ABIJAH m & f Biblical
Means "my father is YAHWEH
" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of several characters, both male and female, including the second king of Judah.
ABISHAG f Biblical
Means "my father strays" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Abishag is a young woman who tends King David
in his old age.
ABITAL f Biblical
Means "my father is the night dew" in Hebrew. She is the fifth wife of David
in the Old Testament.
ADAH f Biblical
Means "adornment" in Hebrew. This was the name of the wives of both Lamech and Esau in the Old Testament.
AHINOAM f Biblical
Means "my brother is pleasant" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of wives of both Saul
ANNA f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Form of Channah
) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah
spelling instead of Anna
. The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus
as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary
. In the English-speaking world, this form came into general use in the 18th century, joining Ann
APPHIA f Biblical
Greek form of a Hebrew name that possibly meant "increasing". This is a name mentioned in Paul
's epistle to Philemon
in the New Testament.
ATHALIAH f & m Biblical
Possibly means "YAHWEH
is exalted" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both a feminine and masculine name. It was borne by the daughter of Ahab
, who later came to rule Judah as a queen.
BATHSHEBA f Biblical
Means "daughter of the oath" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a woman married to Uriah
the Hittite. King David
seduced her and made her pregnant, so he arranged to have her husband killed in battle and then married her. She was the mother of Solomon
BERENICE f English, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Βερενικη (Berenike)
, the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενικη (Pherenike)
, which meant "bringing victory" from φερω (phero)
"to bring" and νικη (nike)
"victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty that was originally from Macedon. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament (in most English Bibles it is spelled Bernice
) belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II. As an English name, Berenice
came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
BITHIAH f Biblical
Means "daughter of YAHWEH
" in Hebrew, from the roots בַּת (bat)
meaning "daughter" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Pharaoh. She is traditionally equated with the pharaoh's daughter who drew Moses
from the Nile.
DEBORAH f English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name דְּבוֹרָה (Devorah)
meaning "bee". In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak
, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca.... [more]
DELILAH f Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Means "delicate, weak, languishing" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is the lover of Samson
, whom she betrays to the Philistines by cutting his hair, which is the source of his power. Despite her character flaws, the name began to be used by the Puritans in the 17th century. It has been used occasionally in the English-speaking world since that time.
DORCAS f Biblical
Derived from Greek δορκας (dorkas)
meaning "gazelle". This is the Greek translation of the name Tabitha
in the New Testament (see Acts 9:36).
ELIZABETH f English, Biblical
From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva')
meaning "my God is an oath", derived from the roots אֵל ('el)
referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava')
meaning "oath". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron
, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John
the Baptist.... [more]
ESTHER f English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR
. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman
persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai
, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah
EVA f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Slovene, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Georgian, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin
Form of EVE
used in various languages. This form is used in the Latin translation of the New Testament, while Hava
is used in the Latin Old Testament. The name appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852) belonging to the character Little Eva, whose real name is in fact Evangeline.... [more]
EVE f English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah)
, which was derived from the Hebrew word חָוָה (chawah)
meaning "to breathe" or the related word חָיָה (chayah)
meaning "to live". According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis, Eve and Adam
were the first humans. God created her from one of Adam's ribs to be his companion. At the urging of a serpent she ate the forbidden fruit and shared some with Adam, causing their expulsion from the Garden of Eden
HAGAR f Biblical, Biblical German, Biblical Hebrew
Possibly means "flight" in Hebrew, though it could also be of unknown Egyptian origin. In the Old Testament she is the concubine of Abraham
and the mother of Ishmael
, the founder of the Arab people. After Abraham's wife Sarah
finally gave birth to a child, she had Hagar and Ishmael expelled into the desert. However, God heard their crying and saved them.
HANNAH f English, Hebrew, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Arabic, Biblical
From the Hebrew name חַנָּה (Channah)
meaning "favour, grace", derived from the root חָנַן (chanan)
. In the Old Testament this is the name of the wife of Elkanah
. Her rival was Elkanah's other wife Peninnah
, who had children while Hannah remained barren. After a blessing from Eli
she finally became pregnant with Samuel
HERODIAS f Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Feminine form of HEROD
. This was the name of a member of the Herodian ruling family of Judea, a sister of Herod Agrippa and the wife of Herod Antipas. She appears in the New Testament, where she contrives to have her husband Antipas imprison and execute John the Baptist.
HULDAH f Biblical
Means "weasel, mole" in Hebrew. This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to a prophetess.
JAEL f Biblical
From the Hebrew name יָעֵל (Ya'el)
meaning "ibex, mountain goat". This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to the wife of Heber
the Kenite. After Sisera, the captain of the Canaanite army, was defeated in battle by Deborah
he took refuge in Heber's tent. When he fell asleep Jael killed him by hammering a tent peg into his head.
JEDIDAH f Biblical
From Hebrew יָדִיד (yadid)
meaning "beloved, friend". In the Old Testament this is the name of the wife of King Amon of Judah and the mother of Josiah
JEMIMA f Biblical, English
Means "dove" in Hebrew. This was the oldest of the three daughters of Job in the Old Testament. As an English name, Jemima
first became common during the Puritan era.
