As an English name it can also derive from the month of August, which was named for the Roman emperor Augustus.
The popularity of the name in continental Europe was due to the fame of Charles the Great (742-814), commonly known as Charlemagne, a king of the Franks who came to rule over most of Europe. His grandfather Charles Martel had also been a noted leader of the Franks. It was subsequently the name of several Holy Roman emperors, as well as kings of France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Hungary (in various spellings). After Charlemagne, his name was adopted as a word meaning "king" in many Eastern European languages, for example Czech král, Hungarian király, Russian король (korol), and Turkish kral.
The name did not become common in Britain until the 17th century when it was borne by the Stuart king Charles I. It had been introduced into the Stuart royal family by Mary Queen of Scots, who had been raised in France.
Famous bearers of the name include naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) who revolutionized biology with his theory of evolution, novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) who wrote such works as Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, French statesman Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), and American cartoonist Charles Schulz (1922-2000), the creator of the Peanuts comic strip.
As a given name, Diana has been regularly used since the Renaissance. It became more common in the English-speaking world following Walter Scott's novel Rob Roy (1817), which featured a character named Diana Vernon. It also appeared in George Meredith's novel Diana of the Crossways (1885). A notable bearer was the British royal Diana Spencer (1961-1997), the Princess of Wales.
Famous bearers of the name include the English poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), the German-Czech philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first person to climb Mount Everest.
This is one of the few Old English names to be used throughout Europe (in various spellings). A famous bearer was the British composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934). It was also used by author Charlotte Brontë for the character Edward Rochester, the main love interest of the title character in her novel Jane Eyre (1847).
The popularity of the name Eleanor in England during the Middle Ages was due to the fame of Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as two queens of the following century: Eleanor of Provence, the wife of Henry III, and Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward I. More recently, it was borne by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the wife of American president Franklin Roosevelt.
The name can also be given in reference to the city in Italy, as in the case of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). She was a nurse in British hospitals during the Crimean War and is usually considered the founder of modern nursing.
The name was brought to England by the Normans. Notable bearers include author L. Frank Baum (1856-1919), architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), and singer Frank Sinatra (1915-1998).
The Normans brought the name to England in the 11th century but it quickly died out. It was reintroduced by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century. A famous bearer was Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), an American ex-slave who became a leading advocate of abolition.
This name has been used occasionally in England since the 12th century. It was not common in the English-speaking world until the end of the 20th century.
Initially Saint George was primarily revered by Eastern Christians, but returning crusaders brought stories of him to Western Europe and he became the patron of England, Portugal, Catalonia and Aragon. The name was rarely used in England until the German-born George I came to the British throne in the 18th century. Five subsequent British kings have borne the name.
Other famous bearers include two kings of Greece, the composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), the first president of the United States, George Washington (1732-1797), and the Pacific explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798). This was also the pen name of authors George Eliot (1819-1880) and George Orwell (1903-1950), real names Mary Anne Evans and Eric Arthur Blair respectively.
During the 20th century, Graham was more common in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada than it was in the United States. However, it has been rising on the American charts since around 2006.
Due to the renown of the saints by this name, Gregory (in various spellings) has remained common in the Christian world through the Middle Ages and to the present day. It has been used in England since the 12th century. A famous bearer from the modern era was American actor Gregory Peck (1916-2003).
Heinrich was popular among continental royalty, being the name of seven German kings, starting with the 10th-century Henry I the Fowler, and four French kings. In France it was usually rendered Henri from the Latin form Henricus.
The Normans introduced the French form to England, and it was subsequently used by eight kings, ending with the infamous Henry VIII in the 16th century. During the later Middle Ages it was fairly popular, and was generally rendered as Harry or Herry in English pronunciation. Notable bearers include arctic naval explorer Henry Hudson (1570-1611), British novelist Henry James (1843-1916), American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford (1863-1947), and American actor Henry Fonda (1905-1982).
In England Oliver was a common medieval name, however it became rare after the 17th century because of the military commander Oliver Cromwell, who ruled the country following the civil war. The name was revived in the 19th century, perhaps due in part to the title character in Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist (1838), which was about a poor orphan living on the streets of London. It became very popular at the beginning of the 21st century, reaching the top rank for boys in England and Wales in 2009 and entering the top ten in the United States in 2017.
This name was popularized in continental Europe by the works of the 18th-century Scottish poet James Macpherson . Napoleon was an admirer of Macpherson, and he suggested Oscar as the second middle name of his godson, who eventually became king of Sweden as Oscar I. Other notable bearers include the Irish writer and humourist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) and the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012).
In England and elsewhere in Europe during the Middle Ages this name was used in honour of the saint. However, it was not generally given in Ireland before the 17th century because it was considered too sacred for everyday use. It has since become very common there.
It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century. It was moderately popular in the 1940s, but had a more notable upswing in the early 2000s. This may have been inspired by the Spanish actress Penélope Cruz (1974-), who gained prominence in English-language movies at that time. It was already rapidly rising when celebrities Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick gave it to their baby daughter in 2012.
This name has never been common in the English-speaking world, though it has been well-used elsewhere in Europe. A famous bearer was the 16th-century Renaissance master Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520), usually known simply as Raphael.
Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in medieval Europe, especially in Spain and France. It was also borne by a 16th-century king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.
As an English name it was not used until after the Protestant Reformation. It was utilized by George Eliot for the title character in her novel Silas Marner (1861).
This was a common name in classical Greece, and, due to both the saints who carried it and the favourable meaning, it came into general use in the Christian world, being especially popular among Eastern Christians. It was however rare in Britain before the 19th century. Famous bearers include three tsars of Russia (in the Russian form Fyodor) and American president Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).
This was the name of the first English baby born in the New World: Virginia Dare in 1587 on Roanoke Island. Perhaps because of this, the name has generally been more popular in America than elsewhere in the English-speaking world, though in both Britain and America it was not often used until the 19th century. The baby was named after the Colony of Virginia, which was itself named for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. A more recent bearer was the English novelist Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).