AGRIPPA m & f Ancient Roman, Biblical
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning, possibly from a combination of Greek ἄγριος (agrios)
meaning "wild" and ἵππος (hippos)
meaning "horse" or alternatively of Etruscan origin. It was also used as a praenomen, or given name, by the Furia and Menenia families. In the New Testament this name was borne by Herod Agrippa (a grandson of Herod the Great), the king of Israel who put the apostle James to death. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
ÁINE f Irish
in Gaelic. This was the name of the queen of the fairies in Celtic mythology. It is also taken as an Irish form of Anne
ALBERICH m Ancient Germanic, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements alf
"elf" and ric
"ruler, mighty". Alberich was the name of the sorcerer king of the dwarfs in Germanic mythology. He also appears in the Nibelungenlied
as a dwarf who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen.
ALEXANDRA f English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera
, and an alternate name of Cassandra
. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix
, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra)
upon joining the Russian Church.
ALTHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Ἀλθαία (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek ἄλθος (althos)
. In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ALUN m Welsh
Welsh form of ALAN
. This name appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
ALVIS m Norse Mythology, Latvian
From the Old Norse Alvíss
meaning "all wise"
. In Norse mythology this was the name of a dwarf who was to marry Thor
's daughter Thrud
. Thor was not pleased with this so he tricked Alvis by asking him questions until the sun rose, at which time the dwarf was turned into stone.
AMATERASU f Japanese Mythology
Means "shining over heaven"
, from Japanese 天 (ama)
meaning "heaven, sky" and 照 (terasu)
meaning "shine". This was the name of the Japanese sun goddess, the ruler of the heavens. She was born when Izanagi
washed his left eye after returning from the underworld. At one time the Japanese royal family claimed descent from her.
AMERETAT f Persian Mythology
in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of plants and long life.
ANDROMEDA f Greek Mythology
Means "to be mindful of a man"
from the Greek element ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός
) combined with μέδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to be mindful of". In Greek mythology Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued from sacrifice by the hero Perseus
. A constellation in the northern sky is named for her. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.
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.
ANUBIS m Egyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Ἄνουβις (Anoubis)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Inpw
(reconstructed as Anapa
and other forms), which coincided with a word meaning "royal child, prince"
. However, it might alternatively be derived from the root inp
meaning "to decay"
. Anubis was the Egyptian god who led the dead to the underworld. He was often depicted as a man with the head of a jackal. The Greeks equated him with their god Hermes
AODH m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áed
, which meant "fire"
. This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
meaning "little fire"
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AOIDE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
ARAWN m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
ARCADIA f Various
Feminine form of ARCADIUS
. This is the name of a region on the Greek Peloponnese, long idealized for its natural beauty.
ARES m Greek Mythology
Perhaps from either Greek ἀρή (are)
meaning "bane, ruin"
or ἄρσην (arsen)
. The name first appears as a-re
in Mycenaean Greek writing. Ares was the bloodthirsty god of war in Greek mythology, a son of Zeus
ARIADNE f Greek Mythology
Means "most holy"
, composed of the Cretan Greek elements ἀρι (ari)
meaning "most" and ἀδνός (adnos)
meaning "holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos
. She fell in love with Theseus
and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus
ARIANRHOD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel"
or "round wheel"
in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan
Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ARTEMIS f Greek Mythology, Greek
Meaning unknown, possibly related either to Greek ἀρτεμής (artemes)
or ἄρταμος (artamos)
meaning "a butcher"
. Artemis was the Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, the twin of Apollo
and the daughter of Zeus
. She was known as Diana
to the Romans.
ASHERAH f Semitic Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea"
. This was the name of a Semitic mother goddess. She was worshipped by the Israelites before the advent of monotheism.
ASK m Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse askr "ash tree"
. In Norse mythology Ask and his wife Embla
were the first humans created by the gods.
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.
ATHENA f Greek Mythology, English
Meaning unknown. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. It is likely that her name is derived from that of the city, not vice versa. The earliest mention of her seems to be a 15th-century BC Mycenaean Greek inscription from Knossos on Crete.... [more]
ATLAS m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "enduring"
from Greek τλάω (tlao)
meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus
by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
ATROPOS f Greek Mythology
Means "inevitable, inflexible"
in Greek, derived from the negative prefix ἀ (a)
combined with τρόπος (tropos)
meaning "direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
BAHRAM m Persian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Verethragna
meaning "victory over resistance"
. This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with victory and war. This name was borne by several Sassanid emperors. It is also the Persian name for the planet Mars.
