RA m Egyptian Mythology
in Egyptian. Ra was an important Egyptian sun god originally worshipped in Heliopolis in Lower Egypt. He was usually depicted as a man with the head of a falcon crowned with a solar disc. In later times his attributes were often merged with those of other deities, such as Amon
RAABI'A f Arabic
in Arabic. This name was borne by an 8th-century Sufi mystic from Basra in Iraq.
RACHEL f English, Hebrew, French, German, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name רָחֵל (Rachel)
. In the Old Testament this is the name of the favourite wife of Jacob
. Jacob was tricked by her father Laban
into marrying her older sister Leah
first, though in exchange for seven years of work Laban allowed Jacob to marry Rachel too. Initially barren and facing her husband's anger, she offered her handmaid Bilhah
to Jacob to bear him children. Eventually she was herself able to conceive, becoming the mother of Joseph
RA'D m Arabic
in Arabic. This is the name of the 13th chapter of the Quran (surah ar-Rad).
RADANA f Czech
Derived from the Slavic element rad
meaning "happy, willing"
RADBOUD m Dutch
Derived from the Germanic elements rad
meaning "counsel" and bodo
meaning "command, order".
RADCLIFF m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "red cliff"
in Old English.
RADU m Romanian
Old Romanian diminutive of Slavic names beginning with the element rad "happy, willing"
. This was the name of a 13th-century ruler of Wallachia.
RADÚZ m Czech (Rare)
Derived from the Czech word rád "happy, glad"
. The Czech author Julius Zeyer probably created it for a character in his play Radúz and Mahulena
RAEBURN m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning "stream where does drink"
in Middle English. A famous bearer of the surname was Scottish portrait painter Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823).
RAFE m English
Variant of RALPH
. This form became common during the 17th century, reflecting the usual pronunciation.
RAFFERTY m English
From an Irish surname that was an Anglicized form of Ó Rabhartaigh
meaning "descendant of Rabhartach"
. The given name Rabhartach
means "flood tide".
RAGHU m Hinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a heroic king in Hindu epics, the great-grandfather of Rama
. It is also mentioned as the name of a son of Buddha in Buddhist texts.
RAHAB f Biblical
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a woman of Jericho who helped the Israelites capture the city.
RAHMİ m Turkish
in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic.
RAHUL m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Possibly means "able, efficient"
in Sanskrit. This was the name of a son of Gautama Buddha.
RAIJIN m Japanese Mythology
From Japanese 雷 (rai)
meaning "thunder" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the god (or gods) of thunder and storms in the mythology of Japan.
RAINBOW f English (Rare)
From the English word for the arc of multicoloured light that can appear in a misty sky.
RAINE f & m English (Rare)
Possibly based on the French word reine
. A famous bearer is the British socialite Raine Spencer (1929-), the stepmother of Princess Diana. In modern times it can also be used as a variant of RAIN (1)
or a short form of LORRAINE
RAISA (1) f Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian
Possibly from the Greek name HERAIS
. This was the name of a saint and martyr killed in Alexandria during the early 4th-century persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
RAJ m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "empire, royalty"
, from Sanskrit राज्य (rajya)
RAJA (2) m Urdu, Tamil, Indian, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi, Indonesian
Means "king, ruler"
, from Sanskrit राजन् (rajan)
RAJAB m Arabic
in Arabic. This is the name of the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.
RAJESH m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "ruler of kings"
from Sanskrit राज (raja)
meaning "king" and ईश (isha)
meaning "lord, ruler".
RAJNISH m Indian, Hindi
Means "lord of the night"
from Sanskrit रजनि (rajani)
meaning "night" and ईश (isha)
meaning "lord, ruler". This is another name for the moon in Hindu texts.
RAKHI f Indian, Hindi
From a word for a type of ritual wristband, ultimately from Sanskrit रक्षा (raksha)
RALEIGH m & f English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning either "red clearing" or "roe deer clearing" in Old English. A city in North Carolina bears this name, after the English courtier, poet and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618).
RALPH m English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
Contracted form of the Old Norse name RÁÐÚLFR
(or its Norman form Radulf
). Scandinavian settlers introduced it to England before the Norman Conquest, though afterwards it was bolstered by Norman influence. In the Middle Ages it was usually spelled Ralf
, but by the 17th century it was most commonly Rafe
, reflecting the normal pronunciation. The Ralph
spelling appeared in the 18th century. A famous bearer of the name was Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American poet and author who wrote on transcendentalism.
RALUCA f Romanian
Romanian diminutive of the Greek name Rallou
, of uncertain meaning. It was popularized by the actress Rallou Karatza (1778-1870), a daughter of the prince of Wallachia Ioannis Karatzas, who was of Greek background.
RAM (1) m Biblical
in Hebrew. This was a son of Hezron in the Old Testament.
