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.
AMELIA f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Variant of AMALIA
, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA
, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of both George II and George III. The author Henry Fielding used it for the title character in his novel Amelia
(1751). Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.... [more]
ANDREW m English, Biblical
English form of the Greek name Ἀνδρέας (Andreas)
, which was derived from ἀνδρεῖος (andreios)
meaning "manly, masculine"
, a derivative of ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man". In the New Testament the apostle Andrew, the first disciple to join Jesus
, is the brother of Simon Peter
. According to tradition, he later preached in the Black Sea region, with some legends saying he was crucified on an X-shaped cross. Andrew
, being a Greek name, was probably only a nickname or a translation of his real Hebrew name, which is not known.... [more]
APHRODITE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty, identified with the Roman goddess Venus
. She was the wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of Eros
, and she was often associated with the myrtle tree and doves. The Greeks connected her name with ἀφρός (aphros)
, resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea. Many of her characteristics are based on the goddess known as Ashtoreth
to the Phoenicians and Ishtar
to the Mesopotamian Semitic peoples, and on the Sumerian goddess Inanna
ASHERAH f Semitic Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea"
. This was the name of a Semitic mother goddess. She was worshipped by the Israelites before the advent of monotheism.
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.
CLÍODHNA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "shapely"
in Irish Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a beautiful goddess. She fell in love with a mortal named Ciabhan and left the Land of Promise with him, but when she arrived on the other shore she was swept to sea by a great wave.
DERYA f & m Turkish
Means "sea, ocean"
in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
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).
GYATSO m Tibetan
From Tibetan རྒྱ་མཚོ (rgya-mtsho)
. This is one of the given names of the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (1935-).
HADRIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Hadrianus
, which meant "from Hadria"
in Latin. Hadria was the name of two Roman settlements. The first (modern Adria) is in northern Italy and was an important Etruscan port town. The second (modern Atri) is in central Italy and was named after the northern town. The Adriatic Sea is also named after the northern town.... [more]
HAI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 海 (hǎi)
meaning "sea, ocean" or other characters that are pronounced similarly.
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").
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.
JULES (1) m French
French form of JULIUS
. A notable bearer of this name was the French novelist Jules Verne (1828-1905), author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
and other works of science fiction.
JŪRATĖ f Lithuanian
From Lithuanian jūra
. This is the name of a sea goddess who falls in love with a fisherman in the Lithuanian folk tale Jūratė and Kastytis
KAIMANA m & f Hawaiian
From Hawaiian kai
"ocean, sea" and mana
"power". It is also Hawaiian meaning "diamond", derived from the English word diamond
KAITO m Japanese
From Japanese 海 (kai)
meaning "sea, ocean" combined with 斗 (to)
, which refers to a Chinese constellation, or 翔 (to)
meaning "soar, fly". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
KINNERET f Hebrew
From the name of a large lake in northern Israel, usually called the Sea of Galilee in English. Its name is derived from Hebrew כִּנּוֹר (kinnor)
meaning "harp" because of its shape.
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.
LLYR m Welsh Mythology
Means "the sea"
in Welsh. This was the name of the Welsh god of the sea. He possibly forms the basis for the legendary King Lear of the Britons.
MAGDALENE f German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From a title meaning "of Magdala"
Magdalene, a character in the New Testament, was named thus because she was from Magdala - a village on the Sea of Galilee whose name meant "tower" in Hebrew. She was cleaned of evil spirits by Jesus
and then remained with him during his ministry, witnessing the crucifixion and the resurrection. She was a popular saint in the Middle Ages, and the name became common then. In England it is traditionally rendered Madeline
, while Magdalene
is the learned form.
MANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 愛 (mana)
meaning "love, affection" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" or 海 (mi)
meaning "sea, ocean". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MAR f Spanish, Catalan
in Spanish and Catalan. It is from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María del Mar
MARAĴA f Esperanto
Means "made of the sea"
in Esperanto, a derivative of maro
"sea", ultimately from Latin mare
MARIS f English (Rare)
Means "of the sea"
, taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary
, Stella Maris
, meaning "star of the sea".
MARY f English, Biblical
Usual English form of Maria
, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριάμ (Mariam)
and Μαρία (Maria)
- the spellings are interchangeable - which were from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam)
, a name borne by the sister of Moses
in the Old Testament. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness"
, and "wished for child"
. However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved"
or mr "love"
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.
MERAUD f Cornish
Meaning unknown, perhaps based on Cornish mor "sea"
MEREDITH m & f Welsh, English
From the Welsh name Maredudd
, possibly meaning "great lord"
or "sea lord"
. Since the mid-1920s it has been used more often for girls than for boys in English-speaking countries, though it is still a masculine name in Wales. A famous bearer of this name as surname was the English novelist and poet George Meredith (1828-1909).
MERLIN m Arthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin
(meaning "sea fortress"
) used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus
in order to prevent associations with French merde
MOANA f & m Maori, Hawaiian, Tahitian
Means "ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea"
in Maori and Hawaiian (as well as in other Polynesian languages).
