The Ps of Persian names

Male names:

Parham is the Persian form of Abraham, which derives from the original Hebrew name Avraham and means “father of many.”

Parviz/Parvaiz means “happy, fortunate.”

Payam means “message.”

Pedram means “successful, happy.”

Pejman means “remorseful, sad, dejected.”

Peyman/Paymon means “pledge, oath, promise.”

Pirouz/Piruz/Pirooz is a variant of Firouz, which means “victorious.”

Pouria/Pooria/Poorya comes from the Avestan name Pouruyo, which means “first, most ancient, foremost.”

Pulad means “steel.” This name is also Tajik.

Female names:

Paniz may mean “sugar.” For obvious reasons, I’d recommend avoiding this in an Anglophone country!

Pantea is the Persian form of the Greek name Pantheia (Panthea in Latin), which is derived from roots pan (all) and thea (goddess).

Parastoo/Parastu means “swallow” (the bird).

Pardis means “new city of Pardis” or “new city of Paradise.”

Pargol may mean “flower petals.”

Parhez means “caution, abstinence, fasting.”

Pari means “fairy.”

Parisa/Parissa means “like a fairy.”

Parisima means “fairy face.”

Parizad means “child of a fairy.”

Parnaz means “fairy comfort, fairy delight.”

Parnian means “silk.”

Parsa means “virtuous.”

Parvaneh means “butterfly.” In Dari Persian, used in Afghanistan, it’s written Parwana.

Parvin is the Persian word for the Pleiades, a group of stars in Taurus. The Dari Persian form is Parwin.

Pegah means “dawn.”


All about Arthurian names, Part VII (Female names, N–Y)

Illustration from King Arthur’s Knights: The Tales Retold for Boys and Girls (1911), by Walter Crane

Nimue is a sorceress known as the Lady of the Lake. In some stories, Merlin falls in love with her and becomes trapped by her magic. Nimue is also Lancelot’s protector and foster mother, and she gives the sword Excalibur to King Arthur and, many years later, helps to take him to Avalon when he’s dying.

Ninniane is the Old French form of Nimue. It may be derived from the Old Celtic male name Ninian, which in turn might ultimately come from the Brythonic name *Ninniau. Other forms include Ninniene, Niniane, Nyneve, Nymenche, Nimiane, Ninieve, Nivene, Niviène, Nivienne, Niviana, Niniame, Nymanne, Nimanne, Nynyane, Nenyve, Nyneue, Niniave, and Nynyue.

Merlin and Nimue (1861), by Edward Burne-Jones

Olwen means “white footprint” in Welsh, from roots ol (track, footprint) and gwen (white, blessed, fair). She’s one of the title characters of the Welsh epic Culhwch and Olwen. When Culhwch refuses to marry his stepsister, his stepmother curses him with the inability to marry anyone but Olwen. Though he’s never seen her, he falls in love with her. His father tells him he can only find Olwen with the help of his cousin King Arthur, who obligingly helps with the difficult search.

Orgeluse derives from the French word orgueilleuse (haughty). This is a character in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 13th century romance Parzival. The name is spelt Orguelleuse in Chrétien de Troyes’s unfinished romance Perceval, the Story of the Grail.

Illustration of Culhwch and Olwen at the court of Olwen’s father Ysbaddaden, Celtic Myth & Legend (1905?), by Ernest Wallcousins

Palatyne, or Palentina, is one of the triplet sisters of water spirit Melusine. Their other sister is Melior. When their mortal father Elynas, King of Scotland, breaks his promise to not go into the bedchamber of his wife Pressyne while she’s giving birth, Pressyne leaves Scotland and raises her triplets in Avalon.

Qrainglaie is an Irish queen in Chretien de Troyes’s Les Merveilles de Rigomer.

Quebeleplus appears in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Middle High German epic poem Diu Crône, which dates from about the 1220s.

Rathlean appears in the Irish romance Céilidhe Iosgaide Léithe (The Visit of Iosgaid Liath or Visit of the Grey-Hammed Lady). She’s the mother of Ailleann, who marries King Arthur when she takes him and the Knights of the Round Table to the Otherworld, and a granddaughter of the King of Iceland.

