AISHA f Arabic, Urdu, American
in Arabic. This was the name of Muhammad
's third wife, the daughter of Abu Bakr
. Some time after Muhammad's death she went to war against Ali
, the fourth caliph, but was defeated. This name is used more by Sunni Muslims and less by Shias.... [more]
AKIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 晶 (aki)
meaning "clear, crystal", 明 (aki)
meaning "bright" or 秋 (aki)
meaning "autumn" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other combinations of kanji characters are possible.
ALEXIS m & f German, French, English, Greek, Ancient Greek
From the Greek name Ἄλεξις (Alexis)
, derived from Greek ἀλέξω (alexo)
meaning "to defend, to help". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangeably with the related name Ἀλέξιος
, borne by five Byzantine emperors. In the English-speaking world it is more commonly used as a feminine name.
ALWYN m Welsh
From the name of the River Alwen in Wales.
ANITA (1) f Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, Slovene, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Latvian
Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian and Slovene diminutive of ANA
ARIEL m & f Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God"
in Hebrew, from אֲרִי ('ari)
meaning "lion" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play The Tempest
(1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Disney film The Little Mermaid
ASHLEY f & m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from place names meaning "ash tree clearing"
, from a combination of Old English æsc
. Until the 1960s it was more commonly given to boys in the United States, but it is now most often used on girls. It reached its height of popularity in America in 1987, but it did not become the highest ranked name until 1991, being overshadowed by the likewise-popular Jessica
until then. In the United Kingdom it is still more common as a masculine name.
ASHTON m & f English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name that meant "ash tree town"
in Old English.
AYTAÇ m & f Turkish
Derived from Turkish ay
meaning "moon" and taç
meaning "crown" (of Persian origin).
BAILEY m & f English
From a surname derived from Middle English baili
, originally denoting one who was a bailiff.
BEAU m & f English, Dutch
in French. It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century. In Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind
(1936) this is the name of Ashley and Melanie's son.... [more]
BÉLA m Hungarian
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. It could be derived from Hungarian bél
meaning "guts, bowel" or Slavic бѣлъ (belu)
meaning "white". This was the name of four Hungarian kings.
BENEDICT m English
From the Late Latin name Benedictus
, which meant "blessed"
. Saint Benedict was an Italian monk who founded the Benedictines in the 6th century. After his time the name was common among Christians, being used by 16 popes. In England it did not come into use until the 12th century, at which point it became very popular. This name was also borne by the American general Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), who defected to Britain during the American Revolution.
BEVERLY f & m English
From a surname that 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 1904 novel Beverly of Graustark
BILL m English
Short form of WILLIAM
. This spelling was first used in the 19th century. The change in the initial consonant may have been influenced by an earlier Irish pronunciation of the name. Famous bearers include basketball player Bill Russell (1934-), comedian Bill Cosby (1937-), American president Bill Clinton (1946-), and Microsoft founder Bill Gates (1955-).
BILLY m English
Diminutive of BILL
. A notable bearer was the American outlaw Billy the Kid (1859-1881), whose real name was William H. Bonney.
BLAIR m & f Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that is derived from Gaelic blár
meaning "plain, field, battlefield"
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).
BOB m English, Dutch
Short form of ROBERT
. It arose later than Dob
, which were medieval rhyming nicknames of Robert. It was borne by the character Bob Cratchit in Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol
(1843). Other famous bearers include American folk musician Bob Dylan (1941-) and Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).
BONNIE f English
from the Scottish word bonnie
, which was itself derived from Middle French bon
"good". It has been in use as an American given name since the 19th century, and it became especially popular after the movie Gone with the Wind
(1939), in which it was the nickname of Scarlett's daughter.
BRANDY f English
From the English word brandy
for the alcoholic drink. It is ultimately from Dutch brandewijn
"burnt wine". It has been in use as a given name since the 1960s.
CAMERON m & f English
From a Scottish surname meaning "crooked nose"
from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and sròn
CAREY m & f English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Ciardha
meaning "descendant of CIARDHA"
CARY m & f English
Variant of CAREY
. A famous bearer was the British-American actor Cary Grant (1904-1986).