BALDER m Norse Mythology
from Old Norse. In Norse mythology Balder was the son of Odin
. Because of the disturbing dreams he had when he was young, his mother extracted an oath from every thing in the world that it would not harm him. However the evil fire god Loki
learned that she had overlooked mistletoe. Being jealous, he tricked the blind god Hoder into throwing a branch of mistletoe at Balder, which killed him.
BAST f Egyptian Mythology
Possibly means "fire, heat"
or "ointment jar"
in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology Bast was a goddess of cats, fertility and the sun who was considered a protector of Lower Egypt. She was often depicted with the head of a lioness or a house cat. As her role in the Egyptian pantheon diminished, she was called Bastet
BASTET f Egyptian Mythology
Variant of BAST
. This form of the name, a diminutive, was given to her after the similar goddess Sekhmet (protector of Upper Egypt) became more important.
BATRAZ m Ossetian, Caucasian Mythology
Possibly from Turkic bagatur
meaning "hero, warrior, brave"
. This is the name of the leader of the superhuman Narts in Caucasian mythology.
BÉBINN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair lady"
in Irish. This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including a goddess of childbirth.
BILE m Irish Mythology
Possibly an Irish form of BELENUS
, though it may derive from an Irish word meaning "hero". In Irish mythology this was the name of one of the Milesians who was drowned while invading Ireland.
BLODEUWEDD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "face of flowers"
in Welsh. In a story in the Mabinogion, she is created out of flowers by Gwydion
to be the wife of his nephew Lleu
Llaw Gyffes. She is eventually changed into an owl for her infidelity.
BRAN (2) m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
BRANWEN f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven"
from Welsh brân
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
meaning "exalted one"
. In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRYNHILDR f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse cognate of BRÜNHILD
. In the Norse legend the Volsungasaga
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.
CADWGAN m Welsh
Means "glory in battle"
from Welsh cad
"battle" and gwogawn
"glory, honour". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, this name is briefly mentioned as the son of Iddon.
CARINA (1) f English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from cara
meaning "dear, beloved"
. This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr. It is also the name of a constellation in the southern sky, though in this case it means "keel" in Latin, referring to a part of Jason
's ship the Argo.
CASTOR m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κάστωρ (Kastor)
, possibly related to κέκασμαι (kekasmai)
meaning "to excel, to shine"
). Alternatively it could be derived from the Greek word κάστωρ (kastor)
, though the legends about Castor do not mention beavers, which were foreign animals to the Greeks. In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus
and the twin brother of Pollux
. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
CHARON m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "fierce brightness"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Charon was the operator of the ferry that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
CHI (2) m & f 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. 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
in Irish. This was the name of the mythical ancestor of the Cianachta in Irish legend. Cian was also the name of a son-in-law of Brian
CIRCE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κίρκη (Kirke)
, possibly from κίρκος (kirkos)
. In Greek mythology Circe was a sorceress who changed Odysseus
's crew into hogs, as told in Homer's Odyssey
. Odysseus forced her to change them back, then stayed with her for a year before continuing his voyage.
CLEOPATRA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπάτρα (Kleopatra)
meaning "glory of the father"
, derived from κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory" combined with πατήρ (pater)
meaning "father" (genitive πατρός
). This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra
(1606) tells the story of her life.
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.
CULHWCH m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "hiding place of the pig"
in Welsh. In Welsh legend 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 them, and he returned to marry Olwen and kill the giant. This tale appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
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
CYBELE f Near Eastern Mythology (Latinized)
Meaning unknown, possibly from Phrygian roots meaning either "stone"
. This was the name of the Phrygian mother goddess associated with fertility and nature. She was later worshipped by the Greeks and Romans.
DAEDALUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαίδαλος (Daidalos)
, which was derived from δαιδάλλω (daidallo)
meaning "to work cunningly"
. In Greek myth Daedalus was an Athenian inventor who was banished to Crete. There he designed the Labyrinth for King Minos
, but he and his son Icarus
were eventually imprisoned inside it because he had aided Theseus
in his quest against the Minotaur. Daelalus and Icarus escaped using wings fashioned from wax, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.
