ABITAL f Biblical
Means "my father is the night dew" in Hebrew. She is the fifth wife of David
in the Old Testament.
AERON (1) m & f Welsh
Either derived from Welsh aeron
meaning "berry" or else from the name of a river in Wales.
AFON f & m Welsh
Means "river" in Welsh. This is a Welsh name of recent origin.
ALCYONE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Αλκυονη (Alkyone)
, derived from the word αλκυων (alkyon)
meaning "kingfisher". In Greek myth this name belonged to a daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck she threw herself into the water, but the gods saved her and turned them both into kingfishers. This is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, the seven stars in the constellation Taurus.
ALMA (1) f English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
This name became popular after the Battle of Alma (1854), which took place near the River Alma in Crimea and ended in a victory for Britain and France. However, the name was in rare use before the battle; it was probably inspired by Latin almus
"nourishing". It also coincides with the Spanish word meaning "the soul".
ALTON m English
From an Old English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "town at the source of the river".
ALWYN m Welsh
From the name of the River Alwen in Wales.
ANAT (1) f Semitic Mythology
Possibly derived from a Semitic root meaning "water spring". Anat was a goddess of fertility, hunting and war worshipped by the Semitic peoples of the Levant. She was the sister and consort of the god Hadad
APHRODITE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty, identified with the Roman goddess Venus
. She was the wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of Eros
, and she was often associated with the myrtle tree and doves. The Greeks connected her name with αφρος (aphros)
"foam", resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea. Many of her characteristics are based on the goddess known as Ashtoreth
to the Phoenicians and Ishtar
to the Mesopotamian Semitic peoples, and on the Sumerian goddess Inanna
ASHERAH f Semitic Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea". This was the name of a Semitic mother goddess. She was worshipped by the Israelites before the advent of monotheism.
AYSU f Turkish
Derived from Turkish ay
meaning "moon" and su
BAHARGÜL f Turkmen
Derived from Turkmen bahar
meaning "spring" and gül
meaning "flower, rose" (both roots ultimately of Persian origin).
BECKETT m English (Modern)
From an English surname that could be derived from various sources, including from Middle English beke
meaning "beak" or bekke
meaning "stream, brook".
BILAL m Arabic, Urdu
Means "wetting, moistening" in Arabic. This was the name of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad
BO (2) m & f Chinese
From Chinese 波 (bō)
meaning "wave", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
BRENNAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname derived from Ó Braonáin
meaning "descendant of Braonán". Braonán
is a byname meaning "rain, moisture, drop" (with a diminutive suffix).
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
meaning "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRODY m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It probably means "ditch, mire" in Gaelic.
BROOK m & f English
From an English surname that denoted one who lived near a brook.
BROOKE f English
Variant of BROOK
. The name came into use in the 1950s, probably influenced by American socialite Brooke Astor (1902-2007). It was further popularized by actress Brooke Shields (1965-).
CANSU f Turkish
From Turkish can
meaning "soul, life" and su
CASPIAN m Literature
Used by author C. S. Lewis for a character in his 'Chronicles of Narnia' series, first appearing in 1950. Prince Caspian first appears in the fourth book, where he is the rightful king of Narnia driven into exile by his evil uncle Miraz. Lewis probably based the name on the Caspian Sea, which was named for the city of Qazvin, which was itself named for the ancient Cas tribe.
CHAO m & f Chinese
From Chinese 超 (chāo)
meaning "surpass, leap over" (which is usually only masculine), 潮 (cháo)
meaning "tide, flow, damp", or other characters that are pronounced similarly.
CLARE f English
Medieval English form of CLARA
. This is also the name of an Irish county, which was originally named for the Norman invader Richard de Clare (known as Strongbow), whose surname was derived from the name of an English river.
CLINTON m English
From a surname that was originally from an Old English place name meaning "settlement on the River Glyme". A famous bearer of the surname is former American president Bill Clinton (1946-).
CLODAGH f Irish
From the name of a river in Tipperary, Ireland.
COLWYN m Welsh
From the name of a river in northern Wales.
CONWAY m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of the River Conwy, which possibly means "holy water" in Welsh.
CORENTIN m Breton, French
Possibly means "hurricane" in Breton. This was the name of a 5th-century bishop of Quimper in Brittany.
CRAWFORD m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "crow ford" in Old English.
