AISLING f Irish
in Irish Gaelic. This name was created in the 20th century.
ALBENA f Bulgarian
Created by Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov for the heroine in his drama Albena
(1930). He may have based it on ablen
, the name of a type of peony (a flowering plant).
ALETHEA f English
Derived from Greek ἀλήθεια (aletheia)
. This name was coined in the 16th century.
ASTROPHEL m Literature
Probably intended to mean "star lover", from Greek ἀστήρ (aster)
meaning "star" and φίλος (philos)
meaning "lover, friend". This name was first used by the 16th-century poet Sir Philip Sidney in his collection of sonnets Astrophel and Stella
AVTANDIL m Georgian, Literature
Created by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for his 12th-century epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin
. Rustaveli based it on Persian آفتاب (aftab)
meaning "sunshine" and دل (del)
meaning "heart". In the poem Avtandil is a knight who is sent by Tinatin
to search for the mysterious knight of the title.
AYLA (3) f Literature
Created for the novel Clan of the Cave Bear
(1980) by author Jean M. Auel. In the novel Ayla is an orphaned Cro-Magnon girl adopted by Neanderthals. Ayla
is the Neanderthal pronunciation of her real name, which is not given.
BELPHOEBE f Literature
Combination of belle
"beautiful" and the name PHOEBE
. This name was first used by Edmund Spenser in his poem The Faerie Queene
CASSARAH f English (Rare)
Recently created name intended to mean "what will be, will be". It is from the title of the 1956 song Que Sera, Sera
, which was taken from the Italian phrase che sarà sarà
. The phrase que sera, sera
is not grammatically correct in any Romance language.
CEDRIC m English
Invented by Sir Walter Scott for a character in his novel Ivanhoe
(1819). Apparently he based it on the actual name Cerdic
, the name of the semi-legendary founder of the kingdom of Wessex in the 6th century. The meaning of Cerdic
is uncertain, but it does not appear to be Old English in origin. It could be connected to the Brythonic name CARATACOS
. The name was also used by Frances Hodgson Burnett for the main character in her novel Little Lord Fauntleroy
CLARIBEL f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix bel
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem The Faerie Queene
(in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play The Tempest
(1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled Claribel
CLARINDA f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix inda
. It was first used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem The Faerie Queene
DAENERYS f Literature
Created by author George R. R. Martin for a character in his series A Song of Ice and Fire
, first published 1996, and the television adaptation Game of Thrones
(2011-2019). An explanation for the meaning of her name is not provided, though it is presumably intended to be of Valyrian origin. In the series Daenerys Targaryen is a queen of the Dothraki and a claimant to the throne of Westeros.
DILBERT m Popular Culture
Meaning unknown. The second element is probably intended to be from Germanic beraht
"bright". This is the title character in a comic strip by Scott Adams.
ENIKŐ f Hungarian
Created by the Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty in the 19th century. He based it on the name of the legendary mother of the Hungarian people, Enéh
, which may mean "cow" or "deer".
GALADRIEL f Literature
Means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland"
in Sindarin. Galadriel was a Noldorin elf princess renowned for her beauty and wisdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. The elements are galad
"radiant" and riel
"garlanded maiden". Alatáriel
is the Quenya form of her name.
GLENDA f English
Probably a feminine form of GLENN
using the suffix da
(from names such as LINDA
). This name was not regularly used until the 20th century.
GOTTHILF m German (Rare)
Derived from German Gott
"God" and hilf
"help". This name was created in the 17th century.
GOTTHOLD m German (Rare)
Derived from German Gott
"God" and hold
"lovely". This name was created in the 17th century.
