ADA f English, German, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names such as ADELAIDE
that begin with the element adal
meaning "noble". This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron. She was an assistant to Charles Babbage, the inventor of an early mechanical computer.
ALAN m English, Scottish, Breton, French
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. It was used in Brittany at least as early as the 6th century, and it possibly means either "little rock" or "handsome" in Breton. Alternatively, it may derive from the tribal name of the Alans, an Iranian people who migrated into Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries.... [more]
ALBERT m English, French, Catalan, German, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Romanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Adalbert
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and beraht
"bright". This name was common among medieval German royalty. The Normans introduced it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Æðelberht
. Though it became rare in England by the 17th century, it was repopularized in the 19th century by the German-born Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.... [more]
ALESSANDRO m Italian
Italian form of ALEXANDER
. A famous bearer was Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), the Italian physicist who invented the battery.
ALEXANDER m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
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.... [more]
ALFRED m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch
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 northeast 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.... [more]
ALVA (2) m English
Variant of ALVAH
. A famous bearer of this name was the inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
AMEDEO m Italian
Italian form of AMADEUS
. A notable bearer of this name was Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856), an Italian chemist most famous for the constant that now bears his name: Avogadro's Number. Another famous bearer was the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920).
BENJAMIN m English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Biblical
From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin)
meaning "son of the south" or "son of the right hand", from the roots בֵּן (ben)
meaning "son" and יָמִין (yamin)
meaning "right hand, south". 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-'oni)
meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel
, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father (see Genesis 35:18).... [more]
DAEDALUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαιδαλος (Daidalos)
, which was derived from δαιδαλλω (daidallo)
meaning "to work cunningly". In Greek myth Daedalus was an Athenian inventor who was banished to Crete. There he designed the Labyrinth for King Minos
, but he and his son Icarus
were eventually imprisoned inside it because he had aided Theseus
in his quest against the Minotaur. Daelalus and Icarus escaped using wings fashioned from wax, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.
DALTON m English
From an English surname that was originally from a place name meaning "valley town" in Old English. A notable bearer of the surname was John Dalton (1766-1844), the English chemist and physicist who theorized about the existence of atoms.
DMITRIY m Russian
Russian form of DEMETRIUS
. Dmitriy Mendeleev (1834-1907) was the Russian chemist who devised the periodic table.
EDISON m English
From an English surname that meant either "son of EDA (2)
" or "son of ADAM
". A famous bearer of the surname was the inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931).
ELI (1) m English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Means "ascension" in Hebrew. In the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament he is a high priest of the Israelites. He took the young Samuel
into his service and gave him guidance when God spoke to him. Because of the misdeeds of his sons, Eli and his descendants were cursed to die before reaching old age.... [more]
ENRICO m Italian
Italian form of HENRY
. Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) was an Italian physicist who did work on the development of the nuclear bomb.
ERWIN m German, Dutch, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic name Hariwini
, composed of the elements hari
"army" and win
"friend". It may have merged somewhat with the Germanic name EBURWIN
. A notable bearer was Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), an Austrian physicist who made contributions to quantum theory.
FRANCIS m & f English, French
English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus
meaning "Frenchman", ultimately from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, who were named for a type of spear that they used. This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.... [more]
FRANKLIN m English
From an English surname that was derived from Middle English frankelin
"freeman". A famous bearer of the surname was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher. The name has commonly been given in his honour in the United States. It also received a boost during the term of American president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
GOTTFRIED m German
German form of GODFREY
. This name was borne by the 13th-century German poet Gottfried von Strassburg and the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), one of the inventors of calculus.
GRAHAM m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, originally derived from the English place name Grantham
, which probably meant "gravelly homestead" in Old English. The surname was first taken to Scotland in the 12th century by the Norman baron William de Graham. A famous bearer was Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-Canadian-American inventor who devised the telephone.
GREGOR m German, Scottish, Slovak, Slovene
German, Scottish, Slovak and Slovene form of Gregorius
). A famous bearer was Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), a Czech monk and scientist who did experiments in genetics.
HERON m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". This was the name of a 1st-century Greek inventor (also known as Hero
) from Alexandria.
ISAAC m English, Spanish, Catalan, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq)
meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice", derived from צָחַק (tzachaq)
meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham
laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah
would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17), and later Sarah laughed when overhearing the same prophecy (see Genesis 18:12). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau
with his wife Rebecca
JAMES m English, Biblical
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
). 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
JETHRO m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִתְרוֹ (Yitro)
, which was derived from the Hebrew word יֶתֶר (yeter)
meaning "abundance". According to the Old Testament, Jethro was a Midianite priest who sheltered Moses
when he fled Egypt. He was the father of Zipporah
, who became Moses's wife. A famous bearer of the name was Jethro Tull (1674-1741), an English inventor and agriculturist.
