ABBÁN m Irish
Means "little abbot"
, derived from Irish abb
"abbot" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint, the son of King Cormac of Leinster.
ABD AL-AZIZ m Arabic
Means "servant of the powerful"
from Arabic عبد ال ('abd al)
meaning "servant of the" combined with عزيز ('aziz)
meaning "powerful". This was the name of the first king of modern Saudi Arabia.
ABD AL-MALIK m Arabic
Means "servant of the king"
from Arabic عبد ال ('abd al)
meaning "servant of the" combined with ملك (malik)
meaning "king". This was the name of the fifth Umayyad caliph, who made Arabic the official language of the empire.
ABIJAH m & f Biblical
Means "my father is YAHWEH"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of several characters, both male and female, including the second king of Judah.
ABIMELECH m Biblical
Means "my father is king"
in Hebrew. This is the name of several characters in the Old Testament including a king of Gerar who takes Abraham
's wife Sarah
, but is forced by God to give her back.
ABISHAG f Biblical
Means "my father strays"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Abishag is a young woman who tends King David
in his old age.
ABISHAI m Biblical
Means "my father is a gift"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is one of King David
ABRAHAM m English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
This name may be viewed either as meaning "father of many"
in Hebrew or else as a contraction of ABRAM (1)
and הָמוֹן (hamon)
meaning "many, multitude". The biblical patriarch Abraham was originally named Abram but God changed his name (see Genesis 17:5
). With his father Terah
, he led his wife Sarah
, his nephew Lot
and their other followers from Ur into Canaan. He is regarded by Jews as being the founder of the Hebrews through his son Isaac
and by Muslims as being the founder of the Arabs through his son Ishmael
ABSALOM m Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name אַבְשָׁלוֹם ('Avshalom)
meaning "my father is peace"
, derived from אָב ('av)
meaning "father" and שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
meaning "peace". In the Old Testament he is a son of King David
. He avenged his sister Tamar
by arranging the murder of her rapist, their half-brother Amnon
. He later led a revolt against his father. While fleeing on the back of a mule he got his head caught in a tree and was killed by Joab
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.
ADELA f English, Spanish, Romanian, Polish, Slovak, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element adal
. Saint Adela was a 7th-century Frankish princess who founded a monastery at Pfazel in France. This name was also borne by a daughter of William the Conqueror.
ADELAIDE f English, Italian, Portuguese
Means "noble type"
, 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. In Britain the parallel form Alice
, derived via Old French, has historically been more common, though this form did gain some currency 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.
ADINO m Biblical
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of King David
's mighty men.
ADONIJAH m Biblical
Means "my lord is YAHWEH"
in Hebrew. This is the name of one of King David
's sons in the Old Testament. Though he was the eldest surviving son of David, he was passed over as heir to the throne in favour of Solomon
ADRASTOS m Greek Mythology
Means "not inclined to run away"
in Greek. This was the name of a king of Argos in Greek legend.
ÆLFGIFU f Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements ælf
"elf" and giefu
"gift". This was the name of the first wife of the English king Æðelræd II.
AELIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from the Greek word ἥλιος (helios)
. This was the family name of the Roman emperor Hadrian.
ÆSC m Anglo-Saxon
Means "ash tree"
in Old English. This was the nickname of a 5th-century king of Kent, whose birth name was Oeric.
ÆÐELBERHT m Anglo-Saxon
Old English cognate of Adalbert
). This was the name of a Saxon king of England and two kings of Kent, one of whom was a saint. It became unused after the Normans introduced their form of Adalbert
after their invasion.
ÆÐELFLÆD f Anglo-Saxon
Old English name composed of the elements æðel
"noble" and flæd
"beauty". Æðelflæd was a 10th-century queen of Mercia.
ÆÐELSTAN m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements æðel
"noble" and stan
"stone". This was the name of a 10th-century English king, the first to rule all of England. The name was rarely used after the Norman Conquest, though it enjoyed a modest revival (as Athelstan
) in the 19th century.
AGAPIOS m Greek, Ancient Greek
Masculine form of AGAPE
. This was the name of a saint from Caesarea who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
AGATHANGELOS m Late Greek
Means "bearer of good news"
, derived from Greek ἀγαθός (agathos)
meaning "good" and ἄγγελος (angelos)
meaning "messenger, angel". Saint Agathangelus of Rome was a 4th-century deacon who was martyred during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian.
AGILULF m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements agil
"edge (of a sword), blade" and wulf
"wolf". This name was borne by a 6th-century king of the Lombards and by an 8th-century bishop of Cologne and saint.
AGNES f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ἁγνή (Hagne)
, derived from Greek ἁγνός (hagnos)
. Saint Agnes was a virgin martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The name became associated with Latin agnus "lamb"
, resulting in the saint's frequent depiction with a lamb by her side. Due to her renown, the name became common in Christian Europe.... [more]
AGRIPPA m & f Ancient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from a combination of Greek ἄγριος (agrios)
meaning "wild" and ἵππος (hippos)
meaning "horse" or alternatively of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
AGRIPPINA f Ancient Roman
Feminine derivative of AGRIPPA
. This name was borne by the scheming mother of the Roman emperor Nero, who eventually had her killed. This was also the name of a 3rd-century Roman saint who is venerated in Sicily.
AHAB m Biblical, Biblical Latin
, from Hebrew אָח ('ach)
meaning "brother" and אָב ('av)
meaning "father". This was the name of a king of Israel, the husband of Jezebel
, as told in the Old Testament. He was admonished by Elijah
for his sinful behaviour. Herman Melville later used this name in his novel Moby-Dick
(1851), where it belongs to a sea captain obsessively hunting for a white whale.
AIDA f Arabic, Literature
Variant of AYDA
. This name was used in Verdi's opera Aida
(1871), where it belongs to an Ethiopian princess held captive in Egypt.
ÁINE f Irish
in Gaelic. This was the name of the queen of the fairies in Celtic mythology. It is also taken as an Irish form of Anne
AISHA f Arabic, Urdu, American
in Arabic. This was the name of Muhammad
's third wife, the daughter of Abu Bakr
. Some time after Muhammad's death she went to war against Ali
, the fourth caliph, but was defeated. This name is used more by Sunni Muslims and less by Shias.... [more]
AKIHIKO m Japanese
From Japanese 明 (aki)
or 昭 (aki)
both meaning "bright" combined with 彦 (hiko)
meaning "boy, prince". Other combinations of kanji characters can also form this name.
