VIOREL m Romanian
Derived from viorea
, the Romanian word for the alpine squill flower (species Scilla bifolia) or the sweet violet flower (species Viola odorata). It is derived from Latin viola
VIRAJA m Hinduism
Means "ruling, sovereign"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of an offspring of Brahma
in Hindu belief.
VIRGIL m English, Romanian
From the Roman family name Vergilius
, which is of unknown meaning. This name was borne by the 1st-century BC Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro, commonly called Virgil, who was the writer of the Aeneid
. Due to him, Virgil
has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
VIRIATO m Portuguese
From the Latin name Viriathus
, which was derived from viriae "bracelets"
(of Celtic origin). Viriathus was a leader of the Lusitani (a tribe of Portugal) who rebelled against Roman rule in the 2nd century BC.
VISHAL m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali
Means "wide, broad, spacious"
VISVALDIS m Latvian
Latvian name derived from the Baltic elements vis
"all" and vald
"rule". It is thus a cognate of the Slavic VSEVOLOD
VITALE m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin name Vitalis
, which was derived from Latin vitalis
meaning "of life, vital"
. Vitalis was the name of several early saints and martyrs.
VITUS m Ancient Roman
Roman name that was derived from Latin vita "life"
. Saint Vitus was a child martyred in Sicily in the early 4th century. From an early date this name was confused with the Germanic name Wido
VIVEK m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali
Means "wisdom, distinction, discrimination"
VIVIAN m & f English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Latin name Vivianus
, which was derived from Latin vivus "alive"
. Saint Vivian was a French bishop who provided protection during the Visigoth invasion of the 5th century. It has been occasionally used as an English (masculine) name since the Middle Ages. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name, in which case it is either an Anglicized form of BÉBINN
or a variant of VIVIEN (2)
VLAD m Romanian, Russian, Medieval Slavic
Old short form of VLADISLAV
and other Slavic names beginning with the element vladeti
. Vlad Dracula, a 15th-century prince of Wallachia, was Bram Stoker's inspiration for the name of his vampire, Count Dracula.
VLADIMIR m Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovene, Medieval Slavic
Derived from the Slavic element vladeti
"rule" combined with meru
"great, famous". The second element has also been associated with miru
meaning "peace, world". This was the name of an 11th-century grand prince of Kiev who is venerated as a saint because of his efforts to Christianize his realm (Kievan Rus). It was also borne by the founder of the former Soviet state, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924).
VLASTIMIL m Czech, Slovak
Derived from the Slavic elements vlasti
"rule, sovereignty" and milu
"gracious, dear". In modern Czech vlast
means "homeland" (a descendant word of vlasti
VOLOS m Slavic Mythology
Derived from Slavic volu
. Volos was the Slavic god of cattle, also associated with the earth, wealth, the underworld, and poetry.
VUKAŠIN m Serbian
Derived from Serbian vuk
. This was the name of a 14th-century Serbian ruler.
VULCAN m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Vulcanus
, possibly related to fulgere
meaning "to flash"
, but more likely of pre-Latin origin. In Roman mythology Vulcan was the god of fire. He was later equated with the Greek god Hephaestus
VURAL m Turkish
Possibly from Turkish vur
meaning "strike, hit"
VYTAUTAS m Lithuanian
From the Baltic element vyti-
"chase, drive away" or vyd-
"see" combined with tauta
"people, nation". This was the name of a 15th-century Grand Duke of Lithuania, revered as a national hero in that country.
WADUD m Arabic
Means "lover, affectionate"
in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الودود (al-Wadud)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
WAFI m Arabic
Means "trustworthy, reliable, loyal, perfect"
WAHID m Arabic
Means "peerless, unique"
in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الوحيد (al-Wahid)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
WAHUNSENACAWH m Indigenous American, Powhatan
Meaning unknown. This name was borne by a 17th-century chief of the Powhatan people. He was also known as Powhatan, as a result of confusion between his name and his birthplace.
WAIL m Arabic
Possibly means "refuge, shelter"
WALDEMAR m German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Germanic derivative of the Slavic name VLADIMIR
(or perhaps a cognate composed of the Germanic elements wald
"rule" and mari
"famous"). It was introduced into Scandinavia by the 12th-century Danish king Waldemar (or Valdemar) who was named after a royal ancestor of his Ukrainian mother.
WALDO m English, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names containing the element wald
. In the Middle Ages this name became the basis for a surname. Its present use in the English-speaking world is usually in honour of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American poet and author who wrote on transcendentalism. He was (probably) named after the 12th-century Christian radical Peter Waldo, who was from Lyons in France. Though Waldo and his followers, called the Waldensians, were declared heretics at the time, they were later admired by Protestants.
