Names and Terms in English : Meaning and Origin compiled by Fred Cheung • Aaron is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Aaron is "mountain of strength". From the Hebrew "har-on", or possibly of Egyptian origin. Biblical: Moses' brother Aaron was the first high priest of Israel. • Abdul is of Arabic origin, and the meaning of Abdul is "servant". Commonly used in combination with another name, as in Abdullah, or "servant of God". As such, the name indicates religious service and devotion. • Abdullah is of Arabic origin, and the meaning of Abdullah is "God's servant". One of the most common names in the Islamic world, and the name of Muhammad's father. A royal name in Saudi Arabia. Abdalla is a Swahili variant. • Abelard is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Abelard is "noble strength". From Adalhard. The name may also ultimately derive from the Hebrew name Abel, and the Spanish form Abelardo may derive from the Spanish word "abeja", meaning "bee". Made famous by the 12th-century French philosopher Pierre [Peter] Abelard, who fell in love with Heloise, who became a nun, and he became a monk. • Abraham is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Abraham is "father of a multitude (of nations)". The Hebrew form is Avraham. Biblical: Abraham, celebrated for his great faith, was the ancestorfather of Israel and some of the Arabic peoples. He had a son named Isaac when he was 100 and his wife Sarah was 90. • Achilles is of Greek origin. From Achilleus. Mythology: name of the hero of the Trojan War, celebrated in Homer's "Iliad", famous for his valor and manly beauty. He was all but invulnerable, having been dipped in the River Styx by his mother, the nymph Thetis. She held him, however, by the heel, which was thus his one weak point: hence "Achilles' heel". • Ada is of Old German origin, meaning noble. • Adam is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Adam is "earth". In Hebrew, it is a generic term for "man". Biblical: in the Genesis account, he was the first man created from the red earth of Eden. • Adolph is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Adolph is "noble, majestic wolf". The Latin form Adolphus arrived in Britain in mid-19th century, having been a German and Swedish royal name and also a saint's name. • Adrian is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Adrian is "from Hadria". Place name: Hadria was a town in northern Italy, which gave its name to the Adriatic Sea. The name was borne by the Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus (second century A.D.). Hadrian's Wall was built across northern England during his reign. Also the name of the 12th-century pope Adrian IV (the only English pope in history). • Aeneas is of Greek and Latin origin, and the meaning of Aeneas is "to praise". Mythology: the Trojan hero prince of Virgil's Aeneid, who founded the Italian colony (Latium) that was the origin of Rome. • Agamemnon is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Agamemnon is "working slowly". Greek mythology: a mighty warrior and hero or leader, who commanded the Greeks at the siege of Troy. In the typical tragedy of Greek myth, his daughter Iphigenia was sacrificed before the Trojan war and when he came home from the war, his wife Clytemnestra killed him. • Agnes is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Agnes is "pure, holy". Latin form of the Greek name Hagnes, from the feminine form of "hagnos". The popular Saint Agnes (fourth century) was a young Roman virgin martyred by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Her emblem is a lamb; the Latin word for "lamb" is "agnus". • Ahearn is of Celtic origin, and the meaning of Ahearn is "horse-lord". • Ajax is of Greek origin. Greek mythology: the name of two heroes of the Trojan War as told by Homer's Iliad. Ajax Telamonius, or Ajax the Great, was a Greek hero and legendary king of Salamis. Ajax Oileus, or Ajax the Lesser, was a Greek hero and legendary king of Locris. • Alain French variant of Alan. • Alan is of Old German origin, meaning precious. • Alaric is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Alaric is "noble, regal ruler". From Adalrich. Historical: Alaric I was the Gothic king of the Visigoths who plundered Rome in A.D. 410. • Albert is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Albert is "noble, bright, famous". Perhaps made famous by Albert Einstein, the great scientist and thinker, who devised the theory of relativity. • Albion is of Latin and Celtic origin, and the meaning of Albion is "white; rock, crag". Albion is an ancient poetic name for Britain. May derive from the Latin "albus" referring to the whiteness of cliffs seen from the sea. • Alfred is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Alfred is "elf or magical counsel". A rather common name before the Norman Conquest of Britain, being the name of Alfred the Great (ninth century), King of Wessex. Queen Victoria named her second son Alfred. • Alessandra is of Greek origin. Italian and Spanish form of Alexandra. • Alex is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Alex is "man's defender, warrior". Short form of Alexander. • Alexa is a variant of Alexandra (Greek), Alexis (Greek) and Alix (Old German), and the meaning of Alexa is "man's defender; noble". • Alexander is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Alexander is "man's defender, warrior". From the Latin form of the Greek name Alexandros. The name was probably coined originally as a title of the goddess Hera, consort of Zeus. Alexander the Great (356323 BC) conquered and ruled the