ANDROMEDA f Greek Mythology
Means "to be mindful of a man" from the Greek element ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
) combined with μεδομαι (medomai)
"to be mindful of". 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.
ARA m Armenian, Armenian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Sumerian origin. In Armenian legend this was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him. During the war Ara was slain.
ARIES m Roman Mythology
Means "ram" in Latin. This is the name of a constellation and the first sign of the zodiac. Some Roman legends state that the ram in the constellation was the one who supplied the Golden Fleece sought by Jason
CARINA (1) f English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from cara
meaning "dear, beloved". This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr. It is also the name of a constellation in the southern sky, though in this case it means "keel" in Latin, referring to a part of Jason
's ship the Argo.
CASSIOPEIA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κασσιοπεια (Kassiopeia)
or Κασσιεπεια (Kassiepeia)
, possibly meaning "cassia juice". In Greek myth Cassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda. She was changed into a constellation and placed in the northern sky after she died.
CEPHEUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κηφευς (Kepheus)
, which is of unknown meaning. In Greek legend he was a king of Ethiopia, the husband of Cassiopeia. After he died he was made into a constellation and placed in the sky.
COLUMBA m & f Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "dove". The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity. This was the name of several early saints both masculine and feminine, most notably the 6th-century Irish monk Saint Columba (or Colum) who established a monastery on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. He is credited with the conversion of Scotland to Christianity.
DRACO m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Δρακων (Drakon)
, which meant "dragon, serpent". This was the name of a 7th-century BC Athenian legislator. This is also the name of a constellation in the northern sky.
GEMINI m Roman Mythology
Means "twins" in Latin. This is the name of the third sign of the zodiac. The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor
, are named for the mythological twin sons of Leda
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
meaning "lion", 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.
LYRA f Astronomy
The name of the constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. It is said to be shaped after the lyre of Orpheus.
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
OPHIUCHUS m Astronomy
Latinized form of Greek Οφιουχος (Ophiouchos)
meaning "serpent bearer". This is the name of an equatorial constellation that depicts the god Asklepios holding a snake.
ORION m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, but possibly related to Greek ‘οριον (horion)
meaning "boundary, limit". Alternatively it may be derived from Akkadian Uru-anna
meaning "light of the heavens". This is the name of a constellation, which gets its name from a legendary Greek hunter who was killed by a scorpion sent by the earth goddess Gaia
PEGASUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πηγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγος (pegos)
"strong" or πηγαιος (pegaios)
"from a water spring". In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
PERSEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek περθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero who was said to have founded the ancient city of Mycenae. He was the son of Zeus
. Mother and child were exiled by Danaë's father Acrisius, and Perseus was raised on the island of Seriphos. The king of the island compelled Perseus to kill the Gorgon Medusa
, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone. After obtaining winged sandals and other tools from the gods, he succeeded in his task by looking at Medusa in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. On his return he defeated a sea monster in order to save Andromeda
, who became his wife.
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".
URSA f Late Roman
Feminine form of URSUS
. This is the name of two constellations in the northern sky: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
VEGA f Astronomy
The name of a star in the constellation Lyra. Its name is from Arabic الواقع (al-Waqi')
meaning "the swooping (eagle)".
YUUTO m Japanese
From Japanese 優 (yuu)
meaning "excellence, superiority, gentleness" or 悠 (yuu)
meaning "distant, leisurely" combined with 斗 (to)
, which refers to a Chinese constellation, 人 (to)
meaning "person" or 翔 (to)
meaning "soar, fly". Other kanji combinations are possible.