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.
ALYSSA f English
Variant of ALICIA
. The spelling has probably been influenced by that of the alyssum flower, the name of which is derived from Greek ἀ (a)
, a negative prefix, combined with λύσσα (lyssa)
meaning "madness, rabies", since it was believed to cure madness.
ARETHA f English
Possibly derived from Greek ἀρετή (arete)
. This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
ATHOL m & f Scottish
From the name of a district in Scotland that was derived from Gaelic ath Fodhla "new Ireland"
BEVERLY f & m English
From a surname that was originally derived from the name of an English city, itself meaning "beaver stream"
in Old English. It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, and it became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's 1904 novel Beverly of Graustark
CHER f English
Short form of CHERYL
. In the case of the American musician Cher (1946-), it is short for her real name CHERILYN
DOLORES f Spanish, English
, taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary María de los Dolores
, meaning "Mary of Sorrows". It has been used in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, becoming especially popular in America during the 1920s and 30s.
DUSTY m & f English
From a nickname originally given to people perceived as being dusty. It is also used a diminutive of DUSTIN
. A famous bearer was British singer Dusty Springfield (1939-1999), who acquired her nickname as a child.
ELTON m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "Ella's town"
in Old English. A famous bearer of this name is British musician Elton John (1947-), born Reginald Dwight, who adopted his stage name in honour of his former bandmate Elton Dean (1945-2006).
ELVIS m English
Meaning unknown. It could possibly be a derivative of ALVIS
. More likely, it is from the rare surname Elvis
, a variant of Elwes
, which is ultimately derived from the given name ELOISE
. The name was brought to public attention by the singer Elvis Presley (1935-1977), whose name came from his father's middle name.... [more]
HARRY m English
Medieval English form of HENRY
. In modern times it is used as a diminutive of both Henry
. A famous bearer was American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). It is also the name of the boy wizard in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter
series of books, first released in 1997.
INNA f Russian, Ukrainian
Meaning unknown. This was the name of an early Scythian saint and martyr, a male, supposedly a disciple of Saint Andrew
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-).
KEN (2) m Japanese
From Japanese 健 (ken)
meaning "healthy, strong" or other kanji that are pronounced the same way.
LOREDANA f Italian, Romanian
Used by the French author George Sand for a character in her novel Mattea
(1833) and later by the Italian author Luciano Zuccoli in his novel L'amore de Loredana
(1908). It was possibly based on the Venetian surname Loredan
, which was derived from the place name Loreo
MADONNA f English
From a title of the Virgin Mary
meaning "my lady" in Italian. A famous bearer of the name is American singer Madonna Ciccone (1958-), known simply as Madonna.
MARINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Czech, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian, Latvian, Georgian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of MARINUS
OFRA m & f Hebrew
Modern Hebrew form of OPHRAH
. Originally it was a masculine name, but it is now used for females too.
PETULA f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown, created in the 20th century. The name is borne by the British singer Petula Clark (1932-), whose name was invented by her father.
RYAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Riain
meaning "descendant of Rían"
. The given name Rían
probably means "little king"
(from Irish rí
"king" combined with a diminutive suffix).
SHANIA f English (Modern)
In the case of singer Shania Twain (1965-), who chose it as her stage name, she has claimed it was based on an Ojibwe phrase meaning "on my way"
. This appears to be untrue.
SHIRLEY f & m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "bright clearing"
in Old English. This is the name of a main character in Charlotte Brontë's semi-autobiographical novel Shirley
(1849). The child actress Shirley Temple (1928-2014) helped to popularize this name.
SOLANGE f French
French form of the Late Latin name Sollemnia
, which was derived from Latin sollemnis "religious"
. This was the name of a French shepherdess who became a saint after she was killed by her master.
VERNON m English
From a Norman surname, which was from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern