Names Categorized "legend"

This is a list of names in which the categories include legend.
gender
usage
Achilles m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἀχιλλεύς (Achilleus), which is of unknown meaning, perhaps derived from Greek ἄχος (achos) meaning "pain" or else from the name of the Achelous River. This was the name of a warrior in Greek legend, one of the central characters in Homer's Iliad. The bravest of the Greek heroes in the war against the Trojans, he was eventually killed by an arrow to his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body.... [more]
Ailbhe f & m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Ailbe, possibly derived from the old Celtic root *albiyo- "world, light, white" or Old Irish ail "rock". In Irish legend this was the name of a female warrior of the Fianna. It was also the name of a 6th-century masculine saint, the founder of a monastery at Emly.
Ailill m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "elf" in Irish. This name was borne by several early Irish kings. It also occurs frequently in Irish legend, borne for example by the husband of Queen Medb.
Aitor m Basque, Spanish
Possibly means "good fathers" from Basque aita "father" and on "good". This was the name of a legendary ancestor of the Basques.
Alf 1 m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse alfr meaning "elf". In Norse legend this was the name of king, the suitor of a reluctant maiden named Alfhild. She avoided marrying him by disguising herself as a warrior, but when they fought she was so impressed by his strength that she changed her mind.
Álmos m Hungarian
Possibly from Hungarian álom "dream", though perhaps of Turkic origin meaning "bought". This was the name of the semi-legendary father of Árpád, the founder of the Hungarian state. Álmos's mother Emese supposedly had a dream in which a turul bird impregnated her and foretold that her son would be the father of a great nation.
Amor m & f Roman Mythology, Late Roman, Spanish (Rare), Portuguese (Rare)
Means "love" in Latin. This was another name for the Roman god Cupid. It also means "love" in Spanish and Portuguese, and as a feminine name it can be derived directly from this vocabulary word.
Amore m & f Italian (Rare)
Italian form of Amor.
Amour m & f French (Rare)
French form of Amor.
Andromache f Greek Mythology
Derived from the Greek elements ἀνήρ (aner) meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός) and μάχη (mache) meaning "battle". In Greek legend she was the wife of the Trojan hero Hector. After the fall of Troy Neoptolemus killed her son Astyanax and took her as a concubine.
Anna f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Armenian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Scottish Gaelic, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Form of Channah (see Hannah) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah spelling instead of Anna. The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary.... [more]
Antigone f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἀντί (anti) meaning "against, compared to, like" and γονή (gone) meaning "birth, offspring". In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave.
Aoife f Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Aífe, derived from oíph meaning "beauty" (modern Irish aoibh). This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including a woman at war with Scáthach (her sister in some versions). She was defeated in single combat by the hero Cúchulainn, who spared her life on the condition that she bear him a child (Connla). Another legendary figure by this name appears in the Children of Lir as the jealous third wife of Lir.... [more]
Aquila m & f Biblical, Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen meaning "eagle" in Latin. In Acts in the New Testament Paul lives with Aquila and his wife Priscilla (or Prisca) for a time.
Ara m Armenian, Armenian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Sumerian origin. In Armenian legend this was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him. During the war Ara was slain.
Aria 2 m Persian
Alternate transcription of Persian آریا (see Arya 1).
Aries m Roman Mythology
Means "ram" in Latin. This is the name of a constellation and the first sign of the zodiac. Some Roman legends state that the ram in the constellation was the one who supplied the Golden Fleece sought by Jason.
Aroha f & m Maori
Means "love" in Maori.
Aruna m & f Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi
Means "reddish brown, dawn" in Sanskrit. The Hindu god Aruna (अरुण) is the charioteer who drives the sun god Surya across the sky. The modern feminine form अरुणा is also transcribed as Aruna, however the modern masculine form is Arun.
Arya 1 m & f Persian, Indian, Hindi, Malayalam
From an old Indo-Iranian root meaning "Aryan, noble". In India, this is a transcription of both the masculine form आर्य and the feminine form आर्या. In Iran it is only a masculine name.
Aryan m Indian, Hindi
Variant of Arya 1.
Atalanta f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἀταλάντη (Atalante) meaning "equal in weight", derived from ἀτάλαντος (atalantos), a word related to τάλαντον (talanton) meaning "a scale, a balance". In Greek legend she was a fast-footed maiden who refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a race. She was eventually defeated by Hippomenes, who dropped three golden apples during the race causing her to stop to pick them up.
Azrael m Judeo-Christian-Islamic Legend
Variant of Azriel. This was the name of an angel in Jewish and Islamic tradition who separated the soul from the body upon death. He is sometimes referred to as the Angel of Death.
Basajaun m Mythology
Means "lord of the woods" from Basque baso "woods" and jaun "lord". This is the name of a character in Basque folklore, the Old Man of the Woods.
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 or Berchta) belonging to a goddess of animals and weaving.
Brian m English, Irish, Old Irish
Meaning uncertain, possibly related to the old Celtic root *brixs "hill, high" (Old Irish brií) or the related *brigā "might, power" (Old Irish briíg). It was borne by the Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. This name was common in Ireland after his time, and it was introduced to northern England by Norse-Gael settlers. It was also used in Brittany, and was brought to England by Bretons in the wake of the Norman Conquest. Though it eventually became rare in the English-speaking world, it was strongly revived in the 20th century, becoming a top-ten name for boys in most regions.
Brünhild f German (Rare), Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun "armour, protection" and hild "battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr (from the elements bryn and hildr). In Norse legend Brynhildr was the queen of the valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd. In the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
Brychan m Old Welsh
Derived from Welsh brych meaning "speckled, freckled" combined with a diminutive suffix. Brychan Brycheiniog was a legendary Welsh king, said to be Irish by birth, the founder of the kingdom of Brycheiniog in central Wales. He reputedly fathered dozens of children, many of whom are regarded as saints.
