ANTHONYmEnglish 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 (1606).... [more]
ASHLEYf & mEnglish From an English surname that was originally derived from place names meaning "ash tree clearing", from a combination of Old English æsc and leah. Until the 1960s it was more commonly given to boys in the United States, but it is now most often used on girls. It reached its height of popularity in America in 1987, but it did not become the highest ranked name until 1991, being overshadowed by the likewise-popular Jessica until then. In the United Kingdom it is still more common as a masculine name.
BERNARDmEnglish, French, Dutch, Polish, Croatian, Slovene, Czech, Ancient Germanic Derived from the Germanic element bern "bear" combined with hard "brave, hardy". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Beornheard. This was the name of several saints, including Saint Bernard of Menthon who built hospices in the Swiss Alps in the 10th century, and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century theologian and Doctor of the Church. Other famous bearers include the Irish playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and the British World War II field marshal Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976).
BRUCEmScottish, English From a Scottish surname, of Norman origin, which probably originally referred to the town of Brix in France. The surname was borne by Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. It has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. A notable bearer is the American musician Bruce Springsteen (1949-).
FRANCISm & fEnglish, French English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus meaning "Frenchman", ultimately from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, who were named for a type of spear that they used. This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.... [more]
GERALDmEnglish, German, Dutch From a Germanic name meaning "rule of the spear", from the elements ger meaning "spear" and wald meaning "rule". The Normans brought this name to Britain. Though it died out in England during the Middle Ages, it remained common in Ireland. It was revived in the English-speaking world in 19th century.
JACOBmEnglish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Jewish, Biblical From the Latin Iacob, which was from the Greek Ἰακώβ (Iakob), which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov). In the Old Testament Jacob (later called Israel) is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau's heel, and his name is explained as meaning "holder of the heel" or "supplanter", because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son (see Genesis 27:36). Other theories claim that it is in fact derived from a hypothetical name like יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya'aqov'el) meaning "may God protect".... [more]
JIMMYmEnglish Diminutive of JAMES. This was the usual name of American actor James Stewart (1908-1997).
KATEfEnglish, Croatian Diminutive of KATHERINE, often used independently. It has been used in England since the Middle Ages. This was the name of the woman who Petruchio marries and tries to tame in Shakespeare's comedy Taming of the Shrew (1593). A famous bearer is the British actress Kate Winslet (1975-).
MICHELLEfFrench, English, Dutch French feminine form of MICHEL. It has been common in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is the former American first lady Michelle Obama (1964-).
MIKHAILmRussian, Belarusian, Bulgarian Russian and Belarusian form of MICHAEL, and an alternate transcription of Bulgarian Михаил (see MIHAIL). This was the name of two Russian tsars. Other notable bearers include the poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841) and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-).
PATRICKmIrish, 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]
PHILmEnglish Short form of PHILIP and various other names beginning with Phil, often a Greek element meaning "friend, dear, beloved".
RAYmEnglish Short form of RAYMOND, often used as an independent name. It coincides with an English word meaning "beam of light". Science-fiction author Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) and musician Ray Charles (1930-2004) are two notable bearers of the name.
VLADIMIRmRussian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovene, Medieval Slavic Derived from the Slavic element vladeti "rule" combined with meru "great, famous". The second element has also been associated with miru meaning "peace, world". This was the name of an 11th-century grand prince of Kiev who is venerated as a saint because of his efforts to Christianize his realm (Kievan Rus). It was also borne by the founder of the former Soviet state, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924).