WALDOBERT m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name composed of the elements wald
"rule" and beraht
"bright". This was the name of a 7th-century French saint (called Valbert
WALID m Arabic
, derived from Arabic ولد (walada)
meaning "to give birth". This was the name of the Umayyad caliph who conquered Spain in the 8th century.
WALKER m English
From an English surname that referred to the medieval occupational of a walker, also known as a fuller. Walkers would tread on wet, unprocessed wool in order to clean and thicken it. The word ultimately derives from Old English wealcan
WALLACE m English, Scottish
From a Scottish and English surname that originally meant "Welsh"
in Norman French. It was first used as a given name in honour of Sir William Wallace, a Scottish hero who led the fight against English invasion in the 13th century.
WALLIS m & f English (Rare)
From a surname that was a variant of WALLACE
. Wallis Simpson (1895-1986) was the divorced woman whom Edward VIII married, which forced him to abdicate the British throne.
WALT m English
Short form of WALTER
. A famous bearer was the American animator and filmmaker Walt Disney (1901-1966).
WÁLTER m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese variant form of WALTER
, more common in South America than Europe. It is often written without the diacritic.
WALTER m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Italian, Ancient Germanic
From a Germanic name meaning "ruler of the army"
, composed of the elements wald
"rule" and hari
"army". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Wealdhere
. A famous bearer of the name was the English courtier, poet and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618). It was also borne by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), a Scottish novelist who wrote Ivanhoe
and other notable works.
WALTON m English
From a surname that was originally taken from various Old English place names meaning "stream town"
, "wood town"
, or "wall town"
WANGCHUK m & f Tibetan, Bhutanese
in Tibetan, from དབང (dbang)
meaning "power" and ཕྱུག (phyug)
meaning "wealthy, possessing". This is the Tibetan name for the god Shiva
WARD (1) m English
From an occupational surname for a watchman, derived from Old English weard
WARDELL m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "watch hill"
in Old English.
WARREN m English
From an English surname that was derived either from Norman French warrene
meaning "animal enclosure"
, or else from the town of La Varenne in Normandy. This name was borne by the American president Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).
WARWICK m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from the name of a town in England, itself from Old English wer
"weir, dam" and wíc
WASHINGTON m English
From a surname that was originally derived from the name of an English town, itself meaning "settlement belonging to WASSA's people"
. The given name is usually given in honour of George Washington (1732-1799), commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and the first president of the United States.
WASI m Arabic
Means "broad-minded, liberal, learned"
WATSON m English
From an English surname meaning "son of WAT"
. A famous fictional bearer of the surname was Dr. Watson, the assistant to Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery stories beginning in 1887.
WAYAN m & f Balinese
From Balinese wayah
meaning "old, mature"
, ultimately from Sanskrit वयस् (vayas)
meaning "energy, strength, age". This name is traditionally given to the first-born child.
WAYLON m English
Variant of WAYLAND
. This name was popularized by country music singer Waylon Jennings (1937-2002), who was originally named Wayland.
WAYNE m English
From an occupational surname meaning "wagon maker"
, derived from Old English wægn
"wagon". Use of it as a given name can be partly attributed to the popularity of the actor John Wayne (1907-1979). Another famous bearer is Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky (1961-), generally considered the greatest player in the history of the sport.
WAZO m Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element wad
meaning "to go"
meaning "guard, protect"
WEBSTER m English
From an occupational surname meaning "weaver"
, derived from Old English webba
WEI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 威 (wēi)
meaning "power, pomp", 巍 (wēi)
meaning "high, lofty, towering" or 伟 (wěi)
meaning "great, robust, extraordinary". As a feminine name it can come from 微 (wēi)
meaning "small" or 薇 (wēi)
meaning "fern". This name can be formed by other Chinese characters besides those shown here.
WELDON m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "hill near a spring"
in Old English.
WEN m & f Chinese
From Chinese 文 (wén)
meaning "literature, culture, writing", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
WENDEL m Dutch (Rare), German (Rare)
Old short form of Germanic names beginning with the element wandal
meaning "a Vandal"
. The Vandals were a Germanic tribe who invaded Spain and North Africa in the 5th century. Their tribal name, which may mean "wanderer", was later applied to other groups such as the Wends, a Slavic people living between the Elbe and the Oder.
WERNER m German, Dutch
From a Germanic name derived from warin
"guard" combined with hari
"army". A famous bearer was the German physicist Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976).
WERTHER m German (Rare)
Derived from the Germanic elements wert
"worthy" and hari
"army". Goethe used this name in his novel The Sorrows of Young Werther
WESLEY m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "west meadow"
in Old English. It has been sometimes given in honour of John Wesley (1703-1791), the founder of Methodism.
