English Names

English names are used in English-speaking countries. See also about English names.
gender
usage
Garnett m & f English
Variant of Garnet 2.
Garret m English
From a surname that was a variant of Garrett.
Garrett m English
From an English surname that was derived from the given name Gerald or Gerard. A famous bearer of the surname was Pat Garrett (1850-1908), the sheriff who shot Billy the Kid.
Garrick m English
From an English surname, of French Huguenot origin, that was derived from Occitan garric meaning "oak tree grove".
Garry m English
Variant of Gary.
Garth m English
From an English surname meaning "garden" in Old Norse, originally denoting one who lived near or worked in a garden.
Gary m English
From an English surname that was derived from a Norman given name, which was itself originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ger meaning "spear". This name was popularized in the late 1920s the American actor Gary Cooper (1901-1961), who took his stage name from the city of Gary in Indiana where his agent was born. It was especially popular in the 1940s and 50s, breaking into the American top ten in 1950, though it has since waned.
Gavin m English, Scottish
Medieval form of Gawain. Though it died out in England, it was reintroduced from Scotland in the 20th century.
Gay f English
From the English word gay meaning "gay, happy". By the mid-20th century the word had acquired the additional meaning of "homosexual", and the name has subsequently dropped out of use.
Gaye 1 f English
Variant of Gay.
Gayla f English
Elaborated form of Gail.
Gayle f & m English
Variant of Gail or Gale 2.
Gaylord m English
From an English surname that was derived from Old French gaillard "high-spirited, boisterous". This name was rarely used after the mid-20th century, when the word gay acquired the slang meaning "homosexual".
Gaz m English (British)
Diminutive of Gary or Gareth.
Gemma f Italian, Catalan, English (British), Dutch
Medieval Italian nickname meaning "gem, precious stone". It was borne by the wife of the 13th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri.
Gena 1 f English
Variant of Gina.
Gene m English
Short form of Eugene.
Genesis f English (Modern)
Means "birth, origin" in Greek. This is the name of the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible. It tells of the creation of the world, the expulsion of Adam and Eve, Noah and the great flood, and the three patriarchs.
Geneva f English
Possibly a shortened form of Genevieve. It could also be inspired by the name of the city in Switzerland. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
Genevieve f English
English form of Geneviève.
Genie f English
Diminutive of Eugenia.
Geoff m English
Short form of Geoffrey.
Geoffrey m English, French
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid "peace", but the first element may be either gawia "territory", walha "foreign" or gisil "hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey.... [more]
Geordie m English
Diminutive of George.
George m English, Romanian
From the Greek name Γεώργιος (Georgios), which was derived from the Greek word γεωργός (georgos) meaning "farmer, earthworker", itself derived from the elements γῆ (ge) meaning "earth" and ἔργον (ergon) meaning "work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Cappadocia who was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.... [more]
Georgia f English, Greek
Latinate feminine form of George. This is the name of an American state, which was named after the British king George II. A famous bearer was the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986).
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.
Georgie f & m English
Diminutive of Georgia or George.
Georgina f English, Spanish, Hungarian
Feminine form of George.
Gerald m English, German, Dutch
From a Germanic name meaning "rule of the spear", from the elements ger meaning "spear" and wald meaning "rule". The Normans brought this name to Britain. Though it died out in England during the Middle Ages, it remained common in Ireland. It was revived in the English-speaking world in 19th century.
Geraldine f English
Feminine form of Gerald. This name was created by the poet Henry Howard for use in a 1537 sonnet praising Lady Elizabeth FitzGerald, whom he terms The Geraldine.
Gerard m English, Dutch, Catalan, Polish
Derived from the Germanic element ger meaning "spear" combined with hard meaning "brave, hardy". The Normans introduced this name to Britain. It was initially much more common than the similar name Gerald, with which it was often confused, but it is now less common.
Gerry m & f English, Dutch
Diminutive of Gerald, Gerard or Geraldine.
Gertie f English, Dutch
Diminutive of Gertrude.
Gertrude f English, Dutch, French
Means "spear of strength", derived from the Germanic elements ger "spear" and thrud "strength". Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer. It was probably introduced to England by settlers from the Low Countries in the 15th century. Shakespeare used the name in his play Hamlet (1600) for the mother of the title character. Another famous bearer was the American writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
Gervase m English (Rare)
English form of Gervasius. The Normans introduced this name to England in the Middle Ages, though it has since become rare.
Gib m English
Medieval diminutive of Gilbert.
Gideon m Biblical, Hebrew, English, Dutch
Means "feller, hewer" in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings. In the English-speaking world, Gideon has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans.
