occur primarily in plays, musicals and operas. They are not commonly
given to real people.
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Abhorson m Theatre
From the English word abhor
"to regard with horror or detestation". It is the name of the executioner in William Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure' (written in 1603 or 1604; first published in 1623).
Alcina f Theatre
Latinized form of a Greek name, of which the original spelling was possibly Alkyna
. The name is said to mean "strong-willed, opiniated", but it is doubtful whether this is truly correct... [more
Aliena f Theatre, Literature
Means "stranger" in Latin. This was the false identity of Celia
in Shakespeare's play 'As You Like It' (1599) when she goes into hiding in the forest of Arden, presumably a pun on the word alias
Alithea f Theatre
Variant of Alethea
. This is the name of a character in William Wycherley's Restoration comedy 'The Country Wife' (1675).
Almirena f Theatre
The name of a character in Georg Friedrich Händel's opera 'Rinaldo' (1711).
Aloma f Popular Culture, Theatre
A pseudo-Hawaiian name invented by LeRoy Clemens and John B. Hymer for the title character of their 1925 Broadway play Aloma of the South Seas
, which was twice adapted to film, in 1926 and again in 1941... [more
Alzire f Theatre, Literature
Used by Voltaire for the heroine of his tragic play 'Alzire, ou les Américains' (1736), about a young indigenous Peruvian woman, daughter of a powerful chief. The heroine is named Alzira
in Verdi's opera based on the play... [more
Amazilia f Italian (Rare), Theatre
Possibly derived from name Amazili
, (first?) used in the novel of Jean-François Marmontel "Les Incas, ou la destruction de l'Empire du Pérou" (1777), where it belongs to a Peruvian maiden. Most likely this name was artificially created to imitate exotic language and has no meaning... [more
Amintor m Theatre
Variant of Amyntor
. This was used by Beaumont and Fletcher for the hero of their play 'The Maid's Tragedy' (ca. 1608-11) and later by Isaac Bickerstaffe for a character in his comic opera 'Daphne and Amintor' (1765).
Amneris f Theatre
Possibly invented by the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette for use in Verdi's opera 'Aida' (1871), where it belongs to a daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh, a jealous rival of the title character. Perhaps it was based on Amestris
or a name of Egyptian origin.
Antipholus m Theatre
Possibly a variant of Antiphilus
. The first element of this name is Greek αντι (anti)
"against, compared to, like"; the second element is less certain, perhaps derived from Greek φωλεός (phôleos)
"den, lair" (the source of the mythological name Pholus
) or from Latin folium
"a leaf; a sheet of paper; trifle, thing of no consequence"... [more
Areúsa f Theatre, Literature
Perhaps a feminine form of Areus
. This is the name of one of the characters in the play 'La Celestina' (1499) by Mariano de Rojas.
Argan m Theatre (Gallicized, Rare)
This name was used by Molière in his play, 'The Imaginary Invalid' (1673) ('Le Malade imaginaire' in French), for the main character. ... [more
Ārija f Latvian, Theatre
Feminine form of Ārijs
, this name coincides with Latvian ārija
"aria". Latvian poet and playwright Rainis used it as the name of the titular character in his play Indulis un Ārija
Artesia f Theatre, Arthurian Romance
Likely from Artois
, the name of a region in France (for which "artesian wells" are named), itself derived from Atrebates
, a Belgic tribe that inhabited the region of Gaul and Britain during Julius Caesar's time; Atrebates is cognate with Irish aittrebaid
meaning "inhabitant".... [more
Balladyna f Polish (Rare), Theatre
Used by the Polish writer Juliusz Słowacki for the heroine of his tragic play Balladyna
(1834), about a fictional Slavic queen who is corrupted by her rise to power. Słowacki based the name on the Polish word ballada
Banquo m Theatre
A character in Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' (1606).
Bardolph m Theatre, Medieval English (?)
Possibly from a Germanic name derived from the elements bard
, meaning "small axe" or "beard", and wulf
"wolf". Shakespeare used it for minor characters in several plays.
Barnardine m Theatre
Possibly an anglicized form of Bernardino
, or perhaps a diminutive of Barnard
. This was used by Shakespeare for a character in his play 'Measure for Measure' (1604).
Bellamira f Theatre
Probably derived from the Latin elements bella
"beautiful" and mira
"wondrous" (cf. Mirabella
). This name belongs to a courtesan in the play 'The Jew of Malta' (written c. 1589 or 1590) by English dramatist Christopher Marlowe.