MORGAN (1) m & f Welsh, English, French
From the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant
, which was possibly derived from Welsh mor
"sea" and cant
"circle". Since the 1980s in America Morgan
has been more common for girls than boys, perhaps due to stories of Morgan
le Fay or the fame of actress Morgan Fairchild (1950-).
MOSES m English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name מֹשֶׁה (Mosheh)
, which is most likely derived from Egyptian mes
, but could also possibly mean "deliver"
in Hebrew. The meaning suggested in the Old Testament of "drew out"
from Hebrew משה (mashah)
is probably an invented etymology (see Exodus 2:10
MUIR m Scottish
From a surname that was originally taken from a Scottish place name meaning "moor, fen"
. It also means "sea"
in Scottish Gaelic.
MUIRGEL f Irish
Means "bright sea"
, derived from Gaelic muir
"sea" and geal
MUIRGEN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "born of the sea"
in Irish. In Irish legend this was the name of a woman (originally named Líban
) who was transformed into a mermaid. After 300 years she was brought to shore, baptized, and transformed back into a woman.
NANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 七 (nana)
meaning "seven" and 海 (mi)
meaning "sea". It can also come from 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens" duplicated and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
NEMO m Literature
in Latin. This was the name used by author Jules Verne for the captain of the Nautilus in his novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
(1870). It was later used for the title character (a fish) in the 2003 animated movie Finding Nemo
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.
NEREIDA f Spanish
Derived from Greek Νηρηΐδες (Nereides)
meaning "nymphs, sea sprites"
, ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
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.
NERISSA f Literature
Created by Shakespeare for a character in his play The Merchant of Venice
(1596). He possibly took it from Greek Νηρηΐς (nereis)
meaning "nymph, sea sprite", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NJORD m Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njǫrðr
, which was possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ner
meaning "strong, vigorous"
. Njord was the Norse god of the sea, sailing, fishing and fertility. With his children Freyr
he was a member of the Vanir.
OCEAN m & f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word ocean
for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ὠκεανός (Okeanos)
, the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.
ODESSA f Various
From the name of a Ukrainian city that sits on the north coast of the Black Sea. This name can also be used as a feminine form of ODYSSEUS
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.
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.
PONTIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman family name. The family had Samnite roots so the name probably originated from the Oscan language, likely meaning "fifth"
(a cognate of Latin Quintus
). Alternatively, it could be derived from the name of the ancient province of Pontus
in Asia Minor, itself probably from Greek πόντος (pontos)
. A notable bearer of this name was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who appears in the New Testament.
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.
RAMESES m Ancient Egyptian (Anglicized)
From Ῥαμέσσης (Rhamesses)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Ra-msj-sw
meaning "born of Ra"
, composed of the name of the supreme god RA
combined with the Egyptian root mesu
"be born". Rameses was the name of eleven Egyptian kings of the New Kingdom. The most important of these were Rameses II the Great who campaigned against the Hittites and also built several great monuments, and Rameses III who defended Egypt from the Libyans and Sea Peoples.
ROSEMARY f English
Combination of ROSE
. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus
meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
SEDNA f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
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.
TAKUMI m Japanese
From Japanese 匠 (takumi)
meaning "artisan" or 巧 (takumi)
meaning "skillful". It can also come from 拓 (taku)
meaning "expand, open, support" combined with 海 (mi)
meaning "sea, ocean" or 実 (mi)
meaning "fruit, good result, truth". This name can also be formed of other kanji combinations.
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.
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.
TIAMAT f Semitic Mythology
From Akkadian tâmtu
. In Babylonian myth Tiamat was the personification of the sea, appearing in the form of a huge dragon. By Apsu she gave birth to the first of the gods. Later, the god Marduk
(her great-grandson) defeated her, cut her in half, and used the pieces of her body to make the earth and the sky.
VARUNA m Hinduism
Probably from a Sanskrit word meaning "to surround"
. In Hindu mythology Varuna is a god of water and the celestial ocean surrounding the world. He is one of the chief gods in the Rigveda.
YAIZA f Spanish
From the name of a town in the Canary Islands, Spain. It was used by the novelist Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa for the main character in his Ocean
trilogy of books (beginning 1984).
YAM m Semitic Mythology
in Ugaritic. Yam was the Ugaritic god of the sea, also associated with chaos, storms and destruction. He was a son of the chief god El
YANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 洋 (yáng)
meaning "ocean" or 阳 (yáng)
meaning "light, sun, male" (which is typically only masculine), as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.
YŌKO f Japanese
From Japanese 陽 (yō)
meaning "light, sun, male" or 洋 (yō)
meaning "ocean" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other combinations of kanji characters can also form this name.
YŌSUKE m Japanese
From Japanese 陽 (yō)
meaning "light, sun, male" or 洋 (yō)
meaning "ocean" combined with 介 (suke)
meaning "forerunner, herald". This name can also be formed from other combinations of kanji characters.