HAZEL f English
From the English word hazel
for the tree or the light brown colour, derived ultimately from Old English hæsel
. It was coined as a given name in the 19th century.
HE f & m Chinese
From Chinese 河 (hé)
meaning "river, stream", 和 (hé)
meaning "harmony, peace", or 荷 (hé)
meaning "lotus, water lily" (which is usually only feminine). Other characters can form this name as well. A famous bearer was the 15th-century explorer Zheng He.
HEATHER f English
From the English word heather
for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers, which commonly grow in rocky areas. It is derived from Middle English hather
. It was first used as a given name in the late 19th century, though it did not become popular until the last half of the 20th century.
HEBE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηβη (hebe)
meaning "youth". 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 ‘Εκατη (Hekate)
, possibly derived from ‘εκας (hekas)
meaning "far off". In Greek mythology Hecate was a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons and the underworld.
HEDDA f Norwegian, Swedish
Diminutive of HEDVIG
. This is the name of the heroine of the play 'Hedda Gabler' (1890) by the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen.
HEDWIG f German
From the Germanic name Hadewig
, derived from the Germanic elements hadu
"battle, combat" and wig
"war". This was the name of a 13th-century German saint, the wife of the Polish duke Henry the Bearded. It was subsequently borne by a 14th-century Polish queen (usually known by her Polish name Jadwiga
) who is now also regarded as a saint.
HEIDE f German
German diminutive of ADELHEID
. It also coincides with the German word meaning "heath".
HEIDI f German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English
German diminutive of ADELHEID
. This is the name of the title character in the children's novel 'Heidi' (1880) by Johanna Spyri. The name began to be used in the English-speaking world shortly after the 1937 release of the movie adaptation, which starred Shirley Temple.
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.
HEIRANI f Tahitian
From Tahitian hei
"crown, garland" and rani
HEKLA f Icelandic
From the name of an active Icelandic volcano, derived from Old Norse hekla
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
HELAH f Biblical
Means "rust" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this name is mentioned as one of the wives of Asher.
HELEDD f Welsh
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a semi-legendary 7th-century Welsh princess.
HELENA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, Sorbian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinate form of HELEN
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").
HEMERA f Greek Mythology
Means "day" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified the daytime. According to Hesiod she was the daughter of Nyx
, the personification of the night.
HENG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 恒 (héng)
meaning "constant, persistent", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
HERA f Greek Mythology
Uncertain meaning, possibly from either Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior"; ‘ωρα (hora)
"period of time"; or ‘αιρεω (haireo)
"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.
HERAIS f Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek personal name that was probably derived from the name of the Greek goddess HERA
HERLEVA f Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, possibly a derivative of hari
"honour", or erla
"noble" (or their Old Norse cognates). This was the name of the mother of William the Conqueror, who, according to tradition, was a commoner.
HERMIA f Literature
Feminine form of HERMES
. Shakespeare used this name in his comedy 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1595).
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.
HERO (1) f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". In Greek legend she was the lover of Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont each night to meet her. He was killed on one such occasion when he got caught in a storm while in the water, and when Hero saw his dead body she drowned herself. This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599).
HERODIAS f Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Feminine form of HEROD
. This was the name of a member of the Herodian ruling family of Judea, a sister of Herod Agrippa and the wife of Herod Antipas. She appears in the New Testament, where she contrives to have her husband Antipas imprison and execute John the Baptist.
HERTHA f German
Form of NERTHUS
. The spelling change from N
resulted from a misreading of Tacitus's text.
HESTER f English, Biblical Latin
Latin form of ESTHER
. Like Esther
, it has been used in England since the Protestant Reformation. Nathaniel Hawthorne used it for the heroine of his novel 'The Scarlet Letter' (1850), Hester Prynne.
HESTIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘εστια (hestia)
"hearth, fireside". In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HIKARI f & m Japanese
From Japanese 光 (hikari)
meaning "light". Other kanji can also form this name. It is often written with the hiragana writing system.
HIKARU m & f Japanese
From Japanese 光 (hikaru)
meaning "light" or 輝 (hikaru)
meaning "brightness". Other kanji can also form this name.
HILA f Hebrew
Means "halo, aura" in Hebrew, from the root הָלַל (halal)
meaning "to praise, to shine".
HILARY f & m English
Medieval English form of HILARIUS
. During the Middle Ages it was primarily a masculine name. It was revived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century as a predominantly feminine name. In America, this name and the variant Hillary
seemed to drop in popularity after Hillary Clinton (1947-) became the first lady.
HILDRED f & m English
Possibly from the Old English masculine name Hildræd
, which was composed of the elements hild
"battle" and ræd
"counsel". This name was revived in the late 19th century, probably because of its similarity to the popular names Hilda
HILJA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish hiljaisuus
HILLA f Finnish
Short form of names beginning with Hil
. It also means "cloudberry" in Finnish.
HILLARY f English
Variant of HILARY
. A famous bearer of the surname was Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first man to climb Mount Everest.
HILTRUD f German
Means "strength in battle", derived from the Germanic elements hild
"battle" and thrud
HINA f Japanese
From Japanese 陽 (hi)
meaning "light, sun, male" or 日 (hi)
meaning "sun, day" combined with 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens". Other kanji combinations are possible.
HINATA f & m Japanese
From Japanese 日向 (hinata)
meaning "sunny place", 陽向 (hinata)
meaning "toward the sun", or a non-standard reading of 向日葵 (himawari)
meaning "sunflower". Other kanji compounds are also possible. Because of the irregular readings, this name is often written using the hiragana writing system.
HIND f Arabic
Possibly means "group of camels" in Arabic. Hind bint Abi Umayyah, also known as Umm Salama, was one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad
. This is also the Arabic name for the country of India.
HİRANUR f Turkish
, from Arabic حراء (Hira)
, the name of the cave where the Prophet Muhammad
received his first revelation, combined with Arabic نور (nur)
HIROKO f Japanese
From Japanese 寛 (hiro)
meaning "tolerant, generous", 裕 (hiro)
meaning "abundant" or 浩 (hiro)
meaning "prosperous" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
HIRUNE f Basque
Means "trinity" in Basque, derived from hiru
HITOMI f Japanese
From Japanese 瞳 (hitomi)
meaning "pupil of the eye". It can also come from 史 (hito)
meaning "history" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful", as well as other kanji combinations. This name is often written with the hiragana writing system.
HJÖRDIS f Swedish
Swedish form of the Old Norse name Hjǫrdís
meaning "sword goddess", derived from the elements hjǫrr
"sword" and dís
HLA m & f Burmese
Means "pretty, favourable" in Burmese.
HODEL f Yiddish (Rare)
Diminutive of HODE
. This is the name of Tevye's second daughter in the musical 'Fiddler on the Roof' (1964), based on late 19th-century stories by Sholem Aleichem.
HOKULANI f Hawaiian
Means "heavenly star" from Hawaiian hōkū
"star" and lani
"heaven, sky, royal, majesty".
HOLLIS m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from Middle English holis
"holly trees". It was originally given to a person who lived near a group of those trees.
HOLLY f English
From the English word for the holly tree, ultimately derived from Old English holen
HONEY f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word honey
, ultimately from Old English hunig
. This was originally a nickname for a sweet person.
HONG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 虹 (hóng)
meaning "rainbow", 弘 (hóng)
meaning "enlarge, expand, great" (which is usually only masculine) or 鸿 (hóng)
meaning "wild swan, great, vast" (also usually only masculine). Other characters can also form this name.
HONOKA f Japanese
From Japanese 和 (hono)
meaning "harmony" (using an obscure nanori reading) and 花 (ka)
meaning "flower", as well as other combinations of kanji that have the same pronunciation. Very often it is written using the hiragana writing system.
HONORINE f French
French form of Honorina
, a feminine form of the Roman name Honorinus
, a derivative of HONORIUS
. Saint Honorina was a 4th-century martyr from the Normandy region in France.
HONOUR f English (Rare)
From the English word honour
, which is of Latin origin. This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century. It can also be viewed as a form of HONORIA
, which are ultimately derived from the same source.
HOPE f English
From the English word hope
, ultimately from Old English hopian
. This name was first used by the Puritans in the 17th century.
HOSANNA f Biblical
From the Aramaic religious expression הושע נא (Hosha' na')
meaning "deliver us" in Hebrew. In the New Testament this is exclaimed by those around Jesus
when he first enters Jerusalem.
