SandSea's Personal Name List

ADELAIDE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese

Pronounced: AD-ə-layd (English), ah-de-LIE-de (Italian), ə-də-LIED (Portuguese)

Rating: 100% based on 2 votes

From the French form of the Germanic name Adalheidis, which was composed of the elements adal "noble" and heid "kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great. The name became common in Britain in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.

ADELE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, English, Italian, Finnish

Pronounced: ə-DEL (English), AH-de-le (Finnish)

Rating: 74% based on 8 votes

Form of ADÈLE

ALEC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AL-ək

Rating: 65% based on 10 votes

Short form of ALEXANDER

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)

Rating: 70% based on 13 votes

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.

ALFRED

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: AL-frəd (English), al-FRED (French), AHL-fret (German, Polish), AHL-frət (Dutch)

Rating: 13% based on 3 votes

Derived from the Old English name Ælfræd, composed of the elements ælf "elf" and ræd "counsel". Alfred the Great was a 9th-century king of Wessex who fought unceasingly against the Danes living in the northeast of England. He was also a scholar, and he translated many Latin books into Old English. His fame helped to ensure the usage of this name even after the Norman conquest, when most Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. It became rare by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th century. A famous bearer was the British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

ALICE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Portuguese, Italian

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

Rating: 74% based on 9 votes

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).

ALISTAIR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish

Rating: 72% based on 10 votes

Anglicized form of ALASDAIR

AMANDA

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: ə-MAN-də (English), ah-MAHN-dah (Spanish, Italian, German)

Rating: 48% based on 9 votes

In part this is a feminine form of AMANDUS. However, it was not used during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century it was recreated by authors and poets who based it directly on Latin amanda "lovable, worthy of love". Notably, the playwright Colley Cibber used it for a character in his play 'Love's Last Shift' (1696). It came into regular use during the 19th century.

AMY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AY-mee

Rating: 44% based on 9 votes

English form of the Old French name Amée meaning "beloved" (modern French aimée), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata. As an English name, it was in use in the Middle Ages (though not common) and was revived in the 19th century.

ANDROMEDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Ανδρομεδη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: an-DRAW-mə-də (English)

Rating: 80% based on 2 votes

Means "to think of a man" from the Greek element ανδρος (andros) "of a man" combined with μηδομαι (medomai) "to think, to be mindful of". Andromeda is a constellation in the northern sky, which gets its name from a mythical Greek princess who was rescued from sacrifice by Perseus. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.

ANGEL

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: English, Bulgarian, Macedonian

Other Scripts: Ангел (Bulgarian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: AYN-jəl (English)

Rating: 100% based on 1 vote

From the medieval Latin masculine name Angelus which was derived from the name of the heavenly creature (itself derived from the Greek word αγγελος (angelos) meaning "messenger"). It has never been very common in the English-speaking world, where it is sometimes used as a feminine name in modern times.

ANGELICA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Romanian, Literature

Pronounced: an-JEL-i-kə (English), ahn-JE-lee-kah (Italian)

Rating: 48% based on 6 votes

Derived from Latin angelicus meaning "angelic", ultimately related to Greek αγγελος (angelos) "messenger". The poets Boiardo and Ariosto used this name in their 'Orlando' poems (1495 and 1532), where it belongs to Orlando's love interest. It has been used as a given name since the 18th century.

ANGUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, Irish, English

Pronounced: ANG-gəs

Rating: 37% based on 9 votes

Anglicized form of AONGHUS

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, Finnish, Polish), AH-nah (German, Russian), AN-nah (Danish)

Rating: 62% based on 9 votes

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 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)

Rating: 70% based on 9 votes

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

ANNABELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, English (Modern)

Pronounced: ahn-nah-BEL-lah (Italian), an-ə-BEL-ə (English)

Rating: 90% based on 2 votes

Latinate form of ANNABEL. It can also be taken as a combination of ANNA and BELLA.

ANTOINETTE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French

Pronounced: awn-twaw-NET

Rating: 90% based on 3 votes

Feminine diminutive of ANTOINE. This name was borne by Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. She was executed by guillotine.

ARABELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Rating: 72% based on 10 votes

Medieval Scottish name, probably a variant of ANNABEL. It has long been associated with Latin orabilis meaning "invokable".

ARCHIE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: AHR-chee

Rating: 35% based on 2 votes

Diminutive of ARCHIBALD. This name is borne by Archie Andrews, an American comic-book character created in 1941.

ARTHUR

Gender: Masculine

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

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

Rating: 64% based on 9 votes

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

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

AUDREY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: AWD-ree

Rating: 68% based on 9 votes

Medieval diminutive of ÆÐELÞRYÐ. This was the name of a 7th-century saint, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' (1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry (which was derived from St. Audrey, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).

AUGUST

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Catalan, English

Pronounced: OW-guwst (German, Polish), AW-gəst (English)

Rating: 69% based on 8 votes

German, Polish, Scandinavian and Catalan form of AUGUSTUS

AURORA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, German, Romanian, Finnish, Roman Mythology

Pronounced: ow-RO-rah (Spanish), ə-RAWR-ə (English), OW-ro-rah (Finnish)

Rating: 57% based on 10 votes

Means "dawn" in Latin. Aurora was the Roman goddess of the morning. It has occasionally been used as a given name since the Renaissance.

BARNABY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Archaic)

Pronounced: BAHR-nə-bee

Rating: 25% based on 2 votes

Medieval English form of BARNABAS

BARTHOLOMEW

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: bahr-THAHL-ə-myoo (English)

Rating: 49% based on 12 votes

From Βαρθολομαιος (Bartholomaios), which was the Greek form of an Aramaic name meaning "son of TALMAI". In the New Testament Bartholomew is the byname of an apostle also known as Nathaniel. Due to the popularity of this saint the name became common in England during the Middle Ages.

BEATRIX

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Late Roman

Pronounced: BEE-ə-triks (English), BE-ah-triks (German), BAY-ah-triks (Dutch)

Rating: 83% based on 3 votes

Probably from Viatrix, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator which meant "voyager, traveller". It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus "blessed". Viatrix or Beatrix was a 4th-century saint who was strangled to death during the persecutions of Diocletian. In England it became rare after the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the British author and illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), the creator of Peter Rabbit.

BEDE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: History

Pronounced: BEED (English)

Rating: 24% based on 9 votes

Modern form of the Old English name Baeda, possibly related to Old English bed "prayer". Saint Bede, called the Venerable Bede, was an 8th-century historian, scholar and Doctor of the Church.

BELLE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BEL

Rating: 54% based on 10 votes

Short form of ISABELLA or names ending in belle. It is also associated with the French word belle meaning "beautiful". A famous bearer was Belle Starr (1848-1889), an outlaw of the American west, whose real given name was Maybelle.

