ABD AL-MALIK m Arabic
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.
ADOLF m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, 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.
ÆÐELFLÆD f Anglo-Saxon
Old English name composed of the elements æðel
"noble" and flæd
"beauty". Æðelflæd was a 10th-century queen of Mercia.
ÆÐELSTAN m Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements æðel
"noble" and stan
"stone". This was the name of a 10th-century English king, the first to rule all of England. The name was rarely used after the Norman Conquest, though it enjoyed a modest revival (as Athelstan
) in the 19th century.
AGRIPPA m & f Ancient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from a combination of Greek ἄγριος (agrios)
meaning "wild" and ἵππος (hippos)
meaning "horse" or alternatively 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-AMIR m Arabic (Rare)
Means "the commander, the prince"
in Arabic. This was the name of a 10th-century Fatimid imam.
ALARIC m Ancient Germanic
From the Gothic name Alareiks
, which meant "ruler of all"
, derived from the Germanic element ala
"all" combined with ric
"ruler". This was the name of a king of the Visigoths who sacked Rome in the 5th century.
ALDEBRAND m Ancient 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.
ALDONA f Lithuanian, Polish
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 14th-century Polish queen, the daughter of a Grand Duke of Lithuania.
ALLEGRA f Italian, English (Rare)
Means "cheerful, lively"
in Italian. It was borne by a short-lived illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron (1817-1822).
AMALRIC m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the elements amal
meaning "work, labour" and ric
meaning "ruler, mighty". 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.
ANSELM m German, 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.
ANTIOCHUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Ἀντίοχος (Antiochos)
, derived from Greek ἀντί (anti)
meaning "against, compared to, like" and ὀχή (oche)
meaning "support". This was the name of several rulers of the Seleucid Empire. It was also borne by a 2nd-century Christian martyr, the patron saint of Sardinia.
ARETHA f English
Possibly derived from Greek ἀρετή (arete)
. This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
ARISTOTLE m Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name Ἀριστοτέλης (Aristoteles)
meaning "the best purpose"
, derived from ἄριστος (aristos)
meaning "best" and τέλος (telos)
meaning "purpose, aim". This was the name of a Greek philosopher of the 4th century BC who made lasting contributions to Western thought, including the fields of logic, metaphysics, ethics and biology.
ARTEMISIA f Ancient 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 Ancient World. She built it in memory of her husband, the Carian prince Mausolus.
ASMAA f Arabic
Means "appellations, names"
in Arabic. This was the name of a daughter of Abu Bakr
, the first caliph of the Muslims.
ATTILA m History, 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.
AURELIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from Latin aureus
meaning "golden, gilded"
. Marcus Aurelius was a 2nd-century Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.
BAHRAM m Persian, 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.
BEDE m History
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.
BENEDICT m English
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.
BENITO m Spanish, 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.
BENJAMIN m English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Biblical
From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin)
meaning "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 was 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
BERENICE f English, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Βερενίκη (Berenike)
, the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενίκη (Pherenike)
, which meant "bringing victory"
from φέρω (phero)
meaning "to bring" and νίκη (nike)
meaning "victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty that 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.
BERTHA f German, 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
) belonging to a goddess of animals and weaving.
BESSARION m Late Greek
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Greek βῆσσα (bessa)
meaning "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.
BLANCHE f French, 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.
BOLESŁAW m Polish
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.
BOLÍVAR m Spanish (Latin American)
From a surname that was taken from the Basque place name Bolibar
, which was derived from bolu
"mill" and ibar
"riverside". A famous bearer of the surname was Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), a South American revolutionary leader, after whom the country of Bolivia is named.
BOUDICCA f Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
Derived from Brythonic boud
. 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 Βουδουῖκα (Boudouika)
by Cassius Dio.
CARATACOS m Ancient Celtic
Derived from the Celtic element car
. This was the name of a 1st-century British chieftain who rebelled against Roman rule.
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).
CENNÉTIG m Irish
Old Irish byname meaning "armoured head"
or "misshapen head"
. This was the name of an Irish king, the father of Brian
CHARES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek χάρις (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.
CHARLEMAGNE m History
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.
CHRISTOPHER m English
From the Late Greek name Χριστόφορος (Christophoros)
meaning "bearing CHRIST"
, derived from Χριστός (Christos)
combined with φέρω (phero)
meaning "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]
CONFUCIUS m History
Anglicized form of the Chinese name Kong Fuzi
. The surname 孔 (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
CORETTA f English
Diminutive of CORA
. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
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.
CYRANO m Literature
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.
DAFYDD m Welsh
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.
DIETLINDE f German
From the Germanic name Theudelinda
, derived from the elements theud
"people" and lind
"soft, tender, flexible". Theudelinda was a 6th-century queen of the Lombards.
DRUSUS m Ancient 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"
ELIOT m English
From a surname that 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).
ELVIS m English
Meaning unknown. It could possibly be a derivative of ALVIS
. More likely, it is from the rare surname Elvis
, a variant of Elwes
, 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.... [more]
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, 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.
