BASIL (1)mEnglish From the Greek name Βασίλειος (Basileios), which was derived from βασιλεύς (basileus) meaning "king". Saint Basil the Great was a 4th-century bishop of Caesarea and one of the fathers of the early Christian church. Due to him, the name (in various spellings) has come into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was also borne by two Byzantine emperors.
CLEOPATRAfAncient Greek (Latinized) From the Greek name Κλεοπάτρα (Kleopatra) meaning "glory of the father", derived from κλέος (kleos) meaning "glory" combined with πατήρ (pater) meaning "father" (genitive πατρός). This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra (1606) tells the story of her life.
CYRUSmEnglish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Ancient Greek (Latinized) From Κῦρος (Kyros), the Greek form of the Persian name Kūrush, which may mean "far sighted" or "young". The name is sometimes associated with Greek κύριος (kyrios) meaning "lord". It was borne by several kings of Persia, including Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon. He is famous in the Old Testament for freeing the captive Jews and allowing them to return to Israel. As an English name, it first came into use among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.
DIDOfRoman Mythology Meaning unknown, possibly "virgin" in Phoenician. Dido, also called Elissa, was the queen of Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid. She burned herself to death after Aeneas left her.
ELEANORfEnglish From the Old French form of the Occitan name Alienòr. Among the name's earliest bearers was the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor"the other AENOR" in order to distinguish her from her mother. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.... [more]
FREDERICKmEnglish English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from frid "peace" and ric "ruler, mighty". 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]
GENGHISmHistory From the title Genghis (or Chinggis) Khan, meaning "universal ruler", which was adopted by the Mongol Empire founder Temujin in the late 12th century. Remembered both for his military brilliance and his brutality towards civilians, he went on to conquer huge areas of Asia and Eastern Europe.
GILGAMESHmSumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology Possibly means "the ancestor is a hero", from Sumerian 𒉋𒂵 (bilga) meaning "ancestor" and 𒈩 (mes) meaning "hero, young man". This was the name of a Sumerian hero, later appearing in the Akkadian poem the Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh, with his friend Enkidu, battled the giant Humbaba and stopped the rampage of the Bull of Heaven, besides other adventures. Gilgamesh was probably based on a real person: a king of Uruk who ruled around the 27th century BC.
HUANGm & fChinese From Chinese 煌 (huáng) meaning "bright, shining, luminous" (which is usually only masculine) or 凰 (huáng) meaning "phoenix" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
JADWIGAfPolish Polish form of HEDWIG. This was the name of a 14th-century ruling queen of Poland who has recently been canonized as a saint.
JOHNmEnglish, 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]
KUBLAImHistory From the Mongolian name Khubilai, of unknown meaning. This was the name of a 13th-century grandson of Genghis Khan (being the son of his son Tolui), and the fifth ruler of the Mongol Empire. He is also considered the first ruler of the Chinese Yuan dynasty.
PHILIPmEnglish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical From the Greek name Φίλιππος (Philippos) meaning "friend of horses", composed of the elements φίλος (philos) meaning "friend, lover" and ἵππος (hippos) meaning "horse". This was the name of five kings of Macedon, including Philip II the father of Alexander the Great. The name appears in the New Testament belonging to two people who are regarded as saints. First, one of the twelve apostles, and second, an early figure in the Christian church known as Philip the Deacon.... [more]
SHAKAmHistory From Zulu uShaka, apparently from ishaka, a stomach cramp caused by an intestinal parasite. This was the name of a Zulu warrior king (1787-1828), supposedly given because his unmarried mother Nandi and/or his father Senzangakhona blamed her pregnancy symptoms on the parasite.
SHIm & fChinese From Chinese 时 (shí) meaning "time, era, season", 实 (shí) meaning "real, honest", 史 (shǐ) meaning "history" or 石 (shí) meaning "stone". Other characters can form this name as well.
SIMÓNmSpanish Spanish form of SIMON (1). This name was borne by the South American revolutionary Simón Bolívar (1783-1830).
TAMARfHebrew, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew Means "date palm" in Hebrew. According to the Old Testament Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah and later his wife. This was also the name of a daughter of King David. She was raped by her half-brother Amnon, leading to his murder by her brother Absalom. The name was borne by a 12th-century ruling queen of Georgia who presided over the kingdom at the peak of its power.
TRAJAN (1)mHistory From the Roman cognomen Traianus, which is of unknown meaning. The Roman emperor Trajan (full name Marcus Ulpius Traianus) is considered among the most capable men to have led the empire. His military accomplishments include victories over Dacia and Parthia.