Names Categorized "black history"

This is a list of names in which the categories include black history.
gender
usage
Aaliyah f Arabic, English (Modern), African American (Modern)
Feminine form of Aali. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by the singer Aaliyah Haughton (1979-2001), who was known simply as Aaliyah. This name received a boost in popularity after she released her debut album in 1994, and also in 2001 after her untimely death in an airplane crash.
Aaron m English, French, German, Finnish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name אַהֲרֹן ('Aharon), which is most likely of unknown Egyptian origin. Other theories claim a Hebrew derivation, and suggest meanings such as "high mountain" or "exalted". In the Old Testament this name is borne by the older brother of Moses. He acted as a spokesman for his brother when they appealed to the pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Aaron's rod produced miracles and plagues to intimidate the pharaoh. After the departure from Egypt and arrival at Mount Sinai, God installed Aaron as the first high priest of the Israelites and promised that his descendants would form the priesthood.... [more]
Addie f English
Diminutive of Adelaide, Adeline, Addison and other names containing the same sound.
Adelaide f English, Italian, Portuguese
Means "nobleness, nobility", from the French form of the Germanic name Adalheidis, which was composed of adal "noble" and the suffix heit "kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman emperor Otto the Great.... [more]
Adelbert m German, Dutch (Rare)
German and Dutch variant of Adalbert.
Adelia f English, Spanish
Elaborated form of Adela.
Agrippa m & f Ancient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from a combination of Greek ἄγριος (agrios) meaning "wild" and ἵππος (hippos) meaning "horse" or alternatively of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
Al m English
Short form of Albert and other names beginning with Al. A notable bearer is American actor Al Pacino (1940-).
Alberta f English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Feminine form of Albert. This is the name of a Canadian province, which was named in honour of a daughter of Queen Victoria.
Aldwin m Germanic
Derived from the Old German elements alt "old" and wini "friend". This is a cognate of Old English Ealdwine.
Alicia f Spanish, English, Swedish, French
Latinized form of Alice.
Althea f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Ἀλθαία (Althaia), perhaps related to Greek ἄλθος (althos) meaning "healing". In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
Alvin m English, Swedish
From a medieval form of any of the Old English names Ælfwine, Æðelwine or Ealdwine. It was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the Old English names. As a Scandinavian name it is derived from Alfvin, an Old Norse cognate of Ælfwine.
Alyce f English
Variant of Alice.
Amber f English, Dutch
From the English word amber that denotes either the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin, or the orange-yellow colour. The word ultimately derives from Arabic عنبر ('anbar). It began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, but it only became popular after the release of Kathleen Winsor's novel Forever Amber (1944).
Andromeda f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἀνήρ (aner) meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός) combined with one of the related words μέδομαι (medomai) meaning "to be mindful of, to provide for, to think on" or μέδω (medo) meaning "to protect, to rule over". In Greek mythology Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued from sacrifice by the hero Perseus. A constellation in the northern sky is named for her. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.
Angie f English
Diminutive of Angela. The 1973 Rolling Stones song Angie caused this name to jump in popularity.
Anita 1 f Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, Slovene, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Latvian, Hungarian
Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian and Slovene diminutive of Ana.
Annie f English, French, Dutch
Diminutive of Anne 1.
Antonio m Spanish, Italian, Croatian
Spanish and Italian form of Antonius (see Anthony). This has been a common name in Italy since the 14th century. In Spain it was the most popular name for boys in the 1950s and 60s.... [more]
Aquilina f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Aquilinus. This was the name of a 3rd-century saint from Byblos.
Araminta f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown. This name was (first?) used by William Congreve in his comedy The Old Bachelor (1693) and later by Sir John Vanbrugh in his comedy The Confederacy (1705). This was the original given name of abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), who was born Araminta Ross.
Aretha f English
Possibly derived from Greek ἀρετή (arete) meaning "virtue". This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-2018).
Arlie f & m English
Diminutive of Arline and other names beginning with Arl.
Arnaldo m Italian, Portuguese
Italian and Portuguese form of Arnold.
Arsenio m Spanish, Italian
Spanish and Italian form of Arsenios.
Arthur m English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements *artos "bear" (Old Welsh arth) combined with *wiros "man" (Old Welsh gur) or *rīxs "king" (Old Welsh ri). Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius.... [more]
Aurélia f Slovak, Hungarian, Portuguese, French
Slovak, Hungarian and Portuguese feminine form of Aurelius, as well as a French variant of Aurélie.
Barack m Arabic
Alternate transcription of Arabic باراك (see Barak 2). A famous bearer is former American president Barack Obama (1961-), who was named after his Kenyan father.
Barbara f English, Italian, French, German, Polish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Late Roman
Derived from Greek βάρβαρος (barbaros) meaning "foreign". According to legend, Saint Barbara was a young woman killed by her father Dioscorus, who was then killed by a bolt of lightning. She is the patron of architects, geologists, stonemasons and artillerymen. Because of her renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was revived in the 19th century.
Bayard m Literature
Derived from Old French baiart meaning "bay coloured". In medieval French poetry Bayard was a bay horse owned by Renaud de Montauban and his brothers. The horse could magically adjust its size to carry multiple riders.