Brynhildr f Norse Mythology, Old Norse
Old Norse cognate of Brünhild. In the Norse legend the Völsungasaga Brynhildr was rescued by the hero Sigurd in the guise of Gunnar. Brynhildr and Gunnar were married, but when Sigurd's wife Gudrun let slip that it was in fact Sigurd who had rescued her, Brynhildr plotted against him. She accused Sigurd of taking her virginity, spurring Gunnar to arrange Sigurd's murder.
Cadmus m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κάδμος (Kadmos), of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor. He was sent by his father to rescue his sister Europa, who had been abducted by Zeus, although he did not succeed in retrieving her. According to legend, Cadmus founded the city of Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece.
Ceridwen f Welsh
Possibly from cyrrid "bent, crooked" (a derivative of Old Welsh cwrr "corner") combined with ben "woman" or gwen "white, fair, blessed". According to the medieval Welsh legend the Tale of Taliesin (recorded by Elis Gruffyd in the 16th century) this was the name of a sorceress who created a potion that would grant wisdom to her son Morfan. The potion was instead consumed by her servant Gwion Bach, who was subsequently reborn as the renowned bard Taliesin.... [more]
Chandra m & f Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Assamese, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
Means "moon" in Sanskrit, derived from चन्द (chand) meaning "to shine". This is a transcription of the masculine form चण्ड (a name of the moon in Hindu texts, which is often personified as a deity) as well as the feminine form चण्डा.
Chi 2 m & f African Mythology, Western African, Igbo
Means "god, spiritual being" in Igbo, referring to the personal spiritual guardian that each person is believed to have. Christian Igbo people use it as a name for the personal Christian god (as opposed to the omnipresent Chukwu, though the names are used synonymously in some contexts). This can also be a short form of the many Igbo names that begin with this element.
Chryseis f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from Chryses. In Greek legend she was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. After she was taken prisoner by the Greeks besieging Troy, Apollo sent a plague into their camp, forcing the Greeks to release her.
Cian m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "ancient, enduring" in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of the father of Lugh Lámfada. It was also borne by the mythical ancestor of the Ciannachta and by a son-in-law of Brian Boru.
Clíodhna f Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Irish legend this was the name of a beautiful goddess. She fell in love with a mortal named Ciabhán and left the Land of Promise with him, but when she arrived on the other shore she was swept to sea by a great wave.
Cloelia f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Cloelius. In Roman legend Cloelia was a maiden who was given to an Etruscan invader as a hostage. She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber, at the same time helping some of the other captives to safety.
Columba m & f Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "dove". The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity. This was the name of several early saints both masculine and feminine, most notably the 6th-century Irish monk Saint Columba (or Colum) who established a monastery on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. He is credited with the conversion of Scotland to Christianity.
Connla m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Conláech, derived from "hound, dog, wolf" (genitive con) and láech "warrior". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including the son of Cúchulainn and Aoife. When he finally met his father they fought because Connla would not identify himself, and the son was slain.
Csaba m Hungarian
Possibly means either "shepherd" or "gift" in Hungarian. According to legend this was the name of a son of Attila the Hun.
Cúchulainn m Irish Mythology
Means "hound of Culann" in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. The Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defense of Ulster against the army of Queen Medb.
Culhwch m Arthurian Romance, Welsh Mythology
Means "hiding place of the pig" in Welsh. In the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen he was the lover of Olwen, the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Before the giant would allow Culhwch to marry his daughter, he insisted that Culhwch complete a series of extremely difficult tasks. Culhwch managed to complete the tasks with the help of his cousin King Arthur, and he returned to marry Olwen and kill the giant.
Damon m Greek Mythology, English
Derived from Greek δαμάζω (damazo) meaning "to tame". According to Greek legend, Damon and Pythias were friends who lived on Syracuse in the 4th century BC. When Pythias was sentenced to death, he was allowed to temporarily go free on the condition that Damon take his place in prison. Pythias returned just before Damon was to be executed in his place, and the king was so impressed with their loyalty to one another that he pardoned Pythias. As an English given name, it has only been regularly used since the 20th century.
Deirdre f English, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the Old Irish name Derdriu, meaning unknown, possibly derived from der meaning "daughter". This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobar, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise.... [more]
Diana f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Roman Mythology
Means "divine, goddesslike", a derivative of dia or diva meaning "goddess". It is ultimately related to the same Indo-European root *dyew- found in Zeus. Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests and childbirth, often identified with the Greek goddess Artemis.... [more]
Divina f Spanish (Philippines), English (Rare)
From Spanish divina or an elaboration of English divine, both meaning "divine, godlike".
Divya f Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam
Means "divine, heavenly" in Sanskrit.
Diwata f Filipino, Tagalog
Means "goddess" in Tagalog.
Doireann f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from the Old Irish prefix der "daughter" and finn "white, fair". Alternatively it may be derived from Irish doireann meaning "sullen, tempestuous". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including a daughter of Bodb Derg who poisoned Fionn mac Cumhaill after he spurned her advances.
Durga f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali, Telugu
Means "unattainable" in Sanskrit. Durga is a Hindu warrior goddess, the fierce, twelve-armed, three-eyed form of the wife of Shiva. She is considered an incarnation of Parvati.
Egil m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Egill, a diminutive of names that began with the element agi "awe, terror". This was the name of a semi-legendary 10th-century Viking, described in the Icelandic Egill's Saga.
Éibhear m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Éber, meaning uncertain. According to Irish legend this name belonged to two of the sons of Míl, Éibhear Dunn and Éibhear Finn, the first of the Gaels to conquer Ireland.
Eleri f Welsh
From the name of a Welsh river, also called the Leri, of unknown meaning. This was also the name of a 7th-century Welsh saint (masculine).
Elissa 1 f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly Phoenician in origin. This is another name of Dido, the legendary queen of Carthage.
Emese f Hungarian
Possibly derived from Finno-Ugric eme meaning "mother". In Hungarian legend this was the name of the grandmother of Árpád, founder of the Hungarian state.