CRYSTAL f English
From the English word crystal
for the clear, colourless glass, sometimes cut into the shape of a gemstone. The English word derives ultimately from Greek κρυσταλλος (krystallos)
meaning "ice". It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
DACRE m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name in Cumbria, of Brythonic origin meaning "trickling stream".
DATHAN m Biblical
Possibly means "fountain" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the conspirators against Moses
DEE f & m English
Short form of names beginning with D
. It may also be given in reference to the Dee
River in Scotland.
DELANO m English
From a surname, recorded as de la Noye
in French, indicating that the bearer was from a place called La Noue (ultimately Gaulish meaning "wetland, swamp"). It has been used in honour of American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), whose middle name came from his mother's maiden name.
DELTA f English
From the name of the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, Δ
. It is also the name for an island formed at the mouth of a river.
DENVER m English
From an English surname that was from a place name meaning "Dane ford" in Old English. This is the name of the capital city of Colorado, which was named for the politician James W. Denver (1817-1892).
DERYA f & m Turkish
Means "sea, ocean" in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
DORIS f English, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the Greek name Δωρις (Doris)
, which meant "Dorian woman". The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-2019).
DOUGLAS m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of the Scottish surname Dubhghlas
, meaning "dark river" from Gaelic dubh
"dark" and glais
"water, river" (an archaic word related to glas
"grey, green"). Douglas was originally a place name (for example, a tributary of the River Clyde), which then became a Scottish clan name borne by a powerful line of earls. It has been used as a given name since the 16th century.
DUBHSHLÁINE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" and either slán
"defiance" or Sláine
, the Gaelic name of the River Slaney.
EA (1) m Semitic Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps from Sumerian meaning "house of water", or perhaps of Akkadian or Hurrian origin. This was the Akkadian, Assyrian, Hurrian and Babylonian name of the Sumerian water god Enki
ENDYMION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ενδυειν (endyein)
meaning "to dive into, to enter". In Greek mythology he was an Aeolian mortal loved by the moon goddess Selene
, who asked Zeus
to grant him eternal life. Zeus complied by putting him into an eternal sleep in a cave on Mount Latmos.
ENKI m Sumerian Mythology
From Sumerian 𒂗 (en)
meaning "lord" and 𒆠 (ki)
meaning "earth, ground" (though maybe originally from 𒆳 (kur)
meaning "underworld, mountain"). Enki, called Ea
by the Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians, was the Sumerian god of water and wisdom and the keeper of the Me, the divine laws.
ERASMUS m Late Greek (Latinized)
Derived from Greek ερασμιος (erasmios)
meaning "beloved". Saint Erasmus, also known as Saint Elmo, was a 4th-century martyr who is the patron saint of sailors. Erasmus was also the name of a Dutch scholar of the Renaissance period.
FENTON m English
From a surname that was originally taken from a place name meaning "marsh town" in Old English.
FORD m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "ford" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the American industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1947).
FU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 富 (fù)
meaning "abundant, rich, wealthy", 芙 (fú)
meaning "hibiscus, lotus" or 甫 (fǔ)
meaning "begin, man, father", in addition to other characters with a similar pronunciation. A famous bearer was the 8th-century Tang dynasty poet Du Fu, whose given name was 甫
GLAW m & f Welsh
Means "rain" in Welsh. This is a modern Welsh name.
GLYNDWR m Welsh
From a Welsh surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "valley water". This name is often given in honour of Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century Welsh patriot who led a revolt against England.
GUADALUPE f & m Spanish
From a Spanish title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
, meaning "Our Lady of Guadalupe". Guadalupe is a Spanish place name, the site of a famous convent, derived from Arabic وادي (wadi)
meaning "valley, river" possibly combined with Latin lupus
meaning "wolf". In the 16th century Our Lady of Guadalupe supposedly appeared in a vision to a native Mexican man, and she is now regarded as a patron saint of the Americas.
GYATSO m Tibetan
From Tibetan རྒྱ་མཚོ (rgya-mtsho)
meaning "ocean". This is one of the given names of the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (1935-).
HADRIAN m History
From the Roman cognomen Hadrianus
, which meant "from Hadria" in Latin. Hadria was the name of two Roman settlements. The first (modern Adria) is in northern Italy and was an important Etruscan port town. The second (modern Atri) is in central Italy and was named after the northern town. The Adriatic Sea is also named after the northern town.... [more]
HAURVATAT f Persian Mythology
Means "health, perfection, wholeness" in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of health and water.
