AINHOA f Basque
From the name of a town in southwest France where there is a famous image of the Virgin Mary
ALEXANDER m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men"
from Greek ἀλέξω (alexo)
meaning "to defend, help" and ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ALTON m English
From an Old English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "town at the source of the river"
ARARAT m Armenian
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.
AVILA f Ancient 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.
BENTLEY m English
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.
DEVEREUX m English (Rare)
From an English surname, of Norman French origin, meaning "from Evreux"
. Evreux is a town in France.
ELEA f English
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.
ERSKINE m Scottish, 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).
GILBERT m English, 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 British saint, the founder of the religious order known as the Gilbertines.
LORETO f & m Italian, 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.
MARGAUX f French
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
MARIEL f English
Diminutive of MARY
influenced by MURIEL
. In the case of actress Mariel Hemingway (1961-), the name is from the Cuban town of Mariel.
MELVILLE m English
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
MOSTYN m Welsh
From a Welsh place name meaning "moss town"
in Old English.
MURIEL f English, French, Irish
Medieval English form of a Celtic 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
NYSSA f Various
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.
PAISLEY f English (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.
QUINTON m English
Variant of QUENTIN
, also coinciding with an English surname meaning "queen's town" in Old English.
ROCHELLE f English
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
RYAN m Irish, 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).
SEYMOUR m English
From a Norman surname that originally belonged to a person coming from the French town of Saint Maur (which means "Saint MAURUS
UXUE f Basque
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
WARREN m English
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).