Angelm & fEnglish, Bulgarian, Macedonian From the medieval Latin masculine name Angelus, which was derived from the name of the heavenly creature (itself derived from the Greek word ἄγγελος (angelos) meaning "messenger"). It has never been very common in the English-speaking world, where it is sometimes used as a feminine name in modern times.
Ashleyf & mEnglish From an English surname that was originally derived from place names meaning "ash tree clearing", from a combination of Old English æsc and leah. Until the 1960s it was more commonly given to boys in the United States, but it is now most often used on girls. It reached its height of popularity in America in 1987, but it did not become the highest ranked name until 1991, being overshadowed by the likewise-popular Jessica until then. In the United Kingdom it is still more common as a masculine name.
Francism & fEnglish, French English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus meaning "Frenchman", ultimately from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, who were named for a type of spear that they used. This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.... [more]
JacobmEnglish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Jewish, Biblical From the Latin Iacob, which was from the Greek Ἰακώβ (Iakob), which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov). In the Old Testament Jacob (later called Israel) is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau's heel, and his name is explained as meaning "holder of the heel" or "supplanter", because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son (see Genesis 27:36). Other theories claim that it is in fact derived from a hypothetical name like יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya'aqov'el) meaning "may God protect".... [more]
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]
JoshuamEnglish, Biblical From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu'a) meaning "Yahweh is salvation", from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho) referring to the Hebrew God and יָשַׁע (yasha') meaning "to save". As told in the Old Testament, Joshua was a companion of Moses. He went up Mount Sinai with Moses when he received the Ten Commandments from God, and later he was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan. After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites and he led the conquest of Canaan. His original name was Hoshea.... [more]
NathanielmEnglish, Biblical Variant of Nathanael. It has been regularly used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. This has been the most popular spelling, even though the spelling Nathanael is found in most versions of the New Testament. The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), author of The Scarlet Letter, was a famous bearer of this name.
SamanthafEnglish, Italian, Dutch Perhaps intended to be a feminine form of Samuel, using the name suffix antha (possibly inspired by Greek ἄνθος (anthos) meaning "flower"). It originated in America in the 18th century but was fairly uncommon until 1964, when it was popularized by the main character on the television show Bewitched.
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]