BLÁTHNATfIrish, Irish Mythology
Means "little flower" from the Irish word blath
"flower" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend she was a maiden abducted and married by Cú Roí. She was rescued by Cúchulainn
, who killed her husband, but she was in turn murdered by one of Cú Roí's loyal servants.
Possibly from a Turkic root meaning "wise". According to other theories the name was of Gothic origin, or was a Gothicized form of a Hunnic name. This was the name of the brother of Attila.
From Welsh blaidd
"wolf" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an 11th-century king of Gwynedd and Powys.
BLODEUWEDDfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "face of flowers" in Welsh. In a story in the Mabinogion, she is created out of flowers by Gwydion
to be the wife of his nephew Lleu
Llaw Gyffes. She is eventually changed into an owl for her infidelity.
Means "white flowers" from Welsh blodau
"flowers" combined with gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
From a nickname for a person with blond hair. This is the name of the title character in a comic strip by Chic Young.
From the English word blossom
, ultimately from Old English blóstm
. It came into use as a rare given name in the 19th century.
BO (1)mSwedish, Danish
From the Old Norse byname Búi
which was derived from Old Norse bua
meaning "to live".
BO (2)m & fChinese
From Chinese 波 (bō)
meaning "wave", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
Short form of ROBERT
. It arose later than Dob
, which were medieval rhyming nicknames of Robert. It was borne by the character Bob Cratchit in Charles Dickens' novel 'A Christmas Carol' (1843). Other famous bearers include American folk musician Bob Dylan (1941-) and Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).
Diminutive of BOB
. Hockey greats Bobby Hull (1939-) and Bobby Orr (1948-) have borne this name.
Means "buttercup" in Hungarian, derived from the archaic word boglár
Means "glory of God" from the Slavic elements bogu
"god" and slava
"glory". This name was borne by several dukes of Pomerania, beginning in the 12th century.
From a Turkic word meaning "steel", ultimately from Persian.
Derived from the Slavic elements bolye
"more, greater" and slava
"glory". This was the name of kings of Poland, starting in the 11th century with the first Polish king Bolesław the Brave.
BOLÍVARmSpanish (Latin American)
From a surname which was taken from the Basque place name Bolibar
, which was derived from bolu
"mill" and ibar
"riverside". A famous bearer of the surname was Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), a South American revolutionary leader, after whom the country of Bolivia is named.
Means "good fortune" in Italian. Saint Bonaventura was a 13th-century Franciscan monk who is considered a Doctor of the Church.
BONIFACEmFrench, English (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Bonifatius
, which meant "good fate" from bonum
"good" and fatum
"fate". This was the name of nine popes and also several saints, including an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon missionary to Germany (originally named Winfrid) who is now regarded as the patron saint of that country. It came into use in England during the Middle Ages, but became rare after the Protestant Reformation.
Means "pretty" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin bonus
"good". It has been used as a name in the English-speaking world since the beginning of the 20th century.
Derived from a diminutive of Latin bonus
meaning "good". This was the name of a 7th-century century saint, a bishop of Auvergne.
Means "pretty" from the Scottish word bonnie
, which was itself derived from Middle French bon
"good". It has been in use as an American given name since the 19th century, and it became especially popular after the movie 'Gone with the Wind' (1939), in which it was the nickname of Scarlett's daughter.
From an English occupational surname meaning "maker of books". A famous bearer was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), an African-American leader.
Means "flower" in Khmer, ultimately from Pali.
Short form of names containing bor
, such as BORISLAV
. It is also a South Slavic word meaning "pine tree".
Means "storm, squall" in Turkish, ultimately related to Greek Βορεας (Boreas)
, the name of the god of the north wind.
BORISmBulgarian, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Georgian, German
From the Turkic name Bogoris
, perhaps meaning "short" or "wolf" or "snow leopard". It was borne by the 9th-century King Boris I of Bulgaria who converted his country to Christianity, as well as two later Bulgarian emperors. The name was popularized in the Slavic world due to the 11th-century Saint Boris, who was a Russian prince martyred with his brother Gleb. His mother may have been Bulgarian. Another famous bearer was the 16th-century Russian emperor Boris Godunov, later the subject of a play of that name by Aleksandr Pushkin.
Derived from the Slavic elements borti
"battle" and voji
"soldier". This name was borne by a 9th-century duke of Bohemia.
BOUDICCAfAncient Celtic (Latinized)
Derived from Brythonic boud
meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide. Her name is first recorded in Roman histories, as Boudicca
by Tacitus and Βουδουικα (Boudouika)
by Cassius Dio.
