HOMER m English, Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name ‘Ομηρος (Homeros)
, derived from ‘ομηρος (homeros)
meaning "hostage, pledge"
. Homer was the Greek epic poet who wrote the Iliad
, about the Trojan War, and the Odyssey
, about Odysseus
's journey home after the war. There is some debate about when he lived, or if he was even a real person, though most scholars place him in the 8th century BC. In the modern era, Homer
has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world (chiefly in America) since the 18th century. This name is borne by the cartoon father on the television series The Simpsons
HORATIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from Latin hora
meaning "hour, time, season"
, though the name may actually be of Etruscan origin. A famous bearer was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, a Roman lyric poet of the 1st century BC who is better known as Horace in the English-speaking world.
HORSA m Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic element hros
. According to medieval chronicles, Horsa and his brother Hengist
were the leaders of the first Saxon settlers to arrive in Britain. Horsa died in battle with the Britons.
HRÓARR m Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse name, derived from the element hróðr
"fame" combined with either geirr
"spear" (making it a relation of HRÓÐGEIRR
"warrior" or varr
"vigilant, cautious". This is the name of a legendary Danish king, the same one who is featured in the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf
with the name Hroðgar
HROÐGAR m Anglo-Saxon
Old English cognate of Hrodger
). The name became unused after the Normans introduced Hrodger
after their invasion. In the Old English poem Beowulf
this is the name of the Danish king.
HUBERT m English, German, Dutch, French, Polish, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright heart"
, derived from the Germanic elements hug
"heart, mind" and beraht
"bright". Saint Hubert was an 8th-century bishop of Maastricht who is considered the patron saint of hunters. The Normans brought the name to England, where it replaced an Old English cognate Hygebeorht
. It died out during the Middle Ages but was revived in the 19th century.
HUGO m Spanish, Portuguese, English, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of HUGH
. As a surname it has belonged to the French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the writer of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
and Les Misérables
HUMBERT m French, German (Rare), English (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Means "bright warrior"
, derived from the Germanic elements hun
"warrior, bear cub" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, though it has always been uncommon there. It was borne by two kings of Italy (called Umberto in Italian), who ruled in the 19th and 20th centuries.
HYACINTHUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Υακινθος (Hyakinthos)
, which was derived from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek legend Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by the god Apollo
, who mournfully caused this flower to arise from his blood. The name was also borne by several early saints, notably a 3rd-century martyr who was killed with his brother Protus.
HYPATIA f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ‘υπατος (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, 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 Lord Tennyson's poem The Princess
(1847), which was later adapted into the play Princess Ida
(1884) by Gilbert and Sullivan.... [more]
IMHOTEP m Ancient Egyptian
Means "he comes in peace"
in Egyptian. This was the name of the architect, priest, physician and chief minister to the pharaoh Djoser. Imhotep apparently designed the step pyramid at Saqqara, near Memphis.
IRENE f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene)
, derived from a word meaning "peace"
. This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι
(Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.... [more]
IRMA f German, English, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Lithuanian, Hungarian (Rare), Ancient Germanic
German short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ermen
, which meant "whole, universal"
. It is thus related to EMMA
. It began to be regularly used in the English-speaking world in the 19th century.
IÐUNN f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Probably derived from Old Norse ið
"again" and unna
"to love". In Norse mythology Iðunn was the goddess of spring and immortality whose responsibility it was to guard the gods' apples of youth.
IVO (1) m German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element iv
. Alternative theories suggest that it may in fact be derived from a cognate Celtic element. This was the name of several saints (who are also commonly known as Saint Yves
JANUARIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "January"
in Latin. The name of the month derives from the name of the Roman god Janus
. Saint Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, was a bishop who was beheaded during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
JAYADEVA m Sanskrit
Means "divine victory"
from Sanskrit जय (jaya)
meaning "victory" and देव (deva)
meaning "god". This was the name of a 13th-century Indian poet.
JORDANES m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, probably related to the Norse element jord
. This name was borne by a 6th-century Roman author of Gothic background, who wrote a history of the Goths. It is possible that the spelling of his name was influenced by that of the Jordan
JUDDA f Ancient Germanic
Probably derived from the name of the Germanic tribe the Jutes, who originated in Denmark and later invaded and settled in England. The name of the tribe, recorded in Latin as Iutae
and Old English as Eotas
, is of uncertain origin.
