ADONIS m Greek Mythology
From Phoenician adon
. In Greek myth Adonis was a handsome young shepherd killed while hunting a wild boar. The anemone flower is said to have sprung from his blood. Because he was loved by Aphrodite
allowed him to be restored to life for part of each year. The Greeks borrowed this character from Semitic traditions, originally Sumerian (see DUMUZI
AEGLE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Αἴγλη (Aigle)
, which meant "light, radiance, glory"
. This was the name of several characters in Greek myth, including one of the Heliades and one of the Hesperides.
AELLA f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek myth this was the name of an Amazon warrior killed by Herakles
during his quest for Hippolyta's girdle.
AGAUE f Greek Mythology
Means "illustrious, noble"
in Greek. This was the mother of Pentheus in Greek myth.
AGLAIA f Greek Mythology, Greek
Means "splendour, beauty"
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the three Graces or Χάριτες
(Charites). This name was also borne by a 4th-century saint from Rome.
AHURA MAZDA m Persian Mythology
Means "lord of wisdom"
in Avestan. In Persian mythology Ahura Mazda was the supreme creator, and the god of light, truth, and goodness.
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
AJAX m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αἴας (Aias)
, perhaps deriving from Greek αἰαστής (aiastes)
or αἶα (aia)
meaning "earth, land"
. In Greek mythology this was the name of two of the heroes who fought for the Greeks in the Trojan War, the son of Telamon and the son of Oileus. When the armour of the slain hero Achilles
was not given to Ajax Telamonian, he became mad with jealousy and killed himself.
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.
ALCYONE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἀλκυόνη (Alkyone)
, derived from the word ἀλκυών (alkyon)
. In Greek myth this name belonged to a daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck she threw herself into the water, but the gods saved her and turned them both into kingfishers. This is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, the seven stars in the constellation Taurus.
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]
ALEXANDRA f English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera
, and an alternate name of Cassandra
. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix
, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra)
upon joining the Russian Church.
ALTHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Ἀλθαία (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek ἄλθος (althos)
. In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ALUN m Welsh
Welsh form of ALAN
. This name appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
ALVIS m Norse Mythology, Latvian
From the Old Norse Alvíss
meaning "all wise"
. In Norse mythology this was the name of a dwarf who was to marry Thor
's daughter Thrud
. Thor was not pleased with this so he tricked Alvis by asking him questions until the sun rose, at which time the dwarf was turned into stone.
AMIRANI m Georgian Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Proto-Kartvelian origin. This is the name of a hero from Georgian mythology whose story is similar to that of Prometheus
from Greek mythology.
AMON m Egyptian Mythology (Anglicized)
From Ἄμμων (Ammon)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Ymn
(reconstructed as Yamanu
) meaning "the hidden one"
. In early Egyptian mythology he was a god of the air, creativity and fertility, who was particularly revered in Thebes. Later, during the Middle Kingdom, his attributes were combined with those of the god Ra
and he was worshipped as the supreme solar deity Amon-Ra
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
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.
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
AODH m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áed
, which meant "fire"
. This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
meaning "little fire"
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AOIDE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
APOLLO m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ἀπόλλων (Apollon)
, which is of unknown meaning, though perhaps related to Indo-European *apelo
. Another theory states that Apollo can be equated with Appaliunas, an Anatolian god whose name possibly means "father lion"
or "father light"
. The Greeks later associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι (apollymi)
meaning "to destroy"
. In Greek mythology Apollo was the son of Zeus
and the twin of Artemis
. He was the god of prophecy, medicine, music, art, law, beauty, and wisdom. Later he also became the god of the sun and light.
ARACHNE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek myth Arachne was a mortal woman who defeated Athena
in a weaving contest. After this Arachne hanged herself, but Athena brought her back to life in the form of a spider.
ARAWN m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
ARES m Greek Mythology
Perhaps from either Greek ἀρή (are)
meaning "bane, ruin"
or ἄρσην (arsen)
. The name first appears as a-re
in Mycenaean Greek writing. Ares was the bloodthirsty god of war in Greek mythology, a son of Zeus
ARETHUSA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ἀρέθουσα (Arethousa)
meaning "quick water"
, which is possibly derived from ἄρδω (ardo)
meaning "water" and θοός (thoos)
meaning "quick, nimble". This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who was transformed into a fountain.
ARGUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἄργος (Argos)
, derived from ἀργός (argos)
meaning "glistening, shining"
. This name was borne by several characters from Greek myth, including the man who built the Argo and a giant with one hundred eyes.
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
ARIANRHOD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel"
or "round wheel"
in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan
Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ASENA f Turkish
Possibly of Scythian origin meaning "blue"
. In Turkic mythology Asena was a grey wolf who gave birth to the ancestor of the Ashina tribe of Turks.
ASK m Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse askr "ash tree"
. In Norse mythology Ask and his wife Embla
were the first humans created by the gods.
ATLAS m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "enduring"
from Greek τλάω (tlao)
meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus
by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
ATROPOS f Greek Mythology
Means "inevitable, inflexible"
in Greek, derived from the negative prefix ἀ (a)
combined with τρόπος (tropos)
meaning "direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
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.