Giffard m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the Germanic given name Gebhard.
Gift m & f English (African)
From the English word gift, of Old Norse origin. This name is most common in parts of English-influenced Africa.
Gifty f English (African)
From the English word gift. This name is most common in Ghana in Africa.
Gil 2 m English
Short form of Gilbert and other names beginning with Gil.
Gilbert m English, French, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "bright pledge", derived from the Germanic elements gisil "pledge, hostage" and beraht "bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it was common during the Middle Ages. It was borne by a 12th-century English saint, the founder of the religious order known as the Gilbertines.
Giles m English
From the Late Latin name Aegidius, which is derived from Greek αἰγίδιον (aigidion) meaning "young goat". Saint Giles was an 8th-century miracle worker who came to southern France from Greece. He is regarded as the patron saint of the crippled. In Old French the name Aegidius became Gidie and then Gilles, at which point it was imported to England.
Gill f English
Short form of Gillian.
Gillian f English
Medieval English feminine form of Julian. This spelling has been in use since the 13th century, though it was not declared a distinct name from Julian until the 17th century.
Gilroy m English (Rare)
From an Irish surname, either Mac Giolla Ruaidh, which means "son of the red-haired servant", or Mac Giolla Rí, which means "son of the king's servant".
Gina f Italian, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Short form of Georgina, Regina, Luigina and other names ending in gina. It can also be used as a diminutive of Virginia or Eugenia. It was popularized in the 1950s by Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida (1927-), whose birth name was Luigina.
Ginger f English
From the English word ginger for the spice or the reddish-brown colour. It can also be a diminutive of Virginia, as in the case of actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), by whom the name was popularized.
Ginnie f English
Diminutive of Virginia.
Ginny f English
Diminutive of Virginia.
Giselle f French, English (Modern)
Derived from the Germanic word gisil meaning "hostage, pledge". This name may have originally been a descriptive nickname for a child given as a pledge to a foreign court. It was borne by a daughter of the French king Charles III who married the Norman leader Rollo in the 10th century. The name was popular in France during the Middle Ages (the more common French form is Gisèle). Though it became known in the English-speaking world due to Adolphe Adam's ballet Giselle (1841), it was not regularly used until the 20th century.
Gladwin m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from the Old English given name Glædwine.
Gladys f Welsh, English, French, Spanish
From the Old Welsh name Gwladus, probably derived from gwlad meaning "country". Alternatively, it may have been adopted as a Welsh form of Claudia. Saint Gwladus or Gwladys was the mother of Saint Cadoc. She was one of the daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog. This name became popular outside of Wales after it was used in Ouida's novel Puck (1870).
Glanville m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was taken from a Norman place name, which possibly meant "domain of (a person named) Gland" in Old French.
Glen m English
Variant of Glenn.
Glenda f English
Probably a feminine form of Glenn using the suffix da (from names such as Linda and Wanda). This name was not regularly used until the 20th century.
Glenn m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic gleann "valley". It was borne by the American actor Glenn Ford (1916-2006), whose birth name was Gwyllyn. A famous bearer of the surname was American astronaut John Glenn (1921-2016). The name peaked in popularity in 1962 when he became the first American to orbit the earth.... [more]
Glenna f English
Feminine form of Glenn.
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]
Gloriana f English (Rare)
Elaborated form of Latin gloria meaning "glory". In Edmund Spenser's poem The Faerie Queene (1590) this was the name of the title character, a representation of Queen Elizabeth I.
Glory f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word glory, ultimately from Latin gloria.
Goddard m English (Rare)
From an English and French surname that was derived from the Germanic given name Godehard.
Godfrey m English
From the Germanic name Godafrid, which meant "peace of god" from the Germanic elements god "god" and frid "peace". The Normans brought this name to England, where it became common during the Middle Ages. A notable bearer was Godfrey of Bouillon, an 11th-century leader of the First Crusade and the first ruler of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Goldie 1 f English
From a nickname for a person with blond hair, from the English word gold.
Goodwin m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the given name Godwine.
Gord m English
Short form of Gordon.
Gorden m English
Variant of Gordon.
Gordie m English
Diminutive of Gordon. A famous bearer was Canadian hockey star Gordie Howe (1928-2016).
Gordon m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was originally derived from a place in Berwickshire, itself derived from Brythonic elements meaning "spacious fort". It was originally used in honour of Charles George Gordon (1833-1885), a British general who died defending the city of Khartoum in Sudan.... [more]
Gordy m English
Diminutive of Gordon.
Gore m English (Rare)
From an English surname meaning "triangular" (from Old English gara), originally referring to someone who lived on a triangular piece of land. A famous bearer was American writer Gore Vidal (1925-2012).
Grace f English
From the English word grace, which ultimately derives from Latin gratia. This was one of the virtue names created in the 17th century by the Puritans. The actress Grace Kelly (1929-1982) was a famous bearer.... [more]
Gracelyn f English (Modern)
Elaboration of Grace using the popular name suffix lyn.
Gracelynn f English (Modern)
Elaboration of Grace using the popular name suffix lyn.
Gracie f English
Diminutive of Grace.
Grady m English
From an Irish surname, itself derived from the byname Gráda meaning "noble, illustrious".
Graeme m Scottish, English
From a surname that was a variant of Graham. This particular spelling for the given name has been most common in Scotland, New Zealand and Australia.
Graham m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, originally derived from the English place name Grantham, which probably meant "gravelly homestead" in Old English. The surname was first taken to Scotland in the 12th century by the Norman baron William de Graham. A famous bearer of the surname was Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-Canadian-American inventor who devised the telephone. A famous bearer of the given name was the British author Graham Greene (1904-1991).... [more]
Grahame m Scottish, English
From a surname that was a variant of Graham.
Grant m English, Scottish
From an English and Scottish surname that was derived from Norman French grand meaning "great, large". A famous bearer of the surname was Ulysses Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War who later served as president. In America the name has often been given in his honour.
Granville m English
From an English surname that was derived from a Norman place name Grainville.
Gray m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname meaning "grey", originally given to a person who had grey hair or clothing.
Grayson m English (Modern)
From an English surname meaning "son of the steward", derived from Middle English greyve "steward". It became common towards the end of the 20th century because of its similarity to popular names like Jason, Mason and Graham.
Greer f & m English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that was derived from the given name Gregor.
Greg m English
Short form of Gregory.
Gregg m English
Short form of Gregory.
Gregory m English
English form of Latin Gregorius, which was from the Late Greek name Γρηγόριος (Gregorios), derived from γρήγορος (gregoros) meaning "watchful, alert". This name was popular among early Christians, being borne by a number of important saints including Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus (3rd century), Saint Gregory the Illuminator (4th century), Saint Gregory of Nyssa (4th century), Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (4th century), and Saint Gregory of Tours (6th century). It was also borne by the 6th-century pope Saint Gregory I the Great, a reformer and Doctor of the Church, as well as 15 subsequent popes.... [more]
Grenville m English (Rare)
From a surname that was a variant of Granville.
Gresham m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "grazing homestead" in Old English.
Greta f German, Italian, Swedish, Lithuanian, Polish, English
Short form of Margareta. A famous bearer of this name was the Swedish actress Greta Garbo (1905-1990).
Gretchen f German, English
German diminutive of Margareta.
Gretta f English
Variant of Greta.
Grey m & f English (Modern)
Variant of Gray.
Grier f & m English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that was derived from the given name Gregor.
Griffin m English
Latinized form of Gruffudd. This name can also be inspired by the English word griffin, a creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, ultimately from Greek γρύψ (gryps).
Griselda f English, Spanish, Literature
Possibly derived from the Germanic elements gris "grey" and hild "battle". It is not attested as a Germanic name. This was the name of a patient wife in medieval folklore, adapted into tales by Boccaccio (in The Decameron) and Chaucer (in The Canterbury Tales).
Grosvenor m English (Rare)
From an English surname that meant "great hunter" in Norman French.
Grover m English
From an English surname derived from Old English graf meaning "grove of trees". A famous bearer was the American president Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), who popularized the name in the United States at the end of the 19th century. The name is now associated with a muppet character from the children's television program Sesame Street.
Gunner m English (Modern)
English variant of Gunnar, influenced by the vocabulary word gunner.
Gus 1 m English
Short form of Augustus or Angus.
Gussie f English
Diminutive of Augusta.
Guy 1 m English, French
Norman French form of Wido. The Normans introduced it to England, where it was common until the time of Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), a revolutionary who attempted to blow up the British parliament. The name was revived in the 19th century, due in part to characters in the novels Guy Mannering (1815) by Walter Scott and The Heir of Redclyffe (1854) by C. M. Yonge.
Gwen f Welsh, English
From Welsh gwen, the feminine form of gwyn meaning "white, fair, blessed". It can also be a short form of Gwendolen, Gwenllian and other names beginning with Gwen.
Gwenda f Welsh, English
Derived from the Welsh elements gwen meaning "white, fair, blessed" and da meaning "good". This name was created in the 19th century.
Gwendolyn f English
Variant of Gwendolen. This is the usual spelling in the United States.