AKIHITO m Japanese
From Japanese 明 (aki)
or 昭 (aki)
both meaning "bright" combined with 仁 (hito)
meaning "compassionate". Other kanji combinations are possible. Akihito (1933-), name written 明仁
, was the emperor of Japan from 1989 to 2019.
AL-AMIR m Arabic (Rare)
Means "the commander, the prince"
in Arabic. This was the name of a 10th-century Fatimid imam.
ALARIC m Ancient Germanic
From the Gothic name Alareiks
, which meant "ruler of all"
, derived from the Germanic element ala
"all" combined with ric
"ruler". This was the name of a king of the Visigoths who sacked Rome in the 5th century.
ALBERICH m Ancient Germanic, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements alf
"elf" and ric
"ruler, mighty". Alberich was the name of the sorcerer king of the dwarfs in Germanic mythology. He also appears in the Nibelungenlied
as a dwarf who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen.
ALBERT m English, French, Catalan, German, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Romanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Adalbert
meaning "noble and bright"
, 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]
ALDONA f Lithuanian, Polish
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 14th-century Polish queen, the daughter of a Grand Duke of Lithuania.
ALETA f English
Possibly a variant of ALETHEA
. This was the name of the wife of the title character in the comic strip Prince Valiant
, which first appeared in 1937.
ALEXANDER m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men"
from Greek ἀλέξω (alexo)
meaning "to defend, help" and ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός
). 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]
ALEXIS m & f German, French, English, Greek, Ancient Greek
From the Greek name Ἄλεξις (Alexis)
, derived from Greek ἀλέξω (alexo)
meaning "to defend, to help". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangeably with the related name Ἀλέξιος
, borne by five Byzantine emperors. In the English-speaking world it is more commonly used as a feminine name.
ALEXIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ἀλέξιος (Alexios)
, a derivative of Ἄλεξις
). This was the name of five Byzantine emperors. It was also borne by a 5th-century Syrian saint who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
ALF (1) m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse alfr
. In Norse legend this was the name of king, the suitor of a reluctant maiden named Alfhild. She avoided marrying him by disguising herself as a warrior, but when they fought she was so impressed by his strength that she changed her mind.
ALFHILD f Norwegian, Swedish
From the Old Norse name Alfhildr
, which was composed of the elements alfr
"elf" and hildr
"battle". In Scandinavian legend Alfhild was a maiden who disguised herself as a warrior in order to avoid marriage to King Alf. Her life was perhaps based on that of a 9th-century Viking pirate.
ALFRED m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch
Means "elf counsel"
, 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]
ALGIRDAS m Lithuanian
Possibly from the Baltic elements al
"each" and girdas
"rumour, news". This was the name of a 14th-century Grand Duke of Lithuania.
AMADEO m Italian
Italian variant of AMADEUS
. This was the name of a 19th-century king of Spain (born in Italy).
AMALRIC m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements amal
meaning "work, labour" and ric
meaning "ruler, mighty". This was the name of a 6th-century king of the Visigoths, as well as two 12th-century rulers of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
AMI (1) m Biblical
Means "trustworthy, reliable"
in Hebrew. This was the name of a servant of King Solomon
in the Old Testament.
AMULIUS m Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Roman mythology Amulius overthrew his brother Numitor, king of Alba Longa, but was eventually deposed by Numitor's grandsons Romulus
AMYAS m English (Rare)
Meaning unknown, perhaps a derivative of AMIS
. Alternatively, it may come from a surname that originally indicated that the bearer was from the city of Amiens in France. Edmund Spenser used this name for a minor character in his epic poem The Faerie Queene
ANASTASIA f Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ANASTASIUS
. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.
ANDROMEDA f Greek Mythology
Means "to be mindful of a man"
from the Greek element ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός
) combined with μέδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to be mindful of". In Greek mythology Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued from sacrifice by the hero Perseus
. A constellation in the northern sky is named for her. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.
ÁNGELES f Spanish
, taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles
, meaning "Our Lady the Queen of the Angels".
ANNA f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Form of Channah
) 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
ANNE (1) f French, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, German, Dutch, Basque
French form of ANNA
. It was imported to England in the 13th century, but it did not become popular until three centuries later. The spelling variant Ann
was also commonly found from this period, and is still used to this day.... [more]
ANTIGONE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἀντί (anti)
meaning "against, compared to, like" and γονή (gone)
meaning "birth, offspring". In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave.
ANTIOPE f Greek Mythology
Derived from the Greek elements ἀντί (anti)
meaning "against, compared to, like" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "voice". This was the name of several figures in Greek mythology, including a daughter of Ares
who was one of the queens of the Amazons. She was kidnapped and married by Theseus
ANTOINETTE f French
Feminine diminutive of ANTOINE
. This name was borne by Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. She was executed by guillotine.
ANTONINO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman name Antoninus
, which was derived from Antonius
). There were several early saints named Antoninus, including the patron saint of Sorrento. This was also the name of a 2nd-century Roman emperor.
ANUBIS m Egyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Ἄνουβις (Anoubis)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Inpw
(reconstructed as Anapa
and other forms), which coincided with a word meaning "royal child, prince"
. However, it might alternatively be derived from the root inp
meaning "to decay"
. Anubis was the Egyptian god who led the dead to the underworld. He was often depicted as a man with the head of a jackal. The Greeks equated him with their god Hermes
AOIFE f Irish, Irish Mythology
from the Irish word aoibh
. In Irish legend Aoife was a warrior princess. In war against her sister Scathach, she was defeated in single combat by the hero Cúchulainn
. Eventually she was reconciled with her sister and became the lover of Cúchulainn. This name is sometimes used as a Gaelic form of EVE
AONGHUS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly meaning "one strength"
derived from Irish óen
"one" and gus
"force, strength, energy". Aonghus (sometimes surnamed Mac Og
meaning "young son") was the Irish god of love and youth. The name was also borne by an 8th-century Pictish king and several Irish kings.
ARA m Armenian, Armenian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Sumerian origin. In Armenian legend this was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him. During the war Ara was slain.
ARDASHIR m Persian
From the Middle Persian form of Artakhshathra
). This was the name of a 3rd-century king of Persia who defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanid Empire. He also established Zoroastrianism as the state religion.
ARETAS m Biblical
Greek form of an Aramaic name, of unknown meaning. This was the name of four Nabataean kings of Petra
in Jordan, including the first king (2nd century BC). King Aretas IV is mentioned briefly in the New Testament.
ARIADNE f Greek Mythology
Means "most holy"
, composed of the Cretan Greek elements ἀρι (ari)
meaning "most" and ἀδνός (adnos)
meaning "holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos
. She fell in love with Theseus
and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus
ARJUNA m Hinduism
Means "white, clear"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hero in Hindu texts, the son of the god Indra
and the princess Kunti.
