ABILENE f English
From a place name mentioned briefly in the New Testament. It is probably from Hebrew אָבֵל ('avel)
meaning "meadow, grassy area". It has occasionally been used as a given name in modern times.
ADELAIDE f English, Italian, Portuguese
From the French form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and heid
"kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman emperor Otto the Great. The name became common in Britain in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.
ALEXANDRIA f English
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. Alexander the Great founded several cities by this name (or renamed them) as he extended his empire eastward. The most notable of these is Alexandria in Egypt, founded by Alexander in 331 BC.
ANI (2) f Armenian
From the name of an old Armenian city, of unknown meaning. Now in eastern Turkey, in the 10th and 11th centuries it was the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia, though it was later abandoned and is now only ruins.
ASPEN f English (Modern)
From the English word for the tree, derived from Old English æspe
. It is also the name of a ski resort in Colorado.
AUSTIN m English
Medieval contracted form of AUGUSTINE (1)
. Modern use of the name is probably also partly inspired by the common surname Austin
, which is of the same origin. This is also the name of a city in Texas.
BABYLAS m Late Greek, French (Rare)
Derived from the name of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon. Saint Babylas was a 3rd-century patriarch of Antioch who was martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius.
BELÉN f Spanish
Spanish form of Bethlehem
, the name of the town in Judah where King David
were born. The town's name is from Hebrew בֵּית־לֶחֶם (Beit-lechem)
meaning "house of bread".
BERLIN f Various
From the name of the city in Germany, which is of uncertain meaning.
BEVERLY f & m English
From a surname that was originally derived from the name of an English city, itself meaning "beaver stream" in Old English. It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, and it became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's novel 'Beverly of Graustark' (1904).
BROOKLYN f English (Modern)
From the name of the borough of New York City, originally derived from Dutch Breukelen
meaning "broken land". It can also be viewed as a combination of BROOK
and the popular name suffix lyn
CHANDLER m & f English
From an occupational surname that meant "candle seller" in Middle English, ultimately from Old French.
CHELSEA f English
From the name of a district in London, originally derived from Old English and meaning "landing place for chalk or limestone". It has been in general use as an English given name since the 1970s.
CHESTER m English
From a surname that originally belonged to a person who came from Chester, an old Roman settlement in Britain. The name of the settlement came from Latin castrum
CHEYENNE f & m English
Derived from the Dakota word shahiyena
meaning "red speakers". This is the name of a Native American people of the Great Plains. The name was supposedly given to the Cheyenne by the Dakota because their language was unrelated to their own. As a given name, it has been in use since the 1950s.
CLEVELAND m English
From a surname that was derived from an Old English place name meaning "hilly land". This was the surname of American president Grover Cleveland (1837-1908). It is also the name of an American city, which was founded by surveyor Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806).
CONWAY m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of the River Conwy, which possibly means "holy water" in Welsh.
DALLAS m & f English
From a surname that was originally taken from a Scottish place name meaning "meadow dwelling". A city in Texas bears this name, probably in honour of American Vice President George Mifflin Dallas (1792-1864).
DARWIN m English
From a surname that was derived from the Old English given name Deorwine
, which meant "dear friend". The surname was borne by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the man who first proposed the theory of natural selection and subsequently revolutionized biology.
DAYTON m English
From an English surname that was derived from a place name, which possibly meant either "dairy town" or "ditch town" in Old English.
DENVER m English
From an English surname that was from a place name meaning "Dane ford" in Old English. This is the name of the capital city of Colorado, which was named for the politician James W. Denver (1817-1892).
EUGENE m English
English form of Eugenius
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ευγενιος (Eugenios)
, which was derived from the Greek word ευγενης (eugenes)
meaning "well born". It is composed of the elements ευ (eu)
"good" and γενης (genes)
"born". This was the name of several saints and four popes.... [more]
FIRENZE f Various
From the name of an Italian city, commonly called Florence
FLORENCE f & m English, French
From the Latin name Florentius
or the feminine form Florentia
, which were derived from florens
"prosperous, flourishing". Florentius
was borne by many early Christian saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.... [more]
GARY m English
From an English surname that was derived from a Norman given name, which was itself originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ger
meaning "spear". This name was popularized in the late 1920s the American actor Gary Cooper (1901-1961), who took his stage name from the city of Gary in Indiana where his agent was born.
GENEVA f English
Possibly a shortened form of GENEVIEVE
. It could also be inspired by the name of the city in Switzerland. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
GORDIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Gordianus
meaning "from Gordium", Gordium being the capital of Phrygia in Asia Minor. This is the name by which three Roman emperors are known.
HAMILTON m English
From a surname that was derived from Old English hamel
"crooked, mutilated" and dun
"hill". The surname was originally taken from the name of a town in Leicestershire, England (which no longer exists). A famous bearer of the surname was Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), a founding father of the United States who was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.
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.
JERICHO m English (Modern)
From the name of a city in Israel that is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. The meaning of the city's name is uncertain, but it may be related to the Hebrew word יָרֵחַ (yareach)
meaning "moon", or otherwise to the Hebrew word רֵיחַ (reyach)
KENDALL m & f English
From a surname that comes from the name of the city of Kendale in northwest England meaning "valley on the river Kent".
KIMBERLY f English
From the name of the city of Kimberley
in South Africa, which was named after Lord KIMBERLEY
(1826-1902). The city came to prominence in the late 19th century during the Boer War. Kimberly
has been used as a given name since the mid-20th century, eventually becoming very popular as a feminine name.
KINGSTON m English (Modern)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "king's town" in Old English.
KOBE (2) m Various
From the name of the city in Japan. The parents of basketball player Kobe Bryant (1978-) chose this name after seeing Kobe beef (which is from the Japanese city) on a menu.
LARISA f Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient city of Larisa in Thessaly, which meant "citadel". In Greek legends, the nymph Larisa was either a daughter or mother of Pelasgus, the ancestor of the mythical Pelasgians. This name was later borne by a 4th-century Greek martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Church. The name (of the city, nymph and saint) is commonly Latinized as Larissa
, with a double s
LESTER m English
From a 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
LINCOLN m English
From a surname that was originally from the name of a city in England, called Lindum Colonia
by the Romans, derived from Brythonic lindo
"lake, pool" and Latin colonia
"colony". This name is usually given in honour of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), president of the United States during the American Civil War.
LONDON f & m English (Modern)
From the name of the capital city of the United Kingdom, the meaning of which is uncertain. As a surname it was borne by the American author Jack London (1876-1916).
MADINA f Kazakh, Avar, Chechen
From the name of the city of Medina, Arabic المدينة (al-Madinah)
, which means "the city". The Saudi city is considered an Islamic holy site because the Prophet Muhammad
was based there for a period.
MADISON f & m English
From an English surname meaning "son of MAUD
". It was not commonly used as a feminine name until after the movie 'Splash' (1984), in which the main character adopted it as her name after seeing a street sign for Madison Avenue in New York City. A famous bearer of the surname was James Madison (1751-1836), one of the authors of the American constitution who later served as president.
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.
NAIARA f Basque
From the Basque name of the Spanish city of Nájera, which is Arabic in origin. In the 12th century there was a reported apparition of the Virgin Mary
in a nearby cave.
NANCY f English
Previously a medieval diminutive of ANNIS
, though since the 18th century it has been a diminutive of ANN
. It is now usually regarded as an independent name. During the 20th century it became very popular in the United States. A city in the Lorraine region of France bears this name, though it derives from a different source.
NAPOLEON m History, English
From the old Italian name Napoleone
, used most notably by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who was born on Corsica. The etymology is uncertain, but it is possibly derived from the Germanic Nibelungen
meaning "sons of mist", a name used in Germanic mythology to refer to the keepers of a hoard of treasure (often identified with the Burgundians). Alternatively, it could be connected to the name of the Italian city of Napoli (Naples).
ODESSA f Various
From the name of a Ukrainian city that sits on the north coast of the Black Sea. This name can also be used as a feminine form of ODYSSEUS
ORLANDO m Italian
Italian form of ROLAND
. A city in Florida bears this name, as does a character in Shakespeare's play 'As You like It' (1599).
PARIS (2) f Various
From the name of the capital city of France, which got its name from the ancient Celtic tribe known as the Parisii.
PHILADELPHIA f English (Rare)
From the name of a city in Asia Minor mentioned in Revelation in the New Testament. The name of the city meant "brotherly love" from Greek φιλεω (phileo)
"to love" and αδελφος (adelphos)
"brother". It is also the name of a city in the United States.
PHOENIX m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird that appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοινιξ (phoinix)
meaning "dark red".
RALEIGH m English
From a surname that was from a place name meaning either "red clearing" or "roe deer clearing" in Old English.
REGINA f English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman
Means "queen" in Latin (or Italian). It was in use as a Christian name from early times, and was borne by a 2nd-century saint. In England it was used during the Middle Ages in honour of the Virgin Mary
, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A city in Canada bears this name, in honour of Queen Victoria.
RIO (1) m Various
Means "river" in Spanish or Portuguese. A city in Brazil bears this name. Its full name is Rio de Janeiro, which means "river of January", so named because the first explorers came to the harbour in January and mistakenly thought it was a river mouth.
ROCHELLE f English
From the name of the French city La Rochelle
, meaning "little rock". It first became commonly used as a given name in America in the 1930s, probably due to the fame of actress Rochelle Hudson (1914-1972) and because of the similarity to the name Rachel
ROMA (2) f Various
From the name of the Italian city, commonly called Rome
RYAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Riain
meaning "descendant of Rían". The given name Rían
probably means "little king" (from Irish rí
"king" combined with a diminutive suffix).
SANTIAGO m Spanish, Portuguese
Means "Saint James", derived from Spanish santo
"saint" combined with Yago
, an old Spanish form of JAMES
, the patron saint of Spain. This is the name of the capital city of Chile, as well as several other cities in the Spanish-speaking world.
SAVANNAH f English
From the English word for the large grassy plain, ultimately deriving from the Taino (Native American) word zabana
. It came into use as a given name in America in the 19th century. It was revived in the 1980s by the movie 'Savannah Smiles' (1982).
SIDONIUS m Late Roman
Latin name meaning "of Sidon". Sidon was an ancient Phoenician city corresponding to modern-day Saida in Lebanon. This name was borne by the 5th-century saint Sidonius Apollinaris, a 5th-century bishop of Clermont.
SOFIA f Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Slovak, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian
Form of SOPHIA
used in various languages.
STERLING m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning. The name can also be given in reference to the English word sterling
meaning "excellent". In this case, the word derives from sterling silver, which was so named because of the emblem that some Norman coins bore, from Old English meaning "little star".
SYDNEY f & m English
From a surname that was a variant of the surname SIDNEY
. This is the name of the largest city in Australia, which was named for Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney in 1788. Since the 1990s this name has been mainly feminine.
TRENT m English
From a surname that originally denoted someone who lived by the River Trent
in England. Trent
is also a city in Italy, though the etymology is unrelated.
TRENTON m English
From the name of a New Jersey city established in the 17th century by William Trent. It means "TRENT
TROY m English
From a surname that originally denoted a person from the city of Troyes in France. This was also the name of the ancient city that was besieged by the Greeks in Homer
TURIN m Literature
Means "victory mood" in Sindarin. In the 'Silmarillion' (1977) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Turin was a cursed hero, the slayer of the dragon Glaurung. He was also called Turambar, Mormegil, and other names. This is also the Anglicized name of the city of Torino in Italy.
VALENCIA f Various
From the name of cities in Spain and Venezuela, both derived from Latin valentia
meaning "strength, vigour".
VENETIA f English
Originally this was probably a Latinized form of GWYNEDD
. It also coincides with the name of the city in Italy, called Venice
in English. This name was borne by the celebrated beauty Venetia Stanley (1600-1633). Benjamin Disraeli used it in his novel entitled 'Venetia' (1837).
VERONA f Various
From the name of the city in Italy, which is itself of unknown meaning.
VIENNE f French (Rare)
From the French name of the capital city of Austria, known in English as Vienna
WASHINGTON m English
From a surname that was originally derived from the name of an English town, itself meaning "settlement belonging to WASSA
's people". The given name is usually given in honour of George Washington (1732-1799), commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and the first president of the United States.
YORK m English
From a surname, which was derived from York, the name of a city in northern England. The city name was originally Eburacon
, Latinized as Eboracum
, meaning "yew" in Brythonic, but it was altered by association with Old English Eoforwic
, meaning "pig farm".