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)

Rating: 93% based on 4 votes

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.

BEOWULF

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Anglo-Saxon Mythology

Pronounced: BAY-ə-woolf (English)

Rating: 30% based on 3 votes

Possibly means "bee wolf" (in effect equal to "bear") from Old English beo "bee" and wulf "wolf". This is the name of the main character in the anonymous 8th-century epic poem 'Beowulf'. The poem tells how Beowulf slays the monster Grendel and its mother, but goes on to tell how he is killed in his old age fighting a dragon.

BLAKE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BLAYK

Rating: 58% based on 10 votes

From a surname which was derived from Old English blæc "black" or blāc "pale". A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).

BROCK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: BRAHK

Rating: 63% based on 10 votes

From a surname which was derived from Old English brocc meaning "badger".

CALEB

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: כָּלֵב (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: KAY-ləb (English)

Rating: 71% based on 9 votes

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.

CALVIN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KAL-vin

Rating: 71% based on 8 votes

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.

CALYPSO

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Καλυψω (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: kə-LIP-so (English)

Rating: 42% based on 10 votes

From Greek Καλυψω (Kalypso) which probably meant "she that conceals", derived from καλυπτω (kalypto) "to cover, to conceal". In Greek myth this was the name of the nymph who fell in love with Odysseus after he was shipwrecked on her island of Ogygia. When he refused to stay with her she detained him for seven years until Zeus ordered her to release him.

CARADOC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh

Rating: 50% based on 10 votes

Variant of CARADOG

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)

Rating: 57% based on 9 votes

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.

CHARLIE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: CHAHR-lee

Rating: 61% based on 8 votes

Diminutive or feminine form of CHARLES. A famous bearer is Charlie Brown, the main character in the comic strip 'Peanuts' by Charles Schulz.

CHLOE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: Χλοη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: KLO-ee (English)

Rating: 65% based on 10 votes

Means "green shoot" in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Demeter. The name is also mentioned by Paul in one of his epistles in the New Testament. As an English name, Chloe has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

CLARA

Gender: Feminine

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

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

Rating: 74% based on 11 votes

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

CLARISSA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, Portuguese

Pronounced: klə-RIS-ə (English)

Rating: 53% based on 3 votes

Latinate form of CLARICE

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)

Rating: 65% based on 10 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.

CLEMENT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KLE-mənt

Rating: 37% based on 3 votes

English form of the Late Latin name Clemens (or sometimes of its derivative Clementius) which meant "merciful, gentle". This was the name of 14 popes, including Saint Clement I, the third pope, one of the Apostolic Fathers. Another saint by this name was Clement of Alexandria, a 3rd-century theologian and church father who attempted to reconcile Christian and Platonic philosophies. It has been in general as a given name in Christian Europe (in various spellings) since early times. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, though it was revived in the 19th century.

COLE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: KOL

Rating: 72% based on 11 votes

From a surname which was originally derived from the Old English byname COLA.

CONNOR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English (Modern)

Pronounced: KAHN-ər (English)

Rating: 75% based on 10 votes

Variant of CONOR

CONRAD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: KAHN-rad (English), KAWN-raht (German)

Rating: 80% based on 1 vote

Derived from the Germanic elements kuoni "brave" and rad "counsel". This was the name of a 10th-century saint and bishop of Konstanz, in southern Germany. It was also borne by several medieval German kings and dukes. In England it was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, but has only been common since the 19th century when it was reintroduced from Germany.

CORDELIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

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

Rating: 64% based on 9 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.

DAHLIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: DAL-yə

Rating: 74% based on 10 votes

From the name of the flower, which was named for the Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.

DAISY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAY-zee

Rating: 63% based on 10 votes

Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.

DANIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Hebrew, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian, Armenian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: דָּנִיֵּאל (Hebrew), Даниел (Macedonian), Դանիէլ (Armenian), დანიელ (Georgian), Δανιηλ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: DAN-yul (English), dah-nee-EL (Jewish), dan-YEL (French), DAH-nee-el (German), DAHN-yel (Polish)

Rating: 63% based on 10 votes

From the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel) meaning "God is my judge". Daniel was a Hebrew prophet whose story is told in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. He lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon, where he served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king's dreams. The book also presents Daniel's four visions of the end of the world.

Due to the popularity of the biblical character, the name came into use in England during the Middle Ages. Though it became rare by the 15th century, it was revived after the Protestant Reformation. Famous bearers of this name include English author Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782), and American frontiersman Daniel Boone (1734-1820).

DANTE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Italian

Pronounced: DAHN-te

Rating: 36% based on 10 votes

Medieval short form of DURANTE. The most notable bearer of this name was Dante Alighieri, the 13th-century Italian poet who wrote 'The Divine Comedy'.

DAPHNE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology, English, Dutch

Other Scripts: Δαφνη (Ancient Greek)

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

Rating: 48% based on 10 votes

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

DAVID

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: דָּוִד (Hebrew), Давид (Russian, Serbian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: DAY-vid (English), dah-VEED (Jewish), da-VEED (French), DAH-vit (German, Dutch), dah-VEET (Russian)

Rating: 44% based on 9 votes

From the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid), which was probably derived from Hebrew דוד (dwd) meaning "beloved". David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath, a giant Philistine. According to the New Testament, Jesus was descended from him.

This name has been used in Britain since the Middle Ages. It has been especially popular in Wales, where it is used in honour of the 5th-century patron saint of Wales (also called Dewi), as well as in Scotland, where it was borne by two kings. Famous bearers include empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873) and soccer player David Beckham (1975-). This is also the name of the hero of Charles Dickens' semi-autobiographical novel 'David Copperfield' (1850).

DELILAH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English

Other Scripts: דְּלִילָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: di-LIE-lə (English)

Rating: 65% based on 8 votes

Means "delicate, weak, languishing" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is the lover of Samson, whom she betrays to the Philistines by cutting his hair, which is the source of his power. Despite her character flaws, the name began to be used by the Puritans in the 17th century. It has been used occasionally in the English-speaking world since that time.

DESMOND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Irish

Pronounced: DEZ-mənd

Rating: 53% based on 3 votes

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

DEXTER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DEKS-tər

Rating: 83% based on 4 votes

From an occupational surname meaning "one who dyes" in Old English. It also coincides with the Latin word dexter meaning "right-handed, skilled".

DIGBY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: DIG-bee

Rating: 49% based on 11 votes

From a surname which was derived from the name of an English town, itself derived from a combination of Old English dic "dyke, ditch" and Old Norse byr "farm, town".

DOMINIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHM-ə-nik

Rating: 86% based on 7 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.

DOMINICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DAHM-ə-nik

Rating: 75% based on 8 votes

Variant of DOMINIC

DRAKE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: DRAYK

Rating: 55% based on 8 votes

From an English surname derived from the Old Norse given name Draki or the Old English given name Draca both meaning "dragon".

DUNCAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: DUN-kən (English)

Rating: 57% based on 3 votes

Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Donnchadh meaning "brown warrior", derived from Gaelic donn "brown" and cath "warrior". This was the name of two kings of Scotland, including the one who was featured in Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' (1606).

DYLAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology

Pronounced: DUL-an (Welsh), DIL-ən (English)

Rating: 60% based on 7 votes

From the Welsh elements dy "great" and llanw "tide, flow". In Welsh mythology Dylan was a god or hero associated with the sea. He was the son of Arianrhod and was accidentally slain by his uncle Govannon.

Famous bearers include the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) and the American musician Bob Dylan (1941-), real name Robert Zimmerman, who took his stage surname from the poet's given name. Due to those two bearers, use of the name has spread outside of Wales in the last half of the 20th century. It received a further boost in popularity in the 1990s due to a character on the television series 'Beverly Hills 90210'.

EDMOND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French

Rating: 79% based on 7 votes

French form of EDMUND. A notable bearer was the English astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742), for whom Halley's comet is named.

EDMUND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Polish

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

Rating: 80% based on 7 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.

ELEANOR

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-ə-nawr

Rating: 80% based on 3 votes

From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor. It was first borne by the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor "the other AENOR" in order to distinguish her from her mother.

The popularity of the name Eleanor in England during the Middle Ages was due to the fame of Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as two queens of the following century: Eleanor of Provence, the wife of Henry III, and Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward I. More recently, it was borne by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the wife of American president Franklin Roosevelt.

ELIAS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Greek, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Ηλιας (Greek)

Pronounced: ə-LEE-əsh (Portuguese), e-LEE-ahs (German), E-lee-ahs (Finnish), i-LIE-əs (English), ee-LIE-əs (English)

Rating: 88% based on 8 votes

Cognate of ELIJAH. This is the form used in the Greek New Testament.

ELIJAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Hebrew, Biblical

Other Scripts: אֱלִיָּהוּ (Hebrew)

Pronounced: i-LIE-jə (English), i-LIE-zhə (English)

Rating: 86% based on 9 votes

From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu) meaning "my God is YAHWEH". Elijah was a Hebrew prophet of the 9th century BC, during the reign of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. The two Books of Kings in the Old Testament tell of his exploits, which culminate with him being carried to heaven in a chariot of fire.

Because Elijah was a popular figure in medieval tales, and because his name was borne by a few early saints (who are usually known by the Latin form Elias), the name came into general use during the Middle Ages. In medieval England it was usually spelled Elis. It died out there by the 16th century, but it was revived by the Puritans in the form Elijah after the Protestant Reformation.

ELIOT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EL-ee-ət

Rating: 90% based on 3 votes

From a surname which was a variant of ELLIOTT. A famous bearer of the surname was T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), an Anglo-American poet and dramatist, the writer of 'The Waste Land'. As a given name, it was borne by the American mob-buster Eliot Ness (1903-1957).

ELIZA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Polish

Pronounced: i-LIE-zə (English), e-LEE-zah (Polish)

Rating: 60% based on 3 votes

Short form of ELIZABETH. It was borne by the character Eliza Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw's play 'Pygmalion' (1913) and the subsequent musical adaptation 'My Fair Lady' (1956).

ELIZABETH

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: i-LIZ-ə-bəth (English)

Rating: 77% based on 3 votes

From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.

Among Christians, this name was originally more common in Eastern Europe. It was borne in the 12th century by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, a daughter of King Andrew II who used her wealth to help the poor. In medieval England it was occasionally used in honour of the saint, though the form Isabel (from Occitan and Spanish) was more common. It has been very popular in England since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century. Famous modern bearers include the British queen Elizabeth II (1926-) and actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011).

ÉMERIC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French

Rating: 63% based on 9 votes

French form of EMMERICH

EMILY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-ə-lee

Rating: 62% based on 11 votes

English feminine form of Aemilius (see EMIL). In the English-speaking world it was not common until after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century; the princess Amelia Sophia (1711-1786) was commonly known as Emily in English, even though Amelia is an unrelated name.

Famous bearers include the British author Emily Bronte (1818-1848), who wrote 'Wuthering Heights', and the American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).

EMMA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: EM-ə (English), EM-mah (Finnish), E-mah (German)

Rating: 66% based on 12 votes

Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen meaning "whole" or "universal". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of king Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of king Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma.

After the Norman conquest this name became common in England. It was revived in the 18th century, perhaps in part due to Matthew Prior's poem 'Henry and Emma' (1709). It was also used by Jane Austen for the central character, the matchmaker Emma Woodhouse, in her novel 'Emma' (1816).

EMMETT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-it

Rating: 64% based on 10 votes

From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of the feminine given name EMMA.

ESTHER

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: אֶסְתֵר (Hebrew), Εσθηρ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: ES-tər (English, Dutch), es-TER (French)

Rating: 54% based on 7 votes

Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia who saved the Jews of the realm from extermination. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah.

This name has been used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In America it received a boost in popularity after the birth of Esther Cleveland (1893-1980), the daughter of president Grover Cleveland.

ETHAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Jewish, French, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: אֵיתָן (Hebrew)

Pronounced: EE-thən (English)

Rating: 78% based on 9 votes

Means "solid, enduring" in Hebrew. This is the name of a wise man in the Old Testament. After the Protestant Reformation it was occasionally used as a given name in the English-speaking world, and it became somewhat common in America due to the fame of the revolutionary Ethan Allen (1738-1789). It only became popular towards the end of the 20th century. This was the name of the main character in Edith Wharton's novel 'Ethan Frome' (1911).

EVA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Slovene, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Russian, Georgian, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin

Other Scripts: Ева (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Church Slavic), ევა (Georgian)

Pronounced: E-vah (Italian, Spanish, Danish), EE-və (English), E-fah (German), AY-vah (Dutch)

Rating: 70% based on 6 votes

Latinate form of EVE. This form is used in the Latin translation of the New Testament, while Hava is used in the Latin Old Testament. It is also a variant transcription of Russian YEVA. This name appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852) belonging to the character Little Eva, whose real name is in fact Evangeline.

EVAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: EV-ən (English)

Rating: 62% based on 9 votes

Anglicized form of Iefan, a Welsh form of JOHN.

EVANGELINE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ə-VAN-jə-leen

Rating: 97% based on 3 votes

Means "good news" from Greek ευ "good" and αγγελμα (angelma) "news, message". It was (first?) used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic poem 'Evangeline' (1847). It also appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852) as the full name of the character Eva.

EVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French, Biblical

Other Scripts: חַוָּה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: EEV (English), EV (French)

Rating: 85% based on 8 votes

From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah), which was derived from the Hebrew word חוה (chawah) "to breathe" or the related word חיה (chayah) "to live". According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis, Eve and Adam were the first humans. She gave the forbidden fruit to Adam, causing their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Despite this potentially negative association, the name was occasionally used during the Middle Ages. In the English-speaking world both Eve and the Latin form Eva were revived in the 19th century.

EVERARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Rare)

Rating: 40% based on 3 votes

Means "brave boar", derived from the Germanic elements ebur "wild boar" and hard "brave, hardy". The Normans introduced it to England, where it joined the Old English cognate Eoforheard. It has only been rarely used since the Middle Ages. Modern use of the name may be inspired by the surname Everard, itself derived from the medieval name.

EZEKIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Biblical, English

Other Scripts: יְחֶזְקֵאל (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: i-ZEE-kee-əl (English), i-ZEE-kyəl (English)

Rating: 57% based on 9 votes

From the Hebrew name יְחֶזְקֵאל (Yechezqel) meaning "God strengthens". Ezekiel is a major prophet of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Ezekiel. He lived in Jerusalem until the Babylonian conquest and captivity of Israel, at which time he was taken to Babylon. The Book of Ezekiel describes his vivid symbolic visions that predict the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. As an English given name, Ezekiel has been used since the Protestant Reformation.

FELIX

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Romanian, Ancient Roman, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Pronounced: FE-liks (German), FAY-liks (Dutch), FEE-liks (English)

Rating: 74% based on 10 votes

From a Roman cognomen meaning "lucky, successful" in Latin. It was acquired as an agnomen, or nickname, by the 1st-century BC Roman general Sulla. It also appears in the New Testament belonging to the governor of Judea who imprisoned Saint Paul.

Due to its favourable meaning, this name was popular among early Christians, being borne by many early saints and four popes. It has been used in England since the Middle Ages, though it has been more popular in continental Europe. A notable bearer was the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).

FERDINAND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, French, Dutch, English, Czech, Slovene, Finnish, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: FER-dee-nahnt (German, Dutch), FUR-di-nand (English), FER-dee-nahnd (Finnish)

Rating: 25% based on 2 votes

From Ferdinando, the old Spanish form of a Germanic name composed of the elements fardi "journey" and nand "daring, brave". The Visigoths brought the name to the Iberian Peninsula, where it entered into the royal families of Spain and Portugal. From there it became common among the Habsburg royal family of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, starting with the Spanish-born Ferdinand I in the 16th century. A notable bearer was Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), called Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese, who was the leader of the first expedition to sail around the earth.

FINLAY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, Scottish, English

Rating: 62% based on 5 votes

Anglicized form of FIONNLAGH

FINN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish Mythology, Irish

Rating: 83% based on 11 votes

Older Irish form of FIONN. This is also the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.

FLORENCE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

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

Rating: 80% based on 3 votes

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

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

FRANCISCO

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese

Pronounced: frahn-THEES-ko (Spanish), frahn-SEES-ko (Latin American Spanish), frən-SEESH-koo (Portuguese)

Rating: 70% based on 2 votes

Spanish and Portuguese form of Franciscus (see FRANCIS). A notable bearer was Francisco de Goya, a Spanish painter and engraver. The name was also borne by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

FREDERICK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: FRED-ə-rik, FRED-rik

Rating: 50% based on 2 votes

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

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

GABRIEL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: גַּבְרִיאֵל (Ancient Hebrew), Γαβριηλ (Ancient Greek)

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

Rating: 73% based on 9 votes

From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el) meaning "God is my strong man". Gabriel was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition. He appears in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, where 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.

GEORGE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Romanian

Pronounced: JORJ (English)

Rating: 50% based on 8 votes

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.

HAROLD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HER-əld, HAR-əld

Rating: 39% based on 8 votes

From the Old English name Hereweald, derived from the elements here "army" and weald "power, leader, ruler". The Old Norse cognate Haraldr was also common among Scandinavian settlers in England. This was the name of five kings of Norway and three kings of Denmark. It was also borne by two kings of England, both of whom were from mixed Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon backgrounds, including Harold II who lost the Battle of Hastings (and was killed in it), which led to the Norman conquest. After the conquest the name died out, but it was eventually revived in the 19th century.

HARRIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HER-ee-ət, HAR-ee-ət

Rating: 59% based on 9 votes

English form of HENRIETTE, and thus a feminine form of HARRY. It was first used in the 17th century, becoming very common in the English-speaking world by the 18th century. A famous bearer was Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the American author who wrote 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'.

HARRY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HER-ee, HAR-ee

Rating: 46% based on 9 votes

Medieval English form of HENRY. In modern times it is used as a diminutive of both Henry and HAROLD. A famous bearer was American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). It is also the name of the boy wizard in J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series of books, first released in 1997.

HECTOR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance

Other Scripts: ‘Εκτωρ (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: HEK-tər (English)

Rating: 41% based on 10 votes

Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκτωρ (Hektor), which was derived from ‘εκτωρ (hektor) "holding fast", ultimately from εχω (echo) meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles' friend Patroclus in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends belonging to King Arthur's foster father.

Hector has occasionally been used as a given name since the Middle Ages, probably because of the noble character of the classical hero. It was historically common in Scotland, where it was used as an Anglicized form of Eachann.

HELENA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: ‘Ελενη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: he-LE-nah (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish), hay-LAY-nah (Dutch), HE-le-nah (Finnish)

Rating: 85% based on 2 votes

Latinate form of HELEN

HENRY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HEN-ree

Rating: 76% based on 8 votes

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).

HERMIONE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology

Other Scripts: ‘Ερμιονη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: hər-MIE-ə-nee (English)

Rating: 85% based on 2 votes

Derived from the name of the Greek messenger god HERMES. In Greek myth Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. This is also the name of the wife of Leontes in Shakespeare's play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610). It is now closely associated with the character Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.

HUGH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: HYOO

Rating: 66% based on 9 votes

From the Germanic element hug, meaning "heart, mind, spirit". It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh and Ùisdean.

HUGO

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)

Pronounced: OO-go (Spanish), HYOO-go (English), HUY-kho (Dutch), HOO-go (German)

Rating: 43% based on 3 votes

Latinized form of HUGH. As a surname it has belonged to the French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the writer of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.

ISABEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German

Pronounced: ee-sah-BEL (Spanish), IZ-ə-bel (English), ee-za-BEL (French), ee-zah-BEL (German)

Rating: 75% based on 8 votes

Medieval Occitan form of ELIZABETH. It spread throughout Spain, Portugal and France, becoming common among the royalty by the 12th century. It grew popular in England in the 13th century after Isabella of Angoulême married the English king John, and it was subsequently bolstered when Isabella of France married Edward II the following century.

