ABBÁN m Irish
Means "little abbot"
, derived from Irish abb
"abbot" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint, the son of King Cormac of Leinster.
ADVA f Hebrew
Means "small wave, ripple"
ALAN m English, Scottish, Breton, French
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. It was used in Brittany at least as early as the 6th century, and it possibly means either "little rock"
in Breton. Alternatively, it may derive from the tribal name of the Alans, an Iranian people who migrated into Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries.... [more]
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
meaning "little fire"
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
ATTILA m History, Hungarian
Possibly means "little father"
from Gothic atta
"father" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 5th-century leader of the Huns, a nomadic people from Central Asia who had expanded into Eastern Europe by the 4th century. Attila
was the name given to him by his Gothic-speaking subjects in Eastern Europe; his real name may have been Avithohol.
AULUS m Ancient Roman
Possibly from Latin avulus
meaning "little grandfather"
, though it could be from the Etruscan name Aule
, which was possibly derived from avils
meaning "years". This was a Roman praenomen, or given name. Folk etymology connects it to Latin aula
BABAK m Persian, Ancient Persian
Means "little father"
in Persian. This was the name of the father of Ardashir, the founder of the Sassanid Empire in Persia. It was also borne by the 9th-century resistance leader Babak Khorramdin.
BLÁTHNAT f Irish, 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.
BORIS m Bulgarian, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak, Georgian, German
From the Turkic name Bogoris
, perhaps meaning "short"
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.
CALIGULA m History
Means "little boot"
in Latin. This was a nickname for the Roman emperor Gaius Caesar Germanicus given to him in his youth by his father's soldiers.
CINDERELLA f Literature
Means "little ashes"
, in part from the French name Cendrillon
. This is the main character in the folk tale Cinderella
about a maltreated young woman who eventually marries a prince. This old story is best known in the English-speaking world from the French author Charles Perrault's 1697 version. She has other names in other languages, usually with the meaning "ashes", such as German Aschenputtel
and Italian Cenerentola
CONAN m Irish
Means "little wolf"
or "little hound"
from Irish cú
"wolf, hound" combined with a diminutive suffix. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was the author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery stories.
COSETTE f French, Literature
From French chosette
meaning "little thing"
. This is the nickname of the illegitimate daughter of Fantine in Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables
(1862). Her real name is Euphrasie
, though it is seldom used. In the novel young Cosette is the ward of the cruel Thénardiers until she is retrieved by Jean Valjean.
COURTNEY f & m English
From an aristocratic English surname that was derived either from the French place name Courtenay
(originally a derivative of the personal name Curtenus
, itself derived from Latin curtus
"short") or else from a Norman nickname meaning "short nose". As a feminine name in America, it first became popular during the 1970s.
CROFTON m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "town with a small enclosed field"
in Old English.
CUÁN m Irish
Means "little wolf"
or "little hound"
from the Irish element cú
meaning "wolf, hound" combined with a diminutive suffix.
FAOLÁN m Irish
Means "little wolf"
, derived from Gaelic fáel
"wolf" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an Irish saint who did missionary work in Scotland.
FECHÍN m Irish
Means "little raven"
from Irish fiach
"raven" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an Irish saint of the 7th century who died of the yellow plague.
FEMKE f Dutch, Frisian
Diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element frid
"peace". It also coincides with a Frisian word meaning "little girl".
FISHEL m Yiddish
Means "little fish"
in Yiddish, a diminutive of פֿיש (fish)
FRAUKE f German
Means "little lady"
, derived from German frau
combined with a diminutive suffix.
GARBHÁN m Irish
Means "little rough one"
from Irish garbh
"rough" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint.
GOBÁN m Irish
Either means "little smith"
from Irish gobha
"smith" combined with a diminutive suffix, or else derived from the name of the Irish god GOIBNIU
(which is also a derivative of gobha
JOKTAN m Biblical
in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Eber in the Old Testament.
JUNAYD m Arabic
Means "small army"
, derived from Arabic جند (jund)
meaning "army, soldiers".
KETUT m & f Balinese
Possibly from a Balinese word meaning "small banana"
. This name is traditionally given to the fourth child.
KOHARU f Japanese
From Japanese 小 (ko)
meaning "small" or 心 (ko)
meaning "heart" combined with 春 (haru)
meaning "spring". The compound word 小春
means "late summer". Other combinations of kanji characters can form this name as well.
LOGAN m & f Scottish, English
From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow"
in Scottish Gaelic.
LOMMÁN m Irish
Means "little bare one"
, derived from Irish Gaelic lomm
"bare" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a nephew of Saint Patrick
LONÁN m Irish
Means "little blackbird"
, derived from Irish Gaelic lon
"blackbird" combined with a diminutive suffix.
LORCÁN m Irish
Means "little fierce one"
, derived from Irish Gaelic lorcc
"fierce" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 12th-century archbishop of Dublin.