Belvidera f Theatre
Derived from Italian belvedere
meaning "a fair sight" (compare Belvedere
). This was used by English dramatist Thomas Otway for a character in his tragedy Venice Preserv'd
Beneatha f Theatre
Meaning unknown, possibly invnted from the English word "beneath" and the feminine suffix "a". Beneatha Younger is character in the play "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry.
Berinthia f Theatre, Literature, English (Rare)
Meaning unknown, perhaps first used by Sir John Vanbrugh for a young widow in his play 'The Relapse' (1697). It was subsequently used by Richard Brinsley Sheridan for a widow in his play 'A Trip to Scarborough' (1777), and also appears in Dickens's 'Dombey and Son' (1848) belonging to Mrs Pipchin's niece.
Bérylune f Theatre
Perhaps an elaborated form of French béryl
meaning "beryl", possibly blending it with the word lune
"moon". This was used by the Belgian playwright and poet Maurice Maeterlinck for a fairy in his play 'The Blue Bird' (1908).
Caliban m Theatre
From a version of the Spanish word canibal
"cannibal", with -n
- and -l
- interchanged, found in Hakluyt's 'Voyages' (1599). Shakespeare created this name for the savage, deformed slave of Prospero
in his play 'The Tempest' (1611)... [more
Callidia f Theatre, Literature
Probably derived from the Latin adjective calidus
, which may be translated as "warm, hot, fiery," or "passionate". Callidia is Queen Veremonda's maid in an Italian opera called "Veremonda, l'amazzone di Aragona" (with the English translation being "Veremonda, the Amazon of Aragon" also known as "Il Delio")... [more
Casca m Ancient Roman, Theatre
Roman cognomen which was derived from Oscan casca
meaning "old". This was borne by one of the assassins of Julius Caesar: Servilius Casca. He features in Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar' (1599).
Casilda f Spanish, Galician, Portuguese (Rare), Literature, Theatre
Meaning uncertain. This is the name of the patron saint of Toledo, Spain. It might have an Arabic origin, considering the history - Saint Casilda of Toledo was born a Moorish princess - and perhaps comes from Arabic قصيدة (qaṣīda)
meaning "poem"... [more
Célimène f Literature, Theatre, French (Rare)
This name was invented by Molière for his play "The Misanthrope" (17th century). Given that many characters in his play bear names that are obviously of Greek origin (or inspired by the Greek language), the name Célimène must then at least be partly Greek as well... [more
Chariclée f Theatre
French form of Chariclea
which was used on one of the titular characters of Henri Desmarets's opera Théagène et Chariclée
Cherubino m Medieval Italian, Italian (Rare), Theatre
Derived from Latin cherubin
meaning "cherubs, cherubim", which refers to a class of angels known as the cherubim
. The term ultimately comes from Hebrew, but it has been theorized that the Jews borrowed the word from Akkadian kuribu
meaning "to bless" or from Assyrian ܟܪܘܒܐ (karabu)
meaning "great, mighty".... [more
Chu f Theatre
Mamma Chu is a character in the play Mummified Deer
written by Luis Valdez.
Ciana f Theatre
Truncated form of Luciana
. This name was borne by the titular character Madama Ciana
of Gaetano Latilla's opera (1738).
Cobweb m Theatre
From the English word cobweb
meaning "spiderweb". In Shakespeare's comedy 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1595) this name is borne by a fairy attendant of Titania.
Coppélia f Theatre, French (Rare)
The name of a life-sized mechanical doll created by the mysterious Doctor Coppélius in Léo Delibes' comic ballet Coppélia
(1870), based on two macabre stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann. The inventor's name is possibly a Latinized form of Yiddish Koppel
Coriolanus m Ancient Roman, History, Theatre
Roman cognomen which was derived from Corioli
, the name of an ancient but now lost Volscian city. Although derived from the Volscian language, it is not known what the meaning of the city's name was in Volscian... [more
Dionyza f Theatre
Presumably a feminine form of Dionysos
. This was used by Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Pericles, Prince of Tyre' (1607).
Donalbain m Theatre, History
Anglicized form of Gaelic Domnall Bán
the Fair", a nickname of Donald III, King of Scots, the second known son of Duncan I. This was the form used by Shakespeare in his tragic play 'Macbeth' (1606) for a character based on the historical figure, who allegorically represents moral order.
