred for everyday use. It has since become very common there.

ROSA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, German, English

Pronounced: RO-sah (Spanish, Dutch), RAW-zah (Italian), RO-zə (English)

Generally this can be considered a Latin form of ROSE, though originally it may have come from the Germanic name ROZA (2). This was the name of a 13th-century saint from Viterbo in Italy. In the English-speaking world it was first used in the 19th century. A famous bearer was civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913-2005).

SELA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical

Other Scripts: סֶלַע (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: SEE-lə (English)

Means "rock" in Hebrew. This was the name of a city, the capital of Edom, in the Old Testament.

VALERIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Romanian, German, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: vah-LE-ryah (Italian), bah-LE-ryah (Spanish)

Feminine form of VALERIUS. This was the name of a 2nd-century Roman saint and martyr.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2014.