ARLO m English
Meaning uncertain. It was perhaps inspired by the fictional place name Arlo Hill from the poem The Faerie Queene
(1590) by Edmund Spenser. Spenser probably got Arlo by altering the real Irish place name Aherlow, which is Gaelic meaning "between two highlands".
ARMEL m Breton, French
Breton and French form of the Brythonic name Arthmael
, which was composed of the elements arth
"bear" and mael
"prince, chieftain". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh saint who founded abbeys in Brittany.
ARSENIOS m Ancient Greek
in Greek. Saint Arsenius was a 5th-century deacon who was tutor to the two sons of the Roman emperor Theodosius. The two sons, Arcadius and Honorius, divided the empire into eastern and western halves upon their father's death.
ARTEMISIA f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ARTEMISIOS
. This was the name of the 4th-century BC builder of the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. She built it in memory of her husband, the Carian prince Mausolus.
ARWA f Arabic
Possibly means "mountain goats"
in Arabic. This name was borne by some relatives of the Prophet Muhammad
. It was also the name of a 12th-century queen of Yemen.
ASEN m Bulgarian
Meaning unknown, probably of Turkic origin. This was the name of a 12th-century Bulgarian emperor (Ivan Asen I) and several of his successors.
ASHOKA m Sanskrit
Means "without sorrow"
in Sanskrit. This name was borne by Ashoka the Great, a 3rd-century BC emperor of India.
ATAHUALPA m Native American, Quechua
Means "hen of fortune"
, from Quechua ataw
meaning "lucky, fortunate" and wallpa
meaning "hen". This was the name of the last sovereign Inca emperor. He was executed by the Spanish in 1533.
ATHALIAH f & m Biblical
Possibly means "YAHWEH is exalted"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both a feminine and masculine name. It was borne by the daughter of Ahab
, who later came to rule Judah as a queen.
AUDREY f English
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).
AUGUSTUS m Ancient Roman, Dutch
Means "exalted, venerable"
, derived from Latin augere
meaning "to increase". Augustus was the title given to Octavian
, the first Roman emperor. He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar who rose to power through a combination of military skill and political prowess. In 26 BC the senate officially gave him the name Augustus
, and after his death it was used as a title for subsequent emperors. This was also the name of three kings of Poland (August
AURANGZEB m History
Means "honouring the throne"
in Persian. This was the name of a 17th-century Mughal emperor of India.
AURELIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from Latin aureus
meaning "golden, gilded"
. Marcus Aurelius was a 2nd-century Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.
AVALON f English (Rare)
From the name of the island paradise to which King Arthur
was brought after his death. The name of this island is perhaps related to Welsh afal
meaning "apple", a fruit that was often linked with paradise.
AVITUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name that meant "ancestral"
in Latin. This was the name of an emperor who briefly reigned over the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. It was also the name of several saints, including a 6th-century bishop of Vienne.
AZARIAH m Biblical
Means "YAHWEH has helped"
in Hebrew, derived from עָזַר ('azar)
meaning "help" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. This is the name of many Old Testament characters including of one of the three men the Babylonian king ordered cast into a fiery furnace. His Babylonian name was Abednego
BABYLAS m Late Greek, French (Rare)
Derived from the name of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon. Saint Babylas was a 3rd-century patriarch of Antioch who was martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius.
BAHRAM m Persian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Verethragna
meaning "victory over resistance"
. This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with victory and war. This name was borne by several Sassanid emperors. It is also the Persian name for the planet Mars.
BALBUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "stammerer"
in Latin. This was a family name of the mother of Emperor Augustus, Atia Balba Caesonia.
BALDER m Norse Mythology
from Old Norse. In Norse mythology Balder was the son of Odin
. Because of the disturbing dreams he had when he was young, his mother extracted an oath from every thing in the world that it would not harm him. However the evil fire god Loki
learned that she had overlooked mistletoe. Being jealous, he tricked the blind god Hoder into throwing a branch of mistletoe at Balder, which killed him.
BALDWIN m English, Ancient Germanic
Means "bold friend"
, derived from the Germanic elements bald
"bold, brave" and win
"friend". In the Middle Ages this was a popular name in Flanders and among the Normans, who brought it to Britain. It was borne by one of the leaders of the First Crusade, an 11th-century nobleman from Flanders. After the crusaders conquered Jerusalem, he was crowned as the king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
BARLAAM m Judeo-Christian Legend
Meaning unknown. In Christian legends Barlaam (recorded as Greek Βαρλαάμ
) was a 3rd-century hermit who converted Josaphat, the son of an Indian king, to Christianity. The story is based on that of the Buddha. This name was also borne by two saints.
BASIL (1) m English
From the Greek name Βασίλειος (Basileios)
, which was derived from βασιλεύς (basileus)
. Saint Basil the Great was a 4th-century bishop of Caesarea and one of the fathers of the early Christian church. Due to him, the name (in various spellings) has come into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was also borne by two Byzantine emperors.
BATHSHEBA f Biblical
Means "daughter of the oath"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a woman married to Uriah
the Hittite. King David
seduced her and made her pregnant, so he arranged to have her husband killed in battle and then married her. She was the mother of Solomon
BEATRIX f German, Hungarian, Dutch, English, Late Roman
Probably from Viatrix
, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator
meaning "voyager, traveller"
. It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus
"blessed, happy". Viatrix or Beatrix was a 4th-century saint who was strangled to death during the persecutions of Diocletian.... [more]
BEDIVERE m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Bedwyr
, which is of unknown meaning. In Arthurian legends Bedivere was one of the original companions of King Arthur
. He first appears in early Welsh tales, and his story was later expanded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. He is the one who throws the sword Excalibur into the lake at the request of the dying Arthur.
BELÉN f Spanish
Spanish form of Bethlehem
, the name of the town in Judah where King David
were born. The town's name is from Hebrew בֵּית־לֶחֶם (Beit-lechem)
meaning "house of bread".
BELPHOEBE f Literature
Combination of belle
"beautiful" and the name PHOEBE
. This name was first used by Edmund Spenser in his poem The Faerie Queene
BELSHAZZAR m Babylonian (Anglicized), Biblical
From בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר (Belshatzzar)
, the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Bel-sharra-usur
protect the king". This was the name of the son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Babylonian Empire before the Persians conquered it in the 6th century BC. In the Old Testament Book of Daniel Belshazzar is the last king of Babylon who sees the mystical handwriting on the wall, which is interpreted by Daniel to portend the end of the empire.
