MODU m History
Possibly a Middle Chinese form of the old Turkic honorific bagatur
meaning "hero, warrior"
. Modu Chanyu was a 3rd-century BC ruler of the Xiongnu, a people from Mongolia.
MOHANA m & f Hinduism
Means "bewitching, infatuating, charming"
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form मोहन
(an epithet of the Hindu gods Shiva
) and the feminine form मोहना
MOHANDAS m Indian, Hindi
Means "servant of Mohana"
from the name of the Hindu god MOHANA
combined with Sanskrit दास (dasa)
meaning "servant". A famous bearer of this name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), also known as Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian leader who struggled peacefully for independence from Britain.
MOJMÍR m Czech, Slovak
Derived from the Slavic elements moji
meaning "my" and miru
meaning "peace" or "world". This was the name of a 9th-century ruler of Moravia.
MONET f & m Various
From a French surname that was derived from either HAMON
. This was the surname of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
MONROE m & f Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname meaning "from the mouth of the Roe"
. The Roe is a river in Ireland. Two famous bearers of the surname were American president James Monroe (1758-1831) and American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962).
MONTAGUE m English (Rare)
From a surname meaning "pointed mountain"
in French. In Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet
(1596) this is the surname of Romeo and his family.
MONTANA f & m English (Modern)
From the name of the American state, which is derived from Latin montanus
MONTE m English
Either a diminutive of MONTGOMERY
or from the Spanish or Italian vocabulary word meaning "mountain".
MONTGOMERY m English
From an English surname meaning "GUMARICH's mountain"
in Norman French. A notable bearer of this surname was Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), a British army commander during World War II.
MORDECAI m Biblical, Hebrew
Means "servant of MARDUK"
in Persian. In the Old Testament Mordecai is the cousin and foster father of Esther
. He thwarted a plot to kill the Persian king, though he made an enemy of the king's chief advisor Haman
MORDRED m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From Welsh Medraut
, possibly from Latin moderatus
meaning "controlled, moderated"
. In Arthurian legend Mordred was the illegitimate son (in some versions nephew) of King Arthur
. Mordred first appears briefly (as Medraut
) in the 10th-century Annales Cambriae
, but he was not portrayed as a traitor until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth. While Arthur is away he seduces his wife Guinevere
and declares himself king. This prompts the battle of Camlann, which leads to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur.
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-).
MORLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally from an Old English place name meaning "marsh clearing"
MORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek μορφή (morphe)
, referring to the shapes seen in dreams. In Greek mythology Morpheus was the god of dreams.
MORTIMER m English
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "still water"
in Old French.
MORTON m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "moor town"
in Old English.
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
MOSTYN m Welsh
From a Welsh place name meaning "moss town"
in Old English.
MOT m Semitic Mythology
in Ugaritic. This was the name of the Ugaritic god of death and the lord of the netherworld. He was a son of the supreme god El
MU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 慕 (mù)
meaning "admire, desire", 木 (mù)
meaning "tree, wood", or other characters with similar pronunciations.
MUBIRU m Eastern African, Ganda
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a figure in Ganda mythology associated with forests and hunting.
MUHAMMAD m Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Tajik, Uzbek, Indonesian, Malay, Avar
Means "praised, commendable"
in Arabic, derived from the root حَمِدَ (hamida)
meaning "to praise". This was the name of the prophet who founded the Islamic religion in the 7th century. According to Islamic belief, at age 40 Muhammad was visited by the angel Gabriel
, who provided him with the first verses of the Quran. Approximately 20 years later he conquered Mecca, the city of his birth, and his followers controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of his death in 632.... [more]
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.
MUIRCHERTACH m Irish
in Gaelic. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish high king.
MUIREDACH m Irish
in Irish. This was the name of several legendary and historical kings of Ireland.
MUKESHA m Hinduism
Means "ruler of Muka"
in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Shiva
, given to him because he killed Muka, a demon in the form of a wild boar.
MUMTAZ m & f Arabic, Urdu
in Arabic. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631).
MUNGO m Scottish
Possibly derived from Welsh mwyn "gentle, kind"
. This was a nickname of the 6th-century Saint Kentigern.
MURTADA m Arabic
in Arabic. This is an epithet of Ali
, the fourth caliph.
MURUGAN m Hinduism, Tamil
Possibly from a Dravidian word meaning "youth"
. This is the name of a Tamil war god identified with Skanda
MUSTAFA m Arabic, Turkish, Bosnian
Means "the chosen one"
in Arabic, an epithet of Muhammad
. This was the name of four Ottoman sultans. Another famous bearer was Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938), also known as Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.
MU'TAMID m Arabic
Means "relying on, leaning on"
in Arabic. Al-Mu'tamid was a 9th-century Abbasid caliph. This was also the name of an 11th-century Abbadid ruler of Seville, who was a patron of the arts and a poet.
MWANGI m Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "rapid expansion"
in Kikuyu. Kikuyu males were traditionally organized into age sets or generations. The Mwangi
generation started around the beginning of the 20th century and lasted for about 30 years.
MYEONG m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 明 (myeong)
meaning "bright, light, clear" or other hanja characters with the same pronunciation. Although it does appear rarely as a single-character name, it is more often used in combination with another character.
MYRON m English, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μύρον (myron)
meaning "sweet oil, perfume"
. Myron was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek sculptor. Saints bearing this name include a 3rd-century bishop of Crete and a 4th-century martyr from Cyzicus who was killed by a mob. These saints are more widely revered in the Eastern Church, and the name has generally been more common among Eastern Christians. As an English name, it has been used since the 19th century.
NABOPOLASSAR m Babylonian (Anglicized)
From the Akkadian name Nabu-apla-usur
meaning "Nabu protect my son"
, derived from the god's name NABU
combined with aplu
meaning "son, heir" and an imperative form of naṣāru
meaning "to protect". This was the name of a 7th-century BC king of the Babylonian Empire, the first of the Chaldean dynasty.
NABU m Semitic Mythology
Possibly from a Semitic root meaning "to announce"
. This was the name of an Assyrian and Babylonian god of wisdom, letters and writing.
NADAB m Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Aaron
in the Old Testament. He was consumed by flames and killed when he offered unauthorized fire to God. It was also the name of the second king of Israel.
NADIM m Arabic, Urdu
Means "drinking companion"
, derived from Arabic ندم (nadima)
meaning "to drink together".
NAGENDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lord of snakes"
from Sanskrit नाग (naga)
meaning "snake" (also "elephant") combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA
, used here to mean "lord". This is another name for Vasuki, the king of snakes, in Hindu mythology.
NAHOR m Biblical
in Hebrew. Nahor is the name of both the grandfather and a brother of Abraham
in the Old Testament.
NAHUM m Biblical
in Hebrew, from the root נָחַם (nacham)
. Nahum is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. He authored the Book of Nahum in which the downfall of Nineveh is foretold.
NA'IM m Arabic
Means "tranquil, happy, at ease"
NAIRYOSANGHA m Persian Mythology
Derived from Avestan nairyo
"male" and sangha
"word". Nairyosangha was a Zoroastrian Yazata (or angel) who served as a messenger for Ahura Mazda.
NAJI m Arabic
Means "intimate friend"
in Arabic. This can also be another way of transcribing the name ناجي
NAJIB m Arabic
NALA m Hinduism
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a king of the Nishadha people in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
NĀLANI f & m Hawaiian
Means "the heavens"
or "the chiefs"
from Hawaiian nā
, a definite article, and lani
"heaven, sky, chief".
NANABOZHO m New World Mythology
Means "my rabbit"
in Ojibwe. In Anishinaabe mythology Nanabozho (also called Wenabozho
) is the name of a trickster spirit.
NANDA m Hinduism, Indian, Kannada, Tamil
in Sanskrit. In Hindu texts this is a name of both Vishnu
and the foster-father of Krishna
, as well as various other characters. In Buddhist texts this is the name of a god and a disciple of Buddha. Nanda was also the name of a 4th-century BC king who founded a dynasty in Magadha in India.
NÁNDOR m Hungarian
Originally this was a Hungarian word referring to a Bulgarian people that lived along the Danube. Since the 19th century it has been used as a Hungarian short form of FERDINAND
NAO f & m Japanese
From Japanese 直 (nao)
meaning "straight" or from a combination of 奈 (na)
, a phonetic character, and 央 (o)
meaning "center". Other kanji or kanji combinations can form this name as well.
NAOISE m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, presumably of Gaelic origin. In Irish legend he was the young man who eloped with Deirdre
, the beloved of Conchobhar
the king of Ulster. Conchobhar eventually succeeded in having Naoise murdered, which caused Deirdre to die of grief.
NAOKI m Japanese
From Japanese 直 (nao)
meaning "straight" and 樹 (ki)
meaning "tree", as well as other combinations of different kanji with the same pronunciations.