Beatrix f German, Hungarian, Dutch, English, Late Roman
Probably from Viatrix, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator meaning "voyager, traveller". It was a common name amongst early Christians, and the spelling was altered by association with Latin beatus "blessed, happy". Viatrix or Beatrix was a 4th-century saint who was strangled to death during the persecutions of Diocletian.... [more]
Benedita f Portuguese
Portuguese feminine form of Benedict.
Bernardine f French (Rare)
French feminine form of Bernardino.
Bernice f English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Contracted form of Berenice. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II.
Bessie f English
Diminutive of Elizabeth.
Beth f English
Short form of Elizabeth, or sometimes Bethany.
Bettye f English
Variant of Betty.
Beulah f Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Means "married" in Hebrew. The name is used in the Old Testament to refer to the land of Israel (Isaiah 62:4). As an English given name, Beulah has been used since the Protestant Reformation.
Beverly f & m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from the name of a Yorkshire city, itself from Old English beofor "beaver" and (possibly) licc "stream". It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, then became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's 1904 novel Beverly of Graustark. It was most popular in the 1930s, and has since greatly declined in use.
Biddy f Irish, English
Diminutive of Bridget.
Billie m & f English
Diminutive of Bill. It is also used as a feminine form of William.
Blanche f French, English
From a medieval French nickname meaning "white, fair-coloured". This word and its cognates in other languages are ultimately derived from the Germanic word *blankaz. An early bearer was the 12th-century Blanca of Navarre, the wife of Sancho III of Castile. Her granddaughter of the same name married Louis VIII of France, with the result that the name became more common in France.
Booker m English
From an English occupational surname meaning "maker of books". A famous bearer was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), an African-American leader.
Camilla f English, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, German, Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of Camillus. This was the name of a legendary warrior maiden of the Volsci, as told by Virgil in the Aeneid. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Fanny Burney's novel Camilla (1796).
Carlota f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Charlotte.
Carlotta f Italian
Italian form of Charlotte.
Carol 1 f & m English
Short form of Caroline. It was formerly a masculine name, derived from Carolus. The name can also be given in reference to the English vocabulary word, which means "song" or "hymn".
Carole f French
French feminine form of Carolus.
Carrie f English
Diminutive of Caroline. This name declined in use shortly after the 1976 release of the horror movie Carrie, which was based on a 1974 novel by Stephen King.
Carver m English (Rare)
From an English surname that meant "wood carver".
Caryn f English
Variant of Karen 1.
Cassius m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from Latin cassus meaning "empty, vain". This name was borne by several early saints. In modern times, it was the original first name of boxer Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), who was named after his father Cassius Clay, who was himself named after the American abolitionist Cassius Clay (1810-1903).
Catherine f French, English
French form of Katherine, and also a common English variant.
Cato 1 m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "wise" in Latin. This name was bestowed upon Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato), a 2nd-century BC Roman statesman, author and censor, and was subsequently inherited by his descendants, including his great-grandson Cato the Younger (Marcus Porcius Cato Uticencis), a politician and philosopher who opposed Julius Caesar.
Cedric m English
Invented by Walter Scott for a character in his novel Ivanhoe (1819). Apparently he based it on the actual name Cerdic, the name of the semi-legendary founder of the kingdom of Wessex in the 6th century. The meaning of Cerdic is uncertain, but it does not appear to be Old English in origin. It could be connected to the Brythonic name Caratācos. The name was also used by Frances Hodgson Burnett for the main character in her novel Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886).
Chadwick m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of towns in England, meaning "settlement belonging to Chad" in Old English.
Charity f English
From the English word charity, ultimately derived from Late Latin caritas "generous love", from Latin carus "dear, beloved". Caritas was in use as a Roman Christian name. The English name Charity came into use among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.
Charlene f English
Feminine diminutive of Charles.
Charles m English, French
French and English form of Carolus, the Latin form of the Germanic name Karl, which was derived from a word meaning "man" (Proto-Germanic *karlaz). However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic name element *harjaz meaning "army".... [more]
Charline f French
French feminine diminutive of Charles.
Charlotta f Swedish
Swedish variant of Charlotte.
Christine f French, English, German, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Dutch
French form of Christina, as well as a variant in other languages. It was used by the French author Gaston Leroux for the heroine, Christine Daaé, in his novel The Phantom of the Opera (1910).... [more]
Chuck m English
Diminutive of Charles. It originated in America in the early 20th century. Two famous bearers of this name were pilot Chuck Yeager (1923-2020), the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound, and the musician Chuck Berry (1926-2017), one of the pioneers of rock music.
Cicely f English
Medieval variant of Cecily.
Clarence m English
From the Latin title Clarensis, which belonged to members of the British royal family. The title ultimately derives from the name of the town of Clare in Suffolk. As a given name it has been in use since the 19th century.
Claudette f French
French feminine form of Claudius.
Claudia f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Claudius. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament. As a Christian name it was very rare until the 16th century.
Clementine f English
English form of Clémentine.
Clotilda f English (Rare)
English form of Clotilde.
Codie m & f English (Modern)
Variant or feminine form of Cody.
Colin 1 m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of Scottish Cailean.
Colin 2 m English
Medieval diminutive of Col, a short form of Nicholas. It is now regarded as an independent name.
Condoleezza f Various
In the case of the former American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (1954-), it is derived from the Italian musical term con dolcezza meaning "with sweetness".
Constance f English, French
Medieval form of Constantia. The Normans introduced this name to England (it was the name of a daughter of William the Conqueror).
Coretta f English
Diminutive of Cora. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King Jr.
Cornell m English
From an English surname that was derived from the given name Cornelius.
Corrine f English
Variant of Corinne.
Crispus m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "curly-haired" in Latin.
Cynthia f English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθία (Kynthia), which means "woman from Cynthus". This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis, given because Cynthus was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century. It reached a peak of popularity in the United States in 1957 and has declined steadily since then.
Daniel m English, Hebrew, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Finnish, Estonian, Armenian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel) meaning "God is my judge", from the roots דִּין (din) meaning "to judge" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". Daniel was a Hebrew prophet whose story is told in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. He lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon, where he served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king's dreams. The book also presents Daniel's four visions of the end of the world.... [more]
Darrell m English, African American
From an English surname that was derived from Norman French d'Airelle, originally denoting one who came from Airelle in France. As a given name it was moderately popular from the 1930s to the 1970s, but it dropped off the American top 1000 rankings in 2018.
Debbi f English
Diminutive of Deborah.
Debi f English
Diminutive of Deborah.
Debra f English
Variant of Deborah.
Della f English
Diminutive of Adela or Adelaide. A famous bearer was American actress and singer Della Reese (1931-2017).
Denise f French, English, Dutch
French feminine form of Denis.
Desmond m English, Irish
Anglicized form of Irish Deasmhumhain meaning "south Munster", referring to the region of Desmond in southern Ireland, formerly a kingdom. It can also come from the related surname (an Anglicized form of Ó Deasmhumhnaigh), which indicated a person who came from that region. A famous bearer is the South African archbishop and activist Desmond Tutu (1931-2021).
Diann f English
Variant of Diane.
Dido f Roman Mythology, Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Phoenician origin. Dido, also called Elissa, was the queen of Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid. She threw herself upon a funeral pyre after Aeneas left her. Virgil based the story on earlier Greco-Roman accounts.
Dinah f Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Means "judged" in Hebrew. According to the Old Testament, Dinah was a daughter of Jacob and Leah who was abducted by Shechem. It has been used as an English given name since after the Protestant Reformation.
Dionne f English
Feminine form of Dion.
Donata f Italian, Polish, Lithuanian, Late Roman
Feminine form of Donatus (see Donato).
Donny m English
Diminutive of Donald.
Dorinda f English, Galician
Combination of Dora and the name suffix inda. It was apparently coined by the English writers John Dryden and William D'Avenant for their play The Enchanted Island (1667). In the play, a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Dorinda is the sister of Miranda.
Doris f English, German, Swedish, Danish, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the Greek name Δωρίς (Doris), which meant "Dorian woman". The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-2019).
Dorothy f English
Usual English form of Dorothea. It has been in use since the 16th century. The author L. Frank Baum used it for the central character, Dorothy Gale, in his fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and several of its sequels.
Dre m English
Short form of Andre. A famous bearer is the American rapper and music producer Dr. Dre (1965-), born Andre Young.
Drew m English
Short form of Andrew.
Duke m English
From the noble title duke, which was originally derived from Latin dux "leader".
Eartha f English
Combination of the English word earth with the feminine name suffix a. It has been used in honour of African-American philanthropist Eartha M. M. White (1876-1974). Another famous bearer was American singer and actress Eartha Kitt (1927-2008).
Ebony f African American
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 in the black community.
Edward m English, Polish
Means "rich guard", derived from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and weard "guard". This was the name of several Anglo-Saxon kings, the last being Saint Edward the Confessor shortly before the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity his name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century Plantagenet king Henry III named his son and successor after the saint, and seven subsequent kings of England were also named Edward.... [more]
Edythe f English
Variant of Edith.
Elizabeth f English, Biblical
From Ἐλισάβετ (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]
Ella 1 f English
Norman name, originally a short form of Germanic names containing the element alles meaning "other" (Proto-Germanic *aljaz). It was introduced to England by the Normans and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
Elma f Dutch, English, German (Rare)
Short form of Wilhelmine or names ending in elma, such as Anselma. It has also been recorded as a combination of Elizabeth and Mary, as in the case of the 19th-century daughter of the Earl of Elgin, who was named using her mother's first and middle names.
Elvin 1 m English
Variant of Alvin.
Emma f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Latvian, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element irmin meaning "whole" or "great" (Proto-Germanic *ermunaz). It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of King Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of King Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma.... [more]
Emmett m English
From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of the feminine given name Emma.
Ernest m English, French, Catalan, Polish, Slovak, Slovene
Derived from Old High German ernust meaning "serious, earnest". It was introduced to England by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century, though it did not become common until the following century. The American author and adventurer Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was a famous bearer of the name. It was also used by Oscar Wilde for a character in his comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).
Etta f English
Short form of Henrietta and other names that end with etta. A famous bearer was the American singer Etta James (1938-2012), who took her stage name from her real given name Jamesetta.
Eunice f Biblical, English, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Εὐνίκη (Eunike) meaning "good victory", derived from εὖ (eu) meaning "good" and νίκη (nike) meaning "victory". The New Testament mentions her as the mother of Timothy. As an English name, it was first used after the Protestant Reformation.
Eusebia f Spanish
Spanish feminine form of Eusebius.
Eva f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian, Danish, Icelandic, Faroese, Romanian, Greek, Slovene, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Georgian, Armenian, 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]
Fannie f English
Variant of Fanny.
Fawn f English
From the English word fawn for a young deer.
Fay f English
Derived from Middle English faie meaning "fairy", ultimately (via Old French) from Latin fata meaning "the Fates". It appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's chronicles in the name of Morgan le Fay. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century. In some cases it may be used as a short form of Faith.
Faye f English
Variant of Fay.
Felipa f Spanish
Spanish feminine form of Philip.
Fletcher m English
From a surname meaning "maker of arrows" in Middle English, ultimately from Old French flechier.
Freda f English
Short form of names ending in freda or fred, such as Winifred or Alfreda.
Frederick m English
English form of an Old German name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from fridu "peace" and rih "ruler, king". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.... [more]
Freeman m English
From an English surname meaning "free man". It originally denoted a person who was not a serf.
Garnet 2 m & f English
From an English surname that either referred to a person who made hinges (Old French carne) or was derived from the Norman name Guarin.
Garret m English
From a surname that was a variant of Garrett.
Gaspar m Spanish, Portuguese, Judeo-Christian-Islamic Legend
Spanish and Portuguese form of Jasper, as well as the Latin form.
Genesis f English (Modern)
Means "birth, origin" in Greek. This is the name of the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible. It tells of the creation of the world, the expulsion of Adam and Eve, Noah and the great flood, and the three patriarchs.
Gerri f English
Diminutive of Geraldine.
Gertie f English, Dutch
Diminutive of Gertrude.
Gladys f Welsh, English, French, Spanish
From the Old Welsh name Gwladus, probably derived from gwlad meaning "country". Alternatively, it may have been adopted as a Welsh form of Claudia. Saint Gwladus or Gwladys was the mother of Saint Cadoc. She was one of the daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog. This name became popular outside of Wales after it was used in Ouida's novel Puck (1870).
Gloria f English, Spanish, Italian, German
Means "glory", from the Portuguese and Spanish titles of the Virgin Mary Maria da Glória and María de Gloria. Maria da Glória (1819-1853) was the daughter of the Brazilian emperor Pedro I, eventually becoming queen of Portugal as Maria II.... [more]
Gugulethu f Southern African, Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele
From Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele igugu "treasure, pride" and lethu "our".
Gwendolyn f English
Variant of Gwendolen. This is the usual spelling in the United States.
Halle 2 f English (Modern)
In the case of American actress Halle Berry (1966-), it is from the name of a department store in Cleveland where she was born (the store was founded by brothers bearing the German surname Halle, a cognate of Hall).
Hallie f English
Diminutive of Harriet.
Harriet f English
English form of Henriette, and thus a feminine form of Harry. It was first used in the 17th century, becoming very common in the English-speaking world by the 18th century. Famous bearers include the Americans Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820-1913).
Harry m English
Medieval English form of Henry. In modern times it is used as a diminutive of both Henry and names beginning with Har. Famous bearers include the American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), who was named after his uncle Harrison, and the British royal Prince Harry (1984-), who is actually named Henry. It is also the name of the boy wizard in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.
Hattie f English
Diminutive of Harriet.
Hiram m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
From Phoenician 𐤇𐤓𐤌 (Ḥirom) meaning "exalted brother". This was the name of a king of Tyre in the Old Testament. He may have reigned in the 10th century BC. As an English given name, Hiram came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where it gained some currency.
Huey m English
Variant of Hughie.
Ibtihaj f Arabic
Means "joy" in Arabic.
Ida f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, French, Polish, Finnish, Hungarian, Slovak, Slovene, Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element id possibly meaning "work, labour" (Proto-Germanic *idiz). The Normans brought this name to England, though it eventually died out there in the Middle Ages. It was strongly revived in the 19th century, in part due to the heroine in Alfred Tennyson's poem The Princess (1847), which was later adapted into the play Princess Ida (1884) by Gilbert and Sullivan.... [more]
Iman f & m Arabic, Persian, Indonesian
Means "faith", derived from Arabic أمُنَ (amuna) meaning "to be faithful". It is typically feminine in Arabic and typically masculine in Persian.
Iola f English
Probably a variant of Iole.
Ishmael m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִשְׁמָעֵאל (Yishma'el) meaning "God will hear", from the roots שָׁמַע (shama') meaning "to hear" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Abraham. He is the traditional ancestor of the Arab people. Also in the Old Testament, it is borne by a man who assassinates Gedaliah the governor of Judah. The author Herman Melville later used this name for the narrator in his novel Moby-Dick (1851).
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.
Jackie m & f English
Diminutive of Jack or Jacqueline. A notable bearer was baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.
Janel f English
Variant of Janelle.
