ORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night"
. In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
ORRELL m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "ore hill"
in Old English.
ORSINO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman name Ursinus
, itself derived from Ursus
). This is the name of a character in Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night
ORSON m English
From a Norman nickname derived from a diminutive of Norman French ors "bear"
, ultimately from Latin ursus
. American actor and director Orson Welles (1915-1985) was a famous bearer of this name.
ORVAR m Swedish, Norse Mythology
in Old Norse. Orvar Odd is a legendary Norse hero who is the subject of a 13th-century Icelandic saga.
ORVILLE m English
This name was invented by the 18th-century writer Fanny Burney, who perhaps intended it to mean "golden city" in French. Orville Wright (1871-1948), together with his brother Wilbur, invented the first successful airplane.
OSAMU m Japanese
From Japanese 修 (osamu)
meaning "discipline, study", as well as other kanji that have the same pronunciation.
OSBERT m English (Rare)
Derived from the Old English elements os
"god" and beorht
"bright". After the Norman Conquest, this Old English name was merged with its Norman cognate. It was rare in the Middle Ages, and eventually died out. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
OSBORN m English
Derived from the Old English elements os
"god" and beorn
"bear". During the Anglo-Saxon period there was also a Norse cognate Ásbjǫrn
used in England, and after the Norman Conquest the Norman cognate Osbern
was introduced. It was occasionally revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
OSCAR m English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend"
, derived from Gaelic os
"deer" and cara
"friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR
or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR
, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín
and the grandson of the hero Fionn
mac Cumhail.... [more]
OSIRIS m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of the Egyptian Asar
, which is of unknown meaning. In Egyptian mythology Osiris was the god of the dead and the judge of the underworld. He was slain by his brother Seth
, but revived by his wife Isis
OSKAR m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish
Scandinavian, German, Polish and Slovene form of OSCAR
. A famous bearer was Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), who is credited for saved over 1,000 Polish Jews during World War II.
OSMAN m Turkish, Kurdish
Turkish and Kurdish form of UTHMAN
. This was the name of the founder of the Ottoman Empire (14th century).
OSMOND m English (Rare)
From the Old English elements os
"god" and mund
"protection". During the Anglo-Saxon period a Norse cognate Ásmundr
was also used in England, and another version was imported by the Normans. Saint Osmund was an 11th-century Norman nobleman who became an English bishop. Though it eventually became rare, it was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
OSSIAN m Literature
Variant of OISÍN
used by James Macpherson in his epic poems, which he claimed to have based on early Irish legends.
OSWALD m English, German, Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements os
"god" and weald
"power, ruler". Saint Oswald was a king of Northumbria who introduced Christianity to northeast England in the 7th century before being killed in battle. There was also an Old Norse cognate Ásvaldr
in use in England, being borne by the 10th-century Saint Oswald of Worcester, who was of Danish ancestry. Though the name had died out by the end of the Middle Ages, it was revived in the 19th century.
OSWIN m English (Rare)
From the Old English elements os
"god" and wine
"friend". Saint Oswin was a 7th-century king of Northumbria. After the Norman Conquest this name was used less, and it died out after the 14th century. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
OTAR m Georgian
Derived from Turkic otar
meaning "pasture, meadow"
OTELLO m Italian
Italian form of OTHELLO
. This was the name of an 1887 opera by Giuseppe Verdi, based on Shakespeare's play.
OTHELLO m Literature
Perhaps an Italian diminutive of OTHO
. Shakespeare used this name in his tragedy Othello
(1603), where it belongs to a Moor who is manipulated by Iago
into killing his wife Desdemona
OTHNIEL m Biblical
Meaning uncertain, possibly "lion of God"
or "strength of God"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is a nephew of Caleb
who becomes the first of the ruling judges of the Israelites.
OTHO m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning. This was the name of a short-lived 1st-century Roman emperor.
OTIS m English
From an English surname that was derived from the medieval given name Ode
, a cognate of OTTO
. In America it has been used in honour of the revolutionary James Otis (1725-1783).
OTT m Estonian
Possibly an Estonian form of OTTO
. It may also be inspired by an archaic Estonian word meaning "bear"
OTTO m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Later German form of Audo
, originally a short form of various names beginning with the Germanic element aud
meaning "wealth, fortune"
. This was the name of four kings of Germany, starting in the 10th century with Otto I, the first Holy Roman emperor, who was known as Otto the Great. This name was also borne by a 19th-century king of Greece who was originally from Bavaria. Another notable bearer was the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).
OVE m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Probably a modern form of the Old Danish name Aghi
, originally a short form of names that contain the Old Norse element egg "edge of a sword"
or agi "terror"
OVID m History
From the Roman family name Ovidius
, which was possibly derived from Latin ovis "a sheep"
. Alternatively, it could have a Sabellic origin. Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, was a 1st-century BC Roman poet who often wrote on the subjects of love and mythology. He was sent into exile by Emperor Augustus for no apparent reason.
OWAIN m Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Probably a Welsh form of EUGENE
, though other theories connect it to Welsh eoghunn
meaning "youth". This was the name of several figures from Welsh history and mythology. In Arthurian legend Owain (also called Yvain
in French sources) was one of the Knights of the Round Table, the son of King Urien and husband of the Lady of the Fountain. His character was based on that of Owain ap Urien, a 6th-century Welsh prince who fought against the Angles. This name was also borne by Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century leader of Welsh resistance against English rule.
