AFON f & m Welsh
Means "river" in Welsh. This is a Welsh name of recent origin.
ALTON m English
From an Old English surname which was derived from a place name meaning "town at the source of the river".
ANAT (1) f Semitic Mythology
Possibly derived from a Semitic root meaning "water spring". Anat was a goddess of fertility, hunting and war worshipped by the Semitic peoples of the Levant. She was the sister and consort of the god Hadad
ASHERAH f Semitic Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea". This was the name of a Semitic mother goddess. She was worshipped by the Israelites before the advent of monotheism.
AYSU f Turkish
Derived from Turkish ay
meaning "moon" and su
BECKETT m English (Modern)
From an English surname which could be derived from various sources, including from Middle English beke
meaning "beak" or bekke
meaning "stream, brook".
BEVERLY f & m English
From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English city, itself meaning "beaver stream" in Old English. It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, and it became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's novel 'Beverly of Graustark' (1904).
BOLÍVAR m Spanish (Latin American)
From a surname which was taken from the Basque place name Bolibar
, which was derived from bolu
"mill" and ibar
"riverside". A famous bearer of the surname was Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), a South American revolutionary leader, after whom the country of Bolivia is named.
CANSU f Turkish
From Turkish can
meaning "soul, life" and su
CLINTON m English
From a surname which was originally from an Old English place name meaning "settlement on the River Glyme". A famous bearer of the surname is former American president Bill Clinton (1946-).
CONWAY m English
From a surname which was derived from the name of the River Conwy, which possibly means "holy water" in Welsh.
DACRE m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name in Cumbria, of Brythonic origin meaning "trickling stream".
DERYA f & m Turkish
Means "sea, ocean" in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
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.
EA (1) m Semitic Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps from Sumerian meaning "house of water", or perhaps of Akkadian or Hurrian origin. This was the Akkadian, Assyrian, Hurrian and Babylonian name of the Sumerian water god Enki
GLYNDWR m Welsh
From a Welsh surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "valley water". This name is often given in honour of Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century Welsh patriot who led a revolt against England.
GUADALUPE f & m Spanish
From a Spanish title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
, meaning "Our Lady of Guadalupe". Guadalupe is a Spanish place name, the site of a famous convent, derived from Arabic وادي (wadi)
meaning "valley, river" possibly combined with Latin lupus
meaning "wolf". In the 16th century Our Lady of Guadalupe supposedly appeared in a vision to a native Mexican man, and she is now regarded as a patron saint of the Americas.
GYATSO m Tibetan
From Tibetan རྒྱ་མཚོ (rgya-mtsho)
meaning "ocean". This is one of the given names of the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (1935-).
HAI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 海 (hǎi)
meaning "sea, ocean" or other characters which are pronounced similarly.
HE f & m Chinese
From Chinese 河 (hé)
meaning "river, stream", 和 (hé)
meaning "harmony, peace", or 荷 (hé)
meaning "lotus, water lily" (which is usually only feminine). Other characters can form this name as well. A famous bearer was the 15th-century explorer Zheng He.
IARA f Native American, Tupi
From Tupi y
"water" and îara
"lady, mistress". In Brazilian legend this is the name of a beautiful river nymph who would lure men into the water. She may have been based upon earlier Tupi legends.
INDIA f English
From the name of the country, which is itself derived from the name of the Indus River. The river's name is ultimately from Sanskrit सिन्धु (Sindhu)
meaning "body of trembling water, river".
IRVING m English, Scottish, Jewish
From a Scottish surname which was in turn derived from a Scottish place name meaning "green water". Historically this name has been relatively common among Jews, who have used it as an American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I
such as Isaac
. A famous bearer was the Russian-American songwriter and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose birth name was Israel Beilin.
JAFAR m Arabic, Iranian
Means "stream" in Arabic. Jafar ibn Abi Talib was a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad
who was killed fighting against Byzantium in the 7th century. Another notable bearer was Jafar al-Sadiq, the sixth Shia imam.
JIANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 江 (jiāng)
meaning "river, Yangtze", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
JUBAL m Biblical
Means "stream" in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in Genesis in the Old Testament as belonging to the first person to be a musician.