ERZSÉBET f Hungarian
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.
ESTHER f English, 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
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.
FIACHRA m Irish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish fiach
. 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.
FLORENCE f & m English, French
From the Latin name Florentius
or the feminine form Florentia
, which were derived from florens "prosperous, flourishing"
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]
FRIEDRICH m German
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.
FYODOR m Russian
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
GALEN m English
Modern form of the Greek name Γαληνός (Galenos)
, which meant "calm"
from Greek γαλήνη (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.
GARRETT m English
From an English surname that was derived from the given name GERALD
. A famous bearer of the surname was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
GENGHIS m History
From the title Genghis
, 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.
GENTIUS m Albanian
Possibly means "to beget"
in Illyrian. This was the name of a 2nd-century BC Illyrian king who went to war with Rome.
GEORGES m French
French form of GEORGE
. This name was borne by the French artists Georges Seurat (1859-1891) and Georges Braque (1882-1963).
GERONIMO m History
, 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.
GODIVA f Anglo-Saxon (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Old English name Godgifu
meaning "gift of god"
, from the elements god
"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.
GRUFFUDD m Welsh
From the Old Welsh name Grippiud
, 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.
GWENLLIAN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed" and probably lliain
meaning "flaxen". This name was popular among medieval Welsh royalty. It was borne by the 14th-century daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.
HADRIAN m History
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]
HATSHEPSUT f Ancient Egyptian
Means "foremost of noble women"
in Egyptian. This was the name of a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. She may have been the first woman to take the title of Pharaoh.
HERLEVA f Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, possibly a derivative of hari
"honour", or erla
"noble" (or their Old Norse cognates). This was the name of the mother of William the Conqueror, who, according to tradition, was a commoner.
HERODOTUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ἡρόδοτος (Herodotos)
, derived from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with δοτός (dotos)
meaning "given, granted". Herodotus was a Greek historian of the 5th century BC who wrote the Histories
, a detailed account of the Greco-Persian Wars. He is known as the Father of History.
HILARY f & m English
Medieval English form of HILARIUS
. 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.
HITOMI f Japanese
From Japanese 瞳 (hitomi)
meaning "pupil of the eye". It can also come from 史 (hito)
meaning "history" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful", as well as other kanji combinations. This name is often written with 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
HORATIO m English
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.
HOREA m Romanian
From Romanian horă
, a type of circle dance. This was the nickname of Vasile Ursu Nicola (1731-1785), a leader of a peasant rebellion in Romania. He was eventually captured, tortured and executed.
HYPATIA f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ὕπατος (hypatos)
meaning "highest, supreme"
. Hypatia of Alexandria was a 5th-century philosopher and mathematician, daughter of the mathematician Theon.
HYWEL m Welsh
in Welsh. This was the name of a 10th-century king of Wales.
ISABEL f Spanish, 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]
ISABELLA f Italian, 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
ISAGANI m Filipino, Tagalog
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a character in the novel El Filibusterismo
(1891) by José Rizal.
JANE f English
Medieval English form of Jehanne
, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes
). 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]
JAYADEVA m Sanskrit
Means "divine victory"
from Sanskrit जय (jaya)
meaning "victory" and देव (deva)
meaning "god". This was the name of a 13th-century Indian poet.
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.
JEB m English
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.
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.
JOAN (1) f English
Medieval English form of Johanne
, an Old French form of Iohanna
). 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]
JOSEPH m English, French, German, Biblical
, 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]
JOSEPHUS m Dutch, 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.
LEONIDAS m Greek, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λέων (leon)
meaning "lion" combined with the patronymic suffix ἴδης (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.
LIVIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that may be related to either Latin liveo "to envy"
or lividus "blue, envious"
. Titus Livius, also known as Livy, was a Roman historian who wrote a history of the city of Rome.
LLYWELYN m Welsh
Possibly a Welsh form of the old Celtic name Lugubelenus
, a combination of the names of the gods LUGUS
. 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.
LORENZO m Italian, 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.
LUCAN m History
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.
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
Derived from the Germanic elements magan
"strength" and frid
"peace". This is the name of the main character in Lord 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) f English
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
MARIE f & m French, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
French and Czech form of MARIA
. It has been very common in France since the 13th century. At the opening of the 20th century it was given to approximately 20 percent of French girls. This percentage has declined steadily over the course of the century, and it dropped from the top rank in 1958.... [more]
MARIUS m Ancient Roman, Romanian, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French, Lithuanian
Roman family name that was derived either from MARS
, the name of the Roman god of War, or else from the Latin root mas, maris
. 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
MARTIAL m French, History
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.
MERIWETHER m English (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.
MIESZKO m Polish
Diminutive of MIECZYSŁAW
. This was the name of two rulers of Poland, including Mieszko I who converted the country to Christianity.
MILTIADES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μίλτος (miltos)
meaning "red earth" and the patronymic suffix ἴδης (ides)
. This was the name of the general who led the Greek forces to victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
MIRCEA m Romanian
Romanian form of MIRČE
. This name was borne by a 14th-century ruler of Wallachia.
