ORION m Greek Mythology
Meaning uncertain, but possibly related to Greek ὅριον (horion)
meaning "boundary, limit"
. Alternatively it may be derived from Akkadian Uru-anna
meaning "light of the heavens"
. This is the name of a constellation, which gets its name from a legendary Greek hunter who was killed by a scorpion sent by the earth goddess Gaia
ORPHEUS m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night"
. In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
ORVAR m Swedish, Norse Mythology
in Old Norse. Orvar Odd is a legendary Norse hero who is the subject of a 13th-century Icelandic saga.
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]
OSIRIS m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of the Egyptian wsjr
(reconstructed as Asar
and other forms), which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to wsr "mighty"
or jrt "eye"
. In Egyptian mythology Osiris was the god of the dead and the judge of the underworld. He was slain by his brother Seth
, but revived by his wife Isis
OURANIA f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek οὐράνιος (ouranios)
. In Greek mythology she was the goddess of astronomy and astrology, one of the nine Muses.
OWAIN m Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Probably a Welsh form of EUGENE
, though other theories connect it to Welsh eoghunn
meaning "youth". This was the name of several figures from Welsh history and mythology. In Arthurian legend Owain (also called Yvain
in French sources) was one of the Knights of the Round Table, the son of King Urien and husband of the Lady of the Fountain. His character was based on that of Owain ap Urien, a 6th-century Welsh prince who fought against the Angles. This name was also borne by Owain Glyndwr, a 14th-century leader of Welsh resistance against English rule.
PADMA f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form पद्मा
and the masculine form पद्म
. According to Hindu tradition a lotus holding the god Brahma
arose from the navel of the god Vishnu
. The name Padma is used in Hindu texts to refer to several characters, including the goddess Lakshmi
and the hero Rama
PADMAVATI f Hinduism
Means "resembling lotuses"
, derived from the Sanskrit word पद्म (padma)
meaning "lotus" combined with वती (vati)
meaning "resemblance". This is the name of the foster-mother of the god Hindu Skanda.
PALLAS (1) f Greek Mythology
Probably derived from a Greek word meaning "maiden, young woman"
. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Athena
. According to some legends it was originally the name of a friend of the goddess. Athena accidentally killed her while sparring, so she took the name in honour of her friend.
PALLAS (2) m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πάλλω (pallo)
meaning "to brandish"
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see PALLAS (1)
PAN m Greek Mythology
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector"
. In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
PANDORA f Greek Mythology
Means "all gifts"
, derived from a combination of Greek πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". In Greek mythology Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus
gave her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills that mankind now knows, and told her not to open it. Unfortunately her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, unleashing the evil spirits into the world.
PANGU m Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 盘 (pán)
meaning "tray, pan" and 古 (gǔ)
meaning "old, ancient". In Chinese mythology this is the name of the first living being.
PANKAJA m Hinduism
Means "born of mud"
, referring to the lotus flower, derived from Sanskrit पङ्क (panka)
meaning "mud" and ज (ja)
meaning "born". This is another name of the Hindu god Brahma
PAPA f Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Papa or Papatuanuku was the goddess of the earth and the mother of many of the other gods. She and her husband Rangi
, the god of the sky, were locked in a tight embrace. Their children decided to separate them, a feat of strength accomplished by the god Tāne
PARIS (1) m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Luwian or Hittite origin. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen
and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the Iliad
, he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles
. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.
PAX f Roman Mythology
in Latin. In Roman mythology this was the name of the goddess of peace.
PEGASUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πήγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγός (pegos)
or πηγαῖος (pegaios)
meaning "from a water spring"
. In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
PELE f Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and fire who is said to live in Kilauea.
PENELOPE f Greek Mythology, English
Probably derived from Greek πηνέλοψ (penelops)
, a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πήνη (pene)
meaning "threads, weft" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "face, eye". In Homer
's epic the Odyssey
this is the name of the wife of Odysseus
, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy. It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century.
PEREDUR m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Possibly means "hard spears"
in Welsh. This was the name of several figures from Welsh mythology. It was later used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Arthurian tales. The character of Percival
was probably based on him.
PERSEPHONE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Pre-Greek origin, but perhaps related to Greek πέρθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy" and φονή (phone)
meaning "murder". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Demeter
. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades
, but was eventually allowed to return to the surface for part of the year. The result of her comings and goings is the changing of the seasons. With her mother she was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at the city of Eleusis near Athens.
PERSEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πέρθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy"
. In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero who was said to have founded the ancient city of Mycenae. He was the son of Zeus
. Mother and child were exiled by Danaë's father Acrisius, and Perseus was raised on the island of Seriphos. The king of the island compelled Perseus to kill the Gorgon Medusa
, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone. After obtaining winged sandals and other tools from the gods, he succeeded in his task by looking at Medusa in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. On his return he defeated a sea monster in order to save Andromeda
, who became his wife.
PERUN m Slavic Mythology
in Slavic. In Slavic mythology Perun was the god of lightning, sometimes worshipped as the primary god. The oak was his sacred tree.
PHILOMELA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Φιλομήλη (Philomele)
, derived from φίλος (philos)
meaning "lover, friend" and μῆλον (melon)
meaning "fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μέλος (melos)
meaning "song". In Greek myth Philomela was the sister-in-law of Tereus, who raped her and cut out her tongue. Prokne avenged her sister by killing her son by Tereus, after which Tereus attempted to kill Philomela. However, the gods intervened and transformed her into a nightingale.
PHINEUS m Greek Mythology
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Greek φίνις (phinis)
, a variant of φήνη (phene)
. According to Greek mythology this was the name of a king of Thrace visited by Jason
and the Argonauts.
PHOBOS m Greek Mythology
Means "fear, panic"
in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares
in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
PHOEBE f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοίβη (Phoibe)
, which meant "bright, pure"
from Greek φοῖβος (phoibos)
. In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis
. The name appears in Paul
's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).
PHRIXUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φρίξος (Phrixos)
meaning "thrilling, causing shivers"
, derived from φρίξ (phrix)
meaning "ripple, shiver". In Greek myth Phrixus was the son of Athamus and Nephele. He was to be sacrificed to Zeus
, but he escaped with his sister Helle on the back of the ram with the Golden Fleece.
PHYLLIS f Greek Mythology, English
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia
PISTIS f Greek Mythology
Means "trust, faith"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Pistis was the personification of trust.
PITAMBARA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit पीत (pita)
meaning "yellow" and अम्बर (ambara)
meaning "garment". This is another name of the Hindu gods Vishnu
, given to them because yellow clothing is traditionally worn at religious events.
POLLUX m Roman Mythology
Roman form of Greek Πολυδεύκης (Polydeukes)
meaning "very sweet"
, from Greek πολύς (polys)
meaning "much" and δευκής (deukes)
meaning "sweet". In mythology he was the twin brother of Castor
and a son of Zeus
. The constellation Gemini, which represents the two brothers, contains a star by this name.
POLYMNIA f Greek Mythology
Means "abounding in song"
, derived from Greek πολύς (polys)
meaning "much" and ὕμνος (hymnos)
meaning "song, hymn". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of dance and sacred songs, one of the nine Muses.
POMONA f Roman Mythology
From Latin pomus "fruit tree"
. This was the name of the Roman goddess of fruit trees.
POSEIDON m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πόσις (posis)
meaning "husband, lord" and δᾶ (da)
meaning "earth". The name first appears in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions as po-se-da-o
. In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus
. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
PRABHAKARA m Hinduism
Means "light maker"
, derived from Sanskrit प्रभा (prabha)
meaning "light" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is a name given to the sun in Hindu texts. It was also borne by a medieval Hindu scholar.
PROMETHEUS m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek προμήθεια (prometheia)
meaning "foresight, forethought"
. In Greek myth he was the Titan who gave the knowledge of fire to mankind. For doing this he was punished by Zeus
, who had him chained to a rock and caused an eagle to feast daily on his liver, which regenerated itself each night. Herakles
eventually freed him.
PRYDERI m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
in Welsh. According to Welsh legend this was the name of the son of Pwyll
. A central character in the Mabinogion, he succeeds his father as king of Dyfed, but is ultimately killed in single combat with Gwydion
PSYCHE f Greek Mythology
Means "the soul"
, derived from Greek ψύχω (psycho)
meaning "to breathe". The Greeks thought that the breath was the soul. In Greek mythology Psyche was a beautiful maiden who was beloved by Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology). She is the subject of Keats's poem Ode to Psyche
PTAH m Egyptian Mythology
From Egyptian ptḥ
meaning "opener, creator"
. Ptah was an Egyptian god associated with creation and the arts.
PUCK m & f Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Dutch
Meaning unknown, from Old English puca
. It could ultimately be of either Germanic or Celtic origin. In English legend this was the name of a mischievous spirit, also known as Robin Goodfellow. He appears in Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1600). It is used in the Netherlands as mainly a feminine name.
PWYLL m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh mythology, Pwyll is a king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon
PYTHIOS m Greek Mythology
From the Greek place name Πυθώ (Pytho)
, an older name of the city of Delphi, which was probably derived from Greek πύθω (pytho)
meaning "to rot". This was an epithet of Apollo
QINGLONG m Chinese Mythology
From Chinese 青 (qīng)
meaning "blue, green" and 龙 (lóng)
meaning "dragon". This is the Chinese name of the Azure Dragon, associated with the east and the spring season.
QUETZALCOATL m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "feathered snake"
in Nahuatl, derived from quetzalli
"feather" and coatl
"snake". In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was the god of the sky, wind, and knowledge, also associated with the morning star. According to one legend he created the humans of this age using the bones of humans from the previous age and adding his own blood.
QUIRINUS m Roman Mythology, Late Roman
Possibly derived from the Sabine word quiris
. Quirinus was a Sabine and Roman god, sometimes identified with Romulus
. He declined in importance after the early Republican era. The name was also borne by several early saints.
RA m Egyptian Mythology
From Egyptian rꜥ
. Ra was an important Egyptian sun god originally worshipped in Heliopolis in Lower Egypt. He was usually depicted as a man with the head of a falcon crowned with a solar disc. In later times his attributes were often merged with those of other deities, such as Amon
RAGHU m Hinduism, Indian, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a heroic king in Hindu epics, the great-grandfather of Rama
. It is also mentioned as the name of a son of Buddha in Buddhist texts.
RAIJIN m Japanese Mythology
From Japanese 雷 (rai)
meaning "thunder" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the god (or gods) of thunder and storms in the mythology of Japan.
RAMA (1) m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam
Means "pleasing, beautiful"
in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of an incarnation of the god Vishnu
. He is the hero of the Ramayana
, a Hindu epic, which tells of the abduction of his wife Sita
by the demon king Ravana, and his efforts to recapture her.
RANGI m Maori, Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Rangi or Ranginui was a god of the sky, husband of the earth goddess Papa
. They were locked in a crushing embrace but were eventually separated by their children, the other gods.
RASHN m Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Rashnu
. In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata who judged the souls of the dead.
RAVI m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
in Sanskrit. Ravi is a Hindu god of the sun, sometimes equated with Surya
. A famous bearer was the musician Ravi Shankar (1920-2012).
RHEA f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps related to ῥέω (rheo)
meaning "to flow"
or ἔρα (era)
. In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus
, and the mother of Zeus
. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia
was the mother of Romulus
, the legendary founders of Rome.
RHIANNON f Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Probably derived from the old Celtic name Rigantona
meaning "great queen"
. It is speculated that this was the name of an otherwise unattested Celtic goddess of fertility and the moon. The name Rhiannon
appears later in Welsh legend in the Mabinogion, borne by the wife of Pwyll
and the mother of Pryderi
ROSTAM m Persian, Persian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly from Avestan raodha
"to grow" and takhma
"strong, brave, valiant". Rostam was a warrior hero in Persian legend. The 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi recorded his tale in the Shahnameh
RUKMINI f Hinduism
Means "adorned with gold"
in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of a princess who became the wife of Krishna
SAGA f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Icelandic
Possibly means "seeing one"
in Old Norse. This was the name of the Norse goddess of poetry and history, sometimes identified with the goddess Frigg
. This is also a modern Swedish word meaning "story, fairy tale".
SALACIA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin sal
. This was the name of the Roman goddess of salt water.
SAMAEL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Means "severity of God"
in Hebrew. This is the name of an archangel in Jewish tradition, described as a destructive angel of death.
SANJAYA m Hinduism
Means "completely victorious, triumphant"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a royal official in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
SARPEDON m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek legend Sarpedon was the son of Zeus
and Laodamia, and the king of the Lycians. He was one of the chief warriors who fought against the Greeks in defense of Troy, but he was killed by Patroclus
. Another Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa
SATI f Hinduism
in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this was the name of a goddess, a wife of Shiva
. After her death she was reborn as the goddess Parvati
SATISHA m Hinduism
Means "lord of Sati"
from the name of the Hindu goddess SATI
combined with ईश (isha)
meaning "ruler". This is another name for the Hindu god Shiva
SATURN m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Saturnus
, which is of unknown meaning. In Roman mythology he was the father of Jupiter
and others, and was also the god of agriculture. This is also the name of the ringed sixth planet in the solar system.
SAVITR m Hinduism
Means "rouser, stimulator"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu sun god, sometimes identified with Surya
SAVITRI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "relating to the sun"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hymn dedicated to Savitr, a Hindu sun god, and it is also the name of his daughter. It is borne by several other characters in Hindu epics, including a wife of Brahma
, a wife of Shiva
, and a daughter of Daksha. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
it is borne by King Satyavan's wife, who successfully pleas with Yama, the god of death, to restore her husband to life.
SEDNA f Mythology
Meaning unknown. This is the name of the Inuit goddess of the sea, sea animals and the underworld. According to some legends Sedna was originally a beautiful woman thrown into the ocean by her father.
SELENE f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of a Greek goddess of the moon, a Titan. She was sometimes identified with the goddess Artemis
SEMELE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phrygian origin. In Greek mythology she was one of the many lovers of Zeus
, being jealous, tricked Semele into asking Zeus to display himself in all his splendour as the god of thunder. When he did, Semele was struck by lightning and died, but not before giving birth to Dionysos
SERAPIS m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
From a compound of Asar
, the Egyptian form of OSIRIS
, and APIS
, the sacred bull of the Egyptians. This was the name of a syncretic Greco-Egyptian god, apparently promoted by Ptolemy I Soter in the 3rd-century BC in an attempt to unite the native Egyptians and the Greeks in the Ptolemaic Kingdom.
SETH (2) m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
From Σήθ (Seth)
, the Greek form of Egyptian swtẖ
(reconstructed as Sutekh
), which is of unknown meaning. Seth was the Egyptian god of chaos and the desert, the slayer of Osiris
. Osiris's son Horus
eventually defeats Seth and has him banished to the desert.
SHAHRIVAR m Persian Mythology
Modern Persian form of Avestan Kshathra Vairya
meaning "desirable power"
. In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a god of metal and a protector of the weak. This is also the name of the sixth month of the Iranian calendar.
SHAKTI f & m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
in Sanskrit. In Hinduism a shakti is the female counterpart of a god. The name Shakti is used in particular to refer to the female counterpart of Shiva
, also known as Parvati
among many other names.
SHAKUNTALA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Derived from Sanskrit शकुन्त (shakunta)
. This is the name of a character in Hindu legend, her story adapted by Kalidasa for the 5th-century play Abhijnanashakuntalam
. It tells how Shakuntala, who was raised in the forest by birds, meets and marries the king Dushyanta
. After a curse is laid upon them Dushyanta loses his memory and they are separated, but eventually the curse is broken after the king sees the signet ring he gave her.
SHALIM m Semitic Mythology
From the Semitic root shalam
. This was the name of an Ugaritic god associated with the evening.
SHAMS f Semitic Mythology
in Arabic. This was a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess of the sun, identified with the Akkadian sun god Shamash
(whose name is related) and the northern Arabian goddess Nuha
SHANI (2) m Hinduism
From the Sanskrit name of the planet Saturn. This is the name of a celestial Hindu god.
SHANKARA m Hinduism
Derived from the Sanskrit elements शम् (sham)
meaning "auspicious, lucky" and कर (kara)
meaning "maker". This is another name of the Hindu god Shiva
. This was also the name of a 9th-century Indian religious philosopher also known as Shankaracharya.
SHIVA (1) m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali
Derived from Sanskrit शिव (shiva)
meaning "benign, kind, auspicious"
. Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and restoration, the husband of the mother goddess Parvati
. His aspect is usually terrifying, but it can also be gentle.
SHRI f Hinduism
Means "diffusing light, radiance, beauty"
in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
. This word is also commonly used as a title of respect in India.
SHRIPATI m Hinduism
Means "husband of Shri"
from the name of the Hindu goddess SHRI
combined with Sanskrit पति (pati)
meaning "husband, lord". This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
SHULMANU m Semitic Mythology
Possibly cognate with the Western Semitic god SHALIM
. Shulmanu was an Eastern Semitic (Mesopotamian) god associated with battle.
SHYAMA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Derived from Sanskrit श्याम (shyama)
meaning "dark, black, blue"
. This is a transcription of the masculine form श्याम
, which is another name of the Hindu god Krishna
, as well as the feminine form श्यामा
, one of the many names of the wife of the god Shiva
. It is also the name of a Jain goddess.
SIAVASH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Means "possessing black stallions"
in Avestan. This is the name of a prince in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
SIEGFRIED m German, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu
"victory" and frid
"peace". Siegfried was a hero from Germanic legend, chief character in the Nibelungenlied
. He secretly helped the Burgundian king Günther
overcome the challenges set out by the Icelandic queen Brünhild
so that Günther might win her hand. In exchange, Günther consented to the marriage of Siegfried and his sister Kriemhild
. Years later, after a dispute between Brünhild and Kriemhild, Siegfried was murdered by Hagen
with Günther's consent. He was stabbed in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. His adventures were largely based on those of the Norse hero Sigurd
. The story was later adapted by Richard Wagner to form part of his opera The Ring of the Nibelung
SIGURD m Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse name Sigurðr
, which was derived from the elements sigr
"victory" and varðr
"guardian". Sigurd was the hero of the Norse legend the Volsungasaga
, which tells how his foster-father Regin sent him to recover a hoard of gold guarded by the dragon Fafnir. After slaying the dragon Sigurd tasted some of its blood, enabling him to understand the language of birds, who told him that Regin was planning to betray him. In a later adventure, Sigurd disguised himself as Gunnar
(his wife Gudrun
's brother) and rescued the maiden Brynhildr
from a ring of fire, with the result that Gunnar and Brynhildr were married. When the truth eventually came out, Brynhildr took revenge upon Sigurd. The stories of the German hero Siegfried
were in part based on him.
SILVIA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, German, Dutch, English, Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of SILVIUS
Silvia was the mother of Romulus
, the founders of Rome. This was also the name of a 6th-century saint, the mother of the pope Gregory the Great. It has been a common name in Italy since the Middle Ages. It was introduced to England by Shakespeare, who used it for a character in his play The Two Gentlemen of Verona
(1594). It is now more commonly spelled Sylvia
in the English-speaking world.
SILVIUS m Late Roman, Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin silva
meaning "wood, forest"
. This was the family name of several of the legendary kings of Alba Longa. It was also the name of an early saint martyred in Alexandria.
SIMON (2) m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek σιμός (simos)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of one of the Telchines, demigods who were the original inhabitants of Rhodes.
SIN m Semitic Mythology
From earlier Akkadian Su'en
, of unknown meaning. This was the name of the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian god of the moon. He was closely identified with the Sumerian god Nanna
SIONANN f Irish Mythology
The name of an Irish goddess, a granddaughter of Lir
, who was the personification of the River Shannon. Her name is derived from the name of the river (see SHANNON
SITA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
in Sanskrit. Sita is the name of the Hindu goddess of the harvest in the Rigveda. This is also the name of the wife of Rama
(and an avatar of Lakshmi
) in the Hindu epic the Ramayana
. In this story Sita is rescued by her husband from the demon king Ravana.
SKANDA m Hinduism
Means "hopping, spurting, spilling"
in Sanskrit. In Hindu belief this is the name of the god of war, also known as Kartikeya
. He is worshipped especially by the Tamils in southern India.
SKAÐI f Norse Mythology
Means "damage, harm"
in Old Norse. In Norse mythology she was a mountain giantess associated with the winter and skiing, the wife of Njord
and later Odin
SKULD f Norse Mythology
in Old Norse. She was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was also one of the Valkyries.
SOHRAB m Persian, Persian Mythology
Probably from Middle Persian swhr
"red" and ab
"water". In the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
this is the name of the son of the hero Rostam
. He was tragically slain in battle by his father, who was unaware he was fighting his own son.
SOROUSH m Persian Mythology, Persian
Modern Persian form of Avestan Sraosha
. In Zoroastrianism this was the name of a Yazata (or angel), later equated with the angel Gabriel
SOSRUKO m Caucasian Mythology
Derived from Turkic suslä
. This is the name of a trickster god in Caucasian mythology. He is the hero of the Nart sagas.
STRIBOG m Slavic Mythology
Possibly means "flowing god"
in Slavic. Stribog was the Slavic god of the wind, cold, ice and frost.
SUIJIN m Japanese Mythology
From Japanese 水 (sui)
meaning "water" and 神 (jin)
meaning "god, spirit". This is the name of the god (or gods) of water, lakes and pools in Japanese mythology.
SUMATI f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "wise, good mind"
, derived from Sanskrit सु (su)
meaning "good" and मति (mati)
meaning "mind, thought". In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
this is the name of King Sagara's second wife, who bore him 60,000 children.
SUMMANUS m Roman Mythology
Means "before the morning"
, derived from Latin sub
"under, before" and mane
"morning". Summanus was the Roman god of the night sky and night lightning, a nocturnal counterpart to Jupiter
SUNDARA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit सुन्दर (sundara)
. This is the name of several minor characters in Hindu texts, and is also another name of the Hindu god Krishna
SUNITA f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali
Means "well conducted, wise"
, derived from the Sanskrit prefix सु (su)
meaning "good" combined with नीत (nita)
meaning "conducted, led". In Hindu legend this is the name of the daughter of King Anga of Bengal.
SUSANOO m Japanese Mythology
Of Japanese origin, possibly meaning "wild male, impetuous male"
. In Japanese mythology he was the god of storms and the sea, as well as the brother and adversary of the goddess Amaterasu
. He was born when Izanagi
washed his nose after returning from the underworld. After he was banished from the heavens, he descended to earth and slew an eight-headed dragon.
SVAROG m Slavic Mythology
Derived from Slavic svar
meaning "bright, clear"
. This was the name of the Slavic god of the sky and sun. He was originally the supreme god in Slavic mythology.
SVETOVID m Slavic Mythology
Derived from the Slavic elements svetu
"blessed, holy" and vidu
"sight, view". This was the name of a four-headed Slavic god of war and light.
TAHMINA f Persian Mythology, Tajik, Bengali
Derived from Avestan takhma
meaning "strong, brave, valiant"
. This is the name of a character in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
. She is a daughter of the king of Samangan who marries the warrior hero Rostam
and eventually bears him a son, whom they name Sohrab
TAHMURAS m Persian Mythology
Persian form of Avestan Takhma Urupi
meaning "strong body"
. Takhma Urupi is a hero from the Avesta who later appears in the 10th-century Persian epic the Shahnameh
TĀNE m Maori, Polynesian Mythology
in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology Tāne was the god of forests and light. He was the son of the sky god Rangi
and the earth goddess Papa
, who were locked in an embrace and finally separated by their son. He created the tui bird and, by some accounts, man.
TANGAROA m Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Polynesian mythology he was the god of the sea, the son of Rangi
. He separated his parents' embrace, creating the earth and the sky.
TANITH f Semitic Mythology
Derived from Semitic roots meaning "serpent lady"
. This was the name of the Phoenician goddess of love, fertility, the moon and the stars. She was particularly associated with the city of Carthage, being the consort of Ba'al Hammon
TARA (2) f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Nepali
in Sanskrit. Tara is the name of a Hindu astral goddess, the wife of Brhaspati. She was abducted by Soma, a god of the moon, leading to a great war that was only ended when Brahma
intervened and released her. This is also the name of a Buddhist deity (a female Buddha).
TARANIS m Gaulish Mythology
Derived from Celtic taran
, cognate with Þórr
). This was the name of the Gaulish thunder god, who was often identified with the Roman god Jupiter
TARHUNNA m Near Eastern Mythology
From Hittite or Luwian tarh
meaning "to cross, to conquer"
. This was the name of the Hittite god of the weather, storms, and the sky, and the slayer of the dragon Illuyanka. He was closely identified with the Hurrian god Teshub
, and sometimes with the Semitic god Hadad
TATIUS m Roman Mythology, Ancient Roman
Roman family name of unknown meaning, possibly of Sabine origin. According to Roman legend, Titus Tatius was an 8th-century BC king of the Sabines who came to jointly rule over the Romans and Sabines with the Roman king Romulus.
TELLERVO f Finnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. Tellervo was a Finnish forest goddess. She is variously described as either the wife or daughter of Tapio.
TETHYS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek τήθη (tethe)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan associated with the sea. She was the wife of Oceanus.
TEZCATLIPOCA m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "smoking mirror"
in Nahuatl. In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was one of the chief gods, associated with the night sky, winds, war, and the north. Like his rival Quetzalcoatl
, he was a creator god.
THANATOS m Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of death who resided with Hades in the underworld.
THEIA f Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek θεά (thea)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan goddess of light, glittering and glory. She was the wife of Hyperion
and the mother of the sun god Helios
, the moon goddess Selene
, and the dawn goddess Eos
THEMIS f Greek Mythology
Means "law of nature, divine law, that which is laid down"
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan who presided over custom and natural law. She was often depicted blindfolded and holding a pair of scales. By Zeus
she was the mother of many deities, including the three Μοῖραι
(Moirai) and the three Ὥραι
THESEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek τίθημι (tithemi)
meaning "to set, to place"
. Theseus was a heroic king of Athens in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aethra, either by Aegeus or by the god Poseidon
. According to legend, every seven years the Cretan king Minos
demanded that Athens supply Crete with seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-bull creature that was the son of Minos's wife Pasiphaë. Theseus volunteered to go in place of one of these youths in order to slay the Minotaur in the Labyrinth where it lived. He succeeded with the help of Minos's daughter Ariadne
, who provided him with a sword and a roll of string so he could find his way out of the maze.
THISBE f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
From the name of an ancient Greek town in Boeotia, itself supposedly named after a nymph. In a Greek legend (the oldest surviving version appearing in Latin in Ovid's Metamorphoses
) this is the name of a young woman from Babylon. Believing her to be dead, her lover Pyramus kills himself, after which she does the same to herself. The splashes of blood from their suicides is the reason mulberry fruit are red.
THOR m Norse Mythology, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish
From the Old Norse Þórr
, ultimately from the early Germanic *Þunraz
. Thor was the Norse god of strength, thunder, war and storms, the son of Odin
. He was armed with a hammer called Mjolnir, and wore an enchanted belt that doubled his strength.
THOTH m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian ḏḥwtj
(reconstructed as Djehuti
), which is of uncertain meaning. In Egyptian mythology Thoth was the god of the moon, science, magic, speech and writing. He was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis.
TIAMAT f Semitic Mythology
From Akkadian tâmtu
. In Babylonian myth Tiamat was the personification of the sea, appearing in the form of a huge dragon. By Apsu she gave birth to the first of the gods. Later, the god Marduk
(her great-grandson) defeated her, cut her in half, and used the pieces of her body to make the earth and the sky.
TISIPHONE f Greek Mythology
Means "avenging murder"
in Greek, derived from τίσις (tisis)
meaning "vengeance" and φονή (phone)
meaning "murder". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ἐρινύες (Erinyes)
in Greek mythology. She killed Cithaeron with the bite of one of the snakes on her head.
TRYM m Norse Mythology, Norwegian
From Old Norse Þrymr
meaning "noise, uproar"
. In Norse mythology he was the king of the giants who stole Mjölnir, Thor
TURNUS m Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. According to Virgil
, Turnus was a king of the Rutuli. He led the Latins in war against the Trojans led by Aeneas
. At the end of the book he is killed by Aeneas in a duel.
TUULIKKI f Finnish, Finnish Mythology
Means "little wind"
in Finnish, derived from tuuli
"wind". This was the name of a Finnish forest goddess, the daughter of Tapio.
TYCHE f Greek Mythology
Means "chance, luck, fortune"
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of fortune, luck and fate.
TYCHON m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
From Greek τύχη (tyche)
meaning "chance, luck, fortune"
, a derivative of τυγχάνω (tynchano)
meaning "hit the mark, succeed". This was the name of a minor deity associated with Priapus
in Greek mythology. It was also borne by a 5th-century saint from Cyprus.
TYR m Norse Mythology
Norse form of the name of the Germanic god Tiwaz
, related to Indo-European dyeus
). In Norse mythology Tyr was the god of war and justice, the son of the god Odin
. He carried a spear in his left hand, since his right hand was bitten off by the wolf Fenrir. At the time of the end of the world, the Ragnarok, Tyr will slay and be slain by the giant hound Garm.
ULYSSES m Roman Mythology, English
Latin form of ODYSSEUS
. It was borne by Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War, who went on to become an American president. Irish author James Joyce used it as the title of his book Ulysses
(1922), which loosely parallels Homer
's epic the Odyssey
UMA f Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi
in Sanskrit. This is another name of the Hindu goddess Parvati
. In Hindu texts it is said to derive from the Sanskrit exclamation उ मा (u ma)
meaning "O (child), do not (practice austerities)!", which was addressed to Parvati by her mother.
URANUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Οὐρανός (Ouranos)
, the name of the husband of Gaia
and the father of the Titans in Greek mythology. His name is derived from οὐρανός (ouranos)
meaning "the heavens"
. This is also the name of the seventh planet in the solar system.
URD f Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse Urðr
. In Norse mythology Urd was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny. She was responsible for the past.
USHAS f Hinduism
in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu goddess of the dawn, considered the daughter of heaven.
UTHER m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Uthyr
, derived from Welsh uthr
. In Arthurian legend Uther was the father of King Arthur
. He appears in some early Welsh texts, but is chiefly known from the 12th-century chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
UTTARA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Marathi
in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form उत्तर
(also written Uttar
) and the feminine form उत्तरा
(also written Uttarā
), both of which occur in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata
belonging to the son and daughter of King Virata.
UTU m Sumerian Mythology
Derived from Sumerian 𒌓 (ud)
. In Sumerian mythology this was the name of the god of the sun. He was the son of the moon god Nanna
VAHAGN m Armenian Mythology, Armenian
From Avestan Verethragna
meaning "breaking of defense, victory"
. In Armenian mythology this was the name of the heroic god of war.
VÄINÄMÖINEN m Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish väinä
meaning "wide and slow-flowing river"
. In Finnish mythology Väinämöinen was a wise old magician, the son of the primal goddess Ilmatar
. He is the hero of the Finnish epic the Kalevala
VALLI f Hinduism
Means "creeping plant"
in Dravidian. In Dravidian mythology the goddess Valli was the wife of Murunga.
VARUNA m Hinduism
Probably from a Sanskrit word meaning "to surround"
. In Hindu mythology Varuna is a god of water and the celestial ocean surrounding the world. He is one of the chief gods in the Rigveda.
VASANTA m Hinduism
in Sanskrit. This is the name of a Hindu personification of the spring.
VAYU m Hinduism
Means "air, wind"
in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu god of the air and wind, one of the five elements.
VENA m Hinduism
Derived from Sanskrit वेन (vena)
. This is the name of an evil king in Hindu mythology.
VENUS f Roman Mythology
Means "love, sexual desire"
in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of love and sex. Her character was assimilated with that of the Greek goddess Aphrodite
. As the mother of Aeneas
she was considered an ancestor of the Roman people. The second planet from the sun is named after her.
VERDANDI f Norse Mythology
From Old Norse Verðandi
meaning "becoming, happening"
. Verdandi was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was responsible for the present.