DAGDA m Irish Mythology
Means "good god"
in Celtic. In Irish myth Dagda (called also The Dagda) was the powerful god of the earth, knowledge, magic, abundance and treaties, a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was skilled in combat and healing and possessed a huge club, the handle of which could revive the dead.
DALIA (2) f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Means "fate, luck"
in Lithuanian. This was the name of the Lithuanian goddess of weaving, fate and childbirth, often associated with Laima.
DAPHNE f Greek Mythology, English, Dutch
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo
. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.
DEIMOS m Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was one of the sons of the Greek god Ares
. Also, a moon of Mars bears this name.
DIARMAID m Irish, Irish Mythology
Perhaps means "without envy"
in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of a warrior who became the lover of Gráinne
. It was also the name of several ancient Irish kings.
DORIS f English, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the Greek name Δωρίς (Doris)
, which meant "Dorian woman"
. The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-2019).
ECHO f Greek Mythology
From the Greek word ἠχώ (echo)
meaning "echo, reflected sound"
, related to ἠχή (eche)
meaning "sound". In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera
, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus
, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
EL m Semitic Mythology
From a Semitic root meaning "god"
. This was a title applied to several Semitic gods. The Canaanites used it as the name of their chief deity, the father of the gods and mankind. The Hebrews used it to refer to Yahweh
ELECTRA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἠλέκτρα (Elektra)
, derived from ἤλεκτρον (elektron)
. In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon
and the sister of Orestes
. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas
ELYSIA f Various
, the name of the realm of the dead in Greek and Roman mythology, which means "blissful"
ENDYMION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἐνδύω (endyo)
meaning "to dive into, to enter"
. In Greek mythology he was an Aeolian mortal loved by the moon goddess Selene
, who asked Zeus
to grant him eternal life. Zeus complied by putting him into an eternal sleep in a cave on Mount Latmos.
EOS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn.
EPONA f Celtic Mythology
Derived from Gaulish epos
. This was the name of the Celtic goddess of horses.
ERESHKIGAL f Sumerian Mythology
Means "lady of the great earth"
, from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (ereš)
meaning "lady, queen" combined with 𒆠 (ki)
meaning "earth" and 𒃲 (gal)
meaning "great, big". In Sumerian mythology she was the goddess of death and the underworld.
ERIS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Eris was the goddess of discord. She was the sister and companion of Ares
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.
ÉTAÍN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét
. In Irish mythology she is the subject of the 9th-century tale The Wooing of Étaín
. She was the wife of Midir, but his jealous first wife Fuamnach transformed her into a fly. She was accidentally swallowed, and then reborn to the woman who swallowed her. After she grew again to adulthood she married the Irish high king Eochaid Airem, having no memory of Midir. Midir and Étaín were eventually reunited after Midir defeated Eochaid in a game of chess.
EUDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "good gift"
in Greek, from the elements εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". This was the name of a nymph, one of the Hyades, in Greek mythology.
EUROPA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Εὐρώπη (Europe)
, which meant "wide face"
from εὐρύς (eurys)
meaning "wide" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "face, eye". In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus
in the guise of a bull. She became the first queen of Crete, and later fathered Minos
by Zeus. The continent of Europe is named for her. This is also the name of a moon of Jupiter.
EURYDICE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Εὐρυδίκη (Eurydike)
meaning "wide justice"
, derived from εὐρύς (eurys)
meaning "wide" and δίκη (dike)
meaning "justice". In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out.
EUTERPE f Greek Mythology
in Greek, ultimately from εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and τέρπω (terpo)
meaning "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.
EVREN m & f Turkish
Means "cosmos, the universe"
in Turkish. In Turkic mythology the Evren is a gigantic snake-like dragon.
FAUNA f Roman Mythology
Feminine form of FAUNUS
. Fauna was a Roman goddess of fertility, women and healing, a daughter and companion of Faunus.
FRIGG f Norse Mythology
in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri
"to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin
. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya
share a common origin.
FŪJIN m Japanese Mythology
From Japanese 風 (fū)
meaning "wind" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the Japanese wind god, who carries the wind in a bag over his shoulders.
