English Names

English names are used in English-speaking countries. See also about English names.
gender
usage
Neely m & f English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname, an Anglicized and reduced form of Gaelic Mac an Fhilidh (or McNeilly) meaning "son of the poet".
Neil m Irish, Scottish, English
From the Irish name Niall, which is of disputed origin, possibly connected to the old Celtic root *nītu- "fury, passion" or the (possibly related) Old Irish word nia "hero". A derivation from Old Irish nél "cloud" has also been suggested. This was the name of a few early Irish kings, notably Niall of the Nine Hostages, a semi-legendary high king of the 4th or 5th century.... [more]
Nelda f English
Possibly an elaboration of Nell using the popular phonetic suffix da.
Nell f English
Medieval diminutive of names beginning with El, such as Eleanor, Ellen 1 or Helen. It may have arisen from the medieval affectionate phrase mine El, which was later reinterpreted as my Nel.
Nelle f English
Variant of Nell.
Nellie f English, Swedish
Diminutive of Nell and other names containing nel.
Nelly f English, Swedish, French, German
Diminutive of Nell and other names containing nel.
Nelson m English, Spanish
From an English surname meaning "son of Neil". It was originally given in honour of the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). His most famous battle was the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he destroyed a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was himself killed. Another notable bearer was the South African statesman Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla; as a child he was given the English name Nelson by a teacher.
Nena f English
Variant of Nina 1, also coinciding with the Spanish word nena meaning "baby girl".
Ness 2 f English
Short form of Vanessa.
Nessa 1 f English
Short form of Vanessa and other names ending in nessa.
Netta 1 f English
Short form of names ending in netta.
Nettie f English
Diminutive of names ending in nette, such as Annette or Jeanette.
Neva f English
Short form of Geneva.
Nevada f & m English
From the name of the American state, which means "snow-capped" in Spanish.
Nevaeh f English (Modern)
The word heaven spelled backwards. It became popular after the musician Sonny Sandoval from the rock group P.O.D. gave it to his daughter in 2000. Over the next few years it rapidly climbed the rankings in America, peaking at the 25th rank for girls in 2010.
Neville m English (British)
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Norman French. As a given name it is chiefly British and Australian.
Newt m English
Short form of Newton.
Newton m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English physicist Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
Nia 3 f English, Georgian
Short form of Antonia, Sidonia and other names ending in nia.
Nic m English
Short form of Nicholas, or sometimes Dominic.
Nichola f English (British)
Chiefly British feminine form of Nicholas.
Nicholas m English
From the Greek name Νικόλαος (Nikolaos) meaning "victory of the people", derived from Greek νίκη (nike) meaning "victory" and λαός (laos) meaning "people". Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Anatolia who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. He is the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, as well as Greece and Russia. He formed the basis for the figure known as Santa Claus (created in the 19th century from Dutch Sinterklaas), the bringer of Christmas presents.... [more]
Nichole f English
Variant of Nicole.
Nick m English, Dutch
Short form of Nicholas.
Nicky m & f English
Diminutive of Nicholas or Nicole.
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.
Nicole f French, English, Dutch, German
French feminine form of Nicholas, commonly used in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is American-Australian actress Nicole Kidman (1967-).
Nigel m English
From Nigellus, a medieval Latinized form of Neil. It was commonly associated with Latin niger "black". It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to Walter Scott's novel The Fortunes of Nigel (1822).
Nigella f English (Rare)
Feminine form of Nigel.
Niki 2 f English
Diminutive of Nicole.
Nikki f English
Diminutive of Nicole.
Nikolas m Greek, English
Variant of Nikolaos (Greek) or Nicholas (English).
Nikole f Basque, English
Basque form of Nicole, as well as an English variant.
Niles m English
From an English surname that was derived from the given name Neil.
Nina 1 f Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Lithuanian, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian
Short form of names that end in nina, such as Antonina or Giannina. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also nearly coincides with the Spanish word niña meaning "little girl".
Nita 1 f English
Short form of Anita 1 and other names ending in nita.
