RIVER m & f English (Modern)
From the English word that denotes a flowing body of water. The word is ultimately derived (via Old French) from Latin ripa
ROALD m Norwegian
Modern form of the Old Norse name Hróðvaldr
, composed of the elements hróðr
"fame" and valdr
"ruler". This name was borne by the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) and the British children's author Roald Dahl (1916-1990), who was born to Norwegian parents.
ROBERT m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Estonian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Romanian, Catalan, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Hrodebert
meaning "bright fame"
, derived from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hreodbeorht
. It has been consistently among the most common English names from the 13th to 20th century. In the United States it was the most popular name for boys between 1924 and 1939 (and again in 1953).... [more]
ROBERTO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of ROBERT
. Saint Roberto Bellarmine was a 16th-century cardinal who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. Another famous bearer was Roberto de Nobili, a Jesuit missionary to India in the 17th century.
ROBIN m & f English, French, Dutch, Swedish
Medieval diminutive of ROBERT
, now usually regarded as an independent name. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.
ROCCO m Italian, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the element hrok
. This was the name of a 14th-century French saint who nursed victims of the plague but eventually contracted the disease himself. He is the patron saint of the sick.
ROCHELLE f English
From the name of the French city La Rochelle
, meaning "little rock"
. It first became commonly used as a given name in America in the 1930s, probably due to the fame of actress Rochelle Hudson (1914-1972) and because of the similarity to the name Rachel
ROCÍO f Spanish
in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary María del Rocío
meaning "Mary of the Dew".
ROCKY m English
Diminutive of ROCCO
and other names beginning with a similar sound, or else a nickname referring to a tough person. This is the name of a boxer played by Sylvester Stallone in the movie Rocky
(1976) and its five sequels.
RODERICK m English, Scottish, Welsh
Means "famous ruler"
from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and ric
"ruler, mighty". This name was in use among the Visigoths; it was borne by their last king (also known as Rodrigo), who died fighting the Muslim invaders of Spain in the 8th century. It also had cognates in Old Norse and West Germanic, and Scandinavian settlers and Normans introduced it to England, though it died out after the Middle Ages. It was revived in the English-speaking world by Sir Walter Scott's poem The Vision of Don Roderick
RODNEY m English
From a surname, originally derived from a place name, which meant "Hroda's island" in Old English (where Hroda
is a Germanic given name meaning "fame"). It was first used as a given name in honour of the British admiral Lord Rodney (1719-1792).
ROGELIO m Spanish
Spanish form of the Late Latin name Rogelius
, which was possibly derived from the name Rogatus
, which was itself derived from Latin rogatus "request"
ROGER m English, French, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch
Means "famous spear"
from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and ger
"spear". The Normans brought this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hroðgar
(the name of the Danish king in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf
). It was a common name in England during the Middle Ages. By the 18th century it was rare, but it was revived in following years. The name was borne by the Norman lords Roger I, who conquered Sicily in the 11th century, and his son Roger II, who ruled Sicily as a king.
ROHAN (2) f Literature
From the novel The Lord of the Rings
(1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, where it is a place name meaning "horse country"
ROKURŌ m Japanese
From Japanese 六 (roku)
meaning "six" and 郎 (rō)
meaning "son". This name was traditionally given to the sixth son. Other combinations of kanji characters can also form this name.
ROLAND m English, French, German, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian, Medieval French
From the Germanic elements hrod
meaning "fame" and landa
meaning "land", though some theories hold that the second element was originally nand
meaning "brave". Roland was a semi-legendary French hero whose story is told in the medieval epic La Chanson de Roland
, in which he is a nephew of Charlemagne
killed in battle with the Saracens. The Normans introduced this name to England.
ROLF m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
From the Germanic name Hrolf
(or its Old Norse cognate Hrólfr
), a contracted form of Hrodulf
). The Normans introduced this name to England but it soon became rare. In the modern era it has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world as a German import.
