ASHLEY f & m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from place names meaning "ash tree clearing"
, from a combination of Old English æsc
. Until the 1960s it was more commonly given to boys in the United States, but it is now most often used on girls. It reached its height of popularity in America in 1987, but it did not become the highest ranked name until 1991, being overshadowed by the likewise-popular Jessica
until then. In the United Kingdom it is still more common as a masculine name.
ASHOKA m Sanskrit
Means "without sorrow"
in Sanskrit. This name was borne by Ashoka the Great, a 3rd-century BC emperor of India.
ASHTON m & f English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name that meant "ash tree town"
in Old English.
ASHUR m Semitic Mythology
From the name of the city of ASHUR
, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which is of unknown meaning. Ashur was the patron deity of the city and the chief god of Assyria.
ASHURBANIPAL m Ancient Assyrian (Anglicized)
From Akkadian Ashur-bani-apli
meaning "ASHUR is creator of a son"
. This was the name of one of the final kings of the Assyrian Empire, reigning late in the 7th century BC. He appears in the Old Testament under the name Asnappar
ASIF m Arabic
Possibly means "forgiveness"
ASİL m Turkish
in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic أصيل (asil)
ASIYA f Arabic
Possibly from Arabic أسي (asy)
meaning "distressed, grieved"
. According to Islamic tradition this was the name of the wife of the pharaoh at the time of Moses
. She took care of the infant Moses and later accepted monotheism.
ASK m Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse askr "ash tree"
. In Norse mythology Ask and his wife Embla
were the first humans created by the gods.
ASLAN m Turkish, Kazakh, Azerbaijani, Chechen, Ossetian, Circassian
From Turkic arslan
. This was a byname or title borne by several medieval Turkic rulers, including the Seljuk sultan Alp Arslan (a byname meaning "brave lion") who drove the Byzantines from Anatolia in the 11th century. The author C. S. Lewis later used the name Aslan
for the main protagonist (a lion) in his Chronicles of Narnia
series of books, first appearing in 1950.
ASLAUG f Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse elements áss
meaning "god" and laug
possibly meaning "betrothed woman".
ASMAA f Arabic
Means "appellations, names"
in Arabic. This was the name of a daughter of Abu Bakr
, the first caliph of the Muslims.
ASPEN f English (Modern)
From the English word for the tree, derived from Old English æspe
. It is also the name of a ski resort in Colorado.
ASRA f Arabic
Means "travel at night"
in Arabic. It is related to Isra
ASSE m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element asc
meaning "ash tree"
ASTAROTH m Literature
, the plural form of ASHTORETH
used in the bible to refer to Phoenician idols. This spelling was used in late medieval demonology texts to refer to a type of (masculine) demon.
AŞTÎ f & m Kurdish
Means "peace, tranquility"
ASTON m & f English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from either a place name meaning "east town" in Old English or from the given name ÆÐELSTAN
ASTRAEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Ἀστραία (Astraia)
, derived from Greek ἀστήρ (aster)
. Astraea was a Greek goddess of justice and innocence. After wickedness took root in the world she left the earth and became the constellation Virgo.
ASTROPHEL m Literature
Probably intended to mean "star lover", from Greek ἀστήρ (aster)
meaning "star" and φίλος (philos)
meaning "lover, friend". This name was first used by the 16th-century poet Sir Philip Sidney in his collection of sonnets Astrophel and Stella
ASUKA f & m Japanese
From Japanese 明日 (asu)
meaning "tomorrow" and 香 (ka)
meaning "fragrance", or from 飛 (asu)
meaning "to fly" and 鳥 (ka)
meaning "bird". Other kanji combinations can be possible as well.
ASUNCIÓN f Spanish
in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the assumption of the Virgin Mary
ATAHUALPA m Native American, Quechua
Means "hen of fortune"
, from Quechua ataw
meaning "lucky, fortunate" and wallpa
meaning "hen". This was the name of the last sovereign Inca emperor. He was executed by the Spanish in 1533.
ATALANTA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἀταλάντη (Atalante)
meaning "equal in weight"
, derived from ἀτάλαντος (atalantos)
, a word related to τάλαντον (talanton)
meaning "a scale, a balance". In Greek legend she was a fast-footed maiden who refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a race. She was eventually defeated by Hippomenes, who dropped three golden apples during the race causing her to stop to pick them up.
ATHALIAH f & m Biblical
Possibly means "YAHWEH is exalted"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both a feminine and masculine name. It was borne by the daughter of Ahab
, who later came to rule Judah as a queen.
ATHANARIC m Ancient Germanic
From the Gothic name Athanareiks
, derived from the Germanic element athana
meaning "year" combined with ric
meaning "ruler, mighty". Athanaric was a 4th-century ruler of the Visigoths.
ATHENA f Greek Mythology, English
Meaning unknown. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. It is likely that her name is derived from that of the city, not vice versa. The earliest mention of her seems to be a 15th-century BC Mycenaean Greek inscription from Knossos on Crete.... [more]
ATHOL m & f Scottish
From the name of a district in Scotland that was derived from Gaelic ath Fodhla "new Ireland"
ATIF m Arabic
Means "affection, kindness"
ATLAS m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "enduring"
from Greek τλάω (tlao)
meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus
by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
ATON m Egyptian Mythology
Means "solar disk"
in Egyptian. Aton was an Egyptian god of the sun, depicted as a solar disk with long rays extending downwards. The worship of Aton was especially extensive during the reign of the pharaoh Akhenaton
, who proclaimed Aton was the only god.
ATROPOS f Greek Mythology
Means "inevitable, inflexible"
in Greek, derived from the negative prefix ἀ (a)
combined with τρόπος (tropos)
meaning "direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
ATSE m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element adal
ATSUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 温 (atsu)
meaning "warm", 篤 (atsu)
meaning "deep, true, sincere" or 敦 (atsu)
meaning "honest" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
ATSUSHI m Japanese
From Japanese 淳 (atsushi)
meaning "pure" or 敦 (atsushi)
meaning "kindness, honesty". This name can also be formed from other kanji or kanji combinations.
ATTICUS m Literature, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἀττικός (Attikos)
meaning "from Attica"
, referring to the region surrounding Athens in Greece. This name was borne by a few notable Greeks from the Roman period (or Romans of Greek background). The author Harper Lee used the name in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird
(1960) for an Alabama lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.
ATTILA m History, Hungarian
Possibly means "little father"
from Gothic atta
"father" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 5th-century leader of the Huns, a nomadic people from Central Asia who had expanded into Eastern Europe by the 4th century. Attila
was the name given to him by his Gothic-speaking subjects in Eastern Europe; his real name may have been Avithohol.
ATTILIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Atilius
, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. Marcus Atilius Regulus was a Roman consul and hero of the First Punic War.
ATUM m Egyptian Mythology
in Egyptian. This was the name of an Egyptian creator god. He was first prominently worshipped in Heliopolis during the Old Kingdom.
AUBREY m & f English
Norman French form of the Germanic name ALBERICH
. As an English masculine name it was common in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the 19th century. Since the mid-1970s it has more frequently been given to girls, due to Bread's 1972 song Aubrey
along with its similarity to the established feminine name Audrey
AUDLEY m English
From a surname that was taken from a place name meaning "EALDGYÐ's clearing"
in Old English.
AUDREY f English
Medieval diminutive of ÆÐELÞRYÐ
. This was the name of a 7th-century saint, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It
(1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry
(which was derived from St. Audrey
, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
AUGUSTINE (1) m English
From the Roman name Augustinus
, itself derived from the Roman name AUGUSTUS
. Saint Augustine of Hippo was a 5th-century Christian theologian and author from North Africa. For his contributions to Christian philosophy he is known as a Doctor of the Church. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world. It became popular in England in the Middle Ages partly because of a second saint by this name, Augustine of Canterbury, a 6th-century Italian monk sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons.
