Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Female Names from the Bible

Due to the spread of Christianity, Biblical names have become common throughout Europe, Africa, America and Australasia although they take different forms in many languages. The following are from a modern English translation. Most personal names mentioned in the Bible are Hebrew although Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Egyptian are also represented. Hebrew names are used in their original forms by many Jewish people, especially in Israel.

One problem for early translators of the Bible was that the name of God (Yaweh, Yahweh) was considered too sacred to be written in full so only the consonants were used. Vowels taken from the substitutes adonay 'my lord' and elohim 'god' were later added, giving the form 'Yehovah' which became 'Jehovah' in European versions. The first element of the name occurs either at the beginning or the end of many personal names (Jonathan, Elijah). In ancient Semitic societies, names were highly individual and a new name would be invented for each child but some famous names such as those of the patriarchs and their families came into general usage. As this could lead to duplication of names within a community, the patronymic system was adopted with the father's name preceded by bar 'son of' for a man or bat 'daughter of' for a woman.

Biblical or Christian names were occasionally used in Britain before the Norman Conquest, often for monks or nuns. After 1066, they were still not common but the growing influence of the Roman Catholic Church is indicated by the increased use of the names of saints or Biblical figures towards the end of the C12th. The Council of Trent (1545-63) ruled that these names had to be used at baptism.

After the Reformation, the names of saints not mentioned in the Bible were largely rejected by the new religious doctrines and Biblical, especially Old Testament, names became far more common. In the C16th, Puritans not only revived some of the more obscure Biblical names but coined their own Christian names from Latin and English.

These names are of Hebrew origin unless stated otherwise. All the alternative spellings listed here have been used in modern times, mostly for children born within the last two decades - for earlier forms, see England - Medieval.

Old Testament

Abiah 'Jehovah is my father'

Abbia Abbiah Abia

Abigail - 'father is rejoicing' or 'father of exaltation'

Abagael Abagail
Abagaiyl Abagale Abagayle
Abagil Abbegail Abbegale
Abbegayle Abbeygayle Abbigail
Abbigale Abbigayle Abbygail
Abbygale Abbygayle Abegail
Abegale Abegayle Abgail
Abgale Abgayle Abigael
Abigaile Abigal Abigale
Abigayil Abigayle Abigel
Abilgail Avigail  


Abbee Abbey Abbi
Abbie Abbye Nabby


Gael Gaela Gaelle
Gaila Gaile Gaille
Gale Gayle

Adah 'adornment' (also Germanic 'Ada')

Adda Addia Addie
Adia Adiah Aidah

Aphra placename, 'dust' (or 'fawn'?)

Affery Affrey Affrie
Afra Aphrah Efra

Bathsheba 'daughter of Sheva' ('an oath' or 'voluptuous')

Bathshua? Bersaba Bethsabee

Deborah 'a bee'

De'bora Debbora
Debborah Debbra Debbrah
Debera Deberah Debor
Debora Deboran Deborha
Deborrah Debra Debrah
Debrea Debria Debrina
Debroah Zeborah


Debbe Debbee Debbey
Debbi Debby Debee
Debi Debie Debs

Dee (also short for Deirdre, or Welsh for 'black/dark)

Dea Deah
Dede Dedee Dedie
Dee Dee Deea Deedee
Dee-Dee Deette Didi

Delilah 'delicate?'

Delila Delilia Deliliah

Dinah 'judged' or 'law suit' (confused with Greek 'Diana')

Deena Deeyn Dena
Denae Dene Denea
Denee Deney Denna
Dina Dine Dinh
Dyna Dynah

Elizabeth from 'Elisheva' - 'God is my oath/satisfaction'

Allissabeth Eliabeth Elisabet
Elisabeta Elisabeth Elisabethe


Elizabet Elizabete Elizbeth
Elizebeth Elsabet Elsabeth
Elsbet Elysabeht Ilzzabet
Lisabeth Lisbet Lizabeth
Lizbet Lizbeth


Beth Bettina Betsy
Betty Buffy Bessi
Betha Bethina Betssy
Betti Buff Bessie
Bethe Betina Bette
Buffee Bessy Bethia
Betine Bettye Buffey
Bettine Bety Buffye

