ABEL m English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name הֶבֶל (Hevel)
. In the Old Testament he is the second son of Adam
, murdered out of envy by his brother Cain
. In England, this name came into use during the Middle Ages, and it was common during the Puritan era.
ALVA (2) m English
Variant of ALVAH
. A famous bearer of this name was the inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
AMELIA f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Variant of AMALIA
, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA
, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of both George II and George III. The author Henry Fielding used it for the title character in his novel Amelia
(1751). Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.... [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.
ANN f English, Manx
English and Manx form of ANNE (1)
. In the English-speaking world, both this spelling and Anne
have been used since the late Middle Ages. Currently Ann
is less popular than Anne
(and both are less popular than their relatives Anna
ANNA f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Form of Channah
) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah
spelling instead of Anna
. The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus
as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary
ANTHONY m English
English form of the Roman family name Antonius
, which is of unknown Etruscan origin. The most notable member of the Roman family was the general Marcus Antonius (called Mark Antony in English), who for a period in the 1st century BC ruled the Roman Empire jointly with Augustus. When their relationship turned sour, he and his mistress Cleopatra were attacked and forced to commit suicide, as related in Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra
ARDEN m & f English
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, which were derived from a Celtic word meaning "high"
ARES m Greek Mythology
Perhaps from either Greek ἀρή (are)
meaning "bane, ruin"
or ἄρσην (arsen)
. The name first appears as a-re
in Mycenaean Greek writing. Ares was the bloodthirsty god of war in Greek mythology, a son of Zeus
ARIANRHOD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel"
or "round wheel"
in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan
Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ARRAN m Scottish
From the name of an island off the west coast of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde.
ARTEMIS f Greek Mythology, Greek
Meaning unknown, possibly related either to Greek ἀρτεμής (artemes)
or ἄρταμος (artamos)
meaning "a butcher"
. Artemis was the Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, the twin of Apollo
and the daughter of Zeus
. She was known as Diana
to the Romans.
ARTUR m Portuguese, Galician, Catalan, Polish, Czech, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, German, Estonian, Swedish, Armenian
Form of ARTHUR
in several languages.
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]
ATLAS m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "enduring"
from Greek τλάω (tlao)
meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus
by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
BLAKE m English
From a surname that was derived from Old English blæc "black"
or blac "pale"
. A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).
BOYD m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was possibly derived from the name of the island of Bute.
BRENDAN m Irish, English, Breton
, the Latinized form of the Irish name Bréanainn
, which was derived from a Welsh word meaning "prince"
. Saint Brendan was a 6th-century Irish abbot who, according to legend, crossed the Atlantic and reached North America with 17 other monks.
BRIAN m English, Irish, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
, or by extension "high, noble"
. It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
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.
BYRON m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "place of the cow sheds"
in Old English. This was the surname of the romantic poet Lord Byron (1788-1824), the writer of Don Juan
and many other works.
CAESAR m Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen that possibly meant "hairy"
, from Latin caesaries
"hair". Julius Caesar and his adopted son Julius Caesar Octavianus (commonly known as Augustus) were both rulers of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Caesar
was used as a title by the emperors that came after them.
CAIN m Biblical, Biblical Latin
in Hebrew. In Genesis in the Old Testament Cain is the first son of Adam
. He killed his brother Abel
after God accepted Abel's offering of meat instead of his offering of plant-based foods. After this Cain was banished to be a wanderer.
CASSIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from Latin cassus
meaning "empty, vain"
. This name was borne by several early saints. In modern times, it was the original first name of boxer Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), who was named after his father Cassius Clay, who was himself named after the American abolitionist Cassius Clay (1810-1903).
CASTOR m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κάστωρ (Kastor)
, possibly related to κέκασμαι (kekasmai)
meaning "to excel, to shine"
). Alternatively it could be derived from the Greek word κάστωρ (kastor)
, though the legends about Castor do not mention beavers, which were foreign animals to the Greeks. In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus
and the twin brother of Pollux
. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
CECIL m English
From the Roman name Caecilius
). This was the name of a 3rd-century saint, a companion of Saint Cyprian
. Though it was in use during the Middle Ages in England, it did not become common until the 19th century when it was given in honour of the noble Cecil family, who had been prominent since the 16th century. Their surname was derived from the Welsh given name Seisyll
, which was derived from the Roman name Sextilius
, a derivative of SEXTUS
CECILIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Romanian, Finnish
Latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius
, which was derived from Latin caecus
. Saint Cecilia was a semi-legendary 2nd- or 3rd-century martyr who was sentenced to die because she refused to worship the Roman gods. After attempts to suffocate her failed, she was beheaded. She was later regarded as the patron saint of music and musicians.... [more]
CHAD m English
From the Old English name Ceadda
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly based on Welsh cad "battle"
. This was the name of a 7th-century English saint. Borne primarily by Catholics, it was a rare name until the 1960s when it started to become more common amongst the general population. This is also the name of a country in Africa, though it originates from a different source.
CHARLOTTE f French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
French feminine diminutive of CHARLES
. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. It was the name of a German-born 18th-century queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland. Another notable bearer was Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Brontë sisters and the author of Jane Eyre
CHARON m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "fierce brightness"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Charon was the operator of the ferry that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
CLAUDE m & f French, English
French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS
. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
CLIVE m English
From a surname meaning "cliff"
in Old English, originally belonging to a person who lived near a cliff.
CONRAD m English, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave counsel"
, derived from the Germanic elements kuoni
"brave" and rad
"counsel". This was the name of a 10th-century saint and bishop of Konstanz, in southern Germany. It was also borne by several medieval German kings and dukes. In England it was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, but has only been common since the 19th century when it was reintroduced from Germany.
CORDELIA f English
, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play King Lear
(1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia
CORNELIA f German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CORNELIUS
. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.
CORNELIUS m Ancient Roman, English, Dutch, German, Biblical
Roman family name that possibly derives from the Latin element cornu
. In Acts in the New Testament Cornelius is a centurion who is directed by an angel to seek Peter
. After speaking with Peter he converts to Christianity, and he is traditionally deemed the first gentile convert. The name was also borne by a few early saints, including a 3rd-century pope. In England it came into use in the 16th century, partly due to Dutch influence.
CYNTHIA f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθία (Kynthia)
, which means "woman from Kynthos"
. This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis
, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo
were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century. It reached a peak of popularity in the United States in 1957 and has declined steadily since then.
DAGDA m Irish Mythology
Means "good god"
in Celtic. In Irish myth Dagda (called also The Dagda) was the powerful god of the earth, knowledge, magic, abundance and treaties, a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was skilled in combat and healing and possessed a huge club, the handle of which could revive the dead.
DAISY f English
Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage
meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
DALTON m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "valley town"
in Old English. A notable bearer of the surname was John Dalton (1766-1844), the English chemist and physicist who theorized about the existence of atoms.
DARA (2) f & m Khmer
in Khmer, ultimately from Sanskrit.
DARIN m English
Variant of DARREN
. This was the adopted surname of the singer Bobby Darin (1936-1973), who was born Robert Cassotto and chose his stage name from a street sign.
DEIRDRE f English, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the older Gaelic form Derdriu
, meaning unknown, possibly derived from Old Irish der
. This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar
, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise
DOMINIC m English
From the Late Latin name Dominicus
meaning "of the Lord"
. This name was traditionally given to a child born on Sunday. Several saints have borne this name, including the 13th-century founder of the Dominican order of friars. It was in this saint's honour that the name was first used in England, starting around the 13th century. It is primarily used by Catholics.
DOROTHEA f German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, English, Late Greek
Feminine form of the Late Greek name Δωρόθεος (Dorotheos)
, which meant "gift of God"
from Greek δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift" and θεός (theos)
meaning "god". The name Theodore
is composed of the same elements in reverse order. Dorothea was the name of two early saints, notably the 4th-century martyr Dorothea of Caesarea. It was also borne by the 14th-century Saint Dorothea of Montau, who was the patron saint of Prussia.
DOROTHY f English
Usual English form of DOROTHEA
. It has been in use since the 16th century. The author L. Frank Baum used it for the central character in his fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
(1900) and several of its sequels.
