EARTHA f English
Combination of the English word earth
with the feminine name suffix a
. It has been used in honour of African-American philanthropist Eartha M. M. White (1876-1974). Another famous bearer was American singer and actress Eartha Kitt (1927-2008).
EASTER f English
From the English name of the Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus
. It was ultimately named for the Germanic spring goddess Eostre. It was traditionally given to children born on Easter, though it is rare in modern times.
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.
EBONY f English
From the English word ebony
for the black wood that comes from the ebony tree. It is ultimately from the Egyptian word hbnj
. In America this name is most often used by black parents.
EBRU f Turkish
Means "paper marbling"
in Turkish. Paper marbling is the art of creating colourful patterns on paper.
ECE f Turkish
or "beautiful woman"
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.
ECRİN f Turkish
Meaning unknown, possibly from an Arabic word meaning "reward"
EDDA (2) f Icelandic, Ancient Scandinavian
Possibly from Old Norse meaning "great-grandmother"
. This was the name of two 13th-century Icelandic literary works: the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda. This is also the name of a character in the Poetic Edda, though it is unclear if her name is connected to the name of the collection.
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.
EDNA (2) f Biblical
in Hebrew. This name appears in the Old Testament Apocrypha in the Book of Tobit.
EDURNE f Basque
in Basque, from edur
, a variant of elur
"snow". It is a Basque equivalent of Nieves
EGLANTINE f English (Rare)
From the English word for the flower also known as sweetbrier. It is derived via Old French from Vulgar Latin *aquilentum
meaning "prickly". It was early used as a given name (in the form Eglentyne
) in Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century story The Prioress's Tale
EGLĖ f Lithuanian
Means "spruce tree"
in Lithuanian. In a Lithuanian folk tale Eglė is a young woman who marries a grass snake. At the end of the tale she turns herself into a spruce.
EIJA f Finnish
Possibly from the Finnish happy exclamation eijaa
EIKE m & f German
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ag
EILEEN f Irish, English
Anglicized form of EIBHLÍN
. It is also sometimes considered an Irish form of HELEN
. It first became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland near the end of the 19th century.
EILWEN f Welsh
Perhaps means "white brow"
, derived from Welsh ael
"brow" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed". This is a recently-created Welsh name.
EIRWEN f Welsh
Means "white snow"
from the Welsh elements eira
"snow" and gwen
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
ELANOR f Literature
Means "star sun"
in Sindarin. In The Lord of the Rings
(1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien this is Sam's eldest daughter, named after a type of flower.
ELEA f English
Short form of ELEANOR
. This was also the name of an ancient Italian town (modern Velia) that is well known for being the home of the philosopher Parmenides and his student Zeno of Elea, who was famous for his paradoxes.
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]
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.
ELENA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek, German, English, Medieval Slavic
Form of HELEN
used in various languages, as well as an alternate transcription of Russian Елена
ELEONORA f Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latvian, Polish, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek
Form of ELEANOR
in several languages.
ELERI f Welsh
Meaning unknown. In Welsh legend she was the daughter of the chieftain Brychan.
ELFLEDA f English (Archaic)
Middle English form of both the Old English names ÆÐELFLÆD
. These names became rare after the Norman Conquest, but Elfleda
was briefly revived in the 19th century.
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.
ÉLIANE f French
Probably from Aeliana
, the feminine form of the Roman name Aelianus
, which was derived from the Roman family name AELIUS
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr.
ELIDI f Various
Meaning unknown, possibly of Greek or Welsh origin. It may have been inspired by the name of the Ήλιδα (Ilida)
valley and ancient city in western Greece (Elis
ELİF f Turkish
Turkish form of Alif
, the name of the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, ا
. It also means "slender"
, from the Turkish phrase elif gibi
, literally "shaped like elif".
ELINE f Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
Norwegian, Danish and Dutch variant form of HELEN
. This is the name of the title character in the novel Eline Vere
(1889) by the Dutch writer Louis Couperus.
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]
ELLA (1) f English
Norman form of the Germanic name Alia
, which was a short form of names containing the Germanic element alja
. It was introduced to England by the Normans and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
ELLE f English (Modern)
Diminutive of ELEANOR
and other names beginning with El
. This name can also be given in reference to the French pronoun elle
ELLEN (1) f English
Medieval English form of HELEN
. This was the usual spelling of the name until the 19th century, when the form Helen
also became common.
ELLERY m & f English
From an English surname that was originally derived from the medieval masculine name HILARY
ELLI (3) f Norse Mythology
Means "old age" in Old Norse. In the Prose Edda this is the name of an old woman (old age personified) who wrestles with and defeats the god Thor
ELMA f Dutch, German, English
Short form of WILHELMINE
or names ending in elma
, such as ANSELMA
. It has also been recorded as a combination of ELIZABETH
, as in the case of the 19th-century daughter of the Earl of Elgin, who was named using her mother's first and middle names.
ELMAS f Turkish
in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
ELMIRA f Literature
Shortened form of EDELMIRA
. It appears in the play Tartuffe
(1664) by the French playwright Molière (often spelled in the French style Elmire
ELOISE f English
From the Old French name Héloïse
, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis
, composed of the elements heil
meaning "hale, healthy" and wid
meaning "wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ἥλιος (helios)
meaning "sun" or the name Louise
, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.... [more]
ELOWEN f Cornish
Means "elm tree"
in Cornish. This is a recently coined Cornish name.
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.
ELUNED f Welsh
Derived from Welsh eilun
meaning "image, idol"
. This was the name of a 5th-century Welsh saint.
ELYSE f English
Diminutive of ELIZABETH
. It was popularized in the early 1980s by a character from the television comedy Family Ties
ELYSIA f Various
, the name of the realm of the dead in Greek and Roman mythology, which means "blissful"
EMA (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 恵 (e)
meaning "favour, benefit" or 江 (e)
meaning "bay, inlet" combined with 麻 (ma)
meaning "flax". Other kanji combinations can also form this name.
EMAN f Arabic (Egyptian)
Alternate transcription of Arabic إيمان
). This corresponds more closely with the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation of the name.
EMEL f Turkish
in Turkish, ultimately of Arabic origin, making this name a relative of Amal
EMER f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Irish eimh
. In Irish legend she was the wife of Cúchulainn
. She was said to possess the six gifts of womanhood: beauty, voice, speech, needlework, wisdom and chastity.
EMERALD f English (Modern)
From the word for the green precious stone, which is the birthstone of May. The emerald supposedly imparts love to the bearer. The word is ultimately from Greek σμάραγδος (smaragdos)
EMERSON m & f English
From an English surname meaning "son of EMERY"
. The surname was borne by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American writer and philosopher who wrote about transcendentalism.
EMERY m & f English
Norman form of EMMERICH
. The Normans introduced it to England, and though it was never popular, it survived until the end of the Middle Ages. As a modern given name, it is likely inspired by the surname Emery
, which was itself derived from the medieval given name. It can also be given in reference to the hard black substance called emery.
EMESE f Hungarian
Possibly derived from Finno-Ugric eme
. In Hungarian legend this was the name of the grandmother of Árpád, founder of the Hungarian state.
EMI f Japanese
From Japanese 恵 (e)
meaning "favour, benefit" or 絵 (e)
meaning "picture, painting" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are possible.
EMILIA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Finnish, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Bulgarian
Feminine form of Aemilius
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]