The Cumaean Sibyl (ca. 1617), by Domenichino

Sebile derives from the Greek word sibylla (sibyl). In Greco–Roman mythology, the sibyls (ten in number) are prophets and oracles. Sebile is a queen or princess who’s also a fairy or enchantress. She’s based on the Cumaean Sibyl, who presided over the oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony near modern-day Naples. According to legend, she lived a thousand years.

Soredamor is the lover of Alexander, a Knight of the Round Table, in Chrétien de Troyes’s epic poem Cligès (written about 1176). The Italian form is Sordamor.

Teleri is a contraction of the Welsh word ty (familiar “your”) and the name Eleri, which in turn derives from the name of a Welsh river. This river is also called the Leri. Teleri is a maidservant at King Arthur’s court in Culhwch and Olwen.

Sir Tristram and la Belle Ysoude drinking the love potion (1862–63), designed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Xenebra is the Galician form of Guinevere.

Ydain is the name of two characters. One is a maidservant at King Arthur’s court and a cousin of Gawain, who marries Sir Cador of Cornwall. The other is rescued from Sir Licoridon by Gawain and mutually falls in love with Gawain, then decides to dump him for another knight. In revenge, Gawain gives her to the dwarf Druidan.

Ygrayne is a form of Igraine (King Arthur’s mother) used in Sir Thomas Malory’s 15th century epic Le Morte d’Arthur.

Yseut is an Old French form of Iseult used in 12th century Norman–French poet Béroul’s Tristan. Another Old French form, Ysolt, is used by Thomas of Britain in a 12th century poem also called Tristan.

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 Ps of Ukrainian names

Male names:

Pakhomiy comes from Greek name Pachomios, which ultimately derives from Ancient Egyptian name Pakhom (he of the holy falcon).

Panko is a folk form or diminutive of Greek name Panteleimon (all-compassionate).

Pavlo is the Ukrainian form of Paul, which comes from Roman family name Paulus and means “humble” or “small.”

Pavsekakiy is a rare version of the Greek name Pausikakos (ending evils).

Petro is the Ukrainian form of Peter, which derives from Greek name Petros (stone).

Porfyriy comes from Greek name Porphyrios (purple dye). This is a rare name.

Potap comes from Greek name Potapios, which may derive from root potapos (a word used in the Bible to imply rhetorical admiration).

Pylyp is the Ukrainian form of Philip, which comes from Greek name Philippos (friend of horses).

Female names:

Palahna comes from Greek name Pelagia, the feminine form of Pelagios (the sea).

Paraska is a diminutive of Praskoviya, which derives from Greek root paraskeue (“preparation” or “Friday” [Friday being the day of preparation]).

Polyna is the Ukrainian form of Paula.

Prakseda is an archaic form of Greek name Praxedes, which derives from root praxis (a success, doing, accomplishment).

Priska is a folk form of Euphrosyne (merriment, mirth).

The Ps of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Female names:

Pace (I) means “peace.” It’s pronounced PAH-chey, not like the English word “pace.”

Pacifica (I) means “peacemaker.”

Pasca (I) derives from the Latin word Pascha, Passover. The Jewish holiday often falls out near Easter, and many Indo–European languages’ word for Easter derives from that Latin root. Traditionally, the name was given to girls born or baptised on or near Easter. This is also a Medieval Cornish name.

Pasquina (I) similarly derives from Pasqua, the Italian name for Easter.

Patientia (I) means “suffering, patience.”

Pleneria (I) means “plenary.”

Pomellina (I) means “little fruit” and “little apple.”

Primavera (I) means “spring.”

Pulisena (T) is a form of Latin name Polyxena (many guests, very hospitable), derived from original Greek name Polyxene and roots polys (many) and xenos (guest, foreigner). The modern Italian form is Polissena.

Male names:

Palmerio (I) means “pilgrim,” from Latin word palma (palm tree). Pilgrims often returned from Israel with palm fronds to prove they’d visited. The feminine form is Palmeria.

Pangratio (I) looks like it means “all grace” or “all thanks.”

Placentius (I) means “satisfying, pleasing, giving pleasure.” This is also Medieval Spanish.

Polo (I) is most likely a form of Paolo, the Italian form of Paul (small).

Priamo (I) is a form of Greek name Priamos, the ill-fated King of Troy. It possibly means “redeemed.”

Preietto, Proietto (I) are forms of Latin name Praejectus, which comes from the word praejacio (to throw).