ISABEL f Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German
Medieval Occitan form of ELIZABETH
. It spread throughout Spain, Portugal and France, becoming common among the royalty by the 12th century. It grew popular in England in the 13th century after Isabella of Angoulême married the English king John, and it was subsequently bolstered when Isabella of France married Edward II the following century.... [more]
ISABELLA f Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian
Latinate form of ISABEL
. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel
ISCAH f Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִסְכָּה (Yiskah)
meaning "to behold"
. In the Old Testament this is the name of Abraham
's niece, mentioned only briefly. This is the basis of the English name Jessica
ISHA f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Hinduism
Means "master, lord"
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form ईशा
and the masculine form ईश
(an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva
). It is also the name of one of the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
ISHTAR f Semitic Mythology
Meaning unknown. Ishtar was an Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess who presided over love, war and fertility. She was cognate with the Canaanite and Phoenician Ashtoreth
, and she was also identified with the Sumerian goddess Inanna
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.
ISLA f Scottish, English
Variant of ISLAY
, typically used as a feminine name. It also coincides with the Spanish word isla
ISMENE f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek ισμη (isme)
. This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
ISOLDE f English (Rare), German, Arthurian Romance
The origins of this name are uncertain, though some Celtic roots have been suggested. It is possible that the name is ultimately Germanic, perhaps from a hypothetic name like Ishild
, composed of the elements is
"ice, iron" and hild
ISRA f Arabic
Means "nocturnal journey"
, derived from Arabic سرى (sara)
meaning "to travel at night".
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.
ITZIAR f Basque, Spanish
From the name of a Basque village that contains an important shrine to the Virgin Mary
, possibly meaning "old stone".
IVAH f Biblical
From the name of a district of Babylon, mentioned in the Old Testament.
IVORY m & f African American
From the English word for the hard, creamy-white substance that comes from elephant tusks and was formerly used to produce piano keys.
IVY f English
From the English word for the climbing plant that has small yellow flowers. It is ultimately derived from Old English ifig
IXCHEL f Mayan Mythology, Native American, Mayan
Means "rainbow lady"
in Mayan. Ixchel was the Maya goddess of the earth, the moon, and medicine. She was often depicted with a snake in her hair and crossbones embroidered on her skirt.
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.
IZARO f Basque
Meaning unknown, from the name of a small island off the Spanish coast in the Bay of Biscay.
IZUMI f Japanese
From Japanese 泉 (izumi)
meaning "fountain, spring". This name can also be constructed from other combinations of kanji.
JACKIE m & f English
Diminutive of JACK
. A notable bearer was baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
JADA (1) f English
Possibly an elaborated form of JADE
. This name came into general use in the 1960s, and was popularized in the 1990s by actress Jada Pinkett Smith (1971-).
JADE f & m English, French
From the name of the precious stone that is often used in carvings. It is derived from Spanish (piedra de la) ijada
meaning "(stone of the) flank", relating to the belief that jade could cure renal colic. As a given name, it came into general use during the 1970s. It was initially unisex, though it is now mostly feminine.
JADEN m & f English (Modern)
An invented name, using the popular den
suffix sound found in such names as Braden
. This name first became common in American in the 1990s when similar-sounding names were increasing in popularity. It is sometimes considered a variant of JADON
JADWIGA f Polish
Polish form of HEDWIG
. This was the name of a 14th-century ruling queen of Poland who has recently been canonized as a saint.
JAE (1) m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 才 (jae)
meaning "talent, ability" or 財 (jae)
meaning "wealth, riches", as well as other hanja characters with the same pronunciation. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
JAEL f Biblical
From the Hebrew name יָעֵל (Ya'el)
meaning "ibex, mountain goat"
. This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to the wife of Heber
the Kenite. After Sisera, the captain of the Canaanite army, was defeated in battle by Deborah
he took refuge in Heber's tent. When he fell asleep Jael killed him by hammering a tent peg into his head.
JAIME (2) f English
Variant of JAMIE
. The character Jaime Sommers from the television series The Bionic Woman
(1976-1978) helped to popularize the name. It can sometimes be given in reference to the French phrase j'aime
meaning "I love", though it is pronounced differently.
