LAURA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Lithuanian, Latvian, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Laurus
, which meant "laurel"
. This meaning was favourable, since in ancient Rome the leaves of laurel trees were used to create victors' garlands. The name was borne by the 9th-century Spanish martyr Saint Laura, who was a nun thrown into a vat of molten lead by the Moors. It was also the name of the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.... [more]
LENA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Russian, English, Italian, Portuguese, Greek
Short form of names ending in lena
, such as HELENA
LEONARDO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of LEONARD
. A notable bearer was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), an Italian artist and scientist of the Renaissance. He is known as the inventor of several contraptions, including flying machines, as well as the painter of the Mona Lisa
. Another famous bearer was Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th-century Italian mathematician. A more recent bearer is American actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-).
LINDA f English, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, French, Latvian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Ancient Germanic
Originally a medieval short form of Germanic names containing the element lind
meaning "flexible, soft, mild"
. It also coincides with the Spanish and Portuguese word linda
. In the English-speaking world this name experienced a spike in popularity beginning in the 1930s, peaking in the late 1940s, and declining shortly after that. It was the most popular name for girls in the United States from 1947 to 1952.
LOREDANA f Italian, Romanian
Used by the French author George Sand for a character in her novel Mattea
(1833) and later by the Italian author Luciano Zuccoli in his novel L'amore de Loredana
(1908). It was possibly based on the Venetian surname Loredan
, which was derived from the place name Loreo
LORENZO m Italian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish form of Laurentius
(see LAURENCE (1)
). Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), known as the Magnificent, was a ruler of Florence during the Renaissance. He was also a great patron of the arts who employed Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and other famous artists.
LORETO f & m Italian, Spanish
From the name of a town in Italy, originally called Lauretum
in Latin, meaning "laurel grove". Supposedly in the 13th century the house of the Virgin Mary
was miraculously carried by angels from Nazareth to the town.
LUANA f English, Italian, Portuguese
From the movie Bird of Paradise
(1932), in which it was borne by the main character, a Polynesian girl. The movie was based on a 1912 play of the same name set in Hawaii.
LUCA (1) m Italian, Romanian
Italian and Romanian form of Lucas
). This name was borne by Luca della Robbia, a Renaissance sculptor from Florence.
LUCETTA f Italian
Diminutive of LUCE
. Shakespeare used this name for a character in his play The Two Gentlemen of Verona
LUCIA f Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Slovak, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of LUCIUS
. Saint Lucia was a 4th-century martyr from Syracuse. She was said to have had her eyes gouged out, and thus she is the patron saint of the blind. She was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). It has been used in the England since the 12th century, usually in the spellings Lucy
MANUEL m Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Romanian, Late Greek (Latinized)
Spanish and Portuguese form of EMMANUEL
. In the spelling Μανουήλ (Manouel)
it was also used in the Byzantine Empire, notably by two emperors. It is possible this form of the name was transmitted to Spain and Portugal from Byzantium, since there were connections between the royal families (king Ferdinand III of Castile married Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen, who had Byzantine roots, and had a son named Manuel). The name has been used in Iberia since at least the 13th century and was borne by two kings of Portugal.
MARCO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch
Italian form of Marcus
). During the Middle Ages this name was common in Venice, where Saint Mark was supposedly buried. A famous bearer was the Venetian explorer Marco Polo, who travelled across Asia to China in the 13th century.
MARGHERITA f Italian
Italian form of MARGARET
. This is also the Italian word for the daisy flower (species Bellis perennis, Leucanthemum vulgare and others).
MARIA f & m Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Estonian, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Latin form of Greek Μαρία
, from Hebrew מִרְיָם
is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary
). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria
is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.... [more]
MARINA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian, Latvian, Georgian, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of MARINUS
MARIO m Italian, Spanish, German, Croatian
Italian and Spanish form of MARIUS
. Famous bearers include American racecar driver Mario Andretti (1940-) and Canadian hockey player Mario Lemieux (1965-).
MARTA f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Polish, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, Swedish, Icelandic, Latvian, Georgian
Form of MARTHA
used in various languages.
MARTINA f German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovene, Hungarian, English, Swedish, Dutch, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Martinus
). Saint Martina was a 3rd-century martyr who is one of the patron saints of Rome.
MICHELANGELO m Italian
Combination of MICHAEL
, referring to the archangel Michael. The Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti, from Florence, was the man who created such great works of art as the statue of David
and the mural on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This name was also borne by the Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio.
MICOL f Italian
Italian variant form of MICHAL (2)
(the Italian biblical form being Mikal
). This is the name of the heroine in Giorgio Bassani's novel The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
MILENA f Bulgarian, Czech, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Italian
Feminine form of MILAN
. It began to be used in Italy in honour of Milena Vukotić (1847-1923), mother of Helen of Montenegro, the wife of the Italian king Victor Emmanuel III. In Italy it can also be considered a combination of MARIA
MIRIAM f Hebrew, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew form of MARY
. It is used in the Old Testament, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses
. She watched over the infant Moses as the pharaoh's daughter drew him from the Nile. The name has long been popular among Jews, and it has been used as an English Christian name (alongside Mary
) since the Protestant Reformation.
MONICA f English, Italian, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Late Roman
Meaning unknown, most likely of North African or Phoenician origin. In the 4th century this name was borne by the North African saint Monica of Hippo, the mother of Saint Augustine, whom she converted to Christianity. Since the Middle Ages it has been associated with Latin moneo "advisor"
and Greek monos "one"
. As an English name, Monica
has been in general use since the 18th century.
NAPOLEONE m Italian
Original Italian form of NAPOLEON
. Besides the French emperor, it was borne by the 14th-century cardinal Napoleone Orsini and the Italian writer and politician Napoleone Colajanni (1847-1921).
NATALIA f Polish, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, English, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Greek, Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Late Roman
Latinate form of Natalia
NAZZARENO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin Nazarenus
, which meant "from Nazareth, Nazarene"
. Nazareth was the town in Galilee where Jesus
lived. According to the New Testament, the phrase Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum
meaning "Jesus the Nazarene, king of the Jews", was inscribed on the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
NERINA f Italian
Probably from Greek Νηρηΐδες
). This name was used by Torquato Tasso for a character in his play Aminta
(1573), and subsequently by Giacomo Leopardi in his poem Le Ricordanze
NEVIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Naevius
, which was derived from Latin naevus "mole (on the body)"
. A famous bearer was the 3rd-century BC Roman poet Gnaeus Naevius.
NICCOLÒ m Italian
Italian form of NICHOLAS
. A famous bearer was Niccolò Machiavelli, a 16th-century political philosopher from Florence.
NINA (1) f Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Belarusian
Short form of names that end in nina
, such as ANTONINA
. 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"
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
NOVELLA f Italian
Derived from Latin novellus
meaning "new, young, novel"
, a diminutive of novus "new"
. This name was borne by the 14th-century Italian scholar Novella d'Andrea, who taught law at the University of Bologna.
NUNZIO m Italian
Masculine short form of ANNUNZIATA
. It also coincides with the related Italian word nunzio
"messenger" (ultimately from Latin nuntius
OLGA f Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Estonian, Latvian, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovene, Serbian, Bulgarian, Greek
Russian form of HELGA
. The Varangians brought it from Scandinavia to Russia. The 10th-century Saint Olga was the wife of Igor I, grand prince of Kievan Rus (a state based around the city of Kiev). Following his death she ruled as regent for her son for 18 years. After she was baptized in Constantinople she attempted to convert her subjects to Christianity.
OLINDO m Literature, Italian
Used by the 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso for the lover of Sophronia in his epic poem Jerusalem Delivered
(1580). It might be a variant of Olinto
, the Italian form of the ancient Greek city Ὄλυνθος (Olynthos)
meaning "wild fig".
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 directly from the Latin word oliva
. In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.... [more]
OMAR (1) m Arabic, English, Spanish, Italian
Alternate transcription of Arabic عمر
). 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).
ORIANA f Italian, Spanish
Possibly derived from Latin aurum
"gold" or from its derivatives, Spanish oro
or French or
. In medieval legend Oriana was the daughter of a king of England who married the knight Amadis.
ORLANDO m Italian
Italian form of ROLAND
, as used in the epic poems Orlando Innamorato
(1483) by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Orlando Furioso
(1532) by Ludovico Ariosto. A character in Shakespeare's play As You like It
(1599) also bears this name, as does a city in Florida.
ORNELLA f Italian
Created by the Italian author Gabriele d'Annunzio for his novel La Figlia di Jorio
(1904). It is derived from Tuscan Italian ornello
meaning "flowering ash tree".
ORSINO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman name Ursinus
, itself derived from Ursus
). This is the name of a character in Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night
OSANNA f Italian (Rare)
Italian form of HOSANNA
. This was the name of a 15th-century Italian saint and mystic, as well as a 16th-century Montenegrin saint.
OSCAR m English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend"
, derived from Gaelic os
"deer" and cara
"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 Cumhail.... [more]
OTELLO m Italian
Italian form of OTHELLO
. This was the name of an 1887 opera by Giuseppe Verdi, based on Shakespeare's play.
PALMIRO m Italian
in Italian. In medieval times it denoted one who had been a pilgrim to Palestine. It is ultimately from the word palma
meaning "palm tree", because of the custom of pilgrims to bring palm fronds home with them. The name is sometimes given to a child born on Palm Sunday.
PANFILO m Italian
Italian form of PAMPHILOS
. The Italian novelist Boccaccio used this name in his work The Decameron
PAOLO m Italian
Italian form of Paulus
). Paolo Uccello and Paolo Veronese were both Italian Renaissance painters.
PETRONILLA f Italian, Late Roman
From a Latin name, a diminutive of Petronia
, the feminine form of PETRONIUS
. This was the name of an obscure 1st-century Roman saint, later believed to be a daughter of Saint Peter
PIER m Italian, Dutch
Italian and Dutch variant form of PETER
. In Italian, this form is often used in combination with another name.
PIERO m Italian
Italian form of PETER
. Piero della Francesca was an Italian Renaissance painter.
PIETRO m Italian
Italian form of PETER
. Pietro was the given name of the Renaissance painter known as Perugino.
PLACIDO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin name Placidus
meaning "quiet, calm"
PORFIRIO m Italian, Spanish
Derived from the Greek name Πορφύριος (Porphyrios)
, which was derived from the word πορφύρα (porphyra)
meaning "purple dye"
. This was the name of several early saints.
PRIMO m Italian
Italian form of the Late Latin name Primus
, which meant "first"
. This was the name of three early saints, each of whom was martyred.
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
PROSPERO m Italian
Italian form of PROSPER
. This was the name of the shipwrecked magician in The Tempest
(1611) by Shakespeare.
REBECCA f English, Italian, Swedish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name רִבְקָה (Rivqah)
from an unattested root probably meaning "join, tie, snare"
. This is the name of the wife of Isaac
and the mother of Esau
in the Old Testament. It came into use as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular with the Puritans in the 17th century.
REGINA f English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Estonian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman
in Latin (or Italian). It was in use as a Christian name from early times, and was borne by a 2nd-century saint. In England it was used during the Middle Ages in honour of the Virgin Mary
, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A city in Canada bears this name, in honour of Queen Victoria.
RITA f Italian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Latvian, Lithuanian
Short form of MARGHERITA
and other names ending in rita
. A famous bearer was American actress Rita Hayworth (1918-1987).
ROBERTO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of ROBERT
. Saint Roberto Bellarmine was a 16th-century cardinal who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church. Another famous bearer was Roberto de Nobili, a Jesuit missionary to India in the 17th century.
ROCCO m Italian, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name derived from the element hrok
. This was the name of a 14th-century French saint who nursed victims of the plague but eventually contracted the disease himself. He is the patron saint of the sick.