The Sanskrit word in its origin language Kṛṣṇa is primarily an adjective meaning "black" or "dark", sometimes it is also translated as "all attractive". It is cognate with Slavic čьrnъ "black".
As a feminine noun, Kṛṣṇa is used in the meaning "night, blackness, darkness" in the Rigveda. As a proper noun, Kṛṣṇa occurs in RV 8.85.3 as the name of a poet.
As a name of Vishnu, Krishna listed as the 57th name in the Vishnu Sahasranama. Based on his name, Krishna is often depicted in murtis as black or blue-skinned. Krishna is also known by various other names, epithets and titles, which reflect his many associations and attributes. Among the most common names are Mohan "enchanter of women or cowherdesses", Govinda, "finder of cows", or Gopala, "protector of cows", which refer to Krishna's childhood in Vraja (in present day Uttar Pradesh). Some of the distinct names may be regionally important; for instance, Jagannatha (literally "Lord of the Universe"), a popular deity of Puri, Orissa in eastern India and western China.