From a surname which was derived from Old French bois
From a Scottish surname which was possibly derived from the name of the island of Bute.
Originally a diminutive of names containing the Slavic element boji
Short form of BRADLEY
, and other names beginning with Brad
. A famous bearer is American actor Brad Pitt (1963-).
Possibly derived from a Gaelic word meaning "large-chested".
From a surname which originally came from a place name that meant "broad ford" in Old English.
From a surname which originally came from a place name meaning "broad clearing" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the World War II American general Omar Bradley (1893-1981).
Means "growth, expansion, creation" in Sanskrit. The Hindu god Brahma is the creator and director of the universe, the balance between the opposing forces of Vishnu
. He is often depicted with four heads and four arms.
Short form of ABRAHAM
. This name was borne by Bram Stoker (1847-1912), the Irish author who wrote 'Dracula'.
BRAN (2)mWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "raven" in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "hill covered with broom" in Old English. It is sometimes also used as a variant of BRENDAN
From the English word brandy
for the alcoholic drink. It is ultimately from Dutch brandewijn
"burnt wine". It has been in use as a given name since the 1960s.
From a surname, an Americanized form of the German surname Brändle
, ultimately from Old High German brant
BRANWENfWelsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven" from Welsh bran
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
From a surname which was originally derived from an Old English place name meaning "Bracca's town".
Short form of names containing brecht
, often derived from the Germanic element beraht
Meaning unknown. It was used by the Slovene author Ivan Pregelj for the title character in his novel 'Mlada Breda' (1913).
Possibly a feminine form of the Old Norse name Brandr
, meaning "sword", which was brought to Britain in the Middle Ages. This name is sometimes used as a feminine form of BRENDAN
, the Latinized form of the Irish name Bréanainn
which was derived from a Welsh word meaning "prince". Saint Brendan was a 6th-century Irish abbot who, according to legend, crossed the Atlantic and reached North America with 17 other monks.
From an Irish surname derived from Ó Braonáin
meaning "descendant of Braonán". Braonán
is a byname meaning "rain, moisture, drop" (with a diminutive suffix).
BRENNUSmAncient Celtic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince" or "raven". Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, perhaps derived from a Celtic word meaning "hill".
From a surname which was derived from an English place name which meant "Bryni's town". Bryni
was Old English name meaning "fire".
BRETTm & fEnglish
From a Middle English surname meaning "a Breton", referring to an inhabitant of Brittany. A famous bearer is the American football quarterback Brett Favre (1969-).
Derived from Welsh briallu
meaning "primrose". This is a modern Welsh name.
BRIANmEnglish, Irish, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble". It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
Feminine form of BRIAN
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in 'The Faerie Queene' (1590). The name was not commonly used until the 1970s, when it rapidly became popular in the United States.
From the name Bricius
, which was probably a Latinized form of a Gaulish name meaning "speckled". This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a disciple of Saint Martin of Tours.
From an English surname which originally indicated a person who lived near or worked on a bridge.
BRIDGETfIrish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
which means "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
Short form of GABRIELLE
. This is also the name of towns in the Netherlands and New Jersey, though their names derive from a different source.
Derived from Irish brígh
meaning "power, high".
From a surname which was originally derived from place names meaning "bridge settlement" in Old English.
Means "ruler of Brij" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, Brij being a region associated with him.
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "birch wood" in Old Norse.
Patronymic derived from Βρισευς (Briseus)
, a Greek name of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology Briseis (real name Hippodameia) was the daughter of Briseus. She was captured during the Trojan War by Achilles
. After Agamemnon
took her away from him, Achilles refused to fight in the war.
From the Latin name of the island of Britain, in occasional use as an English given name since the 18th century. This is also the name of the Roman female personification of Britain pictured on some British coins.
From the name of the region in the northwest of France, called in French Bretagne
. It was named for the Britons who settled there after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the invasions of the Anglo-Saxons. As a given name, it first came into common use in America in the 1970s.
Derived from a Middle English surname meaning "a Briton" (a Celt of England) or "a Breton" (an inhabitant of Brittany).
From a surname which was derived from Old English brocc
From a surname which was originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It probably means "ditch, mire" in Gaelic.
BROGANm & fIrish
Derived from Gaelic bróg
"shoe" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of several Irish saints, including Saint Patrick
Derived from Irish Gaelic brón
meaning "sorrow". Saint Brónach was a 6th-century mystic from Ireland.
Derived from the Slavic elements borna
"protection" and slava
"glory". A famous Polish anthropologist, Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942), has borne this name.