ABITAL f Biblical
Means "my father is the night dew"
in Hebrew. She is the fifth wife of David
in the Old Testament.
ASRA f Arabic
Means "travel at night"
in Arabic. It is related to Isra
BLAKE m English
From a surname that was derived from Old English blæc "black"
or blac "pale"
. A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).
BLAKELY f English (Modern)
From a surname that was derived from Old English blæc
"black" and leah
CHERNOBOG m Slavic Mythology
Means "the black god"
from Slavic cherno
"black" and bogu
"god". Chernobog was the Slavic god of darkness, evil and grief.
CIAR m Irish
Derived from Irish ciar
COLBY m English
From a surname, originally from various English place names, derived from the Old Norse nickname Koli
(meaning "coal, dark") and býr
DONNDUBHÁN m Ancient Irish
Composed of the Irish element donn
"brown" combined with dubh
"dark" and a diminutive suffix.
DOUGAL m Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Dubhghall
, which meant "dark stranger"
"dark" and gall
DOUGLAS m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of the Scottish surname Dubhghlas
, meaning "dark river"
from Gaelic dubh
"dark" and glais
"water, river" (an archaic word related to glas
"grey, green"). Douglas was originally a place name (for example, a tributary of the River Clyde), which then became a Scottish clan name borne by a powerful line of earls. It has been used as a given name since the 16th century.
DUBHÁN m Irish
Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" combined with a diminutive suffix.
DUBHSHLÁINE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" and either slán
"defiance" or Sláine
, the Irish name of the River Slaney.
DUBHTHACH m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" in combination with a second element of unknown meaning.
DUNSTAN m English (Rare), Anglo-Saxon
From the Old English elements dunn
"dark" and stan
"stone". This name was borne by a 10th-century saint, the archbishop of Canterbury. It was occasionally used in the Middle Ages, though it died out after the 16th century. It was revived by the Tractarian movement in the 19th century.
FEARDORCHA m Irish
Means "dark man"
from Irish fear
"man" and dorcha
FERRER m Various
From a surname that meant "blacksmith"
in Catalan. This name is often given in honour of Saint Vicente Ferrer, a 14th-century missionary who is the patron saint of builders.
GARNET (1) f English
From the English word garnet
for the precious stone, the birthstone of January. The word is derived from Middle English gernet
meaning "dark red".
ISRA f Arabic
Means "nocturnal journey"
, derived from Arabic سرى (sara)
meaning "to travel at night".
KALI (1) f & m Hinduism, Bengali, Tamil
Means "the black one"
in Sanskrit. The Hindu goddess Kali is the fierce destructive form of the wife of Shiva
. She is usually depicted with black skin and four arms, holding a severed head and brandishing a sword. As a personal name, it is generally masculine in India.
KARA (2) m Ottoman Turkish
Means "black, dark"
in Turkish. This was sometimes used as a byname by Ottoman officials, figuratively meaning "courageous".
KRISHNA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
LAMYA f Arabic
Means "having beautiful dark lips"
LAYLA f Arabic, English
in Arabic. Layla was the love interest of the poet Qays
(called Majnun) in an old Arab tale, notably retold by the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi in his poem Layla and Majnun
. This story was a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song Layla
by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.
LI (1) f & m Chinese
From Chinese 理 (lǐ)
meaning "reason, logic", 立 (lì)
meaning "stand, establish", 黎 (lí)
meaning "black, dawn", 力 (lì)
meaning "power, capability, influence" (which is usually only masculine) or 丽 (lì)
meaning "beautiful" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
LILITH f Semitic Mythology, Judeo-Christian Legend
Derived from Akkadian lilitu
meaning "of the night"
. This was the name of a demon in ancient Assyrian myths. In Jewish tradition she was Adam
's first wife, sent out of Eden and replaced by Eve
because she would not submit to him. The offspring of Adam (or Samael
) and Lilith were the evil spirits of the world.
LONÁN m Irish
Means "little blackbird"
, derived from Irish Gaelic lon
"blackbird" combined with a diminutive suffix.
MAURUS m Late Roman
Latin name meaning "dark-skinned, Moorish"
. This was the name of numerous early saints, most notably a follower of Saint Benedict.
MELANIE f English, German, Dutch
, the French form of the Latin name Melania
, derived from Greek μέλαινα (melaina)
meaning "black, dark"
. This was the name of a Roman saint who gave all her wealth to charity in the 5th century. Her grandmother was also a saint with the same name.... [more]
MERLE f & m English
Variant of MERRILL
. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle
meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula
MIYAKO f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful", 夜 (ya)
meaning "night" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". This name can be formed from other combinations of kanji as well.
NIGEL m English
, a medieval Latinized form of NEIL
. It was commonly associated with Latin niger "black"
. It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to Sir Walter Scott's novel The Fortunes of Nigel
NYX f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
ORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night"
. In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
PHILOMEL f Literature
From an English word meaning "nightingale"
(ultimately from PHILOMELA
). It has been used frequently in poetry to denote the bird.
PHOENIX m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird that appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοῖνιξ (phoinix)
meaning "dark red".
POMARE m & f Tahitian
Means "night cough"
, from Tahitian po
"night" and mare
"cough". This name was borne by four kings and a queen of Tahiti. The first king adopted the name after his child died of a cough in the night.
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.
RATREE f Thai
From the name of a variety of jasmine flower, the night jasmine, ultimately from a poetic word meaning "night".
SABLE f English (Modern)
From the English word meaning "black"
, derived from the name of the black-furred mammal native to Northern Asia, ultimately of Slavic origin.
SHYAMA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit श्याम (shyama)
meaning "dark, black, blue"
. This is a transcription of the masculine form श्याम
, which is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, as well as the feminine form श्यामा
, one of the many names of the wife of the god Shiva
. It is also the name of a Jain goddess.
SIAVASH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "possessing black stallions"
in Avestan. This is the name of a prince in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
SMITH m English
From an English surname meaning "metal worker, blacksmith"
, derived from Old English smitan
"to smite, to hit". It is the most common surname in most of the English-speaking world.
SULLIVAN m English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Súileabháin
meaning "descendant of Súileabhán"
. The name Súileabhán
means "little dark eye" in Irish.
SUNIL m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
From Sanskrit सु (su)
meaning "good, very" combined with नील (nila)
meaning "dark blue".
TARIEL m Literature, Georgian
Created by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for his 12th-century epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin
. He may have based it on Persian تاجور (tajvar)
meaning "king" or تار (tar)
meaning "dark, obscure" combined with یل (yal)
meaning "hero". In the poem Tariel, the titular knight who wears a panther skin, is an Indian prince who becomes a companion of Avtandil
TINUVIEL f Literature
in Sindarin. In the Silmarillion
(1977) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Tinuviel was the daughter of Thingol the elf king and the beloved of Beren, who with her help retrieved one of the Silmarils from the iron crown of Morgoth.
ZELOPHEHAD m Biblical
Possibly means either "first born"
or "shadow from terror"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Zelophehad is a man who dies while the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness, leaving five daughters as heirs.