NEREUS m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros)
. 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.
NERO (1) m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen, which was probably of Sabine origin meaning "strong, vigorous"
. It was borne most infamously by a tyrannical Roman emperor of the 1st century.
NERVA m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen derived from Latin nervus "strength"
. This is the name by which the 1st-century Roman emperor Marcus Cocceius Nerva is commonly known.
NIKANDROS m Ancient Greek
Means "victory of a man"
from the Greek elements νικη (nike)
meaning "victory" and ανηρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος
). This was the name of a 2nd-century BC Greek poet and grammarian from Colophon.
NIKEPHOROS m & f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "carrying victory"
from Greek νικη (nike)
meaning "victory" and φερω (phero)
meaning "to carry, to bear". This name was borne by several Byzantine emperors, including the 10th-century Nikephoros II Phokas. Besides being a masculine personal name, it was also a title borne by the goddess Athena
NIKETAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικητης (niketes)
meaning "winner, victor"
. Saint Niketas was a 4th-century bishop of Remesiana in Serbia. He is a patron saint of Romania.
NIKIAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικη (nike)
. This was the name of an Athenian general who fought in the Peloponnesian war.
NIKOMEDES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικη (nike)
meaning "victory" and μηδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to think, to plan". This was the name of a 1st-century saint, a priest beaten to death for refusing to worship the Roman gods.
NIKOSTRATOS m Ancient Greek
Means "army of victory"
from Greek νικη (nike)
meaning "victory" and στρατος (stratos)
meaning "army". This was the name of a Roman saint martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian at the end of the 3rd century.
NINIAN m Scottish, Irish, Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown. It appears in a Latinized form Niniavus
, which could be from the Welsh name NYNNIAW
. This was the name of a 5th-century British saint who was apparently responsible for many miracles and cures. He is known as the Apostle to the Picts.
NINOS m Ancient Assyrian (Hellenized)
Probably from the name of the ancient city of NINEVEH
in Assyria. According to Greek historians this was the name of the husband of Semiramis
and the founder of Nineveh. In actuality he does not correspond to any known Assyrian king, and is likely a composite character named after the city.
NORMAN m English, Ancient Germanic
From an old Germanic byname meaning "northman"
, referring to a Viking. The Normans were Vikings who settled on the coast of France, in the region that became known as Normandy. In England the name Norman
was used before the Norman Conquest, first as a nickname for Scandinavian settlers and later as a given name. After the Conquest it became more common, but died out around the 14th century. It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to a character by this name in C. M. Yonge's novel The Daisy Chain
NUALLÁN m Ancient Irish
Derived from Irish nuall
meaning "noble, famous"
combined with a diminutive suffix.
NYNNIAW m Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown, presumably of Welsh origin. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a Welsh prince who fought against the invading forces of Julius Caesar. It was also borne by an 8th-century Welsh historian, usually known by the Latinized form Nennius
OCTAVIA f English, Spanish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of OCTAVIUS
. Octavia was the wife of Mark Antony and the sister of the Roman emperor Augustus. In 19th-century England it was sometimes given to the eighth-born child.
OCTAVIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name derived from Latin octavus
. This was the original family name of the emperor Augustus (born Gaius Octavius). It was also rarely used as a Roman praenomen, or given name.
ODILIA f Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic element odal
meaning "wealth, fortune"
. Saint Odilia (or Odila) was an 8th-century nun who is considered the patron saint of Alsace. She was apparently born blind but gained sight when she was baptized.
ODOVACAR m Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Audovacar
meaning "wealthy and vigilant"
, derived from the elements aud
"wealth" and wacar
"vigilant". Odovacar, also called Odoacer, was a 5th-century Gothic leader who overthrew the last Western Roman emperor and became the first barbarian king of Italy.
OLYMPIAS f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of OLYMPOS
. This was the name of the mother of Alexander the Great. It was also borne by a 4th-century saint.
OLYMPOS m Ancient Greek
From a Greek personal name that was derived from the place name OLYMPOS
, the name of the mountain home of the Greek gods.
