The Ms of Persian names

Female names:

Maede means “sky gift.”

Mahak means “little moon.”

Mahasti means “the Moon’s being.”

Mahdokht means “daughter of the Moon.”

Mahin/Mahine means “related to the Moon.”

Mahnaz is formed from roots mah (Moon) and naz (comfort, delight).

Mahpari means “moon fairy.”

Mahsa means “like the Moon.”

Mahshid means “moonlight.”

Mahtab means “moonlight.”

Mahvash may mean “moon-like.”

Mahyar means “friend of the Moon.”

Mana means “eternal, everlasting.”

Mandana means “to stay, remain.”

Mandegar means “eternal, constant, indelible.”

Manzar means “view, scene.”

Marjan means “coral.” The similar Swahili name Marjani has the same meaning.

Maryam/Mariam is the Persian form of Mary. There are several theories about this name’s possible etymology and meaning, but scholars believe it most probably derives from an Egyptian name with the root mr (love) or mry (belovèd).

Marzieh means “pleasing, satisfactory.”

Masoumeh/Masoomeh/Masooma is the Persian form of the Arabic name Masuma, which means “innocent.”

Mastaneh means “to be passionate, intoxicated.”

Mehrnaz is formed from roots mehr (“sun” or “friendship”) and naz (comfort, delight).

Mehrsa means “sun-like.”

Mina means “enamel, azure.”

Minoo/Minu means “paradise, heaven.” I would avoid this name in a Francophone country or area, since the French word minou means something very naughty. Though depending on how you look at it, the French word can also represent another kind of paradise!

Mitra is a modern feminine form of Mithra (more information under unisex names).

Mondonna means “amber.”

Morvarid means “pearl,” and is thus the Persian form of Margaret.

Mozhdeh/Mojdeh means “good news.”

Mozhgan/Mojgan means “eyelashes.”

Male names:

Mahan means “Moon.”

Mahdi means “guided one” in Arabic.

Mahmoud/Mahmud means “praised” in Arabic.

Manouchehr/Manuchehr means “heaven’s face.”

Mansour is the Persian form of the Arabic name Mansur, which means “victorious.”

Mas’ud/Massoud/Masoud/Masood means “lucky” in Arabic.

Meghdad means “heavenly justice.”

Mehdi is the Persian form of the Arabic name Mahdi, which means “guided one.”

Mehrab is formed from the roots mehr (“sun” or “friendship”) and ab (water).

Mehran means “sun” or “kindness, love, friendship.”

Mehrdad is formed from the roots mehr and dad (given). This is also a modern form of Mithradata (Mithridates in Greek), “gift of Mithra.”

Mirza means “prince.”

Misagh means “promise, covenant.”

Mohammad is the Persian form of the Arabic name Muhammad, which means “praised, commendable.” Since this is the transliteration I was first introduced to in ninth grade and have been using ever since, anything else just looks aesthetically wrong to me. It’s the same way with seeing a style of Russian transliteration that’s different from mine or the transliteration Quran instead of Koran (which I was also taught in ninth grade). The brain is an amazing organ. No matter how much we learn about how it works, there are still many things about it we’ll probably never understand.

Mokhtar is the Persian form of the Arabic name Mukhtar, which means “chosen.”

Morad is the Persian form of the Arabic name Murad, which means “desire, wish.”

Morteza is the Persian form of the Arabic name Murtada, which also means “chosen.”

Mostafa is the Persian form of the Arabic name Mustafa, which means “the chosen one.”

Musa is the Persian form of Moses, which derives from the original Hebrew name Moshe. It possibly means “deliver” in Hebrew or “son” in Egyptian. This name is also Arabic, Hausa, and Turkish.  

Unisex names:

Mayel means “inclined, towards, willing.”

Mehr is the modern form of the Avestan name Mithra, which means “oath, agreement, covenant.” Mithra was the god of friendship and light, and the son of supreme god Ahura Mazda.

Mehrzad means “born of the Sun.”


All about Arthurian names, Part VI (Female names, G–M)

Sir Launcelot in the Queen’s Chamber (1857), Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Guinevere is the Norman–French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (white phantom), which derives from from Old Celtic roots •windos (white, fair, blessed) and *sebros (magical being, phantom). Who doesn’t know Queen Guinevere is King Arthur’s wife? She’s alternately depicted as virtuous but flawed and a self-serving traitor. Many stories feature her being abducted and having an affair with Lancelot which leads to the downfall of Camelot.

You can read this post for more in-depth information and a comprehensive list of other forms of Guinevere in different languages.

Gwendolen may mean “white ring,” derived from Welsh roots gwen (fair, white, blessed) and dolen (loop, ring). She’s Merlin’s wife. Some scholars believe this name may have arisen from a misreading of the male Old Welsh name Guendoleu, which may derive from gwyn (white, blessed, fair) and dol (meadow). Other forms include Gwendolyn (English) and Gwendoline (French, British English, Welsh).

Gwynhwyfach may derive from the name Gwenhwyfar with the Welsh suffix -ach, which evokes unpleasantness. She’s Guinevere’s sister, and the probable meaning of her name seems to suggest she’s meant as an evil or unpleasant form of Guinevere.

Władysław T. Benda illustration from Uther and Igraine (1903)

Heliabel is Perceval’s sister.

Herzeloyde derives from Middle High German roots herze (heart) and leit (sorrow, grief, suffering). She’s the mother of Parzival in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 13th century romance Parzival.

Igraine comes from the Welsh name Eigyr/Eigr, which is of unknown origin. The Latin form is Igerna. Igraine is Duchess of Cornwall and King Arthur’s mother.

Tristan and Isolde (1901), by Herbert James Draper

Iseult may be Celtic in origin, or it may derive from an Ancient Germanic name like Ishild, composed of roots is (ice) and hilt (battle). She’s an Irish princess who’s betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall, and while en route to her new country, she and Mark’s nephew Tristan accidentally drink a love potion which makes them fall in love. This sets many tragic events in motion.

Other forms of the name include Isolde (German and Scandinavian), Isolda (Latin, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician, Czech), Izolda (Polish, Serbian, Russian, Georgian, Sorbian, Hungarian), Isoud (Norman), Isoude (Middle English), Ísodd (Old Norse), Izold (Breton), Isalde (Middle German), Isotta (Italian), Isolt (Old French), Iseut (Norman and Old French), Isaut (Old French), Iosóid (Irish), Esyllt (Welsh), Eseld (Cornish), Yseut (Old French), Ysolt (Old French), and Yseult (modern French).

Owain Departs from Landine (pre-1898), by Edward Burne-Jones

Laudine may derive from Lot or the place name Lothian, which both have the same origin and ultimately derive from the Latin place name Leudonia (of unknown origin). She’s the Lady of the Fountain, and marries Yvain after he murders her husband.

Lunete derives from the Welsh name Eluned, which has the root eilun (idol, image, likeness). In Chrétien de Troyes’s 12th century Old French epic Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, Lunete is the Lady of the Fountain and helps Yvain. In Thomas Malory’s 15th century Le Morte d’Arthur, she appears as Lynet and marries Gaheris. Alfred, Lord Tennyson calls her Lynette. In the Welsh romance Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain, she’s Luned.

Lyonesse means “lioness” in Middle English. In Thomas Malory’s epic, the Red Knight traps her in a castle, and her sister Lynet gets Gareth to rescue her. Other forms of the name are Lionesse and Lyones.

Lyonors has an affair with King Arthur in Thomas Malory’s story and has a son by him, Borre. She’s the equivalent of Lyonesse.

Morgan-le-Fay (1863–64), by Frederick Sandys

Morgan probably derives from Old Welsh roots mor (sea) and gen (born of), not the male Welsh name Morcant (Morgan in modern times), which may have the roots mor and cant (circle). The Middle English form used by Geoffrey of Monmouth is Morgen, and the French form is Morgaine. Who doesn’t know the sorceress Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s sister and protector?

Morgause is Queen of the Orkneys, King Arthur’s halfsister, a witch, and the mother of Mordred, Gawain, and Gareth. The original forms of her name are Orcades and Morcades. The former was the earliest known name for the Orkney Islands and probably derives from Celtic root *forko- (piglet). Orcades may have become Morcades and Morgause due to confusion with Morgan. The name sometimes appears as Margause.

