RÓNÁN m Irish
Means "little seal"
, derived from Irish rón
"seal" combined with a diminutive suffix.
RONNE m Frisian
Frisian short form of Germanic names beginning with the element hraban
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.
ROSCOE m English
From an English surname, originally derived from a place name, itself derived from Old Norse rá
"roebuck" and skógr
ROSWELL m English
From a surname that was derived from an Old English place name meaning "horse spring"
RUDOLF m German, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Russian, Armenian
From the Germanic name Hrodulf
, which was derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wulf
"wolf". It was borne by three kings of Burgundy, as well as several Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. Anthony Hope used this name for the hero in his popular novel The Prisoner of Zenda
RUSLAN m Russian, Tatar, Bashkir, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Ossetian, Chechen, Ingush, Avar, Circassian
Form of YERUSLAN
used by Aleksandr Pushkin in his poem Ruslan and Ludmila
(1820), which was loosely based on Russian and Tatar folktales of Yeruslan Lazarevich.
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.
SACAGAWEA f Native American
Probably from Hidatsa tsakáka wía
meaning "bird woman"
. Alternatively it could originate from the Shoshone language and mean "boat puller". This name was borne by a Native American woman who guided the explorers Lewis and Clark. She was of Shoshone ancestry but had been abducted in her youth and raised by a Hidatsa tribe.
SANDALIO m Spanish
Spanish form of Sandalius
, a Latinized form of the Gothic name Sandulf
meaning "true wolf"
, derived from sand
"true" and ulf
"wolf". This was the name of a 9th-century Spanish saint martyred by the Moors.
SANGO f Popular Culture
in Japanese. This name is used in the Japanese comic book and television show InuYasha
SARIKA f Indian, Hindi, Marathi
From a Sanskrit word referring to a type of thrush (species Turdus salica) or myna bird (species Gracula religiosa).
SEDNA f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
SEQUOYAH m Native American, Cherokee
Possibly from Cherokee siqua
. This was the name of the Cherokee man (also known as George Guess) who devised the Cherokee writing system in the 19th century.
SHAHIN m Persian, Arabic
in Persian, referring more specifically to the Barbary falcon (species Falco pelegrinoides). The bird's name is a derivative of Persian شاه (shah)
SHAKUNTALA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit शकुन्त (shakunta)
. This is the name of a character in Hindu legend, her story adapted by Kalidasa for the 5th-century play Abhijnanashakuntalam
. It tells how Shakuntala, who was raised in the forest by birds, meets and marries the king Dushyanta
. After a curse is laid upon them Dushyanta loses his memory and they are separated, but eventually the curse is broken after the king sees the signet ring he gave her.
SHAW (2) m Scottish
From a Scottish surname that was itself derived from the Gaelic byname Sithech
SHER m Urdu, Pashto
in Persian. A famous bearer of this name was Sher Shah, a 16th-century Mughal ruler.
SHERRY f English
Before the 20th century this was probably from the Irish surname Ó Searraigh
meaning "descendant of Searrach"
(a name meaning "foal" in Gaelic). Later it may have been reinforced by the French word chérie
, or the English word sherry
, a type of fortified wine named from the Spanish town of Jerez. This name came into popular use during the 1920s, inspired by other similar-sounding names and by Collette's novels Chéri
(1920, English translation 1929) and The Last of Chéri
(1926, English translation 1932), in which it is a masculine name.
SHQIPE f Albanian
From Albanian shqip
. Additionally, the word shqipe
in modern Albanian, a variant of older shkabë
. These interrelated words are often the subject of competing claims that the one is derived from the other. The ultimate origin of shqip
"Albanian" is uncertain, but it may be from shqipoj
meaning "to say clearly".
SIAVASH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "possessing black stallions"
in Avestan. This is the name of a prince in the 11th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
SIMBA (2) m Eastern African, Swahili
in Swahili. This is the name of the main character in the Disney movie The Lion King
(1994), about a lion cub who exiles himself after his father is murdered.
SINGH m Indian (Sikh)
From Sanskrit सिंह (sinha)
. In 1699 Guru Gobind Singh gave all his male Sikh followers the surname Singh
, and it is now a very common surname or a middle name. The female equivalent is Kaur
SOLANGE f French
French form of the Late Latin name Sollemnia
, which was derived from Latin sollemnis "religious"
. This was the name of a French shepherdess who became a saint after she was killed by her master.
SPYRIDON m Greek, Late Greek
Late Greek name derived from Greek σπυριδιον (spyridion)
or Latin spiritus
. Saint Spyridon was a 4th-century sheep farmer who became the bishop of Tremithus and suffered during the persecutions of Diocletian.
SUZUME f Japanese (Rare)
From Japanese 雀 (suzume)
meaning "sparrow", as well as other kanji or kanji combinations that are pronounced the same way.
