Names Categorized "history"

This is a list of names in which the categories include history.
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ABD AL-MALIKmArabic
Means "servant of the king" from Arabic عبد ال ('abd al) meaning "servant of the" combined with ملك (malik) meaning "king". This was the name of the fifth Umayyad caliph, who made Arabic the official language of the empire.
ADOLFmGerman, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Adalwolf, which meant "noble wolf" from the Germanic elements adal "noble" and wulf. It was borne by several Swedish kings as a first or second name, most notably by Gustav II Adolf in the 17th century. Association with Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the leader of the Nazi party in Germany during World War II, has lessened the use of this name.
ÆÐELSTANmAnglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements æðel "noble" and stan "stone". This was the name of an early king of England. The name was rarely used after the Norman conquest.
AGRIPPAm & fAncient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from Greek αγριος (agrios) "wild" and ‘ιππος (hippos) "horse" or possibly of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
AL-AMIRmArabic (Rare)
Means "the commander, the prince" in Arabic. This was the name of a 10th-century Fatimid imam.
ALARICmAncient Germanic
From the Gothic name Alareiks which meant "ruler of all", derived from the Germanic element ala "all" combined with ric "ruler, power". This was the name of a king of the Visigoths who sacked Rome in the 5th century.
ALDEBRANDmAncient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements ald meaning "old" and brand meaning "sword" or "fire". Saint Aldebrand was a 12th-century bishop of Fossombrone in Italy.
ALDONAfLithuanian, Polish
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 14th-century Polish queen, the daughter of a Grand Duke of Lithuania.
ALLEGRAfItalian, English (Rare)
Means "cheerful, lively" in Italian. It was borne by a short-lived illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron (1817-1822).
AMALRICmAncient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements amal meaning "work, labour" and ric meaning "power". This was the name of a 6th-century king of the Visigoths, as well as two 12th-century rulers of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
AMINmArabic, Persian, Urdu
Derived from Arabic امين (amin) meaning "truthful". This was the name of the sixth Abbasid caliph.
ANSELMmGerman, English (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements ans "god" and helm "helmet, protection". This name was brought to England in the late 11th century by Saint Anselm, who was born in northern Italy. He was archbishop of Canterbury and a Doctor of the Church.
ANTIOCHUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αντιοχος (Antiochos), derived from Greek αντι (anti) "against, compared to, like" and οχη (oche) "support". This was the name of several rulers of the Seleucid Empire.
ARETHAfEnglish
Possibly derived from Greek αρετη (arete) meaning "virtue". This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
ARTEMISIAfAncient Greek
Feminine form of ARTEMISIOS. This was the name of the 4th-century BC builder of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the world. She built it in memory of her husband, the Carian prince Mausolus.
ASPASIAfAncient Greek
Derived from Greek ασπασιος (aspasios) meaning "welcome, embrace". This was the name of the lover of Pericles (5th century BC).
ATTILAmHistory, Hungarian
Possibly means "little father" from Gothic atta "father" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 5th-century leader of the Huns, a nomadic people from Central Asia who had expanded into Eastern Europe by the 4th century. Attila was the name given to him by his Gothic-speaking subjects in Eastern Europe; his real name may have been Avithohol.
AURELIUSmAncient Roman
Roman family name which was derived from Latin aureus "golden, gilded". Marcus Aurelius was a 2nd-century Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.
BAHRAMmPersian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Verethragna meaning "victory over resistance". This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with victory and war. This name was borne by several Sassanid emperors. It is also the Persian name for the planet Mars.
BEDEmHistory
Modern form of the Old English name Baeda, possibly related to Old English bed "prayer". Saint Bede, called the Venerable Bede, was an 8th-century historian, scholar and Doctor of the Church.
BENEDICTmEnglish
From the Late Latin name Benedictus which meant "blessed". Saint Benedict was an Italian monk who founded the Benedictines in the 6th century. After his time the name was common among Christians, being used by 16 popes. In England it did not come into use until the 12th century, at which point it became very popular. This name was also borne by the American general Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), who defected to Britain during the American Revolution.