JEZEBEL f Biblical
From the Hebrew אִיזֶבֶל ('Izevel)
, which probably means "where is the prince?", a ritual question spoken in ceremonies honouring Baal
. Alternatively, it may mean "not exalted". In the Old Testament Jezebel is the evil wife of Ahab
, king of Israel. After she was thrown from a window to her death her body was eaten by dogs, fulfilling Elijah
JOANNA f English, Polish, Biblical
English and Polish form of Latin Iohanna
, which was derived from Greek Ιωαννα (Ioanna)
, the feminine form of Ioannes
). This is the spelling used in the English New Testament, where it belongs to a follower of Jesus
who is regarded as a saint. In the Middle Ages in England it was used as a Latinized form of Joan
(the usual feminine form of John
) and it became common as a given name in the 19th century.
JUDITH f English, Jewish, French, German, Spanish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדִית (Yehudit)
meaning "Jewish woman", feminine of יְהוּדִי (yehudi)
, ultimately referring to a person from the tribe of Judah
. In the Old Testament Judith is one of the Hittite wives of Esau
. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith. She killed Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep.... [more]
JULIA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical
Feminine form of the Roman family name JULIUS
. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was also borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare used it in his comedy 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594).... [more]
KEREN-HAPPUCH f Biblical
Means "horn of antimony" in Hebrew. Antimony is a substance that was formerly used as an eye cosmetic (eye shadow). A hollowed animal horn could have been used to store this material. Keren-Happuch is the name of the third daughter of Job in the Old Testament.
KEZIAH f Biblical
From the Hebrew name קְצִיעָה (Qetzi'ah)
meaning "cassia, cinnamon", from the name of the spice tree. In the Old Testament she is a daughter of Job.
LEAH f English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name לֵאָה (Le'ah)
, which was probably derived from the Hebrew word לְאָה (le'ah)
meaning "weary". Alternatively it might be related to Akkadian littu
meaning "cow". In the Old Testament Leah is the first wife of Jacob
and the mother of seven of his children. Jacob's other wife was Leah's younger sister Rachel
, who he preferred. Leah later offered Jacob her handmaid Zilpah
in order for him to conceive more children.... [more]
LOIS (1) f English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly derived from Greek λωιων (loion)
meaning "more desirable" or "better". Lois is mentioned in the New Testament as the mother of Eunice
and the grandmother of Timothy
. As an English name, it came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In fiction, this is the name of the girlfriend of the comic book hero Superman.
MAGDALENE f German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From a title meaning "of Magdala". Mary
Magdalene, a character in the New Testament, was named thus because she was from Magdala - a village on the Sea of Galilee whose name meant "tower" in Hebrew. She was cleaned of evil spirits by Jesus
and then remained with him during his ministry, witnessing the crucifixion and the resurrection. She was a popular saint in the Middle Ages, and the name became common then. In England it is traditionally rendered Madeline
, while Magdalene
is the learned form.
MARA (1) f Biblical
Means "bitter" in Hebrew. This is a name taken by Naomi
in the Old Testament (see Ruth 1:20).
MARTHA f English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, German, Greek, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From Aramaic מַרְתָּא (marta')
meaning "the lady, the mistress", feminine form of מַר (mar)
meaning "master". In the New Testament this is the name of the sister of Lazarus
of Bethany (who is sometimes identified with Mary Magdalene). She was a witness to Jesus
restoring her dead brother to life.... [more]
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
MEHETABEL f Biblical
From the Hebrew name מְהֵיטַבְאֵל (Meheitav'el)
meaning "God makes happy". This name is mentioned briefly in the Old Testament.
MICHAL (2) f Biblical, Hebrew
Possibly means "brook" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Saul
. She was married to David
, but after David fled from Saul he remarried her to someone else. Later, when David became king, he ordered her returned to him.
MIRIAM f Hebrew, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew form of MARY
. It is used in the Old Testament, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses
. She watched over the infant Moses as the pharaoh's daughter drew him from the Nile. The name has long been popular among Jews, and it has been used as an English Christian name (alongside Mary
) since the Protestant Reformation.
NAAMAH f Biblical
Means "pleasant" in Hebrew. This name is borne in the Old Testament by both a daughter of Lamech
and a wife of Solomon
. Some later Jewish texts give Naamah as the name of Noah
's wife, even though she is not named in the Old Testament.
NAOMI (1) f English, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name נָעֳמִי (Na'omi)
meaning "pleasantness". In the Old Testament this is the name of the mother-in-law of Ruth
. After the death of her husband and sons, she returned to Bethlehem with Ruth. There she declared that her name should be Mara
(see Ruth 1:20).... [more]
NOAH (2) f Biblical
From the Hebrew name נֹעָה (No'ah)
meaning "motion". In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Zelophehad
. In English this name is typically spelled the same as the name of the male biblical character Noah
, though in Hebrew they are written distinctly.
ORPAH f Biblical
Means "back of the neck" in Hebrew. Orpah is Naomi
's second daughter-in-law in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament.