Enid f Welsh, English, Arthurian Romance
Probably derived from Welsh enaid meaning "soul, spirit, life". In Arthurian tales she first appears in the 12th-century French poem Erec and Enide by Chrétien de Troyes, where she is the wife of Erec. In later adaptations she is typically the wife of Geraint. The name became more commonly used after the publication of Alfred Tennyson's Arthurian poem Enid in 1859, and it was fairly popular in Britain in the first half of the 20th century.
Ériu f Irish Mythology
From the name of an Irish goddess, who according to legend gave her name to Ireland (which is called Éire in Irish). In reality, the goddess probably got her name from that of the island, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
Erna 2 f Norse Mythology, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Means "brisk, vigorous, hale" in Old Norse. This was the name of the wife of Jarl in Norse legend.
Evadne f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Εὐάδνη (Euadne), from εὖ (eu) meaning "good" possibly combined with Cretan Greek ἀδνός (adnos) meaning "holy". In Greek legend Evadne was the wife of Capaneus. After Capaneus was killed by a lightning bolt sent from Zeus she committed suicide by throwing herself onto his burning body.
Fachtna m Irish, Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Old Irish facht meaning "malice". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, said in some traditions to be the husband of Neasa and the father of Conchobar.
Faramund m Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements fara "journey" and mund "protection". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century king of the Franks.
Fedelm f Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly a feminine form of Feidlimid. This name is borne by several women in Irish legend including Fedelm Noíchrothach, a daughter of Conchobar the king of Ulster. It was also the name of a few early saints.
Feidlimid m & f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Traditionally said to mean "ever good", it might be related to Old Irish feidil "enduring, constant". This was the name of three early kings of Munster. It was also borne by a 6th-century saint, typically called Saint Felim. In Irish legend, it was the name of the father of Deirdre.
Fiachra m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Fiachrae, possibly from fiach "raven" or fích "battle" combined with "king". This was the name of several legendary figures, including 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, usually called Saint Fiacre.
Fife m Scottish (Rare)
From a Scottish place name that was formerly the name of a kingdom in Scotland. It is said to be named for a Pictish kingdom called Fib.
Fintan m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly means either "white fire" or "white ancient" in Irish. According to legend this was the name of the only Irish person to survive the great flood. This name was also borne by many Irish saints.
Fionn m Irish, Irish Mythology
From the Old Irish name Finn, derived from finn meaning "fair, white". It occurs frequently in Irish history and legends, the most noteworthy bearer being Fionn mac Cumhaill, the central character of one of the four main cycles of Irish mythology, the Fenian Cycle. Fionn was born as Deimne, and acquired his nickname because of his fair hair. He grew all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon, and later became the leader of the Fianna after defeating the fire-breathing demon Áillen. He was the father of Oisín and grandfather of Oscar.
Fionnuala f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "white shoulder" from Old Irish finn "white, fair" and gúala "shoulder". In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir who were transformed into swans for a period of 900 years.
Fiore f & m Italian
Means "flower" in Italian. It can also be considered an Italian form of the Latin names Flora and Florus.
Flora f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, French, Greek, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin flos meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala.
Glaucus m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Γλαῦκος (Glaukos), a name meaning "bluish grey". This was the name of a Greek sea god, as well as other characters in Greek legend.
Godiva f Anglo-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.
Gráinne f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly derived from Old Irish grán meaning "grain" or gráin meaning "hatred, fear". In the Irish legend The Pursuit of Diarmaid and Gráinne she escaped from her arranged marriage to Fionn mac Cumhaill by fleeing with her lover Diarmaid. Another famous bearer was the powerful 16th-century Irish landowner and seafarer Gráinne Ní Mháille (known in English as Grace O'Malley), who was sometimes portrayed as a pirate queen in later tales.
Guadalupe f & m Spanish
From a Spanish title of the Virgin Mary, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, meaning "Our Lady of Guadalupe". Guadalupe is a Spanish place name, the site of a famous convent, derived from Arabic وادي (wadi) meaning "valley, river" possibly combined with Latin lupus meaning "wolf". In the 16th century Our Lady of Guadalupe supposedly appeared in a vision to a native Mexican man, and she is now regarded as a patron saint of the Americas.
Gudrun f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Guðrún meaning "god's secret lore", derived from the elements guð "god" and rún "secret lore". In Norse legend Gudrun was the wife of Sigurd. After his death she married Atli, but when he murdered her brothers, she killed her sons by him, fed him their hearts, and then slew him.
Gunnar m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse name Gunnarr, which was derived from the elements gunnr "war" and arr "warrior" (making it a cognate of Günther). In Norse legend Gunnar was the husband of Brynhildr. He had his brother-in-law Sigurd murdered based on his wife's false accusations that Sigurd had taken her virginity.
Günther m German, Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic name Gundahar, derived from the elements gund "war" and hari "army, warrior". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century Burgundian king. He appears in the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied, which has him wooing the Icelandic queen Brünhild. He wins her hand in marriage with the help of the hero Siegfried. He ultimately betrays Siegfried, but Siegfried's widow Kriemhild (Günther's sister) takes her revenge upon him.
Gwenddoleu m Welsh Mythology
From Old Welsh Guendoleu, possibly derived from gwyn meaning "white, fair, blessed" and dol (plural dolau) meaning "meadow". This was the name of a semi-legendary 6th-century king of Arfderydd in Cumbria. His defeat at the Battle of Arfderydd caused his bard Myrddin to go mad with grief.
Gwynedd f & m Welsh
From the name of the kingdom of Gwynedd, which was located in northern Wales from the 5th century. It is now the name of a Welsh county. The name may be related to Old Irish Féni meaning "Irish people", itself possibly related to the Celtic root *wēnā meaning "band of warriors".