greater part of the known world before his death at the age of 33. History describes him as a man of high physical courage, impulsive energy, and fervid imagination. • Alexandra is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Alexandra is "man's defender". Latinate feminine form of Alexander. • Ali is of Arabic origin, and the meaning of Ali is "high, exalted". Ali was the name of the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, known as the first male convert to Islam. The name is one of the ninety-nine attributes of Allah proposed by Muhammad as excellent names for boy children. The name is also borne by the hero in "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves". Also, Muhammad Ali was the name adopted by boxer Cassius Clay when he converted to Islam. • Alice is of Old German origin, meaning noble, exalted. • Alison is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Alison is "noble, exalted". Norman French diminutive form of Alice. • Alix is of Old German origin, and the meaning is noble. • Alvin is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Alvin is "elf or magical being, friend". Also possibly "precious friend". • Amadeus is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Amadeus is "God's love". A saint's name that became widely familiar as Wolfgang Mozart's middle name due to the 1984 movie "Amadeus", which dramatized the famed composer's life. Amadeo is the Spanish and Italian form. • Amanda is of Latin origin, meaning loving; [Latin: amare = to love; amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant]. • Amen is of Hebrew (Bible) origin. [Hebrew acronym. El Melech Ne'eman] Originally, it stands for God, the true king. Eventually, it has become a response to prayers or blessings, meaning so be it, also meaning truth, certainty, thus, nowadays extending to indeed, certainly = verily, truly, so be it = a declaration of affirmation. According to the American Merriam-Webster, “used to express solemn ratification (as of an expression of faith) or hearty approval (as of an assertion).” • Amor is of French origin, and the meaning is "love". • Amy is of Old French and Latin origin, meaning "beloved". Anglicized form of the Old French Amee, meaning "beloved", which is originated from Latin: "amare", meaning "to love". Roman Mythology: wife of King Latinus, whose daughter Lavinia married Aeneas and according to the Aeneid (by Virgil), became the mother of the Roman people. • Andrew is of Greek origin, meaning warrior [Biblical: the first chosen of the 12 apostles; Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland]. • Andromeda is of Greek origin, and the meaning is "leader of men". Greek mythology: an Ethiopian princess, the daughter of Cassiopeia, was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster until Perseus rescued her. Also a northern constellation. Also the name of a shrub that blooms in spring. • Angela is of Greek origin; Angel is messenger of God". • Anisa is of Arabic origin, and the meaning of Anisa is "pleasant companion". • Annie is a variant of Ann (Hebrew) and Hannah (Hebrew), and the meaning of Annie is "He (God) has favored me". • Annisa is a variant of Agnes (Greek) and Annis (Greek), and the meaning of Annisa is "pure, holy; satisfaction". • Annissa is a variant of Anisa (Arabic) and Annalisa (Latin), and the meaning of Annissa is "pleasant companion; graced with God's bounty". • Antigone is of Greek origin. Mythology: the daughter of Oedipus. • Anthony is of Latin origin. English form of the old Roman family name Antonius, probably of Etruscan origin. Mark Anthony (82-30 B.C.), Roman triumvir and general, sat on the throne and had a tempestuous political career with Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Saint Anthony (third century) was an Egyptian hermit monk who founded the first Christian monastic order and is traditionally renowned for his resistance to the devil. According to legend, he lived alone in the wilderness for over 80 of his hundred-some years. In England, the name is usually spelled and pronounced without the "h". • Aphrodite is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Aphrodite is "foam". Name of the Greek goddess of love, known to the Romans as Venus. She was said to have been born on the sea foam. • Apollo = Greek god of the sun (a brand’s name of icecream, the name of the space project to the Moon by the USA in the 1960s); Apollo is of Greek origin. Mythology: the Greek and Roman god of light, music, poetry, who drives the sun across the sky in a carriage, and also rules over healing and prophecy, speaking through the famous oracle at Delphi. • Arachne is of Greek origin. Greek mythology: a young maiden who challenged the goddess Athena to a weaving contest and was turned into a spider for offending her. Spiders are also known as "arachnids". • Archibald is of Old French and Old German origin, and the meaning of Archibald is "genuine, bold, brave". Brought to Britain with the Norman Conquest. • Archie is of English origin. Nickname of Archibald. • Archimedes is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Archimedes is "contemplating, pondering". The name of a brilliant Greek mathematician in the second century BC. • Arthur is of Celtic origin. King Arthur of Britain (sixth century) and his Round Table of knights have become legendary figures. His name was first found in the Latin form Artorius, which is of obscure origin. Other possible sources include "artos", the Celtic word for "bear"; an Irish Gaelic word meaning "stone"; Arnthor, an Old German name meaning "Thor, the eagle". Often used in the