Nixon m English (Modern)
From an English surname meaning "son of Nick". It was borne by the American president Richard Nixon (1913-1994).
Noah 1 m English, German, Biblical
From the Hebrew name נֹחַ (Noach) meaning "rest, repose", derived from the root נוּחַ (nuach). According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the Great Flood. After the flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. He was the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.... [more]
Noble m English
From an English surname meaning "noble, notable". The name can also be given in direct reference to the English word noble.
Noel m & f English
English form of Noël or Noëlle (rarely). It was fairly popular in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in the middle of the 20th century. It is occasionally written with a diaeresis, like in French. A famous bearer is British musician Noel Gallagher (1967-).
Noelene f English (Rare)
Feminine diminutive of Noel.
Noelle f English
English form of Noëlle.
Nola f English
Diminutive of Magnolia and other names containing a similar sound.
Nolan m English, French (Modern)
From an Irish surname, the Anglicized form of Ó Nualláin, itself derived from the given name Nuallán. The baseball player Nolan Ryan (1947-) is a famous bearer. This name has climbed steadily in popularity since the 1970s.
Nolene f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Nola.
Nona 2 f English, Ancient Roman (Rare)
Feminine form of Nonus. It was also used in 19th-century England, derived directly from Latin nonus "ninth" and traditionally given to the ninth-born child.
Nonie f English
Diminutive of Ione or Nora 1.
Nora 1 f English, Irish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latvian, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish
Short form of Honora or Eleanor. Henrik Ibsen used it for a character in his play A Doll's House (1879).
Norah 1 f English, Irish
Variant of Nora 1.
Norbert m German, English, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements nord meaning "north" and beraht meaning "bright". This was the name of an 11th-century German saint who made many reforms within the church.
Noreen f Irish, English
Anglicized form of Nóirín.
Norene f English
Variant of Noreen.
Norm m English
Short form of Norman.
Norma f English, Italian, Literature
Created by Felice Romani for the main character in the opera Norma (1831). He may have based it on Latin norma "rule". This name is also frequently used as a feminine form of Norman.
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 or Normant 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 1856 novel The Daisy Chain.
Normina f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Norma.
Norris m English
From an English surname, either Norris 1 or Norris 2.
Norton m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "north town" in Old English.
Norwood m English
From a surname that was originally taken from a place name meaning "north wood" in Old English.
Nova f English, Swedish (Modern), Dutch (Modern)
Derived from Latin novus meaning "new". It was first used as a name in the 19th century.
Nowell m English (Rare)
From the surname Nowell (a variant of Noel).
Nyah f English (Modern)
Meaning unknown, possibly a variant of Nia 2 or Nia 3. This name briefly entered the American popularity charts after it was featured in the movie Mission: Impossible 2 (2000).
Nydia f English (Rare), Spanish, Literature
Used by British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton for a blind flower-seller in his novel The Last Days of Pompeii (1834). He perhaps based it on Latin nidus "nest".
Nyla f English
Probably a feminine form of Niles. It gained popularity in the early 2000s, influenced by similar-sounding names such as Kyla.
Nyree f English (New Zealand)
Anglicized form of Ngaire. It was borne by New Zealand actress Nyree Dawn Porter (1936-2001).
Oakley m & f English
From an English surname that was from various place names meaning "oak clearing" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the American sharpshooter Annie Oakley (1860-1926).
Oaklyn f English (Modern)
Variant of Oakley using the popular name suffix lyn.
Ocean m & f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word ocean for a large body of water. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ὠκεανός (Okeanos), the name of the body of water thought to surround the Earth.
Octavia f English, Spanish, Romanian, 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.
Odell m & f English
From an English surname that was originally from a place name, itself derived from Old English wad "woad" (a plant that produces a blue dye) and hyll "hill".
Odetta f English (Rare)
Latinate form of Odette.
Odin m Norse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn, which was derived from óðr meaning "inspiration, rage, frenzy". It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz. The name appears as Woden in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan, Wuotan or Wodan in continental Europe, though he is best known from Norse sources.... [more]
Ogden m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "oak valley" in Old English. A famous bearer was the humorous American poet Ogden Nash (1902-1971).
Oli m English
Short form of Oliver.
Olive f English, French
From the English and French word for the type of tree, ultimately derived from Latin oliva.
Oliver m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Catalan, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak
From Olivier, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as Alfher or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr (see Olaf). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva "olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic La Chanson de Roland, in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.... [more]
Olivia f English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
This name was used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy Twelfth Night (1602). This was a rare name in Shakespeare's time that may have been based on Oliva or Oliver, or directly from the Latin word oliva meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.... [more]
Ollie m & f English
Diminutive of Oliver, Olivia or Olive.
Olly m English
Diminutive of Oliver.
Omar 1 m Arabic, Malay, English, Spanish, Italian
Alternate transcription of Arabic عمر (see Umar). This is the usual English spelling of the 12th-century poet Umar Khayyam's name. In his honour it has sometimes been used in the English-speaking world, notably for the American general Omar Bradley (1893-1981).
Oneida f English
From the name of a Native American tribe, perhaps meaning "standing rock".
Onyx m & f English
From the English word for the gemstone (a variety of chalcedony), which can be black, red or other colours. It is derived from Greek ὄνυξ (onyx) meaning "claw, nail".
Opal f English
From the English word opal for the iridescent gemstone, the birthstone of October. The word ultimately derives from Sanskrit उपल (upala) meaning "jewel".
Opaline f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Opal. This is also an English word meaning "resembling an opal".
Ophelia f English, Literature, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek ὠφέλεια (opheleia) meaning "help, advantage". This was a rare ancient Greek name, which was either rediscovered or recreated by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem Arcadia. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play Hamlet (1600), in which it belongs to Hamlet's lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. In spite of this negative association, the name has been in use since the 19th century.
Ora 1 f & m English
Perhaps based on Latin oro "to pray". It was first used in America in the 19th century.
Oral m English
Meaning uncertain. This name was borne by the influential American evangelist Oral Roberts (1918-2009), who was apparently named by his cousin.
Oralee f English (Rare)
Possibly a variant of Aurélie.
Oralie f English (Rare)
Possibly a variant of Aurélie.
Orinda f English (Rare)
Probably an elaboration of Spanish oro "gold". This was the pseudonym of the English poet Katherine Philips (1631-1664).
Ormond m English (Rare)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Irish Gaelic Ó Ruaidh, derived from the given name Ruadh.
Orpha f Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, English
Form of Orpah used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament.
Orrell m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "ore hill" in Old English.
Orson m English
From a Norman nickname derived from a diminutive of Norman French ors "bear", ultimately from Latin ursus. American actor and director Orson Welles (1915-1985) was a famous bearer of this name.
Orval m English
Variant of Orville.
Orville m English
This name was invented by the 18th-century writer Fanny Burney, who perhaps intended it to mean "golden city" in French. Orville Wright (1871-1948), together with his brother Wilbur, invented the first successful airplane.
Osbert m English (Rare)
Derived from the Old English elements os "god" and beorht "bright". After the Norman Conquest, this Old English name was merged with its Norman cognate. It was rare in the Middle Ages, and eventually died out. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
Osborn m English
Derived from the Old English elements os "god" and beorn "bear". During the Anglo-Saxon period there was also a Norse cognate Ásbjǫrn used in England, and after the Norman Conquest the Norman cognate Osbern was introduced. It was occasionally revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
Osborne m English
From a surname that was a variant of Osborn.
Osbourne m English (Rare)
From a surname that was a variant of Osborn.
Oscar m English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Old Irish oss "deer" and carae "friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name Osgar or its Old Norse cognate Ásgeirr, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.... [more]
Osmond m English (Rare)
From the Old English elements os "god" and mund "protection". During the Anglo-Saxon period a Norse cognate Ásmundr was also used in England, and another version was imported by the Normans. Saint Osmund was an 11th-century Norman nobleman who became an English bishop. Though it eventually became rare, it was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
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.