Hayk m Armenian
Probably from the Armenian word հայ (hay) meaning "Armenian", although some hold that the ethnic name is in fact derived from the given name. This was the name of the legendary forefather of the Armenian people, supposedly a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to the 5th-century Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi.
Hector m English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek Ἕκτωρ (Hektor), which was derived from ἕκτωρ (hektor) meaning "holding fast", ultimately from ἔχω (echo) meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles' friend Patroclus in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends where it belongs to King Arthur's foster father.... [more]
Hersilia f Roman Mythology
Meaning uncertain, perhaps related to Greek ἕρση (herse) meaning "dew". In Roman legend this was the name of a Sabine woman who became the wife of Romulus.
Hilal m & f Arabic, Turkish
Means "crescent moon" in Arabic, also referring to the new moon on the Islamic calendar. As a given name it is typically masculine in Arabic and feminine in Turkish.
Hippolytos m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Means "freer of horses" from Greek ἵππος (hippos) meaning "horse" and λύω (luo) meaning "to loosen". In Greek legend he was the son of Theseus who was tragically loved by his stepmother Phaedra. This was also the name of a 3rd-century theologian, saint and martyr.
Hira f & m Urdu, Nepali, Punjabi, Indian, Gujarati, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit हीर (hira) meaning "diamond". It is typically feminine in Pakistan and unisex in India and Nepal.
Hróarr m Old Norse
Old Norse name, derived from the element hróðr "fame" combined with either geirr "spear" (making it a relation of Hróðgeirr), arr "warrior" or varr "vigilant, cautious". This is the name of a legendary Danish king, the same one who is featured in the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf with the name Hroðgar.
Inge f & m Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Dutch, Estonian
Short form of Scandinavian and German names beginning with the element ing, which refers to the Germanic god Ing. In Sweden and Norway this is primarily a masculine name, elsewhere it is usually feminine.
Iphigeneia f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἴφιος (iphios) meaning "strong, stout" and γενής (genes) meaning "born". In Greek myth Iphigenia was the daughter of King Agamemnon. When her father offended Artemis it was divined that the only way to appease the goddess was to sacrifice Iphigenia. Just as Agamemnon was about to sacrifice his daughter she was magically transported to the city of Taurus.... [more]
Isha f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Hinduism
Means "master, lord" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form ईशा and the masculine form ईश (an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva). It is also the name of one of the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
Ismene f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek ἰσμή (isme) meaning "knowledge". This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
Isolde f German, Arthurian Romance
German form of Iseult, appearing in the 13th-century German poem Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. In 1865 the German composer Richard Wagner debuted his popular opera Tristan und Isolde and also used the name for his first daughter.
Itzel f Indigenous American, Mayan
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Classic Maya itz meaning "resin, nectar, dew, liquid, enchanted". Otherwise, it might be a variant of Ixchel.
Ives m History (Ecclesiastical)
English form of Yves, used to refer to Saint Ives (also called Ivo) of Huntingdonshire, a semi-legendary English bishop.
Ixchel f Mayan Mythology, Indigenous American, Mayan
Possibly means "rainbow lady", from Classic Maya ix "lady" and chel "rainbow". Ixchel was a Maya goddess associated with the earth, jaguars, medicine and childbirth. She was often depicted with a snake in her hair and crossbones embroidered on her skirt.
Jarl m Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Norse Mythology, Old Norse
Means "chieftain, nobleman" in Old Norse (a cognate of the English word earl). In the Norse poem Rígsþula Jarl is the son of the god Ríg and the founder of the race of warriors.
Jaya f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit जय (jaya) meaning "victory". This is a transcription of both the feminine form जया (an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga) and the masculine form जय (borne by several characters in Hindu texts). As a modern personal name, this transcription is both feminine and masculine in southern India, but typically only feminine in the north.
Jimmu m Japanese Mythology
Means "divine warrior", from Japanese (jin) meaning "god" and (mu) meaning "military, martial". In Japanese legend this was the name of the founder of Japan and the first emperor, supposedly ruling in the 7th century BC.
John m English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Biblical
English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰωάννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "Yahweh is gracious", from the roots יוֹ (yo) referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan) meaning "to be gracious". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan or Jehohanan in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter and James (his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
Kausalya f Hinduism
Means "of the Kosala people" in Sanskrit. Kosala was an ancient Indian kingdom that was at its most powerful in the 6th century BC. In Hindu legend Kausalya is the name of the mother of the hero Rama.
Kriemhild f German (Rare), Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements grim "mask" and hild "battle". Kriemhild was a beautiful heroine in the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied, where she is the sister of Günther and the wife of Siegfried. After her husband is killed by Hagen with the consent of Günther, Kriemhild tragically exacts her revenge.
Kun f & m Chinese
From Chinese (kūn) meaning "earth, female", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
Kunti f Hinduism
Means "spear" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata this is the name of the mother of the Pandavas.
Lakshmi f & m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi, Odia
Means "sign, mark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu goddess of prosperity, good luck, and beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu and her symbol is the lotus flower, with which she is often depicted.
Larisa f Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovene, Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient city of Larisa in Thessaly, which meant "citadel". In Greek legends, the nymph Larisa was either a daughter or mother of Pelasgus, the ancestor of the mythical Pelasgians. This name was later borne by a 4th-century Greek martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Church. The name (of the city, nymph and saint) is commonly Latinized as Larissa, with a double s. As a Ukrainian name, it is more commonly transcribed Larysa.
Lavinia f Roman Mythology, Romanian
Meaning unknown, probably of Etruscan origin. In Roman legend Lavinia was the daughter of King Latinus, the wife of Aeneas, and the ancestor of the Roman people. According to the legend Aeneas named the town of Lavinium in honour of his wife.
Laxmi f & m Indian, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi, Nepali
Alternate transcription of Telugu లక్ష్మి or Marathi/Hindi लक्ष्मी (see Lakshmi), as well as the most common Nepali transcription.