AUGUSTUS m Ancient Roman, Dutch
Means "exalted, venerable"
, derived from Latin augere
meaning "to increase". Augustus was the title given to Octavian
, the first Roman emperor. He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar who rose to power through a combination of military skill and political prowess. In 26 BC the senate officially gave him the name Augustus
, and after his death it was used as a title for subsequent emperors. This was also the name of three kings of Poland (August
AULUS m Ancient Roman
Possibly from Latin avulus
meaning "little grandfather"
, though it could be from the Etruscan name Aule
, which was possibly derived from avils
meaning "years". This was a Roman praenomen, or given name. Folk etymology connects it to Latin aula
AURANGZEB m History
Means "honouring the throne"
in Persian. This was the name of a 17th-century Mughal emperor of India.
AUREA f Late Roman
Late Latin name that was derived from aureus "golden"
. This was the name of a 3rd-century saint from Ostia (near Rome), as well as an 11th-century Spanish saint.
AURELIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from Latin aureus
meaning "golden, gilded"
. Marcus Aurelius was a 2nd-century Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.
AUREOLE f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "radiant halo"
, ultimately derived from Latin aureolus
AUSTER m Roman Mythology
in Latin (descended from an Indo-European root meaning "dawn", making it related to the English word east
). Auster was the Roman god of the south wind.
AUSTIN m English
Medieval contracted form of AUGUSTINE (1)
. Modern use of the name is probably also partly inspired by the common surname Austin
, which is of the same origin. This is also the name of a city in Texas.
AUTUMN f English
From the name of the season, ultimately from Latin autumnus
. This name has been in general use since the 1960s.
AVA (1) f English
Variant of EVE
. A famous bearer was the American actress Ava Gardner (1922-1990). This name became very popular throughout the English-speaking world in the early 21st century, entering the top ten for girls in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
AVA (3) f German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired"
. This was the name of a 9th-century Frankish saint. It was also borne by a 12th-century poet from Melk, Austria.
AVALON f English (Rare)
From the name of the island paradise to which King Arthur
was brought after his death. The name of this island is perhaps related to Welsh afal
meaning "apple", a fruit that was often linked with paradise.
AVANTI f Indian, Hindi
From the name of an ancient kingdom of central India that had its capital at Ujjain.
AVE f Estonian
Possibly from the name of the prayer Ave Maria
, in which Ave
is Latin meaning "greetings, salutations"
AVELINE f English (Rare)
From the Norman French form of the Germanic name Avelina
, a diminutive of AVILA
. The Normans introduced this name to Britain. After the Middle Ages it became rare as an English name, though it persisted in America until the 19th century.
AVILA f Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired"
. This name is also given in honour of the 16th-century mystic Saint Teresa of Ávila, Ávila
being the name of the town in Spain where she was born.
AVILIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name of unknown meaning. Saint Avilius was a 1st-century patriarch of Alexandria.
AVIS f English
Probably a Latinized form of the Germanic name Aveza
, which was derived from the element avi
, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired"
. The Normans introduced this name to England and it became moderately common during the Middle Ages, at which time it was associated with Latin avis "bird"
AVITUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name that meant "ancestral"
in Latin. This was the name of an emperor who briefly reigned over the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. It was also the name of several saints, including a 6th-century bishop of Vienne.
AVONLEA f English (Rare)
Created by Lucy Maud Montgomery as the setting for her novel Anne of Green Gables
(1908). She may have based the name on the Arthurian island of AVALON
, though it also resembles the river name AVON
AVTANDIL m Georgian, Literature
Created by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for his 12th-century epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin
. Rustaveli based it on Persian آفتاب (aftab)
meaning "sunshine" and دل (del)
meaning "heart". In the poem Avtandil is a knight who is sent by Tinatin
to search for the mysterious knight of the title.