Names Categorized "folk heroes"

This is a list of names in which the categories include folk heroes.
gender
usage
Abraham m English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Swedish, Dutch, German (Rare), Norwegian (Rare), Danish (Rare), Biblical, Biblical Latin
This name may be viewed either as meaning "father of many" in Hebrew or else as a contraction of Abram 1 and הָמוֹן (hamon) meaning "many, multitude". The biblical patriarch Abraham was originally named Abram but God changed his name (see Genesis 17:5). With his father Terah, he led his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot and their other followers from Ur into Canaan. He is regarded by Jews as being the founder of the Hebrews through his son Isaac and by Muslims as being the founder of the Arabs through his son Ishmael.... [more]
Achilles m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἀχιλλεύς (Achilleus), which is of unknown meaning, perhaps derived from Greek ἄχος (achos) meaning "pain" or else from the name of the Achelous River. This was the name of a warrior in Greek legend, one of the central characters in Homer's Iliad. The bravest of the Greek heroes in the war against the Trojans, he was eventually killed by an arrow to his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body.... [more]
Ahmad m Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Pashto, Indonesian, Malay, Avar
Means "most commendable, most praiseworthy" in Arabic (a superlative form of Hamid 1).
Alfred m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Dutch, Albanian
Means "elf counsel", derived from the Old English name Ælfræd, composed of the elements ælf "elf" and ræd "counsel, advice". Alfred the Great was a 9th-century king of Wessex who fought unceasingly against the Danes living in northeast England. He was also a scholar, and he translated many Latin books into Old English. His fame helped to ensure the usage of this name even after the Norman Conquest, when most Old English names were replaced by Norman ones. It became rare by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th century.... [more]
Alonzo m English (American)
Variant of Alonso in use in America.
Andreas m German, Greek, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Welsh, Ancient Greek, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Ancient Greek and Latin form of Andrew. It is also the form used in Modern Greek, German and Welsh.
Andrés m Spanish, Icelandic
Spanish and Icelandic form of Andrew.
Antonio m Spanish, Italian, Croatian
Spanish and Italian form of Antonius (see Anthony). This has been a common name in Italy since the 14th century. In Spain it was the most popular name for boys in the 1950s and 60s.... [more]
Aramis m Literature
The surname of one of the musketeers in The Three Musketeers (1844) by Alexandre Dumas. Dumas based the character on the 17th-century Henri d'Aramitz, whose surname was derived from the French village of Aramits (itself from Basque aran meaning "valley").
Arthur m English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements *artos "bear" (Old Welsh arth) combined with *wiros "man" (Old Welsh gur) or *rīxs "king" (Old Welsh ri). Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius.... [more]
Audie m & f English
In the case of the famed American soldier Audie Murphy (1925-1971), it is of uncertain meaning. As a feminine name, it can be a diminutive of Audrey.
Beowulf m Anglo-Saxon Mythology
Possibly means "bee wolf" (in effect equal to "bear") from Old English beo "bee" and wulf "wolf". Alternatively, the first element may be beadu "battle". This is the name of the main character in the anonymous 8th-century epic poem Beowulf. Set in Denmark, the poem tells how he slays the monster Grendel and its mother at the request of King Hroðgar. After this Beowulf becomes the king of the Geats. The conclusion of the poem tells how Beawulf, in his old age, slays a dragon but is himself mortally wounded in the act.
Betsy f English
Diminutive of Elizabeth.
Bill m English
Short form of William. This spelling was first used in the 19th century. The change in the initial consonant may have been influenced by an earlier Irish pronunciation of the name. Famous bearers include basketball player Bill Russell (1934-2022), comedian Bill Cosby (1937-), American president Bill Clinton (1946-), and Microsoft founder Bill Gates (1955-).
Blas m Spanish
Spanish form of Blaise.
Bonifacio m Italian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish form of Bonifatius (see Boniface).
Carlota f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Charlotte.