BAST f Egyptian Mythology
Possibly means "fire, heat"
or "ointment jar"
in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology Bast was a goddess of cats, fertility and the sun who was considered a protector of Lower Egypt. She was often depicted with the head of a lioness or a house cat. As her role in the Egyptian pantheon diminished, she was called Bastet
BATRAZ m Ossetian, Caucasian Mythology
Possibly from Turkic bagatur
meaning "hero, warrior, brave"
. This is the name of the leader of the superhuman Narts in Caucasian mythology.
BÉBINN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair lady"
in Irish. This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including a goddess of childbirth.
BILE m Irish Mythology
Possibly an Irish form of BELENUS
, though it may derive from an Irish word meaning "hero". In Irish mythology this was the name of one of the Milesians who was drowned while invading 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.
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
meaning "exalted one"
. In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRISEIS f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from Βρισεύς (Briseus)
, a Greek name of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology Briseis (real name Hippodameia) was the daughter of Briseus. She was captured during the Trojan War by Achilles
. After Agamemnon
took her away from him, Achilles refused to fight in the war.
BRONTES m Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology (according to Hesiod), this was the name of one of the three Cyclopes, who were the sons of Uranus
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.
CADWGAN m Welsh
Means "glory in battle"
from Welsh cad
"battle" and gwogawn
"glory, honour". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, this name is briefly mentioned as the son of Iddon.
CALYPSO f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Καλυψώ (Kalypso)
, which probably meant "she that conceals"
, derived from καλύπτω (kalypto)
meaning "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.
CASSIOPEIA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κασσιόπεια (Kassiopeia)
or Κασσιέπεια (Kassiepeia)
, possibly meaning "cassia juice"
. In Greek myth Cassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda. She was changed into a constellation and placed in the northern sky after she died.
CASTOR m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κάστωρ (Kastor)
, possibly related to κέκασμαι (kekasmai)
meaning "to excel, to shine"
). Alternatively it could be derived from the Greek word κάστωρ (kastor)
, though the legends about Castor do not mention beavers, which were foreign animals to the Greeks. In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus
and the twin brother of Pollux
. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
CERES f Roman Mythology
Derived from the Indo-European root *ker
meaning "to grow"
. In Roman mythology Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, equivalent to the Greek goddess Demeter
CHARON m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "fierce brightness"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Charon was the operator of the ferry that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
CHLORIS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek χλωρός (chloros)
meaning "pale green"
. Chloris, in Greek mythology, was a minor goddess of vegetation.
CHUKWU m Mythology
Means "God is great"
, derived from Igbo chi
"god, spiritual being" and ukwu
"great". In Igbo mythology Chukwu is the supreme god who created the universe. Christian Igbo people use this name for the Christian god.
CIRCE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κίρκη (Kirke)
, possibly from κίρκος (kirkos)
. In Greek mythology Circe was a sorceress who changed Odysseus
's crew into hogs, as told in Homer's Odyssey
. Odysseus forced her to change them back, then stayed with her for a year before continuing his voyage.
CULHWCH m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "hiding place of the pig"
in Welsh. In Welsh legend he was the lover of Olwen
the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Before the giant would allow Culhwch to marry his daughter, he insisted that Culhwch complete a series of extremely difficult tasks. Culhwch managed to complete them, and he returned to marry Olwen and kill the giant. This tale appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
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.
DAGDA m Irish Mythology
Means "good god"
in Celtic. In Irish myth Dagda (called also The Dagda) was the powerful god of the earth, knowledge, magic, abundance and treaties, a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was skilled in combat and healing and possessed a huge club, the handle of which could revive the dead.
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.
DAPHNE f Greek Mythology, English, Dutch
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.
DEIANEIRA f Greek Mythology
From Greek δηιόω (deioo)
meaning "to slay" and ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man". In Greek mythology this was the name of the wife of Herakles
. She unwittingly poisoned her husband by giving him the Shirt of Nessus.
DEMETER (1) f Greek Mythology
Possibly means "earth mother"
, derived from Greek δᾶ (da)
meaning "earth" and μήτηρ (meter)
meaning "mother". In Greek mythology Demeter was the goddess of agriculture, the daughter of Cronus
, the sister of Zeus
, and the mother of Persephone
. She was an important figure in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites performed at Eleusis near Athens.
DESPOINA f Greek Mythology, Greek
Means "mistress, lady"
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon. She was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at Eleusis near Athens.
DIARMAID m Irish, Irish Mythology
Perhaps means "without envy"
in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of a warrior who became the lover of Gráinne
. It was also the name of several ancient Irish kings.
DIKE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Dike was the goddess of justice, one of the Ὥραι
DIONYSOS m Greek Mythology
From Greek Διός (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
" combined with NYSA
, the name of the region where young Dionysos was said to have been raised. In Greek mythology Dionysos was the god of wine, revelry, fertility and dance. He was the son of Zeus
DORIS f English, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the Greek name Δωρίς (Doris)
, which meant "Dorian woman"
. The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-2019).
ECHO f Greek Mythology
From the Greek word ἠχώ (echo)
meaning "echo, reflected sound"
, related to ἠχή (eche)
meaning "sound". In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera
, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus
, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
ELECTRA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἠλέκτρα (Elektra)
, derived from ἤλεκτρον (elektron)
. In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon
and the sister of Orestes
. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas
ELEN f Welsh
Welsh form of HELEN
. This was the name of a 4th-century Welsh saint. It also appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, belonging to a woman who built the roads in Wales.