Lech m Polish, Slavic Mythology
From the name of the Slavic tribe the Lendians, called the Lędzianie in Polish. According to Slavic legend this was the name of the founder of the Polish people. A famous bearer was the Polish president Lech Wałęsa (1943-).
Lhamo f & m Tibetan, Bhutanese
Means "goddess" in Tibetan.
Líadan f Irish (Rare)
Possibly from Old Irish líath meaning "grey". According to an Irish tale this was the name of a poet who became a nun, but then missed her lover Cuirithir so much that she died of grief. The name was also borne by a 5th-century saint, the mother of Saint Ciarán the Elder.
Libuše f Czech
Derived from Czech libý meaning "pleasant, nice", from the Slavic element lyuby meaning "love". In Czech legend Libuše was the founder of Prague.
Linus m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized), Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Greek name Λίνος (Linos) meaning "flax". In Greek legend he was the son of the god Apollo, who accidentally killed him in a contest. Another son of Apollo by this name was the music teacher of Herakles. The name was also borne by the second pope, serving after Saint Peter in the 1st century. In modern times this was the name of a character in Charles Schulz's comic strip Peanuts.
Longinus m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen derived from Latin longus "long". According to Christian legend Saint Longinus was the name of the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus' side with a spear, then converted to Christianity and was martyred. The name was also borne by the 3rd-century Greek philosopher Cassius Longinus.
Lorelei f Literature, English
From German Loreley, the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. It is of uncertain meaning, though the second element is probably old German ley meaning "rock" (of Celtic origin). German romantic poets and songwriters, beginning with Clemens Brentano in 1801, tell that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures boaters to their death with her song.... [more]
Lucretia f Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius, possibly from Latin lucrum meaning "profit, wealth". According Roman legend Lucretia was a maiden who was raped by the son of the king of Rome. This caused a great uproar among the Roman citizens, and the monarchy was overthrown. This name was also borne by a 4th-century saint and martyr from Mérida, Spain.
Lycurgus m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λυκοῦργος (Lykourgos), derived from λύκος (lykos) meaning "wolf" and ἔργον (ergon) meaning "work, deed". In Greek legend this was the name of a king who was driven mad by the gods because of his impiety. This was also the name of a Spartan legislator of the 9th century BC.
Madhu f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu
From Sanskrit मधु (madhu) meaning "sweet, honey". This is another name of Chaitra, the first month of the Hindu year (which occurs in March and April).
Maeve f Irish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Medb meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. She and her husband Ailill fought against the Ulster king Conchobar and the hero Cúchulainn, as told in the Irish epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley.
Marcius m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was a derivative of the praenomen Marcus. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, king of Rome.
Maria f & m Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Estonian, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Armenian, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Latin form of Greek Μαρία, from Hebrew מִרְיָם (see Mary). Maria is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.... [more]
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 and Ann.
Muiredach m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Muireadhach.
Muirgen f Irish Mythology
Means "born of the sea" in Irish. In Irish legend this was the name of a woman (originally named Lí Ban) who was transformed into a mermaid. After 300 years she was brought to shore, baptized, and transformed back into a woman.
Muirne f Irish Mythology
From Irish muirn meaning either "affection, endearment" or "festivity, exuberance". In Irish legend this was the name of the mother of Fionn mac Cumhaill. She is also called Muirenn.
Mulan f Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 木兰 (mùlán) meaning "magnolia". This is the name of a legendary female warrior who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father's place when he is conscripted into the army.
Nanook m Indigenous American, Inuit (Anglicized)
Variant of Nanuq. This was the (fictional) name of the subject of Robert Flaherty's documentary film Nanook of the North (1922).
Nanuq m Indigenous American, Inuit
Means "polar bear" in Inuktitut.
Naoise m Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, presumably of Irish origin. In Irish legend he was the young man who fled to Scotland with Deirdre, who was due to marry Conchobar the king of Ulster. Conchobar eventually succeeded in capturing Deirdre and killing Naoise, which caused Deirdre to die of grief.
Napoleon m History, English
From the old Italian name Napoleone, used most notably by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who was born on Corsica. The etymology is uncertain, but it is possibly derived from the Germanic Nibelungen meaning "sons of mist", a name used in Germanic mythology to refer to the keepers of a hoard of treasure (often identified with the Burgundians). Alternatively, it could be connected to the name of the Italian city of Napoli (Naples).
Neasa f Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Ness, meaning uncertain. In Irish legend she was the mother of Conchobar. She installed her son as king of Ulster by convincing Fergus mac Róich (her husband and Conchobar's stepfather) to give up his throne to the boy for a year and then helping him rule so astutely that the Ulstermen demanded that he remain as king. According to some versions of the legend she was originally named Assa meaning "gentle", but was renamed Ní-assa "not gentle" after she sought to avenge the murders of her foster fathers.
Neil m Irish, Scottish, English
From the Irish name Niall, which is of disputed origin, possibly connected to the old Celtic root *nītu- "fury, passion" or the (possibly related) Old Irish word nia "hero". A derivation from Old Irish nél "cloud" has also been suggested. This was the name of a few early Irish kings, notably Niall of the Nine Hostages, a semi-legendary high king of the 4th or 5th century.... [more]
Neoptolemus m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Νεοπτόλεμος (Neoptolemos) meaning "new war", derived from νέος (neos) meaning "new" combined with an Epic Greek form of πόλεμος (polemos) meaning "war". In Greek legend this was the name of the son of Achilles, brought into the Trojan War because it was prophesied the Greeks could not win it unless he was present. After the war he was slain by Orestes fighting over Hermione.
Niamh f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "bright" in Irish. She was the daughter of the sea god Manannán mac Lir in Irish legends. She fell in love with the poet Oisín, the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill. It has been used as a given name for people only since the early 20th century.
Nicte f Indigenous American, Mayan (Hispanicized)
From Yucatec Maya nikte' meaning "flower" or specifically "plumeria flower". It is derived from Classic Maya nich "flower" and te' "tree".