SWITHIN m History
From the Old English name Swiðhun
, derived from swiþ
"strong" and perhaps hun
"bear cub". Saint Swithin was a 9th-century bishop of Winchester.
TABITHA f English, Biblical, Biblical Greek
in Aramaic. Tabitha in the New Testament was a woman restored to life by Saint Peter
. Her name is translated into Greek as Dorcas
(see Acts 9:36
). As an English name, Tabitha
became common after the Protestant Reformation. It was popularized in the 1960s by the television show Bewitched
, in which Tabitha (sometimes spelled Tabatha) is the daughter of the main character.
TAHMASP m Ancient Persian
Persian form of the Avestan name Takhmaspa
, which was derived from takhma
"strong, brave, valiant" and aspa
"horse". This name was borne by two Safavid shahs of Persia.
TANGUY m Breton, French
From Breton tan
"fire" and gi
"dog". This was the name of a 6th-century Breton saint.
TANITH f Semitic Mythology
Derived from Semitic roots meaning "serpent lady"
. This was the name of the Phoenician goddess of love, fertility, the moon and the stars. She was particularly associated with the city of Carthage, being the consort of Ba'al Hammon
TAU m Southern African, Tswana, Sotho
in Tswana and Sotho. Tau was the name of the last ruler of the Rolong in South Africa (18th century).
TEAL f English (Rare)
From the English word for the type of duck or the greenish-blue colour.
TIGER m English (Rare)
From the name of the large striped cat, derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek τιγρις (tigris)
, ultimately of Iranian origin. A famous bearer is American golfer Tiger Woods (1975-).
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.
TODD m English
From a surname meaning "fox"
, derived from Middle English todde
ULRIC m English (Rare)
Middle English form of the Old English name Wulfric
meaning "wolf ruler"
. When it is used in modern times, it is usually as a variant of ULRICH
ÚNA f Irish
Possibly derived from Irish uan
URS m German
German form of the Latin name Ursus
, which meant "bear"
. Saint Ursus was a 3rd-century soldier in the Theban Legion who was martyred with Saint Victor. He is the patron saint of Solothurn in Switzerland.
URSA f Late Roman
Feminine form of URSUS
. This is the name of two constellations in the northern sky: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
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.
USAGI f Popular Culture
in Japanese. This name was used on the Japanese television show Sailor Moon
, which first aired in the 1990s.
UTHMAN m Arabic
Means "baby bustard"
in Arabic (a bustard is a type of large bird). Uthman was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad
who married two of his daughters. He was the third caliph of the Muslims.
UXUE f Basque
From the Basque name of the Spanish town of Ujué where there is a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary
. Its name is derived from Basque usoa
VANESSA f English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch
Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his poem Cadenus and Vanessa
(1726). He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther
Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.
VASCO m Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
From the medieval Spanish name Velasco
, which possibly meant "crow"
in Basque. A famous bearer was the 15th-century Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the first person to sail from Europe around Africa to India.
VEGA f Astronomy
The name of a star in the constellation Lyra. Its name is from Arabic الواقع (al-Waqi')
meaning "the swooping (eagle)".
VESPASIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Vespasianus
, derived either from Latin vesper
. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the founder of the Flavian dynasty.
VETLE m Norwegian
Norwegian form of the Old Norse name Vetrliði
meaning "winter traveller"
, and by extension "bear cub"
WARREN m English
From an English surname that was derived either from Norman French warrene
meaning "animal enclosure"
, or else from the town of La Varenne in Normandy. This name was borne by the American president Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).
WILBUR m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from the nickname Wildbor
meaning "wild boar"
in Middle English. This name was borne by Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), one half of the Wright brothers, who together invented the first successful airplane. Wright was named after the Methodist minister Wilbur Fisk (1792-1839).
WINNIE f English
Diminutive of WINIFRED
. Winnie-the-Pooh, a stuffed bear in the children's books by A. A. Milne, was named after a real bear named Winnipeg
who lived at the London Zoo.
WOLFGANG m German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements wulf
meaning "wolf" and gang
meaning "path". Two famous bearers of this name were Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and German novelist and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).
WREN f English (Modern)
From the English word for the small songbird. It is ultimately derived from Old English wrenna
YERUSLAN m Folklore
From Tatar Uruslan
, which was possibly from Turkic arslan
. Yeruslan Lazarevich is the name of a hero in Russian and Tatar folktales. These tales were based on (or at least influenced by) Persian tales of their hero Rostam
YORK m English
From a surname, which was derived from York, the name of a city in northern England. The city name was originally Eburacon
, Latinized as Eboracum
, meaning "yew" in Brythonic, but it was altered by association with Old English Eoforwic
, meaning "pig farm".
ZARATHUSTRA m History
Possibly means "golden camel"
in Old Iranian, derived from zarat
meaning "golden" combined with ushtra
meaning "camel". Zarathustra was the Persian prophet who founded the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism about the 10th century BC.
ZIBIAH f Biblical
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the mother of King Joash of Judah.