One of the awesome things about FF7 is how many of the character's names have symbolic references. Some may just be coincidences from translation. Either way, it's interesting nonetheless.

Sephiroth is a Hebrew word, which derives from the Cabbala, a branch of religious lore that has its roots in Jewish mysticism. It states that at the creation, God sent a pulse of energy out into the void. This branched into ten aspects or spheres, numbered 1-10. The Sephiroth. To return to God, a Cabbalist must conquer each of the Sephiroth.

His final form is often thought to be a misspelling of the word "Seraph", but actually "Safer" or "Sepher" is another Hebrew word meaning "book of numbers". This probably has some relevance to the stress placed on the number-tattooed clones. The whole Sephiroth concept seems to be pregnant with numerological meaning. But whether it was never totally followed through, or lost something in translation, there seems to be no symbolic meaning to any numbers given in the game script.

Cait Sith
Gaelic word, meaning literally "fairy cat". In Irish fairy stories, Cait Sith is in many King of Cats tales, which is why he wears a crown.

Tifa Lockheart
This is related to Sephiroth. The Tiferet is part of the ten Sephiroth and means "balance and love". Also my admittedly brief dip into cabbalism turned up a further meaning, that of self-sacrifice. In the tarot, the Tiferet is represented with a heart.

Possibly meant to derive from the Latin term, "Cetera", which means "Other".

Check the dictionary. It means a local official or magistrate of a district.

May refer to a famous painting and poem "The Rape of Lucrecia". Symbolic of the scientific "rape" Hojo carried out upon her body.

Shinra or Shin-Ra
There is a monster that appears to originate in Egyptian mythology that has this name. It is described as a huge, dark vampire.

Aeris or Aerith
Interestingly, Aerith is an anagram of "I Earth". The word "Aeris" can be found in Latin meaning "air, cloud, ether".

Vincent Valentine
St. Valentine is the patron saint of protective lovers.

Barret Wallace
Perhaps named after William Wallace the Scottish rebel. Also "barret" is an Olde English word for a flat cap. A flat cap is headgear associated with the working classes, coal miners in particular.

Cloud Strife
Strife means struggle or conflict. Interestingly, the word "aeris" can be found in Latin - meaning "air, cloud, ether".

Cloud's "Cross Slash" Limit Break also forms a kanji meaning "Bad Luck"

Wedge and Biggs
Named after two pilots in the "Star Wars" movie.

Don Corneo
Corneo comes from a Latin word meaning "hard", "made of horn", "horny".

Japanese family of Taira descent that ruled Japan as hereditary regents (shikken) from 1199 to 1333, a period known as the Kamakura Shogunate from the shogunal base at Kamakura. The Hojo gained prominence under the first shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo, who married into the family. His father-in-law, Hojo Tokimasa, became the regent for Yoritomo's young heir in 1199. By 1219, when the main Minamoto line was cut short by assassination, the Hojo were entrenched in power, and soon set up the legal and institutional structure of shogunal rule. In Japanese fashion, however, they left intact the puppet shogunate, which in turn pulled the strings of a puppet emperor. The clan ruled ably until the late 13th century, leading national resistance to the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281, but they later tended to become inept and dissolute. The last Hojo regent killed himself in 1333 during the restoration led by Emperor Go-Daigo which led to its replacement by the Ashikaga shogunate.

Rufus is Latin for "red". In some oriental cultures, red is generally taken as a sign of prosperity or wealth which might relate to his status in Shinra.

Summons and Monsters:
Hindu God of destruction. Actually a male. Shiva as depicted in the Final Fantasy series looks more like the Hindu god, Kali. However, the Shiva as we know it in the FF series is based off of the Celtic female goddess called Shiva. In some Final Fantasy's she has quite a Celtic appearance: chunky jewellery, skimpy clothes.

A djinn or fire spirit of Indian origin.

Alexander was an angel one of the bravest of the Seraphim and his name literally means "helper of man."

Another name for Hell or the Underworld, also the name of the ruler of the Underworld in some mythologies.

King of the Norse Gods and also the god of war.

A huge sea dwelling creature of popular mythology, also present in the Bible. Also Leviathan, actually pronounced "Leevyathan" in Hebrew, is the Hebrew word for Whale.

As well as being the word for a violent storm, fans know that this is our old friend Chupon from FF6. Who causes great annoyance with his evil "sneeze" attack.

Knights of the Round
The Knights of the Round table were Twelve Knights and King Arthur. King Arthur is a mythical King of Britain. They sleep on the Island of Avalon, where it is said they will rise again when the people of Britain are in dire need. King Arthur also wields the Excalibur sword, which does not appear in FF7 but does appear in many other FF games.

The Phoenix is in several mythologies. Egypt where he is a child/creation of Amon Ra (sun god) Greek mythology where he was the bird of Prometheus, long before the gods existed, he was alone from the time Prometheus got captured. In the occult he appears as the guardian of the earth, and lord of fire. Also as one of the children of Lucifer, but he betrayed him to guard the earth.

The titan is a Greek myth, they were giants who warred with the Gods.

Bahamut is the king of dragons, the mightiest dragon that ever existed. Bahamut appears in other stories as well, but not as a dragon. In the occult he is also seen as king of dragons and lord of the earth as Satan and as one of the adopted children of Lucifer.

Appears in the fish based Bahamut legend. He's a bull with that sits beneath the mountain supporting the world.

Midgar Zolom
In Norse mythology the Midgarsorm was a giant serpent that circled around the world endlessly

Equipment and Locations:
From Nordic myth. Means "frozen hell".

Midgard. In Norse mythology it is the home of "man" one of the seven races around at that time.

(One of Clouds Swords) - Also from Norse mythology, Ragnarok is the name of a great final battle that was to take place between the gods and the giants, which was destined to last for all eternity and to destroy the entire world in its wake.

(Sephiroth's Sword) - This name comes from a Japanese legend about two legendary sword smiths, Masamune and Muramasa. Masamune's blades were said to bless their holders with great luck, while Muramasa's blades were said to be bloodthirsty, and would turn on their owners. Interestingly, however, Masamune was said to make katanas, one of which Sephiroth's sword is most certainly not.

Costa Del Sol
In Spanish, it translates as "Coast of the Sun"