ØYVIND m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Eyvindr
, which was derived from ey
meaning "island" or "good fortune" and vindr
possibly meaning "victor".
PABLO m Spanish
Spanish form of Paulus
). Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a famous bearer of this name.
PACE m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the Middle English word pace
PACEY m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the French place name Pacy
, itself derived from Gaulish given name of unknown meaning.
PADERAU f & m Welsh
in Welsh. This is a modern Welsh name.
PADMA f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा
and the masculine form पद्म
. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma
arose from the navel of the god Vishnu
. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi
and the hero Rama
PALLAS (2) m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πάλλω (pallo)
meaning "to brandish"
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see PALLAS (1)
PALLU m Biblical
in Hebrew. This was the name of a son of Reuben in the Old Testament.
PALMER m English
From an English surname meaning "pilgrim"
. It is ultimately from Latin palma
"palm tree", since pilgrims to the Holy Land often brought back palm fronds as proof of their journey.
PALMIRO m Italian
in Italian. In medieval times it denoted one who had been a pilgrim to Palestine. It is ultimately from the word palma
meaning "palm tree", because of the custom of pilgrims to bring palm fronds home with them. The name is sometimes given to a child born on Palm Sunday.
PAN m Greek Mythology
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector"
. In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
PANCHO m Spanish
Spanish diminutive of FRANCISCO
. This name was borne by Pancho Villa (1878-1923), a Mexican bandit and revolutionary.
PANCRAS m English (Archaic)
Medieval English form of PANCRATIUS
. The relics of the 4th-century saint Pancratius were sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, leading to the saint's veneration there.
PANCRATIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Παγκράτιος (Pankratios)
, derived from the Greek word παγκρατής (pankrates)
, from the roots πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" and κράτος (kratos)
meaning "power". Early Byzantine Christians used this as a title of Christ. It was borne by two saints, a 1st-century Sicilian martyr and a semi-legendary 4th-century Roman martyr.
PANFILO m Italian
Italian form of PAMPHILOS
. The Italian novelist Boccaccio used this name in his work The Decameron
PANGU m Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 盘 (pán)
meaning "tray, pan" and 古 (gǔ)
meaning "old, ancient". In Chinese mythology this is the name of the first living being.
PANKAJA m Hinduism
Means "born of mud"
, referring to the lotus flower, derived from Sanskrit पङ्क (panka)
meaning "mud" and ज (ja)
meaning "born". This is another name of the Hindu god Brahma
PANTALEON m Ancient Greek
Derived from the Greek elements πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" (genitive παντός
) and λέων (leon)
meaning "lion". This was the name of a 2nd-century BC king of Bactria. It was also borne by Saint Pantaleon (also called Panteleimon
), a doctor from Asia Minor who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century. He is a patron saint of doctors and midwives.
PANTHERAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek πάνθηρ (panther)
, a word ultimately of Sanskrit origin, though folk etymology connects it to Greek πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" and θηράω (therao)
meaning "to hunt". According to some legends a Roman soldier named Panthera was the father of Jesus
PAOLO m Italian
Italian form of Paulus
). Paolo Uccello and Paolo Veronese were both Italian Renaissance painters.
PARIS (1) m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Luwian or Hittite origin. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen
and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the Iliad
, he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles
. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.
PARKER m & f English
From an English occupational surname that meant "keeper of the park"
PARRY m Welsh
From a Welsh surname that was derived from ap Harry
meaning "son of HARRY"
PARVIZ m Persian
Means "fortunate, happy"
in Persian. This name was borne by a son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir
PASCAL m French, German, Dutch
From the Late Latin name Paschalis
, which meant "relating to Easter"
from Latin Pascha
"Easter", which was in turn from Hebrew פֶּסַח (pesach)
meaning "Passover". Passover is the ancient Hebrew holiday celebrating the liberation from Egypt. Because it coincided closely with the later Christian holiday of Easter, the same Latin word was used for both. The name Pascal can also function as a surname, as in the case of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), the French philosopher, mathematician and inventor.
PAT m & f English
Short form of PATRICK
. A famous bearer of this name was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
PATRICK m Irish, English, French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
From the Latin name Patricius
, which meant "nobleman"
. This name was adopted in the 5th-century by Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint.... [more]
PATTON m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of PATRICK
. A notable bearer of the surname was the American World War II general George S. Patton (1885-1945), who played an important part in the allied offensive in France.
PAU m Catalan, Occitan
Catalan and Occitan form of PAUL
. It also coincides with the Catalan word for "peace"
PAUL m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus
, which meant "small"
in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus
appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul
. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.... [more]
PAULINO m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of the Roman family name Paulinus
, which was itself derived from Paulus
). Saint Paulinus of Nola was a 5th-century nobleman from Gaul who gave up his wealthy lifestyle and became bishop of Nola. He was also noted for his poetry. Another saint by this name was a 7th-century missionary to England who became the first bishop of York.
PAXTON m English (Modern)
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "Pœcc's town"
is an Old English given name of unknown meaning.
PEER m Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Variant of PER
. The Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen used this name for the main character in his play Peer Gynt
PEGASUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πήγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγός (pegos)
or πηγαῖος (pegaios)
meaning "from a water spring"
. In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.