Casey m & f English
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cathasaigh, a patronymic derived from the given name Cathassach. This name can be given in honour of Casey Jones (1863-1900), a train engineer who sacrificed his life to save his passengers. In his case, Casey was a nickname acquired because he was raised in the town of Cayce, Kentucky.
Cesare m Italian
Italian form of Caesar.
Chandra m & f Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Assamese, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
Means "moon" in Sanskrit, derived from चन्द (chand) meaning "to shine". This is a transcription of the masculine form चण्ड (a name of the moon in Hindu texts, which is often personified as a deity) as well as the feminine form चण्डा.
Claus m German, Danish
German short form of Nicholas.
Constantine m History
From the Latin name Constantinus, a derivative of Constans. Constantine the Great (272-337), full name Flavius Valerius Constantinus, was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (modern Istanbul).
Cúchulainn m Irish Mythology
Means "hound of Culann" in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. The Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defence of Ulster against the army of Queen Medb.
Daniel m English, Hebrew, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Finnish, Estonian, Armenian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel) meaning "God is my judge", from the roots דִּין (din) meaning "to judge" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". Daniel was a Hebrew prophet whose story is told in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. He lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon, where he served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king's dreams. The book also presents Daniel's four visions of the end of the world.... [more]
Davy m English
Diminutive of David.
Deborah f English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name דְּבוֹרָה (Devorah) meaning "bee". In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca.... [more]
Desiderio m Italian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish form of Desiderius.
Dick 1 m English
Medieval diminutive of Richard. The change in the initial consonant is said to have been caused by the way the trilled Norman R was pronounced by the English.
Dmitry m Russian
Alternate transcription of Russian Дмитрий (see Dmitriy).
Đorđe m Serbian
Serbian form of George.
Earl m English
From the aristocratic title, which derives from Old English eorl "nobleman, warrior". It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.
Eleanor f English
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Alienòr. Among the name's earliest bearers was the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor "the other Aenor" in order to distinguish her from her mother. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.... [more]
Erwin m German, Dutch, Polish, Germanic
Derived from the Old German name Hariwini, composed of the elements heri "army" and wini "friend". It may have merged somewhat with the name Eberwin. A notable bearer was Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), an Austrian physicist who made contributions to quantum theory.
Fionn m Irish, Irish Mythology
From the Old Irish name Finn, derived from finn meaning "white, blessed". It occurs frequently in Irish history and legends, the most noteworthy bearer being Fionn mac Cumhaill, the central character of one of the four main cycles of Irish mythology, the Fenian Cycle. Fionn was born as Deimne, and acquired his nickname because of his fair hair. He grew all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon, and later became the leader of the Fianna after defeating the fire-breathing demon Áillen. He was the father of Oisín and grandfather of Oscar.
Francisco m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Franciscus (see Francis). This is the Spanish name of Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552). Other notable bearers include the Spanish painter and engraver Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) and the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco (1892-1975).
Gaspar m Spanish, Portuguese, Judeo-Christian-Islamic Legend
Spanish and Portuguese form of Jasper, as well as the Latin form.
Genoveva f Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan
Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan form of Geneviève.
George m English, Romanian, Indian (Christian)
From the Greek name Γεώργιος (Georgios), which was derived from the Greek word γεωργός (georgos) meaning "farmer, earthworker", itself derived from the elements γῆ (ge) meaning "earth" and ἔργον (ergon) meaning "work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Cappadocia who was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.... [more]
Geronimo m History
From Gerónimo, a Spanish form of Hieronymos (see Jerome). This is the better-known name of the Apache leader Goyathlay (1829-1909). It was given to him by the Mexicans, his enemies.
Gil 1 m Portuguese, Spanish
Portuguese and Spanish form of Giles.
Gilbert m English, French, Dutch, Germanic
Means "bright pledge", derived from the Old German elements gisal "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.
