Originally a short form of names starting with the Germanic element badu
BA'ALmSemitic Mythology, Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew form of Semitic ba'l
meaning "lord, master, possessor". This was the title of various deities, often associated with storms and fertility, who were worshipped by the Canaanites, Phoenicians, and other peoples of the ancient Near East. It was particularly applied to the god Hadad
BA'AL HAMMONmSemitic Mythology
From Semitic ba'l
meaning "lord" prefixing another word of uncertain meaning. This was the name of the supreme god worshipped in the Phoenician city of Carthage, alongside his consort Tanith
BABAKmPersian, Ancient Persian
Means "little father" in Persian. This was the name of the father of Ardashir, the founder of the Sassanid Empire in Persia. It was also borne by the 9th-century resistance leader Babak Khorramdin.
From a Persian word meaning "tiger". This was the nickname of Zahir ud-Din Muhammad, the 16th-century founder of the Mughal Empire in India.
BABYLASmLate Greek, French (Rare)
Derived from the name of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon. Saint Babylas was a 3rd-century patriarch of Antioch who was martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius.
Latinized form of a Persian name of unknown meaning. Saint Bademus was a 4th-century Persian martyr who was a victim of Shapur II's persecutions.
Short form of ALBAER
and other Limburgish names ending in baer
, often derived from the Germanic element beraht
Old Persian name derived from baga
"god" and data
"given". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Persian satrap under the Seleucid Empire.
Derived from Turkmen bahar
meaning "spring" and gül
meaning "flower, rose" (both roots ultimately of Persian origin).
BAHMANmPersian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Vohu Manah
meaning "good mind". This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with domestic animals. It is also the name of the eleventh month in the Iranian calendar.
BAHRAMmPersian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Verethragna
meaning "victory over resistance". This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with victory and war. This name was borne by several Sassanid emperors. It is also the Persian name for the planet Mars.
BAIm & fChinese
From Chinese 白 (bái)
meaning "white, pure", 百 (bǎi)
meaning "one hundred, many" or 柏 (bǎi)
meaning "cypress tree, cedar" (which is usually only masculine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well. This name was borne in the 8th century by the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, whose given was 白
BAILEYm & fEnglish
From a surname derived from Middle English baili
meaning "bailiff", originally denoting one who was a bailiff.
Turkish form of BAQIR
. This name is spelled with a Turkish dotless i
, as Bakır
Means "young camel" in Arabic. Abu Bakr
was a father-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad
and the first caliph of the Muslim world.
BALA (1)m & fHinduism, Tamil
Means "young" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form बाल
and the feminine form बाला
(a minor Hindu goddess).
Means "god of strength" from Sanskrit बल (bala)
meaning "strength" combined with देव (deva)
meaning "god". Baladeva (also called Balarama) is the name of the older brother of the Hindu god Krishna
Roman cognomen which meant "stammerer" in Latin. This was a family name of the mother of Emperor Augustus, Atia Balba Caesonia.
Means "prince" from Old Norse. In Norse mythology Balder was the son of Odin
. Because of the disturbing dreams he had when he was young, his mother extracted an oath from every thing in the world that it would not harm him. However the evil fire god Loki
learned that she had overlooked mistletoe. Being jealous, he tricked the blind god Hoder into throwing a branch of mistletoe at Balder, which killed him.
Derived from the Germanic elements bald
"bold, brave" and ric
"power, rule". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it was common in the Middle Ages.
BALDWINmEnglish, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements bald
"bold, brave" and win
"friend". In the Middle Ages this was a popular name in Flanders and among the Normans, who brought it to Britain. It was borne by one of the leaders of the First Crusade, an 11th-century nobleman from Flanders. After the crusaders conquered Jerusalem, he was crowned as the king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
From a Scottish surname, originally from various place names, which meant "village pasture" in Gaelic.
Variant of BELSHAZZAR
. Balthazar is the name traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who visited the newborn Jesus
. He was said to have come from Arabia.
Derived from Italian bambina
meaning "young girl". The American novelist Marjorie Benton Cooke used it in her novel 'Bambi' (1914). This was also the name of a male deer in a cartoon by Walt Disney, which was based on a 1923 novel by Swiss author Felix Salten.