This is the usual form of the name Elizabeth in Spain and Portugal, though elsewhere it is considered a parallel name, such as in France where it is used alongside Élisabeth. The name was borne by two Spanish ruling queens, including Isabel of Castile, who sponsored the explorations of Christopher Columbus.

ISABELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian

Pronounced: ee-zah-BEL-lah (Italian), iz-ə-BEL-ə (English)

Rating: 80% based on 10 votes

Latinate form of ISABEL. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel).

ISIS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)

Other Scripts: Ισις (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: IE-sis (English)

Rating: 100% based on 2 votes

Greek form of Egyptian Ist (reconstructed as Iset or Ueset), which possibly meant "the throne". In Egyptian mythology Isis was the goddess of the sky and nature, the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus. She was originally depicted wearing a throne-shaped headdress, but in later times she was conflated with the goddess Hathor and depicted having the horns of a cow on her head. She was also worshipped by people outside of Egypt, such as the Greeks and Romans.

ISOBEL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Rating: 72% based on 9 votes

Scottish form of ISABEL

IVY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: IE-vee

Rating: 73% based on 10 votes

From the English word for the climbing plant that has small yellow flowers. It is ultimately derived from Old English ifig.

JACK

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JAK

Rating: 88% based on 11 votes

Derived from Jackin (earlier Jankin), a medieval diminutive of JOHN. It is often regarded as an independent name. During the Middle Ages it was very common, and it became a slang word meaning "man". It was frequently used in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Little Jack Horner', and 'Jack Sprat'. American writers Jack London (1876-1916) and Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) were two famous bearers of this name. It is also borne by American actor Jack Nicholson (1937-).

JACOB

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Jewish, Biblical

Other Scripts: יַעֲקֹב (Hebrew)

Pronounced: JAY-kəb (English), YAH-kawp (Dutch)

Rating: 75% based on 10 votes

From the Latin Iacobus, which was from the Greek Ιακωβος (Iakobos), which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov). In the Old Testament, Jacob (later called Israel) is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau's heel, and his name is explained as meaning "holder of the heel" or "supplanter". Other theories claim that it is in fact derived from a hypothetical name like יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya'aqov'el) meaning "may God protect".

The English names Jacob and James derive from the same source, with James coming from Latin Iacomus, a later variant of Iacobus. Unlike English, many languages do not have separate spellings for the two names.

In England, Jacob was mainly regarded as a Jewish name during the Middle Ages, though the variant James was used among Christians. Jacob came into general use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), the German linguist and writer who was, with his brother Wilhelm, the author of 'Grimm's Fairy Tales'.

JAMES

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAYMZ (English)

Rating: 83% based on 12 votes

English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (see JACOB). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus.

Since the 13th century this form of the name has been used in England, though it became more common in Scotland, where it was borne by several kings. In the 17th century the Scottish king James VI inherited the English throne, becoming the first ruler of all Britain, and the name grew much more popular. Famous bearers include the explorer Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the inventor James Watt (1736-1819), and the novelist and poet James Joyce (1882-1941). This name has also been borne by six American presidents. A notable fictional bearer is the British spy James Bond, created by author Ian Fleming.

JASPER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch, Judeo-Christian Legend

Pronounced: JAS-pər (English), YAHS-pər (Dutch)

Rating: 81% based on 7 votes

Means "treasurer" in Persian. This name was traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. The name can also be given in reference to the English word for the gemstone.

JEMIMA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical, English

Other Scripts: יְמִימָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: jə-MIE-mə (English)

Rating: 60% based on 2 votes

Means "dove" in Hebrew. This was the oldest of the three daughters of Job in the Old Testament. As an English name, Jemima first became common during the Puritan era.

JESSE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Dutch, Biblical

Other Scripts: יִשַׁי (Ancient Hebrew)

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

Rating: 84% based on 9 votes

From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishay) which possibly means "gift". Jesse is the father of King David in the Old Testament. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer of this name 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.

JOHN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JAHN (English)

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious". This name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who was considered the forerunner of Jesus Christ. The second is the apostle John, who is also traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth Gospel and Revelation.

This name was initially more common among Eastern Christians in the Byzantine Empire, but it flourished in Western Europe after the First Crusade. In England it became extremely popular: during the later Middle Ages it was given to approximately a fifth of all English boys.

The name (in various spellings) has been borne by 21 popes and eight Byzantine emperors, as well as rulers of England, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Russia and Hungary. It was also borne by the poet John Milton (1608-1674), philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), American founding father and president John Adams (1735-1826), and poet John Keats (1795-1821). Famous bearers of the 20th century include author John Steinbeck (1902-1968), assassinated American president John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), and musician John Lennon (1940-1980).

JONAH

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: יוֹנָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: JO-nə (English)

Rating: 67% based on 7 votes

From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah) meaning "dove". This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. He emerged from the fish alive three days later. His story was popular in the Middle Ages, but the name did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation.

JUDE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: JOOD (English)

Rating: 70% based on 10 votes

Variant of JUDAS. It is used in many English versions of the New Testament to denote the second apostle named Judas, in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. He was supposedly the author of the Epistle of Jude. In the English-speaking world, Jude has occasionally been used as a given name since the time of the Protestant Reformation.

JULIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Ancient Roman, Biblical

Pronounced: JOO-lee-ə (English), YOO-lee-ah (German, Danish, Finnish), HOO-lyah (Spanish), YUWL-yah (Polish), YOO:-lee-ah (Ancient Roman)

Rating: 76% based on 7 votes

Feminine form of JULIUS. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Shakespeare used the name in his comedy 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594). It has been common as a given name in the English-speaking world only since the 18th century. A famous bearer is American actress Julia Roberts (1967-).

JULIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Polish, German

Pronounced: JOO-lee-ən (English), JOOL-yən (English), YUWL-yahn (Polish), YOO-lee-ahn (German)

Rating: 64% based on 8 votes

From the Roman name Iulianus, which was derived from JULIUS. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana, eventually becoming Gillian).

JULIANA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman

Pronounced: yuy-lee-AH-nah (Dutch), yoo-lee-AH-nah (German), joo-lee-AHN-ə (English)

Rating: 85% based on 8 votes

Feminine form of Iulianus (see JULIAN). This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr from Nicomedia, and also of the Blessed Juliana of Norwich, also called Julian, a 14th-century mystic and author. The name was also borne by a 20th-century queen of the Netherlands. In England, this form has been in use since the 18th century, alongside the older form Gillian.

JULIET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: JOO-lee-et, JOOL-yət

Rating: 60% based on 7 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).

JULIUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Roman, English, German

Pronounced: YOO:-li-uws (Ancient Roman), JOO-lee-əs (English), YOO-lee-uws (German)

Rating: 50% based on 2 votes

From a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Greek ιουλος (ioulos) "downy-bearded". Alternatively, it could be related to the name of the Roman god JUPITER. This was a prominent patrician family of Rome, who claimed descent from the mythological Julus, son of Aeneas. Its most notable member was Gaius Julius Caesar, who is known for his clever conquest of Gaul. After a civil war he became the dictator of the Roman Republic, but was eventually stabbed to death in the senate.

Although this name was borne by several early saints, including a pope, it was rare during the Middle Ages. It was revived in Italy and France during the Renaissance, and was subsequently imported to England.

KEZIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Biblical

Other Scripts: קְצִיעָה (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: kə-ZIE-ə (English)

Rating: 50% based on 7 votes

Variant of KEZIAH

LAVENDER

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Rating: 71% based on 10 votes

From the English word for the aromatic flower or the pale purple colour.

LEANDER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Λεανδρος (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: lee-AN-dər (English)

Rating: 52% based on 9 votes

From the Greek Λεανδρος (Leandros) which means "lion of a man" from Greek λεων (leon) "lion" and ανδρος (andros) "of a man". In Greek legend Leander was the lover of Hero. Every night he swam across the Hellespont to meet her, but on one occasion he was drowned when a storm arose. When Hero saw his dead body she threw herself into the waters and perished.

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: 55% based on 10 votes

Derived from Latin leo "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.

LEONARD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic

Pronounced: LEN-ərd (English), le-AW-nahrt (Polish), LAY-o-nahrt (Dutch)

Rating: 40% based on 2 votes

Means "brave lion", derived from the Germanic elements levon "lion" and hard "brave, hardy". This was the name of a 5th-century Frankish saint who is the patron of prisoners and horses. The Normans brought this name to England, though it did not become common there until the 19th century.

LILLIAN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee-ən

Rating: 70% 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.

LILLIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee

Rating: 54% based on 7 votes

Variant of LILY

LILY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIL-ee

Rating: 73% based on 8 votes

From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium.

LINTON

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LIN-tən

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

From a surname which was originally from place names meaning either "flax town" or "lime tree town" in Old English.

LOTUS

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Pronounced: LO-təs

Rating: 50% based on 3 votes

From the name of the lotus flower (species Nelumbo nucifera) or the mythological lotus tree. They are ultimately derived from Greek λωτος (lotos). In Greek and Roman mythology the lotus tree was said to produce a fruit causing sleepiness and forgetfulness.

LUCY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: LOO-see

Rating: 72% based on 10 votes

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

LUNA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Roman Mythology

Rating: 54% based on 8 votes

Means "the moon" in Latin. Luna was the Roman goddess of the moon, frequently depicted driving a white chariot through the sky.

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: 79% based on 8 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: 78% based on 9 votes

French form of MAGDALENE

MADELINA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Rare)

Rating: 77% based on 7 votes

Latinate form of MADELINE

MAEVE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: MAYV

Rating: 80% based on 3 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'.

MAIA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Roman Mythology

Pronounced: MAY-ə (English), MIE-ə (English)

Rating: 66% based on 8 votes

Means "great" in Latin. This was the name of a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan. The month of May is named for her.

MAISIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scottish

Pronounced: MAY-zee

Rating: 83% based on 3 votes

Diminutive of MAIREAD

MALCOLM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Scottish, English

Pronounced: MAL-kəm

Rating: 80% based on 9 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.

MARC

Gender: Masculine

Usage: French, Catalan, Welsh

Pronounced: MAHRHK (French)

Rating: 78% based on 8 votes

French, Catalan and Welsh form of MARK

MARCO

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch

Pronounced: MAHR-ko (Italian, Spanish, Dutch)

Rating: 68% based on 5 votes

Italian form of MARK. During the Middle Ages this name was common in Venice, where Saint Mark was supposedly buried. A famous bearer was the Venetian explorer Marco Polo, who travelled across Asia to China in the 13th century.

MARIANNE

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: mah-ree-AH-nə (German), MAH-ree-ahn-ne (Finnish)

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

Originally a French diminutive of MARIE. It is also considered a combination of MARIE and ANNE (1). Shortly after the formation of the French Republic in 1792, a female figure by this name was adopted as the symbol of the state.

MARTHA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Μαρθα (Greek), Марѳа (Church Slavic)

Pronounced: MAHR-thə (English)

Rating: 15% based on 2 votes

From Aramaic מרתא (marta') meaning "lady, mistress". In the New Testament this is the name of the sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany. It was not used in England until after the Protestant Reformation. A notable bearer was Martha Washington (1731-1802), the wife of the first American president George Washington.

MATILDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Swedish, Finnish, Slovak

Pronounced: mə-TIL-də (English), MAH-teel-dah (Finnish)

Rating: 69% based on 12 votes

From the Germanic name Mahthildis meaning "strength in battle", from the elements maht "might, strength" and hild "battle". Saint Matilda was the wife of the 10th-century German king Henry I the Fowler. The name was brought to England by the Normans, being borne by the wife of William the Conqueror himself. It was popular until the 15th century in England, usually in the vernacular form Maud. Both forms were revived by the 19th century. This name appears in the popular Australian folk song 'Waltzing Matilda', written in 1895.

MAX

Gender: Masculine

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

Pronounced: MAHKS (German), MAKS (English)

Rating: 68% based on 11 votes

Short form of MAXIMILIAN (or sometimes of MAXWELL in English).

MAXIM

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian

Other Scripts: Максим (Russian, Ukrainian), Максім (Belarusian)

Pronounced: mahk-SEEM (Russian)

Rating: 73% based on 4 votes

Variant transcription of MAKSIM or MAKSYM

MAXIMILIAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

Pronounced: mahk-see-MEE-lee-ahn (German), mak-si-MIL-ee-ən (English), mak-si-MIL-yən (English)

Rating: 55% based on 4 votes

From the Roman name Maximilianus, which was derived from MAXIMUS. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint and martyr. In the 15th century the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III gave this name to his son and eventual heir. In this case it was a blend of the names of the Roman generals Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (see EMILIANO), who Frederick admired. It was subsequently borne by a second Holy Roman Emperor, two kings of Bavaria, and a short-lived Habsburg emperor of Mexico.

MAXWELL

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAKS-wel

Rating: 100% based on 2 votes

From a Scottish surname meaning "Mack's stream", from the name Mack, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS, combined with Old English wella "stream". A famous bearer of the surname was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.

MAY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAY

Rating: 81% based on 9 votes

Derived from the name of the month of May, which derives from Maia, the name of a Roman goddess. May is also another name of the hawthorn flower. It is also used as a diminutive of MARY, MARGARET or MABEL.

MAYA (2)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAY-ə, MIE-ə

Rating: 78% based on 8 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.

MIRANDA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch

Pronounced: mə-RAN-də (English)

Rating: 68% based on 10 votes

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

MIRIAM

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: מִרְיָם (Hebrew)

Pronounced: MIR-ee-əm (English)

Rating: 93% based on 3 votes

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

MOLLY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: MAHL-ee

Rating: 77% based on 10 votes

Diminutive of MARY. It developed from Malle and Molle, other medieval diminutives. James Joyce used this name in his novel 'Ulysses' (1920), where it belongs to Molly Bloom, the wife of the main character.

NOAH (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Other Scripts: נוֹחַ (Ancient Hebrew)

Pronounced: NO-ə (English)

Rating: 74% based on 9 votes

Derived from the Hebrew name נוֹחַ (Noach) meaning "rest, comfort". According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the great Flood. After the Flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. As an English Christian name, Noah has been used since the Protestant Reformation, being common among the Puritans.

OLIVER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak

Other Scripts: Оливер (Serbian, Macedonian)

Pronounced: AHL-ə-vər (English), AW-lee-ver (German), O-lee-ver (Finnish)

Rating: 80% based on 10 votes

From Olivier, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as ALFHER or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr (see OLAF). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva "olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.

In England Oliver was a common medieval name, however it became rare after the 17th century because of the military commander Oliver Cromwell, who ruled the country following the civil war. The name was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to the title character in Charles Dickens' novel 'Oliver Twist' (1838), which was about a poor orphan living on the streets of London.

OSCAR

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Irish Mythology

Pronounced: AHS-kər (English)

Rating: 50% based on 8 votes

Possibly means "deer lover", derived from Gaelic os "deer" and cara "lover". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhail.

This name was popularized in continental Europe by the works of the 18th-century Scottish poet James Macpherson. Napoleon was an admirer of Macpherson, and he suggested Oscar as the second middle name of his godson, who eventually became king of Sweden as Oscar I. Another notable bearer was the Irish writer and humourist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

OSWALD

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, German, Anglo-Saxon

Pronounced: AHZ-wawld (English), AWS-vahlt (German)

Rating: 34% based on 7 votes

Derived from the Old English elements os "god" and weald "power, ruler". Saint Oswald was a king of Northumbria who introduced Christianity to northeast England in the 7th century before being killed in battle. There was also an Old Norse cognate Ásvaldr in use in England, being borne by the 10th-century Saint Oswald of Worcester, who was of Danish ancestry. Though the name had died out by the end of the Middle Ages, it was revived in the 19th century.

OWEN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Welsh, English

Pronounced: O-ən (English)

Rating: 89% based on 10 votes

Modern form of OWAIN

PEARL

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PURL

Rating: 66% based on 5 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.

PHOEBE

Gender: Feminine

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

Other Scripts: Φοιβη (Ancient Greek)

Pronounced: FEE-bee (English)

Rating: 63% based on 9 votes

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).

PIPPA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PIP-ə

Rating: 71% based on 7 votes

Diminutive of PHILIPPA

PIPPIN (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Germanic

Rating: 41% based on 10 votes

Old Germanic form of PÉPIN

POPPY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (British)

Pronounced: PAH-pee

Rating: 47% based on 7 votes

From the word for the red flower, derived from Old English popæg.

PORTIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: PAWR-shə

Rating: 40% based on 3 votes

Variant of Porcia, the feminine form of the Roman family name PORCIUS, used by William Shakespeare for the heroine of his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596). In the play Portia is a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to defend Antonio in court. It is also the name of a moon of Uranus, after the Shakespearian character.

PUCK

Gender: Masculine & Feminine

Usage: Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Dutch

Pronounced: PUK (English)

Rating: 20% based on 2 votes

Meaning unknown, from Old English puca. It could ultimately be of either Germanic or Celtic origin. In English legend this was the name of a mischievous spirit, also known as Robin Goodfellow. He appears in Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1600).

REDMOND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish

Rating: 85% based on 2 votes

Anglicized form of RÉAMANN

RIVER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: RIV-ər

Rating: 58% based on 10 votes

From the English word that denotes a flowing body of water. The word is ultimately derived (via Old French) from Latin ripa "riverbank".

ROGER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Swedish

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

Rating: 60% based on 8 votes

Means "famous spear" from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and ger "spear". The Normans brought this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hroðgar (the name of the Danish king in the Anglo-Saxon epic 'Beowulf'). It was a common name in England during the Middle Ages. By the 18th century it was rare, but it was revived in following years. The name was borne by the Norman lords Roger I, who conquered Sicily in the 11th century, and his son Roger II, who ruled Sicily as a king.

ROLAND

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, German, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian

Pronounced: RO-lənd (English), ro-LAWN (French)

Rating: 70% based on 8 votes

Means "famous land" from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and land. Roland was a semi-legendary French hero whose story is told in the medieval epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which he is a nephew of Charlemagne killed in battle with the Saracens. The Normans introduced this name to England.

RORY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, Scottish

Pronounced: RAWR-ee

Rating: 82% based on 9 votes

Anglicized form of RUAIDHRÍ

ROSALIND

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROZ-ə-lind

Rating: 74% based on 7 votes

Derived from the Germanic elements hros "horse" and linde "soft, tender". The Normans introduced this name to England, though it was not common. During the Middle Ages its spelling was influenced by the Latin phrase rosa linda "beautiful rose". The name was popularized by Edmund Spencer, who used it in his poetry, and by William Shakespeare, who used it for the heroine in his comedy 'As You Like It' (1599).

ROSAMOND

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROZ-ə-mund

Rating: 70% based on 2 votes

Variant of ROSAMUND, in use since the Middle Ages.

ROSE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, French

Pronounced: ROZ

Rating: 69% based on 8 votes

Originally a Norman form of a Germanic name, which was composed of the elements hrod "fame" and heid "kind, sort, type". The Normans introduced it to England in the forms Roese and Rohese. From an early date it was associated with the word for the fragrant flower rose (derived from Latin rosa). When the name was revived in the 19th century, it was probably with the flower in mind.

ROSEMARY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROZ-mə-ree

Rating: 77% based on 7 votes

Combination of ROSE and MARY. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.

RUBY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ROO-bee

Rating: 72% based on 5 votes

Simply means "ruby" 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.

RUFUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Ancient Roman, English, Biblical

Pronounced: ROO-fəs (English)

Rating: 50% based on 2 votes

Roman cognomen which meant "red-haired" in Latin. Several early saints had this name, including one mentioned in one of Paul's epistles in the New Testament. As a nickname it was used by William II Rufus, a king of England, because of his red hair. It came into general use in the English-speaking world after the Protestant Reformation.

RUPERT

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Low German, Dutch, English, Polish

Pronounced: RUY-pərt (Dutch), ROO-pərt (English), RUW-pert (Polish)

Rating: 58% based on 6 votes

Low German form of ROBERT. The military commander Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a nephew of Charles I, introduced this name to England in the 17th century.