Gwyneth f Welsh, English
Probably a variant of Gwynedd. It has been common in Wales since the 19th century, perhaps after the Welsh novelist Gwyneth Vaughan (1852-1910), whose real name was Ann Harriet Hughes. A modern famous bearer is the American actress Gwyneth Paltrow (1972-).
Gypsy f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word Gypsy for the nomadic people who originated in northern India. The word was originally a corruption of Egyptian. It is sometimes considered pejorative.
Gytha f English (Archaic)
From Gyða, an Old Norse diminutive of Guðríðr. It was borne by a Danish noblewoman who married the English lord Godwin of Wessex in the 11th century. The name was used in England for a short time after that, and was revived in the 19th century.
Hadley f & m English
From an English surname that was derived from a place name meaning "heather field" in Old English.
Hadyn m & f English (Rare)
Variant of Hayden.
Hailey f English (Modern)
Variant of Hayley. This is currently the most common spelling in the United States, surpassing Haley in 2001 and attaining a high rank of 19th in 2010.
Hal m English
Medieval diminutive of Harry.
Hale 2 m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "nook, retreat" from Old English healh.
Haley f English (Modern)
Variant of Hayley. This spelling gained some popularity in the United States in 1977, possibly due to the author Alex Haley, whose book Roots was adapted into a popular miniseries that year. This was the most common American spelling from then to 2001, when it was eclipsed by Hailey.
Hall m English
From a surname that was derived from Old English heall "manor, hall", originally belonging to a person who lived or worked in a manor.
Hallam m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning either "at the rocks" or "at the nook" in Old English.
Halle 2 f English (Modern)
In the case of American actress Halle Berry (1966-), it is from the name of a department store in Cleveland where she was born (the store was founded by brothers bearing the German surname Halle, a cognate of Hall).
Hallie f English
Diminutive of Harriet.
Hamilton m English
From a Scottish and English surname that was derived from Old English hamel "crooked, mutilated" and dun "hill". The surname was originally taken from the name of a town in Leicestershire, England (which no longer exists). A famous bearer of the surname was Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), a founding father of the United States who was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.
Hammond m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from either the Germanic given name Haimund, which meant "home protection", or else the Old Norse given name Hámundr, which meant "high protection".
Hamnet m English (Archaic)
Diminutive of Hamo. This was the name of a son of Shakespeare who died in childhood. His death may have provided the inspiration for his father's play Hamlet.
Hank m English
Originally a short form of Hankin, which was a medieval diminutive of John. Since the 17th century in the United States this name has also been used as a diminutive of Henry, probably under the influence of the Dutch diminutive Henk. A famous bearer is the American former baseball player Hank Aaron (1934-2021).
Hannah f English, Hebrew, German, Dutch, Arabic, Biblical
From the Hebrew name חַנָּה (Channah) meaning "favour, grace", derived from the root חָנַן (chanan). In the Old Testament this is the name of the wife of Elkanah. Her rival was Elkanah's other wife Peninnah, who had children while Hannah remained barren. After a blessing from Eli she finally became pregnant with Samuel.... [more]
Happy f & m English (Rare)
From the English word happy, derived from Middle English hap "chance, luck", of Old Norse origin.
Harding m English
From an English surname that was derived from the Old English given name Heard. A famous bearer of the surname was American president Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).
Hardy 1 m English
From a surname that was derived from Middle English hardi "bold, hardy".
Harlan m English
From a surname that was from a place name meaning "hare land" in Old English. In America it has sometimes been given in honour of Supreme Court justice John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911).
Harland m English
From a surname that was a variant of Harlan.
Harley m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from a place name, itself from Old English hara "hare" and leah "woodland, clearing". An American name for boys since the 19th century, it began to be used for girls after a character with the name began appearing on the soap opera Guiding Light in 1987.
Harlow f & m English
From an English surname derived from a place name, itself derived from Old English hær "rock" or here "army", combined with hlaw "hill". As a name for girls, it received some attention in 2008 when the American celebrity Nicole Richie used it for her daughter.
Harmon m English
From a surname that was derived from the given name Herman.
Harmony f English
From the English word harmony, ultimately deriving from Greek ἁρμονία (harmonia).
Harold m English
From the Old English name Hereweald, derived from the elements here "army" and weald "power, leader, ruler". The Old Norse cognate Haraldr was also common among Scandinavian settlers in England. This was the name of five kings of Norway and three kings of Denmark. It was also borne by two kings of England, both of whom were from mixed Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon backgrounds, including Harold II who lost the Battle of Hastings (and was killed in it), which led to the Norman Conquest. After the conquest the name died out, but it was eventually revived in the 19th century.