PENINNAH f Biblical
Means "precious stone, pearl" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the wives of Elkanah
, the other being Hannah
PERSIS f Biblical, Biblical Greek
Greek name meaning "Persian woman". This was the name of a woman mentioned in Paul
's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament.
PHOEBE f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβη (Phoibe)
, which meant "bright, pure" from Greek φοιβος (phoibos)
. In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis
. The name appears in Paul
's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).
PHOTINE f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek φως (phos)
meaning "light" (genitive φωτος (photos)
). This is the name traditionally given to the Samaritan woman Jesus
met at the well (see John 4:7). She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Church.
PRISCILLA f English, Italian, French, Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman name, a diminutive of PRISCA
. In Acts in the New Testament Paul
lived with Priscilla (also known as Prisca) and her husband Aquila
in Corinth for a while. It has been used as an English given name since the Protestant Reformation, being popular with the Puritans. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used it in his poem 'The Courtship of Miles Standish' (1858).
RACHEL f English, Hebrew, French, German, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name רָחֵל (Rachel)
meaning "ewe". In the Old Testament this is the name of the favourite wife of Jacob
. Jacob was tricked by her father Laban
into marrying her older sister Leah
first, though in exchange for seven years of work Laban allowed Jacob to marry Rachel too. Initially barren and facing her husband's anger, she offered her handmaid Bilhah
to Jacob to bear him children. Eventually she was herself able to conceive, becoming the mother of Joseph
RAHAB f Biblical
Means "spacious" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a woman of Jericho who helped the Israelites capture the city.
REBECCA f English, Italian, Swedish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name רִבְקָה (Rivqah)
from an unattested root probably meaning "join, tie, snare". This is the name of the wife of Isaac
and the mother of Esau
in the Old Testament. It came into use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular with the Puritans in the 17th century.
RHODA f Biblical, English
Derived from Greek ‘ροδον (rhodon)
meaning "rose". In the New Testament this name was borne by a maid in the house of Mary the mother of John Mark. As an English given name, Rhoda
came into use in the 17th century.
SALOME f English, German, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From an Aramaic name that was related to the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם (shalom)
meaning "peace". According to the historian Josephus this was the name of the daughter of Herodias
(the consort of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee). In the New Testament, though a specific name is not given, it was a daughter of Herodias who danced for Herod and was rewarded with the head of John
the Baptist, and thus Salome and the dancer have traditionally been equated.... [more]
SAPPHIRA f Biblical
From the Greek name Σαπφειρη (Sappheire)
, which was from Greek σαπφειρος (sappheiros)
meaning "sapphire" or "lapis lazuli" (ultimately derived from the Hebrew word סַפִּיר (sappir)
). Sapphira is a character in Acts in the New Testament who is killed by God for lying.
SARAH f English, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "lady, princess, noblewoman" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of Abraham
's wife, considered the matriarch of the Jewish people. She was barren until she unexpectedly became the pregnant with Isaac
at the age of 90. Her name was originally Sarai
, but God changed it at the same time Abraham's name was changed (see Genesis 17:15).... [more]
SHIPHRAH f Biblical
Means "beautiful" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the midwives who disobeys the Pharaoh's order to kill any Hebrew boys they deliver.
SUSANNA f Italian, Catalan, Swedish, Finnish, Russian, Dutch, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
From Σουσαννα (Sousanna)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name שׁוֹשַׁנָּה (Shoshannah)
. This was derived from the Hebrew word שׁוֹשָׁן (shoshan)
meaning "lily" (in modern Hebrew this also means "rose"), perhaps ultimately from Egyptian sšn
"lotus". In the Old Testament Apocrypha this is the name of a woman falsely accused of adultery. The prophet Daniel
clears her name by tricking her accusers, who end up being condemned themselves. It also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a woman who ministers to Jesus
TABEA f German
German short form of TABITHA
. This form was used in earlier editions of the Luther Bible.
TABITHA f English, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "gazelle" 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.
TAMAR f Hebrew, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "date palm" in Hebrew. According to the Old Testament Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah
and later his wife. This was also the name of a daughter of King David
. She was raped by her half-brother Amnon
, leading to his murder by her brother Absalom
. The name was borne by a 12th-century ruling queen of Georgia who presided over the kingdom at the peak of its power.
TIRZAH f Biblical
From the Hebrew name תִּרְצָה (Tirtzah)
meaning "favourable". Tirzah is the name of one of the daughters of Zelophehad
in the Old Testament. It also occurs in the Old Testament as a place name, the early residence of the kings of the northern kingdom.
TRYPHENA f Biblical
From the Greek name Τρυφαινα (Tryphaina)
, derived from Greek τρυφη (tryphe)
meaning "softness, delicacy". This name is mentioned briefly in the New Testament.
VASHTI f Biblical
Possibly means "thread" in Hebrew, but it is most likely of Persian origin. In the Old Testament this is the name of the first wife of King Ahasuerus of Persia before he marries Esther.
ZIBIAH f Biblical
Means "gazelle" or "doe" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the mother of King Joash of Judah.
ZULEIKA f Literature
Possibly means "brilliant beauty" in Persian. According to medieval legends this was the name of Potiphar's wife in the Bible. She has been a frequent subject of poems and tales.