Oswin m English (Rare)
From the Old English elements os "god" and wine "friend". Saint Oswin was a 7th-century king of Northumbria. After the Norman Conquest this name was used less, and it died out after the 14th century. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.
Otis m English
From an English surname that was derived from the medieval given name Ode, a cognate of Otto. In America it has been used in honour of the revolutionary James Otis (1725-1783).
Otto m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic
Later German form of Audo or Odo, 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).
Ottoline f English (Rare)
Diminutive of Ottilie. A famous bearer was the British socialite Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938).
Owen 1 m Welsh, English
Anglicized form of Owain.
Oz 1 m English
Short form of Oswald, Osborn and other names beginning with a similar sound.
Ozzie m English
Diminutive of Oswald, Osborn and other names beginning with a similar sound.
Ozzy m English
Variant of Ozzie.
Pace m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the Middle English word pace meaning "peace".
Pacey m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the French place name Pacy, itself derived from Gaulish given name of unknown meaning.
Paden m English (Rare)
An invented name, using the popular den suffix sound found in such names as Braden, Hayden and Aidan. It is sometimes considered a derivative of the surname Paddon.
Page m & f English
From a surname that was a variant of Paige.
Paget f & m English (Rare)
From a French and English surname that meant "little page" (see Paige).
Paige f English
From an English surname meaning "servant, page" in Middle English. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδίον (paidion) meaning "little boy".... [more]
Paisley f English (Modern)
From a Scots surname, originally from the name of a town near Glasgow, maybe ultimately derived from Latin basilica "church". This is also a word (derived from the name of that same town) for a type of pattern commonly found on fabrics.
Palmer m & f English
From an English surname meaning "pilgrim". It is ultimately from Latin palma "palm tree", since pilgrims to the Holy Land often brought back palm fronds as proof of their journey.
Pam f English
Short form of Pamela.
Pamela f English
This name was invented in the late 16th century by the poet Sir Philip Sidney for use in his poem Arcadia. He possibly intended it to mean "all sweetness" from Greek πᾶν (pan) meaning "all" and μέλι (meli) meaning "honey". It was later employed by author Samuel Richardson for the heroine in his novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740), after which time it became used as a given name. It did not become popular until the 20th century.
Pamelia f English
Elaborated form of Pamela.
Pamella f English
Variant of Pamela.
Pancras m English (Archaic)
Medieval English form of Pancratius. The relics of the 4th-century saint Pancratius were sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, leading to the saint's veneration there.
Pansy f English
From the English word for a type of flower, ultimately deriving from Old French pensee "thought".
Parker m & f English
From an English occupational surname that meant "keeper of the park".
Parnel f English (Archaic)
Contracted form of Petronel. In the later Middle Ages it became a slang term for a promiscuous woman, and the name subsequently fell out of use.
Parris m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname that originally denoted a person who came from the French city of Paris (see Paris 2).
Parry m English (Rare)
From a Welsh surname that was derived from ap Harry meaning "son of Harry".
Pat m & f English
Short form of Patrick or Patricia. A famous bearer of this name was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
Patience f English
From the English word patience, ultimately from Latin patientia, a derivative of pati "to suffer". This was one of the virtue names coined by the Puritans in the 17th century. It is now most commonly used in African countries where English is widely understood, such as Nigeria and Ghana.
Patricia f English, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Feminine form of Patricius (see Patrick). In medieval England this spelling appears in Latin documents, but this form was probably not used as the actual name until the 18th century, in Scotland.
Patrick m Irish, English, French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
From the Latin name Patricius, which meant "nobleman". This name was adopted in the 5th-century by Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint. He is called Pádraig in Irish.... [more]
Patsy f & m English, Irish
Variant of Patty, also used as a diminutive of Patrick.
Patti f English
Variant of Patty.
Pattie f English
Variant of Patty.
Patton m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of Patrick. A notable bearer of the surname was the American World War II general George S. Patton (1885-1945), who played an important part in the allied offensive in France.
Patty f English
Originally a variant of Matty, a 17th-century diminutive of Martha. It is now commonly used as a diminutive of Patricia.
