Names Categorized "women's history"

This is a list of names in which the categories include women's history.
gender
usage
Æðelflæd f Anglo-Saxon
Old English name composed of the elements æðel "noble" and flæd "beauty". Æðelflæd was a 10th-century queen of Mercia.
Agnès f French, Catalan
French and Catalan form of Agnes.
Alexandrine f French
French diminutive of Alexandra. This was the name of a Danish queen, the wife of King Christian X.
Alice f English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Czech, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch
From the Old French name Aalis, a short form of Adelais, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis (see Adelaide). This name became popular in France and England in the 12th century. It was among the most common names in England until the 16th century, when it began to decline. It was revived in the 19th century.... [more]
Alva 1 f Swedish, Norwegian
Feminine form of Alf 1.
Alwilda f History
Latinized form of Alfhild. This was the name of a legendary female Scandinavian pirate, also called Awilda.
Amabel f English (Rare)
Medieval feminine form of Amabilis.
Amelia f English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Ancient Germanic
Variant of Amalia, though it is sometimes confused with Emilia, which has a different origin. The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century — it was borne by daughters of both George II and George III. The author Henry Fielding used it for the title character in his novel Amelia (1751). Another famous bearer was Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first woman to make a solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean.... [more]
Anaïs f French
Possibly a French variant of Anahita. A famous bearer was the French writer Anaïs Nin (1903-1977), known for her diaries.
Anandi f Indian, Hindi
Feminine form of Anand.
Ann f English, Manx
English and Manx form of Anne 1. In the English-speaking world, both this spelling and Anne have been used since the late Middle Ages. Currently Ann is less popular than Anne (and both are less popular than their relatives Anna and Hannah).
Anna f English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Armenian, Icelandic, Faroese, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Scottish Gaelic, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Form of Channah (see Hannah) used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament. Many later Old Testament translations, including the English, use the Hannah spelling instead of Anna. The name appears briefly in the New Testament belonging to a prophetess who recognized Jesus as the Messiah. It was a popular name in the Byzantine Empire from an early date, and in the Middle Ages it became common among Western Christians due to veneration of Saint Anna (usually known as Saint Anne in English), the name traditionally assigned to the mother of the Virgin Mary.... [more]
Annie f English, French, Dutch
Diminutive of Anne 1.
Aphra f Various
Meaning uncertain; possibly a variant of Afra 1, or possibly a variant of Aphrah, a biblical place name meaning "dust". This name was borne by the English writer Aphra Behn (1640-1689).
Araminta f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown. This name was (first?) used by William Congreve in his comedy The Old Bachelor (1693) and later by Sir John Vanbrugh in his comedy The Confederacy (1705). This was the original given name of abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), who was born Araminta Ross.
Aretha f English
Possibly derived from Greek ἀρετή (arete) meaning "virtue". This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
Artemisia f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of Artemisios. This was the name of the 4th-century BC builder of the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. She built it in memory of her husband, the Carian prince Mausolus.
Asmaa f Arabic
Means "appellations, names" in Arabic. This was the name of a daughter of Abu Bakr, the first caliph of the Muslims.
Aspasia f Ancient Greek, Greek
Derived from Greek ἀσπάσιος (aspasios) meaning "welcome, embrace". This was the name of the lover of Pericles (5th century BC).
Ayn f Various
This name was assumed by Ayn Rand (1905-1982), originally named Alice Rosenbaum, a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She apparently based it on a Finnish name she had heard, but never seen written.
Barbra f English
Variant of Barbara.
Berenice f English, Italian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Βερενίκη (Berenike), the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενίκη (Pherenike), which meant "bringing victory" from φέρω (phero) meaning "to bring" and νίκη (nike) meaning "victory". This name was common among the Ptolemy ruling family of Egypt, a dynasty that was originally from Macedon. It occurs briefly in Acts in the New Testament (in most English Bibles it is spelled Bernice) belonging to a sister of King Herod Agrippa II. As an English name, Berenice came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
Bernadine f English
Feminine form of Bernard.
Bette f English
Diminutive of Elizabeth. A famous bearer was American actress Bette Davis (1908-1989).
Bettina f German, Italian, Hungarian
Diminutive of Elisabeth (German), Benedetta or Elisabetta (Italian), or Erzsébet (Hungarian).
Birdie f English
Diminutive of Bertha, Bernice and other names with a similar sound, or sometimes simply from the English word bird.
Björk f Icelandic
Means "birch tree" in Icelandic.
Boudicca f Brythonic (Latinized)
Derived from Brythonic boud meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide. Her name is first recorded in Roman histories, as Boudicca by Tacitus and Βουδουῖκα (Boudouika) by Cassius Dio.
Caprina f Various
From the name of the Italian island of Capri.
Carlota f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese form of Charlotte.
Carry f English
Diminutive of Caroline.
Charlotte f French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
French feminine diminutive of Charles. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. It was the name of a German-born 18th-century queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland. Another notable bearer was Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Brontë sisters and the author of Jane Eyre and Villette.... [more]
Christabel f English (Rare)
Combination of Christina and the name suffix bel (inspired by Latin bella "beautiful"). This name occurs in medieval literature, and was later used by Samuel Coleridge in his 1816 poem Christabel.
Clara f German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Catalan, Romanian, English, Swedish, Danish, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus, which meant "clear, bright, famous". The name Clarus was borne by a few early saints. The feminine form was popularized by the 13th-century Saint Clare of Assisi (called Chiara in Italian), a friend and follower of Saint Francis, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares.... [more]
Cleopatra f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπάτρα (Kleopatra) meaning "glory of the father", derived from κλέος (kleos) meaning "glory" combined with πατήρ (pater) meaning "father" (genitive πατρός). This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra (1606) tells the story of her life.
Comfort f English (African)
From the English word comfort, ultimately from Latin confortare "to strengthen greatly", a derivative of fortis "strong". It was used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. It is now most common in parts of English-influenced Africa.
Constance f English, French
Medieval form of Constantia. The Normans introduced this name to England (it was the name of a daughter of William the Conqueror).
Coretta f English
Diminutive of Cora. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King Jr.
Cornelia f German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Cornelius. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.
Daisy f English
Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.... [more]
Darleen f English
Variant of Darlene.
Donaldina f Scottish
Feminine form of Donald.
Doris f English, German, Swedish, Danish, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the Greek name Δωρίς (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).
Dorothy f English
Usual English form of Dorothea. It has been in use since the 16th century. The author L. Frank Baum used it for the central character, Dorothy Gale, in his fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and several of its sequels.
Eartha f English
Combination of the English word earth with the feminine name suffix a. It has been used in honour of African-American philanthropist Eartha M. M. White (1876-1974). Another famous bearer was American singer and actress Eartha Kitt (1927-2008).
'Ednah f Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew form of Edna.
Elaine f English, Arthurian Romance
From an Old French form of Helen. It appears in Arthurian legend; in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation Le Morte d'Arthur Elaine was the daughter of Pelleas, the lover of Lancelot, and the mother of Galahad. It was not commonly used as an English given name until after the publication of Alfred Tennyson's Arthurian epic Idylls of the King (1859).
Eleanor f English
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Alienòr. Among the name's earliest bearers was the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor "the other Aenor" in order to distinguish her from her mother. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.... [more]
Elisabetta f Italian
Italian form of Elizabeth.
Elizabeth f English, Biblical
From Ἐλισάβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath", derived from the roots אֵל ('el) referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava') meaning "oath". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.... [more]
Elnora f English
Contracted form of Eleanora.
Eloise f English
From the Old French name Héloïse, which was probably from the Germanic name Helewidis, composed of the elements heil meaning "hale, healthy" and wid meaning "wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ἥλιος (helios) meaning "sun" or the name Louise, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne by the 12th-century French scholar and philosopher Héloïse. Secretly marrying the theologian Peter Abelard at a young age, she became a nun (and eventually an abbess) after Abelard was violently castrated by order of her uncle Fulbert.... [more]
Elspeth f Scottish
Scottish form of Elizabeth.
Emily f English
English feminine form of Aemilius (see Emil). In the English-speaking world it was not common until after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century; the princess Amelia Sophia (1711-1786) was commonly known as Emily in English, even though Amelia is an unrelated name.... [more]
Emmeline f English
From an Old French form of the Germanic name Amelina, originally a diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element amal meaning "work". The Normans introduced this name to England.
Erzsébet f Hungarian
Hungarian form of Elizabeth. This is the native name of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. It was also borne by the infamous Erzsébet Báthory, a 16th-century countess and murderer.
Evita f Spanish, Latvian
Diminutive of Eva.
Flora f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, French, Greek, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin flos meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France. In Scotland it was sometimes used as an Anglicized form of Fionnghuala.
Florence f & m English, French
From the Latin name Florentius or the feminine form Florentia, which were derived from florens "prosperous, flourishing". Florentius was borne by many early Christian saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.... [more]
Frida f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of other feminine names containing the Germanic element frid meaning "peace". This is also the Scandinavian equivalent, from the Old Norse cognate Fríða. A famous bearer was Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).
Frideswide f History (Ecclesiastical)
Modern form of the Old English name Friðuswiþ, formed of the elements friþ "peace" and swiþ "strong". Saint Frideswide was an 8th-century English princess who became a nun. She is credited with establishing Christ Church in Oxford.
Genevra f Various
Variant of Ginevra.
Georgiana f English, Romanian
Feminine form of George. This form of the name has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century.
Germaine f French
French feminine form of Germain. Saint Germaine was a 16th-century peasant girl from France.
Giorgia f Italian
Italian feminine form of George.
Gloria f English, Spanish, Italian, German
Means "glory", from the Portuguese and Spanish titles of the Virgin Mary Maria da Glória and María de Gloria. Maria da Glória (1819-1853) was the daughter of the Brazilian emperor Pedro I, eventually becoming queen of Portugal as Maria II.... [more]
Golda f Yiddish
From Yiddish גאָלד (gold) meaning "gold". This is the name of Tevye's wife in the musical Fiddler on the Roof (1964). It was also borne by the Israeli prime minister Golda Meir (1898-1978).
Góyąń f Indigenous American, Apache
Means "wise" in Chiricahua Apache. This was the name of a 19th-century Apache warrior woman.
Gwendolyn f English
Variant of Gwendolen. This is the usual spelling in the United States.
Gwenllian f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements gwen meaning "white, fair, blessed" and possibly lliain meaning "flaxen, made of linen" or lliant meaning "flow, flood". This name was used by medieval Welsh royalty, notably by a 12th-century princess of Deheubarth who died in battle with the Normans. It was also borne by the 13th-century daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last prince of Gwynedd.
Harriet f English
English form of Henriette, and thus a feminine form of Harry. It was first used in the 17th century, becoming very common in the English-speaking world by the 18th century. Famous bearers include the Americans Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820-1913).
Hatshepsut f Ancient Egyptian
From Egyptian ḥꜣt-špswt meaning "foremost of noble women". This was the name of a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. She may have been the first woman to take the title of Pharaoh.
Hattie f English
Diminutive of Harriet.
Herleva f Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, possibly from hari "army" or erlaz "noble" combined with leib "descendant, heir, heritage" (or Old Norse cognates). This was the name of the mother of William the Conqueror, who, according to tradition, was a commoner.
Hertha f German
Form of Nerthus. The spelling change from N to H resulted from a misreading of Tacitus's text.
Hildegard f German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements hild "battle" and gard "enclosure". Saint Hildegard was a 12th-century mystic from Bingen in Germany who was famous for her writings and poetry and also for her prophetic visions.
Hypatia f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ὕπατος (hypatos) meaning "highest, supreme". Hypatia of Alexandria was a 5th-century philosopher and mathematician, daughter of the mathematician Theon.
Ida f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, French, Polish, Finnish, Hungarian, Slovak, Slovene, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element id meaning "work, labour". The Normans brought this name to England, though it eventually died out there in the Middle Ages. It was strongly revived in the 19th century, in part due to the heroine in Alfred Tennyson's poem The Princess (1847), which was later adapted into the play Princess Ida (1884) by Gilbert and Sullivan.... [more]
Indira f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil
Means "beauty" in Sanskrit. This is another name of Lakshmi, the wife of the Hindu god Vishnu. A notable bearer was India's first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi (1917-1984).
Isabella f Italian, German, English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Romanian
Latinate form of Isabel. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel).... [more]
Jackie m & f English
Diminutive of Jack or Jacqueline. A notable bearer was baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.
Jadwiga f Polish
Polish form of Hedwig. This was the name of a 14th-century ruling queen of Poland who has recently been canonized as a saint.
Jane f English
Medieval English form of Jehanne, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes (see John). This became the most common feminine form of John in the 17th century, surpassing Joan. In the first half of the 20th century Joan once again overtook Jane for a few decades in both the United States and the United Kingdom.... [more]
Jill f English
Short form of Gillian.
Joan 1 f English
Medieval English form of Johanne, an Old French form of Iohanna (see Joanna). This was the usual English feminine form of John in the Middle Ages, but it was surpassed in popularity by Jane in the 17th century. It again became quite popular in the first half of the 20th century, entering the top ten names for both the United States and the United Kingdom, though it has since faded.... [more]
Joni 1 f English
Diminutive of Joan 1.
Josefa f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese feminine form of Joseph.
Josephine f English, German, Dutch
English, German and Dutch form of Joséphine.
Kamala f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Nepali
Means "lotus" or "pale red" in Sanskrit. In Sanskrit this is a transcription of both the feminine form कमला and the masculine form कमल, though in modern languages it is only a feminine form. This is the name of one of the Krittikas, or Pleiades, in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
Katherine f English
From the Greek name Αἰκατερίνη (Aikaterine). The etymology is debated: it could derive from an earlier Greek name Ἑκατερινη (Hekaterine), itself from ἑκάτερος (hekateros) meaning "each of the two"; it could derive from the name of the goddess Hecate; it could be related to Greek αἰκία (aikia) meaning "torture"; or it could be from a Coptic name meaning "my consecration of your name". In the early Christian era it became associated with Greek καθαρός (katharos) meaning "pure", and the Latin spelling was changed from Katerina to Katharina to reflect this.... [more]
Kreka f History
Meaning unknown, possibly of Turkic or Germanic origin. This name was borne by the most powerful of Attila's wives.
Leni f German
German diminutive of Helene or Magdalena.
Leonora f Italian
Italian short form of Eleanor.
Léontine f French
French form of Leontina.
Lizzie f English
Diminutive of Elizabeth.
Lois 1 f English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly derived from Greek λωίων (loion) meaning "more desirable" or "better". Lois is mentioned in the New Testament as the mother of Eunice and the grandmother of Timothy. As an English name, it came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In fiction, this is the name of the girlfriend of the comic book hero Superman.
Lorette f French
Variant of Laurette. This is also the usual French form of Loreto.
Lucretia f Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius, possibly from Latin lucrum meaning "profit, wealth". According Roman legend Lucretia was a maiden who was raped by the son of the king of Rome. This caused a great uproar among the Roman citizens, and the monarchy was overthrown. This name was also borne by a 4th-century saint and martyr from Mérida, Spain.
Lucrezia f Italian
Italian form of Lucretia.
Luzviminda f Filipino
Blend of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the names of the three main island groups of the Philippines.
Mabel f English
Medieval feminine form of Amabilis. This spelling and Amabel were common during the Middle Ages, though they became rare after the 15th century. It was revived in the 19th century after the publication of C. M. Yonge's 1854 novel The Heir of Redclyffe, which featured a character named Mabel (as well as one named Amabel).
Mabelle f English
Variant of Mabel. It also coincides with the French phrase ma belle meaning "my beautiful".
Madonna f English
From a title of the Virgin Mary meaning "my lady" in Italian. A famous bearer of the name is American singer Madonna Ciccone (1958-), known simply as Madonna.
Mahsa f Persian
Means "like the moon" in Persian.
Malalai f Pashto
Means "sad, grieved" in Pashto. This was the name of a Pashtun woman who encouraged the Afghan forces during the 1880 Battle of Maiwand against the British.
Margaret f English
Derived from Latin Margarita, which was from Greek μαργαρίτης (margarites) meaning "pearl", a word that was probably ultimately a borrowing from an Indo-Iranian language. Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.... [more]
Margherita f Italian
Italian form of Margaret. This is also the Italian word for the daisy flower (species Bellis perennis, Leucanthemum vulgare and others).
Mariah f English
Variant of Maria. It is usually pronounced in a way that reflects an older English pronunciation of Maria. The name was popularized in the early 1990s by the American singer Mariah Carey (1970-).
Marie f & m French, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
French and Czech form of Maria. It has been very common in France since the 13th century. At the opening of the 20th century it was given to approximately 20 percent of French girls. This percentage has declined steadily over the course of the century, and it dropped from the top rank in 1958.... [more]
Mary f English, Biblical
Usual English form of Maria, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριάμ (Mariam) and Μαρία (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 "love".... [more]
Mary Ann f English
Combination of Mary and Ann.
Maya 1 f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "illusion" in Sanskrit. In Buddhist tradition this is the name of the mother of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha). This is also another name of the Hindu goddess Durga.
Meresankh f Ancient Egyptian
From Egyptian mrs-ꜥnḫ meaning "she loves life". This name was borne by several Egyptian royals during the 4th-dynasty period.
Muriel f English, French, Irish, Scottish, Medieval Breton (Anglicized)
Anglicized form of Irish Muirgel and Scottish Muireall. A form of this name was also used in Brittany, and it was first introduced to medieval England by Breton settlers in the wake of the Norman Conquest. In the modern era it was popularized by a character from Dinah Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman (1856).
Narelle f English (Australian)
Meaning unknown. It was borne by the wife of Umbarra, who was a 19th-century leader of the Yuin, an Australian Aboriginal people.
Nefertari f Ancient Egyptian
From Egyptian nfrt-jrj meaning "the most beautiful". This was the name of an Egyptian queen of the New Kingdom, the favourite wife of Rameses II.
Nefertiti f Ancient Egyptian
From Egyptian nfrt-jjtj meaning "the beautiful one has come". Nefertiti was a powerful Egyptian queen of the New Kingdom, the principal wife of Akhenaton, the pharaoh that briefly imposed a monotheistic religion centered around the sun god Aton.
Nicola 2 f German, English
Feminine form of Nicholas. In the English-speaking world this name is more common outside of America, where Nicole is more usual.
Novella f Italian
Derived from Latin novellus meaning "new, young, novel", a diminutive of novus "new". This name was borne by the 14th-century Italian scholar Novella d'Andrea, who taught law at the University of Bologna.
Obdulia f Spanish
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a saint from Toledo, Spain. The details of her life are unknown.
Opaline f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Opal. This is also an English word meaning "resembling an opal".
Oprah f Various
In the case of television personality Oprah Winfrey (1954-), it was a childhood mispronunciation of her real name Orpah that became permanent.
Pearl f English
From the English word pearl for the concretions formed in the shells of some mollusks, ultimately from Late Latin perla. Like other gemstone names, it has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. The pearl is the traditional birthstone for June, and it supposedly imparts health and wealth.
Pocahontas f Indigenous American, Powhatan (Anglicized)
Means "little playful one" in Powhatan, an Algonquian language. This was the nickname of a 17th-century Powhatan woman, a daughter of the powerful chief Wahunsenacawh. She married the white colonist John Rolfe and travelled with him to England, but died of illness before returning.
Pratibha f Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "light, splendour, intelligence" in Sanskrit.
Raabi'a f Arabic
Means "fourth" in Arabic. This name was borne by an 8th-century Sufi mystic from Basra in Iraq.
Rhonda f English
Probably a blend of the sounds of Rhoda and Linda, but maybe also influenced by the name of the Rhondda Valley in South Wales and/or the noted British feminist Margaret Mackworth, Viscountess Rhondda (1883-1956). This name has only been used since the beginning of the 20th century, at first rarely. It started becoming popular in the mid-1940s at the same time as the American actress Rhonda Fleming (1923-2020), born Marilyn Louis. It peaked in the United States in 1965 and thereafter declined.
Rosalba f Italian
Italian name meaning "white rose", derived from Latin rosa "rose" and alba "white". A famous bearer was the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757).
Roswitha f German
Derived from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and swinth "strength". This was the name of a 10th-century nun from Saxony who wrote several notable poems and dramas.
Roxelana f History
From a Turkish nickname meaning "Ruthenian". This referred to the region of Ruthenia, covering Belarus, Ukraine and western Russia. Roxelana (1502-1558), also known by the name Hürrem, was a slave and then concubine of Süleyman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. She eventually became his wife and produced his heir, Selim II.
Russell m English
From an English surname, of Norman origin, meaning "little red one" (a diminutive of Old French rous "red"). A notable bearer of the surname was the agnostic British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who wrote on many subjects including logic, epistemology and mathematics. He was also a political activist for causes such as pacifism and women's rights.... [more]
Ruth 1 f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From a Hebrew name that was derived from the Hebrew word רְעוּת (re'ut) meaning "friend". This is the name of the central character in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. She was a Moabite woman who accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem after Ruth's husband died. There she met and married Boaz. She was an ancestor of King David.... [more]
Sandra f Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Czech, Romanian
Short form of Alessandra. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by author George Meredith, who used it for the heroine in his novel Emilia in England (1864) and the reissued version Sandra Belloni (1887). A famous bearer is the American actress Sandra Bullock (1964-).
Sappho f Ancient Greek
Possibly from Greek σάπφειρος (sappheiros) meaning "sapphire" or "lapis lazuli". This was the name of a 7th-century BC Greek poetess from Lesbos.
Serena f English, Italian, Late Roman
From a Late Latin name that was derived from Latin serenus meaning "clear, tranquil, serene". This name was borne by an obscure early saint. Edmund Spenser also used it in his poem The Faerie Queene (1590). A famous bearer from the modern era is tennis player Serena Williams (1981-).
Shirley f & m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "bright clearing" in Old English. This is the name of a main character in Charlotte Brontë's semi-autobiographical novel Shirley (1849). Though the name was already popular in the United States, the child actress Shirley Temple (1928-2014) gave it a further boost. By 1935 it was the second most common name for girls.
Simone 1 f French, English, German, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese
French feminine form of Simon 1. A famous bearer was Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), a French feminist and philosopher.
Sophia f English, 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]
Susan f English
English variant of Susanna. This has been most common spelling since the 18th century. It was especially popular both in the United States and the United Kingdom from the 1940s to the 1960s. A notable bearer was the American feminist Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906).
Sylvia f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish
Variant of Silvia. This has been the most common English spelling since the 19th century.
Tamar f Hebrew, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "date palm" in Hebrew. According to the Old Testament Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah and later his wife. This was also the name of a daughter of King David. She was raped by her half-brother Amnon, leading to his murder by her brother Absalom. The name was borne by a 12th-century ruling queen of Georgia who presided over the kingdom at the peak of its power.
Tarana f Azerbaijani
Alternate transcription of Azerbaijani Təranə.
Temple m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname that originally belonged to a person who was associated with the Knights Templar, a medieval religious military order.
Teresa f Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Polish, Lithuanian, Finnish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Form of Theresa used in several languages. Saint Teresa of Ávila was a 16th-century Spanish nun who reformed the Carmelite monasteries and wrote several spiritual books. It was also borne by the Albanian missionary Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), better known as Mother Teresa, who worked with the poor in India. She adopted the name in honour of the French saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who is the patron of missionaries.
Theano f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology, Greek
From Greek θεά (thea) meaning "goddess". Theano was a 6th-century BC Greek philosopher associated with Pythagoras. The name was also borne by several figures from Greek mythology.
Theresa f English, German
From the Spanish and Portuguese name Teresa. It was first recorded as Therasia, being borne by the Spanish wife of Saint Paulinus of Nola in the 4th century. The meaning is uncertain, but it could be derived from Greek θέρος (theros) meaning "summer", from Greek θερίζω (therizo) meaning "to harvest", or from the name of the Greek island of Therasia (the western island of Santorini).... [more]
Thomasina f English
Medieval feminine form of Thomas.
Toni 2 f English
Short form of Antonia.
Venus f Roman Mythology
Means "love, sexual desire" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of love and sex. Her character was assimilated with that of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. As the mother of Aeneas she was considered an ancestor of the Roman people. The second planet from the sun is named after her.
Verena f German, Late Roman
Possibly related to Latin verus "true". This might also be a Coptic form of the Ptolemaic name Berenice. Saint Verena was a 3rd-century Egyptian-born nurse who went with the Theban Legion to Switzerland. After the legion was massacred she settled near Zurich.
Victoria f English, Spanish, Romanian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Means "victory" in Latin, being borne by the Roman goddess of victory. It is also a feminine form of Victorius. This name was borne by a 4th-century saint and martyr from North Africa.... [more]
Victorine f French
French feminine form of Victorinus.
Willa f English
Feminine form of William.
Zabel f Armenian
Armenian form of Isabel. A 13th-century ruling queen of Cilician Armenia bore this name.
Zelda 2 f English
Short form of Griselda. This is the name of a princess in the Legend of Zelda video games, debuting in 1986. According to creator Shigeru Miyamoto she was named after the American socialite Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948).
Zenaida f Late Greek
Apparently a Greek derivative of Ζηναΐς (Zenais), which was derived from the name of the Greek god Zeus. This was the name of a 1st-century saint who was a doctor with her sister Philonella.
Zenobia f Ancient Greek
Means "life of Zeus", derived from Greek Ζηνός (Zenos) meaning "of Zeus" and βίος (bios) meaning "life". This was the name of the queen of the Palmyrene Empire, which broke away from Rome in the 3rd-century and began expanding into Roman territory. She was eventually defeated by the emperor Aurelian. Her Greek name was used as an approximation of her native Aramaic name.
Zora f Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian
From a South and West Slavic word meaning "dawn, aurora".