Harper f & m English
From an English surname that originally belonged to a person who played or made harps (Old English hearpe). A notable bearer was the American author Harper Lee (1926-2016), who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. It rapidly gained popularity in the 2000s and 2010s, entering the American top ten for girls in 2015.
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).
Harriett f English
Variant of Harriet.
Harris m English
From an English surname that was derived from the given name Harry.
Harrison m English
From an English surname that meant "son of Harry". This was the surname of two American presidents, William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) and his grandson Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901). As a given name it reached a low point in America in 1977 before it was revived by the career of actor Harrison Ford (1942-), who starred in such movies as Star Wars in 1977 and Indiana Jones in 1984.
Harry m English
Medieval English form of Henry. In modern times it is used as a diminutive of both Henry and names beginning with Har. Famous bearers include the American president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), who was named after his uncle Harrison, and the British royal Prince Harry (1984-), who is actually named Henry. It is also the name of the boy wizard in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.
Hartley m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from a place name, itself from Old English heort "hart, male deer" and leah "woodland, clearing".
Harve m English
Short form of Harvey.
Harvey m English
From the Breton given name Haerviu, which meant "battle worthy", from haer "battle" and viu "worthy". This was the name of a 6th-century Breton hermit who is the patron saint of the blind. Settlers from Brittany introduced it to England after the Norman Conquest. During the later Middle Ages it became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
Harvie m English
Variant of Harvey.
Hattie f English
Diminutive of Harriet.
Hatty f English
Diminutive of Harriet.
Haven f & m English
From the English word for a safe place, derived ultimately from Old English hæfen.
Hayden m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from place names meaning either "hay valley" or "hay hill", derived from Old English heg "hay" and denu "valley" or dun "hill". Its popularity at the end of the 20th century was due to the sound it shared with other trendy names of the time, such as Braden and Aidan.
Haydn m English (British)
From a German surname meaning "heathen". It is used in honour of the Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809).
Hayes m English
From a surname, either Hayes 1 or Hayes 2. It was borne by American president Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893).
Hayley f English (Modern)
From an English surname that was originally derived from the name of an English town (meaning "hay clearing" from Old English heg "hay" and leah "clearing"). It was brought to public attention as a given name, especially in the United Kingdom, by the British child actress Hayley Mills (1946-).... [more]
Haywood m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "fenced wood" in Old English.
Haze m & f English (Rare)
Variant of Hayes, sometimes used as a short form of Hazel.
Hazel f English
From the English word hazel for the tree or the light brown colour, derived ultimately from Old English hæsel. It was coined as a given name in the 19th century and quickly became popular, reaching the 18th place for girls in the United States by 1897. It fell out of fashion in the second half of the 20th century, but has since recovered.
Heath m English
From an English surname that denoted one who lived on a heath. It was popularized as a given name by the character Heath Barkley from the 1960s television series The Big Valley.
Heather f English
From the English word heather for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers, which commonly grow in rocky areas. It is derived from Middle English hather. It was first used as a given name in the late 19th century, though it did not become popular until the last half of the 20th century.
Heaven f English (Modern)
From the English vocabulary word meaning "paradise".
Hector m English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek Ἕκτωρ (Hektor), which was derived from ἕκτωρ (hektor) meaning "holding fast", ultimately from ἔχω (echo) meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles' friend Patroclus in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends where it belongs to King Arthur's foster father.... [more]
Hedley m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "heather clearing" in Old English.
Heidi f German, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, English
German diminutive of Adelheid. This is the name of the title character in the children's novel Heidi (1880) by the Swiss author Johanna Spyri. The name began to be used in the English-speaking world shortly after the 1937 release of the movie adaptation, which starred Shirley Temple.
Helen f English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Greek Mythology (Anglicized)
English form of the Greek Ἑλένη (Helene), probably from Greek ἑλένη (helene) meaning "torch" or "corposant", or possibly related to σελήνη (selene) meaning "moon". In Greek mythology Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose kidnapping by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War. The name was also borne by the 4th-century Saint Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, who supposedly found the True Cross during a trip to Jerusalem.... [more]
Hellen f English
Variant of Helen.
Henderson m English
From a Scottish surname meaning "son of Henry".
Hendrix m English (Modern)
From a Dutch surname that was derived from the given name Hendrik. A famous bearer of the surname was the American rock musician Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970).
Henrietta f English, Hungarian, Finnish, Swedish
Latinate form of Henriette. It was introduced to England by Henriette Marie, the wife of the 17th-century English king Charles I. The name Henriette was also Anglicized as Harriet, a form that was initially more popular.
Henry m English
From the Germanic name Heimirich meaning "home ruler", composed of the elements heim "home" and ric "ruler". It was later commonly spelled Heinrich, with the spelling altered due to the influence of other Germanic names like Haganrich, in which the first element is hagan "enclosure".... [more]
Herb m English
Short form of Herbert.
Herbert m English, German, Dutch, Czech, Swedish, French
Derived from the Germanic elements hari "army" and beraht "bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it replaced an Old English cognate Herebeorht. In the course of the Middle Ages it became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
Herbie m English
Diminutive of Herbert.
Herman m English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Slovene, Ancient Germanic
Means "army man", derived from the Germanic elements hari "army" and man "man". It was introduced to England by the Normans, died out, and was revived in the English-speaking world in the 19th century. It was borne by an 18th-century Russian missionary to Alaska who is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church, though in his case the name is an alternate transcription of German. Another famous bearer was the American writer Herman Melville (1819-1891), the author of Moby-Dick.
Hervey m English
Variant of Harvey.
Hester f English, Dutch, Biblical Latin
Latin form of Esther. Like Esther, it has been used in England since the Protestant Reformation. Nathaniel Hawthorne used it for the heroine of his novel The Scarlet Letter (1850), Hester Prynne, a Puritan woman forced to wear a red letter A on her chest after giving birth to a child out of wedlock.
Hettie f English
Diminutive of Henrietta or Hester.
Hilary f & m English
Medieval English form of Hilarius or Hilaria. During the Middle Ages it was primarily a masculine name. It was revived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century as a predominantly feminine name. In America, this name and the variant Hillary seemed to drop in popularity after Hillary Clinton (1947-) became the first lady in 1993. Famous bearers include American actresses Hilary Swank (1974-) and Hilary Duff (1987-).
Hilda f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Spanish, Hungarian, Anglo-Saxon (Latinized), Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of names containing the Germanic element hild "battle". The short form was used for both Old English and continental Germanic names. Saint Hilda of Whitby was a 7th-century English saint and abbess. The name became rare in England during the later Middle Ages, but was revived in the 19th century.
Hildred f & m English
Possibly from the Old English masculine name Hildræd, which was composed of the elements hild "battle" and ræd "counsel". This name was revived in the late 19th century, probably because of its similarity to the popular names Hilda and Mildred.
Hillary f English
Variant of Hilary. A famous bearer of the surname was Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first man to climb Mount Everest. It is borne by the American politician Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947-). The name dropped in popularity in 1993 after she became the first lady as the wife of Bill Clinton.
Hiram m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
From Phoenician 𐤇𐤓𐤌 (Ḥirom) meaning "exalted brother". This was the name of a king of Tyre in the Old Testament. He may have reigned in the 10th century BC. As an English given name, Hiram came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where it gained some currency.
Holden m English (Modern)
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "deep valley" in Old English. This is the name of the main character in J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951), Holden Caufield.
Hollie f English
Variant of Holly.
Hollis m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from Middle English holis "holly trees". It was originally given to a person who lived near a group of those trees.
Holly f English
From the English word for the holly tree, ultimately derived from Old English holen.
Homer m English, Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name Ὅμηρος (Homeros), derived from ὅμηρος (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.
Honey f English (Rare)
Simply from the English word honey, ultimately from Old English hunig. This was originally a nickname for a sweet person.
Honor f & m English (Rare)
Variant of Honour, using the American spelling.
Honora f Irish, English
Variant of Honoria. It was brought to England and Ireland by the Normans.
Honour f English (Rare)
From the English word honour, which is of Latin origin. This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century. It can also be viewed as a form of Honoria or Honorata, which are ultimately derived from the same source.
Hope f English
From the English word hope, ultimately from Old English hopian. This name was first used by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Horace m English, French
English and French form of Horatius, and the name by which the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus is commonly known those languages. In the modern era it has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, in honour of the poet.
Horatio m English
Variant of Horatius. It was borne by the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), famous for his defeat of Napoleon's forces in the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he was himself killed. Since his time the name has been occasionally used in his honour.
Hortense f French, English
French form of Hortensia.
Houston m English
From a Scottish surname meaning "Hugh's town". The original Houston is in Scotland near Glasgow, but this is also the name of a city in Texas, named after the Texas president Sam Houston (1793-1863).
Howard m English
From an English surname that can derive from several different sources: the Anglo-Norman given name Huard, which was from the Germanic name Hughard; the Anglo-Scandinavian given name Haward, from the Old Norse name Hávarðr; or the Middle English term ewehirde meaning "ewe herder". This is the surname of a British noble family, members of which have held the title Duke of Norfolk from the 15th century to the present. A famous bearer of the given name was the American industrialist Howard Hughes (1905-1976).
Howie m English
Diminutive of Howard.
Hoyt m English
From an English surname that was derived from Middle English hoit "stick", originally a nickname for a thin person.
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.
Hudson m English
From an English surname meaning "son of Hudde". A famous bearer of the surname was the English explorer Henry Hudson (1570-1611).
Huey m English
Variant of Hughie.
Hugh m English
From the Germanic element hug meaning "heart, mind, spirit". It was common among Frankish and French nobility, being borne by Hugh Capet, a 10th-century king of France who founded the Capetian dynasty. The Normans brought the name to England and it became common there, even more so after the time of the 12th-century bishop Saint Hugh of Lincoln, who was known for his charity. This was also the name of kings of Cyprus and the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. The name is used in Ireland and Scotland as the Anglicized form of Aodh and Ùisdean.
Hughie m English
Diminutive of Hugh.
Hugo m Spanish, Portuguese, English, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, 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.
Humphrey m English
Means "peaceful warrior" from the Germanic elements hun "warrior, bear cub" and frid "peace". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hunfrith, and it was regularly used through the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the American actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), who starred in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca.
Hunter m & f English
From an occupational English surname for a hunter, derived from Old English hunta. A famous bearer was the eccentric American journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005).
Huxley m English (Modern)
From an English surname that was derived from the name of a town in Cheshire. The final element is Old English leah "woodland, clearing", while the first element might be hux "insult, scorn". A famous bearer of the surname was the British author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).
Hyacinth 2 f English (Rare)
From the name of the flower (or the precious stone that also bears this name), ultimately from Greek hyakinthos (see Hyacinthus).
Hyrum m English (Rare)
Variant of Hiram. This name was borne by Hyrum Smith (1800-1844), an early leader within the Mormon Church.
Ian m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic Iain, itself from Latin Iohannes (see John). It became popular in the United Kingdom outside of Scotland in the first half of the 20th century, but did not begin catching on in America until the 1960s.
Ibbie f English
Diminutive of Isabel.
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]
Idella f English
Elaboration of Ida.
Idelle f English (Rare)
Elaboration of Ida.
Idonea f English (Archaic)
Medieval English name, probably a Latinized form of Iðunn. The spelling may have been influenced by Latin idonea "suitable". It was common in England from the 12th century.
Idony f English (Archaic)
Medieval English vernacular form of Idonea.
Iggy m English
Diminutive of Ignatius.
Ike m English
Diminutive of Isaac. This was the nickname of the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), based on the initial sound of his surname.
Ilbert m English (Rare)
From an English surname that was derived from the Germanic given name Hildebert.
Ilene f English
Variant of Eileen, probably inspired by the spelling of Irene.
Imogen f English (British)
The name of a princess in the play Cymbeline (1609) by Shakespeare. He based her on a legendary character named Innogen, but the name was printed incorrectly and never corrected. The name Innogen is probably derived from Gaelic inghean meaning "maiden". As a given name it is chiefly British and Australian.
Imogene f English
Variant of Imogen.
Ina f German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English, Limburgish, Slovene, Latvian
Short form of names ending with or otherwise containing ina.
India f English, Spanish (Modern)
From the name of the country, which is itself derived from the name of the Indus River. The river's name is ultimately from Sanskrit सिन्धु (Sindhu) meaning "body of trembling water, river". India Wilkes is a character in the novel Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell.
Indiana f & m English
From the name of the American state, which means "land of the Indians". This is the name of the hero in the Indiana Jones series of movies, starring Harrison Ford.
Indie f English (Modern)
Possibly a diminutive of India or Indiana, but also likely inspired by the term indie, short for independent, which is typically used to refer to media produced outside of the mainstream.
Indigo f & m English (Rare)
From the English word indigo for the purplish-blue dye or the colour. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ἰνδικὸν (Indikon) meaning "Indic, from India".
Inez f English
English form of Inés.
Ingram m English
From an English surname that was derived from the Norman French given name Enguerrand.
Inigo m English (Rare)
English form of Íñigo. It became well-known in Britain due to the 17th-century English architect Inigo Jones. He was named after his father, a Catholic who was named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Innocent m History (Ecclesiastical), English (African)
From the Late Latin name Innocentius, which was derived from innocens "innocent". This was the name of several early saints. It was also borne by 13 popes including Innocent III, a politically powerful ruler and organizer of the Fourth Crusade.... [more]
Iola f English
Probably a variant of Iole.
Iona 1 f English, Scottish
From the name of the island off Scotland where Saint Columba founded a monastery. The name of the island is Old Norse in origin, and apparently derives simply from ey meaning "island".