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.
DRACO m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Δράκων (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.
EDWARD m English, Polish
Means "rich guard"
, derived from the Old English elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and weard
"guard". This was the name of several Anglo-Saxon kings, the last being Saint Edward the Confessor shortly before the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. He was known as a just ruler, and because of his popularity his name remained in use after the conquest when most other Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. The 13th-century Plantagenet king Henry III named his son and successor after the saint, and seven subsequent kings of England were also named Edward.... [more]
ELEN f Welsh, Czech
Welsh form of HELEN
, as well as a Czech variant form. This was the name of a 4th-century Welsh saint. It also appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, belonging to a woman who built the roads in Wales.
ELENA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Estonian, Russian, Greek, German, English, Medieval Slavic
Form of HELEN
used in various languages, as well as an alternate transcription of Russian Елена
ÉMILE m French
French form of Aemilius
). This name was borne by French author Émile Zola (1840-1902).
EMMA f English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen
. It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of King Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of King Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma
ERIK m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, English
Scandinavian form of ERIC
. This was the name of kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. King Erik IX of Sweden (12th century) is the patron saint of that country.
ETZEL m Germanic Mythology
Form of ATTILA
used in the medieval German saga the Nibelungenlied
. In the story Etzel is a fictional version of Attila the Hun.
EZEKIEL m Biblical, English
From the Hebrew name יְחֶזְקֵאל (Yechezqel)
meaning "God will strengthen"
, from the roots חָזַק (chazaq)
meaning "to strengthen" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". Ezekiel is a major prophet of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Ezekiel. He lived in Jerusalem until the Babylonian conquest and captivity of Israel, at which time he was taken to Babylon. The Book of Ezekiel describes his vivid symbolic visions that predict the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. As an English given name, Ezekiel
has been used since the Protestant Reformation.
EZRA m Biblical, English, Hebrew
in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.
FELIX m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Romanian, Ancient Roman, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From a Roman cognomen meaning "lucky, successful"
in Latin. It was acquired as an agnomen, or nickname, by the 1st-century BC Roman general Sulla. It also appears in the New Testament belonging to the governor of Judea who imprisoned Saint Paul
FERDINAND m German, French, Dutch, English, Slovak, Czech, Slovene, Croatian, Ancient Germanic
, the old Spanish form of a Germanic name composed of the elements fardi
"journey" and nand
"daring, brave". The Visigoths brought the name to the Iberian Peninsula, where it entered into the royal families of Spain and Portugal. From there it became common among the Habsburg royal family of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, starting with the Spanish-born Ferdinand I in the 16th century. A notable bearer was Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), called Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese, who was the leader of the first expedition to sail around the earth.
FIONA f Scottish, English
Feminine form of FIONN
. This name was (first?) used by the Scottish poet James Macpherson in his poem Fingal
(1762), in which it is spelled as Fióna
FORREST m English
From an English surname meaning "forest"
, originally belonging to a person who lived near a forest. In America it has sometimes been used in honour of the Confederate Civil War general Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877). This name was borne by the title character in the movie Forrest Gump
(1994) about a loveable simpleton. Use of the name increased when the movie was released, but has since faded away.
FRANZ m German
German form of Franciscus
). This name was borne by the influential writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924), author of The Trial
and The Castle
among other works. It was also the name of rulers of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire.
FREDERICK m English
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]
FREYR m Norse Mythology, Icelandic
in Old Norse. This was the name of a Norse god. He may have originally been called Yngvi
, with the name Freyr
being his title. Freyr presided over fertility, sunlight and rain, and was the husband of the frost giantess Gerd
. With his twin sister Freya
and father Njord
he was one of the group of deities called the Vanir.
GAIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman praenomen, or given name, of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from Latin gaudere "to rejoice"
, though it may be of unknown Etruscan origin. This was a very common Roman praenomen, the most famous bearers being Gaius Julius Caesar, the great leader of the Roman Republic, and his adopted son Gaius Octavius (later known as Augustus), the first Roman emperor. This name also appears in the New Testament belonging to a bishop of Ephesus who is regarded as a saint.
GALLUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "rooster"
in Latin. It could also refer to a person from Gaul (Latin Gallia
). This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint, a companion of Saint Columbanus
, who later became a hermit in Switzerland.
GARETH m Welsh, English (British), Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. It first appears in this form in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation of Arthurian legends Le Morte d'Arthur
, in which Gareth was a Knight of the Round Table, the brother of Sir Gawain
. Malory based the name on Gahariet
, which was the name of a similar Arthurian character in French sources. It may ultimately have a Welsh origin, possibly related to gwaredd
GARRICK m English
From a surname that was originally derived from Occitan garric
meaning "oak tree grove"
GAWAIN m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain, from the Latin form Walganus
used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth. This was the name of a nephew of King Arthur
and one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He can be identified with the earlier Welsh hero Gwalchmei, and it is likely that the name derives from GWALCHMEI
. Alternatively it may have a different Celtic or even a Germanic origin. Gawain was a popular hero in medieval stories such as the 14th-century romantic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
GEOFFREY m English, French
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid
"peace", but the first element may be either gawia
"foreign" or gisil
"hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey
was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey
GILBERT m English, French, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright pledge"
, derived from the Germanic elements gisil
"pledge, hostage" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it was common during the Middle Ages. It was borne by a 12th-century English saint, the founder of the religious order known as the Gilbertines.
GLENN m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic gleann "valley"
. A famous bearer of the surname was American astronaut John Glenn (1921-2016).
GODFREY m English
From the Germanic name Godafrid
, which meant "peace of god"
from the Germanic elements god
"god" and frid
"peace". The Normans brought this name to England, where it became common during the Middle Ages. A notable bearer was Godfrey of Bouillon, an 11th-century leader of the First Crusade and the first ruler of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
GRANT m English, Scottish
From an English and Scottish surname that was derived from Norman French grand
meaning "great, large"
. A famous bearer of the surname was Ulysses Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War who later served as president. In America the name has often been given in his honour.
GRAY m & f English
From an English surname meaning "grey"
, originally given to a person who had grey hair or clothing.
GREGOR m German, Scottish, Slovak, Slovene
German, Scottish, Slovak and Slovene form of Gregorius
). A famous bearer was Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), a Czech monk and scientist who did experiments in genetics.
GUSTAV m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Czech
Possibly means "staff of the Geats"
, derived from the Old Norse elements gautr
"Geat, Goth" and stafr
"staff". However, the root name Gautstafr
is not well attested in the Old Norse period. Alternatively, it might be derived from the Slavic name GOSTISLAV
. This name has been borne by six kings of Sweden, including the 16th-century Gustav I Vasa.
GUSTAVE m French
French form of GUSTAV
. This name was borne by the French artist Gustave Doré (1832-1883).
GUY (1) m English, French
Norman French form of WIDO
. The Normans introduced it to England, where it was common until the time of Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), a revolutionary who attempted to blow up the British parliament. The name was revived in the 19th century, due in part to characters in the novels Guy Mannering
(1815) by Sir Walter Scott and The Heir of Redclyffe
(1854) by C. M. Yonge.
HANA (3) f Japanese
From Japanese 花 (hana)
or 華 (hana)
both meaning "flower". Other kanji or kanji combinations can form this name as well.
HANNIBAL m Phoenician (Latinized), History
Means "grace of Ba'al"
from Phoenician hann
"grace" combined with the name of the god BA'AL
. Hannibal was the Carthaginian general who threatened Rome during the Second Punic War in the 3rd century BC.
HANS m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
German short form of JOHANNES
, now used independently. This name has been very common in German-speaking areas of Europe since the late Middle Ages. From an early period it was transmitted to the Low Countries and Scandinavia. Two famous bearers were Hans Holbein (1497-1543), a German portrait painter, and Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), a Danish writer of fairy tales.
HAYATO m Japanese
From Japanese 隼 (haya)
meaning "falcon" and 人 (to)
meaning "person". Other kanji combinations can also make up this name.