BAOf & mChinese
From Chinese 宝 (bǎo)
meaning "treasure, jewel, precious, rare", 褒 (bāo)
meaning "praise, honour" or 苞 (bāo)
meaning "bud" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are possible as well.
Means "baptist" in French, originally deriving from Greek βαπτω (bapto)
"to dip". This name is usually given in honour of Saint John the Baptist, and as such it is often paired with the name Jean
Means "eternal" in Arabic. This was the pen name of a 16th-century Turkish poet.
Means "to rip open" in Arabic. Muhammad al-Baqir was the fifth imam of the Shia Muslims.
Alternate transcription of Arabic باراك
(see BARAK (2)
). A famous bearer is former American president Barack Obama (1961-), who was named after his Kenyan father.
BARBARAfEnglish, Italian, French, German, Polish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Late Roman
Derived from Greek βαρβαρος (barbaros)
meaning "foreign". According to legend, Saint Barbara was a young woman killed by her father Dioscorus, who was then killed by a bolt of lightning. She is the patron of architects, geologists, stonemasons and artillerymen. Because of her renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was revived in the 19th century.
BARCLAYmScottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname which was likely derived from the English place name Berkeley
, meaning "birch wood" in Old English.
Norwegian form of the Old Norse name Bárðr
, which was derived from the elements baðu
"battle" and friðr
Meaning unknown. In Christian legends Barlaam (recorded as Greek Βαρλααμ
) was a 3rd-century hermit who converted Josaphat, the son of an Indian king, to Christianity. The story is based on that of the Buddha. This name was also borne by two saints.
BARNABASmGerman (Rare), English (Rare), Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Greek form of an Aramaic name. In Acts in the New Testament the byname Barnabas was given to a man named Joseph
, a Jew from Cyprus who was a companion of Paul
on his missionary journeys. The original Aramaic form is unattested, but it may be from בּר נביא (bar naviya')
meaning "son of the prophet", though in Acts 4:36 it is claimed that the name means "son of encouragement". As an English name, it came into occasional use after the 12th century.
From a surname probably meaning "strife" in Middle English, originally given to a quarrelsome person.
Means "fair hair", derived from Gaelic barr
"head" and fionn
From Βαρθολομαιος (Bartholomaios)
, which was the Greek form of an Aramaic name meaning "son of TALMAI
". In the New Testament Bartholomew
is the byname of an apostle, possibly the same person as the apostle Nathanael
. According to tradition he was a missionary to India before returning westward to Armenia, where he was martyred by flaying. Due to the popularity of this saint the name became common in England during the Middle Ages.
Means "blessed" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a companion of the prophet Jeremiah, acting as his scribe and assistant. The deuterocanonical Book of Baruch was supposedly written by him. A famous bearer was Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), a Dutch-Jewish rationalist philosopher.
Means "lord of the woods" from Basque baso
"woods" and jaun
"lord". This is the name of a character in Basque folklore, the Old Man of the Woods.
Means "ear of wheat" in Turkish. This is also the Turkish name for the constellation Virgo.
From the Greek name Βασιλειος (Basileios)
which was derived from βασιλευς (basileus)
meaning "king". Saint Basil the Great was a 4th-century bishop of Caesarea and one of the fathers of the early Christian church. Due to him, the name (in various spellings) has come into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was also borne by two Byzantine emperors.
Means "wise" in Arabic. In Islamic tradition البصير (al-Basir)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
Possibly means "fire, heat" or "ointment jar" in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology Bast was a goddess of cats, fertility and the sun who was considered a protector of Lower Egypt. She was often depicted with the head of a lioness or a house cat. As her role in the Egyptian pantheon diminished, she was called Bastet
Variant of BAST
. This form of the name, a diminutive, was given to her after the similar goddess Sekhmet (protector of Upper Egypt) became more important.
Means "daughter of the oath" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a woman married to Uriah
the Hittite. King David
seduced her and made her pregnant, so he arranged to have her husband killed in battle and then married her. She was the mother of Solomon
BATRAZmOssetian, Caucasian Mythology
Possibly from Turkic bagatur
meaning "hero, warrior, brave". This is the name of the leader of the superhuman Narts in Caucasian mythology.
Means "virgin" in Arabic. This is an Arabic epithet of the Virgin Mary
, a Latinized form of a possibly Germanic name. Saint Baudelius was a 3rd-century saint and martyr from Orleans.