BEOWULF m Anglo-Saxon Mythology
Possibly means "bee wolf"
(in effect equal to "bear") from Old English beo
"bee" and wulf
"wolf". Alternatively, the first element may be beadu
"battle". This is the name of the main character in the anonymous 8th-century epic poem Beowulf
. Set in Denmark, the poem tells how he slays the monster Grendel and its mother at the request of King Hroðgar
. After this Beowulf becomes the king of the Geats. The conclusion of the poem tells how Beawulf, in his old age, slays a dragon but is himself mortally wounded in the act.
BERENGAR m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements bern
"bear" and ger
"spear". This was the name of two medieval kings of Italy and a Holy Roman emperor.
BERENICE f English, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Βερενίκη (Berenike)
, the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενίκη (Pherenike)
, which meant "bringing victory"
from φέρω (phero)
meaning "to bring" and νίκη (nike)
meaning "victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty that was originally from Macedon. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament (in most English Bibles it is spelled Bernice
) belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II. As an English name, Berenice
came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
BHARATA m Hinduism
Means "being maintained"
in Sanskrit. This is one of the names of Agni
, the Hindu god of fire, and is also the name of the brother of Rama
in the Hindu epic the Ramayana
. It was also borne by a legendary king, the son of Dushyanta
. The official name of the country of India, Bharat, derives from him.
BIRUTĖ f Lithuanian
Possibly from Lithuanian birti
meaning "to scatter, to pour out"
combined with a diminutive suffix. This name was borne by the mother of the 15th-century Grand Duke Vytautas
BLEDDYN m Welsh
From Welsh blaidd "wolf"
combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an 11th-century king of Gwynedd and Powys.
BOLESŁAW m Polish
Derived from the Slavic elements bolye
"more, greater" and slava
"glory". This was the name of kings of Poland, starting in the 11th century with the first Polish king Bolesław the Brave.
BOLÍVAR m Spanish (Latin American)
From a surname that was taken from the Basque place name Bolibar
, which was derived from bolu
"mill" and ibar
"riverside". A famous bearer of the surname was Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), a South American revolutionary leader, after whom the country of Bolivia is named.
BONIFACE m French, English (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Bonifatius
, which meant "good fate"
"good" and fatum
"fate". This was the name of nine popes and also several saints, including an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon missionary to Germany (originally named Winfrid) who is now regarded as the patron saint of that country. It came into use in England during the Middle Ages, but became rare after the Protestant Reformation.
BORIS m Bulgarian, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak, Georgian, German
From the Turkic name Bogoris
, perhaps meaning "short"
or "snow leopard"
. It was borne by the 9th-century King Boris I of Bulgaria who converted his country to Christianity, as well as two later Bulgarian emperors. The name was popularized in the Slavic world due to the 11th-century Saint Boris, who was a Russian prince martyred with his brother Gleb. His mother may have been Bulgarian. Another famous bearer was the 16th-century Russian emperor Boris Godunov, later the subject of a play of that name by Aleksandr Pushkin.
BOŘIVOJ m Czech
Derived from the Slavic elements borti
"battle" and voji
"soldier". This name was borne by a 9th-century duke of Bohemia.
BOUDICCA f Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
Derived from Brythonic boud
. This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide. Her name is first recorded in Roman histories, as Boudicca
by Tacitus and Βουδουῖκα (Boudouika)
by Cassius Dio.
BRAN (2) m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
BRANWEN f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven"
from Welsh brân
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRENDAN m Irish, English, Breton
, the Latinized form of the Irish name Bréanainn
, which was derived from a Welsh word meaning "prince"
. Saint Brendan was a 6th-century Irish abbot who, according to legend, crossed the Atlantic and reached North America with 17 other monks.
BRENNUS m Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince"
. Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
BRIAN m English, Irish, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
, or by extension "high, noble"
. It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
BRIANA f English
Feminine form of BRIAN
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in The Faerie Queene
(1590). The name was not commonly used until the 1970s, when it rapidly became popular in the United States.
BRUCE m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, of Norman origin, which probably originally referred to the town of Brix in France. The surname was borne by Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. It has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. A notable bearer is the American musician Bruce Springsteen (1949-).
BRÜNHILD f German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun
"armour, protection" and hild
"battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr
(from the elements bryn
). In Norse legend Brynhildr
was the queen of the Valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd
. In the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied
she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther
. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
CADEYRN m Ancient Celtic
Means "battle king"
from Welsh cad
"battle" and teyrn
"king, monarch". Cadeyrn (also known as Catigern) was a 5th-century king of Powys in Wales, the son of Vortigern.
CADFAEL m Welsh
Means "battle prince"
from Welsh cad
"battle" and mael
CADMUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κάδμος (Kadmos)
, of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor. He was sent by his father to rescue his sister Europa
, who had been abducted by Zeus
, although he did not succeed in retrieving her. According to legend, Cadmus founded the city of Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece.
CAESAR m Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen that possibly meant "hairy"
, from Latin caesaries
"hair". Julius Caesar and his adopted son Julius Caesar Octavianus (commonly known as Augustus) were both rulers of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Caesar
was used as a title by the emperors that came after them.
CALIGULA m History
Means "little boot"
in Latin. This was a nickname for the Roman emperor Gaius Caesar Germanicus given to him in his youth by his father's soldiers.
CAMBRIA f Various
Latin form of the Welsh Cymru
, the Welsh name for the country of Wales, derived from cymry
meaning "the people". It is occasionally used as a given name in modern times.
CANDACE f English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the hereditary title of the queens of Ethiopia, as mentioned in Acts in the New Testament. It is apparently derived from Cushitic kdke
meaning "queen mother"
. In some versions of the Bible it is spelled Kandake
, reflecting the Greek spelling Κανδάκη
. It was used as a given name by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation. It was popularized in the 20th century by a character in the 1942 movie Meet the Stewarts
CARACALLA m Ancient Roman
From Latin caracalla
, which referred to a type of hooded tunic worn by the Gauls. This was the agnomen, or nickname, of a 3rd-century Roman emperor.
CARADOG m Welsh
Welsh form of CARATACOS
. This is the name of several figures in Welsh history and legend, including a 6th-century king of Gwent and a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian romance.
CASIMIR m English, French
English form of the Polish name Kazimierz
, derived from the Slavic element kaziti
"to destroy" combined with miru
"peace, world". Four kings of Poland have borne this name, including Casimir III the Great, who greatly strengthened the Polish state in the 14th century. It was also borne Saint Casimir, a 15th-century Polish prince and a patron saint of Poland and Lithuania. The name was imported into Western Europe via Germany, where it was borne by some royalty.