ELPIS f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
ELYSIA f Various
, the name of the realm of the dead in Greek and Roman mythology, which means "blissful"
ENDYMION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἐνδύω (endyo)
meaning "to dive into, to enter"
. In Greek mythology he was an Aeolian mortal loved by the moon goddess Selene
, who asked Zeus
to grant him eternal life. Zeus complied by putting him into an eternal sleep in a cave on Mount Latmos.
EPIMETHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἐπιμήθεια (epimetheia)
meaning "hindsight, hindthought"
. In Greek mythology he was a Titan, the brother of the god of forethought Prometheus.
ERATO f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of lyric poetry.
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.
ERIS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Eris was the goddess of discord. She was the sister and companion of Ares
EROS m Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology he was a young god, the son of Aphrodite
, who was armed with arrows that caused the victim to fall in love.
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.
EUDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "good gift"
in Greek, from the elements εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". This was the name of a nymph, one of the Hyades, in Greek mythology.
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.
EURYDICE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Εὐρυδίκη (Eurydike)
meaning "wide justice"
, derived from εὐρύς (eurys)
meaning "wide" and δίκη (dike)
meaning "justice". In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out.
EUTERPE f Greek Mythology
in Greek, ultimately from εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and τέρπω (terpo)
meaning "to satisfy, to cheer". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of music and joy. She was said to have invented the double flute.
EVREN m & f Turkish
Means "cosmos, the universe"
in Turkish. In Turkic mythology the Evren is a gigantic snake-like dragon.
FELICITAS f German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Latin name meaning "good luck, fortune"
. In Roman mythology the goddess Felicitas was the personification of good luck. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint, a slave martyred with her master Perpetua in Carthage.
FORTUNA f Roman Mythology
in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the personification of luck.
FREYA f Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern), German
From Old Norse Freyja
. This was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr
and father Njord
, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg
FRIGG f Norse Mythology
in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri
"to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin
. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya
share a common origin.
GABIJA f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Probably from Lithuanian gaubti
meaning "to cover"
. In Lithuanian mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire and the home.
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαῖα (gaia)
, a parallel form of γῆ (ge)
. In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GORONWY m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, he was the lover of Blodeuwedd
. He attempted to murder her husband Lleu
Llaw Gyffes but was himself killed.
GRID f Norse Mythology
in Old Norse. In Norse myth she was a frost giantess, the mother of Víðarr by Odin
. She also aided Thor
in his fight against the giant Geirrod.
HADES m Greek Mythology
From Greek Ἅιδης (Haides)
, derived from ἀϊδής (aides)
. In Greek mythology Hades was the dark god of the underworld, a place that was also called Hades. His brother was Zeus
and his wife was Persephone
HATHOR f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian hut-Heru
meaning "the house of Horus"
, derived from Egyptian hwt
"house" combined with Hr
the god HORUS
. In Egyptian mythology she was the goddess of love, often depicted with the head of a cow.
HEBE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἥβη (hebe)
. In Greek mythology Hebe was the daughter of Zeus
. She was a goddess of youth who acted as the cupbearer to the gods.
HECATE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἑκάτη (Hekate)
, possibly derived from ἑκάς (hekas)
meaning "far off"
. In Greek mythology Hecate was a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons and the underworld.
HEIDRUN f Norse Mythology, German
Derived from Old Norse heiðr
meaning "bright, clear" and rún
meaning "secret". In Norse mythology this was the name of a goat that would eat the leaves from the tree of life and produce mead in her udder.
HEL f Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology this was the name of the daughter of Loki. She got her name from the underworld, also called Hel, where she ruled, which meant "to conceal, to cover" in Old Norse (related to the English word hell
HELLE (2) f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
HEPHAESTUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἥφαιστος (Hephaistos)
, meaning unknown. It probably shares its origin with the Minoan city of Φαιστός (Phaistos)
, which is of Pre-Greek origin. In Greek mythology Hephaestus was the god of fire and forging, the husband of the unfaithful Aphrodite
. It was said that when he was born Hera
, his mother, was so displeased with his physical deformities that she hurled him off the top of Mount Olympus.
HERA f Greek Mythology
Uncertain meaning, possibly from Greek ἥρως (heros)
meaning "hero, warrior"
; ὥρα (hora)
meaning "period of time"
; or αἱρέω (haireo)
meaning "to be chosen"
. In Greek mythology Hera was the queen of the gods, the sister and wife of Zeus
. She presided over marriage and childbirth.
HERAKLES m Greek Mythology
Means "glory of Hera"
from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with Greek κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory". This was the name of a hero in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus
and the mortal woman Alcmene
. After being driven insane by Hera
and killing his own children, Herakles completed twelve labours in order to atone for his crime and become immortal.
HERMIONE f Greek Mythology
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.
HESPEROS m Ancient Greek
in Greek. This was the name of the personification of the Evening Star (the planet Venus) in Greek mythology.
HESTIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἑστία (hestia)
meaning "hearth, fireside"
. In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HORUS m Egyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Ὧρος (Horos)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Hrw
(reconstructed as Heru
) possibly meaning "falcon"
. In Egyptian mythology Horus was the god of light, often depicted as a man with the head of a falcon. The son Osiris
, he avenged his father's murder by killing Seth
HUITZILOPOCHTLI m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "southern hummingbird"
or "left-handed hummingbird"
in Nahuatl. In Aztec mythology he was the god of the sun and war. He was a patron deity of the city of Tenochtitlan (at the site of modern Mexico City).