OSWALD m English, German, Anglo-Saxon
Derived from the Old English elements os
"god" and weald
"power, ruler". Saint Oswald was a king of Northumbria who introduced Christianity to northeast England in the 7th century before being killed in battle. There was also an Old Norse cognate Ásvaldr
in use in England, being borne by the 10th-century Saint Oswald of Worcester, who was of Danish ancestry. Though the name had died out by the end of the Middle Ages, it was revived in the 19th century.
OTHO m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen of unknown meaning. This was the name of a short-lived 1st-century Roman emperor.
OTTO m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Later German form of Audo
, originally a short form of various names beginning with the Germanic element aud
meaning "wealth, fortune"
. This was the name of four kings of Germany, starting in the 10th century with Otto I, the first Holy Roman emperor, who was known as Otto the Great. This name was also borne by a 19th-century king of Greece who was originally from Bavaria. Another notable bearer was the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).
PANCRATIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Πανκρατιος (Pankratios)
, derived from παν (pan)
meaning "all" and κρατος (kratos)
meaning "power". Early Byzantine Christians used this as a title of Christ. It was borne by two saints, a 1st-century Sicilian martyr and a semi-legendary 4th-century Roman martyr.
PANTALEON m Ancient Greek
Derived from the Greek elements παν (pan)
meaning "all" (genitive παντος
) and λεων (leon)
meaning "lion". This was the name of a 2nd-century BC king of Bactria. It was also borne by Saint Pantaleon (also called Panteleimon
), a doctor from Asia Minor who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century. He is a patron saint of doctors and midwives.
PANTHERAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek πανθηρ (panther)
, a word ultimately of Sanskrit origin, though folk etymology connects it to Greek παν (pan)
meaning "all" and θηραω (therao)
meaning "to hunt". According to some legends a Roman soldier named Panthera was the father of Jesus
PAULA f German, English, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latvian, Croatian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Paulus
). This was the name of a 4th-century Roman saint who was a companion of Saint Jerome.
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.
PETRONIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was possibly derived from Latin petro, petronis
PHAEDRUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φαιδρος (Phaidros)
, which meant "bright"
. This was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek philosopher, and also of a 1st-century Roman fabulist who was originally a slave from Thrace.
PHOCAS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φωκας (Phokas)
, which meant "seal (animal)"
from Greek φωκη (phoke)
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr from Asia Minor. Sentenced to death for being a Christian, he is said to have given his killers lodging and then dug his own grave before he was executed.
PHOTINE f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek φως (phos)
(genitive φωτος (photos)
). This is the name traditionally given to the Samaritan woman Jesus
met at the well (see John 4:7
). She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Church.
PLATO m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Πλατων (Platon)
, which was derived from Greek πλατυς (platys)
. Plato was one of the most important of the Greek philosophers. He was a pupil of Socrates
and a teacher of Aristotle
. He constructed the theory of Forms and wrote several works, including the Republic
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)
. A notable bearer of this name was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who appears in the New Testament.
PORCIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name meaning "pig"
, derived from Latin porcus
. Famous members of the family include the Roman statesmen Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato) and his great-grandson Cato the Younger (Marcus Porcius Cato Uticencis).
PROKOPIOS m Greek, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek προκοπη (prokope)
meaning "progress, advance"
. Saint Prokopios was an early Christian martyr who was beheaded in Palestine during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
PUABI f Akkadian
Means "word of my father"
, from Akkadian pû
meaning "mouth" and abu
meaning "father". Puabi was a 26th-century BC Akkadian noblewoman who was buried in the Sumerian city of Ur.
PUBLIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "public"
in Latin. This was among the more common of the Roman praenomina, being borne by (among others) the emperor Hadrian and the poet Virgil.
PYTHAGORAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from PYTHIOS
, a name of Apollo
, combined with Greek αγορα (agora)
meaning "assembly, marketplace". This was the name of a 6th-century BC Greek philosopher and mathematician from Samos. He was the founder of a school of philosophy whose members believed that numbers described the universe.
QUINTUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "fifth"
in Latin. It was traditionally given to the fifth child, or possibly a child born in the fifth month. This was a common praenomen, being more popular than the other numeric Roman names. A notable bearer was the poet Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus).
RAMESES m Ancient Egyptian (Hellenized)
From Egyptian Ra-msj-sw
meaning "born of Ra"
, composed of the name of the supreme god RA
combined with the Egyptian root mesu
"be born". Rameses was the name of eleven Egyptian kings of the New Kingdom. The most important of these were Rameses II the Great who campaigned against the Hittites and also built several great monuments, and Rameses III who defended Egypt from the Libyans and Sea Peoples.
REGULUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "prince, little king"
, a diminutive of Latin rex
"king". This was the cognomen of several 3rd-century BC consuls from the gens Atilia. It was also the name of several early saints. A star in the constellation Leo bears this name as well.
RICHARD m English, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave ruler"
, derived from the Germanic elements ric
"ruler, mighty" and hard
"brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it has been very common there since that time. It was borne by three kings of England including Richard I the Lionheart, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade in the 12th century.... [more]
ROBERT m English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Estonian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Romanian, Catalan, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Hrodebert
meaning "bright fame"
, derived from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to Britain, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hreodbeorht
. It has been a very common English name since that time.... [more]
ROCCO m Italian, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the element hrok
. This was the name of a 14th-century French saint who nursed victims of the plague but eventually contracted the disease himself. He is the patron saint of the sick.
ROXANA f English, Spanish, Romanian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latin form of Ρωξανη (Roxane)
, the Greek form of the Persian or Bactrian name روشنک (Roshanak)
, which meant "bright"
. This was the name of Alexander the Great's first wife, a daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes. In the modern era it came into use during the 17th century. In the English-speaking world it was popularized by Daniel Defoe, who used it in his novel Roxana
RUFUS m Ancient Roman, English, Biblical
Roman cognomen meaning "red-haired"
in Latin. Several early saints had this name, including one mentioned in one of Paul
's epistles in the New Testament. As a nickname it was used by William II Rufus, a king of England, because of his red hair. It came into general use in the English-speaking world after the Protestant Reformation.
SABINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Swedish, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Sabinus
, a Roman cognomen meaning "a Sabine"
in Latin. The Sabines were an ancient people who lived in central Italy, their lands eventually taken over by the Romans after several wars. According to legend, the Romans abducted several Sabine women during a raid, and when the men came to rescue them, the women were able to make peace between the two groups. This name was borne by several early saints.
SALVIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name derived from Latin salvus
. This was the family name of the short-lived Roman emperor Otho. It was also borne by several early saints.
SARGON m Akkadian (Anglicized), Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew form סַרְגּוֹן (Sargon)
of the Akkadian name Sharru-ukin
, from šarru
meaning "king" and kīnu
meaning "legitimate, true". This was the name of the first king of the Akkadian Empire, beginning in the 24th century BC. It was also borne by the 8th-century BC Assyrian king Sargon II, who appears briefly in the Old Testament. The usual English spelling of the name is based on this biblical mention, applied retroactively to the earlier king.
SATURNINUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen derived from the name of the Roman god Saturnus
). This was the name of several early saints.
SECUNDINUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name derived from the praenomen SECUNDUS
. Saint Secundinus, also known as Seachnall, was a 5th-century assistant to Saint Patrick
who became the first bishop of Dunshaughlin.
SELEUCUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Σελευκος (Seleukos)
, of unknown meaning. This was the name of one of Alexander the Great's generals, who established the Seleucid Empire in Western Asia after Alexander's death.
SEMIRAMIS f Ancient Assyrian (Hellenized)
Probably from a Greek form of the name SHAMMURAMAT
. According to ancient Greek and Armenian sources, Semiramis (Շամիրամ (Shamiram)
in Armenian) was an Assyrian queen who conquered much of Asia. Though the tales are legendary, she might be loosely based on the real Assyrian queen.