Giovanni m Italian
Italian form of Iohannes (see John). This name has been very common in Italy since the late Middle Ages, as with other equivalents of John in Europe. The Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516) and the painter and sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) were two famous bearers of the name.
Giuliano m Italian
Italian form of Iulianus (see Julian).
Giuseppe m Italian
Italian form of Joseph. Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a military leader who united Italy in the 19th century.
Goemon m History
Meaning unknown. His name is composed of the kanji (go) meaning "five", (not pronounced) meaning "right-hand, west", (e) meaning "guard, protect", and (mon) meaning "gate, door". This was the name of a semi-legendary 16th-century samurai who stole from the rich to give to the poor. After a failed assassination attempt on the daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he was boiled alive.
Gregorio m Italian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish form of Gregorius (see Gregory).
Guy 1 m English, French
Old 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 Walter Scott and The Heir of Redclyffe (1854) by C. M. Yonge.
Hannah f English, Hebrew, German, Dutch, Arabic, Biblical
From the Hebrew name חַנָּה (Channah) meaning "favour, grace", derived from the root חָנַן (chanan). In the Old Testament this is the name of the wife of Elkanah. Her rival was Elkanah's other wife Peninnah, who had children while Hannah remained barren. After a blessing from Eli she finally became pregnant with Samuel.... [more]
Hannibal m Phoenician (Latinized), History
From the Punic name 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋 meaning "grace of Ba'al", derived from Phoenician 𐤇𐤍 (ḥan) meaning "grace, favour" combined with the name of the god Ba'al. This name occurs often in Carthaginian history. It was most notably borne by the famed general and tactician Hannibal Barca, who threatened Rome during the Second Punic War in the 3rd century BC. It is also associated with the fictional villain Hannibal Lecter from the books by Thomas Harris (debuting 1981) and subsequent movie adaptations.
Hildegard f German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Germanic
Derived from the Old German elements hilt "battle" and gart "enclosure, yard". This was the name of the second wife of Charlemagne (8th century). Also, Saint Hildegard was a 12th-century mystic from Bingen in Germany who was famous for her writings and poetry and also for her prophetic visions.
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 oafish cartoon father on the television series The Simpsons.
Hristo m Bulgarian, Macedonian
Bulgarian and Macedonian short form of Christopher or Christian.
Hua f & m Chinese
From Chinese (huá) meaning "splendid, illustrious, Chinese" or (huā) meaning "flower, blossom" (which is usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters can form this name as well.
Husein m Bosnian
Bosnian form of Husayn.
Ignacia f Spanish
Spanish feminine form of Ignatius.
Ilya m Russian, Belarusian
Russian and Belarusian form of Elijah.
Ismail m Arabic, Malay, Indonesian, Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Chechen, Albanian
Form of Ishmael in several languages. It is also an alternate transcription of Arabic إسماعيل (see Isma'il).
Ivan m Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Macedonian, Slovene, English, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian
Newer form of the old Slavic name Іѡаннъ (Ioannu), which was derived from Greek Ioannes (see John). This was the name of six Russian rulers, including the 15th-century Ivan III the Great and 16th-century Ivan IV the Terrible, the first tsar of Russia. It was also borne by nine emperors of Bulgaria. Other notable bearers include the Russian author Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), who wrote Fathers and Sons, and the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), who is best known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex.
Jack m English
Derived from Jackin (earlier Jankin), a medieval diminutive of John. There could be some early influence from the unrelated French name Jacques. It is often regarded as an independent name. During the Middle Ages it was very common, and it became a slang word meaning "man". It was frequently used in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Jack Horner, and Jack Sprat.... [more]
James m English, Biblical
English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus, a variant of the Biblical Latin form Iacobus, from the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (see Jacob). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus.... [more]
Jane f English
Medieval English form of Jehanne, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes (see John). This became the most common feminine form of John in the 17th century, surpassing Joan. In the first half of the 20th century Joan once again overtook Jane for a few decades in both the United States and the United Kingdom.... [more]
Jean-Jacques m French
Combination of Jean 1 and Jacques. This name was borne by the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).