HAYDEN m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from place names meaning either "hay valley"
or "hay hill"
, derived from Old English heg
"hay" and denu
"valley" or dun
HEATH m English
From an English surname that denoted one who lived on a heath. It was popularized as a given name by the character Heath Barkley from the 1960s television series The Big Valley
HEATHER f English
From the English word heather
for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers, which commonly grow in rocky areas. It is derived from Middle English hather
. It was first used as a given name in the late 19th century, though it did not become popular until the last half of the 20th century.
HECTOR m English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek Ἕκτωρ (Hektor)
, which was derived from ἕκτωρ (hektor)
meaning "holding fast"
, ultimately from ἔχω (echo)
meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles
' friend Patroclus
in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends where it belongs to King Arthur
's foster father.... [more]
HEL f Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology this was the name of the daughter of Loki. She got her name from the underworld, also called Hel, where she ruled, which meant "to conceal, to cover" in Old Norse (related to the English word hell
HENRY m English
From the Germanic name Heimirich
meaning "home ruler"
, composed of the elements heim
"home" and ric
"ruler". It was later commonly spelled Heinrich
, with the spelling altered due to the influence of other Germanic names like Haganrich
, in which the first element is hagan
HESTIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἑστία (hestia)
meaning "hearth, fireside"
. In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HINATA f & m Japanese
From Japanese 日向 (hinata)
meaning "sunny place", 陽向 (hinata)
meaning "toward the sun", or a non-standard reading of 向日葵 (himawari)
meaning "sunflower". Other kanji compounds are also possible. Because of the irregular readings, this name is often written using the hiragana writing system.
HOMER m English, Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name Ὅμηρος (Homeros)
, derived from ὅμηρος (homeros)
meaning "hostage, pledge"
. Homer was the Greek epic poet who wrote the Iliad
, about the Trojan War, and the Odyssey
, about Odysseus
's journey home after the war. There is some debate about when he lived, or if he was even a real person, though most scholars place him in the 8th century BC. In the modern era, Homer
has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world (chiefly in America) since the 18th century. This name is borne by the cartoon father on the television series The Simpsons
HORACE m English, French
English and French form of HORATIUS
, and the name by which the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus is commonly known those languages. In the modern era it has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, in honour of the poet.
HUBERT m English, German, Dutch, French, Polish, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright heart"
, derived from the Germanic elements hug
"heart, mind" and beraht
"bright". Saint Hubert was an 8th-century bishop of Maastricht who is considered the patron saint of hunters. The Normans brought the name to England, where it replaced an Old English cognate Hygebeorht
. It died out during the Middle Ages but was revived in the 19th century.
HUGH m English
From the Germanic element hug
meaning "heart, mind, spirit"
. It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh
IAGO m Welsh, Galician, Portuguese
Welsh and Galician form of Iacobus
). This was the name of two early Welsh kings of Gwynedd. It is also the name of the villain in Shakespeare's tragedy Othello
IGNATIUS m Late Roman
From the Roman family name Egnatius
, meaning unknown, of Etruscan origin. The spelling was later altered to resemble Latin ignis "fire"
. This was the name of several saints, including the third bishop of Antioch who was thrown to wild beasts by Emperor Trajan, and by Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Jesuits, whose real birth name was in fact Íñigo
IKE m English
Diminutive of ISAAC
. This was the nickname of the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), based on the initial sound of his surname.
INIGO m English (Rare)
English form of ÍÑIGO
. It became well-known in Britain due to the 17th-century English architect Inigo Jones. He was named after his father, a Catholic who was named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
IRIS f Greek Mythology, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, 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
ITSUKI m Japanese
From Japanese 樹 (itsuki)
meaning "tree", using the kanji's nanori reading. Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.
JEANNE f French, English
Modern French form of Jehanne
, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes
). This has been the most reliably popular French name for girls since the 13th century. Joan of Arc is known as Jeanne d'Arc in France.
JEROME m English
From the Greek name Ἱερώνυμος (Hieronymos)
meaning "sacred name"
, derived from ἱερός (hieros)
meaning "sacred" and ὄνομα (onoma)
meaning "name". Saint Jerome was responsible for the creation of the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible, in the 5th century. He is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. The name was used in his honour in the Middle Ages, especially in Italy and France, and has been used in England since the 12th century.
JESSE m English, Dutch, Finnish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishai)
, which possibly means "gift"
. In the Old Testament Jesse is the father of King David
. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jesse James (1847-1882), an American outlaw who held up banks and stagecoaches. He was eventually shot by a fellow gang member for a reward. Another famous bearer was the American athlete Jesse Owens (1913-1980), whose real name was James Cleveland (or J. C.) Owens.
JOSHUA m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu'a)
meaning "YAHWEH is salvation"
, from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho)
referring to the Hebrew God and יָשַׁע (yasha')
meaning "to save". As told in the Old Testament, Joshua was a companion of Moses
. He went up Mount Sinai with Moses when he received the Ten Commandments from God, and later he was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan. After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites and he led the conquest of Canaan. His original name was Hoshea
JUDITH f English, Jewish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, French, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדִית (Yehudit)
meaning "Jewish woman"
, feminine of יְהוּדִי (yehudi)
, ultimately referring to a person from the tribe of Judah
. In the Old Testament Judith is one of the Hittite wives of Esau
. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith. She killed Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep.... [more]
JULIA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical
Feminine form of the Roman family name JULIUS
. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was also borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare used it in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona
JULIAN m English, Polish, German
From the Roman name Iulianus
, which was derived from JULIUS
. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana
, eventually becoming Gillian
JULIUS m Ancient Roman, English, German, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Czech
From a Roman family name that was possibly derived from Greek ἴουλος (ioulos)
. Alternatively, it could be related to the name of the Roman god JUPITER
. This was a prominent patrician family of Rome, who claimed descent from the mythological Julus, son of Aeneas
. Its most notable member was Gaius Julius Caesar, who gained renown as a military leader for his clever conquest of Gaul. After a civil war he became the dictator of the Roman Republic, but was eventually stabbed to death in the senate.... [more]
JUNO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly related to an Indo-European root meaning "youth"
, or possibly of Etruscan origin. In Roman mythology Juno was the wife of Jupiter
and the queen of the heavens. She was the protectress of marriage and women, and was also the goddess of finance.
KEATON m English (Modern)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "shed town"
in Old English.
KENT m English
From a surname that was originally derived from Kent
, the name of a county in England, which may be derived from a Brythonic word meaning "coastal district".
KHALID m Arabic
, derived from Arabic خلد (khalada)
meaning "to last forever". This name was borne by a 7th-century Islamic military leader, Khalid ibn al-Walid.
KYLE m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic caol
meaning "narrows, channel, strait"
LACHESIS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. She was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. She was responsible for deciding how long each person had to live.
LANCE m English
From the Germanic name Lanzo
, originally a short form of names that began with the element landa
. During the Middle Ages it became associated with Old French lance
"spear, lance". A famous bearer is American cyclist Lance Armstrong (1971-).
LARA (1) f Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian
Russian short form of LARISA
. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by a character from Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago
(1957) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1965).
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]
LEIF m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Leifr
meaning "descendant, heir"
. Leif Eriksson was a Norse explorer who reached North America in the early 11th century. He was the son of Erik the Red.
LENA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Russian, English, Italian, Portuguese, Greek
Short form of names ending in lena
, such as HELENA
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
, 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.
LEON m English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λέων (leon)
. During the Christian era this Greek name was merged with the Latin cognate Leo
, with the result that the two forms are used somewhat interchangeably across European languages. In England during the Middle Ages this was a common name among Jews. A famous bearer was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Communist revolutionary.
LEONARDO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of LEONARD
. A notable bearer was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), an Italian artist and scientist of the Renaissance. He is known as the inventor of several contraptions, including flying machines, as well as the painter of the Mona Lisa
. Another famous bearer was Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th-century Italian mathematician. A more recent bearer is American actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-).
LESTER m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of the city of Leicester, originally denoting a person who was from that place. The city's name is derived from the river name Ligore
combined with Latin castra
LINDA f English, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, French, Latvian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Ancient Germanic
Originally a medieval short form of Germanic names containing the element lind
meaning "flexible, soft, mild"
. It also coincides with the Spanish and Portuguese word linda
. In the English-speaking world this name experienced a spike in popularity beginning in the 1930s, peaking in the late 1940s, and declining shortly after that. It was the most popular name for girls in the United States from 1947 to 1952.
LLOYD m English
From a surname that was derived from Welsh llwyd
. The composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948-) is a famous bearer of this name.
LOKI m Norse Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from the Germanic root *luka
meaning "knot, lock"
. In Norse legend Loki was a trickster god associated with magic and fire. Over time he became more and more evil, and he was eventually chained to a rock by the other gods.
LOT (1) m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "covering, veil"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a nephew of Abraham
. Before Sodom was destroyed by God, he was directed to flee the city without looking back. However, his wife looked back on the destruction and was turned into a pillar of salt.
LUCIA f Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Slovak, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of LUCIUS
. Saint Lucia was a 4th-century martyr from Syracuse. She was said to have had her eyes gouged out, and thus she is the patron saint of the blind. She was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). It has been used in the England since the 12th century, usually in the spellings Lucy
LUCINA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin lucus
, but later associated with lux "light"
. This was the name of a Roman goddess of childbirth.
LUCIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical, English
Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux "light"
. This was the most popular of the praenomina. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian. The name is mentioned briefly in the New Testament belonging to a Christian in Antioch. It was also borne by three popes, including the 3rd-century Saint Lucius. Despite this, the name was not regularly used in the Christian world until after the Renaissance.
LUGH m Irish Mythology
Probably an Irish form of LUGUS
. In Irish mythology Lugh was a divine hero who led the Tuatha De Danann against the Fomorians who were led by his grandfather Balor. Lugh killed Balor by shooting a stone into his giant eye.
LUKE m English, Biblical
English form of Latin Lucas
, from the Greek name Λουκᾶς (Loukas)
meaning "from Lucania"
, Lucania being a region in southern Italy (of uncertain meaning). Luke was a doctor who travelled in the company of the apostle Paul
. According to tradition, he was the author of the third gospel and Acts in the New Testament. He was probably of Greek ethnicity. He is considered a saint by many Christian denominations.... [more]
MAE f English
Variant of MAY
. A famous bearer was the American actress Mae West (1893-1980), whose birth name was Mary.
MAGNUS m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "great"
. It was borne by a 7th-century saint who was a missionary in Germany. It became popular in Scandinavia after the time of the 11th-century Norwegian king Magnus I, who was said to have been named after Charlemagne
, or Carolus Magnus in Latin (however there was also a Norse name Magni
). The name was borne by six subsequent kings of Norway as well as three kings of Sweden. It was imported to Scotland and Ireland during the Middle Ages.
MANSEL m English (Rare)
From an English surname that originally referred to a person who came from the French city of Le Mans.
MARCUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Roman praenomen, or given name, that was probably derived from the name of the Roman god MARS
. This was among the most popular of the Roman praenomina. Famous bearers include Marcus Tullius Cicero (known simply as Cicero), a 1st-century BC statesman and orator, Marcus Antonius (known as Mark Antony), a 1st-century BC politician, and Marcus Aurelius, a notable 2nd-century emperor. This was also the name of a pope of the 4th century. This spelling has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world, though the traditional English form Mark
has been more common.
MARIA f & m Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Estonian, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Latin form of Greek Μαρία
, from Hebrew מִרְיָם
is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary
). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria
is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.... [more]
MARLON m English
Meaning unknown. This name was popularized by the American actor Marlon Brando (1924-2004), who was named after his father.
MATTHEW m English, Biblical
English form of Ματθαῖος (Matthaios)
, which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu)
meaning "gift of YAHWEH"
, from the roots מַתָּן (mattan)
meaning "gift" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. Matthew, also called Levi
, was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first gospel in the New Testament. He is considered a saint in many Christian traditions. The variant Matthias
also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a separate apostle. The name appears in the Old Testament as Mattithiah
MAYA (2) f English
Variant of MAIA (1)
. This name can also be given in reference to the Maya peoples, a Native American culture who built a great civilization in southern Mexico and Latin America.