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαῖα (gaia)
, a parallel form of γῆ (ge)
. In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GANDALF m Norse Mythology, Literature
Means "wand elf"
in Old Norse, from the elements gandr
"wand, staff, cane" and álfr
"elf". This name belongs to a dwarf in the Völuspá
, a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript that forms part of the Poetic Edda. The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels The Hobbit
(1937) and The Lord of the Rings
GILGAMESH m Sumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology
Possibly means "the ancestor is a hero"
, from Sumerian 𒉋𒂵 (bilga)
meaning "ancestor" and 𒈩 (mes)
meaning "hero, young man". This was the name of a Sumerian hero, later appearing in the Akkadian poem the Epic of Gilgamesh
. Gilgamesh, with his friend Enkidu, battled the giant Humbaba and stopped the rampage of the Bull of Heaven, besides other adventures. Gilgamesh was probably based on a real person: a king of Uruk who ruled around the 27th century BC.
GWENDOLEN f Welsh
Means "white ring"
, derived from the Welsh elements gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed" and dolen
meaning "ring, loop". This was the name of a mythical queen of the Britons who defeated her husband in battle, as told by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
HAGEN (1) m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic element hagan
. In the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied
he is the half-brother of Günther
. He killed the hero Siegfried
by luring him onto a hunting expedition and then stabbing him with a javelin in his one vulnerable spot.
HALDOR m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hallþórr
, which meant "Thor's rock"
"rock" combined with the name of the Norse god Þórr
HAMA m Anglo-Saxon Mythology
From Old English ham
. This is the name of a Gothic warrior who appears with his companion of Wudga in some Anglo-Saxon tales (briefly in Beowulf
HATHOR f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian hut-Heru
meaning "the house of Horus"
, derived from Egyptian hwt
"house" combined with Hr
the god HORUS
. In Egyptian mythology she was the goddess of love, often depicted with the head of a cow.
HEL f Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology this was the name of the daughter of Loki. She got her name from the underworld, also called Hel, where she ruled, which meant "to conceal, to cover" in Old Norse (related to the English word hell
HELLE (2) f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
HERAKLES m Greek Mythology
Means "glory of Hera"
from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with Greek κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory". This was the name of a hero in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus
and the mortal woman Alcmene
. After being driven insane by Hera
and killing his own children, Herakles completed twelve labours in order to atone for his crime and become immortal.
HERMES m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Probably from Greek ἕρμα (herma)
meaning "cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker"
. Hermes was a Greek god associated with speed and good luck, who served as a messenger to Zeus
and the other gods. He was also the patron of travellers, writers, athletes, merchants, thieves and orators.... [more]
HERO (1) f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἥρως (heros)
. In Greek legend she was the lover of Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont each night to meet her. He was killed on one such occasion when he got caught in a storm while in the water, and when Hero saw his dead body she drowned herself. This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing
HESTIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἑστία (hestia)
meaning "hearth, fireside"
. In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HORATIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from Latin hora
meaning "hour, time, season"
, though the name may actually be of Etruscan origin. A famous bearer was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, a Roman lyric poet of the 1st century BC who is better known as Horace in the English-speaking world.
HYACINTHUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ὑάκινθος (Hyakinthos)
, which was derived from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek legend Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by the god Apollo
, who mournfully caused this flower to arise from his blood. The name was also borne by several early saints, notably a 3rd-century martyr who was killed with his brother Protus.
IAH m Egyptian Mythology
in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology this was the name of a god of the moon, later identified with Thoth
IARA f Native American, Tupi
Means "lady of the water"
, from Tupi y
"water" and îara
"lady, mistress". In Brazilian folklore this is the name of a beautiful river nymph who would lure men into the water. She may have been based upon earlier Tupi legends.
ICARUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἴκαρος (Ikaros)
, of unknown meaning. In Greek myth Icarus was the son of Daedalus
, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth by Minos
. They escaped from the maze using wings devised from wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death.
ILMARINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish ilma
. Ilmarinen is an immortal smith in Finnish mythology, the creator of the sky and the magic mill known as the Sampo. He is one of the main characters in the Finnish epic the Kalevala
INANNA f Sumerian Mythology
Possibly derived from Sumerian nin-an-a(k)
meaning "lady of the heavens"
, from 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and the genitive form of 𒀭 (an)
meaning "heaven, sky". Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and war. She descended into the underworld where the ruler of that place, her sister Ereshkigal, had her killed. The god Enki
interceded, and Inanna was allowed to leave the underworld as long as her husband Dumuzi
took her place.... [more]
IO f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus
, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from Hera
. A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.
