Names That Mean Form

  1. Austin
    • Origin:

      English, shortened form of Augustine, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      Austin is one of the most attractive city names for babies, with an appealing southwestern feel and place-name panache.
  2. Ivo
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "yew wood, archer"
    • Description:

      Ivo is an unusual, catchy name with the energetic impact of all names ending in 'o'. Hardly heard in the U.S., it is used a bit more frequently in England, as is the related Ivor, a favorite of such novelists as Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse. Ivo is currently most popular in the Netherlands.
  3. Alexandra
    • Origin:

      Greek, feminine form of Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alexandra fell out of the Top 100 for the first time since 1983 in 2015 but is still a popular choice. Strong, tasteful, and elegant, Alexandra remains a chic modern classic with a solid historic pedigree.
  4. Angus
    • Origin:

      Anglicized form of Aonghus, Aonghas, Gaelic
    • Meaning:

      "one strength"
    • Description:

      Angus is a traditional yet stylish choice in the UK, especially in Scotland. And it's a cool choice for US parents too, particularly those whose roots go back to Glasgow. The ancient Celtic form Oenghus has important historical overtones in Scotland, and the Gaelic form Aonghas is associated with two distinguished modern poets. In Irish folklore, Angus Og is a chieftain-lord who used his magical powers for the pleasure and prosperity of mankind--and in Irish myth, Aonghus was the god of love and youth.
  5. Jules
    • Origin:

      French form of Latin Julius
    • Meaning:

      "youthful; soft, downy"
    • Description:

      Though Jules hasn't been on the US popularity list in fifty years, it is a current hit in its native France—where it's currently in the Top 10—and we can definitely see it making a comeback here, being far more romantic than, say, Jim.
  6. Elaine
    • Origin:

      French and Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining light"
    • Description:

      This old Scottish form of Helen has had quite a history, going from appearing as one of the shining heroines of the Arthurian legends, the princess who fell in love with Sir Lancelot and became the mother of Sir Galahad, referred to as 'Elaine the fair' and 'Elaine the lovable', to being the name of the most famous of New York's celebrity restaurants, to being the archetypal New York neurotic on Seinfeld.
  7. Sabine
    • Origin:

      French and German form of Sabina, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "Sabine"
    • Description:

      This slightly more compact version of Sabina has ties to France and Germany. Unlike its sister name, Sabine has never charted in the United States Top 1000. Today, both names are given to roughly the same number of baby girls in the US, about 70 each year.
  8. Susan
    • Origin:

      English diminutive of Susannah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "lily"
    • Description:

      Although Susan had her heyday from the thirties to the sixties, and is now common among moms and new grandmas, and though most modern parents would prefer Susanna/Susannah, we have spotted some flickers of interest in a revival. It still retains a certain black-eyed-Susan freshness.
  9. Ewan
    • Origin:

      Scottish form of Gaelic Eoghan
    • Meaning:

      "born of the yew tree"
    • Description:

      This appealing name has a good chance of catching on due to the popularity of Ewan McGregor, and the trend towards Gaelic names in general. Pronunciation is YOO-un.
  10. Nola
    • Origin:

      Gaelic
    • Meaning:

      "white shoulder"
    • Description:

      Nola, a name with a sleek, enigmatic quality, was used for the much-pursued heroine of Spike Lee's 1986 breakout film, She's Gotta Have It, and again by Woody Allen in Match Point. It's a short form of the traditional Irish name Fionnuala. Nola reentered the US Top 1000 in 2008, for the first time in 50 years.
  11. Tamsin
    • Origin:

      English, contracted form of Thomasina
    • Meaning:

      "twin"
    • Description:

      Tamsin is an offbeat name occasionally heard in Britain and just waiting to be discovered here. U.K. actress Tamsin Greig is a star of the show Episodes, Tamsin Olivier is the daughter of Joan Plowright and Sir Laurence Olivier..
  12. Belle
    • Origin:

      Short form of Isabelle or French
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful"
    • Description:

      Belle has nothing but positive associations, from "belle of the ball" to "Southern belle" to the heroine of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As if this weren't enough good things, Belle is also one of the most familiar and usable names that mean beautiful. Though it has been overshadowed by the Twilight-influenced Bella and longer forms like Isabella and Annabella, Belle has its own Southern charm and would make a pretty choice as a first or middle name.
  13. Annabelle
    • Origin:

      Combination of Anna and Belle or French form of Amabel
    • Meaning:

      "loving"
    • Description:

      This is a charming name that rose steeply along with other-belle names, such as Isabelle, until the horror film Annabelle and its sequels knocked it out of favor. Made famous by the Edgar Allen Poe poem Annabel Lee. Annabelle is saucy and stylish, a tad upscale, has a sense of humor, is melodious and lively, but is unfortunately off its peak.
  14. Goldie
    • Origin:

      Anglicized form of Yiddish Golde or Golda
    • Description:

      More Sadie than Sadie, this old canasta player--somewhat modernized and energized by Goldie Hawn--looks like it could be making a comeback. It was recently chosen for her daughter by Ione Skye and Ben Lee, as well as by shoemeister Steve Madden.
  15. Anais
    • Origin:

      Catalan and Provencal pet form of Hebrew Anna
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anais is an unusual, alluring name forever attached to the daring French-born American novelist and diarist Anais Nin (born Angela, with Anais as one of her middle names), who became the inspiration for the naming of the daughter of musician Noel Gallagher. Anais is also the name of a popular perfume.
  16. Eilidh
    • Origin:

      Gaelic form of Eleanor
    • Description:

      Long popular in Scotland, this attractive name is strictly-speaking the Gaelic version of Eleanor, but is also often considered part of the Helen family of names. After the Normans introduced it into the British Isles, it was transformed into Aileen or Evelyn. It has rarely been heard in the US, but it is slowly starting to be used here too.
  17. Lenora
    • Origin:

      English, contracted form of Leonora
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      A lovely (and uncommon) longer form for Nora, one of the most fashionable international nickname names around. Lenora fell off the US charts in the 70s, but just re-entered in 2022 as parents' love for short forms Leni and Nora is growing.
  18. Lian
    • Origin:

      Variation of Leon or German short form of Julian, Chinese
    • Meaning:

      "waterfall; lotus"
    • Description:

      As a masculine name, Lian has historically been used as a nickname for names such as Julian and Killian, particularly in Europe. It’s also a unisex Chinese name pronounced as a single syllable.
  19. Beck
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "small stream"
    • Description:

      The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has given this cool nature-meets-surname name a new lease of life. Another notable bearer is Beck Weathers, a Texan pathologist who survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which was covered in the book and film Into Thin Air.
  20. Indie
    • Origin:

      Short form of India, Indigo etc
    • Description:

      Indie is an independent-sounding nickname name that is in the Top 100 in Wales. As a diminutive, it's growing in popularity -- along with indie films, indie publishing -- and the reason some parents are choosing names like India and Indigo. The Indie version seems more feminine, while Indy as in Indiana Jones tends toward the boyish.