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-DAHN (French), A-dam (German, Polish, Arabic), A-dahm (Dutch), u-DAM (Russian), ah-DAHM (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 they ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. As a result they were expelled from Eden to the lands to the east, where they gave birth the second generation, including Cain, Abel and Seth.

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 (English)
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 derive from Old English anne "alone, solitary" or ansetl "hermitage" and leah "woodland, clearing".

ALEXANDER
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Other Scripts: Αλεξανδρος (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: a-lig-ZAN-dər (English), a-le-KSAN-du (German), ah-lək-SAHN-dər (Dutch), AW-lek-sawn-der (Hungarian)
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), a-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. Unlike most other English names ending in son, it is not derived from a surname.

ALIVIA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English (Modern)
Pronounced: ə-LIV-ee-ə
Variant of OLIVIA.

ALMA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
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: u-nu-stu-SYEE-yə (Russian), a-nə-STAY-zhə (English), a-nə-STAS-yə (English), a-nas-TA-sya (Spanish), a-nas-TA-zya (Italian), A-NA-STA-SEE-A (Classical Greek)
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: AHN-ZHU-LEEN, AHN-ZHLEEN
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, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Other Scripts: Αννα (Greek), Анна (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Church Slavic)
Pronounced: AN-ə (English), AN-na (Italian, Polish, Icelandic), A-na (German, Greek), AHN-nah (Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish), AN-nah (Danish), AWN-naw (Hungarian), AN-nə (Russian, Catalan)
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 instead of Anna. 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 is also the name of the main character in Leo Tolstoy's novel 'Anna Karenina' (1877), about a married aristocrat who begins an ultimately tragic relationship with Count Vronsky.

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: AN (French, English), AN-ne (Danish), AHN-ne (Finnish), A-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: A-nə-lee-zə (German), ahn-nə-LEE-sə (Dutch)
Combination of ANNA and LIESE.

ANNETTE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: French, English, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch
Pronounced: A-NET (French), ə-NET (English), a-NE-tə (German)
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 (American English), AN-tə-nee (British English)
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), A-RYEL (French)
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, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Pronounced: AHR-thər (English), AR-TUYR (French), AR-tuwr (German), AHR-tuyr (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, blessed" in Hebrew. Asher in the Old Testament is a son of Jacob by Leah's handmaid Zilpah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The meaning of his name is explained in Genesis 30:13.

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, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Biblical
Other Scripts: בִּנְיָמִין (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: BEN-jə-min (English), BEN-ZHA-MEN (French), BEN-ya-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 (see Genesis 35:18).

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)
Pronounced: KAY-lən
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 Canaan. 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 Cauvin, which was derived from chauve "bald". The surname was borne by Jean Cauvin (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-RAW-LEEN (French), KER-ə-lien (English), KER-ə-lin (English), KAR-ə-lien (English), KAR-ə-lin (English), ka-ro-LEE-nə (German)
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-LAWT (French), SHAHR-lət (English), shar-LAW-tə (German), shah-LOT (Swedish), shahr-LAWT-tə (Dutch)
French feminine diminutive of CHARLES. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. A notable bearer was Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Brontë sisters and the author of 'Jane Eyre' and 'Villette'.

CHO
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Japanese (Rare)
Other Scripts: (Japanese Kanji)
Pronounced: CHO
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, Hindi, Marathi
Other Scripts: देव (Hindi, Marathi)
Derived from Sanskrit देव (deva) meaning "god".

DIMITRI
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Russian, French
Other Scripts: Димитрий (Russian)
Pronounced: dyi-MYEE-tryee (Russian), DEE-MEE-TREE (French)
Variant of DMITRIY, using the Church Slavic spelling.

EDWARD
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Polish
Pronounced: ED-wərd (English), ED-vart (Polish)
Means "rich guard", derived from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and weard "guard". This was the name of several Anglo-Saxon kings, the last being Saint Edward the Confessor shortly before the Norman conquest in the 11th century. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity his name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century Plantagenet 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). A famous bearer was the British composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934). It was also used by author Charlotte Brontë for the character Edward Rochester, the main love interest of the title character in her novel 'Jane Eyre' (1947).