SENECA m Ancient Roman
From a Roman cognomen derived from Latin senectus
. This was the name of both a Roman orator (born in Spain) and also of his son, a philosopher and statesman. This name also coincides with that of the Seneca
, a Native American tribe that lived near the Great Lakes, whose name meant "place of stones".
SEPTIMIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from SEPTIMUS
. Septimius Severus was an early 3rd-century Roman emperor. This was also the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr.
SERGIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name, possibly meaning "servant"
in Latin but most likely of unknown Etruscan origin. Saint Sergius was a 4th-century Roman officer who was martyred in Syria with his companion Bacchus. They are the patron saints of Christian desert nomads. Another saint by this name (in the Russian form Sergey
) was a 14th-century Russian spiritual leader. The name was also borne by four popes.
SEVERINUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that was derived from SEVERUS
. Severinus was the name of many early saints, including a 6th-century Roman philosopher martyred by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric. It was also borne by a pope.
SEVERUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name meaning "stern"
in Latin. This name was borne by several early saints.
SEXTUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, meaning "sixth"
in Latin. It was traditionally given to the sixth child.
SHAMMURAMAT f Ancient Assyrian
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from a Western Semitic language and meaning "high heaven"
. Shammuramat was a 9th-century BC queen of Assyria. After her young son inherited the throne, she acted as his regent for five years. The legendary figure Semiramis
may be based on her.
SIGEBERHT m Anglo-Saxon
Means "bright victory"
, derived from Old English sige
"victory" and beorht
"bright". This was the name of a king of Wessex. The name fell out of use after the Norman Conquest.
SIGISMUND m German (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Form of SIGMUND
in which the first element is sigis
, an older form of sigu
. Saint Sigismund was a 6th-century king of the Burgundians. This was also the name of kings of Poland and a ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
SIMON (2) m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek σιμος (simos)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of one of the Telchines, demigods who were the original inhabitants of Rhodes.
SIMONIDES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek σιμος (simos)
meaning "flat-nosed" and the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. This name was borne by the 7th-century BC iambic poet Simonides of Amorgos and the 6th-century BC lyric poet Simonides of Ceos.
SNORRI m Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Derived from Old Norse snerra "attack, onslaught"
. This name was borne by Snorri Sturluson, a 13th-century Icelandic historian and poet, the author of the Prose Edda.
SOCRATES m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Σωκρατης (Sokrates)
, which was derived from σως (sos)
meaning "whole, unwounded, safe" and κρατος (kratos)
meaning "power". This was the name of an important Greek philosopher. He left no writings of his own; virtually everything that we know of his beliefs comes from his pupil Plato
. He was sentenced to death for impiety.
SOLON m Ancient Greek
Possibly from Greek σολος (solos)
meaning "lump of iron"
. This was the name of an Athenian statesman who reformed the laws and government of the city.
SOPHIA f English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek
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]
SOSIGENES m Ancient Greek
Means "born safely"
from Greek σως (sos)
meaning "safe, whole, unwounded" and γενης (genes)
meaning "born". This was the name of an astronomer from Alexandria employed by Julius Caesar to correct the Roman calendar.
SPURIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman praenomen, or given name, which is of uncertain meaning, probably of Etruscan origin. It may be related to the Late Latin word spurius "of illegitimate birth"
, which was derived from Etruscan srural
SVANTEPOLK m Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse form of SVYATOPOLK
. It was borne by the prominent 13th-century Swedish nobleman Svantepolk Knutsson. He may have been named after a relative of his Pomeranian mother.
TACITUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "silent, mute"
in Latin. This was the name of a 1st-century Roman historian.
TAHMASP m Ancient Persian
Persian form of the Avestan name Takhmaspa
, which was derived from takhma
"strong, brave, valiant" and aspa
"horse". This name was borne by two Safavid shahs of Persia.
TASHLULTUM f Akkadian
Meaning unknown, presumably of Akkadian origin. It appears to end with the Akkadian feminine suffix -tum
. This was the name of a wife of Sargon