HYPERION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ὑπέρ (hyper)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan who presided over the sun and light. By Theia
he was the father of the sun god Helios
, the moon goddess Selene
, and the dawn goddess Eos
IAH m Egyptian Mythology
in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology this was the name of a god of the moon, later identified with Thoth
ICARUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἴκαρος (Ikaros)
, of unknown meaning. In Greek myth Icarus was the son of Daedalus
, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth by Minos
. They escaped from the maze using wings devised from wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death.
IDA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element id
meaning "work, labour"
. The Normans brought this name to England, though it eventually died out there in the Middle Ages. It was strongly revived in the 19th century, in part due to the heroine in Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem The Princess
(1847), which was later adapted into the play Princess Ida
(1884) by Gilbert and Sullivan.... [more]
ILMARINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish ilma
. Ilmarinen is an immortal smith in Finnish mythology, the creator of the sky and the magic mill known as the Sampo. He is one of the main characters in the Finnish epic the Kalevala
IO f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus
, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from Hera
. A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.
ION (2) m Greek Mythology
Of unknown etymology, possibly pre-Greek. According to Greek mythology he was a son of Creusa and Xuthus (or alternatively the god Apollo
). He was said to be the ancestor of the Greek tribe of the Ionians.
IONE f Greek Mythology, English
From Ancient Greek ἴον (ion)
meaning "violet flower"
. This was the name of a sea nymph in Greek mythology. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, though perhaps based on the Greek place name Ionia
, a region on the west coast of Asia Minor.
IORWERTH m Welsh
Means "handsome lord"
from Welsh ior
"lord" and berth
"handsome". This name is used in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, where it belongs to a son of Maredudd. This name is sometimes used as a Welsh form of EDWARD
IPHIGENEIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἴφιος (iphios)
meaning "strong, stout" and γενής (genes)
meaning "born". In Greek myth Iphigenia was the daughter of King Agamemnon
. When her father offended Artemis
it was divined that the only way to appease the goddess was to sacrifice Iphigenia. Just as Agamemnon was about to sacrifice his daughter she was magically transported to the city of Taurus.... [more]
ISIS f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Ist
(reconstructed as Iset
), 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.
IÐUNN f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Probably derived from Old Norse ið
"again" and unna
"to love". In Norse mythology Iðunn was the goddess of spring and immortality whose responsibility it was to guard the gods' apples of youth.
IZANAGI m Japanese Mythology
Means "male who invites"
in Japanese. In Japanese mythology the god Izanagi was the husband of Izanami
. When she died he unsuccessfully journeyed to the underworld to retrieve her. In the purifying rites that followed his return the gods of the sun, moon and wind were created.
IZANAMI f Japanese Mythology
Means "female who invites"
in Japanese. In Japanese mythology she was a creator goddess, the wife of Izanagi
. She died giving birth to Kagutsuchi, the god of fire.
JASON m English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Greek name Ἰάσων (Iason)
, derived from Greek ἰάομαι (iaomai)
meaning "to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson
as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea
, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.... [more]
JUNO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly related to an Indo-European root meaning "youth"
, or possibly of Etruscan origin. In Roman mythology Juno was the wife of Jupiter
and the queen of the heavens. She was the protectress of marriage and women, and was also the goddess of finance.
JUPITER m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From Latin Iuppiter
, which was ultimately derived from the Indo-European *Dyeu-pater
, composed of the elements Dyeus
) and pater
"father". Jupiter was the supreme god in Roman mythology. He presided over the heavens and light, and was responsible for the protection and laws of the Roman state. This is also the name of the fifth and largest planet in the solar system.
KALLIOPE f Greek Mythology
Means "beautiful voice"
from Greek κάλλος (kallos)
meaning "beauty" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.
KALLISTO f Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek κάλλιστος (kallistos)
meaning "most beautiful"
, a derivative of καλός (kalos)
meaning "beautiful". In Greek mythology Kallisto was a nymph who was loved by Zeus
. She was changed into a she-bear by Hera
, and subsequently became the Great Bear constellation. This was also an ancient Greek personal name.
KAVEH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means "royal"
in Avestan. In Persian mythology Kaveh is a blacksmith who leads a rebellion against the evil ruler Zahhak.
KLEIO f Greek Mythology, Greek
Derived from Greek κλέος (kleos)
. In Greek mythology she was the goddess of history and heroic poetry, one of the nine Muses. She was said to have introduced the alphabet to Greece.
KLOTHO f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Klotho was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai). She was responsible for spinning the thread of life.
KLYTIË f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλυτός (klytos)
meaning "famous, noble"
. In Greek myth Klytië was an ocean nymph who loved the sun god Helios. Her love was not returned, and she pined away staring at him until she was transformed into a heliotrope flower, whose head moves to follow the sun.
KOIOS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek κοῖος (koios)
, also spelled ποῖος (poios)
, a questioning word meaning approximately "of what kind?"
. This was the name of a Titan god of intelligence in Greek mythology.
KREIOS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from either Greek κρείων (kreion)
meaning "lord, master"
or κριός (krios)
meaning "ram, male sheep"
. This was the name of a Titan in Greek mythology.
LACHESIS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. She was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. She was responsible for deciding how long each person had to live.
LAIUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Λάϊος (Laios)
, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a king of Thebes in Greek mythology, the husband of Jocasta
. Due to a prophecy that he would be killed by his son, Laius left his infant Oedipus
for dead. The boy survived but was ignorant of his true parentage. Years later he unwittingly killed Laius in a quarrel on the road.
LAMIA (2) f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek λαιμός (laimos)
. In Greek mythology this is the name of a queen of Libya who was a mistress of Zeus
, being jealous, kills Lamia's children, causing her to go mad and transform into a monster that hunts the children of others.
LARUNDA f Roman Mythology
Possibly connected to Greek λαλέω (laleo)
meaning "to talk, to chatter"
, or the Latin term Lares
referring to minor guardian gods. In Roman mythology Larunda or Lara was a water nymph who was overly talkative. She revealed to Juno that her husband Jupiter was having an affair with Juturna, so Jupiter had Larunda's tongue removed. By the god Mercury she had two children, who were Lares.
LAUMA f Latvian, Baltic Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Latvian mythology this is the name of a forest spirit sometimes associated with childbirth and weaving.
LETO f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Lycian lada
. Other theories connect it to Greek λήθω (letho)
meaning "hidden, forgotten"
. In Greek mythology she was the mother of Apollo
LÓEGAIRE m Irish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder"
, derived from Irish loagh
"calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed
, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
LOTUS f English (Rare)
From the name of the lotus flower (species Nelumbo nucifera) or the mythological lotus tree. They are ultimately derived from Greek λωτός (lotos)
. In Greek and Roman mythology the lotus tree was said to produce a fruit causing sleepiness and forgetfulness.
LOUHI f Finnish Mythology
Variant of LOVIATAR
. In Finnish mythology Louhi was another name of the death goddess Loviatar. She appears in the Finnish epic the Kalevala
as a witch ruling the northern area known as Pohjola. She is the primary antagonist to the hero Väinämöinen
LUGH m Irish Mythology
Probably an Irish form of LUGUS
. In Irish mythology Lugh was a divine hero who led the Tuatha De Danann against the Fomorians who were led by his grandfather Balor. Lugh killed Balor by shooting a stone into his giant eye.
LYSSA (2) f Greek Mythology
Means "rage, fury, anger"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Lyssa is a goddess associated with uncontrolled rage.
MACSEN m Welsh
Welsh form of MAXIMUS
. Magnus Maximus (known as Macsen in Welsh) was a 4th-century co-ruler of the Western Roman Empire. In Wales he was regarded as the founder of several royal lineages. He appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
MARAMA f Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology she was the goddess of the moon and death.
MARI (3) f Mythology
Possibly from Basque emari
. This was the name of a goddess of the weather and fertility in Basque mythology.
MARS m Roman Mythology
Possibly related to Latin mas
). In Roman mythology Mars was the god of war, often equated with the Greek god Ares
. This is also the name of the fourth planet in the solar system.
MĀUI m & f Hawaiian, Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Hawaiian mythology Māui was a trickster who created the Hawaiian Islands by having his brothers fish them out of the sea. He was also responsible for binding the sun and slowing its movement.
MEDEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized), Georgian
From Greek Μήδεια (Medeia)
, possibly derived from μήδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to think, to plan"
. In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis (modern Georgia) who helped Jason
gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed.
MEDUSA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Μέδουσα (Medousa)
, which was derived from μέδω (medo)
meaning "to protect, to rule over"
. In Greek myth this was the name of one of the three Gorgons, ugly women who had snakes for hair. She was so hideous that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone, so the hero Perseus
had to look using the reflection in his shield in order to slay her.
MEGAERA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Μέγαιρα (Megaira)
, which was derived from μεγαίρω (megairo)
meaning "to grudge"
. This was the name of one of the Furies or Ἐρινύες (Erinyes)
in Greek mythology. The name is used as a word in several European languages to denote a shrewish, ill-tempered woman (for example, French mégère
and Italian megera
MELETE f Greek Mythology
Means "practice, exercise"
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of meditation.
MELIA f Greek Mythology
Means "ash tree"
in Greek, a derivative of μέλι (meli)
meaning "honey". This was the name of a nymph in Greek myth, the daughter of the Greek god Okeanos.
MELISSA f English, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a daughter of Procles, as well as an epithet of various Greek nymphs and priestesses. According to the early Christian writer Lactantius this was the name of the sister of the nymph Amalthea
, with whom she cared for the young Zeus
. Later it appears in Ludovico Ariosto's 1516 poem Orlando Furioso
belonging to the fairy who helps Ruggiero
escape from the witch Alcina. As an English given name, Melissa
has been used since the 18th century.
MELPOMENE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek μέλπω (melpo)
meaning "to sing, to celebrate with song"
. This was the name of one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, the muse of tragedy.
MEROPE f Greek Mythology
From Greek μέρος (meros)
meaning "share, part" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "face, eye". This was the name of several characters in Greek mythology, including the seventh of the Pleiades and the foster mother of Oedipus
METIS f Greek Mythology
Means "wisdom, skill, cunning"
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a Titan. Because it was prophesized that her children would be wiser than Zeus
, he swallowed her after he had impregnated her. However, their daughter Athena
eventually burst from his head fully grown.