GRAŻYNA f Polish
in Lithuanian. This name was created by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz for his poem Grażyna
HAIDEE f Literature
Perhaps intended to derive from Greek αἰδοῖος (aidoios)
meaning "modest, reverent"
. This name was created by Lord Byron for a character (written as Haidée
) in his 1819 poem Don Juan
IRACEMA f Native American, Tupi
Means "honey lips"
in Tupi. This is the name of an 1865 novel by José de Alencar, about the relationship between a Tupi woman and a Portuguese man during the early colonial period. Alencar may have constructed the name so that it would be an anagram of America
JADEN m & f English (Modern)
An invented name, using the popular den
suffix sound found in such names as Braden
. This name first became common in American in the 1990s when similar-sounding names were increasing in popularity. It is sometimes considered a variant of JADON
JALEN m African American (Modern)
An invented name. In America it was popularized in the 1990s by basketball player Jalen Rose (1973-), whose name was a combination of those of his father James
and maternal uncle Leonard
JANICE f English
Elaborated form of JANE
, created by Paul Leicester Ford for his novel Janice Meredith
JAYDEN m & f English (Modern)
Variant of JADEN
. This spelling continued to rapidly rise in popularity in the United States past 2003, unlike Jaden
, which stalled. It peaked at the fourth rank for boys in 2010, showing tremendous growth over only two decades. It has since declined.
JESSICA f English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish
This name was first used in this form by Shakespeare in his play The Merchant of Venice
(1596), where it belongs to the daughter of Shylock. Shakespeare probably based it on the biblical name ISCAH
, which would have been spelled Jescha
in his time. It was not commonly used as a given name until the middle of the 20th century. It reached its peak of popularity in the United States in 1987, and was the top ranked name for girls between 1985 and 1995, excepting 1991 and 1992 (when it was unseated by Ashley
). Notable bearers include actresses Jessica Tandy (1909-1994) and Jessica Lange (1949-).
JOLÁNKA f Hungarian (Rare)
Created by the Hungarian writer András Dugonics for the main character in his novel Jólánka, Etelkának Leánya
(1803). He may have based it on Hungarian jóleán
meaning "good girl" or possibly on the name YOLANDA
KHALEESI f Literature
From a title used in the George R. R. Martin book series A Song of Ice and Fire
(first published 1996) and the television adaptation Game of Thrones
(2011-2019). It is a feminine form of the Dothraki title khal
meaning "warlord". In the series Daenerys
Targaryen gains this title after she marries Khal Drogo.
LEBERECHT m German (Rare)
Means "live rightly"
from German lebe
"live" and recht
"right". This name was created in the 17th century.
LESTAT m Literature
Name used by author Anne Rice for a character in her Vampire Chronicles
series of novels, first released in 1976, where it belongs to the French vampire Lestat de Lioncourt. Rice possibly intended the name to appear derived from Old French or Occitan l'estat "state, status"
, though apparently her husband's name Stan
LORNA f English
Created by the author R. D. Blackmore for the title character in his novel Lorna Doone
(1869), set in southern England, which describes the dangerous love between John Ridd and Lorna Doone. Blackmore may have based the name on the Scottish place name Lorne
or on the title Marquis of Lorne
LUCINDA f English, Portuguese, Literature
An elaboration of LUCIA
created by Cervantes for his novel Don Quixote
(1605). It was subsequently used by Molière in his play The Doctor in Spite of Himself
MAHULENA f Czech
Possibly inspired by MAGDALENA
. The Czech author Julius Zeyer created it for a character in his play Radúz and Mahulena
MALVINA f Scottish, English, Literature
Created by the poet James MacPherson in the 18th century for a character in his Ossian poems. He probably intended it to mean "smooth brow"
MALVOLIO m Literature
Means "ill will"
in Italian. This name was invented by Shakespeare for a character in his play Twelfth Night
MEDORA f Literature
Created by Lord Byron for a character in his poem The Corsair
(1814). It is not known what inspired Byron to use this name. The year the poem was published, it was used as the middle name of Elizabeth Medora Leigh (1814-1849), a niece and rumoured daughter of Byron.
MELBA f English
From the surname of the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba (1861-1931). This was a stage name that she got from the name of the city Melbourne, where she was born.