BENITOmSpanish, Italian
Spanish form of BENEDICT. This name was borne by Mexican president Benito Juárez, and also by Benito Mussolini (who was named after Juárez), the fascist dictator of Italy during World War II.
BENJAMINmEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Biblical
From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin) which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand", from the roots בֵּן (ben) meaning "son" and יָמִין (yamin) meaning "right hand, south". Benjamin in the Old Testament is the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named בֶּן־אוֹנִי (Ben-'oni) meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father (see Genesis 35:18).... [more]
BERENICEfEnglish, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Βερενικη (Berenike), the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενικη (Pherenike), which meant "bringing victory" from φερω (phero) "to bring" and νικη (nike) "victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty which was originally from Macedon. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament (in most English Bibles it is spelled Bernice) belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II. As an English name, Berenice came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
BERTHAfGerman, English, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element beraht meaning "bright, famous". It was borne by the mother of Charlemagne in the 8th century, and it was popularized in England by the Normans. It died out as an English name after the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 19th century. The name also appears in southern Germanic legends (often spelled Perchta or Berchta) belonging to a goddess of animals and weaving.
BESSARIONmLate Greek
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Greek βησσα (bessa) "wooded valley". This was the name of a 5th-century Egyptian hermit who was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great. It was later adopted by the scholar Basilios Bessarion (1403-1472), a Greek born in Byzantine Anatolia who became a Roman Catholic bishop.
BESSIEfEnglish
Diminutive of ELIZABETH.
BLANCHEfFrench, English
From a medieval French nickname meaning "white, fair". This name and its cognates in other languages are ultimately derived from the Germanic word blanc. An early bearer was the 12th-century Blanca of Navarre, the wife of Sancho III of Castile. Her granddaughter of the same name married Louis VIII of France, with the result that the name became more common in France.
BOLESŁAWmPolish
Derived from the Slavic elements bolye "more, greater" and slava "glory". This was the name of kings of Poland, starting in the 11th century with the first Polish king Bolesław the Brave.
BOUDICCAfAncient Celtic (Latinized)
Derived from Brythonic boud meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide. Her name is first recorded in Roman histories, as Boudicca by Tacitus and Βουδουικα (Boudouika) by Cassius Dio.
BRUNHILDAfHistory
Variant of BRÜNHILD, referring to the Frankish queen.
CARATACOSmAncient Celtic
Derived from the Celtic element car meaning "love". This was the name of a 1st-century British chieftain who rebelled against Roman rule.
CASSIUSmAncient Roman
Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin cassus "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).
CATAHECASSAmNative American, Shawnee
Means "black hoof" in Shawnee. This was the name of a Shawnee warrior and chief of the 18th century.
CHARESmAncient Greek
Derived from Greek χαρις (charis) meaning "grace, kindness". This was the name of a 4th-century BC Athenian general. It was also borne by the sculptor who crafted the Colossus of Rhodes.
CHARLEMAGNEmHistory
From Old French Charles le Magne meaning "CHARLES the Great". This is the name by which the Frankish king Charles the Great (742-814) is commonly known.
CHRISTOPHERmEnglish
From the Late Greek name Χριστοφορος (Christophoros) meaning "bearing CHRIST", derived from Χριστος (Christos) combined with φερω (phero) "to bear, to carry". Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name, expressing that they carried Christ in their hearts. In the Middle Ages, literal interpretations of the name's etymology led to legends about a Saint Christopher who carried the young Jesus across a river. He has come to be regarded as the patron saint of travellers.... [more]
CLOVISmAncient Germanic (Latinized), French
Shortened form of Clodovicus, a Latinized form of Chlodovech (see LUDWIG). Clovis was a Frankish king who united France under his rule in the 5th century.
CONFUCIUSmHistory
Anglicized form of the Chinese name Kong Fuzi. The surname (Kong) means "hole, opening" and the title 夫子 (Fuzi) means "master". This was the name of a 6th-century BC Chinese philosopher. His given name was Qiu.
CORETTAfEnglish
Diminutive of CORA. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
CORNELIAfGerman, 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.