Jefferson m English
From an English surname meaning "son of Jeffrey". It is usually given in honour of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third president of the United States and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence.
Jesse m English, Dutch, Finnish, Biblical
From Ἰεσσαί (Iessai), the Greek form of 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.
Joan 1 f English
Medieval English form of Johanne, an Old French form of Iohanna (see Joanna). This was the usual English feminine form of John in the Middle Ages, but it was surpassed in popularity by Jane in the 17th century. It again became quite popular in the first half of the 20th century, entering the top ten names for both the United States and the United Kingdom, though it has since faded.... [more]
John m English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Biblical
English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰωάννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "Yahweh is gracious", from the roots יוֹ (yo) referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan) meaning "to be gracious". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan or Jehohanan in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter and James (his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
Johnny m English
Diminutive of John. A famous bearer is American actor Johnny Depp (1963-).
Jos m Dutch
Dutch short form of Jozef.
José m & f Spanish, Portuguese, French
Spanish and Portuguese form of Joseph, as well as a French variant. In Spanish-speaking regions it is occasionally used as a feminine middle name (or the second part of a double name), often paired with María. This was the most popular name for boys in Spain for the first half of the 20th century.
Joseph m English, French, German, Biblical
From Ioseph, the Latin form of Greek Ἰωσήφ (Ioseph), which was from the Hebrew name יוֹסֵף (Yosef) meaning "he will add", from the root יָסַף (yasaf). In the Old Testament Joseph is the eleventh son of Jacob and the first with his wife Rachel. Because he was the favourite of his father, his older brothers sent him to Egypt and told their father that he had died. In Egypt, Joseph became an advisor to the pharaoh, and was eventually reconciled with his brothers when they came to Egypt during a famine. This name also occurs in the New Testament, belonging to Saint Joseph the husband of Mary, and to Joseph of Arimathea.... [more]
Józef m Polish
Polish form of Joseph.
Juan 1 m Spanish, Manx
Spanish and Manx form of Iohannes (see John). Like other forms of John in Europe, this name has been extremely popular in Spain since the late Middle Ages. It is borne by Don Juan, a character from Spanish legend who, after killing his lover's father, is dragged to hell by the father's ghost.
Juraj m Slovak, Czech, Croatian
Slovak, Czech and Croatian form of George.
Jüri m Estonian
Estonian form of George.
Kemal m Turkish
Turkish form of Kamal 1. This was the second name, acquired in his youth, of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), the founder of modern Turkey.
Koba m Georgian
Diminutive of Iakob.
Konstanty m Polish
Polish form of Constantine.
Kuzma m Russian, Ukrainian
Russian and Ukrainian form of Cosmas.
Laura f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, French, 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]
Louis m French, English, Dutch
French form of Ludovicus, the Latinized form of Ludwig. This was the name of 18 kings of France, starting with Louis I the son of Charlemagne. Others include Louis IX (Saint Louis) who led two crusades and Louis XIV (called the Sun King) who was the ruler of France during the height of its power, the builder of the Palace of Versailles, and the longest reigning monarch in the history of Europe. It was also borne by kings of Germany (as Ludwig), Hungary (as Lajos), and other places.... [more]
Ludvík m Czech
Czech form of Ludwig.
Luther m English
From a German surname, itself derived from the Old German given name Leuthar. The surname was borne by Martin Luther, a 16th-century monk and theologian, who started the Protestant Reformation by nailing his famous 95 theses to a church door. It has since been used as a given name in his honour, especially among Protestants. A notable bearer from the modern era was the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968).
Mahatma m History
From the Indian title महात्मा (Mahatma) meaning "great soul", derived from Sanskrit महा (maha) meaning "great" and आत्मन् (atman) meaning "soul, spirit, life". This title was given to, among others, Mohandas Karamchand, also known as Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948).
