ALTONmEnglish From an Old English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "town at the source of the river".
ARARATmArmenian From the name of a mountain in eastern Turkey (formerly part of Armenia), the place where Noah's Ark came to rest according to the Old Testament.
AVILAfAncient Germanic Derived from the Germanic element avi, of unknown meaning, possibly "desired". This name is also given in honour of the 16th-century mystic Saint Teresa of Ávila, Ávila being the name of the town in Spain where she was born.
BENTLEYmEnglish From a surname that was from a place name, itself derived from Old English beonet "bent grass" and leah "woodland, clearing". Various towns in England bear this name.
BOONEmEnglish From an English surname that was either derived from Old French bon meaning "good" or from the name of the town of Bohon, France.
DEVEREUXmEnglish (Rare) From an English surname, of Norman French origin, meaning "from Evreux". Evreux is a town in France.
ELEAfEnglish Short form of ELEANOR. This was also the name of an ancient Italian town (modern Velia) that is well known for being the home of the philosopher Parmenides and his student Zeno of Elea, who was famous for his paradoxes.
ERSKINEmScottish, Irish, English (Rare) From a surname that was originally derived from the name of a Scottish town meaning "projecting height" in Gaelic. A famous bearer of the name was the Irish novelist and nationalist Erskine Childers (1870-1922).
GILBERTmEnglish, French, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic Means "bright pledge", derived from the Germanic elements gisil "pledge, hostage" and beraht "bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it was common during the Middle Ages. It was borne by a 12th-century English saint, the founder of the religious order known as the Gilbertines.
LORETOf & mItalian, Spanish From the name of a town in Italy, originally called Lauretum in Latin, meaning "laurel grove". Supposedly in the 13th century the house of the Virgin Mary was miraculously carried by angels from Nazareth to the town.
MARGAUXfFrench Variant of MARGOT influenced by the name of the wine-producing French town. It was borne by Margaux Hemingway (1954-1996), granddaughter of author Ernest Hemingway, who had it changed from Margot.
MARIELfEnglish Diminutive of MARY influenced by MURIEL. In the case of actress Mariel Hemingway (1961-), the name is from the Cuban town of Mariel.
MELVILLEmEnglish From a Scottish surname that was originally from a Norman French place name meaning "bad town". A famous bearer of the surname was the American author Herman Melville (1819-1891), who wrote several novels including Moby-Dick.
MOSTYNmWelsh From a Welsh place name meaning "moss town" in Old English.
MURIELfEnglish, French, Irish Medieval English form of a Breton name that was probably related to the Irish name MUIRGEL. The Normans brought it to England from Brittany. In the modern era it was popularized by a character from Dinah Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman (1856).
NYSSAfVarious From the name of an ancient town of Asia Minor where Saint Gregory was bishop in the 4th century. Nyssa is also the genus name of a type of tree, also called the Tupelo.
PAISLEYfEnglish (Modern) From a Scottish surname, originally from the name of a town, which may ultimately be derived from Latin basilica"church". This is also a word (derived from the name of that same town) for a type of pattern commonly found on fabrics.
QUINTONmEnglish Variant of QUENTIN, also coinciding with an English surname meaning "queen's town" in Old English.
ROCHELLEfEnglish From the name of the French city La Rochelle, meaning "little rock". It first became commonly used as a given name in America in the 1930s, probably due to the fame of actress Rochelle Hudson (1914-1972) and because of the similarity to the name Rachel.
RYANmIrish, 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).
SEONG-JINmKorean From Sino-Korean 成 (seong) meaning "completed, finished, succeeded" or 星 (seong) meaning "star, planet" combined with 鎭 (jin) meaning "town, marketplace" or 震 (jin) meaning "shake, tremor, excite". Other hanja character combinations are also possible.
SEYMOURmEnglish From a Norman surname that originally belonged to a person coming from the French town of Saint Maur (which means "Saint MAURUS").
THISBEfGreek Mythology, Roman Mythology From the name of an ancient Greek town in Boeotia, itself supposedly named after a nymph. In a Greek legend (the oldest surviving version appearing in Latin in Ovid's Metamorphoses) this is the name of a young woman from Babylon. Believing her to be dead, her lover Pyramus kills himself, after which she does the same to herself. The splashes of blood from their suicides is the reason mulberry fruit are red.
TIVOLIm & fVarious From the name of a picturesque Italian town, used as a summer resort by the ancient Romans.
UXUEfBasque From the Basque name of the Spanish town of Ujué where there is a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Its name is derived from Basque usoa "dove".
WARRENmEnglish From an English surname that was derived either from Norman French warrene meaning "animal enclosure", or else from the town of La Varenne in Normandy. This name was borne by the American president Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).