JAMIE m & f Scottish, English
Originally a Lowland Scots diminutive of JAMES
. Since the late 19th century it has also been used as a feminine form.
JANE f English
Medieval English form of Jehanne
, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes
). This became the most common feminine form of John
in the 17th century, surpassing Joan
. In the first half of the 20th century Joan
once again overtook Jane
for a few decades in both the United States and the United Kingdom.... [more]
JANICE f English
Elaborated form of JANE
, created by Paul Leicester Ford for his novel Janice Meredith
JASMINE f English, French
From the English word for the climbing plant with fragrant flowers that is used for making perfumes. It is derived via Arabic from Persian یاسمین (yasamin)
, which is also a Persian name.
JAWAHIR f Arabic
in Arabic, ultimately from Persian گوهر (gohar)
meaning "jewel, essence".
JAWDAT m & f Arabic
Means "goodness, excellence"
, derived from Arabic جاد (jada)
meaning "to be excellent".
JAYA f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit जय (jaya)
. This is a transcription of both the feminine form जया
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
) and the masculine form जय
(borne by several characters in Hindu texts). As a modern personal name, this transcription is both feminine and masculine in southern India, but typically only feminine in the north.
JAYDEN m & f English (Modern)
Variant of JADEN
. This spelling continued to rapidly rise in popularity in the United States past 2003, unlike Jaden
, which stalled. It peaked at the fourth rank for boys in 2010, showing tremendous growth over only two decades. It has since declined.
JEAN (2) f English, Scottish
Medieval English variant of Jehanne
). It was common in England and Scotland during the Middle Ages, but eventually became rare in England. It was reintroduced to the English-speaking world from Scotland in the 19th century.
JEANNE f French, English
Modern French form of Jehanne
, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes
). This has been the most reliably popular French name for girls since the 13th century. Joan of Arc is known as Jeanne d'Arc in France.
JEDIDAH f Biblical
From Hebrew יָדִיד (yadid)
meaning "beloved, friend"
. In the Old Testament this is the name of the wife of King Amon of Judah and the mother of Josiah
JEFIMIJA f Serbian
Serbian form of EUPHEMIA
. This name was adopted by a 14th-century Serbian poet (born Jelena Mrnjavčević).
JEMIMA f Biblical, English
in Hebrew. This was the oldest of the three daughters of Job in the Old Testament. As an English name, Jemima
first became common during the Puritan era.
JENNA f English, Finnish
Variant of JENNY
. Use of the name was popularized in the 1980s by the character Jenna Wade on the television series Dallas
JENNIFER f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish
From a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar
). This name has only been common outside of Cornwall since the beginning of the 20th century, after it was featured in George Bernard Shaw's play The Doctor's Dilemma
(1906). It barely ranked in the United until the late 1930s, when it began steadily growing in popularity, accelerating into the early 1970s. It was the most popular name for girls in America between 1970 and 1984, though it was not as common in the United Kingdom.... [more]
JEONG f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 靜 (jeong)
meaning "quiet, still, gentle" or 貞 (jeong)
meaning "virtuous, chaste, loyal", as well as other characters that are pronounced similarly. It usually occurs in combination with another character, though it is sometimes used as a stand-alone name.
JEONG-HUI f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 正 (jeong)
meaning "right, proper, correct" or 靜 (jeong)
meaning "quiet, still, gentle" combined with 姬 (hui)
meaning "beauty" or 熙 (hui)
meaning "bright, splendid, glorious". Other combinations of hanja characters can form this name as well.
JEONG-SUK f Korean
From Sino-Korean 貞 (jeong)
meaning "virtuous, chaste, loyal" or 正 (jeong)
meaning "right, proper, correct" combined with 淑 (suk)
meaning "good, pure, virtuous, charming". Other hanja combinations are possible.
JESCHA f Biblical
Form of ISCAH
found in the medieval Wycliffe Bible. This name was probably the basis for Shakespeare's created name Jessica