Origin: English, Irish

Meaning: a medieval English feminine form of Julian, derived from Julius, which either means “downy-bearded” or else is related to Jupiter, composed from elements dyeus meaning “shine” or “sky” and pater “father”.

It’s also an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Gileáin meaning “son of Gileán”, the latter derived from personal name Gealán, a diminutive of geal meaning “bright, white”.

Variants: Jillian, Jill

Though a lot of people would pronounce this the same is Jillian, I’ve always pronounced it with a hard g- like Gilbert.

Interesting fact: Apparently this used to be a unisex name once upon a time, although I don’t know how popular it was for boys. I found a male character with the name, however, named Gilliam B. Loeb, a character in the Batman universe.



Origin: Greek ( Γαλατεια )

Meaning: goddess of calm seas from galene γαλήνη (calm, gentle sea) or milky white from gala γάλα (milky white)

Though there are a few Galateas in Greek mythology, the most famous one I know is Pygmalion and Galatea. Pygmalion was a sculptor who carved such a beautiful figure out of ivory that he fell in love with it. After praying to Aphrodite, she turned the ivory statue into a living woman and they lived happily ever after.

There was also another Galatea, one of the Nereids, the 50 daughters of Nereus, god of the sea. Galatea was a sea nymph who caught the attention of the cyclops Polyphemos who tried to woo her but she rejected him for a handsome mortal named Akis (or Acis). Angry, Polyphemos crushed Akis beneath a rock and, grief-stricken, Galatea transformed Akis into a stream. Interestingly enough, Polyphemos is the same cyclops Odysseus later encounters and blinds, earning himself the wrath of Poeseidon and causing him to spend 10 years at sea before finally able to reach home.

Variants: Galateia, Galatia


Origin: English

Meaning: though J.M. Barrie created the name from a nickname meaning “friendly”, the name had been used prior to Peter Pan, possiby related to Welsh Gwendolen and other names beginning with the element gwen meaning “white, fair, blessed”.

Wendy could also be the feminine form of Wendel/Wendelin meaning “vandal”

Variants: Wendi, Wendie


Origin: Irish

Meaning: from Irish fionn “white, fair” and guala “shoulder”, meaning “white/fair shoulder”

In Irish mythology, Fionnuala was the daughter of Lir who, along with her three brothers, were changed into a swan by their stepmother for 900 years until the curse was broken.

Nuala is a diminutive of the name.

Variants: Finnguala, Fionnghuala, Finola, Finnuala