Janelle f English
Diminutive of Jane. It has been in use only since the 20th century.
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. In the United States this name steadily grew in popularity from the 1970s, especially among African Americans. It reached a peak in the early 1990s shortly after the release of the animated Disney movie Aladdin (1992), which featured a princess by this name.
Jayne f English
Variant of Jane.
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.
Jefferson m English
From an English surname meaning "son of Jeffrey". It is usually given in honour of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third president of the United States and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence.
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.
Jennifer f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish
From a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (see Guinevere). This name has only been common outside of Cornwall since the beginning of the 20th century, after it was featured in George Bernard Shaw's play The Doctor's Dilemma (1906). It barely ranked in the United until the late 1930s, when it began steadily growing in popularity, accelerating into the early 1970s. It was the most popular name for girls in America between 1970 and 1984, though it was not as common in the United Kingdom.... [more]
Jesse m English, Dutch, Finnish, Biblical
From Ἰεσσαί (Iessai), the Greek form of the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishai), which possibly means "gift". In the Old Testament Jesse is the father of King David. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jesse James (1847-1882), an American outlaw who held up banks and stagecoaches. He was eventually shot by a fellow gang member for a reward. Another famous bearer was the American athlete Jesse Owens (1913-1980), whose real name was James Cleveland (or J. C.) Owens.
Jessie 2 m English
Variant of Jesse.
Jessy m & f French, English
Variant of Jesse or Jessie 1.
Jewel f & m English
In part from the English word jewel, a precious stone, derived from Old French jouel, which was possibly related to jeu "game". It is also in part from the surname Jewel or Jewell (a derivative of the Breton name Judicaël), which was sometimes used in honour of the 16th-century bishop of Salisbury John Jewel. It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
Jimi m English, Finnish (Modern)
Variant of Jimmy. A famous bearer was the rock musician Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970).
Joan 1 f English
Medieval English form of Johanne, an Old French form of Iohanna (see Joanna). This was the usual English feminine form of John in the Middle Ages, but it was surpassed in popularity by Jane in the 17th century. It again became quite popular in the first half of the 20th century, entering the top ten names for both the United States and the United Kingdom, though it has since faded.... [more]
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 or Jehohanan 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 and James (his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
Jordan m & f English, French, Macedonian, Serbian
From the name of the river that flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The river's name in Hebrew is יַרְדֵן (Yarden), and it is derived from יָרַד (yarad) meaning "descend" or "flow down". In the New Testament John the Baptist baptizes Jesus Christ in its waters, and it was adopted as a personal name in Europe after crusaders brought water back from the river to baptize their children. There may have been some influence from the Latin name Jordanes, notably borne by a 6th-century Gothic historian.... [more]
Joséphine f French
French feminine form of Joseph. A notable bearer of this name was the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814).
Josephine f English, German, Dutch
English, German and Dutch form of Joséphine.
Julia f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Estonian, 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]
Jupiter m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From Latin Iuppiter, which was ultimately derived from the vocative form of Indo-European *Dyēws-pətēr, composed of the elements Dyēws (see Zeus) and pətēr "father". Jupiter was the supreme god in Roman mythology. He presided over the heavens and light, and was responsible for the protection and laws of the Roman state. This is also the name of the fifth and largest planet in the solar system.
Justinian m History
From the Latin name Iustinianus, which was derived from Iustinus (see Justin). This was the name of a 6th-century Byzantine emperor who attempted to restore the borders of the Roman Empire.
Kamala f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Nepali
Means "lotus" or "pale red" in Sanskrit. In Sanskrit this is a transcription of both the feminine form कमला and the masculine form कमल, though in modern languages it is only a feminine form. This is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades, in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
Karlene f English
Variant of Carlene.
Katherine f English
From the Greek name Αἰκατερίνη (Aikaterine). The etymology is debated: it could derive from an earlier Greek name Ἑκατερινη (Hekaterine), itself from ἑκάτερος (hekateros) meaning "each of the two"; it could derive from the name of the goddess Hecate; it could be related to Greek αἰκία (aikia) meaning "torture"; or it could be from a Coptic name meaning "my consecration of your name". In the early Christian era it became associated with Greek καθαρός (katharos) meaning "pure", and the Latin spelling was changed from Katerina to Katharina to reflect this.... [more]
Kathlyn f English
Anglicized form of Caitlín.
Kathryn f English
Contracted form of Katherine.
Kaycee f English (Modern)
Feminine variant of Casey.
Kenneth m Scottish, English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian
Anglicized form of both Coinneach and Cináed. 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 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.
Kofi m Western African, Akan
Means "born on Friday" in Akan.
Latifah f Arabic, Malay, Indonesian
Feminine form of Latif.
Lelia f Italian
Italian form of Laelia.
Lemuel m Biblical, Mormon, Biblical Hebrew
Means "for God" in Hebrew. This was the name of a king briefly mentioned in Proverbs in the Old Testament. In the Book of Mormon it is the name of a rebellious son of Lehi and Sariah. It is also borne by the hero of Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels (1726).
Lenny m English
Diminutive of Leonard.
Leontyne f English (Rare)
Variant of Léontine. This name is borne by opera singer Leontyne Price (1927-).
Léopoldine f French
French feminine form of Leopold.
Lester m English
From an English surname that was derived from the name of the city of Leicester, originally denoting a person who was from that place. The city's name is derived from the river name Ligore combined with Latin castra "camp".
Lettie f English
Diminutive of Lettice.
Lila 2 f English
Variant of Leila.
Lisette f French, English
Diminutive of Élisabeth.
Loretta f English, Italian
Perhaps a variant of Lauretta or Loreto. A famous bearer was the American actress Loretta Young (1913-2000), whose birth name was Gretchen.
Lorraine f English
From the name of a region in eastern France, originally meaning "kingdom of Lothar". Lothar was a Frankish king, the great-grandson of Charlemagne, whose realm was in the part of France that is now called Lorraine, or in German Lothringen (from Latin Lothari regnum). As a given name, it has been used in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century, perhaps due to its similar sound with Laura. It became popular after World War I when the region was in the news, as it was contested between Germany and France.
Louis m French, English, Dutch
French form of Ludovicus, the Latinized form of Ludwig. This was the name of 18 kings of France, starting with Louis I the son of Charlemagne. Others include Louis IX (Saint Louis) who led two crusades and Louis XIV (called the Sun King) who was the ruler of France during the height of its power, the builder of the Palace of Versailles, and the longest reigning monarch in the history of Europe. It was also borne by kings of Germany (as Ludwig), Hungary (as Lajos), and other places.... [more]
Lucille f French, English
French form of Lucilla. A famous bearer was American comedienne Lucille Ball (1911-1989).
Lucy f English
English form of Lucia, in use since the Middle Ages.
Luther m English
From a German surname, itself derived from the Old German given name Leuthar. The surname was borne by Martin Luther, a 16th-century monk and theologian, who started the Protestant Reformation by nailing his famous 95 theses to a church door. It has since been used as a given name in his honour, especially among Protestants. A notable bearer from the modern era was the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968).
Mabel f English
Medieval feminine form of Amabilis. This spelling and Amabel were common during the Middle Ages, though they became rare after the 15th century. It was revived in the 19th century after the publication of C. M. Yonge's 1854 novel The Heir of Redclyffe, which featured a character named Mabel (as well as one named Amabel).
Mae f English
Variant of May. A famous bearer was the American actress Mae West (1893-1980), whose birth name was Mary.
Maggie f English
Diminutive of Margaret.
Magnolia f English
From the English word magnolia for the flower, which was named for the French botanist Pierre Magnol.
Mahalia f English
Variant of Mahala.
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.
Malcolm m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic Máel Coluim, which means "disciple of Saint Columba". This was the name of four kings of Scotland starting in the 10th century, including Malcolm III, who became king after killing Macbeth, the usurper who had defeated his father Duncan. The character Malcolm in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth (1606) is loosely based on him. Another famous bearer was Malcolm X (1925-1965), an American civil rights leader.
Mamie f English
Diminutive of Mary or Margaret.
Marcia f English, Spanish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Marcius. It was borne by a few very minor saints. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 18th century.
Margaret f English
Derived from Latin Margarita, which was from Greek μαργαρίτης (margarites) meaning "pearl", a word that was probably ultimately a borrowing from an Indo-Iranian language. Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.... [more]
María Fernanda f Spanish
Combination of María and Fernanda.
Mariah f English
Variant of Maria. It is usually pronounced in a way that reflects an older English pronunciation of Maria. The name was popularized in the early 1990s by the American singer Mariah Carey (1970-).
Marian 1 f English
Variant of Marion 1. This name was borne in English legend by Maid Marian, Robin Hood's love. It is sometimes considered a combination of Mary and Ann.
Marion 1 f French, English
Medieval French diminutive of Marie.
Marquita f African American
Feminine variant of Marquis.
Marsha f English
Variant of Marcia.
Martin m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, 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]
Mary f English, Biblical
Usual English form of Maria, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριάμ (Mariam) and Μαρία (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 "love".... [more]
Mavis f English
From the name of the type of bird, also called the song thrush, derived from Old French mauvis, of uncertain origin. It was first used as a given name by the British author Marie Corelli, who used it for a character in her novel The Sorrows of Satan (1895).
Maya 2 f English
Variant of Maia 1. This name can also be given in reference to the Maya, an indigenous people of southern Mexico and parts of Central America whose civilization flourished between the 3rd and 8th centuries. A famous bearer was the American poet and author Maya Angelou (1928-2014).
Mayme f English
Possibly a variant of Mamie.
Meghan f English
Variant of Megan. A notable bearer is Meghan Markle (1981-), the American-born wife of the British royal Prince Harry.
Melba f English
From the surname of the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba (1861-1931). This was a stage name that she got from the name of the city Melbourne, where she was born.
Melva f English
Perhaps a feminine form of Melvin.
Michael m English, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, 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 (see Daniel 12:1). 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]
Michelle f French, English, Dutch
French feminine form of Michel. It has been common in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is the former American first lady Michelle Obama (1964-).
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 meaning "gracious". From an early date it was associated with Latin miles meaning "soldier". A notable bearer was the American musician Miles Davis (1926-1991).... [more]
Milly f Swedish, Norwegian, English
Diminutive of Emilie, Mildred and other names containing the same sound.
Minnie f English
Diminutive of Wilhelmina. This name was used by Walt Disney for the cartoon character Minnie Mouse, introduced 1928.
Minta f English
Short form of Araminta.
Misty f English
From the English word misty, ultimately derived from Old English. The jazz song Misty (1954) by Erroll Garner may have helped popularize the name.
Muhammad m Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Tajik, Uzbek, Indonesian, Malay, Avar
Means "praised, commendable" in Arabic, derived from the root حَمِدَ (hamida) meaning "to praise". This was the name of the prophet who founded the Islamic religion in the 7th century. According to Islamic belief, at age 40 Muhammad was visited by the angel Gabriel, who provided him with the first verses of the Quran. Approximately 20 years later he conquered Mecca, the city of his birth, and his followers controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of his death in 632.... [more]
Muriel f English, French, Irish, Scottish, Medieval Breton (Anglicized)
Anglicized form of Irish Muirgel and Scottish Muireall. A form of this name was also used in Brittany, and it was first introduced to medieval England by Breton settlers in the wake of the Norman Conquest. In the modern era it was popularized by a character from Dinah Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman (1856).
Myra f English
Created by the 17th-century poet Fulke Greville. He possibly based it on Latin myrra meaning "myrrh" (a fragrant resin obtained from a tree). Otherwise, he may have simply rearranged the letters from the name Mary. Although unrelated etymologically, this is also the name of an ancient city of Anatolia.
Nannie f English
Diminutive of Anne 1.
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 because of her misfortune (see Ruth 1:20).... [more]
Nat m & f English
Short form of Nathan, Nathaniel, Natalie and other names beginning with Nat.
Nathan m English, French, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name נָתָן (Natan) meaning "he gave". In the Old Testament this is the name of a prophet during the reign of King David. He chastised David for his adultery with Bathsheba and for the death of Uriah the Hittite. Later he championed Solomon as David's successor. This was also the name of a son of David and Bathsheba.... [more]
Nella f Italian
Short form of Antonella.
Nelson m English, Spanish
From an English surname meaning "son of Neil". It was originally given in honour of the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). His most famous battle was the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he destroyed a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was himself killed. Another notable bearer was the South African statesman Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla; as a child he was given the English name Nelson by a teacher.
Nettie f English
Diminutive of names ending in nette, such as Annette or Jeanette.
Nichelle f African American
Combination of Nicole and Michelle. This name spiked in popularity in the late 1960s when the actress Nichelle Nichols (1932-2022) portrayed Nyota Uhura on the Star Trek television series. Nichols was given the name Grace at birth but it was changed at a young age.
Nina 1 f Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Lithuanian, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian
Short form of names that end in nina, such as Antonina or Giannina. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also nearly coincides with the Spanish word niña meaning "little girl". A famous bearer was the American musician Nina Simone (1933-2003).
Nola f English
Meaning uncertain, possibly a feminine form of Noll inspired by Lola. It has been most common in Australia and New Zealand, especially in the first half of the 20th century.
Norma f English, Italian, Literature
Created by Felice Romani for the main character in the opera Norma (1831). He may have based it on Latin norma "rule". This name is also frequently used as a feminine form of Norman.
Nubia f Various
From the name of the ancient region and kingdom in Africa, south of Egypt. It possibly derives from the Egyptian word nbw meaning "gold".
Octavia f English, Spanish, Romanian, 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.
Olive f English, French
From the English and French word for the type of tree, ultimately derived from Latin oliva.
Olivette f Literature
Feminine form of Oliver. This was the name of the title character in the French opera Les noces d'Olivette (1879) by Edmond Audran.
Opal f English
From the English word opal for the iridescent gemstone, the birthstone of October. The word ultimately derives from Sanskrit उपल (upala) meaning "jewel".
Opaline f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Opal. This is also an English word meaning "resembling an opal".
Ophelia f English, Literature, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ὠφέλεια (opheleia) meaning "help, advantage". This was a rare ancient Greek name, which was either rediscovered or recreated by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem Arcadia. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play Hamlet (1600), in which it belongs to the daughter of Polonius and the potential love interest of Hamlet. She eventually goes insane and drowns herself after Hamlet kills her father. In spite of this negative association, the name has been in use since the 19th century.
Oprah f Various
In the case of television personality Oprah Winfrey (1954-), it was a childhood mispronunciation of her real name Orpah that became permanent.
Osborne m English
From a surname that was a variant of Osborn.
Oscar m English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Old Irish oss "deer" and carae "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 Cumhaill.... [more]
Ousmane m Western African
Form of Uthman used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Pam f English
Short form of Pamela.
Paul m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" 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]
Paula f German, English, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latvian, Croatian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Paulus (see Paul). This was the name of a 4th-century Roman saint who was a companion of Saint Jerome.
Paulette f French, English
French feminine diminutive of Paul.
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 traditional birthstone for June, and it supposedly imparts health and wealth.
Peleg m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew
Means "division, channel" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is the son of Eber.
Phillis f English
Variant of Phyllis.
Pollie f English
Variant of Polly.
