Diminutive of Alexander, originally popular in Scotland.
Bearers include former British Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home, and actors Alec Guinness and Alec Baldwin.
Alec Stoke-d'Urberville is one of the main characters in Tho
Arthur is a name that probably dates back as far as pre-Roman times in Britain. It is possibly derived from the Celtic "artos" (bear), the Irish Gaelic "art" (stone), or the Welsh term "arth gwyr," or "bear man." Its modern form may be based partly on t
Attica is the region of Greece which contains Athens, the capital city. Today, the name is mainly known from the character Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Atticus was also the name of a number of ancient Greek philosophers and
Benjamin is the anglicized form of the Hebrew Binyamin. In the Old Testament, Benjamin was the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob. Benjamin was the 24th most popular boy's name in the US in 2006, and the 11th most popular in the UK. It is also commonly fou
Brady is a surname that has recently come into use as a first name. 'The Brady Bunch' was a 1970s TV show which aimed to present the challenges involved in blending a family - Mike Brady and his three sons having Carol Martin and her three daughters join
Brendan is an Irish saint whose travels are narrated in the immram "The Voyage of St. Brendan".
First used in Sir Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe." Possibly derived from a celtic word meaning "first choice."
Cedric the Entertainer is an American comedian, and Cedric Diggory is a character in the Harry Potter series. The Nissan Cedric is a lu
Oscar Wilde is the first to use Dorian as a given name in his famous novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray".
The Dorians were one of the principal ancient Greek tribes. The name might be derived from them, via the Latin "Dorianus".
Earnest as a name was rendered famous by Oscar Wilde's play 'The Importance of Being Earnest', a comedy of manners where he plays with the quality of being earnest, making it resound with the name of same origins Ernest.
This hilarious play is se
From the Anglo-Saxon 'eád' or German 'ôt' - 'good, property, inheritance' and 'gar' or 'ger' meaning 'spear'. This combines in the meaning 'spear of prosperity', 'protector of the good (with the spear)'.
Originally and English name which b
See Edmund for more background information.
In the 20th century, this French form has tended to overtake the English Edmund.
A noted literary character by the name Edmond was the Count of Monte Cristo in the novel of the same name w
From the Old English Eádweard; a compound name composed of the elements "ead" (riches, prosperity, fortune) and "weard" (guardian, protector). Hence: 'protector of the riches, inheritance', or maybe 'rich guardian', 'fortunate protector'.
It is mo
Cognate of the Germanic Ernst, the name was introduced to England in the 18th century following the coronation of George I (1660-1727), the "German King". George III's son Ernest Augustus, was the first of five Kings of Hanover to hold the name. Ernest Au
There have been several St Felixs. St Felix and his sister, St Regula, are the patron saints of Zurich. St Felix of Burgundy is known as the bishop who introduced Christianity into East Anglia, in England. There have been four Popes named Felix.
Harry started out as a nickname for Henry, but is now used as a name in its own right. In the US it was the 593rd most popular name for boys in 2006. In the UK however, where it is the popular name of one of the royal princes, the name comes in fifth. It
Holden is an English surname which was first taken from the same English place name. It is made up of the Old English elements 'hol' (deep, hollow) and 'denu' (valley). It is used fairly regularly as a first name in the USA, where it has been in the top 1
The most famous bearer of this name in history is undoubtedly the ancient Greek epic poet. This association has been unfortunately overshadowed in recent years by the cartoon buffoon, Homer Simpson. There are many towns in the U.S. that bear the name Ho
In the Hebrew Bible, Ishmael is the first son of the patriarch Abraham. According to tradition, it was Ishmael who engendered the Arab people. He is also reputed to have built the foundations of the Ka'aba in Mecca.
Ishmael is the name of
This Russian form of John was the name of four rulers of Russia, including 'Ivan the Terrible', who was the first monarch to be called a 'tsar'. Ivan was also the codename given to 'Tsar Bomba', the largest nuclear bomb ever detonated, developed by the Ru
In the Old Testament, Jacob is the son of Isaac and Rebekah, the twin brother of Esau and the father of twelve sons and a daughter. From his sons came the twelve tribes of Israel - the Israelites. God later changed Jacob's name to Israel.
There are many saints called James, the most famous being Saint James the Elder, one of the Apostles. As a common name it has many namesakes, such as the author James Joyce or the fictional British spy James Bond ("007"). The name has been used for royalt
In the Bible, Yared is the grandfather of Methuselah. Jared may also be taken as a variant of Yered, one of the names applied to Moses.
Actor and musician Jared Leto is a famous bearer.
Captain Jared Bilby is a main charac
The name of a warlord in the 'Mahabharata'.
Gaelic name meaning "follower or devotee of the dove", where the dove is usually St. Columba.
It was a popular name among Scottish nobility, and the first name of black Muslim Minister and Civil Rights leader Malcolm X.
A Roman praenomen (given name) with Etruscan origins; the original Latin form of Mark.
Marcus was probably derived from the name of the Roman god of war Mars, or the adjective 'mas' meaning "male, virile". Hence the meaning "from Mars", "from the g
English form of Marcus.
Saint Mark the Evangelist is traditionally believed to be the author of the second Gospel (Gospel of Mark) and a companion of Peter.
A famous Roman bearer of the name was Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius), politi
There are various saints named Nicholas, the most famous of whom is St Nicholas of Myra. His name became Santa Claus and, combined with his reputation for secretly-giving gifts, he became associated with Father Christmas.
From Latin 'octavus' meaning "eighth". Octavius was the family name of the Roman emperor Augustus. It is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar".
Italian form of Roland. A character in Shakespeare's play 'As You like It' bears this name, as does a city in Florida.
Orlando appeared as a central character in a sequence of verse romances from the XVth century onwards, including Orlando Furioso
The name was coined by the 18th-century female writer Fanny Burney in her novel "Evelina".
Also the names of a few French towns.
It is of Germanic origin. It might be derived from the Old English elements os "god" and weald "rule".
It was the name of two saints, including Saint Oswald king of Northumbria. He participated in spreading Christianity to northeast England in the
St Paul was an early Christian missionary. Originally a persecutor of Christians named Saul, who witnessed the stoning of Stephen, he was converted whilst on the road to Damascus, prompting a name change. Paul travelled throughout the Mediterranean teachi
St Peter was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, and became the first pope of the Church. Peter's original name was Simon, but it was changed by Jesus to the Aramaic name Cephas (rock). Peter is the Greek equivalent of Cephas.
The first R
Rhett is an aglicized form of a Dutch surname meaning "advice, counsel". Quite notably, it is the name of a character in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" and brought to the screen by legendary actor Clark Gable.
Roderick is from the Latin Rodericus, which is from the Old High German Hrodrich, a compounding of the elements 'hruod' meaning "fame" and 'rik' meaning "ruler; king". King Roderick was supposedly the 'last king of the Goths' in the 8th century, but very
From an Old French personal name of Germanic origin, from hrod (fame) and land (land, territory).
This was adopted by the Normans and introduced by them to Britain.
In Old French literature, it is borne by a legendary Frankish hero,
From the Old norse, composed of the elements meaning "Advice; decision; the gods" and "ruler".
Ronald Reagan was President of the United States 1981-9. Ronald McDonald is the clown mascot of restaurant chain McDonald's and Ronald Weasley is
There have been various St Ronans, including a Celtic bishop who preached in Cornwall and Brittany. The town of Locronan in Brittany is named after him.
There are several famous Irishmen named Ronan - singers Ronan Keating and Ronan Tynan,
Iago is the Spanish version of James. Santiago de Compostela (Saint James of Compostela) in Spain is a Christian pilgrimage destination that has been popular since the Middle Ages.
The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel written by Ernest
Sawyer's rise in popularity on boys in the U.S. is likely the combined effect of the increasing popularity of surnames as first names, and public interest in the character named Sawyer on the television show "Lost."
Tom Sawyer is a literary
In the Bible, Seth was the son of Adam and Eve, he was born after the murder of Abel by his twin brother Cain. Seth is noted as the son of Adam from whom Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and consequently David and Jesus are descended. Seth or Set was also an
Toby can be a nickname for Tobias, Tobiah or Tobin, or a stand-alone name.
In Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' Sir Toby Belch is the frequently drunk uncle of Olivia.
In British 'Punch and Judy' shows, Punch's dog is called Toby
The Welsh spelling of Tristan.
Westley is a main character in William Goldman's fantasy novel "The Princess Bride" (1973) and the subsequent Rob Reiner film (1987). The dashing hero Westley was brought to the screen by British actor Cary Elwes.
Alice was an extremely common name in medieval England, though it frequently appeared in the alternate form Alys. It is found several times in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," most famously as the name of the Wife of Bath. The name fell into disuse for man
Could be explained as from the Hebrew, 'maiden', from the Germanic 'amal', 'effort', or from the Latin 'alma', 'nourishing'.
The River Alma in Ukraine was the site of a battle during the Crimean War, which was won by British, French and Ot
Amelia is actually derived from two names: "Emilia," a Latin name meaning "rival," and "Amalia," a Germanic name meaning "work" or "labor." Henry Fielding popularized this name with his novel "Amelia" in 1751. More recently, the name took center stage i
English form of the Old French Aimée, in use in the United States since the 18th century. It should be noted that the spellings Ami, and Amie are not used in France because they are the words used to refer to a friend.
Amy is the name of
Antonia is the name of the main character in WIlla Cather's landmark American novel, "My Antonia."
Italian and French form of Beatrix, which is probably a form of the early Christian name Viatrix, altered to incorporate the Latin 'beatus' (blessed).
Beatrice is a character of Shakespeare's play "Much Ado About Nothing". It was also the n
The origin and meaning of Belinda is still uncertain, but it very likely comes from the Germanic lindi meaning "serpent" and Latin bellus meaning "beautiful."
Belinda loses a lock of her hair in Alexander Pope's satirical poem "The Rape of
Berenice is the name of several Ptolemaic and Seleucid queens in Cyrenaica and Egypt and of two Judean princesses.
"Bérénice" is a tragedy by the French 17th-century dramatist Jean Racine.
The subject was taken from the Roman histori
Camilla was the name of a legendary female warrior who chose to fight against Aeneas when he landed in Italy, and was killed on the battlefield. She one of the few strong female characters in Vergil's Aeneid.
Camillus and camilla were two
To create this name the spelling of Carmel was altered to fit the Latin noun 'carmen' (song). Carmen is the name of a famous opera by Bizet.
Carmen Electra (born Tara Leigh Patrick), is an American glamor model, actress, television personal
Charlotte is a feminine form of the name Charles; though often interpreted as "woman" or "feminine," Charlotte might equally be interpreted as "masculine." Many texts reconcile these differences by defining Charlotte as "strong woman." Whilst moderately
From the Greek 'korè' meaning 'girl'. The term 'korè' was used for certain female statues in ancient Greek sculpture. Her male counterpart was the so-called 'kouros'.
In Greek mythology Cora was a byname of the goddess Persephone and it was the na
Dejah Thoris is Edgar Rice Burroughs's Martian princess in his Barsoom series. She first appeared in the initial Mars novel, A Princess of Mars (1917). It seems that Burrough created the name as a word-play on the French expression "déjà-vu", which is als
Delia is the feminine form of the Latin Delius, from the Greek place name Delos, a small Aegean island and the legendary birthplace of the divine twins Artemis and Apollo. In ancient times Delia was a cult title of Apollo and not used as a girl's first na
A nickname for any name containing the Greek element dôron, such as Dorothy, Theodora, and Isadora. Dora has had increasing popularity as a name, independant of any of its fuller versions.
Dorothy is the name of heroine in L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" which was later adapted in immensely popular film "The Wizard of Oz" which featured Judy Garland as Dorothy.
Old French form of Greek Helen. Revived in Britain at the end of the 19th century and very popular in the 1950s, especially in Scotland.
In Arthurian legend, Elaine is a name shared by several different female characters, including King Art
A short form of Elisabeth, Elissa is also bestowed as an independent given name.
Elissa is another name of the mythological, famous and tragic queen Dido of Carthage. Her history and faith formed a part of the plot of Virgil's Aeneas.
From Aemilius, the name of a Roman noble family, which has been associated with as well the Greek aimulos' and the Latin 'aemulus' that mean 'soft; friendly' and 'emulating; rival' respectively.
Many Polish queens and princesses have had t
Emma might be a form of Erma, a short form of various names which begin with the Germanic element Erm(en), Irm(en) which can mean 'strong' but is more literally translated as "whole" or "universal".
For some, it is a diminutive of Emmanuell
Means "emerald" in Spanish. In Victor Hugo's novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' Esmeralda is the Gypsy girl whom Quasimodo is in love with. Another literary connection for Esmeralda would be in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" in which Esmeralda
The name Evangeline was invented by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for his Acadian epic poem, "Evangeline." Though it is derived from Greek elements [euangelion], its use is primarily in the English and French speaking worlds, particularly among the Acadian
Fay is derived from Middle English faie meaning "fairy", such as in the popular Arthurian figure of Morgan Le Fay.
Faye is also the English form of the old French Foy, meaning "faith" (from the Latin 'fides').
Sainte Foy was a French
In medieval European lore, Griselda was the wife of nobleman who tolerated any annoyance or grief he caused her. She is known in several literary works, including the Canterbury Tales and the Decameron, as "Patient Griselda."
'Heidi' is a children's story by Joanna Spyri, set in the mountains of Switzerland. Its sequels were written by Spyri's English translator Charles Tritten. Heidi is also the name of a character in Stephenie Meyer's 'Twilight' series of novels. The charact
A variant of Imogene that has that became popular in the twentieth century.
There have been various queens named Isabella. Isabella of Castile laid the foundations for the unification of Spain, with her husband Ferdinand of Aragon. They reconquered Granada, and patronised Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to America. She w
Jessica first appeared in the Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice' and her origins are much debated. It is possible that Jessica comes from the Hebrew name found in the Bible as Iscah, which was translated in Shakespeare's time as Jesca.
Josephine is an English and French feminine form of the name Joseph.
Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, is an early bearer of this name. She was born Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, and her first husb
Juliet is the name of the ill-fated heroine of Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet". A moon of the planet Uranus is named after this character.
Juliet is the NATO Phonetic Alphabet word for the letter 'J'.
Anglicisation of Caitríona or a form of Katherine.
Hurricane Katrina occurred in 2005, devastating, in particular, New Orleans and Mississippi. The cost of reconstruction following the hurricane was set at $10.5 billion - making it the most
This name may also be taken from the Hebrew word meaning "wild cow" or "gazelle".
Biblically, Leah is the wife of Jacob and the older sister of Rachel. Jacob laboured for seven years for Leah's father Laban to win Rachel's hand. On his wed
Leila is a common Persian name that has recently gained a measure of popularity in the English-speaking world.
Luciana is a main character of Shakespeare's play "The Comedy of Errors".
"Lucinda" first appears in literature in Cervantes' "Don Quixote," though it is unclear whether Cervantes invented this name himself. Lucinda first became popular in the nineteenth century; it is currently quite uncommon in the U.S.
Latin feminine of Marcellus, a diminutive of Marcus. In regular use in the English-speaking countries since the 1860s.
The most famous Marcella is probably "the most beautiful creature ever sent into the world", in Don Quixote by Cervantes.
A feminine form of the Roman family name Marinus.
The name is derived from Marius (from the god Mars), but is identical to the Latin adjective 'marinus' meaning "of the sea", and therefore commonly associated to it.
Originally a Middle English Anglicized form of the French "Marie," derived from the Latin "Maria," and ultimately from the Hebrew name of uncertain origin "Miryam".
This is the New Testament form of Miriam, which St. Jerome derives from ele
Latinized form of Mathilda.
Matilda of Flanders was Queen consort of the Kingdom of England and the wife of William the Conqueror.
"Matilda," by Roald Dahl, is a children's book about a girl with extraordinary mental powers.<
From the Greek "honey bee".
In Greek mythology, this was the name of a nymph that saved Zeus from his father, Cronus.
The 16th century Italian poet Ariosto used the name for a good fairy in his poem "Orlando Furioso."
The name was invented in the 17th century by the poet Fulke Greville for use in his love poems.
He perhaps based it on Latin 'myron' from the Greek (myrrh, onguent - a sweet smelling oil), creating a feminine form of Myron.
It has also been
In Roman times, Octavia was the name of the wife of Mark Antony , also sister of Roman emperor Augustus. Octavia is a character in Shakespeare's play "Antony and Cleopatra".
Ophelia is a main character in Shakespeare's tragic play "Hamlet" who dies by drowning while in a state of delirium and mental torment. Ophelia has since become a symbol of angst for teenage girls.
In 16th Century Portuguese tale "Amadis de Gaula", Oriana was the daughter of a king of England who married the knight Amadis.
Pamela was created by the 16th century English poet and statesman Sir Philip Sidney for the name of a character in his pastoral "Arcadia". It's possible that the meaning is "honeyed sweetness" or "honey."
Pamela was later the name of Br
Pearl is also a surname, and was used with some frequency on boys in the early twentieth century. Its use as a masculine name faded as Pearl grew in popularity as a feminine name.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" protagonist H
Sometimes touted as meaning 'to tie/to bind' or 'heifer', this name is of doubtful meaning and probably has its roots in Aramaic. The Biblical Rebecca was the wife of Isaac in the Old Testament and the mother of Jacob and Esau.
This is al
Scarlett O'Hara is the protagonist of Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone with the Wind". It is a little known fact that Scarlett's full name is "Katie Scarlett O'Hara", after her Irish father's mother.
Scarlett Johansson is a popular American
Sophie is a traditional French name, derived from the Greek meaning "wisdom".
"Les Malheurs de Sophie" ("Sophie's Misfortunes") is a famous children's novel in France, written by Madame La Comtesse de Ségur and published in 1859.
Stella is a character in Tennessee Williams' play 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.
As a product name, Stella Artois is a brand of Belgian beer, and Stella is a magazine produced by the British newspaper 'The Sunday Telegraph'.
Susan B Anthony was an American suffrage leader, who helped to secure the vote for women in USA. Susan Sarandon is an Oscar-winning actress.
Susan Pevensie is one of four siblings that find their way to Narnia in CS Lewis' 'The Lion, the W
Tess (Teresa) is the heroine in Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel "Tess of the D'Ubervilles".
Possibly from the Greek 'thelema' (wish, act of will). The name was probably coined by the author Marie Corelli in her novel "Thelma, A Norwegian Princess." The name does not have any apparently relation to the Norwegian language.
Una appears as a name in Spenser's "Faerie Queene," and her character is considered a personification of Truth and the Church. She is set up in opposition to the antagonist Duessa (from the Greek word for "two"), who is set up as the "False Church."
This name was coined by Jonathan Swift for his friend Esther Vanhomrigh. Other famous bearers include actress Vanessa Redgrave, singer Vanessa Carlton and actress and singer Vanessa Williams.
Vanessa is also the name of a genus of butterfly
Violets are small plants, whose flowers are usually violet or purple in colour.
There are several fictional characters named Violet: in the comic 'Peanuts', Violet Beauregarde is a chewing-gum addict golden ticket winner in Roald Dahl's 'C
Of uncertain etymology, Wanda is generally believed to be of Germanic origin, perhaps from 'vond' (wand, stem, young tree) or from Wend, a term denoting a member of the old Slavic people who now live in an enclave south of Berlin.
Author J.M. Barrie created the name Wendy for "Peter Pan." Wendy is meant to serve as the word "friend", and inspired by childish lisps. Wendy is sometimes thought to be a nickname for Gwendoline.
In history, Zenobia of Palmyra was a North African queen descended from Cleopatra who campaigned through much of North Africa before being defeated by Rome.
Zenobia was the name of a character who drowned herself in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "B
Zoraida may be of Arabic origin, but could also be an invention of the author Cervantes.
Ariel is generally regarded as the masculine spelling of this name, with the feminine forms Ariela and Arielle. A famous male Ariel is Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Ariel appears in the Bible as a name for the city of Jerusalem and a
A Christian is someone who follows the religion of Christianity, based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Christian is the main character of John Bunyan's 'The Pilgrim's Progress', which is a Christian allegory.
Jay may also be used as a nickname for names beginning with J, or as a full name independently.
A jay is a type of small bird.
Jay is the name of a character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gasby" (1925).
Jody, along with it's variant Jodie, have both been traditionally used for boys and girls.
The main character in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings classic Pulitzer Prize winning book "The Yearling" was 11 year old Jody Baxter, a boy who lived in the
As a female name, Kara is derived from Cara - which has roots in Gaelic and Italian. As a male name it is Turkish.
Kara refers to several geographical places.
It is a character in the novel 'Benim Adým Kýrmýzý' by the Turki
Laurence is an English masculine name and a French feminine name. Friar Laurence is a character from Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet".
From the Old Welsh masculine name Morcant, which is derived from Welsh mor (sea) or mawr (great), and can (bright, white) or cant (circle, completion).
This name is common as a surname in both Wales and Ireland and is becoming increasingly popular
In Homer's epic poem "The Iliad", Paris was the Trojan Prince whose vanity caused the start of the Trojan war and the eventual downfall of his city. In Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet", Paris was the man the Capulet's wanted Juliet to marry. Paris
Robin is a pet form of Robert and has strong literary ties. Robin Hood is a legendary champion of the poor and Robin is also the name of two character's in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", including the trickster Robin Goodfellow who is also kn
Either a short form of Samantha or Samuel.
Sam is a character in Stephenie Meyer's popular Twilight series of books. It is also the name of the lead character in John Hughes quintessential teen movie, starring Molly Ringwald, "Sixteen Cand
Sydney is a variant of the name Sidney, and can be used on both males and females.
Sydney Carton is the male hero of Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities."
Sydney Bristow is the heroine in the television show "Alias."
Winnie the Pooh is a central character in A.A. Milne's children's stories involving the Hundred Acre Woods which he had written for his son. Winnie was also a main love interest for the main character in the popular American sitcom The Wonder Years.