Manfred m German, Dutch, Polish, Germanic
Derived from the Old German elements man "man" and fridu "peace". It was borne by a 13th-century king of Sicily. Another notable bearer was Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918), the World War I pilot known as the Red Baron. This is also the name of the main character in Lord Byron's drama Manfred (1817).
Manuel m Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Romanian, Late Greek (Latinized)
Spanish and Portuguese form of Emmanuel. In the spelling Μανουήλ (Manouel) it was also used in the Byzantine Empire, notably by two emperors. It is possible this form of the name was transmitted to Spain and Portugal from Byzantium, since there were connections between the royal families (king Ferdinand III of Castile married Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen, who had Byzantine roots, and had a son named Manuel). The name has been used in Iberia since at least the 13th century and was borne by two kings of Portugal.
María de las Mercedes f Spanish
Means "Mary of mercies" in Spanish, a devotional title of the Virgin Mary.
María Dolores f Spanish
Combination of María and Dolores.
María Teresa f Spanish
Combination of María and Teresa.
Martín m Spanish
Spanish form of Martinus (see Martin).
Martin m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Finnish
From the Roman name Martinus, which was derived from Martis, the genitive case of the name of the Roman god Mars. Saint Martin of Tours was a 4th-century bishop who is the patron saint of France. According to legend, he came across a cold beggar in the middle of winter so he ripped his cloak in two and gave half of it to the beggar. He was a favourite saint during the Middle Ages, and his name has become common throughout the Christian world.... [more]
Matilde f Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
Spanish, Portuguese and Italian form of Matilda.
Māui m & f Hawaiian, Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Hawaiian mythology Māui was a trickster who created the Hawaiian Islands by having his brothers fish them out of the sea. He was also responsible for binding the sun and slowing its movement.
Maximón m Mythology
The name of a trickster folk deity, also called San Simón, worshipped by the Maya people in parts of Guatemala. He is a syncretic figure thought to have arisen during the Spanish conquest, and is typically represented by a man-sized, cigar-smoking, alcohol-drinking wooden effigy. The meaning of the name is uncertain. It could be a blend of Mam, a title of some of the Maya gods meaning "grandfather", and Simón, referring to Saint Peter.
Merlin m Arthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century chronicle. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus over Merdinus in order to prevent associations with French merde "excrement".... [more]
Miloš m Czech, Slovak, Serbian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian
Originally a diminutive of names beginning with the Slavic element milu "gracious, dear". This was the name of a 14th-century Serbian hero who apparently killed the Ottoman sultan Murad I at the Battle of Kosovo.
Mohamed m Arabic, Dhivehi, Eastern African, Swahili
Alternate transcription of Arabic محمّد (see Muhammad) chiefly used in Egypt and Algeria. This is also the usual Dhivehi and Swahili form.
Molly f English
Medieval diminutive of Mary, now often used independently. It developed from Malle and Molle, 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.
Mulan f Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 木兰 (mùlán) meaning "magnolia". This is the name of a legendary female warrior who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father's place when he is conscripted into the army.
Mustafa m Arabic, Turkish, Bosnian, Urdu
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.
Nat m & f English
Short form of Nathan, Nathaniel, Natalie and other names beginning with Nat.
Nathan m English, French, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name נָתָן (Natan) meaning "he gave". In the Old Testament this is the name of a prophet during the reign of King David. He chastised David for his adultery with Bathsheba and for the death of Uriah the Hittite. Later he championed Solomon as David's successor. This was also the name of a son of David and Bathsheba.... [more]
Ned m English
Diminutive of Edward or Edmund. It has been used since the 14th century, and may have had root in the medieval affectionate phrase mine Ed, which was later reinterpreted as my Ned.
Nelson m English, Spanish
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.
Nils m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Scandinavian form of Nicholas.
Odysseus m Greek Mythology
Perhaps derived from Greek ὀδύσσομαι (odyssomai) meaning "to hate". In Greek legend Odysseus was one of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. In the Odyssey Homer relates Odysseus's misadventures on his way back to his kingdom and his wife Penelope.
