BERTRAM m English, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright raven"
, derived from the Germanic element beraht
"bright" combined with hramn
"raven". The Normans introduced this name to England. Shakespeare used it in his play All's Well That Ends Well
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).
BRAN (2) m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
BRENNUS m Gaulish (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince"
. Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
CHERNOBOG m Slavic Mythology
Means "the black god"
from Slavic cherno
"black" and bogu
"god". Chernobog was the Slavic god of darkness, evil and grief.
CIAR m Irish
Derived from Irish ciar
CIARA (1) f Irish
Feminine form of CIAR
. Saint Ciara was an Irish nun who established a monastery at Kilkeary in the 7th century.
CIARÁN m Irish
Diminutive of CIAR
. This was the name of two Irish saints: Saint Ciarán the Elder, the patron of the Kingdom of Munster, and Saint Ciarán of Clonmacnoise, the founder of a monastery in the 6th century.
COLA m Anglo-Saxon
Old English byname meaning "charcoal"
, originally given to a person with dark features.
COLBY m English
From a surname, originally from various English place names, derived from the Old Norse nickname Koli
(meaning "coal, dark") and býr
CORBIN m English
From a French surname that was derived from corbeau "raven"
, originally denoting a person who had dark hair. The name was probably popularized in America by actor Corbin Bernsen (1954-).
CORMAC m Irish
Possibly derived from Irish Gaelic corb
"raven" or "wheel" and mac
"son". This was the name of a 3rd-century king of Ireland.
CRAWFORD m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "crow ford"
in Old English.
DOUGAL m Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Dubhghall
, which meant "dark stranger"
"dark" and gall
DUANE m English, Irish
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Ó Dubhán
meaning "descendant of DUBHÁN"
DUBHÁN m Irish
Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" combined with a diminutive suffix.
DUBHSHLÁINE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" and either slán
"defiance" or Sláine
, the Irish name of the River Slaney.
DUBHTHACH m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" in combination with a second element of unknown meaning.
EBONY f English
From the English word ebony
for the black wood that comes from the ebony tree. It is ultimately from the Egyptian word hbnj
. In America this name is most often used by black parents.
EMERY m & f English
Norman form of EMMERICH
. The Normans introduced it to England, and though it was never popular, it survived until the end of the Middle Ages. As a modern given name, now typically feminine, it is likely inspired by the surname Emery
, which was itself derived from the medieval given name. It can also be given in reference to the hard black substance called emery.
ENGUERRAND m Medieval French
Medieval French form of the Germanic name Engilram
, which was composed of the elements angil
, the name of a Germanic tribe known in English as the Angles, and hramn
"raven". This was the name of several French nobles from Picardy.
FECHÍN m Irish
Means "little raven"
from Irish fiach
"raven" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an Irish saint of the 7th century who died of the yellow plague.
FERRER m Various
From a surname that meant "blacksmith"
in Catalan. This name is often given in honour of Saint Vicente Ferrer, a 14th-century missionary who is the patron saint of builders.
FIACHNA m Irish
Derived from Irish fiach
. This was the name of a king in Irish legend.
FIACHRA m Irish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish fiach
. In Irish legend Fiachra was one of the four children of Lir
transformed into swans for a period of 900 years. This is also the name of the patron saint of gardeners, a 7th-century Irish abbot who settled in France.
GUNTRAM m German
Means "war raven"
from the Germanic elements gund
"war" and hramn
"raven". This was the name of a 6th-century Frankish king.
JETT m English (Modern)
From the English word jet
, which denotes either a jet aircraft or an intense black colour (the words derive from different sources).
KALI (1) f & m Hinduism, Bengali, Tamil
Means "the black one"
in Sanskrit. The Hindu goddess Kali is the fierce destructive form of the wife of Shiva
. She is usually depicted with black skin and four arms, holding a severed head and brandishing a sword. As a personal name, it is generally masculine in India.
KARA (2) m Ottoman Turkish
Means "black, dark"
in Turkish. This was sometimes used as a byname by Ottoman officials, figuratively meaning "courageous".
KERRY m & f English
From the name of the Irish county, called Ciarraí
in Irish Gaelic, which means "CIAR
KIARA f English (Modern)
Variant of CIARA (1)
. This name was brought to public attention in 1988 after the singing duo Kiara released their song This Time
. It was further popularized by a character in the animated movie The Lion King II
KORBINIAN m German
Derived from Latin corvus
. This was the name of an 8th-century Frankish saint who was sent by Pope Gregory II to evangelize in Bavaria. His real name may have been Hraban
KRISHNA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
LI (1) f & m Chinese
From Chinese 理 (lǐ)
meaning "reason, logic", 立 (lì)
meaning "stand, establish", 黎 (lí)
meaning "black, dawn", 力 (lì)
meaning "power, capability, influence" (which is usually only masculine) or 丽 (lì)
meaning "beautiful" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
LONÁN m Irish
Means "little blackbird"
, derived from Irish Gaelic lon
"blackbird" combined with a diminutive suffix.
MELANIE f English, German, Dutch
, the French form of the Latin name Melania
, derived from Greek μέλαινα (melaina)
meaning "black, dark"
. This was the name of a Roman saint who gave all her wealth to charity in the 5th century. Her grandmother was also a saint with the same name.... [more]
MELINA f English, Greek
Elaboration of Mel
, either from names such as MELISSA
or from Greek μέλι (meli)
meaning "honey". A famous bearer was Greek-American actress Melina Mercouri (1920-1994), who was born Maria Amalia Mercouris.
MELINDA f English, Hungarian
Combination of Mel
(from names such as MELANIE
) with the popular name suffix inda
. It was created in the 18th century, and may have been inspired by the similar name Belinda
. In Hungary, the name was popularized by the 1819 play Bánk Bán
by József Katona.
MERLE f & m English
Variant of MERRILL
. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle
meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula
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
RAVEN f & m English
From the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English hræfn
. The raven is revered by several Native American groups of the west coast. It is also associated with the Norse god Odin
RONNE m Frisian
Frisian short form of Germanic names beginning with the element hraban
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.
SHYAMA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit श्याम (shyama)
meaning "dark, black, blue"
. This is a transcription of the masculine form श्याम
, which is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, as well as the feminine form श्यामा
, one of the many names of the wife of the god Shiva
. It is also the name of a Jain goddess.
SIAVASH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "possessing black stallions"
in Avestan. This is the name of a prince in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
SOLON m Ancient Greek
Possibly from Greek σόλος (solos)
meaning "lump of iron"
. This was the name of an Athenian statesman who reformed the laws and government of the city.
TRAHAEARN m Welsh
Means "very much like iron"
, derived from Welsh tra
"very, over" and haearn
VASCO m Portuguese, Spanish, 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.