RAMA (1) m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam
Means "pleasing, beautiful"
in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He is the hero of the Ramayana
, a Hindu epic, which tells of the abduction of his wife Sita
by the demon king Ravana, and his efforts to recapture her.
RAMADAN m Arabic
From the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is derived from Arabic رمض (ramad)
meaning "parchedness, scorchedness". Muslims traditionally fast during this month.
RAMESES m Ancient Egyptian (Anglicized)
From Ῥαμέσσης (Rhamesses)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Ra-msj-sw
meaning "born of Ra"
, composed of the name of the supreme god RA
combined with the Egyptian root mesu
"be born". Rameses was the name of eleven Egyptian kings of the New Kingdom. The most important of these were Rameses II the Great who campaigned against the Hittites and also built several great monuments, and Rameses III who defended Egypt from the Libyans and Sea Peoples.
RAMIRO m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Ramirus
, a Latinized form of a Visigothic name derived from the Germanic elements ragin
"advice" and mari
"famous". Saint Ramirus was a 6th-century prior of the Saint Claudius Monastery in Leon. He and several others were executed by the Arian Visigoths, who opposed orthodox Christianity. This name was subsequently borne by kings of León, Asturias and Aragon.
RAMLAH f Arabic
in Arabic. This was the name of one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad
RAMONA f Spanish, Romanian, English
Feminine form of RAMÓN
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona
(1884), as well as several subsequent movies based on the book.
RAMSEY m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "wild-garlic island"
in Old English.
RAMŪNAS m Lithuanian
Derived from Lithuanian ramus
combined with the patronymic suffix ūnas
RAN f Japanese
From Japanese 蘭 (ran)
meaning "orchid" or other kanji pronounced in the same way.
RANA (1) f Arabic
Means "eye-catching object"
from Arabic رنا (rana)
meaning "to gaze".
RANDOLF m English
From the Germanic elements rand
meaning "rim (of a shield)" and wulf
meaning "wolf". The Normans brought this name to England, where there existed already an Old Norse cognate Randúlfr
, which had been introduced by Scandinavian settlers. Randolf
became rare after the Middle Ages, though it was revived in the 18th century (usually in the spelling Randolph
RANGI m Maori, Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Rangi or Ranginui was a god of the sky, husband of the earth goddess Papa
. They were locked in a crushing embrace but were eventually separated by their children, the other gods.
RANIYA f Arabic
Means "looking at"
, derived from Arabic رنا (rana)
meaning "to gaze".
RANJIT m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali
Means "coloured, pleased, delighted"
in Sanskrit. A famous bearer was Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), the founder of a Sikh kingdom that covered most of the Punjab and Kashmir.
RANULF m Scottish
Scottish form of the Old Norse name Randúlfr
, a cognate of RANDOLF
. Scandinavian settlers and invaders introduced this name to Scotland in the Middle Ages.
RAPHAEL m German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name רָפָאֵל (Rafa'el)
meaning "God heals"
, from the roots רָפָא (rafa')
meaning "to heal" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". In Hebrew tradition Raphael is the name of an archangel. He appears in the Book of Tobit, in which he disguises himself as a man named Azarias
and accompanies Tobias
on his journey to Media, aiding him along the way. In the end he cures Tobias's father Tobit
of his blindness. He is not mentioned in the New Testament, though tradition identifies him with the angel troubling the water in John 5:4
RAPUNZEL f Literature
From the name of an edible plant. It is borne by a long-haired young woman locked in a tower in an 1812 German fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm. An evil sorceress gave her the name after she was taken as a baby from her parents, who had stolen the rapunzel plant from the sorceress's garden. The Grimms adapted the story from earlier tales (which used various names for the heroine).
RAREȘ m Romanian
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Romanian rar
meaning "sparse, rare"
. This name was borne by Petru Rareș, a 16th-century ruler of Moldavia, whose second name was adopted from a nickname of his mother's husband.
RASHID m Arabic
Means "rightly guided"
in Arabic. This transcription represents two different ways of spelling the name in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الرشيد (al-Rashid)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
RASHN m Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Rashnu
. In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata who judged the souls of the dead.
RATHNAIT f Irish
Derived from Irish rath
"grace, prosperity" combined with a diminutive suffix.
RATREE f Thai
From the name of a variety of jasmine flower, the night jasmine, ultimately from a poetic word meaning "night".
RAVEN f & m English
From the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English hræfn
. The raven is revered by several Native American groups of the west coast. It is also associated with the Norse god Odin
RAVI m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
in Sanskrit. Ravi is a Hindu god of the sun, sometimes equated with Surya
. A famous bearer was the musician Ravi Shankar (1920-2012).
RAVID m & f Hebrew
Means "ornament, necklace"
RAVIL m Tatar
Meaning unknown, possibly of Arabic origin.