CYRANOmLiterature
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient Greek city of Cyrene, which was located in North Africa. Edmond Rostand used this name in his play 'Cyrano de Bergerac' (1897). He based his character upon a real person, Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, a French satirist of the 17th century.
DAFYDDmWelsh
Welsh form of DAVID. This name was borne by Dafydd ap Gruffydd, a 13th-century Welsh ruler, and Dafydd ap Gwilym, a 14th-century poet.
DIODORUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Διοδωρος (Diodoros) which meant "gift of Zeus", derived from the elements Διος (Dios) meaning "of ZEUS" and δωρον (doron) meaning "gift". This was the name of a 1st-century BC Greek historian.
DRUSUSmAncient Roman
Roman family name, also sometimes used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Claudia family. Apparently the name was first assumed by a Roman warrior who killed a Gallic chieftain named Drausus in single combat. Drausus possibly derives from a Celtic element meaning "strong".
ELIOTmEnglish
From a surname which was a variant of ELLIOTT. A famous bearer of the surname was T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), an Anglo-American poet and dramatist, the writer of 'The Waste Land'. As a given name, it was borne by the American mob-buster Eliot Ness (1903-1957).
ELVISmEnglish
Meaning unknown. It could possibly be a derivative of ALVIS or ELWIN. More likely, it is from the rare surname Elvis, which is ultimately derived from the given name ELOISE. The name was brought to public attention by the singer Elvis Presley (1935-1977), whose name came from his father's middle name.
EMMAfEnglish, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen meaning "whole" or "universal". 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.... [more]
ERIKmSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, 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.
ERZSÉBETfHungarian
Hungarian form of ELIZABETH. This is the native name of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. It was also borne by the infamous Erzsébet Báthory, a 16th-century countess and murderer.
ESTHERfEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah.... [more]
ETZELmGermanic Mythology
Form of ATTILA used in the medieval German saga the 'Nibelungenlied'. In the story Etzel is a fictional version of Attila the Hun.
EUCLIDmAncient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name Ευκλειδης (Eukleides), derived from Greek ευ (eu) "good" and κλεος (kleos) "glory" with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides). This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek mathematician from Alexandria who made numerous contributions to geometry.
FIACHRAmIrish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Gaelic fiach meaning "raven". In Irish legend Fiachra was one of the four children of Lir transformed into swans for a period of 900 years. This is also the name of the patron saint of gardeners, a 7th-century Irish abbot who settled in France.
FLORENCEf & mEnglish, French
From the Latin name Florentius or the feminine form Florentia, which were derived from florens "prosperous, flourishing". Florentius was borne by many early Christian saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.... [more]
FRIEDRICHmGerman
German form of FREDERICK. This was the name of kings of Germany. The socialist Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) and the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) are two famous bearers of this name.
FYODORmRussian
Russian form of THEODORE. It was borne by three tsars of Russia. Another notable bearer was Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881), the Russian author of such works as 'Crime and Punishment' and 'The Brothers Karamazov'.
GALENmEnglish
Modern form of the Greek name Γαληνος (Galenos), which meant "calm" from Greek γαληνη (galene). It was borne by a 2nd-century BC Greco-Roman physician who contributed to anatomy and medicine. In modern times the name is occasionally given in his honour.
GARRETTmEnglish
From an English surname which was derived from the given name GERALD or GERARD. A famous bearer of the surname was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
GEMMAfItalian, Catalan, English (British), Dutch
Medieval Italian nickname meaning "gem, precious stone". It was borne by the wife of the 13th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri.
GENGHISmHistory
From the title Genghis (or Chinggis) Khan, meaning "universal ruler", which was adopted by the Mongol Empire founder Temujin in the late 12th century. Remembered both for his military brilliance and his brutality towards civilians, he went on to conquer huge areas of Asia and Eastern Europe.
GENTIUSmAlbanian
Possibly means "to beget" in Illyrian. This was the name of a 2nd-century BC Illyrian king who went to war with Rome.
GEORGESmFrench
French form of GEORGE. This name was borne by the French artists Georges Seurat (1859-1891) and Georges Braque (1882-1963).