CASEY m & f English, Irish
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cathasaigh
meaning "descendant of CATHASACH"
. This name can be given in honour of Casey Jones (1863-1900), a train engineer who sacrificed his life to save his passengers. In his case, Casey
was a nickname acquired because he was raised in the town of Cayce, Kentucky.
CHADWICK m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of towns in England, meaning "settlement belonging to CHAD"
in Old English.
CHANDRA m & f Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Assamese, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
in Sanskrit, derived from चन्द (chand)
meaning "to shine". This is a transcription of the masculine form चण्ड
(a name of the moon in Hindu texts, which is often personified as a deity) as well as the feminine form चण्डा
CHARLTON m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "settlement of free men"
in Old English.
CHEYENNE f & m English
Derived from the Dakota word shahiyena
meaning "red speakers". This is the name of a Native American people of the Great Plains. The name was supposedly given to the Cheyenne by the Dakota because their language was unrelated to their own. As a given name, it has been in use since the 1950s.
CHRISTOPHER m English
From the Late Greek name Χριστόφορος (Christophoros)
meaning "bearing CHRIST"
, derived from Χριστός (Christos)
combined with φέρω (phero)
meaning "to bear, to carry". Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name, expressing that they carried Christ in their hearts. In the Middle Ages, literal interpretations of the name's etymology led to legends about a Saint Christopher who carried the young Jesus
across a river. He has come to be regarded as the patron saint of travellers.... [more]
CILLIAN m Irish
Probably from Gaelic ceall
combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint who evangelized in Franconia. He was martyred in Würzburg.
CLARE f English
Medieval English form of CLARA
. This is also the name of an Irish county, which was itself probably derived from Irish clár
meaning "plank, level surface".
CLARK m English
From an English surname meaning "cleric"
, from Old English clerec
originally meaning "priest". A famous bearer of the surname was William Clark (1770-1838), an explorer of the west of North America. It was also borne by the American actor Clark Gable (1901-1960).
CLAUDE m & f French, English
French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS
. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
CLINT m English
Short form of CLINTON
. A notable bearer is American actor Clint Eastwood (1930-), who became famous early in his career for his western movies.
CONLETH m Irish
Modern form of the old Irish name Conláed
, possibly meaning "chaste fire"
from Irish connla
"chaste" and aodh
"fire". Saint Conláed was a 5th-century bishop of Kildare.
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.
CREE m & f English (Rare)
From the name of a Native American tribe of central Canada. Their name derives via French from the Cree word kiristino
CRYSTAL f English
From the English word crystal
for the clear, colourless glass, sometimes cut into the shape of a gemstone. The English word derives ultimately from Greek κρύσταλλος (krystallos)
meaning "ice". It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
DACRE m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name in Cumbria, of Brythonic origin meaning "trickling stream"
DAISY f English
Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage
meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
DAKOTA m & f English (Modern)
From the name of the Native American people of the northern Mississippi valley, or from the two American states that were named for them: North and South Dakota (until 1889 unified as the Dakota Territory). The tribal name means "allies, friends"
in the Dakota language.
DALE m & f English
From an English surname that originally belonged to a person who lived near a dale or valley.
DALLAS m & f English
From a surname that could either be of Old English origin meaning "valley house"
or of Scottish Gaelic origin meaning "meadow dwelling"
. A city in Texas bears this name, probably in honour of American Vice President George M. Dallas (1792-1864).
DAR f & m Hebrew
Means "mother-of-pearl, nacre"
DARLENE f English
From the English word darling
combined with the popular name suffix lene
. This name has been in use since the beginning of the 20th century.
DECLAN m Irish
Anglicized form of Irish Deaglán
, which is of unknown meaning. Saint Declan was a 5th-century missionary to Ireland.
DENZEL m English (Modern)
Possibly a variant of DENZIL
. This spelling of the name was popularized by American actor Denzel Washington (1954-), who was named after his father.
DEVON m & f English
Variant of DEVIN
. It may also be partly inspired by the name of the county of Devon in England, which got its name from the Dumnonii, a Celtic tribe.
DIEGO m Spanish
Possibly a shortened form of SANTIAGO
. In medieval records Diego
was Latinized as Didacus
, and it has been suggested that it in fact derives from Greek διδαχή (didache)
. Saint Didacus (or Diego) was a 15th-century Franciscan brother based in Alcalá, Spain. Other famous bearers of this name include Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona (1960-).
DRAKE m English
From an English surname derived from the Old Norse byname Draki
or the Old English byname Draca
both meaning "dragon", both via Latin from Greek δράκων (drakon)
meaning "dragon, serpent". This name coincides with the unrelated English word drake
meaning "male duck".
DUSTIN m English
From an English surname that was derived from the Old Norse given name Þórsteinn
). The name was popularized by the actor Dustin Hoffman (1937-), who was apparently named after the earlier silent movie star Dustin Farnum (1874-1929).
EDEN f & m Hebrew, English (Modern)
Possibly from Hebrew עֵדֶן
('eden) meaning "pleasure, delight", or perhaps derived from Sumerian 𒂔 (edin)
meaning "plain". According to the Old Testament the Garden of Eden was the place where the first people, Adam
, lived before they were expelled.
ERROL m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name. It was popularized as a given name by the Australian actor Errol Flynn (1909-1959).
GEORGE m English, Romanian
From the Greek name Γεώργιος (Georgios)
, which was derived from the Greek word γεωργός (georgos)
meaning "farmer, earthworker"
, itself derived from the elements γῆ (ge)
meaning "earth" and ἔργον (ergon)
meaning "work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Palestine who was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.... [more]
GILDA f Italian, Portuguese
Originally an Italian short form of names containing the Germanic element gild
meaning "sacrifice, value"
GITA (1) f Indian, Hindi
in Sanskrit. The word appears in the name of the Bhagavad Gita
, a sacred text of Hinduism (meaning "divine song").
GRAY m & f English
From an English surname meaning "grey"
, originally given to a person who had grey hair or clothing.
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.
GWYNEDD f & m Welsh
From the name of a region in Wales, named after an ancient kingdom, which may be derived from the old Welsh given name Cunedda
HA-JUN m Korean
From Sino-Korean 夏 (ha)
meaning "summer, great, grand" combined with 准 (jun)
meaning "approve, permit". This name can be formed by other hanja characters as well.
HAROLD m English
From the Old English name Hereweald
, derived from the elements here
"army" and weald
"power, leader, ruler". The Old Norse cognate Haraldr
was also common among Scandinavian settlers in England. This was the name of five kings of Norway and three kings of Denmark. It was also borne by two kings of England, both of whom were from mixed Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon backgrounds, including Harold II who lost the Battle of Hastings (and was killed in it), which led to the Norman Conquest. After the conquest the name died out, but it was eventually revived in the 19th century.
HARRISON m English
From an English surname that meant "son of HARRY"
. This was the surname of two American presidents, William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) and his grandson Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901). The actor Harrison Ford (1942-), who starred in such movies as Star Wars
and Indiana Jones
, is a famous bearer.
HARVEY m English
From the Breton given name Haerviu
, which meant "battle worthy"
, from haer
"battle" and viu
"worthy". This was the name of a 6th-century Breton hermit who is the patron saint of the blind. Settlers from Brittany introduced it to England after the Norman Conquest. During the later Middle Ages it became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
HAYDEN m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from place names meaning either "hay valley"
or "hay hill"
, derived from Old English heg
"hay" and denu
"valley" or dun
HEATH m English
From an English surname that denoted one who lived on a heath. It was popularized as a given name by the character Heath Barkley from the 1960s television series The Big Valley
HEATHER f English
From the English word heather
for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers, which commonly grow in rocky areas. It is derived from Middle English hather
. It was first used as a given name in the late 19th century, though it did not become popular until the last half of the 20th century.
HEDLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "heather clearing"
in Old English.