Melora probably derives from Meliora, which comes from the Latin word melior (better). This name first appears in the 1696 Irish romance The Adventures of Melora and Orlando, where she’s a minor character.

All about Arthurian names, Part III (Male names, M–R)

1902 illustration of Mordred, by H.J. Ford

Mabon is the Welsh form of Maponos, which derives from Celtic root •makwos (son) and the diminutive or Divine suffix -on. Thus, it means “great son.” Mabon appears in the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen, where he’s a prisoner freed by King Arthur’s warriors to help with hunting a boar. In Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s epic Lanzelot, the name is rendered in the Anglo–Norman form Mabuz.

Maelwys, Melwas, or Moloas may mean “noble pig,” “prince of death,” or “young prince.” He kidnaps Queen Guinevere and only is prevailed upon to finally release her when St. Gildas and the Abbot of Glastonbury get involved.

Maleagant also kidnaps Guinevere. Other forms of the name include MelwasMeleagent, Meliagant, Meliagaunt, Meligaunt, Meliaganz, Meliagrance, and Mellegrans.

Meliodas is Tristan’s father.

Merlin comes from the Welsh name Myrddin, which probably ultimately derives from Moridunum, a Romano–British settlement, and the Celtic roots •mori (sea) and *dūnom (hill fort, rampart). Geoffrey of Monmouth probably chose to refer to this legendary wizard by the Latinised name Merlinus because Merdinus was dangerously close to the French word merde (a coarse word for excrement).

The Beguiling of Merlin (1873–74), by Edward Burne-Jones

Mordred comes from the Welsh name Medraut, which in turn possibly derives from the Latin word moderatus (moderated, controlled). Other forms include Medrod and Modred. In some stories, he’s King Arthur’s bastard son; in others, Arthur’s nephew. Mordred was first portrayed as a traitor in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s chronicle, where he seduces Queen Guinevere, declares himself king, and wages a deadly battle.

Morholt is Isolde’s brother or uncle.

Morien is the son of Sir Aglovale and a Moorish princess.

Orguelleus means “proud, orgulous,” from the Anglo–French word orguil (pride). Several Arthurian characters have this name.

Owain comes from an Old Welsh name variously spelt Ougein and Eugein, and thus may ultimately derive from the Greek name Eugenios (well-born). It may also have the Celtic roots *owi- (sheep), *awi- (desire), or *wesu- (good), plus the Old Welsh suffix gen (born of). Owain is a Knight of the Round Table, and usually written as the son of King Urien of Gore and the philandering husband of Laudine, the Lady of the Fountain. He’s one of the Arthurian characters who actually existed.

Sir Pellias, The Gentle Knight (1903), by Howard Pyle

Palamedes may derive from the Greek roots palai (long ago, in days of yore) and medos (schemes, plans). He’s a Saracen Knight of the Round Table.

Pelleas, or Pellias, may come from the Greek name Peleus and the root pelos (clay). He’s a Knight of the Round Table and the husband of Nimue, the Lady of the Lake.

Pellehan, or Pellam, possibly derives from the Welsh name Beli Hen (Beli the Old). Beli may be a nickname for Belenus, which comes from the Gaulish name Belenos or Belinos and possibly the Indo–European root *bhel- (brilliant, bright) or *bel- (strong). Pellehan is the keeper of the Holy Grail.

Pelles is the son of Pellehan and the father of Elaine.

Pellinore may derive from the Welsh name Beli Mawr (Beli the Great). He’s a son of Pellehan, King of Listenois, and eventually part of King Arthur’s court.

The Temptation of Sir Percival (1894), by Arthur Hacker

Perceval was created by 12th century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, who may have based it on the Old French phrase perce val (pierce the valley) or the Welsh name Peredur. If it’s Welsh in origin, it may mean “hard spears,” from the roots peri (spears) and duri (hard, steel). Other forms include Parsifal and Parzifal (German), Perchéval (Picard), Percevelle, and Percival. Perceval is a Knight of the Round Table who achieves his quest for the Holy Grail.

Peredur (etymology above) is the 14th century Welsh equivalent of Perceval.

Rhun may derive from Proto–Celtic root *roino– (plain, hill) or *rnf (magic, secret). In the 1380s Red Book of Hergest, a story about time travelling in a dream, Rhun appears as a counsellor to King Arthur when 24 knights seek to make peace.

Rivalen is the German form of the Old Welsh name Rhiwallon, which in turn comes from the Old Celtic name *Rigovellaunos. It may mean “most kingly” or “lord ruler,” from roots rhi and gwallon. This is the name of Tristan’s father.

The Ms of Ukrainian names

Female names:

Malanka is a folk form of Melaniya (see below).

Marharyta is the Ukrainian and Belarusian form of Margaret (pearl).

Marichka is a diminutive of Mariya.

Maryna is the Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Polish form of Marina, the feminine form of Roman name Marinus. It derives from either Marius and thus is related to Mars (male), or the Latin word marinus (of the sea).

Mavka is a kind of female forest spirit in Ukrainian mythology, representing the souls of girls who died young and unnaturally.

Melaniya is the Ukrainian form of Melania, which derives from Greek root melaina (dark, black).

Mokryna is a folk form of Macrina, the feminine form of Roman cognomen Macrinus. It’s probably a diminutive of Latin word macrus and thus derives from either the Latin word macer (meagre, thin) or the Greek word makros (large, long).

Mykhaylyna is a rare form of Michaela (Who is like God?)

Myroslava means “glory of the world” and “glory of peace.”

Male names:

Maksym is the Ukrainian and Polish form of Maximus, which derives from a Roman family name meaning “greatest.”

Markiyan, or Markian, comes from Roman family name Marcianus and ultimately derives from Marcus. It’s probably related to the name of the Roman god Mars and thus means “male.”

Martyn is the Ukrainian form of Martin, which derives from Roman name Martinus and also ultimately has the root of Mars.

Matviy is the Ukrainian and Belarusian form of Matthew, which ultimately derives from Hebrew name Matityahu (gift of God).

Metro is a diminutive of Dmytro.

Mindovh is the Ukrainian form of Lithuanian name Mindaugus, which derives from either mintis (thought) or minti (remember), and daug (much).

Musiy is a folk form of Moses, which comes from Hebrew name Moshe and either derives from Egyptian word mes (son) or a Hebrew word meaning “deliver.”

Mykhaylo is the Ukrainian form of Michael (Who is like God?).

Mykhayil is an alternate form of Mykhaylo.

Mykola is the Ukrainian form of Nicholas, which comes from Greek name Nikolaos and means “victory of the people.”

Mykyta is the Ukrainian form of Greek name Niketas (winner, victor).

Myroslav means “glory of the world” and “glory of peace.”

The Ms of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Male names:

Maffeo, Mafeo (T), Mazzeo (I) are forms of Matthew (gift of God). This was also a Venetian name.

Mancinagross (I) means “large/great left-handed person.”

Manens (I) means “abiding, remaining, staying.”

Marculfo, Marcolfo (I) is a form of Ancient Germanic name Marculf, which derives from Celtic root mara (horse; marah in Old High German) or Ancient Germanic marka (march, fortified area along a border), and Gothic vulfs (wolf).

Marquart (I) derives from Old High German roots marka and wart (guard, ward). This name is also Medieval Czech, Medieval German, and archaic Estonian.

Martio (I) either derives from the Latin name Martius (a derivative of Mars) or the Roman surname Marcius (a derivative of Marcus, also originating from Mars). The name Mars itself possibly means “male.”

Meo (I) was a very common Medieval name.

Mercato (I) means “merchant.”

Female names:

Madolina (I) is a form of Magdalene (woman from Magdala).

Magnifica (I) means “magnificent.”

Malgarita (T) is a form of Margaret (pearl).

Maralda (I) is a form of the German name Maralde, formed from Ancient Germanic roots mari (famous) and wald (to rule, to govern).

Materia (I) means “matter, substance, material.”

Meliore (I) means “better.”

Menta (I) means “mint.”

Midonia (I)

Moresina (T)

Muscata (I) means “nutmeg.”