Elisa Elise
Elisia Elisee Eliza
Elsie Eleesa Eilise
Elecea Elisey Aliza
Elsey Elesa Elese
Elesia Elisie Elixa
Elsi Eliesa Elisse
Elicia Elyci Eliz
Elsy Eliisa Elize
Elishia Elizaida Elisar
Ellice Elisya Ilissa
Elizalina Elsa Elissa
Ellise Ellecia Ilyssa
Elize Elschen Ellisa
Ellyce Ellishea Elizea
Ellissa Ellyse Ellisia
Ilsa Elizette Elspeth
Ellyssa Ellyze Ellissia
Ilse Ellice Elspie
Elysa Elyce Ellissya
Ylse Liza Elyssa
Elyse Ellisya Lyza
Elysse Elysia Elyssia
Elyssya Elysya

Lillibeth Lisa Lisette
Lissy Liz Lib
Lilibet Leesa Liseta
Lissey Lizanka Libbey
Lilibeth Leesha Lisetta
Lissi Lizanna Libbie
Lillybeth Leeshah Lisettina
Lissie Lizina Leeza
Lisseth Lyssye Lizka
Loybeth Leisa Lissette
Lizzie Leisha Lizete
Lizzle Leeshia Leishah
Lizeth Lizzy Licia
Lesa Lizett Liisa
Leshia Lizette Lisha
Lizzete Lise Lissa
Lizzett Litsa Lizzette
Liza Lysette Lysa

Esther 'Hadassah' - 'myrtle', Persian 'star', or from goddess Ishtar?

Essie Estee
Ester Estera Esthur
Hadasseh Hestea Hester
Hestera Hesti Hestia
Hestie Hesty

Eve from Chava 'life'

Evah Evey Evie
Iva Jeva Yeva

Hannah from Chaanach 'gracious' or 'favoured' (Anne). Forms such as Hana, Hanne, originate from Johanna.

Ha'ani Hahnna Hana
Hanah Hanan Haneen
Hania Hanicka Hanin
Hanja Hanka Hanna
Hannahlya Hannele Hannie
Hanno Hannon Heena
Henna Honna

Jael 'mountain goat'

Jaelee Jaeli Jaelie
Jaelle Jahla Jaila
Jailee Jaleigh Jalie
Jayelle Jayla Jaylee
Yael Yaeli Yaella

Jemima 'dove' or 'bright as day'

Gemima Jamim
Jamima Jamimah Jem
Jemimah Jemmia Jemmiah
Jemmie Jemmy Mima

Jezebel 'impure/wicked'

Jessabel Jessebel Jez
Jezabel Jezabella Jezebell
Jezebella Jezebelle Jezel
Jezell Jezelle Jezzebelle

Judith from 'Yehudit' - 'he will be praised' or 'a Jewess/woman from Judaea'

Ioudithe Judita Juditha
Judithe Yodit Yudita


Jodee Jodi Jodie
Jody Jude Judi
Judie Judy Yuta

Kezia 'cassia tree'

Ketzi Ketzia Kezi
Kezia Keziah Kezie
Kizzie Kizzy

Leah 'gazelle/wild cow' or 'la ah' - 'weary/languid'

Lee Leea Leeah
Leeya Lehi Leia
Leigh Leigha Leya
Lia Liah Liea

Mahalia Aramaic 'marrow/fat'? (mix of male names Mahali & Mahalah)

Mahala Mahalah
Mahalar Mahaliah Mahalla
Mahela Mahelea Maheleh
Mahelia Mahila Mahilia
Mahlah Mahlaha Mehala
Mehalah Mehalia

Marah 'bitter

Mara Marra

Naomi 'my joy/delight' or 'pleasaunce'

Naiomi Naoma Naomee
Naomia Naomie Naomy
Neoma Neomi Niomi
Noami Noemi Noemie
Noemy Nohemi Noma
Nomi Nyome Nyomi

Peninnah 'coral/pearl/ruby'

Penina Peninah Penini
Peninna Penna

Rachel 'ewe'

Rachaela Rachaele Rachal
Rachalle Racheal Rachela
Rachele Rachelena Racheli
Rachell Rachella Rachelle
Raechel Raechele Raechelle
Raechyl Raeshelle Rahale
Rahel Rahela Raschele
Rashel Rashele Rashell
Rashelle Raychel Raychell
Ray'chell Raychelle Rayshell
Rechel Recheli Richel
Richelle Rochel Rochell
Rochelle Roshelle Ruchelle


