ADELAIDE f English, Italian, Portuguese
From the French form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
, which was composed of the elements adal
"noble" and heid
"kind, sort, type". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman emperor Otto the Great. The name became common in Britain in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.
ALANIS f English (Rare)
Feminine form of ALAN
. Canadian musician Alanis Morissette (1974-) was named after her father Alan. Her parents apparently decided to use this particular spelling after seeing this word in a Greek newspaper.
ALICE f English, French, Portuguese, Italian, Czech
From the Old French name Aalis
, a short form of Adelais
, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis
). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was borne by the heroine of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking Glass' (1871).
AMELIA f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Variant of AMALIA
, though it is sometimes confused with EMILIA
, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century - it was borne by daughters of George II and George III. Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.
AOIDE f Greek Mythology
Means "song" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
ARETHA f English
Possibly derived from Greek αρετη (arete)
meaning "virtue". This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
ARIA (1) f English
Means "song, melody" in Italian (literally means "air"). An aria is an elaborate vocal solo, the type usually performed in operas. As an English name, it has only been in use since the 20th century. It is not common in Italy.
AUBREY m & f English
Norman French form of the Germanic name ALBERICH
. As an English masculine name it was common in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the 19th century. Since the mid-1970s it has more frequently been given to girls, due to Bread's 1972 song 'Aubrey' along with its similarity to the established feminine name Audrey
CADENCE f English (Modern)
From an English word meaning "rhythm, flow". It has been in use only since the 20th century.
CALYPSO f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Καλυψω (Kalypso)
which probably meant "she that conceals", derived from καλυπτω (kalypto)
"to cover, to conceal". In Greek myth this was the name of the nymph who fell in love with Odysseus
after he was shipwrecked on her island of Ogygia. When he refused to stay with her she detained him for seven years until Zeus
ordered her to release him.
CAROL (1) f & m English
Short form of CAROLINE
. It was formerly a masculine name, derived from CAROLUS
. The name can also be given in reference to the English vocabulary word, which means "song" or "hymn".
CECILIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Romanian, Finnish, German
Latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius
, which was derived from Latin caecus
"blind". Saint Cecilia was a semi-legendary 2nd- or 3rd-century martyr who was sentenced to die because she refused to worship the Roman gods. After attempts to suffocate her failed, she was beheaded. She was later regarded as the patron saint of music and musicians.... [more]
CHANTAL f French, English, Dutch
From a French surname which was derived from a place name meaning "stony". It was originally given in honour of Saint Jeanne-Françoise de Chantal, the founder of the Visitation Order in the 17th century. It has become associated with French chant
CONDOLEEZZA f Various
In the case of American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice it is derived from the Italian musical term con dolcezza
meaning "with sweetness".
ELEANOR f English
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor
. Among the name's earliest bearers was the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor
after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor
"the other AENOR
" in order to distinguish her from her mother. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.... [more]
EUTERPE f Greek Mythology
Means "delight" in Greek, ultimately from ευ (eu)
"good" and τερπω (terpo)
"to satisfy, to cheer". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of music and joy. She was said to have invented the double flute.
FIFE m Scottish
From a Scottish place name which was formerly the name of a kingdom in Scotland. It is said to be named for the legendary Pictish hero Fib.
GITA f Indian, Hindi
Means "song" in Sanskrit. The word appears in the name of the 'Bhagavad Gita', a sacred text of Hinduism (meaning "divine song").
GUIDO m Italian, German
Latinized form of WIDO
. This was the name of two 11th-century saints. Other notable bearers include 11th-century music theorist Guido d'Arezzo, 13th-century poet Guido Cavalcanti, and 17th-century painter Guido Reni.
HARPER f & m English
From an Old English surname which originally belonged to a person who played the harp or who made harps. A notable bearer was the American author Harper Lee (1926-2016), who wrote 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.
HEROD m Biblical
From the Greek name ‘Ηρωιδης (Heroides)
, which probably means "song of the hero" from ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior" combined with ωιδη (oide)
"song, ode". This was the name of several rulers of Judea during the period when it was part of the Roman Empire. This includes two who appear in the New Testament: Herod the Great, the king who ordered the slaughter of the children, and his son Herod Antipas, who had John
the Baptist beheaded.