MOHANDAS m Indian, 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.
MUIREDACH m Irish
in Irish. This was the name of several legendary and historical kings of Ireland.
NEFERTARI f Ancient 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.
NEFERTITI f Ancient 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
NEIL m Irish, Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Niall
, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning "champion"
. This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.... [more]
NERO (1) m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen, which was probably of Sabine origin meaning "strong, vigorous"
. It was borne most infamously by a tyrannical Roman emperor of the 1st century.
NIKIAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νίκη (nike)
. This was the name of an Athenian general who fought in the Peloponnesian war.
NYSSA f Various
From the name of an ancient town of Asia Minor where Saint Gregory was bishop in the 4th century. Nyssa is also the genus name of a type of tree, also called the Tupelo.
ODOVACAR m Ancient 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.
ORVILLE m English
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.
OSKAR m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish
Scandinavian, German, Polish and Slovene form of OSCAR
. A famous bearer was Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), who is credited for saved over 1,000 Polish Jews during World War II.
OSMAN m Turkish, Kurdish
Turkish and Kurdish form of UTHMAN
. This was the name of the founder of the Ottoman Empire (14th century).
PANCHO m Spanish
Spanish diminutive of FRANCISCO
. This name was borne by Pancho Villa (1878-1923), a Mexican bandit and revolutionary.
PATTON m English (Rare)
From an English surname that 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.
PEYTON m & f English
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-).
PLATO m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Πλάτων (Platon)
, which was derived from Greek πλατύς (platys)
. 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
POCAHONTAS f Native American, Powhatan
Means "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.
PRUDENTIUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from prudens "prudent, wise, skilled"
. This was the name of a 9th-century bishop of Troyes. He is considered a local saint there.
PTOLEMY m History
From the Greek name Πτολεμαῖος (Ptolemaios)
, derived from Greek πολεμήϊος (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.
QIU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 秋 (qiū)
meaning "autumn", 丘 (qiū)
meaning "hill, mound", or other characters with a similar pronunciation. The given name of the philosopher Confucius
QUENTIN m French, 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.
RODNEY m English
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).
ROLLO m English
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.
ROSAMUND f English (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.
ROSWITHA f German
Derived from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and swinth
"strength". This was the name of a 10th-century nun from Saxony who wrote several notable poems and dramas.
ROWENA f English
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
RUADH m Irish, 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.
SAGA f Norse 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".
SCHUYLER m & f English
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).
SENECA m Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen derived 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".
SEQUOYAH m Native American, Cherokee
Possibly from Cherokee siqua
. This was the name of the Cherokee man (also known as George Guess) who devised the Cherokee writing system in the 19th century.
SIGMUND m German, 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.
SOLON m Ancient Greek
Possibly from Greek σόλος (solos)
meaning "lump of iron"
. This was the name of an Athenian statesman who reformed the laws and government of the city.
SPARTACUS m History
Means "from the city of Sparta"
in Latin. Spartacus was the name of a Thracian-born Roman slave who led a slave revolt in Italy in the 1st century BC. He was eventually killed in battle and many of his followers were crucified.
SWITHIN m History
From the Old English name Swiðhun
, derived from swiþ
"strong" and perhaps hun
"bear cub". Saint Swithin was a 9th-century bishop of Winchester.
TACITUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "silent, mute"
in Latin. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman historian.
TARIQ m Arabic
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.
TARQUIN m History
, a Roman name of unknown meaning, possibly Etruscan in origin. This was the name of two early kings of Rome.
TECUMSEH m Native American, Shawnee
Means "panther passing across"
in Shawnee. This was the name of a Shawnee leader who, with his brother Tenskwatawa
, resisted European expansion in the early 19th century.
TENSKWATAWA m Native American, Shawnee
Means "open door"
in Shawnee. This was the name of a Shawnee prophet. With his brother Tecumseh
he led his people in resistance against European expansion in the early 19th century.
TIGHEARNÁN m Irish
Means "little lord"
from Old Irish tigerna
"lord" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 12th-century king of Breifne in Ireland.
TULLY m History
Form of Tullius
) used to refer to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero.
UMAR m Arabic, Urdu
Means "populous, flourishing"
, derived from Arabic عمر ('umr)
meaning "life". Umar was a companion and strong supporter of the Prophet 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.
VIRGINIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Greek, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of the Roman family name Verginius
, 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]
VIRIATO m Portuguese
From the Latin name Viriathus
, 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.
WALLIS m & f English (Rare)
From a surname that 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.
WRIGHT m English
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.
WYATT m English
From an English surname that 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.
XANTHIPPE f Ancient 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.
YAMATO m Japanese
, 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 大
meaning "great" and 和
ZEDONG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 泽 (zé)
meaning "moist, grace, brilliance" combined with 东 (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).
ZENOBIA f Ancient Greek
Means "life of Zeus"
, derived from Greek Ζηνός (Zenos)
meaning "of ZEUS
" and βίος (bios)
meaning "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.