SEAN

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Irish, English

Pronounced: SHAWN

Rating: 50% based on 5 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: 77% based on 9 votes

From the Latin name Sebastianus which meant "from Sebaste". Sebaste was the name a town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek σεβαστος (sebastos) "venerable" (a translation of Latin Augustus, the title of the Roman emperors). Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred by arrows after it was discovered he was a Christian. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in medieval Europe, especially in Spain and France. It was also borne by a 16th-century king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.

SETH (1)

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

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

Pronounced: SETH (English)

Rating: 80% based on 3 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.

SIEGFRIED

Gender: Masculine

Usage: German, Germanic Mythology

Pronounced: ZEEK-freet (German)

Rating: 15% based on 4 votes

Derived from the Germanic elements sigu "victory" and frid "peace". Siegfried was a hero from Germanic legend, chief character in the 'Nibelungenlied', which tells how he defeated the Icelandic queen Brünhild in order to win the hand of Kriemhild. He was stabbed and killed by Hagen in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. His adventures were largely based on those of the Norse hero Sigurd.

SIRIUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: Astronomy

Pronounced: SIR-ee-əs (English), SEER-ee-əs (English)

Rating: 59% based on 9 votes

The name of a bright star in the constellation Canis Major, derived via Latin from Greek σειριος (seirios) "burning".

SOPHIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Σοφια (Greek)

Pronounced: so-FEE-ə (English), so-FIE-ə (British English), zo-FEE-ah (German)

Rating: 83% based on 7 votes

Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which was the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.

This name was common among continental European royalty during the Middle Ages, and it was popularized in Britain by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century. It was the name of characters in the novels 'Tom Jones' (1749) by Henry Fielding and 'The Vicar of Wakefield' (1766) by Oliver Goldsmith.

SOPHIE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: French, English, German, Dutch

Pronounced: so-FEE (French), SO-fee (English), ZO-fee (German)

Rating: 83% based on 3 votes

French form of SOPHIA

STELLA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian

Pronounced: STEL-ə (English)

Rating: 88% based on 8 votes

Means "star" in Latin. This name was created by the 16th-century poet Sir Philip Sidney for the subject of his collection of sonnets 'Astrophel and Stella'. It was not commonly used as a given name until the 19th century. It appears in Tennessee Williams' play 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1947), belonging to the sister of Blanche DuBois and the wife of Stanley Kowalski.

SYLVIA

Gender: Feminine

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

Pronounced: SIL-vee-ə (English), SUYL-vee-ah (Finnish)

Rating: 63% based on 3 votes

Variant of SILVIA. This has been the most common English spelling since the 19th century.

THADDEUS

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Pronounced: THAD-ee-əs (English)

Rating: 44% based on 5 votes

From Θαδδαιος (Thaddaios), the Greek form of the Aramaic name Thaddai. It is possibly derived from a word meaning "heart", but it may in fact be an Aramaic form of a Greek name such as Θεοδωρος (see THEODORE). In the Gospel of Matthew, Thaddaeus is listed as one of the twelve apostles, though elsewhere in the New Testament his name is omitted and Jude's appears instead. It is likely that the two names refer to the same person.

THALIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Greek Mythology (Latinized)

Other Scripts: Θαλεια (Ancient Greek)

Rating: 85% based on 2 votes

From the Greek Θαλεια (Thaleia), derived from θαλλω (thallo) meaning "to blossom". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of comedy and pastoral poetry. This was also the name of one of the three Graces or Χαριτες (Charites).

THEODORE

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: THEE-ə-dawr

Rating: 86% based on 9 votes

From the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros), which meant "gift of god" from Greek θεος (theos) "god" and δωρον (doron) "gift". This was the name of several saints, including Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Greek soldier; Theodore of Tarsus, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury; and Theodore the Studite, a 9th-century Byzantine monk. It was also borne by two popes.

This was a common name in classical Greece, and, due to both the saints who carried it and the favourable meaning, it came into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was however rare in Britain before the 19th century. Famous bearers include three tsars of Russia (in the Russian form Fyodor) and American president Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).

TIMOTHY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical

Pronounced: TIM-ə-thee (English)

Rating: 71% based on 7 votes

From the Greek name Τιμοθεος (Timotheos) meaning "honouring God", derived from τιμαω (timao) "to honour" and θεος (theos) "god". Saint Timothy was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys and was the recipient of two of Paul's epistles that appear in the New Testament. According to tradition, he was martyred at Ephesus after protesting the worship of Artemis. As an English name, Timothy was not used until after the Protestant Reformation.

TOBY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: TO-bee

Rating: 64% based on 7 votes

Medieval form of TOBIAS. It was sometimes used as a feminine name in the 1930s and 40s due to the influence of American actress Toby Wing (1915-2001).

VALENCIA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: bah-LEN-thyah (Spanish), bah-LEN-syah (Latin American Spanish)

Rating: 75% based on 2 votes

From a Late Latin name which was derived from valentia "power". Cities in Spain and Venezuela bear this name.

VERITY

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Archaic)

Pronounced: VER-i-tee

Rating: 54% based on 10 votes

From the English word meaning "verity, truth". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.

VIOLET

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: VIE-lət, VIE-ə-lət

Rating: 87% based on 9 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.

XAVIER

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish (Archaic)

Pronounced: ZAY-vee-ər (English), ZAY-vyər (English), ig-ZAY-vee-ər (English), za-VYAY (French), sha-VYER (Portuguese)

Rating: 65% based on 4 votes

Derived from the Basque place name Etxaberri meaning "the new house". This was the surname of the Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552). He was a missionary to India, Japan, China, and other areas in East Asia, and he is the patron saint of the Orient and missionaries. His surname has since been adopted as a given name in his honour, chiefly among Catholics.

ZACHARY

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: ZAK-ə-ree

Rating: 83% based on 6 votes

Usual English form of ZACHARIAS. This form has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation. It was borne by American military commander and president Zachary Taylor (1784-1850).

ZARA (1)

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English (Modern)

Pronounced: ZAHR-ə

Rating: 74% based on 8 votes

English form of ZAÏRE. In England it came to public attention when Princess Anne gave it to her daughter in 1981. Use of the name may also be influenced by the trendy Spanish clothing retailer Zara.

ZOE

Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Greek, Italian, Ancient Greek

Other Scripts: Ζωη (Greek)

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

Rating: 70% based on 9 votes

Means "life" in Greek. From early times it was adopted by Hellenized Jews as a translation of EVE. It was borne by two early Christian saints, one martyred under emperor Hadrian, the other martyred under Diocletian. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by a ruling empress of the 11th century. As an English name, Zoe has only been in use since the 19th century. It has generally been more common among Eastern Christians (in various spellings).
Copyright © Mike Campbell 1996-2014.