NAOMHÁN m Irish, Scottish
Means "little saint"
, derived from Irish naomh
"saint" combined with a diminutive suffix.
NAOMI (2) f & m Japanese
From Japanese 直 (nao)
meaning "straight" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" (usually feminine) or 己 (mi)
meaning "self" (usually masculine). Other kanji combinations can also form this name.
NAPHTALI m Biblical
Means "my struggle, my strife"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is a son of Jacob
's servant Bilhah
, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
NAPIER m English (Rare)
From an English and Scots surname meaning "linen keeper"
in Middle English, from Old French nappe
NAPOLEON m History, English
From the old Italian name Napoleone
, used most notably by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who was born on Corsica. The etymology is uncertain, but it is possibly derived from the Germanic Nibelungen
meaning "sons of mist"
, a name used in Germanic mythology to refer to the keepers of a hoard of treasure (often identified with the Burgundians). Alternatively, it could be connected to the name of the Italian city of Napoli (Naples).
NAPOLEONE m Italian
Original Italian form of NAPOLEON
. Besides the French emperor, it was borne by the 14th-century cardinal Napoleone Orsini and the Italian writer and politician Napoleone Colajanni (1847-1921).
NARAM-SIN m Akkadian
Means "beloved of Sin"
, from Akkadian narāmu
and the god's name SIN
. This was the name of a 23rd-century BC ruler of the Akkadian Empire, the grandson of Sargon
NARCISSE m & f French
French masculine and feminine form of NARCISSUS
. This is also the French word for the narcissus flower.
NAREK m Armenian
From the name of a 10th-century Armenian saint, Grigor of Narek, who came from the town of Narek (formerly in Armenia, now in eastern Turkey).
NARSES m Ancient Persian (Hellenized)
Hellenized form of the Persian name Narseh
, which was derived from Avestan NAIRYOSANGHA
. This name was borne by a Byzantine general of Armenian descent who helped restore Italy to the Roman Empire during the reign of Justinian I in the 6th century.
NARUHITO m Japanese
From Japanese 徳 (naru)
meaning "virtue" and 仁 (hito)
meaning "compassionate". Naruhito (1960-) is the current emperor of Japan. Other combinations of kanji characters can also form this name.
NASH m English (Modern)
From a surname that was derived from the Middle English phrase atten ash "at the ash tree"
. A famous bearer of the surname was the mathematician John Nash (1928-2015). The name was popularized in the 1990s by the television series Nash Bridges
NASIR m Arabic
in Arabic. This transcription represents two different Arabic names.
NATHANIEL m English, Biblical
Variant of NATHANAEL
. It has been regularly used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. This has been the most popular spelling, even though the spelling Nathanael
is found in most versions of the New Testament. The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), author of The Scarlet Letter
, was a famous bearer of this name.
NAZARET f & m Spanish, Armenian
From Nazareth, the town in Galilee where Jesus
lived. This name is feminine in Spanish and masculine in Armenian.
NAZARIUS m Late Roman
Latin name meaning "from Nazareth"
. Nazareth was the town in Galilee where Jesus
lived. This name was borne by several early saints, including a man martyred with Celsus in Milan.
NAZZARENO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin Nazarenus
, which meant "from Nazareth, Nazarene"
. Nazareth was the town in Galilee where Jesus
lived. According to the New Testament, the phrase Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum
meaning "Jesus the Nazarene, king of the Jews", was inscribed on the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR m Babylonian (Anglicized), Biblical
From נְבוּכַדְנֶאצֲּר (Nevukhadnetzzar)
, the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Nabu-kudurri-usur
meaning "Nabu protect my eldest son", derived from the god's name NABU
combined with kudurru
meaning "eldest son" and an imperative form of naṣāru
meaning "to protect". This name was borne by a 12th-century BC king of the Babylonian Empire. It was also borne by a 6th-century BC king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. He captured Jerusalem, and ultimately destroyed the city's temple and deported many of its citizens, as told in the Old Testament.
NECHTAN m Irish Mythology, Ancient Celtic
Celtic name of uncertain meaning, possibly meaning "damp"
(cognate with NEPTUNE
). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boand, the goddess of the River Boyne. This name was also borne by the 5th-century Saint Nectan of Hartland in Devon, who was supposedly born in Ireland. It was also the name of several kings of the Picts.
NED m English
Diminutive of EDWARD
. It has been used since the 14th century, and may have had root in the medieval affectionate phrase mine Ed
, which was later reinterpreted as my Ned