AISHA f Arabic, Urdu, American
in Arabic. This was the name of Muhammad
's third wife, the daughter of Abu Bakr
. Some time after Muhammad's death she went to war against Ali
, the fourth caliph, but was defeated. This name is used more by Sunni Muslims and less by Shias.... [more]
ALBA (1) f Italian, Spanish, Catalan
This name is derived from two distinct names, ALBA (2)
and ALBA (3)
, with distinct origins, Latin and Germanic. Over time these names have become confused with one another. To further complicate the matter, alba
means "dawn" in Italian, Spanish and Catalan. This may be the main inspiration behind its use in Italy and Spain.
ARLO m English
Meaning uncertain. It was perhaps inspired by the fictional place name Arlo Hill from the poem The Faerie Queene
(1590) by Edmund Spenser. Spenser probably got Arlo by altering the real Irish place name Aherlow, which is Gaelic meaning "between two highlands".
AVA (1) f English
Variant of EVE
. A famous bearer was the American actress Ava Gardner (1922-1990). This name became very popular throughout the English-speaking world in the early 21st century, entering the top ten for girls in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
BENJAMIN m English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Biblical
From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin)
meaning "son of the south"
or "son of the right hand"
, from the roots בֵּן (ben)
meaning "son" and יָמִין (yamin)
meaning "right hand, south". Benjamin in the Old Testament was the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob
and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named בֶּן־אוֹנִי (Ben-'oni)
meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel
, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father (see Genesis 35:18
BROOKLYN f & m English (Modern)
From the name of a borough of New York City, originally named after the Dutch town of Breukelen
, itself meaning either "broken land" (from Dutch breuk
) or "marsh land" (from Dutch broek
). It can also be viewed as a combination of BROOK
and the popular name suffix lyn
. It is considered a feminine name in the United States, but is more common as a masculine name in the United Kingdom.
CASH m English
From an English occupational surname for a box maker, derived from Norman French casse
. A famous bearer of the surname was American musician Johnny Cash (1932-2003).
CHRISTOPHER m English
From the Late Greek name Χριστόφορος (Christophoros)
meaning "bearing CHRIST"
, derived from Χριστός (Christos)
combined with φέρω (phero)
meaning "to bear, to carry". Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name, expressing that they carried Christ in their hearts. In the Middle Ages, literal interpretations of the name's etymology led to legends about a Saint Christopher who carried the young Jesus
across a river. He has come to be regarded as the patron saint of travellers.... [more]
COCO f Various
Diminutive of names beginning with Co
, influenced by the word cocoa
. However, this was not the case for French fashion designer Coco Chanel (real name Gabrielle), whose nickname came from the name of a song she performed while working as a cabaret singer.
CRUZ f & m Spanish, Portuguese
in Spanish or Portuguese, referring to the cross of the crucifixion.
DASHIELL m English (Rare)
In the case of American author Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) it was from his mother's surname, which was possibly an Anglicized form of French de Chiel
, of unknown meaning.
DUSTY m & f English
From a nickname originally given to people perceived as being dusty. It is also used a diminutive of DUSTIN
. A famous bearer was British singer Dusty Springfield (1939-1999), who acquired her nickname as a child.
EMMA f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
. 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
ENZO m Italian
The meaning of this name is uncertain. In some cases it seems to be an old Italian form of HEINZ
, though in other cases it could be a variant of the Germanic name ANZO
. In modern times it is also used as a short form of names ending in enzo
, such as VINCENZO
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαῖα (gaia)
, a parallel form of γῆ (ge)
. In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
HARLOW f & m English
From a surname derived from a place name, itself derived from Old English hær
"rock" or here
"army", combined with hlaw
HARPER f & m English
From an Old English surname that originally belonged to a person who played the harp or who made harps. A notable bearer was the American author Harper Lee (1926-2016), who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird
HARUTO m Japanese
From Japanese 陽 (haru)
meaning "light, sun, male", 遥 (haru)
meaning "distant, remote" or 晴 (haru)
meaning "clear weather" combined with 斗 (to)
, which refers to a Chinese constellation, or 翔 (to)
meaning "soar, fly". Other kanji combinations can also form this name.