Doralice f Literature, Theatre, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian)
Name used by the poets Boiardo and Ariosto in their Orlando
poems (1495 and 1532), where it belongs to a Saracen princess. Boiardo perhaps intended it to mean "gift of the dawn" from Greek δῶρον (doron)
"gift" and λύκη (lyke)
"dawn", or he may have formed it from a contraction of Dora
Dorimène f French, Theatre
Meaning unknown. It was used by Molière for a character in his play 'Le Bourgeois gentilhomme'.
Dorliska f Theatre, English (American, Archaic)Torvaldo e Dorliska
(1815) is an operatic dramma semiserio in two acts by Gioachino Rossini based on the novel Les Amours du chevalier de Faublas
(1787–1790) by the revolutionary Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvrai, whose work was the source of the Lodoïska
libretto set by Luigi Cherubini (1791), and Lodoiska
set by Stephen Storace (1794), and Simon Mayr (1796).
Dromio m Theatre
This name belongs to two characters in William Shakespeare's play 'The Comedy of Errors' (1592): twin brothers Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse. It is possibly derived from Greek δρόμος (dromos)
"a course, running, race", or a related word.
Dynamene f Greek Mythology, Theatre
Means "she who can" or "the capable one" from Greek δυναμένη (dynamenê)
, a participle of the verb δύναμαι (dynamai)
"to be able, to have power, be strong enough". In Greek mythology this name was borne by one of the Nereids... [more
Egeon m Theatre
Variant of Aegaeon
. This is the name of a Syracusan merchant in William Shakespeare's play 'The Comedy of Errors' (1592).
Elisetta f Theatre
Variant of Elisabetta
. It was used for one of the main characters in Cimarosa's opera 'Il matrimonio segreto' which debuted in 1792.
Epicure m Theatre
Form of Epicurus
used by Ben Jonson for a character in his play 'The Alchemist' (first performed 1610), perhaps taken directly from the English word epicure
meaning "one who gives himself up to sensual pleasure" (literally "follower of Epicurus").
Eryxene f Theatre
Alteration of Eryxo
used by Plutarch in his essay Virtues of Women
, perhaps formed using the Greek element ξενος (xenos)
"foreigner, guest"... [more
Escalus m Theatre
Possibly a variant of Aeschylus
. This was used by Shakespeare in his play 'Romeo and Juliet' (1596), where it belongs to Prince Escalus. He later used it for a character in his play 'Measure for Measure' (written 1603 or 1604; first published 1623).
Esilena f Theatre
This was the name of the wife of the title character in Georg Friedrich Händel's opera 'Rodrigo' (1707), which was loosely based on the life of Roderick, the last Visigothic king of Spain. It may be based on Egilona
, the name of the wife of the historical figure.
Estragon m Theatre
Estragon is one of the two protagonists in Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot
. Estragon is a normal French word meaning "tarragon".
Evanthe f Greek Mythology (Latinized), Theatre
Latinized form of Euanthe
. Characters named Evanthe appear in John Fletcher's 17th-century tragicomedy A Wife for a Month
and Thomas Godfrey's 18th-century romantic tragedy The Prince of Parthia
(which was the first play written by an American to be presented in the United States by a professional cast of actors).
Fantesca f Italian, Theatre
From Italian fantesca
- "servant-girl". This name was used in some performances of Commedia dell'Arte for a character of a servant woman.
Farfalla f Theatre
Means "butterfly" in Italian. This is the name of the titular character of the ballet 'Le papillon' (1860). Farfalla is a Circassian princess who is kidnapped by a fairy and enchanted in the form of a butterfly.
Fiammette f French, Theatre
French form of Fiammetta
, used in 'La Reine Fiammette' ('Queen Fiammetta: An Opera in Four Acts and Two Scenes'), by Xavier LeRoux.
Fleance m Theatre
A character in the play 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare.
Florimel f Literature, Theatre
Combination of Latin flos
meaning "flower" (genitive floris
) and mel
"honey". This name was first used by Edmund Spenser in his poem The Faerie Queene
(1590; in the form Florimell
Fluellen m Theatre
Anglicized form of Llywelyn
used by Shakespeare for a Welsh captain in his history play 'Henry V' (1599).
Froth m Theatre
The name of a character in Shakespeare's play 'Measure for Measure', believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604.
