Ada f English, German, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names such as Adelaide
that begin with the element adal
meaning "noble". This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron. She was an assistant to Charles Babbage, the inventor of an early mechanical computer.
Akira m & f Japanese
From Japanese 昭 (akira)
meaning "bright", 明 (akira)
meaning "bright" or 亮 (akira)
meaning "clear". Other kanji with the same pronunciation can also form this name. A famous bearer was the Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998), given name written 明
Alexander m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men"
from Greek ἀλέξω (alexo)
meaning "to defend, help" and ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
Alice f English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Czech, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch
From the Old French name Aalis
, a short form of Adelais
, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was among the most common names in England until the 16th century, when it began to decline. It was revived in the 19th century.... [more]
Amy f English
English form of the Old French name Amée
(modern French aimée
), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata
. As an English name, it was in use in the Middle Ages (though not common) and was revived in the 19th century.
Anastasia f Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, English, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of Anastasius
. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.
Athena f Greek Mythology, English
Meaning unknown. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. It is likely that her name is derived from that of the city, not vice versa. The earliest mention of her seems to be a 15th-century BC Mycenaean Greek inscription from Knossos on Crete.... [more]
Atticus m Literature, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἀττικός (Attikos)
meaning "from Attica"
, referring to the region surrounding Athens in Greece. This name was borne by a few notable Greeks from the Roman period (or Romans of Greek background). The author Harper Lee used the name in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird
(1960) for an Alabama lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.
Bobby m English
Diminutive of Bob
. Hockey greats Bobby Hull (1939-) and Bobby Orr (1948-) have borne this name.
Bridget f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
meaning "exalted one"
. In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
Bruno m German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Latvian, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element brun "armour, protection"
or brun "brown"
. Saint Bruno of Cologne was a German monk of the 11th century who founded the Carthusian Order. The surname has belonged to Giordano Bruno, a philosopher burned at the stake by the Inquisition.
Carol 1 f & m English
Short form of Caroline
. It was formerly a masculine name, derived from Carolus
. The name can also be given in reference to the English vocabulary word, which means "song" or "hymn".
Dante m Italian
Medieval short form of Durante
. The most notable bearer of this name was Dante Alighieri, the 13th-century Italian poet who wrote the Divine Comedy
David m English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Welsh, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid)
, which was derived from Hebrew דּוֹד (dod)
. David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath
, a giant Philistine. According to the New Testament, Jesus
was descended from him.... [more]
Dorian m English, French, Romanian
The name was first used by Oscar Wilde in his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray
(1891), which tells the story of a man whose portrait ages while he stays young. Wilde may have taken it from the name of the ancient Greek tribe the Dorians.
Elizabeth f English, Biblical
From Ἐλισάβετ (Elisabet)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva')
meaning "my God is an oath"
, derived from the roots אֵל ('el)
referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava')
meaning "oath". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron
, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John
the Baptist.... [more]
Felicity f English
From the English word felicity
, which ultimately derives from Latin felicitas
"good luck". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans around the 17th century. It can sometimes be used as an English form of the Latin name Felicitas
. This name was revived in the late 1990s after the appearance of the television series Felicity
Frida f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of other feminine names containing the Germanic element frid
. This is also the Scandinavian equivalent, from the Old Norse cognate Fríða
. A famous bearer was Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).
Hanna 1 f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, German, Dutch, Icelandic, Hungarian, Hebrew
Form of Channah
) in several languages.
Harvey m English
From the Breton given name Haerviu
, which meant "battle worthy"
, from haer
"battle" and viu
"worthy". This was the name of a 6th-century Breton hermit who is the patron saint of the blind. Settlers from Brittany introduced it to England after the Norman Conquest. During the later Middle Ages it became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
Hugo m Spanish, Portuguese, English, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of Hugh
. As a surname it has belonged to the French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the writer of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
and Les Misérables
Iris f Greek Mythology, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Slovene, Greek
in Greek. Iris was the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, also serving as a messenger to the gods. This name can also be given in reference to the word (which derives from the same Greek source) for the iris flower or the coloured part of the eye.
Ishtar f Semitic Mythology
Meaning unknown. Ishtar was an Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess who presided over love, war and fertility. She was cognate with the Canaanite and Phoenician Ashtoreth
, and she was also identified with the Sumerian goddess Inanna
Jade f & m English, French
From the name of the precious stone that is often used in carvings. It is derived from Spanish (piedra de la) ijada
meaning "(stone of the) flank", relating to the belief that jade could cure renal colic. As a given name, it came into general use during the 1970s. It was initially unisex, though it is now mostly feminine.
Jennifer f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish
From a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar
). This name has only been common outside of Cornwall since the beginning of the 20th century, after it was featured in George Bernard Shaw's play The Doctor's Dilemma
(1906). It barely ranked in the United until the late 1930s, when it began steadily growing in popularity, accelerating into the early 1970s. It was the most popular name for girls in America between 1970 and 1984, though it was not as common in the United Kingdom.... [more]
Joe m English
Short form of Joseph
. Five famous sports figures who have had this name are boxers Joe Louis (1914-1981) and Joe Frazier (1944-), baseball player Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999), and football quarterbacks Joe Namath (1943-) and Joe Montana (1956-).
Jules 1 m French
French form of Julius
. A notable bearer of this name was the French novelist Jules Verne (1828-1905), author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
and other works of science fiction.
Laura f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Lithuanian, Latvian, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Laurus
, which meant "laurel"
. This meaning was favourable, since in ancient Rome the leaves of laurel trees were used to create victors' garlands. The name was borne by the 9th-century Spanish martyr Saint Laura, who was a nun thrown into a vat of molten lead by the Moors. It was also the name of the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.... [more]
Lillian f English
Probably originally a diminutive of Elizabeth
. It may also be considered an elaborated form of Lily
, from the Latin word for "lily" lilium
. This name has been used in England since the 16th century.
Logan m & f Scottish, English
From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow"
in Scottish Gaelic.
Magnolia f English
From the English word magnolia
for the flower, which was named for the French botanist Pierre Magnol.
Maleficent f Popular Culture
From an English word meaning "harmful, evil"
, derived from Latin maleficens
. This is the name of the villain in the animated Disney film Sleeping Beauty
Margaret f English
Derived from Latin Margarita
, which was from Greek μαργαρίτης (margarites)
, a word that was probably ultimately a borrowing from an Indo-Iranian language. Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.... [more]
Marie f & m French, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
French and Czech form of Maria
. It has been very common in France since the 13th century. At the opening of the 20th century it was given to approximately 20 percent of French girls. This percentage has declined steadily over the course of the century, and it dropped from the top rank in 1958.... [more]
Marnie f English
Possibly a diminutive of Marina
. This name was brought to public attention by Alfred Hitchcock's movie Marnie
(1964), itself based on a 1961 novel by Winston Graham.
Matilda f English, Swedish, Finnish, Slovak, Slovene
From the Germanic name Mahthildis
meaning "strength in battle"
, from the elements maht
"might, strength" and hild
"battle". Saint Matilda was the wife of the 10th-century German king Henry I the Fowler. The name was common in many branches of European royalty in the Middle Ages. It was brought to England by the Normans, being borne by the wife of William the Conqueror himself. Another notable royal by this name was a 12th-century daughter of Henry I of England, known as the Empress Matilda because of her first marriage to the Holy Roman emperor Henry V. She later invaded England, laying the foundations for the reign of her son Henry II.... [more]
May f English
Derived from the name of the month of May, which derives from Maia
, the name of a Roman goddess. May is also another name of the hawthorn flower. It is also used as a diminutive of Mary
Moana f & m Maori, Hawaiian, Tahitian
Means "ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea"
in Maori and Hawaiian (as well as in other Polynesian languages).
Molly f English
Medieval diminutive of Mary
, now often used independently. It developed from Malle
, other medieval diminutives. James Joyce used this name in his novel Ulysses
(1922), where it belongs to Molly Bloom, the wife of the main character.