Racha Rache Rachie
Rae Raesha? Raske
Ray Raye Rey

Raquel (Spanish form of 'Rachel')

Rackel Racquel Racquell
Racquella Racquelle Rakel
Rakhil Rakhila Raqueal
Raquela Raquella Raquelle
Rickquel Ricquel Ricquelle
Rikell Rikelle Rockell

Rebecca 'heifer' or 'ribbqah' - 'noose/snare'

Rabecca Rabecka Rabekah
Rebbecca Rebbekah Rebeca
Rebeccah Rebeccea Rebeccka
Rebecha Rebecka Rebeckah
Rebecky Rebeka Rebekah
Rebekha Rebekka Rebekkah
Rebeque Revecca Reveka
Revekka Viveca Vivecka
Viveka Vyveca


Becky Reba Reva
Rimca? Becka Becke
Rabah Reeva Bekah
Becki Rebbie Reva
Bekka Beckie Rebe
Revia Rebi Revida
Reby Riva Ree
Rivi Reeba Rivvy
Reebie Rheba

Ruth 'companion/friend'??

Ruthe Ruthi Ruthie

Sarah 'princess'

Darah? Sahra
Saira Sairah Sara
Sarha Sarra Sarrah
Seara Sera Serra

Diminutives and elaborations

Sadie Sally
Sadee Sahl Sareeka
Sarolta? Sady Sal
Sareka Sorale? Sadye
Sallee Sarika Sorali?
Saedy Salley Saidee
Salli Sarene Sayde
Sarina Saydie Salesha
Zadie Salitha Saretta
Salletta Sarette Sadae
Sallette Saritia Sadah
Sarotte Sadarah Sadella
Sass Sadelle

Seraphina 'seraphim' - 'burning ones' (a type of angel)

Phina Sarafina Saraphina
Serafina Serafine Seraphe
Seraphim Seraphin Seraphine
Seraphita Serapia Serofina

Susan/Susanna 'lily/rose'

Azusena? Sawsan Suesan
Suesanna Suisan Susana
Susanah Susann Susannah
Susanne Susen Suson
Suszanne Suzan Suzana
Suzane Suzann Suzanna
Suzanne Suzzane Suzzann
Suzzanne Zuzanna

Shoshanah (Hebrew form)

Shosha Shoshan Shoshana
Shoshanha Shoshann Shoshanna
Shoshannah Shoshauna Shoshawna
Shoushan Slosh Sosana
Sosanna Sosha Soshana


Sue Sukey Susie
Zanna Soo Sukie
Siouxsie Zana Su
Suky Susey Zanella
Suella Susi Zanette
Suette Susette Sussi
Zannah Sueva Susetta
Sussy Zannette Suzetta
Suze Susanka Suzette
Suzi Suzy Swoosie

Tabitha Aramaic 'gazelle/doe'

Tabatha Tabbatha
Tabbetha Tabbitha Tabetha
Tabiffa Tabithia Tabotha
Tabtha Tabutha Tabytha


Tabbe Tabbey Tabbi

Tamar 'date palm'

Taima Tama
Tamaa Tamah Tamer
Tamor Tamour Thama
Thamar Thamer

Tamara Russian form

Tamarah Tamarra Tamera
Tamira Tammara Tammera
Tammra Tamora Tamra
Tamrah Tamura Tamyra
Temara Thamara Thamarra
Timara Timera Tomara


Tamala Tamari
Tamaria Tamariea Tamarria
Tamarrian Tamary Tamerai
Tameria Tamerias Temarian

Tammy (also dim of Tamsin/Thomasine)

Tamaiah Tami Tamia
Tamiah Tamiya Tamma
Tammie Tawmi

Tirzah 'delight/acceptance' or a placename

Thersa Therza Thirsa
Thirza Thirzah Thursa
Thurza Thyrza Tierza
Tirsa Tirshka Tirza
Tirzha Tyrzah

Zillah 'shade'

Zila Zilla Zylla



This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

tekeli.li home|Onomastikon home