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English Baby Names

Name Origin Meaning Rating Fav.
AaronEnglishDerived from the Hebrew aharon ..
AbigailEnglishFrom the Hebrew Avigayil, whi..
AbrahamEnglishDerived from the Hebrew Avraha..
AckerleyEnglishMeaning "oak meadow."
ActonEnglishDerived from the Old English Actun,..
AdaEnglishOriginally a pet form of Adele an..
AdamEnglishDerived from the Hebrew adama (..
AddisonEnglishTransferred use of the surname deri..
AdelaideEnglishVariant of the Germanic Adelheid (n..
AdeleEnglishA name that originated as a shorten..
AdelineEnglishA form of Adelaide, meaning "nobl..
AdneyEnglishMeaning "noble's island."
AdriaEnglishFeminine form of Adrian, which is..
AdrianEnglishEnglish cognate of the Latin Adrian..
AdrianeEnglishMeaning "rich."
AdrianneEnglishFeminine form of Adrian, which is..
AftonEnglishIndicating "from Afton, England."
AgateEnglishA semiprecious stone
AgathaEnglishDerived from the Greek Agathe..
AgnesEnglishPopular name throughout Europe, Agn..
AlEnglishA short form of any of the various ..
AlanEnglishCeltic name of uncertain derivation..
AlanaEnglishFeminine form of Alan, an old nam..
AlbanEnglishDerived from the Latin Albanus (f..
AlbertEnglishDerived from the Old High German Ad..
AlbertaEnglishFeminine form of Albert, which is..
AlcottEnglishMeaning "old cottage."
AldenEnglishMeaning "old friend."
AldredEnglishMeaning "old counselor."
AldrichEnglishMeaning "old leader."
AldwinEnglishMeaning "old friend."
AletheaEnglishDerived from the Greek aletheia (tr..
AlexEnglishShort form of any of the various na..
AlexEnglishShort form of any of the various na..
AlexaEnglishA short form of Alexandra (defend..
Description of English Names
English Baby Names
THE ANCIENT, unknown language of the aboriginal inhabitants of the British Isles was eventually superseded by the tongues of the Celtic immigrants from the mainland. And by the time of the Roman invasion in 55 B.C., the Celtic languages had become the native languages of the land. After the Romans set up government, the use of Latin was encouraged, and by the 3rd or 4th century, all but the lowest classes and those who lived in the far reaches spoke Latin and had adopted the Christian religion. When the Romans vacated the island in the 5th century, a historical fog descended over the land. Little is known of this time except that barbaric Anglo-Saxon tribes invaded the area from the mainland. Two centuries later, all remnants of Roman civilization had been wiped out, the Anglo-Saxons held nearly all of the land, the Celtic-speaking Christian natives had been pushed far back into the hills, and Old English (Anglo-Saxon) was the dominant language. Missionaries headed by St. Augustine were sent by Pope Gregory the Great in 597 to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, once again introducing Latin to the country. Toward the 8th century, the Danes ventured forth seeking adventure and new lands to conquer. Their influence lasted in different parts of the country for nearly three hundred years, during which time they adopted the Christian faith and Latin became the universal language of learning, the church, diplomacy, law, and to some extent, business. Later, after the death of Harthacanute in 1047, political ties were severed with Denmark, and Edward the Confessor was chosen as king. Having been raised in France, Edward introduced the French culture and language to the land, and liberally bestowed lands and titles upon his friends and retainers, in effect paving the way for the Norman invasion. The Norman Conquest in 1066 had a great effect on the English society and brought about a profound transformation in the English language. Although French became the official language of the government, the courts and law, the educated and the nobility, Old English was still spoken by the masses. As the two languages were used side by side, many Old English words were abandoned, French ones were added to the vocabulary, and countless others were modified. The English language of this period until the year 1475 is known as Middle English. These events helped determine the types of names found in England today. Though the Roman names failed to remain viable, the "Anglo-Saxons added a large number of names that have their roots in the Low German language group. The Scandinavians left a few personal names, but their contribution to place-names is far greater. After the Conquest, Norman and Breton names dominated the Saxon names until immigrants from the Low Countries reintroduced them in the Middle Ages. The Reformation brought an influx of immigrants fleeing religious persecution from all across Europe. The names of these immigrants also added to English nomenclature, but it was the introduction of the Geneva Bible in 1560 that had the most profound effect on personal names in England. Biblical names became popular in the extreme, and the Puritans led the fervor by naming their children not only after biblical characters but also from portions of Scripture and other spiritual and moral utterances. Aside from the rare exception, middle names were unused in England until late in the 18th century, at which time triple baptismal names were also occasionally used. Surnames came into use in the 12th century and were placed after the baptismal name, for they were of less importance. They originated principally as descriptive names based on appearance, residence, occupation, and family ties. Officially noted as hereditary in 1267, it wasn't until the 17th century that they achieved greater importance and registers began being indexed by surname rather than given name.
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