JUBAL m Biblical
Means "stream" in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in Genesis in the Old Testament as belonging to the first person to be a musician.
JUDE (1) m English, Biblical
Variant of JUDAS
. It is used in many English versions of the New Testament to denote the second apostle named Judas, in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. He was supposedly the author of the Epistle of Jude. In the English-speaking world, Jude
has occasionally been used as a given name since the time of the Protestant Reformation.
JUSTIN m English, French, Slovene
From the Latin name Iustinus
, which was derived from JUSTUS
. This was the name of several early saints including Justin Martyr, a Christian philosopher of the 2nd century who was beheaded in Rome. It was also borne by two Byzantine emperors. As an English name, it has occasionally been used since the late Middle Ages, though it did not become common until the 20th century. Famous modern bearers include pop stars Justin Timberlake (1981-) and Justin Bieber (1994-).
KAI (4) m Chinese
From Chinese 凯 (kǎi)
meaning "triumph, victory, music of triumph", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
KINNERET f Hebrew
From the name of a large lake in northern Israel, usually called the Sea of Galilee in English. Its name is derived from Hebrew כִּנּוֹר (kinnor)
meaning "harp" because of its shape.
KOTONE f Japanese
From Japanese 琴 (koto)
, which refers to a type of musical instrument similar to a harp, combined with 音 (ne)
meaning "sound". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
LING f & m Chinese
From Chinese 灵 (líng)
meaning "spirit, soul", 铃 (líng)
meaning "bell, chime", or other Chinese characters which are pronounced similarly.
LIRON m & f Hebrew
Means "song for me" or "joy for me" in Hebrew.
LORELEI f Literature
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.
LYRA f Astronomy
The name of the constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. It is said to be shaped after the lyre of Orpheus.
MAHALA f English
Variant of MAHALAH
. It has occasionally been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation.
MAJOR m English
From a surname which was originally derived from the given name Mauger
, an Old French form of the Germanic name Malger
meaning "council spear". The name can also be given in reference to the English word major
MELE f Hawaiian
Means "song" in Hawaiian. This name is also used as a Hawaiian and Samoan form of MARY
MELODY f English
From the English word melody
, which is derived (via Old French and Late Latin) from Greek μελος (melos)
"song" combined with αειδω (aeido)
MELPOMENE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek μελπω (melpo)
meaning "to sing, to celebrate with song". This was the name of one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, the muse of tragedy.
PHILOMELA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek φιλος (philos)
"lover, friend" and μηλον (melon)
"fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μελος (melos)
"song". In Greek myth Philomela was the sister-in-law of Tereus, who raped her and cut out her tongue. Prokne avenged her sister by killing her son by Tereus, after which Tereus attempted to kill Philomela. However, the gods intervened and transformed her into a nightingale.
PIPER f English (Modern)
From a surname which was originally given to a person who played on a pipe (a flute). It was popularized as a given name by a character from the television series 'Charmed', which debuted in 1998.
REED m English
From an English surname which is derived from Old English read
meaning "red", originally a nickname given to a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion.
REI f Japanese
From Japanese 鈴 (rei)
meaning "bell", 麗 (rei)
meaning "beautiful, lovely" or 玲 (rei)
meaning "the tinkling of jade". This name can also be formed by other kanji with the same pronunciation.
RUBAB f Arabic
From an Arabic word referring to a type of stringed musical instrument. This was the name of the wife of Muhammad
's grandson Husayn
SELAH f Biblical
From a Hebrew musical term which occurs many times in the Old Testament Psalms. It was probably meant to indicate a musical pause.
SETSUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 節 (setsu)
meaning "section, period, verse, melody" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations can also be possible.
TUBA f Arabic, Turkish
From the name of a type of tree that is believed to grow in heaven in Islamic tradition. It means "blessedness" in Arabic.
WAKANA f Japanese
From Japanese 和 (wa)
meaning "harmony" and 奏 (kana)
meaning "play music, complete", as well as other combinations of kanji which are pronounced the same way.
WREN f English (Modern)
From the English word for the small songbird. It is ultimately derived from Old English wrenna
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
ZIMRI m Biblical
Means "my praise" or "my music" in Hebrew. This is the name of a king of Israel in the Old Testament. He ruled for only seven days, when he was succeeded by the commander of the army Omri