Middle Ages. Arturo is the Italian and Spanish form; Arto and Arrturi are Finnish. • Athena is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Athena is "wise". Mythology: the virgin goddess of wisdom and war, identified with the Roman goddess Minerva. Homer, in the Odyssey, refers to her as "gray-eyed Athena". • Aubrey as a girl's name (also used as boy's name Aubrey) is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Aubrey is "elf or magical being, power". Originally a man's name, from Norman French, that arrived in England with the Norman Conquest. This was the name, according to German mythology, of the king of the elves. American use of Aubrey is mainly as a girl's name, perhaps under the influence of Audrey. • B • Barack is of Hebrew, Swahili and African origin, and the meaning of Barack is "lightning; blessing". Biblical: a valiant warrior who cooperated with the prophetess Deborah to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds. American President Barack Obama. • C • Candice is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Candice is "clarity, whiteness". • Carmen (as a girl's name but also used as boy's name) is of Hebrew origin, meaning "garden, orchard". • Carol is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Carol is "free man". Originally a male name, an anglicized form of Carolus (see Charles). Probably originated as a short form of Caroline. • Charles is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Charles is "free man". From "karl", similar to Old English "churl", meaning "man, serf". The first Holy Roman Emperor (seventh to eighth century) Charlemagne (Latin Carolus Magnus, meaning "Charles the Great") was a powerful German/Frankish leader who created a more ordered society out of the chaos that followed the fall of Rome. He united France and much of central Europe. His widespread fame gave rise to many forms of his name. Charles is the French variant of Carolus or Karolus. • Clio is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Clio is "glory". From Kleio (which derives from "kleos"), a name from mythology of the muse of historical poetry. There are nine muses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and each represents an art or science, Clio is the goddess of history, Xanadu is the goddess of dancing and singing, Calliope (epic poetry), Terpsichore (choral song and dance), and Thalis (comedy) have survived as given names. Also used as a variant of Cleo, nickname of Cleopatra and short form of Cliona. • D • Daisy is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Daisy is "day's eye", and it is also a flower name. • Daniel is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Daniel is "God is my judge". History of Daniel: from the Hebrew name (Daniyyel) meaning "God is my judge". Daniel was a Hebrew prophet whose story is told in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. He lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon, where he served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king's dreams. • Daphne is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Daphne is "laurel tree". Mythology: virtuous Daphne was a nymph who was transformed into a laurel tree to protect her from Apollo. • Delilah is of Hebrew origin and the meaning is anguishing, lovelorn, seductive. [Bible/mythology: a woman who betrayed Samson] (name of a song by Tom Jones in the 1960s). • Diana is of Roman origin, in Roman mythology, Diana = Greek Artemis = Goddess of hunting and forest. • E • Echo is of Latin and Greek origin, and the meaning of Echo is "reflected sound". Mythology: a nymph who loved Narcissus and faded away until only her voice was left behind. • F • Fenella is of Irish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Fenella is "white shoulder". • Fidel is of Latin/French/Islam origin = faithful [HiFi = high fidelity] (Fidel Ramos of the Philippines, Fidel Castro of Cuba) [infidel = unfaithful]. • Gabriel is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Gabriel is "God's ablebodied one; hero of God". Biblical: the archangel Gabriel is the only angel besides Michael named in the canonical Scriptures. Gavriel is a Jewish variant popular in Russia. • Hazel is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Hazel is "the hazel tree". A name from nature. • Hebe is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Hebe is "youth". Greek mythology: Hebe is the goddess of youth and cupbearer to the gods. Also the name of a type of plant. • Ignatius (Latin) "ardent, burning". Saint Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of the Catholic Jesuit order; Inigo in Spanish/Portuguese. • Immanuel Variant of Emmanuel (Hebrew) "God is with us". German philosopher Immanuel Kant. • Juno is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Juno is "queen of heaven". Roman mythology: Juno was the equivalent of Hera in classical mythology, and the protector of women and of marriage; hence June is known as the bridal month. • Laura is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Laura is "the bay, or laurel plant". In classical times, a crown was made from the leaves of the bay laurel for heroes or victors as a symbol of honor and victory. • O • Odysseus is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Odysseus is "angry man". The derivation of this name is uncertain. Possibly linked to the Greek term "dys" meaning "to hate", or also possibly "leg wound". In Homer's epic poems "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey", Odysseus was known for his eloquence and his talent for playing tricks. The Latin version of the name, Ulysses, is better known in America due to the fame of President Ulysses S. Grant. • Orpheus is of Greek origin. Possibly "beautiful voice". In Greek mythology, Orpheus was given his lyre by Apollo himself. Trained by the Muses, he developed into a musician so talented he could literally move mountains with his song. When his wife, Eurydice, died from a snake bite, he descended into the realm of the dead to win her back to life. The gods were so moved by his music that they agreed to her return on the condition that Orpheus not look back at her as he led her upward to the sky. He could not resist glancing at her, and she vanished back into Hades. The tragedy of his gallant failure has been made into several operas. • P • Pamela is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Pamela is "honey; all sweetness". • Pandora is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Pandora is "all gifts". Greek mythology: the first mortal woman Pandora was created beautiful and delightful by the gods, such that every man was attracted to her. She was given charge of a mysterious box/jar and told not to open it. Being curious, she opened the box/jar, and every kind of humankind's ills flew out, followed by the one counterpart, Hope. • Peter (=Π Ε Τ Ρ Α [Bible] = Pedro in Portuguese) = founding rock. • Samson is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning is sun. Biblical: a judge of ancient Israel, endowed by God with superhuman strength. • Solomon is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Solomon is "peace". Biblical: Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, succeeded his father as king of Israel. He wrote the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. The wisdom of Solomon is proverbial because when asked what gift he would have from God, he asked only for the wisdom he would need to rule. • Titan is of Greek origin. = the Greek giants in the second generation of the Greek myths of creation (gigantic, thus, Titanic). • V • Valerie is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Valerie is "strong, healthy". Feminine form of Valerius, a Roman family clan name. • Venus is of Latin origin. Roman mythology: the goddess of love and beauty, equivalent to the Greek Aphrodite. • Vito is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Vito is "life-giving", Vibrance, and Life. • Z • Zaccheus is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Zaccheus is "the Lord recalled". Variant of Zachariah. Biblical: a tax collector who became one of the disciples of Jesus. • Zoe is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Zoe is "life". • Historical Terms: • A.D. • (Latin acronym. Anno Domini) Meaning "the year of our Lord", it is a term used to refer to the current period of time following the death of Jesus. Many Jews and Muslims take offense to the term and prefer to use the term "C.E." meaning "common era" to denote the same time period. • B.C.E. = (Before the Common Era) Alternative term for "B.C." (Before Christ), used by many Jews and Muslims to refer the same period. • C.E. = (Common Era) Term often preferred by Jews and Muslims to refer to the period after the year 0, since A.D. (Latin. " anno domini" or year of the Lord) refers to Jesus. • CEPA = Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (between Hong Kong SAR and Mainland China). • Common Market, the • A group of countries in Europe imposing few or no duties/taxes on trade with one another and a common tariff on trade with other countries initiated in the 1950s [European Economic Community or European Union]. • Coup d’etat (Coup): Sudden violent (often military &/or political) seizure of power from a government. • ECFA = Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (between Taiwan and Mainland China). • Jehovah: One of many names thought to be the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton (divine name comprised of the Hebrew equivalent letters YHWH or Yaweh). • Mesopotamia: Literally = land between the Rivers; now: Iraq; the land of early Sumerian civilization as well as the later Babylonian. • SHANGRI-LA 1: a remote beautiful imaginary place where life approaches perfection: utopia; 2: a remote usually idyllic hideaway. Origin of SHANGRI-LA: Shangri-La, imaginary land depicted in the novel Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton. • Yahoo was invented by Jonathan Swift for the Travels. He and his friends used the word among themselves while Swift was writing he book, appearing in their correspondence. In part IV of the Travels - Houyhnhnm Land, Gulliver initially mistakes the Yahoos for beasts, or cattle, since they are so repulsive in appearance and action. Eventually he concludes they are human, possibly descended from a pair shipwrecked long ago. Once Gulliver determines humans and Yahoos are the same, he begins to call all people yahoos. • Zollverein, 1834. A tariff or custom union in some southern German states. (noun [German: from zoll duty + verein union] Literally, a customs union; specifically, applied to the several customs unions successively formed under the leadership of Prussia among certain German states for establishing liberty of commerce among themselves and common tariff on imports, exports, and transit. (* In 1834 a zollverein was established which included most of the principal German states except Austria. This was terminated by the events of 1866, and in 1867 a more closely organized union was formed, the administration of which was ultimately merged in that of the new German empire, with which it nearly corresponds territorially).