KAIMANA m & f Hawaiian
From Hawaiian kai
"ocean, sea" and mana
"power". It is also Hawaiian meaning "diamond", derived from the English word diamond
KAITO m Japanese
From Japanese 海 (kai)
meaning "sea, ocean" combined with 斗 (to)
, which refers to a Chinese constellation, or 翔 (to)
meaning "soar, fly". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
KAREN (3) f Japanese
From Japanese 華 (ka)
meaning "flower" and 蓮 (ren)
meaning "lotus, water lily". Other combinations of kanji can also form this name.
KELVIN m English
From the name of a Scottish river, perhaps meaning "narrow water". As a title it was borne by the Irish-Scottish physicist William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), who acquired his title from the river.
KENDALL m & f English
From a surname which comes from the name of the city of Kendale in northwest England meaning "valley on the river Kent".
KENTON m English
From a surname which was derived from an English place name meaning either "town on the River Kenn" or "royal town" in Old English.
LAKE m & f English (Rare)
From the English word lake
, for the inland body of water. It is ultimately derived from Latin lacus
LAMAR m English, African American
From a French and English surname, originally from a place name in Normandy, which was derived from Old French la mare
meaning "the pool".
LINCOLN m English
From a surname which was originally from the name of a city in England, called Lindum Colonia
by the Romans, derived from Brythonic lindo
"lake, pool" and Latin colonia
"colony". This name is usually given in honour of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), president of the United States during the American Civil War.
LINWOOD m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "stream forest" in Old English.
LLYR m Welsh Mythology
Means "the sea" in Welsh. This was the name of the Welsh god of the sea. He possibly forms the basis for the legendary King Lear of the Britons.
LYNN f & m English
From an English surname which was derived from Welsh llyn
"lake". Before the start of the 20th century it was primarily used for boys, but it has since come to be more common for girls. In some cases it may be thought of as a short form of LINDA
or names that end in lyn
MANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 愛 (mana)
meaning "love, affection" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" or 海 (mi)
meaning "sea, ocean". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MARIS f English (Rare)
Means "of the sea", taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary
, Stella Maris
, meaning "star of the sea".
MARLOWE f English (Modern)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "remnants of a lake" in Old English.
MARY f English, Biblical
Usual English form of Maria
, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριαμ (Mariam)
and Μαρια (Maria)
- the spellings are interchangeable - which were from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam)
, a name borne by the sister of Moses
in the Old Testament. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry
"beloved" or mr
MAXWELL m English
From a Scottish surname meaning "Mack's stream", from the name Mack
, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS
, combined with Old English wella
"stream". A famous bearer of the surname was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.
MEHRAB m Persian, Literature
From مهر (Mehr)
, the Persian word for MITHRA
, combined with Persian آب (ab)
"water". This is the name of a character in the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh'.
MERAUD f Cornish
Meaning unknown, perhaps based on Cornish mor
MEREDITH m & f Welsh, English
From the Welsh name Maredudd
, possibly meaning "great lord" or "sea lord". Since the mid-1920s it has been used more often for girls than for boys in English-speaking countries, though it is still a masculine name in Wales. A famous bearer of this name as surname was the English novelist and poet George Meredith (1828-1909).
MERLIN m Arthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin
(meaning "sea fortress") used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus
in order to prevent associations with French merde
MERTON m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "town on a lake" in Old English.
MILBURN m English
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "mill stream" in Old English.
MOANA f & m Maori, Hawaiian, Tahitian
Means "ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea" in Maori and Hawaiian (as well as in other Polynesian languages).
MORGAN (1) m & f Welsh, English, French
From the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant
, which was possibly derived from Welsh mor
"sea" and cant
"circle". Since the 1980s in America Morgan
has been more common for girls than boys, perhaps due to stories of Morgan
le Fay or the fame of actress Morgan Fairchild (1950-).
MORTIMER m English
From an English surname which was derived from a place name meaning "still water" in Old French.
MUIR m Scottish
From a surname which was originally taken from a Scottish place name meaning "moor, fen". It also means "sea" in Scottish Gaelic.
MUIRGEL f Irish
Means "bright sea", derived from Gaelic muir
"sea" and geal
MUIRGEN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "born of the sea" in Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a woman (originally named Líban
) who was transformed into a mermaid. After 300 years she was brought to shore, baptized, and transformed back into a woman.
NANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 七 (nana)
meaning "seven" and 海 (mi)
meaning "sea". It can also come from 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens" duplicated and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
NEREIDA f Spanish
Derived from Greek Νηρειδες (Nereides)
meaning "nymphs, sea sprites", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NEREUS m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros)
meaning "water". In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NERISSA f Literature
Created by Shakespeare for a character in his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596). He possibly took it from Greek Νηρεις (Nereis)
meaning "nymph, sea sprite", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
OCEAN m & f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word ocean
for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ωκεανος (Okeanos)
, the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.
PEGASUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πηγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγος (pegos)
"strong" or πηγαιος (pegaios)
"from a water spring". In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
PONTIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman family name. The family had Samnite roots so the name probably originated from the Oscan language, likely meaning "fifth" (a cognate of Latin Quintus
). Alternatively, it could be derived from the name of the ancient province of Pontus
in Asia Minor, itself probably from Greek ποντος (pontos)
"sea". A notable bearer of this name was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who appears in the New Testament.
RAEBURN m English (Rare)
From a surname which 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).
RAYYAN m & f Arabic
Means "watered, luxuriant" in Arabic. According to Islamic tradition this is the name of one of the gates of paradise.
RIO (1) m Various
Means "river" in Spanish or Portuguese. A city in Brazil bears this name. Its full name is Rio de Janeiro, which means "river of January", so named because the first explorers came to the harbour in January and mistakenly thought it was a river mouth.
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
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.
SEVAN f & m Armenian
From the name of the largest lake in Armenia, which may be from the Urartian word suinia
simply meaning "lake".
SHUI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 水 (shuǐ)
meaning "water", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
SOHRAB m Persian, Persian Mythology
Probably from Middle Persian swhr
"red" and ab
"water". In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of the son of the hero Rostam
. He was tragically slain in battle by his father, who was unaware he was fighting his own son.
TAKUMI m Japanese
From Japanese 匠 (takumi)
meaning "artisan" or 巧 (takumi)
meaning "skillful". It can also come from 拓 (taku)
meaning "expand, open, support" combined with 海 (mi)
meaning "sea, ocean" or 実 (mi)
meaning "fruit, good result, truth". This name can also be formed of other kanji combinations.
TALLULAH f English (Rare)
Popularly claimed to mean "leaping waters" in the Choctaw language, it may actually mean "town" in the Creek language. This is the name of waterfalls in Georgia. It was borne by American actress Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968), who was named after her grandmother, who may have been named after the waterfalls.
TIAMAT f Semitic Mythology
From Akkadian tâmtu
meaning "sea". In Babylonian myth Tiamat was the personification of the sea, appearing in the form of a huge dragon. By Apsu she gave birth to the first of the gods. Later, the god Marduk
(her great-grandson) defeated her, cut her in half, and used the pieces of her body to make the earth and the sky.
TIRTA m & f Indonesian
Means "sacred water, place of pilgrimage" in Indonesian, ultimately from Sanskrit तीर्थ (tirtha)
VÄINÄMÖINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish väinä
"wide and slow-flowing river". In Finnish mythology Väinämöinen was a wise old magician, the son of the primal goddess Ilmatar
. He is the hero of the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
WALTON m English
From a surname which was originally taken from various Old English place names meaning "stream town", "wood town", or "wall town".
WILBURN m English
From a surname which was probably originally derived from an unknown place name. The second element corresponds with Old English burne
WILTON m English
From a surname which was derived from the names of several English towns. The town names mean variously "willow town", "well town" or "town on the River Wylye" in Old English. The river name is itself of Celtic origin, possibly meaning "tricky".
WINDSOR m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname which was from a place name meaning "riverbank with a windlass" in Old English (a windlass is a lifting apparatus). This has been the surname of the royal family of the United Kingdom since 1917.
YAM m Semitic Mythology
Means "sea" in Ugaritic. Yam was the Ugaritic god of the sea, also associated with chaos, storms and destruction. He was a son of the chief god El
YANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 洋 (yáng)
meaning "ocean" or 阳 (yáng)
meaning "light, sun, male" (which is typically only masculine), as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.
YOUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 陽 (you)
meaning "light, sun, male" or 洋 (you)
meaning "ocean" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other combinations of kanji characters are possible.