ARIEL m & f Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God"
in Hebrew, from אֲרִי ('ari)
meaning "lion" and אֵל ('el)
meaning "God". In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play The Tempest
(1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Disney film The Little Mermaid
BELINDA f English
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. The first element could be related to Italian bella
"beautiful". The second element could be Germanic lind
meaning "flexible, soft, tender" (and by extension "snake, serpent"). This name first arose in the 17th century, and was subsequently used by Alexander Pope in his poem The Rape of the Lock
BIANCA f Italian, Romanian
Italian cognate of BLANCHE
. Shakespeare used characters named Bianca in Taming of the Shrew
(1593) and Othello
CORDELIA f English
, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play King Lear
(1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia
CRESSIDA f Literature
Medieval form of CHRYSEIS
. Various medieval tales describe her as a woman of Troy, daughter of Calchus, who leaves her Trojan lover Troilus for the Greek hero Diomedes. Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida
(1602) was based on these tales.
CUPID m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Cupido
. This was the name of the Roman god of love, the son of Venus
. He was portrayed as a winged, blindfolded boy, armed with a bow and arrows, which caused the victim to fall in love. His Greek equivalent was Eros
FERDINAND m German, French, Dutch, English, Slovak, Czech, Slovene, Croatian, Ancient Germanic
, the old Spanish form of a Germanic name composed of the elements fardi
"journey" and nand
"daring, brave". The Visigoths brought the name to the Iberian Peninsula, where it entered into the royal families of Spain and Portugal. From there it became common among the Habsburg royal family of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, starting with the Spanish-born Ferdinand I in the 16th century. A notable bearer was Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), called Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese, who was the leader of the first expedition to sail around the earth.
FRANCISCO m Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Franciscus
). This is the Spanish name of Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552). Other notable bearers include the Spanish painter and engraver Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) and the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco (1892-1975).
MARGARET f English
Derived from Latin Margarita
, which was from Greek μαργαρίτης (margarites)
, a word that was probably ultimately a borrowing from an Indo-Iranian language. Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.... [more]
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.
OBERON m Literature
Variant of AUBERON
. Oberon was the king of the fairies in Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1595). A moon of Uranus bears this name in his honour.
OPHELIA f English, Literature
Derived from Greek ὄφελος (ophelos)
meaning "help, advantage"
. This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem Arcadia
. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play Hamlet
(1600), in which it belongs to Hamlet
's lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. In spite of this, the name has been used since the 19th century.
PERDITA f Literature
Derived from Latin perditus
. Shakespeare created this name for the daughter of Hermione in his play The Winter's Tale
PORTIA f English
Variant of Porcia
, the feminine form of the Roman family name PORCIUS
, used by William Shakespeare for the heroine of his play The Merchant of Venice
(1596). In the play Portia is a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to defend Antonio
in court. It is also the name of a moon of Uranus, after the Shakespearean character.
PROSPERO m Italian
Italian form of PROSPER
. This was the name of the shipwrecked magician in The Tempest
(1611) by Shakespeare.
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.
ROSALIND f English
Derived from the Germanic elements hros
meaning "horse" and lind
meaning "soft, tender, flexible". The Normans introduced this name to England, though it was not common. During the Middle Ages its spelling was influenced by the Latin phrase rosa linda
"beautiful rose". The name was popularized by Edmund Spencer, who used it in his poetry, and by William Shakespeare, who used it for the heroine in his comedy As You Like It
TITANIA f Literature
Perhaps based on Latin Titanius
meaning "of the Titans"
. This name was (first?) used by Shakespeare in his comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1595) where it is the name of the queen of the fairies. This is also a moon of Uranus, named after the Shakespearean character.