IORWERTH m Welsh
Means "handsome lord"
from Welsh ior
"lord" and berth
"handsome". This name is used in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, where it belongs to a son of Maredudd. This name is sometimes used as a Welsh form of EDWARD
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]
ISIS f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Ist
(reconstructed as Iset
), which possibly meant "the throne"
. In Egyptian mythology Isis was the goddess of the sky and nature, the wife of Osiris
and the mother of Horus
. She was originally depicted wearing a throne-shaped headdress, but in later times she was conflated with the goddess Hathor
and depicted having the horns of a cow on her head. She was also worshipped by people outside of Egypt, such as the Greeks and Romans.
ISMENE f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek ἰσμή (isme)
. This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
IÐUNN f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Probably derived from Old Norse ið
"again" and unna
"to love". In Norse mythology Iðunn was the goddess of spring and immortality whose responsibility it was to guard the gods' apples of youth.
IXCHEL f Mayan Mythology, Native American, Mayan
Means "rainbow lady"
in Mayan. Ixchel was the Maya goddess of the earth, the moon, and medicine. She was often depicted with a snake in her hair and crossbones embroidered on her skirt.
IZANAGI m Japanese Mythology
Means "male who invites"
in Japanese. In Japanese mythology the god Izanagi was the husband of Izanami
. When she died he unsuccessfully journeyed to the underworld to retrieve her. In the purifying rites that followed his return the gods of the sun, moon and wind were created.
IZANAMI f Japanese Mythology
Means "female who invites"
in Japanese. In Japanese mythology she was a creator goddess, the wife of Izanagi
. She died giving birth to Kagutsuchi, the god of fire.
JANUS m Roman Mythology
in Latin. Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings, often depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions. The month of January is named for him.
JIMMU m Japanese Mythology
Means "divine warrior"
, from Japanese 神 (jin)
meaning "god" and 武 (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.
JUNE f English
From the name of the month, which was originally derived from the name of the Roman goddess Juno
. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.
JUPITER m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From Latin Iuppiter
, which was ultimately derived from the Indo-European *Dyeu-pater
, composed of the elements Dyeus
) and pater
"father". Jupiter was the supreme god in Roman mythology. He presided over the heavens and light, and was responsible for the protection and laws of the Roman state. This is also the name of the fifth and largest planet in the solar system.
KALEVA m Finnish
From the name of the mythological ancestor of the Finns, which is of unknown meaning. The name of the Finnish epic the Kalevala
means "the land of Kalevi".
KALI f & m Hinduism, Bengali, Tamil
Means "the black one"
in Sanskrit. The Hindu goddess Kali is the fierce destructive form of the wife of Shiva
. She is usually depicted with black skin and four arms, holding a severed head and brandishing a sword. As a personal name, it is generally masculine in India.
KALLIOPE f Greek Mythology
Means "beautiful voice"
from Greek κάλλος (kallos)
meaning "beauty" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.
KAVEH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means "royal"
in Avestan. In Persian mythology Kaveh is a blacksmith who leads a rebellion against the evil ruler Zahhak.
KLEIO f Greek Mythology, Greek
Derived from Greek κλέος (kleos)
. In Greek mythology she was the goddess of history and heroic poetry, one of the nine Muses. She was said to have introduced the alphabet to Greece.
KLOTHO f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Klotho was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai). She was responsible for spinning the thread of life.
KLYTIË f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλυτός (klytos)
meaning "famous, noble"
. In Greek myth Klytië was an ocean nymph who loved the sun god Helios. Her love was not returned, and she pined away staring at him until she was transformed into a heliotrope flower, whose head moves to follow the sun.
KRISHNA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Means "black, dark"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu god believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He was the youngest of King Vasudeva's eight children, six of whom were killed by King Kamsa because of a prophecy that a child of Vasudeva would kill Kamsa. Krishna however was saved and he eventually killed the king as well as performing many other great feats. In some Hindu traditions, Krishna is regarded as the supreme deity. He is usually depicted with blue skin.
LACHESIS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. She was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. She was responsible for deciding how long each person had to live.
LAIMA f Lithuanian, Latvian, Baltic Mythology
From Latvian laime
and Lithuanian laima
, which mean "luck, fate"
. This was the name of the Latvian and Lithuanian goddess of fate, luck, pregnancy and childbirth. She was the sister of the goddesses Dēkla and Kārta, who were also associated with fate.
