CYBILLfEnglish (Rare) Variant of SIBYL. This name was borne by actress Cybill Shepherd (1950-), who was named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill.
DEBORAHfEnglish, Biblical From the Hebrew name דְּבוֹרָה (Devorah) meaning "bee". In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca.... [more]
DELPHIAfEnglish Possibly from the name of the Greek city of Delphi, the site of an oracle of Apollo, which is possibly related to Greek δελφύς (delphys) meaning "womb". It was used in the play The Prophetess (1647), in which it belongs to the title prophetess.
ELIJAHmEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu) meaning "my God is YAHWEH", derived from the elements אֵל ('el) and יָה (yah), both referring to the Hebrew God. Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses appear next to Jesus when he is transfigured.... [more]
ELISHAmBiblical, Biblical Hebrew From the Hebrew name אֱלִישַׁע ('Elisha'), a contracted form of אֱלִישׁוּעַ ('Elishu'a) meaning "my God is salvation". According to the Old Testament, Elisha was a prophet and miracle worker. He was the attendant of Elijah and succeeded him after his ascension to heaven.
EZRAmBiblical, English, Hebrew Means "help" in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.
HULDAHfBiblical Means "weasel, mole" in Hebrew. This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to a prophetess.
IDRIS (1)mArabic, Malay, Indonesian Possibly means "interpreter" in Arabic. In the Quran this is the name of an ancient prophet. He is traditionally equated with the Hebrew prophet Enoch.
ISA (1)mArabic, Persian, Albanian Arabic form of JESUS. This form is found in the Quran and is used as a given name by Muslims. Arabic-speaking Christians instead use يسوع (Yasu') to refer to Jesus Christ.
JESUSmTheology, Biblical, Portuguese English form of Ἰησοῦς (Iesous), which was the Greek form of the Aramaic name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshu'a). Yeshu'a is itself a contracted form of Yehoshu'a (see JOSHUA). Yeshua ben Yoseph, better known as Jesus Christ, was the central figure of the New Testament and the source of the Christian religion. The four gospels state that he was the son of God and the Virgin Mary who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. He preached for three years before being crucified in Jerusalem.
JOHNmEnglish, 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]
JONAHmEnglish, Biblical From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah) meaning "dove". This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.... [more]
MALACHImHebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin From the Hebrew name מַלְאָכִי (Mal'akhi) meaning "my messenger" or "my angel". This is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Malachi, which some claim foretells the coming of Christ. In England the name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
MANI (2)mPersian Meaning unknown, presumably of Persian origin. Mani was a 3rd-century prophet who founded the religion of Manichaeism (which is now extinct).
MEDADmBiblical Means "love" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Medad is one of the elders who prophesizes in the camp of the Israelites after the flight from Egypt.
MERLINmArthurian Romance, English Form of the Welsh name Myrddin (meaning "sea fortress") used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus over Merdinus in order to prevent associations with French merde "excrement".... [more]
MICAHmBiblical, English Contracted form of MICAIAH. Micah is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. He authored the Book of Micah, which alternates between prophesies of doom and prophesies of restoration. This is also the name of a separate person in the Book of Judges, the keeper of an idol. It was occasionally used as an English given name by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation, but it did not become common until the end of the 20th century.
MICHELmFrench, German, Dutch French form of MICHAEL. Michel de Notredame, also known as Nostradamus, was the 16th-century French astrologer who made predictions about future world events. This is also the German diminutive form of MICHAEL.
MIKIfJapanese From Japanese 美 (mi) meaning "beautiful" and 紀 (ki) meaning "chronicle". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MUHAMMADmArabic, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Tajik, Uzbek, Indonesian, Malay, Avar Means "praised, commendable" in Arabic, derived from the root حَمِدَ (hamida) meaning "to praise". This was the name of the prophet who founded the Islamic religion in the 7th century. According to Islamic belief, at age 40 Muhammad was visited by the angel Gabriel, who provided him with the first verses of the Quran. Approximately 20 years later he conquered Mecca, the city of his birth, and his followers controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of his death in 632.... [more]
SIBYLfEnglish 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).
TALIESINmWelsh, Arthurian Romance Means "shining brow", derived from Welsh tal "brow" and iesin "shining". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh poet and bard. In later Welsh legends he is portrayed as a wizard and prophet, or as a companion of King Arthur.
ZARATHUSTRAmHistory Possibly means "golden camel" in Old Iranian, derived from zarat meaning "golden" combined with ushtra meaning "camel". Zarathustra was the Persian prophet who founded the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism about the 10th century BC.