HE f & m Chinese
From Chinese 河 (hé)
meaning "river, stream", 和 (hé)
meaning "harmony, peace", or 荷 (hé)
meaning "lotus, water lily" (which is usually only feminine). Other characters can form this name as well. A famous bearer was the 15th-century explorer Zheng He.
HUDSON m English
From an English surname that meant "son of HUDDE
". A famous bearer of the surname was the English explorer Henry Hudson (1570-1611).
HYEON-U m Korean
From Sino-Korean 賢 (hyeon)
meaning "virtuous, worthy, able" or 顯 (hyeon)
meaning "manifest, clear" combined with 祐 (u)
meaning "divine intervention, protection" or 雨 (u)
meaning "rain". This name can be formed by other hanja character combinations as well.
IARA f Native American, Tupi
From Tupi y
"water" and îara
"lady, mistress". In Brazilian folklore this is the name of a beautiful river nymph who would lure men into the water. She may have been based upon earlier Tupi legends.
INDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "possessing drops of rain" from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu)
meaning "a drop" and र (ra)
meaning "acquiring, possessing". Indra is the name of the ancient Hindu warrior god of the sky and rain. He is the chief god in the Rigveda.
IRVING m English, Scottish, Jewish
From a Scottish surname that was in turn derived from a Scottish place name meaning "green water". Historically this name has been relatively common among Jews, who have used it as an American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I
such as Isaac
. A famous bearer was the Russian-American songwriter and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose birth name was Israel Beilin.
ISOLDE f English (Rare), German, Arthurian Romance
The origins of this name are uncertain, though some Celtic roots have been suggested. It is possible that the name is ultimately Germanic, perhaps from a hypothetic name like Ishild
, composed of the elements is
"ice, iron" and hild
IZUMI f Japanese
From Japanese 泉 (izumi)
meaning "fountain, spring". This name can also be constructed from other combinations of kanji.
JI-U f & m Korean
From Sino-Korean 芝 (ji)
meaning "sesame" or 志 (ji)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" combined with 雨 (u)
meaning "rain" or 宇 (u)
meaning "house, eaves, universe". Other combinations of hanja characters can form this name as well.
JORDAN m & f English, French, Macedonian
From the name of the river that flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The river's name in Hebrew is יַרְדֵן (Yarden)
, and it is derived from יָרַד (yarad)
meaning "descend" or "flow down". In the New Testament John
the Baptist baptizes Jesus
Christ in its waters, and it was adopted as a personal name in Europe after crusaders brought water back from the river to baptize their children. There may have been some influence from the Germanic name JORDANES
, notably borne by a 6th-century Gothic historian.... [more]
JUBAL m Biblical
Means "stream" in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in Genesis in the Old Testament as belonging to the first person to be a musician.
KAIMANA m & f Hawaiian
From Hawaiian kai
"ocean, sea" and mana
"power". It is also Hawaiian meaning "diamond", derived from the English word diamond
KAITO m Japanese
From Japanese 海 (kai)
meaning "sea, ocean" combined with 斗 (to)
, which refers to a Chinese constellation, or 翔 (to)
meaning "soar, fly". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
KAMAL (2) m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Modern masculine form of KAMALA
KAMALA f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Nepali
Means "lotus" or "pale red" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form कमला
and the masculine form कमल
. This is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades, in Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata'. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
KASUMI f Japanese
From Japanese 霞 (kasumi)
meaning "mist". It can also come from 花 (ka)
meaning "flower, blossom" combined with 澄 (sumi)
meaning "clear, pure". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
KENDALL m & f English
From a surname that comes from the name of the city of Kendale in northwest England meaning "valley on the river Kent".
KENT m English
From a surname that was originally derived from Kent
, the name of a county in England, which may be derived from a Brythonic word meaning "coastal district".
KERR m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that was derived from a place name meaning "rough wet ground" in Old Norse.
KLYTIË f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλυτος (klytos)
meaning "famous, noble". In Greek myth Klytië was an ocean nymph who loved the sun god Helios. Her love was not returned, and she pined away staring at him until she was transformed into a heliotrope flower, whose head moves to follow the sun.
KUNALA m Sanskrit
Means "lotus" in Sanskrit. This was the name of a son of the 3rd-century BC Indian emperor Ashoka.