HERMAN m English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Ancient Germanic
Means "army man"
, derived from the Germanic elements hari
"army" and man
"man". It was introduced to England by the Normans, died out, and was revived in the English-speaking world in the 19th century. It was borne by an 18th-century Russian missionary to Alaska who is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church, though in his case the name is an alternate transcription of GERMAN
. Another famous bearer was the American writer Herman Melville (1819-1891), the author of Moby-Dick
HILAL m & f Arabic, Turkish
Means "crescent moon"
in Arabic, also referring to the new moon on the Islamic calendar. As a given name it is typically masculine in Arabic and feminine in Turkish.
HUGH m English
From the Germanic element hug
meaning "heart, mind, spirit"
. It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh
HUGO m Spanish, Portuguese, English, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of HUGH
. As a surname it has belonged to the French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the writer of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
and Les Misérables
HUMPHREY m English
Means "peaceful warrior"
from the Germanic elements hun
"warrior, bear cub" and frid
"peace". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hunfrith
, and it was regularly used through the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the American actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), who starred in The Maltese Falcon
HUNTER m & f English
From an occupational English surname for a hunter, derived from Old English hunta
. A famous bearer was the eccentric American journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005).
IDRIS (1) m Arabic, Malay, Indonesian
Possibly means "interpreter"
in Arabic. In the Quran this is the name of an ancient prophet. He is traditionally equated with the Hebrew prophet Enoch
IDRIS (2) m Welsh
Means "ardent lord"
from Welsh udd
"lord, prince" combined with ris
"ardent, enthusiastic, impulsive".
ISAAC m English, Spanish, Catalan, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq)
meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice"
, derived from צָחַק (tzachaq)
meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham
laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah
would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17
), and later Sarah laughed when overhearing the same prophecy (see Genesis 18:12
). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau
with his wife Rebecca
IVAN m Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Macedonian, Slovene, English, Italian, Romanian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian
Newer form of the old Slavic name Іѡаннъ (Ioannu)
, which was derived from Greek Ioannes
). This was the name of six Russian rulers, including the 15th-century Ivan III the Great and 16th-century Ivan IV the Terrible, the first tsar of Russia. It was also borne by nine emperors of Bulgaria. Other notable bearers include the Russian author Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), who wrote Fathers and Sons
, and the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), who is best known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex.
IVORY m & f African American
From the English word for the hard, creamy-white substance that comes from elephant tusks and was formerly used to produce piano keys.
IVY f English
From the English word for the climbing plant that has small yellow flowers. It is ultimately derived from Old English ifig
JACK m English
Derived from Jackin
), a medieval diminutive of JOHN
. There could be some early influence from the unrelated French name JACQUES
. It is often regarded as an independent name. During the Middle Ages it was very common, and it became a slang word meaning "man". It was frequently used in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as Jack and the Beanstalk
, Little Jack Horner
, and Jack Sprat
JACKIE m & f English
Diminutive of JACK
. A notable bearer was baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.
JACOB m English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Jewish, Biblical
From the Latin Iacob
, which was from the Greek Ἰακώβ (Iakob)
, which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov)
. In the Old Testament Jacob (later called Israel
) is the son of Isaac
and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau
's heel, and his name is explained as meaning "holder of the heel"
, because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son (see Genesis 27:36
). Other theories claim that it is in fact derived from a hypothetical name like יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya'aqov'el)
meaning "may God protect"
JADE f & m English, French
From the name of the precious stone that is often used in carvings. It is derived from Spanish (piedra de la) ijada
meaning "(stone of the) flank", relating to the belief that jade could cure renal colic. As a given name, it came into general use during the 1970s. It was initially unisex, though it is now mostly feminine.
JAMIE m & f Scottish, English
Originally a Lowland Scots diminutive of JAMES
. Since the late 19th century it has also been used as a feminine form.
JANUS m Roman Mythology
in Latin. Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings, often depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions. The month of January is named for him.
JARED m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יָרֶד (Yared)
or יֶרֶד (Yered)
. This is the name of a close descendant of Adam
in the Old Testament. It has been used as an English name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popularized in the 1960s by the character Jarrod Barkley on the television series The Big Valley
JASMINE f English, French
From the English word for the climbing plant with fragrant flowers that is used for making perfumes. It is derived via Arabic from Persian یاسمین (yasamin)
, which is also a Persian name.
JASON m English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Greek name Ἰάσων (Iason)
, derived from Greek ἰάομαι (iaomai)
meaning "to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson
as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea
, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.... [more]
JAY (1) m English
Short form of names beginning with the sound J
, such as JAMES
. It was originally used in America in honour of founding father John Jay (1749-1825), whose surname was derived from the jaybird.
JIMMY m English
Diminutive of JAMES
. This was the usual name of American actor James Stewart (1908-1997).
JI-WON f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" or 志 (ji)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" combined with 媛 (won)
meaning "beautiful woman" or 元 (won)
meaning "first, origin". This name can also be formed from many other hanja combinations.
JOE m English
Short form of JOSEPH
. Five famous sports figures who have had this name are boxers Joe Louis (1914-1981) and Joe Frazier (1944-), baseball player Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999), and football quarterbacks Joe Namath (1943-) and Joe Montana (1956-).
JOEL m English, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹאֵל (Yo'el)
meaning "YAHWEH is God"
, from the elements יוֹ (yo)
and אֵל ('el)
, both referring to the Hebrew God. Joel is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Joel, which describes a plague of locusts. In England, it was first used as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation.
JOHN m English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Biblical
English form of Iohannes
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰωάννης (Ioannes)
, itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan)
meaning "YAHWEH is gracious"
, from the roots יוֹ (yo)
referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan)
meaning "to be gracious". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan
in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus
. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod
Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter
(his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
JOHNNY m English
Diminutive of JOHN
. A famous bearer is American actor Johnny Depp (1963-).
JONAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah)
. This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.... [more]
JONATHAN m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹנָתָן (Yehonatan)
, contracted to יוֹנָתָן (Yonatan)
, meaning "YAHWEH has given"
, derived from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho)
referring to the Hebrew God and נָתַן (natan)
meaning "to give". According to the Old Testament, Jonathan was the eldest son of Saul
. His relationship with his father was strained due to his close friendship with his father's rival David
. Along with Saul he was killed in battle with the Philistines.... [more]
JOSHUA m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu'a)
meaning "YAHWEH is salvation"
, from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho)
referring to the Hebrew God and יָשַׁע (yasha')
meaning "to save". As told in the Old Testament, Joshua was a companion of Moses
. He went up Mount Sinai with Moses when he received the Ten Commandments from God, and later he was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan. After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites and he led the conquest of Canaan. His original name was Hoshea
JULIAN m English, Polish, German
From the Roman name Iulianus
, which was derived from JULIUS
. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana
, eventually becoming Gillian
JUNKO f Japanese
From Japanese 順 (jun)
meaning "obedience" or 純 (jun)
meaning "pure" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other combinations of kanji characters are also possible.
KARIM m Arabic, Persian
Means "generous, noble"
in Arabic, from the root كَرُمَ (karuma)
meaning "to be generous". In Islamic tradition الكريم (al-Karim)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
KARL m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Finnish, Estonian, Ancient Germanic
German and Scandinavian form of CHARLES
. This was the name of seven emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and an emperor of Austria, as well as kings of Sweden and Norway. Other famous bearers include Karl Marx (1818-1883), the German philosopher and revolutionary who laid the foundations for communism, and Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), a German existentialist philosopher.
KEANU m & f Hawaiian
Means "the cool breeze"
from Hawaiian ke
, a definite article, and anu
"coolness". This name is now associated with Canadian actor Keanu Reeves (1964-).
KEIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 慶 (kei)
meaning "celebrate", 敬 (kei)
meaning "respect", 啓 (kei)
meaning "open, begin" or 恵 (kei)
meaning "favour, benefit" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
KELLY m & f Irish, English
Anglicized form of the Irish given name CEALLACH
or the surname derived from it Ó Ceallaigh
. As a surname, it has been borne by actor and dancer Gene Kelly (1912-1996) and actress and princess Grace Kelly (1929-1982).