GERONIMOmHistory
From Gerónimo, a Spanish form of JEROME. This is the better-known name of the Apache leader Goyathlay (1829-1909). It was given to him by the Mexicans, his enemies.
GODIVAfAnglo-Saxon (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Old English name Godgifu meaning "gift of god", from the elements god and giefu "gift". Lady Godiva was an 11th-century English noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry to protest the high taxes imposed by her husband upon the townspeople.
GRUFFUDDmWelsh
From the Old Welsh name Griphiud, the second element deriving from Welsh udd "lord, prince" but the first element being of uncertain meaning (possibly cryf "strong"). This was a common name among medieval Welsh royalty. Gruffudd (or Gruffydd) ap Llywelyn was an 11th-century Welsh ruler who fought against England.
GWENLLIANfWelsh
Derived from the Welsh elements gwen meaning "white, fair, blessed" and llian meaning "flaxen". This name was popular among medieval Welsh royalty. It was borne by the 14th-century daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.
HADRIANmHistory
From the Roman cognomen Hadrianus, which meant "from Hadria" in Latin. Hadria was the name of two Roman settlements. The first (modern Adria) is in northern Italy and was an important Etruscan port town. The second (modern Atri) is in central Italy and was named after the northern town. The Adriatic Sea is also named after the northern town.... [more]
HASDRUBALmPhoenician (Latinized), History
Means "Ba'al helps" from Phoenician azru "help" combined with the name of the god BA'AL. Hasdrubal was a Carthaginian general, the brother of Hannibal.
HESIODmAncient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name ‘Ησιοδος (Hesiodos), which probably means "to throw song" from ‘ιημι (hiemi) "to throw, to speak" and ωιδη (oide) "song, ode". This was the name of an 8th-century BC Greek poet.
HILARYf & mEnglish
Medieval English form of HILARIUS or HILARIA. During the Middle Ages it was primarily a masculine name. It was revived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century as a predominantly feminine name. In America, this name and the variant Hillary seemed to drop in popularity after Hillary Clinton (1947-) became the first lady.
HILDEGARDfGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements hild "battle" and gard "enclosure". 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.
HIPPOCRATESmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Ιπποκρατης (Hippokrates) which meant "horse power", derived from the elements ‘ιππος (hippos) "horse" and κρατος (kratos) "power". This was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek doctor who is known as the Father of Medicine.
HITOMIfJapanese
From Japanese (hitomi) meaning "pupil of the eye". It can also come from (hito) meaning "history" and (mi) meaning "beautiful", as well as other kanji combinations. This name is often written with the hiragana writing system.
HOLGERmSwedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Hólmgeirr, derived from the elements holmr "island" and geirr "spear". This was the name of one of Charlemagne's generals, a nobleman from Denmark.
HOMERmEnglish, Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name ‘Ομηρος (Homeros), derived from ‘ομηρος (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'.
HORATIOmEnglish
Variant of HORATIUS. It was borne by the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), famous for his defeat of Napoleon's forces in the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he was himself killed. Since his time the name has been occasionally used in his honour.
HYPATIAfAncient Greek
Derived from Greek ‘υπατος (hypatos) meaning "highest, supreme". Hypatia of Alexandria was a 5th-century philosopher and mathematician, daughter of the mathematician Theon.
HYWELmWelsh
Means "eminent" in Welsh. This was the name of a 10th-century king of Wales.
ILDIKÓfHungarian
Possibly a form of HILDA. This name was borne by the last wife of Attila the Hun.
INDIRAfHinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil
Means "beauty" in Sanskrit. This is another name of Lakshmi, the wife of the Hindu god Vishnu. A notable bearer was India's first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi (1917-1984).
ISABELfSpanish, Portuguese, English, French, German
Medieval Occitan form of ELIZABETH. It spread throughout Spain, Portugal and France, becoming common among the royalty by the 12th century. It grew popular in England in the 13th century after Isabella of Angoulême married the English king John, and it was subsequently bolstered when Isabella of France married Edward II the following century.... [more]
ISABELLAfItalian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian
Latinate form of ISABEL. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel).
ISAGANImFilipino, Tagalog
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a character in the novel 'El Filibusterismo' (1891) by José Rizal.
JANEfEnglish
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.... [more]
JAYADEVAmSanskrit
Means "divine victory" from Sanskrit जय (jaya) meaning "victory" and देव (deva) meaning "god". This was the name of a 13th-century Indian poet.
JEANNEfFrench, English
Modern French form of Jehanne, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes (see JOHN). Joan of Arc is known as Jeanne d'Arc in France.
JEBmEnglish
Sometimes a diminutive of JACOB. This name may have also resulted from a nickname of James Ewell Brown Stuart (1833-1864), a Confederate general in the American Civil War, which was formed from the initial letters of his three given names.
JESSEmEnglish, Dutch, 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.
JOAN (1)fEnglish
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.... [more]
JOSEFmGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech
German, Scandinavian and Czech form of JOSEPH.
JOSEPHmEnglish, French, German, Biblical
From Ioseph, the Latin form of Greek Ιωσηφ (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]
JOSEPHUSmDutch, History
Latin form of JOSEPH. This form is used by Dutch Catholics. In English, it is used primarily to refer to the 1st-century Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus.
KITm & fEnglish
Diminutive of CHRISTOPHER or KATHERINE. A notable bearer was Kit Carson (1809-1868), an American frontiersman and explorer.
LEONIDASmGreek, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon) meaning "lion" combined with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides). Leonidas was a Spartan king of the 5th century BC who sacrificed his life and his army defending the pass of Thermopylae from the Persians. This was also the name of a 3rd-century saint and martyr, the father of Origen, from Alexandria.
LLYWELYNmWelsh
Possibly a Welsh form of the old Celtic name Lugubelenus, a combination of the names of the gods LUGUS and BELENUS. Alternatively it may be derived from Welsh llyw "leader". This was the name of several Welsh rulers, notably the 13th-century Llywelyn the Great who fought against England.
LORENZOmItalian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish form of Laurentius (see LAURENCE (1)). Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), known as the Magnificent, was a ruler of Florence during the Renaissance. He was also a great patron of the arts who employed Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and other famous artists.
LUCANmHistory
From the Roman cognomen Lucanus, which was derived from the name of the city of Luca in Tuscany (modern Lucca). Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, commonly called Lucan, was a 1st-century Roman poet.
LUCREZIAfItalian
Italian form of LUCRETIA.
LYSANDERmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λυσανδρος (Lysandros), derived from Greek λυσις (lysis) meaning "a release" and ανηρ (aner) meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος). This was the name of a notable 5th-century BC Spartan general and naval commander.
MAHATMAmHistory
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).
MANFREDmGerman, Dutch, Polish
Derived from the Germanic elements magan "strength" and frid "peace". This is the name of the main character in Byron's drama 'Manfred' (1817). This name was also borne by Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918), the German pilot in World War I who was known as the Red Baron.
MARIAN (1)fEnglish
Variant of MARION (1). This name was borne in English legend by Maid Marian, Robin Hood's love. It is sometimes considered a combination of MARY and ANN.
MARIEf & mFrench, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
French and Czech form of MARIA. A notable bearer of this name was Marie Antoinette, a queen of France who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. Another was Marie Curie (1867-1934), a physicist and chemist who studied radioactivity with her husband Pierre.... [more]
MARIUSmAncient Roman, Romanian, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French
Roman family name which was derived either from MARS, the name of the Roman god of War, or else from the Latin root mas, maris meaning "male". Gaius Marius was a famous Roman consul of the 2nd century BC. Since the start of the Christian era, it has occasionally been used as a masculine form of MARIA.
MARTIALmHistory
From the Roman cognomen Martialis, which was derived from the name of the Roman god MARS. The name was borne by Marcus Valerius Martialis, now commonly known as Martial, a Roman poet of the 1st century.
MATHGHAMHAINmAncient Irish
Means "bear" in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of a brother of the Irish king Brian Boru.
MERIWETHERmEnglish (Rare)
From a surname meaning "happy weather" in Middle English, originally belonging to a cheery person. A notable bearer of the name was Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), who, with William Clark, explored the west of North America.