JULIA f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman, Biblical
Feminine form of the Roman family name JULIUS
. Among the notable women from this family were Julia Augusta (also known as Livia Drusilla), the wife of Emperor Augustus, and Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus and the wife of Tiberius. A person by this name has a brief mention in the New Testament. It was also borne by a few early saints and martyrs, including the patron saint of Corsica. Additionally, Shakespeare used it in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona
JULIANA f Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Iulianus
). This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr from Nicomedia, and also of the Blessed Juliana of Norwich, also called Julian, a 14th-century mystic and author. The name was also borne by a 20th-century queen of the Netherlands. In England, this form has been in use since the 18th century, alongside the older form Gillian
JULIUS m Ancient Roman, English, German, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Czech
From a Roman family name that was possibly derived from Greek ιουλος (ioulos)
. Alternatively, it could be related to the name of the Roman god JUPITER
. This was a prominent patrician family of Rome, who claimed descent from the mythological Julus, son of Aeneas
. Its most notable member was Gaius Julius Caesar, who gained renown as a military leader for his clever conquest of Gaul. After a civil war he became the dictator of the Roman Republic, but was eventually stabbed to death in the senate.... [more]
JUNIA f Biblical, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of JUNIUS
. This was the name of an early Christian mentioned in the New Testament (there is some debate about whether the name belongs to a man or a woman).
JUNIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from the name of the Roman goddess JUNO
. It was borne by Lucius Junius Brutus, the founder of the Roman Republic in the 6th century BC. It was also borne by the 1st-century BC Roman politician Marcus Junius Brutus, commonly known as Brutus, who was one of the assassins of Julius Caesar.
KALIDASA m Sanskrit
Means "servant of Kali"
from the name of the Hindu goddess KALI
combined with Sanskrit दास (dasa)
meaning "servant". This was the name of a 4th-century Indian poet and dramatist, the author of the Abhijnanashakuntalam
KALLIAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek καλλος (kallos)
. This was the name of an Athenian who fought at Marathon who later became an ambassador to the Persians.
KALLISTO f Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek καλλιστος (kallistos)
meaning "most beautiful"
, a derivative of καλος (kalos)
meaning "beautiful". In Greek mythology Kallisto was a nymph who was loved by Zeus
. She was changed into a she-bear by Hera
, and subsequently became the Great Bear constellation. This was also an ancient Greek personal name.
KARL m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
German and Scandinavian form of CHARLES
. This was the name of seven emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and an emperor of Austria, as well as kings of Sweden and Norway. Other famous bearers include Karl Marx (1818-1883), the German philosopher and revolutionary who laid the foundations for communism, and Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), a German existentialist philosopher.
KLEITOS m Ancient Greek
Means "splendid, famous"
in Greek. This was the name of one of the generals of Alexander the Great.
KUNALA m Sanskrit
in Sanskrit. This was the name of a son of the 3rd-century BC Indian emperor Ashoka.
LAELIA f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Laelius
, a Roman family name of unknown meaning. This is also the name of a type of flower, an orchid found in Mexico and Central America.
LEOFWINE m Anglo-Saxon
Means "dear friend"
, derived from the Old English elements leof
"dear, agreeable, beloved" and wine
"friend". This was the name of an 8th-century English saint, also known as Lebuin, who did missionary work in Frisia.
LEON m English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
. During the Christian era this Greek name was merged with the Latin cognate Leo
, with the result that the two forms are used somewhat interchangeably across European languages. In England during the Middle Ages this was a common name among Jews. A famous bearer was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Communist revolutionary.
LEONARD m English, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave lion"
, derived from the Germanic elements lewo
"lion" (of Latin origin) and hard
"brave, hardy". This was the name of a 5th-century Frankish saint from Noblac who is the patron of prisoners and horses. The Normans brought this name to England, where it was used steadily through the Middle Ages, becoming even more common in the 20th century.
LEONIDAS m Greek, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" combined with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. Leonidas was a Spartan king of the 5th century BC who sacrificed his life and his army defending the pass of Thermopylae from the Persians. This was also the name of a 3rd-century saint and martyr, the father of Origen, from Alexandria.
LEONTIOS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
. This was the name of various early saints and martyrs. It was also borne by a 7th-century Byzantine emperor.
LIGEIA f Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λιγυς (ligys)
meaning "clear-voiced, shrill, whistling"
. This was the name of one of the Sirens in Greek legend. It was also used by Edgar Allan Poe in his story Ligeia
LINDA f English, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, French, Latvian, Finnish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Ancient Germanic
Originally a medieval short form of Germanic names containing the element lind
meaning "flexible, soft, mild"
. It also coincides with the Spanish and Portuguese word linda
LIVIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that may be related to either Latin liveo "to envy"
or lividus "blue, envious"
. Titus Livius, also known as Livy, was a Roman historian who wrote a history of the city of Rome.
LÓEGAIRE m Irish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder"
, derived from Irish loagh
"calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed
, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
LONGINUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen derived from Latin longus "long"
. According to Christian legend Saint Longinus was the name of the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus
' side with a spear, then converted to Christianity and was martyred. The name was also borne by the 3rd-century Greek philosopher Cassius Longinus.
LOTHAR m German, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Chlodochar
meaning "famous army"
, derived from the elements hlud
"famous" and hari
"army". This was the name of a 9th-century Frankish king, the son of Louis I, who ruled the region called Lorraine
. It was also borne by medieval kings of France, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire.
LUCIA f Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Slovak, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of LUCIUS
. Saint Lucia was a 4th-century martyr from Syracuse. She was said to have had her eyes gouged out, and thus she is the patron saint of the blind. She was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). It has been used in the England since the 12th century, usually in the spellings Lucy
LUCIANUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from the Roman praenomen LUCIUS
. Lucianus (or Λουκιανος
in his native Greek) of Samosata was a 2nd-century satirist and author. This name was also borne by a 4th-century saint and martyr from Antioch.
LUCILIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was a derivative of the given name LUCIUS
. This was the family name of the 2nd-century BC Roman satirist Gaius Lucilius.
LUCIUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical, English
Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux "light"
. This was the most popular of the praenomina. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian. The name is mentioned briefly in the New Testament belonging to a Christian in Antioch. It was also borne by three popes, including the 3rd-century Saint Lucius. Despite this, the name was not regularly used in the Christian world until after the Renaissance.
LUCRETIA f Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius
, possibly from Latin lucrum "profit, wealth"
. In 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 saint and martyr from Spain.
LUITGARD f German, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Leutgard
, which was derived from the elements leud
"people" and gard
"enclosure". This was the name of a 13th-century Flemish nun, the patron saint of easy deliveries.
LYDOS m Ancient Greek
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the semi-legendary king who gave his name to the region of Lydia
in Asia Minor.
MADHAVA m Sanskrit, Hinduism
Means "vernal, of the springtime"
in Sanskrit. This is an epithet of several Hindu gods. It was also the name of a 14th-century Hindu scholar.
MÁEDÓC m Ancient Irish
Meaning unknown. Saint Máedóc (also known as Áedán) of Ferns was a 7th-century Irish bishop.
MÁEL MÁEDÓC m Ancient Irish
Means "disciple of Saint MÁEDÓC"
in Irish. Saint Máel Máedóc (also known as Malachy) was a 12th-century archbishop of Armagh.
MÁEL SECHNAILL m Ancient Irish
Means "disciple of Saint SEACHNALL"
in Irish. This was the name of two Irish high kings: Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid who ruled all of Ireland in the 9th century; and Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (called Malachy) who defeated the Norse of Dublin in the 10th century.
MAHAVIRA m Sanskrit
Means "great hero"
from Sanskrit महा (maha)
meaning "great" and वीर (vira)
meaning "hero, man". This was the name of the 6th-century BC founder of Jainism.
MANIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, which was possibly derived from Old Latin manus "good"
MANLIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from Latin mane "morning"
. Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was a Roman consul who saved Rome from the Gauls in the 4th century BC.
MARCELLINUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from MARCELLUS
. Saint Marcellinus was a pope of the early 4th century who was supposedly martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
MARCIANUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was a derivative of the praenomen MARCUS
. This was the name of a 5th-century Eastern Roman emperor. It was also borne by a 2nd-century saint: a bishop of Tortona, Italy.
MARCIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was a derivative of the praenomen MARCUS
. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, king of Rome.
MARCUS m Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Roman praenomen, or given name, that was probably derived from the name of the Roman god MARS
. This was among the most popular of the Roman praenomina. Famous bearers include Marcus Tullius Cicero (known simply as Cicero), a 1st-century BC statesman and orator, Marcus Antonius (known as Mark Antony), a 1st-century BC politician, and Marcus Aurelius, a notable 2nd-century emperor. This was also the name of a pope of the 4th century. This spelling has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world, though the traditional English form Mark
has been more common.
MARINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, 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
MARIUS m Ancient Roman, Romanian, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French
Roman family name that was derived either from MARS
, the name of the Roman god of War, or else from the Latin root mas, maris
. Gaius Marius was a famous Roman consul of the 2nd century BC. Since the start of the Christian era, it has occasionally been used as a masculine form of MARIA
MARTINA f German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovene, Hungarian, English, Swedish, Dutch, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Martinus
). Saint Martina was a 3rd-century martyr who is one of the patron saints of Rome.
MAXIMUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from Latin maximus "greatest"
. Saint Maximus was a monk and theologian from Constantinople in the 7th century.
MEINRAD m German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements magan
"mighty, strong" and rad
"counsel". Saint Meinrad was a 9th-century hermit who founded the Benedictine abbey at Einsiedeln in Switzerland.
MELISSA f English, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a daughter of Procles, as well as an epithet of various Greek nymphs and priestesses. According to the early Christian writer Lactantius
this was the name of the sister of the nymph Amalthea
, with whom she cared for the young Zeus
. Later it appears in Ludovico Ariosto's poem Orlando Furios
(1516) belonging to the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina. As an English given name, Melissa
has been used since the 18th century.
MENES m Ancient Egyptian
Meaning unknown. Menes was an Egyptian king who united Upper and Lower Egypt around 3000 BC. He is also known as Narmer; Menes was probably his funeral name.
MENODORA f Ancient Greek
Means "gift of the moon"
, derived from Greek μηνη (mene)
meaning "moon" and δωρον (doron)
meaning "gift". This was the name of a 4th-century saint who was martyred with her sisters Metrodora and Nymphodora.
METHODIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Μεθοδιος (Methodios)
, derived from Greek μεθοδος (methodos)
, ultimately from μετα (meta)
meaning "with" and ‘οδος (hodos)
meaning "road". Saint Methodius was a Greek missionary to the Slavs who developed the Cyrillic alphabet (with his brother Cyril) in order to translate the Bible into Slavic.
MILDGYÐ f Anglo-Saxon
Old English name derived from the elements milde
"gentle" and gyð
"battle". This was the name of a 7th-century saint, the sister of Saint Mildred.
MILO m English, Ancient Germanic
Old Germanic form of MILES
, as well as the Latinized form. This form of the name was used in official documents during the Middle Ages, and it has been used independently since the 19th century.
MILTIADES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μιλτος (miltos)
meaning "red earth" and the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. This was the name of the general who led the Greek forces to victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
MOCHÁN m Ancient Irish
Derived from Irish moch
combined with a diminutive suffix.
MYRON m English, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek μυρον (myron)
meaning "sweet oil, perfume"
. Myron was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek sculptor. Saints bearing this name include a 3rd-century bishop of Crete and a 4th-century martyr from Cyzicus who was killed by a mob. These saints are more widely revered in the Eastern Church, and the name has generally been more common among Eastern Christians. As an English name, it has been used since the 19th century.
NABOPOLASSAR m Babylonian (Anglicized)
From the Akkadian name Nabu-apla-usur
meaning "Nabu protect my son"
, derived from the god's name NABU
combined with aplu
meaning "son, heir" and an imperative form of naṣāru
meaning "to protect". This was the name of a 7th-century BC king of the Babylonian Empire, the first of the Chaldean dynasty.
NARAM-SIN m Akkadian
Means "beloved of Sin"
, from Akkadian narāmu
and the god's name SIN
. This was the name of a 23rd-century BC ruler of the Akkadian Empire, the grandson of Sargon
NARSES m Ancient Persian (Hellenized)
Hellenized form of the Persian name Narseh
, which was derived from Avestan NAIRYOSANGHA
. This name was borne by a Byzantine general of Armenian descent who helped restore Italy to the Roman Empire during the reign of Justinian I in the 6th century.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR m Babylonian (Anglicized), Biblical
From נְבוּכַדְנֶאצֲּר (Nevukhadnetzzar)
, the Hebrew form of the Akkadian name Nabu-kudurri-usur
meaning "Nabu protect my eldest son", derived from the god's name NABU
combined with kudurru
meaning "eldest son" and an imperative form of naṣāru
meaning "to protect". This name was borne by a 12th-century BC king of the Babylonian Empire. It was also borne by a 6th-century BC king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. He captured Jerusalem, and ultimately destroyed the city's temple and deported many of its citizens, as told in the Old Testament.
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.
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-jytj
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