Paul m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.... [more]
Paula f German, English, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latvian, Croatian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Paulus (see Paul). This was the name of a 4th-century Roman saint who was a companion of Saint Jerome.
Pauletta f English
Latinate feminine diminutive of Paul.
Paulette f French, English
French feminine diminutive of Paul.
Paulie m English
Diminutive of Paul.
Pauline f French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
French feminine form of Paulinus (see Paulino).
Paxton m English (Modern)
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "Pœcc's town". Pœcc is an Old English given name of unknown meaning.
Payton f & m English (Modern)
Variant of Peyton.
Peace f English (African)
From the English word peace, ultimately derived from Latin pax. This name is most common in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
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.
Pearle f English
Variant of Pearl.
Pearlie f English
Diminutive of Pearl.
Peg f English
Short form of Peggy.
Peggie f English
Variant of Peggy.
Peggy f English
Medieval variant of Meggy, a diminutive of Margaret. The reason for the change in the initial consonant is unknown.
Pen f English
Short form of Penelope.
Pene f English (Rare)
Short form of Penelope.
Penelope f Greek Mythology, English
Probably derived from Greek πηνέλοψ (penelops), a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πήνη (pene) meaning "threads, weft" and ὄψ (ops) meaning "face, eye". In Homer's epic the Odyssey this is the name of the wife of Odysseus, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy.... [more]
Penny f English
Diminutive of Penelope.
Peony f English (Rare)
From the English word for the type of flower. It was originally believed to have healing qualities, so it was named after the Greek medical god Pæon.
Perce m English
Short form of Percy.
Percival m Arthurian Romance, English
Created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the Story of the Grail. Chrétien may have derived the name from Old French perce val "pierce the valley", or he may have based it loosely on the Welsh name Peredur. In the poem Perceval is a boy from Wales who hopes to become a knight under King Arthur. Setting out to prove himself, he eventually comes to the castle of the Fisher King and is given a glimpse of the Grail.
Percy m English
From an English surname that was derived from the name of a Norman town Perci, which was itself perhaps derived from a Gaulish given name that was Latinized as Persius. The surname was borne by a noble English family, and it first used as a given name in their honour. A famous bearer was Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), an English romantic poet whose works include Adonais and Ozymandias. This name can also be used as a short form of Percival.
Peregrine m English (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Peregrinus, which meant "traveller". This was the name of several early saints.
Perlie f English (Rare)
Diminutive of Pearl.
Permelia f English (Archaic)
Meaning unknown, possibly an early American alteration of Pamela.
Peronel f English (Archaic)
Contracted form of Petronel.
Perry m English
From a surname that is either English or Welsh in origin. It can be derived from Middle English perrie meaning "pear tree", or else from Welsh ap Herry, meaning "son of Herry". A famous bearer of the surname was Matthew Perry (1794-1858), the American naval officer who opened Japan to the West.
Peta f English (Australian)
Chiefly Australian feminine form of Peter.
Petal f English (Rare)
From the English word for the flower part, derived from Greek πέταλον (petalon) meaning "leaf".
Pete m English
Short form of Peter.
Peter m English, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical
Derived from Greek Πέτρος (Petros) meaning "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.... [more]
Petra f German, Dutch, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish, English
Feminine form of Peter. This was also the name of an ancient city in the region that is now Jordan.
Petrina f English (Rare)
Diminutive of Petra.
Petronel f English (Archaic)
Medieval English form of Petronilla.
Petula f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown, created in the 20th century. The name is borne by the British singer Petula Clark (1932-), whose name was invented by her father.
Petunia f English (Rare)
From the name of the flower, derived ultimately from a Tupi (South American) word.
Peyton f & m English
From an English surname, originally a place name meaning "Pæga's town". This was a rare masculine name until the 1990s. In 1992 it was used for a female character in the movie The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and, despite the fact that it was borne by the villain, the name began to rise in popularity for girls as well as boys.... [more]
Phebe f English, Biblical
Variant of Phoebe used in some translations of the New Testament.
Pheobe f English
Variant of Phoebe.