KELVIN m English
From the name of a Scottish river, perhaps meaning "narrow water". As a title it was borne by the Irish-Scottish physicist William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), who acquired his title from the river.
LEONARDO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of LEONARD
. A notable bearer was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), an Italian artist and scientist of the Renaissance. He is known as the inventor of several contraptions, including flying machines, as well as the painter of the 'Mona Lisa'. Another famous bearer was Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th-century Italian mathematician. A more recent bearer is American actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-).
LOUIS m French, English, Dutch
French form of Ludovicus
, the Latinized form of LUDWIG
. This was the name of 18 kings of France, starting with Louis I the son of Charlemagne
. Others include Louis IX (Saint Louis) who led two crusades and Louis XIV (called the Sun King) who was the ruler of France during the height of its power, the builder of the Palace of Versailles, and the longest reigning monarch in the history of Europe. It was also borne by kings of Germany (as Ludwig
), Hungary (as Lajos
), and other places.... [more]
MARIE f & m French, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
French and Czech form of MARIA
. A notable bearer of this name was Marie Antoinette, a queen of France who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. Another was Marie Curie (1867-1934), a physicist and chemist who studied radioactivity with her husband Pierre.... [more]
MAXWELL m English
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.
MICHAEL m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha'el)
meaning "who is like God?". This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Michael is one of the archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament he is named as a protector of Israel. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies in the war against Satan, and is thus considered the patron saint of soldiers in Christianity.... [more]
MUHAMMAD m Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Tajik, Indonesian, Malay, Avar
Means "praised, commendable" in Arabic, derived from the root حَمِدَ (hamida)
meaning "to praise". This was the name of the prophet who founded the Islamic religion in the 7th century. According to Muslim belief, at age 40 Muhammad was visited by the angel Gabriel
, who provided him with the first verses of the Quran. Approximately 20 years later he conquered Mecca, the city of his birth, and his followers controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of his death in 632.... [more]
NEWTON m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English physicist Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
NIELS (1) m Danish
Danish form of NICHOLAS
. A famous bearer was Niels Bohr (1885-1962), a Danish physicist who investigated the structure of atoms.
PASCAL m French, German, Dutch
From the Late Latin name Paschalis
, which meant "relating to Easter" from Latin Pascha
"Easter", which was in turn from Hebrew פֶּסַח (pesach)
meaning "Passover". Passover is the ancient Hebrew holiday celebrating the liberation from Egypt. Because it coincided closely with the later Christian holiday of Easter, the same Latin word was used for both. The name Pascal can also function as a surname, as in the case of Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher, mathematician and inventor.
PIERRE m French, Swedish
French form of PETER
. This name was borne by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), a French impressionist painter, and by Pierre Curie (1859-1906), a physicist who discovered radioactivity with his wife Marie.
PLINY m History
From the Roman family name Plinius
, which is of unknown meaning. Two 1st-century Romans are known by this name: Gaius Plinius Secundus (called Pliny the Elder), a scientist and historian who died during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius; and Caius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (called Pliny the Younger), an author and statesman.
RICHARD m English, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave power", derived from the Germanic elements ric
"power, rule" and hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it has been very common there since that time. It was borne by three kings of England including Richard I the Lionheart, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade in the 12th century.... [more]
SAMUEL m English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Jewish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name שְׁמוּאֵל (Shemu'el)
, which could mean either "name of God" or "God has heard". As told in the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament, Samuel was the last of the ruling judges. He led the Israelites during a period of domination by the Philistines, who were ultimately defeated in battle at Mizpah. Later he anointed Saul
to be the first king of Israel, and even later anointed his successor David
SEQUOIA f & m English (Rare)
From the name of huge trees that grow in California. The tree got its name from the 19th-century Cherokee scholar Sequoyah
(also known as George Guess), the inventor of the Cherokee writing system.
STEPHEN m English, Biblical
From the Greek name Στεφανος (Stephanos)
meaning "crown", more precisely "that which surrounds". Saint Stephen was a deacon who was stoned to death, as told in Acts in the New Testament. He is regarded as the first Christian martyr. Due to him, the name became common in the Christian world. It was popularized in England by the Normans.... [more]
THOMAS m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Greek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma')
meaning "twin". In the New Testament this is the name of an apostle. When he heard that Jesus
had risen from the dead he initially doubted the story, until Jesus appeared before him and he examined his wounds himself. According to tradition he was martyred in India. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world.... [more]
WRIGHT m English
From an occupational surname meaning "craftsman", ultimately from Old English wyrhta
. Famous bearers of the surname were the Wright brothers (Wilbur 1867-1912 and Orville 1871-1948), the inventors of the first successful airplane, and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), an American architect.
YEONG f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 英 (yeong)
meaning "flower, petal, brave, hero", as well as other hanja characters that are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name. This name was borne by Jang Yeong-sil (where Jang
is the surname), a 15th-century Korean scientist and inventor.