ALIN m Romanian
Possibly a Romanian masculine form of ALINA
. Alternatively it may derive from Romanian alina
ALISON f English, French
Norman French diminutive of Aalis
). It was common in England, Scotland and France in the Middle Ages, and was later revived in England in the 20th century via Scotland. Unlike most other English names ending in son
, it is not derived from a surname.
ALIYA (2) f Hebrew
in Hebrew, a derivative of עָלָה ('alah)
meaning "to ascend, to climb". This is also a Hebrew word referring to immigration to Israel.
ALJAŽ m Slovene
Derived from a Slovene surname, which is of unknown meaning.
ALKE m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element adal
ALLAH m Theology
Derived from Arabic الإله (al-ilah)
meaning "the deity"
. It is primarily used to refer to the Islamic God, though it was originally used by pre-Islamic Arabs, and is sometimes used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews.
ALLAN m English, Scottish, Danish
Variant of ALAN
. The American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) got his middle name from the surname of the parents who adopted him.
ALLE m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element adal
ALLEGRA f Italian, English (Rare)
Means "cheerful, lively"
in Italian. It was borne by a short-lived illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron (1817-1822).
ALLEN m English, Scottish
Variant of ALAN
. A famous bearer of this name was Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), an American beat poet. Another is the American film director and actor Woody Allen (1935-), who took the stage name Allen from his real first name.
ALLI f Finnish
Finnish diminutive of names beginning with Al
. This is also the Finnish word for a type of duck.
ALLISON f & m English
From the middle of the 20th century this has primarily been used as a variant of the feminine name ALISON
. However, prior to that it was used as an uncommon masculine name, derived from the English and Scottish surname ALLISON
ALLON m Biblical
in Hebrew. This name is mentioned briefly in the Old Testament.
ALMA (1) f English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
This name became popular after the Battle of Alma (1854), which took place near the River Alma in Crimea and ended in a victory for Britain and France. However, the name was in rare use before the battle; it was probably inspired by Latin almus
"nourishing". It also coincides with the Spanish word meaning "the soul".
ALMAS f & m Arabic
in Arabic, ultimately from Persian.
ALMAST f Armenian
in Armenian, ultimately from Persian.
ÁLMOS m Hungarian
Possibly from Hungarian álom
"dream", though perhaps of Turkic origin meaning "bought". This was the name of the semi-legendary father of Árpád, the founder of the Hungarian state. Álmos's mother Emese supposedly had a dream in which a turul bird impregnated her and foretold that her son would be the father of a great nation.
ALMUDENA f Spanish
Derived from Arabic المدينة (al-mudaynah)
meaning "the citadel"
. It was in a building by this name that a concealed statue of the Virgin Mary
was discovered during the Reconquista in Madrid. The Virgin of Almudena, that is Mary, is the patron saint of Madrid.
ALODIA f Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Possibly from a Visigothic name derived from the Germanic elements alja
"other, foreign" and aud
"riches, wealth". Saint Alodia was a 9th-century Spanish martyr with her sister Nunilo.
ALOYSIUS m English
Latinized form of Aloys
, an old Occitan form of LOUIS
. This was the name of a 16th-century Italian saint, Aloysius Gonzaga. The name has been in occasional use among Catholics since his time.
ALPARSLAN m Turkish
From Turkish alp
meaning "brave" and arslan
meaning "lion", referring to the 11th-century Seljuk sultan Alp Arslan, who expanded the Seljuk Empire into Anatolia.
ALPHA f & m English
From the name of the first letter in the Greek alphabet, Α
ALPHONSUS m History
Latinized form of ALFONSO
. This name was borne by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, an 18th-century Italian bishop who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church.
ALPIN m Scottish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ailpein
, possibly derived from a Pictish word meaning "white"
. This was the name of two kings of Dál Riata and two kings of the Picts in the 8th and 9th centuries.
ALTA f Various
Possibly from Latin altus
or Italian/Spanish alto
ALTAGRACIA f Spanish (Caribbean)
Means "high grace"
, taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia
, meaning "Our Lady of High Grace". She is considered the patron saint of the Dominican Republic, and it is there that this name is most often used.
ALTE (2) m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element ald
ALTER m Yiddish
From Yiddish אַלט (alt)
. This name was traditionally given to a sickly newborn by Jewish parents in order to confuse the Angel of Death, in the hopes that he would go looking for somebody younger or somebody else.
ALTHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Ἀλθαία (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek ἄλθος (althos)
. In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ALTON m English
From an Old English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "town at the source of the river"
ALUDRA f Astronomy
Derived from Arabic العذرا (al-'adhra)
meaning "the maiden"
. This is the name of a star in the constellation Canis Major.
ALUN m Welsh
Welsh form of ALAN
. This name appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
ALVA (2) m English
Variant of ALVAH
. A famous bearer of this name was the inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
ALVAH m Biblical
Means "his highness"
in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in the Old Testament as belonging to a descendant of Esau.
ALVIN m English, Swedish
From a medieval form of any of the Old English names ÆLFWINE
. It was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the Old English names. As a Scandinavian name it is derived from Alfvin
, an Old Norse cognate of Ælfwine
ALVIS m Norse Mythology, Latvian
From the Old Norse Alvíss
meaning "all wise"
. In Norse mythology this was the name of a dwarf who was to marry Thor
's daughter Thrud
. Thor was not pleased with this so he tricked Alvis by asking him questions until the sun rose, at which time the dwarf was turned into stone.
ALWILDA f History
Latinized form of ALFHILD
. This was the name of a legendary female Scandinavian pirate, also called Awilda.
ALWYN m Welsh
From the name of the River Alwen in Wales.
ALYSSA f English
Variant of ALICIA
. The spelling has probably been influenced by that of the alyssum flower, the name of which is derived from Greek ἀ (a)
, a negative prefix, combined with λύσσα (lyssa)
meaning "madness, rabies", since it was believed to cure madness.
AMABILIS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "lovable"
. Saint Amabilis was a 5th-century priest in Riom, central France.
AMADEO m Italian
Italian variant of AMADEUS
. This was the name of a 19th-century king of Spain (born in Italy).
AMADEUS m Late Roman
Means "love of God"
, derived from Latin amare
"to love" and Deus
"God". A famous bearer was the Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), who was actually born Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart but preferred the Latin translation of his Greek middle name. This name was also assumed as a middle name by the German novelist E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), who took it in honour of Mozart.
AMAIA f Basque
Means "the end"
in Basque. This is the name of a character in the historical novel Amaya, or the Basques in the 8th century
(1879) by Francisco Navarro-Villoslada (Amaya
in the Spanish original; Amaia
in the Basque translation).
AMAL (2) m Biblical
in Hebrew. This was the name of an Asherite in the Old Testament.
AMALRIC m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements amal
meaning "work, labour" and ric
meaning "ruler, mighty". This was the name of a 6th-century king of the Visigoths, as well as two 12th-century rulers of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
AMANDA f English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman
In part this is a feminine form of AMANDUS
. However, it was not used during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century it was recreated by authors and poets who based it directly on Latin amanda
meaning "lovable, worthy of love"
. Notably, the playwright Colley Cibber used it for a character in his play Love's Last Shift
(1696). It came into regular use during the 19th century.
AMANDUS m Late Roman
Derived from Latin amanda
meaning "lovable, worthy of love"
. Saint Amandus was a 5th-century bishop of Bordeaux. It was also borne by a 7th-century French saint who evangelized in Flanders.
AMANTIUS m Late Roman
in Latin. This was the name of several early saints. It has sometimes been confused with the name Amandus
AMARANTHA f Various
From the name of the amaranth flower, which is derived from Greek ἀμάραντος (amarantos)
meaning "unfading". Ἀμάραντος (Amarantos)
was also an Ancient Greek given name.
AMARIAH m Biblical
Means "YAHWEH has said"
in Hebrew. This was the name of several Old Testament characters.
AMARO m Galician, Portuguese, Spanish
Possibly from the Germanic name ADELMAR
, maybe influenced by Latin amarus
"bitter". This was the name of a legendary saint who was said to have sailed across the Atlantic to a paradise. He is especially popular in Galicia and Asturias in Spain.
AMARYLLIS f Literature
Derived from Greek ἀμαρύσσω (amarysso)
meaning "to sparkle"
. This was the name of a heroine in Virgil
's epic poem Eclogues
. The amaryllis flower is named for her.
AMATERASU f Japanese Mythology
Means "shining over heaven"
, from Japanese 天 (ama)
meaning "heaven, sky" and 照 (terasu)
meaning "shine". This was the name of the Japanese sun goddess, the ruler of the heavens. She was born when Izanagi
washed his left eye after returning from the underworld. At one time the Japanese royal family claimed descent from her.
AMATOR m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "lover (of God)"
. Saint Amator was a 5th-century bishop of Auxerre.
AMATUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "beloved"
. The 7th-century Saint Amatus was the first abbot of Remiremont Abbey.
AMBER f English, Dutch
From the English word amber
that denotes either the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin, or the orange-yellow colour. The word ultimately derives from Arabic عنبر ('anbar)
. It began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, but it only became popular after the release of Kathleen Winsor's novel Forever Amber
AMBROSE m English
From the Late Latin name Ambrosius
, which was derived from the Greek name Ἀμβρόσιος (Ambrosios)
. Saint Ambrose was a 4th-century theologian and bishop of Milan, who is considered a Doctor of the Church. Due to the saint, the name came into general use in Christian Europe, though it was never particularly common in England.
AMEDEO m Italian
Italian form of AMADEUS
. A notable bearer of this name was Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856), an Italian chemist most famous for the constant that now bears his name: Avogadro's Number. Another famous bearer was the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920).
AMELIA f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Variant of AMALIA
, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA
, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of both George II and George III. The author Henry Fielding used it for the title character in his novel Amelia
(1751). Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.... [more]
AMENEMHET m Ancient Egyptian
Means "AMON is foremost"
in Egyptian. This was the name of four Egyptian pharaohs, including the founder of the 12th dynasty.
AMENHOTEP m Ancient Egyptian
From the Egyptian Ymnhtp
meaning "peace of Amon"
, derived from the name of the Egyptian god AMON
combined with htp
"peace, satisfaction". This was the name of four pharaohs of the New Kingdom, including Amenhotep III, known as the Magnificent, who ruled over Egypt during a time of great prosperity.
AMERETAT f Persian Mythology
in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of plants and long life.
AMERICA f English
In the English-speaking world, this name is usually given in reference to the United States of America (see AMERIGO
). It came into use as an American name in the 19th century.
AMERIGO m Italian
Medieval Italian form of EMMERICH
. Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) was the Italian explorer who gave the continent of America its name (from Americus
, the Latin form of his name).
AMETHYST f English (Rare)
From the name of the purple semi-precious stone, which is derived from the Greek negative prefix ἀ (a)
and μέθυστος (methystos)
meaning "intoxicated, drunk", as it was believed to be a remedy against drunkenness.
AMI (1) m Biblical
Means "trustworthy, reliable"
in Hebrew. This was the name of a servant of King Solomon
in the Old Testament.
AMI (3) f Japanese
From Japanese 亜 (a)
meaning "second, Asia" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are possible.
AMICE f Medieval English
Medieval name derived from Latin amicus
. This was a popular name in the Middle Ages, though it has since become uncommon.
AMIKA f Esperanto
in Esperanto, ultimately from Latin amicus