LUMINIȚA f Romanian
Means "little light"
, derived from Romanian lumina
"light" combined with a diminutive suffix.
MAIMU f Estonian
in Estonian. This is the name of a girl in the story Maimu
(1889) by the Estonian writer August Kitzberg.
MAINCHÍN m Irish
Means "little monk"
, derived from Irish manach
"monk" combined with a diminutive suffix.
MUADHNAIT f Irish
Means "little noble one"
, derived from Irish muadh
"noble, good" combined with a diminutive suffix.
NAOMHÁN m Irish, Scottish
Means "little saint"
, derived from Irish naomh
"saint" combined with a diminutive suffix.
NINA (1) f Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Belarusian
Short form of names that end in nina
, such as ANTONINA
. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also nearly coincides with the Spanish word niña
meaning "little girl"
ODHARNAIT f Irish
Means "little pale green one"
, derived from Irish odhra
"pale green, sallow" combined with a diminutive suffix.
ODHRÁN m Irish
Means "little pale green one"
, derived from Irish odhra
"pale green, sallow" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a saint who travelled with Saint Columba through Scotland.
OISÍN m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "little deer"
, derived from Irish os
"deer" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend Oisín was a warrior hero and a poet, the son of Fionn
PAIGE f English
From an English surname meaning "servant, page"
in Middle English. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδίον (paidion)
meaning "little boy".
PAUL m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus
, which meant "small"
in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus
appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul
. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.... [more]
REGULUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "prince, little king"
, a diminutive of Latin rex
"king". This was the cognomen of several 3rd-century BC consuls from the gens Atilia. It was also the name of several early saints. A star in the constellation Leo bears this name as well.
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
RÓNÁN m Irish
Means "little seal"
, derived from Irish rón
"seal" combined with a diminutive suffix.
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.
RUMPELSTILTSKIN m Literature
From German Rumpelstilzchen
, possibly from German rumpeln
meaning "make noise" and Stelze
meaning "stilt", combined with the diminutive suffix -chen
. It has been suggested that it was inspired by a children's game Rumpele stilt oder der Poppart
mentioned in Johann Fischart's 1577 book Geschichtklitterung
. This name was used by the Brothers Grimm in an 1812 fairy tale about a magical little man (Rumpelstiltskin) who saves a miller's daughter in exchange for her firstborn child. In order to undo the deal, she must guess the man's name. The Grimm's story was based upon earlier European folk tales (which have various names for the little man).
RUSSELL m English
From a surname meaning "little red one"
in French. A notable bearer of the surname was the agnostic British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who wrote on many subjects including logic, epistemology and mathematics. He was also a political activist for causes such as pacifism and women's rights.
RYAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Riain
meaning "descendant of Rían"
. The given name Rían
probably means "little king"
(from Irish rí
"king" combined with a diminutive suffix).
SAYURI f Japanese
From Japanese 小 (sa)
meaning "small" and 百合 (yuri)
meaning "lily". This name can also be composed of other kanji combinations.
SENÁN m Irish
Means "little old person"
, derived from Old Irish sen
"old" combined with a diminutive suffix. Saint Senán was a 6th-century monk from Munster, Ireland.
SIRPA f Finnish
Derived from Finnish sirpale
meaning "small piece, fragment"
STERLING m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning. The name can also be given in reference to the English word sterling
meaning "excellent". In this case, the word derives from sterling silver, which was so named because of the emblem that some Norman coins bore, from Old English meaning "little star".
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.
TALITHA f Biblical
Means "little girl"
in Aramaic. The name is taken from the phrase talitha cumi
meaning "little girl arise" spoken by Jesus
in order to restore a young girl to life (see Mark 5:41
TIGHEARNÁN m Irish
Means "little lord"
from Old Irish tigerna
"lord" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 12th-century king of Breifne in Ireland.
TUULIKKI f Finnish, Finnish Mythology
Means "little wind"
in Finnish, derived from tuuli
"wind". This was the name of a Finnish forest goddess, the daughter of Tapio.
URSULA f English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Late Roman
Means "little bear"
, derived from a diminutive form of the Latin word ursa
"she-bear". Saint Ursula was a legendary virgin princess of the 4th century who was martyred by the Huns while returning from a pilgrimage. In England the saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and the name came into general use at that time.
VAUGHN m Welsh, English
From a Welsh surname that was derived from Welsh bychan
VESLEMØY f Norwegian
Means "little girl"
from Norwegian vesle
"little" and møy
"girl". This name was created by Norwegian writer Arne Garborg for the main character in his poem Haugtussa
WEI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 威 (wēi)
meaning "power, pomp", 巍 (wēi)
meaning "high, lofty, towering" or 伟 (wěi)
meaning "great, robust, extraordinary". As a feminine name it can come from 微 (wēi)
meaning "small" or 薇 (wēi)
meaning "fern". This name can be formed by other Chinese characters besides those shown here.