HOSHI f Japanese
From Japanese 星 (hoshi)
meaning "star" or other kanji with the same pronunciation.
HOSHIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 星 (hoshi)
meaning "star" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
HUA f & m Chinese
From Chinese 华 (huá)
meaning "splendid, illustrious, Chinese" or 花 (huā)
meaning "flower, blossom" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
HUAN f & m Chinese
From Chinese 欢 (huān)
meaning "happy, pleased", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
HUANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 煌 (huáng)
meaning "bright, shining, luminous" (which is usually only masculine) or 凰 (huáng)
meaning "phoenix" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
HUỆ f Vietnamese
From Sino-Vietnamese 慧 (huệ)
meaning "bright, intelligent" or 蕙 (huệ)
HUI f & m Chinese
From Chinese 慧 (huì)
meaning "intelligent, wise" (which is usually only feminine), 辉 (huī)
meaning "brightness", besides other characters that are pronounced similarly.
HULDAH f Biblical
Means "weasel, mole" in Hebrew. This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to a prophetess.
HUNTER m & f English
From an occupational English surname for a hunter, derived from Old English hunta
. A famous bearer was the eccentric American journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005).
HWAN m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 煥 (hwan)
meaning "shining, brilliant, lustrous" or other characters that are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character.
HYACINTHA f History
Latinate feminine form of HYACINTHUS
, used to refer to the 17th-century Italian saint Hyacintha Mariscotti (real name Giacinta).
HYE-JIN f Korean
From Sino-Korean 慧 (hye)
meaning "bright, intelligent" or 惠 (hye)
meaning "favour, benefit" combined with 珍 (jin)
meaning "precious, rare". This name can be formed by a variety of other hanja character combinations as well.
HYEON m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able" or other characters that are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
HYEON-JEONG f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able" or 炫 (hyeon)
meaning "shine, glitter" combined with 廷 (jeong)
meaning "court" or 貞 (jeong)
meaning "virtuous, chaste, loyal". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
HYEON-JU f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able" and 珠 (ju)
meaning "jewel, pearl". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
HYPATIA f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ‘υπατος (hypatos)
meaning "highest, supreme". Hypatia of Alexandria was a 5th-century philosopher and mathematician, daughter of the mathematician Theon.
IARA f Native American, Tupi
From Tupi y
"water" and îara
"lady, mistress". In Brazilian folklore this is the name of a beautiful river nymph who would lure men into the water. She may have been based upon earlier Tupi legends.
IBEN f Danish, Norwegian
Possibly a feminine form of IB
. It is associated with Danish ibenholt
IBOLYA f Hungarian
Means "violet" in Hungarian, ultimately from Latin viola
IDA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, 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]
ÍDE f Irish
Possibly derived from Old Irish ítu
"thirst". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
IDONEA f English (Archaic)
Medieval English name, probably a Latinized form of IÐUNN
. The spelling may have been influenced by Latin idonea
"suitable". It was common in England from the 12th century.
IDOYA f Spanish
From the Spanish place name Idoia
, possibly meaning "pond" in Basque, an important place of worship of the Virgin Mary
IDRIL f Literature
Means "sparkle brilliance" in Sindarin. In the 'Silmarillion' (1977) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Idril was the daughter of Turgon, the king of Gondolin. She escaped the destruction of that place with her husband Tuor
and sailed with him into the west.
IEVA f Lithuanian, Latvian
Lithuanian and Latvian form of EVE
. This is also the Lithuanian and Latvian word for a type of cherry tree (species Prunus padus).
IGRAINE f Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown, from Igerna
, the Latinized form of Welsh Eigyr
. In Arthurian legend she is the mother of King Arthur
by Uther Pendragon and the mother of Morgan
le Fay by Gorlois. The Welsh form Eigyr
was rendered into Latin as Igerna
by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth.
İLAYDA f Turkish
Possibly derived from the name of a Turkish water sprite.
ILEANA f Romanian, Spanish, Italian
Possibly a Romanian variant of ELENA
. In Romanian folklore this is the name of a princess kidnapped by monsters and rescued by a heroic knight.
İLKAY f & m Turkish
Means "new moon" in Turkish, derived from ilk
"first" and ay