Pan

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 , 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

 

 

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Percy

Percy is a short form of Percival, first created by French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the story of the Grail in the 12th century. It’s likely the name was 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”. Percival is one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legends. Percy could also be a nickname for Perseus, a figure from Greek mythology (son of the Greek god Zeus); though the etymology behind his name in uncertain, it has been linked to Greek perthein meaning “to waste, ravage, sack, destroy”.

Percy is also a surname derived from the name of a Norman town called Percy-en-Auge which may originally have been a Gaulish name Latinized as Persius, which is also a Roman family name though it may also be from Old French percer (to pierce, to breach) and haie (hedge, enclosure), perhaps given to a soldier who breached a fortification or a poacher who hunted in a private park.

Origin: Welsh, Old French, Greek

Variants:

  • Piercy
  • Perci
  • Pearcy
  • Piercey
  • Peredur (Welsh)
  • Percival (English)
  • Perseus (Greek)

 

Phineas, Phineus

Phineas is a male name of uncertain meaning and etymology. It’s been linked to Hebrew meaning “serpent’s mouth” or “oracle”, as well as Ancient Egyptian meaning “the Nubian”. Spelled Phineus, it’s a Greek name borne by several figures in Greek mythology. The most notable bearer is a king of Thrace who features in the Argonautica, a Greek epic poem written about Jason and the Argonauts. This Phineus is either the son of Agenor or Poseidon, god of the sea, who had the gift of foresight and was blinded because he revealed too much of the gods’ plans (though there are different versions of how he became blind). The Argonauts came upon him on an island and agreed to help them on their voyage if they helped him get rid of the Harpies that were constanty harassing him by eating his food everytime he tried to eat. The meaning behind the name is unknown as well, though I’ve seen it listed as possibly meaning “vulture” or it might be composed from Greek elements iphios (strong, stout) and noûs (mind, reason, understanding) so essentially meaning “strong mind” or “strong understanding”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Phinehas (Biblical)
  • Phinees (Biblical Greek)
  • Pinchas (Hebrew)
  • Finees (Biblical Latin)

 

Female forms:

  • Phinea

 

Porter

Porter comes from an English surname meaning “gatekeeper, doorkeeper” from Old French portier via Latin porta meaning “gate”; it was an occupational name for someone who was a gatekeeper of a town or a large house. Porter could also refer to someone who carried loads for a living with their own strength rather than a cart or a horse, another occupational name which comes from Old French porteour meaning “to carry” via Latin porto (to carry). In the modern era, a porter is someone who works at a hotel who carries luggage.

Origin: Latin

Peter

Peter is the English form of Greek Petros meaning “stone, rock”. It’s also a surname originating from the given name.

Nicknames: Pete, Petey/Petie

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Petros (Greek, Armenian)
  • Petrus (German, Dutch)
  • Pieter (Dutch)
  • Pier (Dutch, Italian, English)
  • Piers  (Medieval English, Medieval French)
  • Peers (English)
  • Peder (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Petter (Swedish, Norwegian)
  • Butrus (Arabic)
  • Botros (Arabic)
  • Boutros (Arabic, Coptic)
  • Bedros (Armenian)
  • Peru (Basque)
  • Petri (Basque, Finnish)
  • Peio (Basque)
  • Petteri (Finnish)
  • Pietari (Finnish)
  • Per (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Breton)
  • Perig (Breton diminutive of Per)
  • Pierrick (Breton, French)
  • Pierre (French, Swedish)
  • Petar (Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Penko (Bulgarian diminutive of Petar)
  • Pere (Catalan)
  • Petru (Corsican, Romanian)
  • Petar (Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian)
  • Petre (Romanian, Macedonian, Georgian)
  • Petr (Czech)
  • Petro (Ukrainian, Esperanto)
  • Peeter (Estonian)
  • Petur (Faroese)
  • Pitter (Frisian, Limburgish)
  • Pika (Hawaiian)
  • Péter (Hungarian)
  • Pétur (Icelandic)
  • Peadar (Irish, Scottish)
  • Piaras (Irish)
  • Pietro (Italian)
  • Pierino (Italian diminutive of Pietro)
  • Piero (Italian)
  • Petras (Lithuanian)
  • Petera (Maori)
  • Petruccio (Italiam medieval diminutive of Pietro)
  • Pèire (Occitan)
  • Piotr (Polish)
  • Pedro (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Pedrinho (Portuguese diminutive of Pedro)
  • Pyotr (Russian)
  • Petya (Russian diminutive of Pyotr)
  • Petia (Russian diminutive of Pyotr)
  • Pedr (Welsh)
  • Perrin (French diminutive of Pierre)
  • Piere (Swedish)

 

Female forms:

  • Petra (English, German, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish)
  • Petrina (English diminutive of Petra)
  • Pietra (Italian)
  • Piera (Italian)
  • Pierina (Italian diminutive of Piero)
  • Peta (English Australian)
  • Perrine (French)
  • Pierrette (French diminutive of Pierre)

 

Perry

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 Perriit’s an Italian surname derived from given name Peter meaning “stone”.

Origin: Latin, Welsh, Old French, Greek

Variants:

  • Peregrine
  • Percival
  • Perri (u)
  • Peri (u)
  • Perrie (u)

 

Potiphar

Potiphar the name of a wealthy Egyptian who served as the captain of palace guard under the Pharoah’s rule according to the Book of Genesis. He bought Joseph and made him the head of the household slaves. However, Potiphar’s wife was interested in Joseph and when her attempts to seduce him failed she accused him of trying to rape her and was thrown into prison, though he later got out when his ability to interpret dreams reached the Pharoah’s notice. Potipher’s name comes from Ancient Egyptian meaning “he whom Ra gave”.

Origin: Ancient Egyptian

Variants:

  • Potiphera (Ancient Egyptian)
  • Potifar (Ancient Egyptian)

 

Piper

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

Variants:

  • Pyper

 

Paul

Paul is from Roman family name Paulus meaning “small” or “humble” in Latin. It’s also a surname as well.

A nickname for Paul is Paulie/Pauley.

Origin: Latin

Variants:

  • Paulus (Latin)
  • Bulus (Arabic)
  • Boulos (Arabic)
  • Paulo (Portuguese, Galician)
  • Pablo (Spanish)
  • Pavlo (Ukrainian)
  • Pavlos (Greek)
  • Paulu (Corsican)
  • Pavel (Russian, Czech, Bulgarian, Slovene, Macedonian)
  • Paol (Breton)
  • Paavali (Finnish)
  • Pauli (Finnish)

 

Female forms:

  • Paula (Latin, English, German, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Croatian, Ancient Roman)
  • Paule (French)
  • Pauline (French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Pauleen (English)
  • Paulene (English)
  • Paulina (Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, Lithuanian, English, Ancient Roman)
  • Paola (Italian)
  • Pavla (Slovene, Czech)
  • Paulette (French)
  • Pauletta (English)