KELSEY f & m English
From an English surname that is derived from town names in Lincolnshire. It may mean "Cenel's island", from the Old English name Cenel
"fierce" in combination with eg
KENAN m Biblical
Possibly means "possession"
in Hebrew. He is a son of Enosh
and a great-grandson of Adam
in the Old Testament.
KENELM m English (Rare)
From the Old English name Cenhelm
, which was composed of the elements cene
"bold, keen" and helm
"helmet". Saint Kenelm was a 9th-century martyr from Mercia, where he was a member of the royal family. The name was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, but has since become rare.
KENNETH m Scottish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Anglicized form of both COINNEACH
. This name was borne by the Scottish king Kenneth (Cináed) mac Alpin, who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century. It was popularized outside of Scotland by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for the hero in his 1825 novel The Talisman
. A famous bearer was the British novelist Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), who wrote The Wind in the Willows
KEONE m & f Hawaiian
Means "the homeland"
from Hawaiian ke
, a definite article, and one
KERR m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that was derived from a place name meaning "rough wet ground"
in Old Norse.
KEVIN m English, Irish, French (Modern), Spanish (Modern), German (Modern), Dutch (Modern), Swedish (Modern), Norwegian (Modern), Danish (Modern)
Anglicized form of the Irish name Caoimhín
meaning "handsome birth"
, derived from the older Cóemgein
, composed of the Old Irish elements cóem
"kind, gentle, handsome" and gein
"birth". Saint Caoimhín established a monastery in Glendalough, Ireland in the 6th century and is the patron saint of Dublin. It became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland in the middle of the 20th century, and elsewhere in Europe in the late 20th century.
KIRAN f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Gujarati, Nepali, Urdu
Derived from Sanskrit किरण (kirana)
, which can mean "dust"
KIRK m English
From an English and Scottish surname meaning "church"
from Old Norse kirkja
, ultimately from Greek. A famous bearer was American actor Kirk Douglas (1916-), whose birth name was Issur Danielovitch.
KYLE m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic caol
meaning "narrows, channel, strait"
LAKE m & f English (Rare)
From the English word lake
, for the inland body of water. It is ultimately derived from Latin lacus
LANCE m English
From the Germanic name Lanzo
, originally a short form of names that began with the element landa
. During the Middle Ages it became associated with Old French lance
"spear, lance". A famous bearer is American cyclist Lance Armstrong (1971-).
LANDON m English
From a surname that was derived from an Old English place name meaning "long hill"
(effectively meaning "ridge"
). Use of the name may have been inspired in part by the actor Michael Landon (1936-1991).
LANI f Hawaiian
Means "sky, heaven, royal, majesty"
LAUREN f & m English
Variant or feminine form of LAURENCE (1)
. Originally a masculine name, it was first popularized as a feminine name by actress Betty Jean Perske (1924-), who used Lauren Bacall as her stage name.
LAURENCE (1) m English
From the Roman cognomen Laurentius
, which meant "from Laurentum"
. Laurentum was a city in ancient Italy, its name probably deriving from Latin laurus
"laurel". Saint Laurence was a 3rd-century deacon and martyr from Rome. According to tradition he was roasted alive on a gridiron because, when ordered to hand over the church's treasures, he presented the sick and poor. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in the Christian world (in various spellings).... [more]
LAVERNE f & m English
From a surname that was derived from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern
. It is sometimes associated with the Roman goddess Laverna
or the Latin word vernus
LEE m & f English
From a surname that was derived from Old English leah
. The surname belonged to Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. In his honour, it has been commonly used as a given name in the American South.
LEIF m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Leifr
meaning "descendant, heir"
. Leif Eriksson was a Norse explorer who reached North America in the early 11th century. He was the son of Erik the Red.
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
, a cognate of LEON
. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include War and Peace
and Anna Karenina
. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
LEONARD m English, Dutch, German, Polish, Romanian, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave lion"
, derived from the Germanic elements lewo
"lion" (of Latin origin) and hard
"brave, hardy". This was the name of a 5th-century Frankish saint from Noblac who is the patron of prisoners and horses. The Normans brought this name to England, where it was used steadily through the Middle Ages, becoming even more common in the 20th century.
