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.
CLARA f German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Catalan, Romanian, English, Swedish, Danish, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus
, which meant "clear, bright, famous"
. The name Clarus
was borne by a few early saints. The feminine form was popularized by the 13th-century Saint Clare of Assisi (called Chiara
in Italian), a friend and follower of Saint Francis, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares. As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages, originally in the form Clare
, though the Latinate spelling Clara
became more popular in the 19th century.
CLARE f English
Medieval English form of CLARA
. This is also the name of an Irish county, which was itself probably derived from Irish clár
meaning "plank, level surface".
CLARIBEL f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix bel
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem The Faerie Queene
(in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play The Tempest
(1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled Claribel
CLARICE f English
Medieval vernacular form of the Late Latin name Claritia
, which was a derivative of CLARA
CLARINDA f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix inda
. It was first used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem The Faerie Queene
CLARISSA f English, Italian
Latinate form of CLARICE
. This was the name of the title character in a 1748 novel by Samuel Richardson. In the novel Clarissa is a virtuous woman who is tragically exploited by her family and her lover.
CLARITY f English (Rare)
Simply means "clarity, lucidity" from the English word, ultimately from Latin clarus
CLAUDE m & f French, English
French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS
. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
CLEMATIS f English (Rare)
From the English word for a type of flowering vine, ultimately derived from Greek κλήμα (klema)
meaning "twig, branch".
CLEMENCE f English
Feminine form of Clementius
). It has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it became rare after the 17th century.
CLEMENCY f English (Rare)
Medieval variant of CLEMENCE
. It can also simply mean "clemency, mercy" from the English word, ultimately from Latin clemens
CLEOPATRA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπάτρα (Kleopatra)
meaning "glory of the father"
, derived from κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory" combined with πατήρ (pater)
meaning "father" (genitive πατρός
). This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra
(1606) tells the story of her life.
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.
CLODAGH f Irish
From the name of a river in Tipperary, Ireland.
CLOELIA f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CLOELIUS
. In Roman legend Cloelia was a maiden who was given to an Etruscan invader as a hostage. She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber, at the same time helping some of the other captives to safety.
CLOTILDE f French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
French form of the Germanic name Chlotichilda
, which was composed of the elements hlud
"fame" and hild
"battle". Saint Clotilde was the wife of the Frankish king Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity.
CLOVER f English (Rare)
From the English word for the wild flower, ultimately deriving from Old English clafre
COCO f Various
Diminutive of names beginning with Co
, influenced by the word cocoa
. However, this was not the case for French fashion designer Coco Chanel (real name Gabrielle), whose nickname came from the name of a song she performed while working as a cabaret singer.
COLETTE f French
Short form of NICOLETTE
. Saint Colette was a 15th-century French nun who gave her money to the poor. This was also the pen name of the French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954).
COLLEEN f English
Derived from the Irish word cailín
. It is not commonly used in Ireland itself, but has been used in America since the early 20th century.
COLOMBINA f Italian
Italian feminine diminutive of COLUMBA
. In traditional Italian pantomimes this is the name of a stock character, the female counterpart of Arlecchino (also called Harlequin). This is also the Italian word for the columbine flower.
COLUMBA m & f Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "dove"
. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity. This was the name of several early saints both masculine and feminine, most notably the 6th-century Irish monk Saint Columba (or Colum) who established a monastery on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. He is credited with the conversion of Scotland to Christianity.
COMFORT f English (Rare)
From the English word comfort
, ultimately from Latin confortare
"to strengthen greatly", a derivative of fortis
"strong". It was used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation.
CONCEPCIÓN f Spanish
in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
. A city in Chile bears this name.
CONDOLEEZZA f Various
In the case of the former American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (1954-) it is derived from the Italian musical term con dolcezza
meaning "with sweetness"
CONSOLATA f Italian
in Italian. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María Consolata
CONSUELO f Spanish
in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora del Consuelo
, meaning "Our Lady of Consolation".
CORA f English, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of KORE
. It was not used as a given name in the English-speaking world until after it was employed by James Fenimore Cooper for a character in his novel The Last of the Mohicans
(1826). In some cases it may be a short form of CORDULA
or other names beginning with a similar sound.
CORAL f English, Spanish
From the English and Spanish word coral
for the underwater skeletal deposits that can form reefs. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κοράλλιον (korallion)
CORALINE f Literature, French
Created by the French composer Adolphe Adam for one of the main characters in his opera Le toréador
(1849). He probably based it on the name CORALIE
. It was also used by the author Neil Gaiman for the young heroine in his novel Coraline
(2002). Gaiman has stated that in this case the name began as a typo of Caroline
CORDELIA f English
, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play King Lear
(1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia
CORDULA f German
Late Latin name meaning "heart"
from Latin cor
. Saint Cordula was one of the 4th-century companions of Saint Ursula.
CORETTA f English
Diminutive of CORA
. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
CORIANDER f English (Rare)
From the name of the spice, also called cilantro, which may ultimately be of Phoenician origin (via Latin and Greek).
CORINNA f German, Italian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Κορίννα (Korinna)
, which was derived from κόρη (kore)
. This was the name of a Greek lyric poet of the 5th century BC. The Roman poet Ovid
used it for the main female character in his book Amores
. In the modern era it has been in use since the 17th century, when Robert Herrick used it in his poem Corinna's going a-Maying
CORNELIA f German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CORNELIUS
. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.
CORONA f Late Roman, Italian, Spanish
in Latin, as well as Italian and Spanish. This was the name of a 2nd-century saint who was martyred with her companion Victor.
COSETTE f French, Literature
From French chosette
meaning "little thing"
. This is the nickname of the illegitimate daughter of Fantine in Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables
(1862). Her real name is Euphrasie
, though it is seldom used. In the novel young Cosette is the ward of the cruel Thénardiers until she is retrieved by Jean Valjean.
COURTNEY f & m English
From an aristocratic English surname that was derived either from the French place name Courtenay
(originally a derivative of the personal name Curtenus
, itself derived from Latin curtus
"short") or else from a Norman nickname meaning "short nose". As a feminine name in America, it first became popular during the 1970s.
CREE m & f English (Rare)
From the name of a Native American tribe of central Canada. Their name derives via French from the Cree word kiristino
CRESSIDA f Literature
Medieval form of CHRYSEIS
. Various medieval tales describe her as a woman of Troy, daughter of Calchus, who leaves her Trojan lover Troilus for the Greek hero Diomedes. Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida
(1602) was based on these tales.
CRUZ f & m Spanish, Portuguese
in Spanish or Portuguese, referring to the cross of the crucifixion.
CRYSTAL f English
From the English word crystal
for the clear, colourless glass, sometimes cut into the shape of a gemstone. The English word derives ultimately from Greek κρύσταλλος (krystallos)
meaning "ice". It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
CSENGE f Hungarian
Possibly derived from Hungarian cseng
meaning "to ring, to clang"
CSILLA f Hungarian
Derived from Hungarian csillag
. This name was created by the Hungarian author András Dugonics for an 1803 novel and later used and popularized by the poet Mihály Vörösmarty.
CVETKA f Slovene
Derived from Slovene cvet
meaning "blossom, flower"
CYBELE f Near Eastern Mythology (Latinized)
Meaning unknown, possibly from Phrygian roots meaning either "stone"
. This was the name of the Phrygian mother goddess associated with fertility and nature. She was later worshipped by the Greeks and Romans.
CYBILL f English (Rare)
Variant of SIBYL
. This name was borne by actress Cybill Shepherd (1950-), who was named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill.
CYNEBURG f Anglo-Saxon
Means "royal fortress"
from Old English cyne
"royal" and burg
"fortress". Saint Cyneburga, a daughter of a king of Mercia, was the founder of an abbey at Gloucester in the 7th century.
CYNTHIA f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθία (Kynthia)
, which means "woman from Kynthos"
. This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis
, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo
were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century. It reached a peak of popularity in the United States in 1957 and has declined steadily since then.
DA m & f Chinese
From Chinese 达 (dá)
meaning "achieve, arrive at, intelligent" (which is usually only masculine), 大 (dà)
meaning "big, great, vast, high", or other characters with a similar pronunciation.
DAENERYS f Literature
Created by author George R. R. Martin for a character in his series A Song of Ice and Fire
, first published 1996, and the television adaptation Game of Thrones
(2011-2019). An explanation for the meaning of her name is not provided, though it is presumably intended to be of Valyrian origin. In the series Daenerys Targaryen is a queen of the Dothraki and a claimant to the throne of Westeros.
DAFFODIL f English (Rare)
From the name of the flower, ultimately derived from Dutch de affodil
meaning "the asphodel".
DAFNA f Hebrew
in Hebrew, of Greek origin.
DAGRUN f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Dagrún
, which was derived from the Old Norse elements dagr
"day" and rún
DÁIRÍNE f Irish
Derived from Irish Gaelic dáire
meaning "fruitful, fertile"
DAISY f English
Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage
meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
DAIVA f Lithuanian
Created by the Lithuanian writer Vydūnas, who possibly derived it from a Sanskrit word meaning "destiny"
DAKOTA m & f English (Modern)
From the name of the Native American people of the northern Mississippi valley, or from the two American states that were named for them: North and South Dakota (until 1889 unified as the Dakota Territory). The tribal name means "allies, friends"
in the Dakota language.
DALE m & f English
From an English surname that originally belonged to a person who lived near a dale or valley.
DALEY m & f Irish, English (Rare)
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Dálaigh
meaning "descendant of Dálach"
. The name Dálach
means "assembly" in Gaelic.
DALIA (2) f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Means "fate, luck"
in Lithuanian. This was the name of the Lithuanian goddess of weaving, fate and childbirth, often associated with Laima.
DALIDA f Biblical Greek
Form of DELILAH
used in the Greek Old Testament. A famous bearer was the Italian-Egyptian singer and actress Dalida (1933-1987), who was born as Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti.
DALLAS m & f English
From a surname that could either be of Old English origin meaning "valley house"
or of Scottish Gaelic origin meaning "meadow dwelling"
. A city in Texas bears this name, probably in honour of American Vice President George M. Dallas (1792-1864).
DALMA f Hungarian
Created by the Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty for a male character in his epic poem Zalán Futása
(1825). It was used by later writers such as Mór Jókai for female characters.
DAMAYANTI f Hinduism
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of a beautiful princess, the wife of Nala.
DAMHNAIT f Irish
from Gaelic damh
"stag, ox" combined with a diminutive suffix.
DANA (2) m & f English
From a surname that originally belonged to a person who was Danish. It was originally given in honour of American lawyer Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882), the author of Two Years Before the Mast
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.
DANICA f Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Slovak, Macedonian, English
From a Slavic word meaning "morning star, Venus"
. This name occurs in Slavic folklore as a personification of the morning star. It has sometimes been used in the English-speaking world since the 1970s.
DANIELA f Italian, German, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Hebrew, English
Feminine form of DANIEL
DANIELLE f French, English
French feminine form of DANIEL
. It has been commonly used in the English-speaking world only since the 20th century.
DANUTĖ f Lithuanian
Meaning uncertain, possibly a feminine form of DANIEL
. It is found in Lithuania from at least 14th century, being borne by a sister of Vytautas the Great.
DANYA (1) f Hebrew
Feminine form of DAN (1)
. It can also be considered a compound meaning "judgement from God"
, using the element יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God.
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.
DAR f & m Hebrew
Means "mother-of-pearl, nacre"
DARA (2) f & m Khmer
in Khmer, ultimately from Sanskrit.
DARBY m & f English
From an English surname, which was derived from the name of the town of Derby
, meaning "deer town" in Old Norse.
DARCY f & m English
From an English surname that was derived from Norman French d'Arcy
, originally denoting one who came from Arcy in France. This was the surname of a character in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice
DARLENE f English
From the English word darling
combined with the popular name suffix lene
. This name has been in use since the beginning of the 20th century.
DAWN f English
From the English word dawn
, ultimately derived from Old English dagung
DEANNA f English
Either a variant of DIANA
or a feminine form of DEAN
. This name was popularized by the Canadian actress and singer Deanna Durbin (1921-), whose birth name was Edna. Her stage name was a rearrangement of the letters of her real name.