Nimue f Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legends this is the name of a sorceress, also known as the Lady of the Lake, Vivien, or Niniane. Various versions of the tales have Merlin falling in love with her and becoming imprisoned by her magic. She first appears in the medieval French Lancelot-Grail Cycle.
Noor 1 f & m Arabic, Urdu
Alternate transcription of Arabic/Urdu نور (see Nur).
Nour f & m Arabic
Alternate transcription of Arabic نور (see Nur).
Nur f & m Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, Bengali, Uyghur, Indonesian, Malay
Means "light" in Arabic. In Islamic tradition النور (al-Nur) is one of the 99 names of Allah.
Nyambura f Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu mbura meaning "rain". This is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi in the Kikuyu origin legend.
Oisín m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "little deer", derived from Old Irish oss "deer, stag" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend Oisín was a warrior hero and a poet, the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill and the narrator in many of his tales.
Olwen f Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Means "white footprint" from Welsh ol "footprint, track" and gwen "white, fair, blessed". In the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen she was a beautiful maiden, the lover of Culhwch and the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Her father insisted that Culhwch complete several seemingly impossible tasks before he would allow them to marry.
Oriana f Italian, Spanish
Possibly derived from Latin aurum "gold" or from its derivatives, Spanish oro or French or. In medieval legend Oriana was the daughter of a king of England who married the knight Amadis.
Padma f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lotus" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा and the masculine form पद्म. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma arose from the navel of the god Vishnu. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi and the hero Rama.
Parthenope f Greek Mythology
Means "maiden's voice", derived from Greek παρθένος (parthenos) meaning "maiden, virgin" and ὄψ (ops) meaning "voice". In Greek legend this is the name of one of the Sirens who enticed Odysseus.
Paul m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.... [more]
Phoenix m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird that appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοῖνιξ (phoinix) meaning "dark red".
Polyxena f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Πολυξένη (Polyxene), which was from the word πολύξενος (polyxenos) meaning "entertaining many guests, very hospitable", itself derived from πολύς (polys) meaning "many" and ξένος (xenos) meaning "foreigner, guest". In Greek legend she was a daughter of Priam and Hecuba, beloved by Achilles. After the Trojan War, Achilles' son Neoptolemus sacrificed her.
Pritha f Hinduism, Bengali
Means "the palm of the hand" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the legendary Hindu figure Kunti.
Priya f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali
Means "beloved" in Sanskrit. In Hindu legend this is the name of a daughter of King Daksha.
Puck m & f Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Dutch
Meaning unknown, from Old English puca. It could ultimately be of either Germanic or Celtic origin. In English legend this was the name of a mischievous spirit, also known as Robin Goodfellow. He appears in Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream (1600). It is used in the Netherlands as mainly a feminine name.
Pushpa f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Nepali
Means "flower" in Sanskrit. This is a trascription of both the feminine form पुष्पा and the masculine form पुष्प. Especially in Nepal it is frequently masculine.
Rashmi f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil
Means "ray of sunlight" or "rope" in Sanskrit.
Ratna f & m Indian, Hindi, Telugu, Nepali, Indonesian
Derived from Sanskrit रत्न (ratna) meaning "jewel, treasure". This is a transcription of both the feminine form रत्ना and the masculine form रत्न.
Raven f & m English
From the name of the bird, ultimately from Old English hræfn. The raven is revered by several Native American groups of the west coast. It is also associated with the Norse god Odin.
Remus m Roman Mythology, Romanian
Meaning unknown. In Roman legend Romulus and Remus were the founders of Rome. Remus was later slain by Romulus.
Rhea f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps related to ῥέω (rheo) meaning "to flow" or ἔρα (era) meaning "ground". In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus, and the mother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter and Hestia. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
Rhiannon f Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Probably derived from an unattested Celtic name *Rīgantonā meaning "great queen" (Celtic *rīganī "queen" and the divine or augmentative suffix -on). It is speculated that Rigantona was an old Celtic goddess, perhaps associated with fertility and horses like the Gaulish Epona. As Rhiannon, she appears in Welsh legend in the Mabinogi as a beautiful magical woman who rides a white horse. She was betrothed against her will to Gwawl, but cunningly broke off that engagement and married Pwyll instead. Their son was Pryderi.... [more]
Ríoghnach f Irish Mythology
Derived from Old Irish rígain meaning "queen". According to some sources, this was the name of a wife of the semi-legendary Irish king Niall of the Nine Hostages.
Robin m & f English, French, Dutch, Swedish, Czech
Medieval English diminutive of Robert, now usually regarded as an independent name. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.
Romulus m Roman Mythology, Romanian
Means "of Rome" in Latin. In Roman legend Romulus and Remus were the founders of the city of Rome.
Rostam m Persian, Persian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from Avestan raodha "to grow" and takhma "strong, brave, valiant". Rostam was a warrior hero in Persian legend. The 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi recorded his tale in the Shahnameh.
Samara f English (Modern), Portuguese (Brazilian)
Possibly derived from the name of the city of Samarra (in Iraq) or Samara (in Russia). The former appears in the title of the novel Appointment in Samarra (1934) by John O'Hara, which refers to an ancient Babylonian legend about a man trying to evade death. Alternatively, this name could be derived from the word for the winged seeds that grow on trees such as maples and elms.... [more]
Šárka f Czech
Meaning unknown. In Czech legend Šárka was a maiden who joined other women in declaring war upon men. She tricked the men by having herself tied to a tree, and, after they came to her rescue, offering them mead laced with a sleeping potion. After the men fell asleep the other women slew them.
Sarpedon m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek legend Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Laodamia, and the king of the Lycians. He was one of the chief warriors who fought against the Greeks in defense of Troy, but he was killed by Patroclus. Another Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa.
Sashi m & f Indian, Kannada
Alternate transcription of Kannada ಶಶಿ (see Shashi).