MILTIADESmAncient Greek
Derived from Greek μιλτος (miltos) meaning "red earth" and the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides). This was the name of the general who led the Greek forces to victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
MIRCEAmRomanian
Romanian form of MIRČE. This name was borne by a 14th-century ruler of Wallachia.
MOHANDASmIndian, Hindi
Means "servant of Mohana" from the name of the Hindu god MOHANA combined with Sanskrit दास (dasa) meaning "servant". A famous bearer of this name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), also known as Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian leader who struggled peacefully for independence from Britain.
MUIREDACHmIrish
Means "lord" in Irish. This was the name of several legendary and historical kings of Ireland.
NATHANmEnglish, 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]
NEFERTARIfAncient Egyptian
From Egyptian Nfrt-jrj meaning "the most beautiful". This was the name of an Egyptian queen of the New Kingdom, the favourite wife of Rameses II.
NEFERTITIfAncient Egyptian
From Egyptian Nfrt-jytj meaning "the beautiful one has come". Nefertiti was a powerful Egyptian queen of the New Kingdom, the principal wife of Akhenaton, the pharaoh that briefly imposed a monotheistic religion centered around the sun god Aton.
NEILmIrish, Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Niall, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning "champion" or "cloud". This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.... [more]
NERO (1)mAncient Roman
Roman cognomen, which was probably of Sabine origin meaning "strong, vigourous". It was borne most infamously by a tyrannical Roman emperor of the 1st century.
NICANORmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Νικανωρ (Nikanor), which was derived from νικη (nike) "victory". This name was borne by several notable officers from ancient Macedon.
NIKIASmAncient Greek
Derived from Greek νικη (nike) meaning "victory". This was the name of an Athenian general who fought in the Peloponnesian war.
NYSSAfVarious
From the name of an ancient town of Asia Minor where Saint Gregory was bishop. Nyssa is also the genus name of a type of tree, also called the Tupelo.
ODOVACARmAncient Germanic
From the Germanic name Audovacar meaning "wealthy and vigilant", derived from the elements aud "wealth" and wacar "vigilant". Odovacar, also called Odoacer, was a 5th-century Gothic leader who overthrew the last Western Roman emperor and became the first barbarian king of Italy.
ORVILLEmEnglish
This name was invented by the 18th-century writer Fanny Burney, who perhaps intended it to mean "golden city" in French. Orville Wright (1871-1948), together with his brother Wilbur, invented the first successful airplane.
OSKARmSwedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish
Scandinavian, German, Polish and Slovene form of OSCAR. A famous bearer was Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), who saved over 1,000 Polish Jews during World War II.
OSMANmTurkish
Turkish form of UTHMAN. This was the name of the founder of the Ottoman Empire (14th century).
PANCHOmSpanish
Spanish diminutive of FRANCISCO. This name was borne by Pancho Villa (1878-1923), a Mexican bandit and revolutionary.
PATTONmEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of PATRICK. A notable bearer of the surname was the American World War II general George S. Patton (1885-1945), who played an important part in the allied offensive in France.
PERICLESmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Περικλης (Perikles), which was derived from the Greek elements περι (peri) "around, exceedingly" and κλεος (kleos) "glory". This was the name of a 5th-century BC Athenian statesman and general.
PEYTONm & fEnglish
From an English surname, originally a place name meaning "PÆGA's town". A famous bearer was Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), the first president of the Continental Congress. It is also borne by American football quarterback Peyton Manning (1976-).
PLATOmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Πλατων (Platon) which was derived from Greek πλατυς (platys) meaning "broad-shouldered". Plato was one of the most important of the Greek philosophers. He was a pupil of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. He constructed the theory of Forms and wrote several works, including the 'Republic'.
POCAHONTASfNative American, Powhatan
Means "playful one" in Powhatan, an Algonquian language. This was the name 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.
PRATIBHAfIndian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "light, splendour, intelligence" in Sanskrit.
PRUDENTIUSmLate Roman
Late Latin name derived from prudens "prudence, good judgement". This was the name of a 9th-century bishop of Troyes. He is considered a local saint there.
