Brenda f English
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
Brendan m Irish, English, Breton
, 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.
Brennan m Irish, English
From an Irish surname derived from Ó Braonáin
meaning "descendant of Braonán"
is a byname meaning "rain, moisture, drop" (with a diminutive suffix).
Brennus m Gaulish (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince"
. Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
Brent m English
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, perhaps derived from a Celtic word meaning "hill"
Brenton m English
From a surname that was derived from an English place name meaning "Bryni's town"
was Old English name meaning "fire".
Břetislav m Czech
Possibly from Czech brečet
"cry, weep" combined with the Slavic element slava
Brett m English
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-).
Briallen f Welsh
Derived from Welsh briallu
. This is a modern Welsh name.
Brian m English, Irish, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
, 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.
Briana f English
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.
Brice m French, English
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.
Bridger m English (Modern)
From an English surname that originally indicated a person who lived near or worked on a bridge.
Bridget f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
meaning "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.
Brielle f English (Modern)
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.
Brígh f Irish
Derived from Irish brígh
meaning "power, high"
Brigham m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from place names meaning "bridge settlement"
in Old English.
Brijesha m Hinduism
Means "ruler of Brij"
in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, Brij being a region associated with him.
Brinley f English (Modern)
From an English surname that was taken from the name of a town meaning "burned clearing"
in Old English.
Briscoe m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "birch wood"
in Old Norse.
Briseis f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from Βρισεύς (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.
Britannia f English (Rare)
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.
Brittany f English
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.... [more]
Britton m English
Derived from a Middle English surname meaning "a Briton"
(a Celt of England) or "a Breton"
(an inhabitant of Brittany).
Brock m English
From a surname that was derived from Old English brocc
Brody m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It probably means "ditch, mire" in Gaelic.
Brogan m & f Irish
Derived from Gaelic bróg "shoe"
combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of several Irish saints, including Saint Patrick
Brokkr m Norse Mythology
in Old Norse. In Norse mythology this was the name of a dwarf, the brother and assistant of Sindri
Brónach f Irish
, derived from Irish Gaelic brón
meaning "sorrow". Saint Brónach was a 6th-century mystic from Ireland.
Bronisław m Polish
Derived from the Slavic elements borna
"protection" and slava
"glory". A famous Polish anthropologist, Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942), has borne this name.
Bronte m & f English (Rare)
From a surname, an Anglicized form of Irish Ó Proinntigh
meaning "descendant of Proinnteach"
. The given name Proinnteach
meant "bestower" in Gaelic. The Brontë sisters - Charlotte, Emily, and Anne - were 19th-century English novelists. Their father changed the spelling of the family surname from Brunty
, possibly to make it coincide with Greek βροντή
Brontes m Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology (according to Hesiod), this was the name of one of the three Cyclopes, who were the sons of Uranus
Bronwen f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements bron
"breast" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
Brook m & f English
From an English surname that denoted one who lived near a brook.
Brooke f English
Variant of Brook
. The name came into use in the 1950s, probably influenced by American socialite Brooke Astor (1902-2007). It was further popularized by actress Brooke Shields (1965-).
Brooklyn f & m English (Modern)
From the name of a borough of New York City, originally named after the Dutch town of Breukelen
, itself meaning either "broken land" (from Dutch breuk
) or "marsh land" (from Dutch broek
). It can also be viewed as a combination of Brook
and the popular name suffix lyn
. It is considered a feminine name in the United States, but is more common as a masculine name in the United Kingdom.
Bror m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Bróðir
Bruce m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, of Norman origin, which probably originally referred to the town of Brix in France. The surname was borne by Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. It has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. A notable bearer is the American musician Bruce Springsteen (1949-).
Brünhild f German (Rare), Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun
"armour, protection" and hild
"battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr
(from the elements bryn
). In Norse legend Brynhildr
was the queen of the valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd
. In the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied
she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther
. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
Bruno m German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Latvian, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element brun "armour, protection"
or brun "brown"
. Saint Bruno of Cologne was a German monk of the 11th century who founded the Carthusian Order. The surname has belonged to Giordano Bruno, a philosopher burned at the stake by the Inquisition.
Brutus m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "heavy"
in Latin. Famous bearers include Lucius Junius Brutus, the traditional founder of the Roman Republic, and Marcus Junius Brutus, the statesman who conspired to assassinate Julius Caesar.
Bryn m & f Welsh, English
Means "hill, mound"
in Welsh. It is now used as a feminine name as well.
Brynhildr f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse cognate of Brünhild
. In the Norse legend the Völsungasaga
Brynhildr was rescued by the hero Sigurd
in the guise of Gunnar
. Brynhildr and Gunnar were married, but when Sigurd's wife Gudrun
let slip that it was in fact Sigurd who had rescued her, Brynhildr plotted against him. She accused Sigurd of taking her virginity, spurring Gunnar to arrange Sigurd's murder.
Brynmor m Welsh
From the Welsh place name Brynmawr
meaning "great hill"
Bryony f English (Rare)
From the name of a type of Eurasian vine, formerly used as medicine. It ultimately derives from Greek βρύω (bryo)
meaning "to swell".
Buck m English
From an English nickname meaning simply "buck, male deer", ultimately from Old English bucc
Buddha m History
in Sanskrit. This is a title applied to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, as well as to a handful of other enlightened individuals.
Buddy m English
From the English word meaning "friend"
. It probably originated as a nursery form of the word brother
Buffy f English
Diminutive of Elizabeth
, from a child's pronunciation of the final syllable. It is now associated with the main character from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Burak m Turkish
From Arabic براق (Buraq)
, the name of the legendary creature that, according to Islamic tradition, transported the Prophet Muhammad
. Its name is derived from Arabic برق (barq)
Burgundy f English (Rare)
This name can refer either to the region in France, the wine (which derives from the name of the region), or the colour (which derives from the name of the wine).
Burke m English
From an English surname that was derived from Old English burg
Burkhard m German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements burg
meaning "protection" and hard
"brave, hardy". Saint Burkhard was a bishop who founded several monasteries in Germany in the 8th century.
Burton m English
From a surname that was originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "fortified town"
. A famous bearer of the surname was Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890), an explorer of Africa and Asia.
Buster m English
Originally a nickname denoting a person who broke things, from the word bust
, a dialectal variant of burst
. A famous bearer was the silent movie star Buster Keaton (1895-1966).
Buz m Biblical
in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Abraham
's brother Nahor
in the Old Testament.
Byelobog m Slavic Mythology
Means "the white god"
from Slavic byelo
"white" and bogu
"god". This was the name of the Slavic god of the sun, happiness and fortune.
Byeong-Ho m Korean
From Sino-Korean 炳 (byeong)
meaning "bright, luminous, glorious" combined with 浩 (ho)
meaning "great, numerous, vast" or 昊 (ho)
meaning "summer, sky, heaven". Other hanja character combinations are possible.
Byron m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "place of the cow sheds"
in Old English. This was the surname of the romantic poet Lord Byron (1788-1824), the writer of Don Juan
and many other works.
Bysshe m English (Rare)
From an English surname, a variant of the surname Bush
, which originally indicated a person who lived near a bush. This was the middle name of the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822).