ACHELOUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ἀχελώιος (Acheloios)
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly of Semitic origin. This was the name of a Greek god of water and rivers, in particular the Achelous River in western Greece. He fought with (and was defeated by) Herakles
for the hand of Deianeira
ACHILLES m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἀχιλλεύς (Achilleus)
, which is of unknown meaning, perhaps derived from Greek ἄχος (achos)
or else from the name of the Achelous River. This was the name of a warrior in Greek legend, one of the central characters in Homer
. The bravest of the Greek heroes in the war against the Trojans, he was eventually killed by an arrow to his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body.... [more]
ADITI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada
Means "boundless, entire"
or "freedom, security"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of an ancient Hindu goddess of the sky and fertility. According to the Vedas she is the mother of the gods.
ADONIS m Greek Mythology
From Phoenician adon
. In Greek myth Adonis was a handsome young shepherd killed while hunting a wild boar. The anemone flower is said to have sprung from his blood. Because he was loved by Aphrodite
allowed him to be restored to life for part of each year. The Greeks borrowed this character from Semitic traditions, originally Sumerian (see DUMUZI
ADRASTOS m Greek Mythology
Means "not inclined to run away"
in Greek. This was the name of a king of Argos in Greek legend.
AEGLE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Αἴγλη (Aigle)
, which meant "light, radiance, glory"
. This was the name of several characters in Greek myth, including one of the Heliades and one of the Hesperides.
AELLA f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek myth this was the name of an Amazon warrior killed by Herakles
during his quest for Hippolyta's girdle.
AENEAS m Roman Mythology
Latin form of the Greek name Αἰνείας (Aineias)
, derived from Greek αἴνη (aine)
. In Greek legend he was a son of Aphrodite
and was one of the chief heroes who defended Troy from the Greeks. The Roman poet Virgil
continued his story in the Aeneid
, in which Aeneas travels to Italy and founds the Roman state.
AGAUE f Greek Mythology
Means "illustrious, noble"
in Greek. This was the mother of Pentheus in Greek myth.
AGLAIA f Greek Mythology, Greek
Means "splendour, beauty"
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the three Graces or Χάριτες
(Charites). This name was also borne by a 4th-century saint from Rome.
AGNI (1) m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
in Sanskrit. This is the name of the ancient Hindu fire god, usually depicted as red-skinned with three legs, seven arms, and two faces.
AGRONA f Celtic Mythology (Hypothetical)
Perhaps derived from an old Celtic element agro
meaning "battle, slaughter"
. This is possibly the name of a Brythonic goddess for whom the River Ayr in Scotland was named.
AHURA MAZDA m Persian Mythology
Means "lord of wisdom"
in Avestan. In Persian mythology Ahura Mazda was the supreme creator, and the god of light, truth, and goodness.
AIOLOS m Greek Mythology
Means "quick-moving, nimble"
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of the winds.
AJAX m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αἴας (Aias)
, perhaps deriving from Greek αἰαστής (aiastes)
or αἶα (aia)
meaning "earth, land"
. In Greek mythology this was the name of two of the heroes who fought for the Greeks in the Trojan War, the son of Telamon and the son of Oileus. When the armour of the slain hero Achilles
was not given to Ajax Telamonian, he became mad with jealousy and killed himself.
ALBERICH m Ancient Germanic, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements alf
"elf" and ric
"ruler, mighty". Alberich was the name of the sorcerer king of the dwarfs in Germanic mythology. He also appears in the Nibelungenlied
as a dwarf who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen.
ALCYONE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἀλκυόνη (Alkyone)
, derived from the word ἀλκυών (alkyon)
. In Greek myth this name belonged to a daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck she threw herself into the water, but the gods saved her and turned them both into kingfishers. This is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, the seven stars in the constellation Taurus.
ALEXANDER m English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men"
from Greek ἀλέξω (alexo)
meaning "to defend, help" and ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ALEXANDRA f English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera
, and an alternate name of Cassandra
. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix
, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra)
upon joining the Russian Church.
ALF (1) m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse alfr
. In Norse legend this was the name of king, the suitor of a reluctant maiden named Alfhild. She avoided marrying him by disguising herself as a warrior, but when they fought she was so impressed by his strength that she changed her mind.
ALTHEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Ἀλθαία (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek ἄλθος (althos)
. In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ALVIS m Norse Mythology, Latvian
From the Old Norse Alvíss
meaning "all wise"
. In Norse mythology this was the name of a dwarf who was to marry Thor
's daughter Thrud
. Thor was not pleased with this so he tricked Alvis by asking him questions until the sun rose, at which time the dwarf was turned into stone.
AMATERASU f Japanese Mythology
Means "shining over heaven"
, from Japanese 天 (ama)
meaning "heaven, sky" and 照 (terasu)
meaning "shine". This was the name of the Japanese sun goddess, the ruler of the heavens. She was born when Izanagi
washed his left eye after returning from the underworld. At one time the Japanese royal family claimed descent from her.
AMERETAT f Persian Mythology
in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of plants and long life.
AMIRANI m Georgian Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Proto-Kartvelian origin. This is the name of a hero from Georgian mythology whose story is similar to that of Prometheus
from Greek mythology.
AMON m Egyptian Mythology (Anglicized)
From Ἄμμων (Ammon)
, the Greek form of Egyptian jmn
(reconstructed as Yamanu
) meaning "the hidden one"
. In early Egyptian mythology he was a god of the air, creativity and fertility, who was particularly revered in Thebes. Later, during the Middle Kingdom, his attributes were combined with those of the god Ra
and he was worshipped as the supreme solar deity Amon-Ra
AMULIUS m Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Roman mythology Amulius overthrew his brother Numitor, king of Alba Longa, but was eventually deposed by Numitor's grandsons Romulus
AN (2) m Sumerian Mythology
Means "heaven, sky"
in Sumerian. An was the supreme Sumerian god of the heavens, the father of Enlil
. His cuneiform sign 𒀭 (dingir)
was prefixed to the names of other deities in writing, though it was not pronounced.
ANAT (1) f Semitic Mythology
Possibly derived from a Semitic root meaning "water spring"
. Anat was a goddess of fertility, hunting and war worshipped by the Semitic peoples of the Levant. She was the sister and consort of the god Hadad
ANDRASTE f Celtic Mythology (Hellenized)
Possibly means "invincible"
in Celtic. According to the Greco-Roman historian Cassius Dio, this was the name of a Briton goddess of victory who was invoked by Boudicca
before her revolt.
ANDROMEDA f Greek Mythology
Means "to be mindful of a man"
from the Greek element ἀνήρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ἀνδρός
) combined with μέδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to be mindful of". In Greek mythology Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued from sacrifice by the hero Perseus
. A constellation in the northern sky is named for her. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.
ANGERONA f Roman Mythology
Possibly from Latin angor "strangulation, torment"
or angustus "narrow, constricted"
. Angerona was the Roman goddess of the winter solstice, death, and silence.
ANIL m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Nepali
Derived from Sanskrit अनिल (anila)
meaning "air, wind"
. This is another name of Vayu
, the Hindu god of the wind.
ANTIGONE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἀντί (anti)
meaning "against, compared to, like" and γονή (gone)
meaning "birth, offspring". In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave.
ANTIOPE f Greek Mythology
Derived from the Greek elements ἀντί (anti)
meaning "against, compared to, like" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "voice". This was the name of several figures in Greek mythology, including a daughter of Ares
who was one of the queens of the Amazons. She was kidnapped and married by Theseus
ANUBIS m Egyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Ἄνουβις (Anoubis)
, the Greek form of Egyptian jnpw
(reconstructed as Anapa
and other forms), which coincided with a word meaning "royal child, prince"
. However, it might alternatively be derived from the root jnp
meaning "to decay"
. Anubis was the Egyptian god who led the dead to the underworld. He was often depicted as a man with the head of a jackal. The Greeks equated him with their god Hermes
AODH m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áed
, which meant "fire"
. This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
meaning "little fire"
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AOIDE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
AOIFE f Irish, Irish Mythology
from the Irish word aoibh
. In Irish legend Aoife was a warrior princess. In war against her sister Scathach, she was defeated in single combat by the hero Cúchulainn
. Eventually she was reconciled with her sister and became the lover of Cúchulainn. This name is sometimes used as a Gaelic form of EVE
AONGHUS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly meaning "one strength"
derived from Irish óen
"one" and gus
"force, strength, energy". Aonghus (sometimes surnamed Mac Og
meaning "young son") was the Irish god of love and youth. The name was also borne by an 8th-century Pictish king and several Irish kings.
APHRODITE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty, identified with the Roman goddess Venus
. She was the wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of Eros
, and she was often associated with the myrtle tree and doves. The Greeks connected her name with ἀφρός (aphros)
, resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea. Many of her characteristics are based on the goddess known as Ashtoreth
to the Phoenicians and Ishtar
to the Mesopotamian Semitic peoples, and on the Sumerian goddess Inanna
APOLLO m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ἀπόλλων (Apollon)
, which is of unknown meaning, though perhaps related to Indo-European *apelo
. Another theory states that Apollo can be equated with Appaliunas, an Anatolian god whose name possibly means "father lion"
or "father light"
. The Greeks later associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι (apollymi)
meaning "to destroy"
. In Greek mythology Apollo was the son of Zeus
and the twin of Artemis
. He was the god of prophecy, medicine, music, art, law, beauty, and wisdom. Later he also became the god of the sun and light.
ARA m Armenian, Armenian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Sumerian origin. In Armenian legend this was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him. During the war Ara was slain.
ARACHNE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek myth Arachne was a mortal woman who defeated Athena
in a weaving contest. After this Arachne hanged herself, but Athena brought her back to life in the form of a spider.
ARASH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means either "truthfulness"
in Persian. In Persian legend Arash was a Persian archer who was ordered by the Turans to shoot an arrow, the landing place of which would determine the new location of the Persian-Turan border. Arash climbed a mountain and fired his arrow with such strength that it flew for several hours and landed on the banks of the far-away Oxus River.
ARAWN m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
ARES m Greek Mythology
Perhaps from either Greek ἀρή (are)
meaning "bane, ruin"
or ἄρσην (arsen)
. The name first appears as a-re
in Mycenaean Greek writing. Ares was the bloodthirsty god of war in Greek mythology, a son of Zeus
ARETHUSA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ἀρέθουσα (Arethousa)
meaning "quick water"
, which is possibly derived from ἄρδω (ardo)
meaning "water" and θοός (thoos)
meaning "quick, nimble". This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who was transformed into a fountain.
ARGUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἄργος (Argos)
, derived from ἀργός (argos)
meaning "glistening, shining"
. This name was borne by several characters from Greek myth, including the man who built the Argo and a giant with one hundred eyes.
ARIADNE f Greek Mythology
Means "most holy"
, composed of the Cretan Greek elements ἀρι (ari)
meaning "most" and ἀδνός (adnos)
meaning "holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos
. She fell in love with Theseus
and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus
ARIANRHOD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel"
or "round wheel"
in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan
Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ARIES m Roman Mythology
in Latin. This is the name of a constellation and the first sign of the zodiac. Some Roman legends state that the ram in the constellation was the one who supplied the Golden Fleece sought by Jason
ARJUNA m Hinduism
Means "white, clear"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hero in Hindu texts, the son of the god Indra
and the princess Kunti.
ARTEMIS f Greek Mythology, Greek
Meaning unknown, possibly related either to Greek ἀρτεμής (artemes)
or ἄρταμος (artamos)
meaning "a butcher"
. Artemis was the Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, the twin of Apollo
and the daughter of Zeus
. She was known as Diana
to the Romans.
ARUNDHATI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
The name of a star (also called Alcor), which was named after a type of climbing plant, possibly meaning "not restrained" in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief it is the name of the sage Vasishtha's wife, who is identified with the star.
ARUSHI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
From Sanskrit अरुष (arusha)
meaning "reddish, dawn"
, a word used in the Rigveda to describe the red horses of Agni
. This name also appears in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
belonging to a daughter of Manu
and the wife of Chyavana, though in this case it might derive from Sanskrit आरुषी (arushi)
meaning "hitting, killing"
ASHERAH f Semitic Mythology
Perhaps derived from Semitic roots meaning "she who walks in the sea"
. This was the name of a Semitic mother goddess. She was worshipped by the Israelites before the advent of monotheism.
ASHUR m Semitic Mythology
From the name of the city of ASHUR
, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which is of unknown meaning. Ashur was the patron deity of the city and the chief god of Assyria.
ASK m Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse askr "ash tree"
. In Norse mythology Ask and his wife Embla
were the first humans created by the gods.
ASTRAEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Ἀστραία (Astraia)
, derived from Greek ἀστήρ (aster)
. Astraea was a Greek goddess of justice and innocence. After wickedness took root in the world she left the earth and became the constellation Virgo.
ATALANTA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἀταλάντη (Atalante)
meaning "equal in weight"
, derived from ἀτάλαντος (atalantos)
, a word related to τάλαντον (talanton)
meaning "a scale, a balance". In Greek legend she was a fast-footed maiden who refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a race. She was eventually defeated by Hippomenes, who dropped three golden apples during the race causing her to stop to pick them up.
ATHENA f Greek Mythology, English
Meaning unknown. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. It is likely that her name is derived from that of the city, not vice versa. The earliest mention of her seems to be a 15th-century BC Mycenaean Greek inscription from Knossos on Crete.... [more]
ATLAS m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "enduring"
from Greek τλάω (tlao)
meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus
by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
ATON m Egyptian Mythology
From Egyptian jtn
meaning "solar disk"
. Aton was an Egyptian god of the sun, depicted as a solar disk with long rays extending downwards. The worship of Aton was especially extensive during the reign of the pharaoh Akhenaton
, who proclaimed Aton was the only god.
ATROPOS f Greek Mythology
Means "inevitable, inflexible"
in Greek, derived from the negative prefix ἀ (a)
combined with τρόπος (tropos)
meaning "direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοῖραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
ATUM m Egyptian Mythology
From Egyptian jtm
, derived from tm
meaning "completion, totality"
. This was the name of an Egyptian creator god. He was first prominently worshipped in Heliopolis during the Old Kingdom.
AUSTER m Roman Mythology
in Latin (descended from an Indo-European root meaning "dawn", making it related to the English word east
). Auster was the Roman god of the south wind.
AZRAEL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Variant of AZRIEL
. This was the name of an angel in Jewish and Islamic tradition who separated the soul from the body upon death. He is sometimes referred to as the Angel of Death.
BA'AL m Semitic Mythology, Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew form of Semitic ba'l
meaning "lord, master, possessor"
. This was the title of various deities, often associated with storms and fertility, who were worshipped by the Canaanites, Phoenicians, and other peoples of the ancient Near East. It was particularly applied to the god Hadad
BA'AL HAMMON m Semitic Mythology
From Semitic ba'l
meaning "lord" prefixing another word of uncertain meaning. This was the name of the supreme god worshipped in the Phoenician city of Carthage, alongside his consort Tanith
BAHMAN m Persian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Vohu Manah
meaning "good mind"
. This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with domestic animals. It is also the name of the eleventh month in the Iranian calendar.
BAHRAM m Persian, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Verethragna
meaning "victory over resistance"
. This was the name of a Zoroastrian god (one of the Amesha Spenta) associated with victory and war. This name was borne by several Sassanid emperors. It is also the Persian name for the planet Mars.
BAIHU m Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 白 (bái)
meaning "white, pure" and 虎 (hǔ)
meaning "tiger". This is the Chinese name of the White Tiger, associated with the west and the autumn season.
BALA (1) m & f Hinduism, Tamil
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form बाल
and the feminine form बाला
(a minor Hindu goddess).
BALADEVA m Hinduism
Means "god of strength"
from Sanskrit बल (bala)
meaning "strength" combined with देव (deva)
meaning "god". Baladeva (also called Balarama) is the name of the older brother of the Hindu god Krishna
BALDER m Norse Mythology
from Old Norse. In Norse mythology Balder was the son of Odin
. Because of the disturbing dreams he had when he was young, his mother extracted an oath from every thing in the world that it would not harm him. However the evil fire god Loki
learned that she had overlooked mistletoe. Being jealous, he tricked the blind god Hoder into throwing a branch of mistletoe at Balder, which killed him.
BALTHAZAR m Judeo-Christian Legend
Variant of BELSHAZZAR
. Balthazar is the name traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who visited the newborn Jesus
. He was said to have come from Arabia.
BARLAAM m Judeo-Christian Legend
Meaning unknown. In Christian legends Barlaam (recorded as Greek Βαρλαάμ
) was a 3rd-century hermit who converted Josaphat, the son of an Indian king, to Christianity. The story is based on that of the Buddha. This name was also borne by two saints.
BASAJAUN m Mythology
Means "lord of the woods"
from Basque baso
"woods" and jaun
"lord". This is the name of a character in Basque folklore, the Old Man of the Woods.
BAST f Egyptian Mythology
From Egyptian bꜣstt
, which was possibly derived from bꜣs
meaning "(ointment) jar"
. In Egyptian mythology Bast was a goddess of cats, fertility and the sun who was considered a protector of Lower Egypt. She was often depicted with the head of a lioness or a house cat. As her role in the Egyptian pantheon diminished, she was called Bastet
BASTET f Egyptian Mythology
From Egyptian bꜣstjt
, a variant of BAST
. This form of the name, was given to her after the similar goddess Sekhmet (protector of Upper Egypt) became more important.
BATRAZ m Ossetian, Caucasian Mythology
Possibly from Turkic bagatur
meaning "hero, warrior, brave"
. This is the name of the leader of the superhuman Narts in Caucasian mythology.
BÉBINN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair lady"
in Irish. This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including a goddess of childbirth.
BEDIVERE m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Bedwyr
, which is of unknown meaning. In Arthurian legends Bedivere was one of the original companions of King Arthur
. He first appears in early Welsh tales, and his story was later expanded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. He is the one who throws the sword Excalibur into the lake at the request of the dying Arthur.
BELENUS m Gaulish Mythology
Probably from a Celtic word meaning "bright, brilliant"
. This was the name of a Gaulish solar god who was often equated with Apollo
BELI m Welsh Mythology
Probably a Welsh derivative of BELENUS
. Beli Mawr was a Welsh ancestor deity who established several royal lines in Wales.
BELIAL m Biblical, Biblical Latin, Judeo-Christian Legend
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this term is used to refer to various wicked people. In the New Testament, Paul uses it as a name for Satan. In later Christian tradition Belial became an evil angel associated with lawlessness and lust.
BELLONA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin bellare
meaning "to fight"
. This was the name of the Roman goddess of war, a companion of Mars
BEOWULF m Anglo-Saxon Mythology
Possibly means "bee wolf"
(in effect equal to "bear") from Old English beo
"bee" and wulf
"wolf". Alternatively, the first element may be beadu
"battle". This is the name of the main character in the anonymous 8th-century epic poem Beowulf
. Set in Denmark, the poem tells how he slays the monster Grendel and its mother at the request of King Hroðgar
. After this Beowulf becomes the king of the Geats. The conclusion of the poem tells how Beawulf, in his old age, slays a dragon but is himself mortally wounded in the act.
BHARATA m Hinduism
Means "being maintained"
in Sanskrit. This is one of the names of Agni
, the Hindu god of fire, and is also the name of the brother of Rama
in the Hindu epic the Ramayana
. It was also borne by a legendary king, the son of Dushyanta
. The official name of the country of India, Bharat, derives from him.
BHASKARA m Hinduism
, derived from a combination of Sanskrit भास (bhasa)
meaning "light" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is another name of the sun and the Hindu god Shiva
. It was additionally borne by a 12th-century Indian astronomer, also known as Bhaskaracharya.
BHIMA m Hinduism
Means "terrible, formidable"
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of the second son of Pandu, and thus one of the five Pandavas. He was known for his terrific strength and skill as a warrior.
BHUMI f Hinduism
Means "earth, soil"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu earth goddess. She is the wife of Varaha, an avatar of Vishnu.
BILE m Irish Mythology
Possibly an Irish form of BELENUS
, though it may derive from an Irish word meaning "hero". In Irish mythology this was the name of one of the Milesians who was drowned while invading Ireland.
BLÁTHNAT f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "little flower"
from the Irish word blath
"flower" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend she was a maiden abducted and married by Cú Roí. She was rescued by Cúchulainn
, who killed her husband, but she was in turn murdered by one of Cú Roí's loyal servants.
BLODEUWEDD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "face of flowers"
in Welsh. In a story in the Mabinogion, she is created out of flowers by Gwydion
to be the wife of his nephew Lleu
Llaw Gyffes. She is eventually changed into an owl for her infidelity.
BRAHMA m Hinduism
Means "growth, expansion, creation"
in Sanskrit. The Hindu god Brahma is the creator and director of the universe, the balance between the opposing forces of Vishnu
. He is often depicted with four heads and four arms.
BRAN (2) m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
BRANWEN f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven"
from Welsh brân
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
meaning "exalted one"
. In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRIJESHA m Hinduism
Means "ruler of Brij"
in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, Brij being a region associated with him.
BRISEIS f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from Βρισεύς (Briseus)
, a Greek name of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology Briseis (real name Hippodameia) was the daughter of Briseus. She was captured during the Trojan War by Achilles
. After Agamemnon
took her away from him, Achilles refused to fight in the war.
BRONTES m Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology (according to Hesiod), this was the name of one of the three Cyclopes, who were the sons of Uranus
BRÜNHILD f German (Rare), Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun
"armour, protection" and hild
"battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr
(from the elements bryn
). In Norse legend Brynhildr
was the queen of the Valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd
. In the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied
she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther
. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
BRYNHILDR f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse cognate of BRÜNHILD
. In the Norse legend the Volsungasaga
Brynhildr was rescued by the hero Sigurd
in the guise of Gunnar
. Brynhildr and Gunnar were married, but when Sigurd's wife Gudrun
let slip that it was in fact Sigurd who had rescued her, Brynhildr plotted against him. She accused Sigurd of taking her virginity, spurring Gunnar to arrange Sigurd's murder.
BYELOBOG m Slavic Mythology
Means "the white god"
from Slavic byelo
"white" and bogu
"god". This was the name of the Slavic god of the sun, happiness and fortune.
CADMUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κάδμος (Kadmos)
, of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor. He was sent by his father to rescue his sister Europa
, who had been abducted by Zeus
, although he did not succeed in retrieving her. According to legend, Cadmus founded the city of Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece.
CÁEL m Irish Mythology
From Irish caol
. In Irish legend Cáel was a warrior of the Fianna and the lover of Créd.
CAISHEN m Chinese Mythology
Means "god of wealth"
, from Chinese 财 (cái)
meaning "wealth, riches" and 神 (shén)
meaning "god". This is the name of a Chinese god of wealth.
CALYPSO f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Καλυψώ (Kalypso)
, which probably meant "she that conceals"
, derived from καλύπτω (kalypto)
meaning "to cover, to conceal". In Greek myth this was the name of the nymph who fell in love with Odysseus
after he was shipwrecked on her island of Ogygia. When he refused to stay with her she detained him for seven years until Zeus
ordered her to release him.
CARDEA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin cardo
meaning "hinge, axis"
. This was the name of the Roman goddess of thresholds, door pivots, and change.
CASSIEL m Judeo-Christian Legend
From Hebrew קַפצִיאֵל (Qaftzi'el)
, of uncertain meaning. Suggested meanings include "speed of God"
or "cover of God"
. This is the name of an angel in medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic mysticism.
CASSIOPEIA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κασσιόπεια (Kassiopeia)
or Κασσιέπεια (Kassiepeia)
, possibly meaning "cassia juice"
. In Greek myth Cassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda. She was changed into a constellation and placed in the northern sky after she died.
CASTOR m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κάστωρ (Kastor)
, possibly related to κέκασμαι (kekasmai)
meaning "to excel, to shine"
). Alternatively it could be derived from the Greek word κάστωρ (kastor)
, though the legends about Castor do not mention beavers, which were foreign animals to the Greeks. In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus
and the twin brother of Pollux
. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
CEPHALUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κέφαλος (Kephalos)
, which was derived from κεφαλή (kephale)
. In Greek legend he remained faithful to his wife Procris even though he was pursued by the goddess Eos.
CEPHEUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κηφεύς (Kepheus)
, which is of unknown meaning. In Greek legend he was a king of Ethiopia, the husband of Cassiopeia. After he died he was made into a constellation and placed in the sky.
CERES f Roman Mythology
Derived from the Indo-European root *ker
meaning "to grow"
. In Roman mythology Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, equivalent to the Greek goddess Demeter
CERNUNNOS m Gaulish Mythology (Latinized)
in Celtic. This was the name of the Celtic god of fertility, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was usually depicted having antlers, and was identified with the Roman god Mercury
CHANDA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "fierce, hot, passionate"
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form चण्ड
and the feminine form चण्डा
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
CHANDRA m & f Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Assamese, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
in Sanskrit, derived from चन्द (chand)
meaning "to shine". This is a transcription of the masculine form चण्ड
(a name of the moon in Hindu texts, which is often personified as a deity) as well as the feminine form चण्डा
CHARON m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "fierce brightness"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Charon was the operator of the ferry that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
CHERNOBOG m Slavic Mythology
Means "the black god"
from Slavic cherno
"black" and bogu
"god". Chernobog was the Slavic god of darkness, evil and grief.
CHI (2) m & f Mythology, Western African, Igbo
Means "god, spiritual being"
in Igbo, referring to the personal spiritual guardian that each person is believed to have. Christian Igbo people use it as a name for the personal Christian god. This can also be a short form of the many Igbo names that begin with this element.
CHLORIS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek χλωρός (chloros)
meaning "pale green"
. Chloris, in Greek mythology, was a minor goddess of vegetation.
CHRYSEIS f Greek Mythology
Patronymic derived from CHRYSES
. In Greek legend she was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo
. After she was taken prisoner by the Greeks besieging Troy, Apollo sent a plague into their camp, forcing the Greeks to release her.
CHUKWU m Mythology
Means "God is great"
, derived from Igbo chi
"god, spiritual being" and ukwu
"great". In Igbo mythology Chukwu is the supreme god who created the universe. Christian Igbo people use this name for the Christian god.
CIAN m Irish, Irish Mythology
in Irish. This was the name of the mythical ancestor of the Cianachta in Irish legend. Cian was also the name of a son-in-law of Brian
CIRCE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κίρκη (Kirke)
, possibly from κίρκος (kirkos)
. In Greek mythology Circe was a sorceress who changed Odysseus
's crew into hogs, as told in Homer's Odyssey
. Odysseus forced her to change them back, then stayed with her for a year before continuing his voyage.
CLÍODHNA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "shapely"
in Irish Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a beautiful goddess. She fell in love with a mortal named Ciabhan and left the Land of Promise with him, but when she arrived on the other shore she was swept to sea by a great wave.
CONALL m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "strong wolf"
in Irish. This is the name of several characters in Irish legend including the hero Conall Cernach ("Conall of the victories"), a member of the Red Branch of Ulster, who avenged Cúchulainn
's death by killing Lugaid.
CONLAOCH m Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Irish conn
"chief" and flaith
"lord". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including a son of Cúchulainn
who was accidentally killed by his father.
CONOR m Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Conchobar
, derived from Old Irish con
"hound, dog, wolf" and cobar
"desiring". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish kings. It was also borne by the legendary Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre
CONSUS m Roman Mythology
Possibly derived from Latin conserere
meaning "to sow, to plant"
. Consus was a Roman god of the harvest and grain.
CORA f English, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of KORE
. It was not used as a given name in the English-speaking world until after it was employed by James Fenimore Cooper for a character in his novel The Last of the Mohicans
(1826). In some cases it may be a short form of CORDULA
or other names beginning with a similar sound.
CRONUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κρόνος (Kronos)
, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ker-
meaning "to cut"
. Cronus was the Titan who fathered the Greek gods. As his wife Rhea
gave birth to the gods, Cronus swallowed them fearing the prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of his children. However Rhea hid Zeus
, her last child, who eventually forced his father to disgorge his siblings. Cronus and the rest of the Titans were then defeated by the gods and exiled.
CÚCHULAINN m Irish Mythology
Means "hound of Culann"
in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. Irish legend tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defense of Ulster against the army of Queen Medb
CULHWCH m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "hiding place of the pig"
in Welsh. In Welsh legend he was the lover of Olwen
the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Before the giant would allow Culhwch to marry his daughter, he insisted that Culhwch complete a series of extremely difficult tasks. Culhwch managed to complete them, and he returned to marry Olwen and kill the giant. This tale appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
CUPID m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Cupido
. This was the name of the Roman god of love, the son of Venus
. He was portrayed as a winged, blindfolded boy, armed with a bow and arrows, which caused the victim to fall in love. His Greek equivalent was Eros
CYBELE f Near Eastern Mythology (Latinized)
Meaning unknown, possibly from Phrygian roots meaning either "stone"
. This was the name of the Phrygian mother goddess associated with fertility and nature. She was later worshipped by the Greeks and Romans.
CYNTHIA f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθία (Kynthia)
, which means "woman from Kynthos"
. This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis
, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo
were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century. It reached a peak of popularity in the United States in 1957 and has declined steadily since then.
DAEDALUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαίδαλος (Daidalos)
, which was derived from δαιδάλλω (daidallo)
meaning "to work cunningly"
. In Greek myth Daedalus was an Athenian inventor who was banished to Crete. There he designed the Labyrinth for King Minos
, but he and his son Icarus
were eventually imprisoned inside it because he had aided Theseus
in his quest against the Minotaur. Daelalus and Icarus escaped using wings fashioned from wax, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.
DAGDA m Irish Mythology
Means "good god"
in Celtic. In Irish myth Dagda (called also The Dagda) was the powerful god of the earth, knowledge, magic, abundance and treaties, a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was skilled in combat and healing and possessed a huge club, the handle of which could revive the dead.
DAGON m Semitic Mythology
Perhaps related to Ugaritic dgn
. This was the name of a Semitic god of agriculture, usually depicted with the body of a fish.
DÁIRE m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fruitful, fertile"
in Irish. This name is borne by many figures in Irish legend, including the Ulster chief who reneged on his promise to loan the Brown Bull of Cooley to Medb
, starting the war between Connacht and Ulster as told in the Irish epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley
DALIA (2) f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Means "fate, luck"
in Lithuanian. This was the name of the Lithuanian goddess of weaving, fate and childbirth, often associated with Laima.
DAMAYANTI f Hinduism
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of a beautiful princess, the wife of Nala.
DAMOCLES m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Δαμοκλῆς (Damokles)
, which was derived from δᾶμος (damos)
meaning "the people", a Doric Greek variant of δῆμος (demos)
, and κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory". In Greek legend Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius the Elder, the king of Syracuse. Damocles expressed envy of the king's station so Dionysius offered to switch roles with him for a day. To illustrate to Damocles the peril of a man in his position he suspended a sword over the throne.
DAMODARA m Hinduism
Means "rope around the belly"
, derived from Sanskrit दाम (dama)
meaning "rope" and उदर (udara)
meaning "belly". This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, given to him because his foster-mother tied him to a large urn.
DAMON m Greek Mythology, English
Derived from Greek δαμάζω (damazo)
meaning "to tame"
. According to Greek legend, Damon and Pythias were friends who lived on Syracuse in the 4th century BC. When Pythias was sentenced to death, he was allowed to temporarily go free on the condition that Damon take his place in prison. Pythias returned just before Damon was to be executed in his place, and the king was so impressed with their loyalty to one another that he pardoned Pythias. As an English given name, it has only been regularly used since the 20th century.
DANAË f Greek Mythology
From Δαναοί (Danaoi)
, a word used by Homer
to designate the Greeks. In Greek mythology Danaë was the daughter of the Argive king Acrisius. It had been prophesized to her father that he would one day be killed by Danaë's son, so he attempted to keep his daughter childless. However, Zeus
came to her in the form of a shower of gold, and she became the mother of Perseus
. Eventually the prophecy was fulfilled and Perseus killed Acrisius, albeit accidentally.
DAPHNE f Greek Mythology, English, Dutch
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo
. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.