Prince m English
From the English word prince, a royal title, which comes ultimately from Latin princeps. This name was borne by the American musician Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016), who is known simply as Prince.
Queen f English
From an old nickname that was derived from the English word queen, ultimately from Old English cwen meaning "woman, wife".
Quincy m English
From an English surname that was derived (via the place name Cuinchy) from the personal name Quintus. A famous bearer was John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), sixth president of the United States, who was born in the town of Quincy, Massachusetts. Both the town and the president were named after his maternal great-grandfather John Quincy (1689-1767). Another notable bearer is the American musician Quincy Jones (1933-).
Racquel f English
Variant of Raquel.
Raphael m German, English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name רָפָאֵל (Rafa'el) meaning "God heals", from the roots רָפָא (rafa') meaning "to heal" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". In Hebrew tradition Raphael is the name of an archangel. He appears in the Book of Tobit, in which he disguises himself as a man named Azarias and accompanies Tobias on his journey to Media, aiding him along the way. In the end he cures Tobias's father Tobit of his blindness. He is not mentioned in the New Testament, though tradition identifies him with the angel troubling the water in John 5:4.... [more]
Richard m English, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Germanic
Means "brave ruler", derived from the Old German elements rih "ruler, king" and hart "hard, firm, brave, hardy". This was the name of three early dukes of Normandy. The Normans introduced it to England when they invaded in the 11th century, and it has been very common there since that time. It was borne by three kings of England including the 12th-century Richard I the Lionheart, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade.... [more]
Richardine f English (Rare)
Feminine form of Richard.
Rita f Italian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Latvian, Lithuanian
Short form of Margherita and other names ending in rita. Saint Rita (born Margherita Lotti) was a 15th-century nun from Cascia, Italy. Another famous bearer was the American actress Rita Hayworth (1918-1987).
Robert m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Estonian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Albanian, Romanian, Catalan, Germanic
From the Germanic name Hrodebert meaning "bright fame", derived from the elements hruod "fame" and beraht "bright". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, where it replaced the rare Old English cognate Hreodbeorht. It has been consistently among the most common English names from the 13th to 20th century. In the United States it was the most popular name for boys between 1924 and 1939 (and again in 1953).... [more]
Roland m English, French, German, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Albanian, Georgian, Medieval French
From the Old German elements hruod meaning "fame" and lant meaning "land", though some theories hold that the second element was originally nand meaning "brave".... [more]
Rosa 1 f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, German, English
Generally this can be considered to be from Latin rosa meaning "rose", though originally it may have come from the unrelated Germanic name Roza 2. This was the name of a 13th-century saint from Viterbo in Italy. In the English-speaking world it was first used in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913-2005).
Rosemary f English
Combination of Rose and Mary. 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.
Rosetta f Italian
Italian diminutive of Rosa 1.
Ruby f English
Simply from the name of the precious stone (which ultimately derives from Latin ruber "red"), which is the traditional birthstone of July. It came into use as a given name in the 16th century.
Rubye f English
Variant of Ruby.
Rudolph m English
English form of Rudolf, imported from Germany in the 19th century. Robert L. May used it in 1939 for his Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Ruth 1 f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From a Hebrew name that was derived from the Hebrew word רְעוּת (re'ut) meaning "friend". This is the name of the central character in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. She was a Moabite woman who accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem after Ruth's husband died. There she met and married Boaz. She was an ancestor of King David.... [more]
Sadie f English
Diminutive of Sarah.
Sanford m English
From an English surname, originally from a place name, which meant "sand ford" in Old English.
Sarah f English, French, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, 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 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]
Satchel m English (Rare)
From an English surname derived from Old English sacc meaning "sack, bag", referring to a person who was a bag maker. A famous bearer was the American baseball player Satchel Paige (1906-1982). In his case it was a childhood nickname acquired because he sold bags.
Selma 1 f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic
Meaning unknown, possibly a short form of Anselma. It could also have been inspired by James Macpherson's 18th-century poems, in which it is the name of Ossian's castle.
Serena f English, Italian, Late Roman
From a Late Latin name that was derived from Latin serenus meaning "clear, tranquil, serene". This name was borne by an obscure early saint. Edmund Spenser also used it in his poem The Faerie Queene (1590). A famous bearer from the modern era is tennis player Serena Williams (1981-).
Shaquille m African American (Modern)
Variant of Shakil. This name is borne by basketball player Shaquille O'Neal (1972-).
Sharon f English
From an Old Testament place name, in Hebrew שָׁרוֹן (Sharon), which means "plain", referring to the fertile plain near the coast of Israel. This is also the name of a type of flowering shrub, the rose of Sharon. It has been in use as a given name since the 1920s, possibly inspired by the heroine in the serial novel The Skyrocket (1925) by Adela Rogers St. Johns.
Shawna f English
Feminine form of Shawn.
Shelia f English
Variant of Sheila.
Shirley f & m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "bright clearing" in Old English. This is the name of a main character in Charlotte Brontë's semi-autobiographical novel Shirley (1849). Though the name was already popular in the United States, the child actress Shirley Temple (1928-2014) gave it a further boost. By 1935 it was the second most common name for girls.