LAMIA (2) f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek λαιμός (laimos)
. In Greek mythology this is the name of a queen of Libya who was a mistress of Zeus
, being jealous, kills Lamia's children, causing her to go mad and transform into a monster that hunts the children of others.
LARISA f Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, 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
LAVERNE f & m English
From a surname that was derived from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern
. It is sometimes associated with the Roman goddess Laverna
or the Latin word vernus
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.
LEON m English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λέων (leon)
. During the Christian era this Greek name was merged with the Latin cognate Leo
, with the result that the two forms are used somewhat interchangeably across European languages. In England during the Middle Ages this was a common name among Jews. A famous bearer was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Communist revolutionary.
LIGEIA f Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λιγύς (ligys)
meaning "clear-voiced, shrill, whistling"
. This was the name of one of the Sirens in Greek legend. It was also used by Edgar Allan Poe in his story Ligeia
LÓEGAIRE m Irish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder"
, derived from Irish loagh
"calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed
, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
LUCINA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin lucus
, but later associated with lux "light"
. This was the name of a Roman goddess of childbirth.
LUCRETIA f Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius
, possibly from Latin lucrum
meaning "profit, wealth"
. In 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 saint and martyr from Spain.
LUGH m Irish Mythology
Probably an Irish form of LUGUS
. In Irish mythology Lugh was a divine hero who led the Tuatha De Danann against the Fomorians who were led by his grandfather Balor. Lugh killed Balor by shooting a stone into his giant eye.
MANAIA f & m Maori
From the name of a stylized design common in Maori carvings. It represents a mythological creature with the head of a bird and the body of a human.
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.
MARDUK m Semitic Mythology
Probably from Sumerian amar-Utuk
meaning "calf of Utu"
, derived from amar
combined with the name of the sun god UTU
. This was the name of the chief Babylonian god, presiding over heaven, light, sky, battle, and fertility. After killing the dragon Tiamat
, who was an old enemy of the gods, he created the world and sky from the pieces of her body.
MARIS f English (Rare)
Means "of the sea"
, taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary
, Stella Maris
, meaning "star of the sea".
MARS m Roman Mythology
Possibly related to Latin mas
). In Roman mythology Mars was the god of war, often equated with the Greek god Ares
. This is also the name of the fourth planet in the solar system.
MATH m Welsh Mythology
Possibly from Celtic matu
. According to the Mabinogion, Math ap Mathonwy was a king of Gwynedd and a magician. He was the uncle of the hero Gwydion
MEDEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized), Georgian
From Greek Μήδεια (Medeia)
, possibly derived from μήδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to think, to plan"
. In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis (modern Georgia) who helped Jason
gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed.
MEGAERA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Μέγαιρα (Megaira)
, which was derived from μεγαίρω (megairo)
meaning "to grudge"
. This was the name of one of the Furies or Ἐρινύες (Erinyes)
in Greek mythology. The name is used as a word in several European languages to denote a shrewish, ill-tempered woman (for example, French mégère
and Italian megera
MELETE f Greek Mythology
Means "practice, exercise"
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of meditation.
MELISSA f English, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a daughter of Procles, as well as an epithet of various Greek nymphs and priestesses. According to the early Christian writer Lactantius this was the name of the sister of the nymph Amalthea
, with whom she cared for the young Zeus
. Later it appears in Ludovico Ariosto's 1516 poem Orlando Furioso
belonging to the fairy who helps Ruggiero
escape from the witch Alcina. As an English given name, Melissa
has been used since the 18th century.
MELPOMENE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek μέλπω (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.
MENELAUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Μενέλαος (Menelaos)
, derived either from μένω (meno)
meaning "to stay, to wait" or μένος (menos)
meaning "mind, strength, force" combined with λαός (laos)
meaning "the people". In Greek legend he was a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen
. When his wife was taken by Paris
, the Greeks besieged the city of Troy in an effort to get her back. After the war Menelaus and Helen settled down to a happy life.
METIS f Greek Mythology
Means "wisdom, skill, cunning"
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a Titan. Because it was prophesized that her children would be wiser than Zeus
, he swallowed her after he had impregnated her. However, their daughter Athena
eventually burst from his head fully grown.