Phil m English
Short form of Philip and various other names beginning with Phil, often a Greek element meaning "friend, dear, beloved".
Philadelphia f English (Rare)
From the name of a city in Asia Minor mentioned in Revelation in the New Testament. The name of the city meant "brotherly love" from Greek φιλέω (phileo) meaning "to love" and ἀδελφός (adelphos) meaning "brother". It is also the name of a city in the United States.
Philander m English (Archaic), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Φίλανδρος (Philandros) meaning "friend of man" from Greek φίλος (philos) meaning "friend" and ἀνήρ (aner) meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός). It was the name of a son of Apollo with the nymph Acalle. In the 18th century this was coined as a word meaning "to womanize", and the name subsequently dropped out of use.
Philip m English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical
From the Greek name Φίλιππος (Philippos) meaning "friend of horses", composed of the elements φίλος (philos) meaning "friend, lover" and ἵππος (hippos) meaning "horse". This was the name of five kings of Macedon, including Philip II the father of Alexander the Great. The name appears in the New Testament belonging to two people who are regarded as saints. First, one of the twelve apostles, and second, an early figure in the Christian church known as Philip the Deacon.... [more]
Philipa f English (Rare)
Feminine form of Philip.
Philippa f English (British), German
Latinate feminine form of Philip. As an English name, it is chiefly British.
Phillip m English
Variant of Philip, inspired by the usual spelling of the surname.
Phillipa f English (Rare)
Feminine variant of Philip.
Phillis f English
Variant of Phyllis.
Philomena f English, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From Greek Φιλουμένη (Philoumene) meaning "to be loved", an inflection of φιλέω (phileo) meaning "to love". This was the name of an obscure early saint and martyr. The name came to public attention in 1802 after a tomb seemingly marked with the name Filumena was found in Rome, supposedly belonging to another martyr named Philomena. This may have in fact been a representation of the Greek word φιλουμένη, not a name.
Phoebe f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοίβη (Phoibe), which meant "bright, pure" from Greek φοῖβος (phoibos). In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis. The name appears in Paul's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae.... [more]
Phoenix m & f English (Modern)
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird that appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοῖνιξ (phoinix) meaning "dark red".
Phyliss f English
Variant of Phyllis.
Phyllida f English (Rare)
From Φυλλίδος (Phyllidos), the genitive form of Phyllis. This form was used in 17th-century pastoral poetry.
Phyllis f Greek Mythology, English
Means "foliage" in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia.
Pierce m English
From an English surname that was derived from the given name Piers. In America this name slowly started to grow in popularity in 1982 when actor Pierce Brosnan (1953-) began starring on the television series Remington Steele.
Piers m English (British), Medieval French
Medieval form of Peter. This is the name of the main character in the 14th-century poem Piers Plowman by William Langland.
Piety f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "piety, devoutness". This was a rare virtue name used by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Pip m & f English
Diminutive of Philip or Philippa. This was the name of the main character in Great Expectations (1860) by Charles Dickens.
Piper f English (Modern)
From an English surname that was originally given to a person who played on a pipe (a flute). It was popularized as a given name by a character from the television series Charmed, which debuted in 1998.
Pippa f English
Diminutive of Philippa.
Placid m English (Rare)
English form of Placidus (see Placido).
Pleasance f English (Archaic)
From the medieval name Plaisance, which meant "pleasant" in Old French.
Pollie f English
Variant of Polly.
Polly f English
Medieval variant of Molly. The reason for the change in the initial consonant is unknown.
Poppy f English (British)
From the word for the red flower, derived from Old English popæg.
Porsche f English (Modern)
From the name of the German car company, which was founded by Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951). His surname is derived from the given name Boris.
Porter m English
From an occupational English surname meaning "doorkeeper", ultimately from Old French porte "door", from Latin porta.
Portia f English
Variant of Porcia, the feminine form of the Roman family name Porcius, used by William Shakespeare for the heroine of his play The Merchant of Venice (1596). In the play Portia is a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to defend Antonio in court. It is also the name of a moon of Uranus, after the Shakespearean character.
