Beatrice

Beatrice is a female given name which comes from Latin Beatrix based on Viatrix meaning “female traveler/voyager” though the spelling was later altered to resemble beatus, which comes from Latin meaning “happy, fortunate, blessed” derived from PIE root word *dew- (to show favor, revere). Beatrice is one of the main characters in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (1598-1599). Origin: Proto-Indo-European Variants: Beatrix…

Imogen

Imogen was first used by Shakespeare in his play Cymbeline (1609), believed to have been a misspelling of an already existing name, Innogen, a name of uncertain meaning. The name is believed to have been derived from Gaelic inghean meaning “maiden girl” and “daughter” which ultimately derives from PIE root word *ǵenh₁-(to produce, to beget, to give birth). Innogen is…

Nerissa

Nerissa was first used by William Shakespeare for his play The Merchant of Venice (1596), possibly based on Greek Nereis (also known as Nereid) meaning “nymphs, sea sprites”, used to refer to the daughters of Nereus, the Greek god of the sea. Though the name seems to be derived from Greek neros meaning “water”, it seems more likely that comes from a…

Rosalind

Rosalind is an English female name made up of Germanic elements hros (horse) and lind (soft, weak, flexible, pliable) essentially meaning “soft horse” or “flexible horse”. Rosalind has also been associated with Latin rosa linda meaning “beautiful rose” though there is no connection between the two. Rosalind is the name of a character in Shakespeare’s As You Like It…

Cymbeline

Cymbeline is an anglicized form of Cunobelinus possibly meaning “hound of Belenus“, made up of Proto-Celtic *kū (dog, hound, wolf) and Belenus, the name of a sun god in Celtic mythology (identified with the Greek and Roman god Apollo) whose name is of uncertain meaning though it’s popularly been thought to relate to a root word meaning “bright” or “shining”. Cymbeline is…

Yorick

Yorick is an English variant of Danish and Norwegian Jørg, a short form of Jørgen, from Jürgen, a Low German form of English name George derived from Greek name Georgios meaning “earthworker, farmer” from Greek elements ge (earth) and ergon (work). Yorick is a character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet; he is a dead court jester whose skull is…

Thane

Thane comes from a Scottish and English title. In Anglo-Saxon English it was used to refer to a member of the aristocratic class, retainers for a king or nobleman while in medieval Scotland thane was a title given to a royal official who held land for the king and who was equivalent in rank to the…

Laertes

Laertes (pr. lay-er-tees) is an Ancient Greek male name meaning “gatherer of the people” made up from Ancient Greek elements lāós (people) and eírein (to fasten together; tie, join). In Greek mythology, Laertes is the father of Odysseus though some sources list Sisyphus as his father. In the Odyssey, Laertes has been grieving over his son’s absence, keeping to himself on a…

Jessica

Jessica first appeared as a name in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (1596) likely basing it on an existing name, Iscah (which would have been known as Jescha in his time) derived from Hebrew Yiskah meaning “to behold”, “foresight” or “one who looks forth”. Nicknames: Jess, Jessie/Jessy/Jessi/Jessye Origin: Hebrew Variants: Jessika (German, English) Gessica (Italian) Yessica…

Marina

Marina is the feminine form of Marinus, an Ancient Roman name meaning “of the sea” or “belonging to the sea”, derived from a PIE root word *móri- (sea, ocean; body of water), though Marinus could also be derived from Marius which could be derived from Latin mas meaning “male” or Latin mare meaning “sea”. It could also be derived from Mars, the…