MIDAS m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek myth Midas was a king of Phrygia in Asia Minor. He was granted a wish by the god Dionysos
- that everything he touch be turned to gold.
MINOS m Greek Mythology
Possibly from a Cretan word or title meaning "king"
. This was the name of a king of Crete in Greek mythology. He was the son of Zeus
. Because Minos had refused to sacrifice a certain bull to Poseidon
, the god had caused his wife Pasiphaë to mate with the bull, which produced the half-bull creature called the Minotaur. Minos had Daedalus
construct the Labyrinth to house the beast, but it was eventually slain by Theseus
MITHRA m Persian Mythology
Derived from an Indo-Iranian root *mitra
meaning "oath, covenant, agreement"
. In Persian mythology he was a god of light and friendship, the son of the supreme god Ahura Mazda
. Worship of him eventually spread outside of Persia, where it was known as Mithraism.
MNEME f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of memory.
MNEMOSYNE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Mnemosyne was a Titan goddess of memory. She was the mother by Zeus
of the nine Muses.
MOIRA f Irish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It also coincides with Greek Μοῖρα (Moira)
meaning "fate, destiny", the singular of Μοῖραι
, the Greek name for the Fates. They were the three female personifications of destiny in Greek mythology.
MORANA f Slavic Mythology, Croatian
From a Slavic root meaning "death, plague"
. In Slavic mythology this was the name of the goddess of winter and death.
MORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek μορφή (morphe)
, referring to the shapes seen in dreams. In Greek mythology Morpheus was the god of dreams.
MORRIGAN f Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish Mór Ríoghain
meaning "great queen"
. In Irish myth she was a goddess of war and death who often took the form of a crow.
MUBIRU m Eastern African, Ganda
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a figure in Ganda mythology associated with forests and hunting.
MUMBI f Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "she who shapes"
in Kikuyu. In Kikuyu mythology Mumbi was the wife of Gikuyu and the mother of his nine daughters.
NAGENDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lord of snakes"
from Sanskrit नाग (naga)
meaning "snake" (also "elephant") combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA
, used here to mean "lord". This is another name for Vasuki, the king of snakes, in Hindu mythology.
NAIDA f Croatian
Meaning uncertain, possibly derived from Greek Ναϊάς (Naias)
, a type of water nymph in Greek mythology (plural Ναϊάδες
NANABOZHO m New World Mythology
Means "my rabbit"
in Ojibwe. In Anishinaabe mythology Nanabozho (also called Wenabozho
) is the name of a trickster spirit.
NAPOLEON m History, English
From the old Italian name Napoleone
, used most notably by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who was born on Corsica. The etymology is uncertain, but it is possibly derived from the Germanic Nibelungen
meaning "sons of mist"
, a name used in Germanic mythology to refer to the keepers of a hoard of treasure (often identified with the Burgundians). Alternatively, it could be connected to the name of the Italian city of Napoli (Naples).
NECHTAN m Irish Mythology, Ancient Celtic
Celtic name of uncertain meaning, possibly meaning "damp"
(cognate with NEPTUNE
). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boand, the goddess of the River Boyne. This name was also borne by the 5th-century Saint Nectan of Hartland in Devon, who was supposedly born in Ireland. It was also the name of several kings of the Picts.
NEMESIS f Greek Mythology
Means "distribution of what is due, righteous anger"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Nemesis was the personification of vengeance and justice.
NEPTUNE m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Neptunus
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Indo-European root *nebh "wet, damp, clouds"
. Neptune was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, approximately equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon
. This is also the name of the eighth planet in the solar system.
NEREUS m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρός (neros)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NINGAL f Sumerian Mythology
Means "great lady"
, from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and 𒃲 (gal)
meaning "big, great". This was the name of a goddess of reeds in Sumerian mythology. She was the daughter of Enki
and the wife of Nanna
NINSUN f Sumerian Mythology
From Sumerian nin-sumun-a(k)
meaning "lady of the wild cow"
, derived from 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and the genitive form of 𒄢 (sumun)
meaning "wild cow". In Sumerian mythology Ninsun was the divine mother of Gilgamesh
NINURTA m Sumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology
Derived from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lord" and 𒅁 (urta)
meaning "ear of barley". In Sumerian and Akkadian mythology Ninurta was a god of agriculture, hunting and healing, later associated with war. He was also called Ningirsu
, though they may have originally been separate deities.
NIOBE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto
, Leto's children Apollo
killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus
NOKOMIS f New World Mythology
Means "my grandmother"
in Ojibwe. In Anishinaabe mythology this is the name of Nanabozho
's grandmother. It was used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the grandmother of Hiawatha
in his 1855 poem The Song of Hiawatha
NUADA m Irish Mythology
Possibly means "to acquire"
in Irish. In Irish mythology he was a divine leader of the Tuatha De Danann. After he lost an arm in battle it was replaced with one made from silver. He was later killed in battle against the Fomorians.
ODIN m Norse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn
, which was derived from óðr
meaning "inspiration, rage, frenzy"
. It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz
. The name appears as Woden
in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan
in continental Europe. However, Odin is best known from Norse mythology, as the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.
OEDIPUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Οἰδίπους (Oidipous)
, meaning "swollen foot"
from οἰδέω (oideo)
meaning "to swell" and πούς (pous)
meaning "foot". In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of the Theban king Laius
and his wife Jocasta
. Laius received a prophesy that he would be killed by his son, so he left the newborn to die of exposure. Oedipus was however rescued and raised in the home of the Corinthian king Polybus. After he had grown and learned of the same prophesy, Oedipus left Corinth so that he would not be a danger to Polybus, who he assumed was his father. On the road to Delphi he chanced upon his real father Laius and slew him in a petty disagreement, thus fulfilling the prophecy. He then correctly answered the Sphinx's riddle, winning the now vacant throne of Thebes and marrying the widowed Queen Jocasta, his own mother. Years later they learned the truth of their relationship, prompting Jocasta to commit suicide and Oedipus to blind himself.
OENONE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Οἰνώνε (Oinone)
, derived from οἶνος (oinos)
. In Greek mythology Oenone was a mountain nymph who was married to Paris before he went after Helen.
OKEANOS m Greek Mythology
From the name of the river or body of water thought by the ancient Greeks to surround the Earth. In Greek mythology Okeanos was the Titan who personified this body of water.
ORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night"
. In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
OSIRIS m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of the Egyptian Asar
, which is of unknown meaning. In Egyptian mythology Osiris was the god of the dead and the judge of the underworld. He was slain by his brother Seth
, but revived by his wife Isis
OURANIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek οὐράνιος (ouranios)
. In Greek mythology she was the goddess of astronomy and astrology, one of the nine Muses.
OVID m History
From the Roman family name Ovidius
, which was possibly derived from Latin ovis "a sheep"
. Alternatively, it could have a Sabellic origin. Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, was a 1st-century BC Roman poet who often wrote on the subjects of love and mythology. He was sent into exile by Emperor Augustus for no apparent reason.
OWAIN m Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Probably a Welsh form of EUGENE
, though other theories connect it to Welsh eoghunn
meaning "youth". This was the name of several figures from Welsh history and mythology. In Arthurian legend Owain (also called Yvain
in French sources) was one of the Knights of the Round Table, the son of King Urien and husband of the Lady of the Fountain. His character was based on that of Owain ap Urien, a 6th-century Welsh prince who fought against the Angles. This name was also borne by Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century leader of Welsh resistance against English rule.
PALLAS (2) m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πάλλω (pallo)
meaning "to brandish"
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see PALLAS (1)
PAN m Greek Mythology
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector"
. In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
PANDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "all gifts"
, derived from a combination of Greek πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". In Greek mythology Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus
gave her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills that mankind now knows, and told her not to open it. Unfortunately her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, unleashing the evil spirits into the world.
PANGU m Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 盘 (pán)
meaning "tray, pan" and 古 (gǔ)
meaning "old, ancient". In Chinese mythology this is the name of the first living being.
PAPA f Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Papa or Papatuanuku was the goddess of the earth and the mother of many of the other gods. She and her husband Rangi
, the god of the sky, were locked in a tight embrace. Their children decided to separate them, a feat of strength accomplished by the god Tāne
PARIS (1) m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Luwian or Hittite origin. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen
and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the Iliad
, he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles
. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.
PAX f Roman Mythology
in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the goddess of peace.
PEGASUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πήγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγός (pegos)
or πηγαῖος (pegaios)
meaning "from a water spring"
. In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
PEREDUR m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Possibly means "hard spears"
in Welsh. This was the name of several figures from Welsh mythology. It was later used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Arthurian tales. The character of Percival
was probably based on him.
PERSEPHONE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Pre-Greek origin, but perhaps related to Greek πέρθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy" and φονή (phone)
meaning "murder". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Demeter
. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades
, but was eventually allowed to return to the surface for part of the year. The result of her comings and goings is the changing of the seasons. With her mother she was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at the city of Eleusis near Athens.
PERSEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πέρθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy"
. In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero who was said to have founded the ancient city of Mycenae. He was the son of Zeus
. Mother and child were exiled by Danaë's father Acrisius, and Perseus was raised on the island of Seriphos. The king of the island compelled Perseus to kill the Gorgon Medusa
, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone. After obtaining winged sandals and other tools from the gods, he succeeded in his task by looking at Medusa in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. On his return he defeated a sea monster in order to save Andromeda
, who became his wife.
PERUN m Slavic Mythology
in Slavic. In Slavic mythology Perun was the god of lightning, sometimes worshipped as the primary god. The oak was his sacred tree.
PHILOMELA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Φιλομήλη (Philomele)
, derived from φίλος (philos)
meaning "lover, friend" and μῆλον (melon)
meaning "fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μέλος (melos)
meaning "song". In Greek myth Philomela was the sister-in-law of Tereus, who raped her and cut out her tongue. Prokne avenged her sister by killing her son by Tereus, after which Tereus attempted to kill Philomela. However, the gods intervened and transformed her into a nightingale.
PHINEUS m Greek Mythology
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Greek φίνις (phinis)
, a variant of φήνη (phene)
. According to Greek mythology this was the name of a king of Thrace visited by Jason
and the Argonauts.
PHOBOS m Greek Mythology
Means "fear, panic"
in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares
in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
PHOEBE f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοίβη (Phoibe)
, which meant "bright, pure"
from Greek φοῖβος (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).
PHOENIX m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird that appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοῖνιξ (phoinix)
meaning "dark red".
PHRIXUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φρίξος (Phrixos)
meaning "thrilling, causing shivers"
, derived from φρίξ (phrix)
meaning "ripple, shiver". In Greek myth Phrixus was the son of Athamus and Nephele. He was to be sacrificed to Zeus
, but he escaped with his sister Helle on the back of the ram with the Golden Fleece.
PHYLLIS f Greek Mythology, English, German
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia
PISTIS f Greek Mythology
Means "trust, faith"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Pistis was the personification of trust.
POLLUX m Roman Mythology
Roman form of Greek Πολυδεύκης (Polydeukes)
meaning "very sweet"
, from Greek πολύς (polys)
meaning "much" and δευκής (deukes)
meaning "sweet". In mythology he was the twin brother of Castor
and a son of Zeus
. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
POLYMNIA f Greek Mythology
Means "abounding in song"
, derived from Greek πολύς (polys)
meaning "much" and ὕμνος (hymnos)
meaning "song, hymn". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of dance and sacred songs, one of the nine Muses.
POSEIDON m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πόσις (posis)
meaning "husband, lord" and δᾶ (da)
meaning "earth". The name first appears in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions as po-se-da-o
. In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus
. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
PROMETHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek προμήθεια (prometheia)
meaning "foresight, forethought"
. In Greek myth he was the Titan who gave the knowledge of fire to mankind. For doing this he was punished by Zeus
, who had him chained to a rock and caused an eagle to feast daily on his liver, which regenerated itself each night. Herakles
eventually freed him.
PSYCHE f Greek Mythology
Means "the soul"
, derived from Greek ψύχω (psycho)
meaning "to breathe". The Greeks thought that the breath was the soul. In Greek mythology Psyche was a beautiful maiden who was beloved by Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology). She is the subject of Keats's poem Ode to Psyche
PWYLL m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh mythology, Pwyll is a king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon
QUETZALCOATL m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "feathered snake"
in Nahuatl, derived from quetzalli
"feather" and coatl
"snake". In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was the god of the sky, wind, and knowledge, also associated with the morning star. According to one legend he created the humans of this age using the bones of humans from the previous age and adding his own blood.
RAIJIN m Japanese Mythology
From Japanese 雷 (rai)
meaning "thunder" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the god (or gods) of thunder and storms in the mythology of Japan.
RANGI m Maori, Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Rangi or Ranginui was a god of the sky, husband of the earth goddess Papa
. They were locked in a crushing embrace but were eventually separated by their children, the other gods.
RHEA f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps related to ῥέω (rheo)
meaning "to flow"
or ἔρα (era)
. In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus
, and the mother of Zeus
. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia
was the mother of Romulus
, the legendary founders of Rome.
SATURN m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Saturnus
, which is of unknown meaning. In Roman mythology he was the father of Jupiter
and others, and was also the god of agriculture. This is also the name of the ringed sixth planet in the solar system.
SEMELE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phrygian origin. In Greek mythology she was one of the many lovers of Zeus
, being jealous, tricked Semele into asking Zeus to display himself in all his splendour as the god of thunder. When he did, Semele was struck by lightning and died, but not before giving birth to Dionysos
SIGMUND m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu
"victory" and mund
"protector" (or in the case of the Scandinavian cognate, from the Old Norse elements sigr
"victory" and mundr
"protector"). In Norse mythology this was the name of the hero Sigurd
's father, the bearer of the powerful sword Gram. A notable bearer was the Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the creator of the revolutionary theory of psychoanalysis.
SIMON (2) m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek σιμός (simos)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of one of the Telchines, demigods who were the original inhabitants of Rhodes.
SKAÐI f Norse Mythology
Means "damage, harm"
in Old Norse. In Norse mythology she was a mountain giantess associated with the winter and skiing, the wife of Njord
and later Odin
SKULD f Norse Mythology
in Old Norse. She was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was also one of the Valkyries.
SOSRUKO m Caucasian Mythology
Derived from Turkic suslä
. This is the name of a trickster god in Caucasian mythology. He is the hero of the Nart sagas.
SUIJIN m Japanese Mythology
From Japanese 水 (sui)
meaning "water" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the god (or gods) of water, lakes and pools in Japanese mythology.
SUSANOO m Japanese Mythology
Of Japanese origin, possibly meaning "wild male, impetuous male"
. In Japanese mythology he was the god of storms and the sea, as well as the brother and adversary of the goddess Amaterasu
. He was born when Izanagi
washed his nose after returning from the underworld. After he was banished from the heavens, he descended to earth and slew an eight-headed dragon.
SVAROG m Slavic Mythology
Derived from Slavic svar
meaning "bright, clear"
. This was the name of the Slavic god of the sky and sun. He was originally the supreme god in Slavic mythology.
TĀNE m Maori, Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Tāne was the god of forests and light. He was the son of the sky god Rangi
and the earth goddess Papa
, who were locked in an embrace and finally separated by their son. He created the tui bird and, by some accounts, man.
TANGAROA m Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Polynesian mythology he was the god of the sea, the son of Rangi
. He separated his parents' embrace, creating the earth and the sky.
TARU f Finnish
Means "legend, myth"
in Finnish. It is also used as a diminutive of TARJA
TETHYS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek τήθη (tethe)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan associated with the sea. She was the wife of Oceanus.
TEZCATLIPOCA m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "smoking mirror"
in Nahuatl. In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was one of the chief gods, associated with the night sky, winds, war, and the north. Like his rival Quetzalcoatl
, he was a creator god.