JessicafEnglish, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish This name was first used in this form by Shakespeare in his play The Merchant of Venice (1596), where it belongs to the daughter of Shylock. Shakespeare probably based it on the biblical name Iscah, which would have been spelled Jescha in his time. It was not commonly used as a given name until the middle of the 20th century. It reached its peak of popularity in the United States in 1987, and was the top ranked name for girls between 1985 and 1995, excepting 1991 and 1992 (when it was unseated by Ashley). Notable bearers include actresses Jessica Tandy (1909-1994) and Jessica Lange (1949-).
JoelmEnglish, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Biblical From the Hebrew name יוֹאֵל (Yo'el) meaning "Yahweh is God", from the elements יוֹ (yo) and אֵל ('el), both referring to the Hebrew God. Joel is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Joel, which describes a plague of locusts. In England, it was first used as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation.
JuliafEnglish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Estonian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical Feminine form of the Roman family name Julius. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was also borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare used it in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594).... [more]
JulianmEnglish, Polish, German From the Roman name Iulianus, which was derived from Julius. This was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate (4th century). It was also borne by several early saints, including the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller. This name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, at which time it was also a feminine name (from Juliana, eventually becoming Gillian).
LeonmEnglish, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek Derived from Greek λέων (leon) meaning "lion". 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.
LouismFrench, English, Dutch French form of Ludovicus, the Latinized form of Ludwig. This was the name of 18 kings of France, starting with Louis I the son of Charlemagne. Others include Louis IX (Saint Louis) who led two crusades and Louis XIV (called the Sun King) who was the ruler of France during the height of its power, the builder of the Palace of Versailles, and the longest reigning monarch in the history of Europe. It was also borne by kings of Germany (as Ludwig), Hungary (as Lajos), and other places.... [more]
Luca 1mItalian, Romanian Italian and Romanian form of Lucas (see Luke). This name was borne by Luca della Robbia, a Renaissance sculptor from Florence.
MarcomItalian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch Italian form of Marcus (see Mark). During the Middle Ages this name was common in Venice, where Saint Mark was supposedly buried. A famous bearer was the Venetian explorer Marco Polo, who travelled across Asia to China in the 13th century.
MichaelmEnglish, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, 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]
MichellefFrench, English, Dutch French feminine form of Michel. It has been common in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is the former American first lady Michelle Obama (1964-).
Noah 1mEnglish, German, Biblical From the Hebrew name נֹחַ (Noach) meaning "rest, repose", derived from the root נוּחַ (nuach). According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the Great Flood. After the flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. He was the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.... [more]
Robinm & fEnglish, French, Dutch, Swedish, Czech Medieval English diminutive of Robert, now usually regarded as an independent name. Robin Hood was a legendary hero and archer of medieval England who stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern times it has also been used as a feminine name, and it may sometimes be given in reference to the red-breasted bird.
SophiafEnglish, Greek, German, Ancient Greek Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which is the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.... [more]
VanessafEnglish, Italian, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his 1726 poem Cadenus and Vanessa. He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.