CASPIAN m Literature
Used by author C. S. Lewis for a character in his Chronicles of Narnia
series, first appearing in 1950. Prince Caspian first appears in the fourth book, where he is the rightful king of Narnia driven into exile by his evil uncle Miraz. Lewis probably based the name on the Caspian Sea, which was named for the city of Qazvin, which was itself named for the ancient Cas tribe.
CAVAN m English
Either from the name of the Irish county, which is derived from Irish cabhán
"hollow", or else from the Irish surname CAVAN
CENNÉTIG m Irish
Old Irish byname meaning "armoured head"
or "misshapen head"
. This was the name of an Irish king, the father of Brian
CEPHEUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κηφεύς (Kepheus)
, which is of unknown meaning. In Greek legend he was a king of Ethiopia, the husband of Cassiopeia. After he died he was made into a constellation and placed in the sky.
CHAD m English
From the Old English name Ceadda
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly based on Welsh cad "battle"
. This was the name of a 7th-century English saint. Borne primarily by Catholics, it was a rare name until the 1960s when it started to become more common amongst the general population. This is also the name of a country in Africa, though it originates from a different source.
CHARISSA f English
Elaborated form of CHARIS
. Edmund Spencer used it in his epic poem The Faerie Queene
CHARLEMAGNE m History
From Old French Charles le Magne
meaning "CHARLES the Great"
. This is the name by which the Frankish king Charles the Great (742-814) is commonly known.
CHARLES m English, French
From the Germanic name Karl
, which was derived from a Germanic word meaning "man"
. However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic name element hari
meaning "army, warrior"
CHARLOTTE f French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
French feminine diminutive of CHARLES
. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. It was the name of a German-born 18th-century queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland. Another notable bearer was Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Brontë sisters and the author of Jane Eyre
CHINA f English (Modern)
From the name of the Asian country, ultimately derived from Qin
, the name of a dynasty that ruled there in the 3rd century BC.
CHOBIN m History
From Persian چوبین (Chubin)
. Bahram Chobin was a 6th-century Sasanian general and, for a short period, the king. He received this nickname because he was tall and thin. He appears in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
CHRISTIAN m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the medieval Latin name Christianus
meaning "a Christian"
). In England it has been in use since the Middle Ages, during which time it was used by both males and females, but it did not become common until the 17th century. In Denmark the name has been borne by ten kings since the 15th century. A famous bearer was Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), the Danish author of such fairy tales as The Ugly Duckling
and The Emperor's New Clothes
CHRISTINA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Greek
, the Latin feminine form of CHRISTIAN
. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, saint who was tormented by her pagan father. It was also borne by a 17th-century Swedish queen and patron the arts who gave up her crown in order to become a Roman Catholic.
CINÁED m Scottish, Irish
Means "born of fire"
in Gaelic. This was the name of the first king of the Scots and Picts (9th century). It is often Anglicized as Kenneth
CINDERELLA f Literature
Means "little ashes"
, in part from the French name Cendrillon
. This is the main character in the folk tale Cinderella
about a maltreated young woman who eventually marries a prince. This old story is best known in the English-speaking world from the French author Charles Perrault's 1697 version. She has other names in other languages, usually with the meaning "ashes", such as German Aschenputtel
and Italian Cenerentola
CLARE f English
Medieval English form of CLARA
. This is also the name of an Irish county, which was itself probably derived from Irish clár
meaning "plank, level surface".
CLARIBEL f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix bel
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem The Faerie Queene
(in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play The Tempest
(1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled Claribel
CLARINDA f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix inda
. It was first used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem The Faerie Queene
CLAUDIUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name that was possibly derived from Latin claudus
meaning "lame, crippled"
. This was the name of a patrician family prominent in Roman politics. The ancestor of the family was said to have been a 6th-century BC Sabine leader named Attius Clausus, who adopted the name Appius Claudius upon becoming a Roman citizen. The family produced several Roman emperors of the 1st century, including the emperor known simply as Claudius. He was poisoned by his wife Agrippina in order to bring her son Nero (Claudius's stepson) to power. The name was later borne by several early saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Besançon.
CLEOPATRA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπάτρα (Kleopatra)
meaning "glory of the father"
, derived from κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory" combined with πατήρ (pater)
meaning "father" (genitive πατρός
). This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra
(1606) tells the story of her life.
CLOTILDE f French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
French form of the Germanic name Chlotichilda
, which was composed of the elements hlud
"fame" and hild
"battle". Saint Clotilde was the wife of the Frankish king Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity.
COLOMBINA f Italian
Italian feminine diminutive of COLUMBA
. In traditional Italian pantomimes this is the name of a stock character, the female counterpart of Arlecchino (also called Harlequin). This is also the Italian word for the columbine flower.
CONOR m Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Conchobar
, derived from Old Irish con
"hound, dog, wolf" and cobar
"desiring". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish kings. It was also borne by the legendary Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre
CONSTANS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "constant, steadfast"
. This was the name of a 4th-century Roman emperor, a son of Constantine
CONSTANTINE m History
From the Latin name Constantinus
, a derivative of CONSTANS
. Constantine the Great (272-337) was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (modern Istanbul).
CORDELIA f English
, 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
CORETTA f English
Diminutive of CORA
. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
CORMAC m Irish
Possibly derived from Irish Gaelic corb
"raven" or "wheel" and mac
"son". This was the name of a 3rd-century king of Ireland.
COSMO m Italian, English
Italian variant of COSIMO
. It was introduced to Britain in the 18th century by the second Scottish Duke of Gordon, who named his son and successor after his friend Cosimo III de' Medici.
CRESCENTIUS m Late Roman
Latin name that was a derivative of the name CRESCENS
. This was the name of a few early saints, including a child martyred in Rome during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
CSANÁD m Hungarian
Derived from the old Hungarian name Csana
, of unknown meaning. This was the name of an 11th-century ruler, also known as Cenad
, of the Hungarian region that came to be called Csanád County (now split between Hungary and Romania).
CUAUHTÉMOC m Native American, Nahuatl
Means "descending eagle"
in Nahuatl. This was the name of the last Aztec emperor, ruling until he was captured and executed by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in the year 1525.
CÚCHULAINN m Irish Mythology
Means "hound of Culann"
in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. Irish legend tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defense of Ulster against the army of Queen Medb
CUNOBELINUS m Ancient Celtic
Possibly means "hound of Belenus"
from the old Celtic element koun
"hound" combined with the name of the god BELENUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century king of southeast Britain.
CYNEBURG f Anglo-Saxon
Means "royal fortress"
from Old English cyne
"royal" and burg
"fortress". Saint Cyneburga, a daughter of a king of Mercia, was the founder of an abbey at Gloucester in the 7th century.
CYPRIAN m Polish, English (Rare)
From the Roman family name Cyprianus
, which meant "from Cyprus"
. Saint Cyprian was a 3rd-century bishop of Carthage and a martyr under the emperor Valerian.
DAEDALUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαίδαλος (Daidalos)
, which was derived from δαιδάλλω (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.
DAENERYS f Literature
Created by author George R. R. Martin for a character in his series A Song of Ice and Fire
, first published 1996, and the television adaptation Game of Thrones
(2011-2019). An explanation for the meaning of her name is not provided, though it is presumably intended to be of Valyrian origin. In the series Daenerys Targaryen is a queen of the Dothraki and a claimant to the throne of Westeros.
DAMAYANTI f Hinduism
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of a beautiful princess, the wife of Nala.
DAMOCLES m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Δαμοκλῆς (Damokles)
, which was derived from δᾶμος (damos)
meaning "the people", a Doric Greek variant of δῆμος (demos)
, and κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory". In Greek legend Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius the Elder, the king of Syracuse. Damocles expressed envy of the king's station so Dionysius offered to switch roles with him for a day. To illustrate to Damocles the peril of a man in his position he suspended a sword over the throne.
DAMON m Greek Mythology, English
Derived from Greek δαμάζω (damazo)
meaning "to tame"
. According to Greek legend, Damon and Pythias were friends who lived on Syracuse in the 4th century BC. When Pythias was sentenced to death, he was allowed to temporarily go free on the condition that Damon take his place in prison. Pythias returned just before Damon was to be executed in his place, and the king was so impressed with their loyalty to one another that he pardoned Pythias. As an English given name, it has only been regularly used since the 20th century.
DANAË f Greek Mythology
From Δαναοί (Danaoi)
, a word used by Homer
to designate the Greeks. In Greek mythology Danaë was the daughter of the Argive king Acrisius. It had been prophesized to her father that he would one day be killed by Danaë's son, so he attempted to keep his daughter childless. However, Zeus
came to her in the form of a shower of gold, and she became the mother of Perseus
. Eventually the prophecy was fulfilled and Perseus killed Acrisius, albeit accidentally.
DANIEL m English, Hebrew, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Armenian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel)
meaning "God is my judge"
, from the roots דִּין (din)
meaning "to judge" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". 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.... [more]
DECEBAL m Romanian
Means "powerful, brave"
in Dacian. This was the name adopted by Diurpaneus, a 1st-century king of Dacia. For many years he successfully resisted Roman expansion into his territory but was finally defeated by the forces of Emperor Trajan in 106.
DEIRDRE f English, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the older Gaelic form Derdriu
, meaning unknown, possibly derived from Old Irish der
. This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar
, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise
DEREK m English
From the older English name Dederick
, which was in origin a Low German form of THEODORIC
. It was imported to England from the Low Countries in the 15th century.
DESIDERIUS m Late Roman
Derived from Latin desiderium
meaning "longing, desire"
. It was the name of several early saints. It was also borne in the 8th century by the last king of the Lombard Kingdom.
DEVON m & f English
Variant of DEVIN
. It may also be partly inspired by the name of the county of Devon in England, which got its name from the Dumnonii, a Celtic tribe.
DIADUMENIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Diadumenianus
, which was derived from the Greek name DIADUMENUS
. This was the name of a Roman Emperor who reigned briefly in the 3rd century.
DIANA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Roman Mythology
Probably derived from an old Indo-European root meaning "heavenly, divine"
, related to dyeus
). Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth, often identified with the Greek goddess Artemis
DIDO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly "virgin"
in Phoenician. Dido, also called Elissa
, was the queen of Carthage in Virgil
. She burned herself to death after Aeneas left her.
DIETLINDE f German
From the Germanic name Theudelinda
, derived from the elements theud
"people" and lind
"soft, tender, flexible". Theudelinda was a 6th-century queen of the Lombards.
DINARA f Kazakh, Tatar, Kyrgyz
Meaning uncertain, perhaps from Arabic دينار (dinar)
, a currency used in several Muslim countries, ultimately derived from Latin denarius
. Alternatively it may be a derivative of دين (din)
DIOCLETIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Diocletianus
, a derivative of DIOKLES
. This was the name of a Roman emperor of the 3rd and 4th centuries. He is remembered for persecuting Christians, but he also reformed and stabilized the crumbling Empire.
DOMITIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Domitianus
, itself derived from the family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman emperor, Titus Flavius Domitianus.
DOMITILLA f Italian, Ancient Roman
Feminine diminutive of the Roman family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of the wife of the Roman emperor Vespasian and the mother of emperors Titus and Domitian.
DOMNA f Late Roman, Greek
Feminine form of DOMNUS
. Saint Domna of Nicomedia was martyred during the persecutions of the early 4th century. However, in the case of Julia Domna, the Syrian wife of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus, it seems her name was actually of Semitic origin.
DRAUPADI f Hinduism
Means "daughter of DRUPADA"
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of the daughter of King Drupada. She married all of the Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu.
DRUPADA m Hinduism
Means "wooden pillar"
or "firm footed"
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of a king of Panchala, the father of Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna.
DRUST m Ancient Celtic
Pictish name probably derived from Celtic drest
. This name was borne by several kings of the Picts, including their last king Drust X, who ruled in the 9th century.
DUARTE m Portuguese
Portuguese form of EDWARD
. This name was borne by a 15th-century king of Portugal, who was named after his maternal ancestor Edward III of England.
DUKE m English
From the noble title duke
, which was originally derived from Latin dux
DUSHYANTA m Hinduism
Possibly means "destroyer of evil"
in Sanskrit. In Hindu legend this is the name of a king who is the husband of Shakuntala
and the father of Bharata
DUUK m Dutch (Modern)
Probably a Dutch form of the English word duke
, which was originally derived from Latin dux
"leader". The equivalent Dutch word is hertog
EADBERHT m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and beorht
"bright". This was the name of an 8th-century king of Northumbria and three kings of Kent.
EADWALD m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and weald
"power, ruler". This was the name of an 8th-century king of East Anglia.
EADWIG m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and wig
"war". This was the name of a Saxon king of England in the 10th century. The name fell out of use after the Norman Conquest.
EBBA (2) f English
From the Old English name Æbbe
, meaning unknown, perhaps a contracted form of a longer name. Saint Ebba was a 7th-century daughter of King Æthelfrith of Bernicia and the founder of monasteries in Scotland. Another saint named Ebba was a 9th-century abbess and martyr who mutilated her own face so that she would not be raped by the invading Danes.
ECE f Turkish
or "beautiful woman"
EDGAR m English, French, Portuguese, German
Derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and gar
"spear". This was the name of a 10th-century English king, Edgar the Peaceful. The name did not survive long after the Norman Conquest, but it was revived in the 18th century, in part due to a character by this name in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor
(1819), which tells of the tragic love between Edgar Ravenswood and Lucy Ashton. Famous bearers include author and poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), French impressionist painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917), and author Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950).
EDITH f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
From the Old English name Eadgyð
, derived from the elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and gyð
"war". It was popular among Anglo-Saxon royalty, being borne for example by Saint Eadgyeth;, the daughter of King Edgar the Peaceful. The name remained common after the Norman Conquest. It became rare after the 15th century, but was revived in the 19th century.
EDMUND m English, German, Polish
Means "rich protection"
, 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.... [more]
EDWARD m English, Polish
Means "rich guard"
, derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and weard
"guard". This was the name of several Anglo-Saxon kings, the last being Saint Edward the Confessor shortly before the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity his name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century Plantagenet king Henry III named his son and successor after the saint, and seven subsequent kings of England were also named Edward.... [more]
EDWIN m English, Dutch
Means "rich friend"
, from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and wine
"friend". This was the name of a 7th-century Northumbrian king, regarded as a saint. After the Norman Conquest the name was not popular, but it was eventually revived in the 19th century. A notable bearer was the astronaut Edwin Aldrin (1930-), also known as Buzz, the second man to walk on the moon.
EHUD m Biblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Meaning unknown, possibly related to Hebrew אֶחָד ('echad)
. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the biblical judges. He killed Eglon, the king of Moab, and freed the city of Jericho from Moabite rule.
EINION m Welsh
Probably from the Latin name Ennianus
, a derivative of Ennius
). It is also a modern Welsh word meaning "anvil". This was the name of a 5th-century Welsh king who is considered a saint in some Christian traditions.
ELAGABALUS m Semitic Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of an Arabic name, derived from إله (ilah)
meaning "god" and جبل (jabal)
meaning "mountain". This was the name of a sun god worshipped in Emesa, in the Roman province of Syria. A 3rd-century Roman emperor, who served as a priest of this god in his youth in Syria, is known to history by the name Elagabalus. After ruling for four years he was assassinated at the age of 18, in part because he promoted the god to the head of the Roman pantheon.
ELAH m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "terebinth tree"
in Hebrew. This was the name of the fourth king of Israel, as told in the Old Testament. He was murdered by Zimri
, who succeeded him.
ELAINE f English, Arthurian Romance
From an Old French form of HELEN
. It appears in Arthurian legend; in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation Le Morte d'Arthur
Elaine was the daughter of Pelleas, the lover of Lancelot
, and the mother of Galahad
. It was not commonly used as an English given name until after the appearance of Tennyson's Arthurian epic Idylls of the King
ELEANOR f English
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Alienòr
. Among the name's earliest bearers was 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. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.... [more]
ELFREDA f English
Middle English form of the Old English name Ælfþryð
meaning "elf strength"
, derived from the element ælf
"elf" combined with þryð
was common amongst Anglo-Saxon nobility, being borne for example by the mother of King Æðelræd the Unready. This name was rare after the Norman Conquest, but it was revived in the 19th century.
ELIJAH m English, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu)
meaning "my God is YAHWEH"
, derived from the elements אֵל ('el)
and יָה (yah)
, both referring to the Hebrew God. Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab
of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel
. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al
and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha
. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses
appear next to Jesus
when he is transfigured.... [more]
ELIZABETH f English, Biblical
From Ἐλισάβετ (Elisabet)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva')
meaning "my God is an oath"
, derived from the roots אֵל ('el)
referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava')
meaning "oath". 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.... [more]
ELNATHAN m Biblical
From Hebrew אֶלְנָתָן ('Elnatan)
meaning "God has given"
. In the Old Testament this is the name of both a grandfather of King Jehoiachin and a son of Akbor.
ELNUR m Azerbaijani
Means "light of the people"
in Azerbaijani, ultimately derived from Turkic el
meaning "country, society" and Arabic نور (nur)
ELŞAD m Azerbaijani
From Turkic el
meaning "country, society" combined with Azerbaijani şad
meaning "happy, glad" (from Persian شاد
EMILY f English
English feminine form of Aemilius
). 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.... [more]
EMİRHAN m Turkish
Derived from Turkish emir
"amir, prince" and han
"khan, ruler, leader".
EMMA f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
. 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
ENEKO m Basque
Possibly derived from Basque ene
"my" and ko
, a diminutive suffix. This was the name of the first king of Pamplona or Navarre (9th century), whose name is usually rendered as Íñigo
ÉOWYN f Literature
Means "horse joy"
in Old English. This name was invented by J. R. R. Tolkien who used Old English to represent the Rohirric language. In his novel The Lord of the Rings
(1954) Eowyn is the niece of King Theoden of Rohan. She slays the Lord of the Nazgul in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
EPIPHANES m Ancient Greek
Means "appearing, manifesting"
in Greek. This was an epithet of two 2nd-century BC Hellenistic rulers: the Seleucid king Antiochus IV and the Ptolemaic king Ptolemy V.
ERESHKIGAL f Sumerian Mythology
Means "lady of the great earth"
, from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (ereš)
meaning "lady, queen" combined with 𒆠 (ki)
meaning "earth" and 𒃲 (gal)
meaning "great, big". In Sumerian mythology she was the goddess of death and the underworld.
ERIK m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, English
Scandinavian form of ERIC
. This was the name of kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. King Erik IX of Sweden (12th century) is the patron saint of that country.
ERMENRICH m Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic elements ermen
"whole, universal" and ric
"ruler, mighty". Ermenrich (also often called Ermanaric) was a 4th-century Gothic king.
ERZSÉBET f Hungarian
Hungarian form of ELIZABETH
. This is the native name of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. It was also borne by the infamous Erzsébet Báthory, a 16th-century countess and murderer.
ESMÉ m & f English (British)
in Old French. It was first recorded in Scotland, being borne by the first Duke of Lennox in the 16th century. It is now more common as a feminine name.
