BLAKEmEnglish From a surname that was derived from Old English blæc"black" or blac"pale". A famous bearer of the surname was the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).
BRETTmEnglish From a Middle English surname meaning "a Breton", referring to an inhabitant of Brittany. A famous bearer is the American football quarterback Brett Favre (1969-).
BRIANmEnglish, Irish, Ancient Irish The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble". It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
CARLmGerman, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English German form of CHARLES. Two noteworthy bearers of the name were the German mathematician Carl Gauss (1777-1855), who made contributions to number theory and algebra as well as physics and astronomy, and the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961), who founded analytical psychology. It was imported to America in the 19th century by German immigrants.
CODYmEnglish From the Irish surname Ó Cuidighthigh, which means "descendant of CUIDIGHTHEACH". A famous bearer of the surname was the American frontiersman and showman Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917).
CYNTHIAfEnglish, Greek Mythology (Latinized) Latinized form of Greek Κυνθία (Kynthia), which means "woman from Kynthos". This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century. It reached a peak of popularity in the United States in 1957 and has declined steadily since then.
DAPHNEfGreek Mythology, English, Dutch Means "laurel" 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.
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]
EMMETTmEnglish From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of the feminine given name EMMA.
ETHANmEnglish, French, Biblical, Biblical Latin From the Hebrew name אֵיתָן ('Eitan) meaning "solid, enduring, firm". In the Old Testament this name is borne by a few minor characters, including the wise man Ethan the Ezrahite, supposedly the author of Psalm 89.... [more]
HUNTERm & fEnglish From an occupational English surname for a hunter, derived from Old English hunta. A famous bearer was the eccentric American journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005).
JAMESmEnglish, Biblical English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus, a variant of the Biblical Latin form Iacobus, from the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (see JACOB). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus.... [more]
JENNIFERfEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish From a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (see GUINEVERE). This name has only been common outside of Cornwall since the beginning of the 20th century, after it was featured in George Bernard Shaw's play The Doctor's Dilemma (1906). It barely ranked in the United until the late 1930s, when it began steadily growing in popularity, accelerating into the early 1970s. It was the most popular name for girls in America between 1970 and 1984, though it was not as common in the United Kingdom.... [more]
JUSTINmEnglish, 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-).
LINDSAYf & mEnglish, Scottish From an English and Scottish surname that was originally derived from the name of the region Lindsey, which means "LINCOLN island" in Old English. As a given name it was typically masculine until the 1960s (in Britain) and 1970s (in America) when it became popular for girls, probably due to its similarity to Linda and because of American actress Lindsay Wagner (1949-).
MELANIEfEnglish, German, Dutch From Mélanie, the French form of the Latin name Melania, derived from Greek μέλαινα (melaina) meaning "black, dark". This was the name of a Roman saint who gave all her wealth to charity in the 5th century. Her grandmother was also a saint with the same name.... [more]
MICHAELmEnglish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek From the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha'el) meaning "who is like God?". This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Michael is one of the archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament he is named as a protector of Israel. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies in the war against Satan, and is thus considered the patron saint of soldiers in Christianity.... [more]
TEDmEnglish Short form of EDWARD or THEODORE. A famous bearer was the American baseball player Ted Williams (1918-2002), who was born as Theodore.
THEODOREmEnglish From the Greek name Θεόδωρος (Theodoros), which meant "gift of god" from Greek θεός (theos) meaning "god" and δῶρον (doron) meaning "gift". The name Dorothea is derived from the same roots in reverse order. This was the name of several saints, including Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Greek soldier; Theodore of Tarsus, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury; and Theodore the Studite, a 9th-century Byzantine monk. It was also borne by two popes.... [more]
VICTORmEnglish, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Dutch, Swedish, Late Roman Roman name meaning "victor, conqueror" in Latin. It was common among early Christians, and was borne by several early saints and three popes. It was rare as an English name during the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), who authored The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables.