Gender: Masculine
Origin: Breton
Meaning: “pledge of light; light pledge.”
Fre (MAH-loh)

The name is composed of the Breton elements, mac’h (pledge; warrant) and luh (light).

The name was borne by one of the founding saints of Brittany, many legends have been attributed to him over the centuries, but what is known for sure is that he was Welshman who was the favorite desciple of St. Brendan the Navigator. The place of Saint-Malo in France was named for him as was Saint-Maclou.

As of 2010, Malo was the 101st most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Maloù (Breton)
  • Maclovi (Catalan)
  • Macléo (French)
  • Maclou (French/Picard)
  • Maclov (French)
  • Malo (French/Welsh)
  • Malou (French)
  • Maclovio (Italian)
  • Macuto (Italian)
  • Maclovius (Latin)
  • Machutus (Latin)
  • Mâlo (Norman)
  • Macoult (Poitvin)


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “bright; light.”

The name is derived from an Old Norse word, meaning, (bright; light). In modern Faroese, bjørt is the word for bright or light and björt is its Icelandic cognate, also used as a given name.

The name is borne in Norse Mythology by a handmaiden of Freya.

As of 2010, Bjørt was the 5th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Dutch

The usage of this name is actually somewhat debated. It could be a Dutch short form of Eleanor, or it could be a variant transcription of the Arabic unisex name نور which is derived from the Arabic word for “light.”

Its usage as a male or female name shifts throughout the Islamic world, in the Arabic-speaking world, it tends to be used as a female name, while in the Turkic world, it tends to be used as a masculine name. Its original usage was in reference to the 24th sura of the Qu’ran.

The name is borne by the former Queen Noor of Jordan who was born as Lisa Najeeb Halaby (b.1951). Upon her marriage to King Hussein she took the Islamic name of Noor Al-Hussein (Light of Hussein).

Other notable and interesting bearers include: Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944) a British British Special Operations Executive agent and heroin of WWII.

It was also borne by a Mughal Empress, Nur Jahan (1577-1645)

Nur is often used more as a name element in many Kazakh, Tatar and Uzbek given names, both male and female depending on the second element of the name.

Feminine offshoots of its Arabic version include:

  • Nour (Algerian/Moroccan/Tunisian)
  • Nuriya (Amharic)
  • Nura نورة (Arabic/Azeri)
  • Nur Нур (Chechen/Tatar)
  • Nuret Нурет (Circassian)
  • Nuraj Нурай (Kazakh. NOO-rye)
  • Nurija Нурія (Kazakh. NOO-ree-yah)
  • Nursha Нурша (Kazakh: NOOR-shah)
  • Nura Нурa (Tatar)
  • Nuru (Swahili)

Male forms

  • Nur (Afghan/Amharic/Kyrgyz/Ughur/Urdu/Turkish)
  • Nuri (Amharic)
  • Nuru (Amharic/Azeri)
  • Nuro (Kurdish)
Noor is also the name of a river in Belgium.
As of 2008, Noor was the 15th most popular female name in Belgium and the 31st most popular in the Netherlands, (2010).


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Azeri Эльнур
Meaning: “the light.”

The name is a corruption of the Arabic, al Noor meaning, “the light”, and was possibly orginally an azerified form of the Russian male name, Svetlan (light).

It is currently the 5th most popular name among the male population in Azerbaijan.

Its feminine form is Elnura.


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew אוּרִיָה
Meaning: “yahweh is my light.”
Eng (yoo-RIE-ə)

The name is borne by several characters in the Old Testament, one of the most famous being Uriah the Hittite. King David had sent him out in the forefront of battle in the hopes that he would be killed, so that David could marry Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.

The name also appears in the Bible in the form of Urijah.

The name was always common among Jews but did not catch on in the Christian world until after the Protestant Reformation. It was a fairly common name in early America.

Charles Dickens used the name for an antagonist in his 1850 novel David Copperfield. Due to the character’s reputation, the term Uriah Heep is often used to describe a “yes man.”

Currently, Uriah is the 548th most popular male name in the United States, while his alternative, Urijah, ranked in at # 623, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

Uries (Catalan)
Urijáš (Czech)
Urie (French/Romanian)
Urijah Урия (German/Russian)
Ourias Ουριας (Greek)
Uriyah אוּרִיָה (Hebrew)
Uria (Italian)
Urias (Late Latin)
Uriasz (Polish)
Urias (Portuguese)
Uriáš (Slovakian)
Urijá (Slovakian)
Urías (Spanish)

A common modern Hebrew short form is Uri.


  4. Magonet, Jonathan (1992) Bible Lives London: SCM, 93 – 4


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Portuguese/Spanish
Meaning: “light”

The name comes directly from the Spanish word for light, as a given name it started to be used in honour of the Virgin Mary as one of her epithets is Neustra Señora de la Luz (Our Lady of Light).

Its Italian and French equivalent is Luce It (LOO-chey); Fre (LUYS)

It is currently the 744th most popular female name in the United States, 2010.

Its designated name-day is June 1.



Jair, Yair

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew יָאִיר
Meaning: “he shines.”
Heb (YAH-eer); Eng (JAY-er).

The name is found in the Old Testament as both the name of a judge of the Israelites and a son of Manasseh. Its Latin version of Jairus appears in the New Testament as the name of the father of a dead girl who was brought back to life by Jesus.

In modern times, due to its meaning, the name has been used by Jewish families for children born during the Hanukkah season.

Its Hebrew version of Yair is currently the 970th most popular male name in the United States, while Jair ranks a bit higher at 859 (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

Jaïr (Catalan/Dutch/French/German)
Yayyr ر انجیل (Farsi)
Iair/Iairos (Greek: Biblical)
Iair/Iairus/Jairus (Latin)
Jair/Jairo (Spanish)