Pancho m Spanish
Spanish diminutive of Francisco. This name was borne by Pancho Villa (1878-1923), a Mexican bandit and revolutionary.
Paolo m Italian
Italian form of Paulus (see Paul). Paolo Uccello and Paolo Veronese were both Italian Renaissance painters.
Paul m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.... [more]
Pedro m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Peter. This was the name of the only two emperors of Brazil, reigning between 1822 and 1889.
Philippe m French
French form of Philip.
Piet m Dutch
Short form of Pieter.
Pocahontas f Indigenous American, Powhatan (Anglicized)
Means "little playful one" in Powhatan, an Algonquian language. This was the nickname of a 17th-century Powhatan woman, a daughter of the powerful chief Wahunsenacawh. She married the white colonist John Rolfe and travelled with him to England, but died of illness before returning.
Pratap m Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "heat, splendour, glory" in Sanskrit.
Publius m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "public" in Latin. This was among the more common of the Roman praenomina, being borne by (among others) the emperor Hadrian and the poet Virgil.
Quitéria f Portuguese
Portuguese form of Quiteria.
Ragnar m Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Estonian
Modern Scandinavian form of Ragnarr.
Rahman m Arabic, Persian, Pashto, Indonesian, Malay, Bengali
Means "merciful" in Arabic. In Islamic tradition الرحمٰن (al-Rahman) is one of the 99 names of Allah.
Randolph m English
Variant of Randolf. This spelling was adopted in the 18th century.
Rani 1 f Indian, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi
Means "queen" in Sanskrit.
Redmond m Irish
Anglicized form of Réamonn.
Renato m Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Croatian
Italian, Portuguese and Spanish form of Renatus.
Rob m English, Dutch
Short form of Robert.
Robin m & f English, French, Dutch, Swedish, Czech
Medieval English diminutive of Robert, now usually regarded as an independent name. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.
Rodolfo m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of Rudolf. This is the name of the hero in Puccini's opera La Bohème (1896).
Rosie f English
Diminutive of Rose.
Salvatore m Italian
Italian cognate of Salvador.
Samson m Biblical, English, French, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name שִׁמְשׁוֹן (Shimshon), derived from שֶׁמֶשׁ (shemesh) meaning "sun". Samson was an Old Testament hero granted exceptional strength by God. His mistress Delilah betrayed him and cut his hair, stripping him of his power. Thus he was captured by the Philistines, blinded, and brought to their temple. However, in a final act of strength, he pulled down the pillars of the temple upon himself and his captors.... [more]
Samuel m English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Jewish, Eastern African, Amharic, Biblical
From the Hebrew name שְׁמוּאֵל (Shemu'el) meaning "name of God", from the roots שֵׁם (shem) meaning "name" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". Other interpretations have the first root being שָׁמַע (shama') meaning "to hear" leading to a meaning of "God has heard". As told in the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament, Samuel was the last of the ruling judges. He led the Israelites during a period of domination by the Philistines, who were ultimately defeated in battle at Mizpah. Later he anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel, and even later anointed his successor David.... [more]
Santo m Italian
Means "saint" in Italian, ultimately from Latin sanctus.
Siegfried m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Old German elements sigu "victory" and fridu "peace". Siegfried was a hero from German legend, the chief character in the Nibelungenlied. He secretly helped the Burgundian king Gunther overcome the challenges set out by the Icelandic queen Brunhild so that Gunther might win her hand. In exchange, Gunther consented to the marriage of Siegfried and his sister Kriemhild. Years later, after a dispute between Brunhild and Kriemhild, Siegfried was murdered by Hagen with Gunther's consent. He was stabbed in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. He is a parallel to the Norse hero Sigurd. The story was later adapted by Richard Wagner to form part of his opera The Ring of the Nibelung (1876).