Giunia f Italian, Theatre
Italian form of Junia
. It was used for the female lead character in Mozart's opera Lucio Silla
Godot m Theatre
Probably derived from the French surname Godeau
. This was the name of the main protagonist in the play 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett, a man who, as the title suggests, two men are waiting for, but never arrives.
Gonerill f Theatre
Variant of Goneril
which occurs in some copies of 'King Lear' (1606) - perhaps a misprinting.
Gossamer f Theatre
From the English word, which means "spider threads spun in fields of stubble in late fall" (apparently derived from Old English gos
"goose" and sumer
"summer"). A fictional bearer is Gossamer Beynon in Dylan Thomas' 1954 play 'Under Milk Wood' (Butcher Beynon's schoolteacher daughter).
Grimgerde f Theatre
Composed from the Germanic name element grim
"mask" and the name Gerd
. Grimgerde is one of the valkyries in Richard Wagner's opera 'Die Walküre'.
Grisélidis f Theatre
French form of Griselda
used by Jules Massenet in his opera 'Grisélidis' (1901). This was borne by Grisélidis Réal (1929-2005), a writer and sex worker from Switzerland.
Grusche f Theatre
One of the main female characters in Bertolt Brecht's play Der kaukasische Kreidekreis
Gundega f Latvian, Theatre
Directly taken from Latvian gundega
"buttercup (flower)". This name was used by Latvian playwright Anna Brigadere in her play Princese Gundega un karalis Brusubārda
Helmwige f Theatre
Derived from the Germanic name elements helm
"helmet" and wig
"battle". Helwige is the name of one of the valkyries in Richard Wagner's opera 'Die Walküre'.
Hernani m & f Spanish, Theatre
Often considered a diminutive of Hernán
. The French author Victor Hugo used it for the title hero of his play Hernani
(1830) (which Verdi adapted into the opera Ernani
in 1844), though in this case it was taken from the Spanish place name Hernani
, a town in the Basque Country, which allegedly means "top of an illuminated hill" from Basque.
Herzeleide f German, Literature, Theatre
From the German word for "heart sorrow, heartache". Herzeloyde
was its original form, created by Wolfram von Eschenbach for the Queen of Wales and mother of Perceval in his Middle High German romance Parzival
(1200–1210), probably to express the queen’s sorrow for losing her husband and later her son (when Perceval leaves her lands for King Arthur's court, she dies from a broken heart)... [more
Imogène f Theatre (Gallicized)
French form of Imogen
. In France, this mostly refers to the character from Shakespeare's play Cymbeline and is rarely, if ever, used as a given name.
Imoinda f Literature, Theatre
Used by Aphra Behn for a character in her novel Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave
(1688). Imoinda or She Who Will Lose Her Name
(2008), a re-writing of Behn's novel, is the first libretto to be written by an African-Caribbean woman, Dr Joan Anim-Addo.
Indulis m Latvian, Theatre
Originally a diminutive of Indriķis
, now used as a given name in its own right. Latvian poet and playwright Rainis used this name on the titular character of his play Indulis un Ārija
Iras f Theatre
Meaning unknown. This name was used by Shakespeare for one of Cleopatra's maids of honour in his tragedy 'Anthony and Cleopatra' (1607).
Isoline f French, Theatre
French form of Isolina
. This name was used in André Messager's opera Isoline
(1888), where it belongs to a princess.
Jaina f Theatre
This is used as the German translation of Jane
in the 1881's opera Patience
Jaquenetta f Theatre
A feminine form of Jaques
. Jaquenetta is a character from Shakespeare's 'Love's Labour's Lost'.
Jenůfa f Czech (Rare), Theatre
'Jenůfa', also known as 'Její pastorkyňa' ("Her Stepdaughter"), is an opera in three acts by Leoš
Janáček based on the play 'Její pastorkyňa' by Gabriela Preissová... [more
Jessonda f Theatre
Used for the heroine of Louis Spohr's Romantic opera 'Jessonda, or the Rajah's Wife' (1823), about a young royal widow who is rescued from the funeral pyre by the Portuguese general Tristan, her former sweetheart.
Jokanaan m Theatre
Form of Yochanan
used by Oscar Wilde for John the Baptist in his play 'Salomé' (1891). Unlike most depictions of John the Baptist, Jokanaan is young and clean-shaven, with black hair, white skin and red lips... [more
Kasperl m Medieval German, Folklore, Theatre
Diminutive of Kasper
. This name fell out of use a long time ago, possibly due to close association with the famous character from German puppet theatre. In this day and age, the name only survives as a patronymic surname.
Katisha f Theatre
Meaning unknown. It was used as a character name in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera 'The Mikado'.
Khivrya f Ukrainian (Rare, Archaic), Theatre
Ukrainian variant of Fevroniya
. The name was borne by a character in Modest Mussorgsky's comic opera 'The Fair at Sorochyntsi' (1874 - 1880) which was based on Nikolai Gogol's short story of the same name, from his early (1832) collection of Ukrainian stories 'Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka'.
Kleonike f Ancient Greek, Theatre
Derived from Greek κλεος (kleos)
"glory" and νικη (nike)
"victory". This was used by the 5th-century BC Athenian playwright Aristophanes for a character in his play Lysistrata
Kusi-quyllur f Quechua, Theatre
Means "joyful star" in Quechua, from Quechua kusi
"joyful, happy" and quyllur
"star". Kusi Quyllur is the name of the princess in the Quechua-language play 'Ollantay' (the oldest known manuscript of which dates to the 18th century).
Laimdota f Latvian, Literature, Theatre
From Latvian laime
"joy, luck, happiness" (compare Laima
) combined with dota
"given" (from the verb dot
"to give"). This was coined in the late 19th century... [more
Lamira f English (American), Literature, Theatre
This name was used (possibly invented) by Jacobean-era dramatist John Fletcher for characters in his plays The Honest Man's Fortune
(c.1613) and The Little French Lawyer
(1647). It does not appear to have been used in England; it came into use in the early United States, occurring as early as the 1780s in New York, perhaps influenced by the similar-sounding name Almira
Lelde f Latvian, Theatre
1920s phonetic coinage which was first used in the play Spēlēju, dancoju
(1915) by Latvian poet and playwright Rainis.
Licida m Italian (Archaic), Theatre
Italian form of Lycidas
. It is chiefly used in the opera libretto L'Olimpiade
(1733), which was written by the Italian poet and librettist Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782).
Lindora f Literature, Theatre
Feminine variant of Lindoro
, as used in the comic operas 'Le donne vendicate' ('Revenge of the Women'; 1763) by Piccinni and 'La maga Circe' ('Circe the Witch'; 1788) by Anfossi... [more
Lodoletta f Italian, Italian (Tuscan), Theatre
Probably coined by Pietro Mascagni for the titular character of his "dramma lirico" or lyric opera Lodoletta
(1917), which was based on the novel Two Little Wooden Shoes
by Marie Louise de la Ramée, (Ouida).... [more
Lucentio m Theatre
Possibly the Italian form of Lucentius
. This was used by Shakespeare for one of the romantic male leads in his play 'The Taming of the Shrew' (1593).
Magenta f English, Theatre
Named for the mauvish-crimson colour. The dye to make the colour was discovered and named shortly after the Battle of Magenta in 1859 (the town is situated in northern Italy). The colour may have been inspired by the colour of the uniforms worn by the French troops, or by the colour of the land soaked in blood after the battle... [more
Marzelline f Theatre
A soprano character in Ludwig van Beethoven's only opera, "Fidelio".
Mélite f Theatre
French form of Melite
. Mélite, ou les fausses lettres
(1625) is a comedy by Pierre Corneille.
Mellida f Theatre, English
Likely coined by the playwright John Marston for his plays 'Antonio and Mellida'(1599) and 'Antonio's Revenge' (1601). It was presumably intended as a cross between Melissa
Mercutio m Theatre
Derivative of Mercury
used by Shakespeare in his tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet' (1596), where it belongs to a close friend of Romeo.
Mirdza f Latvian, Theatre
Derived from Latvian mirdzēt
"to shine; to glitter". This name was used on a character in the play Vaidelote
(1894) by the Latvian poet and playwright Aspazija.
Mistoffolees m Literature, Theatre
Altered form of Mephistopheles
used for a character in T.S. Eliot's poetry collection 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' (1939). Mr. Mistoffolees also appears in the musical 'Cats' (1981), a stage adaptation of Eliot's poetry book.
Monimia f Theatre, Literature, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Probably a Latinate form of Monime
, first used by Thomas Otway for the title character in his tragic play The Orphan
(1680). It was subsequently used by the Scottish author Tobias Smollett (also for an orphan character) in his novel The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom
(1753), and later by English poet and novelist Charlotte Smith for the heroine of her novel The Old Manor House
(1793), which was a huge bestseller in the last decade of the 18th century... [more
Motezuma m Theatre
Motezuma is an opera in three acts by Antonio Vivaldi with an Italian libretto by Alvise Giusti. The libretto is very loosely based on the life of the Aztec ruler Montezuma
who died in 1520.
Munkustrap m Literature, Theatre
This name belongs to a Jellicle cat in T.S. Eliot's poem, Naming of Cats. He is a principal character in the musical, Cats.
Murman m Georgian, Literature, Theatre
Meaning uncertain, as the available sources each provide a different etymology for this name. According to a Georgian source, Murman is a phonetic variant of Murvan
Musetta f Theatre, Italian (Tuscan)
Latinate form of Musette
, which was possibly based on the dance style, popular in Paris in the 1880s, which took its name from a kind of small bagpipe. It was used by Puccini for the lover of Marcello in his opera La Bohème
(1896), which was based on La Vie de Bohème
(1851) by Henri Murger (who named the character Musette
Mytyl f Theatre
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a character from the 1908 play 'The Blue Bird' (French: 'L'Oiseau bleu') by Belgian playwright and poet Maurice Maeterlinck.
Nedda f Sicilian, Theatre, Hungarian
Sicilian diminutive of Antonietta
as well as a Sicilian form of Nella
. The name was also adopted into Hungarian usage. Furthermore, this name is borne by the main female role in the opera 'Pagliacci'.
Nichette f Theatre, Literature
Nichette is the name of a character in Alexandre Dumas's (fils) 1848 novel and play named "Camille" (also known as "The Lady of the Camellias"). The name Nichette was also featured in the title of a movie short from 1911 named "The Heart of Nichette"... [more
Onintza f Basque, Theatre
This name was used on a character in Jose Olaizoal's opera Oleskari zaharra
Orabelle f Theatre
Possibly a combination of Ora (comes from aurum
meaning "gold" in Latin) and Belle (meaning "beautiful"). The name is used in Sheri Raynolds's play 'Orabelle's Wheelbarrow'.
Ortlinde f Theatre
The name can be interpreted as a dithematic Germanic name formed of the name elements ort
"point (of a sword or a lance)" and LIND
"linden tree, lime; shield (made of lime wood); gentle, soft".... [more
Pamina f German, Theatre
The origin and meaning of this name are debated: it's claimed to be derived from Greek pammenis
"night of the full moon".... [more
Pandarus m Greek Mythology (Latinized), Literature, Theatre
Latinized form of Greek Πάνδαρος (Pandaros)
, which was possibly derived from παν (pan)
"all" and an uncertain second element. This is the name of a mythical archer who appears in stories of the Trojan War, and "who by an arrow-shot violates the truce between the Trojans and Greeks, and is afterwards slain by Diomedes." In Homer's 'Iliad' he is portrayed as an energetic and impetuous warrior, but in medieval literature he becomes a witty and licentious figure who facilitates the affair between Troilus
Peaseblossom m Theatre
From English pea's blossom
, referring to the small flower of a pea plant. This name was used by Shakespeare in his comedy 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1595), where it belongs to one of the servants to the fairy queen Titania.
Penthea f Theatre
Feminine form of Pentheus
. This was used (perhaps invented) by John Ford for a character in his tragic play 'The Broken Heart' (1633).
Petruchio m Theatre
Anglicized form of Petruccio
used by Shakespeare for the hero of his play The Taming of the Shrew
(1593). He also used it for an unseen character in his later work Romeo and Juliet
Philidel f & m Literature, Theatre
Perhaps based on Philadelphia
. It was used by John Dryden in his opera 'King Arthur; or, the British Worthy' (1691), where it belongs to an air spirit in the service of Merlin who saves Arthur from the evil schemes of Osmond, a Saxon sorcerer, and Grimbald, an enemy earth spirit.