WESTON m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "west town"
in Old English.
WHITAKER m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "white field"
in Old English.
WHITNEY f & m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "white island"
in Old English. Its popular use as a feminine name was initiated by actress Whitney Blake (1925-2002) in the 1960s, and further boosted in the 1980s by singer Whitney Houston (1963-2012).
WICKANINNISH m Indigenous American, Nuu-chah-nulth
Possibly means "having no one in front of him in the canoe"
in the Nuu-chah-nulth (or Nootka) language. This was the name of a chief of the Clayoquot in the late 18th century, at the time of European contact.
WIDO m Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element witu "wood"
or wit "wide"
. From early times this name has been confused with the Latin name Vitus
WIDUKIND m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name composed of the elements witu
"wood" and chind
"child". This was the name of an 8th-century Saxon leader who fought against the Franks.
WIEBE m Frisian, Dutch
Medieval short form of Germanic names containing the element wig
WIELAND m German, Germanic Mythology
Meaning uncertain, perhaps a derivative of Germanic wela
meaning "skilled, artful"
. In Germanic mythology Wieland (called Völundr in Old Norse) was an unequaled smith and craftsman.
WILBERT m Dutch
Means "bright will"
, derived from the Germanic elements wil
"will, desire" and beraht
WILBUR m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from the nickname Wildbor
meaning "wild boar"
in Middle English. This name was borne by Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), one half of the Wright brothers, who together invented the first successful airplane. Wright was named after the Methodist minister Wilbur Fisk (1792-1839).
WILBURN m English
From a surname that was probably originally derived from an unknown place name. The second element corresponds with Old English burne
WILEY m English
From a surname that was derived from various English place names: towns named WILLEY
or the River WYLYE
WILFORD m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "willow ford"
in Old English.
WILFRED m English
Means "desiring peace"
from Old English wil
"will, desire" and friþ
"peace". Saint Wilfrid was a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon bishop. The name was rarely used after the Norman Conquest, but it was revived in the 19th century.
WILHELM m German, Polish, Ancient Germanic
German cognate of WILLIAM
. This was the name of two German emperors. It was also the middle name of several philosophers from Germany: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), who was also a notable mathematician.
WILHELMUS m Dutch
Latinized form of WILHELM
. This is also the official Dutch form of the name, used on birth certificates but not commonly in daily life.
WILKIE m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from a diminutive of the given name WILLIAM
WILL m English
Short form of WILLIAM
or other names beginning with Will
. A famous bearer is American actor Will Smith (1968-), whose full name is Willard.
WILLARD m English
From an English surname that was derived from the Germanic given name WILLIHARD
(or the Old English cognate Wilheard
WILLEM m Dutch
Dutch form of WILLIAM
. Willem the Silent, Prince of Orange, was the leader of the Dutch revolt against Spain that brought about the independence of the Netherlands. He is considered the founder of the Dutch royal family. In English he is commonly called William of Orange.
WILLIAM m English
From the Germanic name Willahelm
meaning "will helmet"
, composed of the elements wil
"will, desire" and helm
"helmet, protection". Saint William of Gellone was an 8th-century cousin of Charlemagne
who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England in the 11th century. From then until the modern era it has been among the most common of English names (with John
WILLIE m & f English
Masculine or feminine diminutive of WILLIAM
. A notable bearer is the retired American baseball player Willie Mays (1931-).
WILLIHAD m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements wil
"will, desire" and hadu
"battle, combat". This was the name of an 8th-century saint active in Frisia and Saxony.
WILLOUGHBY m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "willow town"
in Old English.
WILSON m English
From an English surname meaning "son of WILLIAM"
. The surname was borne by Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), the American president during World War I.
WILT m English
Short form of WILTON
. This name was borne by basketball player Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999).
WILTON m English
From a surname that was derived from the names of several English towns. The town names mean variously "willow town", "well town" or "town on the River Wylye" in Old English. The river name is itself of Celtic origin, possibly meaning "tricky".
WINDSOR m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname that was from a place name meaning "riverbank with a windlass"
in Old English (a windlass is a lifting apparatus). This has been the surname of the royal family of the United Kingdom since 1917.
WINFIELD m English
From a surname that originated from various English place names, themselves derived from Old English winn
"meadow, pasture" and feld
WINFRED m English
Means "friend of peace"
from the Old English elements wine
"friend" and friþ
"peace". This was the birth name of the 8th-century missionary Saint Boniface. It became rare after the Norman Conquest, though it was revived in the 19th century.
WINSLOW m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from an Old English place name meaning "hill belonging to WINE"
. A famous bearer of this name was American painter Winslow Homer (1836-1910).