Pan is the name of a Greek god of the wild, nature, shepherds, and flocks, depicted as a man with the horns, legs, and tail of a goat, and who often played the pan-pipes. His name is somewhat tricky to pin down- it may be related to Greek pan meaning “all”; it could mean “shepherd” or it may come from an old Arcadian word for “rustic”, since Pan’s homeland was Arcadia. However, it’s believed that Pan is a cognate of Pushan, a Hindu god, in charge of the nourishment and protection of cattle; both their names may be from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- (to protect, to shepherd). Pan is also a short form of names like Pandora or any name beginning with Pan.
Pan is also a Chinese surname, also common in Korean and Vietnamese, meaning “water in which rice has been rinsed” from the character 潘, though there may be other meanings depending on the character; it’s also a Spanish and Occitan surname meaning “bread” from Latin panis (bread), an occupational name for a baker or a pantryman, as well as a Polish, Ukrainian, and Yiddish surname meaning “lord; master; landowner” from a Slavic word.
Origin: Greek, Proto-Indo-European, Chinese, Latin, Slavic
Pandora is a Greek female name meaning “all gifts”, “all-giving” or “all-gifted” from Greek elements pan (all) and doron (gift). In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first human woman created by the Greek gods from the earth, who each gave her a gift: needlework and weaving; grace and cunning, a cunning nature, and curiosity. She was created specifically to punish mortals for Prometheus’s theft of fire and giving it to the mortals, giving her as a bride to Prometheus’s younger brother Epimetheus. Pandora was given a jar in which all the evils in the world were contained and warned never to open it, however her curiosity proved to be too much and she let out all the evils in the world with the exception of hope.
Nicknames: Pan, Dora
Perdita comes from Latin perditus meaning “lost”. It was created by William Shakespeare for a character in his play The Winter’s Tale (1623).
Perouze is an Armenian female name meaning “turquoise”.
Panthea is a Greek name meaning “all the gods”, composed from Greek elements pan (all) and theios (gods). It’s also the name of a genus of owls.
Nicknames: Pan, Thea
Origin: Ancient Greek
- Pantheia (Ancient Greek)
- Panthia (Latinized Greek)
Perry is a nickname for Peregrine, from Latin Peregrinus meaning “traveler”, or Percival, likely based on Welsh Peredur meaning “hard spear” though the spelling of the name was altered to resemble Old French percer val “to pierce the valley”. Perry is also an English surname which comes from Middle English perrie meaning “pear tree”, referring to someone who lived near a pear tree. As a Welsh patrynomic surname it comes from ap Herry meaning “son of Herry”, the latter a medieval English form of Henry meaning “home ruler”. Spelled Perri, it’s an Italian surname derived from given name Peter meaning “stone”.
Origin: Latin, Welsh, Old French, Greek
- Perri (u)
- Peri (u)
- Perrie (u)
Precious is an English word deriving from Latin pretiosus meaning “costly, valuable, highly prized” from pretium (price, over-refined).
Penna comes from Latin meaning “feather, plume, wing”. It’s also an Italian surname, either derived from the given name, or from Spanish Peña meaning “rock, cliff”, a locational surname referring to someone who lived near a cliff or rocky land.
There’s also the Penna river in India (also known as Penneru) which comes from the Telugu words penu (grand) and yeru (river, stream) or neeru (water).
Origin: Latin, Spanish, Telugu
Piper comes from an English surname meaning “pipe player”, from Old English pipere referring to someone who played the pipes. The name is derived from Latin piper meaning “pepper” via Greek piperi from Sanskrit pippali (long pepper).
Origin: Sanskrit, Indo-Aryan
Pippa is usually used as a diminutive of Philippa, the feminine form of Philip, a male given name meaning “lover of horses” from Greek elements philos (friend, lover) and hipps (horse).
Origin: Ancient Greek
- Philippina (German)
- Philippos (Ancient Greek)
- Philippus (Ancient Greek)