LEONARDO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of LEONARD
. A notable bearer was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), an Italian artist and scientist of the Renaissance. He is known as the inventor of several contraptions, including flying machines, as well as the painter of the Mona Lisa
. Another famous bearer was Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th-century Italian mathematician. A more recent bearer is American actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-).
LESLIE f & m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from a Scottish place name, probably derived from Gaelic leas celyn
meaning "garden of holly"
. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century. In America it was more common as a feminine name after the 1940s.
LEV (1) m Russian
in Russian, functioning as a vernacular form of Leo
. This was the real Russian name of both author Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) and revolutionary Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).
LILY f English
From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium
LINDEN m English
From a German surname that was derived from Old High German linta
meaning "linden tree"
LOGAN m & f Scottish, English
From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow"
in Scottish Gaelic.
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.
LOTUS f English (Rare)
From the name of the lotus flower (species Nelumbo nucifera) or the mythological lotus tree. They are ultimately derived from Greek λωτός (lotos)
. In Greek and Roman mythology the lotus tree was said to produce a fruit causing sleepiness and forgetfulness.
LOU f & m English, French
Short form of LOUISE
. Famous bearers include the baseball player Lou Gehrig (1903-1941) and the musician Lou Reed (1942-2013).
MACKENZIE f & m English
From the Gaelic surname Mac Coinnich
, which means "son of COINNEACH"
. A famous bearer of the surname was William Lyon MacKenzie (1795-1861), a Canadian journalist and political rebel. As a feminine given name, it was popularized by the American actress Mackenzie Phillips (1959-). In the United Kingdom it is more common as a masculine name.
MAEVE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb
. In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn
is told in the Irish epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley
MAHERSHALA m Various
From the longer name Mahershalalhashbaz
, which appears in the Old Testament at Isaiah 8:1
in reference to Isaiah's symbolic son. It is written in Hebrew as מַהֵר שָׁלָל חָשׁ בַּז
, and is composed of the two-word phrases מַהֵר שָׁלָל (maher shalal)
and חָשׁ בַּז (chash baz)
, which both mean "hurry to the plunder"
. A famous bearer is the American actor Mahershala Ali (1974-), whose full name is Mahershalalhashbaz.
MALLORY f English (Modern)
From an English surname that meant "unfortunate"
in Norman French. It first became common in the 1980s due to the television comedy Family Ties
, which featured a character by this name.
MARLON m English
Meaning unknown. This name was popularized by the American actor Marlon Brando (1924-2004), who was named after his father.
MARTIN m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Finnish
From the Roman name Martinus
, which was derived from Martis
, the genitive case of the name of the Roman god MARS
. Saint Martin of Tours was a 4th-century bishop who is the patron saint of France. According to legend, he came across a cold beggar in the middle of winter so he ripped his cloak in two and gave half of it to the beggar. He was a favourite saint during the Middle Ages, and his name has become common throughout the Christian world.... [more]
MATTHEW m English, Biblical
English form of Ματθαῖος (Matthaios)
, which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu)
meaning "gift of YAHWEH"
, from the roots מַתָּן (mattan)
meaning "gift" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. Matthew, also called Levi
, was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first gospel in the New Testament. He is considered a saint in many Christian traditions. The variant Matthias
also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a separate apostle. The name appears in the Old Testament as Mattithiah
MAURICE m English, French
From the Roman name Mauritius
, a derivative of MAURUS
. Saint Maurice was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Egypt. He and the other Christians in his legion were supposedly massacred on the orders of Emperor Maximian for refusing to worship Roman gods. Thus, he is the patron saint of infantry soldiers.... [more]
MAXIMILIAN m German, English, Swedish, Norwegian (Rare), Danish (Rare)
From the Roman name Maximilianus
, which was derived from MAXIMUS
. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint and martyr. In the 15th century the Holy Roman emperor Frederick III gave this name to his son and eventual heir. In this case it was a blend of the names of the Roman generals Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (see EMILIANO
), who Frederick admired. It was subsequently borne by a second Holy Roman emperor, two kings of Bavaria, and a short-lived Habsburg emperor of Mexico.
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).