From an occupational surname which meant "(female) baker" in Old English.
Derived from Old French baiart
meaning "bay coloured". In medieval French poetry Bayard was a bay horse owned by Renaud de Montauban and his brothers. The horse could magically adjust its size to carry multiple riders.
BEATRICEfItalian, English, Swedish
Italian form of BEATRIX
. Beatrice Portinari (1266-1290) was the woman who was loved by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. She serves as Dante's guide through paradise in his epic poem the 'Divine Comedy' (1321). This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599), in which Beatrice and Benedick are fooled into confessing their love for one another.
BEATRIXfGerman, Hungarian, Dutch, English, Late Roman
Probably from Viatrix
, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator
which meant "voyager, traveller". It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus
"blessed, happy". Viatrix or Beatrix was a 4th-century saint who was strangled to death during the persecutions of Diocletian.... [more]
Masculine form of BEATA
. According to legend, Saint Beatus was ordained a priest by Saint Peter
and evangelized in Switzerland. Another saint by this name was an 8th-century Asturian theologian.
Means "beautiful" in French. It has been occasionally used as an American given name since the late 19th century. It appears in Margaret Mitchell's novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936) as the name of Ashley and Melanie's son.
BÉBINNfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair lady" in Irish Gaelic. This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including a goddess of childbirth.
From an English surname which could be derived from various sources, including from Middle English beke
meaning "beak" or bekke
meaning "stream, brook".
Modern form of the Old English name Baeda
, possibly related to Old English bed
"prayer". Saint Bede, called the Venerable Bede, was an 8th-century historian, scholar and Doctor of the Church.
BEDIVEREmWelsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Bedwyr
, which is of unknown meaning. In Arthurian legends Bedivere was one of the original companions of King Arthur
. He first appears in early Welsh tales, and his story was later expanded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. He is the one who throws the sword Excalibur into the lake at the request of the dying Arthur.
From the archaic Albanian word behar
Means "reputable" (literally "good name") in Persian.
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. It could be derived from Hungarian bél
meaning "guts, bowel" or Slavic бѣлъ (belu)
meaning "white". This was the name of four Hungarian kings.
Derived from the old Slavic word белъ (belu)
Spanish form of Bethlehem
, the name of the town in Judah where King David
were born. The town's name is from Hebrew בֵּית־לֶחֶם (Beit-lechem)
meaning "house of bread".
Probably from a Celtic word meaning "bright, brilliant". This was the name of a Gaulish solar god who was often equated with Apollo
Probably a Welsh derivative of BELENUS
. Beli Mawr was a Welsh ancestor deity who established several royal lines in Wales.
BELIALmBiblical, Biblical Latin, Judeo-Christian Legend
Means "worthless" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this term is used to refer to various wicked people. In the New Testament, Paul uses it as a name for Satan. In later Christian tradition Belial became an evil angel associated with lawlessness and lust.
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. The first element could be related to Italian bella
"beautiful". The second element could be Germanic lind
meaning "flexible, soft, tender" (and by extension "snake, serpent"). This name first arose in the 17th century, and was subsequently used by Alexander Pope in his poem 'The Rape of the Lock' (1712).
Short form of ISABELLA
and other names ending in bella
. It is also associated with the Italian word bella
Means "female warrior" in Latin. This is the name of the star that marks the left shoulder of the constellation Orion.
Short form of ISABELLA
or names ending in belle
. It is also associated with the French word belle
meaning "beautiful". A famous bearer was Belle Starr (1848-1889), an outlaw of the American west, whose real given name was Maybelle.
Derived from Latin bellare
meaning "to fight". This was the name of the Roman goddess of war, a companion of Mars
Combination of belle
"beautiful" and the name PHOEBE
. This name was first used by Edmund Spenser in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
BELSHAZZARmBabylonian (Anglicized), Biblical
From בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר (Belshatzzar)
, the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Bel-sharra-usur
protect the king". This was the name of the son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Babylonian Empire before it was conquered by the Persians in the 6th century BC. In the Old Testament Book of Daniel Belshazzar is the last king of Babylon who sees the mystical handwriting on the wall, which is interpreted by Daniel to portend the end of the empire.