PTOLEMYmHistory
From the Greek name Πτολεμαιος (Ptolemaios), derived from Greek πολεμηιος (polemeios) meaning "aggressive, warlike". Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendants of Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer.
QIUm & fChinese
From Chinese (qiū) meaning "autumn", (qiū) meaning "hill, mound", or other characters with a similar pronunciation. The given name of the philosopher Confucius was .
QUENTINmFrench, English
French form of the Roman name QUINTINUS. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint, a missionary who was martyred in Gaul. The Normans introduced this name to England. In America it was brought to public attention by president Theodore Roosevelt's son Quentin Roosevelt (1897-1918), who was killed in World War I.
RAJENDRAmIndian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Nepali
Means "lord of kings", derived from Sanskrit राज (raja) meaning "king" combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA, used here to mean "lord". This was the name of two 11th-century rulers of the Chola empire in southern India.
RODNEYmEnglish
From a surname, originally derived from a place name, which meant "Hroda's island" in Old English (where Hroda is a Germanic given name meaning "fame"). It was first used as a given name in honour of the British admiral Lord Rodney (1719-1792).
ROLLOmEnglish
Latinized form of Roul, the Old French form of ROLF. Rollo (or Rolf) the Ganger was an exiled Viking who, in the 10th century, became the first Duke of Normandy. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
ROSAMUNDfEnglish (Rare)
Derived from the Germanic elements hros "horse" and mund "protection". The Normans introduced this name to England. It was subsequently influenced by the Latin phrase rosa munda "pure rose". This was the name of the mistress of Henry II, the king of England in the 12th century. She was possibly murdered by his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
ROWENAfEnglish
Meaning uncertain, possibly a Latinized form of a Germanic name derived from the elements hrod "fame" and wunn "joy, bliss". According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a daughter of the Saxon chief Hengist. Alternatively, Geoffrey may have based it on a Welsh name. It was popularized by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for a character in his novel 'Ivanhoe' (1819).
RUADHmIrish, Scottish
Gaelic byname meaning "red", often a nickname for one with red hair. This was the nickname of the Scottish outlaw Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor (1671-1734), known as Rob Roy in English.
RURIKmRussian
Russian form of the Old Norse name HRŒREKR.
SAGAfNorse Mythology, Swedish, Icelandic
Possibly means "seeing one" in Old Norse. This was the name of the Norse goddess of poetry and history, sometimes identified with the goddess Frigg. This is also a modern Swedish word meaning "story, fairy tale".
SAPPHOfAncient Greek
Possibly from Greek σαπφειρος (sappheiros) meaning "sapphire" or "lapis lazuli". This was the name of a 7th-century BC Greek poetess from Lesbos.
SCHUYLERmEnglish
From a Dutch surname meaning "scholar". Dutch settlers brought the surname to America, where it was subsequently adopted as a given name in honour of the American general and senator Philip Schuyler (1733-1804).
SENECAmAncient Roman
From a Roman cognomen which meant "old" from Latin senectus. This was the name of both a Roman orator (born in Spain) and also of his son, a philosopher and statesman. This name also coincides with that of the Seneca, a Native American tribe that lived near the Great Lakes, whose name meant "place of stones".
SEQUOYAHmNative American, Cherokee
Possibly from Cherokee siqua meaning "hog". This was the name of the Cherokee man (also known as George Guess) who devised the Cherokee writing system in the 19th century.
SIGMUNDmGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu "victory" and mund "protector" (or in the case of the Scandinavian cognate, from the Old Norse elements sigr "victory" and mundr "protector"). In Norse mythology this was the name of the hero Sigurd's father, the bearer of the powerful sword Gram. A notable bearer was the Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the creator of the revolutionary theory of psychoanalysis.
SOLONmAncient Greek
Possibly from Greek σολος (solos) meaning "lump of iron". This was the name of an Athenian statesman who reformed the laws and government of the city.
SPARTACUSmHistory
Means "from the city of Sparta" in Latin. Spartacus was the name of a Thracian-born Roman slave who led a slave revolt in Italy in the 1st century BC. He was eventually killed in battle and many of his followers were crucified.
SWITHINmHistory
From the Old English name Swiðhun or Swiþhun, derived from swiþ "strong" and perhaps hun "bear cub". Saint Swithin was a 9th-century bishop of Winchester.
TACITUSmAncient Roman
Roman cognomen which meant "silent, mute" in Latin. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman historian.
TAMERLANEmHistory
Westernized form of Timur i Leng (see TIMUR).
TARIQmArabic
Means "he who knocks at the door" in Arabic. This is the Arabic name of the morning star. Tariq ibn Ziyad was the Islamic general who conquered Spain for the Umayyad Caliphate in the 8th century.
TARQUINmHistory
From the Roman name Tarquinius which is of unknown meaning, possibly Etruscan in origin. This was the name of two early kings of Rome.
THEOPHILUSmBiblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Θεοφιλος (Theophilos) which meant "friend of god", derived from θεος (theos) "god" and φιλος (philos) "friend". In the New Testament the evangelist Luke addresses his gospel and the Book of Acts to a man named Theophilus.
TIGHEARNÁNmIrish
Means "little lord" from Irish Gaelic tigern "lord" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 12th-century king of Breifne in Ireland.
TULLYmHistory
Form of Tullius (see TULLIO) used to refer to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero.
UMARmArabic, Urdu
Means "populous, flourishing", derived from Arabic عمر ('umr) meaning "life". Umar was a companion and strong supporter of Muhammad who became the second caliph of the Muslims. He is considered to be one of the great founders of the Muslim state. The name was also borne by a 12th-century poet from Persia, Umar Khayyam.
URBANmDanish, Swedish, German, Polish, Slovene, Biblical
From the Latin name Urbanus which meant "city dweller". This name is mentioned briefly in one of Paul's epistles in the New Testament. It was subsequently borne by eight popes.
VIRGINIAfEnglish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Romanian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of the Roman family name Verginius or Virginius which is of unknown meaning, but long associated with Latin virgo "maid, virgin". According to a legend, it was the name of a Roman woman killed by her father so as to save her from the clutches of a crooked official.... [more]
VIRIATOmPortuguese
From the Latin name Viriathus or Viriatus, which was derived from viriae "bracelets" (of Celtic origin). Viriathus was a leader of the Lusitani (a tribe of Portugal) who rebelled against Roman rule in the 2nd century BC.
WALLISm & fEnglish (Rare)
From a surname which was a variant of WALLACE. Wallis Simpson (1895-1986) was the divorced woman whom Edward VIII married, which forced him to abdicate the British throne.
WRIGHTmEnglish
From an occupational surname meaning "craftsman", ultimately from Old English wyrhta. Famous bearers of the surname were the Wright brothers (Wilbur 1867-1912 and Orville 1871-1948), the inventors of the first successful airplane, and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), an American architect.
WYATTmEnglish
From an English surname which was derived from the medieval given name WYOT. Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) was an American lawman and gunfighter involved in the famous shootout at the OK Corral.
XANTHIPPEfAncient Greek
Feminine form of XANTHIPPOS. This was the name of the wife of Socrates. Because of her supposedly argumentative nature, the name has been adopted (in the modern era) as a word for a scolding, ill-tempered woman.
XANTHIPPOSmAncient Greek
From the Greek elements ξανθος (xanthos) "yellow" and ‘ιππος (hippos) "horse". This was the name of a 5th-century BC Athenian general.
YAMATOmJapanese
From YAMATO, an ancient name for Japan. It can also refer to the Yamato period in Japanese history, which lasted into the 8th century. The individual kanji are meaning "great" and meaning "harmony".
ZEDONGm & fChinese
From Chinese () meaning "moist, grace, brilliance" combined with (dōng) meaning "east", as well as other character combinations. A notable bearer was the founder of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong (1893-1976).
ZENOBIAfAncient Greek
Means "life of Zeus", derived from Greek Ζηνο (Zeno), a prefix form of the name of ZEUS, combined with βιος (bios) "life". This was the name of a 3rd-century queen of Palmyra. After claiming the title 'Queen of the East' and expanding her realm into Roman territory she was defeated by Emperor Aurelian. Her Greek name was used as an approximation of her native Aramaic name.