Hermia

Origin: English, Greek Meaning: a name used by William Shakespeare for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595) based on the Greek god Hermes, whose name is probably derived from Greek herma meaning “cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker”. In Greek mythology, Hermes was a Greek god associated with commerce, wrestling and thievery as well as transitions and boundaries. Variants: Hermione,…

Medora

Origin: English Meaning: invented by Lord Byron for his poem The Corsair (1814). He may have based it on Greek Metradora meaning “mother’s gift”.

Lucasta

Origin: Latin, English Meaning: Created by the poet Richard Lovelace from Latin lux (light) and casta (pure) meaning “pure light”. Apparently he based the character on a woman he loved, Lucy Sacheverel.

Cymbeline

Origin: Ancient Celtic Meaning: an Anglicized form of Cunobelinus meaning “hound of Belenus” from old Celtic element koun (hound) combined with the name of a Celtic god, Belenus. Variants: Cunobelinus

Vanessa

Origin: English Meaning: a famous name created by the author Jonathan Swift for his poem Cadenus and Vanessa (1713). He created it by taking the first three letters of his lover’s surname (Esther Vanhomrigh) and adding the pet form Essa. Vanhomrigh is a Dutch surname and van means “from”, referring to a habitational surname, while Esther either…

Bellicent

Origin: French, German, English Meaning: Possibly an Old French form of Germanic Belissendis, possibly composed of elements bili meaning “suitable, proper, fitting, decent, amiable” and swind “strong, brave, powerful” It could also be another form of Elizabeth meaning “My God is oath” or “My God is abundance” It could also be related to Belenus, a Celtic god of the…

Bradamante

Origin: Italian Meaning: created by Matteo Maria Boiardo for his poem Orlando Innamorato (1495) from Italian brado “wild, untamed, natural” and amante “loving”