Marika f Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Swedish, Georgian, Italian, German
Diminutive of Maria
and other names beginning with Mari
Marina f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Georgian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Marinus
. This name was borne by a few early saints. This is also the name by which Saint Margaret
of Antioch is known in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Martina f German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Hungarian, English, Swedish, Dutch, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Martinus
). Saint Martina was a 3rd-century martyr who is one of the patron saints of Rome.
Maxine f English
Feminine form of Max
. It has been commonly used only since the beginning of the 20th century.
Michelle f French, English, Dutch
French feminine form of Michel
. It has been common in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is the former American first lady Michelle Obama (1964-).
Milena f Bulgarian, Czech, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Italian
Feminine form of Milan
. It began to be used in Italy in honour of Milena Vukotić (1847-1923), mother of Helen of Montenegro, the wife of the Italian king Victor Emmanuel III. In Italy it can also be considered a combination of Maria
Miley f English (Modern)
In the case of actress and singer Miley Cyrus (1992-), it is a shortened form of the nickname Smiley
, given to her by her father because she often smiled. Although it was not at all common before she brought it to public attention, there are some examples of its use before her time, most likely as a diminutive of Miles
Minea f Finnish
Created by the Finnish writer Mika Waltari for a character in his historical novel The Egyptian
(1945). He may have based it on the name Minos
, as the character is herself of Cretan origin.
Naila f Arabic
Feminine form of Nail
. This was the name of the wife of Uthman
, the third caliph of the Muslims. She tried in vain to prevent a mob from murdering her husband, and had several fingers cut off in the process.
Narcisse m & f French
French masculine and feminine form of Narcissus
. This is also the French word for the narcissus flower.
Nena f English
Variant of Nina 1
, also coinciding with the Spanish word nena
meaning "baby girl"
Nicole f French, English, Dutch, German
French feminine form of Nicholas
, commonly used in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is American-Australian actress Nicole Kidman (1967-).
Nina 1 f Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Lithuanian, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian
Short form of names that end in nina
, such as Antonina
. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also nearly coincides with the Spanish word niña
meaning "little girl"
Nino 2 f Georgian
Meaning unknown, possibly from a Greek feminine form of Ninos
. Saint Nino (sometimes called Nina) was a Greek-speaking woman from Asia Minor who introduced Christianity to Georgia in the 4th century.
Nona 2 f English, Ancient Roman (Rare)
Feminine form of Nonus
. It was also used in 19th-century England, derived directly from Latin nonus
"ninth" and traditionally given to the ninth-born child.
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
Octavia f English, Spanish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Octavius
. Octavia was the wife of Mark Antony and the sister of the Roman emperor Augustus. In 19th-century England it was sometimes given to the eighth-born child.
Olga f Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovene, Serbian, Bulgarian, Greek
Russian form of Helga
. The Varangians brought it from Scandinavia to Russia. The 10th-century Saint Olga was the wife of Igor I, grand prince of Kievan Rus (a state based around the city of Kiev). Following his death she ruled as regent for her son for 18 years. After she was baptized in Constantinople she attempted to convert her subjects to Christianity.
Olivette f Literature
Feminine form of Oliver
. This was the name of the title character in the French opera Les noces d'Olivette
(1879) by Edmond Audran.
Olivia f English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
This name was used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy Twelfth Night
(1602). This was a rare name in Shakespeare's time that may have been based on Oliva
, or directly from the Latin word oliva
. In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.... [more]
Olympias f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of Olympos
. This was the name of the mother of Alexander the Great. It was also borne by a 4th-century saint.
Parnel f English (Archaic)
Contracted form of Petronel
. In the later Middle Ages it became a slang term for a promiscuous woman, and the name subsequently fell out of use.
Patricia f English, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Feminine form of Patricius
). In medieval England this spelling appears in Latin documents, but this form was probably not used as the actual name until the 18th century, in Scotland.
Paula f German, English, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latvian, Croatian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Paulus
). This was the name of a 4th-century Roman saint who was a companion of Saint Jerome
Petra f German, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish, English
Feminine form of Peter
. This was also the name of an ancient city in the region that is now Jordan.
Petronilla f Italian, Late Roman
From a Latin name, a diminutive of Petronia
, the feminine form of Petronius
. This was the name of an obscure 1st-century Roman saint, later believed to be a daughter of Saint Peter
Portia f English
Variant of Porcia
, the feminine form of the Roman family name Porcius
, used by William Shakespeare for the heroine of his play The Merchant of Venice
(1596). In the play Portia is a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to defend Antonio
in court. It is also the name of a moon of Uranus, after the Shakespearean character.
Priscilla f English, Italian, French, Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman name, a diminutive of Prisca
. In Acts in the New Testament Paul
lived with Priscilla (also known as Prisca) and her husband Aquila
in Corinth for a while. It has been used as an English given name since the Protestant Reformation, being popular with the Puritans. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used it in his 1858 poem The Courtship of Miles Standish
Prudence f & m English, French
Medieval English form of Prudentia
, the feminine form of Prudentius
. In France it is both the feminine form and a rare masculine form. In England it was used during the Middle Ages and was revived in the 17th century by the Puritans, in part from the English word prudence
, ultimately of the same source.