Saturnina f Ancient Roman, Spanish
Feminine form of Saturninus. This was the name of a legendary saint who was supposedly martyred in northern France.
Scevola m Italian (Rare)
Italian form of the Roman cognomen Scaevola, which was derived from Latin scaevus "left-handed". The first bearer of this name was Gaius Mucius Scaevola, who acquired it, according to legend, after he thrust his right hand into a blazing fire in order to intimidate the Etruscan king Porsenna, who was blockading the city of Rome.
Sedna f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
Shakti f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "power" in Sanskrit. In Hinduism a shakti is the female counterpart of a god. The name Shakti is used in particular to refer to the female counterpart of Shiva, also known as Parvati among many other names.
Shakuntala f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit शकुन्त (shakunta) meaning "bird". This is the name of a character in Hindu legend, her story adapted by Kalidasa for the 5th-century play Abhijnanashakuntalam. It tells how Shakuntala, who was raised in the forest by birds, meets and marries the king Dushyanta. After a curse is laid upon them Dushyanta loses his memory and they are separated, but eventually the curse is broken after the king sees the signet ring he gave her.
Shammuramat f Ancient Assyrian
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from a Western Semitic language and meaning "high heaven". Shammuramat was a 9th-century BC queen of Assyria. After her young son inherited the throne, she acted as his regent for five years. The legendary figure Semiramis may be based on her.
Shashi m & f Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu
Traditional name for the moon, it literally means "having a hare" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form शशि and the feminine form शशी.
Sherwood m English
From an English place name (or from a surname that was derived from it) meaning "bright forest". This was the name of the forest in which the legendary outlaw Robin Hood made his home.
Shirin f Persian
Means "sweet" in Persian. This was the name of a character in Persian and Turkish legend.
Shri f Hinduism
Means "diffusing light, radiance, beauty" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. This word is also commonly used as a title of respect in India.
Sibyl f English
From Greek Σίβυλλα (Sibylla), meaning "prophetess, sibyl". In Greek and Roman legend the sibyls were female prophets who practiced at different holy sites in the ancient world. In later Christian theology, the sibyls were thought to have divine knowledge and were revered in much the same way as the Old Testament prophets. Because of this, the name came into general use in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. The Normans imported it to England, where it was spelled both Sibyl and Sybil. It became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was revived in the 19th century, perhaps helped by Benjamin Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845).
Sidonia f Late Roman, Georgian
Feminine form of Sidonius. This is the name of a legendary saint from Georgia. She and her father Abiathar were supposedly converted by Saint Nino from Judaism to Christianity.
Siegfried m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu "victory" and frid "peace". Siegfried was a hero from Germanic legend, chief character in the Nibelungenlied. He secretly helped the Burgundian king Günther overcome the challenges set out by the Icelandic queen Brünhild so that Günther might win her hand. In exchange, Günther consented to the marriage of Siegfried and his sister Kriemhild. Years later, after a dispute between Brünhild and Kriemhild, Siegfried was murdered by Hagen with Günther's consent. He was stabbed in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. He is a parallel to the Norse hero Sigurd. The story was later adapted by Richard Wagner to form part of his opera The Ring of the Nibelung (1876).
Signý f Old Norse, Norse Mythology, Icelandic
Old Norse name that was derived from the elements sigr "victory" and nýr "new". In Norse legend she was the twin sister of Sigmund and the wife of Siggeir.
Sigrún f Old Norse, Norse Mythology, Icelandic
Derived from the Old Norse elements sigr "victory" and rún "secret". This was the name of a valkyrie in Norse legend.
Sigurd m Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse name Sigurðr, which was derived from the elements sigr "victory" and varðr "guardian". Sigurd was the hero of the Norse legend the Völsungasaga, which tells how his foster-father Regin sent him to recover a hoard of gold guarded by the dragon Fafnir. After slaying the dragon Sigurd tasted some of its blood, enabling him to understand the language of birds, who told him that Regin was planning to betray him. In a later adventure, Sigurd disguised himself as Gunnar (his wife Gudrun's brother) and rescued the maiden Brynhildr from a ring of fire, with the result that Gunnar and Brynhildr were married. When the truth eventually came out, Brynhildr took revenge upon Sigurd. The stories of the German hero Siegfried were in part based on him.
Silvius m Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin silva meaning "wood, forest". This was the family name of several of the legendary kings of Alba Longa. It was also the name of an early saint martyred in Alexandria.
Sláine f & m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish slán meaning "health, safety". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, one of the Fir Bolg. It was also the name of a daughter of the 11th-century high king Brian Boru.
Sophia f English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek
Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which is the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.... [more]
Sunita f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali
Means "well conducted, wise", derived from the Sanskrit prefix सु (su) meaning "good" combined with नीत (nita) meaning "conducted, led". In Hindu legend this is the name of the daughter of King Anga of Bengal.
Sunitha f Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam
Southern Indian form of Sunita.
Sunniva f Norwegian
Scandinavian form of the Old English name Sunngifu, which meant "sun gift" from the Old English elements sunne "sun" and giefu "gift". This was the name of a legendary English saint who was shipwrecked in Norway and killed by the inhabitants.
Svanhild f Norwegian, Norse Mythology
Scandinavian cognate of Swanhild. In the Norse legend the Völsungasaga she is the daughter of Sigurd and Gudrun.
Taliesin m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "shining brow", derived from Welsh tal "brow, head" and iesin "shining, radiant". This was the name of a semi-legendary 6th-century Welsh poet and bard, supposedly the author of the collection of poems the Book of Taliesin. He appears briefly in the Welsh legend Culhwch and Olwen and the Second Branch of the Mabinogi. He is the central character in the Tale of Taliesin, a medieval legend recorded in the 16th century, which tells how Ceridwen's servant Gwion Bach was reborn to her as Taliesin; how he becomes the bard for Elffin; and how Taliesin defends Elffin from the machinations of the king Maelgwn Gwynedd.