Philinna f Ancient Greek, Theatre
Means "darling" in Greek, a term of affection derived from Greek φίλος (philos)
meaning "friend, lover". A famous bearer was Philinna of Larissa in Thessaly (4th century BC), the third wife of Philip II of Macedon and mother of Philip III Arrhidaeus... [more
Polichinelle m Theatre (Gallicized)
French form of Pulcinella
, a character from the Italian commedia dell'arte
. This can also refer to the little clown dolls that run out from under Mother Ginger's skirt in The Nutcracker
Prouhèze f Theatre
Central character in Paul Claudel's play The Satin Slipper
Pulcinella m Theatre
Possibly derived from a diminutive of Italian pulcino
"chick". This is the name of a character (male, despite the name form) that appeared in the commedia dell'arte in the 17th century.
Quisara f Theatre
Origin uncertain. This was used for the title character in John Fletcher's play 'The Island Princess' (written ca. 1619-1621): a princess of Tidore (an Islamic state in Indonesia) who vows to marry the man who frees her brother, the king, who has recently been captured by a local rival.
Radames m Theatre
Radamès is a character, the captain of the guard, in the opera 'Aida
' (1871). The setting of the opera is ancient Egypt, and the creators of the play likely invented the name to sound vaguely Egyptian by integrating Ra
into the name.
Rodelinda f Hungarian, Theatre
Hungarian form of Rodelind
. 'Rodelinda' (1725) is an opera seria in three acts composed for the first Royal Academy of Music by Georg Friedrich Händel.
Rosmina f Theatre
Possibly a variant of Rosmunda
. This was used by Francesco Cavalli for a character in his opera 'Giasone' (1649).
Sânziana f Romanian, Romanian Mythology, Theatre
Sânziana, also known as Iana Sânziana
, is a fairy in Romanian mythology. Her name is a contraction of Romanian sfânt
"holy" and zână
"fairy", according to Mircea Eliade ultimately derived from Sancta Diana
"Holy Diana"... [more
Schwertleite f Theatre
Transferred from the name of an early form of accolade. Schwertleite is the name of one of the valkyries in Richard Wagner's opera 'Die Walküre'.
Setebos m Theatre
Seen in Shakespeare's play 'The Tempest' (1611), in which Setebos is the god worshipped by Caliban and Sycorax.
Sganarelle m Theatre
Possibly from Italian sgannare
"to disillusion" or derived from Italian Zannarello
, a diminutive of Zanni
. Molière used characters named Sganarelle in multiple plays, including his one-act comedy 'Sganarelle, or The Imaginary Cuckold' (1660).
Shylock m Theatre
Shylock was used in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice
Tamino m German (Rare), Theatre
Descends from the Greek word tamias
which means "lord" or "master". There is a Tamino in Mozart's "The Magic Flute".
Telaira f Theatre
The name was used by Jean-Phillippe Rameau in his 1737 opera 'Castor et Pollux'. It is used as the name of a Greek princess whom both Castor and Pollux are in love with.
Trinculo m Theatre
The name of King Alonso's jester in Shakespeare's play 'The Tempest' (1611).
Turandot f Theatre
Derived from the Persian name Turandokht
, meaning "daughter of Turan" (Turan being a region in Central Asia). This is the name of the title character in an opera by Giacomo Puccini... [more
Tyltyl m Theatre
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a character from the 1908 play 'The Blue Bird' (French: 'L'Oiseau bleu') by Belgian playwright and poet Maurice Maeterlinck.
Vespina f Theatre, Literature
Meaning uncertain, it could be related to the Latin vesperum
meaning "evening" or the Latin and Italian vespa
meaning "wasp". Vespina is Queen Veremonda's maid in an Italian opera called "Veremonda, l'amazzone di Aragona" (with the English translation being "Veremonda, the Amazon of Aragon" also known as "Il Delio")... [more
Violaine f French, Theatre
Invented by Paul Claudel for his play L'Annonce faite à Marie
(1912), the first version of which was titled La Jeune Fille Violaine
(1892). It is often regarded as a variant of Violante
, though Claudel may have taken it from a French place name.
Voltemand m Theatre
A character in 'Hamlet' by Shakespeare. Voltemand is sent together with Cornelius
as an ambassador to the King of Norway.
Xanthias m Ancient Greek, Theatre
Derived from Greek ξανθος (xanthos)
meaning "yellow" or "fair hair". This was used by the Greek playwright Aristophanes in works including 'The Frogs'; all of the characters named Xanthias are slaves.
Zelemina f Theatre, Literature
Meaning uncertain. Zelemina is the Queen of the Moors in an Italian opera called "Veremonda, l'amazzone di Aragona" (with the English translation being "Veremonda, the Amazon of Aragon" also known as "Il Delio").