MERLE f & m English
Variant of MERRILL
. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle
meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula
MICHAEL m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha'el)
meaning "who is like God?"
. This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Michael is one of the archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament he is named as a protector of Israel. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies in the war against Satan, and is thus considered the patron saint of soldiers in Christianity.... [more]
MILES m English
From the Germanic name Milo
, introduced by the Normans to England in the form Miles
. The meaning is not known for certain. It is possibly connected to the Slavic name element milu
. From an early date it was associated with Latin miles "soldier"
MITRA (1) m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
in Sanskrit, a cognate of MITHRA
. This is a transcription of both the feminine form मित्रा
and the masculine form मित्र
, which is the name of a Hindu god of friendship and contracts who appears in the Rigveda.
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-).
NASH m English (Modern)
From a surname that was derived from the Middle English phrase atten ash "at the ash tree"
. A famous bearer of the surname was the mathematician John Nash (1928-2015). The name was popularized in the 1990s by the television series Nash Bridges
NAZ f Turkish
in Turkish, of Persian origin.
NEIL m Irish, Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Niall
, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning "champion"
. This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.... [more]
NESTOR m Greek Mythology, Russian
Means "returner, homecomer"
in Greek, from νέομαι (neomai)
meaning "to return". In Homer
this was the name of the king of Pylos, famous for his great wisdom and longevity, who acted as a counselor to the Greek allies.
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
NOLAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Nualláin
meaning "descendant of NUALLÁN"
. The baseball player Nolan Ryan (1947-) is a famous bearer of this name.
NORMAN m English, Ancient Germanic
From an old Germanic byname meaning "northman"
, referring to a Viking. The Normans were Vikings who settled on the coast of France, in the region that became known as Normandy. In England the name Norman
was used before the Norman Conquest, first as a nickname for Scandinavian settlers and later as a given name. After the Conquest it became more common, but died out around the 14th century. It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to a character by this name in C. M. Yonge's 1856 novel The Daisy Chain
OCTAVIA f English, Spanish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of OCTAVIUS
. Octavia was the wife of Mark Antony and the sister of the Roman emperor Augustus. In 19th-century England it was sometimes given to the eighth-born child.
OMRI m Biblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Possibly means "life"
in Hebrew (or a related Semitic language). This was the name of a 9th-century BC military commander who became king of Israel. He appears in the Old Testament, where he is denounced as being wicked.
ORLANDO m Italian
Italian form of ROLAND
, as used in the epic poems Orlando Innamorato
(1483) by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Orlando Furioso
(1532) by Ludovico Ariosto. A character in Shakespeare's play As You like It
(1599) also bears this name, as does a city in Florida.
ORSON m English
From a Norman nickname derived from a diminutive of Norman French ors "bear"
, ultimately from Latin ursus
. American actor and director Orson Welles (1915-1985) was a famous bearer of this name.
OSCAR m English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend"
, derived from Gaelic os
"deer" and cara
"friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR
or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR
, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín
and the grandson of the hero Fionn
mac Cumhail.... [more]
PARKER m & f English
From an English occupational surname that meant "keeper of the park"
PARRY m Welsh
From a Welsh surname that was derived from ap Harry
meaning "son of HARRY"
PATRICK m Irish, English, French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
From the Latin name Patricius
, which meant "nobleman"
. This name was adopted in the 5th-century by Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint.... [more]
PATTON m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of PATRICK
. A notable bearer of the surname was the American World War II general George S. Patton (1885-1945), who played an important part in the allied offensive in France.
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]
PAXTON m English (Modern)
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "Pœcc's town"
is an Old English given name of unknown meaning.
PEARL f English
From the English word pearl
for the concretions formed in the shells of some mollusks, ultimately from Late Latin perla
. Like other gemstone names, it has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. The pearl is the birthstone for June, and it supposedly imparts health and wealth.
PETER m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical
Derived from Greek Πέτρος (Petros)
. This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas
, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon
(compare Matthew 16:18
and John 1:42
). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.... [more]
PHIL m English
Short form of PHILIP
and various other names beginning with Phil
, often a Greek element meaning "friend, dear, beloved".