Posie f English
Variant of Posy.
Posy f English
Diminutive of Josephine. It can also be inspired by the English word posy for a bunch of flowers.
Praise f & m English (African)
From the English word praise, which is ultimately derived (via Old French) from Late Latin preciare, a derivative of Latin pretium "price, worth". This name is most common in English-speaking Africa.
Precious f English (African), African American (Modern)
From the English word precious, ultimately derived from Latin pretiosus, a derivative of Latin pretium "price, worth".
Presley f & m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "priest clearing" (Old English preost and leah). This surname was borne by musician Elvis Presley (1935-1977).
Preston m English
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "priest town" (Old English preost and tun).
Price m English
From a Welsh surname that was derived from ap Rhys meaning "son of Rhys".
Primrose f English (Rare)
From the English word for the flower, ultimately deriving from Latin prima rosa "first rose".
Primula f English (Rare)
From the name of a genus of several species of flowers, including the primrose. It is derived from the Latin word primulus meaning "very first".
Prince m English
From the English word prince, a royal title, which comes ultimately from Latin princeps. This name was borne by the American musician Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016), who is known simply as Prince.
Princess f English (Modern)
Feminine equivalent of Prince.
Pris f English
Short form of Priscilla.
Priscilla f English, Italian, French, Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman name, a diminutive of Prisca. In Acts in the New Testament Paul lived with Priscilla (also known as Prisca) and her husband Aquila in Corinth for a while. It has been used as an English given name since the Protestant Reformation, being popular with the Puritans. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used it in his 1858 poem The Courtship of Miles Standish.
Prissy f English
Diminutive of Priscilla.
Promise f & m English (African)
From the English word promise, from Latin promissum. It is currently most common in parts of English-influenced Africa.
Prosper m French, English
From the Latin name Prosperus, which meant "fortunate, successful". This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a supporter of Saint Augustine. It has never been common as an English name, though the Puritans used it, partly because it is identical to the English word prosper.
Pru f English
Short form of Prudence.
Prudence f & m English, French
Medieval English form of Prudentia, the feminine form of Prudentius. In France it is both the feminine form and a rare masculine form. In England it was used during the Middle Ages and was revived in the 17th century by the Puritans, in part from the English word prudence, ultimately of the same source.
Prue f English
Short form of Prudence.
Prunella f English (Rare)
From the English word for the type of flower, also called self-heal, ultimately a derivative of the Latin word pruna "plum".
Purdie m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the Norman French expression pur die "by God". It was perhaps originally a nickname for a person who used the oath frequently.
Queen f English
From an old nickname that was derived from the English word queen, ultimately from Old English cwen meaning "woman, wife".
Queenie f English
Diminutive of Queen.
Quentin m French, English
French form of the Roman name Quintinus. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint, a missionary who was martyred in Gaul. The Normans introduced this name to England. In America it was brought to public attention by president Theodore Roosevelt's son Quentin Roosevelt (1897-1918), who was killed in World War I. A famous bearer is the American movie director Quentin Tarantino (1963-).
Quin m & f English (Rare)
Variant of Quinn.
Quincy m English
From an English surname that was derived (via the place name Cuinchy) from the personal name Quintus. A famous bearer was John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), sixth president of the United States, who was born in the town of Quincy, Massachusetts. Both the town and the president were named after his maternal great-grandfather John Quincy (1689-1767). Another notable bearer is the American musician Quincy Jones (1933-).
Quinlan m & f English (Rare)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Caoindealbháin, itself from the given name Caoindealbhán (Old Irish Caíndelbán).
Quinn m & f English
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Irish Gaelic Ó Cuinn, itself derived from the given name Conn. In the United States it was more common as a name for boys until 2010, the year after the female character Quinn Fabray began appearing on the television series Glee.
Quintella f English (Rare)
Feminine diminutive of Quintus.
Quinten m English, Dutch
Variant and Dutch form of Quentin.
Quintin m English
Variant of Quentin.
Quinton m English
Variant of Quentin, also coinciding with an English surname meaning "queen's town" in Old English.
