DEIRDRE f English, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the older Gaelic form Derdriu
, meaning unknown, possibly derived from Old Irish der
. This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar
, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise
DELIA (1) f English, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Greek Mythology
Means "of Delos"
in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis
, given because she and her twin brother Apollo
were born on the island of Delos. The name appeared in several poems of the 16th and 17th centuries, and it has occasionally been used as a given name since that time.
DEMETER (1) f Greek Mythology
Possibly means "earth mother"
, derived from Greek δᾶ (da)
meaning "earth" and μήτηρ (meter)
meaning "mother". In Greek mythology Demeter was the goddess of agriculture, the daughter of Cronus
, the sister of Zeus
, and the mother of Persephone
. She was an important figure in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites performed at Eleusis near Athens.
DESPOINA f Greek Mythology, Greek
Means "mistress, lady"
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon. She was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at Eleusis near Athens.
DIANA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Roman Mythology
Probably derived from an old Indo-European root meaning "heavenly, divine"
, related to dyeus
). Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth, often identified with the Greek goddess Artemis
DIARMAID m Irish, Irish Mythology
Perhaps means "without envy"
in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of a warrior who became the lover of Gráinne
. It was also the name of several ancient Irish kings.
DIDO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly "virgin"
in Phoenician. Dido, also called Elissa
, was the queen of Carthage in Virgil
. She burned herself to death after Aeneas left her.
DIKE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Dike was the goddess of justice, one of the Ὥραι
DILIPA m Hinduism
Means "protector of Delhi"
from Sanskrit दिल्ली
) combined with प (pa)
meaning "protecting". This is the name of several kings in Hindu texts.
DINESHA m Hinduism
Means "day lord"
from Sanskrit दिन (dina)
meaning "day" and ईश (isha)
meaning "lord". In Hindu texts this is used as a name of the sun.
DIOMEDES m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek Διός (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
" and μήδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to think, to plan". In Greek legend Diomedes was one of the greatest heroes who fought against the Trojans. With Odysseus
he entered Troy and stole the Palladium. After the Trojan War he founded the cities of Brindisi and Arpi in Italy.
DIONE (1) f Greek Mythology
From Greek Διός (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS"
. By extension, it means "goddess"
. This was the name of an obscure Greek goddess who, according to some legends, was the mother of Aphrodite
DIONYSOS m Greek Mythology
From Greek Διός (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
" combined with NYSA
, the name of the region where young Dionysos was said to have been raised. In Greek mythology Dionysos was the god of wine, revelry, fertility and dance. He was the son of Zeus
DIPAKA m Hinduism
Means "inflaming, exciting"
in Sanskrit. This is another name of Kama
, the Hindu god of love.
DOIREANN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "sullen, tempestuous"
in Irish. This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including a daughter of Bodb Derg who poisoned Fionn
DORIS f English, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the Greek name Δωρίς (Doris)
, which meant "Dorian woman"
. The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-2019).
DRAUPADI f Hinduism
Means "daughter of DRUPADA"
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of the daughter of King Drupada. She married all of the Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu.
DRUPADA m Hinduism
Means "wooden pillar"
or "firm footed"
in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of a king of Panchala, the father of Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna.
DUMUZI m Sumerian Mythology
From Sumerian 𒌉 (dumu)
meaning "son, child" and 𒍣 (zid)
meaning "true, loyal". This was the name of a Sumerian god of shepherds and vegetation, the husband of Inanna
. He was said to spend half of each year in the underworld, resulting in the yearly cycle of seasons. He was known to the Semitic peoples of Mesopotamia as Tammuz
DUSHYANTA m Hinduism
Possibly means "destroyer of evil"
in Sanskrit. In Hindu legend this is the name of a king who is the husband of Shakuntala
and the father of Bharata
EA (1) m Semitic Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps from Sumerian meaning "house of water"
, or perhaps of Akkadian or Hurrian origin. This was the Akkadian, Assyrian, Hurrian and Babylonian name of the Sumerian water god Enki
ECHO f Greek Mythology
From the Greek word ἠχώ (echo)
meaning "echo, reflected sound"
, related to ἠχή (eche)
meaning "sound". In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera
, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus
, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
ÉIBHEAR m Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown. According to Irish legend this name belonged to two of the sons of Míl, Éibhear Dunn and Éibhear Finn, the first of the Gaels to conquer Ireland.
EL m Semitic Mythology
From a Semitic root meaning "god"
. This was a title applied to several Semitic gods. The Canaanites used it as the name of their chief deity, the father of the gods and mankind. The Hebrews used it to refer to Yahweh
ELAGABALUS m Semitic Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of an Arabic name, derived from إله (ilah)
meaning "god" and جبل (jabal)
meaning "mountain". This was the name of a sun god worshipped in Emesa, in the Roman province of Syria. A 3rd-century Roman emperor, who served as a priest of this god in his youth in Syria, is known to history by the name Elagabalus. After ruling for four years he was assassinated at the age of 18, in part because he promoted the god to the head of the Roman pantheon.
ELECTRA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἠλέκτρα (Elektra)
, derived from ἤλεκτρον (elektron)
. In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon
and the sister of Orestes
. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas
ELLI (3) f Norse Mythology
Means "old age" in Old Norse. In the Prose Edda this is the name of an old woman (old age personified) who wrestles with and defeats the god Thor
ELPIS f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
EMER f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Irish eimh
. In Irish legend she was the wife of Cúchulainn
. She was said to possess the six gifts of womanhood: beauty, voice, speech, needlework, wisdom and chastity.
ENDYMION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἐνδύω (endyo)
meaning "to dive into, to enter"
. In Greek mythology he was an Aeolian mortal loved by the moon goddess Selene
, who asked Zeus
to grant him eternal life. Zeus complied by putting him into an eternal sleep in a cave on Mount Latmos.
ENKI m Sumerian Mythology
From Sumerian 𒂗 (en)
meaning "lord" and 𒆠 (ki)
meaning "earth, ground" (though maybe originally from 𒆳 (kur)
meaning "underworld, mountain"). Enki, called Ea
by the Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians, was the Sumerian god of water and wisdom and the keeper of the Me, the divine laws.
ENLIL m Sumerian Mythology
From Sumerian 𒂗 (en)
meaning "lord" and possibly 𒆤 (lil)
meaning "wind". Enlil was the Sumerian god of the wind and storms, the son of An
. He was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and other Mesopotamian peoples.
EOGHAN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "born from the yew tree"
in Irish, though it is possibly derived from EUGENE
. It was borne by several legendary or semi-legendary Irish figures, including a son of Niall
of the Nine Hostages.
EOS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn.
EPIMETHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἐπιμήθεια (epimetheia)
meaning "hindsight, hindthought"
. In Greek mythology he was a Titan, the brother of the god of forethought Prometheus.
EPONA f Celtic Mythology
Derived from Gaulish epos
. This was the name of the Celtic goddess of horses.
ERATO f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of lyric poetry.
ERESHKIGAL f Sumerian Mythology
Means "lady of the great earth"
, from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (ereš)
meaning "lady, queen" combined with 𒆠 (ki)
meaning "earth" and 𒃲 (gal)
meaning "great, big". In Sumerian mythology she was the goddess of death and the underworld.
ERIS f Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology Eris was the goddess of discord. She was the sister and companion of Ares
ÉRIU f Irish Mythology
From the name of an Irish goddess, who according to legend gave her name to Ireland (which is called Éire
in Irish). In reality, the goddess probably got her name from that of the island, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
EROS m Greek Mythology
in Greek. In Greek mythology he was a young god, the son of Aphrodite
, who was armed with arrows that caused the victim to fall in love.
ÉTAÍN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét
. In Irish mythology she is the subject of the 9th-century tale The Wooing of Étaín
. She was the wife of Midir, but his jealous first wife Fuamnach transformed her into a fly. She was accidentally swallowed, and then reborn to the woman who swallowed her. After she grew again to adulthood she married the Irish high king Eochaid Airem, having no memory of Midir. Midir and Étaín were eventually reunited after Midir defeated Eochaid in a game of chess.
ETZEL m Germanic Mythology
Form of ATTILA
used in the medieval German saga the Nibelungenlied
. In the story Etzel is a fictional version of Attila the Hun.
EUDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "good gift"
in Greek, from the elements εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". This was the name of a nymph, one of the Hyades, in Greek mythology.
EUNOMIA f Greek Mythology
Means "good order"
in Greek, ultimately from εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and νόμος (nomos)
meaning "law, custom". Eunomia was a Greek goddess, one of the Ὥραι
(Horai), presiding over law.
EUROPA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Εὐρώπη (Europe)
, which meant "wide face"
from εὐρύς (eurys)
meaning "wide" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "face, eye". In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus
in the guise of a bull. She became the first queen of Crete, and later fathered Minos
by Zeus. The continent of Europe is named for her. This is also the name of a moon of Jupiter.
EURYDICE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Εὐρυδίκη (Eurydike)
meaning "wide justice"
, derived from εὐρύς (eurys)
meaning "wide" and δίκη (dike)
meaning "justice". In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out.
EUTERPE f Greek Mythology
in Greek, ultimately from εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" and τέρπω (terpo)
meaning "to satisfy, to cheer". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of music and joy. She was said to have invented the double flute.
EVADNE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Εὐάδνη (Euadne)
, from εὖ (eu)
meaning "good" possibly combined with Cretan Greek ἀδνός (adnos)
meaning "holy". In Greek legend Evadne was the wife of Capaneus. After Capaneus was killed by a lightning bolt sent from Zeus
she committed suicide by throwing herself onto his burning body.
FAUNA f Roman Mythology
Feminine form of FAUNUS
. Fauna was a Roman goddess of fertility, women and healing, a daughter and companion of Faunus.
FAUNUS m Roman Mythology
Possibly means "to befriend"
from Latin. Faunus was a Roman god of fertility, forests, and agriculture.
FEARGHAS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "man of vigour"
, derived from the Irish elements fear
"man" and gus
"vigour". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including the Ulster hero Fearghas mac Róich.
FELICITAS f German, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Latin name meaning "good luck, fortune"
. In Roman mythology the goddess Felicitas was the personification of good luck. It was borne by a 3rd-century saint, a slave martyred with her master Perpetua in Carthage.
FEREYDOUN m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "the third"
in Persian. In the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
this is the name of a virtuous king who ruled for 500 years.
FIACHRA m Irish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish fiach
. In Irish legend Fiachra was one of the four children of Lir
transformed into swans for a period of 900 years. This is also the name of the patron saint of gardeners, a 7th-century Irish abbot who settled in France.
FINN (1) m Irish Mythology, Irish
Older Irish form of FIONN
. This is also the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.
FINTAN m Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means either "white fire"
or "white bull"
in Irish. According to legend this was the name of the only Irish person to survive the great flood. This name was also borne by many Irish saints.
FIONN m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Irish fionn
(older Irish finn
) meaning "fair"
. Fionn mac Cumhail was a legendary Irish hero who became all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon. He fought against the giant Fomors with his son Oisín
and grandson Oscar
FIONNUALA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "white shoulder"
from Irish fionn
"white, fair" and guala
"shoulder". In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir
who were transformed into swans for a period of 900 years.
FORTUNA f Roman Mythology
in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the personification of luck.
FREYA f Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern), German
From Old Norse Freyja
. This was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr
and father Njord
, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg
FREYR m Norse Mythology, Icelandic
in Old Norse. This was the name of a Norse god. He may have originally been called Yngvi
, with the name Freyr
being his title. Freyr presided over fertility, sunlight and rain, and was the husband of the frost giantess Gerd
. With his twin sister Freya
and father Njord
he was one of the group of deities called the Vanir.
FRIGG f Norse Mythology
in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri
"to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin
. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya
share a common origin.
FŪJIN m Japanese Mythology
From Japanese 風 (fū)
meaning "wind" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the Japanese wind god, who carries the wind in a bag over his shoulders.
GABIJA f Lithuanian, Baltic Mythology
Probably from Lithuanian gaubti
meaning "to cover"
. In Lithuanian mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire and the home.
GAIA f Greek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαῖα (gaia)
, a parallel form of γῆ (ge)
. In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
GANDALF m Norse Mythology, Literature
Means "wand elf"
in Old Norse, from the elements gandr
"wand, staff, cane" and álfr
"elf". This name belongs to a dwarf in the Völuspá
, a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript that forms part of the Poetic Edda. The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels The Hobbit
(1937) and The Lord of the Rings
GANESHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of hordes"
from Sanskrit गण (gana)
meaning "horde, multitude" and ईश (isha)
meaning "lord, ruler". This is the name of the Hindu god of wisdom and good luck, the son of Shiva
. He is often depicted as a stout man with the head of an elephant.
GARGI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Bengali
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a 7th-century BC Indian philosopher who appears in the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
GAYATRI f Hinduism, Indian, Marathi, Hindi
From Sanskrit गायत्र (gayatra)
, which refers to a type of song or hymn with a particular meter. It is also the name of a Hindu goddess who is a personification of this song.
GEMINI m Roman Mythology
in Latin. This is the name of the third sign of the zodiac. The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor
, are named for the mythological twin sons of Leda
GILGAMESH m Sumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology
Possibly means "the ancestor is a hero"
, from Sumerian 𒉋𒂵 (bilga)
meaning "ancestor" and 𒈩 (mes)
meaning "hero, young man". This was the name of a Sumerian hero, later appearing in the Akkadian poem the Epic of Gilgamesh
. Gilgamesh, with his friend Enkidu, battled the giant Humbaba and stopped the rampage of the Bull of Heaven, besides other adventures. Gilgamesh was probably based on a real person: a king of Uruk who ruled around the 27th century BC.
GIRISHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of the mountain"
in Sanskrit. This is a name of the Hindu god Shiva
, given because of his abode in the Himalayan Mountains.
GLOOSCAP m New World Mythology
Derived from an Eastern Algonquian phrase meaning "man from nothing"
. Glooscap (or Gluskabe) was a hero involved in the creation myths of the Wabanaki people of eastern North America.
GOIBNIU m Irish Mythology
Derived from Irish gobha
. This was the name of the Irish smith god, a provider of weapons for the Tuatha De Danann. He was also skilled at brewing beer.
GOPALA m Hinduism
Means "cow protector"
from Sanskrit गो (go)
meaning "cow" and पाल (pala)
meaning "guard, protector". This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
. This name was also borne by the 8th-century founder of the Pala Empire in Bengal.
GOPINATHA m Hinduism
Means "leader of the gopis"
in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, acquired because of his association with the gopis, who are cow-herding girls.
GORONWY m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, he was the lover of Blodeuwedd
. He attempted to murder her husband Lleu
Llaw Gyffes but was himself killed.
GOTAMA m Hinduism
Means "the best ox"
from Sanskrit गो (go)
meaning "ox, cow" and तम (tama)
meaning "best". In Hindu texts this is the name of one of the Saptarshis, or seven sages. This name was also borne by an early Indian philosopher who wrote the Nyaya Sutras.
GOVAD m Persian Mythology
in Persian. This was the name of a Yazata (or angel) associated with the wind in Zoroastrianism.
GRÁINNE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Gaelic grán
. This was the name of an ancient Irish grain goddess. The name also belonged to the fiancée of Fionn
mac Cumhail and the lover of Diarmaid
in later Irish legend, and it is often associated with gráidh
GRID f Norse Mythology
in Old Norse. In Norse myth she was a frost giantess, the mother of Víðarr by Odin
. She also aided Thor
in his fight against the giant Geirrod.
GUDRUN f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Guðrún
meaning "god's secret lore"
, derived from the elements guð
"god" and rún
"secret lore". In Norse legend Gudrun was the wife of Sigurd
. After his death she married Atli, but when he murdered her brothers, she killed her sons by him, fed him their hearts, and then slew him.
GÜNTHER m German, Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic name Gundahar
, derived from the elements gund
"war" and hari
"army, warrior". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century Burgundian king. He appears in the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied
, which has him wooing the Icelandic queen Brünhild
. He wins her hand in marriage with the help of the hero Siegfried
. He ultimately betrays Siegfried, but Siegfried's widow Kriemhild
(Günther's sister) takes her revenge upon him.
GWALCHMEI m Welsh Mythology
Derived from Welsh gwalch
"hawk", possibly combined with mei
"May (the month)". This is the name of a character in Welsh legend. He is probably the antecedent of Gawain
from Arthurian romance.
GWYDION m Welsh Mythology
Means "born of trees"
in Welsh. In the Mabinogion, Gwydion was the nephew of Math
, and like him a powerful magician. He was the uncle of Lleu
Llaw Gyffes, for whom he fashioned a wife, Blodeuwedd
, out of flowers.
HADAD m Semitic Mythology
Derived from a Semitic root meaning "thunder"
. Hadad was a Western Semitic (Levantine) god of thunder and storms, often called Ba'al
. He was imported to Mesopotamia by the Amorites, where he was known as Adad
to the Assyrians and Babylonians.
HADES m Greek Mythology
From Greek Ἅιδης (Haides)
, derived from ἀϊδής (aides)
. In Greek mythology Hades was the dark god of the underworld, a place that was also called Hades. His brother was Zeus
and his wife was Persephone
HAGEN (1) m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic element hagan
. In the Germanic saga the Nibelungenlied
he is the half-brother of Günther
. He killed the hero Siegfried
by luring him onto a hunting expedition and then stabbing him with a javelin in his one vulnerable spot.
HAIDES m Greek Mythology
Ancient Greek form of HADES
. After the classical period, the ι
in the sequence αι
(often written as a subscript like ᾳ
) was not pronounced.
HAMA m Anglo-Saxon Mythology
From Old English ham
. This is the name of a Gothic warrior who appears with his companion of Wudga in some Anglo-Saxon tales (briefly in Beowulf
HARI m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali
Means "brown, yellow, tawny"
in Sanskrit, and by extension "monkey, horse, lion"
. This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
, and sometimes of Krishna
. It is also borne by the son of the Garuda, the bird-like mount of Vishnu.
HATHOR f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian hut-Heru
meaning "the house of Horus"
, derived from Egyptian hwt
"house" combined with Hr
the god HORUS
. In Egyptian mythology she was the goddess of love, often depicted with the head of a cow.
HAURVATAT f Persian Mythology
Means "health, perfection, wholeness"
in Avestan. This was the name of a Zoroastrian goddess (one of the Amesha Spenta) of health and water.
HEBE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἥβη (hebe)
. In Greek mythology Hebe was the daughter of Zeus
. She was a goddess of youth who acted as the cupbearer to the gods.
HECATE f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἑκάτη (Hekate)
, possibly derived from ἑκάς (hekas)
meaning "far off"
. In Greek mythology Hecate was a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons and the underworld.
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]
HEIDRUN f Norse Mythology, German
Derived from Old Norse heiðr
meaning "bright, clear" and rún
meaning "secret". In Norse mythology this was the name of a goat that would eat the leaves from the tree of life and produce mead in her udder.
HEL f Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology this was the name of the daughter of Loki. She got her name from the underworld, also called Hel, where she ruled, which meant "to conceal, to cover" in Old Norse (related to the English word hell
HELENA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Catalan, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, Sorbian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinate form of HELEN
HELIOS m Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the young Greek sun god, a Titan, who rode across the sky each day in a chariot pulled by four horses. His sister was the moon goddess Selene
HELLE (2) f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
HEMERA f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified the daytime. According to Hesiod she was the daughter of Nyx
, the personification of the night.
HEPHAESTUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ἥφαιστος (Hephaistos)
, meaning unknown. It probably shares its origin with the Minoan city of Φαιστός (Phaistos)
, which is of Pre-Greek origin. In Greek mythology Hephaestus was the god of fire and forging, the husband of the unfaithful Aphrodite
. It was said that when he was born Hera
, his mother, was so displeased with his physical deformities that she hurled him off the top of Mount Olympus.
HERA f Greek Mythology
Uncertain meaning, possibly from Greek ἥρως (heros)
meaning "hero, warrior"
; ὥρα (hora)
meaning "period of time"
; or αἱρέω (haireo)
meaning "to be chosen"
. In Greek mythology Hera was the queen of the gods, the sister and wife of Zeus
. She presided over marriage and childbirth.
HERAKLES m Greek Mythology
Means "glory of Hera"
from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with Greek κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory". This was the name of a hero in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus
and the mortal woman Alcmene
. After being driven insane by Hera
and killing his own children, Herakles completed twelve labours in order to atone for his crime and become immortal.
HERMES m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Probably from Greek ἕρμα (herma)
meaning "cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker"
. Hermes was a Greek god associated with speed and good luck, who served as a messenger to Zeus
and the other gods. He was also the patron of travellers, writers, athletes, merchants, thieves and orators.... [more]
HERMIONE f Greek Mythology
Derived from the name of the Greek messenger god HERMES
. In Greek myth Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. This is also the name of the wife of Leontes in Shakespeare's play The Winter's Tale
(1610). It is now closely associated with the character Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.
HERO (1) f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἥρως (heros)
. In Greek legend she was the lover of Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont each night to meet her. He was killed on one such occasion when he got caught in a storm while in the water, and when Hero saw his dead body she drowned herself. This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing
HESTIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἑστία (hestia)
meaning "hearth, fireside"
. In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HORUS m Egyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Ὧρος (Horos)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Hrw
(reconstructed as Heru
) possibly meaning "falcon"
. In Egyptian mythology Horus was the god of light, often depicted as a man with the head of a falcon. The son Osiris
, he avenged his father's murder by killing Seth
HUANGDI m Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 黄 (huáng)
meaning "yellow" and 帝 (dì)
meaning "god, emperor". This is the Chinese name for the Yellow Emperor, a mythical ruler and deity who is said to have reigned in the 3rd millennium BC. He is regarded as the ancestor of the Chinese people.
HUANGLONG m Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 黄 (huáng)
meaning "yellow" and 龙 (lóng)
meaning "dragon". This is the Chinese name for the Yellow Dragon, who is considered the animal form of the mythical Yellow Emperor Huangdi
HUITZILOPOCHTLI m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "southern hummingbird"
or "left-handed hummingbird"
in Nahuatl. In Aztec mythology he was the god of the sun and war. He was a patron deity of the city of Tenochtitlan (at the site of modern Mexico City).
HYACINTHUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Ὑάκινθος (Hyakinthos)
, which was derived from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek legend Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by the god Apollo
, who mournfully caused this flower to arise from his blood. The name was also borne by several early saints, notably a 3rd-century martyr who was killed with his brother Protus.
HYPERION m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ὑπέρ (hyper)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan who presided over the sun and light. By Theia
he was the father of the sun god Helios
, the moon goddess Selene
, and the dawn goddess Eos
IAH m Egyptian Mythology
in Egyptian. In Egyptian mythology this was the name of a god of the moon, later identified with Thoth
ICARUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ἴκαρος (Ikaros)
, of unknown meaning. In Greek myth Icarus was the son of Daedalus
, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth by Minos
. They escaped from the maze using wings devised from wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death.
ILMARINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish ilma
. Ilmarinen is an immortal smith in Finnish mythology, the creator of the sky and the magic mill known as the Sampo. He is one of the main characters in the Finnish epic the Kalevala
INANNA f Sumerian Mythology
Possibly derived from Sumerian nin-an-a(k)
meaning "lady of the heavens"
, from 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and the genitive form of 𒀭 (an)
meaning "heaven, sky". Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and war. She descended into the underworld where the ruler of that place, her sister Ereshkigal, had her killed. The god Enki
interceded, and Inanna was allowed to leave the underworld as long as her husband Dumuzi
took her place.... [more]
INDRA m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "possessing drops of rain"
from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu)
meaning "a drop" and र (ra)
meaning "acquiring, possessing". Indra is the name of the ancient Hindu warrior god of the sky and rain. He is the chief god in the Rigveda.
INDRAJIT m Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Hindi
Means "conqueror of Indra"
from the name of the god INDRA
combined with Sanskrit जिति (jiti)
meaning "victory, conquering". In Hindu legend this is another name of Meghanada, the son of Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka. He was given this name by Brahma
after he defeated Indra
ING m Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic *Ingwaz
, possibly meaning "ancestor"
. This was the name of an obscure old Germanic fertility god who was considered the ancestor of the tribe the Ingaevones. It is possible he was an earlier incarnation of the god Freyr
IO f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus
, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from Hera
. A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.
ION (2) m Greek Mythology
Of unknown etymology, possibly pre-Greek. According to Greek mythology he was a son of Creusa and Xuthus (or alternatively the god Apollo
). He was said to be the ancestor of the Greek tribe of the Ionians.
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.
IPHIGENEIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek ἴφιος (iphios)
meaning "strong, stout" and γενής (genes)
meaning "born". In Greek myth Iphigenia was the daughter of King Agamemnon
. When her father offended Artemis
it was divined that the only way to appease the goddess was to sacrifice Iphigenia. Just as Agamemnon was about to sacrifice his daughter she was magically transported to the city of Taurus.... [more]
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, Greek
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.
ISHA f & m Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Hinduism
Means "master, lord"
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form ईशा
and the masculine form ईश
(an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva
). It is also the name of one of the Upanishads, which are parts of Hindu scripture.
ISHKUR m Sumerian Mythology
Meaning unknown, of Sumerian origin. This was the name of a Sumerian storm god, later identified by the Akkadians with Adad
ISHTAR f Semitic Mythology
Meaning unknown. Ishtar was an Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess who presided over love, war and fertility. She was cognate with the Canaanite and Phoenician Ashtoreth
, and she was also identified with the Sumerian goddess Inanna
ISIS f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Ist
(reconstructed as Iset
), which possibly meant "the throne"
. In Egyptian mythology Isis was the goddess of the sky and nature, the wife of Osiris
and the mother of Horus
. She was originally depicted wearing a throne-shaped headdress, but in later times she was conflated with the goddess Hathor
and depicted having the horns of a cow on her head. She was also worshipped by people outside of Egypt, such as the Greeks and Romans.
ISMENE f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek ἰσμή (isme)
. This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
ISRAFIL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Meaning unknown. In Islamic tradition this is the name of the angel who will blow the trumpet that signals the coming of Judgement Day. He is sometimes equated with the angels Raphael
from Judeo-Christian tradition.
ITALUS m Roman Mythology
Means "of Italy"
in Latin. In Roman legend Italus was the father of Romulus
, the founders of Rome. He supposedly gave his name to the region known as Italia or Italy (in fact the region may have gotten its name from Oscan Víteliú
meaning "land of bulls").
IÐUNN f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Probably derived from Old Norse ið
"again" and unna
"to love". In Norse mythology Iðunn was the goddess of spring and immortality whose responsibility it was to guard the gods' apples of youth.
IXCHEL f Mayan Mythology, Native American, Mayan
Means "rainbow lady"
in Mayan. Ixchel was the Maya goddess of the earth, the moon, and medicine. She was often depicted with a snake in her hair and crossbones embroidered on her skirt.
IZANAGI m Japanese Mythology
Means "male who invites"
in Japanese. In Japanese mythology the god Izanagi was the husband of Izanami
. When she died he unsuccessfully journeyed to the underworld to retrieve her. In the purifying rites that followed his return the gods of the sun, moon and wind were created.
IZANAMI f Japanese Mythology
Means "female who invites"
in Japanese. In Japanese mythology she was a creator goddess, the wife of Izanagi
. She died giving birth to Kagutsuchi, the god of fire.
JAM m Persian Mythology
Persian form of Avestan Yima
(related to Sanskrit Yama
). This was the name of a mythological king, more commonly called Jamshid
JAMSHID m Persian, Uzbek, Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Yima Kshaeta
, which meant "shining JAM"
. This was the name of a mythological king of Persia. He is known as either Jamshid
, where Jamshid
is a combination of his original name and an honourific.
JANUS m Roman Mythology
in Latin. Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings, often depicted as having two faces looking in opposite directions. The month of January is named for him.
JASON m English, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Greek name Ἰάσων (Iason)
, derived from Greek ἰάομαι (iaomai)
meaning "to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson
as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea
, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.... [more]
JASPER m English, Dutch, Judeo-Christian Legend
From Latin Gaspar
, perhaps from the biblical Hebrew word גִּזְבָּר (gizbar)
, derived from Persian ganzabara
. This name was traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus
. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. The name can also be given in reference to the English word for the gemstone.
JAYA f & m Hinduism, Tamil, Indian, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit जय (jaya)
. This is a transcription of both the feminine form जया
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
) and the masculine form जय
(borne by several characters in Hindu texts). As a modern personal name, this transcription is both feminine and masculine in southern India, but typically only feminine in the north.
JIMMU m Japanese Mythology
Means "divine warrior"
, from Japanese 神 (jin)
meaning "god" and 武 (mu)
meaning "military, martial". In Japanese legend this was the name of the founder of Japan and the first emperor, supposedly ruling in the 7th century BC.
JOUKAHAINEN m Finnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Finnish epic the Kalevala
this is the name of a youth who challenges Väinämöinen
to a chanting (or spellcasting) duel. Joukahainen loses, and must promise his sister Aino
JUNO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly related to an Indo-European root meaning "youth"
, or possibly of Etruscan origin. In Roman mythology Juno was the wife of Jupiter
and the queen of the heavens. She was the protectress of marriage and women, and was also the goddess of finance.