IAGO m Welsh, Galician, Portuguese
Welsh and Galician form of Iacobus
). This was the name of two early Welsh kings of Gwynedd. It is also the name of the villain in Shakespeare's tragedy Othello
INDIA f English
From the name of the country, which is itself derived from the name of the Indus River. The river's name is ultimately from Sanskrit सिन्धु (Sindhu)
meaning "body of trembling water, river".
INDIANA f & m English
From the name of the American state, which means "land of the Indians". This is the name of the hero in the Indiana Jones
series of movies, starring Harrison Ford.
IRELAND f English (Modern)
From the name of the European island country, derived from Irish Gaelic Éire
, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
ISLA f Scottish, English
Variant of ISLAY
, typically used as a feminine name. It also coincides with the Spanish word isla
JADE f & m English, French
From the name of the precious stone that is often used in carvings. It is derived from Spanish (piedra de la) ijada
meaning "(stone of the) flank", relating to the belief that jade could cure renal colic. As a given name, it came into general use during the 1970s. It was initially unisex, though it is now mostly feminine.
JAMES m English, Biblical
English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus
, a variant of the Biblical Latin form Iacobus
, from the Hebrew name Ya'aqov
). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John
's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus
KINGSTON m English (Modern)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "king's town"
in Old English.
KNOX m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Old English cnocc "round hill"
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
, a cognate of LEON
. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include War and Peace
and Anna Karenina
. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
LEON m English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λέων (leon)
. During the Christian era this Greek name was merged with the Latin cognate Leo
, with the result that the two forms are used somewhat interchangeably across European languages. In England during the Middle Ages this was a common name among Jews. A famous bearer was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Communist revolutionary.
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]
LOURDES f Spanish
From the name of a French town. It became a popular center of pilgrimage after a young girl from the town had visions of the Virgin Mary
in a nearby grotto.
LUCA (1) m Italian, Romanian
Italian and Romanian form of Lucas
). This name was borne by Luca della Robbia, a Renaissance sculptor from Florence.
LYNN f & m English
From an English surname that was derived from Welsh llyn
. Before the start of the 20th century it was primarily used for boys, but it has since come to be more common for girls. In some cases it may be thought of as a short form of LINDA
or names that end in lyn
MADDOX m English (Modern)
From a Welsh surname meaning "son of MADOC"
. It was brought to public attention when the actress Angelina Jolie gave this name to her adopted son in 2002.
MARCO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch
Italian form of Marcus
). During the Middle Ages this name was common in Venice, where Saint Mark was supposedly buried. A famous bearer was the Venetian explorer Marco Polo, who travelled across Asia to China in the 13th century.
MARIA f & m Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Latin form of Greek Μαρία
, from Hebrew מִרְיָם
is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary
). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria
is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.... [more]
MASON m English
From an English surname meaning "stoneworker"
, from an Old French word of Germanic origin (akin to Old English macian
"to make"). In the United States this name began to increase in popularity in the 1980s, likely because of its fashionable sound. It peaked in 2011, when it ranked as the second most popular name for boys.
MAXIMILIAN m German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Roman name Maximilianus
, which was derived from MAXIMUS
. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint and martyr. In the 15th century the Holy Roman emperor Frederick III gave this name to his son and eventual heir. In this case it was a blend of the names of the Roman generals Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (see EMILIANO
), who Frederick admired. It was subsequently borne by a second Holy Roman emperor, two kings of Bavaria, and a short-lived Habsburg emperor of Mexico.
MILAN m Czech, Slovak, Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian
From the Slavic element milu
meaning "gracious, dear"
, originally a short form of names that began with that element. A city in Italy bears this name, though it originates from a different source.
MONTE m English
Either a diminutive of MONTGOMERY
or from the Spanish or Italian vocabulary word meaning "mountain".
MOSES m English, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name מֹשֶׁה (Mosheh)
, which is most likely derived from Egyptian mes
, but could also possibly mean "deliver"
in Hebrew. The meaning suggested in the Old Testament of "drew out"
from Hebrew משה (mashah)
is probably an invented etymology (see Exodus 2:10
OCEAN m & f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word ocean
for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ὠκεανός (Okeanos)
, the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.
PAOLO m Italian
Italian form of Paulus
). Paolo Uccello and Paolo Veronese were both Italian Renaissance painters.
PAX f Roman Mythology
in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the goddess of peace.
PEARL f English
From the English word pearl
for the concretions formed in the shells of some mollusks, ultimately from Late Latin perla
. Like other gemstone names, it has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. The pearl is the birthstone for June, and it supposedly imparts health and wealth.
PENELOPE f Greek Mythology, English
Probably derived from Greek πηνέλοψ (penelops)
, a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πήνη (pene)
meaning "threads, weft" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "face, eye". In Homer
's epic the Odyssey
this is the name of the wife of Odysseus
, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy. It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century.
PRESLEY f & m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "priest clearing"
(Old English preost
). This surname was borne by musician Elvis Presley (1935-1977).
ROMEO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin Romaeus
or Late Greek Ρωμαῖος (Romaios)
, which meant "from ROME"
. In medieval Italian this meant "a pilgrim to Rome"
. Romeo is best known as the lover of Juliet
in Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet
ROSE f English, French
Originally a Norman form of the Germanic name Hrodohaidis
meaning "famous type"
, composed of the elements hrod
"fame" and heid
"kind, sort, type". The Normans introduced it to England in the forms Roese
. From an early date it was associated with the word for the fragrant flower rose
(derived from Latin rosa
). When the name was revived in the 19th century, it was probably with the flower in mind.
ROWAN m & f Irish, English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin
meaning "descendant of RUADHÁN"
. This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree.
SCOUT f English (Rare)
From the English word scout
meaning "one who gathers information covertly"
, which is derived from Old French escouter
"to listen". Harper Lee used this name in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird
SERAPHINA f English (Rare), German (Rare), Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Seraphinus
, derived from the biblical word seraphim
, which was Hebrew in origin and meant "fiery ones"
. The seraphim were an order of angels, described by Isaiah in the Bible as having six wings each. This was the name of a 13th-century Italian saint who made clothes for the poor. As an English name, it has never been common.
SHILOH m & f Biblical
From an Old Testament place name possibly meaning "tranquil"
in Hebrew. It is also used prophetically in the Old Testament to refer to a person, often understood to be the Messiah (see Genesis 49:10
). This may in fact be a mistranslation. This name was brought to public attention after actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave it to their daughter in 2006.
SIERRA f English (Modern)
Means "mountain range"
in Spanish, referring specifically to a mountain range with jagged peaks.
SUMMER f English
From the name of the season, ultimately from Old English sumor
. It has been in use as a given name since the 1970s.
TALLULAH f English (Rare)
Popularly claimed to mean "leaping waters" in the Choctaw language, it may actually mean "town" in the Creek language. This is the name of waterfalls in Georgia. It was borne by American actress Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968), who was named after her grandmother, who may have been named after the waterfalls.
TRISTAN m Welsh, English, French, Arthurian Romance
Old French form of the Pictish name Drustan
, a diminutive of DRUST
. The spelling was altered by association with Latin tristis
"sad". Tristan is a character in medieval French tales, probably inspired by older Celtic legends, and ultimately merged into Arthurian legend. According to the story Tristan was sent to Ireland in order to fetch Isolde
, who was to be the bride of King Mark of Cornwall. On the way back, Tristan and Isolde accidentally drink a potion that makes them fall in love. Their tragic story was very popular in the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since that time.
VALENTINA f Italian, Russian, German, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovene, Romanian, Spanish, Greek, Latvian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Valentinus
(see VALENTINE (1)
). A famous bearer was the Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (1937-), who in 1963 became the first woman to visit space.
VINCENT m English, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Slovak
From the Roman name Vincentius
, which was derived from Latin vincere
meaning "to conquer"
. This name was popular among early Christians, and it was borne by many saints. As an English name, Vincent
has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until the 19th century. Famous bearers include the French priest Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).
VIVIAN m & f English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Latin name Vivianus
, which was derived from Latin vivus "alive"
. Saint Vivian was a French bishop who provided protection during the Visigoth invasion of the 5th century. It has been occasionally used as an English (masculine) name since the Middle Ages. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name, in which case it is either an Anglicized form of BÉBINN
or a variant of VIVIEN (2)
WAYLON m English
Variant of WAYLAND
. This name was popularized by country music singer Waylon Jennings (1937-2002), who was originally named Wayland.