FAE
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: FAY
Variant of FAY.

GEORGE
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Romanian
Pronounced: JAWRJ (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, etc. (Japanese Kanji)
Pronounced: HA-ROO
From Japanese (haru) meaning "light, sun, male", (haru) meaning "spring" or (haru) meaning "clear weather". Other kanji or kanji combinations can form this name as well.

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 the French form 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 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.

KARL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: KARL (German), KAHL (Swedish, Danish), KAHRL (English, Finnish)
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, Finnish, Dutch, Slovene
Pronounced: KAT-ya (German), KAHT-yah (Dutch)
Form of KATYA.

KRISHNA
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Other Scripts: कृष्ण (Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali), কৃষ্ণ (Bengali), કૃષ્ણ (Gujarati), కృష్ణ (Telugu), கிருஷ்ணா (Tamil), ಕೃಷ್ಣ (Kannada), കൃഷ്ണ (Malayalam)
Pronounced: KRISH-nə (English)
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. He is usually depicted with blue skin.

LAURA
Gender: Feminine
Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Late Roman
Pronounced: LAWR-ə (English), LOW-ra (Spanish, Italian, Polish, German), LOW-rah (Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch), LAW-oo-raw (Hungarian)
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Laurus, which meant "laurel". This meaning was favourable, since in ancient Rome the leaves of laurel trees were used to create victors' garlands. The name was borne by the 9th-century Spanish martyr Saint Laura, who was a nun thrown into a vat of molten lead by the Moors. It was also the name of the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.

As an English name, Laura has been used since the 13th century. Famous bearers include Laura Secord (1775-1868), a Canadian heroine during the War of 1812, and Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), an American author who wrote the 'Little House on the Prairie' series of novels.

LILA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Indian, Hindi
Other Scripts: लीला (Hindi)
Means "play, amusement" in Sanskrit.

LINA (3)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Indian, Hindi
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
Pronounced: MA-EL (French)
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, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριαμ (Mariam) and Μαρια (Maria) - the spellings are interchangeable - which were from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam), a name borne by the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. 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 mother of Jesus. According to the gospels, Jesus was conceived in her by the Holy Spirit while she remained a virgin. This name was also borne by Mary Magdalene, a woman cured of demons by Jesus. She became one of his followers and later witnessed his crucifixion and resurrection.

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 is Mary Poppins from the children's books by P. L. Travers, first published in 1934.

MIROSLAV
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Czech, Slovak, Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Medieval Slavic
Other Scripts: Мирослав (Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Church Slavic)
Pronounced: myi-ru-SLAF (Russian)
Derived from the Slavic elements miru "peace, world" and slava "glory". This was the name of a 10th-century king of Croatia who was deposed by one of his nobles after ruling for four years.

NATHANIEL
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Other Scripts: נְתַנְאֵל (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: 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: Tamil, Indian, Hindi
Other Scripts: நீலா (Tamil), नीला (Hindi)
Variant transcription of NILA.

NINA (1)
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian
Other Scripts: Нина (Russian, Serbian)
Pronounced: NYEE-nə (Russian), NEE-na (Italian, German), NEE-nə (English), NEE-NA (French), NEE-nah (Finnish), NYEE-na (Polish)
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: o-LIV-ee-ə (English), o-LEE-vya (Italian, German), o-LEE-bya (Spanish), O-lee-vee-ah (Finnish)
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), PA-TREEK (French), PA-trik (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-sa (Spanish), RAW-za (Italian), RAW-zu (Portuguese), RO-sah (Dutch), RO-za (German), 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: va-LE-rya (Italian), ba-LE-rya (Spanish)
Feminine form of VALERIUS. This was the name of a 2nd-century Roman saint and martyr.
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2017.