ROLLO m English
Latinized form of Roul
, the Old French form of ROLF
. Rollo (or Rolf) the Ganger was an exiled Viking who, in the 10th century, became the first Duke of Normandy. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
ROMA (2) f Various
From the name of the Italian city, commonly called Rome
ROMEO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin name Romaeus
meaning "a pilgrim to Rome"
. Romeo is best known as the lover of Juliet
in Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet
ROMI f Hebrew
Means "my height, my exaltation"
RONALD m Scottish, English, Dutch, German
Scottish form of RAGNVALDR
, a name introduced to Scotland by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. It became popular outside Scotland during the 20th century. A famous bearer was American actor and president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).
RONALDO m Portuguese
Portuguese form of RONALD
. A notable bearer is the retired Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (1976-), who is commonly known only by his first name.
RÓNÁN m Irish
Means "little seal"
, derived from Irish rón
"seal" combined with a diminutive suffix.
RONG f & m Chinese
From Chinese 荣 (róng)
meaning "glory, honour, flourish, prosper", 融 (róng)
meaning "fuse, harmonize" or 容 (róng)
meaning "appearance, form" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
RONJA f Swedish
Invented by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren, who based it on the middle portion of Juronjaure
, the name of a lake in Sweden. Lindgren used it in her book Ronia the Robber's Daughter
is the English translation).
RONNE m Frisian
Frisian short form of Germanic names beginning with the element hraban
ROOSEVELT m English
From a Dutch surname meaning "rose field"
. This name is often given in honour of American presidents Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) or Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
RÓRDÁN m Irish
From the older Irish name Ríoghbhardán
, which meant "little poet king"
from Irish Gaelic ríogh
"king" combined with bard
"poet" and a diminutive suffix.
ROSA (1) f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, German, English
Generally this can be considered a Latin form of ROSE
, though originally it may have come from the Germanic name ROZA (2)
. This was the name of a 13th-century saint from Viterbo in Italy. In the English-speaking world it was first used in the 19th century. A famous bearer was civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913-2005).
ROSALBA f Italian
Italian name meaning "white rose"
, derived from Latin rosa
"rose" and alba
"white". A famous bearer was the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757).
ROSALIE f French, German, Dutch, English
French, German and Dutch form of ROSALIA
. In the English-speaking this name received a boost after the release of the movie Rosalie
(1938), which was based on an earlier musical.
ROSALIND f English
Derived from the Germanic elements hros
meaning "horse" and lind
meaning "soft, tender, flexible". The Normans introduced this name to England, though it was not common. During the Middle Ages its spelling was influenced by the Latin phrase rosa linda
"beautiful rose". The name was popularized by Edmund Spencer, who used it in his poetry, and by William Shakespeare, who used it for the heroine in his comedy As You Like It
ROSALINE f English
Medieval variant of ROSALIND
. This is the name of characters in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost
(1594) and Romeo and Juliet
ROSAMUND f English (Rare)
Derived from the Germanic elements hros
"horse" and mund
"protection". The Normans introduced this name to England. It was subsequently influenced by the Latin phrase rosa munda
"pure rose". This was the name of the mistress of Henry II, the king of England in the 12th century. She was possibly murdered by his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
ROSARIO f & m Spanish, Italian
, and is taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora del Rosario
meaning "Our Lady of the Rosary". This name is feminine in Spanish and masculine in Italian.
ROSAURA f Spanish
Means "golden rose"
, derived from Latin rosa
"rose" and aurea
"golden". This name was (first?) used by Pedro Calderón de la Barca for a character in his play Life Is a Dream
ROSCOE m English
From an English surname, originally derived from a place name, itself derived from Old Norse rá
"roebuck" and skógr
ROSE f English, French
Originally a Norman form of the Germanic name Hrodohaidis
meaning "famous type"
, composed of the elements hrod
"fame" and heid
"kind, sort, type". The Normans introduced it to England in the forms Roese
. From an early date it was associated with the word for the fragrant flower rose
(derived from Latin rosa
). When the name was revived in the 19th century, it was probably with the flower in mind.