Taru f Finnish
Means "legend, myth" in Finnish. It is also used as a diminutive of Tarja.
Tatius m Roman Mythology, Ancient Roman
Roman family name of unknown meaning, possibly of Sabine origin. According to Roman legend, Titus Tatius was an 8th-century BC king of the Sabines who came to jointly rule over the Romans and Sabines with the Roman king Romulus.
Tegid m Welsh
Possibly derived from Welsh teg "fair", or possibly from the Roman name Tacitus. This is the name of a lake in Wales, called Bala Lake in English. It also occurs in medieval Welsh legends as the husband of Ceridwen.
Theseus m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek τίθημι (tithemi) meaning "to set, to place". Theseus was a heroic king of Athens in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aethra, either by Aegeus or by the god Poseidon. According to legend, every seven years the Cretan king Minos demanded that Athens supply Crete with seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-bull creature that was the son of Minos's wife Pasiphaë. Theseus volunteered to go in place of one of these youths in order to slay the Minotaur in the Labyrinth where it lived. He succeeded with the help of Minos's daughter Ariadne, who provided him with a sword and a roll of string so he could find his way out of the maze.
Thisbe f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
From the name of an ancient Greek town in Boeotia, itself supposedly named after a nymph. In a Greek legend (the oldest surviving version appearing in Latin in Ovid's Metamorphoses) this is the name of a young woman from Babylon. Believing her to be dead, her lover Pyramus kills himself, after which she does the same to herself. The splashes of blood from their suicides is the reason mulberry fruit are red.
Titus m Ancient Roman, English, German, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Roman praenomen, or given name, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to Latin titulus "title of honour". It is more likely of Oscan origin, since it was borne by the legendary Sabine king Titus Tatius.... [more]
Tristan m English, French, Arthurian Romance
Probably from the Celtic name Drustan, a diminutive of Drust, which occurs as Drystan in a few Welsh sources. As Tristan, it first appears in 12th-century French tales, probably altered by association with Old French triste "sad". According to the tales Tristan was sent to Ireland by his uncle King Mark of Cornwall in order to fetch Iseult, who was to be the king's bride. On the way back, Tristan and Iseult accidentally drink a potion that makes them fall in love. Later versions of the tale make Tristan one of King Arthur's knights. His tragic story was very popular in the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since then.
Ursula f English, Swedish, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Late Roman
Means "little bear", derived from a diminutive form of the Latin word ursa "she-bear". Saint Ursula was a legendary virgin princess of the 4th century who was martyred by the Huns while returning from a pilgrimage. In England the saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and the name came into general use at that time.
Veronica f English, Italian, Romanian, Late Roman
Latin alteration of Berenice, the spelling influenced by the ecclesiastical Latin phrase vera icon meaning "true image". This was the name of a legendary saint who wiped Jesus' face with a towel and then found his image imprinted upon it. Due to popular stories about her, the name was occasionally used in the Christian world in the Middle Ages. It was borne by the 17th-century Italian saint and mystic Veronica Giuliani. As an English name, it was not common until the 19th century, when it was imported from France and Scotland.
Vijaya m & f Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi
Means "victory" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form विजय and the feminine form विजया, both of which are used frequently in Hindu texts. It is the name of a grandson of Indra, a son of Krishna and it is another name of the goddess Durga. This was also the name of a semi-legendary 6th-century BC king of Sri Lanka.
Vikrama m Hinduism
Means "stride, pace" or "valour" in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu. This was also the name of a semi-legendary 1st-century BC king (full name Vikramaditya) of Ujjain in India.
Virginia f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Greek, 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]
Wairimu f Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu irimũ meaning "ogre, giant". In the Kikuyu origin legend Wairimu is of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi.
Wambui f Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "zebra" in Kikuyu. This is one of Mumbi's nine daughters in the Kikuyu origin legend.
Wanda f Polish, English, German, French
Possibly from a Germanic name meaning "a Wend", referring to the Slavic people who inhabited eastern Germany. In Polish legends this was the name of the daughter of King Krak, the legendary founder of Krakow. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by the author Ouida, who used it for the heroine in her novel Wanda (1883).
Wangari f Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu ngarĩ meaning "leopard". In the Kikuyu origin legend this is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi.
Wangui f Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu ngũi meaning "song leader". This is one of Mumbi's nine daughters in the Kikuyu origin legend.
Wanjiku f Eastern African, Kikuyu
Meaning unknown. This is one of Mumbi's nine daughters in the Kikuyu origin legend.
Wanjiru f Eastern African, Kikuyu
Possibly from Kikuyu njĩra meaning "way, path". In the Kikuyu origin legend this is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi.
Will m English
Short form of William and other names beginning with Will. A famous bearer is American actor Will Smith (1968-), whose full name is Willard.
William m English
From the Germanic name Willahelm meaning "will helmet", composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection". An early saint by this name was the 8th-century William of Gellone, a cousin of Charlemagne who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England in the 11th century. From then until the modern era it has been among the most common of English names (with John, Thomas and Robert).... [more]
Yang m & f Chinese
From Chinese (yáng) meaning "ocean" or (yáng) meaning "light, sun, male" (which is typically only masculine), as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.
Yared m Biblical Hebrew, Eastern African, Ethiopian
Hebrew form of Jared. This form is also used in Ethiopia. It was borne by a semi-legendary 6th-century Ethiopian musician who is considered a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Yin f & m Chinese
From Chinese (yín) meaning "silver, money", (yīn) meaning "sound, tone" or (yīn) meaning "shade, shelter, protect", as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.
Yolanda f Spanish, English
From the medieval French name Yolande, which was probably a form of the name Violante, which was itself a derivative of Latin viola "violet". Alternatively it could be of Germanic origin.... [more]
Zuleika f Literature
Meaning uncertain, possibly of Arabic origin. According to medieval tradition, notably related by the 15th-century Persian poet Jami, this was the name of the biblical Potiphar's wife. She has been a frequent subject of poems and tales.