Meaning unknown, possibly related to the name RADOVAN. Alternatively it may have been brought to Romania from India by Gypsies, and may mean something like "bringer of good news".
Romanian form of MICHAEL. Mihai the Brave was a prince of Wallachia who united Romania in the early 17th century.
Usage: English, German, Czech, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Pronounced: MIE-kəl (English), MI-khah-el (German) [key]
From the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha'el) meaning "who is like God?". This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Saint Michael was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies, and thus is considered the patron saint of soldiers.
The popularity of the saint led to the name being used by nine Byzantine emperors, including Michael VIII Palaeologus who restored the empire in the 13th century. It has been common in Western Europe since the Middle Ages, and in England since the 12th century. It has been borne (in various spellings) by rulers of Russia (spelled Михаил), Romania (Mihai), Poland (Michał), and Portugal (Miguel). Other more modern bearers of this name include the British chemist/physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and basketball player Michael Jordan (1963-).
Usage: English, German, Ancient Germanic
Pronounced: AHR-nəld (English), AHR-nawlt (German) [key]
From a Germanic name meaning "eagle power", derived from the elements arn "eagle" and wald "power". It was brought by the Normans to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Earnweald. It died out as an English name after the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century.
Saints bearing the name include an 8th-century musician in the court of Charlemagne and an 11th-century French bishop who is the patron saint of brewers. It was also borne by Arnold of Brescia, a 12th-century Augustinian monk who rebelled against the church and was eventually hanged. Famous modern bearers include American golfer Arnold Palmer (1929-) and Austrian-American actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947-).
Usage: English, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical
Pronounced: PEE-tər (English), PE-ter (German, Slovak), PAY-tər (Dutch) [key]
Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus's ministry and is often considered the first pope.
Due to the renown of the apostle, this name became common throughout the Christian world (in various spellings). In England the Normans introduced it in the Old French form Piers, which was gradually replaced by the spelling Peter starting in the 15th century.
Besides the apostle, other saints by this name include the 11th-century reformer Siant Peter Damian and the 13th-century preacher Saint Peter Martyr. It was also borne by rulers of Aragon, Portugal, and Russia, including the Russian tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725), who defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War. Famous fictional bearers include Peter Rabbit from Beatrix Potter's children's books, and Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up in J. M. Barrie's 1904 play.
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