ROSEMARY f English
Combination of ROSE
. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus
meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
ROSENDO m Spanish
Spanish form of a Visigothic name composed of the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and sinths
"path". This was the name of a 10th-century Galician saint, also known as Rudesind.
ROSINA f Italian
Italian diminutive of ROSA (1)
. This is the name of a character in Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville
ROSS m Scottish, English
From a Scottish and English surname that originally indicated a person from a place called Ross
(such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland), derived from Gaelic ros
meaning "promontory, headland". A famous bearer of the surname was Sir James Clark Ross (1800-1862), an Antarctic explorer.
ROSTAM m Persian, Persian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from Avestan raodha
"to grow" and takhma
"strong, brave, valiant". Rostam was a warrior hero in Persian legend. The 11th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi recorded his tale in the Shahnameh
ROSWELL m English
From a surname that was derived from an Old English place name meaning "horse spring"
ROSWITHA f German
Derived from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and swinth
"strength". This was the name of a 10th-century nun from Saxony who wrote several notable poems and dramas.
ROTEM m & f Hebrew
From the name of a desert plant (species Retama raetam), possibly derived from Hebrew רְתֹם (retom)
meaning "to bind".
ROWAN m & f Irish, English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin
meaning "descendant of RUADHÁN"
. This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree.
ROWENA f English
Meaning uncertain, possibly a Latinized form of a Germanic name derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wunn
"joy, bliss". According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a daughter of the Saxon chief Hengist. Alternatively, Geoffrey may have based it on a Welsh name. It was popularized by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for a character in his novel Ivanhoe
ROXANA f English, Spanish, Romanian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latin form of Ρωξανη (Roxane)
, the Greek form of the Persian or Bactrian name روشنک (Roshanak)
, which meant "bright"
. This was the name of Alexander the Great's first wife, a daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes. In the modern era it came into use during the 17th century. In the English-speaking world it was popularized by Daniel Defoe, who used it in his novel Roxana
ROXELANA f History
From a Turkish nickname meaning "Ruthenian"
. This referred to the region of Ruthenia, covering Belarus, Ukraine and western Russia. Roxelana (1502-1558), also known by the name Hürrem, was a slave and then concubine of Süleyman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. She eventually became his wife and produced his heir, Selim II.
ROY m Scottish, English, Dutch
Anglicized form of RUADH
. A notable bearer was the Scottish outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy (1671-1734). It is often associated with French roi
ROYAL m English
From the English word royal
, derived (via Old French) from Latin regalis
, a derivative of rex
"king". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century.
ROYCE m English
From a surname that was derived from the medieval given name Royse
, a variant of ROSE
ROYDON m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill"
, from Old English ryge
"rye" and dun
ROYLE m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "rye hill"
from Old English ryge
"rye" and hyll
ROYSTON m English (British)
From a surname that was originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "town of Royse"
. The given name Royse
was a medieval variant of ROSE
RU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 儒 (rú)
meaning "scholar", 如 (rú)
meaning "like, as, if", or other characters with similar pronunciations.
RUADH m Irish, Scottish
Gaelic byname meaning "red"
, often a nickname for one with red hair. This was the nickname of the Scottish outlaw Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor (1671-1734), known as Rob Roy in English.
RUAIDHRÍ m Irish
Means "red king"
from Irish ruadh
"red" combined with rí
"king". This was the name of the last high king of Ireland, reigning in the 12th century.
RUARC m Irish
Probably an Irish form of HRŒREKR
, introduced by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. Alternatively it may be derived from Irish ruarc
RUBAB f Arabic
From an Arabic word referring to a type of stringed musical instrument. This was the name of the wife of the Prophet Muhammad
's grandson Husayn