Ione f Greek Mythology, English
From Ancient Greek ἴον (ion) meaning "violet flower". This was the name of a sea nymph in Greek mythology. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, though perhaps based on the Greek place name Ionia, a region on the west coast of Asia Minor.
Ira 1 m Biblical, English, Hebrew
Means "watchful" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of King David's priest. As an English Christian given name, Ira began to be used after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where remained moderately common into the 20th century.
Ireland f English (Modern)
From the name of the European island country, derived from Irish Gaelic Éire, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
Irene f English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Εἰρήνη (Eirene), derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the Ὥραι (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]
Iris f Greek Mythology, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Slovene, Greek
Means "rainbow" in Greek. Iris was the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, also serving as a messenger to the gods. This name can also be given in reference to the word (which derives from the same Greek source) for the iris flower or the coloured part of the eye.
Irma f German, English, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Slovene, 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.
Irvin m English
From a surname that was a variant of either Irving or Irwin.
Irvine m English, Scottish
From a surname that was a variant of Irving.
Irving m English, Jewish
From a Scottish surname that was derived from the town of Irvine in North Ayrshire, itself named for the River Irvine, which is derived from Brythonic elements meaning "green water". Historically this name has been relatively common among Jews, who have used it as an American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I such as Isaac, Israel and Isaiah. A famous bearer was the Russian-American songwriter and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose birth name was Israel Beilin.
Irwin m English
From an English surname that was derived from the Old English given name Eoforwine.
Isaac m English, Spanish, Catalan, French, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq) meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice", derived from צָחַק (tzachaq) meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17), and later Sarah laughed when overhearing the same prophecy (see Genesis 18:12). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau and Jacob with his wife Rebecca.... [more]
Isabel f Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German, Dutch
Medieval Occitan form of Elizabeth. It spread throughout Spain, Portugal and France, becoming common among the royalty by the 12th century. It grew popular in England in the 13th century after Isabella of Angoulême married the English king John, and it was subsequently bolstered when Isabella of France married Edward II the following century.... [more]
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]
Isadora f English, Portuguese
Variant of Isidora. A famous bearer was the American dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1927).
Isadore m English
Variant of Isidore.
Isaiah m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Yesha'yahu) meaning "Yahweh is salvation", from the roots יָשַׁע (yasha') meaning "to save" and יָה (yah) referring to the Hebrew God. Isaiah is one of the four major prophets of the Old Testament, supposedly the author of the Book of Isaiah. He was from Jerusalem and probably lived in the 8th century BC, at a time when Assyria threatened the Kingdom of Judah. As an English Christian name, Isaiah was first used after the Protestant Reformation.
Isiah m English
Variant of Isaiah.
Isidora f Spanish, Serbian, Portuguese (Rare), Italian (Rare), English (Rare), Ancient Greek
Feminine form of Isidore. This was the name of a 4th-century Egyptian saint and hermitess.
Isidore m English, French, Georgian (Rare), Jewish
From the Greek name Ἰσίδωρος (Isidoros) meaning "gift of Isis", derived from the name of the Egyptian goddess Isis combined with Greek δῶρον (doron) meaning "gift". Saint Isidore of Seville was a 6th-century archbishop, historian and theologian.... [more]
Isla f Scottish, English
Variant of Islay, typically used as a feminine name. It also coincides with the Spanish word isla meaning "island".
Israel m Jewish, English, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name יִשְׂרָאֵל (Yisra'el) meaning "God contends", from the roots שָׂרָה (sarah) meaning "to contend, to fight" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". In the Old Testament, Israel (who was formerly named Jacob; see Genesis 32:28) wrestles with an angel. The ancient and modern states of Israel took their names from him.
Issac m English
Variant of Isaac.
Issy m & f English
Diminutive of Isidore, Isabella and other names beginning with Is.
Ivan m Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Macedonian, Slovene, English, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian
Newer form of the old Slavic name Іѡаннъ (Ioannu), which was derived from Greek Ioannes (see John). This was the name of six Russian rulers, including the 15th-century Ivan III the Great and 16th-century Ivan IV the Terrible, the first tsar of Russia. It was also borne by nine emperors of Bulgaria. Other notable bearers include the Russian author Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), who wrote Fathers and Sons, and the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), who is best known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex.
Ivor m Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English (British)
From the Old Norse name Ívarr, which was derived from the elements yr "yew, bow" and arr "warrior". During the Middle Ages it was brought to Britain by Scandinavian settlers and invaders, and it was adopted in Ireland (Irish Íomhar), Scotland (Scottish Gaelic Iomhar) and Wales (Welsh Ifor).
Ivy f English
From the English word for the climbing plant that has small yellow flowers. It is ultimately derived from Old English ifig.