MELINA f English, Greek
Elaboration of Mel
, either from names such as MELISSA
or from Greek μέλι (meli)
meaning "honey". A famous bearer was Greek-American actress Melina Mercouri (1920-1994), who was born Maria Amalia Mercouris.
MERCEDES f Spanish
(that is, the plural of mercy), from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary
, María de las Mercedes
, meaning "Mary of Mercies". It is ultimately from the Latin word merces
meaning "wages, reward", which in Vulgar Latin acquired the meaning "favour, pity".
MICAIAH m & f Biblical
Means "who is like YAHWEH?"
in Hebrew. This name occurs in the Old Testament in a variety of Hebrew spellings, belonging to both males and females. It is the full name of Micah
, both the prophet and the man from the Book of Judges. As a feminine name it belongs to the mother of King Abijah
(at 2 Chronicles 13:2
), though her name is listed as Maacah
in other passages.
MIDORI f Japanese
From Japanese 緑 (midori)
meaning "green", as well as other kanji or kanji combinations that have the same pronunciation.
MINERVA f Roman Mythology, English
Possibly derived from Latin mens
, but more likely of Etruscan origin. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, approximately equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena
. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since after the Renaissance.
MIRANDA f English, Dutch
Derived from Latin mirandus
meaning "admirable, wonderful"
. The name was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play The Tempest
(1611), about a father and daughter stranded on an island. It did not become a common English given name until the 20th century. This is also the name of one of the moons of Uranus, named after the Shakespearean character.
MONICA f English, Italian, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Late Roman
Meaning unknown, most likely of North African or Phoenician origin. In the 4th century this name was borne by the North African saint Monica of Hippo, the mother of Saint Augustine, whom she converted to Christianity. Since the Middle Ages it has been associated with Latin moneo "advisor"
and Greek monos "one"
. As an English name, Monica
has been in general use since the 18th century.
MORGAN (1) m & f Welsh, English, French
From the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant
, which was possibly derived from Welsh mor
"sea" and cant
"circle". Since the 1980s in America Morgan
has been more common for girls than boys, perhaps due to stories of Morgan
le Fay or the fame of actress Morgan Fairchild (1950-).
MUSTAFA m Arabic, Turkish, Bosnian
Means "the chosen one"
in Arabic, an epithet of Muhammad
. This was the name of four Ottoman sultans. Another famous bearer was Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938), also known as Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.
NAOISE m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, presumably of Gaelic origin. In Irish legend he was the young man who eloped with Deirdre
, the beloved of Conchobhar
the king of Ulster. Conchobhar eventually succeeded in having Naoise murdered, which caused Deirdre to die of grief.
NASIR m Arabic
in Arabic. This transcription represents two different Arabic names.
NATASHA f Russian, English
Russian diminutive of NATALYA
. This is the name of a character in Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace
(1865). It has been used in the English-speaking world only since the 20th century.
NELSON m English
From an English surname meaning "son of NEIL"
. It was originally given in honour of the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). His most famous battle was the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he destroyed a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was himself killed. Another notable bearer was the South African statesman Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla
; as a child he was given the English name Nelson
by a teacher.
NEMESIS f Greek Mythology
Means "distribution of what is due, righteous anger"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Nemesis was the personification of vengeance and justice.
NINA (1) f Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, 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"
NINIAN m Scottish, Irish, Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown. It appears in a Latinized form Niniavus
, which could be from the Welsh name NYNNIAW
. This was the name of a 5th-century British saint who was apparently responsible for many miracles and cures. He is known as the Apostle to the Picts.
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.
NOAH (1) m English, German, Biblical
From the Hebrew name נֹחַ (Noach)
meaning "rest, repose"
, derived from the root נוּחַ (nuach)
. According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the Great Flood. After the flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. He was the father of Shem
NOLAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Nualláin
meaning "descendant of NUALLÁN"
. The baseball player Nolan Ryan (1947-) is a famous bearer of this name.
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.
ODIN m Norse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn
, which was derived from óðr
meaning "inspiration, rage, frenzy"
. It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz
. The name appears as Woden
in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan
in continental Europe. However, Odin is best known from Norse mythology, as the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.