MINERVA f Roman Mythology, English
Possibly derived from Latin mens
, but more likely of Etruscan origin. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, approximately equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena
. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since after the Renaissance.
MINOS m Greek Mythology
Possibly from a Cretan word or title meaning "king"
. This was the name of a king of Crete in Greek mythology. He was the son of Zeus
. Because Minos had refused to sacrifice a certain bull to Poseidon
, the god had caused his wife Pasiphaë to mate with the bull, which produced the half-bull creature called the Minotaur. Minos had Daedalus
construct the Labyrinth to house the beast, but it was eventually slain by Theseus
MITHRA m Persian Mythology
Derived from an Indo-Iranian root *mitra
meaning "oath, covenant, agreement"
. In Persian mythology he was a god of light and friendship, the son of the supreme god Ahura Mazda
. Worship of him eventually spread outside of Persia, where it was known as Mithraism.
MOIRA f Irish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It also coincides with Greek Μοῖρα (Moira)
meaning "fate, destiny", the singular of Μοῖραι
, the Greek name for the Fates. They were the three female personifications of destiny in Greek mythology.
MORANA f Slavic Mythology, Croatian
From a Slavic root meaning "death, plague"
. In Slavic mythology this was the name of the goddess of winter and death.
MORRIGAN f Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish Mór Ríoghain
meaning "great queen"
. In Irish myth she was a goddess of war and death who often took the form of a crow.
MOT m Semitic Mythology
in Ugaritic. This was the name of the Ugaritic god of death and the lord of the netherworld. He was a son of the supreme god El
NAENIA f Roman Mythology
Means "incantation, dirge"
in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of funerals.
NAGENDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lord of snakes"
from Sanskrit नाग (naga)
meaning "snake" (also "elephant") combined with the name of the Hindu god INDRA
, used here to mean "lord". This is another name for Vasuki, the king of snakes, in Hindu mythology.
NEASA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning uncertain. In Irish legend she was the mother of Conchobhar
, king of Ulster. According to some versions of the legend she was originally named Assa
meaning "gentle", but was renamed Ni-assa
"not gentle" after she sought to avenge the murders of her foster fathers.
NEMESIS f Greek Mythology
Means "distribution of what is due, righteous anger"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Nemesis was the personification of vengeance and justice.
NEPHELE f Greek Mythology
From Greek νέφος (nephos)
. In Greek legend Nephele was created from a cloud by Zeus
, who shaped the cloud to look like Hera
in order to trick Ixion, a mortal who desired her. Nephele was the mother of the centaurs by Ixion, and was also the mother of Phrixus and Helle by Athamus.
NEPHTHYS f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Nebet-Hut
meaning "lady of the house"
, derived from Egyptian nbt
"lady" and hwt
"house". This was the name of an Egyptian goddess associated with the air, death and mourning. She was wife of the desert god Seth
NEPTUNE m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Neptunus
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Indo-European root *nebh "wet, damp, clouds"
. Neptune was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, approximately equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon
. This is also the name of the eighth planet in the solar system.
NEREUS m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρός (neros)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NINGAL f Sumerian Mythology
Means "great lady"
, from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and 𒃲 (gal)
meaning "big, great". This was the name of a goddess of reeds in Sumerian mythology. She was the daughter of Enki
and the wife of Nanna
NINHURSAG f Sumerian Mythology
Means "lady of the mountain"
, from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and 𒉺𒂅 (hursaĝ)
meaning "mountain". This was the name of the Sumerian mother and fertility goddess, the primary consort of Enki
NINSUN f Sumerian Mythology
From Sumerian nin-sumun-a(k)
meaning "lady of the wild cow"
, derived from 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and the genitive form of 𒄢 (sumun)
meaning "wild cow". In Sumerian mythology Ninsun was the divine mother of Gilgamesh
NIOBE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto
, Leto's children Apollo
killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus
NONA (1) f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin nonus
, referring to the nine months of pregnancy. This was the name of a Roman goddess of pregnancy. She was also one of the three Fates (or Parcae).
NYX f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
ODIN m Norse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn
, which was derived from óðr
meaning "inspiration, rage, frenzy"
. It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz
. The name appears as Woden
in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan
in continental Europe. However, Odin is best known from Norse mythology, as the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.
ODYSSEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps derived from Greek ὀδύσσομαι (odyssomai)
meaning "to hate"
. In Greek legend Odysseus was one of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. In the Odyssey Homer
relates Odysseus's misadventures on his way back to his kingdom and his wife Penelope
OENONE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Οἰνώνε (Oinone)
, derived from οἶνος (oinos)
. In Greek mythology Oenone was a mountain nymph who was married to Paris before he went after Helen.
ORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night"
. In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
OSIRIS m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of the Egyptian Asar
, which is of unknown meaning. In Egyptian mythology Osiris was the god of the dead and the judge of the underworld. He was slain by his brother Seth
, but revived by his wife Isis
OURANIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek οὐράνιος (ouranios)
. In Greek mythology she was the goddess of astronomy and astrology, one of the nine Muses.
PALLAS (1) f Greek Mythology
Probably derived from a Greek word meaning "maiden, young woman"
. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Athena
. According to some legends it was originally the name of a friend of the goddess. Athena accidentally killed her while sparring, so she took the name in honour of her friend.
PALLAS (2) m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πάλλω (pallo)
meaning "to brandish"
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see PALLAS (1)
PAN m Greek Mythology
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector"
. In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
PANDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "all gifts"
, derived from a combination of Greek πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". In Greek mythology Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus
gave her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills that mankind now knows, and told her not to open it. Unfortunately her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, unleashing the evil spirits into the world.
PAPA f Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Papa or Papatuanuku was the goddess of the earth and the mother of many of the other gods. She and her husband Rangi
, the god of the sky, were locked in a tight embrace. Their children decided to separate them, a feat of strength accomplished by the god Tāne
PAX f Roman Mythology
in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the goddess of peace.
PEREDUR m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Possibly means "hard spears"
in Welsh. This was the name of several figures from Welsh mythology. It was later used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Arthurian tales. The character of Percival
was probably based on him.
PERSEPHONE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Pre-Greek origin, but perhaps related to Greek πέρθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy" and φονή (phone)
meaning "murder". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Demeter
. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades
, but was eventually allowed to return to the surface for part of the year. The result of her comings and goings is the changing of the seasons. With her mother she was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at the city of Eleusis near Athens.
PHILOMELA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Φιλομήλη (Philomele)
, derived from φίλος (philos)
meaning "lover, friend" and μῆλον (melon)
meaning "fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μέλος (melos)
meaning "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.
PHIRUN m Khmer
in Khmer, from the name of a rain god in the mythologies of southeast Asia. The god's name is possibly derived from VARUNA
PHOBOS m Greek Mythology
Means "fear, panic"
in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares
in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
PHOEBE f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοίβη (Phoibe)
, which meant "bright, pure"
from Greek φοῖβος (phoibos)
. In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis
. The name appears in Paul
's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).
PHYLLIS f Greek Mythology, English, German
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia
POLLUX m Roman Mythology
Roman form of Greek Πολυδεύκης (Polydeukes)
meaning "very sweet"
, from Greek πολύς (polys)
meaning "much" and δευκής (deukes)
meaning "sweet". In mythology he was the twin brother of Castor
and a son of Zeus
. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
POLYMNIA f Greek Mythology
Means "abounding in song"
, derived from Greek πολύς (polys)
meaning "much" and ὕμνος (hymnos)
meaning "song, hymn". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of dance and sacred songs, one of the nine Muses.
POSEIDON m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πόσις (posis)
meaning "husband, lord" and δᾶ (da)
meaning "earth". The name first appears in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions as po-se-da-o
. In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus
. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
PSYCHE f Greek Mythology
Means "the soul"
, derived from Greek ψύχω (psycho)
meaning "to breathe". The Greeks thought that the breath was the soul. In Greek mythology Psyche was a beautiful maiden who was beloved by Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology). She is the subject of Keats's poem Ode to Psyche
PTAH m Egyptian Mythology
Possibly means "opener"
in Egyptian. Ptah was an Egyptian god associated with creation and the arts.
PTOLEMY m History
From the Greek name Πτολεμαῖος (Ptolemaios)
, derived from Greek πολεμήϊος (polemeios)
meaning "aggressive, warlike"
. Ptolemy was the name of several Greco-Egyptian rulers of Egypt, all descendants of Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This was also the name of a Greek astronomer.
PUBLIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "public"
in Latin. This was among the more common of the Roman praenomina, being borne by (among others) the emperor Hadrian and the poet Virgil.
PWYLL m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh mythology, Pwyll is a king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon