CHERNOBOG m Slavic Mythology
Means "the black god"
from Slavic cherno
"black" and bogu
"god". Chernobog was the Slavic god of darkness, evil and grief.
COLA m Anglo-Saxon
Old English byname meaning "charcoal"
, originally given to a person with dark features.
COLBY m English
From a surname, originally from various English place names, derived from the Old Norse nickname Koli
(meaning "coal, dark") and býr
COLE m English
From a surname that was originally derived from the Old English byname COLA
CORBIN m English
From a French surname that was derived from corbeau "raven"
, originally denoting a person who had dark hair. The name was probably popularized in America by actor Corbin Bernsen (1954-).
DONNDUBHÁN m Ancient Irish
Composed of the Irish element donn
"brown" combined with dubh
"dark" and a diminutive suffix.
DOUGAL m Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Dubhghall
, which meant "dark stranger"
"dark" and gall
DOUGLAS m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of the Scottish surname Dubhghlas
, meaning "dark river"
from Gaelic dubh
"dark" and glais
"water, river" (an archaic word related to glas
"grey, green"). Douglas was originally a place name (for example, a tributary of the River Clyde), which then became a Scottish clan name borne by a powerful line of earls. It has been used as a given name since the 16th century.
DUBHÁN m Irish
Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" combined with a diminutive suffix.
DUBHSHLÁINE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" and either slán
"defiance" or Sláine
, the Irish name of the River Slaney.
DUBHTHACH m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" in combination with a second element of unknown meaning.
DUNSTAN m English (Rare), Anglo-Saxon
From the Old English elements dunn
"dark" and stan
"stone". This name was borne by a 10th-century saint, the archbishop of Canterbury. It was occasionally used in the Middle Ages, though it died out after the 16th century. It was revived by the Tractarian movement in the 19th century.
EMERY m & f English
Norman form of EMMERICH
. The Normans introduced it to England, and though it was never popular, it survived until the end of the Middle Ages. As a modern given name, now typically feminine, it is likely inspired by the surname Emery
, which was itself derived from the medieval given name. It can also be given in reference to the hard black substance called emery.
FEARDORCHA m Irish
Means "dark man"
from Irish fear
"man" and dorcha
HADES m Greek Mythology
From Greek Ἅιδης (Haides)
, derived from ἀϊδής (aides)
. In Greek mythology Hades was the dark god of the underworld, a place that was also called Hades. His brother was Zeus
and his wife was Persephone
ISRA f Arabic
Means "nocturnal journey"
, derived from Arabic سرى (sara)
meaning "to travel at night".
KARA (2) m Ottoman Turkish
Means "black, dark"
in Turkish. This was sometimes used as a byname by Ottoman officials, figuratively meaning "courageous".
KRISHNA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
LAYLA f Arabic, English
in Arabic. Layla was the love interest of the poet Qays
(called Majnun) in an old Arab tale, notably retold by the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi in his poem Layla and Majnun
. This story was a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song Layla
by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.
LILITH f Semitic Mythology, Judeo-Christian Legend
Derived from Akkadian lilitu
meaning "of the night"
. This was the name of a demon in ancient Assyrian myths. In Jewish tradition she was Adam
's first wife, sent out of Eden and replaced by Eve
because she would not submit to him. The offspring of Adam (or Samael
) and Lilith were the evil spirits of the world.
MAURICE m English, French
From the Roman name Mauritius
, a derivative of MAURUS
. Saint Maurice was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Egypt. He and the other Christians in his legion were supposedly massacred on the orders of Emperor Maximian for refusing to worship Roman gods. Thus, he is the patron saint of infantry soldiers.... [more]
MAURUS m Late Roman
Latin name meaning "dark-skinned, Moorish"
. This was the name of numerous early saints, most notably a follower of Saint Benedict.
MELANIE f English, German, Dutch
, the French form of the Latin name Melania
, derived from Greek μέλαινα (melaina)
meaning "black, dark"
. This was the name of a Roman saint who gave all her wealth to charity in the 5th century. Her grandmother was also a saint with the same name.... [more]
NYX f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
ORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night"
. In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
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 φοῖνιξ (phoinix)
meaning "dark red".
SEYMOUR m English
From a Norman surname that originally belonged to a person coming from the French town of Saint Maur (which means "Saint MAURUS
SULLIVAN m English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Súileabháin
meaning "descendant of Súileabhán"
. The name Súileabhán
means "little dark eye" in Irish.
TARIEL m Literature, Georgian
Created by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for his 12th-century epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin
. He may have based it on Persian تاجور (tajvar)
meaning "king" or تار (tar)
meaning "dark, obscure" combined with یل (yal)
meaning "hero". In the poem Tariel, the titular knight who wears a panther skin, is an Indian prince who becomes a companion of Avtandil
YIN f & m Chinese
From Chinese 银 (yín)
meaning "silver, money", 音 (yīn)
meaning "sound, tone" or 荫 (yīn)
meaning "shade, shelter, protect", as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.
ZELOPHEHAD m Biblical
Possibly means either "first born"
or "shadow from terror"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Zelophehad is a man who dies while the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness, leaving five daughters as heirs.