KYLE m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic caol
meaning "narrows, channel, strait".
LACHLAN m Scottish, English (Australian)
Originally a Scottish nickname for a person who was from Norway. In Scotland, Norway was known as the "land of the lochs", or Lochlann
LAKE m & f English (Rare)
From the English word lake
, for the inland body of water. It is ultimately derived from Latin lacus
LAMAR m English, African American
From a French and English surname, originally from a place name in Normandy, which was derived from Old French la mare
meaning "the pool".
LAN (1) f & m Chinese, Vietnamese
From Chinese 兰 (lán)
meaning "orchid, elegant" (which is usually only feminine) or 岚 (lán)
meaning "mountain mist". Other Chinese characters can form this name as well. As a Vietnamese name, it is derived from Sino-Vietnamese 蘭
LESTER m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of the city of Leicester, originally denoting a person who was from that place. The city's name is derived from the river name Ligore
combined with Latin castra
LINFORD m English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally taken from place names meaning either "flax ford" or "linden tree ford" in Old English.
LINTON m English
From a surname that was originally from place names meaning either "flax town" or "linden tree town" in Old English.
LINWOOD m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "stream forest" in Old English.
LLYR m Welsh Mythology
Means "the sea" in Welsh. This was the name of the Welsh god of the sea. He possibly forms the basis for the legendary King Lear of the Britons.
LORELEI f Literature
From German Loreley
, the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. It is of uncertain meaning, though the second element is probably old German ley
meaning "rock" (of Celtic origin). German romantic poets and songwriters, beginning with Clemens Brentano in 1801, tell that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures boaters to their death with her song.
LOTUS f English (Rare)
From the name of the lotus flower (species Nelumbo nucifera) or the mythological lotus tree. They are ultimately derived from Greek λωτος (lotos)
. In Greek and Roman mythology the lotus tree was said to produce a fruit causing sleepiness and forgetfulness.
LYNN f & m English
From an English surname that was derived from Welsh llyn
meaning "lake". Before the start of the 20th century it was primarily used for boys, but it has since come to be more common for girls. In some cases it may be thought of as a short form of LINDA
or names that end in lyn
MAIRWEN f Welsh
Combination of MAIR
and Welsh gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed".
MANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 愛 (mana)
meaning "love, affection" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" or 海 (mi)
meaning "sea, ocean". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MAR f Spanish, Catalan
Means "sea" in Spanish and Catalan. It is from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María del Mar
MARINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Czech, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian, Latvian, Georgian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of MARINUS
MARIS f English (Rare)
Means "of the sea", taken from the Latin title of the Virgin Mary
, Stella Maris
, meaning "star of the sea".
MARLOWE f English (Modern)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "remnants of a lake" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593).
MARY f English, Biblical
Usual English form of Maria
, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριαμ (Mariam)
and Μαρια (Maria)
- the spellings are interchangeable - which were from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam)
, a name borne by the sister of Moses
in the Old Testament. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry
"beloved" or mr
MARYAM f Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bashkir, Tatar
Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bashkir and Tatar form of Miryam
). In Iran it is also the name of a flower, the tuberose, which is named after the Virgin Mary.
MAXWELL m English
From a Scottish surname meaning "Mack's stream", from the name Mack
, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS
, combined with Old English wella
"stream". A famous bearer of the surname was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.
MEHRAB m Persian, Literature
From مهر (Mehr)
, the Persian word for MITHRA
, combined with Persian آب (ab)
"water". This is the name of a character in the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh'.
MELUSINE f Mythology
Meaning unknown. In European folklore Melusine was a water fairy who turned into a serpent from the waist down every Saturday. She made her husband, Raymond of Poitou, promise that he would never see her on that day, and when he broke his word she left him forever.
MERAUD f Cornish
Meaning unknown, perhaps based on Cornish mor
MERLIN m Arthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin
(meaning "sea fortress") used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus
in order to prevent associations with French merde
MERRILL m English
From an English surname that was derived either from the given name MURIEL
or from place names meaning "pleasant hill".
MERTON m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "town on a lake" in Old English.
MERYL f English
Variant of MURIEL
, influenced by the spelling of the name CHERYL
. A famous bearer is American actress Meryl Streep (1949-), whose real name is Mary Louise Streep.
MICHAL (2) f Biblical, Hebrew
Possibly means "brook" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Saul
. She was married to David
, but after David fled from Saul he remarried her to someone else. Later, when David became king, he ordered her returned to him.
MILBURN m English
From an English surname that was from a place name meaning "mill stream" in Old English.
MILFORD m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from various place names all meaning "ford by a mill" in Old English.
MISTY f English
From the English word misty
, ultimately derived from Old English. The jazz song 'Misty' (1954) by Erroll Garner may have helped popularize the name.
MOANA f & m Maori, Hawaiian, Tahitian
Means "ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea" in Maori and Hawaiian (as well as in other Polynesian languages).
MORGAN (1) m & f Welsh, English, French
From the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant
, which was possibly derived from Welsh mor
"sea" and cant
"circle". Since the 1980s in America Morgan
has been more common for girls than boys, perhaps due to stories of Morgan
le Fay or the fame of actress Morgan Fairchild (1950-).
MORGAN (2) f Arthurian Romance
Modern form of Morgen
, which was used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century for the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, who was unnamed in earlier stories. Geoffrey probably did not derive it from the Welsh masculine name Morgan
, which would have been spelled Morcant
in his time. He may have based it on the Irish name MUIRGEN
MORTIMER m English
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "still water" in Old French.
MUIR m Scottish
From a surname that was originally taken from a Scottish place name meaning "moor, fen". It also means "sea" in Scottish Gaelic.
MUIRGEL f Irish
Means "bright sea", derived from Gaelic muir
"sea" and geal
MUIRGEN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "born of the sea" in Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a woman (originally named Líban
) who was transformed into a mermaid. After 300 years she was brought to shore, baptized, and transformed back into a woman.
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' (1856).
NANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 七 (nana)
meaning "seven" and 海 (mi)
meaning "sea". It can also come from 菜 (na)
meaning "vegetables, greens" duplicated and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
NAPOLEON m History, English
From the old Italian name Napoleone
, used most notably by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who was born on Corsica. The etymology is uncertain, but it is possibly derived from the Germanic Nibelungen
meaning "sons of mist", a name used in Germanic mythology to refer to the keepers of a hoard of treasure (often identified with the Burgundians). Alternatively, it could be connected to the name of the Italian city of Napoli (Naples).
NECHTAN m Irish Mythology, Ancient Celtic
Celtic name of uncertain meaning, possibly meaning "damp" (cognate with NEPTUNE
). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boand, the goddess of the River Boyne. This name was also borne by the 5th-century Saint Nectan of Hartland in Devon, who was supposedly born in Ireland. It was also the name of several kings of the Picts.
NEIL m Irish, Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Niall
, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning "champion" or "cloud". This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.... [more]
NEPHELE f Greek Mythology
From Greek νεφος (nephos)
meaning "cloud". In Greek legend Nephele was created from a cloud by Zeus
, who shaped the cloud to look like Hera
in order to trick Ixion, a mortal who desired her. Nephele was the mother of the centaurs by Ixion, and was also the mother of Phrixus and Helle by Athamus.
NEPTUNE m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Neptunus
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Indo-European root *nebh
"wet, damp, clouds". Neptune was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, approximately equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon
. This is also the name of the eighth planet in the solar system.
NEREUS m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros)
meaning "water". In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NIMUE f Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legends this is the name of a sorceress, also known as the Lady of the Lake, Vivien, or Niniane. Various versions of the tales have Merlin
falling in love with her and becoming imprisoned by her magic. She first appears in the medieval French 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle.
NJORD m Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njǫrðr
, which was possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ner
meaning "strong, vigourous". Njord was the Norse god of the sea, sailing, fishing and fertility. With his children Freyr
he was a member of the Vanir.
OCEAN m & f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word ocean
for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ωκεανος (Okeanos)
, the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.
OKEANOS m Greek Mythology
From the name of the river or body of water thought by the ancient Greeks to surround the Earth. In Greek mythology Okeanos was the Titan who personified this body of water.
PADMA f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
Means "lotus" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा
and the masculine form पद्म
. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma
arose from the navel of the god Vishnu
. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi
and the hero Rama
PADMAVATI f Hinduism
Means "resembling lotuses", derived from the Sanskrit word पद्म (padma)
meaning "lotus" combined with वती (vati)
meaning "resemblance". This is the name of the foster-mother of the god Hindu Skanda.
PEGASUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πηγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγος (pegos)
"strong" or πηγαιος (pegaios)
"from a water spring". In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
PELAGIA f Ancient Greek, Greek, Polish
Feminine form of PELAGIUS
. This was the name of a few early saints, including a young 4th-century martyr who threw herself from a rooftop in Antioch rather than lose her virginity.
PHIRUN m Khmer
Means "rain" in Khmer, from the name of a rain god in the mythologies of southeast Asia. The god's name is possibly derived from VARUNA
PONTIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman family name. The family had Samnite roots so the name probably originated from the Oscan language, likely meaning "fifth" (a cognate of Latin Quintus
). Alternatively, it could be derived from the name of the ancient province of Pontus
in Asia Minor, itself probably from Greek ποντος (pontos)
"sea". A notable bearer of this name was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who appears in the New Testament.
POSEIDON m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek ποσις (posis)
"husband, lord" and δα (da)
"earth". The name first appears in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions as po-se-da-o
. In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus
. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
RAFFERTY m English
From an Irish surname that was an Anglicized form of Ó Rabhartaigh
meaning "descendant of Rabhartach". The given name Rabhartach
means "flood tide".
RAINE f & m English (Rare)
Possibly based on the French word reine
meaning "queen". A famous bearer is the British socialite Raine Spencer (1929-), the stepmother of Princess Diana. In modern times it can also be used as a variant of RAIN (1)
or a short form of LORRAINE
RAYYAN m & f Arabic
Means "watered, luxuriant" in Arabic. According to Islamic tradition this is the name of one of the gates of paradise.
REN m & f Japanese
From Japanese 蓮 (ren)
meaning "lotus", 恋 (ren)
meaning "love", or other kanji that are pronounced the same way.
RHEA f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps related to ‘ρεω (rheo)
"to flow" or ερα (era)
"ground". In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus
, and the mother of Zeus
. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia
was the mother of Romulus
, the legendary founders of Rome.
RIVER m & f English (Modern)
From the English word that denotes a flowing body of water. The word is ultimately derived (via Old French) from Latin ripa
ROCÍO f Spanish
Means "dew" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary María del Rocío
meaning "Mary of the Dew".
ROSEMARY f English
Combination of ROSE
. This name can also be given in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus
meaning "dew of the sea". It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
ROSWELL m English
From a surname that was derived from an Old English place name meaning "horse spring".
RUARC m Irish
Probably an Irish form of HRŒREKR
, introduced by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. Alternatively it may be derived from Irish ruarc
RUDYARD m English (Rare)
From a place name meaning "red yard" in Old English. This name was borne by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the author of 'The Jungle Book' and other works, who was named after Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire.
SABRINA f English, Italian, German, French
Latinized form of Habren
, the original Welsh name of the River Severn. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the name of a princess who was drowned in the Severn. Supposedly the river was named for her, but it is more likely that her name was actually derived from that of the river, which is of unknown meaning. She appears as a water nymph in John Milton's masque 'Comus' (1634). It was popularized as a given name by Samuel A. Taylor's play 'Sabrina Fair' (1953) and the movie adaptation that followed it the next year.
SALACIA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin sal
meaning "salt". This was the name of the Roman goddess of salt water.
SEDNA f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
SEVAN f & m Armenian
From the name of the largest lake in Armenia, which may be from the Urartian word suinia
simply meaning "lake".
SHANNON f & m English
From the name of the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland, called Abha an tSionainn
in Irish. It is associated with the goddess Sionann
and is sometimes said to be named for her. However it is more likely the goddess was named after the river, which may be related to Old Irish sen
"old, ancient". As a given name, it first became common in America after the 1940s.
SIONANN f Irish Mythology
The name of an Irish goddess, a granddaughter of Lir
, who was the personification of the River Shannon. Her name is derived from the name of the river (see SHANNON
SI-U m Korean
From Sino-Korean 始 (si)
meaning "begin, start" combined with 祐 (u)
meaning "divine intervention, protection" or 雨 (u)
meaning "rain". Other combinations of hanja characters can form this name as well.
SOHRAB m Persian, Persian Mythology
Probably from Middle Persian swhr
"red" and ab
"water". In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of the son of the hero Rostam
. He was tragically slain in battle by his father, who was unaware he was fighting his own son.
STANFORD m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "stone ford" in Old English.
SUSANNA f Italian, Catalan, Swedish, Finnish, Russian, Dutch, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
From Σουσαννα (Sousanna)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name שׁוֹשַׁנָּה (Shoshannah)
. This was derived from the Hebrew word שׁוֹשָׁן (shoshan)
meaning "lily" (in modern Hebrew this also means "rose"), perhaps ultimately from Egyptian sšn
"lotus". In the Old Testament Apocrypha this is the name of a woman falsely accused of adultery. The prophet Daniel
clears her name by tricking her accusers, who end up being condemned themselves. It also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a woman who ministers to Jesus
TALLULAH f English (Rare)
Popularly claimed to mean "leaping waters" in the Choctaw language, it may actually mean "town" in the Creek language. This is the name of waterfalls in Georgia. It was borne by American actress Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968), who was named after her grandmother, who may have been named after the waterfalls.
TETHYS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek τηθη (tethe)
meaning "grandmother". In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan associated with the sea. She was the wife of Oceanus.
TIAMAT f Semitic Mythology
From Akkadian tâmtu
meaning "sea". In Babylonian myth Tiamat was the personification of the sea, appearing in the form of a huge dragon. By Apsu she gave birth to the first of the gods. Later, the god Marduk
(her great-grandson) defeated her, cut her in half, and used the pieces of her body to make the earth and the sky.
TIBERIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "of the Tiber" in Latin. The Tiber is the river that runs through Rome. Tiberius was the second Roman emperor, the stepson of Emperor Augustus.
TIRTA m & f Indonesian
Means "sacred water, place of pilgrimage" in Indonesian, ultimately from Sanskrit तीर्थ (tirtha)
TRENT m English
From a surname that originally denoted someone who lived by the River Trent
in England. Trent
is also a city in Italy, though the etymology is unrelated.
UNDINE f Literature
Derived from Latin unda
meaning "wave". The word undine
was created by the medieval author Paracelsus, who used it for female water spirits.
VÄINÄMÖINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish väinä
"wide and slow-flowing river". In Finnish mythology Väinämöinen was a wise old magician, the son of the primal goddess Ilmatar
. He is the hero of the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala'.
VANCE m English
From an English surname that was derived from Old English fenn
meaning "marsh, fen".
VARUNA m Hinduism
Probably from a Sanskrit word meaning "to surround". In Hindu mythology Varuna is a god of water and the celestial ocean surrounding the world. He is one of the chief gods in the Rigveda.
VIVIEN (2) f Literature
Used by Alfred Lord Tennyson as the name of the Lady of the Lake in his Arthurian epic 'Idylls of the King' (1859). Tennyson may have based it on VIVIENNE
, but it possibly arose as a misreading of NINIAN
. A famous bearer was British actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), who played Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone with the Wind'.
WALTON m English
From a surname that was originally taken from various Old English place names meaning "stream town", "wood town", or "wall town".
WARWICK m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from the name of a town in England, itself from Old English wer
"weir, dam" and wíc
WELDON m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "hill near a spring" in Old English.
WILBURN m English
From a surname that was probably originally derived from an unknown place name. The second element corresponds with Old English burne
WILFORD m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "willow ford" in Old English.
YAM m Semitic Mythology
Means "sea" in Ugaritic. Yam was the Ugaritic god of the sea, also associated with chaos, storms and destruction. He was a son of the chief god El
YANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 洋 (yáng)
meaning "ocean" or 阳 (yáng)
meaning "light, sun, male" (which is typically only masculine), as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.
YEONG-HO m Korean
From Sino-Korean 英 (yeong)
meaning "flower, petal, brave, hero", 映 (yeong)
meaning "reflect light" or 泳 (yeong)
meaning "dive, swim" combined with 浩 (ho)
meaning "great, numerous, vast" or 皓 (ho)
meaning "bright, luminous, clear, hoary". Other hanja combinations are possible.
YEONG-HUI f Korean
From Sino-Korean 英 (yeong)
meaning "flower, petal, brave, hero" or 泳 (yeong)
meaning "dive, swim" combined with 姬 (hui)
meaning "beauty" or 嬉 (hui)
meaning "enjoy, play". Other combinations of hanja characters can form this name as well.
YOUKO f Japanese
From Japanese 陽 (you)
meaning "light, sun, male" or 洋 (you)
meaning "ocean" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other combinations of kanji characters are possible.