Muriel f English, French, Irish
Medieval English form of a Breton name that was probably related to the Irish name Muirgel
. The Normans brought it to England from Brittany. In the modern era it was popularized by a character from Dinah Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman
Oliver m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Catalan, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak
, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as Alfher
or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr
). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva
"olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic La Chanson de Roland
, in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.... [more]
Patrick m Irish, English, French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
From the Latin name Patricius
, which meant "nobleman"
. This name was adopted in the 5th-century by Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint.... [more]
Peter m English, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical
Derived from Greek Πέτρος (Petros)
. This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas
, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon
(compare Matthew 16:18
and John 1:42
). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.... [more]
Philomena f English, German, Late Greek
From Greek φίλος (philos)
meaning "friend, lover" and μένος (menos)
meaning "mind, strength, force". This was the name of an obscure early saint and martyr. The name came to public attention in 1802 after a tomb seemingly marked with the name Filumena
was found in Rome, supposedly belonging to another martyr named Philomena. This may have in fact been a representation of the Greek word φιλομήνη (philomene)
Pinocchio m Literature
Means "pine eye"
from Italian pino
. It was created by the Italian author Carlo Collodi for his novel The Adventures of Pinocchio
(1883), about a boy made out of wood whose nose grows longer every time he lies. The story was later adapted into a 1940 Disney movie.
Precious f English (Modern)
From the English word precious
, ultimately derived from Latin pretiosus
, a derivative of Latin pretium
Ran f Japanese
From Japanese 蘭 (ran)
meaning "orchid" or other kanji pronounced in the same way.
Rebecca f English, Italian, Swedish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name רִבְקָה (Rivqah)
from an unattested root probably meaning "join, tie, snare"
. This is the name of the wife of Isaac
and the mother of Esau
in the Old Testament. It came into use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular with the Puritans in the 17th century.
Ruby f English
Simply from the name of the precious stone (which ultimately derives from Latin ruber
"red"), which is the birthstone of July. It came into use as a given name in the 16th century.
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).
Sabrina f English, Italian, German, French
Latinized form of Habren
, the original Welsh name of the River Severn. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the name of a princess who was drowned in the Severn. Supposedly the river was named for her, but it is more likely that her name was actually derived from that of the river, which is of unknown meaning. She appears as a water nymph in John Milton's masque Comus
(1634). It was popularized as a given name by Samuel A. Taylor's play Sabrina Fair
(1953) and the movie adaptation that followed it the next year.
Sarah f English, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "lady, princess, noblewoman"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of Abraham
's wife, considered the matriarch of the Jewish people. She was barren until she unexpectedly became pregnant with Isaac
at the age of 90. Her name was originally Sarai
, but God changed it at the same time Abraham's name was changed (see Genesis 17:15
Sheena f Scottish, English
Anglicized form of Sìne
. This name was popularized outside of Scotland in the 1980s by the singer Sheena Easton (1959-).
Sonny m English
From a nickname that is commonly used to denote a young boy, derived from the English word son
Spartacus m History
Means "from the city of Sparta"
in Latin. Spartacus was the name of a Thracian-born Roman slave who led a slave revolt in Italy in the 1st century BC. He was eventually killed in battle and many of his followers were crucified.
Stella 1 f English, Italian, Dutch, German
in Latin. This name was created by the 16th-century poet Sir Philip Sidney for the subject of his collection of sonnets Astrophel and Stella
. It was a nickname of a lover of Jonathan Swift, real name Esther Johnson (1681-1728), though it was not commonly used as a given name until the 19th century. It appears in Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire
(1947), belonging to the sister of Blanche DuBois and the wife of Stanley Kowalski.
Tarzan m Literature
Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs for the main character in his novel Tarzan of the Apes
(1912). In the novel Tarzan is the ape name of the baby John Clayton, who was adopted by the animals after his parents died in the African jungle. The name is said to mean "white skin"
in the fictional Mangani ape language.
Vera 1 f Russian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Belarusian, Georgian
in Russian, though it is sometimes associated with the Latin word verus "true"
. It has been in general use in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century.