MELINDA f English, Hungarian
Combination of Mel
(from names such as MELANIE
) with the popular name suffix inda
. It was created in the 18th century, and may have been inspired by the similar name Belinda
. In Hungary, the name was popularized by the 1819 play Bánk Bán
by József Katona.
MIRANDA f English, Dutch
Derived from Latin mirandus
meaning "admirable, wonderful"
. The name was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play The Tempest
(1611), about a father and daughter stranded on an island. It did not become a common English given name until the 20th century. This is also the name of one of the moons of Uranus, named after the Shakespearean character.
MYRA f English
Created by the 17th-century poet Fulke Greville. He possibly based it on Latin myrra
meaning "myrrh" (a fragrant resin obtained from a tree). Otherwise, he may have simply rearranged the letters from the name MARY
. Although unrelated etymologically, this is also the name of an ancient city of Anatolia.
NERISSA f Literature
Created by Shakespeare for a character in his play The Merchant of Venice
(1596). He possibly took it from Greek Νηρηΐς (nereis)
meaning "nymph, sea sprite", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NEVAEH f English (Modern)
The word heaven
spelled backwards. It became popular after the musician Sonny Sandoval from the rock group P.O.D. gave it to his daughter in 2000. Over the next few years it rapidly climbed the rankings in America, peaking at the 25th rank for girls in 2010.
NORMA f English, Italian, Literature
Created by Felice Romani for the main character in the opera Norma
(1831). He may have based it on Latin norma
"rule". This name is also frequently used as a feminine form of NORMAN
NYDIA f English (Rare), Spanish, Literature
Used by British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton for a blind flower-seller in his novel The Last Days of Pompeii
(1834). He perhaps based it on Latin nidus
ORNELLA f Italian
Created by the Italian author Gabriele d'Annunzio for his novel La Figlia di Jorio
(1904). It is derived from Tuscan Italian ornello
meaning "flowering ash tree".
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.
PAMELA f English
This name was invented in the late 16th century by the poet Sir Philip Sidney for use in his poem Arcadia
. He possibly intended it to mean "all sweetness"
from Greek πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" and μέλι (meli)
meaning "honey". It was later employed by author Samuel Richardson for the heroine in his novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded
(1740), after which time it became used as a given name. It did not become popular until the 20th century.
PERDITA f Literature
Derived from Latin perditus
. Shakespeare created this name for the daughter of Hermione in his play The Winter's Tale
PETULA f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown, created in the 20th century. The name is borne by the British singer Petula Clark (1932-), whose name was invented by her father.
RONJA f Swedish
Invented by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren, who based it on the middle portion of Juronjaure
, the name of a lake in Sweden. Lindgren used it in her book Ronia the Robber's Daughter
is the English translation).
TAMIKA f English
Variant of TAMIKO
, inspired by the American jazz singer Tamiko Jones (1945-) or the American movie A Girl Named Tamiko
TARYN f English
Probably a feminine form of TYRONE
. Actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian created it for their daughter Taryn Power (1953-).
TÍMEA f Hungarian
Created by the Hungarian author Mór Jókai for a character in his novel The Golden Man
(1873). The name is apparently based on the Greek word εὐθυμία (euthymia)
meaning "good spirits, cheerfulness"
TINATIN f Georgian, Literature
Possibly related to Georgian სინათლე (sinatle)
. The name was devised by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for his 12th-century epic poem The Knight in the Panther's Skin
, in which Tinatin is the ruler of Arabia and the lover of Avtandil
VANESSA f English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch
Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his 1726 poem Cadenus and Vanessa
. He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther
Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.
WENDY f English
In the case of the character from J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan
(1904), it was created from the nickname fwendy "friend"
, given to the author by a young friend. However, the name was used prior to the play (rarely), in which case it could be related to the Welsh name GWENDOLEN
and other names beginning with the element gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed". The name only became common after Barrie's play ran.