ESTHER f English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
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. The king's advisor Haman
persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai
, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah
ÉTAÍN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét
. In Irish mythology she is the subject of the 9th-century tale The Wooing of Étaín
. She was the wife of Midir, but his jealous first wife Fuamnach transformed her into a fly. She was accidentally swallowed, and then reborn to the woman who swallowed her. After she grew again to adulthood she married the Irish high king Eochaid Airem, having no memory of Midir. Midir and Étaín were eventually reunited after Midir defeated Eochaid in a game of chess.
EUDES m Medieval French
Old French form of Audo
). This was the name of an 8th-century French saint. It was also borne by a 9th-century French king.
EUDOCIA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Εὐδοκία (Eudokia)
, derived from the word εὐδοκέω (eudokeo)
meaning "to be well pleased, to be satisfied"
, itself derived from εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and δοκέω (dokeo)
meaning "to think, to imagine, to suppose". This name was common among Byzantine royalty. Saint Eudocia was the wife of the 5th-century emperor Theodosius II.
EUGENE m English
English form of Eugenius
, the Latin form of the Greek name Εὐγένιος (Eugenios)
, which was derived from the Greek word εὐγενής (eugenes)
meaning "well born"
. It is composed of the elements εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and γενής (genes)
meaning "born". This was the name of several saints and four popes.... [more]
EUROPA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Εὐρώπη (Europe)
, which meant "wide face"
from εὐρύς (eurys)
meaning "wide" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "face, eye". In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus
in the guise of a bull. She became the first queen of Crete, and later fathered Minos
by Zeus. The continent of Europe is named for her. This is also the name of a moon of Jupiter.
FARAMUND m Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements fara
"journey" and mund
"protection". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century king of the Franks.
FARUQ m Arabic
Means "person who can tell right from wrong"
in Arabic. This was the name of the last king of Egypt (1920-1965).
FÁTIMA f Portuguese, Spanish
From the name of a town in Portugal, which was derived from the Arabic feminine name FATIMAH
, apparently after a Moorish princess who converted to Christianity during the Reconquista. The town became an important Christian pilgrimage center after 1917 when three local children reported witnessing repeated apparitions of the Virgin Mary
FEARGHAL m Irish
Means "man of valour"
, derived from the Irish elements fear
"man" and gal
"valour". This was the name of an 8th-century king of Ireland.
FEREYDOUN m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "the third"
in Persian. In the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
this is the name of a virtuous king who ruled for 500 years.
FIACHNA m Irish
Derived from Irish fiach
. This was the name of a king in Irish legend.
FITZROY m English (Rare)
From an English surname meaning "son of the king"
in Old French, originally given to illegitimate sons of monarchs.
FLAITHRÍ m Irish
Means "king of princes"
from Gaelic flaith
"prince" and rí
FLANN m & f Irish
in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of a 9th-century king of Tara in Ireland.
FLAVIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name meaning "golden"
from Latin flavus
"yellow, golden". Flavius was the family name of the 1st-century Roman emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. It was used as a personal name by several later emperors, notably by Constantine
FLORIAN m German, Polish, French
From the Roman cognomen Florianus
, a derivative of FLORUS
. This was the name of a short-lived Roman emperor of the 3rd century. It was also borne by Saint Florian, a martyr of the 3rd century, the patron saint of Poland and Upper Austria.
FLORIMOND m Literature, French
Possibly from Latin florens
meaning "prosperous, flourishing" combined with the Germanic element mund
meaning "protection". This is the name of the prince in some versions of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty
FRANCE (1) f French
From the name of the country, sometimes considered a feminine form of FRANK
or short form of FRANÇOISE
, both of which are ultimately related to the name of the country.
FREDERICK m English
English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler"
, derived from frid
"peace" and ric
"ruler, mighty". 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.... [more]
FRIDESWIDE f History
Modern form of the Old English name Friðuswiþ
, formed of the elements friþ
"peace" and swiþ
"strong". Saint Frideswide was an 8th-century English princess who became a nun. She is credited with establishing Christ Church in Oxford.
GAIANA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Γαϊανή (Gaiane)
, a derivative of GAIA
. This was the name of a (perhaps fictional) martyr who was killed in Armenia during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian in the late 3rd century.
GAIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman praenomen, or given name, of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from Latin gaudere "to rejoice"
, though it may be of unknown Etruscan origin. This was a very common Roman praenomen, the most famous bearers being Gaius Julius Caesar, the great leader of the Roman Republic, and his adopted son Gaius Octavius (later known as Augustus), the first Roman emperor. This name also appears in the New Testament belonging to a bishop of Ephesus who is regarded as a saint.
GALADRIEL f Literature
Means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland"
in Sindarin. Galadriel was a Noldorin elf princess renowned for her beauty and wisdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. The elements are galad
"radiant" and riel
"garlanded maiden". Alatáriel
is the Quenya form of her name.
GASTON m French
Possibly from a Germanic name derived from the element gast
meaning "stranger, guest"
. This is the usual French name for Saint Vedastus
, called Vaast
in Flemish, and alternatively the name may be connected to it. The name was also borne by several counts of Foix-Béarn, beginning in the 13th century.
GAWAIN m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain, from the Latin form Walganus
used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth. This was the name of a nephew of King Arthur
and one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He can be identified with the earlier Welsh hero Gwalchmei, and it is likely that the name derives from GWALCHMEI
. Alternatively it may have a different Celtic or even a Germanic origin. Gawain was a popular hero in medieval stories such as the 14th-century romantic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
GENTIAN m Albanian
From the name of the flowering plant called the gentian, the roots of which are used to create a tonic. It is derived from the name of the Illyrian king GENTIUS
, who supposedly discovered its medicinal properties.
GENTIUS m Albanian
Possibly means "to beget"
in Illyrian. This was the name of a 2nd-century BC Illyrian king who went to war with Rome.
GEORGE m English, Romanian
From the Greek name Γεώργιος (Georgios)
, which was derived from the Greek word γεωργός (georgos)
meaning "farmer, earthworker"
, itself derived from the elements γῆ (ge)
meaning "earth" and ἔργον (ergon)
meaning "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.... [more]
GEORGIA f English, Greek
Latinate feminine form of GEORGE
. This is the name of an American state, which was named after the British king George II. A famous bearer was the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986).
GERTRUDE f English, Dutch, French
Means "spear of strength"
, derived from the Germanic elements ger
"spear" and thrud
"strength". Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer. It was probably introduced to England by settlers from the Low Countries in the 15th century. Shakespeare used the name in his play Hamlet
(1600) for the mother of the title character. Another famous bearer was the American writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).