Rachael f English
Variant of Rachel, the spelling probably influenced by that of Michael.
Racheal f English
Variant of Rachel.
Rachel f English, Hebrew, French, Dutch, German, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name רָחֵל (Rachel) meaning "ewe". In the Old Testament this is the name of the favourite wife of Jacob. Her father Laban tricked Jacob into marrying her older sister Leah first, though in exchange for seven years of work Laban allowed Jacob to marry Rachel too. Initially barren and facing her husband's anger, she offered her handmaid Bilhah to Jacob to bear him children. Eventually she was herself able to conceive, becoming the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.... [more]
Rachelle f English
Variant of Rachel influenced by the spelling of Rochelle.
Racquel f English
Variant of Raquel.
Radcliff m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "red cliff" in Old English.
Radclyffe m English (Rare)
From a surname, a variant of Radcliff.
Rae f English
Short form of Rachel. It can also be used as a feminine form of Ray.
Raeburn m English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "stream where deer drink" (from Scots rae "roe deer" and burn "stream"). A famous bearer of the surname was Scottish portrait painter Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823).
Raelene f English (Rare)
Combination of Rae and the popular name suffix lene.
Raelyn f English (Modern)
Combination of Rae and the popular name suffix lyn.
Raelynn f English (Modern)
Combination of Rae and the popular name suffix lyn.
Rafe m English
Variant of Ralph. This form became common during the 17th century, reflecting the usual pronunciation.
Rafferty m English
From an Irish surname, itself derived from the given name Rabhartach meaning "flood tide".
Rain 1 f & m English (Rare)
Simply from the English word rain, derived from Old English regn.
Rainbow f English (Rare)
From the English word for the arc of multicoloured light that can appear in a misty sky.
Raine f & m English (Rare)
Possibly based on the French word reine meaning "queen". A famous bearer was the British socialite Raine Spencer (1929-2016), 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.
Raleigh m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning either "red clearing" or "roe deer clearing" in Old English. A city in North Carolina bears this name, after the English courtier, poet and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618).
Ralph m English, German, Swedish
Contracted form of the Old Norse name Ráðúlfr (or its Norman form Radulf). Scandinavian settlers introduced it to England before the Norman Conquest, though afterwards it was bolstered by Norman influence. In the Middle Ages it was usually spelled Ralf, but by the 17th century it was most commonly Rafe, reflecting the normal pronunciation. The Ralph spelling appeared in the 18th century. A famous bearer of the name was Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American poet and author who wrote on transcendentalism.
Ralphie m English
Diminutive of Ralph.
Ramona f Spanish, Romanian, English
Feminine form of Ramón. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona (1884), as well as several subsequent movies based on the book.
Ramsey m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "wild-garlic island" in Old English.
Randal m English
Variant of Randall.
Randall m English
From an English surname that was derived from the medieval given name Randel.
Randell m English
Variant of Randall.
Randi 1 f English
Diminutive of Miranda.
Randolf m English
From the Germanic elements rand meaning "rim (of a shield)" and wulf meaning "wolf". The Normans brought this name to England, where there existed already an Old Norse cognate Randúlfr, which had been introduced by Scandinavian settlers. Randolf became rare after the Middle Ages, though it was revived in the 18th century (usually in the spelling Randolph).
Randolph m English
Variant of Randolf. This spelling was adopted in the 18th century.
Randy m & f English
Diminutive of Randall, Randolf or Miranda.
Raphael m German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name רָפָאֵל (Rafa'el) meaning "God heals", from the roots רָפָא (rafa') meaning "to heal" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". In Hebrew tradition Raphael is the name of an archangel. He appears in the Book of Tobit, in which he disguises himself as a man named Azarias and accompanies Tobias on his journey to Media, aiding him along the way. In the end he cures Tobias's father Tobit of his blindness. He is not mentioned in the New Testament, though tradition identifies him with the angel troubling the water in John 5:4.... [more]
Raquel f Spanish, Portuguese, English
Spanish and Portuguese form of Rachel.
Rastus m English (Rare)
Short form of Erastus.