Simo m Finnish, Serbian
Finnish and Serbian form of Simon 1.
Simón m Spanish
Spanish form of Simon 1. This name was borne by the South American revolutionary Simón Bolívar (1783-1830).
Siôn m Welsh
Welsh form of John.
Stefan m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian
Form of Stephen used in several languages.
Stepan m Russian, Ukrainian, Armenian
Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian form of Stephanos (see Stephen).
Tadeusz m Polish
Polish form of Thaddeus. This name is borne by Tadeusz Soplica, the title character in Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem Pan Tadeusz (1834), which is considered to be the national epic of Poland.
Tecumseh m Indigenous American, Shawnee
Means "panther passing across" in Shawnee. This name was borne by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh (1768-1813), who resisted American expansion along with his brother the spiritual leader Tenskwatawa.
Theodorus m Ancient Greek (Latinized), Dutch
Latinized form of the Greek name Theodoros (see Theodore). As a Dutch name, it is used on birth certificates though a vernacular form such as Theodoor is typically used in daily life.
Till m German
From Tielo, a medieval Low German diminutive of Dietrich and other names beginning with the Old High German element diota, Old Frankish þeoda meaning "people". Till Eulenspiegel is a trickster in German folklore.
Tudor 2 m Romanian
Variant of Teodor.
Twm m Welsh
Welsh short form of Tomos.
Väinämöinen m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish väinä meaning "wide and slow-flowing river". In Finnish mythology Väinämöinen was a wise old magician, the son of the primal goddess Ilmatar. He is the hero of the Finnish epic the Kalevala.
Vercingetorix m Gaulish
Means "king over warriors" from Gaulish wer "on, over" combined with kingeto "marching men, warriors" and rix "king". This name was borne by a 1st-century BC chieftain of the Gaulish tribe the Arverni. He led the resistance against Julius Caesar's attempts to conquer Gaul, but he was eventually defeated, brought to Rome, and executed.
Vlad m Romanian, Russian, Medieval Slavic
Old short form of Vladislav and other Slavic names beginning with the element vladeti meaning "rule". Vlad Dracula, a 15th-century prince of Wallachia, was Bram Stoker's inspiration for the name of his vampire, Count Dracula.
Vytautas m Lithuanian
From the Lithuanian root vyd- "to see" or vyti "to chase, to drive away" combined with tauta "people, nation". This was the name of a 15th-century Grand Duke of Lithuania, revered as a national hero in that country.
Wat m English
Medieval short form of Walter.
William m English
From the Germanic name Willehelm meaning "will helmet", composed of the elements willo "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection". An early saint by this name was the 8th-century William of Gellone, a cousin of Charlemagne who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England in the 11th century. From then until the modern era it has been among the most common of English names (with John, Thomas and Robert).... [more]
Winston m English
From an English surname that was derived from the Old English given name Wynnstan. A famous bearer was Winston Churchill (1874-1965), the British prime minister during World War II. This name was also borne by the fictional Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell's 1949 novel 1984.
Wojciech m Polish
Derived from the Slavic elements voji "warrior, soldier" and tekha "solace, comfort, joy". Saint Wojciech (also known by the Czech form of his name Vojtěch or his adopted name Adalbert) was a Bohemian missionary to Hungary, Poland and Prussia, where he was martyred in the 10th century.
Wyatt m English
From an English surname that was derived from the medieval given name Wyard or Wyot, from the Old English name Wigheard. Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) was an American lawman and gunfighter involved in the famous shootout at the OK Corral.
Zhen f & m Chinese
From Chinese (zhēn) meaning "precious, rare", (zhēn) meaning "real, genuine", (zhēn) meaning "virtuous, chaste, loyal", or other Chinese characters that are pronounced similarly.
Zorro m Literature, Popular Culture
Means "fox" in Spanish. This is the name of a masked vigilante created by writer Johnston McCulley in 1919 for a series of books, later adapted into movies and television.